Babylon, O Destroying Mountain: “Vanity Fair” & The False Prophet (Continued)

By admin On March 23rd, 2013

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THIS IS A CONTINUATION OF PART 1. CLICK HERE TO READ THE PART 1…““Vanity Fair” & The False Prophet”

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Babylon, O Destroying Mountain:

“VANITY FAIR” AND THE FALSE PROPHET

(Continued)

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WANDERLUST IN VANITY FAIR

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In John Bunyan’s book, he mentioned that the town of Vanity Fair had different sections: as Bunyan depicts it, “there are the several rows and streets under their proper names . . . Here is the Britain Row, the French Row, the Italian Row, the Spanish Row, the German Row.”

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Satan, “the god of this world”, does not like to have his loyal subjects to get bored. And so he has designed his world to provide things of interest, things of intrigue, things of mystery! And so he has provided different places to visit, each with their own distinct and special flavor. 

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And as it was in Bunyan’s day, so it is multi-fold more in this high-tech age! In addition to Britain Row, and French Row, and Italian Row, and Spanish Row, and German Row, we now have so many more rows! it is impossible to even list all of them!

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Sufficed to say, there are so many places to visit; and so many lands of mystery and intrigue to search, that those with the time and means to indulge their wanderlust, can spend a veritable life-time wandering the highways and byways of the world…or should we say, wandering the highways and byways of this Vanity Fair world!

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

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Satan wants his citizens to be happy. The last thing Satan, “the god of this world” wants, is a rebellion. And so he has provided many, many amusements and distractions and hobbies and sports and games. And among these many fun and interesting things, is the lust to wander. Hence the name, Wanderlust.

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Swiss_chalet wikipedia share-alike license

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A DREAM JUST FOR YOU…

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:John_Constable_The_Hay_Wain.jpgAnd in defense of those who are caught up in wanderlust, it is probable that many people are discouraged with this world of sin. And so there are those who desperately search for some little piece of Heaven on Earth: God’s little acre, so to speak. Maybe some pristine forest, or mountain chalet, or sparkling clean beach, uncluttered by garbage and masses of tourists.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Kkmd.

If only these seekers of Heaven-on-Earth would join the pilgrims who are on a pathway that will lead to a most beautiful and pristine world: a world unmarred by sin and sinners, to live for ever and ever! The beauty there will surpass any that this fallen world has to offer!

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Now again, for those of the world, i.e., the citizens of Vanity Fair, they are perfectly in the right, to eat, drink and be merry. They should go places and do fun things. Grow a garden! Build a cabin in the woods or on a beach! Take lots of nice vacations! Those who are of this world should enjoy as much of life while they can! As Scripture says… “O taste and see that the LORD is good…” Psalm 34:8

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John Constable – The Hay Wain Cottage by a river – Wikipedia – US public domain

Woman walking nature trail – Eaglecreek – cropped image – Wikipedia – GNU-License

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TAKING A VACATION NOT EVIL

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Now of course, taking time for recreation is not necessarily a bad thing. The people of this world should, by all means! And even the Christian, if he or she has an unbelieving family, then there must be a certain amount of worldly amusements, fun, and travel. 

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http://lavistachurchofchrist.org/Pictures/The%20Early%20Church%20Artwork/target8.html

But for those who have decided to follow Jesus unreservedly, striving for the masteries, and having nothing standing in their way, then to live as Christ lived will be their greatest joy. The Apostle Paul traveled many, many miles on foot. But his travels were not borne out of some sort of morbid desire to see new and exciting places.

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No, Paul’s only desire and joy and refreshment was to get out the Gospel into as many places as possible! Not to mention that his extremely poor eyesight made sightseeing very difficult.

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Sunset-at-Huntington-Beach – cropped image – wikimedia – share-alike-license.jpg

Paul Shipwrecked Acts 27:41-44- www.lavistachurchofchrist.org –public domain

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MODERATION IN EVERYTHING

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Now this doesn’t mean that those who are striving for masteries cannot take a vacation, or engage in recreation. The problem comes in when things are taken to excess, or combined http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Starry_Night_at_La_Silla.jpgtogether with all sorts of other worldly endeavors, which begin to eclipse the spiritual life. And this very affluent society affords many to do just that!

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But the Christian may find that a walk while praying may be the best recreation possible. And of course, as already mentioned, those with families must allow for times of rest and recreation between times of labor.

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But forget not the words of Paul… “Let your moderation (temperance) be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.” Philippians 4:5.

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While the world so often goes to excess, the Christian must strive for the proper balance: moderation. But beware, Pilgrim! There are many things which are harmful for the Christian or his spouse, or his children, which the world deems as good. So great wisdom and fervent prayer is required to discern between good and evil.

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Starry Night at La Silla – cropped and altered image – Wikimedia – Share-Alike license

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OUT IN NATURE!

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And seeing that this world is arriving at the end of all things, it may be best to simply deny self, and wait till God’s weary pilgrims get to the other side of all this!

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But even here, the Christian may wish to get out and enjoy the beauty, poetry, and wisdom found in nature! And to go for a walk and pray, while under the starry canopy of the night sky, or along the beach, or in the woods, can be extremely refreshing! And needless to say, the fresh air and physical exercise can be very beneficial!

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HOBBIES, AMUSEMENTS, SPORTS ETC…

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“Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;” Hebrews 12:1, 2

company's coming

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It is not very wise to criticize things which people love. One is sure to get a black eye from so-doing! But truth is truth!

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Perhaps an entire book could be written on any one of these sub-sections and topics. But in the interest of brevity, just a few essential remarks should be made, and we’ll do our own further research into these elements: deterrents which the False Prophet, that King of Babylon has employed to deceive and delay God’s people from crossing the finish-line in the race set before us.

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The above Bible passage from Hebrews makes a bold and dramatic declaration of what God expects from us, who are running the Christian Race… 

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“…let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race..”

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The False Prophet, Satan, has invented many amusements, to bind the hearts of men, women, and children to this self-seeking world. The industrial nations are filled to overflowing with hobbies and sports and high-tech amusements and games and books and newspapers, and radio, television and adventures and vacations and every other conceivable pursuit.

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“EAT, DRINK, & BE MERRY!”

http://theheavensdeclare.net/the-fleeing-revelation-12-woman-constellation-the-message-of-habakkuk/

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And for those loyal citizens of Vanity Fair, these amusements are just fine. But for those who are seeking “a better country, an heavenly one”, and have become “strangers and pilgrims” on their upward journey to that celestial city, the above words of Paul are an admonishment and warning for every pilgrim to not get encumbered with the cares and pleasures of this life.

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Listen to Jesus… “And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.” Luke 21:34, 35.

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This passage warns us to not get too far into the world, lest that Day overtakes us by surprise. Even the cares of life can become a snare to our soul, if we let them.

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THE MAN OF GOD & THE OLD PROPHET

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There is a story in the 1st Kings, Chapter 13, of a “man of God” who was given specific instructions to not eat or tarry in the country he had prophesied against, until he was fully back home in his own country. Well, this story has everything to do with us today! We too, are commanded to warn the world of the wrath to come. We are to be like the Apostle Paul in our zeal and dedication to our mission. But the False Prophet has deceived so many of us, by friends and family and television, etc., to relax, don’t worry, be happy! Enjoy the world! Have a good time!

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OLD PROPHET IS THE FALSE PROPHET

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And just like that man of God, we listen to “the old Prophet” who tells us to eat drink and be merry. Well God isn’t going to send a physical lion to kill us, as He did to the “man of God”. But Satan, that “roaring lion” will certainly devour us, in a spiritual sense, should we think that we can relax and enjoy this Vanity Fair world. (see 1st Peter 5:8)

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It makes us want to cry to see loved ones who become deceived by the False Prophet, who tells them to eat, drink and be merry, and enjoy this world. But we pilgrims must continue on that upward pathway out of this City of Destruction, on our journey to the Celestial City of God, even if our family (as did that Pilgrim’s family, in Bunyan’s tale) refuses to come along. 

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We have a mission. Preach the Gospel. Purify our hearts and minds. Fight the Good Fight. Run the Race. We have been chosen to be God’s ambassadors to this planet of rebels. But it’s nevertheless sad to see that our families are part of that rebellion.

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Dore – The Disobedient Prophet Slain By A Lion – www.creationism.org – US-public-domain.jpg

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ROMANCE

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In Pilgrim’s Progress, Bunyan lists the many goods and commodities bought and sold at Vanity Fair. And among these various goods which he listed, he also mentioned… “wives, husbands, children”.

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So how could marriage and families be a bad thing? Actually it’s not. Well, at least, sometimes it not. But with all the divorce and family break-ups and marital infidelity these days, and with all the unhappiness in so many house-holds, it may be wise for the Christian to really consider if marriage is worth all the heartache and headaches. Certainly, the Christian would at least want to be sure his prospective mate is a trusting Believer.

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Now because Satan is the world’s greatest salesman, he has bottled and packaged romance and lust, and has sold it as a commodity on television, radio, Internet, romance-novels, advertising. Satan has ruined many lives of young people who have been led down the path of destruction by the sensual music, movies, and magazines which sell romance and sensual lust to our young. These productions are so evil, that they quite often ignite the fires of Tophet down to the depths of the human soul, in many of our young.

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Now this article is not trying to discourage anyone from marriage and family. But Christians should be warned not to allow the “god of this world” to exalt romance to the level of idolatry. Because this is exactly what he has done.

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And also it must be mentioned, that for those who are “striving for the masteries” in the Christian life, the soldier of Christ must consider whether or not it is wise to allow such a time-consuming commitment to come between his or her desire to fully serve the Lord.

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And considering the lateness of the hour, it may be well for the lover of Christ to set aside all such time-consuming endeavors, “till the indignation be over-past” (see Isaiah 26:20, 21).

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Divorce – cropped image – Wikimedia – the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

Paul the Apostle-Artist-Valentin de Boulogne or Nicolas Tournier- circa 1500s – wikipedia public domain

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Pilgrim's_Progress_frontispiece_and_title_page_third_edition_1679.jpgHUMANITARIANISM

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“Vanity Fair, where, all year round, such merchandise is bought and sold “as houses, lands, trades, places, honors, preferments, titles,…”

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Now here is a real touchy subject that is bound to offend many! Humanitarianism!?! How could that be bad?! How can an organization which helps people in need, be a bad thing? 

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Well it isn’t bad. It isn’t bad…unless of course, Satan mingles sin into it. Continuing on with Bunyan’s description of this world, Vanity Fair, brings us to the ideology of humanitarianism. This ideology came into its own during the 1800’s. And after the rise of atheism, came a number of ideologies, such as evolution, psychology, psychiatry, socialism, and humanitarianism. And these all were embraced by atheism, which, without these ideologies, such a dismal and hopeless ideology as atheism, would never have been accepted by humanity. These ideologies had an appearance of goodness, and gave to atheism, the sparkle and shine which was desperately needed by this otherwise sad and hopeless ideology, which atheism was and still is!

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For a deeper exploration of these ideologies, please read the article… “Floodwaters of the False Prophet: “Atheism & Psychology”

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(And while there is nothing wrong with humanitarianism, by itself, nevertheless, the Devil uses it to his advantage, as he does everything else in this world. Satan must add things which have “a form of godliness” to his wicked kingdom. This is how he deceived the angels that fell. And this is how he deceives people today. People are easily deceived by ideologies, if they are intertwined with humanitarian good works. And very few intelligent people would want anything to do with atheism, if there was nothing beneficial about it. Because, the older you get, and the closer to death you get, the more miserable and hopeless you become in such an dead-end ideology as atheism.)

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As Bunyan points out, this world loves its “honors, preferments, titles”. And humanitarianism has much of the “pride of lihttps://theheavensdeclare.net/wp-admin/post.php?post=18990&action=editfe” attached to it.

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Just think how television has glorified humanitarianism! Satan well knows that if his ideology, atheism, is to thrive, he must give it a form of godliness that humanitarianism can give. He must gild this ideology-made-of-dead-wood, called atheism, with a thin layer of glittering tinsel. 

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And television is the perfect medium, in which such miserable ideologies, such as atheism can be presented with shiny-tinsel-coating.

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Pilgrims Progress title page third edition – 1679 – wikimedia commons – public-domain

doctors – wikimedia commons – cropped image – share-alike license

Traffic_Cop – cropped and altered image – wikimedia – share-alike license

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MANKIND GLORIFIED ON TV

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http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Free_Food_Distribution_-_Gangasagar_Fair_Transit_Camp_-_Kolkata_2012-01-14_0691.JPGTelevision has thrived on humanitarianism, airing all sorts of weekly television shows based on various humanitarian vocations. Doctors, teachers, firefighters, policemen, nurses, etc..

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Now again, there’s nothing wrong with any of these occupations. Indeed, they can be very beneficial to humanity. The problem is, Satan makes them become a source of pride and fantasy in this unbelieving world. (And Humanitarianism seems to fulfill the need in many humans, to believe they are good and even righteous. There are many who wish to remain secular, and still perform righteous good works.)

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LARGER-THAN-LIFE TV SHOWS

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The “pride of life” is one of the three great evils of Satan’s kingdom. And Satan now uses the television to challenge the world to pursue these occupations as a means of gaining public admiration, and even living some sort of charmed existence. Television produces dramas based on such humanitarian occupations, portraying them in a romantic, larger-than-life imagery.

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Now as already stated, it’s not wrong to pursue a career in any of these vocations. Many enter into one of these professions, quite often with somewhat noble aspirations. But the heart is very wicked and deceitful, and so the true motives of people are often mingled with sinful motives, undetected by that person. In other words, a person can believe that he or she is doing something from purely noble motivations, when in reality, there may be other sinful and selfish motives mingled in, which are not so easily detected. There are many professionals who, if they were to be completely candid, would confess that the “pride of life” was a strong motivation for going into that profession.

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But of course, it is not our duty to go around finger-pointing and judging this individual or that one. Our duty is to not let our own self get swept away by Satan’s flood of lies which come at us so often, like a tidal wave.

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So the point to all this is just that John Bunyan was correct to describe Vanity Fair (i.e., The World) in such terms as this… “It is an ancient town named Vanity Fair, where, all year round, such merchandise is bought and sold “as houses, lands, trades, places, honors, preferments, titles…”.

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“A FORM OF GODLINESS”

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Perhaps the greatest problem with all this humanitarianism (and other godly works, too!) is this: when the unbelieving people of the world (and the worldly Church) decide to unite in an effort to conquer evil, it is like trying to open the Ark of the Covenant without God’s approval: there’s a curse attached! When that man in the Bible tried to steady the Ark, God struck him dead (see 2nd Samuel 6:6, 7).

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When mankind attempts to do righteous works apart from God, they are unknowingly doing evil, by counterfeiting God’s righteousness. And all the supposed good they attempt to do, will ultimately only become a meaningless vain endeavor.

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“The voice said, Cry. And he said, What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field: The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: because the spirit of the LORD bloweth upon it: surely the people is grass.” Isaiah 40:6, 7 (see photo below)

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As this above passage states, Man’s glory and beauty is like the withering grass and the fading flower. And as it says, the Lord blows on our beauty and our glory, and all Man’s good works just seem to wither and fade, and fall away like a dying flower.

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Uzzah Touches Ark by James Tissot Wikipedia public domain.

Child & Dandelion – Wikimedia – Public Domain

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WORLD GETTING WORSE & WORSE!

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And doesn’t it seem like, the more Man tries to conquer evil and its consequences, the worse things get in this world? Doesn’t it seem like, the more food baskets we hand out, the more it seems that hunger increases? The more sick people we attempt to cure, the more sick people there are in the world? The more we attempt to control the population, the greater the population increases? The more welfare checks we give out, the more people there are who need a hand-out? The more cultures we try to embrace, the more we are hated?

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Listen to Paul… “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; HAVING A FORM OF GODLINESS, BUT DENYING THE POWER THEREOF: FROM SUCH TURN AWAY.” 2nd Timothy 3:2-5.

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So Paul here, after this writing this long list of horrible qualities, names the very last last horrible quality as, “having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof”.

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Yes, the False Prophet loves good works, as most false prophets do. And humanitarianism only gives the town of Vanity Fair a better reputation.

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Ice Flower – cropped image – wikipedia – share-alike lic.

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VANITY FAIR EVEN HAS CHURCHES

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John Bunyan’s inclusion of the apostate churches in the town of Vanity Fair, depicts how Satan comes as an angel of light and his ministers as ministers of righteousness.

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And so it is today. Satan understands that his kingdom must have a form of godliness, but which is void of God’s Holy Spirit. And so this False Prophet fills his town of Vanity Fair with churches. Lots of churches! And so the citizens of Vanity Fair can have a one-day-a-week religion to fill the void in their attempt to sooth and still the nagging and wanton conscience. And so, once or twice a week, the citizens of Vanity Fair go to church, sing songs, pay tithes, and hear some nice, soft, non-threatening Bible passages.  And when they leave church, they can return to their worldly pursuits.

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This is the essence of most false gospels: to offer a slice of religion on a full plate of worldly pursuits. And Satan, the False Prophet doesn’t mind that kind of gospel. Well truth-be-told, he invented it!

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And as the Bible reveals, there are many other Jesus’s in this world. Many there are, who worship a Jesus of their own making: a Jesus who gives a wink and a nod of approval to their selfish and worldly ways; a Jesus whose character resembles Santa Clause, more than the sinless and Holy One, who hates every trace of selfishness. But there is only one true Jesus! And that Jesus is defined by the Bible. And the Bible is the only means that God has given, to define and determine just who the true Jesus really is.

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Milano Duomo – 1856 – Wikipedia – Public Domain

Santa’s Portrait by T. Nast 1881 – Wikimedia – Public Domain

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VAIN RELIGIOUS DUTIES

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And anyway, Satan doesn’t mind some humanitarian ministries. He’s happy to keep his town’s people busy as possible! And complicated ministries are usually expensive and time-consuming. And those who pursue employment in such ministries, more often than not, get so caught up in obligations, which often cause them to set aside their personal spiritual pursuits. Thus Satan accomplishes his purpose.

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Satan doesn’t mind humanitarian projects. Just as long as such persons do not become like Bunyan’s characters, Christian and Faithful, and Hopeful. Just as long as they don’t become “pilgrims and strangers” seeking “a better country”; even a heavenly one.

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That kind of genuine Gospel is totally unacceptable to the, “god of this world”. One Christian, transformed into the image of Christ, can accomplish more good in the world than a vast army of worldly humanitarian church-goers. And Satan cannot tolerate anyone who is transformed into the image of Christ. He will do his best to make life intolerable for that True-Worshipper!

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To explore this concept further, please read… “Fleeing to the Mountains-Part 2: The Abomination In Churches”

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Pilgrims Progress – His Burden Fell Off His Back – Wikimedia – Public Domain

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WORLDLY COMPROMISE

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The False Prophet has successfully created an environment in his churches which lowers the standards to a level that gives the appearance of having a form of godliness. The Pilgrim’s Progress mentioned that Vanity Fair was filled with, “pleasures, and delights of all sorts”.

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And church is no exception! And this Mayor of Vanity Fair knows that unless he gives them a worldly appeal, he cannot keep his loyal town’s-people entertained, while making them apostate enough, so as to quell and sooth any troubled consciences which may be questioning their relationship (or lack thereof) with God. 

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And so this master deceiver fills each service with nice soothing and fashionable music, very interesting and charismatic speakers, well-timed jokes, lots of social events, and non-threatening sermons. And even when a somewhat threatening sermon is preached on occasion, there are just enough interspersed jokes followed by laughter to quell any troubled conscience, and quiet any alarmed souls in the audience.  

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Church worship music – wikipedia – share-alike license

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THE WHISPERING SERPENT

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There are some people who just seem to have the dubious gift of making off-the-cuff quips and jests. What these persons are not aware of, is that just like the serial-gossiper, Satan whispers into the ear of the gossip and the ear of the jester, giving them something to say.

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A gossip is never lacking in something to say about somebody. And the jester is likewise never lacking a joke or a jest or a quip.

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But if only the curtain could be pulled back, evil angels would be seen, supplying these foolish talkers with ammunition to liven the atmosphere with some morsel of gossip, or some little joke or jest!

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SATAN: THE IMAGE-MAKER

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“And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.” Revelation 13:15 

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So Satan is the great image-maker. Through modern media, Satan has enhanced his kingdom a hundred-fold, nay, a thousand-fold! Just as the peoples of the world in Daniel’s day, bowed down to that golden image, when the music started playing (see Daniel Chapter 3), so too, the peoples of the world today are also bowing down to the images which the False Prophet is now projecting to this naïve world, via the flat-screen. 

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Each one of us are born into this world, and by and by, Satan indoctrinates us into the world-system. And as we are enamored by the pride of life, or the lusts of the flesh and eyes, Satan deceives us into believing we can attain some little story-book life. We pursue some earthly “piece of the pie”, so to speak. And then we focus on our worldly pursuits. That’s all we want, most of the time: our own piece of the pie.

TV indoctrination

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To indoctrinate: this is Satan’s modus-operandi in this high-tech world today, as it becomes indoctrinated by the various modern-media. And Satan and his minions are churning out this mass-indoctrination on a daily basis, increasingly all over the world, 24/7/365!

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“…UPON ALL PLEASANT PICTURES”

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“For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty… and upon all pleasant pictures….Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?” Isaiah Chapter 2: 12, 22.

wikipaintings us public domain

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This above passage really nails down just what the Day of the Lord is all about! We live in a world today, in which the False Prophet, Satan, the Dragon, is using the high-tech devices to present deceptive images to draw away disciples after him. The Internet, the television, radio, magazines, books, movies, etc., are all churning out pleasant pictures, which portray this evil world in a very appealing manner. These pictures often incorporate the beauty of nature together with the glory and beauty of Mankind.

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Notice that Satan combines the three great sins in these pictures “The lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life” 1st John 2:16.

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Woman in Mediterranian – Wikigallery – US Public Domain

Tissot – HMS Calcutta – Wikimedia – US Public Domain

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SATAN HAS AN IMAGE JUST FOR YOU

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Whatever the career, whatever the hobby, whatever the romance, whatever the city, whatever the country, whatever the lake, whatever the river or mountain stream, whatever the mansion, whatever the cottage, whatever the car, or boat, or motorcycle, or plane, or vacation resort… Satan has now an image just for you, and just for me. And he is the master at presenting this world in the most romantic light with his “pleasant pictures”, as Isaiah says.

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MAN’S GLORY IS AS A FADING FLOWER

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One great problem is, life never turns out like these pictures promise it to be. These are merely snapshots of elusive moments, whSurfer_Girl wikimedia public domainich quickly flee away. And eventually, as the flower of the field, which falls away, so do these images.

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Listen… “As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.” Psalm 103:15, 16.

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Eventually time and judgment will mar and destroy these images. Eventually things will happen. People lose their earthly riches. Or they get divorced. Or they get bored and leave. Or they get sick. Or they eventually become overweight, or over-burdened, or over-extended, or lose their job or lose their health. But one thing is for sure, they’re all going to eventually die, just as the flower of the field eventually withers and dies.

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TIME & JUDGMENT COMES TO ALL

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“…and a wise man’s heart discerns both time and judgment. Because to every purpose there is time and judgment, therefore the misery of man is great upon him.” Ecclesiastes 8:5, 6

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Just look at the pictures in this section, and let’s think through all these elusive snap-shots of life.

.Surfer_Girl wikimedia public domain

Perhaps the girl in the bathing-suit with the surfboard gets older and wrinkles from too much Sun exposure. Or she ultimately gets skin cancer.

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The guy with the sailboat eventually gets bored and sells it, and finally comes down with Dementia, and spends his last few years in a nursing home.

.http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Tissot_HMS_Calcutta.jpg

The young lady on the ship…well… you can just imagine all the problems she will encounter (and whoever marries her).

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And the lady in the white dress in the Mediterranean moves back to wherever she camewikipaintings us public domain from. Or she gets sick. Or she gets divorced. Or just like so many others of us,  she becomes elderly, and wrinkled and a little overweight; and her dream-life eventually fades away like the proverbial flower of the field. “For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever.” 1st Peter 1:24, 25

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Surfer Girl – Wikimedia – Public Domain

Woman in Mediterranian – Wikigallery – US Public Domain

Tissot – HMS Calcutta – Wikimedia – US Public Domain

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SATAN’S PLEASANT PICTURES ARE A LIE!

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Oh yes, Satan always has a few individuals, whom he holds up for his own good advertising purposes. That is, there are a few in the world, who just seem to live a charmed life. It’s just the great deceiver’s normal modus-operandi to do that! That’s just one big way he baits the rest of us (even though most of the rest of us do not end up living anywhere near what could be considered a dream life!) 

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But then again, if you were to ever catch one of those “lucky” ones, in an honest moment, they would probably confess that behind the scenes, life for them was not nearly as charmed as it outwardly appeared!

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Johann Heinrich Füssli – Woman Sitting, Curled up Google Art Project US public domain

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THE DAY OF THE LORD

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Two Turtledoves-Flower of the Field- Cross/Scepter Constellations

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But as this above passage from Isaiah states (“For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty… and upon all pleasant pictures, etc….”),

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The God of Heaven is about to wage war upon these lying pleasant pictures. And God will show Mankind that all these pleasant pictures are just a lie! And during the coming time of Judgment, God will expose the truth about this hopeless and horrible and dying world. All humanity will finally learn, that life in this world is like the proverbial Flower of the Field!

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For more insight into this Flower of the Field Constellation, please read… “Flower of the Field Constellation”

 

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“…TO THE MOLES…AND…BATS”

.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Big-eared-townsend-fledermaus.jpg

And all those who fear the Lord will finally understand that these pleasant pictures were merely just a lie! And as this above passage states, God’s people will…..well…just listen again… “For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty…AND UPON ALL PLEASANT PICTURES….In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats; To go into the clefts of the ragged rocks, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of His majesty, when He ariseth to shake terribly the earth”. Isaiah 2:12, 16, 20, 21. 

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The Day spoken of here is the Day of the Lord, in which God’s people will finally cast the things of the world to the moles and bats. The moles and bats in this passage represent all those who live in the darkness of sin and unbelief.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Close-up_of_mole.jpg

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Dear Christian, that Day has arrived. It’s not for some time in the future. It’s now! (To read more on this subject of casting away idols, just click here… “Woman of Revelation 12  & The Narrow Way Stars”

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Big-eared-townsend-fledermaus Wikipedia public domain

Close-up of mole – by Michael-David-Hill – wikipedia – share-alike-license.jpg

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GOD’S PLEASANT PICTURES ARE FOREVER

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“…and everlasting joy upon their heads:” Isaiah 35:10

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Well, God has His own pleasant pictures. The big difference is, God’s pleasant pictures are forevehttp://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/File:The_Pilgrim%27s_Progress_by_Byam_Shaw05.jpgr! Satan’s are like the flower that fades and falls away. God’s pleasant pictures are like the flower which never fades away! In God’s Promised Land we will never grow old. We will never get sick. We will never lose our love for others. We will never grow cranky, or picky, or have to endure the pains and sorrows and loses of old-age ever again! We will never cease to revel in God’s love and nature’s beauty.

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But God gives us a choice. We can choose to live in “Vanity Fair”, or we can choose to become “pilgrims and strangers” in this world (see Hebrews 11:13). The Christian can have his cake now, or he can wait, and have it forever!

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Hebrews 11 tells of Moses. Truly he had it all! Riches and fame and all the lusts of the flesh and eyes and pride of life. But Moses traded away this world in exchange for the next. He gave it all up to win that eternal prize!

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Listen… “By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompense of the reward.” Hebrews 11:24-26.

Flower of Heaven Constellation w/leaves

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Moses gave it all up! He walked away from a charmed life! And in just a few short years, all those who, just as Moses, choose to trade this world in for the world that’s coming, will awaken. And then they will become like the Flower of Heaven in the sketch to the left. Nevermore will they grow old! Nevermore will they sorrow! No more hunger or thirst! No more sickness and death! Listen…

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“Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” John 5:28, 29. This is the blessed promise of God.

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The_Pilgrims_Progress_by_Byam_Shaw-wikimedia-commons-US-public-domain.jpg

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THEY FORSOOK ALL & FOLLOWED HIM

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But Jesus is calling all to, “Come follow Me, and I will make you fishers of Men”. The Disciples of old, “forsook all and followed Him” Luke 5:11. But many today either ignore the call, or are simply too busy pursuing the many of the things that this Vanity Fair world offers.

http://www.wikigallery.org/wiki/painting_65895/Edward-Armitage/Christ-Calling-the-Apostles-James-and-John--1869.

The question which remains to be answered is this: “Am I willing to forsake all, to follow Jesus? Am I willing to give up all my worldly ambitions and dreams to become a soldier in the Lord’s army? and to be changed into the image of Jesus? Am I ready to forsake all worldly laud and honors, to join the ranks of that despised little company of Christians, who have forsaken this world, just like the pilgrim, ‘Christian’, in Bunyan’s tale, Pilgrim’s Progress? And am I really willing to become a stranger and pilgrim in this world of sin, confusion, and satanic lies?”.

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Christ calling His Disciples by Edward Armitage courtesy www.wikigallery.com -public domain.jpg

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A FORM OF GODLINESS

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The Mayor of the town of Vanity Fair has set a standard of acceptable behavior for his loyal citizens, which comes close, but falls short of Christ-likeness. And for Christians to engage in holiness and reverence will most certainly bring the disapproval from the citizens of Vanity Fair.

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It is easy to become deceived by the happy-go-lucky, nonchalance, joking and giddiness so often engaged in, by the citizens of Vanity Fair. And the Christian world has become so deceived, that should one remind them that these things are not appropriate, the reprover will suffer ridicule and mocking from church-goers. But the Bible makes it clear…http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Cano_-_San_Juan.jpg

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“Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; And walk in love, as Christ…But…all uncleanness…let it not be once named among you…Neither…foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient (not proper): but rather giving of thanks.” Ephesians 5:1-4.

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Christians may give approval of this passage. But when confronted on the last verse… “nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient:”, just watch how fast their approving nods turn to anger and rejection.

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Unfortunately, as already said, the Church has greatly taken our eyes off Jesus, not realizing that high and holy standard, which God has set for Christian behavior. The Church has the mistaken notion that playfulness, and laughter and joking are good enough to rightly represent Christ. 

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But while Christ had a deep inner joy, and kindness, and an accommodating spirit, He by no means engaged in any worldly or common or cheap behavior. He never once joked, but instead engaged in thankfulness to God, and gentleness toward others.

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All we do when behaving as the world, is to confuse others. We must reflect Jesus in every way, to be ambassadors of Christ. But by imitating the world, we actually deny Jesus by our very lifestyle!

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Sadducees Question Jesus by Harold Copping www.wikigallery.com public domain

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WHAT AM I WILLING TO BOW DOWN TO?

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“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?” Matthew 16:26

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The False Prophet, Satan has created the modern media in such a way, that he can sell an image, to cause Christians to turn away from God and bow down to that golden image-maker, the television, (and other media) with all its glittering tinsel-coated dreams. Oh yes, Satan is a dreamer-weaver, and his television is a veritable modern-day dream-machine, now churning out dreams, and visions and false hopes on an hourly basis.

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Oh this False Prophet might entice with a vision, for example, of walking into an expensive restaurant to meet a client for lunch.

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Or he might give the dream of becoming a famous  teen-idol singer, or some beautiful and graceful dancer, or perhaps to become a Hollywood movie-star. 

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Maybe this dream-weaver will offer the dream of living a story-book life in a little cottage in the country, with a nice family; or in a high-rise apartment in an exciting city.

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Or he sells on the dream of becoming a financial mogul, or a high-tech wizard, or a straight-shooting, tough-talking cowboy.

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Or maybe he’ll give a dream of being a missionary in some exotic foreign land helping the poor, or to become a celebrated charismatic preacher. 

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Perhaps he’ll sell the dream of becoming a famous Christian Rock musician, singing to a throng of adoring fans.

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What dream can this False Prophet sell, that someone is willing to trade his or her soul for?

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NO CONTRACT TO SIGN…

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Oh Satan doesn’t make a person sign a contract for his or her soul, like he is seen doing on various television shows. No, no, all a person has to do is just wish for that dream. Just go for it! He’ll help that person achieve it! All this False Prophet requires, is for the Christian to forsake that Upward Pathway: like the man which began up the path that the pilgrim walked, in the Pilgrim’s Progress book, but eventually left the pilgrim’s company, only to come back to live in the town called Vanity Fair. 

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Vanity Fair offers just about any kind of dream one could wish to purchase.

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Just listen to Jesus warn His disciples… “And when He had called the people unto Him with His disciples also, He said unto them, Whosoever will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his Cross, and follow Me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for My sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” Mark 8:35-37. 

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Yes dear Pilgrim, the cost of following Jesus is to forsake everything of this world, as this above passage points out. But those who persevere will find much, much more of the true riches, and everlasting life and joy and peace! An incomprehensible reward awaits all those who persevere on the pilgrim’s pathway to the Celestial City!  

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Jesus Discourses with His Disciples – James Tissot – by Brooklyn Museum – by Wikipedia – Public Domain

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DON’T FALL FOR SATAN’S LIES

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Dear Pilgrim. This article is designed to warn against falling for one of Satan’s many
deceptions. If this hellish dream-weaver comes, and paints a most glorious portrait of some earthly dream that we could be living, don’t fall for it. It’s just a lie. He’s just winking and grinning, as he’s spinning his lies! In reality, if we did finally attain to it, we would then find out by experience, that it’s just vanity and vexation of spirit (see Ecclesiastes 1:2). We would then realize that this dream-career (or whatever our “dream” happens to be), is no fairy-tale existence at all! It’s just another prison-cell in Satan’s Vanity Fair.

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Eve & The Whispering Serpent – Signs Of Heaven – Share-alike License

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“LET MY PEOPLE GO”

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That’s right, Vanity Fair, that is, this world, is in reality, Satan’s prison-house of sin and selfishness! Because that’s what Vanity Fair really is: just Satan’s way of holding us as captives in his prison-house of sin!

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And even if we did attain that fairy-tale dream, our bubble would eventually burst, and we would finally realize, that it was all just a great big lie, by the Father-of-Lies, the Devil: the Great Dream-Weaver of this world: this world which John Bunyan called, Vanity Fair.

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And just as Lucifer deceived the angels of Heaven, so too, he has deceived us, by promising happiness in a hopeless world of sin and sorrow and death. 

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That’s right, a third of the angels of Heaven, who should have known better, bought into his lie! And so how much more has he deceived us: we who haven’t had all the information that those fallen angels had!

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TOUGHING IT OUT ON THIS BALL OF CONFUSION

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But to be fair, those fallen angels had not yet seen the woe and misery that selfishness brings. But isn’t it amazing that we, who have experienced living in such a world as this, yet still remain so loyal to this sin-darkened and hideous and horrible world! In a world which has so much suffering, we are so determined and dedicated to remain here and “tough it out”, even though God holds out to anyone who is willing, the chance to live in a world in which there will be everlasting joy!

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Yes, that world is awaiting, with no sickness, or hatred, or lying, or crime, or anger, or murder, or pushing, or shoving, or, etc., etc…….. 

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ThomasCole-Pilgrim of the Cross at the End of His Journey wikimedia US public domain

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THE GREATEST GIFT

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A gift can come in many forms. There are many gifts a Christian can give to the world. What can you or I give? Perhaps to stop and give money to someone hopeless soul, holding a sign asking for help? Maybe a basket of http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dear_Santa_Claus.jpgfood to someone who is hungry? Maybe just a visit to someone who is sick or incarcerated? Or maybe to give clothes to some overseas mission? Or toys to needy children at Christmas? Or hand-out tracts or just talking to people regarding Salvation? How about simply being nice and friendly, and even being lovable to everyone? That too, is also a gift one could give to the world! And this website highly endorses all these forms of gift-giving. But there is a much, much, greater gift than all these!

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There are many, many types of gifts a Christian can give to the world. But, again, what is the greatest gift a human can give?

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And so, the answer to our puzzling question is simply this: the greatest gift a Christian can give to a needy world is a purified heart and a life transformed into the image of Christ.

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Oh yes, the world has heard about Jesus. They’ve been told. But what the world needs now, is to see Jesus, as He http://pt.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ficheiro:Transfiguration_bloch.jpglives out His holy life of self-sacrificing love, through His believing, trusting Followers. And with hearts purified, “by the Word of Christ dwelling in us richly in all wisdom” Colossians 3:16, we will be a Living Epistle, “known and read of all” 2nd Corinthians 3:2

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Then there will no longer be any need for hand-out tracts or television or Internet ministries. God’s faithful ones will shine as the Sun in its brightness (see Isaiah 30:26), to a sin-darkened world, as we bring the most precious gift of all: everlasting life and joy. Then, in whatever occupation we finally choose, whether it be a fireman or a teacher, or a missionary, we will perform that occupation with the gentle patience, and the steadfast kindness, and unwavering honesty, and the purity of heart that can only come from a sanctified soul, transformed into Christ’s image.

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Dear Santa Claus – Wikimedia – US Public Domain

Transfiguration – Bloch – cropped and altered image – Wikimedia Commons – US Public-Domain

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PARADISE RESTORED

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“And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal…and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass…And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it…And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.” Revelation 21:10, 11, 18, 22 & 22:1, 2

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In just a little while, the Lord shall descend from Heaven with a shout, and the people of God will rise from their graves, and so shall they be with the Lord forever in that Kingdom restored. And thhttp://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/File:The_Pilgrim%27s_Progress_by_Byam_Shaw05.jpge former things will have passed away, and God will make all things new. And there shall be no more curse; neither shall there be any more crying or sorrow or heart-aches.

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And just as Bunyan’s character, Christian, finally crossed that Black River, and came up on the other side, so will each one, who has decided to go in the Pilgrim’s Way. And then will we stand in Beulah Land. And then will we forever live a life, far, far more wonderful than any of Satan’s fairy-tale “dream” lives, which he promised, but could not deliver.

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And so, if anyone who reads this has not yet become a stranger and pilgrim and ex-patriot to this lost and hopelessly dying world, he or she is invited to come follow Jesus, and begin to walk that upward pathway, which leads to that celestial city of God. Because unlike the, “god of this world”, the God of that heavenly city can deliver what He has promised us. And He has promised us eternal joy in the world-to-come, if only we will become faithful Followers of Jesus, the Savior.

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The Pilgrims Progress – by_Byam_Shaw – wikimedia-commons – US-public-domain.jpg.

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VALLEY OF DECISION AWAITS A DECISION

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And just now God is revealing this Valley of Decision Constellation group in the summer and fall skies. God is letting Humanity know that it’s time to “step up to the plate”, as they say, and make a commitment. “Will I choose life or death?” Choose life, dear soul. Choose everlasting life. Why continue on in this hopelessly dying world? Why not begin the journey on that Upward Pathway? Why stand on the side of Satan and be one of his miserable followers?

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By following Jesus, you will embark on a journey, in which you will find yourself growing in brotherly love for lost sinners. You find yourself growing in patience, and kindness, and even in purity of heart. And though you must leave behind the riches of this present world, you will ultimately gain the true riches which will never be corrupted, nor taken away by moth, rust, nor thieves.

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The mountain on the left, in this sketch, symbolizes the Mountain of God, the Mountain of Blessing. As you can see, that little galaxy appears to be climbing up that mountain. That galaxy represents all those who have decided to climb the upward Pathway to the Celestial City of God.

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THE END

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A HEAVENLY HOBBY

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

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“Lift up your eyes on high, and behold Who hath created these things; that brings out their host by number: He calls them all by names by the greatness of His might, for that He is strong in power; not one faileth.” Isaiah 40:26

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ABOVE PICTURE – Starry Night at La Silla – cropped  and altered image – Wikimedia – Share-Alike license

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The above verse is a plea from God to look up at the Heavens and behold Who has created these http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:New_york_times_square-terabass.jpgthings.

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In this busy work-a-day world, there are many very interesting things which can occupy one’s time and energy: hobbies, and careers, and entertainments and http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Shoppers_on_Dundas,_near_Yonge.jpgworries, and habits, to name just a few.

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But as the child of God devotes his or her life to God, there should be a jealous guarding of one’s own heart… “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” Proverbs 4:23.

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The Christian wants nothing to get in the way of running that Christian Race.

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New York Times Square – terabass – cropped image – Wikipedia – Share-alike License

Shoppers in Toronto – cropped image – Wikimedia – share-alike license

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“AND WHEN YE SEE THESE THINGS…

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LOOK UP, LIFT UP YOUR HEAD”

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But having said this, there is one hobby which every ‘Noble Berean’ may take up, which only compliments the pursuit of the heavenly Prize.

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Yes, Signs Of Heaven becomes a wonderfully rewarding hobby which, unlike many less meaningful hobbies, pays off with rich, heavenly rewards. Everlasting rewards!

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And unlike the person in this photo with equipment, all you need is fairly good vision, and a dark, starry night.

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And once a person really gets to know these heavenly messengers, it will become very apparent that the message connected with these signs is truly a message to be heeded.

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Thus will the Christian be able to share this message with others. And there are perhaps many nuances and hidden biblical truths to these signs which have yet to be discovered.

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Astronomy Amateur – cropped image – Wikipedia – share-alike license

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.summer w/woman & doves

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“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

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ABOVE CHART: Summer Constellations with Doves (Sagittarius) & Woman (Ursa Major)

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FIRST FIND ORION & 7 STARS

.Orion Constellation

The very first step in finding these many constellations, should be to find the two main constellations: Orion, and the 7 Stars (aka, The Big Dipper).

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These two constellations represent Christ (Orion), and His Chur7 stars as Crossch (7 Stars).

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And just as these are the easiest constellations to find, so too, the first place to begin studying the Bible is the Four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John).

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These four books present Christ and His Church, when He walked the earth, just as Orion and the 7 Stars represent Christ and His Church, as seen up in the heavens.

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Then, once you are comfortable finding these two constellations, you can begin to locate the next closest constellations, and so on.

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ABOVE PICTURE: Orion the Soldier and the Revelation 12 Dragon (Hyades & Pleiades, etc.) – winter constellations – www.signsofheaven.org – not for commercial use

ABOVE PICTURE – 7 Stars Constellation as the Cross (aka Big Dipper) – winter – signsofheaven.org – not for commercial uses

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ANOTHER HEAVENLY HOBBY: PRAYER-WALKS

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Now if you’re fortunate enough to be able to go on nightly walks, and you live in an area where you can safely view the stars, here is another Heavenly Hobby which Signs Of Heaven endorses…

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

Why not combine star-watching with prayer, as you walk? What a great way to draw closer to God!

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It cannot be over-stressed, just how wonderful it is to walk under the dark canopy of Heaven, while lifting up one’s heart to our Heavenly Father! There is a closeness to God that cannot be described with words!

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(And even if you cannot safely do this, you can always do such prayer-walks in the daytime, in a safe place, such as a mall, which is every bit as effective, prayer-wise.

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And for those who are in confinement, one can view these starry signs on the Internet, or simply listen to Scripture on audio.

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Either way, all such may enjoy God’s richest blessings at this very time in which God is pouring out all Heaven’s treasures upon anyone willing to forsake all, and follow Jesus!)

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Starry Night at La Silla – cropped and latered image – Wikipedia – share-alike license

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THRICE-DAILY PRAYERS

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Now of course, the Bible commands us to, “pray without ceasing“. The Christian is to constantly talk with our Heavenly Father throughout the day.

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But the Bible also holds up the godly life of Daniel, who, when captive in Babylon, still set aside three times daily, in which he knelt for special prayer.

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And furthermore the Bible also says… “Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and He shall hear my voice.” Psalm 55:17.

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Even those who are bed-fast or in a prison cell can begin to imitate Daniel in this way. And if one is fortunate to be able to walk, then this thrice-daily prayer regimen can be combined with three walks daily and even nightly.

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Marines at Prayer by Alex Raymond – Wikimedia – public domain

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