Oblivious to Evil

Halloween No

Beloveds of the Lord,

Today I have been overtaken by the Lord’s heart regarding the oblivious condition of the church toward evil. Every store I go to I am greeted by ghouls, skeletons, vampires, and grotesque masks and costumes along with ghosts and ugly jack-o-lanterns. To me it is a blight and my soul is vexed over this tribute to evil. But, sadly, I have discovered that much of the church goes about its day oblivious, or worse, they are preparing to celebrate evil right along with the world on October 31st.

My concern got me wondering why Halloween is a day to celebrate evil and that got me researching. I found out a lot of historic things about it having roots in pagan ceremony and superstition, but what really grabbed me a couple of years ago was the revelation that it is the night Martin Luther posted his theses on the church door for all to read. It was on October 31st 1517 that the wickedness of the then current religious order was exposed and the truth of the Word of God was restored to the people. The Reformation was birthed 500 years ago this Month! Oh, how the devil hated that then and how he hates it now! He has been seeking revenge ever since, successfully perverting a night, then a day, and now we deal with an entire month or more of disgusting evil displayed everywhere we go. And sadly, he has succeeded in desensitizing a huge portion of the church to the evil, and has successfully managed to get many of them to celebrate the evil and not the Reformation. (Read my article about this scheme of our enemy at: Should we Celebrate October 31st?)

It’s not clear how the church became so oblivious to evil. Some how, somewhere along the line, the church leaders decided to ignore Halloween occult practices, incorporate them as a draw, condone them openly and/or adopt them. That didn’t make any of it less evil, it just became less obvious as it hid behind the skirts of the church. People going to church were taught to accept it because their leaders did.

The result is that few church leaders in the USA now-a-days preach against the evils of it. But,  I love God’s kids too much to let the year go by without saying something that may penetrate the lies and encourage even one person to step away from the wickedness of Halloween.

Though you may be one that thinks I am old fashioned or overreacting,  I am not moved by your protests, so don’t bother to write.  Nor will I accept or acknowledge excuses that “it is all in fun” or “it’s all make believe” or “we do it for the kids.” None of that washes and I won’t respond to those comments either.  Why am I so stubborn on this?  Two reasons:  First and foremost, the word of God says to reject evil, even the appearance of it. To me the evil of Halloween has been and is quite obvious.

Here are just a couple of verses, out of many that are in the Word of God, telling us to turn away from evil things like Halloween and do good instead:

Amos 5:14 – 15 (NRSV) Seek good and not evil, that you may live; and so the LORD, the God of hosts, will be with you, just as you have said. Hate evil and love good, and establish justice in the gate; it may be that the LORD, the God of hosts, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.

3 John 1:11 Beloved, do not imitate what is evil, but what is good. He who does good is of God, but he who does evil has not seen God.

1 Peter 2:15 – 16 (NRSV) For it is God’s will that by doing right you should silence the ignorance of the foolish. As servants of God, live as free people, yet do not use your freedom as a pretext for evil.

Secondly,  I have first hand knowledge of the evils of the occult and its supposedly innocent fun beginnings “for the kids.” My Lord Jesus delivered me out of that trap in 1990. Celebrating Halloween as a child, led me to fascination with the occult. Living my life in occult New Age practices for over 20 years as an adult nearly killed me. I will never be silent regarding the dangers to both children and adults of playing around with demonic things, including Halloween,  because I personally KNOW what can happen and I don’t want it to happen to you or your children!

You can read my testimony on cherylbirchministries.com .  You can also view my testimony that was recorded a couple of years ago. I spoke regarding the need to step out of evil contrasting with a Halloween decorated set. View it by clicking Here.

As well, I have written an article from my heart called  What Part of Evil is Good?

So, what if this article or my testimony has touched your heart and you are ready to step away from Halloween? How does one combat this evil?  Answer: Renounce it. Repent for entertaining it and participating in it. Receive forgiveness and determine to step into GOOD! Evil is overcome by good!

Then, this time of year,  start celebrating the Reformation! Have a Reformation Party for the kids. Sure candy is great and lots of treats.  Cute, not evil, costumes add to the festivities.  Celebrate with great joy! Have fun! Our God loves a good party that honors Him!  When folks say “Happy Halloween” reply with “Happy Reformation Day!” When folks ask if you celebrating October 31st answer: Yes! I celebrate the Reformation every year.

Does that work? Yup! Been doing it for years and the conversations are astounding. The presence of God is remarkable. People ask questions! What is the Reformation? It opens doors to telling people it’s a celebration of the word of God or the Bible. That opens up a door to tell them about Jesus.

In this, the 500th year of God restoring His Word to us, let’s honor HIM on October 31st and give the devil a GOOD kick in his back side!

With much love to you always,

Rev. Cheryl

 

 

 

 

 

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A World gone Crazy

Stormy seas

This morning I felt overwhelmed by prayer needs and the need to pray.  If you are an intercessor, or one who prays, you have probably had those days too. My heart breaks today for the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ in Antioch TN where 7 were wounded and a 39 year old woman was killed by a masked shooter.  And our eastern seaboard is projected to be pounded once again by a strong hurricane, the 3rd one, 4th if one counts the hurricane that kicked up storms while blowing itself out in the middle of the ocean. Puerto Rico lies in devastation from the same storm and Florida and Texas are still in crisis cleaning up from the previous two. And, my prayer list for personal needs, illnesses, sudden deaths in families and on and on is growing. Seems like every day I get more bad news that needs prayer.

What does a follower of Jesus do when the world has seemingly gone crazy around them? In the language of my first prayer partners who were all 80 something and I was a kid of 41, we PRESS IN.  That phrase when I first heard it back in the 1990’s made little sense to me. I was a new believer and my question at the time was “Press into what?” My mentors smiled a knowing smile and simply said “Jesus, of course.”

Brother John, tall graying black curly hair, with a wonderful base voice came over to my side. My hands completely disappear into his large knuckled chocolate brown hands… Continue reading

Wisdom Beginnings

The Beginning – Part 5 “Wisdom Beginnings” by Rev. Cheryl Birch

wisdom

This morning I woke up quoting this verse: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. Proverbs 9:10

This verse has been on my heart all morning and it is not abating.  I strongly believe it is a word that we must all grab onto in these tumultuous times in our nation and the world. It would be easy to launch out of my own heart on this one as there is so much evidence we, the body of Christ, are NOT walking in much wisdom these days.  However, my style when the Lord gives me a verse, especially one I wake up with, is to meditate on it for a time and find all the places in the word of God where something similar is said. That way I can get a clearer picture and more full understanding of what Holy Spirit is trying to tell me.

Here is what I found:

And to man He said, ‘Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, And to depart from evil is understanding.’” Job 28:28

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever. Psalm 111:10

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction. Proverbs 1:7

The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom, And before honor is humility. Proverbs 15:33

The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, The Spirit of wisdom and understanding,   The Spirit of counsel and might, The Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord. Isaiah 11:2

These verses became personal as I allowed the words of the Lord to penetrate. They sent me a completely different direction.  Instead of looking outward at what is happening around me,  I realized I needed to ask Holy Spirit for these “Wisdom Beginnings” for ME.  Of course, the greater body of Christ needs wisdom too, but this time it was a message the Lord was giving me first. I needed the reminder. From that revelation came the heart of the message the Lord is asking me to share today. When we receive a word, or a scripture is highlighted by Holy Spirit, where do our thoughts on it go first? And, do we ever consider that where we are applying the scripture is not fully what the Lord is trying to tell us? It matters not in this question of the moment whether we tend to turn the scripture outward to the church, or the world, or inward to our own lives.  Very simply, whichever way we have applied the scripture, is that the fullness of what God is saying to us or have we missed it? Continue reading

Beginning = Love One Another

potter hands

And now I plead with you, lady, not as though I wrote a new commandment to you, but that which we have had from the beginning: that we love one another. This is love, that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, that as you have heard from the beginning, you should walk in it. 2 John 1:5-6

In my walk with our Lord I have found over and over again that every ending means God has developed in me a greater capacity to keep His commandment to love one another as He has loved us.  (John 15:12) This increased capacity to love as He loves creates a new beginning and He opens new doors for me to walk through in order that I may demonstrate His love in fresh new ways.  The hard part of this process is always the ending of a season, especially if that season has been the center of my life. The closing of a door can be confusing if it is something I had come to rely upon or had thought I would be part of forever. It can be painful as closing doors always means I have to let go of something whether its my opinions, habits, status and position, financial, or even people. Often the new door is not clear and I have needed to let the old door close in obedience following the leading of Holy Spirit without knowing exactly where I am going or why.

In this process of beginning, for I am determined to look at each ending situation no matter how painful as an exciting new chapter in my life, Continue reading

New Beginnings

 

The Beginning

The Lord God in His infinite wisdom is ending some things right now. This is a world wide event affecting entire nations and also regions, cities, and individuals like you and me. Endings can be a bit disconcerting, confusing and sometimes down right scary.  This is especially so when it is all going on at one time.  It’s hard to remain at peace or understand our role when we are seemingly in constant crisis or crisis is constantly happening around us.

How vital it is right now that we, the body of Christ, get a handle on what is going on from heaven’s perspective! The last two postings I made were reminders that God is in charge, He loves us, He has chosen us and that He has had a grand wonderful plan from the very beginning.  Secondly, its important to constantly remember that we are still in a time of GRACE and new beginnings are available daily.  We not in a time of judgement and wrath, but we are in a time of intense battle and world-wide spiritual struggle for nations (for the souls of the world). It’s ugly out there, not because God is pouring out judgement and wrath, but because the demonic forces are trying to kill as many people as possible to prevent them from ever knowing Christ Jesus as Savior. It’s even uglier because so many people flowing in the evil of their own hearts and are coming into agreement with the demonic plan to wipe out all that God created in the beginning and said was good, especially humankind.

He is speaking to me prophetically … Continue reading

“The Beginnings”

“The Beginnings” – Part 2 of The Beginning

Beginning

How exciting to be part of the wondrous things our God is doing in the world! We are headed rapidly to the grandest new beginning of all time when He recreates the earth and returns it fully to a reflection of His glory.  In the mean time, I am learning from my times with Holy Spirit, praying and studying His Word, that we, the body of Christ, need a refresher course regarding “the beginnings” we have already received. In fact, too many of us are focused right now on the end of our beginnings instead of the amazing times in which we live. Fear is overtaking many in the church as they look at the apparent growing darkness in the world and wonder if they will survive the bad things going on and/or those situations described in Revelations. Some are into debating how much suffering and wrath God will pour out and how long they will go through the punishment before Jesus’ return. And, others are totally focused on the rapture of the church and hiding out praying He will get them out of here as Paul says: “Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 4:17)

Yes, things are getting a little crazy in the world, but ….  Continue reading

The Beginning

The Beginning – Part 1

As I was praying and asking Holy Spirit to guide me in what to read and study the next few weeks, I heard in my heart so clearly: The Beginning. Amazingly, a moment later I opened my Bible randomly and it was to the book of John Chapter 1. The first words are “In the beginning.” That “coincidence” certainly convinced me that I had received a “God-impression!”

WIN_20170829_100518

So, I started my study on “the beginning” with John chapter 1: “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.” I had written across the top a while ago; This Word is Jesus and Jesus is this Word! The chapter goes on to say: “He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not comprehend it.

Those first verses got me thinking about creation and Jesus the Son of God, the light of the world. Genesis 1:1-5 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day. 

Everything that was made, was made through Jesus. All good things, all things with a purpose to bless, from the very beginning of our world were created through Jesus. When light appeared it overcame the darkness,  What was void and formless it goes on to say, began to take on form and pattern. That pattern it says in John Chapter 1 was ALL reflective of Jesus, the Word incarnate, the Light of men.

So, the beauty of a flower, the intricacy of a living being, the complexity of a human being, the sweetness of a kitten,  the strength of the mountains, the loveliness of a grassy meadow, the power of rushing waters, the stunning majesty of a sunset or sunrise, the orderly pattern and design of the nature and the heavens, the spectacular variety and creativity found in our world (and so much more) are ALL a reflection of Him through Whom it was created.

Much gets blamed on God, but nothing dark, ugly, diseased, evil, deadly or malformed came from Him. That all that bad stuff entered our world when the first of humankind, Adam and Eve, opened the door for darkness to rule instead of light. These evils and banes in our world are reflective of the work of that old serpent, the devil and our human willingness to partner with his twisted and perverted plans to make God’s lovely creation hideous.

The most marvelous thought about this first day of studying “the beginning” is that even as all creation was formed through Him, Jesus knew the door to darkness would be opened and the purity and beauty of His creation would be tainted and twisted by evil. The magnificence of creation, the beginning, is that He also knew the end and all that would happen in between, including His death and resurrection. Yes, including the plan to redeem humankind and give us the opportunity to answer Him when He calls our name out of darkness into His marvelous light.  And, eventually, when the time is right, He will remake the entire earth into a place that is once again, totally reflective of Him.

Now, we have that which reflects Him in part. Soon, very soon, we will have “The Beginning of all Beginnings” when He revisits the earth as the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.  In the mean time, my prayer is that we all learn how to be reflections of Him in the earth as much as is possible. Let us step into our personal new beginning and be His light in our world.

Peace and Joy in our Lord!

Rev. Cheryl