©2013 Stan Hallett
We Were Created by God in His Image
And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. (Genesis 1:26)
And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. (Genesis 2:7)
I got this message right after the three kidnapped girls (Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus, Michelle Knight) were rescued back in the Spring of 2013. They were held hostage and abused for 9-11 years. Then I recalled a similar story regarding Jaycee Lee Dugard, who was rescued back in April 2011. Jaycee was held hostage and abused for 18 years. Psychologists say that the women have many long years of intensive therapy and rehabilitation ahead of them, to begin to undo the damage left by the captivity and horrific abuse that they suffered.
Update: There is a more recent but similar story of Kamiyah Mobley who was kidnapped from the hospital at birth by Gloria Williams. She changed the baby’s name to Alexis Kelli Manigo who did not find out that she was kidnapped until she was sixteen years old. She was finally reunited with her real parents at age eighteen. Gloria Williams was arrested and the case is pending as of this post update (01/18/17).
Alexis claims that she will always love the woman who was her “mom” for eighteen years.
God is referred to many times in the Bible as our Father, and often by the Lord Himself as He walked among us in the flesh. There were some people that Jesus referred to as Satan being their father . . . 42* Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. 43* Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. 44* Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. (John 8:42-44)
I believe that you and I are the sum total of everything that we have been taught and accepted. Everything that we have taken in through our natural senses. What we hear, what we read and receive, and what we see with our own eyes, along with the things that we can touch and feel. Combine that with your own perceptions and personality and you have the sum total of you.
Young children are very malleable in their young tender years. That is why King Solomon said “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” (Proverbs 22:6). This is when we as parents need to teach them, not in just word, but in deed. I think that they actually learn more by watching what the parent does than by what they say.
Often parents say one thing, but do another contrary to what they teach the child. I have seen this so often even in families that have regularly attended Church all through the child’s youth. Sometimes we see a child that was raised in that way be rebellious and have little respect for a parents or a particular parent. Why? Because the parents preach one thing and do another. They didn’t live it. They didn’t practice what they preached, and their life was a contradiction.
If a child is raised from birth by a stranger, the relationship grows to become what is familiar, and seems natural to them. It is all that they know. The way in which they have been brought up, and the things that they know and endure become “normal” for them. The things that they believe, even though they may be false, become truth to them. Should this same child after many years come into contact with their natural parent, the real parent will seem foreign, unnatural, and false to them.
On October 4, 1987 Carlina White was snatched from the hospital at just 19 days old. She was back in the hospital due to an infection. She was 23 years old before she finally discovered the truth. What was interesting to me about this story is that she never knew her real parents, they were strangers to her. At last report she is trying to get to know her real mother (Joy White) with great difficulties. She claims to be willing to forgive her kidnapper (Ann Pettway) who was sentenced to 12 years in prison, and plans on maintaining a relationship with her. That is an amazing phenomenon. She was brain washed from infancy. What she believed was a lie, but it became true for her. No bonds, or locked doors were necessary. The three other young ladies were kidnapped in their teens and early adulthood. They had to be restrained to keep them from escaping because they knew the truth of their situation.
Most people that have ever lived on this earth were raised by those that only understand and believe man-made world views, and satan influenced philosophies. They follow the traditions of men (Mark 7:13) and the doctrines of devils (1 Timothy 4:1). Make no mistake, Satan has kidnapped the heart and minds of this world, and the world at large has accepted it from birth, never able to come to the knowledge of the truth (2 Timothy 3:7).
When we approach those that were kidnapped by Satan with the truth, it seems so foreign to many compared to how they were raised. In fact for most, unless they are at their lowest, most desperate place, they will not believe or receive it.
I was talking with someone the other day who was saying “Why can’t I be blessed? Why can’t I have some things that I desire like a house, and be able to enjoy life and not be stressed over money?” My response to them was “You are blessed!” I said how many real monetarily wealthy people do you see in our assembly? How many successful doctors, lawyers, well-to-do business men? How many millionaires? Most of those people have put their trust in their knowledge, or in their abilities and in their wealth. Didn’t Jesus say that “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God” (Matthew 19:24)?
Most do not come to God until they are at their lowest point, until God is all that they have left. They are at their wits end financially, physically, emotionally, and God is the only direction left to turn.
Most kidnapped children are severely abused be their abductors. Similarly satan does not love us, he is a liar and a deceiver. He hates us, and all of God’s creation, and desires to destroy us. If he can keep us in sin, in disbelief of God, in humanism, in witchcraft, in belief in evolution, in man-made philosophy, in hedonism, and focused on the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life, then he has succeeded and has won.
He lies and deceives us with promises, and with the pleasures, and the entertainment of this world. His goal is to lure us further and further into sin (disobedience to God), and keep us captive.
Satan would never die for us, yet many die for satan everyday. There are no bars that keep us, no chains that bind us, no locked doors, no physical fetters of any kind. We are only held captive by our own mind, and what it is that we believe to be true. Our true Father loved us so greatly that He paid the price for our disobedience with His own blood (Acts 20:28), to redeem us to Himself. All we have to do is to repent, turn from following the father of lies, and obey our true Father. As the prodigal son did (Luke 15:20-24), we just need to go home.
It’s simply our choice. Satan is a great showman, enticing us with all pleasures that this world has to offer. He promises to fulfill our desires for happiness. But everything we enter into leaves us empty, unfulfilled, and searching for something else that will give us peace, and give us joy. If you’ve never heard this before it may sound foreign and strange to you, and there are so many things that you have yet to try.
Surely something will give you joy, peace and fulfillment. Perhaps promises of fame or stardom. Perhaps positions of power or prestige, surely that will satisfy. Perhaps sex, or you could try some drug that would make you feel good, and make you forget about all of your problems. Perhaps the latest video game, or the latest sitcom will give you some laughs, some joy, some peace? Come on, there is so much to try! Food, clothes, cars, relationships, careers, pornography, movies, booze, cigarettes, dope, sports, something is going to fulfill that need, right?
There have been hundreds of movie stars, rock stars, and celebrities that have committed suicide. They are continually in the news. Obviously the success and fame did not do it for them. 38,329 people died of drug overdoses in 2010, and it’s climbing. Was this the peace or joy that the were looking for? About half of all Americans who keep smoking will die because of the habit. Each year about 4.9 million people die from illnesses related to tobacco use. Smoking cigarettes kills more Americans than alcohol, car accidents, suicide, AIDS, homicide, and illegal drugs combined. But they keep right on smoking. The Bible says that there is nothing new under the sun (Ecclesiastes 1:9). Everything that you know, think, or believe is a culmination of everything that you have read, seen with your eyes, heard with your ears. You have taken that sum total and weighed them in your heart and your mind, and formed your own unique philosophy based on that information and thought.
What you believe in, as much as you believe a thing, becomes true for you. We’ve all had experiences where we have come across those that have some beliefs that we cannot imagine how they could possibly believe such a thing. In fact I think for most of us, it happens so often that logic would dictate that we ourselves probably have areas of belief that are probably in error. In other words we would have to admit that there are most likely things that we believe that are quite possibly, totally wrong. That’s tough for some of us to admit.
Many of us that were not raised in the Church, and were not raised by Christian parents, were raised by world dominated views. It is the world system that is orchestrated by who the Apostle Paul referred to as the “God of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4). He has kidnapped and deceived most of mankind, and desires to abuse, violate, torture, and spiritually and emotionally maim each and every one of us. It is His goal that we perish without God, and therefore suffer the same fate that he is doomed to. Even most of what the world considers to be “Christian” is not true Christianity at all. Most of man-made religion falls short of truth, short of the true Gospel message, and therefore short of salvation.
Even many that have found truth, and have once believed, only to have wandered off enticed by the world, and the lies they still cling to. They say things like; “God knows my weaknesses.” or “Nobody’s perfect.” They may say “God will forgive me for this one little thing”. “They drank wine in the Bible, what’s wrong with getting a little high?” “The Bible doesn’t say that smoking is a sin, does it?” “Hey, all the famous preachers get caught doing it.”
It is reported that there are approximately 41,000 Christian denominations in the world today. It is no secret as to why. . . orchestrated confusion and diversion from truth.
If God did not draw us, did not lead us, and did not guide us, how could anyone have a chance to find truth? The world, including most that consider themselves to be Christians are still deceived by the greatest deceiver of them all. Oh yes! The Bible says “13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 14* And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light. 15* Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.” (2 Corinthians 11:13-15)
If you have not repented, have not been baptized in the name of Jesus, and you have not been filled with the Holy Ghost, then may I inform you it is no coincidence that you are reading this now. That being the case, and after your true Father has paid the ransom for you, after He has brought you to this point to tell you the truth regarding the captivity that you have been in, and after knowing that regardless of the overwhelming deception in the world. . . You by His grace and mercy have found your way here. How could you come this close and not respond with brokenness and joy to have finally, after all these years of lies and captivity, now having come to the knowledge of your true Father, the only one that loves you with a love like none other. The one that suffered to pay the price for you to be redeemed to Himself, and safely returned to Him.
What a joyful thing to be able to come home and cry “Father forgive me, for I have sinned against you!” and be forgiven and received. He desires to have a personal covenant relationship with you. He said that His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matthew 11:30). The Gospel is simple. . . Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. (Acts 2:38) 15:1* ¶ Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2* By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3* For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)
He does not ask us to die on the cross as He did for us. But rather he requires us to die to ourselves through repentance, which means to turn from our ways and follow Him. He does not ask us to be buried in a tomb as He was, but in like figure we are buried with Him in the waters of baptism in His name. Then He promises us that the very same Spirit that raised Him up on the third day would also be given to us with the evidence of speaking in other tongues as the Spirit gives the utterance. …the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. (Acts 2:39) The choice is yours today.
The only bonds that hold you are in your own mind. Yes, that’s right! The greatest battle known to mankind, having the greatest consequence, is fought on a very small battlefield. ”And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him.“ (Luke 2:4,5). God formed us and breathed the breath of life into us. He created us to have fellowship with him, to be His children. But God did not create us as robots or slaves. He gave us free will, free choice. It’s your choice to be captive or free. The bonds that hold you are only in your heart and mind.
We Are His Children
For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. (Romans 8:14) That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; (Philippians 2:15) Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. (1 John 3:1) I beseech you, I beg you, If you are here, and you have not repented, or you have not been baptized in the name of Jesus, and you have not been filled with the Holy Ghost (Acts 2:38), then may I inform you it is no coincidence that you are here now, regardless of the circumstances that caused you to be here at this moment. If you need help in finding the right Church, then please contact me.
Do you have questions? Feel free to write to me via my contact form.