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Psa 33:11 The counsel of the LORD standeth forever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.


August 15, 2006                      The Door               Kathleen Maples

Joh 10:1 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.

The Word of God gets so much richer when you take the time to consider carefully what He is saying. If you quickly skim over it, or read it without thinking about what you are reading, what He is saying, then you will miss so much. My mother always told me to "read between the lines, Kate." I would get so frustrated because for what seemed the longest time, I couldn't do that. I would read the Word of God, and it would help me, but my understanding was limited. It made a big difference when I began to pray for more understanding, when I began to dig in and search out simple things, like the meanings of the words-even simple words, like "door." The word "door" means portal, entrance, opening, or closure, gate.

From Thayer's Greek Definitions:

a door is used of any opening like a door, an entrance, way or passage into; the door through which sheep go in and out, the name of him who brings salvation to those who follow his guidance; “an open door” is used of the opportunity of doing something; the door of the kingdom of heaven (likened to a palace) denotes the conditions which must be complied with in order to be received into the kingdom of God.

Now, as I consider this carefully, you can take this verse of Scripture two ways. The real sheep enter into the fold through the Door. But Jesus said take heed, beware the wolf in sheep's clothing. They come into the fold, but they want nothing to do with the Door. Remember when Jesus went to Capernaum, and taught in their synagogue, and there was a man there with an unclean spirit of the devil that cried out and tried to disrupt his teaching? (Luk_4:31-37) This shows us that the devil does indeed go to church. The Son of God stood there, teaching the people, and they were amazed at what He said, and how He taught-and that devil didn't like it. He cried out in protest, and tried to expose the Deity of the Lord before it was time. I also believe he was trying to divert attention away from the power of the Word that had been sown as Jesus spoke, so he created a distraction-and tried to disrupt things. The enemy will try to use anything he can to distract people's minds from hearing and receiving the Word of God, even right in the church as it's coming forth. Had there been no one there to deliver this man from the power of the spirit, what trouble in the synagogue might he cause among those who truly came to learn of God? Also, people can get a religious spirit and cause all kinds of trouble. They can pick at people's appearance-and I believe a lot of the church focuses entirely too much on people's appearance instead of what is more important-the condition of their heart-which only God can see and that tells me we should take heed to examine ourselves, and let God take care of everyone else, in that respect. They can gossip and wound. If the heart is right, it will show on the outside. Jesus says I am the door, and he that comes into the sheepfold some other way than through Me is a thief and a robber. What is the sheepfold? That is the church, right? We are the sheep of His pasture, his children. His pasture.....think about it, could that be the Word of God? Isn't that the place where the sheep go to feed? It's the only sheep food I know of that feeds Christians. It's watered by prayer, preaching, and spending time with the Lord alone, and with fellowship of other Christians. But, how many people are climbing up some other way, coming into the sheepfold? The Scriptures tell us that it is the Lord that places each child of his in the Body of Christ as it pleases HIM. He does not place troublemakers in the Body of Christ, although he allows them to be at times, for a reason, and a space of time.

1Co 12:18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.

1Co 11:19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.

There are members in the Body that Christ has put there, who are born again by His Spirit, and have His life growing inside them, just as Mary did when the Holy Ghost overshadowed her. When we are born again by His Spirit, He puts His life in us, His Holy Spirit, and it causes a hunger in us for new things, the things of God, the Word of God, prayer, communion with God, righteousness. And when we partake of these things, we will grow in the strength of the Lord, in the knowledge and understanding of the Lord. But there are those who come into the sheepfold-for whatever reason, and are NOT HIS. Remember the parable Jesus told about the wheat and tares?

Mat 13:24 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:

Mat 13:25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.

Paul warned the church when he was on his last missionary journey, from Miletus, he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church. He gave them a warning about grievous wolves rising up from among the people that would not spare the flock. (Act_20:29) He said also, of your own selves shall men arise and speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

Joh 10:2 But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.

Joh 10:3 To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.

To HIM, the porter openeth. In the Greek, that word porter means a watcher, gate warden. The watchmen. Consider your pastor, the one the Lord has put as shepherd over the sheep. If the shepherd of the sheep, the pastor, is getting a word from God, and seeking God, and his direction, for the sheep, the sheep are cared for, protected, and nourished. But woe to the sheep if the pastor is opening the door to another and hearing the wrong voice, mistaking it for the voice of the Door. In Mar_13:34, Jesus said the Son of man is as a man gone on a journey who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work and commanded the porter to watch. He wouldn't tell us to watch if there is nothing we should watch out (or be on guard) for.

So, what is He calling out to the sheep? Where is he leading them? Before I'm through here, you'll hopefully understand. Isn't this world the sheep of God are being led through a wilderness? It's as much a wilderness, spiritually speaking, as the desert of Sinai that Israel was led through. Many churches are empty, and dry of the Spirit of God and the living waters, because the shepherd in charge has heeded the wrong voice. Ask yourself this: if a preacher or pastor is not spending time alone with the Lord, seeking His face, for the needs of the people, how can he possibly hope to help them? Do you think the Lord would approve of churches where the young people are sent outside to play basketball, while the adults hear a "feel good" message? Is it a true Gospel that only speaks of love, and prosperity and peace, but nothing of sacrifice, and suffering and enduring some things for the joy Christ sets before his church, following the precedent HE set? We are on a journey, traveling through harsh terrain, with many distractions, and trials, and battles. There is tribulation, spiritual warfare, temptations to battle against. What do you mean by that, you might ask?

Well, if you are a Christian, desiring to live holy, and raise your children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, you will be met with opposition every time you wake up. The enemy will bother your mind until you learn how to shut him up and put him on the run with the Word of God. When He speaks, reply with "It is written," or just say "God says I'm His, and He loves me, now you go on and shut up!" There's power in the name of Jesus. If you can't think of a Scripture, just start whispering that Holy Name. (Pro_18:10) The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runneth into it and are safe. It sounds easy, but the Lord can teach us how to war just like he taught David. (2 Sam 22:35) Then there's the worldly pressure on how women should look. The covers of the magazines are almost pornographic, indecent; the ladies have less and less on, and the articles are all about sex, pleasure, and sensuality. It's all about 'me, myself, and I' and improving all three. So when you go to the grocery store, and stand in line to pay for your groceries, it's best to guard your eyes. I always try to look up, and lift my heart and mind to the Lord, because he's an ever present help in the time of trouble. (Psa_46:1) When you work or go out in public, you will see and hear things that are ungodly and that will vex your soul. Children are being taught un-Biblical truths in school that if we don't make sure they have the truth hidden in their hearts this secular education will confuse and injure them. There are spirits out there seeking vessels that they can control and those without the Word of God and the Spirit of God, and the blood of the Lamb keeping the vessel secure, are fair game. Especially children. Why else would Paul warn parents in 1 Cor 7:14 that we need to be sanctified, or else our children were unclean? We need to pray a covering over those without God in their hearts and lives, and by faith decree the precious blood of Jesus over them, and intercede for them. We need to seek out the promises of God for our children, and pray them to pass, believing. Christians who truly walk with God and commune with the Holy Ghost are misunderstood, and mocked by scoffers who are cynical and hard. We are supposed to pray for them, not retaliate-which is why the enemy stirs up people to persecute us. He considers us as weak, and easily provoked. If he succeeds, he can whisper to that lost soul, see, they aren't what they say they are. They're just a phony. Some of us are in need of self-control, and need God to help us. I speak from experience on this. It is a battle when somebody is trying to provoke you to wrath to restrain yourself when you are being injured, verbally or emotionally. It takes the power and love of God to restrain you. Understanding what is happening helps a lot.

This world we live in is a preparing ground. It's a place and time to work, prepare ourselves for our Lord, to reach out to others around us, with His love and truth. . Rev 19 says the Bride has made herself ready. She's prepared. We need to be staying ready-not getting ready, and I'm preaching to myself here, too, folks. There are many side roads, and what looks like short-cuts, and many voices speaking, and it would be easy to be led astray if we don't watch and pray without ceasing. It needs to be a habit-to meditate on God's Word, our hearts and spirits should be continually lifted up to Him in prayer and praise, with gratitude. Oh, when I look around me at the pitiful condition of the world, and some folks, it aches my heart. Many are living with terrible consequences of a life lived for self. Many are sick and hurting, and confused and afraid. They get angry and say terrible things to each other, wounding so deeply only God could heal it. I want my life to make a difference to those around me, and more I want my life to glorify the Lord who has done so much for me.

Joh 10:4 And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.

He sends out his sheep, but he goes before them. He does not expect them to lead the way in a way they know not, he expects them to follow. He commissions each one of us to be a witness for him, an advertisement to a lost and dying world that there is Hope, that there is something Better, that He is real and that He loves the people he has created. It's not His will that they should perish. The Word says the steps of a righteous man are ordered by the Lord. Jeremiah said he knew it was not in man to direct his own steps. (Jer_10:23) We can try to do it and shipwreck, or we can pray and ask the Lord to take charge and trust his direction. We are not our own, anyway. We are His. He bought us with His blood.

He is the Door. He's the Entrance to get to the throne of God. He's come that we might have life, and have it more abundantly. There are many religions and doctrines out there, with their rules and regulations, and do's and do nots, but though they promise many things, they have no life in them. There is no freedom or deliverance in them. The Lord wants us to hold as our possession the life he promised us. He wants us to enjoy, to rest, and take the life he offers and possess it. The life he offers is HIS overcoming life to be lived out in us. It's not our life, it's HIS. It's not to be our way, but HIS. It's not about us, it's about HIM. We are to be extensions of Him, on this earth, in it but not of it. We are not to live for ourselves like we once did when we were out in sin. (1Pe_4:2) We need to be reaching out to the most unlovable of society-just as He would. We can't do anything without HIM. We are nothing without HIM. But we can rest assured He loves us, has a plan for us, a place prepared for us and we are precious to Him. He has a work for us to do, but we need to understand he wants us to yield ourselves fully to Him, and let Him do the work in and through us.

Joh 14:10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.

What an example-the Son of God, with all His power, and Deity, came down, clothed himself with flesh, and yielded himself to allow the Father who lived in Him to do the works He did. Have you ever stopped and considered that Scripture like that? I hadn't until now. He spoke the Words the Father said speak, what He heard from God, nothing else. He did what the Father directed. And the power to heal and save and restore was the Father working the works within Him. If a Christian lays hands on someone and prays for them and they are healed, is it not the Spirit of God which dwells in the believer doing the works? We can't heal or save anyone. But HE can.

Joh 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Now I have to stop here, because I discovered something about this verse I have read and heard quoted so many times that I did not know and I must share it. When you break something down you can examine it carefully, so consider this: We know the thief is the devil. What does a child of God have that he wants to steal? Your faith and trust in the promises, the Word of God. He wants to steal your confidence in the Father's love for you. He's wanting to put out that light that is in you-and steal that life of Christ in you. He hates Jesus Christ. He hates everything Jesus loves. He will attack the child of God in their minds, and through other people-and he doesn't always come as fierce. He's subtle, he is a deceiver. He can work in many ways. He tries to manipulate, and provoke the flesh and the carnal mind to sin, to doubt. Most of us know that. But if he can steal it, he can kill it. This is what I didn't know about this word" kill". In the Greek- the original language this was written in- it means and please consider this carefully-it means to rush, breathe hard, blow, smoke, to sacrifice by fire, to slaughter, sacrifice, slay.

How many times have you sat down with your Bible or went to pray and immediately felt a pressure against your mind, trying to hurry you up, reminding you of all you still had to accomplish, so much to do, so little time, and if you give into that thing, it will greatly hinder your prayers. See, I've discovered, when I bow my knee before the Lord of Glory, the King of Kings, Who I need to spend time with, and Who wants to spend time with me- and I come with a sincere desire for HIM, and HIS will in my life, that old adversary will try to rush me through, distract my mind from praying by trying to make me think well, that house needs cleaning, you forgot to do this, you really need to do this, so hurry up, and if you spend your prayer time letting the devil manipulate your mind, instead of exercising the authority Jesus gave you, he will successfully hinder your prayer. He doesn't want you to be able to humble yourself before the Lord, waiting patiently and welcoming His HOLY PRESENCE into your place of prayer. I've struggled with this too much. I got fed up with it, too. It's like when a happily married couple who are looking forward to time alone, and an irritating neighbor or relative continually calls on the phone or knocks on the door and causes a distraction, ruins the mood, and interrupts the intimacy. The devil will do whatever he can to cheat you out of that intimacy with the Lord because he fears the work having it will accomplish in your life. He doesn't want the kingdom of God to grow and come forth in you. And the Lord has helped me see this:

Mat 16:19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

What does thee and thou mean? You and me. YOU MUST understand He had this Holy Bible written for generations of people, for all who would come after (Act_2:38-39) You have got to learn to read this as direct communication-a love letter, if you will, from your Heavenly Father-to YOU. I have tried to pray that verse and felt so self-conscious, and unworthy, but bless His Holy Name, He's helping me see, stand on MY Word, and I'll honor your faith. He knows if your heart is sincere or not. He knows if you want Him or if you are half-hearted. Here lately, when I pray, and pray that Scripture (Matthew 18:18) and take authority over every thought or attitude or feeling or spirit that would exalt itself against HIM, and then ask for the loosing of the liberty of the Spirit and Presence of GOD and the Holy Ghost to work their will in THEIR vessel (me) and welcome them, wow, I've noticed a big change in my prayer life. Now, I'm drawn to prayer more, with a desire just to be in His presence is growing stronger. That is where we get what we need, faith, joy, understanding-everything--to overcome. It's all in HIM!!!! (Col 2:10) Now, back to that word "kill" and that unusual definition. I can't get over that-to breathe, rush, blow smoke...

Saul breathed out great threatenings against the church in Act_9:1, the enemy breathes out lies and threatenings against the mind of the child of God. Where he finds a strong love that burns brightly for Jesus Christ, he will try to blow it out. I don't understand all the ways he works, but I thank God for his truth, that is a light unto my path. It is a light in the darkness and it shows me the right way to go.

Eph 2:1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins

Eph 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

Who is the prince of the power of the air? Satan, of course.

2Co 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

See how he operates? What does he blind people's minds with? The shiny things of this world-cheap baubles that are already marked for destruction and he knows it. Lies to disguise and distract them from the Tree of Life (Jesus-the Word of God made flesh). He provokes people's flesh to lust after things, covet materials, and pleasures, ease. He tricks people into thinking they need knowledge of things, earthly wisdom. He persuades people's minds they must have more, they want more, and he's a master in advertising and misrepresenting his product. His product is actually death-which is the result of the rebellion and sin he lures people to choose. He will try to rush you through the things of God, so it doesn't sink in, so he can steal it from you. He wants to deprive you of understanding and possessing that abundant life the Lord Jesus died to give you. If none of the above works, he'll turn up the heat, the pressure, maybe cause problems on your job, through your family. If he succeeds in stealing the truth and faith of Jesus Christ from you, whether by causing you to neglect the things of God, through pressure and rushing you, harassing your mind, or withstanding you through circumstance and people, what is left but destruction? Now, don't get discouraged, or down. Turn this thing around now. You can turn to the back of the Book and know how the story ends!

1Jo 5:18 We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not.

Jud 1:24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,

Jud 1:25 To the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

If you are begotten by the Word of God (faith comes by hearing the Word, and is given by God, ) and you get the Word of God hidden in your heart, let it become the Word of God made flesh again, if you are full of the Word, and he will give you understanding, if you ask. He'll give you the desire to read it when He saves you, and the power of His Holy Spirit to understand it as fast as you are able and hungry to eat it. If you have the Word, and you understand it, you will know who you are, and better who HE is, and who you are IN HIM, and that is what the adversary does not want you to know.

Would you do something for me? If you have your Bible close at hand, cast your eyes on it. Pick it up, and cradle it gently in your hands-and reverence it. There is more power in your hands when it is combined with faith than in all the nuclear bombs ever made. Rom_1:16 says the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of God to them who believe....Every time you stand on the Word of God, and every time you consider what the Word says instead of what you see, or feel, you are winning! He is working in you and changing you and that is what we all need!

Last year our church put on a program, and it was a re-telling of the story in Matthew 25 of the foolish virgins. I was chosen to play one of the five foolish virgins. I was troubled in my spirit. The ramifications of what the Word of God says in that parable are stark and horrifying. I had a knot in my stomach and I did not want to be a foolish virgin but I wanted God's will. I wanted to see His Spirit convict and draw and save people who would be there. The day of the program, I was on my knees in prayer and I thought I was done, and started to rise, and I heard the Lord speak to my spirit "Be still and know that I am God." There is no mistaking that voice when you hear it. I felt weak all of a sudden-weak kneed, awed, and slipped back down to my knees and did not know what to say. I just waited. My eyes were closed, and of course all I could see was darkness. But then I saw the sky, beautiful, with clouds, and suddenly, in the sky, I saw a door open and this light that was brighter than the sun coming out of it. I didn't even know the door was there until it opened. At the time, I did not understand what this meant. I felt amazed, delighted, and thankful that I knew the Lord was working, but I didn't understand what I was seeing. Shamefully, it never occurred to me to start searching out Scriptures on the Door, open doors, until a few weeks ago, and that is what I am digging into now. I heard a message Pastor Carter Conlon preached at Times Square Church, about loving yourself as your neighbor-and let me tell you, God knew I needed this message. But when he started talking about the Lord opening the door of heaven and revealing himself to you, that vision came flooding back to my mind-and I had forgotten all about it. Understanding began to dawn and I felt overwhelmed. I still don't fully understand-but Prov 28:5 says they that seek the Lord will understand all things. He doesn't say when, but just that they will.... and if I seek the Lord, and embrace Him, He will fulfill his promises in his child. I can't-but He can. He will. Faith isn't knowing he can, but knowing HE WILL. See, I've floundered right there. I always knew he could. But for a long time, I've struggled with feeling like "well, He can do it for everybody else. Me, I'm just not good enough, I make too many mistakes." But he's helped me see that is an insult to the blood and love of Jesus Christ-none of us were good enough. But HE shed his goodness, his love, on us. Hethought we were worth dying for, and that means we ARE something in His eyes. That knowledge is priceless. You know he said in Joh_8:32, ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free. HE is the Truth. It's knowing HIM, His love for me, His life He wants to live in and through me, that changes me. It's knowing this that brings peace and joy-through the knowledge (with understanding) of GOD and His amazing love. I have always felt so weak, and incapable, and I know I am. I do not trust myself, because I will tend to make excuses for me. Jeremiah warns us in Jer_17:9 about our hearts. But look what our precious Savior said:

Luk 11:10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

Rev 3:7 And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;

Rev 3:8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

You know, Eph_2:6-7 tells us He has raised us up and made us sit together in heavenly places-but in studying that Scripture, I learned you have to be dead to self and self will, to get raised up. You can't be living for yourself and expect the Lord to raise you up. He said humble yourself under the mighty hand of God and in due time he shall lift you up. Jam_4:10; 1Pe_5:6. He told Jeremiah in Jer_33:3, Call upon me and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not. He will answer!!!! He'll show me things I don't know! He'll make me what I can not be! He'll take me where I can't go!!!!

Rev 4:1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will show thee things which must be hereafter.

Rev 4:2 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

I know this is about the Rapture-but I see this now in another light, as well.... and just consider a little what I'm saying here. If I'm wrong, the Lord rebuke me... and I trust the Holy Spirit will tell me or let me know however He chooses if I err-I'm trusting my life and soul to Him, and He will not fail me. But consider this:

The Lord just said to the weak Christian who kept His Word and did not deny His name, in Rev. 3:8, He'd set before him an open door which no man could shut. Now here, he says after this, I looked, and a door opens in heaven. The first thing he hears is COME UP (Eph_2:6, remember) and I will show thee things which must be...(I'm not concerning myself with prophecy of the end times-too many people are worrying about prophecy while not concerning themselves with getting to know HIM...and that is a tragic and will be a costly mistake). I need to know HIM, and prophecy will take care of itself. (Remember Pro_28:5; seek HIM, understand all) But then he says in verse 2 of Chapter 4, immediately I was in the spirit...and behold a throne was set in heaven and ONE set on the throne. We need the baptism of the Holy Ghost..but look what Paul said...

1Co 12:3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

We must be humbled. Submitted fully to God (not self) seeking God, if we have but a little strength, and determination to patiently wait (they'd kept the word of his patience, Rev_3:10 -remember...) and you can't in your own strength say and let Jesus be Lord of your life, it takes the power of the Holy Ghost. But when HE opens the Door...and no man can shut it ( and no devil either!!!!) and says "Come up here, sit with me, let me show you some things I'm going to do in you, and through you..." immediately John says "I was in the Spirit" and Somebody was on the throne, and it was ONE- and Paul said this:

1Co 6:17 But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit.

There was One on the throne. There's only going to be ONE on the throne of my heart and it can't be me. It has to be HIM....It is HIM. More than anything I need an ever increasing understanding (revelation, if you will) of who HE is, and who He is in me.) I want His heart, His thoughts, His ways, His Word, none of mine. Mine is worthless.. His is priceless..... oh, people, all He is asking for is ourselves. Puny, insignificant self. And look what He is offering in foolish we are if we do not take eagerly and gratefully and humbly bring our filthy rags of self and works and joyfully receive what He wants to give us....

"And I have come that they might have LIFE and have it more abundantly..." He's talking about His Life-spiritual life, living waters flowing out of our bellies bringing light and hope to those in darkness...whom he loves and wants to save...WOW... praise the Lord for his truth...thank you Jesus, I can't do it in me, but you are more than able!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And once you get raised up look at who else is there! I don't want to miss this just to hold on to some earthly pleasure or entertainment...that would be so costly. Do you hear Him calling? Do you hear what the Spirit is saying to the Bride? Do you hear Him calling Come up here, spend time with me, let me show you who I am? I want you to know how much I love you, what I want to do in your life..oh, if you can hear him calling, don't turn him away...say YES LORD! Speak for thy servant heareth...

2Pe 1:11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

That, saints, is a promise from the Lord who changes not, and who cannot lie.

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