Fake News by Larry W Peebles

Fake News   by   Larry W Peebles   January 26, 2018   18.02

There is much said these days about fake news.  Without going into the political arena, there is a spiritual point to be made concerning this topic.  Fake news is opinion, bias, and half-truth reported as fact.  Its headline may be slanted or sensational, in some cases not even supported by the body of the content.  While media bias has been around for a long time, I am convinced it has become more refined and widespread by our continual use of social media to receive information.  The use of print media is on the decline, and it has been forced to utilize social media as well to keep its message in front of the consumer.

There are truthful and integrity-filled news writers on print and social media, just as there are readers who critically analyze and filter what they read in search of the truth.  The problem is reputable news articles and biased opinion articles are intermingled.  Articles are written so that the difference is subtle.  Discernment is often required to separate the two.  Furthermore, some writers for social media are obscure or “phantom” writers.  They are usually paid in whole or in part by the number of “hits” or views on their article. The more articles they can write, and the more attention they can attract by the headline, the more views and pay the writer can receive.  Careful, time-consuming research can be a thing of the past.  With the writer’s identity hidden, there is no need for creditability and reputation.  Those adept at using social media can move fast, and often do not finish the article, much less pay attention to who wrote it.  Discernment requires time to think.  The trick in the fake news business is to catch the reader’s attention, if only for a brief moment, and trigger a view.

Those wanting to hear, process and retain the truth must discipline themselves to search and discern.  They must avoid the constant bombardment of fake news, false reports, and misleading headlines, or else they begin to believe it.

The spiritual connection is this—the devil is in the fake news business.  It’s in his character.  He is a liar who cannot even occasionally tell the truth, because there is no truth in him at all.  Jesus said in John 8:44- “He (the devil) was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him.  When he lies, he speaks his native tongue, for he is a liar, and the father of lies.”  He doesn’t just lie– he lies continually, repeatedly, fluently, proficiently, naturally, and easily.  He loves it, just like a person who speaks more than one language loves to find someone to converse with who speaks their native tongue.  When he gets into our head with his fake news, it takes discipline and discernment to tune him out and turn him off.  The first fake news story in the Bible involved Adam and Eve.  The misleading headline was “Did God Really Say?”  (Genesis 3:1-13).

The Holy Spirit is the spirit of truth, according to John 15:26 and 16:13.  When Jesus’ time had come to be crucified, He told his disciples He would give them an “advantage”.  When He was gone, He would send His Holy Spirit to be with them (and us) on the earth.  This is a powerful and profound statement.  What more advantage could we ask for than to have Jesus, the all-powerful Son of God on our side.  He was the long –awaited Messiah, King and Savior of the world. Heaven and earth would adore Him.  All creation would bow before Him.  Yet He said it is to our advantage that He go away (be crucified, resurrected from the dead, and ascend into heaven), so that He could send us a Helper, His Holy Spirit (John 16:7).  Today, we have Holy Spirit help, the Spirit of Truth, when dealing with fake news.  Unlike the devil, who can only tell lies, the Spirit of Truth can only tell the truth.  We can depend on Him for help.

Let’s examine a sampling of fake news reports we have all heard or may be hearing at the moment.

  1. We (you and I) can’t do this. “This” can be anything that stands as a challenge to overcome.  The devil tells us our limitations are so great it is not possible to do what is before us. We will not succeed.  Examples include getting an education, getting a job, paying the bills, being a good husband, father or employee.  Maybe “this” is speaking before a crowd, or witnessing our faith to a friend or neighbor.  The limitation might be that we are timid, or private, or nervous.  Maybe we don’t have the money, education or intellect.  Perhaps we have tried “this” before, and the result was a totally embarrassing failure.  The number one tool of the devil is discouragement, and if he can use something from our past to discourage us, even if the remembrance is twisted with age and lies, he will do it.  Why—because there is nothing we can do to change the past.  He loves to use our past against us.

The truth is we have a Helper in the person of the Holy Spirit.  God said in His word (Philippians 4:13) – “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  Maybe I can’t do this.  But Jesus sent me His Spirit to help me do this. Together we can do this.  Jesus said in Matthew 21:21- “if you have faith and do not doubt…and also if you say to this mountain, be ye removed and be cast into the sea, it will be done.”  Psalm 103:12 says our sins are removed from us as far as the east is from the west.  God remembers them no more when they are covered by the blood of Jesus.  Our past is just that—the past.  Past failures make us stronger and better prepared for the current challenge.  We can do this.

  1. We (you and I) are unimportant. The devil tells us we are not significant in position, stature, power or resources.  What we do and say has little meaning.  In the overall scheme of things, our lives are insignificant.  We cannot make a difference in anything, so why try?

The truth is contained in God’s word, which says God desires that all would come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.  (2 Peter 3:9).  All includes you and me.  The Bible also gives the illustration of a man with one hundred sheep who, when he discovers one is missing, leaves the ninety-nine to go look for the one.  (Matthew 18:12).  You and I are that one when Jesus misses us.  The Bible says that one can put a thousand of the enemy to flight, and two can put ten thousand to flight.  (Deuteronomy 32:30).  Can we do that on our own?  No, but we can with the Holy Spirit on our side.

  1. No one cares. The devil tells us we are not loved, appreciated, needed, or even necessary.  Friends come and go, few are dependable.  There is no one we can trust.  No one seems to care what we need or are going through.  We are isolated, abandoned, and rejected.

The truth is God loves us so much He sent His innocent Son into the world to die that we might be forgiven and reconciled back to our loving Father. (John 3:16).  When Jesus died on the cross, He had us (you and me) on His mind.  After our lives on this earth are done, He wants us to spend eternity with Him in heaven.  He cares about everyone, and wants us to care about everyone around us.  His word says that His very nature is love.  (1 John 4:8).  His word requires us to love Him, and to love our neighbor.  (Mark 12: 30-31).  To properly love God, our neighbor and ourselves requires the help of the Holy Spirit.  When we are functioning with Him, the love will flow back and forth in all directions.

  1. There is something we should fear. The devil loves to try to intimidate us with fear.  Fear can accompany any of the fake news messages.  Examples include fear of failure, fear of defeat, fear of rejection, fear of being alone, and fear of being betrayed.  Fear can stop us from taking action, moving forward, making decisions, and even rob us of sleep and peace.  Even though they may be too young to describe their fears, children adopted into loving families can take years to sleep peacefully through the night.  Fears of loneliness and abandonment can torment their sleep.  Love and prayer eventually wins out.

The truth is we have nothing to fear.  Consider Isaiah 43: 1-4- “But now, thus says the Lord, who created you O Jacob, and He who formed you, O Israel: ‘Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are mine.  When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.  When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.  For I AM the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior….you were precious in my sight, you have been honored, and I love you.”’

The Bible is full of examples where God tells us not to be afraid.  Joshua was told this a number of times when the Israelites were ready to move into the Promised Land and conquer the inhabitants.  The women who came to Jesus’ tomb were told not to be afraid.  After Jesus’ death and resurrection, He appeared to the disciples and said “Peace be with you.”  There is no need to worry or be afraid.  The Eternal One, the one who conquered death, is on our side.  In the Old Testament, He is the “Commander of the Armies of the Lord” (Joshua 5:13-15).  He is powerful and fearless, yet He is the Prince of Peace.  He goes before us in every storm and battle.  Before he was anointed king, David wrote in Psalm 27:1- “The Lord is my light and my salvation –of whom shall I be afraid?”

Isaiah 41:10 says- “Fear not, for I am with you: Be not dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you, yes I will help you.  I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

The Holy Spirit will give us the wisdom to discern the fake news from the devil if we will ask for it.  He will then also give us the power and strength to overcome and defeat its message from spreading into our lives.  If we hear the fake news message enough, we begin to believe it.  It must be recognized and stopped quickly, so we can believe and act on our God-given potential and destiny.  My prayer is we will ask the Holy Spirit to help us in this area today.

THE HOLY SPIRIT Part I Kay Keith Peebles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The phone rang and my daughter’s voice was frantic at the other end.  She told me my 3 year old granddaughter had found the cough medicine in the cabinet and consumed what was in the bottle and she was acting strangely.  My daughter said PRAY!!  I immediately began praying in tongues because we needed answers from God.  My daughter was going to call poison control but wanted God’s intervention quickly.

An amazing peace came over me as I was praying and I knew she would be alright even though I did not understand one word I was praying.  I continued praying and within 30 minutes my daughter called back.  She said as soon as she hung up the phone the Lord gave her a vision of the cough medicine bottle the last time she used it.  The amount left in it was not enough to harm my granddaughter according to poison control.  Peace flooded both of us again.  The Lord’s wisdom and her conversation with poison control prevented her from having to take my granddaughter to the hospital to have her stomach pumped.  God’s intervention spared my granddaughter from a traumatic hospital experience that would have been terrifying to her, as well as the time and expense of unnecessary emergency treatment.

There are times we have no idea how to pray.  It never crossed my mind that the Lord would give my daughter a picture of the medicine bottle the last time she used it to bring assurance and peace that our granddaughter would be alright.  The Apostle Paul explained that the Holy Spirit searches the mind and the heart of man and knows our inner-thoughts and motives.  The Holy Spirit knew exactly what we needed at the moment and provided the answers to prayers we did not know how to pray.  He interceded through me exactly what was necessary at that time.

I can’t imagine what it must have been like on that first day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit fell upon all 120 believers in the Upper Room.  To hear the roar of the mighty rushing wind and see the tongues of fire upon every person’s head and then hear them all speaking in their own heavenly language must have been amazing.  They were so caught up in the presence of the Lord they appeared to be drunk but it was only 9 a.m.  There were men and women there in the streets of Jerusalem from many different nations and the Bible says they heard what the believers were saying in their own language although they knew the believers were all Galileans.  See Acts 2:4-13.  They came out on the streets and Peter began to preach.  The one who denied association with the Lord only 50 days prior preached a bold message to the same Jews that cried out for Jesus to be crucified.  What he said was astounding.

But this is [the beginning of] what was spoken of through the prophet Joel:  ‘And it shall be in the last days,’ says God, ‘That I shall pour out My Spirit upon all mankind; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy and your young men shall see [divinely prompted] visions, and your old men shall dream [divinely prompted] dreams…And I will bring about wonders in the sky above and signs (attesting miracles) on the earth below, blood and fire and smoking vapor.  The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, before the great and glorious day of the Lord comes.  And it shall be that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’”  Acts 2:16-21.  See the rest of the sermon in Acts 2.

There is much misunderstanding about the role of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers.  The devil has attacked that one area of teaching more than any other because he knows how powerful and effective we can be if we have full knowledge and function of the Holy Spirit’s help in our lives.  Too often, believers neglect the opportunity and the practice of the Holy Spirit’s intervention on a daily basis.  Others flaunt the “gift” of the Holy Spirit as if they are more spiritual than their brothers and sisters in the Lord.  His presence in our lives is for all believers, not a select few, and we have done nothing to earn it nor does it qualify us as better than anyone else.  It is a free gift to all who believe and a necessity to those who understand and take advantage of such a great gift from God.  Paul encouraged the church to “desire” the gifts of the Holy Spirit.  He expounded upon the gifts in 1 Corinthians 12 and 14 but put the Love chapter 13 in the middle to insure believers would use their gifts with the motivation of unconditional love.

1 Corinthians 14:1-2 states, “Pursue [this] love [with eagerness make it your goal], yet earnestly desire and cultivate the spiritual gifts [to be used by believers for the benefit of the church], but especially that you may prophesy [to foretell the future, to speak a new message from God to the people].  For one who speaks in an unknown tongue does not speak to people but to God; for no one understands him or catches his meaning, but by the Spirit he speaks mysteries [secret truths, hidden things].”  See also 1 Corinthians 12:29-31.

The Holy Spirit is the third person of the trinity and He is the One Jesus left to help us so that the church would grow in maturity in the faith and function as Jesus functioned on earth.  It is imperative that we know Him and allow Him to teach us and work through us in order for us to attain the stature of Christ likeness.  He told His disciples believers would do even greater works that He did.  See John 14:12.

In this study we will learn who the Holy Spirit is and His function in and for believers.  Jesus was preparing His disciples for His crucifixion and resurrection when He introduced them to the coming Holy Spirit.  He was trying to comfort their concerns that He would not be with them much longer.  Jesus explained to His disciples He would send the Holy Spirit to them after He ascended into heaven and the Holy Spirit would be with them teaching, guiding and directing their lives.

“But I tell you the truth it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor-Counselor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him (the Holy Spirit) to you [to be in close fellowship with you].  And when He comes, will convict the world about [the guilt of] sin [and the need for a Savior], and about righteousness and about judgment; about sin [and the true nature of it], because they do not believe in Me [and My message]; about righteousness [personal integrity and godly character], because I am going to My Father and you will no longer see me; about judgment [the certainty of it], because the ruler of this world (Satan) has been judged and condemned.”  John 16:7-11.

1)    INTERCESSOR

Romans 8:26-27 “In the same way the Spirit [comes to us and] helps us in our weakness. We do not know what prayer to offer or how to offer it as we should, but the Spirit Himself [knows our need and at the right time] intercedes on our behalf with sighs and groanings too deep for words.  And He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because the Spirit intercedes [before God] on behalf of God’s people in accordance with God’s will.”

The Apostle Paul was well-versed in the knowledge of the Holy Spirit.  He knew the Holy Spirit although he was not one of the 12 original disciples of Jesus, nor was he present on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit first fell upon the 120 believers, as discussed earlier.  Paul was converted by a sudden and radical encounter with the resurrected Jesus.  Soon after his conversion Paul went to a remote area to learn and grow in the teaching of Jesus.  It was the Holy Spirit Who prepared Paul for his ministry and taught him about Jesus and the Kingdom of God.  He saw Jesus the Messiah woven throughout the entire Old Testament.  The Apostles examined Paul’s doctrine of the kingdom and released him to begin his ministry of building the church.  The majority of our Christian instruction has come from the Apostle Paul who wrote Romans, 1-2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1-2 Thessalonians, 1-2 Timothy and Titus.

Paul continued teaching about the gift of tongues in 1 Corinthians 14.  He asked the question, “Then what am I to do?  I will pray with the spirit; I will sing with the spirit [by the Holy Spirit that is within me] and I will sing with the mind [using words I understand]; I will sing with the spirit [by the Holy Spirit that is within me] and I will pray with the mind [using words I understand].  Otherwise if you bless [and give thanks to God] in the spirit only, how will any outsider or someone who is not gifted [in spiritual matters] say the “Amen” [of agreement] to your thanksgiving, since he does not know what you are saying?… I thank God that I speak in [unknown] tongues more than all of you.” 1 Corinthians 14:15.  I encourage everyone to read more of Paul’s writings about the Holy Spirit and the gift of tongues.

There have been times when I was oppressed by a demonic spirit but had no idea the specific cause which gave it permission to operate against me.  Praying in the Holy Spirit enabled me to break the spirit of confusion which always functions around attacks of the enemy.  I was then able to hear from the Lord what spirit to bind and how to break its power in the name of Jesus.

There are times when I was fearful and needed direction.  Praying in the Holy Spirit built up my courage and also gave me the information needed to get breakthrough.  Paul taught that our warfare is spiritual and therefore we need spiritual tools to acquire and maintain victory.  Praying solely in our natural mind can be effective, but there are so many times we do not know how to pray as I mentioned above.  When I pray in the Holy Spirit, I am much more effective in a shorter amount of time.  I can’t take credit for the answers or breakthrough because it wasn’t me praying, it was Him.

There is so much more the baptism of the Holy Spirit enriches in us.  Having His daily presence with us is like walking beside Jesus as the disciples experienced!  In this study we will see He is not only our Intercessor, He is our Counselor, Advocate, Comforter, Strengthener, and Standby.  He is the Spirit of Truth and He will teach us all things pertaining to Jesus as well as helping us mature in the faith becoming true disciples who change the world.

The Holy Spirit is truly a gift from the Lord and we cannot function without His help.  The baptism of the Holy Spirit enables us to be immersed in Him in His fullness.  When we submit to His direction, he begins preparing, equipping and guiding us as we walk out our faith in Christ Jesus together.  Jesus Himself said it is better that He go so that He could leave us with the Holy Spirit.  He is our vital component to our faith and He is just as important and beloved as our Heavenly Father and Jesus our Savior!

True and powerful intercession comes through the ministry of the Holy Spirit.  The best news is He is available to all who believe.

Announcement

As has been our custom, we are taking off the first two weeks of the new year for  a much needed break.  We have written fifty articles per year for the past three years, attempting to be faithful to what we believe God has called us to do.  During this break, we will be seeking the Lord to see what direction He has for 2018.  We are also working on updates to the website.  We expect our first article for 2018 to appear on January 19.

Happy New Year, and thank you for visiting our website. We pray God’s richest blessings on you in the year ahead.

Larry and Kay Peebles