Did you know that Easter has nothing to do with the crucifixion?

Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. And he killed James the brother of John ‘with the sword. And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of unleavened bread.) And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people. – Acts 12:1-4

Herod had just beheaded James, it made the Jews happy. Now Herod desires to kill Peter also, but he wants to wait until after “Easter” according to the King James Bible. Every other modern ‘bible’ perversion has the word “Passover” instead of “Easter.” But “Easter” IS actually CORRECT, and is the proper word to use. How do we know this? The Bible evidences it. Notice again in the passage of Acts 12:1-4 that King Herod killed James. When he saw that it pleased the Jews, Herod also had Peter arrested. Notice that Herod took Peter DURING the DAYS OF UNLEAVENED BREAD and was going to bring him forth to the people AFTER Easter.

NOTE: Don’t forget that text in brackets ( ) in the Bible are ‘extra little personal notes’ to us from the Lord, to help clarify things for us even further – and boy do they here!

The Old Testament teaches that the DAY OF PASSOVER started the FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD. Notice in the following Scripture that the Day Of Passover occurred on the 14th day of the first month, but the Feast Of Unleavened Bread began on the 15th day of the month:

In the fourteenth day of the first month at even is the LORD’s passover. And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD: seven days ye must eat unleavened bread. – Leviticus 23:5-6

So we learn from this Old Testament Scripture that the day of Passover fell on the 14th day of the first month, and then the “FEAST of UNLEAVENED BREAD” began upon the 15th day of the first month.

The days of unleavened bread came AFTER Passover! Acts 12:3 tells us that Peter was apprehended DURING the “days of unleavened bread.” This means that the day of Passover had ALREADY occurred. “Easter” could not have been Passover, because Passover occurs BEFORE the days of unleavened bread. Passover had come and gone. Herod decided to bring Peter forth AFTER Easter.

This is the proper time sequence:


The day of Passover always kicks off the seven days of unleavened bread, happening the day before the feast begins. So if Herod arrested James during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Passover was already over. Easter is correct. Of course, Easter is a pagan holiday and the Bible doesn’t deny that. The Bible is simply teaching that James was taken by Herod during the days of unleavened bread, and Herod was planning to kill Peter after Easter.


Easter was originally a pagan holiday

The word “Easter” here does NOT refer to “Easter” as we know it nor does it refer to the “Passover” as it is wrongly translated in other Bible versions. Though many Christians celebrate “Easter” in remembrance of Christ’s resurrection, Easter was originally a pagan festival (etymology of your dictionary should confirm this), which is what Acts 12:4 refers to and not the Passover. We will determine this by looking at the passage.

The Webster’s New World Dictionary gives the following etymology (origin and development of a word), for the word “Easter”:

“originally, name of pagan vernal [spring time] festival ALMOST COINCIDENT in date with paschal [Passover] festival of the church”
SOURCE: Eastre, dawn goddess—Austro, dawn

In other words, Easter was originally a pagan festival celebrated in the spring time. When the King James Bible says “EASTER” in Acts 12:4, it is correct; when the other versions say “PASSOVER” in Acts 12:4, they are incorrect. Again, “Easter” in this passage is referring to a pagan festival.

Further evidence from the Book of Numbers

Passover only comes once a year on one day, the 14th of Abib ( Numbers 28:16). After the Passover, then comes the seven days of unleavened bread (Numbers 28:16-17), extending from the fifteenth day through the twentieth day… Numbers 28:16-17, And in the fourteenth day of the first month is the passover of the LORD. And in the fifteenth day of this month is the feast: seven days shall unleavened bread be eaten.

So when Peter was arrested during the days of unleavened bread (Acts 12:3), Passover had come and gone! This evidences 100% that “Easter” is the correct word that should be rendered in Acts 12:4. The Bible says that Herod was going to bring him forth AFTER Easter (which had not come yet). The angel of the Lord rescued Peter in response to the prayers of the church, who were gathered together praying for Peter after they heard that James had been killed. The Bible says in Acts 12:19 that the keepers of the prison were put to death by Herod for Peter’s escape from the prison. In Acts 12:23 the Holy Spirit struck Herod and He was eaten by worms and died. Herod is in Hell this moment in torments.

Downloadable Resources

How To Spot a Fool

He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed. – Proverbs 13:20

The history of ‘April Fool’s Day’ is usually traced back to a change in the calendar, when the first of the year was moved from April 1st to January 1st. Traditionally, it is a day when it is considered acceptable to deceive people, just as long as no harm is done.

The Bible does have something to say about a “fool”, “fool’s”, “foolish”, and “foolishness”. And as Christians, we are warned about becoming a companion of fools. The Bible gives us plenty of characteristics of a fool, so that we can avoid the companionship of fools and also avoid the characteristics of fools.

“Birds of a feather flock together.”, the old saying goes. Paul says in 1 Cor. 15:33 that evil communications corrupt good manners. There are people in this world whose respectability is mistaken for ‘character’; they blacken everything and everybody they touch.

A young lady swished through the living room in a “formal” on the way to a dance. Her father, sitting beside a cold fireplace, remarked, “Now honey, you know that I don’t approve of this, and….” The daughter laughed and came out with the usual line: “Oh daddy, don’t be silly! Jane will be there and you said that she was a Christian, and Jim is taking her. He sings in the choir, and….” “Honey,” said her father, “reach in the fireplace and pick up one of those coals.” The girl studied the fireplace for a minute, and believing that she had outwitted her father, she picked up a coal that had been dead more than twenty-four hours. “See there,” she said gaily, “it doesn’t burn me!” She threw it back in the fireplace. “Now look at your hands,” her father said. “See there? Bad company will smut you every time.”

READ: Proverbs 14:7.

When you hear a person shooting off their mouth who obviously has no respect for God or the Bible, excuse yourself and leave the room. You may stay and ‘hear them out’ if you have some time to waste, but if you are there for learning, do not waste valuable time with them (Eph. 5:16).

A fool is revealed by their speech

READ: Ecclesiastes 5:3 and 10:14.

The fool has a surplus of words

Who talks the most in your family, or within your circle of friends, or during meetings with your work colleagues? That person is probably the most foolish person in the group.

The fool has slanderous words

READ: Proverbs 10:18.

To slander someone is to say an accusation against someone without verifying that it is true. Both things mentioned in the verse are equally bad. One is using flattery to cover hatred, and the other is lying about a person in order to damage their reputation.

The fool has scoffing words

READ: Psalms 14:1.

An atheist does not truly BELIEVE there is no God; they just SAY there is no God.

The fool has swift words

READ: Proverbs 29:11, 20.

A fool talks without considering a matter first. Prov. 18:13 – one of the most foolish types of programmes on television is the average news commentary with two or more people “debating” the issues. They have nearly every characteristic of a fool’s speech that the Bible gives.

A fool is revealed by their steps

READ: Ecclesiastes 10:3.

  • A fool has stumbling steps – Ecclesiastes 2:14.
  • A fool has sinful steps – Proverbs 26:11.

In the story of the Prodigal son, the fool was the young man who decided to leave home and waste his inheritance. When he came to himself, he decided to return to the Father’s house. The most foolish thing a man does is to reject the gospel. The most foolish thing a Christian does is to reject his Father’s fellowship and go the way of the world.

A fool is revealed by their spirit

READ: Proverbs 14:16.

A fool has a stout (haughty, proud) spirit

A fool promotes him/herself; a wise person humbles him/herself and lifts up Jesus – Proverbs 28:26 and 14:3.

A fool has a stubborn spirit

A fool is stubborn; therefore, they are not teachable – Proverbs 12:15. A fool is stubborn in rejecting the truths of the Bible about salvation, about service, about sin and separation, about service – Proverbs 15:5 and 23:9.

A fool has a swift spirit

A wise person is swift to hear, but slow to speak, slow to get angry, and slow to make a decision that requires contemplation – Proverbs 13:16, 29:20, and 19:2.

A fool has a seething (soon-angry) and striving spirit

A fool gets into arguments all the time – Proverbs 20:3; Ecclesiastes 7:9; Proverbs 12:16.

A fool is revealed by their sport

READ: Proverbs 10:23.

Sport is what makes a person happy. It is pleasure.

A fool enjoys mischief

We think of mischief as a harmless joke or prank, but in the Bible, it is more serious than that. Mischief is anything that is harmful to another person, and this is one of the seven things that are an abomination to God, according to Proverbs 6:18.

A fool enjoys meddling in the affairs of others

They are willing to lie about others in order to stir up a fight. They gossip and are always talking about other people to try to make people angry at them – Proverbs 26:17-19.

In closing

Many of us have been unaware of what marks a fool, and many of us are companions of fools. And many of us are foolish in our own ways.

It is essential to choose your friends wisely. Just as good friends have good influences, a friend who gets into trouble generally gets his friends into trouble with him.

Let us not be foolish, but wise. Let us be kind and witness to all people, but let us not have fools, but wise men, as our companions.

50 Reasons Why a Saved Christian Can Never Be Lost

READ: Romans 5:1-5 and 1 Peter 1:6.

As a SAVED Christian you can NEVER lose your salvation. It is a free gift from God, which He can never take back. No matter what trials, tribulations, and persecutions you go through in this life, it does NOT affect your standing in Christ.

There are so many Christians today who live in fear of losing their salvation. Perhaps they have heard it said from false teachers that “if you keep sinning then you are not really saved!”, or the Christian believes that God is still angry with them for some reason (and that He didn’t really save them in the first place) and will send them to Hell anyway, or, most probably, they have not read and studied the true word of God and don’t know what the Bible actually says. Whatever the case may be, it is unscriptural to say or think that a Christian can lose their salvation once they are saved.

Below are just 50 reasons why a saved Christian can never be lost (unsaved) again. There are many other verses for each of these 50, and indeed many other reasons, but this should be enough to show you that you are eternally secure in Christ once you are saved.

1. Eternal life is eternal

John 3:15, 10:28; Romans 6:23; 1 John 2:25, 5:11 & 13 – ‘Eternal’ means never ending. Once you have eternal life it can never be taken away. If it could be it would not be eternal.

2. Everlasting life is everlasting

Daniel 12:2; John 3:16 & 36, 5:24, 6:40 & 47; Romans 6:22 – Everlasting life can never end. It is everlasting regardless of your behaviour.

3. It is God’s Will

John 6:39 – It is God’s will that Christ lose none of those who come to Him.

4. Heaven is reserved for you

1 Peter 1:4 – An inheritance in heaven is reserved for you.

5. Salvation (inheritance) is incorruptible

1 Peter 1:4 – No one can corrupt something God has made incorruptible.

6. Salvation (inheritance) cannot be defiled

1 Peter 1:4 – No one can defile something which God says cannot be defiled.

7. You are sealed by the Holy Spirit

Ephesians 1:13 – No power in Heaven or earth can break God’s seal.

8. You are sealed unto the Day of Redemption

Ephesians 4:30 – You are sealed until the day God redeems your body.

9. Holy Spirit will abide forever

John 14:16-17 – The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is permanent.

10. You are preserved forever

Psalms 37:28 – God preserves you forever.

11. You are born of God

John 1:12-13 – You actually become God’s child and cannot be “unborn”.

12. You are a new creature

2 Corinthians 5:17 – God has made you a new creature and no one can “uncreate” you.

13. You are created in Christ Jeusus

Ephesians 2:10 – You were created in your Saviour.

14. You are preserved unto the Heavenly Kingdom

2 Timothy 4:18 – You are preserved like Paul since God is no respecter of persons.

15. You are kept by the power of God

1 Peter 1:5 – Since God is keeping you, you cannot fall from salvation.

16. Christ has prayed for you

John 17:11 – Jesus prayed that God would keep all who He had given Him.

17. Works cannot affect your salvation

Romans 11:6 – Salvation is not gained by works, so it cannot be lost by works.

18. Your faith is counted for righteousness

Romans 4:5 – It is faith which brings salvation to you.

19. Nothing can separate you from the love of Christ

Romans 8:38-39 – Nothing material, immaterial, past, present, or future can separate you from Christ’s love.

20. Salvation is of the Lord

Jonah 2:9 – Salvation is all God’s work. He bought it and provided it.

21. God is able to keep you

2 Timothy 1:12 – Your salvation rests on God’s omnipotent ability to keep you.

22. You are promised not to come into condemnation

John 5:24 – This promise would be broken if even one believer fell into eternal condemnation.

23. You are promised to never perish

John 10:27-28 – You have an unconditional promise to never perish.

24. You will never be cast out

John 6:37 – Under no condition will you be cast out from Christ or Heaven.

25. All things work together for good to you

Romans 8:28 – It would not be good for one to lose his salvation.

26. You are in Christ’s hand

John 10:28 – You are in your Saviour’s Hand.

27. You are in the Father’s hand

John 10:29-30 – You are in your heavenly Father’s Hand.

28. You are, and always will be, a sheep

John 10:27-28 – A sheep represents a saved person and cannot change from being one.

29. God’s mercy never dies

Titus 3:5 – You are saved by God’s mercy and it endures forever (Ps. 136).

30. God cannot lie

Titus 1:2 – Once God saved you, He cannot go back on His word.

31. Your sins are gone forever

Psalms 103:12; Micah 7:19; Isaiah 38:17, 44:22; Hebrews 10:17 – Your sins are gone.

32. You shall be like Christ

1 John 3:2 – It is a certainty that you will be like Christ.

33. God sees you as already glorified

Romans 8:30 – You are as good as glorified in God’s sight.

34. You are born of incorruptible seed

1 Peter 1:23 – Your new birth was from incorruptible seed.

35. You will appear with Christ in glory

Colossians 3:4 – You are promised to appear with Christ when He returns.

36. You are hidden in Christ

Colossians 3:3 – You are dead to the world and alive in Christ.

37. You are dead to and freed from sin

Romans 6:2-7 – Sin can no longer affect your destiny. You are freed from it.

38. The Lord is now praying for you

Hebrews 7:25 – The Lord is presently interceding in your behalf.

39. God will finish what He started

Philippians 1:6 – God began the work of salvation and will finish it.

40. You have eternal redemption

Hebrews 9:12 – You have been eternally redeemed from your sins.

41. Your life is Christ’s life

Colossians 3:4 – Your life is Christ’s very own life, so how could it be lost?

42. You have an everlasting covenant with God

Hebrews 13:20 – God made a covenant to give you everlasting life.

43. You are kept by Christ from falling

Jude 24 – You cannot fall from grace because Christ is keeping you.

44. Salvation is a free gift

Romans 6:23 – A free gift is given with no conditions.

45. You have imputed righteousness

Romans 4:6-7 – The righteousness you have is Christ’s perfect righteousness.

46. You are a part of Christ

Ephesians 5:30 – You are a part of Christ’s body. “Bone of His bone….”

47. Christ is the Author and Finisher of your salvation

Hebrews 12:2 – Christ began and will finish your salvation.

48. You have been predestinated to be conformed to Christ’s image

Romans 8:29 – After salvation you are predestinated.

49. Christ’s blood has made peace for you

Colossians 1:20 – You have peace with God through the blood.

50. The Bible was written so you could believe and know

1 John 5:13 – You can know you HAVE ETERNAL SALVATION!

A Christian’s Daily Walk

Biblical Christianity is a PERSON – the Lord Jesus Christ. When you received Jesus as your Saviour, you received Him as a real Person into your heart and life. There are many things to learn about the Lord and the Christian life, but you must never forget that there is a personal relationship to be enjoyed and maintained.

Personal relationships are maintained by communication – both parties share from their heart. The deeper the sharing, the deeper and stronger the relationship will be. Every Christian needs a relationship with God, and this is accomplished through a ‘Daily Walk’ with the Lord; enabling them to enjoy all that God has to offer. This is also the battleground where victory or defeat in a Christian’s life will be decided.

READ: 2 Peter 3:18 – What is God’s will for a Christian?

There are many essential requirements for spiritual growth, and this short study will deal with a few of them.

Set time aside each day

Your walk with the Lord should be, and needs to be, constant.

READ: Joshua 1:8 – What was God’s command? See also Deuteronomy 6:6-9.

READ: 1 Thessalonians 5:17 – How are we told to pray?

In this age of busyness and distractions, it is vital for every Christian to set aside a definite time each day for a personal devotional walk with the Lord – a ‘Quiet Time’.

READ: Daniel 6:10 – How many times did Daniel pray each day?

READ: Acts 17:11 – What did the Berean Christians do each day?

There is no prescribed time for your daily devotion – what is important is that you DO set time aside, and stick to it!

Remember that good habits are hard to form. Ask the Lord to help you keep this one vital appointment. If you fail, do not quit! Just determine to start again, and keep going until it DOES become a good habit.

Discipline yourself to accomplish a daily Quiet Time

READ: 1 Timothy 4:7 – What does God say we should exercise ourselves unto?

Christians are to discipline (train, exercise) themselves to become godly.

Plan for success

  1. If you are a ‘morning person’, then get a good night’s sleep so you awake refreshed. You cannot stay up late at night and feel like having a productive Quiet Time early the next morning.
  2. Select a special place – somewhere that is convenient, and has a pleasant atmosphere with good lighting. Using the same location each day will help you build a successful pattern.
  3. Approach your Quiet Time with an attitude of expectancy. You can expect God to show you activities you need to start or stop, and attitudes you need to develop or change. God will teach you much about Himself.

Look for ways to apply the Bible to your life

As you prepare to read God’s word in your Quiet Time, pray for understanding and for ways in which you can apply what you read to your everyday life.

READ: Psalms 119:18 – What did the Psalmist say?

TIP: Read the Scriptures using a Bible reading schedule. If you do not have a schedule, then search the Internet for one; there are lots on there.

Record insights

As you read, think about the meaning of the words, and use a notebook to record insights. It may be something new you learn or something God impresses upon your heart. Insights do not need to come from the entire passage you read; they might just come from one verse or a phrase within a verse.

Writing down insights help solidify them in your own thinking, and stores them in your heart. Journaling is a wonderful way to help you make a personal application, so put on your ‘spiritual spectacles’, and ask these questions:

Did God reveal to me…

  • S  ins to confess?
  • P  romises to claim?
  • E  xamples to follow?
  • C  ommands to obey?
  • T  ruths to rejoice in?
  • A  verse to memorise?
  • C  hallenges to face?
  • L  essons about God?
  • E  rrors to avoid?
  • S  upplications (prayers) to utter?

As you write out your personal applications, make them specific, and measurable. Write a brief prayer sentence from the insights.

Spend time in prayer

Ask God to guide you throughout the day, and provide you with opportunities to apply what you have learned during your Quiet Time.

Review your memory verses

Memorising a verse from the Bible each week is an excellent way to grow spiritually. At the end of your Quiet Time review your verses from previous weeks.

Some tips when reading the Bible

Begin with a short prayer asking the Lord to teach you

WRITE: Psalms 119:18. This can be a model prayer for you.

Take every word on its primary, literal meaning unless the context clearly indicates otherwise

Remember, God means what He says and says what He means.

When the plain sense makes common sense, seek no other sense, or it all becomes nonsense.

Mark your Bible

Underline or highlight key verses. Write down other references in the margins. If you do not wish to do this in your best Bible, purchase a cheaper one for reading and application purposes.

Scripture always interprets Scripture (2 Peter 1:20)

Always interpret an obscure passage in the light of a clear passage.

Obey the word

You MUST resolve to obey the word of God as you read it and study it (John 15:14).

Treat the Bible as a personal letter from God

Read it expectantly – as a lover reads a love letter (Jeremiah 31:3).

Ask your Christian friends

When you cannot understand a verse, remember that you have other Christians who care for you, and who delight in teaching the word of God. Call them, listen to them, and then check the Scriptures to see if what they say is so.

Some teaching on Prayer

In your daily Quiet Time with the Lord, you will want to pray.

What is prayer?

READ: Matthew 6:5-7, 7:7 – What is prayer NOT?

Prayer is asking. It is the cry of a Christian unto God; the request of a child to his or her Father.

To whom do we pray?

READ: John 15:16, 16:23; Luke 11:2.

NOTE: Nowhere does the Bible teach us to repeat Luke 11:2-4. It is not the Lord’s prayer. Jesus never prayed it; it is a “model” prayer.

In whose name do we pray?

READ: John 14:14, 16:24.

What things may we ask for?

There are many things we can pray for. Some examples can be found in: Matthew 6:11; James 1:5; 2 Thessalonians 3:1; Acts 4:29; Psalms 34:4, 119:18, 119:133.

A good pattern in Prayer

As a general rule, include the following in your prayer:

  • A  doration – adore God
  • C  onfession – confess your sins to God
  • T  hanksgiving – thank God for His blessings
  • S  upplication – pray for others and their needs, and yourself and your needs

Adoration – Praising God for Who He is

Psalms 34:1 – a wonderful way to begin a time of prayer is by expressing praise to God! In a prayer of adoration, you express your deep feelings toward God in response to His love, wisdom, presence, power, knowledge, grace, holiness, greatness, and His other Divine attributes. This kind of prayer will always be an occasion for joy.

Remember that our adoration must be reserved for God, not for projects, ministries, or works done in His name. When you are in His will, the desire to praise Him will come naturally. Memorise some verses on praising God, and use them as you adore Him – 1 Chronicles 29:11-14; Exodus 15:11; 1 Peter 1:15-16; Jeremiah 32:17-19; Revelation 4:11, 5:12-14).

Confession – Agreeing with God about your sin

1 John 1:9 – When you trusted Jesus Christ as Saviour a special relationship was established between you and God. He became your heavenly Father, and you became His adopted child. That relationship is eternal. However, through our self-centred and sinful decisions in life we strain the quality of that relationship, and our fellowship with God is broken.

It is confession that restores the privilege of that wonderful fellowship. Both sin and righteousness are the result of personal decisions, so confession that is based upon genuine repentance will be proven by a change in your daily life. For this reason, your greatest spiritual victories will normally come as the result of this honest, cleansing kind of prayer. Your confession and repentance need to be specific.

Thanksgiving – Expressing gratitude to God for what He has done

1 Thessalonians 5:18 – The average Christian spends too much time asking and too little time thanking. Paul’s admonition to give thanks in everything reflects the maturity of his Christian life. He had been shipwrecked, beaten, hungry, severely criticised, and imprisoned, yet, his heart was filled with gratitude – Philippians 3:7-8.

Prayer provides the opportunity to express our deepest emotions and feelings to God. How long has it been since your heart was overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude?

Supplication – Praying for the needs of others

1 Timothy 2:1; 1 Samuel 12:23 – When Christ enters our lives, it becomes our spontaneous desire to seek God’s blessings for those around us. This is called “supplication” or “intercession”.

Most consistent intercessory praying that we do focuses on the spiritual needs of relatives, friends, and neighbours. Many of those we intercede for are lost. Others are Christians living beneath the resources and privileges freely available to God’s children. In each of these instances, intercessory prayer is a ministry of love.

Through intercession, any Christian can be mightily used of God to affect the cause of evangelism worldwide. Whatever our physical condition, we can all be a part of God’s powerful army of prayer.

Keep an on-going prayer list

Keep a prayer list with your Bible where you write down any definite requests you have – special family needs, church needs, and the special requests other Christians may share with you. And don’t forget to write down the answers as they come.

Don’t forget to witness to others by word of mouth, and hand out tracts or leave them around in public places.

A Few Thoughts On Prayer

The reason why many fail in battle is because they wait until the hour of battle. The reason why others succeed is because they have gained their victory on their knees long before the battle came…Anticipate your battles; fight them on your knees before temptation comes, and you will always have victory. R. A. Torrey

READ: Philippians 4:6.

God invites us to bring any need we face directly to His throne. This invitation is especially remarkable when we consider that it is from the God who created the universe with words (Hebrews 11:3), raised Christ from the dead (Ephesians 1:18-20), and already performed a miracle of rebirth in our lives (Ephesians 2:1-6).

  • Do you spend much time with God in prayer?
  • Do you keep track of your requests and His answers?

This is the God who has the obvious creativity and power to care for any need we have, and He invites us to bring our needs before Him. So why is it then that we do not pray as much as we should?

Pride? – like a little child who wants to care for his own needs without help, we sometimes have too high of an opinion of our ability to solve problems. We don’t recognise God’s superior power, and we think we can handle our lives on our own.

Unbelief? – sometimes, we simply don’t believe that God would answer if we did pray. Instead of bringing our requests before the Lord, we worry over them; disregarding the hundreds of promises in God’s word that He will hear us and help us when we pray.

Busyness? – it’s all too easy to fill our lives with important activities and ministry while neglecting the most important activity of seeking God’s face and power.

Praying is so critical; it is a conversation with God. How can we worship God for all eternity when we can’t even manage 5-mins down here? Well, perhaps for starters, we will see more and more and more things in eternity that we won’t have ‘time’ NOT to worship!

God loves His children coming to Him in prayer, and since prayer is our lifeline to God, to NOT pray is an insult to Him. Every ‘prayerless’ day is saying to God that you do no need Him today, and perhaps could even reflect idolatry as you are relying on yourself, or other people, or money, or something else instead.

  • Would you think that neglecting prayer is not only a weakness, but a sinful choice?

Everyday we should be asking God for wisdom, guidance, comfort, help, protection, the list goes on. It is well said that he who is a stranger to prayer will also be a stranger to God’s power.

READ: Jeremiah 33:3 – let us never face a day in battle until we have faced the Father in prayer.

A man was once cutting a tree stump with an obviously blunt axe. He was only bruising the bark as sweat poured from his beaded brow. Someone suggested that he stop for a moment and sharpen the axe, to which he replied, “I’m too busy chopping the tree to stop for anything.” If he would only stop for a moment and sharpen the axe, he would be able to slice through the tree with far greater ease.

Stop at the beginning of each day to ‘sharpen the axe’ through prayer. Seek first the kingdom of God, and you will slice through that day with far greater ease.

Some people are constantly in prayer and as such are known as ‘Prayer Warriors’, which is wonderful. But this does not make them any more spiritual than you or me. We are ALL ‘tools’ on the Creator’s ‘workbench’ – only the Craftsman can pick up the tool and use it well.

  • What do you think would be some characteristics of a ‘Prayer Warrior’?
  • Would YOU like to be known as a ‘Prayer Warrior’?

READ: 1 Thessalonians 5:17, 1:3, 2:13; Romans 1:9; 2 Timothy 1:3 – we must pray without ceasing. Whether you do this or not will depend on how much focus on and faith you have in God.

Prayer does a lot of things, but here’s three things to think about for the moment:

1. Prayer allows us to be in ‘partnership’ with God

He chooses to use us with Him in what He is already going to do. It is such a privilege! How many times have you been blessed to hear that your (constant) prayer for someone was answered in their life? Or you prayed something for someone and at that time were not sure why you were praying for that particular thing in their life, but then you later discovered the reason?

READ: Romans 8:26 – sometimes we don’t know what to pray for or most of the time it’s for self-preservation – to get out of trouble. The Holy Spirit helps us as we go through trouble by praying for us according to God’s will. The Holy Spirit:

  • Sees your trouble like you can’t see it.
  • Sees God’s purpose for it.
  • Sees Satan’s purpose for it (2 Corinthians 12:7; Job 1, 2).
  • Knows your real strength to hold up under the infirmity.
  • Knows who is watching you as you go through the infirmity.
  • Knows how you will be able to minister to others because of your infirmity.
  • Knows what kind of example you will be and how influential your example will be to future generations because of your infirmities.

You don’t see all of that, and so you don’t pray accordingly, but the Holy Spirit does. When He prays for us, He prays for us with all of that in mind. Perhaps He groans when He sees the carnality in our prayers? Perhaps He groans when He sees the delight Satan takes in making our infirmities worse? Christ wept for Lazarus in John 11:35–36, and so perhaps the Holy Spirit groans out of love for us? God has to put us through trouble, so we will grow and mature as Christians, but He takes no delight in our pain and suffering. Perhaps our sorrow touches the heart of the Spirit of God and causes Him to groan?

What a wonderful relationship we have with the Father!

2. Prayer frustrates the plans of the enemy

Our minds and thoughts may wander at times when we are in prayer. This is normally the enemy trying to interfere with our communion at that moment with God. The Devil doesn’t want us talking (and listening) to God – he doesn’t want God to answer our prayers, or for us to know the answers, because it can halt his plans.

READ: Daniel 10.

God always defeats the enemy though and turns things around. The next time all those thoughts, tasks, and distractions come in during your prayer time, just quickly jot them down on a notepad, and return to prayer again immediately. At the end of praying, not only would you have spent as much quality time with the Lord as you can (frustrating the enemy), but God has also given you your ‘To Do’ list for the day!

3. Prayer brings God joy

It is wonderful to know that we can bring delight to God simply by praying to Him (Proverbs 15:8).

READ: Revelation 8:3-4 and 5:8 – what a sweet smell our prayers are to God!

So then…

  • Pray with faith (Hebrews 11:6) – it is so sad that sometimes we have more faith in man and his things than in God Himself.
  • Pray with clean hands and a pure heart (Psalms 24:3,4) – confess your sins (1 John 1:7-9) to God daily through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ – this is not for salvation, but for fellowship with God so that your prayers are not hindered.
  • Pray genuine heartfelt prayers rather than vain repetitions (Matthew 6:7) – keep yourself in the love of God, and you will never pray hypocritical or selfish prayers. Just talk to your heavenly Father as candidly and intimately as a young child nestled on Daddy’s lap. God wants to hear from your heart.
  • Make sure that you are praying to the God revealed in the Scriptures (Exodus 20:3-6) – Study the word; do not accept the world’s idea of who God is. Look to the thunderings and lightnings of Mount Sinai; gaze at Jesus on the cross of Calvary hanging in unspeakable agony because of the justice of a holy God. The God of the Holy Bible is the True, Living God.

The prayer that God answers is the prayer that is to God the Father, that is on the ground of the atoning blood of God the Son, and that is under the direction and in the power of God the Holy Spirit.

Allow the Craftsman to pick you up and create something beautiful through your life, for His glory. Pray!

Encouragement For Troubled Times

Every day we need to have encouragement for what God is doing during these last days of time. The world is so bad, so evil, so angry, so apathetic, so unreasonable, so false, so greedy, so painful, so ridiculous, so corrupt, so deceived … so troubled. It is so very hard to stay focused and encouraged, but we need to take comfort in what God is doing.

READ: 2 Timothy 1:9 – God has known you since before the world began. He knew what generation you would be born in, why He needs you in this time and dispensation, and where He has called you. He saved you; He called you.

Neither the saving nor the calling was based on our works. The saving was based on the blood atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the calling was based on the fact that God placed us into Christ (Ephesians 2:10) when we received Him (John 1:12-13). See also Ephesians 1:4.

His purpose was to adopt individuals (Ephesians 1:5) as sons which He had NOT done for 4,000 years (Genesis 1 – Acts 2), and His grace was to give the undeserving sinner a chance to get to Heaven by accepting a free gift (Romans 6:23).

READ: Hebrews 4:3 – He knew what He was going to do with this world, and His works also included YOU.

There are many evil groups in the world today, but God is using those people to accomplish His will.

READ: Isaiah 10:5 – the Assyrians were the rod of God’s anger. God used those evil people to accomplish a work in the hearts of the Israelites, because of sin.

READ: Isaiah 14:25 – He would then break the Assyrian. Vengeance is His, and He never lets anyone get away with anything.

READ: Jeremiah 27:6 – Nebuchadnezzar was God’s servant. Look how evil that man was, but God used him for a purpose (see also Ezekiel 30:24-25).

A letter was received from a missionary who said that he could have worked for years and years in the place he was sent, and would have maybe seen one convert during that time. But, when some evil groups had risen up in the local area, only then did scores of Muslims come to faith in Christ.

God uses evil groups to accomplish the purpose He has in mind, which is only for good (Romans 8:28), and for coming against evil.

READ: Romans 13:1 – there is so much corruption in governments and political circles, but God uses even our leaders to accomplish His purpose. So how should the Christian respond to authority?

  1. A Christian should do what the government tells him to do.
  2. When it comes to questionable areas, a Christian should try to go along with the government as far as they can without compromising truth or right (Luke 20:22–24). The tribute money had been made by Rome and was required by Rome for payment. If Rome made it, then Rome could have it back.
  3. But if the government commands the Christian to do something contrary to the expressed will of God as revealed in the Scriptures, then the rule is given by Peter in Acts 5:29. That is such a common sense statement that the first time Peter brings up the subject he leaves it up to the judgment of a bunch of unsaved, self-righteous men to come to the same conclusion (Acts 4:19-20).

READ: Psalms 110:1 and Luke 20:42-43 – let us remember that at some point, the enemies will be under the feet of Jesus (see Isaiah 14:25). In God’s timing for His purpose, one day ALL evil forces will be under His feet!

It will be good then, and it is even good now. Why? Because everything that is happening today in this dark world is God’s will for it to all happen this way.

And don’t forget, His holy calling is on YOUR life to live right now in this generation, exactly for what He has called you to do.

READ: Psalms 95:8-11 and Hebrews 3:16-19 – the Israelites could not enter the Promised Land because of their unbelief.

But WE believe God when He says that these things that are happening in the world today are in His control, and He has shown them to us in His word. We can rest in this.

We must NOT stop praying and serving the Lord; putting our best effort into it. But we can rest KNOWING that God has it all under control. One day, we will know as He knows, but until then, let us thank Him now by faith.

He is using YOU right where you are, right now.

A Quick Look at Tithing

READ: Malachi 3:1-12 compare 2 Corinthians 9:7

There is no mandate anywhere in the New Testament for tithing. Each time the word “tithe” or “tithes” appears in the New Testament, it is used in reference to an Old Testament event or a concurrent Jewish practice.

The New Testament epistles contain numerous admonitions, exhortations, and rebukes, because of numerous sins and spiritual problems, but nothing is mentioned about tithing.

Hebrews 7:5 states quite clearly that only the sons of Levi had a commandment to receive tithes, not pastors or other religious leaders.

The Mosaic Law was given to Israel through Moses, not to the Church. If Christians are supposed to tithe, then what about circumcision, worshipping on Saturday, observing the holy convocations (Passover, Feast of Tabernacles, etc.), animal sacrifices, a tabernacle, and all the other components of the ceremonial law? Numbers 18:26-28 says that the Levitical priests are to offer up a heave offering to the Lord when they receive the tithes of the children of Israel. Should not pastors conduct heave offerings when they receive tithes as well?

The statements Jesus makes about tithing (Matthew 23:23; Luke 11:42, 18:12 – notice the tithe of ‘goods’) are all indicative, not imperative. A plain interpretation of these passages does not reveal any command that tithing should be continued into the Church Age.

Christians who mandate tithing are making the same mistake as the Judaizers. They believed that faith in Jesus Christ is not enough, and certain aspects of the Mosaic Law needed to be retained for salvation and/or sanctification. In fact, Paul stated in Galatians 5:3 that we are a debtor to do the whole law if we get circumcised or keep any other aspect of the law with the belief that this will add to what Christ already did on the cross. Today, circumcision is not an issue in the Church, but tithing certainly is. This is a very sobering concept coming from Paul. A person who is a debtor to do the whole law describes an unsaved person seeking justification by trying to keep the law.

Undoubtedly, the Judaizers of Paul’s time used God’s command to Abraham that he be circumcised (Genesis 17:11) as a proof text to illustrate that believers in the Church Age also need to be circumcised. In much the same way, many of the modern Judaizers use Abraham’s giving a tenth to Melchizedek after the defeat of Chedorlaomer (Genesis 14:17-20) as an example of how tithing should be performed by Christians. Since the cross, however, Abraham’s tithe has no more application to Christians than his circumcision.

The Levitical priesthood has been replaced with the priesthood of believers (1 Peter 2:5, 2:9). So, from this perspective, all that we have, money, possessions, spiritual gifts, belong to the Lord, not just a tenth of our income. Since New Testament giving is discretionary, and not based on a demand of a set percentage, this should dispel the common notion that one-tenth of our income is somehow “holy”, as if God is some sort of a divine accountant.

Those involved in ‘full-time’ ministry should be supported by the people they serve (1 Corinthians 9:7-14; 1 Timothy 5:17-18). A careful review of New Testament giving reveals to us that our contributions should not only be to support our local ministries, but also meet the basic needs of poverty stricken fellow Christians (Acts 2:44-45, 4:32-37; 1 Corinthians 16:1-3; 2 Corinthians 8:1-13; 1 Timothy 6:17-19). There was organised giving within local congregations to care for believing widows and orphans who had no other family to rely on (Acts 6:1-4; 1 Timothy 5:1-16).

2 Corinthians chapters 8-9, and 1 Corinthians 16:1-4 state that a Christian is to evaluate the needs of others and to give as he can. NO PERCENTAGE GUIDELINES ARE EVER GIVEN. Paul had ample opportunity to use the word “tithe” or at least mandate it as a standard to be preserved, but instead Paul gives us new rules for giving, which would supersede the Old Testament law for giving. If there is any single verse in the New Testament that nullifies the “tithing in the Church age” doctrine, it would be 2 Corinthians 9:7, which says, Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give: not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

Love is to be our motivation, not compulsory legalism (Hosea 6:6; Micah 6:6-8; Mark 12:28-34; 1 Corinthians 13:1-7). How much consideration we have for the poor, for example, is an indication of our spiritual condition (1 John 3:17).

Those who preach the “tithe” as doctrinally applying to Christians are wresting the Scriptures to conform to their belief at the expense of the truth. They either through ignorance, from fear of ridicule of those like-minded, or from not wanting to admit what they always taught was wrong, continue to apply Old Testament practices in the New Testament, in essence, placing those who hear them under the bondage and curse of the Mosaic Law (Galatians chapter 3).

The New Testament method for a Christian

Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. – 2 Corinthians 9:7

  1. Give cheerfully,
  2. Give as you purpose in your heart, and
  3. Give as God has prospered you.

And if you do, then here God’s promise for you is in 2 Corinthians 9:8, and is one of the greatest promises outside of Romans 8:28.