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[ Podcast published 9-06-2020 on Spreaker.com ]
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BEING WHIPPED BY THE DEVIL
Before Jesus Christ was taken to the cross to be crucified, he had been whipped, scourged, and
humiliated. We speak of Jesus taking our sins on the cross which he did, but all that happened before he was crucified
was also part of paying for our sins.
Because we are his, Jesus told us 'If the world hates you, just remember that it has hated me first', and also 'No slave is greater than his master. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you too.'
Have you ever had someone make fun of your Christian faith and found it to be amusing to refer to you as a 'Jesus Freak' or a 'Holy Roller'?
Did they do this at your workplace or among a group of friends at a party or dinner?
Do they call you naive because something tragic has happened to you or your family and you still trust God to help you?
Do they accuse you of bringing trouble upon yourself because of your sins and now God is punishing you?
Were you humiliated? Did you want to run and hide or be left alone?
There is reading from a book called The Wisdom Of Sirach which speaks about being humiliated:
'Accept whatever happens to you,
In crushing misfortune, be patient
For by fire, gold is tested,
and worthy people are tested
in the extreme heat of humiliation.'
My curiosity was peaked and I had to find out at what degree gold is separated from rock ore. I looked it up and found out that gold is separated from rock ore at 1850 degrees Fahrenheit /or 1010 degrees Celsius. What degree was the extreme heat of humiliation for Jesus?
When Jesus announced God's salvation, there was opposition from the Devil and his followers who had already been judged by God and were waiting to receive their punishment. They were angry at their own fate and they tried to stop or corrupt those souls who still had a chance to receive the salvation that God offered.
There is no salvation for the Devil and his followers because they were created on another plane, where God created the angels. They had already lived in God's presence and knew the real meaning of heaven but chose to follow Lucifer.
There will be opposition to your new faith and the Devil will come to you through other people and try to make you doubt the word of God. He will even try to make you believe there is no God! That Jesus was just a man and not the Son Of God. He will try to convince you that Jesus' followers took his body from the tomb and Jesus didn't really rise from death. They will say anything that would make you doubt and lose your faith!
A "Scourge" is defined as a whip and also a scourge is something that causes a lot of trouble or suffering to a person or a group of people.
The whip used on Jesus had pieces of bone tied into it's lashes that ripped the skin away from his back leaving a bloody mess.
The devil doesn't have to use a literal whip with us because he uses the guilt of our sins which rip at our souls and our minds trying to convince us that 'we have no right to ask God for help until we clean up our lives!
But if you look at the life of the Apostle Paul, who was first known as Saul, you see a religious, zealous Jew who held the coats of the people who stoned the Christian leader Stephen to death.
He also dragged out Christians from their homes, ( men, women and children ) and had them thrown into prison and even put to death.
And yet, after his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus, he became one of strongest Christians ever to bring the gospel to the Gentile nations. In his latter days, he even referred to himself as the 'Chief Of Sinners'.
Then there was King David who was God's favorite and yet because of his great sin with Bathsheba and the murder of her husband, was confronted by Nathen, a prophet and friend who brought David to his knees with the words of God. And after David's sorrow and repentance, he wrote in Psalm 103: Verses 8 through 14...
8 The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
Slow to anger and abounding in loving kindness.
9 He will not always strive with us,
Nor will He keep His anger forever.
10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
Nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
So great is His loving kindness toward those who [c] fear Him.
12 As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us.
13 Just as a father has compassion on his children,
So the Lord has compassion on those who [d] fear Him.
14 For He Himself knows [e] our frame;
He is mindful that we are but dust.
What is the gift of God's salvation like? It is like a birthday present or a Christmas gift. You didn't pay for it! You didn't work
for it! Maybe you don't even deserve it because you're a brat. But a gift is given to you because someone loves you in spite of your moods and
doesn't even expect a return gift from you. They only hope that you know that they love you. God does this best!
Did you ever give a present to a child or older person who opened it up and said, "I don't need one of these, or I don't like the color or the style or maybe just a rude comment like "This is dumb present, I would never use anything like this!" And they dismiss the present as a wasted gift, and you might feel embarrassed.
They have acted like an ingrate - which is a person who rarely acknowledges others' generosity, or even worse, seems to expect special treatment.
So, how do we respond to God's loving gift of salvation? Are we excited to receive his gift of everlasting life filled with blessings, or do we dismiss God's offer as a dumb and wasted gift.
The devil still whips us with the fact that we have sinned and are still blowing it every once in a while. He will say anything that would make you doubt and lose your faith!
So who do you believe? Do you believe God, who created you? Or do believe the angel 'Lucifer', also known as the Devil, the one God created who rebelled against him and convinced a third of the angels that 'He should be God?'
Don't let the Devil whip you! Just be glad that God loves you unconditionally and accept his gift that was meant for you.
And after you receive His Holy Spirit and are living in his presence, the Devil may come to remind you about the sins of your past so that you might remember and say, "Yeah, what was I thinking for me to do that?" or "Why did I say or do that to my loved one?" He will do this to try and make you doubt God's word, 'that you have been forgiven'!
And at that moment, you can tell the Devil, "THAT'S OLD NEWS! God already knows all my sins. Go away Satan, I belong to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit."
And as far as your own testimony to others, your sins are private and only between you and God and not for other ears that may be ready to ruin your reputation by telling lies and stirring trouble.
Your testimony should be simple and general like "Before I knew Jesus, I was a sinner, I was lost, but now I'm found!
God said, 'As far as the east is from the west, He has removed my transgressions from me!'
And I would be an ingrate if I ever forgot the sins Jesus took to the cross for me! Thank You Lord Jesus!
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