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Clues on Mark of the Beast

Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six. (Revelation 13:18)
Something riveted my attention this morning and caused me to take a much closer look at this mysterious idea of the 'mark of the beast' again. I know that there are thousands of ideas already being promoted about the meaning of this, but that does not give me reason to not be responsible for personally investigating this and listening to the Spirit's guidance on what may be true about this most important subject. Complacently relying on what some particular church or popular teacher has decided about this topic without bothering to dig for truth actively for myself is an abortion of integrity. I am accountable personally to God for what I believe above any other loyalty to anyone else.
What got my attention was the text chosen to go along with today's reading in My Utmost For His Highest. The ver…

He is More

After awakening this morning I began praying as I often do in the morning before I get out of bed. When I said 'I worship You' to God, the thought began to circulate again in my mind, 'What really is worship?' This curiosity to explore, understand and really experience genuine worship is something that has still remained largely unsatisfied in my mind for years. Though I believe I do know much more about what worship is and looks and feels like than I used to know, somehow I sense I am still possibly missing to a great extent grasping the real essence of how to enter into really life-transforming, genuine worship that will connect me deeply with the heart of God like I was designed to experience. I feel the need to again explore this more intentionally and not just settle for what I have already heard from others or even what I have already gleaned from my own observations over the past few years.
I want to not just know about worship, not just understand it better inte…

Prayer For Job's Friends

And the Lord made up to Job for all his losses, after he had made prayer for his friends: and all Job had before was increased by the Lord twice as much. (Job 42:10 BBE)
I realize that this text could easily be misapplied as some sort of formula to follow to expand one's base of wealth. But there is a very important principle in this verse that I need to appreciate and benefit from in my own present circumstances. I believe that God's statements and laws and ordinances are all either based on or are explanations of basic principles of reality that God has established in creation. Far from being arbitrary, God's laws are best understood as being the rails upon which we can travel at much higher speeds and which will guide us safely to where we are designed to go.
Job went through a great deal of learning and maturing during the saga described in the book by his name. He had a level of trust in God that was advanced enough that God took a huge risk in wagering a bet with the d…

Sex and Jesus' Conception

The characteristic of the new birth is that I yield myself so completely to God that Christ is formed in me. Immediately Christ is formed in me, His nature begins to work through me. God manifest in the flesh—that is what is made profoundly possible for you and me by the Redemption. (My Utmost for His Highest, December 25)
I have been learning a great deal from various people over the past several years who have suffered too much abuse in their lives. In fact, I have come to know a number of such people and this subject has been a part of my learning process for many years. It is a very delicate subject and one which is extremely difficult to discuss without arousing suspicions and prejudice that can blind people's minds and create doubts about the very ones who are trying to learn about it objectively.
One of the things that I feel a need to better understand is what really goes on in the heart of a woman who is abused. Not being a woman myself, I have to somehow learn this vicariou…

Spiritual Oxygen

According to the original language, the Holy Spirit is wind. It is like a wind full of oxygen. Oxygen is a fuel propellant or enhancer. Oxygen does not burn on its own but intensifies any fuel it is added to.
We largely determine in our own hearts the type of fire that will burn within us. (Luke 24:32) There is a fire of jealousy. (Number 25:11; Job 32:2; Psalm 79:5; Song 8:6) There is a fire of anger. (Genesis 39:19; 2 Samuel 12:5) There is a fire of hatred. (2 Samuel 13:15) There is a fire of lust. (Romans 1:27) There is a fire of passionate love. (Song 8:6)
All except the last fire are generally symptoms of a malfunction due to a lack of something important in the soul. It is like having a condition of malnutrition of a vital mineral or vitamin in the body that reveals itself in some sort of serious disease or weakness. Unfortunately we have become confused through our distorted ideas about drugs and medication and health and have been taught to believe that disease is somehow a lack of s…

Better Fishing Practices

Father, use me to capture the hearts of these specific individuals who presently hold onto so much animosity towards me. You are reminding me of what You taught me some time ago about heaven's reward system. Your kind of rewards, which of course are the best kind to work for, are the bonds of joy formed between hearts when deep friendships are forged. The value of the reward is directly proportional to the difficultly encountered in trying to win someone into love-bonds with yourself and with God.
You taught me that if I would like to increase the value content of my rewards that I must be willing to push back with Your methods when people dislike me or even abuse me. Instead of reacting in kind, which is the normal mode in temptation, I am to love my enemies and pray for those who persecute me etc. You were not just giving some nice suggestions or throwing out clich├ęs in Jesus' discourse on that mountain so long ago. You were describing incredible principles of reality that, i…

Proper Use of Magnets

Not long ago I took three vehicles that were sitting around my yard to the scrap metal yard in exchange for some much needed cash. I not only made my yard look much nicer and made some room, but what I observed there gave me some valuable insights as to some of the ways that God relates to us. Let me explain how I came to see Jesus and myself in the scrapyard.
When I pulled into the scrapyard pulling my trailer with a vehicle strapped on it, I observed that a giant crane was working with a very large, heavy flat-bottomed piece of steel was suspended from it. It was a giant electromagnet that is commonly used to move large amounts of steel around quickly in situations like that. The operator of the crane was very skilled in manipulating the crane, the heavy magnet swinging around and the controls that instantly switch the power on and off supplying current to the magnet.
As I watched with little-boy fascination, he would sweep the large magnet low over the scrap pile and turn on the magn…

Where Is Your KW?

There are two ways of living. And I just discovered that the only difference between them is just two letters – K and W. But where each one of us chooses to place those two letters will make all the difference in the world.
Life is all about priorities. Most of us know that, but it is altogether a different thing to really live it.
Priorities are a slippery thing in life. It is so easy to talk about them, to emphasize what should be our priorities or to point out where others are failing to prioritize properly and the sad consequences that follow. But the priorities that really determine the direction of our lives are not so much the ones we tend to talk about and organize with our minds and expostulate on, but it is the priorities that are largely hidden out of sight most of the time, hidden from our conscious awareness. They are the priorities with deep roots hidden in our heart.
The heart too, is a difficult place to explore. I spent most of my life almost completely unaware of even w…