A. Marie Miles.

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means "morally impure, foul, filthy, unchaste and obscene." The Bible
says, "God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness." I
Thess. 4:7. This means that we are to keep ourselves pure in thought,
word, and deed. Keep a rebuke in your heart against dirty jokes and
those things that lead to impurity. The Bible says, "Unto the pure all
things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is
nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled." Titus
1:15. Homosexuality would come under this sin. The Bible plainly
condemns this sin. In Romans we read about the corrupt man and it says,
"God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own
hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:... For this
cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did
change the natural use into that which is against nature: and likewise
also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman burned in their lust
one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and
receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet
[fit]. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge,
God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not
convenient; being filled with all unrighteousness." Romans 1:24-28. It
is very plain that homosexuality is a terrible sin. God has a purpose
for the use of each member of our bodies and it is not to be used in
sinful ways. Sex is for a purpose and that is to bring children into the
world and for the purpose of love-making between married couples. But it
is not to be abused and temperance is to be used. Temperance is one of
the fruits of the Spirit. (Gal. 5:23). Each member is to be used for the
purpose that God has intended. Remember this and the Lord will give you
understanding.

_Lasciviousness_ means "lustful, wanton, loose; a person who excites
lustful emotions in others." Let us study this with careful thought. The
world today advertises the fact that this or that will give "sexual
appeal." This is lasciviousness. Wearing clothing that does this is sin.
Acting in a way to cause others to have lustful emotions is a sin. That
is, if a person purposely acts in this way, or dresses in this way.
Speaking words and making signs that does this are sins. Oh, God is
calling for a pure and holy people! His church, which is made up of holy
(sinless) people, is without spot and blemish and has been cleansed and
made pure through the blood of Jesus Christ. (Eph. 5:27). We must be
pure to be in it.

The next sin mentioned is _idolatry_ which means "divine honors paid to
idols, images, or any created object." (Web. Dic.) It also says it means
"excessive admiration, or love, for any person or thing." To worship any
image or man-made god is sin. There in only one true God and we must
worship Him in spirit and in truth. Also we do not want to have an
"excessive love" for any person or thing more than our love for God.
Some people allow *things* to keep them from having a true love for God.
This is a sin. If you let money, possessions, or any person keep you
from serving the Lord with all of your heart, then you have an idol. The
Apostle John said, "Little children, keep yourselves from idols." I John
5:21. We are to "Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all
thy soul, and with all thy mind." Matt. 22:37. Surely that means a lot,
doesn't it? There can't be one thing or person between us and God. He
must absolutely be first in our life. Oh, my grandson, it truly is a
wonderful thing to put God first! He is so precious to my soul and I
know He will be to yours as you love and serve Him with all of your
heart! Jesus has said, "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his
righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." Matt.
6:33. What God adds is just perfect even though at the time we might not
understand it.

The next sin is _witchcraft_. Today many people are turning to magical
powers and are having communion with evil spirits and the devil. This is
what witchcraft is. Fortune tellers, spiritualist readers etc. are all
of the devil and should never be considered nor tampered with. Many
have, in fun, or wanting to know something, imbibed an evil spirit and
were tormented by it day and night. God will protect His people if they
will look to Him and not yield to evil spirits. It is dangerous. Read
Lev. 19:31; Deut. 18:10:12; Acts 16:16-19; 8:11-21; 13:6-12.

Hatred is a sin. Even if someone does us a wrong we must forgive them or
Jesus has said that He would not forgive us. (Matt. 6:14,15).
Ill-feeling toward someone is a cousin to hatred. We need to forgive and
ask God to help us to love everyone regardless of what they do to us.
Wrath is also a sin and many times is connected with hatred. We must not
give vent to our anger but bring it under control. God has help for
everyone who will pray to Him and seek after Him.

_Variance_ means "a verbal strife followed by strained or severed
relations: wrangle or squabble: to dispute angrily." This is connected
to hatred and wrath.

_Emulations_ means "to strive to equal or excell with a view to out do;
ambitious or envious rivalry." In other words stepping on someone else
to get ahead of them or others. Oh, the Lord wants us to be considerate
of others!

Strife and envyings come under this same thing. We must love every soul
and not try to disregard their feelings or desires. Be happy for others
to get ahead and "rejoice with them that rejoice and weep with those who
weep," is what the Bible tells us to do.

Murderers are those who wilfully kill and are sinners. They must seek
forgiveness to be ready for heaven. If a person accidentally kills, that
is not a sin, but it is a tragedy. It is the person who purposely kills
who is a murderer and a sinner. To take one's own life is a sin, that is
if the person is in his right mind. We know that some people's minds are
afflicted (or wear out), and they are not responsible, yet there are
some close lines even in these cases.

Drunkenness is a sin. _Drunkenness_ is the "state of being drunk with
strong drink or alcoholic liquor so that the use of the faculties is
materially impaired." (Web. Dic.) Oh, the sorrow and trouble that
drunkenness has brought to little children, homes, wives and husbands,
mothers and fathers, sisters, brothers and nations! It is a terrible
thing! Today there is so much dope being taken. It is a terrible thing
to abuse one's body. God will not hold a person guiltless who abuses his
body in any manner. Read Prov. 23:29-32. God has deliverance for all who
get into this sin if they will only seek after God. But my dear
grandson, flee from all of it. "Touch not the cup." Never even taste it
and you will never be a drunkard. Some say they can take it or leave it,
but many did that for awhile and today they are on "skid row." They lost
their health, their wealth, their children, and their companions. Their
life is wretched. Some might say, "It would not happen to me," but they
must flee from it as they would a serpent that is ready to strike.

Smoking cigarettes and taking anything that harms the body is a sin. The
Bible says, "If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy:
for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are." I Cor. 3:17. What
could be plainer? My dear grandson, I am expecting you to flee from all
of these sins which are against the body which will destroy your body
and soul in eternal torment for all eternity. Remember that eternity
never ends. There is no time in eternity. Death seals your doom. It will
pay to live each day in a way that we will be ready to meet God, or will
be ready in that hour of death. It might come unexpectedly.

Seditions and heresies are sins. False teachings which are contrary to
the Bible teachings are heresies. They are sin. We want to live
according to the Bible and know its doctrines so we can not be led into
heresies. So many are being deceived by false teachers. People today
believe everything they hear and do not search the Bible to see if it is
true. We must not believe teaching from false teachers. Some will say,
"But that person has studied the Bible many years and he ought to know."
He may have a degree in theology etc., but that doesn't make any
difference. We still must stay upon a firm foundation and find it in the
Word for ourselves. There is a chain running through the Bible that
links truth and it must not be broken, or it will not be truth. We are
instructed in the Bible to "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a
workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of
truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto
more ungodliness." II Tim. 2:15,16.

The next sins that are given are revellings and such like. _Revelling_
means "a noisy or riotous feast; or to feast with joyous or clamorous
merriment, boisterous festivity." In other words it means a loud,
boisterous manner of acting, or being in a crowd that acts that way. In
I Pet. 3:4 it says for us to have a "meek and quiet spirit, which is in
the sight of God of great price." This is in harmony with God's Spirit
and His Word.

I do trust that you have an idea of what God is expecting of us. In
other words, we have listed what the Bible teaches about some things
that are wrong, and what is right. As you said, the Bible is a big book
and we can't find everything, unless we are familiar with it, so I trust
these few things have been a help, as you study them. Remember that we
need to have Jesus to help us daily to obey the Word of God and be ready
to meet the Lord. First, it takes being saved from our sins, being
filled with the Holy Spirit and praying and studying God's Word. It is a
precious life when we are in the center of God's will. When we are
saved, we can have the fruits of the Spirit in our life which are named
in Gal. 5:22,23. They are love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness,
goodness, faith, meekness, temperance and many other good things that
God will give to us as we live and serve Him.

Romans 1:29-32 mentions more sins. It says that those who turn
themselves over to the devil to work his evil ways are "filled with all
unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness,
full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity, whisperers, backbiters,
haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things,
disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant-breakers,
without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the
judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death,
not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them." What a
terrible list of sins! Oh, we must flee from any of them. If you get
your dictionary and look up the meaning of each one of these you would
see how sinful sin is. No wonder God looks down upon sinful mankind and
is grieved. Now mercy is held out to all who will turn to Him and
through Jesus Christ seek forgiveness and turn away from sin, but the
time is coming when mercy will be withdrawn. This old world will be on
fire and only the holy and true will be taken to that prepared place for
a prepared people who have sought God. Oh, I surely want to be ready in
that day and hour, don't you?


Seeking Forgiveness Was the Key

When I was about twelve years of age, the teacher asked me to erase the
blackboard after school. After I finished, I walked down one aisle
between the seats. On one girl's desk I saw a match box, and in this box
was a tiny doll. I had seen her play with this doll and I thought it was
the cutest doll I had ever seen. I never had dolls when I was small, as
my folks could not afford to buy me one. I would wrap up a stick or
something and carry it around for my doll. So this doll attracted me
very much. As I looked at it, I wanted it so very much.

Before I tell more about this incident let us read a Scripture in the
Bible which tells us about being tempted to sin. In James 1:14,15, it
brings out how it works. "But every man [woman or child] is tempted,
when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath
conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth
forth death." Let us see what the word tempted means. _Tempt_ means "to
induce; entice; allure." The devil works through us to tempt us. First,
we are tempted by our own lust. Lust means an "overmastering desire."
_Entice_ means to "attract by offering hope of reward or pleasure." So
we see that the devil will induce us to do wrong by placing an
overmastering desire for something, which he convinces us will bring a
reward or some pleasure.

Note the next verse says, that when this lust or desire for a certain
thing is _conceived_, which means "formed in the mind," or it is decided
by the person that he is going to do a certain thing that is wrong, then
that brings forth sin. Now sin is finished [completed] when the act is
committed. After the act is committed then it brings forth death to the
soul. In other words, sin separates a person from God. That means
spiritual death. If a person continues to live in sin, or in spiritual
death, and then dies a physical death, he would be eternally separated
from God. But thank God, this need not be. The key to being restored to
God is found in God's Word. Since sin has to be punished, we find that
Jesus, the Son of God, was willing to come here, live and die and arise
from the grave so we can have forgiveness for our sins, as we, with
godly sorrow, seek for it.

Now I will continue with the incident in my own young life. First, I
want to say that from a child I loved the Lord and my parents taught me
what sin was and I didn't want to displease the Lord. But I was not
above temptations. So when I saw this little doll, I was tempted by the
devil. I had an overmastering desire to have that doll and I was enticed
by the hope of the reward of having it for my own and thought no one
would know about it. So quickly I picked it up and took it home. You
see, when I let lust, or that overmastering desire, become conceived, or
formed, in my mind, and I took the doll, I committed sin. Sin was
finished and I was cut off from God. Spiritual death took place in my
heart. No longer could I come to God and have communion with Him. Sin
had separated me from God. So as the Scripture says, "when it [sin] is
finished, it bringeth forth death."

I brought the doll home with me, but oh, I didn't feel good in my heart!
I knew I had sinned and I wished I had not taken the doll, but I had it
and was on my way home. I came into the house and my watchful mother saw
it. She asked, "Where did you get that doll?"

"Old Tennessee gave it to me," I quickly said, which was a lie. Another
sin was added to my first sin. The devil not only gets a person to sin
but he gets them to commit other sins to cover up the first sin. Thus,
he leads people on and on, and deeper into sin they fall. (Old Tennessee
was an elderly black man who drove a horse and wagon by our home, filled
with junk that he had collected. Sometimes, when he would stop and talk
to us children, he would give us some of his junk which we would value.)

I took the doll upstairs to my room and put it in my dresser drawer. I
didn't want to play with it. It didn't look so pretty anymore. My heart
was heavy. I didn't rest very well that night as I dreaded going back to
school. I just knew the teacher would guess that I had taken the doll.
To my surprise, nothing was said the next day about the doll. I avoided
the girl and hurried home after school. But yet the fact of stealing
that doll weighed heavily on my heart. A few days later I took the doll
out in the alley and took a brick and smashed it all to pieces and
buried it, but that didn't take away the sin or the guilt. I had sinned
against God and was still a liar and a thief. Oh, how bad I felt! I had
been taught to pray from a little child, and had always prayed, but
every time I would try to pray that sin would come up before me, so
finally I quit praying.

School was soon out and a few weeks passed by. Bro. John Wilson came to
our house from Missouri and held a few nights' meeting at the chapel.
One night he preached on hell fire. Oh, I could almost feel the fire of
hell around me! I trembled, but hurried out as soon as meeting was over
and the invitation had closed. I went home and to bed as soon as
possible, but not to sleep. I rolled and tumbled on my bed. The weight
of sin was so heavy on my heart that it seemed the mattress was on top
of me instead of me on the mattress. I knew I was on the road to hell.
Finally, toward morning, I told the Lord that if He would spare my life
until I heard the alarm go off in my parent's room that I would get up
and go ask my father to pray for me to get saved and I would seek
forgiveness for my sins from God. This calmed me, and I lay there
waiting. When I heard the alarm, I ran to their room and knelt beside
their bed. I began to weep and beg Papa to pray for me to get saved. He
prayed for me and I prayed. I asked the Lord to forgive me of my sin of
stealing and lying and promised I would make it right. I told the Lord I
would tell the girl I had stolen the doll and pay her for it. God took
my word for the act and He forgave me and flooded my soul with peace.
Oh, I had found the key to peace for my inner longings! The key was a
desire to find peace and then obeying God's Word which said, "If we
confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to
cleanse us from all unrighteousness." I John 1:9. That key opened the
lock to my heart and let Jesus come in. Jesus has said, "The words that
I speak unto you, they are spirit and they are life." John 6:63b. Oh,
the peace that filled me and I became a new creature in Christ Jesus! I
was happy again.

I had promised the Lord that I would make my sin right when school
started. So one day I was sitting behind this girl and I tapped her on
the back. I told her about my taking the doll and offered to pay her for
it. She said, "I often wondered where that doll went to, but I didn't
care anything about it anyway." I insisted on paying her but she said to
forget it. Oh, the relief that I then had because the devil fought my
making it right by telling me that she would tell every one in school
about my being a thief. I never heard anything more about it.

Then I had to make the lie right, for I had told my mother and all of my
brothers and sisters that old Tennessee had given it to me. One time in
family worship I started to tell it and broke down and wept, but kept on
telling about it. I asked forgiveness and my father said that they all
forgave me. I didn't know until years later that none of them understood
anything I said because I had cried so hard, but I thought they did and
that was what counted. I had obeyed the Lord who makes us know that we
are to make our wrongs right.

When Jesus came to Zacchaeus' house and he sought salvation from Him,
Zacchaeus said, "If I have taken any thing from any man by false
accusation, I restore him fourfold." Luke 19:8. We must make our wrongs
right. If we do, and have repented and confessed our sins, we can hear
the same words that Jesus said to Zacchaeus, "This day is salvation come
to this house, ... For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that
which was lost." (verse 9, 10.)

I am thankful to say that this was the only thing that I ever took in my
life and it was a great lesson to me. Oh, how wonderful it is to be the
Lord's! If we love and serve Him, we can have peace in our souls. We
might have many problems and troubles in this life but if we have peace
in our heart and are in contact with God, these things can't take away
our peace and we can face life. The Bible says, "Man that is born of a
woman is of few days, and full of trouble." Job 14:1. Troubles will come
to us but if we obey God's Word, we can have peace in our soul and be
ready to meet the Lord when He comes in the clouds of glory.

I do pray that all who may read this will take the key, which is the
Word of God and through obedience use it to unlock your heart and let
that Word fill your heart and life, and you will have peace. Every
longing will be satisfied as you continue to obey the Word.


The Keys to Continued Peace

When a person has confessed his sins with godly sorrow, and they are all
under the blood of Jesus that was shed on the cross, he is "born again"
and has become a new creature in Christ Jesus. (II Cor. 5:17). How
precious it is to know that "old things are passed away" and "all things
are become new!" His wrongs have been made right, as far as possible,
and according to his knowledge. Then he needs to walk in this kind of
way and life. It takes some watching and praying to keep the peace in
the soul that God has given. Only through the power of the Holy Spirit
can one continue in contact with God. After a person has fully
surrendered himself to the Lord and has the cleansing work of the Holy
Spirit in his soul, he is equipped to go forth and fight the devil who
goes around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. (1 Pet.
5:8). The devil is no respector of persons. He is more than a match for
the child of God but when the child of God seeks grace and help from
God, the devil has to flee. He now needs to know how to face the devil,
so he can be "more than a conqueror through Christ Jesus."

We read in James 4:6-8 that first, we need to know that God gives grace
or help to the humble. We need to humbly realize our need of God's help.
Then we are to submit ourselves to God, draw close to God and "he will
draw nigh to you." Every step we take toward God, He will take one
toward us. After we are in the will of God and have implored His help,
we can then, in the name of Jesus, "Resist the devil, and he will flee
from you." One brother said he talked to the devil just like he did to
his dog. He said, "Get out of here!" The devil had to pack his bags and
leave.

When a person is saved, one of the first things the devil tells him is
that he isn't saved. This is a famous trick of Satan and it's sad to
say, that he uses it over and over and it has worked on many souls. We
need not be "ignorant of his devices." It's a pretty sure fact that you
are saved or the devil would not bother about you. So don't let that
trouble you, but "resist the devil," or he will take your peace.

Prayer is another thing we must do to keep our peace. God knows what we
need before we ask Him, but His plan is for us to ask. Prayer is not
just always asking God for something, but it's a means of fellowship
with God. It's a communion between God and us that brings love, joy,
peace, comfort and all that we need. It's a heart to heart talk to God.
In prayer we tell our Lord and Saviour of our great love for Him. In
prayer we never cease to praise Him for dying on the cross and taking
our punishment for our sins. In prayer we, so to speak, just lift our
hearts and minds up into that heavenly realm and we touch heaven. A
thrill of heavenly love flows from God down into the very depths of our
inner being. Power, strength and grace is given, and with a deep inner
joy we go forth and face the world. Others might wonder how we can have
the courage to face the hard things, but it's because of grace gained
through prayer. Prayer should never be neglected or we will feel our
peace slipping away.

Prayer can be a groan, a sigh, a dropping of a tear, a smile, an inner
praise going up to God, laughter in the spirit, or an inward or audible
"praise the Lord!" Prayer is the sincere desire of the heart or an
attitude of the heart. Surely we can "pray without ceasing," as we keep
a heart full of love for our Lord and a feeling of utter dependence upon
Him. In living in this way, our peace will be abounding.

Another foe we must watch is self. Often it has been said that we must
die out to self, but it goes deeper than just saying it. Self longs to
live, but it must be crucified. We must remember that "ye are not your
own, for ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body,
and in your spirit, which are God's." I Cor. 6:19,20. If we belong to
God then we do not belong to ourselves. We must be aware of the fact
that self will make many concessions to live. Self sometimes will allow
its owner to do many sacrificial deeds if it can live. It will even bear
hard things, but it must go. Self must be crucified. We must die to good
deeds, and to bad deeds, successes, failures, exaltations, humiliation,


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Online LibraryA. Marie MilesThe Key to Peace → online text (page 2 of 3)