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Discussion Forum : General Topics : Days ARE Evil

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rookie
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Joined: 2003/6/3
Posts: 4792


 Days ARE Evil

"See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil." Eph 5:16-17

Last week I was teaching in the last part of Genesis 17. A question came up about the 12 princes of Ishmael. I had not prepared for this topic, for I was focused on God's promise. What I learned was this. The Scriptures teach about God and His righteousness. The Scriptures also teach about the wickedness of this world. I was guilty of only teaching half the Scriptures last week.

I believe we Christians pass over much of the Bible which speaks of the different ways men are wicked. We preach the Cross, but yet we don't want to identify what needs to go on the Cross. I believe there is much to learn about how Satan holds sway over this world. Our lives are filled with the philosophies and hopes of this world. And unless we are like the mighty men of David who knew that their times were wicked how can we battle against the ruler of this world.

In Christ
Jeff


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Jeff Marshalek

 2004/5/19 12:39Profile
riki
Member



Joined: 2003/11/30
Posts: 78
Sweden

 Re: Days ARE Evil

Jeff, I think you are so right about this. We need to see ourselves as we in fact are and come to understand what the world and the devil are really about. Even more so, as the days are getting more and more evil.

I think that if we knew God the way He wants us to know Him, we would not only love Him so very much more, but we would hate sin so much more than we do. The fact that we show such tolerance for sin, world and flesh - doesn't that say a great deal about how little we really know Him?

Do we not far too often shut our eyes and try to convince ourselves that all is well, or at least OK, even though it is not? When are we going to stop pretending? People, how honest are we? With ourselves? With God?

God, open our eyes to see! Reveal to us the truth about our condition so that we do not only know but KNOW how lost we are without you! Amen.


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Rikard Eriksson

 2004/5/19 14:18Profile
rookie
Member



Joined: 2003/6/3
Posts: 4792


 Re:

"The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because [b]they did not receive the love of the truth[/b], that they might be saved." 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10

The love of the truth is the only protection that one has to see through the unrighteous deception of Satan. Is there anyone who can testify to this subject?

As brothers and sisters in Christ, we should be able to testify and warn one another as to how the ways of the world darken our understanding. What is Jesus showing you about the world? How is Satan deceiving many?

In Christ
Jeff


_________________
Jeff Marshalek

 2004/5/20 12:17Profile
riki
Member



Joined: 2003/11/30
Posts: 78
Sweden

 Re:

Quote:
"The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved." 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10



Did you perhaps watch the video with Art Katz (The Love of the Truth)? This passage fits in so well with what he says! That sure is a powerful and serious message that many need to hear. Without a real LOVE for the truth, how will we be able to stand in these last days?

My experience is that probably the strongest way in which Satan deceives us is making us believe that things are not as serious, or as bad, as they are. He tells us that loving the world isn't REALLY that bad, that you cannot not REALLY be sure there will be a judgement day, that you cannot REALLY believe everything in the Bible, etc, etc.

Basically, I think Satan does everything he can to prevent us from discovering exactly how opposite the opposites are. We need to know how good God is and how evil the devil is, we need to know how radically different God's ways are from the ways of the world. I my case, I still don't - and it shows! The essence of my life is not, yet, Christ and Christ alone.

If Satan can keep us satisfied with part of the truth (the part that suits us of course), we will never become a threat to him. Only having part of the truth while believing we have it all is nothing but devestating. Isn't that what deception is all about??

God have mercy and give us a love for the truth - HE is the truth.


_________________
Rikard Eriksson

 2004/5/20 14:27Profile
Yodi
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Joined: 2004/4/23
Posts: 663
Escondido, California

 Re: Beneath the Surface

Quote:
What is Jesus showing you about the world? How is Satan deceiving many?



I would have to agree with riki, "... the strongest way in which Satan deceives us is making us believe that things are not as serious, or as bad, as they are."

I would say that most of the time, when I look around at people, I have the [i]What a Wonderful World[/i] mentality, you know, from Louis Armstrong? "The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky, are also on the faces of people going by. I see friends shaking hands saying how do you do. They're really saying I love you..." But if I look long enough, I think maybe the Spirit stirs in me to see what's beneath the surface.

Things may look fine and civilized on the outside, but what's going on inside with each person's soul and spirit? Maybe I started thinking about this more when I heard a part of the "Ten Shekels and a Shirt" teaching. What was it, the whole idea behind humanism? You live in this life pretty much to be as happy as you can be? I think that's what it was. Well, that's what I see. People may be laughing and smiling, but after they die, is this the only place they're going to be able to laugh and smile at?

I heard it taught before, for the non-Christian, this life is as good as it's going to get. For the Christian, this life is the worst as it's going to get.

So... whenever I get the chance to be out in society, which is very little considering that I work in a church, I hope and pray for opportunities to get to talk to people and dig a little beneath the surface of it all. It's crazy to me how something as simple as morals can be so different between Christians and the rest. Stuff that makes sense to me, doesn't necessarily make sense to others, and vice versa.

Well, I could go on and on and I don't know that I was really making a point. But those are my thoughts for now.


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Yolanda Fields

 2004/5/20 17:50Profile
rookie
Member



Joined: 2003/6/3
Posts: 4792


 Re:

About 3 years into my walk as a believer, I was struggling with the notion of man's total depravity. One day as I have described in other posts, I was convicted by these words from my pastor, "If it is in the Bible I believe it." That day marked a milestone in my walk. The Holy Scriptures began to open up to me in a way that had not been clear before.

Now I must step back in time 20 years or so. When I was 17, my family began to experience financial difficulty. I saw the hopes of my father shattered when the steel mill shutdown in 1974. He had believed in the American dream. He was raised a coal miner. He enlisted into the Army at the age of 16. He fought in the Pacific near the end of WW2. Then my father was captured in the Korean Conflict. After the Korean conflict, he came back to begin working for Bethlehem Steel. He worked hard for 22 years. Then the end of his hope came. This time produced in me a bitterness, even at the age of 17 to 18 years old.

For the next 25 years I held that bitterness. At about the time I looked to Jesus to be my Lord and Savior, I began to study political economics. It was not something any of my friends had a desire to discuss. Yet I had a passion for the subject. I was searching for the answers for why the American dream for many people was disappearing. I was studying the subject of the Cold War and the policies that were formulated by the NSA and CIA. Certain policy was put into place to combat the spread of Communism during the earlies 1950's. This could be a long post if I were to go into detail. So I will now go forward to the 1980's.

During the 1980's President Regan ramped up the war against Communism. The government took on huge debt to finance a military build up. Programs like Star Wars were initiated. When asked who was responsible for the idea of Star Wars, the public was told that President Regan came up with the idea.

In conjuction with this build up also came a wave of laws that were passed to protect American industry from foreign competition. President Regan signed more bills during his time than all the presidents that preceded him from the time of Eisinhower to Carter combined. American industry was suffering mightily during the 80's. The the Regan adminstration sought to protect them from the competition from abroad.

Please have patience. The Cold War strategy that was instituted in the 1950's was having a negative impact on American industry by the 1970's. The Regan administration had to finish the Communist threat. As we all know they were successful.

One day as I was studing these two policies of the Regan administration, it seemed to me as a hopeless pursuit. God at that time had given me a passion for His word. And yet I was spending alot of time reading about the world. That day I prayed to God to give me an answer, in regards to, should I continue reading political economics. Was I waisting my time? A few moments later the word "linked" filled my mind. All of a sudden I understood that the military buildup and the trade protection policies were part of the same strategy to undermine communism. It was of extreme importance that Communism be destroyed.

The voice I heard that day brought understanding and peace to me. All at once I understood that man in his total depravity, brings suffering into the world. I had struggled for years to find the justice that was owed my family because the American dream had been lost. Now the idea of man's depravity gave me peace. All at once I understood there is no hope for the world and it's values. There is no hope in the rule of men. God gave me peace by showing me where men eroneously place their hope in. Once this understanding came to me, the bitterness of 25 years disappeared. Now I understood that it is a futile thing to put your hope in man.

As a side note, in December of 1989, three Communist countries declared that they would hold democratic elections. That same month the Japanese stock market peaked about 36000. Now 15 years later, it is a third of that former value. The day the world saw the end of Communism near, it no longer had to support the Cold war strategies that artificially supported the economic system of Japan. That next year, Star Wars and all the military spending dried up.

In Christ
Jeff


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Jeff Marshalek

 2004/5/24 12:00Profile
crsschk
Member



Joined: 2003/6/11
Posts: 9192
Santa Clara, CA

 Re:

Brother Jeff,

Great post.
After the first one I instantly thought of this regarding our Lord:

[i]Heb 1:9 "You have loved righteousness and [b]hated wickedness[/b]. That is why God, your God, anointed you rather than your companions with the oil of gladness."[/i]

I believe it was Yodi who said:

Quote:
I have the What a Wonderful World mentality, you know, from Louis Armstrong?


Interesting, even prior to being brought from the darkness into The Light, that song had always sat strangely within me, every time I hear it, it makes me sad. It is not a wonderful world, it's a wonderful creation, but the depravity of man has spoiled it all. Fortunately that is not the end of the story though, both we and the creation itself "groan" (Romans 8:18 and following)

Jeff said:
Quote:
The love of the truth is the only protection that one has to see through the unrighteous deception of Satan. Is there anyone who can testify to this subject?



Yes. I can definetly. I would liken it to a slow erosion. Was just musing on this again this morning. Satan has a lot of patience in a way. It's interesting that he is characterised as a snake, slick, hidden, going about almost undetected. Look how the envelope is slowly being pushed out, how things become more 'acceptable', all the 'major' sins if I may use the term loosely. Gluttony, homosexualality, drug use/drunkeness, materialism, adultery,...

It's like there is a 'gloss' over everything, so it doesn't 'look' so bad. It's like being lulled to sleep, hypnotized practically. I am constantly amazed that people can't see the futility of spending their entire lives chasing after the wind, after who knows what and not coming to the realization that they are going to DIE. What's the point? Even if they have this wrong but vauge idea that their 'good deeds' are going to somehow merit them heaven, wouldn't you think that it would cause some kind of investigation, wouldn't you want to be SURE? I know, I am well aware of the humanism aspect here, but just trying to put myself back into that frame of mind...

There is not a day that goes by that I don't look out at all the traffic, at all the people running to and fro, mostly frantically and wonder, "does anybody ever stop to think, what's the point?"
Isn't it obvious that this is a temporal exsistance? Forget about a purpose driven life, how about about a purpose driven death?

Yes, the love of THE truth. What else is there?
Quote:
Now I understood that it is a futile thing to put your hope in man.



No doubt.

[i]2Co 4:4 "In their case, the god of this world has blinded the minds of those who do not believe to keep them from seeing the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God."[/i]


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Mike Balog

 2004/5/24 12:56Profile
rookie
Member



Joined: 2003/6/3
Posts: 4792


 Re:

I would like to quote from an article in the Bakersfield Californian, May 14, 2004.

Title: United States had strong postwar ties with Nazis, released documents show.

The American government worked closely with Nazi war criminals and collaborators, allowing many to live in the United States after WW2, and paying others who worked for West Germany's secret service, according to declassified documents from the FBI, CIA and other intelligence agencies released Thursday.

The disclosures came as part of a project to place more than 8 million goverment documents in the public domain, under legislation passed by Congress in 1998 to create the Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial government Records Interagency Working Group.

The article continues:

Goda and other historians who studied the documents said that at least 5 associates of the Nazi leader Adolf Eichmann, each of whom had significant role in Hitler's effort to exterminate Jews, had worked for the CIA. The records also indicate that the CIA tried to recruit another two dozen war criminals or Nazi collaborators. Some of them received employment and in two cases, US citizenship, according to documents. The documents did not deal with those who concealed their Nazis pasts in order to gain entry to the United States.

The article continues, Timothy J. Naftali, an intelligence historian at the University of Virginia who examined the documents and who also wrote chapters in the book on intelligence and Nazis, said, "We had no policies for helping Gestapo members, no disqualifiers unless the public knew about the crimes. It was kind of a "Don't ask, don't tell culture."

In future posts I hope to shed some additional light on the relationships between this time in history and the fruit of what we see happening today.

The days are evil

In Christ
Jeff


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Jeff Marshalek

 2004/5/26 16:01Profile
rookie
Member



Joined: 2003/6/3
Posts: 4792


 Re:

I would like to quote Mark Phillips a former CIA Operative:

Quote:
Well what the United States was concerned with was that these Nazis, these scientists that had all this information and data we couldn’t seem to prosecute them. We couldn’t even find them. Because they had already, a lot of them, scattered out to various countries like Russia, Italy and South America. So what the CIA convinced Congress to do to pass this Project Paperclip, as a legal means of importing these people into the United States and introducing them into our military industrial complex, including our colleges and universities. Their statement was simply this: If we don’t bring these people into our country and contain them, then our enemies, the Soviet Union, will get them. So it was the same old bugaboo game when, in fact, I’ve often made the statement and I still make it flippantly: The Nazis didn’t lose the war, they just had to move.    



At the end of WW2 the United States imported over 700 german jet propulsion scientist and put them to work designing a new generation of flight machines. In addition to these 700, over 600 Mind scientists were also imported. One of the main weapons in Hitler's Nazi organization was the use of manipulating the perceptions of the population. This was the first large scale use of propaganda. The Nazi called it; Weltanshauungkrieg. This word can be translated; world view warefare.

The Americans in the early 50's began to call this activity; Psychological warfare. This activity might be defined as; "the use of propaganda or other psychological means to [b]influence[/b] or [b]confuse[/b] the thinking, undermine the moral, of an enemy or [b]opponent.[/b]

During the times of war, America always looked to the banking and industrial leaders as men who would step up and serve their country in times of crisis. After the war, these same men would leave office and return to their civilian roles. However, at the end of WW2 this did not occur. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, in a famous farewell speach, warned the American people, "Beware of the military-industrial complex." This warning has proved to be true.

This stuff I am writing is coming from a memory that fades like the grass when the sun burn down on it. Forgive me for lack of detail and time to research it again.

Out of time,
In Christ
Jeff


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Jeff Marshalek

 2004/5/27 12:42Profile
rooster
Member



Joined: 2003/6/14
Posts: 50


 Re: Days ARE Evil

In this day and age, a reading/re-reading of: "The Screwtape Letters" by C.S. Lewis, would be worthwhile. Remember Brothers & Sisters, we live in "Enemy Occupied Territory"; Ezekiel states: "Make a chain, the land is full of bloody crime!"

 2004/5/28 7:45Profile





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