We have all heard the saying: “Three strikes and you’re out!” But Samson actually had four strikes before he was out — out from under the anointing of God. His downward spiral began when he broke the commandment of God in marrying a Philistine woman (Judges 14). Such unions never work out, because instead of the believer winning over the unbeliever, the believer, having compromised, loses out. The moment he disobeys the commandment of God, he opens the door for Satan to pull him away from God.
Later he met another Philistine woman, Delilah, whom he didn’t even bother to marry, although “he loved her” (Judges 16:4). If he felt safe with her, he had deceived himself. Soon the Philistine lords came to her promising 1100 pieces of silver to betray Samson. They said: “Entice him, and see wherein his great strength lies, and by what means we may prevail against him, that we may bind him to afflict him” (vs.5). And so Delilah went to work on Samson. Continue reading Samson & the Double “Y”
“Familiar spirits” – sounds kind of friendly. In America today, psychic spiritualism is gaining popularity. In television and movies there is a plethora of angels, ghosts, witches, wizards, fortune tellers, psychics, and mediums, all of which are presented in a friendly, familiar way. Currently, one of the most popular cable TV reality shows stars an ordinary house wife as a medium who supposedly contacts the spirits of departed loved ones. What she does seems to be so comforting, so soothing for those who are steeped in grief and questions. She is not scary or weird or off-the-wall, and this makes her appealing to many, perhaps even to those who normally wouldn’t trust such things. Because she can describe in great detail very personal and private things about people and/or their dead family members, she wages great credibility. Continue reading Familiar Spirits… That Peep and Mutter
My intentions could not have been purer—My purpose more uplifting when I quickly jotted down a favorite Scripture reference as I signed cards for two different friends in two different states. It was a birthday card for a dear Christian brother in Delaware and a word of encouragement for another minister in Virginia, and the verse I chose that particular week was Romans 15:13: “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”
You have to agree—This verse has it all going on! Abundant portion of hope, all joy, peace and faith, and to top it all—Holy Ghost power! There are so many benefits packed into this one verse that I often write it under my signature on personal correspondence. Perhaps I was in a hurry when I signed the birthday card to my friend in Delaware, or it was just one of those absent-minded goof-ups we all make when we’re busy. Anyway, instead of putting Romans 15:13, I wrote Romans 14:13.
Continue reading When We’re Not “Goof Proof”—The Holy Spirit Is!
It has been reported by medical science recently that praying can affect a sick person’s outcome for the better. One study showed that even when the sick person did not know people were praying for him/her, their health improved. As believers, we know personally what prayer has done for us in our times of sickness (Js. 5:15-16). But did you know that “praying in tongues” can actually make you healthier? Continue reading Did You Know… Speaking in Tongues Can Improve Your Health?
The Feast of SHAVUOT—Pentecost begins at sundown on May 28th this year. This Hebrew festival was two-fold: To celebrate the first fruits of the wheat harvest, and the giving of the Law on Mt. Sinai after the Israelites came out of Egypt’s 400 year servitude. It was one of the 3 feasts which God appointed as mandatory pilgrimages when all Jewish males were required to go to Jerusalem “to appear before the Lord” (Deut. 16:16).
Pentecost is the Greek word for “50 days,” because the days from Passover to Shavuot were counted by seven weeks of sabbaths plus one day.
After His resurrection, Jesus appeared unto His disciples and others during a 40 day period. Before He ascended on high, He instructed them “to wait in the city until they were endued with power from on hight,” referring to the coming of the Holy Ghost (Luke 24:49, John 14:16-17, 26, 15:26, 16:7-15, Acts 1:8).
Ten days later—on the 50th day from Passover, the Holy Spirit was poured out upon 120 followers of Jesus, who had obediently waited together in an upper room in Jerusalem for the promise of His coming: “And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place, and suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:1-5). Continue reading The Feast of Shavuot