You shall know them...

Last night I watched an episode of "Grimm" that had the minister of a church as a wolf and his congregation as sheep.  If you are familiar with the series, you know that all the "monsters" change back and forth between normal looking people and a variety of not-so-nice monsters.  So, unless you are a Grimm, you wouldn't even recognize them.  Which raises the question: Are there "monsters" among us?  The answer is yes and no at the same time.  Here is a closely related quote from Jesus...

Matthew, Chapter 7
13 “Enter in by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many are those who enter in by it.  14 How narrow is the gate, and restricted is the way that leads to life! Few are those who find it.

  15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves. 16 By their fruits you will know them. Do you gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles?  17 Even so, every good tree produces good fruit; but the corrupt tree produces evil fruit.  18 A good tree can’t produce evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree produce good fruit.  19 Every tree that doesn’t grow good fruit is cut down, and thrown into the fire.  20 Therefore, by their fruits you will know them.  21 Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  22 Many will tell me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name, in your name cast out demons, and in your name do many mighty works?’ 23 Then I will tell them, ‘I never knew you. Depart from me, you who work iniquity.’

  24 “Everyone therefore who hears these words of mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man, who built his house on a rock.  25 The rain came down, the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat on that house; and it didn’t fall, for it was founded on the rock. 26 Everyone who hears these words of mine, and doesn’t do them will be like a foolish man, who built his house on the sand.  27 The rain came down, the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat on that house; and it fell—and great was its fall.”"

Whatever label you put on it, there are those out there who are evil and could be called "monsters".  Jesus says you can tell an evil person by what they do.  Its not what they look like on the outside, but what is on the inside that counts.  There won't be a sign identifying them, but just watch what they do; over time you will know with certainty who is who.  When it comes to religion, if you follow what the Bible says to do, you are going through the "narrow gate"; if not, you might as well take that little diamond sign and hang it around you neck.  The good news is... you can change... open your Bible and see for yourself!!!  If not, your future will be looking very grim indeed!!!

Oct. 7 Psalms 141-144

Oct. 7
Psalms 141-144

Psa 141:1 Yahweh, I have called on you. Come to me quickly! Listen to my voice when I call to you.
Psa 141:2 Let my prayer be set before you like incense; the lifting up of my hands like the evening sacrifice.
Psa 141:3 Set a watch, Yahweh, before my mouth. Keep the door of my lips.
Psa 141:4 Don't incline my heart to any evil thing, to practice deeds of wickedness with men who work iniquity. Don't let me eat of their delicacies.
Psa 141:5 Let the righteous strike me, it is kindness; let him reprove me, it is like oil on the head; don't let my head refuse it; Yet my prayer is always against evil deeds.
Psa 141:6 Their judges are thrown down by the sides of the rock. They will hear my words, for they are well spoken.
Psa 141:7 "As when one plows and breaks up the earth, our bones are scattered at the mouth of Sheol."
Psa 141:8 For my eyes are on you, Yahweh, the Lord. In you, I take refuge. Don't leave my soul destitute.
Psa 141:9 Keep me from the snare which they have laid for me, from the traps of the workers of iniquity.
Psa 141:10 Let the wicked fall together into their own nets, while I pass by.
Psa 142:1 I cry with my voice to Yahweh. With my voice, I ask Yahweh for mercy.
Psa 142:2 I pour out my complaint before him. I tell him my troubles.
Psa 142:3 When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, you knew my path. In the way in which I walk, they have hidden a snare for me.
Psa 142:4 Look on my right, and see; for there is no one who is concerned for me. Refuge has fled from me. No one cares for my soul.
Psa 142:5 I cried to you, Yahweh. I said, "You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living."
Psa 142:6 Listen to my cry, for I am in desperate need. deliver me from my persecutors, For they are stronger than me.
Psa 142:7 Bring my soul out of prison, that I may give thanks to your name. The righteous will surround me, for you will be good to me.
Psa 143:1 Hear my prayer, Yahweh. Listen to my petitions. In your faithfulness and righteousness, relieve me.
Psa 143:2 Don't enter into judgment with your servant, for in your sight no man living is righteous.
Psa 143:3 For the enemy pursues my soul. He has struck my life down to the ground. He has made me live in dark places, as those who have been long dead.
Psa 143:4 Therefore my spirit is overwhelmed within me. My heart within me is desolate.
Psa 143:5 I remember the days of old. I meditate on all your doings. I contemplate the work of your hands.
Psa 143:6 I spread forth my hands to you. My soul thirsts for you, like a parched land. Selah.
Psa 143:7 Hurry to answer me, Yahweh. My spirit fails. Don't hide your face from me, so that I don't become like those who go down into the pit.
Psa 143:8 Cause me to hear your loving kindness in the morning, for I trust in you. Cause me to know the way in which I should walk, for I lift up my soul to you.
Psa 143:9 Deliver me, Yahweh, from my enemies. I flee to you to hide me.
Psa 143:10 Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. Your Spirit is good. Lead me in the land of uprightness.
Psa 143:11 Revive me, Yahweh, for your name's sake. In your righteousness, bring my soul out of trouble.
Psa 143:12 In your loving kindness, cut off my enemies, and destroy all those who afflict my soul, For I am your servant.
Psa 144:1 Blessed be Yahweh, my rock, who teaches my hands to war, and my fingers to battle:
Psa 144:2 my loving kindness, my fortress, my high tower, my deliverer, my shield, and he in whom I take refuge; who subdues my people under me.
Psa 144:3 Yahweh, what is man, that you care for him? Or the son of man, that you think of him?
Psa 144:4 Man is like a breath. His days are like a shadow that passes away.
Psa 144:5 Part your heavens, Yahweh, and come down. Touch the mountains, and they will smoke.
Psa 144:6 Throw out lightning, and scatter them. Send out your arrows, and rout them.
Psa 144:7 Stretch out your hand from above, rescue me, and deliver me out of great waters, out of the hands of foreigners;
Psa 144:8 whose mouths speak deceit, Whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood.
Psa 144:9 I will sing a new song to you, God. On a ten-stringed lyre, I will sing praises to you.
Psa 144:10 You are he who gives salvation to kings, who rescues David, his servant, from the deadly sword.
Psa 144:11 Rescue me, and deliver me out of the hands of foreigners, whose mouths speak deceit, whose right hand is a right hand of falsehood.
Psa 144:12 Then our sons will be like well-nurtured plants, our daughters like pillars carved to adorn a palace.
Psa 144:13 Our barns are full, filled with all kinds of provision. Our sheep bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our fields.
Psa 144:14 Our oxen will pull heavy loads. There is no breaking in, and no going away, and no outcry in our streets.
Psa 144:15 Happy are the people who are in such a situation. Happy are the people whose God is Yahweh.

Oct. 7 Galatians 4

Oct. 7
Galatians 4

Gal 4:1 But I say that so long as the heir is a child, he is no different from a bondservant, though he is lord of all;
Gal 4:2 but is under guardians and stewards until the day appointed by the father.
Gal 4:3 So we also, when we were children, were held in bondage under the elemental principles of the world.
Gal 4:4 But when the fullness of the time came, God sent out his Son, born to a woman, born under the law,
Gal 4:5 that he might redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of children.
Gal 4:6 And because you are children, God sent out the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, "Abba, Father!"
Gal 4:7 So you are no longer a bondservant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.
Gal 4:8 However at that time, not knowing God, you were in bondage to those who by nature are not gods.
Gal 4:9 But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, why do you turn back again to the weak and miserable elemental principles, to which you desire to be in bondage all over again?
Gal 4:10 You observe days, months, seasons, and years.
Gal 4:11 I am afraid for you, that I might have wasted my labor for you.
Gal 4:12 I beg you, brothers, become as I am, for I also have become as you are. You did me no wrong,
Gal 4:13 but you know that because of weakness of the flesh I preached the Good News to you the first time.
Gal 4:14 That which was a temptation to you in my flesh, you didn't despise nor reject; but you received me as an angel of God, even as Christ Jesus.
Gal 4:15 What was the blessing you enjoyed? For I testify to you that, if possible, you would have plucked out your eyes and given them to me.
Gal 4:16 So then, have I become your enemy by telling you the truth?
Gal 4:17 They zealously seek you in no good way. No, they desire to alienate you, that you may seek them.
Gal 4:18 But it is always good to be zealous in a good cause, and not only when I am present with you.
Gal 4:19 My little children, of whom I am again in travail until Christ is formed in you--
Gal 4:20 but I could wish to be present with you now, and to change my tone, for I am perplexed about you.
Gal 4:21 Tell me, you that desire to be under the law, don't you listen to the law?
Gal 4:22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the handmaid, and one by the free woman.
Gal 4:23 However, the son by the handmaid was born according to the flesh, but the son by the free woman was born through promise.
Gal 4:24 These things contain an allegory, for these are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children to bondage, which is Hagar.
Gal 4:25 For this Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia, and answers to the Jerusalem that exists now, for she is in bondage with her children.
Gal 4:26 But the Jerusalem that is above is free, which is the mother of us all.
Gal 4:27 For it is written, "Rejoice, you barren who don't bear. Break forth and shout, you that don't travail. For more are the children of the desolate than of her who has a husband."
Gal 4:28 Now we, brothers, as Isaac was, are children of promise.
Gal 4:29 But as then, he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so also it is now.
Gal 4:30 However what does the Scripture say? "Throw out the handmaid and her son, for the son of the handmaid will not inherit with the son of the free woman."
Gal 4:31 So then, brothers, we are not children of a handmaid, but of the free woman.

Hebrews, Chapter 12, Mark Copeland

                      "THE EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS"

                             Chapter Twelve

With the "heroes of faith" like a cloud of witness cheering us on, we
are to run the race of faith, looking to Jesus’ example for endurance
and to God’s loving discipline lest we fall short of His grace (1-17).
Coming not to Mt. Sinai but to glorious Mt. Zion (18-24), we are given
the sixth warning:  not to refuse or defy Him who speaks from heaven


   *  How Jesus was able to endure the cross

   *  The role of discipline in the life of the Christian

   *  The danger of defying Him who speaks from heaven


1) What are the main points of this chapter?
   - The need for endurance and discipline - He 12:1-17
   - Contrast between Mt. Sinai and Mt. Zion - He 12:18-24
   - A warning against defying - He 12:25-29

2) How are we to run the race of faith? (1-3)
   - Lay aside every weight (esp. the sin of unbelief), look to Jesus
     for inspiration

3) If we experience hostility striving against sin, how should we view
   it? (4-9)
   - As chastening from a loving Father who knows it is for our good

4) What can chastening from God accomplish? (10-11)
   - Partaking of His holiness, and the peaceable fruit of righteousness

5) As we run the race of faith, what should we pursue and how? (12-17)
   - Peace and holiness, careful not to fall short of God’s grace (like
     Esau did)

6) How did Mt. Sinai appear to Moses and the Israelites? (18-21)
   - A terrifying sight, and a terrifying voice

7) To what have we come? (22-24)
   - Mt. Zion and the heavenly Jerusalem
   - An innumerable company of angels
   - General assembly, church of the firstborn
   - God the Judge of All
   - Spirits of just men made perfect
   - Jesus, Mediator of the New Covenant
   - The blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than Abel

8) List four reasons we should not refuse Him who speaks from heaven?
   - He will one day "shake" and "remove" earth and heaven
   - We are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken
   - We can have grace by which to serve God with reverence and godly
   - God is a consuming fire