PARABLES FOR THE YOUNG AT HEART: Jake’s Big Birthday Surprise! (Part 2)

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A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.”  (Prov. 17:22)

I ran as fast as I could around the side of the house to the back corner of the yard and to Marvin’s pile of branches.

“Hey Marvin, are you in there? Come out. I’ve got something great to tell you. Where are you, Marvin?”

Marvin wasn’t in his house. I looked up in the trees, but he wasn’t up there either. I looked over to the cow field to see if he was at the fence talking to Spots, but they were nowhere to be seen.

Suddenly, I heard someone giggling behind the old chicken coop. The fur on the back of my neck stood up as I growled and ran towards the chicken coop.

I thought, “If there’s a stranger in my yard, I’ll…”

As I turned the corner around the coop, I couldn’t believe my eyes.

There was Marvin, Spots, and Chester the goat standing by the fence with some fresh carrots on the ground in front of them.

“Surprise Jake, Happy Birthday!” they all shouted at the same time.

“How did you guys know that today was my birthday?” I asked.

“I heard the shouting coming from your house earlier,” Marvin said.

“So I sneaked up and looked in your kitchen window. I saw the colored sticks on fire and the presents on the table and I knew that today must be your birthday.”

Spots was jumping up and down with excitement. “Marvin came and told us that today was the day. We wanted to give you a birthday party, too. We’ve been getting it ready for days so that it would be a surprise.”

“Look Jake, Chester saved us his carrots. We know how you love carrots. And we have presents, too! I brought you a ball that I found in the cow field and Marvin found some old socks in a garbage can for us to play tug with.”

Marvin pulled back an old rag that had been covering the presents, and there lay a faded tennis ball and a dirty pair of socks that Marvin had tied together in a knot with his little possum hands.

My eyes filled with tears. I loved the brand new presents that my adopted family had gotten me, but I believe that these old worn out gifts were the best of all.

I remembered Daddy reading a story from the Bible about a poor woman who could only put a few pennies into the offering for God while the rich men put in much money.

But God said that the poor woman’s offering was worth more than all of the other riches that had been given because her few pennies were all that she had.

This is how I felt about my friends. They had given all that they had.

“Thank you so much,” I said. “This is the best birthday surprise that a fellow could ever have, and you are the best friends in the world.”

Marvin wiped something out of his eye and said, “Enough of this mushy stuff, let’s eat those carrots before they get any older.”

“Baaaaa,” said Chester. “That’s right, and then we can all play ball with Jake’s new present.”

Marvin handed out the carrots and we were just starting to eat, when suddenly there was a strange but familiar noise coming from the grassy field.

“Oink, oink, snort, snort, grunt” went the sound. We looked, and there came Rambo the pot-belly pig waddling up from the end of the field.

“Hello, Boys. I hope I’m not too late for the party. You know, it takes a little longer for a big fellow like me to get around. Happy Birthday to my good buddy Jake,” snorted Rambo as he got closer.

“Thank you, Rambo” I replied. “I’m glad you could come to my Birthday Party. Come on over and have some carrots.”

“Hooray,” shouted Spots. “Rambo’s here!”

“I didn’t want to say anything,” Marvin said. “When I ran over there this morning to tell him that today was Jake’s birthday, Rambo said that he wasn’t sure if he would be able to come.”

“I wasn’t sure,” said Rambo, “because I’ve gotten bigger since the last time I sneaked out through that hole in my fence, and I knew that I wouldn’t fit through it anymore. But my new little friend here helped me dig and make the hole bigger so that I could get through.”

“Friends, let me introduce you to…now where did she go?” Rambo turned and looked behind him, but nobody was there.

We all looked behind Rambo and out in the field, but we didn’t see anything. Then something caught my eye. There was a black shadow lying out under the cedar tree where my parents found me.

“There she is” said Rambo. “She’s a little shy.”

“Come over here, Jasmine. These are our friends. Nobody is going to hurt you.”

The black shadow began to slowly move toward us, and as she got closer I couldn’t keep from staring.

(TO BE CONTINUED)

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PARABLES FOR THE YOUNG AT HEART: Jake’s Big Birthday Surprise! (Part 1)

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A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.”  (Prov. 17:22)

I could tell that something special was about to happen, but I had no idea what it could be.

The little gray haired lady that I call Mama kept making special trips in the big black truck but she wouldn’t let me go. Not once did she get my leash and harness for a road trip.

She would return with special things in plastic bags and show them to the big round man that everyone in our family calls Daddy. She would open the bags and let Daddy look, but she wouldn’t let me sniff inside like she usually did when she came back home from shopping.

I could tell the bags held special things because they had the same smells that filled my nose at Christmas when we opened presents. Inside my presents at Christmas were a new rubber ball and a plastic bone.

I could smell these same smells now when Mama would come home with the plastic bags, and I would jump up and down, but she would say, “Not now, Jake. You can’t see it yet. Get down boy.”

Brother would come home from work and the same thing would happen. He would walk through the door with the bright yellow bags that usually have treats in them.

I would jump and wag my tail and sniff the outside of the bag, but brother would say, “These aren’t treats, boy. You have to wait. It’s not time yet.” Then he would take the bags to his room and hide them.

Yes, something definitely strange was going on, but not a bad strange. I could tell it was a good kind of strange.

After they would tell me “no” about looking in the bags, they would smile at me and scratch my head, and say, “Good boy. That’s a good boy. That’s our sweet baby.”

Oh, how I love this family that found me! I am so glad the Creator brought me here.

Then one day after Mama came home, I heard a word that I hadn’t heard for a while, but it caused me to get excited!

I heard Mama whisper to Daddy as they looked inside one of the special bags, “Look what I got for Jake’s birthday.”

Birthday?”

I remembered that word! Ever since my new family had found me under the cedar tree and took me in, there had been several times when something wonderful would happen.

Mama would make a big cake with colorful sticks on top. Daddy would light the top of the sticks with fire and then everyone would shout “Happy Birthday!”

Someone would blow out the sticks and they would all eat cake and open presents. Mama would give me dog treats, and I would sniff through all of the wrapping paper and bows that fell on the floor.

Everyone would laugh and we would have a great time.

I wasn’t quite sure what a birthday was, but I knew it meant fun. I couldn’t wait to tell Marvin and Spots about my birthday that was coming!

As soon as Mama let me go outside to play, I ran to the corner of the back yard where my best friend Marvin the possum lived under a pile of branches.

“Hey Marvin, are you in there?” I shouted as I raced toward Marvin’s house.

“I’m up here in the tree,” Marvin called back. “What are you so excited about? I don’t think that I have ever seen you bounce so high when you run.”

“I just found out that it is going to be my BIRTHDAY! Isn’t that just GREAT?” I said as I began running around in circles for joy.

“Wow!” said Marvin as he climbed down the tree. “It must be something wonderful for you to be this happy. But I never heard of a birthday before. What is a birthday?”

Marvin jumped to the ground with a thud and sat next to me in the grass as we watched Spots the calf playing in the cow field.

“I’m not quite sure what the word birthday means. All I know is that when someone in my family has one, we all eat special treats and everyone gives presents to the person having it.”

Spots had stopped playing and was listening to Marvin and I talk.

“Oh Jake,” he said. “You’re so silly. Your Birthday is the day you were born.”

“Do you remember last winter when the tree branch fell and hurt Marvin? I was born that night, so that makes it my birthday. Every year families celebrate the day you were born.”

“Oh,” I replied. “Now I understand. But my family found me out in the field under the cedar tree. How can they know what day I was born?”

“You know,” said Marvin. “If I remember right, the weather was warm and the trees were just starting to have leaves like they are now when your family found you. They must have picked the day that you were found to be your birthday.”

“They are probably going to celebrate it any day now.”

“Hooray!” I shouted as I started to run around in circles. “I’m having a birthday! There’s probably going to be new toys to play with and special treats to eat. Hooray!”

Marvin and Spots looked at each other and smiled.

A few days later, I woke up and realized that Mom and Dad were not in the bed. I always hear them when they wake up. They must have been very quiet when they got up this morning.

I jumped up from my place next to the bed and ran out into the hallway. I looked into Brother’s room and he wasn’t in his bed either. Where was my family?

I heard a noise in the kitchen, so I ran through the living room and to the kitchen door. As I got to the kitchen door, suddenly there was a loud noise that caused me to come to a sliding stop.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JAKE!”

Mom, Dad, and Brother were all standing beside the kitchen table. They were all wearing funny colored hats and had little paper horns that they started blowing. “Toot, toot” went the horns.

“Happy Birthday, Jake!” everybody yelled again.

On top of the kitchen table was a little cake made out of canned chicken in the shape of a bone with two colored sticks in it. There was a saucer with dog biscuits and rawhide treats, and there were some presents wrapped in colorful paper.

Daddy lit the top of the two sticks on fire and said, “Jake is two years old today. Happy Birthday Jake! Brother, why don’t you blow the candles out for Jake?”

Brother leaned over and blew the fire out that was on the two colored sticks and Mama set the chicken cake on the floor for me to eat. They all laughed as I gobbled it down.

I finished the little cake and then stood up on my back legs to sniff the pretty presents that were on the table.

Mama laughed and said, “I think somebody is ready to open presents. Let’s go into the living room so Jake can have more room to play.”

Brother brought my presents and sat next to me on the floor. I was hopping and wagging my tail and sniffing at the paper. “Settle down, Jake. I’m opening them as fast as I can.”

Inside the pretty paper was a big plastic donut that squeaked when I chewed it, a hard rubber bone, another squeaky toy that looked like a hotdog, and a green rubber football that wobbled all over the floor when I pushed it with my nose.

Everybody laughed when I couldn’t decide which one to play with and I just bounced from toy to toy so that I could taste, and chew, and shake them all.

Mama gave me some of my dog biscuits and rawhide treats, but I was too excited to eat anything else.

It was a great party, but I just couldn’t wait any longer to go and tell Marvin and Spots that today was my birthday, and tell them about all the great gifts that I had gotten.

I went to the door and grunted like a pig, and Mom let me go outside.

(TO BE CONTINUED)

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LIFE IN THE SPIRIT: Walking in the Spirit

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“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”  (Gal. 5:25)

Since the beginning of the early Christian Church there have been many different doctrines and beliefs as to what it means to “walk in the Spirit”.

The same holds true today.

Satan does not want you to discover how to walk in the Spirit.

At the very most he would like to see you fall in your Christian walk, give up, and turn from the faith.

At the very least he would like to see you continuously stumble and falter so that your faith would be weak and ineffectual.

Before we establish our belief as to what it is to “walk in the Spirit”, let us see what it is not.

First, “walking in the Spirit” is not how you dress or how you look. Although how you dress and look might reflect the way you think, it will in no way empower you or create in you the ability to “walk in the Spirit”.

“But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.” (1Sam. 16:7)

Walking in the Spirit is not being so “heavenly minded that we are of no earthly good.”

Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” (Matt. 5:13)

It is not belonging to a certain Church, or denomination, or group. It is not how many times a day you pray, or fast, or read your Bible, or attend service.

What is “walking in the Spirit?”

First and foremost, walking in the Spirit is a choice.

It is the determination to reject the world and the flesh and choose what we know to be God’s will according to His Word.

It is then allowing and trusting in the indwelling Holy Spirit to empower us to walk in that righteous choice.

“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” (Gal. 5:16)

“For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” (Gal. 5:17)

“But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.” (Gal. 5:18)

“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,” (Gal. 5:19)

“Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,” (Gal. 5:20)

“Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Gal. 5:21)

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,” (Gal. 5:22)

Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” (Gal. 5:23)

“And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” (Gal. 5:24)

“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.” (Gal. 5:25)

The Bible tells us:

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Rom. 10:17)

It is our belief that the Scriptures we read will create in us the spiritual hearing to have faith to repent of all sin, receive forgiveness, crucify the flesh, reject worldliness, resist the devil, pick ourselves up, turn around, and walk in the Spirit to do the will of God.

“For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.” (Prov. 24:16)

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All twelve books in the "How to Walk Christian Series" by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

All twelve books in the “How to Walk Christian Series” by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

LIFE IN THE SPIRIT: The Fool and the Wise

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“He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart.”  (Prov. 11:29)

The first accomplice of the devil working to prevent us from walking in the Spirit is the world; however, the second is the flesh.

Although we have been born again and our spirit has been born from above, the sin nature still exists in our flesh to draw us away from the things of God.

Jesus said:

“That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John 3:6)

The carnal man or flesh nature is of the world but the new man or spiritual nature is from God.

“As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.” (1Cor. 15:48)

Until Jesus returns, and as long as we are in this body, we will always have the flesh nature to contend with.

“Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.” (1Cor. 15:50)

“Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,” (1Cor. 15:51)

“In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” (1Cor. 15:52)

Although we cannot escape the flesh while we are upon this earth, the Bible teaches us that we can weaken the flesh until he is not able to prevail in our lives.

THIS IS THE KEY TO WALKING IN THE SPIRIT.

The devil uses the world to entice the carnal man, and the carnal man then tries to draw us toward the world and away from God. The carnal man feeds on the things of the world.

If we can recognize the deceitful debate that the carnal mind offers before we allow him to feed on the world, then we can starve him from the world and weaken him to the point that we treat him as dead.

Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:” (Col. 3:5)

“For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” (Rom. 8:13)

The word “mortify” literally means to “count as dead” or “cause to die by starvation or abstinence”.

As the carnal man weakens, the new man gets stronger.

By studying what the Bible has to say about the fool (the carnal man) and the wise (the spiritual man), we can learn to recognize the reasonings of the carnal man that is in our flesh and resist him before he has an opportunity to feed on the ways of the world.

“To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.” (Psalm 14:1)

This is the basic nature and foundational belief of the flesh: that there is no God. From this stems all other subtle persuasions.

“Though thou shouldest bray a fool in a mortar among wheat with a pestle, yet will not his foolishness depart from him.” (Prov. 27:22)

The carnal man will never change. If you could take the sin nature and grind it in a mortar with a pestle, you could not grind this belief out of him.

Your faith in God and Christ resides in your new nature born of God. Your sinful nature in your flesh has not changed. He still says there is no God.

“Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.” (Jer. 13:23)

That is why psychiatrists, psychologists, behaviorists, and others can never change an individual by themselves.

It takes God to change a person by giving them a new nature to join with the Holy Spirit and war against the old nature to subdue it. You cannot change the sinful nature of man.

The carnal man says that there is no God. There is no God to help you. There is no God to love you. There is no God to hear you. There is no God to care. And so on, and so on, and so on.

He will try to get you to choose any other solution for your problems instead of trusting God.

You cannot rationalize with the old nature, you cannot persuade the old nature, and you cannot change the old nature.

As soon as you recognize the old nature is arguing against what you know to be right in your heart, the only answer is to resist and starve the old nature, fight him through the power of the Holy Spirit with the Word of God, turn and walk away.

The Bible tells in the Gospels that after the Holy Ghost descended upon Jesus in the form of a dove, Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness and was tempted of the devil.

Each time He was tempted, He said “It is written.” Jesus didn’t argue, He didn’t debate, He didn’t justify, He simply said, “It is written” and then quoted the Word of God that was contrary to the temptation of the devil.

This was done for our example. This is how we defeat the flesh, the world, and the devil. “It is written.”

The flesh will try to persuade us that we have waited on God long enough. That it would be easier to just borrow the money, take out the loan, change jobs, move to another church, etc.

However, it is written:

“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” (Isa. 40:31)

The fool says that we are justified to be angry and hide hatred and unforgiveness in our hearts. The fool says that if we believe it to be true then it is alright to speak to the detriment of others.

“He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool.” (Prov. 10:18)

However, it is written:

“But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matt. 6:15)

“These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:” (Prov. 6:16)

“…A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.” (Prov. 6:19)

The fool says to just try it this way and see if it works. Let’s just try living together before we get married. Let’s just try not declaring the cash on our taxes, no one will know. Let’s just try a drink. Let’s just try sex. Let’s just try drugs. Just one time.

“It is as sport (laughter) to a fool to do mischief (a bad plan): but a man of understanding hath wisdom.” (Prov. 10:23)

However, it is written:

“These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:” (Prov. 6:16)

“…An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,” (Prov. 6:18)

The fool says that it should be done your way. Your way is the best. Your way will work. You are smarter, stronger, better. Demand your rights. Stand your ground.

“A wise man feareth, and departeth from evil: but the fool rageth, and is confident.” (Prov. 14:16)

However, it is written:

“But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” (James 4:6)

The fool says that the Bible was written almost two thousand years ago. There is no way that it can apply to your life today.

A fool despiseth his father’s instruction: but he that regardeth reproof is prudent.” (Prov. 15:5)

However, it is written:

“But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” (Matt. 4:4)

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” (2Tim. 3:16)

The world and the fool (the sinful nature) work together to cause you to depart from the plan, work, or answer that the Lord has directed you to seek for. He wants you to give up on God or at least question what you have heard from God just before God’s promised blessing comes.

The carnal man’s advice always leads to the answer that the world has and away from God’s answer.

“Wisdom is before him that hath understanding; but the eyes of a fool are in the ends of the earth.” (Prov. 17:24)

But God says:

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” (James 1:5)

But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.” (James 1:6)

“For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.” (James 1:7)

“But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” (James 3:17)

Next- LIFE IN THE SPIRIT: Walking in the Spirit

All twelve books in the "How to Walk Christian Series" by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

All twelve books in the “How to Walk Christian Series” by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

LIFE IN THE SPIRIT: The Strange Woman

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“To deliver thee from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flattereth with her words; Which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God. For her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead.”  (Prov. 2:16-18)

“Say unto wisdom, Thou art my sister; and call understanding thy kinswoman: That they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with her words.” (Prov. 7:4-5)

The world as the “adulteress” tries to establish a long time affair with the born again believer in order to cripple their spiritual walk. Sometimes this can be done by causing the Christian to lose hope because of being overtaken in a fault and continuously stumbling concerning a particular sin or weakness.

This affair can also be established by causing the believer to choose to continue in a worldly path or practice expecting that God will overlook it, not care about it, or even bless it even though it might not be “exactly the right thing to do”.

The world as the “strange woman” (or harlot, or whorish woman) on the other hand, tries to convince Christians through various deceitful and erroneous means that they must be misunderstanding what God actually has said or wants them to do because everything else seems to point to the opposite.

One Biblical example of this would be the serpent in the Garden of Eden when he told Eve that if she ate the forbidden fruit she would not “surely die”, when in reality her and Adam were separated from God and died spiritually.

“And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” (Gen. 3:6)

As Jesus said concerning Satan:

“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” (John 8:44)

In the same way that Satan used the serpent, he uses the world.

Thus as the proverb says, the “strange woman…flattereth with her words.”

“For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil, But her end is bitter as wormwood, sharp as a two edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell.” (Prov. 5:3-5)

Here the Bible is clear. If the deceit of the world is taken and followed without repentance, it will lead to destruction.

One example of this worldly deceit is in our modern day cultural acceptance of the gay and lesbian lifestyle.

The Bible is very clear in both the Old and the New Testament that for a man to have a carnal relationship with a man and for a woman to have a carnal relationship with a woman is an abomination in the eyes of God.

“If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination…” (Lev. 20:13)

“And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.” (Rom. 1:27)

“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,” (1Cor. 6:9)

The Bible tells us in the Book of 1 Timothy that there is such a thing as an “opposition of science”:

“O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:” (1Tim. 6:20)

This simply means that when science is in opposition to the Word of God then it is a false science. Such is the case with many so called “scientific discoveries” in the world today.

When science makes the statement they have discovered that people are born with homosexual tendencies and that they cannot change, this is in direct opposition to God’s Word which states that homosexuality is a sin which is a choice to transgress the Word of God.

The gay and lesbian lifestyle is a sin; it is a choice to live in direct violation of the will of God. It is no different than fornication, or adultery, or telling a lie, or harboring unforgiveness. It is a choice and a sin that needs to be repented of.

However, because of the “flattering words” of the world and the “opposition of science”, many people have declared that “I was born like this” or that “God made me this way” and so ignoring the Word of God continue in a lifestyle that will lead to destruction.

Thus encouraged by those who say you cannot choose your sexual preference because you were born one way or the other, young people are told today to “discover your own sexuality’’ and feel free to live an “alternate lifestyle” for this is your destiny.

Because of the deceptive lies of the “strange woman” (the world), what once was a youthful temptation to be resisted and overcome now becomes a walk after the flesh that leads to condemnation if unrepentant.

The escape from condemnation for believers has a contingency:

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (Rom. 8:1)

There are those who say “God is love. He will love me no matter what I do.” (1 John 4:8) This is true. God is love, and He will love you no matter what. However, it does matter what you do.

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” (Gal. 6:7-8)

This worldly deception that “the flesh doesn’t matter” was a doctrine held by a cult of the early church called the Nicolaitanes. They believed that as long as you had accepted Christ then your spirit was right with God and it did not matter what you did with your flesh. God speaks in The Revelation concerning this doctrine:

“But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.” (Rev. 2:6)

Jesus said, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15)

By studying the scriptures in Proverbs concerning the harlot, we can further understand this deception of the world:

“And, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtle of heart. (She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house: Now is she without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.)” (Pro 7:10-12)

“So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him, I have peace offerings with me; this day have I payed my vows. Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee.” (Pro 7:13-15)

“I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt. I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves.” (Pro 7:16-18)

“For the goodman is not at home, he is gone a long journey: He hath taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed. With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him.” (Pro 7:19-21)

Again we see, she “lieth in wait at every corner.” Satan uses the world to stalk the Christian. He will make sure that the world’s temptation will confront you face to face.

God told Cain: “If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door…” (Gen. 4:7)

God wants us to know that as long as we are in the world we will always be confronted with temptation. We will always be faced with choosing the way of the Spirit or the way of the flesh.

The harlot says, “This day have I payed my vows.” In other words she is saying that she has already given God the sacrifice in advance for her sin, so everything is alright.

In the same way, the world says, “As long as you believe in God everything will be alright.”

While God says:

“Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.” (James 2:19)

We know the devils will not spend eternity with God in heaven. It takes more than just believing in God.

The world says, “Go to Church, pay your tithe, give God his day and the rest of the week is yours.”

While God says:

“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (1Cor. 6:19-20)

It takes more than just one day a week.

God does not want a service. God desires a relationship. God wants you to “walk in the Spirit and fulfill not the lust of the flesh.”

And finally, the harlot says “the good man is not at home…he will come home at the time appointed.” In other words, “We have plenty of time. We don’t have to worry about being caught.”

The world today says, “I’ve heard about Jesus coming my whole life and he hasn’t come yet.” “No need to worry about that until it happens.”

The Bible says:

“Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.” (James 4:14)

“But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.” (Rom. 14:10)

“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:” (Heb. 9:27)

Whether it be today, tomorrow, or years from now, when we die then that will be our time for the coming of Christ, because that is when we will see Him face to face.

And whether it is the day of the return of Christ to this earth or whether it is the day of our time to face death, “…of that day and hour knoweth no man”. (Matt. 24:36)

The world says, “God has more important things to worry about besides me.”

But Jesus says:

“Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?” (Luke 12:6)

“But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.” (Luke 12:7)

“Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” (Matt. 24:44)

The strange woman says, “…he is gone a long journey.”

This is symbolic of the Church Age. The time we are in now. The time before the second coming of Christ.

Jesus said, “…Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8)

Jesus is coming for a people, a church “…not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” (Eph. 5:27)

The Apostle Paul compares the Christian life to running a race (Heb. 12:1). Are we running toward the world or toward the Lord?

If we are walking away from the world, then we are walking after the Spirit.

Next- LIFE IN THE SPIRIT: The Fool and the Wise

All twelve books in the "How to Walk Christian Series" by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

All twelve books in the “How to Walk Christian Series” by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

LIFE IN THE SPIRIT: The Adulteress

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Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.”  (Prov. 7:27)

Although the Bible teaches that fornication and adultery are sins to abstain from and repent of, it places no greater emphasis on these than on any other.

However, in the Book of Proverbs the subject is dealt with so extensively that it becomes apparent that the adulteress, harlot, or strange woman represents more than it first appears.

In the Book of James in the New Testament we find that someone who is a friend of the world is called an adulterer or adulteress:

“Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” (James 4:4)

Thus we find out that the adulteress or strange woman represents the world. What the Book of Proverbs has to say about the immoral woman teaches us how the devil will use the world to draw us away from the path of righteousness and from walking in the Spirit.

“For by means of a whorish woman a man is brought to a piece of bread: and the adulteress will hunt for the precious life.” (Prov. 6:26)

As with the parables of Jesus, the proverbs have a practical application and a spiritual meaning.

The practical application of this particular proverb is that sexual immorality will cause an individual to lose their family, lose their honor, lose their reputation, and even lose their business and prosperity; thus reducing him or her to “a piece of bread”.

The spiritual truth lies in the statement that “…the adulteress will hunt for the precious life.”

You need to understand that you are precious in the eyes of God. Jesus said:

“Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” (John 15:16)

You are special to God. Jesus has said that no man would come to Him unless the Father draw him. (John 6:44)

The Bible says that you were chosen in Him (Jesus Christ) before the foundation of the world. (Eph. 1:4) When you were conceived in your mother’s womb, God knew you and loved you and even called together the parts of your body in the way that He wanted them to be fashioned. (Psalm 139)

He chose you and called you, and you answered His call, and now you are precious in His sight:

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:” (1Peter 2:9)

However, in the same way that the Lord wanted you, chose you, and called you, the world that at one time had you does not want to give you up. It will try to draw you and entice you with all that it has if you will only choose to follow its way.

Jesus understands:

“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” (Heb. 4:15)

The devil used the world to tempt Jesus and he will use it in the same way to tempt you:

“And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.” (Luke 4:5-6)

Jesus said you cannot serve “two masters”. (Matt. 6:24)

You cannot walk towards the world and towards the Lord at the same time. You cannot concurrently walk in worldliness and walk in the Spirit.

Many a man and woman of God has lost the anointing because they chose profit margins, attendance records, social recognition, and building a ministry over walking in the Spirit.

“For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” (1Tim. 6:10)

The message to learn from this proverb is that the world is stalking the Christian.

“If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” (John 15:19)

We cannot ignore the world. We cannot separate ourselves and have nothing to do with the world.

But we can resist the world. We can be aware that the world and all of its ways are not designed by the devil for the sinner, but they are designed to draw away and entrap the believer from following the ways of the Lord.

And the world has targeted you to make sure that its ways are always presented as an option for you to choose.

We must always ask ourselves, “Is this the way the world would have me do it or is this the way the Lord would have me do it? Is this what the world does or is this what the Lord would do?”

If we choose the still small voice of our new nature, if we choose the voice of our born again spiritual man who is being guided by the indwelling Holy Spirit, even if that voice goes against the rationality of our mind, then we are walking in the Spirit.

Next- LIFE IN THE SPIRIT: The Strange Woman

All twelve books in the "How to Walk Christian Series" by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

All twelve books in the “How to Walk Christian Series” by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

LIFE IN THE SPIRIT: Hidden Truths and Dark Sayings

books-on-shelf

“To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.”  (Prov. 1:6)

Many people believe that the Book of Proverbs is just a book of lessons on the practical principles of daily living.

But here we read at the beginning of the book that it says of itself there is an interpretation to these dark sayings.

The Hebrew word for dark sayings literally means puzzle or riddle. So we see that just as it is with the parables that Jesus told, so it is with the Book of Proverbs.

On the surface they seem like practical stories or instructions concerning the natural world around us, but underneath the surface there are deeper spiritual meanings.

Although there are many subjects touched upon in the Book of Proverbs, there are two main and prevalent themes written about and woven throughout the book.

These are the comparison of the wise and the foolish, and the warnings concerning the strange or adulteress woman.

By understanding the spiritual truths underlying these two themes, we can better comprehend how the flesh and the world operate to deceive us into yielding to temptation and hindering our walk in the Spirit.

Next- LIFE IN THE SPIRIT: The Adulteress Woman

All twelve books in the "How to Walk Christian Series" by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

All twelve books in the “How to Walk Christian Series” by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices