Daily Devotional, Year 2 – SEPTEMBER 12 (Jeremiah & the Smooth Prophets, Part 1) (ALSO READ PART 2: “Absalom The Great Flatterer!”)

By admin On February 5th, 2021

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Click credit links below each pic, for licensing names/details/tags/etc.. Most pics cropped/reduced in size

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Daily Devotional, Year 2 – SEPTEMBER 12

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Click on credit links below each photo, for licensing names/details/tags/etc.. Most images cropped/reduced in size

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Today’s Devotional – January 18th

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ARTICLE #

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Jeremiah & the Smooth Prophets

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“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.”

2nd Timothy 4:3, 4.

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In this above passage, the Lord is foretelling of a day when the churches will no longer tolerate the true and uncompromised Gospel.

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And there are many today who believe that we have come to that very time, in which the attendees of almost all churches demand an “itching ears” gospel.

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They merely want their ears tickled with a non-condemning, non-threatening and entertaining gospel!

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 Audience hands – Wikimedia – Public Domain

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JEREMIAH’S DAY

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So what happened?

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Why did the church-world come to the same fate as the Old Testament people of God?

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Yes, if we go back to the Book of Jeremiah, we can get a glimpse of this same condition among the people of God in Jeremiah’s day!Prophet Jeremiah - www.christianimagesource.org - Public Domain

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Listen… “Then Hananiah the prophet took the yoke from off the prophet Jeremiah’s neck, and brake it. And Hananiah spake in the presence of all the people, saying, Thus saith the LORD; Even so will I break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon from the neck of all nations within the space of two full years. And the prophet Jeremiah went his way.” Jeremiah 28:10, 11

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You see, Jeremiah was warning God’s people that they would soon be taken captive in Babylon for 70 years.

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But the false prophets were prophesying just the opposite!

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They were prophesying “peace and safety”!

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Prophet Jeremiah – www.christianimagesource.org – Public Domain

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PROPHESYING SMOOTH THINGS

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And in this above passage, the false prophet, Hananiah, was likewise misleading God’s people, https://www.wikiart.org/en/ilya-repin/cry-of-prophet-jeremiah-on-the-ruins-of-jerusalem-on-a-bible-subject-1870telling them that Jeremiah was the one who was lying!

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They were telling the people what they wanted to hear! Yes, the people were listening to an “itching ears” gospel by those prophets prophesying “smooth things”!

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And as you can see in this picture, Jeremiah was devastated by the eventual destruction of Jerusalem!

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Cry of prophet Jeremiah on the Ruins of Jerusalem – Wikiart – US Public Domain

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GIVE US SMOOTH PROPHETS!

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And so, the people hated Jeremiah.

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He was telling them unpleasant things. Too much negativity!

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In essence,http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Happy_face.svg they were saying… “…say to the seers, ‘See not’; and to the prophets, ‘Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits'” Isaiah 30:9

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Yes, even back in Isaiah’s day, God’s people didn’t want all that negativity!

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They only wanted happy-faced prophets: prophets who would lie to them, only telling them what they wanted to hear! “Smooth things”!

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Happy face svg – Wikimedia – public domain

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TODAY’S ITCHING EARS PARISHIONERS!

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And so it is today!

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Paul prophesied concerning the days we are now in… “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.” 2nd Timothy 4:3, 4.

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And it doesn’t take much observation to notice that Christendom is filled with prophets of smooth things!

accusing finger www.signsofheaven.org_share-alike license feel free to share

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Today’s Bible teachers are fearful of pointing the accusing finger at their own followers!

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We only point the accusing finger at those cults over there!

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Or at those crazy prosperity gospels over there!

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ENTERTAIN US! DON’T CONVICT US!

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This is because they know that their own followers will no longer endure sound doctrine!

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To die with Jesus is totally unacceptable, when there’s so much to enjoy in the world! We only want happy things! Things that will not condemn us! We desire to have our itching ears satisfied with titillating things! Soothing things! Pleasant things!

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Yes, today’s audiences demand clever speakers, energetic music, repetitive chants, and well-timed jokes and quips! We want clever conversation! And we want exotic prophecies about black helicopters and prognostications about future events!

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Certainly nothing that will make us uncomfortable and wound our egos or condemn our selfish lifestyles!

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Rock Music Christian CHURCH STP 2010 Pomona – Wikimedia – public domain

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WAKE-UP CALL NEEDED!

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On the other hand, God takes no pleasure in giving us such a harsh rebuke!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Seven_sleepers.jpg

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And yet, if God only presented us with a nice, poetic and smooth message, then nobody would prepare for war! Oh yes, everyone would like that smooth message!

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But we would not be alarmed out of our slumber!

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Listen… “But though He (God) cause grief, yet will He have compassion according to the multitude of His mercies. For He doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men. To crush under His feet all the prisoners of the earth…Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD. Let us lift up our heart with our hands unto God in the heavens.” Lamentations 3:32-34, 40, 41

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Seven sleepers – Wikipedia – Public Domain

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TRUMPET, NOT VIOLINS!

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Brooklyn_Museum_-_The_Wise_Virgins_(Les_vierges_sages)_-_James_Tissot.jpg

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The fact is, the Bible has many unhappy things to say! And the message so often sounds like a trumpet of war: but is only given for our ultimate good! We have to be reminded that we are in the midst of a battle-zone!

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Yes, we are standing on enchanted ground as Bunyan’s book, Pilgrim’s Progress spoke of it.

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Satan wants God’s people to go back to sleep!

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Brooklyn Museum – The Wise Virgins – James Tissot – Wikimedia – public domain

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ENCHANTED GROUND!

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But just as the two pilgrims in Bunyan’s book had to keep talking to one another, so as to keep from falling asleep, so too, God has to keep slapping us in the face, in a sense, so as to keep us from slipping into a death-like slumber!

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And those who respond to these encouragements, will be like those Five Wise Virgins spoken of in Matthew, Ch. 25. Yes, here is a picture of the Church-victorious!

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And because these virgins are wise, they cheerfully accept all the supposed negativity which so often emanates from God’s Word!

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Five Wise Virgins – Matt 25 – www.thebiblerevival.com – Public Domain

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THE WISE DON’T MIND REBUKES!

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Listen… “rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be yet wiser: teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.” Proverbs 9:8, 9

.FiveFingersFaceHighandMightyTrailerScreenshot1954 wikipedia public domain

Yes, a wise man doesn’t mind a rebuke! He (or she) knows that it will only make one wiser to hear constructive criticism!

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Now a fool is a different story! Listen to this proverb, as it speaks of scorners… “Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee:” Proverbs 9:8

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And so, let’s pray that we will be wise, and receive all this supposed negativity with joy, knowing that God is only desiring us to repent from our errors and turn to Him with all our hearts!

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High and Mighty Trailer Screenshot – 1954  – Wikipedia  – Public Domain

 

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OUR JOY-FILLED DESTINATION!

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Yes, we live in a very unhappy world!

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And we need to be honest and NOT be like the proverbial ostrich, hiding her head in the sand.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Brooklyn_Museum_-_Study_for_The_Cross_and_the_World......_-_Thomas_Cole.jpg

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But we also must fix our gaze on that happy and joyful Land just ahead!

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And once we cross that Dark River, we will hear the distant sounds of innocent children, laughing as they play!

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And then we’ll hear the joyful songs of the Redeemed, as they happily stroll through wandering meadows of lush green grass, in that Land that is Fairer than Day! 

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Study for The Cross and the World…… Brooklyn Museum Thomas Cole – US public domain

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TO READ PART 2, SCROLL DOWN THIS PAGE

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TODAY’S PRAYER…

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“Dear Lord, help me today, to appreciate correction! Let me not be misled by all the smooth preaching of today’s teachers. But lead me in the way of truth, though it may cause grief at times…

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READ MORE…

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To explore deeper into this subject, please read… “Fleeing to the Mountains: The Abomination in the Church, Part 1”

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THE END

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TODAY’S FEATURED HEAVENLY SIGN

Info & pics of constellations on this site from Wikipedia & International Astronomical Union (click here)

 

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TURN THE OTHER CHEEK  

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https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Blue_moon_of_31.08.2012.jpgYou will notice a big bruise on this “Man in the Moon”. His right cheek looks like it has a big bruise on it. That reminds us of the following verse… “But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy RIGHT CHEEK, turn to him the other also.”  Matthew 5:39.

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And just as this verse says ” turn to him the other also”, so too, our nocturnal friend likewise is turning his other cheek. This is a big statement that God is making about how important is this Bible principle of “turning the other cheek”!

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Full moon (“blue moon”) as seen on 31.08.2012 as seen from Slobozia, Romania – by Cezar Popescu – Wikimedia – Public Domain – photo cropped and highlighted

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“FAITHFUL ARE THE WOUNDS OF A FRIEND”

Proverbs 27:6

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Notice that this “Man in the Moon” is turning his other cheek towards us? This faithful Watchman knows that https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Blue_moon_of_31.08.2012.jpgunless he allows God to chasten him, that he too would likely be taken away in sin. And so he offers his other cheek to his “Re-provers”… “Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head: for yet my prayer also shall be in their calamities.” Psalm 141:5.  (see also Proverbs 27:6 & 9:8 & Eccl. 7:5)

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In reality, it is God who is smiting the Watchman on the right cheek. In reality God is just using the people of the world to do His bidding. Both good people and bad people alike, God uses to test and chasten this Nocturnal Watchman to teach him patience, forgiveness, and love.

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Full moon (“blue moon”) as seen on 31.08.2012 as seen from Slobozia, Romania – by Cezar Popescu – Wikimedia – Public Domain – photo cropped and highlighted

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“HE GIVES HIS CHEEK TO HIM THAT SMITES HIM”

 Lamentations 3:30, 31 

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https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Blue_moon_of_31.08.2012.jpgGod uses anyone and everyone as “helpers” in the purification process of His Watchmen. And the desire of every watchman of God is to become like Jesus. So as this Watchman beholds, in his mind’s eye, his Lord Jesus being mocked ridiculed and his face smitten, the Watchman too, knows he must likewise endure the same treatment from the world… “…they have smitten me upon the cheek reproachfully; they have gathered themselves together against me. God has delivered me to the ungodly, and turned me over into the hands of the wicked…  when He (God) has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.” Job 16:10, 11 & 23:10.

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In these passages, Job is complaining about his suffering at the hands of the wicked. But Job knows that if he endures to the end, he will come forth as gold. In other words, Job knows deep down, that God is testing Job. Job knows that God will ultimately turn all Job’s tribulation into something beneficial, yea, even beautiful for Job! God uses tribulation in order to remove the “dross” from Job, and Job will eventually come forth as purified gold… “when He (God) has tried me, I shall come forth as gold.”

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Full moon (“blue moon”) as seen on 31.08.2012 as seen from Slobozia, Romania – by Cezar Popescu – Wikimedia – Public Domain – photo cropped and highlighted

High and Mighty Trailer Screenshot – 1954  – Wikipedia  – Public Domain

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READ MORE…

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To explore deeper into this subject, please read… Moon Into Blood Trilogy: 1st Face: The Night Watchman

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TOMORROW

 

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ARTICLE #2 

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Jeremiah & the Smooth Prophets, Part 2: “Absalom The Great Flatterer!”

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Have you ever heard the expression, “Flattery will get you no-where”? Well, that may indeed be true with some people.

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But perhaps this next common saying is more accurate, “Flattery will get you every-where!”

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kissing hand – cropped image – Wikimedia – Share-alike License

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FLATTERY IN VARIOUS FORMShttps://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:F463.highresBaiserJudas.jpg

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Yes, by nature, we humans are quite susceptible to flattery in its various forms: sexual advances, manipulative complimenting, praising people, giving inordinate attention to another person, being “cutsie” or “coy”, pretentiousness, utilizing one’s charismatic personality, using jokes and jests, giving gifts, promising future advancement, etc…all in attempt to gain another person’s affection, loyalty, or trust.

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Yes, flattery can come in various forms. And it is a very powerful means to win the hearts and favor of others.

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Judas Betrays Jesus – courtesy Wikipedia – Public Domain

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ABSALOM’S FLATTERY

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Absalom, the son of King David, knew well how to use flattery to gain the favor of others…“Absalom said moreover, Oh that I were made judge in the land, that every man which hath any suit or cause might come unto me, and I would do him justice! And it was so, that when any man came nigh to him to do him obeisance, he put forth his hand, and took him, and kissed him. And on this manner did Absalom to all Israel that came to the king for judgment: so Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel.” 2nd Samuel 15:4-6

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Now in addition to Absalom’s pretentious flattery and kissing the hands of all who came to him, it is also written of him… “But in all Israel there was none to be so much praised as Absalom for his beauty: from the sole of his foot even to the crown of his head there was no blemish in him.” 2nd Samuel 14:25

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Now here we have been given the picture of a man who used his attractiveness and personality and pretentious “slobbering” affection to steal away the hearts of the citizens of Israel away from his father, King David.

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Absalom cropped image – – www.freebibleimages.org

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ABSALOM A PORTRAIT OF LUCIFER

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Now this true account of David’s son’s rebellion is also a picture of Lucifer’s rebellion in Heaven.http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mih%C3%A1ly_Zichy_Lucifer_1887.jpeg

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Since David often represents Christ in Scripture, it is not hard to relate this story of how Lucifer stole the hearts of those angels who eventually fell from grace, as they transferred their allegiance from Jesus, to follow Lucifer.

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Lucifer – Mihály Zichy – 1887 – Wikimedia – US Public Domain

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Paradise_Lost_3.jpgLUCIFER’S FLATTERY TRANSFERRED TO PLANET EARTH

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But this kind of flattery has continued to be used by earth’s inhabitants to this very day. Don’t we see politicians doing the same thing? Don’t we see them kiss babies, and shake everyone’s hand, and attempt to schmooze their hearers in every possible way?

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Gustave Dore – Paradise Lost illustration – Lucifer becomes Satan – Wikimedia – US Public Domain

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CHURCH LEADERS TOO!

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And of course, we also see church leaders do the same thing.

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Oh, not every church leader. But many church leaders have the same mentality as a politician! Kissing, and hand-shaking, and schmoozing flattery, is quite often seen in various church leaders today.

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Audience hands – cropped & altered – Wikimedia – Universal Public Domain

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TV & RADIO PERSONALITIES

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Yes, down through the past decades, various TV and radio teachers and evangelists have been great flatterers! Many of these attempt to win the hearts of their viewers and hearers by means of their personality.

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Telling jokes, using their folksy wit and charm, using their musical abilities, or behaving in an alluring, sensual manner, these erring men unwittingly use the same strategy that Absalom used, and even as Lucifer used when back in Heaven to win the affection of others!

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Announcer with microphone – svg – Wikimedia – Public-Domain

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“A FLATTERING MOUTH WORKS RUIN”

Proverbs 26:28

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Listen to the Lord’s assessment of flattery, as He spoke through David… “They (the people of the world) speak vanity (empty words) every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak. The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things:” Psalm 12:2, 3  

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This above passage (and many other similar passages) reveals just how much God hates flattery! He who searches every heart sees the double-hearted deception and hidden motives of flatterers. And perhaps we might add the following words to that old expression, “Flattery will get you everywhere…but Heaven!” For this above verse from Psalms promises that all flattering tongues will be cut off!

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JESUS DEFINITELY NOT A FLATTERER

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As we read about the Lord Jesus, we behold a man who came with no flattering words, but spoke the truth plainly. Jesus never once used his personality to win the hearts of His hearers. 

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Listen to Isaiah… “He (Jesus) hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him.” Isaiah 53:2

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Jesus did not come into this world with charming wit, or outward beauty. He was a plain-looking man and used His words sparingly with the sole desire to convict the hearts of His hearers with the plain, cutting truths.

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Brooklyn Museum – The Pharisees Question Jesus – James Tissot – US Public Domain – Wikimedia

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HIS FOLLOWERS WILL IMITATE HIM

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Anger_during_a_protest_by_David_Shankbone.jpgAnd those who become followers of Jesus will pay close attention to the conduct of Jesus’ earthly ministry, in hopes of presenting the very same behavior and example to the world.

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Yes, as ambassadors for Christ, our great desire is to let the world see Jesus in us! And the true followers of Christ will be deathly afraid of using flattery in any of its forms, to win the hearts of our hearers.

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Anger during a protest – cropped image – by David Shankbone – Wikimedia – Share-alike-License

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FLATTERY IN FALLEN CHURCHES

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Unfortunately, these kinds of earthly, sensual and devilish tactics are commonly used in today’s fallen churches. Sensual singers: jesters in the pulpits: “charmers”: prophets promising future earthly glory and financial prosperity: preaching only the softer and more appealing passages of the Bible: folksy witticisms: kissing of hands: affirming the Salvation of unregenerate parishioners: putting on a pretentious air of personal holiness: praising secular persons and worldly institutions: approving various ungodly behaviors: promoting various secular pursuits and amusements to parishioners: and many similar types of flatteries. 

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Rock Music Christian CHURCH Pomona – Wikimedia – Public Domain

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.http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:At_a_loss.svg

And so, just what is the remedy for such behavior?

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Question Marks – At a loss – svg – Wikimedia Commons – Share-Alike License

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THE GOOD NEWS!

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The very Good News is, that this is still the day of Salvation! Yes, the door of mercy and grace is still ajar! And considering the lateness of the hour, it is no time for delay. We must hurry along the upward pathway to the Celestial City of Heaven!

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And those of us who have used some form of flattery in the past can put all such deceitful tactics in the trash heap where they belong!

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And then, we can begin our exodus out of the fallen churches which practice such deceptions and take our stand with God’s faithful remnant.

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And then, we can beg God to allow us to read of Christ and contemplate His holy and loving ways!

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And our daily prayer should be that God might transform our hearts and conform our lives into the image of Christ.

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Upward-Pathway-by-böhringer-friedrich-for-Wikimedia-cropped image – Share-alike-License 

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TO READ PART 3, GO HERE…March 30 (Jeremiah & the Smooth Prophets, Part 3: “Soft Sermons”)

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TODAY’S PRAYER…

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“Dear Lord, Help me to consider how I may be guilty of using flattery in one form or another. Help me to put away any and all such manipulative tactics, and merely put on the Lord Jesus Christ for all the world to see…

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READ MORE…

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To explore deeper into this subject, please read… “Fleeing to the Mountains: The Abomination in the Church, Part 1” or you can also read this shorter article…  “JANUARY 26 (The False Prophet: Lying Eyes!)”

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THE END

.picture - soldiers of the cross - armor up!

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TODAY’S FEATURED HEAVENLY SIGN

Info & pics of constellations on this site from Wikipedia & International Astronomical Union (click here)

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VARIOUS SIGNS SPOKEN OF…

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Now as far as those who search Bible prophecy concerning “signs of the End”, most of us were expecting extraordinary heavenly phenomena; you know, such things as giant asteroids or other colossal cataclysmic occurrences.

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Comet Hale-Bopp-29-03-1997 – cropped image – wikipedia share-alike license

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VARIOUS SIGNS MENTIONED…

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But you see, God has mentioned various constellations in Scriptures: Orion, The Pleiades, Mazzaroth, etc.. But He also spoke in Revelation of “great signs” in the heavens: a woman with child, a dragon who swept a third of the stars, and Michael who fought against that dragon (see Revelation, Ch. 12).

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The Bible also speaks of other signs in the heavens, and it is the purpose of Signs Of Heaven website, to introduce these wonderful signs and to reveal the many Bible passages which explain them. And if you are one of the fortunate ones to receive this amazing message, then you too can begin to proclaim this heavenly love story to anyone willing to listen.

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“LAY UP…TREASURES IN HEAVEN”

Matthew 6:20

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“My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver. I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment: That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures.” Proverbs 8:19-21. This above passage speaks of a pathway which leads to riches and treasures.

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Yes, God is just now revealing the long-awaited signs, as it is written, “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;” Luke 21:25. And God is just now opening up a pathway to the stars: a figurative gate to Heaven itself!

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READ MORE…

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To explore deeper into this subject, please read… “Arcturus (the star that wise-men follow!)”

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TOMORROW

SEPTEMBER 13 (Cuttlefish & The False Prophet, Part 2: All Power, Signs & Lying Wonders)

 

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Those who are interested in using photos on this page may click on the provided image credit link below each photo, to get to Wikimedia Commons for various licensing names, details, and tags, and all other necessary info on any particular photo. 

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