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            The Atonement Blood of Christ, and His resurrection to life, gives unlimited access to all the benefits of God’s presence—all that He is, and has, and can do for us. God is ready to do anything for us without cost.  Two men with two different attitudes prove that to be true.

            Three men were crucified that day—two thieves on each side and Jesus on the middle cross.  Jesus was dying for the sins of the world; the other two were dying for the sins in their life.  In one sense, it would be a privilege to even be on a cross beside the Lord Jesus—dying with the Savior—but only one thief received any benefit from His presence.

            One man held on to self and its attitudes until he died—going straight to the Lake of Fire; but the other was willing to forsake self and its rebellious attitudes—and receiving the promise of salvation.  The repentant thief was taken from the worst position anyone could be in—and which would have been even worse in the flames—to everlasting happiness in Heaven with His Savior—just by giving up his worldly and rebellious attitude in the last moments of his life.

            The one criminal mocked Jesus Luke 23:39-41, “If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.  But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?  And we indeed [are punished] justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.”  He meant—Jesus is innocent, pure, and good; but we are guilty, rebellious, and wrong—we have no one to blame but ourselves.

            There are millions of people taking the side of one who ridiculed Jesus—saying; if God is powerful, loving, and kind, why are we going through such serious trials; why do horrible things happen to good people!  That is the attitude of the carnal nature.

            It is just wrong to put the responsibility on God for all the troubles, tragedies, and deaths in the world—it is absolutely wrong, because James 1:13 “God cannot be tempted with evil.”  The only reason for all the horrible things that take place in the world is our own wrong attitudes and sinful heart.  James 1:14 ”Every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.”  It is not God’s fault, but our own.

            Ignoring God and going their own sinful and rebellious way is what causes horrible things to happen.  When God is left out of our life, Satan is allowed in to our home—and always in disguise.  Many people want God’s healing and blessings, but without repenting of sins or surrendering their will to Him.  They play games with God’s Truth which cannot yield spiritual results.

            God alone knows our heart and He knows if we are sincere or not.  Anyone can be healed, blessed, protected, or supplied by the divine power of God—no matter where they are in the world—but they will have to be converted in heart first, and then really trust God in faith second—to see His almighty power manifested in their life.

            If we are physically oppressed; short of supplies; or going through a tough situation, the responsibility is squarely on our own shoulders.  God is the only Healer of our bodies, so we must know that, and begin trusting Him in believing faith, if we expect to benefit from His divine love, mercy, power, and presence.

            One thief forsook his evil ways and confessed his sins to Jesus.  God knows the heart and Jesus knew the man was willing to change.  Isaiah 55:7 ”Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon.”

            That means to forsake all our unscriptural ways, and to accept all of God’s scriptural ways.  The repentant thief rebuked the rebellious thief Luke 23:40, "Do you not even fear God?”  The converted thief now knew how wicked it was for them to steal from others.  They got away with it for awhile, but finally had to pay for the consequences of their wicked acts.

            One thief realized that it was his own wrong ways and attitudes that led him to that horrible place.  He had loved his life in the world, but would soon lose what he tried so hard to keep.  Matthew 16:26 ”For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”  When we are willing to take the attitude of the repentant thief, and are ready to admit that we are the cause of our own troubles, we will begin to see change and victory.

            John the Baptist said to the Pharisees and Sadducees, who wanted baptism Matthew 3:7 “O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?”  These outwardly religious people despised tax collectors, harlots, and Gentiles in general; yet Jesus said to them Matthew 21:31 “that the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.”

            Outright sinners were more likely to repent than self-righteous hypocrites, He meant.  Romans 8:34 ”Who is he who condemns?  It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.  33 It is God who justifies.”  The repentant thief Luke 23:42-43 said, “Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.  And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” 

            We can hold on to our rebellious ways and attitudes until we land in the Pit; or we can forsake our evil ways and attitudes, and be promised a home in Heaven.  We are responsible to confess our sins and wrong ways to God, and to accept His plan for our life—just as Jonah in the stomach of a fish; just as this thief on the cross; and the same as the three Hebrews in a furnace—God will be there to protect us, if we will repent and trust Him in faith.

            Haman wanted to destroy the entire Jewish nation; but Mordecai held on to his faith in God through it all.  The result was that Haman was hanged; Mordecai was promoted, and the Jews were protected.  That is how things work out, when we follow God’s plan in life.

            Just by asking “Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom,” Jesus gave him salvation.  God cannot change things for us, until we forsake our ways and accept His.  Luke 23:43 “To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.”

            One held on to his rebellious attitude and went straight to the flames with Judas and Satan; the other gave up his sin and went straight to Heaven with Jesus forever—just because he admitted his sin and forsook the old rebellion.

            No matter what difficulty; tough situation; physical oppression, or home problem we may be experiencing, it has resulted from following our own plans, and retaining Satan’s attitudes.  It can all be changed by getting rid of self’s plan, and accepting the divine plan—by meeting things according to the Word—whether it pleases us or not.

            When we take our lowly place, and give God His exalted place, big changes will come about in our life—problems begin to diminish; but if we stubbornly hold on to the world’s attitudes and ways, we can find ourselves in the lake of fire forever—with no chance to ever reverse that horrible fate.

            On the opposite side; if we are willing to give up our ways and ideas; and are willing to accept God’s Word and plan, He will begin to work for us; to change our rebellion to submission—He will take us from the lowest place, to the highest and most exalted place—prepared for His kingdom.

            All our troubles have a human origin—just as they did with Adam, Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, Haman, and a host of others through the ages.  When human plans and ways are forsaken, and God’s divine plans and ways are accepted, everything will change for the better.

            The troubles in the world, and the problems with the churches, are all caused by getting away from God’s Word.  Christian churches say they accept the Virgin Birth of Jesus; the story of Creation; and they believe that the Bible is true, but they do not apply the principles of truth and trust by faith in the power of God.

            They have, actually, followed their own ideas, ways, and policies to get what they want.  It is blatant disobedience of Scripture.  Luke 6:46 “Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?”

            The Divine Plan; God is well aware of what is going on—with four thousand years in preparing this plan for us—which is to make our every request known unto Him, and to eliminate every human plan of self.  If God sees a willing heart in anyone, He will give them the opportunity to accept His Truth, empower them to walk in the light of it, and be saved from eternal suffering.

            Rejecting God’s Word, and accepting Satan’s lie, has caused all the trouble in the world.  If we will reverse that, and take the position Adam and Eve had before they accepted the lie, we will see huge changes in our life.  We will get back to the Word and begin trusting God—which will result in the desert blooming into an oasis—spiritually, physically, financially, and everywhere else.

            If we will ask, God will reveal the cause of our troubles.  We will soon see that it was the human element, and the self life, that brought on the problems.  God will convict us of these wrong ways and attitudes, and will help us get rid of them.

            We are to take every burden, worry, concern, problem, temptation, trouble, or oppression to God in prayer—and allow His divine power to work for us.  We must take our rightful place, as the thief on the cross, die to self and worldly plans, and enter into a place of peace, rest, and victory.

            Jonah was delivered from a horrible place inside the fish and made a preacher of God’s Truth, when he was willing to let go of his plans, and to surrender to God’s.  Jonah 2:8 ”They that observe lying vanities [cling to worthless idols] forsake their own mercy.”  Jonah was then instrumental in bringing thousands to repentance.

            The demon-possessed man of Gadara was delivered from the devil’s power in minutes, and sent on his way a preacher of God’s Truth.  God has not changed, so if we will allow Him to change us, it could happen today.  Romans 8:31-32 ”What shall we then say to these things?  If God be for us, who can be against us?  He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?”


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