Eternal Life Begins When You Get SAVED!

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Once saved, always saved is a biblical concept. John 10:28-29 Jesus says, “I give them Eternal Life, and they shall Never Perish; No one can snatch them out of My Hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all, No one can snatch them out of My Father’s hand”  When people come to know Christ as their Savior, they are brought into a relationship with God that guarantees their salvation as eternally secure.

Romans 8:30 declares, “And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified.” This verse tells us that from the moment God chooses us, it is as if we are glorified in His presence in heaven. There is nothing that can prevent a believer from one day being glorified because God has already purposed it in heaven. Once a person is justified, his salvation is guaranteed—he is as secure as if he is already glorified in heaven.  Also, Believers are born again (regenerated) when they believe (John 3:3; Titus 3:5). For a Christian to lose his salvation, he would have to be un-regenerated. The Bible gives no evidence that the new birth can be taken away.

Romans 8:38–39 says, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord”. Remember the same God who saved you is the same God who will keep you. Once we are saved, we are always saved. Our salvation is most definitely eternally secure!

Rev. Dr. M. Hamilton Stevens

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Characterizing Degrees of Demonization

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I see a gradation of demonic influence or demonization. Whether you agree with the exact words I use, I think you’ll recognize the truth of the progression from temptation to possession:

  • Temptation. Appeal to our sinful desires. Temptation can be rejected.
  • Influence. Sin has a foothold in our life, and it is harder to say no. We may have developed habits of anger or unforgiveness or lust. To say “no” requires a determined act of our will.
  • Oppression. Satan has some degree of control of us, and we don’t seem to be able to break free. We find ourselves acting compulsively sometimes, and wonder why we don’t have power to resist temptation more, though we resist to some degree.
  • Obsession. The degree of control is greater. Our sinful habits are so clearly established that we find it hard to even recognize or discern them as wrong. We may be acting willingly, but because we are fully deceived.
  • Possession. We are puppets under Satan’s control, and have little or no will remaining, or no desire to resist. People who “channel” or give voice to other spirits claiming to be spirits of the dead, are dangerously close here, though they must willingly place themselves into this state. But this state is rare. Few people are utterly possessed.

Sin is a prime cause, but not the only cause of demonization. We can be victimized, too. Sometimes children who are traumatized can become demonized. We can be duped into occult practices that we don’t realize are wrong, and be victimized. Satan doesn’t feel obliged to read us our rights before deceiving and taking advantage of us. There have also been some reports of spiritual bondage being passed down through family lines — we can only speculate at the reasons.

Deliverance and Recovery

We see in Jesus’ ministry some dramatic examples of exorcism, casting out of demons. But let’s not be naïve. People who have lived under a demonic delusion or obsession for a significant period of their lives need a period of recovery, even though the root demonic cause of the problem has been dealt with. Let me explain. In order for a person to live with the demonic delusion or obsession, he is forced to develop a whole series of coping mechanisms that aren’t appropriate to the free and open life of a Christian. These coping mechanisms must be gradually unlearned. They didn’t develop overnight and they seldom disappear overnight. I believe that counseling by skilled, trained, and committed Christian counselors, pastors, or laypersons can be extremely helpful to help delivered people experience full recovery. The Body of Christ is not a place where we are to judge our recovering brothers and sisters, but to love and encourage and bear with them. The church is supposed to be a supportive, loving environment where people including you and I, can find full healing from sin and deception, and their entrapping consequences.

Rev. Dr. Mark Hamilton Stevens

Advice for Future Chaplains

 

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Here is some advice for those interested in Chaplaincy. Chaplaincy is a weird dynamic because you are not only clergy but clinical at the same time, you may have to deal with situations that are not always “religious” in nature. When dealing with Non-Believers in an institution using titles like “Evangelist” or “Prophetess” can sometimes block your initial entry into an institution, You know who you are in Christ Jesus and declaring it when introducing yourself to people (as a Prophet) for lack of a better word “creeps them out”, Jesus said “Be WISE as a serpent and harmless as a dove”, when I introduce myself I am Mark Stevens, a Chaplain. Am I anointed YES, Do I operate in the Gift as the Spirit uses me YES, but in an institution you just DO IT…DON’T announce it. I wish you well, take this from an old head that has been in the ministry over 30 years and have had to learn the hard way. I have had to “fire” many volunteers that I am in charge of at the Trauma Hospital I work at. Often well meaning saints forget that you cannot go in a private or public institution and evangelize. The way to share your faith is by FRIENDSHIP!!!! When I visit patients I smile and I ask them how they are doing, but I let THEM lead the encounter. By virtue of the fact that I AM a Chaplain, they know I am a man of faith, so after letting them vent, I ask them if they would like prayer (99% of the people I ask that say YES!) Never argue religion with a patient! Be compassionate and caring, let the Holy Spirit lead you and you will not go wrong.

Chaplain M. Hamilton Stevens, Th.D., CPRP

God Keeps Us SAVED!!!

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1. The believer has eternal life .

John 10:28: “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”

2. The believer has everlasting life.

John 5:24: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”

3. The believer cannot perish.

John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

4. The believer is kept by the power of God.

1 Peter 1:5: “Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”

5. The believer is born of God.

John 1:12,13: “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”

6. The believer has been passed front death unto life.

John 5:24: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”

7. The man who believes shall be saved.

Acts 16:31: “And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”

8. The believer has been saved.

Ephesians 2:8,9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

9. The believer is hid by God in Christ .

Colossians 3:3: “For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” Can the devil find that which God hides?

10. The believer will follow Christ.

John 10:27: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” Following Christ can one be lost? Have we any right to add to God’s word by inserting “if” to the passage?

11. The believer is God’s sheep .

John 10:2-4: “But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.”

12. The believer will not follow a stranger.

John 10:5: “And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.” If the sheep follow Christ and will NOT follow a stranger, how can they become lost?

13. The believer will not listen to the voice of a stranger.

John 10:5: “And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.”

14. The believer will flee from a stranger.

John 10:5: “And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.” Who is the STRANGER in this passage? Is the STRANGER not SATAN?

15. The believer is known of God.

John 10:14: “I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.” Compare “I never knew you” of Matthew 7:23 spoken to the lost. “And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” To the believer Christ says, “I know my sheep”; to the lost, “I never knew you.”

16. The believer listens to the voice of the shepherd.

John 10:27: “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”

17. The believer is in Christ’s hand.

John 10:28: “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”

18. The believer cannot be plucked out of Christ’s hand.

John 10:28: “And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”

19. The believer is in the Father’s hand.

John 10:29: “My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.”

20. The believer cannot be plucked out of the Father’s hand.

John 10:29: “My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.”

21. The Father is greater than all.

John 10:29: “My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.” The reference here is certainly to the keeping power of the Father.

22. The shepherd is charged with the responsibility of the sheep.

John 10:11-14: “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.”

Some argue that no one can separate the believer (the sheep) from the shepherd, but that the sheep can wander away. What about the wandering lamb of Matthew 18:10-14, “Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven. For the Son of Man is come to save that which was lost. How think ye? If a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.” What kind of shepherd would let his sheep wander off? Is not the shepherd there for one purpose and one only—TO KEEP THE SHEEP?

FLEE means RUN IN TERROR!!!

 

 

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The reason FLEE or RUN is the best advice a man tempted sexually can get is because our flesh is weak, all flesh is weak. Men in particular have two things that make it so difficult is 1. Men are VISUAL creatures, they are stimulated sexually by SIGHT more than women are. How do I know this? Jesus said “If a MAN looks at a WOMAN with LUST in his heart he has already committed adultery.” Notice Jesus didn’t apply this to a woman. 2. Men have testosterone, the male hormone that makes a man’s sex drive so strong, it makes men the hunter and it give men an aggressive nature.

Joseph was one of the few men in scripture that applied this principal when faced with sexual temptation, Joseph RAN when Potiphers wife tried to entice him. David was not as wise, when he saw Bathsheba he lusted and called for her, the scripture said Bathsheba was BEAUTIFUL. So men when facing temptation don’t rebuke the devil, don’t plead the blood, and definitely don’t stand stil………….RUN!!!!

M. Hamilton Stevens, ThD

Racism is The Elephant in The Room

 

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Racism is obviously not a new concept. It has been around forever.  Nothing has changed, it has not gotten better, what has happened is African Americans, Jews, Hispanics, and other races that have been targeted  have climbed the social ladder and in turn we have been tricked into believing we are less racist. That simply is not true.

Blacks are still targeted by cops, whites are still angry at blacks, blacks still don’t trust white people completely, can you blame them, whites are still getting sick of what we call reverse racism, Mexicans want a better life, and the government cannot control immigration, so people target Mexicans, gangs based on race are still popping up all over, and finally, God forbid if you are a Muslim boarding an airplane. Did you see the movie Rendition?  It is not easy being Middle Eastern in America right now.

Please don’t kid yourself that we are coming together as one and stop the fight against racism.  Hate and intolerance of others will only stop with future generations.  I believe whole heartedly that if you are racist by the time you are an adult, your belief system is imbedded so deep into your psyche that it is almost impossible to change.  We have to start with the young and impressionable, just the same as the groups that recruit people into the KKK or any other organization that has hate written all over it do. As Christians we have to acknowledge the “Elephant in the room” (Racism) and preach against it in ALL of our Pulpits, we must pray for the kind of racial harmony that took place in the Upper Room at Pentecost. Only with God’s help can racism ever hope to end!

 

God Reads Ours Charts…and Cares

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One of the saddest cases I ever encountered happened about 10 years ago, I had a patient that was admitted for killing his mother when he was 17, I used to go on the wards and take communion to the locked down patients. He would never take communion because he felt God would never forgive him for what he did….well long story short he had cancer in the intestines and he was near death, I eventually convinced him he could be forgiven and he died 2 weeks after He prayed for forgiveness and took communion for the 1st and last time in his life…..NOW the part of the story that really got me, was I read his whole chart one day and I cried, this kid was molested by a step-father from the time he was about 4 years old till he was 10, the step-father was eventually caught but…now I understand WHY he had the kind of rage to want to kill his mother, was it the right thing to do? NO! Murder is wrong…however allowing a child to be raped for 6 years is wrong too, being schizophrenic didn’t help either…..Chaplains we have a LOT of hurting people that need our compassion, understanding, and FORGIVENESS.

Psychiatric Chaplain Mark H. Stevens, Th.D., CPRP

My Testimony

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When I was 20 years old I rededicated my life to Christ, but i didn’t join a church until I was 24, every time I would visit a different church I got a different view on the subject of salvation. I felt impressed by God to devote my time in dilligent study of the Word for almost 4 years. I would get up at 4 AM and pray… and read for an hour sometimes 2. I would attend churches but i wouldn’t join one. Finally while in Korea in 1983 I met a Pastor that had a passion for truth and prayer and I became a Deacon. During that 4 year period of consecrated study I realized that every denomination has flaws but there are no flaws in the Word of God. I would try and talk to Pastors and preachers about errors and show them what the Bible said versus thier denominational dogma, and I would hear the standard line..”But my church teaches this…” or “That is not what my pastor teaches”. we are in BIG trouble in Chrisendom because we refuse to realize that the Word is ALWAYS right and we (ministers) are subject to error. We need to put our egos’s aside and be humble enough to admit when we are wrong. Remember Pricilla and Aquilla? They corrected Apollos, a mighty preacher…but he wqs preaching ERROR! Apollos didn’t argue with them HE THANKED THEM!

Why Did David Fall? (Yes the strong fall too)

 

 

 

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David loved God probably more than any human that ever lived did, and he fell prey to sexual temptation. We often try and pick apart the scenario that led up to the fall of David. Yes there were many factors. 1. David should have been on the battlefield. 2. David was away from the Ark of the Covenant, which was the very presence of God. 3. David was alone, a lack of accountability since the priest and the prophets were also on the field of battle. 4. The reason we all overlook and we don’t want to deal with…BATHSHEBA WAS BEAUTIFUL!  I am sure David had seen other women that looked beautiful, but the devil made sure that David would see one that would cause his libido to go into overload. All men have specifics when it comes to a woman. Some men like skinny women, some men like athletic women and some men (ahem) like voluptuous women. The devil knows your fleshly desires because the weapons of HIS warfare all deal with our FLESH (I Cor. 10:13). If you like a thick, light-skinned girl, with gray eyes and pretty legs then guess what, The devil will send her your way! If dark-skinned girls with wide hips, and large breast are your thing well the devil knows that too.

Meditation Leads to Victory

Joshua 1:5 “There shall not any man be able to stand before thee
all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, [so] I will be with
thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.”

This is a reassurance from God, that He would be with them in
battle. He would go before them and devour their enemies. They must
have faith. God never left them for the 40 years, and He will be with
them now. He did not leave, when Moses died. These are God’s people,
and He will protect them. The promise made to Abraham, Moses, Joshua,
and us is the same. Hebrews 13:5 “[Let your] conversation [be] without
covetousness; [and be] content with such things as ye have: for he
hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”

Joshua 1:6 “Be strong and of a good courage: for unto this people
shalt thou divide for an inheritance the land, which I sware unto
their fathers to give them.”

Moses had been a meek man. He was quiet and mild mannered. It
would take a strong Joshua to lead them into battle. We know he was
courageous, because he wanted to go into the promised land the first
time they spied it out. He was confident they could take it, even if
there were giants in the land. Joshua’s confidence was not in his own
ability, but in God’s ability. The verse above, is reassuring Joshua
that he would win the battle, and indeed, divide the land.

Joshua 1:7 “Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou
mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant
commanded thee: turn not from it [to] the right hand or [to] the left,
that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.”

The law Moses gave them from God was a blessing, if it was kept.
It brought terrible curses, if it was not kept. The law is not to be
adjusted to the right or the left, to fit their convenience. The law
was absolute. They must have great faith, and act upon the commands of
God. I Corinthians 16:13 “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you
like men, be strong.” Ephesians 6:10 “Finally, my brethren, be strong
in the Lord, and in the power of his might.”

Joshua 1:8 “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy
mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest
observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou
shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”

Their entire lives were to be guided by the law of God. They were
to hide the Words of the law in their hearts so they would never
forget it. They were to think on the reason for them, as well as the
demand of keeping them. The law had to become part of their very
beings. They will prosper and have great success, if they keep this
law of God.

Joshua 1:9 “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good
courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God
[is] with thee whithersoever thou goest.”

Joshua believed God. His courage came from his faith in God.

Joshua 1:10 “Then Joshua commanded the officers of the people,
saying,”

There was order in their army. God had set Joshua over all of
them in civil matters. Joshua passed the word down to the officers,
who, in turn, gave instructions to the people they were over.

Joshua 1:11 “Pass through the host, and command the people,
saying, Prepare you victuals; for within three days ye shall pass over
this Jordan, to go in to possess the land, which the LORD your God
giveth you to possess it.”

The “victuals”, here, are speaking of meat from hunting. They
were to prepare themselves food for their battle, and for the time it
would take to enter the land. They really would prepare all types of
food for the trip. They will not be fed with manna in the promised
land. At the end of 3 more days, they will pass over the Jordan River,
and be in their promised land.

Joshua 1:12 “And to the Reubenites, and to the Gadites, and to
half the tribe of Manasseh, spake Joshua, saying,”

These are those who had already received their land on the east
side of the Jordan. Joshua will remind them of the promise they had
made to God, to go and help the other tribes take their land.

Joshua 1:13 “Remember the word which Moses the servant of the
LORD commanded you, saying, The LORD your God hath given you rest, and
hath given you this land.”

They wanted the grazing land on the east side of Jordan, and God
let them have it, with the promise they would fight with the other
tribes to take their land.

Joshua 1:14 “Your wives, your little ones, and your cattle, shall
remain in the land which Moses gave you on this side Jordan; but ye
shall pass before your brethren armed, all the mighty men of valour,
and help them;”

Moses had inquired of God and had given them this land they
loved. He, also, gave them time to build houses for their families to
live in. The wives and the children would stay behind and care for
their cattle and sheep, while the men went to war. They had not chosen
this land, because they were afraid. They had chosen it, because it
was good grazing land for their herds.

Joshua 1:15 “Until the LORD have given your brethren rest, as [he
hath given] you, and they also have possessed the land which the LORD
your God giveth them: then ye shall return unto the land of your
possession, and enjoy it, which Moses the LORD’S servant gave you on
this side Jordan toward the sunrising.”

Toward the sunrising means it was located on the east of Jordan.
The men of these tribes will go with the other tribes, until they are
settled in their land, then they will go home to their families. The
people are great that will be fought, and God wanted all 12 tribes to
stand together in these battles for the land.

Joshua 1:16 “And they answered Joshua, saying, All that thou
commandest us we will do, and whithersoever thou sendest us, we will
go.”

They have had ample time to prepare their families to survive,
until they return. They are eager to keep their word to God. They will
go into battle, wherever Joshua sends them. They were so happy with
their promised land, they were eager to do God’s will.

Joshua 1:17 “According as we hearkened unto Moses in all things,
so will we hearken unto thee: only the LORD thy God be with thee, as
he was with Moses.”

Moses had made it very clear, before his death, that Joshua was
God’s choice to receive his anointing. Everyone had agreed they would
follow Joshua, as they had Moses. The older Israelites {their fathers}
had not hearkened unto Moses. They died in the wilderness. The new
generation had listened to Moses. They promise to follow Joshua, too.
It was almost like a prayer for Joshua when they said, “Only the LORD
thy God be with thee”.

Joshua 1:18 “Whosoever [he be] that doth rebel against thy
commandment, and will not hearken unto thy words in all that thou
commandest him, he shall be put to death: only be strong and of a good
courage.”

Disobeying the commandments of God was certain death. To rebel
against the commandments, is rebelling against God. They must have
faith, not fear. Faith pleases God.