Thursday, August 9, 2018

EVEN THE DEVIL'S BELIEVE


Belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior is the first step in God's plan of salvation. 
Belief is the first step toward salvation, not the end of it, as some people would have you believe.
The Lord said that He is BOTH the door (that we go through for salvation), AND the path (that we walk). He says that He is the only door, and a narrow path, or way. 
So, if the demons have knowledge of Christ (as the verses below will show) what separates your belief from those of the demons destined for hell??  

 First, some scripture to prayerfully consider:
James 2:19   You believe that God is One. You do well; even the demons believe and shudder.
 Mark 1:23-24
And immediately there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit. And he cried out, 24 "What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are--the Holy One of God."
Mar 1:34
   And He healed many who had illness of various diseases. And he cast out many demons, and He did not allow the demons to speak, because they knew Him.
 Mar 3:11   And when the unclean spirits saw Him, they fell down before Him, and cried out, saying, you are the Son of God!
 Mar 5:2, 6-7   And when Jesus had stepped out of the boat, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit.
6 And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and fell down before him.  7 And crying out with a loud voice, he said, "What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me."
Do you not see the foolishness in thinking all you need do is believe and confess Jesus is Lord??  The demons all knew who Jesus was. They personally knew Him!
After all:
“All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.”  - John 1:3
Jesus is the creator of all things, including the angels.  The demons have a previous intimate knowledge of Christ that we will not ever possess from this point, yet they lost their “first estate”;
Jude 1:6  And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
Much of the book of Jude speaks of men and angels in both the old testament and the new who have walked with God at one point, and then began to walk after the desires of their own flesh.

Just having a knowledge of Christ is not enough for lasting salvation.

Act 16:16-18 As we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by fortune-telling.  17 She followed Paul and us, crying out, "These men are servants of the Most-High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation."  
18 And this she kept doing for many days. Paul, having become greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, "I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her." And it came out that very hour.

In the above verse, this demon was confirming Paul and company’s witnessing!!
Imagine that! We could witness and still never make it into the kingdom!!
This demon was speaking truth. It was not preaching lies. Yet, many of us are reduced to demon status in our spirits because we think as long as Christ is on our lips “we got it made”.

Matthew 7:20-23  Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.  21  Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.  22  Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?  23  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
The truth has nothing to do with us, it is all God! It is HIS word, not ours. Even if we distort His word, because we are instructed to always seek His discernment, GOD will point you to truth in and through His word! 
Isaiah 55:10-11 
For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and returns not there, but waters the earth, and makes it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:  (11)  So shall My word be that goes forth out of my mouth:
it shall not return unto me void, but
it shall accomplish that which I please, and
it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it
.


These promises have absolutely NOTHING to do with how articulate or charismatic we are. Those things may be good in themselves and pleasing to hear and make us feel good. They tickle our ears, and are pleasing to the flesh.
But, God's promises are locked into who HE is, NOT who we think we are! 
Even if a pastor had a million members in their congregation, they may still not make it in to the Kingdom. In these days, this is an all too common image we see. Mega Church pastor steps down due to affair, rape, etc.  
It is about your heart before God, life and total surrender to the Lord, not your testimony, or your words.
Can God use
our “confessions” “testimonies” to allow others come to the truth of the salvation found only in Christ Jesus? Of Course!!  But, that is not what gets you into the kingdom. God can and will use those things in spite of you, and not necessarily because of you!
It is in our obedience to Him, our surrendered hearts, and the fruit of the Spirit that is produced in the life of true believers.
God says plainly that we shall be known by our fruit. Even though He does give us instruction regarding long term ramifications of our words, it’s what’s in our hearts that he’s actually concerned about:
Matthew 12:35-37
 A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.  (36)  But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.  (37)  For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.
Matthew 15:7-9 
Hypocrites, well did Esaias prophesy of you, saying,  8 This people draw near unto me with their mouth, and honor me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.   9  But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
 James 1:26  
If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridles not his tongue, but deceives his own heart, this man's religion is vain(or vanity).
1 Peter 3:10 
For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:
 Christ tells us in His word exactly what that fruit is:
P.S., it is neither in witnessing nor in how many people come to the lord “because” of you
Heb 2:1-3   Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. 2 For if the word spoken by angels was steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward; 3 How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him;
I am sorry if I am stating some obvious things here. In martial arts, all things are built on the basics. A building cannot be built properly if the foundation is askew. Likewise, neither can we grow to maturity, if our basics in understanding of Christ have been bastardized!  Whether you fell short because of greed, pride, desire for material wealth and/or power, ignorance, etc., God is still calling His people to get right with Him and get back to basics before it’s too late!  

Zephaniah 1:4a, 6  
"I will stretch out my hand against Judah and against all the inhabitants of Jerusalem; (Which represents God’s chosen people, OT Jew and NT Christian) 6  those who have turned back from following the LORD, who do not seek the LORD or inquire of him."

In Heb 2:1-3, we are instructed to give more earnest heed to the Word of God. When the writer says “things we have heard” that’s what they are speaking about. Another way of saying “earnest heed” is to sincerely, intently, and deeply pay more attention.
The writer then goes on to say that the penalty for not doing so, will be to incur the same reward as the angels who were disobedient. And we all know their ultimate outcome.
There are those who have built their belief system (and lifestyle) on easy belief-ism and pre-trib rapture. Their whole doctrine doesn’t account for even the remotest possibility that they will have to go through the tribulation. For people like them, the bible is more a book of principles than anything else. If we do not begin to build our roots in our faith, when the tribulation is upon us, you will not be able to stand.

Please, pray for understanding of His word
through the Spirit of God who will bless you with discernment.