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Stephane H. Maillet
Stephane H. Maillet
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  • All sorts of things, including, yet not limited to... 1. Addiction Classes 2. In-depth look at World Religions, Denominations, and various beliefs both past and present. 3. Christians Online, the science of communication on social media. 4. How to plan a successful evangelistic outreach in your community. 5. Helping our children grow up believing in God. 6. Husbands & wives, the godly roles which must be respected. 7. The single parent and its challenges. 8. ... and more to come.

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Stephane H. Maillet
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Stephane H. Maillet
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https://vimeo.com/367355289
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Stephane H. Maillet
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MARKET PLACE OF IDEAS?

In my limited experience I’ve realized most Christians believe the Bible is a market place of ideas. Where we can simply swap opinions. A religious “buffet.” Take what you want and leave what you don’t. No grounded conviction. We can all "agree to disagree." We all have different “interpretations.” And if you dare challenge that? You’re out! 

Is it all just really a matter of which commentary you've read? Or which Bible school you attend? Or congregation you belong to? If so the Bible is only as true as the natural man's agenda. We have been made orphans. God has abandoned us. Burn the Book and let us live as heathens. To hell with all of us. Is this reality?

Whether it be salvation. Worship. Behavior. Context. The Holy Spirit and His work. How, and to Who, we should pray. Social drinking. Marriage/Divorce/Remarriage. Holidays. Gambling. Dances & Proms. Evangelism. Benevolence. Church government. Fellowship. Church discipline. Anything and everything the gospel reveals and teaches. An objective reality can be found. There is more to know in the Bible than simply getting wet. And all who deny such are rebellious. Set in their ways. Idle. Vain. Useless. Headed towards judgment. 

So imagine being faithful. Knowing these things. Knowing religious reality. Teaching Bible accuracy and truth. Only to have Scripturally ignorant Christians come and snatch away what has been sown. And sadly, some to those being preachers, evangelist, elders, and deacons. Yet the faithful must persevere through these moments. Our Master also, before us. 

Friends. “Let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written” - Rom. 3:4

STAY FOCUSED & STAY POSITIVE. A LA PROCHAIN. GOD BLESS. 

SM
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Stephane H. Maillet
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QUICK THOUGHTS

My thoughts,

The blessing of an evangelist who produces online gospel content? Active members get to see him share spiritual food every day. They grow in Christ each week.

Christians who refuse to encourage the caliber of our digital reach in the local congregation? Are as blind as the walls they walk into.

It's called "social" media. And we're on it with Jesus everyday. And so, don't give us garbage saying we're not "social" enough. We're in the church and in the community. We're in all the houses that turn on their devices. And the lost are paying attention. The fallen are being renewed. The faithful, reinforced.

We, proclaiming good news. Have "become all things to all men." Productive in the kingdom. Seeking it first.

Critics creating excuses to persecute? Repent and side with God. For you are useless and fleshly minded vapors. Stop believing your own "feelings" and start trusting the Word of God. For you've heard it said that evangelism is done the world's way. But the Bible says it is done through the narrow path.

"Go into all *digital Nations…"

SM

My thoughts,

Some crime-ridden communities embrace immoral lifestyles and music. They promote hate for law enforcement. Yet the minute a result of their behavior produces a dead body? Guess who they call for help? Police officers. These brave men and women risk their lives, some for a "paycheck," others for justice. One day they are told, "we hate you." The next, "you best find my boy's murderer!" A challenge no doubt.

Evangelists face the same persecution, yet on a spiritual platform. We try to teach our people to know the Bible and live according to the commandments. They hate us for it. Yet when chaos affects the family? Guess who they call? We show up and love them. Try to help heal. Give Scriptural evidence and answers to their lives.

"Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven." - Mt. 5:10

SM

My thoughts,

Some believers have no problem "offending" and "pushing people away" with politics. But if one dares do so with the gospel? Well, you're just an "evil wicked un-Christ-like Christian who has no love in his heart whatsoever.”

Political truth is naturally going to "offend" and "push people away." It is going to cause division. And guess what? So will gospel truth. Difference? One has no eternal weight. The other? Heaven or hell.

The prophets. The immerser. Christ. The Apostles. All "offended" and "pushed people away." They created righteous division. Not with hate for mankind. But hate for sin. Panning for gold. Separating the dirt from the precious stone.

Be consistent. It's a flower which doesn't grow in every garden :)

SM

My thoughts,

With all love and respect. Please. We are not color blind. The skin we see on the flesh of men? It can have different individual appearance. No alarm. Natural. Wonderfully made in all its shades. And so here is a truth. Most misguided souls screaming "racism" do so at the investment of keeping it active. Shut your mouth and put away the "race" card. And let's be Christians. United. Can we?

"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus." Gal. 3:28

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Stephane H. Maillet
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TITLE: Punctilious Practice 

TEXT: “Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. Let all that you do be done in love.” - 1 Cor. 16:13-14

ILLUSTRATION:

I once worked at a bottling factory across the train tracks back home. My first position there was on the line belt. I’d have to watch bottles on a conveyer belt pass through a quality light. The light would expose any corruption in the bottle. The minute the light spotted something faulty, it kicked the bottle off the belt where it was broken against a steel panel, and sent to the furnace to be melted. The light was designed to expose any corruptions in the bottle (i.e. chips, fractures, faulty moldings, dangerous cracks, defects). This machine was created firm and strong with a kicker that would kick out the problem. It had to be tough enough to reject the bad bottles. Yet soft enough to protect the good ones.

CONTEXT: 

Paul was the light of Christ for the Corinthian congregation. He was directly operated on by the outpouring power of the Holy Spirit. A chosen vessel for that purpose. And as he was concluding this letter, he was teaching the faithful to properly obey the instructions therein. Because there were many spiritual threats during the days of the Corinthian congregation. Many “bottles” (Christians) in the “case” (church) had since become faulty. 

Today we face the same threats. Is what the preacher preaching, truth? How do we know if the leadership is guiding us in the right spiritual direction? How would we know if a fellow Christian is lying to us regarding the interpretation of a certain Bible verse? That could very well be a matter of heaven or hell. There are many religious people out there who mean well and are considered “good’ people. Yet they are Scripturally ignorant and lead many astray because of it. Some are well aware of their manipulation and division. And will burn for it. 

The Bible instructs us to “hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering.” (Heb. 10:23).
Our faith is a ship. If it has an anchor it will remain safe. If not, it will drift into dangerous waters and face “shipwreck.” We must remain anchored.

BODY: - Paul says in order to do that, we must be… 

ALERT: sober-minded, awake, vigilant, keeping careful watch for possible danger or difficulties, soldiers on guard, not intimidated by adversaries, watching, paying attention to our surroundings. Being cautious. Giving strict attention to detail. 

*Have you ever seen a faithful mother keeping an eye out for her children? She’ll know if her child is in danger, or doing something he or she should not be doing. She’s attentive, sensitive to potential harm, and quick to defuse any hostility. She’s on the alert. Same application for a faithful husband who protects his family. God also wants us to be that way when it comes to a spiritual threat. 

*Do we faithful Christians pay close attention to what we hear from the pulpit, from our teachers. Our peers. Just because one is a Christian member of the church of Christ, does not necessarily mean he or she is speaking the truth. Now that doesn’t mean we are allowed to become overly critical or untrusting. Going out of your way to finding fault in another is not the same as identifying Scriptural deviance. We are simply to be made aware of the potential danger which always lurks around.  

Jesus said, “be on the alert and beware of the teaching of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees.” (Mt. 16:16). Why the warning if there is no concern or application for us today? 
Pharisees and Sadducees were Jews. They were trusted as spiritual leaders. They had a following. They were considered religious and part of the kingdom. Yet God never created a Pharisee or Sadducee. Men did that. And still do today.

Jesus, says: “Ye shall know them by their fruits (their words, the things they speak). Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?” - Mt. 7:16.

John would say: “Beloved, believe NOT every spirit, but test the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets (teachers, preachers, evangelist, Christians) are gone out into the world.” - 1 John 4:1

Do you purchase a vehicle. House. Or anything of financial value without first checking the price, testing the product and the service that comes with it? You should. Well, how much more important to “test the spirits” when it comes to your eternal soul? This is why Paul says we must… 

STAND FIRM: persevere, continue with the Bible in a course of action even in the face of persecution that comes with the challenge to recognize reality from myth. It is a life of trial and error. But if you are honest, submissive, humble, and ready to learn. The grace of God remains with you.

This is why we must remain focused…  

IN THE FAITH

IN: the location designed by God in which we must find ourselves standing firm with alertness. The church. The Body of believers. To be “IN” means we are no longer “OUT.” 

THE: unique, singular, begotten, there is no other location.

FAITH: the system of redemption, the gospel of Jesus Christ, the good news that came down to earth through the love of the Father and everything in it. And so we must… 

ACT LIKE MEN: the idea behind the word is “bravery,” upright, with integrity. Straight and narrow against any harm towards the word of Christ and His people.

Would a community not notify its citizens if a murderer or child predator was in the area? Of course.

Stand up against error when you hear it, even if it means you might cause righteous division or controversy. Even if it means you might lose family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, yes even fellow Christians who are idle and worldly.

Paul knew that very well when he had to publicly call out Hymenaeus and Alexander for having made a ‘“shipwreck” of their faith (1 Tim. 1:18-20). Paul knows that “the cowardly shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone.” (Rev. 21:8). Paul knows we must “have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.” (Eph. 5:11). This is why we are commanded to… 

BE STRONG: don’t back down. Do all things in love, Bible love, the kind that does not step backward in faith. The kind that will subdue error. The kind that will not compromise for a false sense of “peace.” Israel throughout history would do that and say “peace & prosperity,” all the while judgment was coming for them. 

CONCLUSION:

Friends, we can practice these things if we…

Don’t forsake the assembly. Don’t make a habit of staying away from the times the church congregates (Heb. 10:25). Because life will end one day and we must be ready for it. 
Study the Bible (2 Tim. 2:15) - Fellowship the faithful (Acts 2:42) - Don’t fellowship the world or Christians who have since been removed from the fold. Try to save them, but don’t fellowship them (2 Cor. 6:14, 1 Cor. 5:13).

Learn all these things, a bit more each day. And you will most certainly “be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. And let all that you do be done in love” - 1 Cor. 16:13

INVITATION:

Jesus is the Son of God. He died so as to save us from our sins. And we can receive the spiritual benefit of that if we have faith (Heb. 11:6). 

If you are willing and ready to become a Christian this day, according to the Bible. Forgiven, washed clean, added to the kingdom of God? You must be a repentant believer confessing Christ as your Ruler. This qualifies you to be fully immersed in water (Acts 8:36), born again (John 3:5). 

If you have already obeyed the gospel but have allowed discouragement and sin to creep back in? You can be renewed to Christ again this day. If you need to respond to the reality of the gospel, please do so now as we stand and sing.

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Stephane H. Maillet
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PRO-CHOICE?

SCIENCE

Thousands of pro-abortion and pro-life sources illustrate a common fact that a new human being’s starting point comes into existence at the moment of conception. When the sperm enters the egg. Life. We know this yet some don’t care. 

ABORTION: “the deliberate termination of human life” 

PRO-ABORT “ARGUMENTS”

“You want to take away women’s choice!”

Nope. I’m all for choice. Choose abstinence. Use protection. Care for your baby. “Choice” stops when it means an innocent life will be murdered. 

“You’re against abortion? But you encourage capital punishment?!”

Of course. Murdering an innocent human life is evil. Killing a wicked and guilty person is justice. You wouldn’t want the rapist to be brought to justice? You’d rather wish to murder the baby and let the rapist live?

“My body, my choice!”

False. Two separate bodies, two separate DNA’s. How many bodies did it take to make the one you wish to murder? Why can’t the father say “my sperm my choice! I get to abort the mother AND the child!” Think that would go over well? “My money, my wallet! No need to pay for child support!” How bout that one? No?

“It wouldn’t survive on its own!”

Nor would children with disabilities. Nor would any child, for that fact. Nor would some seniors. Should we murder them all? Create a perfect race? “Hail Hitler!” If a human being dependent on another is now subject to being murdered, well, when will your turn be up?

“You wouldn’t adopt any unwanted children would you?!”

That’s another topic, has nothing to do with the abortion argument. But ok. Let’s murder babies because they won’t be adopted one day? That sounds reasonable to you?
I would adopt. And most Christians I know would also. And many actually do. Do you?
Problem is, living in the abortion generation. It can take 8 years to adopt, and 8 minutes to abort. See the problem? 

“You want to take away women’s rights?!”

“Rights” to what? Finish the sentence. The “right” to murder babies? That’s not a right. That’s a, WRONG. You have a “right” to life. And so does your BABY! Now be a mother and love your little girl, it’s a privilege! 

“Women will die of unsafe abortions if we make it illegal!”

Ok. Let’s make rape “safe.” If murdering babies legally will help make it safer, why not rape? We’ll create “medical” stations providing “health care” for men to “safely” rape women. Or women to rape, men? You down? No? Why not? BECAUSE MAKING CRIME “LEGAL” DOESN’T MAKE CRIME “SAFE!” 

“Religion should not influence our laws!”

What is, “murder?” What is, “law?” Where do you suppose we got the concept that murder is wrong and should be punished? Do you think humankind just came up with the idea one day from sheer coincidence? Think! While it’s still legal! Without God, there would be no law. He created it. And we, in civilized Nations, have tried to follow it. When we do? We prosper and live in security. When we don’t? We murder our babies. YES, Christianity SHOULD influence our laws! It’s only because it does that you have a mouth to speak your nonsense regarding abortion. Bring that trash to Iran and see how far your “rights,” go. 

“Women’s lives will be ruined if they have a baby!”

Oh? Well, I guess my sick mother is a burden, time to get her “whacked?” I can’t go to university and be successful with her around, so off she does. Or. Can’t be a “Hollywood Star” without murdering my baby, right? Here are the facts. You went to a party, got drunk and fornicated, and you figured it best murder the baby instead of owning up to your responsibilities. Selfishness. How about this one? “I raped this girl and got caught. But I can’t go to jail? That would ruin my life! My life my choice!” You’re right, let the rapist go. We wouldn’t want jail to ruin his life!” Right? Yeah thought so. Next. 

“It’s cruel to force a woman to carry a pregnancy which was the result of rape!”

So, you’re only against the very tiny minority of cases where abortion was done because of rape? No? Though so. What you’re saying is you want unlimited access to abortion at any developmental stage for any reason what so ever. And you’re using this one small remote case to do it? Listen. Is the evil act of rape in the mind of the woman who’s been violated, or the mind of the baby? And why must the innocent be murdered in this scenario? Would I call the cops on the neighbor on the right for the noise the one on the left is making? Let’s capture the rapist and hang him! Let’s not butcher the innocent baby in the belly. Truth be told, having the baby in such cases results in a healing agent. 

“I’m pro-choice but no pro-abortion!”

Same narrative, different wording. “I wouldn’t murder my own baby. But who am I to stop another woman from murdering hers?!” And that makes sense to you? Next. 

BIBLE VERSES 

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” - Jeremiah 1:5

“And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb” - Luke 1:41

For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from You when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in Your book before one of them came to be (Psalm 139:13-16).

Yet You brought me out of the womb; You made me trust in You even at my mother’s breast. From birth I was cast upon You; from my mother’s womb You have been my God (Psalm 22:9-10).

Did not He who made me in the womb make them? Did not the same one form us both within our mothers? (Job 31:15).

Know that the LORD is God. It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture (Psalm 100:3)

This is what the LORD says–He who made you, who formed you in the womb, and who will help you … (Isaiah 44:2).

And now the LORD says–he who formed me in the womb to be his servant to bring Jacob back to him and gather Israel to himself, for I am honored in the eyes of the LORD and my God has been my strength (Isaiah 49:5).

ANY OTHER VERSE IN THE BIBLE IS NOT GOING TO CONTRADICT THOSE QUOTED.

Abortion, at any stage of development, is a crime against humanity. It doesn’t matter if it becomes “legal” or not. It is a crime. 

The entire case for abortions was birth from deceit and lies. Roe v. Wade was a scam, fraud, deceitful agenda. Get educated: 

Abortion is a sin. And those who encourage it in any way, shape or form, will be found guilty also. Do you think God is going to return one Day and be worried about how much money we made this year? He’s going to bring to justice all the innocent bloodshed. And folks are going to have their hides burnt for eternity. And that means Christians who highhandedly participated in any way with this sin also.

END ABORTION. SHARE THE GOSPEL. VOTE PRO-LIFE. 

SM
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Stephane H. Maillet
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FLOWERS CAN GROW THROUGH CONCRETE

2 Samuel 11-12

David should have been at war with his soldiers, active for the Lord. Yet he remained behind. This allowed his mind to become idle, open to behavior that would not have been a temptation if he was where he should have been.

And so, as a result. He sees what his eyes should not have seen. Another man’s wife. Yet instead of running away, he embraced it.

David followed his flesh which resulted in the death of his fellow man. All for the appeasing of his lust for another’s wife.

David sins with Bathsheba. 11
Nathan rebukes David. 12:7
David repents. 12:13
A consequence of David’s sin. 12:15
Loss of a child. 12:18a

Imagine the self afflicted turmoil David & Bathsheba had gone through. The challenges, the trials, the arguments, the fights, and the loss. A great many couples today separate for far less. 
How many of us in the Lord’s church have to climb very difficult mountains together? Poor decisions leading to unstable relationships, health conditions, and at times distance and loss.
The Bible has the living power to heal. The Word of God gives us instruction and guidance so as to persevere (i.e. never give up) through very difficult moments in life as husband and wife. As friends. Brothers and sisters. 

God, through the agency of His prophet. The preacher. Spoke a parable to David, and made application. David was guilty. He was pierced and repented.

Today, in this age, the preacher teaches the Bible and it pierces the audience into repentance, or further rebellion. All a matter of one’s heart. Either they obey the gospel (Acts 2), or murder the evangelist (Acts 7). 

Once repentance had been established. David comforts Bathsheba. He came to her aid, to be sorry for what he had done, to console her, change her mind, give her peace, rest, and compassion. 12:24a

And because he did as God would want him to do, repent. A blessing is extended. The natural wonder of God’s power through childbirth, the blessing of a baby and the love therein. 12:24b-25

Many husbands and wives go through various trials and griefs. It could be regarding financial woes. Persecution from family, friends, (members of the church?). Health-related discouragement. Perhaps the loss of a child? Painful. Devastating. All these attacks can destroy faith and cause divorce, separation. 

In a time of great challenge. The 1st Century faith. Where Christians were soon to be made torches, burned alive, fed to the animals. Turmoil, pain, arguments, doubts, uncertainty, and fear would plague husbands & wives. Hardships are present and lay ahead.

What did Peter, a man directly inspired by the poured out power of the Holy Spirit. Governed by God. Completely educated in the mind of Christ (i.e. “a Spiritual man”). What did he write to his fellow Christians? To keep them united, even amidst severe persecution, which threatens their faith and marriage? This remedy we read in 1 Peter 3:1-2, 7-9… 

3:1 - “Wives, be submissive to your own husbands” 

For if the husbands are unfaithful and compromise their faith in order to save themselves from persecution? The wife’s submissive nature, grace, and purity. Might renew the husbands' faith in Christ. 

3:7 - “Husbands live with your wives in an understanding way” 

For husbands are to understand their wives. For if a husband does not? Communication with God has been hindered. 

Peter has a list of virtues to read, study, learn, believe, and practice. These spiritual tools will help husbands and wives persevere through any hardship.

3:8 - “Be harmonious (i.e. “likeminded” - “agreeable” - think, speak, and live the same way, faithful),

sympathetic (i.e. “compassionate” - having concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of another, being concerned for their wellbeing),

brotherly (i.e. “love like family” - patient and long-suffering, sacrificial for their needs before yours),

kindhearted (i.e. “merciful” - you may have the power and authority to judge, but instead forgive), and

humble in spirit (i.e. “submissive” - open to solutions, education, and healing),

3:9 - not returning evil for evil (i.e. “you hurt me so now I am going to hurt you back”). “Turn the other cheek” - do not take revenge or retaliation).

or insult for insult (i.e. he offended/insulted me so, therefore, I will, in turn, offend/insult him),
but giving a blessing instead (i.e. life, hope, courage, strength, love, unity, peace, faith, forgiveness, Jesus);

for you were called for the very purpose that you might inherit a blessing.”

God does not want us destroyed, but rather built and blessed. And to inherit blessings we must have works of faith. We must actually put the labor in to build together. 

A woman with child has approx. 9 months of sacrifice and work. Change of all sorts is taking place with mind and body. And then the moment of pain comes. Ripping. Burning. Stinging. Only to be immediately followed by a moment of great joy and blessing. The birth of a child. A flower can grow through concrete. 

We go through hard times in our lives. But if we repent, and come to each other's aid? We shall be blessed with the newness of life. A fresh new start.

David & Bathsheba sinned. The preacher rebuked David. His heart was pierced and he repented. And once he repented he went to his wife’s aid, and this resulted in a blessing. A child that God loved.  

I am an evangelist. I teach you the Bible. I share the Words of God accurately and with precision. I have backbone. I teach with conviction. This scares many worldly-minded Christians. The Bible proclaimed is designed to pierce your heart and bring forth repentance, change of mind and direction in life.  

If you have been struggling lately due to sin, repent and receive a blessing. Forgiveness and healing. Strength and courage. Hope for tomorrow. 

If you have not obeyed the gospel, you are not yet “born again” according to John 3:3. Remember, only after David had repented was he blessed with a newborn child. Only once you are “born again” can you receive the blessings of the kingdom. 

Jesus answered, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” - John 3:5

We must obey the words of the Spirit which teach and command us to be baptized, and therein we shall be born of water and the Spirit. 

If you are a repentant believer, confessing Christ as your Lord and Master, you qualify to be saved, forgiven of sins, and added to the church Jesus bled for. How? By submitting to His will and being immersed in water, therein the blood of Christ will operate on you and wash you clean (Acts 22:16).

If you are already a child of God and desire to be renewed with Christ this morning, set free from the weight of bitterness and discouragement lurking in your mind. Please come forward now as we stand and sing.

SM 
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Stephane H. Maillet
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“Harriet Syndrome”

Do you remember Katherine MacGregor? Sure you do. She was the actress portrayed as Harriet Oleson on the long-running NBC hit drama TV series, “Little House on the Prairie.” Her role played the embodiment of delinquency going unchecked in the church. We could recognize her behavior being less than moral. She was constantly involved with all sorts of tactics to hurt people of the congregation. A busybody. Gossip. Sower of discord. Divisive. At times you probably felt like giving her a good punch in the nose. Yet, if cornered to defend our case against her many offenses? We could not explain the attributes to categories the sins she had to repent from. For many of them were hidden behind skillful deception (“sleight of hand”). We ignorantly labeled it “personality” and allowed her to remain a member of the assembly. And this, time and time again, proved to create disorder in the church. 

Unfortunately, there are far too many Christians infected with “Harriet Syndrome” in the Lord’s body these days. Causing all sorts of disturbance in like manner. Persecutors among us wearing different hats. Trying to run us out of town. Perverting our character to anyone willing to listen. And sadly, most times, they fly under the “radar.” Perhaps because the leadership simply won’t administer faithful discipline? Cowards? Maybe they are ignorant of the Scriptures and have no righteous ability to discern delinquency taking precedence? In all instances, the different arteries of the persecutor in the fold is our topic of discussion for this article. Pay attention, here are descriptive branches (not extensive) revealing “Harriet syndrome,” 

  • The passive aggressive; his nuance, undertone, sleight of hand is designed to unrighteously judge while running from his accusations. He’ll accuse you falsely of all sorts of damnable offenses while still wanting to be in fellowship. He avoids direct or clear communication, evades problems, makes excuses, blames others, plays the victim, gives out backhanded compliments, and hides his anger behind a smile.

Ex: not too long ago an individual of the church accused us of being a Pharisees. Void of love, and binding where the Bible does not bind. This Christian was triggered by the truth regarding MDR (“marriage, divorce, remarriage”). And so this person said these things with a smile, still wanting to extend the right hand of fellowship, to worship with us. See the problem here? This persecutor wants to remain in an adulterous union and proceeds to try and run us out of town.

  • The virtue signaler; he thinks he has the moral high-ground. His subjective opinion is always the best ethical path to take. Every other way is “offensive” and “morally bankrupt.” He’ll say things like, “you’re what’s wrong with the church.” All the while his log is blinding him to the fact that he is certainly the problem.

Ex: not too long ago we shared an article on the moral damage homosexuality brings. This offended the virtue signaler and he proceeded to publicly expound his “knight in shinning armor” persona. Come to rescue the people from these “evil Christians” who publicly share the truth about the LGBTQ+ community. “That’s not the way you reach people with the love and grace of Christ.” You see, his way of telling people about sin is never public. Matter of fact it’s never, period. Because that would “push people away.” And that’s simply not “ethical.” And so his “moral” stance is always the “best,” and he’ll make sure you know it. This persecutor has been deceived by homosexuality and wants to run those of us who tell the truth out of town.  

  • The gaslight guru; he’ll attribute actions or behavior on our part which have no justification. If you’re being calm, mature, and humble? Communicating in a very precise and accurate manner? He’ll say you’re being forceful, immature, and prideful. Hateful and unloving. He’s “triggered” and can’t discern the situation. He’ll label matters of salvation as mere “opinion.” So his natural reaction is to project deceitful attributes to your character. Ever seen a sports athlete out in the field throw himself down in “pain” to blame an opposing team member of obstruction which never took place? Yeah. Ok. There yah go. 

Ex: not too long ago we tried to reason with an individual of the church regarding social drinking of alcohol. We were simply reasoning with him in a calm and mature way. But he’d try to demonize us by saying we were being hateful and unChristlike. This persecutor still wanted to keep drinking alcohol and so had to try and run us out of town. 

The following 3 branches of persecutors are similar in connection. 

  • The “enlightened” spirit; this person thinks he’s directly governed by the holy spirit in a miraculous way. God “touched his heart.” You can’t teach him anything. He’ll despise your Bible knowledge. He’s “guided by the Holy Spirit.” He thinks God is directly leading him through his emotions. And he’ll be sure to correct you every time, because you’re simply not as “enlightened” as he is. 

  • The “academic” abstract; he’s taken a few Bible classes in various “Christian” colleges/universities where he’s learned to be a liberal, not an evangelist. He’ll be quick to rebuke you publicly with a Greek word taken out of context. 

  • The “Jewish” germ; he grew up in the church and thinks he has lineage back to Abraham. No “Gentile” will ever be able to teach him anything. No “Gentile” is really part of the family. He’s a “know-it-all.” He’ll never repent and learn the depth of Scriptural context. 

All of the above are attributes of The modern-day pharisee among us. The hypocrite. The persecutor. “Harriet Syndrome” going unchecked. The sad part? These kinds are behind pulpits. They are elders and deacons. Leaders of the church. 

For each of these persecutors there is an example of such taking place in the Bible towards the Prophets, John the Baptist, The Christ and His Apostles. Can you find them?

Example: Do you remember how Martha treated Christ in relation to her sister Mary? (Luke 10:38-42). Martha was guilty of some of the things listed above. Learn to discern. 

These persecutors must be taken to task. They must be called to repentance or withdrawal of fellowship must take place. We must keep the body of Christ pure. 

SM
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IDENTITY THEFT

We recognize the violation of identity theft, right? Of course. It's horrible. A person deceivingly using your name and information for his criminal agenda? It's evil. We immediately contact the law for assistance and justice.

Simon, in Acts 8:9-24, duped many souls into believing his magic arts made him "the Great Power of God." He was an identity thief. And he recognized the authenticity of power in the Apostles. The genuine source. Obeyed the gospel, yet foolishly thought he could purchase the ability to transfer the Spirit's outpouring. And for what? Personal gain.

Now imagine how Jesus righteously discerns when all these denominations and self-identified "Christians" claim to be His. These TV "evangelists" and their mumbo jumbo. The sensational charismatics charming the naive with their pestilence. An old Roman in white robes claiming to be the "Vicar of Christ, infallible." Nothing but identity thieves. Enemies of the cross. Fugazy. Pretending to be someone they are not for dishonest gain. Doing so by stealing the name of Christ and wrongly dividing His Book. Whether they do so, ignorantly or highhanded. The error remains active.

And so, what can we do? What defense do we have against such a spiritual threat? Have you ever seen a bank teller insert your Benjamin through a counterfeit detector?

Saints, we must test the spirits (1 Jn. 4:1). Know them by their fruits (Mt. 7:16). Listen to the words they speak and size them up with what the Bible says. Therein the identity fraud's agenda will be revealed, exposed. And prayerfully, brought into repentance.

SM

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ABOVE AND BEYOND

Beloved, my fellow saints in the faith: Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

We are commanded to grow in our Bible education above and beyond yesterday. To benefit all tomorrows. So we can learn to become precise and correct in our ethical and divine discernment. To flourish our perception of Spiritual absolutes. To side with Paul rather than Hymenaeus and Philetus (2 Tim. 2:14-18). For sizable catch, it is ordered we sail in deeper water (Luke 5:4).

To cultivate this agricultural field of gospel progress within our hearts (Rom. 10:17)? Is to desire the ability to shepherd. Identify and remove delinquency. Strive for righteousness and growth. And certain are these blessings with cost (Luke 14:28). Considerable responsibility lies ahead. For, “whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance.” Why would we despise such a one? (1 Tim. 4:12). In consequence, he who rejects growth for our Lord? “Even what they have will be taken from them” (Mt. 13:12),... and the Lord will come to them quickly and remove their lampstand from its place—unless they repent (Rev. 2:5).

Have we not been praying for the blessing of further knowledge and growth? Has it appeared contrary to our fancy? What did we journey into the wilderness to see? (Mt. 11:7).

The gates declare two paths (Mt. 7:13-14). The narrow turn right for spiritual abundance (Mt. 5:6). The stubborn? Left, for gossip and idleness (1 Tim. 5:13). And every branch in Christ that beareth not fruit he taketh away (John 15:2).

May we “abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that we may be able to discern what is best.” “…commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” - 2 Tim. 2:2

The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. My love be with you all in Christ Jesus.

SM

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BIRTH PAIN

Most joyful recipient of God’s unmerited favor and peace. Beloved. Saints. For all followers of Christ who pick up daily and teach what is precise according to His Word. And therein cultivate fruit for His Majesty. Yet not without pain. For through these aches in Christ heaven will be ours. 

“Blessed are those persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Faithful disciples are accused and slandered. Tempted and tossed. Expendable and abandoned. They continue to have their character misrepresented. They are physically and verbally assaulted. For such attempts come by worldly Christians among us. Unbelievers outside His door. False teachers. And hostile governments. All for the purpose of doing what is correct according to the great “I AM.” 

When Christians teach the truth (reality) and expose sin. When illustrated accuracy and practical application are established. When His grace instructs us to deny ungodliness and worldly passions. Removing us from the evil works of darkness? Dishonest and unjust treatment from our own kind lurks.

It’s a hard walk being loyal to the Bible. And blessed are we for it because the priority and responsibility of the church are ours to persevere through. All Christians who refuse the task of righteous judgment and discernment, in essence, reject the blessings of spiritual wisdom and growth. 

Pay attention. A woman gives birth to the child living within her womb. Such a wonderful and humbling moment. Yet this time appears not without pain. Yes, the family has now grown in number. We introduce a baby among us. A discovered family member is welcomed. But not without pain (Gen. 3:16). All who have experienced a woman deliver, identify great labor taking place. Months of sacrifice.

There is wisdom in affliction. We’ve learned something. God educates us. He has taught us spiritual value. In this context nothing “free” is cheap. For the forgiveness of our sins came through the shedding of our Master’s blood (Mt. 26:28). Did not our King become the recipient of shame and sorrow (Is. 53:3)? Yes. In our stead (Rom. 4:25). 

If the church is going to grow? Discomfort and suffering are present. Church discipline. Rebuking. Forgiveness. Teaching. Repentance. Evangelism. Righteous division, healing, compassion, discernment, and judgment. In season and out of season. These produce movement. The weeds are removed and the flowers bloom. A botanical garden of seeds for Christ. When the agony relents we have a moment of relief and joy. We hold the newborn baby in our arms with love and care, tenderness. We see God inhabit His work. We heal until the next challenge rises. Blessings in abundance. 

Congregations rejecting various and necessary trials, will not receive the birth they anticipate. Nor the renewals therein. They will socially swell the pews, but not spiritually strive His house. Smooth ships, fair sailing, shallow water, compromise of faith, lack of righteous discernment, cowardice and ignorance of Scripture? Fruitless. Useless. Cut down and burned.

We cannot have nativity void of pain. And yet we do not seek this pain. The mother never says, “I eagerly await the uncertainty of my life as the ripping and burning sensation of birth takes place.” No, she says, “I eagerly await the joy and blessing of seeing my baby within my arms to hold dear and precious.” Are we searching for growth? Pain the inevitable path before achieving the goal.

“A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world.” - John 16:21

Blessed are we when we are persecuted. Because growth will come as a result. And such a result means we’ll be in heaven with our Master one Day soon. 

Commentary sections on Matthew
By Stephane H. Maillet
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GOD OF ALL COMFORT

2 Corinthians 1:1-7

1-2

Paul has been chosen for this task. He is an apostle. He is an inspired man. The mouthpiece of God during this generation. 

He writes to the church that belongs to Jesus Christ locally set in the city of Corinth. Speaking to the saints (Christians) in all local assemblies. 

3-7

COMFORT = “a calling to one’s aid” (exhortation & consolation) 
Mentioned 10x in 5 verses. 

AFFLICTION = persecution, separation, ungodly church members, and loss. 
How does God comfort us when we deal with these hostilities?

1. Exhortation (encouraging change and action)

When a Christian has sin within his or her heart, hidden and buried. The word of God encourages change and action so as to remove the sin. To bring it out, expose it, so as to have the word of God operate of the mind bring repentance, removing the infected tissue. The Words of God removes all evil thoughts, assumptions, accusations, language, and practice. 

2. Consolation (solace, sympathy, compassion) 

When sin removes a loved one from our embrace. The word of God understands our pain and proceeds to speak words of courage and healing. It makes itself available to minister those we love who are hurting. 

How does the Word of God do these things? Through obedient servants of His Word. 

Matthew 6:33

If we seek first His church, His people will minister to us in times of repentance and growth. Times of loss and diminishing health. Times of loneliness and abandonment. Times of love and need. 

And not only does the Word of God, and those who learn and live it, search our thoughts to heal during times of trial. But they also furnish our lives with greater joy when we find ourselves happy and blessed. 

Paul was speaking to Christians. It is to Christians that the comfort of God belongs. And you can receive His comfort outside the body of His Son.

If you wish to gain entrance into the kingdom of God. You must believe that Christ is Lord and King over your life. You must repent of your sins and be immersed in water (Rom. 6:3-4). 

SM
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My thoughts,

We have many strong, courageous and knowledgeable brethren in the church. We are encouraged by their efforts. They point us to the word each and every day.

However, most Christians only have a surface interpretation of the Bible. And because of that, they believe the Holy Book was solely written to rebuke the unbelievers into obedience. Everything else is unnecessary. Not important. A waste of time. And though we must certainly reach the lost. There are greater depths and accuracy in the Bible regarding those within the flock needing instruction to remain faithful.

It’s amazing how the honest study of the Scripture will bring one to realize the function therein. The target audience. “Israel,” once physical. Now spiritual, “Christians.”

The word of the Lord proclaimed through the agency of man. The prophets commanded repentance be administered upon the people of God, for they were living in sin. John the immerser. Jesus the Christ. The apostles. Same purpose. Through the Word proclaimed they taught, rebuked, corrected, and trained in all righteousness. Has it since changed to accommodate and appease a “PC” culture? God forbid. The faithful proclaim repentance to inactive saints. And this produces “offense.” Some pierced toward positive change. Others towards bitterness, slander, and hate.

For the word of God proclaimed exposes godless things. It unearths the sin hiding within the hearts of apathetic and idle followers. It is designed to pierce and bring about change, fruit for our Master. The Word proclaimed does not create sin. It simply forces it out of hiding and into public visibility. Remember Christ in the household of Martha? The word of God exposed her delinquency.

Friends. All who are ignorant, prideful, set in their ways? Will miss the mark and lack proper spiritual discernment. For darkness does not want hidden iniquity to become visible. Such would demand attention to righteous judgment and division. Darkness wants to keep it swept under the rug. Darkness wants us preoccupied with social and secular matters, never dealing with the spiritual problems within the fold. Darkness does not wish for any gospel “controversy.” It does not want any “feathers ruffled.” It wants compromise of faith so as to run a “smooth ship.” Darkness is ignorant about what it believes “important.”

The light must shine. A leadership wanting to illuminate the truth so all may see, will properly deal with darkness being exposed as a result. Church discipline.

“All things that are reproved are made manifest by the light.” - Eph. 5:13 (KJV)

“All things become visible when they are exposed by the light.” - Eph. 5:13 (NASB)

SM
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Luke 10:38-42

The account of two women, sisters. Martha & Mary.

Jesus and His disciples are on an evangelistic campaign. His purpose is to spread the word of God. “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Mt. 4:17). He enters a village and house in order to speak His Word. One sister allowed His Word into her house. The other? Into her heart. And therein we find out this morning which of two sisters we most identify with. 

READ TEXT.  

38 Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village (commissioned in vs. 1); and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house.

  • The living Word of God, in flesh, had arrived in a location needing spiritual truth. God made His Word available.

  • The living Word of God, in flesh, is then welcomed into the area of possible reception. Martha, allowed the Word in her house to be present.

39 Martha had a sister called Mary, who sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. 

  • Two sisters, siblings. Both had the same opportunity to hear and receive the truth.

  • Here we recognize an act of submission from Mary. She’s at the feet of the Master so as to receive instruction and teaching. Silent and attentive. Humble and open.   

40 But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.”

  • Martha has a different heart than her sister. She was preoccupied with secular and social responsibilities (which are certainly important and have their proper place in our lives. Hospitality is a commanded practice all Christians must participate in).

  • But for Martha it became a distraction to the priority at hand. She allowed what was less important take precedence over what was most important. 

* The fellowship meal after service is going to feed our physical vessels. But the Word of God being proclaimed is going to nourish our eternal souls. 

  • And so because of Martha’s lack of spiritual discernment and submission, blinded by her misguided assumptions, she finds fault in her sister, and proceeds to approach Christ (the shepherd) so as to question His ability to teach and lead, but also diminish her sisters character while doing so. 

  • And if that is not enough to cause concern, she further proceeds to command Jesus on what He should do. Because she doesn’t trust His wisdom or discernment, nor does she trust her sister’s wisdom and discernment. So her remedy to this specific and precise situation is completely blind. She can’t see, she’s got a log in her eye. 

  • The problem is in her heart. And that results in the unrighteous judgment of Her Lord and sister. Her preoccupied “distraction” is what needs to be repented of. Not Christ, nor her sister. 

41 And so naturally, Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things.

  • Jesus, the Word of God in flesh, rebukes Martha. He doesn’t side with her delinquency to blame Mary (the faithful) just so no “feathers are ruffled and peace is maintained.” He tells her she’s over-anxious about things that are not important at this very moment. She’s offended about things because her heart’s not at the right place.

  • He’s instructing her towards repentance. As if to say, “before misjudging my wisdom and discernment, before mischaracterizing your sister, you should look inwardly and see the root of your offense and accusation.” 

  • Pending on Martha’s heart at this very moment, she could have believed that He is the One who should revisit His heart and take His own advice. Or perhaps she was humble enough to look inwardly and identify the cause of her anxiety, mistrust in Christ, and misguided behavior towards her sister. 

  • You see, Jesus is not the One who created Martha’s problem. It was there all along. Jesus simply exposed it through His Word.

  • The Word of God tends to do that. Some will love you for it. Others will grow bitter and hate you. There’s a reason the prophets were stoned. The baptist was beheaded. The Christ was crucified. And the apostles were martyred. 

42 But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

  • Jesus tells Martha. That Mary, the one who caused this supposed “offense.” Is indeed the one who is faithful to Him. That must have stung a bit. Martha’s being told that the person she thinks is not being faithful, is indeed faithful. And that Martha is the one in need of repenting. That must of hurt a great deal. Yet necessary for one’s heart to change. 

  • Jesus tells Martha that she only has need for one most important thing in her life. And this thing is what her sister Mary rightfully chose above all else. Because this thing will never decay, rust, or be removed from her heart. It will teach her the ability to properly discern right from wrong. It will save her soul and have her live faithfully. Productive for the kingdom. That’s why Mary chose to submit at the feet of the Master. That is why all of us who are submissive will sit at the feet of the Bible and allow it to instruct our lives. 

  • Everything else in this physical life will go away, even our flesh. But the Word of God endures forever. And that is what Mary has chosen. The good news. 

It’s interesting to note how Jesus once again will have dealings with Martha and Mary, recorded in John chapter 11. And I further encourage you to read that chapter in your own personal studies. It’s not that Martha didn’t believe in Jesus, she did. But her “distractions” hindered her faith and relationship with others. 

Today the same teaching applies to all of us in 2020. We hear the Word proclaimed and we ask ourselves, “am I Martha, or Mary?” 

In Matthew 22:37-40, Jesus says… 

37 “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart (the Word guiding your emotions), with all your soul (the Word guiding your salvation), and with all your mind (the Word guiding your thoughts).’

38 This is the first and great commandment.

- This will determine what it is we prioritize in 2020.

39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’

40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

  • You see, if we love God with all our heart, soul, and mind. We’ll love our neighbor, brother, sister, elder, deacon, friend, visitor, co-worker,… can I dare say preacher? 

If you today love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. Then you will show it to Him by repenting of your sins and being immersed into water, with His authority, so as to receive the forgiveness of sins. Born again of water and the spirit. God will then add you to His kingdom. A part of this local congregation. 

If you have already obeyed the gospel but have sin in your heart? Perhaps you are Martha this morning? You need to renew your spirit and remove that burden from your shoulder. Don’t let stubborn or rebellious thoughts make you a slave to satan.  

If you need to respond to the invitation of our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ. He will save and renew your soul.

Please come forward as we stand and sing.

SM - addedsouls.com
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“BEHOLD, A VIRGIN WILL BE WITH CHILD”

Gen. 3:15 - Acts 2:23

“I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” - Gen. 3:15

2750 years ago the prophet Isaiah prophesied regarding a virgin birth, a child who’s name would describe His very being and purpose, “God (deity) with us (salvation).” - Isaiah 7:14

“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

“the Lord Himself” = a child conceived by the Holy Spirit

“A sign” = a supernatural event which is designed to point you in the right direction, the word being confirmed, the Christ (anointed One, Messiah) among us. 

This child would bring a new government. New policies and politics. A spiritual regime. A perfect system of language, forgiveness, worship, and righteous living. Most high authority, justice and judgment. Powerful and everlasting. This child to be King, would come to establish His kingdom. And all citizens therein would be receivers of His grace, mercy, blessing, security, provision, peace and unity. - Isaiah 9:6-7

6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

Approx. 2053 years ago, this virgin birth took place. It was recorded and witnessed 750 years AFTER it was prophesied by Isaiah. It was fulfilled and - Matthew, during the 1st Century, utilized this Scriptural evidence to convict his fellow Jews into believing Jesus was indeed this same very child (1:17-25). The Scriptures, the Word of God, has always been the orchestrated conductor revealing the Christ in humankind. 

23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.

The birth of this child would spark the predestined plan of redemption for all who would believe in Him (Eph. 1:3-5). And in Him we would be citizens of His kingdom, members of His body, individual and accountable, collectively congregated, the called out ones, those pertaining to the way, the church that belongs to Jesus Christ. We are sanctified, set apart and different from the world. 

* Though in this current age it is becoming increasingly more difficult to discern the world and their denominations apart from the authentic, genuine, honest and faithful Christian who speaks the rightly divided entirety of truth found in the Bible. Simply saying, most Christians act like the world and speak like denominations. 

None the less, the fact remains forever recorded. Written for our learning. That through the birth of this child would come the fulfillment of His governing rule. And it is noteworthy to receive the written word revealing Micah (4:1-3) prophesied the location of His Kingdom (Jerusalem), Daniel (2:44) gave us the timeline (during the reign of the Roman Empire), and Joel (2:28-29) gave us the manner in which it would come (by the pouring out of power from the Holy Spirit upon all flesh). 

28 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out of my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: 29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out of my spirit.

And we shall soon see the fulfillment of Joel’s precise prophecy through the love of God for mankind. He sent His Son through the agency of man, hence “behold, a virgin will be with child.” 

Because of Christ we have His kingdom. The very kingdoms He preached in His ministry on earth (Mt. 4:17 - “repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”). And because of the poured out power of the Holy Spirit who directly operated and governed the minds of the apostles (as promised by the Christ previously in John 16). We now have the message of salvation this child came to bring, “for He will save His people from their sins.” Fulfilled and recorded in its entirety, now for us within the Scriptures. And so, the question “HOW?” Is answered. 

Remember the 1st Messianic Prophecy in Genesis 3:15. Let us go to the Scriptures as we read Peter speaking the result of this moment, in Acts 2:14-47 (vs. 23).

The outpouring of the Holy Spirit has allowed us to know how Jesus saved them from their sins. I may not be the most eloquent, charismatic, or persuasive evangelist you’ve ever heard. But even I know that faith in Christ will save your soul if you simply do what they did. And what they did was repent and be immersed in water with the authority of Christ in order to receive the forgiveness of their sins. 

If you wish to become one with Christ and the fulfillment of His birth. Please come forward as we stand and sing.

SM
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The Language of Ashdod

“The pen is mightier than the sword.” Words can be more effective than military power or violence. They can be used for good, or bad. But when they are not used accurately and properly, they cause great damage. 

The words we speak from morning until night, can make or break us. Words are so powerful that some youth have removed their own lives because of words they’ve read on a computer screen. Words are so powerful that some have stopped themselves from jumping off a building to their death. Words can cause wars. Words can create peace. Words can divide, words can unite. Words have meaning. And if we don’t use words properly and accurately, the amount of damage we can cause is astronomical. If we don’t drive the car properly we’ll have an accident.

James says, “the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.” - Js. 3:6

My people (culture, Nation) were from France. During the war with European Englishmen our women and children were deported in 1755 to what would later become, New Brunswick Canada. Therein our women were taken in relation with Englishmen, and the children were born speaking a different language. My language. An unclean language. A form of communication that no longer was pure, it was now mixed, dumbed down, and slanged. The French could no longer understand us, and the English could no longer understand us. Our dialect was polluted. It has created delusion. And we learned to embrace this and make it our own, which has done nothing but cause division and hostility towards proper forms of communication. I mean, who wants to be told they are not speaking an educated language, right? 
If we do not learn another thing from this pulpit, learn now this morning with me. Warmly receive and embrace this sermon, for the future of this congregation and the growth therein. The fork in the road is now in your midst. The right, and left path. An important decision. For if we reject the right, mark these words. One day we shall die outside of Christ among 300 idle members on the left, trying to rebuild the tower of Babel (Gen. 11).  

Pay attention: “In these last days (the Christian age we currently live in) God the Father has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.” - Heb. 1:2

Christ is our sole source of communication. It is how God the Father decided to fulfill His plan to save us. Christ is our communication and source of faith and forgiveness. We are commanded to learn and speak His language if faith is to be part of our lives.

“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” - Rom. 10:17
Our faith does not come by any other means than by the words of the Bible (2 Tim. 3:16-17). Anything else, added or removed, is not from God. What works on your conscience. What guides you into the right direction. What instructs you into obedience. What works on your mind. Is the word of Christ recorded in the Bible. No miraculous voice enters your thoughts. No miraculous “feeling” sways your direction. No “visions” or dreams, or nudge. Only the Word of Christ recorded by His Spirit in the Bible, operates on your thinking heart. Nothing else. And therein lies our responsibility to prioritize the accuracy of the word and how we speak it in public. It must be as the oracles of God (1 Pt. 4:11). We must treat the word of Christ with precision. 

And so because of this form of communication delivered to us by God, He chose to use words, phrases, and grammar. And every time in history when God’s people decided to neglect the accuracy of His language and change the meaning of His words, they perished in falsehood and judgment. When they began to change the meaning of words, they deceived themselves into spiritual delusion and destruction. 
Reason with me. We must ask ourselves, how on earth did we ever as a “Christian” Nation, come to a time in our history when socialism, communism, and all other categories of “isms” were embraced, promoted, and encouraged? How on earth did we ever get to a time in our history when abortion is legal. Islam is welcomed. Homosexuality is sympathized. Religious error is apathetically protected. The answer? We’ve rejected the language of God and filled the void with the language of Ashdod (Philistines: Heathens). 

* Note how the world has made the word “gay” (aka “happy”), now mean homosexuality. How they have turned the word “love,” into lust. How they have changed the narrative, what is good is now evil, and what is evil is now good. And denominations likewise have changed the meaning of grace, baptism, and all other words. The world does not define its terms. They simply change the meaning of words to suit their sins. Are we to be like the world?

Pay close attention to Scriptural evidence. In the days of physical Israel, they too had polluted their language. They were no longer speaking in unity because they had since adopted the dialect of heathens, false prophets and priests, the world. They no longer respected the accuracy of communication God had given them, and so they began to entertain and embrace a “foreign” language.

* Interesting note, when “foreign/ers,” or those “far away, a far off,” is mentioned in the Bible? It is in reference to heathens, pagans, the Gentiles. Those found outside the covenant of God, both in the Old Testament and New Testament.

And so we continue our case this morning and present, exhibit “A.” The account of Zephaniah, who prophesied in an age of linguistic perversion. Speaking of a day in which God would remedy their communication through His Son the Christ. 

Zephaniah 3:9

“For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name (authority) of the LORD, to serve him with one consent.”

“Then” = a specific prophesied time period in our history, which would come through the fulfillment of the Christian age, when those who follow God will have a new form of communication, a united dialect, a linguistic tool which will be able to read, recite, and therefore call upon the authority of Christ according to His will as one people and agreement. 

The prophet Nehemiah declares the moment and process in which the people of God polluted the language God had given them. 

Nehemiah 13:23-24

23 In those days also saw I Jews that had married wives of Ashdod, of Ammon, and of Moab:

24 And their children spake half in the speech of Ashdod, and could not speak in the Jews' language, but according to the language of each people.

God’s people had gone against the instructions of His will and joined themselves to the heathens, pagans, the world. This perverted their language, it dumbed it down, it changed the meaning of words. 

Deuteronomy 7:3-4 

3 Neither shalt thou make marriages with them (the heathens, pagans, Gentiles); thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son. 4 For they (the unbelievers, the unfaithful) will turn away thy son from following me, that they may serve other gods (denominational gods & worldly practices, languages): so will the anger of the Lord be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly.

Friends, if we lived in a world without denominations, we’d surely have more freedom to use the language of God without concern. But in this “modern” age we are forced to be most accurate with the words we use. They must mean what the Bible says they mean. That is the only way we will have unity here in Spencer.

1 Cor. 1:10

10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

If we do not remove the language of Ashdod from our mouths, we will never be able to discern a spiritual threat. And what we allow from the pulpit today, our children will embrace and push further tomorrow. Again, reason with me, why do you suppose that many congregations of our Lord’s body have adapted heresy and false worship? Because they’ve changed the meaning of words. They speak the language of Ashdod. Why do you think most Christians today are not willing, or capable to discern a saved from a lost person? A Christian from a non-Christian? 

If we eagerly embrace this spiritual lesson, that all of us let go of our pride, assumptions, and misguided positions. And we apply this language that God has given us to be used accurately in everything we will be studying and learning (i.e. from MDR to the Holy Spirit and the things He does and does not do, to all things in-between) we will outwardly have the strength of Goliath and inwardly have the wisdom and faith of David. And the Devil will never again be able to cause division among us. Because we will have mastered the language of God, rightly divided in order to have it pierce soul and spirit, joint and marrow.

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”

If the doctor doesn’t use his scalpel accurately, do you think the operation is going to be positive?

Shame on us if we take the word of Christ so accurate and precise in order to dumb it down to the world’s standards. How dare we mix this language with the unclean language of the world and it’s denominations. 

Friends, saints, “we are a royal priesthood.” It is far time we grow into our tasks and office. Men’s classes. Ladies classes. Youth classes. Gospel weeks and weekend workshops. Monthly evangelistic themes. We don’t want to be a “busy” church with preoccupied social calendars. We want to be a spiritually productive church, refining our knowledge and language. Creating growth, not swelling. Through the Word of Christ.

If I were this day to teach and preach from this pulpit with the language of Ashdod, the elders would be commanded to remove me. They would have to publicly shepherd the congregation with a lesson that would rebuke my error. They would have to pull me aside and demand my repentance. Instruct me into the importance of God’s word, His phrases, His grammar. For the language of Ashdod mixes in truth with error and confuses the congregation. And such discipline will never be done when the congregation and leadership themselves have adopted the language of Ashdod. 

If you seek freedom from the language of Ashdod. If you seek to be set apart, called out, sanctified. Forgiven of sins. 

If you are outside the body of Christ, you need to repent and be immersed in water so as to be “born again.” Don’t let the language of Ashdod teach you any other way.
If you have already obeyed the gospel but have since fallen prey to the language of Ashdod. Don’t die in self-deception. Because the Devil will make the path to hell seem very pleasant. 

Let us put away our pride. Let us humble ourselves to God. If we respond to His call, He will bless this assembly with all spiritual things. 

Please contact us for private studies. 
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Stephane H. Maillet
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Cultivating Bible Studies Via Digital Evangelism. 

 “I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some.” - 1 Corinthians 9:22b

We see a powerful principle in this inspired text revealing to Christians sacrifice must take place in order to accumulate the ability to help further the growth of His kingdom. And this most certainly would apply to the “online” world we currently live in. For if Paul were alive this day, certain am I that he would utilize the internet for His Master. For God Himself created tools to advance His gospel cause. Through providence He had the Jews with law, Greeks with language, and Romans with roads. All of which furnished the right time, dialect, and path for the good news of His Son to prosper. And so, today we occupy the “tech era.” And we are to use it for His Majesty. To farm Bible studies. But, how?

Just as our brethren of the past knowing gospel potential behind such innovations as radio & television. In this stewardship of existence, my “connected” evangelistic experience (which is but a decade) has garnered wisdom becoming effective for our King. I’ve learned a few points which have helped me a great deal to endure focus and structure on the mission at hand, “save some.” Please allow me to translate this DIGITAL LANGUAGE into a practical approach.

First and foremost we establish our ministry

1. Reach the Faithless - “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost” - Luke 19:10

- People are spiritually lost, headed towards eternal punishment. They need to know the love and forgiveness of Christ. They need the gospel. We must bring this good news to them. 

2. Renew the Fallen - “I will set out and go back to my father.” - Luke 15:11-32

- Christians have fallen from grace, they’ve allowed discouragement and sinful practices separate them from the love and forgiveness of Christ. We must seek to renew them.

3. Reinforce the Faithful - “Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” - 1 Thess. 4:18

- Faithful followers are bombarded with all sorts of challenges each day. We suffer persecution. Deteriorating health conditions. Loss of loved ones (both in, and outside of Christ). We need to know the promise of hope, that once this life is over, eternal peace with our Master will be granted. 

* If at any time you find yourself sharing things that no longer fit into one of these three branches. Turn around, regroup, pray, focus, and start again. These will help keep you on the beaten path, not falling off left or right side ditch. 

Secondly, we prove the hands-on formula,

1. Eat their food

- Sharing a meal has been a tool bringing mankind together in peace for ages. When you see your fellow man posting images of their culinary preferences, it is wise and welcome to “like” (“thumbs up,” a sign of approval). This allows them to identify your commonality and makes it easier to establish a friendship. You’d be willing to sit down with them and eat what they have taken time to prepare. We all know the sense of justification that comes when those we are hospitable with enjoy the nourishment we display. 

2. Sleep in their lodgings

- We have a great deal of respect for those willing to sit in our homes with us. Even those who might have many more blessings in lodging than we. It gives us a location of communication demanding personal fellowship. And so, when you see them post images of their inner home decor and lifestyle, it is an opportunity to once again “like” their posts. In so doing you are transmitting your willingness to feel at ease in their “comfort zones.” 

3. Speak their language

- There can be a chasm between the monitors. It is difficult to read tone from comments on a screen. And so it takes time to establish the context. Time to understand personalities. A way into this form of liaison is the ability to identify their interest in various topics (i.e. occupation, habits, traditions, culture, careers, hobbies). It is a very good idea to learn, engage and interact with their interests. This will allow them to grow trust in your care for their spiritual wellbeing. If you can speak their “lingo,” you’re worthy of sharing something that might spiritually challenge them.  

* The true essence of selflessness, becoming all things to all men. If people are online, go to them. And do so by employing these steps. It will help move things closer to studies.

Thirdly, we utilize our evangelistic caliber,

1. Be a spiritual ninja - a cold transfer 

- Make available “watermarks” on the various social venues you may interact with on any daily moment (i.e. website, email address, phone #). This will allow people who might “check your profile,” to see a way in which they can access gospel content or material. 

- Randomly deposit gospel links on various groups, pages, threads. For example, sometimes I’ll chime in on a community group (or page) with a comment on a thread. I do this leaving my website. 

2. Gather personal connections - a warm transfer 

- Communicate via PM (“private message”), email, video chat, phone call. With the AddedSouls.com ministry, we have numerous studies taking place on a private and personal level. 

3. Express your faith publicly - an open transfer 

- Bible verses, Study memes, articles, sermons, videos, podcasts, interaction, debates, comments, threads, pages, groups, websites, live streaming, Q&A’s. Make all of this public, so that all the world can see. It’s out there and has the potential to go “viral.” 

- Challenge. Show Bible knowledge. Couple everything with love. Always give an invitation and contact information. Learn to discern good soil from rotten soil. Don’t waste time on delinquents at this volume of daily evangelistic stature. Remain self-controlled. Don’t take things personally (I know, that can be very difficult). Continue to be sincere. Genuine. Honest. Straight forward. Direct. Courageous. Patient. Kind. Respectful. Never attack the person, only the falsehood. 

* These are designed to amplify your evangelistic reach, once again, resulting in studies. Some of us may have more talent in one section over the other, never the less we should try to use all of these when applicable. 

If you practice these simple instructions, with time you will congregate fruit. Practice forbearance. You’ll soon find yourself collecting studies which lead people to Christ. Sometimes that can be guiding said person towards a faithful church int their area, or trustworthy contact. In numerous cases, we’ve experienced folks approaching us privately after following our content for years. Never give up. Persevere. 

There is an ocean of example recorded in the Bible regarding men of God openly, publicly, declaring the gospel. Ultimately this is what will attract study. The purpose of Christ. The uniqueness of His kingdom, church. The plan of salvation. The spirit and truth of worship. Exposing sin. Calling all to repent. All public and courageous. And this indeed will push rebellious souls away, but it creates and accumulates the right soil.  

If we grow to learn and utilize this tactical point system strategy to its maxis reach, we shall produce a sizable crop for our Lord.  Bible studies.

Moment of caution. If we get snared in the leftist weeds of Pharisaical criticism towards our fellow saints regarding talents/opportunities they may surpass us with. Our jealousy and divisive behavior will be cut down and thrown into the fire. Idle. Vain, useless, a stumbling block of discouragement. Illegal. 

May we strive to be sincere, honest, and genuine with our evangelism. It does not need to be perfect, but it most certainly needs to be loving and courageous.  The minute I knew what Mk. 16:16 really meant, I was sharing through all these tools. I may not have known how to defend anything else, but I was proclaiming Jesus to people none the less. And it brought Bible studies. Now throughout the years, I’ve grown to season my efforts. And I know you can also if you try. This will most certainly cultivate Bible studies.

*BONUS: Similar pattern inhabits Bible studies via the PHYSICAL LANGUAGE approach, set once again in three dynamic categories, 

1. “Ninja” = leaving gospel material and contact info in various places (i.e. cards, mailboxes, restaurants, with a tip, pinboards all over the community, washrooms, hotels motels, anywhere and everywhere) 

The "ninja" method will be known as a cold transfer to the gospel.

The Ethiopian had gospel material, he had a scroll with the words of the prophet Isaiah, the Bible. He had acquired inspired content through some cold transfer, since he did not yet receive the personal preaching of the meaning of the text he was reading. 

2. “Personal” = one on one bible studies with people, either through building a friendship first or not. This personal approach may have come as a result of your “ninja” efforts, perhaps invitation to worship. 

The "personal" method will be known as a warm transfer to the gospel.

Once Philip the evangelist embarked on the chariot with the eunuch, he was able to make a warm transfer. Philip preached Jesus Christ to this religious man seeking to please God. Philip properly interpreted the Bible so as to reveal Christ through the Old Testament writ.

3. “Public” = this is the open proclamation of the gospel in areas where people congregate (i.e. religious establishments, social media, colleges, universities, shopping centers, markets, festivals, parades, etc)

The "public" method will be known as an open transfer to the gospel.

Once the Ethiopian understood the gospel, he further urged Philip to immerse him in Christ through the water he could see. This was a very public display of gospel obedience. It produced a Christian that day, one who went on his way rejoicing. 
I pray this information will help in your faith. 

God bless.
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Stephane H. Maillet
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The H.S. was sent among us in the 1st Century with a purpose. He poured out His power among mankind so as to confirm the word through the objectives mentioned in the verse above. Once the mission was accomplished. The Bible was perfect and complete for every soul on earth henceforth. Today the power of the H.S. is no longer poured on mankind. We have His finished work, His Word. And so, He directly operated on us in the 1st Century. And now operates on us today through His word and providence. God the Father. God the Son. God the Spirit. All live within each faithful child of the kingdom. We can find comfort, peace, forgiveness, and purpose in His all sufficient Book. May God bless you all. 

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Stephane H. Maillet
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SEEK YE FIRST

Matthew 6:25-34

Context:

Mt. 6:1-24, Jesus is rebuking their outward display of religion. For it has no inward dwelling with faith. They’re putting on a “show” instead of truly living a God-filled mind. “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” (Mt. 15:8). They were outwardly praying (which is supposed to be a connection between man and God), being benevolent (connection between man and his fellow man), and fasting (connection within one’s self-sacrifice and meditation) in order to be recipient on what rightfully belongs to God (something personal, innocent and true). Their intentions were not pure, proper, clean, or righteous. They were actors (hypocrites), playing an act for their spectators. They wanted to be seen as something they were not. And this made them unproductive for the cause of Christ. They would not even forgive their brother when called for. Sad indeed. 

You see, outwardly acting religious might store up all sorts of wealth for us, praise, and worldly comfort. If your goal in life is directed towards self, then self will compromise with the world in order to accumulate more outward appearance (i.e. bigger numbers in the assembly, a larger following, etc). But it will not generate eternal life. And the reason it will not is that it makes one worry more about what is outwardly (food, drink, clothes) instead of what is inward. Heavenly wealth. Spiritual blessings. The things that are important for our spiritual survival. 

And so, Christ transitions this teaching into the following text (25-34), in which our sermon is found this day.

BODY

25

Is Christ saying that physical life, food, drink, and clothes are not important? Of course not! 

It is a matter of priority. People of the world, those Christ was addressing as being actors. Thought that the pursuit of outward indulgence had more importance than the pursuit of inward faith utilized to please God. 

The breath you have in your lungs takes precedence over the food you digest and the clothes you wear. Granted it takes food in order to keep our lungs breathing. But food is not the source of importance, it is but a tool to be used properly so as to keep the lungs breathing for Christ. If the church of Christ and doing what is right, is the source of priority, then the church of Christ and doing what is right, will make sure we eat food. 

26

We were created in the image of God, animals were not, and so we are much more important than they, for they cannot store up heavenly wealth. And yet still they are well taken care of regarding food, drink, and covering. 

27

Christ is not talking about, “don’t pay your bills, they’ll pay themselves.” 

28 - 29 - 30

Ultimately, the big picture, can being worried about “keeping up with the Jones’s” ever extend your life on this earth? No. Some have made being physically healthy more important than being spiritually healthy. 

If even what blossoms today and is mowed down the very next, can receive what it needs to have had life. Again, how much more will we, created in His image, be taken care of if we simply read, study, rightly divide, and apply/obey the Bible? 

Birds, flowers, and grass. All taken care of because they know who they belong to. How much more will we be taken care of if we simply recognize who we belong to? 
Our lack of recognizing this very fact displays our lack of faith. Lack of faith is the reason some Christians think the church is a social club, for social activities. And being social with the gospel somehow holds more spiritual importance than Bible studies, accurately learning the Word of God and obeying in love the instructions therein. And so the community does not identify us as the light on top of the hill, but rather just another funhouse where everyone goes to heaven one day (no matter what you really believe about anything). 

We need to stop worrying about what the world thinks about us. Faithful Christians need to stop worrying about what unfaithful Christians think about us. We don’t allow the worldly among us dictate a standard contrary to the word of God. We need to stop worrying about pleasing the world and start worrying about pleasing God. 

31

Stop worrying about what the world wants you to worry about. This verse is not speaking about worrying to make ends meets. Worrying about putting food on the table is not the idea behind this context. Gentile society and culture would make food, drink, and clothing a matter of fashion and status. The greater extravagance within the art of eating, drinking, and clothing is what drove these people into outward and useless endeavors. And because of that, they dictated the standard in which religious people should be displayed (hence the hypocrisy of those praying, being benevolent, and fasting). 

We see the same today, do we not? Look at the amount of cooking shows out there. And look at the number of fashion shows out there. House shows. Keeping up with the jones. Look at how the world wants religion to look, speak, and act like. This culture, like theirs, hasn’t changed all that much. We embrace consumerism. We embrace denominationalism. We can shop at the click of a button. We can drain the credit cards in less than one minute. And this creates a massive amount of anxiety in the individual mind and home. It has been the cause of debt, divorce, unemployment, depression, idleness, and apathy in the church for decades. All sorts of negative results. 

The Gentiles lavished in the riches of the world. To them, food, drink, and clothing was of the utmost importance. 

THE REMEDY,

33

You seek HIS kingdom (it belongs to christ, His church, His people. You seek the church that belongs to Christ), and HIS righteousness (His standard of right and wrong). And how do we do that? Through the instruction of HIS perfect and fulfilled word, God breathe, the sword of the Spirit. 

Everyone who was following Christ regarding His teaching of the Kingdom. Were they not fed? Were they not clothed? Of course. 

If the first thing you do in life each day is to search out the church of Christ, to obey its conditions of entrance, to be faithful within it, to be productive within it. The church of Christ (we here today, the assembly, the family, the body, the congregation) God will make sure none of us go without food, drink, clothing, and lodging. It’s not a free ride, it’s not to be taken advantage of. It is to sustain life in Christ so as to do His will, and to do His will pleases Him. 

So we need not worry like the world worries, over outward things. We have peace in Christ when we seek His church first each day. 

Seek ye first the kingdom is a verse that gives us practical insight into God’s standard of judgment. And so, to practice this verse properly we ask ourselves questions. 

  • Does being here this day as an outward display of a religious person make us inwardly faithful? No. 

  • If the 1st reason we are here today is for someone, or something other than Jesus Christ? We’re going to miss paradise. For we’ve been bought by the fluff of men, and not by the binding word of God.  

  • We can be the most socially active congregation on the block. Fill our calendars with all sorts of hangouts. But if we’re not in the word of God, we’ve failed to “seek ye first.” 

  • Does dating and marrying unbelievers, or unfaithful Christians, line up with seeking first the kingdom of God? Does it further grow the kingdom and please God when we put ourselves in compromising situations, of such magnitude as a life long union with another person?

  • Does forsaking the assembly in a habitual manner, line up with seeking first the kingdom of God?

  • Does hanging around bad company?

  • What kind of music do you listen to? Movies do you watch?


CONCLUSION 34

Philippians 4:11-13 

11 for I have learned (how? educated in the word of God), in whatsoever state I am (rich or poor), therewith to be content.

12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things, I am instructed (by what? The word of God, the Bible) both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.

13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me (how? Through the teachings of Christ found in the Bible).

(I don’t need to worry, when I am content, because whatever comes my way, the Word of God will instruct me to remain on course). 

If we are content with what God provides, we won’t have to worry about tomorrow. Because today has enough to worry about all on its own. 

When we decided to let go of our past lives. God took care of us. Why? Because we seek His kingdom and righteousness first. 

If you are tired of worrying about the afterlife, and if you’re going to paradise or torment. If you, this day, seek His church and His commands. You need to repent and be immersed in water, with His authority, for the forgiveness of your sins. He will add you to His kingdom. And through His words in the Bible, He will teach you to remain faithful therein. 

If you choose to be made right with God this day, please come forward as we stand and we sing.

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Stephane H. Maillet
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The “social gospel’ creates a social club.

Denominations do not believe that the Bible is the sole source of fulfilled revelation for us today. They invoke other elements outside, apart, and separate from God breathe literature. The Bible is simply not enough to change the hearts of men, so therefore we must come up with other ways. These other ways take away from the work of God produced in the hearts of men when they read the Bible (Rom. 10:17). It elevates uninspired men above the ability of the inspired Book. And because of this, they apply other means of evangelism as the bait which attracts mankind to social environments. They never venture deep water. The idea operates in such likeness, “let’s feed them physical food, but never spiritual food. Let us clothe the flesh, but never the mind. Let us have our youth in all sorts of fun and active social activities, but let us never exercise their minds with the word of God. Let people know more about food and sports than the Bible and worship. Let us convert them to a social entourage in the hopes that osmosis for Christ might take place.” 

Sadly, we’ve allowed the practice of denominations to be the standard we embrace as Christians. We believe that the more influence we have in the community as a social club where folks have “fun,” the more “growth” will accumulate. 

Saints, we must certainly try to be social people. People who invest their time with the community. Friendly people. People who display a sense of fun and interaction. People who are attracted to speak with. Approachable. We must, as Paul, the apostle would say, do so “to save some.” But the sole “bait” we should be using to catch fish, is the word of God. The gospel therein. For no other source is a productive branch in Christ. If seven days of the week are filled with social/secular enterprise, and but one hour is spent with the Bible. We will lose the spiritual battle and miss the eternal mark. 

The “social gospel” will never convert souls to Christ our Lord and Master. It will always blossom more lost individuals for the Devil to swallow. How do we get into the community? By publicly proclaiming the word of God with strength, courage, no shame. Yes, this will cause for persecution. Awkward moments. Discouragement and division (Mt. 10:34). But it will also please God and cause for genuine and honest growth. It will attract the right kind of soil (Acts 2:37-47, 8:36-39). 

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” - Heb. 4:12

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addedsouls.com
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Stephane H. Maillet
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"Addiction?"

Why do you think people become dependent on certain sinful lifestyles? Because it tastes bitter? Because of all the destruction and division? The reality of eternal punishment?

No, friends.

Wine, women, and song is the warmth you find under the wing of a dragon. It's the "heaven" you can see and experience now. You'll do anything for it. Love at first feel. Breaking all the rules. Nothing is more important. Your soul. Those you care for. They hold no sway to the priority at hand. This moment of release. The elixir which keeps your dreams young. Them familiar skies, roads, faces, music. The whispering wind. Roots weaned in illusion. The lava which masquerades of peace and freedom. It never goes away. Riders of the storm in a desert of peyote. White horses and a witches brew. Gas trees and woven blurs. Fragments of a broken mind. Bleeding eyes. Thoughts of dream and seismic imaginations. Nothing is more attractive to the flesh. The inner elements of euphoria, nostalgia, and oasis. Desires of myth and excess. The repetitive clinch. The serpents bite. The devil's footprint. A beast in white clothing. It is always waiting for your return.

The many woes behind the curtain of substance abuse.

That "thing" which keeps my people dying. I understand it most well. It's the crippling pain that wakes you up at night. It's the isolated sorrow that lingers in your heart when you must say goodbye. It's the darkness and void left behind. It's the never-ending agony that threatens us when we entertain change.

"Sex, drugs, and rock'n'roll." How did I ever leave the clutches of such a powerful adversary? Pay attention. The cure. By seeking greater power. By filling the void with the truth of Jesus Christ.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you."

Young people. Stay away from fornication, alcohol & drugs. Bad company corrupts good morals.

I’ve been the exception to the rule. Most die out there.

Contact me and I'll help you learn the purpose of life (Mt. 6:33).

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Stephane H. Maillet
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TITLE: Be the ONE from the TEN

This past Wednesday we had a wonderful thanksgiving service. And many Scriptures were read which reveal the necessity of thanksgiving from followers of Christ. And one such section of the Bible will be our lesson this morning… 

TEXT: Luke 17:11-19 - the ten lepers. We ask ourselves,… 

Have we ever thanked our employers for having a job?
Have we ever thanked our teachers for educating us at school?
Have we ever thanked our first responders & soldiers? 
Have we ever thanked our parents, family?

When we take the time to sit down with paper and pen, we can come up with a full page of people we should be thankful for. And the Bible is filled with examples of such necessity if we are to be thankful people. And yet our greatest thanks is designated to God the Father, His Son, His Spirit. Let’s go deeper, shall we?  

In this recorded account… 

- Christ is making His way fulfilling His ministry and the prophets. He continues to walk towards Jerusalem. And in this recorded moment He identifies 10 individuals plagued with leprosy. 

Leprosy is a chronic, progressive bacterial infection caused by the bacterium Mycobacterium leprae. It primarily affects the nerves of the extremities, the skin, the lining of the nose, and the upper respiratory tract. ... Leprosy produces skin ulcers, nerve damage, and muscle weakness.”- health line .com 

  • The amount of pain, disfigurement, stench of rot and sorrow, would become common ground for those plagued with this terrible pestilence. If we can discern the amount of medical depravity these poor souls were going through, we can most certainly discern the emergent need to find a cure. And therein have our spiritual lesson this Lord’s day. 

READ TEXT LUKE 17:11-19 

These 10 souls knew who Jesus was, for they believed in Him (Luke 14:1-6 might give us insight into the fact). And so they proceed to beg for Christ’ attention. He is the source of their healing. They’ve apparently seen Him heal leprosy before.
Vs. 14 is most revealing.

Jesus recognized their penitent, submissive, and seeking heart (“when He saw them, He said to them”). He proceeded to give them conditions of an active faith (“Go and show yourselves to the priests”). They obeyed (“and as they were going”) and as a result of a working faith, “they were cleansed.” God told them what to do in order to receive cleanliness. They did what Jesus told them to do. And they were cleansed. Simple. Interesting to note, faith has always been the reason, but obedience has been the necessary bridge to reach the desired result.

- The Old Law demanded those suffering from leprosy be exiled from the community due to uncleanness (READ: Lev. 13:45-46; Num. 5:2-3).

If leprosy would be cured, they had to first show themselves to the high priests in order to have the ability to return to the people (Lev. 14:2-32). So what is the spiritual application God intends for us to learn this day? Twofold.

  1. Can’t have what is unclean, among what is clean. 
  2. We must be thankful for what is made clean. 

So, #1. You do not want any uncleanness infecting the camp/congregation, because it has a way of spreading and bearing fruit, even many years later. 

For example, one summer several years ago as I labored for the Riverview congregation in N.B. Canada. A very kind Christian couple (members of an assembly in the US) came to visit us. They worshipped and had fellowship with us for a few weeks. On the outside surface, we were greatly encouraged to have them with us. But what we were unaware of at the time was their spiritual uncleanness. You see, they secretly warmed up to members who were not properly versed in the Bible (members who had been sitting in the pews for over 30 years mind you). And they introduced dissension to them in a kind and respectful way. Masquerading as an angel of light. These thought that the gospel of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, were not New Testament books, but Old Testament Books that needed to be done away with. That we no longer need to live under. And so, because these members had a lack of spiritual discernment, they found a tickling ear to know more. And more they received. This Christian couple would give these idle members, false teaching in secrecy. Until two years later, it surfaced its ugly head among us. It was bearing fruit. Separation was taking place, these members had in turn become disciples of error and were further trying to convince others to believe this falsehood. Making those they converted twice the children of hell (Mt. 23:15).

And so, we lovingly tried to study with those infected with this spiritual leprosy, but it was too late. The faithful had not addressed it soon enough. And so these members left the faith, and Brough their children, and their grandchildren with them. These proceeded to “open shop” for themselves and contact everyone to convince them to turn to their doctrines. I think you can understand that this caused much pain, sorrow, and discouragement. I then purposely-educated myself with their false doctrines and proceeded to teach the congregation. So as to never again allow the fold to be snared by such spiritual leprosy. 

If these lost souls would return to Christ, they would have to do so through the proper channels (“show yourselves to the priests”), they’d have to sit down with the leaders and show fruits of repentance (signs of healing). And once fully cleansed they’d be warmly welcomed back into the camp. And we’d thank God! 

The same is told of another example. A fornicating couple, unclean among us. We had to approach them and separate ourselves from their unrepentant behavior. Because if they’re allowed to remain in the fold while fornicating, why can’t I stay here also as a drunkard or adulterer? (see the disease spread?). For they were already separated from God, we just caught up to it. Now if they repent, they must go through the proper channels, and we shall warmly welcome them back into the fold. And thanksgiving shall be extended to our LORD and MASTER.

If you have an honest and humble heart, you’ll understand the spiritual teaching being proclaimed to you this day. And so, back to the account here… 

- Not only were these “malads” (a French word for “sickly people”) scorned in the flesh, they further had to be separated from the location of blessing because they were unclean. 

Application: Outside of the body of Christ, we are separated from Him due to our uncleanness, SIN. Oh, it may not take physical form (though sometimes it does), it most certainly is seen within (“by their fruits, you shall know them”). I’ve seen many Christians who shine bright as a new penny on the outside, but then you realize they are far from faithful within. They are caught up in a spiritual rut, not willing to grow and expand scriptural potential for sake of compromise. 

And just like Jesus tested the faith of these lepers, so He does also with us this day. Can we recognize it? Are we pierced like the Jews of Acts 2:37 who obeyed? Or are we pierced like the Jews of Acts 7:54, who murdered Steven? We move forward… 

Jesus told them to go visit the high priest before they could see the results of their healing. It takes faith to do something before identifying any results. When the doctor says, “trust me, follow this diet.” The image we see in the mirror doesn’t yet tell the tail of results. Yet, we trust in the doctor and follow the diet. And months later the image in the mirror (outward) and bloodwork, inward, tells a different tale. 

When Christ says, “go into that water so I can wash your sins away with my blood.” It takes faith to believe such a thing because we have to look with spiritual eyes. For if we don’t, all we see is water and getting wet. We’ll never see salvation (Mk. 16:16), a new birth (Jn. 3:5). And we’ll keep arguing against Christ pinning His words against each other in trying to justify our lack of faith and thankfulness. 

We move forward and recognize in this account that Jesus remains legal. A law-abiding citizen. For He knows the proper channels necessary, they must go see the high priests. He’s obedient to the law He was born under. 

One of the healed, the Gentile (Samaritan), recognizes the great turn in his life that has taken place. He was once in hopeless uncleanness, and now he is made whole, pure, cured.

This was very strong and forceful teaching from Christ, very offending and controversial, for by implication He’s saying that the 9 who did not return to thank Him, were Jews. He’s telling religious people that they are wrong. 

It what supposed to be understood that the Jews had to give thanks to God for their cleanness (Psalms 107:20-22; 103:1-4; 100:4). But yet here a point is being made, the Gentile is thankful. Another sign pointing to the day when the Greeks (that’s us) would warmly be given the gospel also (Acts 10). And how they would more quickly accept it over the Jews who ultimately brought Christ to the cross (Acts 2:36). - ——— I’ve had more success teaching Bible truth to heathens, than teaching Bible accuracy to most Christians. Because most Christians think they already know it all. They look down on you. Heathens who seek freedom in Christ, are open vessels soaking in the truth in a pure form. And these repentant heathens who come out of a sinful world, can’t get enough of the Bible, they want to know about every spiritual thing imaginable. They want their questions answered. They want to grow in their knowledge. They don’t want to remain surface. They want to lay nets in deeper water. They want to learn to discern error from the truth and defend it. They want to be able to discern fluff from meaty and challenging teaching. And this greatly offends Christians who are idle and apathetic. And that is further why preachers like myself are not welcomed in many congregations these days. 

This Gentile, which returned to Christ in thankfulness. His faith made him well. When Christ said, “go,” he went. His trust in Christ made him act upon the command. Resulting in being healed. He didn’t say, “well those Jews didn’t need to come back, so why should I?!”

Today, we too are dying in uncleanness (SIN - spiritual idleness, apathy, vain worship, the inability to discern error and spiritual threat, fornication, adultery, abortion, homosexuality, denominationalism). The cure remains Christ, He tells us “go,” and we need to “GO.” Only if we “go,” shall we achieve the desired goal,  freedom/forgiveness/salvation. It takes faith (Heb. 11). And there is no thanksgiving to be found outside of Christ. For what are you thankful for? Being lost? 

If you are outside of Christ, it takes faith to repent and be immersed in water so as to be saved (Rom. 6:3-4). If you are in Christ already it takes faith to grow, to go further in the word which challenges our accustomed thoughts which may have been within us for decades. 

Friends, I’m not here with style in order that you follow me. I’m here so that you follow the Bible. Because once I’m gone, those who follow the Bible will continue to do so. Those who follow man will fall. 

If you are the ONE from the TEN, please come forward for salvation or renewal, thanksgiving, and hope, as we stand and we sing. 

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Stephane H. Maillet
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FLESH VS. SPIRIT, which are we led by?

TEXT: Galatians 5:16-26

CONTEXT:

Paul in this section is following up his previous rebuke against Judaism (1-15), for some Christians were still trying to practice Old Testament law (“circumcision”). The church needed to be instructed regarding their error and in turn, be encouraged to pursue practicing the New Covenant. For mixing some sections of the old in with the new create separation from Christ (5). And so, they needed practical instruction to understand and follow. No longer are they to be led by the flesh, but rather the Word of God (the sword of the Spirit). They needed to let go of the world and its desires in order to now practice love and truth. And so, Paul was going to give them specific ways in which that is to be done. 

The idea that Christians should not be led by the flesh, was conveyed to the church in Rome also, “knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Christ, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.” - Rom. 6:6
And so, in this section of Galatians, we’re going to see two categories…

INTRODUCTION

  1. Led by the Flesh
Allowing the world to instruct our way of thinking, speaking, behaving. 

  1. Led by the Spirit
Allow the Word of God to instruct our way of thinking, speaking, behaving. 
And in no way, shape, or form, is this section of Scripture teaching us that we are somehow demonically guided to do evil deeds of the flesh, nor is it teaching we are miraculously guided by the H.S. through sensational mysticism to do the deeds of the word. Both would be a breach of gospel and free-will. Everything here is orderly and sober, we can know it, make sense of it, and apply it to our lives. 

BODY

  1. Led by the Flesh

Fornication - “illicit sexual intercourse, including incest and homosexuality.
Uncleanness - “religious corruption” (Mt. 23:27)
Lasciviousness - “sexual overtones, sensuality, sexy, public indecency.” 
Idolatry - “the worship of false gods, and/or anything more important than God.”
Sorcery - “drug use to enhance sensation in connection with false worship”
Enmities - “hostility towards others, antagonistic, unfriendliness or opposition” 
Strife - “contentious, causing unrighteous arguments and controversy.”
Jealousies - “resentment toward others for what they have.”
Wraths - “explosive display of anger and behavior” 
Divisions - “church splits over unimportant issues and personality clashes.”
Parties - “segment groups which promote heresy.” 
Envyings - “the desire to deprive others of their possessions.”
Drunkenness - “the alteration of one’s normal mind”
Revellings - “noisy, rowdy, wild conduct, usually by drunkenness.”
Such like - “everything above and beyond mentioned in this text.”

  1. Led by the Spirit

Love - “agape, sacrificial” (1 Cor. 13:4-7)
Joy - “not earthly pleasure, but deep inner hope of Christ and doing what is good.”
Peace - “knowing that being faithful you can go to heaven one day”
Long-suffering - “doesn’t give up when life gets tough”
Kindness - “sweet & gentle behavior towards others.”
Goodness - “moral excellence according to God’s standard.”
Faithfulness - “trust in Christ and fidelity, commitment, to His teachings.”
Meekness - “strength in submission to God, humble and patient.” 
Self-control - “personal discipline of mind, and body against temptation.”
Against such there is no law - “abide and abound in these virtues.”

CONCLUSION:

We must not try to add anything of our old self into our new self. At what very moment did this transformation of old to new take place? Romans 6:3-4

INVITATION:

If you would like to leave the old self in order to become a Christian. To let go of being led by the flesh in order to now be led by the Word of God. Please come forward as we stand and sing.

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Stephane H. Maillet
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DEMONS: a faithful study 

This effort is designed with love, respect, and kind attention. It is purposed to bring us into a more accurate understanding of the matter. I am well aware that it will challenge your current beliefs, for it also had challenged mine. And it took me many years to fight through false indoctrination and finally humble myself before God and accept reality regarding this topic. And so, all I ask is honest attention, and that we genuinely examine the Scriptures together. Even to the point we deny our past affiliation to erroneous notions, in order to now wholeheartedly and soberly accept the evidence of this case in which I shall present.

A bit of background and personal declaration… 

I was born in 1976, raised in a place called “Scoudouc” New Brunswick Canada. East Coast. Atlantic. The Mariners side of things. Woodsman, fisherman, hunters, truck drivers, factory workers. Working hard, and playing harder. And as I remember growing up in a family and community which welcomed and embraced sensational beliefs, it was common knowledge and culture to nourish our worldview when it came to the topic of supernatural experience (i.e. ghosts, demons, angels, miracles, etc). A people naturally attracted to proponents (those in favor of) mysticism.

From European descent, our religious forefathers passed on to us the tradition of Catholicism (a religious denomination created from apostasy and political influence - 1 Tim. 4:1-3, birth centuries after the church Jesus had built in Jerusalem - Acts 1&2). This, “Universal Church” (Catholic Church) gave us food (grocery) and education (schooling). And so we trusted in their doctrines. And these teachings embraced and encouraged the sensational idea of personal and direct demon (and/or deistic) activity in the physical realm.

And so, it was furnished upon us from birth, that the supernatural has never ceased, and that demons and their possession of human beings were as real as daylight. This, of course, would further promote our thoughts into the mystic. As those living in constant fear that the movies, books, magazines, music, and denominational perspectives were indeed true and real. We exchanged reality for myth and called myth, truth. And billions of souls this day live in constant fiction. The thought that either the Devil or the Holy Spirit can do things to us which scripture has since revealed, ceased.  

It is my greatest endeavor to have you return to God with me, as we step away from the lies we’ve so quickly embraced, understanding full well how warm and comforting it can be under the wing of a dragon. For we must step away from our false sense of security in order to receive the ultimate and complete peace, of Jesus Christ our Lord and Master through His perfect Word, Bible. Who, in Him, we are protected from error. 

And so, we first ask ourselves… 

WHAT DOES THE WORLD BELIEVE ABOUT DEMONS?

Hollywood movies, books, music, and magazines. They portray demons and demon possession with charismatic entertainment. Obnoxious, over the top, and far from Scriptural accuracy (i.e. 1973’s “The Exorcist” - “the most profitable horror movie ever made” - IMDB). We see therein what the world perceives and teaches as demon possession. Fanciful. Attractive to our carnal fears. Ignorance of the unknown. Curious enterprise. Dark charm. And the captivating power of a “soiree noir.” But is that accurate?

And in like manner, the denominational world follows suit with sensationalism (“the use of exciting or shocking stories or language at the expense of accuracy, in order to provoke interest or excitement”). Fear tactics to produce wealth in false religious positions regarding demons, the Devil, possession. 

And these misguided sources (Hollywood & denominations - “demon-nations”) were birth from three defining terms:

  1. Relativism - “no one can ultimately know objective truth”
  2. Pluralism - “no one person is wrong, everyone is right”
  3. Emotionalism - “my feelings are what truly matter, regardless of science, history, facts, logic, reason, Bible.” (i.e. what I’ve personally, religiously, experienced outweighs reality/truth). 

And so, when we experience gruesome, barbaric, and most depraved violence. Our knee jerk reaction is to allocate supernatural activity to the event at hand. Because we’ve been birth into this disposition. It is what makes the most sense to us at this misguided moment in our lives. 

For example, one who is intoxicated with excessive amounts of alcohol and drugs. At times will act out in public with a force that can only be subdued with numerous police officers. Was this a supernatural moment? Was this man possessed by a demon? Or can it be scientifically explained through the natural process? I respectfully petition your mind toward the latter of the two.

And as we make progress into this study we shall realize that such cases do not stand in fellowship with the recorded accounts found in the New Testament Bible. And along those lines, we ask ourselves… 

WHAT DOES THE BIBLE TEACH ABOUT DEMONS?

Absolutely nothing, if you refuse to foremost respect the fact that the Bible is the sole source of inspired information we have from God this day. Without respecting the authority of the Bible you’ll keep coordinating sensationalism with the 3’ “isms,” instead of God. But for this purpose and study, we shall assume that the audience, respects the authority of the Holy Writ.

We must lay down a foundation. When Christ came to earth some 2000 years ago. It was not out of sheer happenstance (coincidence) - Gal. 4:4-7. It was well crafted by the providence of God in order to introduce His power over evil, to save mankind from their sins (Mt. 1:21).

This He did in order to point people to the teachings of the New Covenant which were prophesied by the prophets of the Old Testament. And so God allowed the spiritual realm (demons in this context) to enter into physical reality in order to fulfill His gospel plan. Spoken of elaborately by Zechariah 13. 

People needed to see the power of Jesus in order to be drawn to His teachings. So as to confirm that He and His apostles were from God, and not man. This section of history, where God once again intervened with mankind for the last time on earth, was for a specific people living in a specific time. And this fulfilled purpose is now available to us in witness form, the perfect word of God, the completed Book/Bible. Providence in motion. 

And so, we move into a section of the inspired text. The demoniac accounts in the Country of the Gadarenes will reveal some answers regarding what the Bible teaches about demons: Matthew 8:28-34; Mark 5:1-13; Luke 8:26-39

For this study we shall read Mark 5:1-13

King James Version (KJV)

5 And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes.

2 And when he (Jesus Christ) was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit,

3a Who had his dwelling among the tombs;

  • Naturally what is unclean would be among the dead, according to Old Covenant (ref. Numbers & Leviticus). In this case, the demoniac is dwelling with darkness, uncleanness, death.

  • b. and no man could bind him, no, not with chains:

4 Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him.

- supernatural indwelling, possession, and force taking place in this account and context. 

5 And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.

6 But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him,

7 And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not.

8 For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit.

9 And he (Jesus) asked him (the demon), What is thy name? And he (demon) answered, saying, My (one entity identification) name is Legion: for we (unclean spirits) are many.

10 And he (a demonic entity) besought him (Jesus Christ) much that he (Christ) would not send them (unclean spirits) away out of the country.

11 Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding (unclean animals).

12 And all the devils (deceivers, unclean spirits) besought him, saying, Send us into the swine (allow us to remain with what is unclean), that we may enter into them (the swine).

13 And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine (unclean animals): and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea. (what is unclean remained uncleaned, sinful, and drowned. It was never born again). 

The world says that demon possession happens behind closed doors in a basement somewhere. It will try to convince us that it takes days, weeks, months, perhaps years to cast out a “demon” by the hand of a priest. 

Yet in this recorded account, we see the opposite. What the Bible reveals as demons and their supernatural possession, is not in fellowship with modern depiction. 

Another important fact is that the so-called demons of the world do not recognize the truth or the source of spiritual authority. This is why modern-day Satanists are spiritual frauds. For one cannot be a true Satanist if he has never known what it is to be a true Christian. Simply meaning, you’ll find stories that alleged demon-possessed vessels feel threatened of denominational figures such as Catholic Priests, Pentecostal charismatics, or certain TV evangelists. Yet how would a demon have fear of what has no spiritual authority? Or for what reason would a demon fear one who is on his side? Jesus knew this fact recorded in Mt. 12. Our sole source of inspired information reveals that even Demons believe (Js. 2:19). They know exactly who the Christ is, and who His followers are. And they can spot a fake (Acts 19:15). And those who had true miraculous gifts were able to discern mental illness from authentic demon possession (Mt. 4:23ff).  

The demons of the Bible were public and defiled. They recognized Jesus as God, having all authority over them. They would remove free-will from vessels they would indwell. They were allowed for a time to wonder the earth and cause problems. And they were well aware that they had chronological stewardship of existence among the physical. 

“Have you come to torment us before the time?” - Mt. 8:29. What time was that? Well, the time in which demons would no longer be allowed to do what they were currently doing. A time when the Word of God would have been perfected, accomplished, completed. A time when the age of miraculous gifts would cease (1 Cor. 13:8). Again, this very accurate truth was prophesied in Zechariah 13. I encourage you to read and study further. 

It is important to note that some who cling to a false agenda, or ignorant teaching, will remove the context from said verses in order to remain under the wing of a dragon (comforted by a lie). They will say that only when Christ returns, miraculous gifts shall cease. But all Scriptures, as a unit of inspired literature, rightly divided, does not lend itself to such a misguided interpretation. 

Please reason with me as we seek further evidence,… 

Mark 16:14-20 

The context. Jesus is speaking directly to His apostles regarding specific people during a specific age. Telling them that gifts of miraculous power would be laid on to believers (i.e. those who have been immersed in water in order to be saved/forgiven of sins by the authority of Jesus Christ, the power of His blood & resurrection - 1Pt. 3:21). And one of the miraculous gifts they would receive would be “cast out demons.”  

READ TEXT

14 Afterward he (the Christ) appeared unto the eleven (the Apostles) as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.

15 And he (the Christ) said unto them (the eleven), Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name (with the authority of Jesus Christ) shall they cast out demons; they shall speak with new tongues;

18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.

20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them (as was promised to them in John 16), and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.

Important note. To cast out a demon, it took supernatural power (i.e. “gifts of the Holy Spirit” - Acts 2, & 10). These gifts could only be passed on by the apostles, and to those, it was passed unto, they, in turn, could not pass to another. Which is why both demon possession, and the gifts to cast them out, extinguished at the end of the 1st century. Once the perfect had been fulfilled, confirmed, completed (the Bible). This is God’s will.

This spiritual fact is simple if we logically reason together. Demon possession was a breach of the natural order, and also of human free-will. It was permitted for a time in order to confirm the Word (in other words, to write the New Testament Bible by the hands of men who were directly inspired by the Holy Spirit). The transitional period, which was temporary until the perfect word of God was complete (Js. 1:25). 
Necessary implications must observe that if any demon possession takes place today (like so many will advocate), supernatural gifts must still remain available (if not? God has set us up to lose the battle, a battle not yet won), and the Bible is not yet been confirmed (i.e. it has not yet been delivered once for all - Jude 3, it is not yet all-sufficient for life and godliness - 2 Pt. 1:3). And that further implies that Peter was mistaken when he said we’ve been “born again through the living and enduring word of God” (1 Pt. 1:23). For how can one be born from something unaccomplished and lacking inspiration and perfection? If we indeed need more confirming of new Revelation? How can we trust our salvation? We can’t. We fall short. We miss the mark. 

With this information now brought to your attention, it is impossible that any other verse/s you might want to go to in order to prove otherwise, be done so without contradiction. For example, once you know repentance is a necessary component unto salvation, no other verse in the Bible should teach against that, right? Same for demons and possession today. So you can know that Ephesians 6:12, and others, are not to be taken out of context in order to sensationally mythify the accuracy of a doctrinal truth. 

Friends, we can’t have it both ways. We cannot believe in physical supernatural demon activity in this current age, and believe the Bible is 100% accurate, perfect, fulfilled, and complete. Either we will endeavor to catch the wind with the world, an impossible task (with all its mysticism and mythicism - 2Tim. 4:4). Or be grounded on the foundation of truth, which is the Bible (i.e. God breath literature - 2 Tim. 3:16-17).  

It is true, that many evil and most wicked things are happening today. Some of the like in which our minds simply can’t fathom. Like the murder of babies. Like sodomy performed on children. And it is also true that the power of suggestion, hypnosis, and the study of personalities can’t lure us into all sorts of false positions. But none of these is a breach of nature, none of these are supernatural demon possessions or activity. They are merely a witness to the amount of depravity humankind can stoop down to, free-will runs amok. 

And so, In one belief, we die eternally and remain vulnerable to the influence of a wicked world. To believe that demons still exist in the natural physical realm, with the power to possess human beings, is to succumb to a deceptive fear which will hinder our salvation.

On the other, we have spiritual security and strength. Reality and truth. We need not fear the supernatural. For it has since ceased. We can trust the complete Holy Spirit-filled word of God, which is alive and changes minds across ages and cultures. We need not anything separate, detached, apart, and severed from the Bible. In this age, God the Father. His Son. The Spirit. All work through the Bible and providence. Nothing is in need of an addition, or subtraction. 

Friends, the supernatural has ceased. Demons exist, no doubt, but they no longer manifest themselves into the physical vessel. 

What remains is love. Love never fails. God is love. And love (agape - sacrificial), mercy, and grace is extended to all who wish protection from sin and its influence. 
Christ said, “whoever believes and is baptized shall be saved.” If you trust in Jesus enough to believe, repent, and be immersed in water with His authority, for the reception of remission? You can be saved, and protected from all evil, within the location of all blessings in Christ. Outside of Christ, sin flourishes and has a hold of you. The influence of the Devil still has power over you. Not so, when in Christ. The location of the saved. The acquired citizenship of His kingdom. 

Step away from the “ism’s” of the world. Let go sensationalism. Deny yourself and pick up the cross daily. Be soberly made well with the power of the gospel. 

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Stephane H. Maillet
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One Husband. Two Wives. One Child.

Gen. 16:1-6

Bad decisions made by Sarai, Hagar, and Abram. Lack of patience and faith takes place. God suffers their polygamy. Sarai did not anticipate Hagar’s equality with Abram. Strife and division have flourished from these events. All because God was not the sole source of inspired authority in which they sought council. And so, trusting in themselves, and not going through the proper channels. Some disorder and bitter feelings had set in. 

And now it’s time for the LORD to intervene once again among mankind, so as to direct their paths towards His preservation, security, and providence. 

Hagar’s Moment

Genesis 16:7-16

Verses

7.

“Angel of the Lord” = Jesus (2nd person of the Godhead)

Hagar is found traveling back to the area in which she was from. Returning “home” if you will (Egypt). She was out of her place (which was now with Abram & Sarai), and out of the way of her duty (submitting to Sarai & being a wife to Abram), and going further astray (separating herself from the designated area of safety and work). 

APPLICATION: 

Do we not have safety and work to do as citizens of the kingdom of GOD? Most certainly! Do we at times go through very difficult moments due to our lack of faith, patience, and poor decisions? Absolutely! We at times choose to follow our own hearts instead of the Bible, and we suffer the consequences of it (i.e. church splits, divorces, unbelieving children, etc). 

8.

Jesus’ asks Hagar two questions. Not because He does not know the answer but rather because He has plans for her, and she needs to learn something.

Where have you come from?” - On the surface the answer is simple and literal, she just recently came from Abram’s camp, fleeing from the presence of Sarai. But the question, when understood from the idea behind the original language, brings much more depth to the context. The LORD is trying to bring to her attention, a remembrance, the journey she’s been on in her life thus far. She used to be in the hands of the Egyptians, and now she’s in the hands of the blessed (Abram). She was outside the church and needed to go back. The lineage of God’s people. There’s a difference, and so the LORD further asks… 

Where are you going?” - Are you going back to the Egyptians? Hagar needed to think deeply about the ramifications of her current direction in life, away from her designated area of safety, duty, and blessing. She needed to look at the future, both if she decides to return to Egypt (which would be death), or return to Abram’s camp (“church”) to partake in work and blessing. 

APPLICATION:

When we deal with difficult moments in our lives, we must remember from where we come from, and where we are going. This will sober us up, away from our misguided emotions and back into the direction of our LORD. Acting without God’s authority will divide us as the church. Remembering these questions will keep us united and working together (i.e. evangelizing, being benevolent, not forsaking the assembly, giving right and living right). 

9. 

The LORD commands her to go back, and not only go back but submit to Sarai’s authority. The very person she’s currently having a “beef” with.

APPLICATION:

We must repent when we find ourselves straying from the source of discouragement which at times takes place within the church. We must remember that we were much worst off before Christ and that in Him we have blessings and work to do. 

ILLUSTRATION:

Two Christians in the church get into a fight (could be a married couple, family), one decides to leave the church and go back to the world (“Egypt”) because he can’t stand seeing the other. They should remember our LORD’s questions, should they not? Of course! Remembering such will cause repentance to take place, and unity once again.

*Our kids get into a fight, do we adults in reaction start fighting among ourselves, resulting in some falling from grace? Again, let’s remember our LORD’s questions.

10, 11, 12.

And so, on top of verse 9, as a continued consequence to the polygamist context they put themselves in, Hagar’s lineage will be numerous. And though that might be a blessing in one sense, in this case, it will be a curse also. 

The LORD has “given heed” to her affliction. Meaning He took special attention, He took notice of her current situation and used it for His providence. 

The LORD mentions how this child will be a son named Ishmael (name meaning: “God hears” in relation to Hagar’s pain and suffering). 

The LORD further describes the behavior of this child in that he will be untamable, wild, and dangerous. He’ll be fighting against everyone and everyone will be fighting against him. 

13. 

After this declaration, to Hagar. She addresses her perspective regarding the encounter which took place between her and the LORD. She recognized that the LORD had recognized her. 

The LORD revealed Himself to her and instructed her into repentance, “return back to your duty (“church”), under the leadership of Sarai (“Christ”). 

Hagar was amazed that she was able to have direct interaction with the LORD and survive it. She was humbled to have had the LORD’s presence with her. 

14, 15, 16. 

Hagar obeys the LORD, and so the LORD’s will remains on course and Hagar receives blessings. 

And so the LORD intervenes with mankind. He begins by declaring His ability to recognize exactly who Hagar was. Once His presence established, He preaches a sermon. One which utilizes two questions in its fullest capacity, designed to bring forth repentance (“return”). He concludes with the cure to Hagar’s troubles, her submission. And as a result of a perfectly crafted sermon, the desired goal is achieved. Hagar returns to the camp.

With this principle, we can apply the same pattern of inspired instruction to our lives. Have you separated yourself from the church? Think about where you’ve been, and where you’re going. Repent and return. Submit to the authority of Christ and His elders. 

SM

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