Monday, April 30, 2007

Compassion

Now Jesus called His disciples to Himself and said, "I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat. And I do not want to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way."

Then His disciples said to Him, "Where could we get enough bread in the wilderness to fill such a great multitude?"

Jesus said to them, "How many loaves do you have?"

And they said, "Seven, and a few little fish."

So He commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground. And He took the seven loaves and the fish and gave thanks, broke them and gave them to His disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitude. So they all ate and were filled, and they took up seven large baskets full of the fragments that were left. Now those who ate were four thousand men, besides women and children.

Matthew 15:32-38



Jesus was often moved with compassion. Even when His own needs were waiting to be met, His compassion caused Him to first minister to others.

May we have His compassion active in our lives as we practice the love walk. May we look for opportunities to bless others and not to look to have our own needs met.

When we do this, seeking first His kingdom and righteousness... then all other things will be freely added to us.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Crucified With Christ

Quite a number of years ago while reading in the book of Ephesians I came to chapter five and verse twenty-two caught my eye.

“Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord (NASU).
Now the thought occurred to me; now that would be great if my wife would just read this and follow its command. Then I continued to read.

23 “For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. 24 But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything (NASU).”
Then I thought; I wonder if she has ever read this. Then I said, oh well, and continued to read.

25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, (NASU).
Now we are getting to my part. Hmmmm, I said, if I was that kind of a husband my wife would probably be more than happy to subject herself to me and honor me as the head of the household. You can tell thus far I was really doing some serious thinking. I begin to read further.

26 “so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless. 28 So husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, 30 because we are members of His body (NASU).”
By the time I had read these verses my thoughts were turning more to the relationship of Christ and His church. Then I read the next verse.

31 “FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND SHALL BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH (NASU).”
After reading verse thirty one I looked back at verse thirty---“because we are members of His body.” And again I looked at verse thirty one---“and the two shall become one FLESH.” And then I continued to the next verse.

32 “This mystery is great; but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church (NASU).”
Ok, if the Apostle is speaking of Christ and the church, the mystery must be that when one first believes he becomes one in the flesh with Christ. Then the Holy Spirit began to flood my mind with other scripture.

5 “For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection, 6 knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; (Rom. 6:5-6 NASU).”
Yes, it is a true revelation!!! We do, by faith become one in the flesh with our Lord! Our Lord’s crucifixion becomes our crucifixion. The old sin nature is put to death and we are freed from sin. But also His resurrection becomes our resurrection---we are raised up a sinless new creature.

7 for he who has died is freed from sin (Rom. 6:7 NASU).”

20 “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me (Gal. 2:20 NASU).”

24 “Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit (Gal. 5:24-25 NASU).”
Now years has passed since I received this revelation and my wife is a very precious help meet and my Lord is still working on me to be that husband she deserves.

33 “Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband (Eph. 5:33 NAS).”


James C Sanford

Do We Really Believe We Are Forgiven?

Grace. What does it mean for you? Does it mean that you can walk on a thin tightrope, above a deep canyon and not fall? Does it mean that you need to learn to balance books on your head as you walk across a school classroom? Or does it mean that you are one heck of a dancer, and you can sashay yourself professionally across the floor, for everyone’s eyes to see? Do you also picture in your mind a swan peacefully swimming across a calm lake in the most serene setting? Well, this is what I thought “grace” meant.

So when I first became a devoted Christian, I kept reading in the bible about grace. I had no real clue what it actually meant to be honest with you! I could not understand why God would be “graceful” to me… I mean come on, was he going to make it so I physically “carried” myself well? Like a ballerina??? LOL J

Honestly, as a brand new Christian, did you? Does anyone outside of “church” REALLY know what this means? You have to remember that the only church I experienced was Sunday school from a denomination that didn't exactly explain the gospel to it’s full extent… I was told that if I was good, and I didn't break any of the rules, that God would be good to me, and that if I was bad, God would be mad and punish me.

I asked other Christians questions about the word “grace.” In so many words, they told me it was unmerited favor. Well, what is that suppose to mean, really? They all tried to explain it to me as best as they could. But guess what—a lot of them could not put it into words of what it actually meant to them. You want to know why? Because I believe that they themselves had no idea of what real grace looked like in their own lives.

Well, me being the investigative reporter that I am, I just felt so compelled to look it up!

Check out Webster’s meaning on grace, and I will note that it is the FIRST meaning of grace:

GRACE:

a: unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification b : a virtue coming from God c : a state of sanctification enjoyed through divine grace

Then check out the THIRD meaning of grace (does third listing of what it means make it not as important? )Note that the letter “c” is what we are taught in secular schooling:

GRACE:

a : a charming or attractive trait or characteristic b : a pleasing appearance or effect : CHARM all the grace of youth -- John Buchan> c : ease and suppleness of movement or bearing

No wonder why I was confused! Here I was taught that you are “graceful” by having good looks while you carry yourself well, I wanted to KNOW the true meaning… so I searched, I studied the scriptures, I read commentaries, and I dug in to find the truth. If the first listed meaning of ”grace” in Webster’s Dictionary was true, I WANTED IT!!!

I wanted it so bad I prayed for it, I asked God to show me His grace, I wanted it manifested in my life so I could partake in what was promised to me from the very beginning of my birth… the very kingdom of God. Then God showed me something that literally blew my mind.

Mary Magdalene was forgiven, and immediately she became a follower of Christ. And not just the ordinary type… she became SOLD OUT. She went EVERYWHERE Jesus went. When others left. . . she chose to stay.

You want to know why? ? ? I believe she did this because she understood God’s GRACE from being pardoned from SO much!Here she is, facing judgment with stones, about to die for adultery and BAM! Radical Jesus comes along and sets her free EVEN THOUGH SHE WAS A PUBLIC NOTORIOUS SINNER!

She knew she had been forgiven much… and she was so very thankful for it! She was there to anoint Jesus with oil,she stood by him at the crucifixion, (despite the other diciples vamping the scene) she was at the burial. . . and because of her sincere dedication and LOVE for what Jesus had done for her… I believe Jesus chose to appear to her first when He was resurrected. Jesus told her to “go and tell” that He was alive! Mary became the first missionary to tell of the resurrection! How cool is that?

HOW much more would Jesus appear to you if you really understood His awesome grace? ? ?

Then you have the story of the prodigal son that Jesus told. . .

Tell me something, when the prodigal son came home, did the father throw the book of the law at his head and punish him? Did He tell him that he couldn't come on his property until he straightened up his act? NO! HE RAN TOWARDS HIM FROM AFAR OFF TO EMBRACE HIM!!! He gave him a robe, shoes, and the family ring. Then the father was so overjoyed that HE THREW HIM A PARTY!!! What incredible grace was given to this man!!! It made me think of myself and how God ran to me in my need. God didn't question where I was, or what I had been doing, He was so happy that I finally called His name and came home!I didn't have to take a sponge bath or a shower; he embraced me right where I was EVEN in my dirtiest state!!!

”The grace of God appeared for the salvation of ALL. ” Titus 2:11

I didn't know this when I first became a Christian… so I let other people tell me what grace was. This had me living in defeat. Oh, how I wanted to know that grace! We all have our own personal experiences when we first get saved… and unfortunately some of us never grow out of a certain “baby” stage. In this “baby Christian” stage, we tend to think that we all have to be perfect ALL of the time, and because of that we worry that we are not “good enough” or that we might not “measure up” to some extreme standard that a church or organization has set. This is dangerous… because we will then unknowingly start to impose our beliefs on others that now THEY have to be perfect like us, or do ministry a certain way like we do. What kind of love and grace is that? This causes hurt feelings, mistrust, judgment, which leads to offense! THIS IS A TRAP from the devil!!! It puts you into a type of “spiritual bondage” having to always worry what people think, and you start to be afraid to really be yourself! Is that freedom? ? ?

For out of His fullness (abundance) we have all received [all had a share and we were all supplied with] one grace after another and spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing and even favor upon favor and gift [heaped] upon gift.

For while the Law was given through Moses, grace (unearned, undeserved favor and spiritual blessing) and truth came through Jesus Christ.

John 1 16-17 (amplified version)

People, that is NOT grace, it’s called LEGALISM… and God is not pleased with this!!! Jesus didn't die for us to be under the law—He died for us to be free of the death that the law brings so we would become alive in Him and accept the grace that He has given us! It is free, underserved favor!!! It also says in the quoted meaning of Webster’s that its “unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification” What does “regeneration” mean? It means spiritual renewal or revival!!! What does that mean to us? That we can receive GRACE daily for the renewing of our minds… NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES WE MESS UP!!!

I did not have this knowledge in the beginning of my Christian life,so many days I felt condemned, and I walked around continually in fear of making mistakes. It was messing with my peace, my study time, the way that I treated people. Well, I had had enough so I did it… . I chose to actually believe what was written about grace in the bible!!! That’s right, I believed in the God’s grace despite the fact I knew that would make a mistake sometimes. I believed I would be forgiven even if I didn't always make the right choices. But the most important part was when I chose to believe I was forgiven and granted grace, even when I didn't feel like it inside!!!

When I stepped out in faith and CHOSE to do it, It transformed my walk with God and my ministry… literally. I could love and accept myself, and because of that, I could truly love others without judging them!

So you want to know how to break free of the bondage? Believe in what Jesus taught! Remember the story of the prodigal son! Don’t forget Mary Magdalene, (a prostitute, caught in adultery) Peter, ( a liar, denied Jesus) Paul (a murderer, killed Christians for a living) and their stories. What were the most significant parts of their lives that that stood out ? They ALL knew that they were sinners and needed God’s grace to get them through everyday! They were not perfect, yet God still chose to use them, in fact so much they shape a huge part of the New Testament!

Face it, we are NOT perfect and ALL of us are works in progress. So if you are living in defeat from perfectionism, legalism, condemnation, judgment of yourself OR others, remember that God forgives you, and as long as you are submitted to Him, trust that God is giving you the grace to walk in freedom! EVERY single day that you are alive! I Don’t know what I would do without Jesus' continued GRACE in my life, because the peace and liberation that I feel now I cannot even put a price on it! I love Jesus so much for that!!!

He knows every stupid thing you are going to do, BUT also every great thing you are destined to accomplish for Him!

I challenge you to look at your life and ask yourself “Am I truly walking in freedom and victory everyday? ” If you're not, chances are you Don’t know how to receive Jesus’ free gift of grace! Do God and yourself a favor… make a change and accept this free gift DAILY. Then watch how Jesus will radically change your life and take you to a whole new level of revelation and power in Him!

”My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. ”

Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 2nd Corinthians 12:9

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace . Acts 20:24

Now that’s what I’m talking about. . . the gospel of grace!!! AMEN!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

François Fénelon on Prayer

Commemoration of Peter Chanel, Religious, Missionary in the South Pacific, Martyr, 1841

Tell God all that is in your heart, as one unloads one's heart, its pleasures and its pains, to a dear friend. Tell Him your troubles, that He may comfort you; tell Him your joys, that He may sober them; tell Him your longings, that He may purify them; tell Him your dislikes, that He may help you conquer them; talk to Him of your temptations, that He may shield you from them: show Him the wounds of your heart, that He may heal them; lay bare your indifference to good, your depraved tastes for evil, your instability. Tell Him how self-love makes you unjust to others, how vanity tempts you to be insincere, how pride disguises you to yourself and others. If you thus pour out all your weaknesses, needs, troubles, there will be no lack of what to say. You will never exhaust the subject. It is continually being renewed. People who have no secrets from each other never want for subjects of conversation. They do not weigh their words, for there is nothing to be held back; neither do they seek for something to say. They talk out of the abundance of the heart, without consideration they say just what they think. Blessed are they who attain to such familiar, unreserved intercourse with God.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Junior Jihadist

Does anyone still doubt that satan is out to destroy the youth of this generation?

We had tragedies like Columbine and more recently, Virginia Tech. Those were just the tip of the iceberg...

Today there was the news report about a pre-teen used as a jihadist to cut the throat and saw off the head of an alleged traitor to the Taliban. This is horrifying and the international reaction to this travesty has been loud and clear.

But this is not without precedent. For years, we have violent street gangs in the USA that teach pre-teens to commit a “187” in order to join the gang. So this is not anything new... but perhaps it will finally get people to wake up and realize that we need to pray!


2nd Chronicles 7:14-15
14If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves, pray, seek, crave, and require of necessity My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.
15Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer offered in this place.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Five Minutes of Wisdom

Our latest podcast from The Powerhouse Ministry is embedded below for your listening pleasure:



You can hear more free audio... and get our teaching on CD, at The Powerhouse Ministry Web Site.

Consider This

Consider Adam, the first born of all mankind and the heir of God's kingdom on earth. Through disobedience he forfeited his son ship, lost his dominion and became sin in the flesh. Thus all born of Adam are heirs of sin in the flesh and death.

Cain was the first born son of Adam; Able was the second. It was Able, the second born, who by grace through faith became the heir of righteousness.

And then there was Ishmael, the first born son of Abraham; born of the works of the flesh. But it was Isaac, the second born son of Abraham, born according to the word of God who became the heir of the promises of God.

Consider also Esau, the first born of Isaac who God hated while yet in his mother's womb. It was Jacob, the second born son of Isaac who was chosen of God to become the heir of the promises.

Consider also the sons of Jacob's son Judah, Perez and Zerah born of their mother Tamar; although Zerah who was the first born, it was Perez who became the heir.

And then there is Jesus, the second Adam born of God, who by grace through faith became the heir of God's kingdom.

What is our Creator trying to tell us in these things?

Consider this; it is not the first born, the sons of Adam, who become heirs of God's kingdom, but the second born, he that is by grace chosen of God and through faith born of Jesus, the Living Word, and the Spirit of God; these are His sons and are joint heirs with Jesus their Lord.

Flesh and blood does not inherit the kingdom of God, his inheritance is death; it is the child of the spirit that is the son of God, his inheritance is eternal life.

James C Sanford


Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Annie Lobert: Hooker for Jesus

WARNING DISCLOSURE: If you are under 18, please ask permission from your parents to read this story.

What??? Did I read that right? What is a “Hooker for Jesus?” I am going to be real honest and candid on this site, so if you are tired of lies and want the truth, BUCKLE your seatbelts and hang on! I believe in being REAL. Please read this story, and I will explain everything to you... because...


EVERYTHING THAT WE KEEP HIDDEN HAS POWER OVER US!!!


I was a prostitute in the escort services in LAS VEGAS, (the public calls it “HIGH CLASS CALL GIRL”) in the casinos, on the street, and I was an exotic dancer in the clubs. I did everything that you can imagine, saw and met people that I would never have thought would have even “ordered” a girl. MANY of them were very famous stars and influential people in society... I lived this lifestyle for over 11 years... and it just didn’t happen overnight.


It all started when I was a little girl. I never felt really loved; there was abuse in my family that lowered my self-esteem to the degree that I became desperate for love. I tell you, I felt very rejected and broken-hearted all the time. When you are told a certain thing you are as a child, you tend to believe it. Point blank, I couldn’t love my self, or anyone else for that matter--I didn’t feel that I deserved it.


My first sexual experience happened with a close friend of mine when I was eight years old. I didn’t know this was abuse at the time, but the truth of the matter is that I was violated. As a “family duty” I went to church every week, but because of the hypocrisy in the church and in my home, I couldn’t really believe God was real, so I hid my secret and feelings inside me. I could not trust anyone.



Relationships? Huh!!! Couldn’t manage to keep ANY because I was so messed up on the inside. As I grew up, I went to seven different schools because our family moved around so much. It was very difficult, and coming to each school as the “new” girl wearing garage sale clothing...well let’s just say that kids back then could be very cruel if you were not rich, popular, and “perfect.” When you are brokenhearted, what is your definition of love? My self-worth was defined by looking for love in all the WRONG places, in WRONG people. You get the picture--nightclubs, drinking/drug parties, hanging out in bad parts of town--listening to wrong (sexually perverted) types of music and TV, reading “fashion” magazines. Believe it or not, this had such a HUGE influence on me!


In high school it was considered “cool” to have sex. Even though this seemed true I still was a virgin at 18. It did not last long, for my boyfriend at that time convinced me that if we had sex we would become so much closer and he would “love” me more. I was 18 years old and knew NOTHING about the consequences of sex before marriage! I only slept with him because I didn’t want to lose him! I loved this man and wanted to get married...but unfortunately he had an appetite for other woman and we broke up. Why did he lie to me??? I didn’t get it! I was DEVESTATED!!! I remember coming home after the break up, crying uncontrolably to my mother, and she said to me, “Annie, you where your heart on your sleeve.” I wanted to kick him to the curb because...MY HEART WAS BROKEN! It was at that moment I decided to REBEL!


I was the “party girl”! This is when the first of many rapes happened... In the process I became even more hurt, bitter, angry, rejected, LONELY, but most of all, more desperate to find the TRUTH.


I was always chasing just to belong, hungry for acceptance, just to be loved. If you told me I was beautiful, I wouldn’t believe you. I didn’t see that when I looked in the mirror. I had to wear a mask continually... pretending everything was “okay.” My belief was that if I just put on a pretty smile, everything would be alright. But it wasn’t. I kept burying my pain deep inside me. I just kept searching and experimenting, no matter WHAT the cost.


I might not look like it, but I did it ALL, I tell you the truth! Prostitution,(street & high class call girl) exotic strip dancing, nude modeling, drugs of every kind, sex addiction, cutting, abortions--yes and miscarriages, masturbation addiction, pornography, dominance mistressing addiction, bisexuality, men addiction, gambling, binge drinking, smoking, bulimia, and JAIL TIME... just to name a few...


I first got “turned out” in Hawaii, then went back to work in Minnesota as an escort, then an exotic dancer, and eventually that led me to Las Vegas, where the temptation of even BIGGER money tugged at my desires. I thought I could go to Vegas and get in and out quick... leave with my fortune so I could finally go to music college (never could afford it). Little did I know what would REALLY happen with the choice that I had just made. I was in for the most dangerous ride of my ENTIRE life. What was intended to be six months turned into a NIGHTMARE lifestyle of over 11 long years...


You have to remember that ANYTHING out of balance will destroy you...and this was a life that I had PERSONALLY chosen (sex, drugs, and rock n roll) because I wanted to fill that “emptiness” inside of me. No one “twisted” my arm! My intense hunger and need for love would eventually consume me like a fire...


The allure and the “illusion” of the Las Vegas lifestyle of glamour, money, and sex had pulled me in the first moment I stepped off the plane. The “strip” looked so enticing and exciting... and the way that each casino flashed with sparkling lights on the outside beckoned at me with a voice saying, “Come in, Annie and find what you have been missing!!!” With all the elaborate lighting, gambling, and even the thought of the possibility of meeting a very wealthy client that would “rescue” me... well, I COULDN’T RESIST IT!!! You know, we all want to be “Pretty Woman” like Julia Roberts and have a prince come take us away, right?


Here is the truth: I never started out completely hating this industry... in fact, I actually liked it because it gave me a sense of security--it made me feel glamorous and powerful. There was a certain “honeymoon” phase that I went through as a high-class call girl. The money, presents, parties, traveling, dinners, famous people calling... I really got lost in the “hype” of the moment! After all, everyone wants that “bling bling” lifestyle, right??? But... everything that is superficially attractive has a “hidden” evil.


Here is the OTHER truth people don’t want you to hear... that “glamorous” lifestyle took its toll on me, and that sense of security that I had... it turned out to be FALSE and I started slowly falling apart. Even though I looked like on the outside I had everything I ever wanted... inside of me was dying. I would make money, give it away thinking it would buy me love, and then when that didn’t work I would buy myself material things so I could feel “important” and “loved” on the inside. This went on for many years... and guesses what? If I DID get that happy feeling it was only temporary... and then it started to turn into deep sadness because I knew no matter what I did to make myself “feel” better, it just wasn’t working!


I can’t tell you how many nights I slept “alone” with a man in my bed. No one knew my secrets, my pain, and my inner shame. So in the end I hated being a prostitute and exotic dancer--and no matter what people will tell you about that lifestyle, it really does rip you apart until you have absolutely NOTHING left--and, you will lose your soul in the process!


Without even realizing it, I had become a slave to the sex industry... but no one at the time could point that out to Fallen (me), for she had made the choice to do it on her own.


Nightmare clients??? No, way, that only happens in movies!!! At first I thought I was invincible... that nothing or no one could ever hurt me. After all, I worked for a “high class” escort service, right? Well it wasn’t true and I had to find out the hardest way possible... for my first of many rapes as a call girl was by gunpoint. Many times I was tied up, kept hostage, beat into submission. This should scare a girl, right? Well it did more than you can imagine--I started to feel terrified and paranoid every time I knocked on the door of a new client. I even feared that the next door that would open to my knocking would be my last! I had so much anxiety because of this!!! Sex for money is NOT pleasurable, it is NOT fun, us girls DO NOT enjoy it--in fact there were many times I just wanted to hurt the man that was touching me! This is why it was easy for me to be a dominatrix... I had to be the best actress all of time just to make sure I got paid--men actually thought I enjoyed what I did. How could men think this? It was a flat out LIE! This is SEXUAL ABUSE in its worst form--a jail cell of your mind. When you are with so many men day in and day out... the job of escorting becomes your own “personal” prison.


Many times I just wanted to die when I went to sleep at night after I worked, I felt so dirty, sleazy--I felt had no way out--because...who would actually RESPECT me or let alone LOVE ME if they found out what I did for a living? NO ONE, and I mean NO ONE knew except for my associates that were also “call girls”. So I kept it my secret of being an escort the WHOLE time I was in it. Even the limelight tempted me...but because of the shame associated with sex for money I would not submit to it. Many times during the porn conventions the porn producers would call the escort services and ask me to “make a porno”....but I never did it because my I wanted to keep my “escort lifestyle” VERY hush hush.


As I hid in the “underworld” of Las Vegas, my SELFISH desires to feel better drove me to do things that I would have NEVER done otherwise--had I not been so deeply injured on the inside. I wanted to get back at men somehow...and if I could “use” them like they “used” me, I thought this would make things EVEN for my pain. We sometimes do crazy things just to block what we are feeling... Devastation!! Guilt!! Pain!! But mostly SHAME!!!


I was beaten, raped, kidnapped, strangled, suffocated, guns put in my mouth, hair cut off, tied up, gagged, put in trunks of cars, bones broken, spit on, kicked, pushed, stalked by crazy men, and during that time I WAS PIMPED for five years.


This was done to the extent that I didn’t even know who I was anymore... I literally became the alter ego named “Fallen” because she was strong, she could handle all of it without mental damage, she could get up after being punched and “knocked out” with no problem... right? She HAD to take over... because she was the only one at the time that could keep that little girl Annie alive...


I never knew that I would ever be pimped... in fact I was against it and knew that I never actually wanted one. But I fell in love with mine before I even knew he was a pimp, and because I wanted to prove my love, I decided to try the “game” and give it a chance. I thought, it couldn’t be all that bad, like the TV and media portrayed, could it? Just like before, I had to learn the hard way! It didn’t matter how many times that I was mistreated I NEVER got used to it. But I would not leave because I was so in love. Every time it happened, a piece of me (Annie) died and “Fallen” would get stronger. I wanted him to brag to the other “old school” pimps that I was “the best girl he had ever had!”


The truth is this, I would have DIED for him... and was willing to go where no one would go, just to make him happy so he would love me and KNOW that I was DOWN for him! I never let anyone know that he was my “pimp” but would get dirty looks when I was with him... I experienced prejudice in a real way! This hurt me and it drove me to even stand up for him. I wanted to prove that people’s thoughts were wrong about pimps--and that they didn’t know the REAL story of why they chose this profession.


What I am positive about is that there was NEVER intended harm to me on my pimp’s part... he would continue to apologize to me and I would continue to forgive him. I couldn’t help it! I always wanted to somehow “rescue” him believe it or not! I felt sorry for him because of the sever abuse he experienced when he was a little child. When I say rough, I mean he REALLY had it tough as a boy. He did not have a father growing up either... and I believe because of this he didn’t know any other way...Tell me, what does a boy with no father learn in the streets when “the streets” are his family?


HURT PEOPLE HURT PEOPLE!!!


Do you even KNOW what REAL pimping is like? IT IS NOT THE PERSON DOING IT! IT IS THE SPIRIT OF LUST MONEY AND POWER CONTROLLING THEM!


“THE DEVIL IS A PIMP DON’T BE HIS HO” (quote from Minister RMB of “Don’t Be Pimped”)


Isn’t it a tragedy that everyone uses this “PIMP” term so lightly on our TV, media, and music? Some people think it is okay to “throw” this around in daily conversation. Is the media teaching our young men that it is okay to use and degrade women, that it is cool/profitable to be a pimp?


You want REAL TRUTH??? Women are NOT robots, we do not enjoy the “sex” acts, nor slavery that comes with selling your body...we have feelings and cannot just “shut them down” while we are/were prostitutes. We hurt, we bleed, and we cry...we are sisters, mothers, daughters, friends, cousins, nieces, LITTLE GIRLS.


It seems so easy to get angry at the pimps, doesn’t it? But we have to remember that the only way that we are going to win them and help them out of their lifestyles is to love them. Love ALL of these men without severe judgment and look beyond what they are doing!!! These men need to wake up and see that they are controlled by the DEVIL because HE IS THE REAL PIMP! They are being used and TRICKED just like the girls! I also believe that the call on these men’s lives to be leaders, teachers and preachers has been sidetracked by this “pimping” lie. IT IS A COUNTERFEIT FOR THEIR DESIRE FOR SUCCESS!!! That their REAL destiny is something so powerful--something they couldn’t even imagine, because it would change the very world that we are in. I KNOW this, because I see this possible POSITIVE future in my X-pimp. I can talk this talk, believe me!


I did finally leave my pimp...but I had another tragedy come into my life. I got really sick--I developed Hodgkin’s lymphoma CANCER while I was still working. The doctors say that this type of cancer can be caused by severe emotional trauma and a feeling of low self-worth. I was told that I was in stage two of the cancer... I had lymph nodes in my neck and lungs FULL of tumors... and my chances of beating it were not very good. Did I give it up then??? NO! I was in denial of why it was happening to me. I then had to go through CHEMO and RADIATION for two years!!! I lost ALL my hair--and I would actually go on escort calls wearing wigs! It was awful because I was bald, not to mention VERY sick- but I had to pay my cancer bills! I would have to take care of my client and then run to the bathroom and vomit afterwards, trying to hide the tears the whole time. Do you think I would have “woken” up, then? Nope. I continued to work despite how sick I was. After all, I had to PROVE to everyone and myself that I could make it without anyone’s help... that I could take care of this little girl and she would be all right!


Why wasn’t this lifestyle working for me? I will tell you why! The more I let men “buy” me in exchange for sexual favors, the more I saw that they were only after one thing--my body... just like a piece of meat for sale with a UPC code on it. Not my mind, not my spirit, not who Annie was, but “Fallen,” the fallen angel. I even fell into my client’s way of thinking, that if I gave people that I loved money they would love me back! (Not sexually, either;) So, in a sense, I too became the “trick.” Hence my reason for having my pimp and numerous “boyfriends” that allowed me to work. But did they REALLY love me? Did they really have my future welfare in mind? Did they think this lifestyle was okay to be in? If so, then why wouldn’t they REALLY take me out of it? What it REALLY got down to was this: what was everyone’s HIDDEN AGENDA? Were they being nice to me because they wanted something from me--my body--or my money??? No one wanted the REAL Annie, the girl who had hopes and dreams, the girl that was intelligent--the girl that was a singer, an artist, a friend, a daughter, and a little girl. This brought me such a feeling of emptiness that I was so desperate to fill!


Then something very tragic happened... my sister died at a very the very young age of 31 (she was my BEST friend!) my Uncle Richard died, my Grandpa Osgar died, and my dad had cancer--all within a period of five months! So as you can imagine, I was pretty mad at God and I wasn’t sure if he was even real. When I say I was mad, I mean, I was angry... and not sure if I would make it. I thought “why would he put me through all this if he really loves me?” Then I started feeling so guilty and thought that I was being “punished” for living the lifestyle that I chose... so I thought that I actually deserved having cancer, I felt so sorry for myself. I felt that no one wanted to take care of me--no one even cared that I was sick. That thought made me even MORE rebellious and I thought that everyone “owed” me something. So I kept working because I didn’t want to come out of prostitution with nothing to show for it. (Could that be pride?)


Believe it or not, after I was cured of the cancer, I started doing drugs. You would think that I would have had enough pain and shock by experiencing cancer! To tell you the truth, there was a type of pain inside me that was far worse than the physical pain of being sick. My heart was breaking, my will to keep fighting was dying, and the repetitive abuse of verbal, physical and sexual assault was catching up with me as I was an escort! At first I did pain killers that were prescribed to me for cancer and back pain. I did not consider myself addicted, for I was taking what was only allowed by each prescription...right???


As my mind and body started to become altered and “numbed” for the pain, my proud claim of “I would NEVER do drugs!” became a lie! I was then tempted with the drug even the DEVIL himself does not want--COCAINE!!! Even though I was flat out against it for all of my life, I decided to try it because of a dare at a girlfriend’s birthday party. I was INSTANTLY addicted! That led to other things on a DEEPER DOSE and level--pain pill addiction, (OXY-CONTIN, LORCETS, LORTABS), somas, Xanax, valium, METH, smoking, and drinking. I became a gambleholic eventually because of the excessive drugs--I could never gamble sober! I would sit at the casinos after work and “zone out” on a poker machine for hours... sometimes days, trying to “win” my money back. Pretty soon it carried over into work; I no longer could work the escort services sober. I ALWAYS had to do a line or pop pills before I walked into a room. So I would work, make money, give it all away. Day in and day out--this was a road that had no end that I could see.


I was a walking time bomb--ready to explode. What could happen next? I tried all kinds of different “beliefs” like vampirism, Wicca, Buddhism, free masonry, new ageism, etc. But NOTHING filled that “void” inside me.


But destiny had it’s way with me...I met this man on a call on in 1992, he was VERY sweet to me--and over the years we kept in contact with each other and became very good friends. He actually was instrumental in getting me to quit... and I did, in 1998, but I still did not have God in my life. We lived a fast life in the “corporate” business world, flying back and forth to Japan; we had expensive sports cars, jewelry, houses, nice bank account, etc. I should have been extremely happy--but I wasn’t. I didn’t realize it at the time but I had what doctors call POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER...


Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, what is it? It is a tragic psychological condition often called “shell shock” and “post rape syndrome”. Did you know that 69 percent of war veterans get this condition after witnessing and experiencing traumatic events from war??? Did you also know that people in the SEX INDRUSTY have the SAME exact percentage??? (69%) Here I was... out of the industry but inside my mind a continual battle was going on of the events I had experienced as a prostitute!


P.S.T.D. brought me night terrors, nightmares, insomnia, memory flashbacks, memory lapses, asthma, clinical depression, loss of appetite, anxiety attacks--so bad I got hooked on Xanax--could NOT function without it. Even the “square” world had me thinking that I was a failure--for at the end of our company’s closing, we lost EVERYTHING. I had quit drugs for a few years, and thought I really had it together until the corporation failed. And there I was doing coke again, but this time FREE BASING it--I could not get “high” enough for all the personal disappointment and pain inside of myself. I used to laugh at crack addicts as they would search on the ground for their little “rocks.” BUT HERE I WAS DOING THE VERY SAME THING I MADE FUN OF!!! I HAD REALLY REACHED “ROCK BOTTOM” --LITERALLY!!! I learned that you cannot make fun of something that you have NO CLUE about!


Was this a relapse? I would stay up for days on end getting so drunk and high, then pass out on my floor in my walk in closet in my million dollar home, with my drugs, wine and cigarettes to keep me company. I would wrap myself in my mink coat and rock back and forth...terrified of my past... but more afraid of my future. How would I face my family? How would I face my friends? Who was I, and what had I become? Did I mess my life up so bad that I would never have a real existence? A real family, a job, a home??? Was I just a junkie, a prostitute, a worthless piece of trash? With tears and mascara running down my face, I would cry... “God where are you? I’m messed up God, why me? I’m mad at you, God! You said you loved me! Why is this happening to me?” I was so lonely, and often I would write letters to my deceased sister Diana asking her why she had to die... then I would get mad at God and write a letter to Him, asking Him why I had to suffer so much--my tears smearing the very page I was writing on. I felt so alone, yet I knew somewhere far far away was God’s soft presence trying to pull away the cobwebs of my damaged soul and bring me back to Him.


Could I have possibly over estimated my own strength and endurance??? Was it hard to admit to others that I was really falling apart, and that I couldn’t handle this pain on my own? WAS IT EVEN HARDER FOR ME TO ADMIT IT TO MYSELF?


Over the years I had seven friends that have died from the sex industry, one died in her cab of a drug overdose, one was shot point blank in the face in a whore house, one was strangled in a hotel room and put in a suitcase, one was stabbed to death by her client, the other got killed in jail, another just recently died of bladder cancer, and another just died of AIDS--and I KNOW there could of been a better way. The sex industry has sold the lie that this is a profitable profession and that the women love doing it...so if that is true, what would these women/men say if they were alive? That they loved working as a prostitute??? Not!!! Where is our line that we draw in the sand, people? When is enough really enough????


This “illusion” of materialism and sexual desire had finally gotten the best of me...and I snapped.


I had given up. I knew no matter what I did, nothing mattered to me anymore. I didn’t care what happened to me... I just wished that I could “fade” into nonexistence. I had so much pain, shame, GUILT and regret in my life that I just wanted to erase it one night. So literally took it too far--I overdosed on cocaine, alcohol, Xanax, pain pills, and somas. I took a hit of cocaine and I thought I was going to die; the pain in my chest was so scary--as I fell to the ground all I could see was my life flashing before me. I was in TOTAL DARKNESS, no light, no sound--just me and the feeling of real death. My ears were ringing really loud... the aloneness crept in like a black blanket--I had NEVER been so scared in all my life, it was literally HELL! I was frozen, I couldn’t move, I couldn’t see. I instinctively could only say the name of Jesus from my lips... “Jesus, I am sorry!!!” “Jesus. please, Jesus.” I thought, “NOOOO!! I can’t die like this, Jesus, if you are real, please give me another chance!!!” Now I had prayed this prayer before ONLY IN EMERGENCY and always wondered why God didn’t always hear me...and here was the difference--I REALLY MEANT IT AND SURRENDERED THIS TIME. As the sirens rang out from the ambulance, I prayed to Him that if He saved me I would tell the whole world about His salvation and who He is. Well, Jesus came to my rescue... THE MASK CAME OFF and that girl I used to be? --”FALLEN”--well, SHE DIED THAT DAY!


Truth was being revealed to me for the first time in my life!
Shortly after I overdosed on cocaine, my dear friend that got me out of the prostitution game noticed that I was watching Joyce Meyer on TV... to be honest with you I was so drawn to her teachings... they spoke LIFE into my spirit. So that Christmas he bought me a few of her books. I started reading the Bible and her books and really getting filled with the truth... and the defining moment came when I heard Joyce say to the TV audience, “God loves you” and my heart completely melted!


WHAT? You mean, God loves ME????!!! After ALL THAT I HAVE DONE??? This was incredible! I never really understood that before, until I heard someone else tell me! Those very words struck a chord in me and stayed with me day and night. Then I did something back then I would have considered crazy, I ACTUALLY HAD THE NERVE TO BELIEVE IT! It is then that my walk with God became so much deeper than just the desperation of the overdose. I decided to take the leap of faith and completely dedicate my ENTIRE life to Him... JESUS. I gave it up, finally... all pain, all the disappointments, all the shame... ALL THE GUILT!!! Because trying to get better on my own WAS NOT WORKING. Guess what? I never turned back because...


I finally found the TRUTH, and it was not in some man, materialism, drug or fantasy. It is in a man that will never leave you nor forsake you. He is faithful, merciful, graceful, kind, but most of all he loves me for ME and NOT who I used to be!


He loves us unconditionally, and it doesn’t MATTER where we have been and how many wrong things we may have done. So you ask yourself, what kind of person could forgive what mess I’ve made???


His name is Jesus Christ. You see, I never really knew WHY I went through the pain I did until I received this revelation, that our God is so merciful, full of grace--that he really does love us, and He just wanted a relationship with me. He wanted me to ask Him for forgiveness, for if we do that, then we can FINALLY FORGIVE OURSELVES! I forgave myself from all the terrible things that I had done, and the yoke of bondage and guilt was “lifted” from my back.


Do you know what??? It is a CHOICE people!!! You will be FREE if you decide to not listen to the devil’s lies anymore and you choose to FORGIVE others, but mostly YOURSELF!!!


FREEDOM! No matter what we do wrong, HE continues to do what is right in our lives!


“IF WE ARE NOT FAITHFUL, HE WILL BE FATIHFUL. BECAUSE CHRIST CANNOT DENY WHO HE IS!!!” 2 TIMOTHY 2:13


I had focused my life on the bad choices; the pain, the guilt, the regret...and it eventually had the power to put me into a very deep “sleep”. Because I was so into my own demise and self pity, I lost all focus on what was really going on around me! I WAS LOST....LITERALLY!!! But when I finally WOKE UP from the slumber party that the world had put
me in, I realized that I could actually use my pain to help others!!!


WOW. Are you kidding me? You mean I can take this mess that I have gone through and actually help someone else??? That’s POWERFUL!!! Your pain can be your reign! Jesus just wanted a relationship with me so He could show me a better life--but I ran from my pain, and started trying to find my “own” happiness. Don’t you see?


Most of us have all played this vicious game: RUN & CHASE. Chase after the things you think will make you “happy” and then run from them when you realize that these “things” or “lifestyle” is nothing but terrible pain. This will continue until you come to the very end of yourself. I KNOW I did it! When you have had enough... well, just HOW MUCH is enough, you ask???


I tell you the truth, the devil has NO limit--he will continue to deceive and manipulate your thinking until all you have left is NOTHING BUT THE TRASH OF EMOTIONAL BAGGAGE. This is his only mission, to DESTROY you.


“THE THIEF COMES ONLY IN ORDER TO STEAL, KILL AND DESTROY. BUT I CAME THAT YOU MAY HAVE AND ENJOY LIFE, AND HAVE IT IN ABUNDANCE TO THE FULL, TILL IT OVERFLOWS” JOHN 10:10


I didn’t know this verse at the time, I didn’t know the promises in God’s word that could save me from myself. So I remained broken hearted, hurt, defeated, depressed, tired, GUILTY... This is when God my Father could finally speak to me--because I stopped “chasing” happiness, I stopped “running” from the pain. Ever heard the song, “Running from the Devil”? How true is that? I ran from my home and my painful situation, only to run into more defeat. This is what we REALLY need to get: We need to run into the arms of God the Father and ask him for forgiveness... “BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD.”


He wants us to face our fears... so we can walk through the door we have been avoiding. It’s not locked. We just need to turn the knob and walk in. When we do this, we face our pain and THEN God can move to heal us! If you are fearful, THEN DO IT AFRAID! There will be a huge reward behind it. I am not saying that your new walk with God is suppose to be real easy, many times I have fallen BUT I GOT RIGHT BACK UP! God will help you walk your new life of freedom... Can you tell me something--could it get any worse than it is now?


How desperate do we all have to get people? Until were sick with cancer, addicted, depressed, until we die? Hey, take it from me, I tried BOTH worlds without God, the crime world and the corporate world--and NOTHING brought me JOY but God. If I could do it with as much “junk” as I went through... SO CAN YOU!


He put it all together for me...because... when you actually KNOW the truth about yourself, and WHY you’ve done what you’ve done, it sets you completely free! Sin becomes your personal prison if you don’t know this truth. My prison was the lie Satan told me that I was unworthy to be loved. Unworthy because of the bad things that I had done---LIAR! Ha! “Fallen” is dead devil... My secrets are out, and no longer can YOU torment me because--Whom the Son sets free is free indeed!! I am free and out of the cocoon sin put me in! Jail time YOU ARE OVER!!! I am now truly a BUTTERFLY... LOVED BY GOD--and you are too!


God really loves you...yes YOU the person that is living in defeat! Don’t let the devil steal your joy any longer! Ask Jesus into your heart and watch how He can radically change your life!


Do you really want to be free??? Then what are you waiting for? Just pray this prayer!!!


Dear Jesus,
I come to you today and I ask you to save me. Lord I am asking you for a second chance...so make me brand new. I am sick and tired of being sick and tired, so I surrender everything to you! I ask that you forgive me for my short-comings and my all my failures. I believe that you died for my sins, and rose to life on the 3rd day. I believe that you are the living Son of God. Come into my heart and send your Holy Spirit, so you may be the Lord of my life. Change me from the inside out, so I may walk in the perfect destiny that you have for me. Thank you Jesus! Amen


“THEREFORE IF ANY PERSON IS IN CHRIST HE IS A NEW CREATION; THE OLD HAS PASSED AWAY. BEHOLD, THE FRESH AND
NEW HAS COME”! 2 Corinthians 5:17


Finally, the MOST defining moment came in my life when Jesus came to me in a dream... He lifted His hands to me and held mine, and with inches away from my face we were looking into each others eyes... and can I tell you something... it was the most beautiful sight I have ever seen in my life! One eye was a beautiful sapphire blue and the other was a deep emerald green...with sparkles in them unlike anything I had ever seen before! As He looked at me with such tenderness and compassion, no physical words exchanged. The communication came directly from His very eyes!!! The eyes of the Savior told me He loved me, that He had always loved me...he understood my pain...but it was now OVER. That He has healed me... and that I am whole again... that I didn’t have to run anymore, that I was finally home. I felt so full of joy and inner peace for the first time in my life! As He turned, I followed Him around the corner and He was with two women... as I looked on to follow He turned towards me and gave me the biggest smile you could ever imagine. I knew by me choosing to NOT lose sight by following Him I had obeyed! I knew what I had to do... reveal my story to all the people I across the ENTIRE world and tell them of Jesus’ ever lasting grace. I have never been the same since...you want to know what??? My life now is full of purpose and real PASSION!


I am healed, whole and not ashamed of what I went through--in fact, it empowers me to help others! No bad thing I have done can EVER haunt me again. My real dad and I have reconciled our relationship! I love him and have always loved him--and he also loves me. I have forgiven my dad, for he only did what was done to him--and he finally saw this and apologized to me. The chain of fools is BROKEN!
I have forgiven my pimp, and everyone else that I was offended with. I pray for my X-pimp everyday and know that God has a HUGE plan for him!


FORGIVENESS!!! Forgive and you will be set free!!!


Yeah! I will tell anyone that asks me, “Just why are you so happy?” And it’s not a secret. I’ve been saved by my Knight in shining armor--JESUS. But this, my friends, was God’s perfect plan...


“YOU INTENDED HARM TO ME, BUT GOD INTENDED IT ALL FOR GOOD. HE BROUGHT ME TO THIS POSITION SO I COULD SAVE THE LIVES OF MANY PEOPLE” Genesis 50:20


Now I can explain HOOKER FOR JESUS-- WHAT is a hooker for Jesus? Well, first of all, the meaning for “HOOKER” is a clipper style boat made for fishing in the 1600’s. Hooker also means a “fish hook”. I believe that God is tired of people thinking that this is such a “dirty” word...so I am taking the name back for HIM!


Also, I’m an X-HOOKER saved by the grace of God! The “X” just doesn’t mean that I have left that lifestyle... instead it stands for all the nameless prostitutes that are afraid to speak out--for my desire is that God uses me as their unheard voice. Someone needs to care! Someone needs to do something!


I WILL BE THAT PERSON TO ACT INSTEAD OF WATCH.


REAL FAITH IS ACTION!!!


Jesus showed me that if I could go down dark corridors and knock on doors to risk my life as a prostitute for the devil, I could CERTAINLY risk my life for Jesus instead! The greatest gift is when we lay down our lives for our friends...after all isn’t this what Jesus did for us???


You need a hook to catch fish......Jesus commands us to be fishers of men. “COME FOLLOW ME, AND I WILL MAKE YOU FISHERS OF MEN” (MATTHEW 5:19) I am ready to cast my line and hook--except this time I’m catching people for salvation with a Holy kind of bait--the gospel and testimony of Jesus Christ. “THE FRUIT OF THE UNCOMPROMISINGLY RIGHTEOUS IS A TREE OF LIFE, AND HE WHO IS WISE CAPTURES HUMAN LIVES FOR GOD, AS A FISHER OF MEN-HE GATHERS AND RECEIVES THEM FOR ETERNITY” Proverbs 11:30 (amp version)


My passion is to help PROSTITUTES, PIMPS, and STRIPPERS... ANYONE IN THE SEX TRADE to see that there is a REAL life waiting for them to finally live outside of the sex industry. If they should need assistance out of their lifestyle...I am here to help them with NO JUDGEMENT.


I have a ministry here in Vegas to help them by giving them love, peace and support during their transition. It’s called “HOOKERS FOR JESUS” (hookersforjesus.net)


I want to show them that God did not plan for them sell their body and soul but wants them to step into a HIGHER calling--their final destiny--a life of purpose! I am not ashamed to say that I was part of the statistics, because I know if I step out in truth, then maybe I will give other women real “HOPE” for their futures! To my Girls... We CAN overcome, we CAN survive, we CAN be productive in society, we CAN be loved finally--because...


“YOU HAVE OVERCOME, CONQUERED HIM (Satan) BY MEANS OF THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB AND BY THE UTTERANCE OF YOUR TESTIMONY, FOR YOU DID NOT LOVE AND CLING TO LIFE EVEN WHEN FACED WITH DEATH, HOLDING YOUR LIFE CHEAP TILL YOU HAD TO DIE FOR YOUR WITNESSING” Revelation 12:11 (amp version)


We can be pitiful or powerful in whatever we do--we make the choices. If we have the power to make a difference to change the world, then why don’t we do something now? Let’s make an impact in our lifetime--let’s ROCK! Because this is real TRUTH......LETS GO FISHING!!!


Copyright 2006-07. Annie Lobert. All Rights Reserved.


Clay Vessels

A man was exploring caves by the seashore. In one of the caves he found a canvas bag with a bunch of hardened clay balls. It was like someone had rolled clay balls and left them out in the sun to bake.

They didn’t look like much, but they intrigued the man, so he took the bag out of the cave with him. As he strolled along the beach, he would throw the clay balls one at a time out into the ocean as far as he could.

He thought little about it, until he dropped one of the clay balls and it cracked open on a rock. Inside was a beautiful, precious stone! Excited, the man started breaking open the remaining clay balls. Each contained a similar treasure. He found thousands of dollars worth of jewels in the 20 or so clay balls he had left. Then it struck him. He had been on the beach a long time. He had thrown maybe 50 or 60 of the clay balls with their hidden treasure into the ocean waves. Instead of thousands of dollars in treasure, he could have taken home tens of thousands, but he had just thrown it away!

It’s like that with people. We look at someone, maybe even ourselves, and we see the external clay vessel. It doesn’t look like much from the outside. It isn’t always beautiful or sparkling, so we discount it. We see that person as less important than someone more beautiful or stylish or well known or wealthy. But we have not taken the time to find the treasure hidden inside that person.

There is a treasure in each and every one of us. If we take the time to get to know that person, and if we ask God to show us that person the way He sees them, then the clay begins to peel away and the brilliant gem begins to shine forth.

May we not come to the end of our lives and find out that we have thrown away a fortune in friendships because the gems were hidden in bits of clay. May we see the people in our world as God sees them. I am so blessed by the gems of friendship I have with each of you. Thank you for looking beyond my clay vessel.

God's Perfect Order

"Then God said, 'Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and every creeping thing that creeps of the earth.' And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them (Gen. 1:26-27)."

The use of the word "us" here indicates that man was to be created after the council of the Divine Godhead, or maybe even the whole host of heaven. It also appears evident that when God used the term "let us make man" that he intends to impress the mind of man with a sense of something extraordinary in the formation of his body and soul. The use of the word "Aadaam," or "Adam," which is translated "man," is intended to set man apart from all other created "flesh" or "beast of the field."

When He says, "Our image according to Our likeness," it must be that He refers to man's soul. Now, we know that the Divine Being is infinite, thus he is not limited, and therefore he can have no physical image after which he made the body of man. The image and likeness then must necessarily be intellectual, his soul, which is the seat of his intellect or mind, must have been formed after the nature and perfections of his God and his identity is with the spirit and soul of God, not the flesh body of man. Thus the mind of man coming forth out of the hands of its Creator was endowed with most extraordinary capacities; it was in the likeness of the mind of God.

Chapter 1 of the book of Genesis, verses 26-31 is a synopsis (a brief summary) of the sixth day creation. In Genesis chapter 2, verse 7 we find a more detailed account of the creation of man.

"Then the Lord God formed man of the dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being (soul)."

God is life; in Him there is no death; He has no beginning of days and no end of days, God is eternal life! Therefore, when God "breathed" into the man He gave man of His "Spirit of Life." Man became an eternal being or soul. Thus God produced a spirit formed after the perfections of his own nature. God is the fountain whence man's spirit issued, hence, the stream must resemble the spring which produced it. God is holy, just, wise, good, and perfect; so must the soul be that sprang from him: there could be in it nothing impure, unjust, ignorant, evil, low, base, mean, or vile. It was created after the image of God; and that image, the Apostle Paul tells us, consisted in righteousness, true holiness, and knowledge {Eph 4:24; Col 3:10}. Hence, man was created wise in his mind, holy in his soul, and righteous in all his actions.

The heavens, cosmos, the universe, the earth and all that is in it serve a specific purpose in God's plan. In the beginning God created all things according to His sacred purpose and in His perfect order. He first created a suitable environment for all that He would place upon the earth. He created the sky for the foul of the air and provided a source of food for them. He created water for the fish of the sea and provided a source of food for them also. He created the environment before He created the birds or the fish. When God created man, by His Spirit man became a living eternal soul and by the indwelling of God's Spirit he continues to live. This is known as the "Law of the Spirit of Life {Rom. 8:1}." Man was unique---he was born of God a living soul---thus he was created to live and function perfectly, not only in a created environment, but also in the environment of God's presence; apart from God's presence man malfunctions.

God's glory is seen in His love, perfection, pureness, moral beauty, righteousness, power and authority. Man was to be God's son, His "seed" or offspring and the image of His splendor and glory. A seed has within itself the ability to reproduce in the proper environment. Just as a seed of an oak tree has within its self the ability, when placed in the proper environment, to become a forest of beautiful oaks, like so man was to live in the environment of God's loving presence and "be fruitful and multiply" and fill the earth with all of God's love, brilliance and glory.

Authority is derived from knowledge, God is an all knowing and wise God, therefore He is the source of all authority. Man's authority is derived from God through faithful obedience to the revealed will of God. God's word is His expressed authority; apart from knowledge, wisdom and obedience to His word, man has no authority from God. Man must first know, submit to and be disciplined by the word of God before he is granted authority. Adam would, through divine knowledge and wisdom, recognize the authority of His Father and in submission to God he would be a conduit and vessel of His Father's glory. Through obedience to the revealed will of God (faith) He would exercise dominion, or control over God's creation. He would be the king and high priest of the kingdom that God created for Him.

In the same way Jesus, The Word of God, by faithful submission to the Father, is the King and High Priest and a conduit and vessel of God's glory in this present age. He, The Word of God, is the seed of God in the earth. Thus God's glory is multiplying through Christ and His offspring.

God loved man whom He had created, and He prepared a special place for him.

"Then the Lord God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden and there He placed the man whom He had formed (Gen. 2:8)."

The word Eden in English means, "delight." Eden is translated from a Hebrew word Aden; the Hebrew meaning of Aden, in the context in which it is used in Genesis, chapter two, is the place (or spot) of the open door to the moment of God's presence. In God's loving presence is the perfect environment for man to be all that God created him to be. Eden was indeed a place of delight, a special place of the open door to Gods loving presence.

"And out of the ground the Lord God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food, the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 2:9)."

There are two trees in the garden we see as symbols, not literally trees. One is the tree of life and the other is the tree of the knowledge of good and of evil. They are better understood if we view them as persons---persons who teach.

Now the "naachaash" or "serpent," as this Hebrew word "naachaash" is popularly translated, was from among the beast of the field {Gen. 3:1}. Weather the word "serpent" as used here is the proper translation, or if it is used symbolically, has been the subject of many a debate; correct translation or not---we cannot say---but we will remain consistent with the popular translation and use it as representing the "beast" that was overcome and possessed by the spirit of Satan and became "sin in the flesh" to be used against man. This "beast of the field" was apparently endowed with the gift of speech and other intellectual skills that became the tools of Satan's evil schemes. Thus the tree of the knowledge of good and of evil, we see as the unrighteous person of the serpent or beast who had become the mouthpiece of Satan, thus he teaches the will and ways of Satan. In this so named serpent, who we believe to be "the tree of the knowledge of good and of evil," we see "good" as Satan perceives good; and "evil" as Satan perceives evil. The fruit of the serpent's lips is words of unrighteousness that subjects the hearer to the will of Satan and brings death to the total being of man when he listens to and believes him.

The tree of life is a righteous person, a teacher of the will and ways of God. The teacher is the Word of God in the person of the Holy Spirit. The fruit of His lips is love and true knowledge, wisdom, power and authority from the Father. In the Word of God we see love, life, peace and harmony or righteousness; a righteous fruit that sustains life for the total being of man when he listens to and believes Him.

God is the source of all that is good. Therefore the doing of good is in Him. God is aware of and can discern, and is able to judge evil, but He does not know or conceive evil. There is no evil thoughts in Him, thus the doing of evil is not present in Him. He is the foundation and the source of all truth, knowledge and wisdom. His wonderful attributes include joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and complete self-control.

"God is love---- (1 John 4:16)."

The root of the tree of life is straight from the heart or soul of God; thus the root or source of the tree of life that makes the tree what it is and determines what kind of fruit it bears is divine love. The tree of life is in God's image, thus the tree has all of His wonderful attributes and the fruit it bears is the sweet fruit of righteousness having in it the "seed" or "word" to bring forth another tree in its likeness.

Our Lord teaches; "A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher (Luke 6:40)."

If the pupil "eats" or rather "listens to and believes" the teachings of the tree of life he is "eating" the fruit of righteousness or rather he is partaking of the righteousness of the Word of God. Afterwards, when he is fully trained he will be like his teacher; he will be in His image having all His attributes.

In summary of the purpose of the two "trees" we understand that man, being created in the image of his Creator, has a free will as his Father has a free will. We see man has set before him two choices; one is the tree of life, which is the Word and the life giving Spirit of God; and the second choice is the tree of the knowledge of good and of evil. Both are teachers; the first teaches with authority and power the truth from a heart of love. The other is one who beguiles; he is a deceiver and a liar, teaching perversion from a heart of selfish lust. The first tree offers and inheritance of love, eternal life, peace and prosperity and all the treasures of God's kingdom. The latter offers an inheritance of an earthy life of lust of the flesh; compared to the riches of the kingdom of God, lust is a mere bowl of soup for the flesh of man (see Gen. 25:29-34). The end result of a life filled with lust is hate, strife, adversity and an eternal existence of the soul suffering death "in the lake of fire (Rev. 20:15)."

God desired Adam to demonstrate his love by acts of faith through his willingness to live "by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord (Deut. 8:3; Matt. 4:4)." Now the substance of faith is the word of God heard, believed and obeyed from a heart of love. If Adam would be submissive to God and live by the word of God he would demonstrate his love by faithfulness toward God and maintain his image, countenance and authority. To be submissive is to voluntarily subject ones self to the authority of another; it is an act of faith which is an expression of love. Failure to obey God's word would demonstrate his lack of love and faith toward God and result in loss of image, countenance of glory, and authority. And again, the Holy Scripture teaches us "God is love;" and "the one who does not love does not know God, for God is love (1 John 4:8)."

And "---without faith it is impossible to please Him (God)--- (Heb. 12:6f)."

Thus we can clearly see that without faith working from a heart of love there is no countenance, image or authority of God and no eternal life from God in man.

"Then the Lord God took the man and put him into the Garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it (Gen. 2:15)."

God had created a kingdom and made Adam lord and king to rule and reign over it. Thus Adam became caretaker of the domain that God had prepared for him.

"And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, 'from any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you shall surely die (Gen. 2:16-17)."

God gave man all His commandments and the Law of sin and of death. God had made Adam a high priest and steward of His word and His law. Man was given full understanding that he had a choice, but a wrong choice would result in darkness and death. If Adam would listen to and believe God from a heart of love he would not be judged. But if he did not believe and obey he has been judged already (see John 3:18).

Note: Woman had not been created at this time; she was still a rib in man's side.

In modern day thinking when we think of man we think in terms of male only. When we think of the female we think of her in terms of woman. According to God's word when He created man He created them male and female. He first created man male; then He created man female. If man were male only, he would stand-alone; the seed would be incomplete.

"Then the Lord God said, 'it is not good for the man to be alone, I will make him a helper suitable (corresponding to or in the image of) for him.' And out of the ground the Lord God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the sky, and brought them to the man to see what he would call them; and whatever the man called a leaving creature, that was its name (Gen. 2:19)."

Authority from God is a companion of faith toward God. Here Adam (man) exercised his authority by naming all the living creatures.

"And the man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him (Gen 2:20)."

Of course God knew there was not a helper corresponding to or in Adam's image among the beast of the field, but God wanted Adam to know, realize, and understand that his bride would be one taken from him and "fashioned or built" by God in the likeness of him. She would be perfect as he is perfect; a living soul as he is a living soul and have all his divine attributes.

"So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took of his ribs, closed up the flesh at that place. And the Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man (Gen. 2:21-22)."

The seed was now complete. The man (male) now had a companion in his image. She had all of his divine attributes; therefore she was the glory of man.

Thus the apostle Paul writes,

"For a man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man (1 Cor. 11:7NAS)."

Woman was a gift from God to man to help him be the progenitor or the forefather of all mankind ("it is not good for the man to be alone, I will make him a helper-").

And continuing the apostle writes further,

"For indeed man was not created for the woman's sake, but woman for the man's sake (1 Cor. 11:9)."

According to God's perfect plan and order they would bear children in God's image and fill the earth with His glory.

"And God blessed them and God said to them, 'be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the face of the earth (Gen. 1:28)."

Adam's countenance, God's glory radiating forth from him, was to be a badge of authority. By the authority of God's word and in love he was to rule and reign over all that God had created. He gave man an environment of His loving presence to live in and to "be fruitful and multiply" and fill the earth with His glory (see Gen. 1:29-31)."

Adam was a steward of God's gift; he was woman's husband, the manager and authority of their domain.

Concerning authority the apostle Paul writes,

"But I want you to understand that Christ is the head {authority} of every man, and the man is the head {authority} of a woman, and God is the head {authority} of Christ (1 Cor. 11:3NAS)."

When God gave Adam the commandments the woman had not been "fashioned" from the rib of Adam (see Gen. 2). Authority is derived from knowledge of and obedience to the will of God. Adam had such faith, thus he was appointed the high priest and teacher.

In instructing the women of the church at Corinth the Apostle Paul asks,

"Was it from you {woman} that the word of God first went forth? Or has it come to you only (1 Cor. 14:36NAS)?"

Adam and Eve are a type of Christ and His bride, the church (Rom. 5:14ff). In the same manner by which our Lord, King, and High Priest, Jesus teaches His bride ("that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by washing of water with the word---Eph 5:26f)" so Adam taught his bride.

Again we visit this scripture,

"A pupil is not above his teacher; but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher (Luke 6:40)."

Authority carries with it responsibility; "speaking the truth in love" Adam was to teach her, protect and provide for her; she was taken from him and he was and is to continue to be her source. Man, as male and female, is one complete seed and is the "crown jewel" of God's creation. Together as one they would live in the environment of God's love and be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth with His glory.

Man is not greater than his Creator and Teacher, and woman is not greater than the man whom God gave as her source (see 1 Cor. 11:9); and the children are not greater than the man and woman who bear and teach them. But each has their place in God's perfect order and each has their own beauty and glory from God. Each member of the family of man is to be in the perfect harmony and unity of love and embrace and uphold the other. In the environment of God's loving presence they are to be a mutual blessing, and in the unity of love, embrace, and uphold one another. Selfishness is not in God's plan; that is of darkness.

"And the man said, 'This is now bone of my bones, (the bones are the source of life giving blood for the body) and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of man (Gen. 2:23)."

Eve was taken by God from the body of Adam who was in the image of God; and fashioned her into a bride suitable or corresponding to him. God did not breathe the breath of life into Eve. She received God's life giving Spirit through Adam. God then RE-UNITED them as man and wife (see Gen. 2:24).

Metaphorically speaking, in the work of the cross God caused a deep sleep to come upon the "second Adam" (His Son Jesus) and from His side He took water (a symbol for the word of God) and blood (the life giving Spirit of His Son) and fashioned (or is building, see Matt. 16:18) a bride, a helper for His Son. Jesus is the teacher and steward of His bride. His bride is created from Him and He is her source for all things. The church is called the Body of Christ because she is taken from the body of Jesus, the Word of God. She is flesh of His flesh ("and the Word became flesh" John 1:14f) "and bone of His bone" (blood of His blood and life of His life; see Rom. 8). The true church is the Living Word of God, Christ's body, "a pillow and support of the truth" (see 1 Tim 3:15). The church receives the life giving Spirit through Jesus in the same manner as Eve received the life giving Spirit through Adam. The church is being "fashioned" into His image just as Eve was "fashioned" in the image of Adam.

In the day of the resurrection, when the bride is completed, God will present His Son with the gift of His bride and she will be RE-UNITED with Him eternally.

"For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore, comfort one another with these words." (1 Thes. 4:15-18).

We revisit the following Scripture to emphasize our heavenly Father's perfect order for mankind that we may be found pleasing to Him.

"But I want you to understand that Christ is the HEAD (authority) of every man, and the man is the HEAD (authority) of every woman, and God is the HEAD (authority) of Christ. Every man who has something on his head while praying or prophesying, disgraces his HEAD (authority) (1 Cor. 11:4)."

The Apostle is saying that the uncovered head of the man while praying or prophesying is a sign of his reverence and submission to his Lord and Teacher. A man whose head is covered is not displaying the image and glory of Christ while praying or prophesying and he disgraces his Lord and Teacher.

"But every woman who has her head uncovered while praying or prophesying, disgraces her HEAD (authority, namely her husband and teacher); for she is one and the same with her whose head is shaved (1 Cor. 11:5)."

The women whose heads were shaved were the harlots of that time who were a type of the women who had no authority of God or man upon their life. But a woman who has her head covered while praying or prophesying has the sign of her reverence and submission to the authority of Christ and her husband.

"For if a woman does not cover her head, let her also have her hair cut off; but it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, let her cover her head (1 Cor. 11:6)."

Here the Apostle is saying, if the woman refuses to wear the sign of authority (covering) she might as well shave her head in the same way as the women of the world; to not have the sign of authority over her is a disgrace to her husband and to Christ.

"For a man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; for indeed, man was not created for the woman's sake, but woman for the man's sake. Therefore the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angles (1 Cor. 11:7-10)."

The "symbol", which is of faith, is for the angels to recognize the submission of the woman to the Lord and to the man's authority in order to minister to her. Just as man is the image and glory of God so is the woman the image and glory of man. In the same manner Christ is the image and glory of God and the church is the image and glory of Christ.

"Let a woman quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness (voluntary subjection)--(1 Tim. 2:11)" in the same manner as the bride of Christ receives instruction from Him.

"Wives, be subject (submissive) to your husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church. He Himself being the Savior of the body (Eph. 5:22-23)."

In likeness to man's wife, by being submissive to Jesus, the bride of Christ is a conduit or vessel of the authority of Jesus. The church has no authority apart or independent of Jesus.

"For this cause a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh (Gen. 2:24)."

Here is a law given based upon the principle of the creation of the woman being taken from the side of man. Note that nothing was mentioned about the woman leaving her father and mother. This is a natural thing that happens when she becomes one with her husband. She is now "flesh of his flesh and bone of his bones." The same Greek word that translates "source" in English also translates "father". The natural father is no longer the source for the woman's needs (both spiritual and material) but her husband is now her source. Just as God is the source (father) for man's needs so is the husband now the source for his wife.

Jesus is the open door to the source (our Father) for all our needs, both spiritual and material. Man is to stay in God's loving presence through His Son Jesus and be a loving husband for his wife and father to his children. He is to love them, to take care of their daily needs, and to teach them God's word.

"Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her; that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she should be holy and blameless. So Husbands ought also to love their own wives as their own bodies, He who loves his own wife loves himself; for no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the church, because we are members of His body. 'For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.' This mystery is great, but I am speaking with reference to Christ and the church. Nevertheless let each individual among you also love his own wife even as himself and let the wife see to it that she respect her husband (Eph. 5:25-33)."

Husbands are to grant their wives honor as a fellow heir of the gift of eternal life.

"You husbands likewise, (likewise, meaning "doing what is right without being frightened by any fear", see 1 Pet. 3:6ff) live with your wives in an understanding way, as with a weaker vessel, since she is a woman; and grant her honor as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered (1 Pet. 3:7)."

Men should do all things out of love and faith toward God, not out of fear!! Men are to be the leaders and teachers in their homes and in the church.

"But for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine. Older men are to be temperate; dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance (Titus 2:1-2)."

"Likewise urge the young men to be sensible; in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified, sound in speech which is beyond reproach, in order that the opponent may be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us (Titus 2:6-8)."

Returning to Adam and Eve we read,

"And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed (Gen. 2:25)."

They were not ashamed because they were innocent. Adam was in the image and the glory of God and the woman was in the image and the glory of the man (1 Cor. 11:7).

All was in perfect order according to God's perfect plan.

The preceding lesson deals with God's plan for man from the beginning of creation. Since Adam and Eve failed, through disobedience, God is continuing His plan in Christ and His bride, the church. Christ Jesus is the perfect example for the husband. He gave His life in service to His bride, the church. God's chosen apostles had great insight into God's holy plan for man, both male and female. If we follow their instructions carefully we will fulfill God's plan for mankind and become the perfect bride for His Son and fill the earth with His glory. Christ and the church are examples that should be followed by husband and wife in their relationship also. (see Eph. 5:22-32).

Some of the apostles writings seems harsh to modern day man because of the weakness of the flesh or carnality. These men were men of God writing and teaching the word of our sovereign God and it serves us well to pay close attention for fear that we error; the greater the error, the greater the discipline; where there is no error discipline is not necessary. But let discipline have its perfect work without complaining. Let each one of us accept our position in God's plan; for who are we to say to our Creator, "Why did you make me male?" Or---"Why did you make me female?" Or---"Why did you not make me an apostle or prophet?" Or---Why did you make him to have authority over me?"

Man, both male and female, has departed from God's plan. It is my firm conviction that man {the male) has no authority from God to rule over (that is to govern) anything or anybody unless he is a man of God. A man, to qualify as a man of God, must be a man who has the love of God and revelation knowledge of the will of God and be in obedience to it; a man of faith. Love and faith precedes authority. A man with such love and faith knows how to properly exercise his God given authority with love and compassion. A woman with such love and faith knows how to summit to such authority with love and compassion. Let the man in the position of authority and responsibility recognize the love and faith of the women of God and allow them to serve in the capacity in which God has called them for fear that he attempts to usurp God. Let the women of such love and faith recognize the God given authority and responsibility of the man and thus respect him according to the instruction in God's word lest she finds herself in rebellion.

James C Sanford

Christ Likeness

It is impossible for man to rationalize and understand by his own intellect the things of God. Man cannot determine for himself what Christ is like and then imitate Him. His carnal efforts to be like his Savior results in man becoming an imitator of himself. He measures himself by himself. The results are he becomes a wolf in sheep's clothing; he has the appearance of his own estimation of righteousness but inside his cloak of self righteousness and religiosity is a raving wolf working against the will of God. He becomes as a "noisy gong and a clanging symbol;" just another noisy, ritualistic, and empty religious person.

Then you may ask; how are we to be like Jesus? Or you may ask; what is the key to Christ likeness? Of all the wonderful attributes of our Lord the most outstanding was his humbleness. The Apostle Paul sets our Lord's attitude before us as an example; he writes,

"Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross (Phil. 2:5-8NASU)."

Our Lord saw the need of mankind and humbled Himself that he might fill that need. In the Garden of Gethsemane He totally submitted His will to our Heavenly Father as He prayed, saying,

"My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will."

Through the total submission of our Lord the Father brought forth a Savior for all mankind. He is the "only begotten" the unique Son of God; in this manner there is and never will no other like Him for there is no other where-by man can be saved.

Each of the original apostles were unique as individuals but yet they had these in common with their Lord----they saw the need, thus, like their Savior before them they humbled themselves before the Father; a humbleness that lead to total submission to the will of the Father. Then the Father created them to be unique vessels of His Spirit and word. If we as true believers will also see the need and become totally submitted to our Creator then He will create us in a uniqueness that serves His purpose.

It is only when man totally surrenders his own will and summits to the will of God that the soul of man is swallowed up by the Soul of God and the Spirit of God performs the word of God in his total being and brings forth a son of God whose thoughts and deeds are like those of his Lord and Savior; he does nothing unless he sees the Father do it and he says nothing unless he hears the Father say it. It is then and only then that he has become like Jesus. It is the work of the Spirit and not by the rationalizing and understanding of the human intellect.

The Apostle Paul writes,

"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them (Eph. 2:10)."

God is the Creator, the Potter; we are the clay; the one being created in His image. We are to believe, be humble, pray, have faith, be obedient, prayerfully study His Scripture and trust Him to do His will in our lives.

The Apostle John tells us,

"In Him was life, and the life was the light of men (John 1:4)."

Our Lord teaches;

"A pupil is not above his teacher but everyone, after he has been fully trained, will be like his teacher (Luke 6:40)."

Our Lord also tells his pupil,

"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden (Matt. 5:14)."

In each true believer there is the life and the word (or light) of God that is the message or the gospel that is the "power of God for salvation (Rom. 1:16);" the hope for mankind.

Submit to God and He will create you a vessel of His word; a manifestation of the invisible Father; you will be in His image; you will be like Jesus.

James C Sanford

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Deadliest Shooting in U.S. History

We are sure none of the students in Blacksburg Virgnia realized on a Monday morning that a murderous rampage would leave 33 of their classmates dead and over 20 wounded. President Bush and members of Congress expressed their surprise and grief at a senseless tragedy.

The perpetrator of this crime killed himself as the police closed in on him. And the sad thought... where is this young man now? The Bible tells us, in Hebrews 9:27 [AMP]

And just as it is appointed for [all] men once to die, and after that the [certain] judgment

That young man was deceived by satan into thinking he could murder dozens of innocent people and escape judgment by killing himself. What he failed to realize was that by killing himself he did not escape judgment. Rather, he walked right into judgment. While we are alive on this earth, we can confess our sins and repent to receive God’s forgiveness. God sent Jesus into the world to save the world (John 3:16-17).

You can accept Jesus and have eternal life, or reject Him and wind up in the lake of fire.

Revelation 21:8 [AMP] says:

But as for the cowards and the ignoble and the contemptible and the cravenly lacking in courage and the cowardly submissive, and as for the unbelieving and faithless, and as for the depraved and defiled with abominations, and as for murderers and the lewd and adulterous and the practicers of magic arts and the idolaters (those who give supreme devotion to anyone or anything other than God) and all liars (those who knowingly convey untruth by word or deed)--[all of these shall have] their part in the lake that blazes with fire and brimstone. This is the second death.

Death is inevitable. Hell is not. God can and will forgive your sins if you come to Him and ask.

Give your life to Jesus... because life is short... and eternity is a long, long, long time!

Brotha DC

A Call For Repentance

"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men (Matt. 5:13NIV)." Salt has literally hundreds of uses, but here Jesus is speaking of the positive qualities it has in purifying, seasoning and preserving.


Those who are taught and trained in the word of God are likened unto salt; they serve as a purifying agent in their community, spreading as seasoning, the word of God and preserving the principals of Godliness. But when the truth of God is exchanged for myths, fables, lies and the tradition of men the "salt" has become tasteless or has lost it's "saltiness" and "it is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men."


Our churches of today have welcomed and accepted the traditions of the world and the practice of paganism into the church and are teaching myths, fables and lies rather than the truths of God's Holy Scriptures. They have tickled the ears of the masses for the sake of numbers in the pews and dollars in the offering plate. They have become rich and think they have need of nothing.


Yes, the church has fallen away from the faith of our forefathers and have become as the heathen. Immorality in the pulpits has led to immorality being accepted in the congregations and it seems no one in the churches is speaking out against it. Thus the church is no longer held is high esteem by the community it is serving, but is looked upon as being a house of hypocrites, whoremongers and thieves.


We look at our leaders in government in awe of their total disrespect for the laws that they are sworn to uphold, we presently see congressmen and senators with morals less than that of an alley cat. In the past we have seen, and was even approved by the masses, immorality in the White House. We have become a nation of shameless fornicators, adulteresses and murders!! Why do we see crime of all sorts in our communities on the rise? Do we wonder how these things can be? Could it be that the "salt" has become "tasteless" and has lost its ability to purify, season and preserve? Has the church become the apostate church? Has this apostate church led this nation down the path of destruction?


Where is the fear of God? Have we as a church and a nation become so haughty that we don't any longer fear Him. Have we become so unpleasantly or disdainfully self-important we feel that we are self-sufficient and have no need to reverence God. Have we become so proud of our military that we lean upon our own might rather that the power of God?


We must take heed lest we fall,


"Before his downfall a man's heart is proud, but humility comes before honor (Prov. 18:12NIV)."


"When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom (Prov. 11:2NIV)."


"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise (Ps. 111:10NIV)."


We must return to teaching the precepts of our Lord to see the salvation of a declining nation destined to fall. Yes, our nation is in a downward spiral into the pit of immorality, but if we will listen to the words that God speaks to His people and take heed there is still hope;


"if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land (2 Chr. 7:14NASU)."


When He says, "if my people who are called by My name" He is speaking to the church today just as He spoke in the days of King Solomon. He is calling for His people of today to humble themselves before Him and to pray. God hears the prayers of the humble but resist the proud.


How can the salt become salty again? Repent and call upon the name of the Lord that our sins might be forgiven. The church must repent; turn its back on sin and seek God's face in humbleness with broken and contrite hearts. God promises that He will hear the prayers of the broken and contrite.


"Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance (Rom 2:4-5NIV)?"


"Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Christ, who has been appointed for you even Jesus (Acts 3:19-20NASU)."


The enemy is at work, he never sleeps. He has penetrated our boarders and sits in our pews, he has filled our pulpits and governmental offices, and he seeks whom he might destroy. The faithful and true church is the "salt" that preserves and it must be this church that brings this nation back to God; the church must lead this nation in repentance before it is too late. We must call upon our Lord and Savior to give us wisdom and strength; we must lean upon His power to save us. Selah.


Pastor Jake