Burning Sulfur, Ijen Crater – East Java
“But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars—their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”
Jesus said, “If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (John 15:7). I pray you have abided “in” Christ this week. It helps me to also use the word “remain” in addition to “abide.” So Jesus is saying if you remain in Me, My words will remain in you. So at the end of the day, we only want Jesus’ words to remain in us and if that happens, whatever we wish will be done for you. Why? Because our wish is to please Jesus and only Jesus, so of course it will be done for you. We can also go the this familiar Psalm, “Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4) What a great word! Recently one of the brothers did a study on this verse. He found that if we “delight” (becoming soft & pliable) ourselves ………… here is what will happen: He (God) will put His Desires in your heart! His desires become your desires. Doesn’t that make a lot more sense? And that’s what we want anyway, not our “flawed” desires. Spend some “quiet” time with the Lord, asking Him to give you discernment on these verses. You won’t be sorry.
Ok, so what’s up with the photo above and the blue stuff? As you all know, there has been such a heat wave in the West and right here in Las Vegas, it’s been HOT! A week ago Friday this was the temperature at our barn…….. and the thermometer is in the shade (photo on the left). This was the hottest I can remember. A few days ago we were talking about the heat and I said, no matter how hot it is here, it’s nothing compared to the …. “lake of burning sulfur.” I subsequently did short study on burning sulfur. Photographer, Oliver Grunewald, took the photo of liquid sulfur flowing from the Kawah Ijen volcano on the island of Java. Sulfur (or sometimes called Brimstone) melts at 239°F.
At this volcano, which has a lake adjoining it, spews hot gases from the cracks at a high temperature (+1,000°F) and they ignite when they come in contact with the air. They then condense into liquid sulfur which continues to burn as a blue flame like the photo above. Here is a short video (1 min) of a sulfur fire in Wyoming.
So you might be asking, “Dan, what’s your point?” Well, whatever we are going through right now, is NOTHING for those mentioned in the Revelation verse above. If you give some thought to each of those words, they should terrify all of us. Take the first word, COWARD. Jesus, Sovereign God of the Universe, died for us. Are you reluctant to share the GOOD NEWS of the Gospel to a lost and dying world? Would you classify yourself a COWARD then? Men, this is serious stuff! If you believe Rev 21:8 is true, you should be shaking in your boots! [ PLEASE READ THE MIM ARTICLE BELOW ON “CHOSING FEAR – Part 1”]
Remember what we have said many times:
The two greatest problems in the church today are:
- People have lost the “Fear of the Lord”
- People want to serve God on “their” terms, and not His
Following Christ is not for the “faint of heart!”
“If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it.” (Luke 9:23-24)
A good review. As you are reading this, take you time to really think about the deeper content.
Fear – Part I & II – Red Book Day 72 & 73
Remember the title of the Red Book: “Warning for a People Not Listening to God”
The purpose of these devotionals is to help you think Biblically
Solomon said, “As a man thinks, so is he”
“To know God is to fear God; to fear God is to know God. You can’t know God without fearing Him”.
Choosing Fear-Part 1
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PLEASE PRAY FOR THIS CONFERENCE
See attached flyer. Please share with the men in your men’s groups and churches.
How are your answers on the 3 questions below? Are you in the faith?
Facts of the Matter
THREE SIMPLE BUT IMPORTANT TESTS TO SEE IF I AM ON TRACK SPIRITUALLY
The Scriptures exhort us to “examine [ourselves] to see whether [we] are in the faith…” (2 Cor. 13:5b).
1) Am I bearing fruit inward by living in God’s word? Jesus: ” If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (Jn. 8:31b, 32).
Ask yourself if these past couple of weeks your time alone with God in prayer and the Scriptures has been your top priority. If not, according to John 8:31, 32 you are living in bondage. Last week I asked a friend in full time Christian service about his time with God. Skimpy. Yet he manages to busy himself with creating and running “Christian” programs. He should be mindful of John 15:5: “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
2) Am I bearing fruit outward by loving others? Jesus: ”A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another” (Jn. 13:34, 35 – NIV). The caliber of Jesus’ love lived through us is:
- Selfless : “For we do not preach ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake” (2 Cor. 4:5).
- Forgiving : “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Lk. 23:34b).
- Sacrificial : “…Any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple” (Lk. 14:33b).
3) Am I bearing fruit upward by winning the lost and discipling the saved? Jesus: “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples” (Jn. 15:7, 8). This abundant fruit is manifest in two ways:
1) Character: “… The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law ” (Gal. 5:22, 23).
2) Service: “Do you not say, ‘Four months more and then the harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. Even now the reaper draws his wages, even now he harvests the crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together” (Jn. 4:35, 36).
QUESTION : Would you take a few moments now to prayerfully examine yourself in these three areas, asking the Holy Spirit to reveal the state of your inner life. Is there a change you need to make today?
This week may you experience His grace, peace and protection.
~R. Dwight Hill~
1 Some of the key ideas for this “Facts” credited to Spiritual Discipleship, J Oswald Sanders, Moody Press, Chicago 1994, ppg. 27-34.