"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32 . . . . .


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Thursday, February 9, 2023


~ By James Fire 

For a 10 minute summary of this article, visit the MORE GOD, less me YouTube Channel and watch the video.
Scripture states that in the last days perilous times will come (2 TIM 3:1) and that men’s hearts will fail them for fear, because there will seem no way out of the various dilemmas, either personal, national, or global. Scripture speaks of a time ahead when this will become a prevalent condition worldwide:

LUKE 21:25-26
25 "And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; 26 "men's hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of heaven will be shaken.

As stated above, there is going to be a “shake up” of the heavenly powers, a judgment upon Satan’s unholy hierarchy and this will have profoundly terrible effect on mankind who will be the prey (REV 12:12). Note the word “distress” which in the Greek is sunoche, meaning “anxiety, anguish, distress”. And the word “perplexity” which means “a quandary [something for which there is no viable solution]”. The word for “fear” means “alarm, fright, to be afraid – with exceeding terror.

In the year 2022, a total of about 11.2% of the US population suffered from medium to high anxiety levels: it might not seem like a lot but that percentage equals over 37 million people in our nation who suffer these conditions.
Also, 31% of US adults experience anxiety ‘disorders’ at some time in their lives. And it seems that in recent years, it’s those who are in the 18 to 29 year range that have experienced the most anxiety, and women more so than men (though the number of men experiencing anxiety has steadily increased over the years).

And most notably in statistics: those who have experienced anxiety and depression during the CVD-19 pandemic total about 25% of the US population. The groups being affected most were young people and women. Among the most affected groups, there are record highs of suicide more than any time prior.

Above stats gleaned from the following:

Symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder Among Adults: United States, 2019

COVID-19 pandemic triggers 25% increase in prevalence of anxiety and depression worldwide

On a local level, I attended a church leadership meeting recently and one of the pastors there made us aware that many men he spoke with in the last week felt anxiety, a sense of doom and imminent death, whether in feeling or physical symptoms such as extreme heart palpitations, tightness in the chest, numbness (and, or paralysis, blurred vision, etc. from what I've heard from other sources).

We can expect such things to increase – these are among the birth pangs described in MATT 24:8 – and more people being afflicted with this most debilitating condition.
What are the root causes for this phenomenon and what is the remedy?
We have addressed this previously on FROM The MIND Of FIRE: FAITH Over FEAR.

Yet, we will examine these questions further in this TTUF article!


Think of your mind as a garden, and thoughts are the seeds that are planted there. They then grow and bear fruit in accordance with the type of seed they come from.
We need to be aware of the sort of seeds that are planted and nurture the good seed while rejecting those that will bear bad fruit.
Essentially, we need to take every thought captive that is contrary to the will of GOD in our lives:

4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,

As Christians we must acknowledge that the thoughts that enter our minds are not always of our own making. Satan and his legions of lying spirits will attack us with the sort of thoughts that inspire fear and trepidation and will grow doubt and despair in our lives if such seeds aren’t rejected, or once having taken root, are not uprooted (a much more difficult task than the easier task of sweeping seeds out of the garden of your mind)!

Fear is not always an enemy however – we must remember that fear at times is simply “wisdom in the face of danger”. Fear that arises from being in a burning building for example, can save your life and that of others because it leads to action: RUN!

Fear when managed can be useful and keep us sharp and aware; a soldier on the battlefield, where the utmost of vigilance, wariness and a type of fear is required in keeping watch out for the enemy can safeguard that soldier from ambush.

It’s when fear is out of control that it can cause a lot of damage; fear in this respect is like fire; if let loose, it will reduce everything to ashes! If controlled, it serves a purpose.

And fear doesn’t have to be based on reality. One of Satan’s most powerful allies is doubt, that plagues the Christian’s mind with “What If…?” scenarios that can cause heart palpitations and shortness of breath just as readily as anything in reality.
It’s a matter of history that when the radio play War of the Worlds (based on H.G. Wells story of an invasion of Earth by Martians) was aired on Oct. 30th,1938, many people tuned in late. They didn’t understand it was merely a play; they believed it was a real news broadcast. These folks were gripped with fear, which led them to hoard food, water – even guns and ammunition. Some were so panicked that they committed suicide over it!
They believed what they heard was real and suffered for it.

Satan is a master of illusion and can afflict the Christian with convincing lies, that if believed, can be just as powerful as the truth.
However there are worrisome situations and struggles that are very real, or at the least quite plausibly possible. It’s no good to ignore such things, nor will it help to pretend they don’t exist.
We have to face fear head on and deal with them, but not with the dire doubts of the devil’s “What If’s…” deceits, but with the truth of GOD’s Word.

I recall watching the John Wayne classic McClintock when he was caught in a compromised situation with the house keeper which his wife falsely presumed was foul play. McClintock said, “Now Katherine [his wife], are you going to believe what you SEE or what I TELL you?

Life can be daunting, discouraging and demoralizing, and if we succumb to our fears (real or imagined) that we see around us or in our minds, it will lead us to defeat. But what are we going to believe? Circumstances and situations observable to the naked eye, or the Word of GOD {MUCH more reliable than Mr. McClintock's!), the Truth that created reality? And the LORD of reality!

Another film, Rocky Balboa, when he is encouraging his discouraged son to not quit but to press on:
I’m going to tell you something you already know. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you down to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it…But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!... But you gotta be willing to take the hits and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him or her or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain’t YOU! You’re BETTER than that!

So if we sow seeds of faith, not fear, this will grow and bear the fruit of GOD’s truth: redemption, righteousness, a revival of Holy Spirit-stubbornness that will empower us to press on, trudging through the neck deep waters of the “slough (swamp) of despair” (from John Bunyan’s book Pilgrim’s Progress) and believe GOD has given us the victory!
“This hill, though high, I covet to ascend;
The difficulty will not me offend.
For I perceive the way to life lies here.
Come, pluck up, heart; let's neither faint nor fear.
Better, though difficult, the right way to go,
Than wrong, though easy, where the end is woe.”
― John Bunyan, The Pilgrim's Progress
GOD and His prophets have told His people to “fear not” and “be not afraid” more than two hundred times in the Bible, and His words spoken for good reason: fearful scenarios confronted them, and for some like Moses, Joshua, and David, it was a constant flow of danger that might have spelled defeat if these godly men gave themselves over to despair.

Consider what GOD said to Joshua:

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."


What was key to Joshua’s victory?
That he believed GOD by faith: that he accepted the truth that GOD is in command, that He would be with Joshua & Company wherever they would go. If we understand as GOD’s saints that He is with us always (HEB 13:5; whether we feel it or not), then we can rest by faith in His comfort and strength and any giant-sized problem will be dealt with in His time. We only have to wait upon Him and He shall renew our strength and like eagles, soar high above the miseries and mayhem of this fallen world (IS 40:31).

What else was Joshua commanded to do by the LORD?

This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

We know that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of GOD (ROM 10:17). The Word is pictured as a seed in the parables (MATT 13:19-20; LK 8:11).
Therefore sowing the seed of GOD’s Word will strengthen and bolster our faith, and with stronger faith, lay claim to the Word of GOD with an even stronger grip.

Sowing seeds of faith into the garden of our mind and picking out and casting away those seeds of doubt, planted by the pernicious devil will enable us to live a life of faith, free from the shackles that fear and anxiety would keep us enslaved to.

To keep focused on the Word of GOD is to be focused on the very Spirit of GOD that inspired the Holy Scriptures, and what is the result of such action?

ISAIAH 26:1-4
1 In that day this song will be sung in the land of Judah: "We have a strong city; God will appoint salvation for walls and bulwarks. 2 Open the gates, That the righteous nation which keeps the truth may enter in. 3 You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You. 4 Trust in the LORD forever, For in YAH, the LORD, is everlasting strength.

GOD is our strong refuge (PS 71:5-7), that spiritual city established and fortified upon grace and truth (JN 1:14), and it’s as we believe and keep GOD’s truth, we walk by faith through those gates and into this Strong City of Salvation!

Then with our minds fixed upon the LORD, upon His truth, we are kept in perfect (“shalom”) peace (“shalom” again): happy, health, prosperity, peace, in favor, saluted [impl. by GOD]. We could say “success”! This is what GOD promised Joshua!

JOSHUA 6:2, 16
2 And the LORD said to Joshua: "See! I have given Jericho into your hand, its king, and the mighty men of valor. 16 And the seventh time it happened, when the priests blew the trumpets, that Joshua said to the people: "Shout, for the LORD has given you the city!

Observe: The LORD didn’t say, “I will give you the city” but rather, “for the LORD has given you the city”. GOD, the All-knowing Sovereign Ruler of all creation sees this as “a done deal”.


It’s the sort of assured victory that’s given to the church, those who are “in Christ Jesus”:

Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.

Is that victory in the air that you smell??

What does the Word of GOD instruct us to do in regards to times when we are anxious, fretful, worried?

6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.


Note that prayers and supplication are to be coupled together with thanksgiving; why is that? Because as we offer up thanks to the LORD for prior answers to our prayers, to His bountiful provisions and faithfulness through all of our trials – by bringing these to remembrance we are encouraged and understand that just as GOD has been faithful to us before, He will continue to be faithful today, tomorrow, and forever!

“Be anxious for nothing” is not an exhortation or comfort as much as it is a command of GOD! We are not permitted to worry and fret (those are opposites of faith). By allowing the mind to think along these lines, one is actually saying, “I don’t trust GOD to care for me in this or that situation”. It’s actually a sin of unbelief (HEB 3:12) that we must confess and repent of and turn to GOD in faith.

The LORD doesn’t want us tormenting ourselves with worry (that word in the Old English actually meant to torture!) and anxiety, plagued with panic attacks, because He loves us! It’s as we partake of the love of GOD through Christ, we come to know Him as our Abba:
His perfect love casts out all fear!

1 JOHN 4:17-19
17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 19 We love Him because He first loved us.


And He hasn’t given us a spirit of fear, but of love, power, and a sound mind! A sound mind is a strong mind well able to defeat the devil and all his armaments! (ROM 12:2; 2 TIM 1:7).

Peace then, rather than panic shall rule our minds, and guard our minds from the sly seed planter of doubt if we “in everything by prayer and supplication…make our requests known to GOD”. We likewise must join in this guardianship over our minds, seeking the help and enablement of the Spirit to discern and discard seeds of Satan’s devices that would bear the fruit of anxiety, despair, and ruin! Sweep those sinister seeds away by the Holy Spirit empowered sanctifying action in renewing your mind (ROM 12:1-2). Depend on GOD’s declared Word of truth and dismiss the devil’s deceits!
“Worry is a conversation you have with yourself about things you cannot change. Prayer is a conversation you have with GOD about things He can change!
Rather than expend a lot of energy in the useless exercise of worry, let’s use that energy to fuel our prayer lives – which is anything but useless!
I’ve often said that “Prayerlessness brings paralysis to the body of Christ” and this holds true for any single member of the body of Christ as well!

How can we expect to advance in our spiritual walk and distance ourselves from anxieties, panic and worries and press on in victory if we aren’t spending time in the presence of our GOD, taking time to pray?!

And by this, I’m not referring to a prayer of grace before meals or the “Now I lay me down to sleep…” variety, but the protracted, extended, intentional times of “tarrying” (to sit down, set, settle, to continue sitting, to dwell) in the presence of GOD kind of prayer! Tarrying here is advancing in spiritual life; moving away from prayerful seeking of GOD is standing still spiritually speaking.
A moving target is a lot harder (for Satan) to hit than one standing still!
Prayer is seeking GOD, and in finding GOD, one finds that peace (not paralyzing panic), that passes beyond all understanding, all logic, all human reasoning (PHIL 4:7). We don’t know how prayer works, we only know that it does, because GOD instructs us to pray in His Word! And Scripture documents case after case of answered prayer!

JEREMIAH 29:11-14a
11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with ALL your heart. 14 I will be found by you, says the LORD, and I will bring you back from your captivity...

Our seeking GOD can’t be a passive exercise of futility:
Two combat soldiers in a fox hole were attempting to escape the danger of an overwhelming enemy, but everything they tried failed. Then one of them turned to the other and said, “I guess it’s time to pray?” To which the other responded mournfully, “You mean it’s come to that?!
NO! Our prayer must be with a sense of dogged, determined pursuit that won’t quit! It must be with a sense of expectation and wholeheartedness that knows the fervent faithfulness of GOD, that is persuaded of His almighty abilities, that is confident in His Holy heart towards us – and even if all the gates of hell stand opposed to us, with the Sword of the Spirit (the Word!) in the one hand and the valiant weapon of prayer in the other, we shall prevail against all the power of the enemy!


Satan knows how effective prayer is, probably more than we do! It’s why he’s determined to set up traps that will hijack our prayer life and cause them to be hindered. 

Note: For an excellent series on “Hindered Prayer” check out this series of TTUF articles where pastor Sonny Islas of SHINE BRIGHT Church exhorts us on eliminating factors that will cause our prayers to be hindered (Facebook video teachings are included)!

And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this Rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

There are some who teach that the “rock” mentioned here is Peter’s declaration of Who Jesus is, and while I find that entirely applicable, I most definitely favor the view that the LORD Jesus Christ is referring to Himself (the Rock; petra) in comparison to Peter (petros in the Greek, or “little rock or stone”). Scripture is replete with references to GOD as being “a rock” (DEUT 32:4,15; 1 SAM 2:2; 22:3,32,47; 23:3; IS 18:2,31,46; 42:9; 62:7; 78:35; 89:26; 94:22; IS 17:10; 1 COR 10:4).

Jesus Christ is the cornerstone, that sure foundation (IS 28:16) that He builds His church on; and those who truly are founded on the Rock, those who are members of the church, what is it they do that establishes them there?

MATTHEW 7:24-25
24 "Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 "and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.


GOD is looking for those who take His Word on faith. Both in the Greek and the Hebrew languages to believe, to express faith is coupled like Siamese twins with the act of obedience. Abraham believed GOD and it was accounted to him for righteousness (ROM 4:3; GEN 15:6). Seven chapters later in the book of GENESIS, his faith was proved to be genuine by his willingness to obey GOD at any cost – even the life of his son, Isaac (GEN 22:1-2,9-10)!

These are the souls that are established on the Rock: saints redeemed by the blood of the LAMB, who belong to GOD, and who may rest assured that their lives are “stormproof” – not that their lives are free from storms, but that they are secure in the midst of them.
Sometimes GOD doesn’t calm the storm for His child; sometimes He calms His child in the midst of the storm – and it’s enough!
Is there anything else that can protect us from the abominable arrows of our adversary?


YES! The Armor of GOD! It’s essentially being in and obedient to Christ. The same epistle that we read about putting on the armor has thirteen references to “in Christ” (more than twice in each chapter!). EPHESIANS is the go to chapter for Spiritual Warfare! It teaches us how we are to appropriate the armor – representative of the very nature and virtues of Christ Himself – the only Man Who has proven perfectly impervious to the fiery darts of the wicked one (JN 14:30). Just as we are alive by the Spirit of GOD, we are able to walk (live, in victory) in the Spirit (GAL 5:25), and our walk should strongly resemble our LORD’s – not perfectly, but recognizably (1 JN 2:6) and by this means, we are as impregnable in GOD’ as was our LORD when tested of the devil.

One last resource we have to help protect ourselves from the attacks by the enemy:


Where do wounded soldiers go?
To a military hospital. In one sense, that’s what the church is.
In this battle of life against the world, the flesh and the devil, we can sometimes get wounded – if we drop our shield or forget to wear our helmet of salvation. We then come into the midst of the saints, we get ministered to there by a faithful pastor who is led of the Spirit in his expounding of the Word to render to the wounded warrior a spiritual salve that soothes and heals.

Likewise as others observe with loving care such warriors, weary in the battle, they come alongside them with words of counsel and prayer and biblical fellowship to encourage and exhort their fellow soldier and thereby the saint walks from that place rested, restored and revived.

HEBREWS 3:12-14
12 Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; 13 but exhort one another daily, while it is called "Today," lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end,
(see also: 1 THESS 4:1-4; 5:11-24; 2 TIM 4:2).

HEBREWS 10:24-25
24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.


This article is primarily focused on the Christian, but for those outside of Christ, who have yet to believe and receive the Gospel and surrender to Jesus as LORD and Savior, let me say this:

The world is not how GOD intended it! When Adam fell in temptation and committed the original sin (GEN 3), this horrendous tragedy of all history plunged the entire human race into a sin nature – an inheritance of iniquity from our father Adam! As well as this, the curse of sin that fell on all that was subordinate to Adam – this includes the entire planet, and animals – everything!

It’s because of this that we know death and suffering, struggles and hardships; sicknesses and cataclysms; doubts, fear, and despair.

But it isn’t going to last!! The LORD came the First Time to die for the sins of the world, and those who believe the Gospel are redeemed! We are not just saved from hell and for heaven, but we have a mission: to invite others into the kingdom of GOD through faith in Jesus Christ!

We have an eternal inheritance that may be realized at any moment! We will be transported from this fallen world and into the fabulous wonders of heaven (1 THESS 4:16-18; 1 COR 15:51-57), beholding the very Face of our LORD and Savior, Jesus Christ (1 JN 3:2; PHIL 3:21)!

And He plans on returning the Second Time and establish His rightful rule as Messiah King of Israel, reigning over all the Gentiles from what will then be the world capital of Jerusalem.

The curse of sin will be for the most part, removed; Satan and his fallen angels will be consigned to prison (awaiting their trial and their ultimate end in the lake of fire along with all who refuse salvation in Christ, who, apart from His intervention on Calvary would end up in that place of perdition (MATT 25:41).

After the final judgment at the Great White Throne (REV 20:11) the entire universe – galaxies, stars, planets, including our own solar system – will detonate at the pronouncement of GOD in an interstellar nuclear blast (2 PET 3:10) and be replaced with an incorruptible, holy heavenly realm and a new earth (REV 21:1). Indeed, He will make ALL THINGS NEW!

And in that new creation, the curse of sin and all of its evil fruit will be entirely absent! Never to be experienced, ever again!

ISAIAH 25:8-9
8 He will swallow up death forever, And the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces; The rebuke of His people He will take away from all the earth; For the LORD has spoken. 9 And it will be said in that day: "Behold, this is our God; We have waited for Him, and He will save us. This is the LORD; We have waited for Him; We will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.

3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, "Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4 "And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away." 5 Then He who sat on the throne said, "Behold, I make all things new." And He said to me, "Write, for these words are true and faithful.

You are cordially invited to partake of the kingdom of GOD and escape the judgment of hell and those who will go there, which includes “the fearful and unbelieving” (REV 21:8). The LORD would say to you, “Fear not, only believe…”

And as for us saints – let’s sow the good seed and refuse the bad!

HOSEA 10:12
Sow for yourselves righteousness; Reap in mercy; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the LORD, Till He comes and rains righteousness on you.

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