UCMI Faith Messenger:
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Mal 3:16  Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name. 

 
 
 

Understanding the effects of original Sin.

Do you have Unquestionable Faith?

A basis of Modern Belief.

A church is a Church ..... or is it?

We Believe  vs.  I Believe  -   Part 1

Faith without a Doubt.

Renewal of mind and spirit.

How do we receive the Lord's peace in our life?

Do you question your anointing?

Do you still fall for Satan's oldest trick ?
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


United Christian Ministries International
08/01/99

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  T H E   F A I T H    M E S S E N G E R
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 Understanding the effects of original Sin.

 The effect of original sin is described in the Bible in some detail. How many of us have taken the time to fully understand the cause and effect of this sin? We will be looking at Genesis 3 for the majority of this revelation. To start with lets look first at Genesis 2:16-18

 Genesis 2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat:
 Genesis 2:17 But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.
 Genesis 2:18 And the LORD God said, [It is] not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him.

 It is important to note some things here. Notice; God gave the commandment to Adam and we are given no evidence that God ever told Eve directly. Also note that Eve was created AFTER this commandment was issued. This command was the first of the laws that God gave to man. At this time the world was glorious. Perfect weather and conditions and man was set to never age or loose vitality. Man would live perfectly and forever. All of his needs were freely met.
 

 Genesis 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
 Genesis 3:2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
 Genesis 3:3 But of the fruit of the tree which [is] in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

 This is the first breach of God's word. Eve ADDED to the command by saying "neither shall ye touch it" This was not in the original commandment. This opened the door for Satan to corrupt Eve.

 Revelation 22:18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

 It is important to note that God has no gray area of tolerance for changing His word. Be adding to it or taking away or otherwise twisting or distorting it. Satan on the other hand knows God's commands and treacherously distorts the meanings to tempt us to stray from God.

 Genesis 3:4 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
 Genesis 3:5 For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.

 This is the original message of corruption. This message is still in place today in all of the false religions of the world. They would have you believe that you have control of your destiny and are the center of your universe. That you [as a god] have authority over your own realm. Notice in this scripture that the serpent first lied to Eve and then spoke AGAINST God. The serpent actually accused God of holding out on the benefits of eating the fruit.

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

 Here it comes folks. Eve SAW that the fruit was good. She turned from faith in God's commandment and, in the realm of the flesh, she made the judgement to eat the fruit. 
2 Corinthians 5:7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight) Eve based her decision on what she SAW rather than what God had commanded. Eve coveted the fruit (and a tree to be desired to make [one] wise) Eve "desired" the fruit. Now here comes some hidden truths. Adam was with Eve at the time. Eve gave to her husband with her. We must wonder why Adam did not stand in his faith and speak up against what the serpent was saying. Also, why did he not stop his wife from breaking the command of God? Understand that these two only had ONE commandment from God which they were to keep. One law that restricted them from only one tree. All else was theirs for the taking. The serpent needed to get them to want or to covet the fruit of this particular tree. This is sort of the beginnings of our modern day advertising. To make you want something that you are supposed to leave alone.

 Genesis 3:7 And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they [were] naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.
 Genesis 3:8 And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.

 Do you see what has happened here? Their eyes were opened and they knew that they were naked. They then clothed themselves out of shame. This sin caused shame and guilt to begin. Before this time there was no guilt or shame. Also notice that Adam and Eve hid from God. This is an act of deceiving God. Trying to hide from Him. So now to these things we add deception also.

 Genesis 3:9 And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where [art] thou?
 Genesis 3:10 And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I [was] naked; and I hid myself.
 Genesis 3:11 And he said, Who told thee that thou [wast] naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat?
 Genesis 3:12 And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest [to be] with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat.

 Here we go again. Now man is passing the blame to his wife. He is not accepting his responsibility for the sin. To add to this Adam even notes to God that it was HE who gave the woman to Adam. So Adam is also passing the blame off onto God.

 Genesis 3:13 And the LORD God said unto the woman, What [is] this [that] thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.

 Now Eve is also passing the buck off onto the serpent. She is also rejecting responsibility. Now lets take a look at God's response following all this conversation and guilt passing.

 Genesis 3:14 And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou [art] cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life:
 Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.

 So first God passes judgement on the serpent. (the last one in the buck passing chain) God also said that He would put enmity between thee and the woman (this refers to Christ)
 Romans 16:20 And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ [be] with you.

 Genesis 3:16 Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire [shall be] to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

 Second in line for punishment is Eve. God took her given joys away and commanded her to follow Adam's directions. God placed husbands in authority, over their wives.

 Genesis 3:17 And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed [is] the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat [of] it all the days of thy life;
 Genesis 3:18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field;
 Genesis 3:19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou [art], and unto dust shalt thou return.

 The third inline for punishment was Adam. God pronounced a hard life of labor and a death sentence upon Adam. Before this there was no mention of death for man, but here we see that God said "and unto dust shalt thou return".

 Genesis 3:20 And Adam called his wife's name Eve; because she was the mother of all living.
 Genesis 3:21 Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins, and clothed them.

 Here we are shown the first sacrifice that God performed on behalf of man. God made cloths from the skins of animals. HE sacrificed animals for the sake of their clothing. This is a preface to revelation of the coming of our salvation through Christ.

 Genesis 3:22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever:

 This passage mentions that man must now also eat of the tree of life in order to live forever. Later in the Bible, the fruits of the spirit (righteousness) are referred to as being as the tree of life. The Word is the way of truth in life and the way back to God. Christ paid the price for our salvation, that through His atoning death we may receive everlasting life.

 Genesis 3:24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.

 The word of God is likened also to a sword (Heb. 4:12; Eph. 6:17; Rev. 1:16) So we see that God gave directives to Adam that he might still find his way back into communion with God. You could also say that God promised a future redemption for the sins of man if man would follow His word. 

 You see my friends it all began with a slight twist of God's commandment. The events that followed were as a chain of doom. One evil thing after another. You could say that the distortion of the word was enough to end paradise and begin this world of doom. So how important is it to rightly divide the word? Very important. We can also clearly see that one temptation, acted upon, opens the doors for condemnation in our lives. We must stay focused on the narrow path that guides us on our way to eternal life with our Father. We must fight temptations that Satan puts in our paths every day. Victory in our lives depends on our dispelling the temptations of the flesh.

 I pray that this message will help show you all how easily we can be led astray by simply following our flesh tendencies to desire and covet the things of the world. Look to God for your provision and He will lead you back to the garden. You will have everything you want or need and you will live without cares, forever, just as in the beginning with Adam.

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published by UCMI 1999
written by: 
Rev. Steven B. Smethers, DD
Senior Pastor & Administrator

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UCMI  FAITH  MESSENGER
07/03/99

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   T H E    F A I T H    M E S S E N G E R
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 Do you have Unquestionable Faith?

 Unquestionable faith is something we all wish to claim. We would like to believe that anything HE would want us to do we would be available to do for HIS glory. We all say we have a faith we would stand strong in and certainly we have no problem in asking the Lord for His help or provision. This is only one way faith. Us asking God, expecting Him to respond in the positive for us. To answer our petitions when we ask them in the name of Jesus Christ. We are even quick to praise His name and give thanks for what we have received from Him and then we stand expecting what more we have ask of Him.

 The question would be how do we react to a confrontation in the world when it won't be  a popular answer to say we stand for the truth of Jesus Christ.  Could you say that you wouldn't do something because it just would not be something you would do as a Christian. Not to go with the crowd to the theater to see a movie that is of a questionable topic. Or maybe it would be to say no to an alcoholic drink that is offered at a business meeting. Maybe it would be to stand out and help someone who is lost to the Lord and suffering in the world.

 Most of us are willing to give of ourselves if it is not anything we will chastised for or that will not cost us anything. In these instances we stand strong and think how wonderful we are to serve the Lord. We puff ourselves up and think we are a real blessing for the Lord. We are doing His work here on earth. Praise God!  Just as long as we are not chastised by our fellow man for our actions. Let's look at unquestionable faith in the Bible.

 In Daniel 3:12-20 we read that Nebuchadnezzar was goint to cast Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego into a furnace if they did not bow to the false idol that Nebuchadnezzar had made. They stood in their faith and said that even if they were allowed to burn in the furnace it would not turn them in their faith in God. They never questioned their God in heaven.

 In Genesis the 6th chapter we read that God commanded Noah to build an ark. Noah was nearly 600 years old at the time. God even ask that it be made from a wood that was not locally available. Noah never questioned his task. He built the ark and was scorned and teased by all the people in the area. They all thought he was feeble and had lost his mind. Yet Noah kept building and never questioned God's command. All Noah knew was that God had ask it of him so he did the task with no regard for the peoples opinion of him.

 In Genesis chapter 22, Abraham was told to sacrifice his most beloved son. With tears in his eyes he set about the task of killing his own son because God had ask him to. He never questioned what God had ask of him. He had been ordered by God to do the task and he was committed to obey at any cost to him personally.

 You still say "well my faith is as strong!" Is it. Let me give you an illustration. On the ground in front of you is a plank, maybe a 2x4 that's 10 feet long. At the opposite end of this plank is a hundred dollar bill. God asks you to walk down the board and to pickup the hundred dollar bill. How fast would you comply with what He ask of you. Very fast ..... no question about it, right. Now how fast would you do it if the same plank was fifty feet in the air and God said "walk out on that plank and pickup the hundred dollar bill" You would now be very hesitant to do what God ask you to do. If you had unquestionable faith you would still (in faith) do what was ask of you. Now you have the hundred dollars in your hand and God didn't let you fall and you are safe. God now tells you to give that money to the poor old man down in the street who has nothing of his own and is hungry. In your faith would you now give away the money that you just risk your life to retrieve from that elevated plank? Makes you think doesn't it. Where do you draw the line on what God could ask of you?

 Every day I see people who when given the opportunity to lead someone to the Lord will shy away from what God is asking of them. They say things like "Well I just didn't want to be seen talking to them, they just aren't the type of people that Christians should associate with." Well let me enlighten you to the fact that those people are exactly the ones that Jesus sought out to associate with. It does no good to only associate with other Christians. We are commanded by God to "go forth into all the world and preach the gospel to all nations, making Disciples of ALL men."    ALL Men...... not just the ones we would want to be seen with. Additionally God is only asking us to talk to them...... talk..... is that asking more than you are willing to give? As a matter of fact God even promised us that you do not even need to know what to say...He said that in that hour you will be given the words to speak.

 Today everyone is too worried about how they will be viewed by their fellow man. I charge you that it is of greater importance to make a favorable impression on God.... after all ... God is the only one that will hold us accountable at the judgement. You may think that this condition is special in the world today but the Bible makes a record of man's judgement against those who will stand firm in their faith:

 Matthew 5:10-11, "Blessed [are] they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are ye, when [men] shall revile you, and persecute [you], and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. "

 John 15:17-21, "These things I command you, that ye love one another.  If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before [it hated] you.  If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.  Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.  But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me. "

 So the fact that we WILL be chastised by people for standing in our faith is a fact recorded in the Bible from the beginning. This isn't anything new. We are to be set apart from the world and to be as a living example of Christianity to others. What example do you display? The Bible even tells us how we are set apart and how we should shine in the world.

 2 Corinthians 4:5-6, "For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.  For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to [give] the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. "

 My friends we are rarely ask for great sacrifice by our Lord. How then can we take a simple charge of leading someone to the Lord and just ignore it as if we are not obliged to comply with this simple task that God has ask of us? We do not seem to have any problems in asking God for everything we have need of. God is not stingy with His love and provision for us. We today are not generally ask for the kind of devotion that was displayed in the Bible but certainly we are required to stand in an unquestionable position regarding our faith in the Lord. How will you respond when you are presented with the opportunity to confess to others that Jesus Christ is your Lord and savior?   Will you always display Unquestionable Faith? I pray that you will.

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Published by UCMI  1999
Written by:
Rev. Steven B. Smethers, DD
Senior Pastor & Administrator
UCMI

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   T H E   F A I T H   M E S S E N G E R
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06/16/99
  A basis of Modern Belief.

 Today we are overrun with Christian religions of various doctrine. How can we possibly know who is correct in their theology and who is not? The Bible is the basis of all revelation and knowledge so this is the place to begin our search.

 Revelation 22:18-19, "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:  And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and [from] the things which are written in this book. "

 This is our answer. The Bible (in Revelations) is a COMPLETED WORK from God. It took 40 writers and 1500 years to complete. The understanding here is the word complete. This means that no man will EVER be able to add any new understanding or include any dream or vision which they may have had that can make the Bible more complete or improved.

 Many supposed Christian churches today place their own theology of the understanding of truth from the word along side the teachings in the Bible. The Bible clearly tells us in Revelations that there is NOTHING of new revelation that can EVER be added to the Holy Bible.

 "If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book"

 Many new wave ministries have been built off of the basis of some 'divine' vision or dream revelation. These ministries are based in the imaginations of men's minds as God will never give any new revelation that could in any way alter the teachings of the Bible as written. We need to remember that the mind is the battlegroung where we fight the good fight of faith. The Mind is what has to be renewed in the cleansing waters of the Word of God. Satan also wants to lead men by their minds. Satan plants things in the imagination of men's minds to lead them away from their faith in the Lord. 
 Since we know that there can be nothing new ever added to the Bible then these new age "Christian" ministries have to be based on counter-Christian values that have been led of Satan and not of the Lord. 
 Revelations makes another point in this scripture and that is that no person will ever be singled out as a new revelation prophet: "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book"  Do you see this.....every man! EVERY MAN. That leaves No room for any exception. 

 Proverbs 30: 5,6 "Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar."

 We all know that Satan is a liar and a thief. He comes to deceive, destroy and steal. His purpose is to divide us from our faith in God. Therefore we can know that anyone or any church that offers a doctrine that is different from what the Bible represents is lying to us and is not of the Lord but of Satan. We should immediately remove ourselves from this leadership as it is not of God.

 Today we often hear new age ministries talking of all the things God has chosen to tell them. That is fine... however... anytime we hear this statement we want to check it against the Word for its truth and accuracy. As we have seen, there will be NO New visions or revelations given to anyone all the truths from God are already written in the Bible. If you hear a ministry, church or minister talking about anything that falls outside of what the Bible says.... exit immediately and have pity for this poor misguided individual who is lost in the imaginations of their own mind for God will deal severly with them. Personally I wouldn't want to be too close to them when that occures. Would you??

 This brings us back to the original question. How do we know when a church or ministry is the real thing? The answer is simple. The Bible is the only basis of faith and truths. Anything else is false and a lie. (not of the Lord but of Satan) Any church or ministry that adds to, distorts, removes from or otherwise changes the pure Word of God is wrong!  So who's church do you want to belong to? Satan is searching for members all the time too. Lets stay with our precious Lord Jesus. He is an awesome God.

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Published by UCMI 1999
Written by:
Rev. Steven B. Smethers, DD
Senior Pastor & Administrator

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         T H E   F A I T H   M E S S E N G E R
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 A church is a Church ..... or is it?

 Christ established the church. "And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it" (Matthew 16:18).

 The church as described in the Bible is not Catholic, Protestant, or Jewish. It is not denominational, interdenominational, or sectarian. It is not a political organization. It is not a social organization. It is not a building. Since it is none of these, what is it? Most people do not understand the church. Why? Because they do not know what it is. As a result, they do not understand the purpose of the church, the importance of the church, or the work of the church. But the Bible plainly tells us what the church is. The word church comes from the Greek word "ekklesia." It means "the called out." So the church is a called out body of people. They have been called out of the world into the kingdom of God's dear Son (Colossians 1:13). It is the spiritual body of Christ. 

1 Corinthians 12:27 
Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.

 It is made up of those who have obeyed Christ. 

Hebrews 5:8-9, 
 "Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;  And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him; "

 The church are those who have been saved by Him. He adds them to His church.

Mark 16:16 
 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
Acts 2:47 
 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

 Another way of saying it is the church is made up of the followers of Christ. The unity of the church is seen in that Christ said He would build HIS church (Matthew 16:18), meaning ONE. It is His spiritual body (1 Corinthians 12:27). He is the head of it (Colossians 1:18). Surely, one would not accuse Christ of having two bodies or two heads. The church is also pictured as the house of God, or the family of God.

1 Timothy 3:15
 "But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."

 But how many houses or families? One, of course. We read of the kingdom of Christ, or the kingdom of God, with Christ as king (John 3:3-5; Colossians 4:11; 1 Timothy 6:15). How many kingdoms does the Lord have? How many kings are there? Just one in both cases.
 It is important that we learn as much as possible about the church. Jesus started it, and gave instructions that NO man was to change it. (yet this condition continues to this today)

Galatians 1:8-9, 
 "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.  As we said before, so say I now again, If any [man] preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed. "

2 John 1:9-11,
  "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.  If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into [your] house, neither bid him God speed:  For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. "

 If we can learn what it was like when Jesus started it, we can know what it should be like today. Since the time Jesus began His church, men have started others; so we must learn all we can about the church of Jesus (the body of Christ) so we won't confuse it with man-made churches. Many churches today set their own doctrine for their church. It sets them apart. It makes them a "denomination". Any creed book that contains more than the Bible, contains too much! Any creed book that contains less than the Bible, contains too little! And any creed book that contains nothing but the Bible is useless! We already have the Bible! Revelation 22:18-19 and Galatians 1:6-9 say that we are not to add to God's Word, nor can we subtract from it. Also, we are not to substitute for it. In other words, the Bible is complete (2 Timothy 3:16-17). It is perfect (James 1:25). We are to speak only as the oracles of God (1 Peter 4:11). There is no need for an additional book or books or anything else of the doctrine of men.

 My friends take a good long look at the church you are attending and ask what theological doctrine they are following. If they answer with anything but the Bible ...... find a new church! If they answer that they follow the Bible with some added theory by some man's teachings .... find a new church! This is not a minor problem. The Bible warns us over and over again about following the teachings of men as apposed to following the pure Word of the Lord. Accept nothing short of the real thing. The church that Christ began. Be a member of the Body of Christ and do not worry about the fancy church on the corner. It may be a nice place but what is your eternal salvation worth to you? That church on the corner may lead you away from your own eternal life with our Lord. I think that is too great a price to pay. Don't you?

 Remember that the Body of Christ is everywhere. Do not place too much emphasis upon the grand and fancy building with all the people talking "grace and glory". Jesus said "wherever two or more are gathered in my name, I too shall be there" This is the Body of Christ. The real and original church that Jesus began.

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Published by UCMI 1999
Senior Pastor & Administrator
Rev. Steven B. Smethers, DD

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UCMI Faith Messenger
05/17/99

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  U C M I    F A I T H    M E S S E N G E R
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 We Believe  vs.  I Believe  -   Part 1

 In the modern world there seems to be a struggle as to the basis of religion. We are ask to choose a religion to worship in our faith. The first thing we need to expose is the fact that religion has nothing what so ever to do with faith. Faith is a personal relationship that we each have with our Lord.

 Faith:
 1.Loyalty or allegiance to a cause or a person

 In our instance this faith would refer to our belief in the Lord, Jesus the Christ. The next thing to define is Religion. Denominational religions are theologically based. Hence we have theological seminaries for each denomination. So what defines Theology:

 Theology:
 1.The rational and systematic study of religion and its influences and of the nature of religious truth
 2.A particular system or school of religious beliefs and teachings
 3.The learned profession acquired by specialized courses in religion (usually taught at a college or seminary)

 So you see we are of faith, whereas theology is the science of religion. Not the same thing at all. One is a personal relationship with our Lord, while the other is a basis of governing the worship of our Lord within a structured program. The next word to look at is the label that we call ourselves. Christians.  So what does being a Christian really mean.

 Christian:
 1.Following the teachings or manifesting the qualities or spirit of Jesus Christ

 To use the term of Christian Theology is to exact an oxymoron as the phrase is a conflict in terms by definition alone. Yet today there are denomination after denomination that all have a basis of theology to go by and each has its own theological seminary to instruct their ministers as to the correct way to interpret the teachings of our Lord.

 Christians today are put in the instance of choosing-up sides. In most people's youth there were times when they had a sporting event to select teams for. The process went like this...... each team would alternately choose a member from a pool of people until the teams had been formed. In the instance of basketball the team leaders would want tall and agile players for their teams while in football the larger and stockier people would better suite the requirements. It would seem that the same holds true today when we look at denominational religions. Some say "we believe this way" and others will say "we believe that way" The truth is that we all should believe in one thing without any particular deviation as to ceremonial religious practice. Yet the individual denominations all believe that we all need to believe and worship as they do.
 What a mess man has made of the simplicity of our personal faith in the Lord Jesus. The Bible is very clear about it:

 Galatians 1:6-10, "I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:  Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.  But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.  As we said before, so say I now again, If any [man] preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.  For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ. "

 Romans 16:17-18, "Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.  For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple. "

 Man has always thought himself as an intelligent creature and will do in depth study of all types. The Bible is clear about the Word. It tells us that we can trust in the Word of God as written in the inspired Holy Bible, yet men think in the imaginations of their mind that they can find hidden truths within the doctrine of the Bible so theologians dig into the Word for this truth. The Bible tells us where the truth comes to us from:

 John 14:16-18, "And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;  [Even] the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.  I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. "

 John 14:26 But the Comforter, [which is] the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

 Does the Bible tell us that we will learn anything of divine truth from any man?  NO it is very clear that "He (the Holy Spirit of truth ) shall teach you all things".  Does it say some things?  NO .... ALL THINGS. Yet these supposed men of God will dig ever deeper into the Divine Inspired Word of God to find the truths that they will then say "We Believe This to be True" stating it in all boldness in their denominational churches. And Christians are left to choose up sides in the middle of this mess. Each choice is as a compromise to their personal walk of faith with the Lord. 

 The Holy Spirit speaks to each of as individuals, teaching each of us one at a time the truths that we are ready to receive at that particular moment. That is the reality of faith and a personal relationship with the Lord. The Lord has a purpose and direction for each of us and it is not served by the mass teachings of some theologian's interpretion of what the Word is all about. Yet this is the basis of all theological seminaries today. They lead men to study all types of books for the answers and the truths of Christian faith when the simple fact is the only book needed is the Holy Bible and the leading and revelation of the Holy Spirit.

 Matthew 15:8-9, "This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with [their] lips; but their heart is far from me.  But in vain they do worship me, teaching [for] doctrines the commandments of men. "

 The Bible also warns us about adding to or taking from the Exactness of the Word as recorded in Revelations:

 Revelation 22:18-19, "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:  And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and [from] the things which are written in this book. "

 I have heard many say that this verse only refers to the book of Revelation however one must remember that the book of Revelation comes as the end of the completed work of the inspired teachings of the Bible. It is the final chapter and would make no sense at all if read outside the context of the rest of  the Bible, therefore it is referring to the book of the Bible as a whole and not just the book of Revelations.

 So why do these theologians dig for this supposed doctrine of truth? Apparently they have not been shown the divine education process of the Holy Spirit. The Bible is all that is needed for edification in the Body of Christ. The Bible even teaches us how to practice our faith in our lives:

 2 Timothy 4:2-5, "Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;  And they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.  But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry. "

 Even here in the text of 2 Timothy we are warned of the twisted doctrine that men will try to deceive us with. We are to stand firm in our own doctrine ..... The Word of God as written in the Bible. On this we base our faith. 

 So now I put this question to you, "do you follow what We Believe ... or .... do you follow the basis of what you believe?" Don't settle for what the denominational church may want to teach you but rather follow the leading of the Holy Spirit and test the doctrines of a church against the whole of the Bible. Be careful not to receive doctrine based from a single scripture alone and make sure that all doctrine is supported by the New Testament and not just from the Old Testament. We are New Testament Christians. We have received our own doctrine from Jesus Christ Himself. Stand in all faith upon this doctrine and in no other.

 Ephesians 4:13-14, "Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:  That we [henceforth] be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, [and] cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; "

 My friends be strong in the battle that is racking our faith today and seek only churches based upon sound doctrine .... the Bible.... not of man for this doctrine will mislead you.

 May the Lord bless and keep you one and all.

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Published by UCMI 1999
written By:
Senior Pastor & Administrator
Rev. Steven B. Smethers, DD

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  Faith without a Doubt.

 A frequent saying of mine is: "Faith is the absence of all doubt!" Today I wish to explore and explain this statement to you.

 Doubt in anything is sin. Did you get that? A SIN! I will explain. How often have you been excited about something and as you shared it with people ... finally someone said "I doubt that it will happen". Do you recall how it deflated your enthusiasm about the thing you were so excited about? That is because 'doubt' is one of Satanís tools. True! It is the backside of the tool called fear. You fear about some outcome.....that is doubt! Today we cannot go through a day without hearing the word Ďdoubtí. Satan wants us to hear it so often that we will accept it as part of our speech. Our Lord only gives us the fulfillment of His promises. Not fear or doubt.

 2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

 The spirit of fear (doubt) comes from the evil one. "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear:" So what does God give for our use. How does He want us to follow Him so He can Act in our lives? God gives a spirit of  "power, and of love, and of a sound mind." So what does this mean to us? Sound mind means that we wonít loose our focus on Godís  promises to us.  Power means that we have the ability to stand firm against the onslaught of Satanís powers. We can stand strong against him in the power given us through Christ Jesus.

 We are designed with the ability of having choice over our lives. We can choose to follow the Lord or the world but we cannot follow both at once. NOPE! Canít happen. We decide to move on achieving a particular goal. We ask Godís support for what we desire. As Christians we KNOW that all things are Of God and From God. God is the creator of all things. It is only by His will that we can do anything.  We know that God knows what we want and will answer or needs and all else we might request of him.

 1 John 5:14-15, "And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:  And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. "

 Now we KNOW this. As Christians .... strong in faith .... we know this. However we are given a choice. We can choose our own path. Satan will come quickly to separate us from our faith. He will cause fear or doubt. The minute we have any doubt or fear that something might not happen or come to pass, we have left our faith in Godís provision and are instead operating under Satanís law. God is no longer able to answer our request of him. The minute we speak of, or accept hearing a word of fear or doubt we have left our faith. We are given strength and power to stand against this onslaught launched against us by Satan. We must stay firm in our faith in the Lord.

 Hebrews 10:22-23, "Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.  Let us hold fast the profession of [our] faith without wavering; (for he [is] faithful that promised) "

 BACK UP! Read that 3 times and let it sink in........ This is powerful. My friends we often hear and accet the input of doubt and fear. This is a guarantee of failure. God cannot help you when you doubt Him but Satan will be victorious in your failure. We have a great faith in Jesus and are given a promise of provision for our petitions.

 John 14:12-14, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater [works] than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.  And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do [it]. "

 "If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do [it]. " This is our answer. My friends do not allow Satan to ruin and rob you of your faith. Be careful of allowing the sin of Ďdoubtí a place in your conscience. It will divide you from our Lord. Stay Alert against Satan......he is a tricky devil!

 We all need to have Faith without a Doubt! God bless you all.

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written by: Rev. Steven B. Smethers
Senior Pastor & Administrator - UCMI

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 UCMI
03/15/99

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 Renewal of mind and spirit.

 Renewal: Filling again by supplying what has been used up
 It is always important that we seek renewal in the Lord and the Word. The world is full of evil tests and strife that try to devide us from our faith. To be strong in faith we need this renewal in our minds and spirit. This is a redundant obligation for every Christian.

 Ephesians 4:22-24, "That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;  And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;  And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. "

 2 Corinthians 4:16 For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward [man] is renewed day by day.

 The Bible tells us of the importance of this renewing process for our spiritual well being. It is a necessary process. This process is to renew our faith. So how does this renewal occure? What must we do? How do we get renewed in our mind and spirit. The Bible tells us how:

 Romans 10:17 So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

 "Faith cometh by hearing,..." (we can only hear with our ears) "..and hearing by the word of God." This would mean hearing the Word from someone who is preaching and teaching in the Holy Spirit. So you see ...... merely 'reading' the Bible is not enough, we must hear it and by the Holy Spirit. This will bring us the renewal we require. You might say that you attend church and here the word every week from your pastor.....CAUTION.......

 Matthew 15:8-9, "This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with [their] lips; but their heart is far from me.  But in vain they do worship me, teaching [for] doctrines the commandments of men. "

 "But in vain they do worship me, teaching [for] doctrines the commandments of men." Many of the churches today teach another doctrine along with the Bible. These are NOT Christian leaders. Be cautioned about listening to much to such as these. The Bible has some very definate words about the position that we maintain with our Lord.

 Matthew 12:30 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.

 So you see it is very important that we know the scriptures as they were intended for us. To be ignorant of them is to leave ourselves open to deceptive ways of the world. We can only have strength in faith by our constant renewal in the Word.

 Matthew 22:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.

 Now you might say that the world isn't all that evil if we stay away from the dark side of things we will be all right. Don't fool yourself. This is exactly what Satan wants you to think.

 John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have [it] more abundantly.

 Amos 3:11 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; An adversary [there shall be] even round about the land; and he shall bring down thy strength from thee, and thy palaces shall be spoiled.

 Well you say that is fine for most folks but I am a strong Christian and Satan cannot get his influence over on me. Why should I worry about it at all?

 Mark 4:14-15, "The sower soweth the word.  And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts. "

 Do you see... "Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts." Satan is ever on the alert to being there to separate you from the teachings of the Word. He does not want your faith to be strengthened. He will attack at any instance and without warning. He will use anyone he can to divide you from your faith. So when you hear someone who wants to feed you negatives or cause you doubt ..... be on the alert. Satan is using them to get to you.

 We face things every day that try our faith. Eve was tried in the Garden of Eden and Satan caused a division from her faith to the Lord. Equally important is the fact that God will watch to see how strong we are in our faith to Him. Each victory we achieve over Satan is a blessing to the Lord and we will be blessed for our correct decision.  Jesus knew the value of God's word during His temptation by the devil :

 Luke 4:3-4, "And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.  And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God. "

 Is this renewal process an easy step by step in our learning process?  NO, that is why it is important that we hear the Word of God in our ears over and over. Each time we become stronger in our faith and understanding of His will. He wants us to be perfected as His bride to enter the kingdom He has prepared for us.

 1 Peter 5:6-10, "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:  Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:  Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.  But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle [you]. "

 We are God's children. He wants the best for us always. Just as you wish to give your children the best, our Heavenly Father wishes to give us His best as well. He will only give what we are able to handle. That is why the perfection of our spirit and mind must be an ongoing day to day project. To prove our faith and to show Him we are His faithful children.

 We cannot know how close we actually are to the end and the second coming. We must all believe that today may be the last day we have. How renewed will we be if He comes tonight?

 Mark 13:31-33, "Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.  But of that day and [that] hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.  Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. "

 The day to day world tries us relentlessly and tests our reserve of faith. Faith must be renewed to stay strong in the Lord. So I ask you, if Jesus came tonight would you be strong and steadfast in the pure and renewing Word of the Lord or would you be weak from not receiving the Word from the Holy Spirit?

 Nobody absolutely knows all the truths contained in the Word of the Lord. We receive new revelations each time we hear it. One time through the Bible will not make a person Godly. Only the repetitive receiving of the Word can hope to accomplish this end. I pray that you will all receive an ample blessing of the truths the Lord wishes for us to know.
 

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written by: Rev. Steven B. Smethers, DD
Senior Pastor/Administrator - UCMI 1999

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United Christian Ministries International
02/25/99

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 How do we receive the Lord's peace in our life?

 I have often heard ministers and various Christians remark about the Lord's peace. Many will say to "seek the peace of the Lord". How many of us understand the true meaning of this statement?  First lets see definition of peace.

 Peace: The absence of mental stress or anxiety.

 This definition would certainly fit a condition of peace provided by our Lord. But what do we need to do to receive this peaceful state? Who do we receive it from?

 Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

 Ephesians 2:13-17, "But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.  For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition [between us];  Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, [even] the law of commandments [contained] in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, [so] making peace;  And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:  And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh. "

 So Jesus is the "Prince of Peace". Well we probably all knew that already. How do we receive His peace? We must be taught by Him. Jesus preached peace to the people and His word is the instruction of peace today. We must receive the Word of the Lord to hear the news of our peace. We are to focus our lives on the Lord. Make Him the center of our existence. Seek the Lord on all levels and in all things.

 Philippians 4:6-9, "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.  Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things.  Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. "

 "The God of peace shall be with you." You see we are not capable of achieving peace from within ourselves but rather the indwelling of the Spirit of the Lord shall bring us peace.

 Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

 Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

 Now we face a conflict. Man is a creature given the ability of choice. We can choose to follow the path of the Lord or choose a path of our own in this world. When we decide to take charge of our own destiny we are operating out from under the protective covering of the Lord. We cannot expect the inner peace to comfort us and strengthen us if we act on our own and do not seek God first in ALL things.

 Romans 8:6 For to be carnally minded [is] death; but to be spiritually minded [is] life and peace. 

 Psalms 85:8 I will hear what God the LORD will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly.

 Do you understand that we cannot receive the Lord's peace if we do not seek Him first in all things? "but let them not turn again to folly" - "to be spiritually minded [is] life and peace"
 We can't have it both ways. We can choose to do all things in the Lord and never fear or want or experience anxiety or stress...... or ...... we can do it our own way.

 1 Corinthians 14:33 For God is not [the author] of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

 Without the Lord in control of our lives we are left with confusion and there is no peace found in confusion.

 Psalms 29:11 The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace.

 Now lets look at a fuller explanation of what peace in the Lord means in our lives. We are promised to have no fear for the Lord is with us. We are promised to have no needs because the Lord has promised us provision. We are promised to have no enemies attack us because the Lord promises protection for us. We are promised all power over all things including Satan. All of these things will bring us great peace. The Lord wants us to have peace because the power of our Lord is communicated to us in peace.

 Psalms 55:22 Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.

 Now lets look at the provision supplied by doing things our own way... not seeking the Lord but rather setting our own path..................... -0-

 That's it -0-. We all wish to find the guarantee's in life. Some folks think that there are actually some guarantee's in this world. There is only one guarantee in this world and that is damnation and suffering. 

 With the Lord in control of our life we get ALL the guarantee's that the Lord promised to us. He even gave us a written record of all the things He promised to us....the Bible.

 Psalms 37:4-11, "Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring [it] to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday. Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while, and the wicked [shall] not [be]: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it [shall] not [be]. But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace."

 All we need to do to have the peace of the Lord is give Him control of our lives.

 James 3:17-18, "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, [and] easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.  And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace. "

 Jesus promised us the Holy Spirit. He said that all who have received Him as their personal Savior can also receive the Holy Spirit. The Spirit will teach us and support us through Christ, Jesus.

 Galatians 5:22-23, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. "

 Since we are but mere mortals we have a choice to make in all things in our lives. Choosing to give Christ control of our lives is the only way to receive the peace that we so desperately seek.
 The next time there seems to be upset and turmoil in your life and the peace seems to be missing from it...... ask yourself if you have given Christ control of your life or have you gotten yourself into this mess because you sought to do this particular venture on your own without HIM!
 

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Written by: Rev. Steven B. Smethers, DD
Senior Pastor & Administrator, UCMI  1999

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United Christian Ministries International,
Christian Inter-Mission
10/15/98
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  Do you question your anointing?

 I have often heard people say " I would witness for Christ if I had the gift and knowledge to do so.".  I cringe every time I hear this. Evangelism is the one main command that Christ issued to us and he gave us His promise to assist us in this.

 Matthew 28:18-20, "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. "

 To address the question of whether we as Christians have the power of God's anointing within us:

 1 John 2:25-27, "And this is the promise that he hath promised us, [even] eternal life.  These [things] have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you.  But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. "

 John 15:26-27, "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, [even] the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:  And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning. "

 You see that these scriptures assure us that through our redemption in Christ we receive the Holy Spirit (the anointing). Through this anointing of the Holy Spirit we are taught the truths of life in God and given revelation in all things of our Lord.

 To address the question of whether good Christian folks are capable of drawing on the power of the Holy Spirit.

 John 14:10-16, "Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.  Believe me that I [am] in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works' sake.

 Did you catch that? "the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works."

  [now read the following closely] 
 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater [works] than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.  And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do [it].  If ye love me, keep my commandments.  And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; "

 Did you see it?  "He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater [works] than these shall he do" Can you fathom this? "and greater [works] than these shall he do" This means that we are capable of doing greater works than we read about in the Bible. Is that awesome or what?

  [and it goes on to say]
 John 14:23-27, "Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.  He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.  These things have I spoken unto you, being [yet] present with you.  But the Comforter, [which is] the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.  Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. "

 You see we never need to question if we have the power of the anointing within us. We are assured by the Bible scriptures that we do have the Holy Spirit within us. All Christians have the power.
 You may still say "but I don't have the necessary Christian education or knowledge needed to properly witness for Christ". You simply lack the FAITH to do so!

 Matthew 10:19-20, "But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.  For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you. "

 Mark 13:11 But when they shall lead [you], and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost. 

 Luke 12:11-12, "And when they bring you unto the synagogues, and [unto] magistrates, and powers, take ye no thought how or what thing ye shall answer, or what ye shall say:  For the Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour what ye ought to say. "

 We are given the power of the Holy Spirit. This Holy power will teach and reveal to us all that we will need to say, even in the hour of our needing to say it. Praise God who understands all of our human shortcomings. He will intercede on our behalf and speak through us. We are but His earthly instruments. Think of yourself as one of God's tools.
 The only way God can use us is if we will submit to Him as His servant. If we will not do his bidding then we are no better than a broken and useless tool to Him. A useless Christian is one who sits in church every Sunday and yet never does anything when out in the world on their own. They always expect that somehow it is someone elses job to bring others to the fullness of the body of Christ. If we are useful to Him then we fulfill the position and works that we are given in the fulfillment of the body of Christ. We all have a role to play in the overall structure of the body of Christ.
 The anointing is a most precious gift. We are given the Power that was displayed through the disciples and apostles in the Bible. We can call on this power from God and yet some say that they are not qualified to do the works that God has given them? God was certainly not stingy or apprehensive in granting us this awesome power so how can we be stingy with God when He calls us to us this power to His glory?

 A great deal of what we can do as Christians depends on our attitude. If we have a helpful and loving attitude and are full of forgiveness one of another then we are useful to God. The love of God is primary and the heart of a servant is mandatory for us to be useful to God.

 Ephesians 4:29-31, "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.  And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.  Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: "

 Your attitude can grieve the Holy Spirit of God. You cannot be of use if you carry any evil or hatred within you. God forgave us EVERYTHING. He asks that we do the same in kind to eachother. We are to strive to emulate the lifestyle of Jesus Christ.

 What did Christ give each and every Christian as their primary work?

 Matthew 28:18-20, "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. "
 We have seen in this message that we do in fact have the anointing and all power is given unto us. It would seem that some of us lack the faith to do what Christ ask of us. All we have to do is be available to God and He will take over and do the rest through us. Is this too much to ask of us ?   How can you ever question the almighty anointing that God has given to you?

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Written by: Rev. Steven B. Smethers
Senior Pastor & Administrator of 
United Christian Ministries International,
Christian Inter-Mission     1998

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Christian Inter-Mission
9/1/98

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  F A I T H   M E S S E N G E R
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 Do you still fall for Satan's oldest trick ?

 Temptation: Noun 1. Something tempting or enticing   2. The desire to have or do something that you know you should avoid   3. The act of influencing by exciting hope or desire

 Temptation is indeed the oldest trick in the evil one's arsenal. Notice 2. 'The desire to have or do something that you know you should avoid' . Keep this in your mind as you read on.

 The first recorded "temptation" in the Bible is in Genesis:

 Genesis 3:1-5, "Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which [is] in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil."

 In the last sentence of this scripture we see how Satan tempted Eve and began the downfall of mankind. He has been using this tactic on people ever since, and it still works! Even on many a good Christian. Let's examine one standard usage of this principle.

 Advertising!

 Everywhere we look today we are barraged and assaulted with and endless onslaught of advertisements. You may not think that this is Satan at work, but it indeed is. Have you ever taken note that most ads (not all) use diverse tactics to capture your interest? They use sexuality and covetous as well as pride and  envy as the basis of their adds. They try to show you how much your life will be improved by having this or that product or service. They tempt you with their offerings. These temptations lead us to LUST after these things.

 1 John 2:15-16, "Love not the world, neither the things [that are] in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that [is] in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. "

 Notice, "For all that [is] in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world." Of the world. Satan rules over the earthly world. The very world we live in. Think of how few our wants would be if we were not exposed to advertising. We wouldn't be constantly told of how badly we needed these things. We would not WANT. God promised us that through our faith He would provide all of our needs and we would not want. Our cup would run over. But Satan wants to put a stop to this. To divide us from our faith.

 Mark 4:19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.

 Psalms 10:3 For the wicked boasteth of his heart's desire, and blesseth the covetous, [whom] the LORD abhorreth.

 Matthew 6:19,24 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 
24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

 The Bible tells us over and over that this practice can only lead to our undoing. How many times have you heard someone say (or you have said) "I'm very TEMPTED to buy such and so"? Notice then how often they follow through on their temptation and purchase the item. Then they will JUSTIFY the purchase by saying "it was too good of a deal to pass up" or " they made it easy to buy" or "I'm worth it, I work hard all the time". (justifications explain away WANTS) How often do they say " I have needed this for a long time"? (fulfillment of a NEED) Satan wishes us to satisify our wants and desires. To selfishly satisify our own desires first and formost. To fulfill the desires of our personal lust. He uses temptation to lead us to greed and lust.

 Isaiah 56:11 Yea, [they are] greedy dogs [which] can never have enough, and they [are] shepherds [that] cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter.

 1 Timothy 6:6-10, "But godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into [this] world, [and it is] certain we can carry nothing out.  And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.  But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and [into] many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.  For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. "

 Take a long look around you in today's world and notice how often you can see that the things people "think" that they NEED are actually only things they WANT because everyone else has one or they think they will be looked upon with envy if they have one. Look at the number of cell phones and pagers you see today; do you really think that all these people NEED them? How about the number of  high priced luxery cars on the road or what about the common sneaker that is worn today, do you really think it's worth one hundred plus dollars? What is Satan's plan here?

 John 10:10 The thief [Satan] cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I [Christ] am come that they might have life, and that they might have [it] more abundantly.

 You see Satan is a THIEF. He wishes to rob you. To steal your peace and contentment as well as your money and time. The common situation today is for both the husband and wife to hold jobs. It has become necessary to enable us to seek "the good life".  But Christ tells us in John 10:10: "I am come that they might have life, and that they might have [it] more abundantly." God wants us to prosper and has promised to fulfill our every need if we will have the faith to depend on Him. Our cup will run over with His blessings.  Satan tells us that we diserve all that we want for and we should have it. He provokes us to act on our own never seeking God's divine wisdom in our lives. He robs us by making us work twice as hard to have these things and robs us of our time and energy. He leaves us no time to enjoy our lives and families or to do God's works. Essentially, he does not allow us any time to enjoy the thing he tempted us to get .If you think he isn't devious then just think of what he has done to people with the advent of the credit card. Now he makes you work so you can pay off the things you bought (and didn't need) and didn't have money to pay. He in effect, makes you his indentured slave. He did all this with TEMPTATION. His oldest trick. "The thief [Satan] cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy" (John 10:10)

 Proverbs 22:7 The rich ruleth over the poor, and the borrower [is] servant to the lender.

 This brings us back to a previous point:

 1 John 2:15-16, "Love not the world, neither the things [that are] in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that [is] in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. "

 Now substitute the word 'Satan' in every instance that the word "World" is used and this scripture reads more clearly.

  ["Love not Satan, neither the things [that are] of Satan. If any man love Satan, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that [is] of Satan, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of Satan. "] 

 This may be a more accurate translation of this scripture and certainly one that drives home the point. Satan is the keeper of this world we live in. If we follow Satan we will NOT be blessed by God. Look around you, how many folks have the Lord's peace in their lives? How much corruption is present in our world? How much chaos is in our daily lives? How much contentment do you find? This should clearly show you how much influence Satan has over this world and how he tries to ensnare us into his trappings.

 Matthew 16:26 For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

 Mark 4:19 And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.
 

 Seeking God is the only course to true contentment. Notice how many people never receive true JOY from all that they have. How many are thankful for the blessing they have received?  God has clearly given us a plan for our provision:

 Matthew 7:7-11, "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:  For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.  Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?  Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?  If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him? "

 Yet many people today think they can do better and follow the lead and temptations of Satan only to fall flat on their face and wonder "WHY". Their finances are in ruin as well as their lives. They have no peace or contentment at all. Satan has won dominion over them. All they ever had to do was trust in the Lord to provide for them. Faith is the answer and the key to all the goodness that may be had in this life.

 1 Timothy 6:6-10, "But godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into [this] world, [and it is] certain we can carry nothing out.  And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.  But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and [into] many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.  For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. "

 Is your life frought with many sorrows? Do you have a long "WANTS" list? Are you at peace and with the contentment our Lord provides? Is their joy and thanksgiving in your life? OR:

 Are you still falling for Satan's oldest trick?
 

Written by : Rev. Steven B. Smethers DD
Senior Pastor & Administrator -
United Christian Ministries International,
Christian Inter-Mission  1998

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