Sin is Sin is Sin is Sin

Who Told Us That We Could Assign Degrees to Infractions of God’s Law?

Society assigns gradations to criminal behavior, and that is probably the source of feelings and beliefs of many in the “household of faith” which likewise assign degrees of seriousness to sin. Legaldictionary.net explains that many states subdivide felony and misdemeanor criminal violations into one of four degrees: first degree through fourth degree. Some in the church also think that they can prioritize violations of God’s laws.

Taking the Lord’s name in vain seems far less serious than bearing false witness. While, for another believer, a moderate case of coveting their neighbor’s stuff is certainly more of a “cupcake” sin than committing adultery. And, violation of the “Remember the Sabbath day…” commandment is not something to lose sleep over like committing murder would be. In other words, it’s not unusual to hear God’s people downplay their commission of “minor violations” of God’s law. They think they are minor. And, they do this even as they rail against the perceived, or exposed, sinful behavior of others.

Calling People Out

For example, when did same sex relationships become heaven’s “public sin number one?” No, this is not a back-door attempt to justify a lifestyle that some find a viable alternative, and others view as abhorrent. Nor, is it a diatribe against the LGBTQ community. What it is, is an effort to understand by whose authority we apply degrees of seriousness to violations of God’s revealed will and His holy law. Furthermore, just how do we discern heaven’s acceptability of one sin over another, when both are sins?

Nothing in Scripture places those involved in gay/lesbian/bi relationships at the apex in our world of sin. Now, the Bible does reference the enemies of God’s Kingdom in several places. For example, Matthew 13’s parable of the sower, tells of tares being sown among the wheat. Verse 39 tells us, “the enemy who has sowed them (the tares) is the devil.” Paul declares in 1 Corinthians 15:26 “The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.” And, James 4:4 admonishes that “Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”

Curiously, even if we wanted to proclaim members of the gay community enemies of the church, that pesky Matthew 5:43 reminds us that we are to love our enemies. So, we’re still not safe. God calls for us to love, even as we love our neighbors and ourselves.

Each Will Account for Their Sins

Let’s be clear on this fact, with God, sin is sin. Romans 14:12 says, each of us will have to give a personal account for our actions—good and bad—to God. One reminder, in 2 Corinthians 5:10, is that we must all come before the throne of Christ to account for what we’ve done, to reap what we’ve sown. And, the counsel of Ecclesiastes 12:14 keeps it real: even the “secret” things will be brought into judgment. To ensure that we understand for whom these passages apply, Paul wrote in Romans 2:11, 12: “For there is no partiality with God. For as many as have sinned without law will also perish without law…”

Yes, there are revisionists, who attempt to assuage any guilt felt by those in same-sex relationships by declaring the Bible is empty of any condemnation for homosexual deeds. However, that is wishful thinking. Does the Bible declare homosexuality a sin? Yes. But, it also declares fornication a sin. Not surprisingly, adultery is also a sin. In fact, the Bible declares that any sexual intimacy outside of the sacredness of marriage (based on God’s original design: one man, one woman) is a sin.

This begs the question, why are we not so quick to condemn our family members, friends, and co-workers who we suspect, or know, to be engaged in relationships of intimacy outside of marriage? Victory over all forms of sexual improprieties is available through Jesus.

God’s Word contains abundant evidence. The Old Testament offers Genesis chapter 19, along with Leviticus chapters 18 and 20. While, in the New Testament, Romans 1:26-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, and 1 Timothy 1:9, 10 all provide clarity on where God stands with sexual sins. However, please note, at no time does God suggest that He has no love for those engaged in sexual sins. His love for us is evident in that “…while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

Called to Befriend, Not Condemn

So, what is our obligation? God declares in Ezekiel chapter three that He has placed us as watchmen, and watchwomen, upon the walls to warn those in sin. The Great Commission contains our marching orders, “Go, therefore, and teach…” In Luke chapter 14, Jesus instructs that we are to go into the highways and byways, compelling them to join us at Prince Immanuel’s table. Lastly, Paul’s admonition of Galatians 5:6 is that nothing else matters except faith that works by love. We are called, not to condemn, but to befriend for Jesus, in love.

 

 


This article is part of our 2019 May / June Issue
Subscribe –>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…......…………………………………………………………………




Zoom in to Discover How Our Story Ends

The book of Revelation in the Bible tells the story of salvation and the history of God’s people from multiple, different perspectives. It’s very similar to using the “zoom” feature on a camera. You “zoom in” to see things close up, and you “zoom out” to see the bigger picture. Revelation zooms in and zooms out several times as it focuses on various parts of the salvation narrative. At the very beginning of the book, Revelation zooms out to survey the history of the church. Then in Revelation 12, it zooms all the way out enabling readers to see the full celestial picture of the history of God’s people and the plan of salvation.

Often when people refer to Revelation 12, they assert that it’s the chapter which highlights the continued struggle between Christ and Satan. Because this conflict spans many ages and veritably all of the history of our world, it’s called the “Great Controversy” as it’s displayed in countless small spiritual battles and encapsulates every manifestation of spiritual warfare. Ultimately, Satan desires to have dominion over our souls and the entire universe, and he will stop at nothing to realize this nefarious ambition. Through the Great Controversy, we have insight into his attempt at a celestial coup d’état.

The Woman

This cosmic clash begins with a vision of a woman, “clothed with the sun…and a crown of twelve stars on her head.”1 She is pregnant and cries out in pain as she is about to give birth.2 Then enters the villain, an “enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on its heads.”3 But it’s the next line that is very significant. It says, “His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth.”4

It’s important to know that scholars believe that the woman represents God’s people who are often referred to in the Bible as a beautiful bride.5 Additionally, we know that the child symbolizes Jesus Christ because verse five says that the child “will rule all the nations with an iron scepter.”6

Pause, Rewind

We need to pause here to point out that the story utilizes an ancient Hebrew storytelling device that scholars like to call recapitulation. You’ve probably heard a friend unwittingly doing the same thing. Your friend told you what happened, but then said, “Let me backup a little bit.” Your friend then regressed in order to give you important details for understanding how things turned out. Well, that’s exactly what’s happening in Revelation 12.

At the beginning of chapter twelve, the woman is standing there in her most vulnerable moment and that’s when the dragon appears. The Bible then says in verse four that the dragon has come to devour the woman’s newborn baby.7 God, however, whisks the woman away in a sort of spiritual witness protection program and the child is spared. Yet, the dragon never gives up, and at the end of the chapter, he “goes to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus.” This is a major moment because this means that this Great Controversy is about to meet its apex.

Rescue of God’s People

Revelation 13 begins with the culmination of Satan’s attempts to destroy God’s people and usurp God’s throne. Nevertheless, shortly thereafter in subsequent chapters of Revelation, we see the judgments of God poured out, followed by the implementation of the ultimate final judgment and eternal peace that ensues with the execution of the evil one.

The Scriptures state, “And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, ‘Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and He will dwell with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.’”8

Victorious Family

It’s this message that should give us all courage and hope! At the end of this celestial power struggle, God wins! And not only does God win, but He establishes victory for all those who put their trust in Him! Praise God! God has adopted us into His family and has called us by His own name! “We are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”9

…......………………………………………………………………….

CARLTON P. BYRD, D.MIN., is Senior Pastor of the Oakwood University Church in Huntsville, Alabama and the speaker and director for Breath of Life Television Ministries.

___________

All scriptural texts are taken from the New International Version unless otherwise indicated.

1 Revelation 12:1

2 Revelation 12:2

3 Revelation 12:3

4 Revelation 12:4

5 Revelation 19:7, 21:2

6 Revelation 12:5

7 Revelation 12:4

8 Revelation 21:3-4

9 Revelation 8:37


This article is part of our 2019 May / JuneIssue
Subscribe –>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




Better Than God


How good is good? How great is great? How much better is better? Many people strive to be the best version of their selves? For some, going to church or reading the Bible is a way they try to do so. In the Bible Jesus says a lot about what believing in Him and His Father can do for people. In 2019, what do people really believe God is capable of? Do you still believe in Jesus and the Father? Join us as we explore the challenge of belief in this study entitled “Better Than God.”

Read John 14:5-8

The disciples have some questions for Jesus. I believe one of the best ways to study is to ask questions. I believe your belief can be strengthened by strong questions. Write out some questions you want to ask Jesus. 

Read John 14:8; Read John 6:5-7

One of the disciples that is asking questions is Philip. Philip seems to be very concerned about the tangible. Philip was the one who—upon facing more than five thousand hungry people—basically said:  “we don’t have enough money.” It is hard to believe when you cannot see how something can be done. Have you ever been in a situation where you could not see how it would work out? Tell us about it here at Message using #MessageMag on social media.

Read John 14:9, and 1 Peter 5:7

Jesus seems to be a little taken aback by Philip’s question. You would think that walking side by side with Jesus would be enough for anyone to believe and know God. By the same token, people go to churches week after week, read their Bible’s, and say their prayers, and still want to see proof. Are there any people’s lives you want to see proof of God in? Write out the list and pray for them as you continue this study. 

Read John 14:10-11

When we look at other people throughout the day do we ever consider that God could be living inside of them? It’s so easy to get stuck on the physical that we become ignorant of the spiritual. Isn’t that part of what makes believing in Jesus so challenging? He’s out of sight and therefore out of mind. What would happen if we looked and dealt with everyone as if they had God  living in them? How do you think that would play out in real life? Tell us your opinion on social media using #MessageMag.

Read John 14:12; Philippians 4:13; Romans 8:28

These words of Jesus may drill to the root of why believing is so daunting. He says that if we believe in Him we will be doing the things He’s been doing. For the record, Jesus had already done numerous miracles, yet He says we are able to do what He did. To up that ante, He then proclaims that we “will do greater things.” Does it sometimes seem the promises and words of the Bible are too good to be true? Has there been times when your experience didn’t seem to match up with what you read?

Read John 14:12-14

There is a difference between being better, and doing better. Jesus does not suggest here that you will be better in behavior and character, but rather that you are enabled to do more miraculous things than He did. Sometimes we downplay our potential because of things in our past. God wants you to know He still desires to use you if you are willing to believe in Him. I challenge you to write out a prayer that thanks God for power that supersedes your personality and His benevolence that outshines your behavior. Honestly, write it out and pray it out loud. 

Read John 15:1-4

Believing can be challenging when you don’t see results. That is why I’m thankful that right after John tells about Jesus saying we can do better than He, he tells us about how the results of our actions are not our responsibility. Our focus as believers is to stay connected to the true vine, and I know that as we see the fruit our belief will show that there is none better than God.  

…......……………………………………………………………….

Rashad Burden is the pastor of the Mount Olive and Shiloh Seventh-day Adventist Churches in Southern Alabama.


This article is part of our 2019 May / June
Subscribe –>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?” John 14:8,9.

Think and Grow

From Ellen G. White’s The Desire of The Ages, the chapter entitled “He Ordained Twelve.”

At the head of one of the groups into which the apostles are divided stands the name of Philip. He was the first disciple to whom Jesus addressed the distinct command, “Follow Me.” Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. He had listened to the teaching of John the Baptist, and had heard his announcement of Christ as the Lamb of God.

Philip was a sincere seeker for truth, but he was slow of heart to believe. Although he had joined himself to Christ, yet his announcement of Him to Nathanael shows that he was not fully convinced of the divinity of Jesus. Though Christ had been proclaimed by the voice from heaven as the Son of God, to Philip He was “Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph” John 1:45.

Again, when the five thousand were fed, Philip’s lack of faith was shown. It was to test him that Jesus questioned, “Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” Philip’s answer was on the side of unbelief: “Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little” John 6:5, 7.

Jesus was grieved. Although Philip had seen His works and felt His power, yet he had not faith. When the Greeks inquired of Philip concerning Jesus, he did not seize upon the opportunity of introducing them to the Savior, but he went to tell Andrew. Again, in those last hours before the crucifixion, the words of Philip were such as to discourage faith. When Thomas said to Jesus, “Lord, we know not whither Thou goest; and how can we know the way?” the Savior answered, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life…. If ye had known Me, ye should have known My Father also.” From Philip came the response of unbelief: “Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.” John 14:5-8. So slow of heart, so weak in faith, was that disciple who for three years had been with Jesus.

As

His representatives among men, Christ does not choose angels who have never fallen, but human beings, men of like passions with those they seek to save. Christ took upon Himself humanity, that He might reach humanity. Divinity needed humanity; for it required both the divine and the human to bring salvation to the world. Divinity needed humanity, that humanity might afford a channel of communication between God and man. So with the servants and messengers of Christ. Man needs a power outside of and beyond himself, to restore him to the likeness of God, and enable him to do the work of God; but this does not make the human agency unessential. Humanity lays hold upon divine power, Christ dwells in the heart by faith; and through cooperation with the divine, the power of man becomes efficient for good.

…......……………………………………………………………………………….


This article is part of our 2019 May / June
Subscribe –>

 

 

 

 

 

 

…......…………………………………………..

ELLEN G. WHITE (1827-1915), one of the most published authors in the world, named one of the “100 Most Significant Americans of All Time” by the Smithsonian Institution in 2014, was a co-founder of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

_________________

*You can read The Desire of Ages in its entirety online at www.whiteestate.org/onlinebooks.





What Does It Take for You to Believe?


Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us. Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?” John 14:8,9.

Think and Grow

From Ellen G. White’s The Desire of The Ages, the chapter entitled “He Ordained Twelve.”

At the head of one of the groups into which the apostles are divided stands the name of Philip. He was the first disciple to whom Jesus addressed the distinct command, “Follow Me.” Philip was of Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. He had listened to the teaching of John the Baptist, and had heard his announcement of Christ as the Lamb of God.

Philip was a sincere seeker for truth, but he was slow of heart to believe. Although he had joined himself to Christ, yet his announcement of Him to Nathanael shows that he was not fully convinced of the divinity of Jesus. Though Christ had been proclaimed by the voice from heaven as the Son of God, to Philip He was “Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph” John 1:45.

Again, when the five thousand were fed, Philip’s lack of faith was shown. It was to test him that Jesus questioned, “Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” Philip’s answer was on the side of unbelief: “Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little” John 6:5, 7.

Jesus was grieved. Although Philip had seen His works and felt His power, yet he had not faith. When the Greeks inquired of Philip concerning Jesus, he did not seize upon the opportunity of introducing them to the Savior, but he went to tell Andrew. Again, in those last hours before the crucifixion, the words of Philip were such as to discourage faith. When Thomas said to Jesus, “Lord, we know not whither Thou goest; and how can we know the way?” the Savior answered, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life…. If ye had known Me, ye should have known My Father also.” From Philip came the response of unbelief: “Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.” John 14:5-8. So slow of heart, so weak in faith, was that disciple who for three years had been with Jesus.

As

His representatives among men, Christ does not choose angels who have never fallen, but human beings, men of like passions with those they seek to save. Christ took upon Himself humanity, that He might reach humanity. Divinity needed humanity; for it required both the divine and the human to bring salvation to the world. Divinity needed humanity, that humanity might afford a channel of communication between God and man. So with the servants and messengers of Christ. Man needs a power outside of and beyond himself, to restore him to the likeness of God, and enable him to do the work of God; but this does not make the human agency unessential. Humanity lays hold upon divine power, Christ dwells in the heart by faith; and through cooperation with the divine, the power of man becomes efficient for good.

…......…………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

ELLEN G. WHITE (1827-1915), one of the most published authors in the world, named one of the “100 Most Significant Americans of All Time” by the Smithsonian Institution in 2014, was a co-founder of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

 

…......………………………….


This article is part of our 2019 May / June
Subscribe –>

 

 

 

 

 

 

…......…………………………………………..

ELLEN G. WHITE (1827-1915), one of the most published authors in the world, named one of the “100 Most Significant Americans of All Time” by the Smithsonian Institution in 2014, was a co-founder of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

_________________

*You can read The Desire of Ages in its entirety online at www.whiteestate.org/onlinebooks.


How good is good? How great is great? How much better is better? Many people strive to be the best version of their selves? For some, going to church or reading the Bible is a way they try to do so. In the Bible Jesus says a lot about what believing in Him and His Father can do for people. In 2019, what do people really believe God is capable of? Do you still believe in Jesus and the Father? Join us as we explore the challenge of belief in this study entitled “Better Than God.”

Read John 14:5-8

The disciples have some questions for Jesus. I believe one of the best ways to study is to ask questions. I believe your belief can be strengthened by strong questions. Write out some questions you want to ask Jesus. 

Read John 14:8; Read John 6:5-7

One of the disciples that is asking questions is Philip. Philip seems to be very concerned about the tangible. Philip was the one who—upon facing more than five thousand hungry people—basically said:  “we don’t have enough money.” It is hard to believe when you cannot see how something can be done. Have you ever been in a situation where you could not see how it would work out? Tell us about it here at Message using #MessageMag on social media.

Read John 14:9, and 1 Peter 5:7

Jesus seems to be a little taken aback by Philip’s question. You would think that walking side by side with Jesus would be enough for anyone to believe and know God. By the same token, people go to churches week after week, read their Bible’s, and say their prayers, and still want to see proof. Are there any people’s lives you want to see proof of God in? Write out the list and pray for them as you continue this study. 

Read John 14:10-11

When we look at other people throughout the day do we ever consider that God could be living inside of them? It’s so easy to get stuck on the physical that we become ignorant of the spiritual. Isn’t that part of what makes believing in Jesus so challenging? He’s out of sight and therefore out of mind. What would happen if we looked and dealt with everyone as if they had God  living in them? How do you think that would play out in real life? Tell us your opinion on social media using #MessageMag.

Read John 14:12; Philippians 4:13; Romans 8:28

These words of Jesus may drill to the root of why believing is so daunting. He says that if we believe in Him we will be doing the things He’s been doing. For the record, Jesus had already done numerous miracles, yet He says we are able to do what He did. To up that ante, He then proclaims that we “will do greater things.” Does it sometimes seem the promises and words of the Bible are too good to be true? Has there been times when your experience didn’t seem to match up with what you read?

Read John 14:12-14

There is a difference between being better, and doing better. Jesus does not suggest here that you will be better in behavior and character, but rather that you are enabled to do more miraculous things than He did. Sometimes we downplay our potential because of things in our past. God wants you to know He still desires to use you if you are willing to believe in Him. I challenge you to write out a prayer that thanks God for power that supersedes your personality and His benevolence that outshines your behavior. Honestly, write it out and pray it out loud. 

Read John 15:1-4

Believing can be challenging when you don’t see results. That is why I’m thankful that right after John tells about Jesus saying we can do better than He, he tells us about how the results of our actions are not our responsibility. Our focus as believers is to stay connected to the true vine, and I know that as we see the fruit our belief will show that there is none better than God.  

…......……………………………………………………………….

Rashad Burden is the pastor of the Mount Olive and Shiloh Seventh-day Adventist Churches in Southern Alabama.


This article is part of our 2019 May / June
Subscribe –>

 

 

 

 

 

 





Crisis Care and Support from Everyday People

Friends, family and the faith community learn to be first responders for people in need of mental healing

It was subtle at first–expressing “odd ideas” during casual conversations, ideas that did not fit within the discussion. Then Jennifer noticed her friend Rafael displaying emotions that were inappropriate to the situation: laughing while discussing something sad, or, showing no emotion when she shared news that would usually be followed by his uproarious laughter.

Jennifer was unsure of what was going on with her friend. He started missing work, and when he did show up he was not appropriately dressed, often looked disheveled, and appeared not to have taken a shower in some time. He was not himself. Yet, it was not immediately obvious to family and friends exactly what was wrong.

Both 24, Jennifer and Rafael became friends when they met at their historically black college three years ago. They immersed themselves in the fun and culture in their school, famous for soulful marching bands and exquisite drumlines. The became “besties” from day one.

Over the years the pair spent a lot of time together. They attended the same church, went to the movies every Saturday evening, and shared Sunday dinners. They supported each other through tough times and celebrated one another’s successes. So, Jennifer knew her friend well enough to know that he was in some sort of emotional pain, but could not get him to open up about it. He also began to isolate himself.

Spiral of Realization

Jennifer realized that something more serious was happening to Rafael than him just feeling tired or overwhelmed. He was usually intelligent, thoughtful, and energetic, and an especially stylish dresser. Lately, though, he grew distant, suspicious, unusually sullen, uninterested in social activities he once found fun and exciting, and paid little to no attention to his personal hygiene. The easy-going, fun-loving exchanges Jennifer once enjoyed with Rafael seemed to disappear suddenly and without warning.

Rafael’s family noticed the change in their son as well, and was scared and confused. They did not know what to do so they asked their pastor to come over and pray for Rafael. The pastor prayed for him and his family, but also suggested professional counseling. While he was grateful for the prayers and support, Rafael refused to go to counseling. Jennifer was heart-broken as she watched her friend slowly deteriorate into someone she no longer recognized.

A Different World Now

Rafael was in the throes of psychosis and deep depression. At first he denied anything was wrong. He later confided that he was “not sure what was happening” to him. “The world is different now” he simply said.

Rafael’s world truly was different now. However, it was not so uncommon, as the following data from 2015 National Prevalence Rates of Serious Mental Illness (SMI) and Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Diagnoses indicate:

  • Anxiety: 18.1% (42 million people)
  • Depression: 6.9% (16 million people)
  • Bipolar: 2.6% (6.1 million people)
  • Substance Use Disorder: 20.8 million people

Sources: National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

Substance Abuse and Mental health Services Administration (SAMSHA)

As the data above indicate, behavioral health challenges (mental illness and substance use disorders) are far more common than most people realize. Experiencing mental illness, and or, substance use disorder is also no respecter of persons, as it impacts all races and ethnicities, gender, age, social economic status.

Research shows (and as you can see on the graph above) that mental illness affects young people at an alarming rate. NAMI research indicates that “one half of all lifetime cases begin by age 14 and 75 percent begin by age 24”. Even more astounding is that even after an onset of symptoms, “the average young person does not get treatment until 8-10 years after onset of symptoms.”

Community of First Responders

Several health seminars teach everyday citizens how to support those suffering from mental illness or substance use disorders, and those experiencing behavioral health crises. Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is one such resource that my city (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) and many other cities, countries, states, and local communities have adopted to support people in crisis or experiencing behavioral health challenges until professionals can step in.

According to the National Council for Behavioral Health (NCBH): “One in five Americans has a mental illness or substance use disorder, yet many are reluctant to seek help or simply don’t know where to turn for care. Recognizing mental health and substance use challenges can be difficult, which is why it’s so important for everyone to understand the warning signs and risk factors.

What is Mental Health First Aid?

“Mental Health First Aid teaches how to identify, understand and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders. The 8-hour course introduces participants to risk factors and warning signs of mental health concerns, builds understanding of their impact and provides an overview of common treatments. Through role-playing and simulations, it demonstrates how to assess a mental health crisis; select interventions; provide initial help; and connect people to professional, peer and social supports as well as self-help resources.” Mental Health First Aid USA is operated by the National Council for Behavioral Health. Read more about the program in their special 5th Anniversary edition of National Council Magazine. In Philadelphia and other places around the country MHFA has been taught in faith-based organizations, churches, masjids, and synagogues to add behavioral health supports as a ministry in those communities.

“I was able to use what I learned to help my mother in a crisis situation,” said one participant. “My mother was expressing thoughts of suicide and I was able to use the right words to assess the situation and convince her to seek treatment. I saved my mother’s life!”

Fortunately for Rafael, Jennifer took the MHFA course a few weeks after she noticed her friend experiencing difficulties. Even more fortunately, Rafael trusted Jennifer as she put to work the “ALGEE” acronym she learned in the course:

  • A – Assess for risk of suicide or harm
  • L – Listen non-judgmentally
  • G – Give reassurance and information
  • E – Encourage appropriate professional help
  • E – Encourage self-help and other support strategies

Rafael trusted his friend’s support, which encouraged him to seek professional help. Because of Jennifer’s compassion, support, and training, Rafael received the help he needed, was diagnosed with a mental health condition, and is responding well to treatment.

This situation could have resulted in a negative outcome like in so many cases with similar challenges. However, there was an additional, unanticipated positive result in that Rafael and Jennifer received permission from their pastor and church leadership to start a behavioral health support group for young people ages 14-24. Their church also signed up to receive training to become a “trauma-informed” congregation, thereby embracing behavioral health support as a legitimate and much needed ministry for their community.

The positive outcome for Rafael and others in the community was the result of a domino effect that all began with Jennifer putting her faith and friendship into practice. She is a great example of what the scripture says in Ephesians 4:32, of how we should treat one another: “Be kind and helpful to one another, tender-hearted [compassionate, understanding] …” (AMP).

Because mental illness and substance use disorder are becoming more prevalent in our communities, in our faith-communities, and in our families, we must be prepared. Showing kindness, love, and support to people in need is what being “Christ-like” is all about (Matthew 25:40).

Jean Wright II, PsyD, is a Clinical and Forensic Psychologist for the city of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.       


This article is part of our 2019 March / April
Subscribe –>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




2019 March / April Issue

TENDING THE HEALTHY MIND


How everyday people can protect and promote the mental wellness we need.

FEATURES

12 BOUNCE BACK
by Kim Nowlin Logan /
Trust and security issues arise for couples who co-habit.

13 BUILD A WALL AND AVOID SHUTDOWN
by Ruthven Phillip /
Protect your family against whims and winds of financial stress.

Tending The Healthy Mind

Special health section

14 CRISIS CARE FOR EVERYDAY PEOPLE
H. Jean Wright /
Could you step in when a loved one suffers breakdown?

-Better engage people living with mental illness
-Resilience
-Mental Renewal and Repair
-Remember: You Can

18 YOU CAN’T POUR FROM AN EMPTY PITCHER
by Wilma Kirk Lee /
For the caregiver, it is important to take care of yourself.

20 UP AND OUT
by Omar Miranda /
She almost lost her children, but Bible wisdom and counseling lifted her from despair.

22 COMFORTERS INC.
by Carl McRoy /
The five comforters committed to getting you through this.

28 VERY SUPERSTITIOUS
by Donald L. McPhaull /
Ten baseless “Bible” concepts that it’s time to trash.

FAVORITES

4 ELEVATION
by Phillip McGuire Wesley /
Media That Takes You Higher

5 EDITORIAL
by Carmela Monk Crawford /
Hands-on Mental Health

6 EYE ON THE TIMES
by Jackson Doggette /
Social Justice and Spiritual Impact of Wellness

8 OPTIMAL HEALTH
by Donna Green Goodman /
Bible Nutrition and Diet?

11 RELATIONSHIP Rx
by Willie and Elaine Oliver /
My wife has bi-polar disorder

24 FUTURECAST
by Carlton P. Byrd /
Tyrants, Terrorism and the End of Time

26 THE EXPERIENCE
by Ellen G. White /
Six Times Jesus Challenged His Hearers “Our Part in The Healing”

27 THE EXPERIENCE BIBLE STUDY
by Rashad Burden /
The Extra Mile

30 POWER PLAY
by Brenda Simon / 
Search the Scriptures

Subscribe Now

Subscribe




The Extra Mile


The Extra Mile

Helping people the way they need to be helped can be challenging. Many know what it feels like to try to help someone and realize later on that you were only enabling them. Some have put effort into assisting others only to end up feeling used and abused. How did Jesus do so much for so many when He knew there would be those who wouldn’t do for others? Join us as we are challenged like Jesus to go The Extra Mile.

Read Luke 18:35, Luke 4:18, Isaiah 61:1

Jesus is walking with a group toward Jericho and there was blind man begging. Have you ever asked the question as to why the blind man was sitting there?  Someone, more than likely, had to bring him to that place. Have you ever wondered who it was? Do you ever look around and wonder about the stories of the people around you? Take some time today to say a short prayer for those that catch your attention. 

Read Luke 18:35-38

This man obviously needs help. Good thing for him that on this day that Jesus was walking by. But what about all the other days that he was dropped off in this spot to beg? How many weeks, months, or years had he been brought to the same spot with little progress in his life? What if the people who brought him could have done more? Can we do more? Do we have to do more? Let us know what you think about these questions on social media using  #MessageMag.

Read Luke 18:39; 1 Corinthians 9:19

Can you imagine being this man? He’s dropped off daily by people who, though they are doing him a service, could do more. Do we do the same? Maybe we have weakened what it means to be a servant. Maybe we’re more like the people who try to silence those who could use a little more assistance. Have we gotten to the point like Paul that we are willing to sacrifice our freedom for the lives of others? I haven’t. What about you? Talk to us using #MessageMag on Social Media.

Read Luke 18:39-40; Psalm 18:6; Psalm 34:19

The Bible promises that God will deliver. When I survey the stories and happenings of Biblical History I see that, more often than not, God uses people to carry out His deliverance. Jesus has the same people who were hushing the man to carry him over. The grace in this is that even if you haven’t been bringing people to Jesus, it’s never too late to start. Maybe God wants you to carry someone to Him. It’s a big responsibility, but I know that if God asked you, He’ll empower you to do so. Is there someone for whom God wants you to be responsible? If so I’d love to personally call their name out with you in prayer. You can call and pray with me at 614-266-9568.

Read Luke 18:41-42; Isaiah 59:1-2

This man could have asked for anything. He wasn’t going to waste being in the presence of Jesus with a misguided request. I expect he had been through enough for him to realize that his problem had nothing to do with anyone other than himself. That is the challenge of serving people—being able to stick with them until they realize their issues, and we see ours. When problems arise, do you check yourself before assigning blame on others? Is that hard or easy? Why? Share on Social Media using #MessageMag.

Luke 18:43; 2 Corinthians 4:8-10; 1 Corinthains 3:6-9

When the blind man receives his sight he immediately follows Jesus. Shouldn’t our servanthood cause us to lead people to the place where they no longer need our service, but are able to stop worrying about themselves and focus on others? It takes time, patience, and sacrifice for many. Some don’t get to that point in our time with them. The cost doesn’t exempt us.

Luke 18:31-43

Jesus had just told His disciples for the third time that He must die for the world to be saved. Immediately, He goes towards Jerusalem by way of Jericho. He did’t have to go this way because there was an alternate route, but He did because there was someone that God wanted for Him to serve. In other words, Jesus went the extra mile for one person. Are we willing to do the same?  

…......……………………………………………………………….

Rashad Burden is the pastor of the Mount Olive and Shiloh Seventh-day Adventist Churches in Southern Alabama.


This article is part of our 2019 March / April
Subscribe –>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Then it happened, as He was coming near Jericho, that a certain blind man sat by the road begging. And hearing a multitude passing by, he asked what it meant. So they told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. And he cried out, saying, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Then those who went before warned him that he should be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be brought to Him. And when he had come near, He asked him, saying, “What do you want Me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, that I may receive my sight.” Then Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he received his sight, and followed Him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God, Luke 18:35-39.

Think and Grow

“Go Teach All Nations,” p. 823, 824, The Desire of Ages,* by Ellen G. White

Christ feels the woes of every sufferer. When evil spirits rend a human frame, Christ feels the curse. When fever is burning up the life current, He feels the agony. And He is just as willing to heal the sick now as when He was personally on earth. Christ’s servants are His representatives, the channels for His working. He desires through them to exercise His healing power.

These lessons are for us. There are conditions to be observed by all who would preserve health. All should learn what these conditions are. The Lord is not pleased with ignorance in regard to His laws, either natural or spiritual. We are to be workers together with God for the restoration of health to the body as well as to the soul.

And we should teach others how to preserve and to recover health. For the sick we should use the remedies which God has provided in nature, and we should point them to Him who alone can restore. It is our work to present the sick and suffering to Christ in the arms of our faith. We should teach them to believe in the Great Healer. We should lay hold on His promise, and pray for the manifestation of His power. The very essence of the gospel is restoration, and the Saviour would have us bid the sick, the hopeless, and the afflicted take hold upon His strength.

The power of love was in all Christ’s healing, and only by partaking of that love, through faith, can we be instruments for His work. If we neglect to link ourselves in divine connection with Christ, the current of life-giving energy cannot flow in rich streams from us to the people. There were places where the Saviour Himself could not do many mighty works because of their unbelief. So now unbelief separates the church from her divine Helper. Her hold upon eternal realities is weak. By her lack of faith, God is disappointed, and robbed of His glory.

It is in doing Christ’s work that the church has the promise of His presence. Go teach all nations, He said; “and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” To take His yoke is one of the first conditions of receiving His power. The very life of the church depends upon her faithfulness in fulfilling the Lord’s commission. To neglect this work is surely to invite spiritual feebleness and decay. Where there is no active labor for others, love wanes, and faith grows dim.

 

…......………………………….


This article is part of our 2019 March / April
Subscribe –>

 

 

 

 

 

 

…......…………………………………………..

ELLEN G. WHITE (1827-1915), one of the most published authors in the world, named one of the “100 Most Significant Americans of All Time” by the Smithsonian Institution in 2014, was a co-founder of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

_________________

*You can read The Desire of Ages in its entirety online at www.whiteestate.org/onlineboks.





Our Part in The Healing


Then it happened, as He was coming near Jericho, that a certain blind man sat by the road begging. And hearing a multitude passing by, he asked what it meant. So they told him that Jesus of Nazareth was passing by. And he cried out, saying, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Then those who went before warned him that he should be quiet; but he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” So Jesus stood still and commanded him to be brought to Him. And when he had come near, He asked him, saying, “What do you want Me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, that I may receive my sight.” Then Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he received his sight, and followed Him, glorifying God. And all the people, when they saw it, gave praise to God, Luke 18:35-39.

Think and Grow

“Go Teach All Nations,” p. 823, 824, The Desire of Ages,* by Ellen G. White

Christ feels the woes of every sufferer. When evil spirits rend a human frame, Christ feels the curse. When fever is burning up the life current, He feels the agony. And He is just as willing to heal the sick now as when He was personally on earth. Christ’s servants are His representatives, the channels for His working. He desires through them to exercise His healing power.

These lessons are for us. There are conditions to be observed by all who would preserve health. All should learn what these conditions are. The Lord is not pleased with ignorance in regard to His laws, either natural or spiritual. We are to be workers together with God for the restoration of health to the body as well as to the soul.

And we should teach others how to preserve and to recover health. For the sick we should use the remedies which God has provided in nature, and we should point them to Him who alone can restore. It is our work to present the sick and suffering to Christ in the arms of our faith. We should teach them to believe in the Great Healer. We should lay hold on His promise, and pray for the manifestation of His power. The very essence of the gospel is restoration, and the Saviour would have us bid the sick, the hopeless, and the afflicted take hold upon His strength.

The power of love was in all Christ’s healing, and only by partaking of that love, through faith, can we be instruments for His work. If we neglect to link ourselves in divine connection with Christ, the current of life-giving energy cannot flow in rich streams from us to the people. There were places where the Saviour Himself could not do many mighty works because of their unbelief. So now unbelief separates the church from her divine Helper. Her hold upon eternal realities is weak. By her lack of faith, God is disappointed, and robbed of His glory.

It is in doing Christ’s work that the church has the promise of His presence. Go teach all nations, He said; “and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” To take His yoke is one of the first conditions of receiving His power. The very life of the church depends upon her faithfulness in fulfilling the Lord’s commission. To neglect this work is surely to invite spiritual feebleness and decay. Where there is no active labor for others, love wanes, and faith grows dim.

 

…......………………………….


This article is part of our 2019 March / April
Subscribe –>

 

 

 

 

 

 

…......…………………………………………..

ELLEN G. WHITE (1827-1915), one of the most published authors in the world, named one of the “100 Most Significant Americans of All Time” by the Smithsonian Institution in 2014, was a co-founder of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

_________________

*You can read The Desire of Ages in its entirety online at www.whiteestate.org/onlineboks.


The Extra Mile

Helping people the way they need to be helped can be challenging. Many know what it feels like to try to help someone and realize later on that you were only enabling them. Some have put effort into assisting others only to end up feeling used and abused. How did Jesus do so much for so many when He knew there would be those who wouldn’t do for others? Join us as we are challenged like Jesus to go The Extra Mile.

Read Luke 18:35, Luke 4:18, Isaiah 61:1

Jesus is walking with a group toward Jericho and there was blind man begging. Have you ever asked the question as to why the blind man was sitting there?  Someone, more than likely, had to bring him to that place. Have you ever wondered who it was? Do you ever look around and wonder about the stories of the people around you? Take some time today to say a short prayer for those that catch your attention. 

Read Luke 18:35-38

This man obviously needs help. Good thing for him that on this day that Jesus was walking by. But what about all the other days that he was dropped off in this spot to beg? How many weeks, months, or years had he been brought to the same spot with little progress in his life? What if the people who brought him could have done more? Can we do more? Do we have to do more? Let us know what you think about these questions on social media using  #MessageMag.

Read Luke 18:39; 1 Corinthians 9:19

Can you imagine being this man? He’s dropped off daily by people who, though they are doing him a service, could do more. Do we do the same? Maybe we have weakened what it means to be a servant. Maybe we’re more like the people who try to silence those who could use a little more assistance. Have we gotten to the point like Paul that we are willing to sacrifice our freedom for the lives of others? I haven’t. What about you? Talk to us using #MessageMag on Social Media.

Read Luke 18:39-40; Psalm 18:6; Psalm 34:19

The Bible promises that God will deliver. When I survey the stories and happenings of Biblical History I see that, more often than not, God uses people to carry out His deliverance. Jesus has the same people who were hushing the man to carry him over. The grace in this is that even if you haven’t been bringing people to Jesus, it’s never too late to start. Maybe God wants you to carry someone to Him. It’s a big responsibility, but I know that if God asked you, He’ll empower you to do so. Is there someone for whom God wants you to be responsible? If so I’d love to personally call their name out with you in prayer. You can call and pray with me at 614-266-9568.

Read Luke 18:41-42; Isaiah 59:1-2

This man could have asked for anything. He wasn’t going to waste being in the presence of Jesus with a misguided request. I expect he had been through enough for him to realize that his problem had nothing to do with anyone other than himself. That is the challenge of serving people—being able to stick with them until they realize their issues, and we see ours. When problems arise, do you check yourself before assigning blame on others? Is that hard or easy? Why? Share on Social Media using #MessageMag.

Luke 18:43; 2 Corinthians 4:8-10; 1 Corinthains 3:6-9

When the blind man receives his sight he immediately follows Jesus. Shouldn’t our servanthood cause us to lead people to the place where they no longer need our service, but are able to stop worrying about themselves and focus on others? It takes time, patience, and sacrifice for many. Some don’t get to that point in our time with them. The cost doesn’t exempt us.

Luke 18:31-43

Jesus had just told His disciples for the third time that He must die for the world to be saved. Immediately, He goes towards Jerusalem by way of Jericho. He did’t have to go this way because there was an alternate route, but He did because there was someone that God wanted for Him to serve. In other words, Jesus went the extra mile for one person. Are we willing to do the same?  

…......……………………………………………………………….

Rashad Burden is the pastor of the Mount Olive and Shiloh Seventh-day Adventist Churches in Southern Alabama.


This article is part of our 2019 March / April
Subscribe –>

 

 

 

 

 

 





Very Superstitious? Consider yourself enlightened?

Ten Modern Day Religious Superstitions that Stump the True Bible Scholar

In our hi-tech age, one might believe that there is no room in our thinking to support superstitions. However, such a belief would be stone cold wrong. Although, beneficiaries of the Age of Reason philosophies that flourished in Europe, then America, following the Middle Ages, 21st century citizens are nonetheless, subscribers to superstitions. Think not? Let’s see.

Superstition is defined by Merrian-Websters Dictionary as: “a belief or practice resulting from ignorance, fear of the unknown, trust in magic or chance, or a false conception of causation.” Writing in Reflections on the Revolution in France, Edmund Burke called superstition, “the religion of feeble minds.” According to Burke, medieval inhabitants of the earth trying to find ways to explain perplexing natural phenomenon, developed pre-scientific rationales that basically became superstitions.

Perhaps, it’s not surprising to learn that superstitions made their way into the thinking of Christians. No? Here are ten superstitions that have found lodging in the hearts of believers.

How many of them are familiar to you?

1. “The Lord helps those who help themselves”

This often-repeated adage suggests that we are capable of meeting our own needs. Never mind that this superstition rejects the sovereignty of God. In truth, if we could help ourselves, we would have no need for God. Never, are we called to be self-dependent. Heaven calls for us to be God-dependent. The Psalmist reminds us in the 23rd Psalm, “The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want.” Paul adds his testimony in Philippians 4:19 “… my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

2. “We’re all God’s Children”

If only that were so. We are all God’s creation. However, the Bible is clear on this point; the children of God have distinctive traits of character:

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who are born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12, 13) and 2.

“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons (children) of God” (Romans 8:14).

3. “To be absent from the body is to be with the Lord”

Paul’s statements in 2 Corinthians chapter 5 have been the source of countless misrepresentations of Scripture. We often hear this saying at funerals, the intention being to convey the idea that at death a believer goes straight to heaven. However, Paul’s words asserted no fact, nor the expression of a Biblical doctrine.

He did say, in 2 Corinthians 5:6 and 8: “So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord,” and “We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” Paul’s meaning is readily apparent. Verse six simply states that as long as we are alive, in these earthly bodies, we are not present with the Lord in heaven. Paul uses verse eight to emphasize his preference. He would much rather be absent from his physical body, and be present with the Lord.

4. The rich man and Lazarus

The parable of the rich man some call Dives (maybe Latin for “rich”) and Lazarus has been spun into a very interesting superstition. Christian communities around the globe teach this story as if it is evidence that upon death, Christians and non-Christians alike go directly to their reward.

However, this parable has nothing to do with the wheareabouts of the dead or their general state. For starters, Lazarus dies, but doesn’t go to heaven. Instead, he goes to Abraham’s bosom. That is the first clue that this is not a factual story, but a figurative story.

The key to the passage is found in the words of Jesus in Luke 16:31. “Dives” begs Abraham to send Lazarus back from the dead to warn Dives’ brothers of the perils of being lost.

Jesus, finishing the story for the listeners gives Abraham’s response, and the parable’s dramatic point: “If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’”

Jesus was not talking about the death of the rich man or Lazarus. His parable foretold of the Jewish unbelief that would greet His resurrection.

5. The Bible guarantees that children raised in a Christian home will keep the faith.

The primary text to support this is Proverbs 22:6, “Train up a child…” Maybe superstition is a little strong here, however, this passage should not be taken as a blanket promise regarding the salvation of our children. What the Bible offers is this truth: train the child in the ways of the Lord, and as they grow up they will not depart from the knowledge that has been instilled in them through the training they received.

6. “Once saved, always saved”

Perhaps no superstition is as deadly to our salvation than one that promises once saved, always saved. This superstition promises the salvation even of those who don’t want to be saved. This teaching is contrary to the Bible. Matthew 24:13 admonishes us to “endure to the end.” Hebrews 10:23 counsels us to “hold fast the confession of our hope.” And, Revelations 3:16 cautions that if we should become lukewarm, Jesus will spit us out of His mouth.

7. We have never-dying souls to save

This superstition mis-educates the living about the state of the dead. The Bible explains that we don’t have souls, we are living souls (Genesis 2:7). Furthermore, we’re informed by Ezekiel 18:20 that “the soul that sins shall die.” And, how many have sinned? Romans 3:23, “…All have sinned…”

8. “Moderation in all things”

Imagine moderation in drug use, alcohol intake, and promiscuous intimacy. Moderation in all things is a concept borrowed from the Greek philosopher Aristotle. While it is true that Philippians 4:5 says “Let your moderation be known…,” the actual meaning of the Greek word translated moderation is gentleness or mildness. The believer’s rule of faith for living is better expressed by 1 Corinthians 10:31, “…whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.”

9. “To thine own self be true”

Some mistakenly believe these words are from Scripture. They are in fact, taken from Shakespeare. We are not called to be true to ourselves. The redeemed answer to a higher authority. We have been made for God’s glory (Isaiah 43:7). In Malachi 2:6, God proclaims that Levi had truth in his mouth and no iniquity on his lips.

10. Dead ancestors speaking to the living

This superstition is significant, if only because it leaves the hearts of God’s people open to the false narrative that psychics, tarot card readers, and practitioners of the occult are able to carry messages between the dead and the living. Absolutely false. There is no dialogue between the living and the dead. Ecclesiastes 9:5 teaches that the “dead know nothing.” Then, Psalm 115:17 instructs us that “the dead praise not the Lord.”

Ten superstitions that 21st century believers have been deceived into accepting as “thus says the Lord.” Have we no protection from these superstitions infecting our faith? We do indeed. The answer is simple. We must study to show ourselves approved. Our only safety is found in God’s Word.


This article is part of our 2019 March / April Issue
Subscribe –>

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

…......…………………………………………………………………




Tyrants, Terrorism, and the End of Time

There are many signs from Bible prophecy that suggest we’re nearing the end of time. One of these is the increase in earthly, tyrannical leadership. This type of leadership is rooted and founded in the behavior of Satan, as he is what I term, “chief tyrant.” Consider the following three characteristics of Satan’s tyrannical behavior.

Profile of The Original Tyrant

1. “And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war, and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.”1

2. “Then I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, ‘Now the salvation, and the power, and the kingdom of our God and the authority of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, he who accuses them before our God day and night.’”2

3. “For this reason, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them. Woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, knowing that he has only a short time.”3

Telltale Signs of Evil Influences

Based on the Biblical passages above, Satan is: (1) the deceiver of the world who deals in the pervasiveness of lies and falsehoods; (2) the accuser of the brethren who loves to play the blame game; and (3) having great wrath, throws temper tantrums, and fits of rage. These characteristics have led him to become a terrorist. He is a warmonger who seeks to harm and destroy innocent people. And when these tyrannical and terroristic traits manifest themselves in world leaders, we must remember that given the vast numbers of innocent individuals who are under their authority and control, these leaders, too, are capable of doing great harm.

From the moment Satan was forced out of the heavenly kingdom, he has sought to establish his own kingdom to overthrow God’s government. The father of lies,4 Satan is the main rumor mill that pits nation against nation, breaks treaties, and declares war on the hearts and minds of humanity. He is at the very root of all terrorism and every terrorist attack. His anger against God’s people has seethed for thousands of years, and he is determined to have dominion over the universe.

End Notes

The good news, however, is that God has the last word! Satan’s defeat in the courts of the kingdom of heaven prefigures his final defeat on the day of judgment! Satan is a tyrant, and when you see his tyrannical fingerprint in the lives of world leaders, be assured of two things: you know where it comes from and you know where it’s going.

“And the devil who deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are also; and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.”5

Tyrants and terrorism may be on the rise, but in the end, Jesus will win! “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”6

…......………………………………………………………………….

CARLTON P. BYRD, D.MIN., is Senior Pastor of the Oakwood University Church in Huntsville, Alabama and the speaker and director for Breath of Life Television Ministries.

1  Revelation 12:7-9, NASB.

2  Revelation 12:10, NASB.

3  Revelation 12:12, NASB.

4  John 8:44, KJV.

5  Revelation 20:10, NASB.

6  Revelation 22:20, KJV.


This article is part of our 2019 March / April Issue
Subscribe –>