Spiritual Warfare

30 Oct , 2019  

A Sermon on Resisting Temptation

How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low!

You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God. I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north;

I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ But you are brought down to Sheol, to the far reaches of the pit.

Those who see you will stare at you and ponder over you: ‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms, who made the world like a desert and overthrew its cities, who did not let his prisoners go home?’

All the kings of the nations lie in glory, each in his own tomb; but you are cast out, away from your grave, like a loathed branch, clothed with the slain, those pierced by the sword, who go down to the stones of the pit, like a dead body trampled underfoot.

You will not be joined with them in burial, because you have destroyed your land, you have slain your people.” (Isaiah 14-12-20)


And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” (The Revelation 12:7-9)

We are in a Spiritual War

We are in a war, but believers in America are only vaguely aware of that fact. They are like the Londoner’s in WWII.

“The first German attack on London actually occurred by accident. On the night of August 24, 1940, Luftwaffe bombers aiming for military targets on the outskirts of London drifted off course and instead dropped their bombs on the center of London destroying several homes and killing civilians.”

“Beginning on September 7, 1940, and for a total of 57 consecutive nights, London was bombed. The decision to wage a massive bombing campaign against London and other English cities would prove to be one of the most fateful of the war.” “During the nightly bombing raids on London, people took shelter in warehouse basements and underground (subway) stations where they slept on makeshift beds amid primitive conditions with no privacy and poor sanitation facilities.”

“Hitler’s intention was to break the morale of the British people so that they would pressure Churchill into negotiating. However, the bombing had the opposite effect, bringing the English people together to face a common enemy. Encouraged by Churchill’s frequent public appearances and radio speeches, the people became determined to hold out indefinitely against the Nazi onslaught. “Business as usual,” could be seen everywhere written in chalk on boarded-up shop windows.” (World War II in Europe: The Blitz, The History Place)

Yes, brothers and sisters we are under attack. It is usually a sneak attack, but never a mistake. It is always intentional. Our enemy’s purpose is to disrupt, to dissuade and to discourage.

The Spiritual War Continues

Hal Lindsey wrote the book Satan Is Alive and Well, and Dwelling on Planet Earth. He pointed out that in modern, scientific America, the educated and sophisticated laugh at belief in a real devil. They couldn’t be more wrong. It has been a very successful ploy of the enemy of our souls to convince us that he is not real, that “the Devil made me do it,’ is a bogus excuse for heinous behavior.

As Christian believers, we believe what the Bible teaches. That evil one has a negative place throughout the Bible. He appears in Genesis 3 as the tempting, lying serpent and in The Revelation as the great dragon, the old serpent, called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world.

Make no mistake! That evil spirit is ever with us – unbelievers and believers alike.

God has Already Won the Battle!

But GOD! I love that phrase! The evil one, the enemy of our souls is a very powerful being. Far more powerful than any one of us, and even more than all of us. We must take his power seriously,

But GOD! Jeshuah ha Mashiach proved the method to defend against his temptations – “It is written!”

But GOD! Our Savior not only gives us defense, but He, our Lord God, has utterly defeated the enemy of our souls when He died for us, the atoning sacrifice for our sin, and then in his Resurrection utterly destroyed the hold of death upon believers! He gave us authority over the enemy and all his demons.

Encountering Temptation

God made Adam’s and Eve’s life simple.

And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (Genesis 2:16-17)

The enemy did not make Adam angry with Eve. He did not tempt the two of them to lie or cheat one another. He sowed a little doubt,

“Has God said …?” “You will not die if you eat it, the fruit is not poison!”

Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field that the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat of any tree in the garden?'”  (Genesis 3:2)

He was right, and Eve in surrendering to his temptation did not die … physically; but she, and later Adam, died spiritually!

There were three temptations:

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.  (Genesis 3:6)

John defined them in his first epistle (1 John 2:16)

  • The lust of the flesh – “good for food”
  • The lust of the eyes – “pleasant to the eyes”
  • The pride of life – “to be desired to make one wise”

Temptations the enemy laid on Jesus (Luke 4:3-13)

  • Command this stone to be made bread – lust of the flesh
  • Worship me and I will give you all the world – lust of the eyes
  • Throw yourself off the pinnacle of the temple – pride of life

Scripture says,

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.  (Ephesians 6:12)

It is true that our enemies are not people; but they are the forces and the demons that are operating in the flesh and blood that we must confront.

Tempted by the Devil

In our own lives we wrestle against the World, the Flesh and the Devil!

First, we look at the enemy of our souls – the Devil.

“as the great dragon, the old serpent, called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world”.  (The Revelation 12:9)

Actually, he is the easiest to defeat. He has no power against Jeshua (Jesus), nor against believers, who are living in the power of the Holy Spirit. Jeshua said, He is sending the Holy Spirit to us.

And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.  (Luke 24:49)

James taught,

But he gives more grace. Therefore, it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.   (James 4:6-8)

Peter warned,

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.  (1 Peter 5:8)

Authoritative command in the name of Jeshua (Jesus) sends the enemy of our souls packing.

Tempted by the World

Second, we live in the World. The world persistently pressures us to conform to the lowest common denominator. Those worldly ones do not like non-conformists. They like those who are worse than they are, so they can assuage their consciences with, “See, I’m not as bad as she (or he) is!”

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.  (Romans 12:2)

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,   (Philippians 2:5)

The world, is not us, so we have that advantage. Further, we have been redeemed. That puts a separation between us and the world. We can always come back to Jeshua, “I belong to You, my Lord. I do not belong to the world.

Tempted by the Flesh

Third, the hardest battle is with our own flesh. It is material, but not spiritual. It has appetites that must be satisfied, but not indulged. It takes both willpower and “WON’T POWER”.

Paul put up a fierce struggle against both what his flesh insisted on doing and what his flesh fiercely resisted doing.

“For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.

So, I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?”   (Romans 7:15-24)

The flesh belongs to us, so, in this life, there can be no actual separation. The flesh must be disciplined into submission to our born-again spirits. When our flesh is undisciplined it leads to all manner of evil.

The Children of Israel submitted to fleshly fears put upon them time after time by the enemy.

  • They feared running out of water
  • They feared running out of food
  • They got sick of God’s miraculously supplied manna and demanded flesh
  • They questioned Moses’ authority
  • The questioned Aaron’s authority
  • Aaron and Miriam questioned Moses’ authority
  • The young men fornicated with wanton Moabite women, who led them into idolatry
  • They feared the Giants in the Land of Promise and refused to go in

If your spirits are surrendered to Jeshua, they are built up and become strong, both to keep our flesh under control, and to stand fast against the influence of the evil one and his demons.

God Loves You and Keeps You from Temptation

Saul the Benjaminite was God’s choice to be the king of Israel. The prophet-priest Samuel anointed him and by lot the People chose him. He began to reign under God’s favor. Tragically, he allowed his flesh to dictate. First when Saul was preparing for battle, he called Samuel to make a propitiating sacrifice to seek God’s favor in the battle. When Samuel was delayed, Saul usurped the priest’s role and sacrificed the lamb.

Later when God pronounced a ban on the Amalekites consigning every man, woman and child and all their animals to be killed off, king Saul disobeyed, He saved alive their king and the choicest animals. These sins opened a passage for the enemy of our souls to insert a demon who plagued Saul.

David’s music soothed Saul, because David played his music, not to entertain the king, but to glorify God. David’s godly influence was enough to keep Saul from wholly surrendering to the demon, until Saul, motivated by the demon sought to kill David.

David, a man after God’s heart, also opened a passage for the enemy by his sin with Bathsheba, which began with adultery, and proceeded through deceit, and conspiracy, to murder.

But GOD! David’s heart was so tender toward God that when he was confronted by Nathan, he immediately acknowledged his sin and sought forgiveness.

For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.   (Psalms 51:3-4)

His turning to God in repentance blessed God and by grace He covered David’s sin and sealed the passage that sin had opened. That excluded any demonic influence.

Jesus Took the Blame and Punishment

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These two examples, one negative and one positive, speak to us today. Brothers and sisters, Isaiah in the Song of the Suffering Servant declared the tragic truth,

But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.  (Isaiah 53:5-6)

Yes, Jeshua has borne our transgressions, but the tragic point is that we, each one of us has violated God’s will in our lives. Each one of us has in one way or others, sinned against the righteousness of our Righteous Father, burdened His Son, and offended the Holy Spirit.

Yes, we have the blood of Christ to cleanse us. Nevertheless, Paul that great Old Testament scholar, has this to say to us today,

What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?  (Romans 6:1-2).

Yes, God forbid that we in our respectability and our Christian maturity countenance sin in our lives, because we know Jesus blood cleanses us. That is a subterfuge of the enemy of our souls. Look in the mirror of Jeshua! See how your life stands up to His reflection. Be not kind to yourselves. Do not be a Saul who decides that some of these are too good to sacrifice.

Let me remind you of another of Paul’s teachings,

But that is not the way you learned Christ!— assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labor, doing honest work with his own hands, so that he may have something to share with anyone in need. Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.  (Ephesians 4:20-32)

Stand Fast in God’s Liberty

My sisters and my brothers I adjure you (and Myself!) to pray these appeals of David, the man after God’s own heart:

Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!  (Psalms 139:23-24)

In this way you will keep honest before God and you will close up those passageways of sin to prevent the enemy of your souls from making inroads into your soul.

Stand fast in the liberty where with God has made you free.

Please pray with me

My Lord and my God I appeal to you on behalf of these, your wonderful children. Have mercy on them for any besetting sins that have become so common they seem to be natural. Holy Spirit convince us all of the sins we have harbored because they are so much a part of our nature. Give us the awareness of anything in our lives that makes You uncomfortable, since You have taken up Your abode in our spirits.

Jeshuah ha Meshach, You have made us victors in this life, because You have won the victory over sin, death and Satan, and have turned that victory over to us. Grant us grace to live in that victory and to reflect Your Shekinah to all we contact, sharing the love and joy You have given us through Your dwelling in us.


The Lord our God be with us, as he was with our fathers: let him not leave us, nor forsake us:

That he may incline our hearts unto him, to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and his statutes, and his judgments, which he commanded our fathers.   (1 Kings 8:57-58)



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Be Ready, For You Know Not When

14 Oct , 2019  

Stoning of Saint Stephen by Giovanni Battista Lucini


October 13, 2019

The Story of Stephen

And Stephen, full of grace and power, was doing great wonders and signs among the people. Then some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), and of the Cyrenians, and of the Alexandrians, and of those from Cilicia and Asia, rose up and disputed with Stephen. But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking. Then they secretly instigated men who said, “We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God.” And they stirred up the people and the elders and the scribes, and they came upon him and seized him and brought him before the council, and they set up false witnesses who said, “This man never ceases to speak words against this holy place and the law, for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and will change the customs that Moses delivered to us.” And gazing at him, all who sat in the council saw that his face was like the face of an angel.”

And the high priest said, “Are these things so?” And Stephen said:

Brothers and fathers, hear me. The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he lived in Haran,”

You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you. Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whom you have now betrayed and murdered, you who received the law as delivered by angels and did not keep it.”

Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth at him. But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together at him. Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.”   (Acts 6:8 – 7:2 & 7:51-60)

Hearing the Gospel

Pastor James Corban was called to a small-town church. After the first several Sundays, he noticed that one man, an Elder, who sat in the back would get up and leave about two-thirds of the way through the sermon. Just when, in his sermon, he would get to applying the teaching to their lives, the Elder would walk out.

Pastor James met him on the street one day. “Hello, Mr. Smithers, do you have time for a cup of coffee and a visit to get acquainted?’

“Sure, Preacher.”

The conversed for several minutes, until Pastor James thought it appropriate to ask, “I have noticed that you leave the church every Sunday before I finish my sermon. Do you have to get home to do chores?”

“Naw, Preacher. I jist leave when yah stop preachin’ ‘n’ start meddlin’.”

Controversy at the Start of Christianity

There was a controversy in the early months of the newly constituted Christian Church. The Gentile widows were not receiving a just share out of the contributions. To resolve the concern the Disciples, prompted by Peter, chose seven men to administer the contributions. Their credentials were “honest report, full of the Holy Ghost, and wisdom”.

The Holy Spirit was not content to leave these men “serving tables”. Luke details two who were especially active in broader ministries. The Holy Spirit led Phillip to Samaria, where his preaching of Jesus created such a spiritual awakening that Peter and John went up to investigate. They found Phillip’s ministry was genuine, but not complete. He had not introduced the Samaritans to the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. The two Disciples completed the ministry by laying their hands on the Samaritans and praying for the release of the Holy Spirit. They encouraged the Samaritans to completely surrender to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to have free reign in their hearts.

After Phillip’s successful ministry in Samaria, the Holy Spirit sent him to the Ethiopian Eunuch near Gaza on the Mediterranean coast. There Phillip to delivered the truth of Christ to him more completely. Next, the Holy Spirit sent Phillip to evangelize each town, north along the coast to Caesarea.

Stephen, another of the Deacons, was going about Jerusalem doing the works of God. He was blessing the people with the good news of the Gospel and healing the sick. As people expressed to him their gratitude, I suppose Stephen had said things like, “In the name of Jesus, get up and walk,” or “Don’t thank me. It was Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah, who did this for you.”

You never know who is watching and listening. It was several years ago, that I was up in my, large, front yard fir tree stringing Christmas lights. Our neighbor teen stopped at the corner of our property with her friend. Their conversation was within earshot, so I could easily hear all they said. So, from out of the branches, I said, “Be careful what you say. You never know who is listening.” They jumped and searched around but saw no one. I greeted her again. Only then she saw me up in the branches.

In Stephen’s case it was members of the Synagogue of the Libertines that were listening. Stephen was offending no one. He was blessing many. Nevertheless, he was violently set upon by the Synagogue of the Libertines. They were a gathering of Greek-speaking Gentiles, formerly slaves from foreign lands, who had adopted Judaism. Because they were Gentiles, they could not go to a local synagogue, so a synagogue had been established for them alone.

Often proselytes are more zealous for the faith they have just adopted, than those raised in the faith. These fiercely held onto the Law and Jewish practices.

Hearing in Stephen’s preaching something that differed from the doctrine they were learning, they argued sharply with Stephen. The Libertines accosted Stephen and accused him of teaching false doctrine. The proselytes heard Stephen preaching “another Gospel”, testifying that Jesus was the Messiah and more, He was God. The libertines came unglued. They could not best Stephen’s arguments, and that frustrated them! They became infuriated!

Stephen, however, was raised as a Jew and had a thorough grasp of the Scriptures. More importantly, he was empowered by the Holy Spirit. Stephen was able to thwart all their arguments. The Libertines could not win by their understanding of Scripture, so they cheated. They turned to deceit and perjury. Those frustrated proselytes spread false accusations against Stephen of blasphemy.

When they realized he continued to best them out of Scripture, they hauled Stephen before the authorities and testified falsely to convince the Elders that Stephen was a heretic and should be stoned. Suddenly, without any preparation, Stephen was standing before the Council and the High Priest. “Are these charges true?” the High Priest demanded of Stephen.

Jesus taught us,

But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name’s sake. This will be your opportunity to bear witness. Settle it therefore in your minds not to meditate beforehand how to answer, for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict.   (Luke 21:12-15)

As Stephen was thrust into the council chamber, he felt the power of the Holy Spirit come upon him. Luke records what the council members saw,

“And gazing at him, all who sat in the council saw that his face was like the face of an angel.” (Acts 6:15)

The light in his face was the Shekinah of Almighty God. Every word he said was prompted by the Holy Spirit.

“And the high priest said, “Are these things so?”

Stephen did not have to meditate. He did not have to grab a scroll to read the passages of holy writ. The Holy Spirit drew upon the resources that Stephen had stored up over the years of his Bar Mitzvah studies and study since salvation.

When asked to defend himself, Stephen began a thumbnail history of the Jews, including Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph and Moses. He touched the burning bush and the exodus. Then Stephen emphasized that Moses prophesied of a mighty prophet, the Messiah that would arise in the latter days. Then he moved on to David and Solomon’s construction of the Temple.

Finally, he editorialized. Then he “stopped preachin’ and started meddlin’,”

“You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you. Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whom you have now betrayed and murdered, you who received the law as delivered by angels and did not keep it.”  (Acts 7:51-53)

Those were not words of a peeved Stephen. They were the Judgment of the righteous God, the Holy Spirit.

That did it! Those unsaved Jews were convicted, but in rebellion against their own consciences they refused to hear any more. “They stopped their ears”! In mob fury they seized Stephen, dragged him out and stoned him.

Cultural Challenges for Christians

We are entering – have entered – a new social environment. When we grew up, an atheist was a rare thing. Most everyone went to church, but those who didn’t had no resentment toward those who did study the Bible and sought to live by their Christian principles.

Not so much, today. Christians all over our nation are being sued for living out their Christianity. The vociferous unbelievers are attacking Christians for refusing to adopt the mores of the culture. More and more we are living in an environment hostile to Christian morality and Christians.

But it is not only in government confrontations that we are challenged for our faith. Even in otherwise normal conversations, as we allow our faith to show, non-believers will ask for the reason for our stance of faith, which in this culture, appears to be aberrant.

Peter teaches us,

 … but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,” (1 Peter 3:15)

We are all getting older. Sickness is the lot of the aged. Despite limitations and pain and sickness, we need to keep our faith. We need to be able to cheerfully live out our faith in the presence of unbelieving caretakers. Evidencing the reason for our hope in the face of belying circumstances.

Peter makes several points here

  • Honor Christ – We are children of God. He has demeaned Himself to become an ongoing part of our lives, and we owe him our gratitude and obedience
  • Be Prepared – Know the scriptures, know your Saviour
  • Make a defense – Know what God teaches us in His Word
  • Be certain of why you believe that Jesus is God;
  • That it is faith in Christ alone that gives you the welcome into eternal life of blessedness with God.
  • That your sin would keep you out if not for Blood of Jesus
  • That the Holy Spirit is at work in you “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus made me free from the law of sin and of death.” (Romans 8:2)
  • Anyone who asks – Look for God’s appointments. You will encounter questions that indicate an opportunity wide enough to drive a truck through
  • Reason for your hope – our faith is not only spiritual, but also intellectually sound. Each believer has experiences with Jesus, initially and as we spend time each day with Him.
  • Gentleness – We feel strongly about our faith. When opposed, we are likely to get intense. We can easily become abrasive. We must seek the mildness Jesus had when He was opposed.
  • Respect – never take away another’s dignity. Jesus treated as worthy individuals the vast numbers of those who came to Him. If for no other reason, since every person is God’s creation, we must treat others with respect, never demeaning them or discounting them.

Preparing to Make a Good Report of Faith

How to prepare:

  • Seek God’s Power through being filled by the Holy Spirit
  • Recognize that we live in a society that seeks to force us to deny our faith. We must have that power that only the Holy Spirit, living in us, can exert. In His power we can respond.
  • Build up your relationship with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, by spending “quality time” with God. Pray and praise at some designated time each day. Pray often through the day. Paul encourages us to “pray without ceasing”. Spend more time in praising and in adoration than in petition.
  • Accept the reality that any one of us or each one of us may be required to publicly take a stand for Jesus or to deny our Lord.
  • Prepare by steeping your mind in the Scriptures:
    • Read the Bible daily
    • Study – check cross references. Study parallel passages as He directs. Listen to the Holy Spirit. Expect Him to give you rhemas, which are personal revelations out of the passages you read. Take notes.
    • Inwardly digest – make the passage your own by seeing how it fits into your life
    • Memorize – commit verses and short passages to memory. Rehearse them to others. From the bank of Scripture, you have stored in your mind, the Holy Spirit will draw upon when it is needed.
  • No one is immature in Christ.

“Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.” But the Lordsaid to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the Lord.” Then the Lord put out his hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said to me, “Behold, I have put my words in your mouth.” (Jeremiah 1:6-9)

  • Take seriously the call to prepare

“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)

  • Embark on an intentional plan to improve your delivery. Make it a part of your devotions. Give a block of time to polish your testimony. Memorize Scripture, discuss your delivery with mature believers.
  • Finally, pray for the House of God. Pray for one another, because you are your brother’s and your sister’s keepers. We are members one of another. We are individual parts of the Body of Christ.

“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow; but woe to him that is alone when he falleth, and hath not another to lift him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have warmth; but how can one be warm alone? And if a man prevail against him that is alone, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)

Pray with me:

God of our fathers, You brought forth this land conceived in liberty that comes from You. Father, You raised up men who believed in Jesus as God, LORD and Savior. They set this nation on a godly track. We are their heirs, so we need Your Spirit to be active in our lives so we can do our part in preserving America as a godly nation. Give us holy boldness to speak the name of Jesus aloud before the world. Give us grace to declare Your warm truths to a nation grown spiritually cold.

We honor You by depending completely upon Your Spirit both in times when we are confronted by a hostile world, and in times of peace in the normal humdrum of life when a question of faith comes out of the blue. Do not allow our love to be suppressed by either retaliatory anger or complacency. Keep us humbly dependent upon our Savior for peace in the midst of chaotic fury, as well as, an active spirit in the doldrums of life.

Most of all, never allow us to grow cold in our adoration of You, our Majestic, Gracious and Loving Father.



May God …

“grant you, according to the riches of his glory, that ye may be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inward man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; to the end that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be strong to apprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge, that ye may be filled unto all the fullness of God.”  (Ephesians 3:16-19)

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Glad Tidings

The Ol’ Time Religion

7 Oct , 2019  

GT—Volume 16 Issue 10

Music as Praise to God

A Christian radio station in our area advertises that it is the source for classic Christian music. Then it raises the question of veracity by playing the recent upbeat gospel music (unknown by us ‘ol’ fogies) and the 7/11 gospel, i.e. seven words repeated eleven times.

I hasten to state that I am not dismissing all the modern Christian music. There is much that leads me (us) to rejoice in Christ. Much is a fresh sound that has an emotional appeal.

But I still prefer the traditional hymns of the Church. They are time-tested and have a clear statement of the Gospel. We can zero in on the words and be led to the “Throne of Grace”.

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.   (Hebrews 4:16)

Many are statements of our position in Christ. Many are clear glorification of our Masterful and Majestic Lord and God.

Jesus admonished the Church at Ephesus:

But I have this against thee, that thou didst leave thy first love.  Remember therefore whence thou art fallen, and repent and do the first works; or else I come to thee, and will move thy candlestick out of its place, except thou repent.  (The Revelation 2:4-5)

The Hymns that have been written over the last several centuries were written by those who understood the truth of the human condition and the Truth of the Gospel, variously expressed in creative poetry. Their words have been matched with grand music. The vast majority are set so they are easily sung by congregations. This makes for body worship, with each person offering her or his heart in the music to our Lord.  dove-vector-clipart

Hymn Writing and Singing

Praise To The Lord, The Almighty

Praise to the Lord, the almighty, the King of creation; O my soul, praise him, for he is thy health and salvation: All ye who hear, now to his temple draw near, Joining in glad adoration.

Praise to the Lord, who o’er all things so wondrously reigneth, Shelters thee under His wings, yea so gently sustaineth: Hast thou not seen How thy desires er’ have been Granted in what he ordaineth?

Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy work and defend thee; Surely his goodness and mercy here daily attend thee: Ponder anew What the Almighty can do, If to the end he befriend thee.

Praise to the Lord! O let all that is in me adore him!  All that hath life and breath, come now with praises before him!  Let the Amen sound from his people again:

Gladly for ay we adore him.

For the believer, praise of God is a natural outcome of the truth of what He has done in, to and through us. First in this hymn we acknowledge God’s sovereignty over all Creation. We acknowledge that it is from the loving God that our salvation comes. Implicitly we are witnessing to the sacrificial death of the Son of God so that we can live eternally. We affirm that in Jesus is the source of our health and continuing life. Then, we reach out in evangelism to invite all within the sound of our voices to adore the One true God with us.

Next in song, we affirm His eternal loving care – physically while we are in this life; and then throughout eternity in His glorious Presence. The third verse declares God’s omnipresence; living and working in and with us. It affirms the magnificent promise of His friendship. The closing verse exhorts all people (and animals) to join in the glad chorus of praise, because we all ought to adore Him.

Spirit of God, Descend On My Heart

Spirit of God, descend upon my heart;
Wean it from earth; through all its pulses move.
Stoop to my weakness, mighty as Thou art,
And make me love Thee as I ought to love.

Hast Thou not bid me love Thee, God and King?
All, all Thine own, soul, heart and strength and mind.
I see Thy cross; there teach my heart to cling:
Oh, let me seek Thee, and, oh, let me find!

Teach me to feel that Thou art always nigh;
Teach me the struggles of the soul to bear,
To check the rising doubt, the rebel sigh;
Teach me the patience of unanswered prayer.

I ask no dream, no prophet ecstasies,
No sudden rending of the veil of clay,
No angel visitant, no opening skies:
But take the dimness of my soul away.

Teach me to love Thee as Thine angels love,
One holy passion filling all my frame;
The baptism of the heaven descended Dove:
My heart an altar, and Thy love the flame.

This Hymn is addressed to the Holy Spirit, calling for His presence. We know that we are weak and fickle and easily led astray, so we call upon God’s mighty Spirit to make us love God properly. We acknowledge the Old Testament affirmation that we are to love God with all our heart, mind and strength.

We affirm that we are not seeking some mighty miracle, but only to see Jesus more clearly in the midst of a hectic, fallen world.

Then we address the Holy Spirit directly to appeal to Him to make Himself known to us in the midst of the hurly-burly of this material life, thus keeping us from temptation, impatience and discouragement.

The final plea is to teach us to love God with a heavenly mindset; to be single-minded in our devotion. We cry out for the Baptism in the Holy Spirit to empower our faith so that we can love our Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit with a sacrificial love that is all consuming, like the flame that consumes the sacrificial victim on the altar.

My Jesus, I Love Thee

My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine;
For Thee all the follies of sin I resign.
My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art Thou;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

I love Thee because Thou has first loved me,
And purchased my pardon on Calvary’s tree.
I love Thee for wearing the thorns on Thy brow;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

I’ll love Thee in life, I will love Thee in death,
And praise Thee as long as Thou lendest me breath;
And say when the death dew lies cold on my brow,
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

In mansions of glory and endless delight,
I’ll ever adore Thee in heaven so bright;
I’ll sing with the glittering crown on my brow;
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now.

In this hymn we express out faithful love for Jesus throughout our lives, from the moment of salvation, when we first become aware that our sin is displeasing to our Farther. The result for the righteous is to seek to eliminate sin from our lives. The reason is in the second stanza – Jesus first loved us and sacrificed everything for us in His accepting the nails, the thorns, and death for us and for our salvation.

We assert that our love will be faithful throughout our lives and even when we face that dread last enemy – death. Even then, we will love our Savior.

We look forward to our translation into God’s eternal glory where, standing before His throne we will have been completely cleansed and rid of sin and have received our unmerited rewards.  In that eternal moment we will love our God unrestrained, completely.

Joy To The World!

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!  Let earth receive her King; Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing, And Heaven and nature sing, And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.

Joy to the world, the Savior reigns!  Let men their songs employ; While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy, Repeat the sounding joy, Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow, Nor thorns infest the ground; He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found, Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace, And makes the nations prove The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love, And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.

Here is unrestrained music to glorify God. Angels announced the birth of King Jesus; the heavens rang with the song, “Glory to God in the Highest!” Jesus is not only the King of the Jews and of redeemed believers from all ethnicity, but, in fact, he was slated to reign over the fallen world, as well. So, joy indeed to the world! This being true, the admonition is that every heart of man should prepare to receive the King of kings.

He is also the Savior. He has come to redeem mankind from sin. He has also come to remake the world in the process of God’s time. It will be perfect as it was before the Fall of Man corrupted God’s Creation. Therefore, all the animals, plants and minerals join in the resounding joy.

King and Savior means that sins and sorrows can cease. We can enter into His creative work in the world, setting aside our sin, because of Christ’s redemption; we can throw off sorrow, knowing that this is but a temporary affliction, because Jesus is triumphant over all!

His rule will establish truth as the outstanding element of our lives. His grace will overflow the governments of the world and they will operate to prove that His righteousness will be predominant and universal.  dove-vector-clipart

Music to Soothe the Savage Breast

“Music has charms to sooth a savage breast,” (Poet William Congreve, in The Mourning Bride, 1697: ACT I. SCENE I.)

King David established courses of musicians and choirs to ensure that the House of God (first the Tabernacle of David and then in the Temple when it was completed). They played in their courses on a rotating plan that had music on the sanctuary 24 hours a day.

“And David spake to the chief of the Levites to appoint their brethren the singers, with instruments of music, psalteries and harps and cymbals, sounding aloud and lifting up the voice with joy.”  (1 Chronicles 15:16)

“So the singers, Heman, Asaph, and Ethan, were appointed, with cymbals of brass to sound aloud; and Zechariah, and Aziel, and Shemiramoth, and Jehiel, and Unni, and Eliab, and Maaseiah, and Benaiah, with psalteries set to Alamoth; and Mattithiah, and Eliphelehu, and Mikneiah, and Obed-edom, and Jeiel, and Azaziah, with harps set to the Sheminith, to lead.  And Chenaniah, chief of the Levites, was over the song: he instructed about the song, because he was skilful.”  (1 Chronicles 15:19-22)

“And David was clothed with a robe of fine linen, and all the Levites that bare the ark, and the singers, and Chenaniah the master of the song with the singers: and David had upon him an ephod of linen.  Thus all Israel brought up the ark of the covenant of Jehovah with shouting, and with sound of the cornet, and with trumpets, and with cymbals, sounding aloud with psalteries and harps.”  (1 Chronicles 15: 27-28).

Apparently, God enjoys music. He enjoys it soft and sweet. He also enjoys it loud and brash. What He does not enjoy is self-serving music that is performance for the sake of glorifying the performer. Unhappily that is much of the modern church music.

The role of all in the worship service is to glorify God, and then to be open for God to edify each one worshiping. If the music enhances those two purposes, then it is truly a worthy worship experience. If instead, the music is to gin up emotion so that the performer has a gratifying time and the people have an emotionally good time, but without the heart connection with Jesus, then it is an idolatrous performance.

I have been in churches where the music group was “cookin’’”, but the people in the congregation were only singing the words with no indication that they were in touch with Jesus. I have been worshiping in churches where I had to worship in spite of the music. I have struggled under the performance artists who have no sense of being an accompanist to the worship of the congregation. Instead they were the professional performer, expecting the congregation to follow along.

Music as Worship of God

Music in worship is a blessing to God. His desire is to have all His children in unity and glorifying Him. That is where the sacred hymns have a decided advantage. Their words and music are uplifting and they are food to our spirits. There are numerous new songs that are enhancing to worship as well. Those old composers were reliably mature in the spirit as well as gifted. They capture the truths of God’s Word and our lives in Christ. When all who have come to worship our Great God sing those kinds of hymns and songs, we are ministering and being ministered to in the sense of.

And be not drunken with wine, wherein is riot, but be filled with the Spirit; speaking one to another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord; giving thanks always for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father; subjecting yourselves one to another in the fear of Christ.” (Ephesians 5:18-21)

It is an old truth, and I do not believe it becomes trite by often repeating it: God loves us and wants the best for us. He said via Jeremiah,

“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith Jehovah, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you hope in your latter end.” (Jeremiah 29:11).

He gives us the best music to worship Him. That is why Christianity has such a plethora of beautiful, spiritually uplifting music. No other religion has such a developed theology sung regularly by congregations gathering to worship.

Buy a good one, if you do not have one. I recommend “Hymns for the Family of God” by Paragon Associates, Inc. Nashville

May I suggest that you open the hymn books you have at home and include singing a hymn or two in your regular family worship (even the choruses to hymns can enhance family and personal worship.).

Paul tells us to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17) It is not a corruption to say “worship without ceasing”.  You can incorporate singing of hymns in your worship, while walking through this fallen world. God loves to have you close to Him.  He loves to have you holding Him central, as you deal with the vicissitudes of life.  Worshipping with the family of God is vital, but living daily in the Presence of God by worshiping and praying as an ongoing practice becomes an undergirding foundation that carries you through the attacks, failures, griefs that occur to all of us.  We find, in Christ’ Presence, great joy that cannot be diminished.

I will sing unto Jehovah as long as I live: I will sing  praise to my God while I have any being.” (Psalms 104:33)

God loves His children.  He demonstrated great love in giving us His Son to save us.  He truly wants to spend time with us.  So, He is with us every minute.  To make life fully satisfying, we need to be with him.  That is what our Father longs for,too.  He has placed that reality in our future.  We don’t have to wait until we enter His Presence through death’s door.  We can enjoy His Presence every Day!  Sing to His glory the Hymns of faith.  dove-vector-clipart

Questions Demanding Answers

This is a recurring feature. I pose a question in one issue. You have the opportunity to send me answers. I publish the best ones in the next issue. Please cite Biblical authority, and keep you answer within 250 words.

QUESTION: How can the Holy Spirit dwell in us?

ANSWER: We tell little children to ask Jesus to come into their hearts. One of the questions they ask is, “How can a big, grownup man fit inside me?” They do not have the concept of immaterial spirit. The Holy Spirit, being Spirit, easily “fits” in the hearts of believers. Jesus breathed on His Disciples the evening of the first day of the week and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

As God breathed life into Adam (Genesis 2:7), just so Jesus breathed the living Spirit into the Disciples (and us). That was (and is) not only the regeneration of the dead spirits within us, but it was (and is) the imparting of the Holy Spirit to believers.

That is how the Holy Spirit “gets here”. That raises another question, “What makes the Holy Spirit stay?” We are sinners. When we are born again, we are regenerated. Our sins are forgiven, but we do, in fact, continue to sin. Why is not the Holy Spirit revolted by each sin we commit after our salvation? Why does He not fly away? We give Him many reasons each day to abandon us. Why does He stay?

Because the Holy Spirit is God’s guaranty that we are saved. Paul taught,

… to the end that we should be unto the praise of his glory, we who had before hoped in Christ: in whom ye also, having heard the word of the truth, the gospel of your salvation,—in whom, having also believed, ye were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, which is an earnest of our inheritance, unto the redemption of God’s own possession, unto the praise of his glory.   (Ephesians 5:12-14).

In God’s economy, Christ’s blood covers our sin and Jesus has clothed us in His righteousness; therefore, we are an acceptable home for the Holy Spirit.

The Spirit of God is omnipresent.  He is everywhere all at once, all the time.  He is actively present and available to every believer

Those who acknowledge His presence and defer to Him, are constantly in communication with God the Father.  Any believer can open her or his heart for the Baptism in the Holy Spirit as John the Baptist taught and Jesus taught:

John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but there cometh he that is mightier than I, the latchet of whose shoes I am not [a]worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you [b]in the Holy Spirit and in fire:” (Luke 3:16)

“But ye shall receive power, when the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and ye shall be my witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea and Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)

The Holy Spirit’s power transformed the Disciples from frightened believers in Jesus to courageous proclaimers of God’s truths in Christ.  That same power is available to each believer who is willing to receive.

QUESTION:  What does it mean to be a saint?

The Holy of Holies

Join me in bowing before our God in gratitude that we can speak directly and personally to Him. He is our loving Father, so we can embrace Him boldly, but respectfully.

Holy Spirit, God divine, reveal to me Who and what You are.  Teach me about Jesus and reveal to me truths that I have not seen in times past.  You are the Wisdom of God.  Grant me to know what is profitable for me.

I come to You with empty hands. I raise them in surrender to Your Majesty. Fill my mouth with Praise of Your splendor. Fill my heart with songs that will glorify You and edify my spirit.

You are the glory of all anointed servants of God. You give them power  to conquer, wisdom to adjudicate, love to embrace and help, and mercy to forgive.

I praise You for Your work in my life. You have taught me about my Savior. You have introduced me to the riches in Your Word. You have guided me in my decisions. Thank You for your manifold ministries in my life. 

I behold in Your Word the glories of the throne room of God.  I have an inkling of the Glory of our Father on His throne and of the wonders around His Presence. We have an image of our Savior, the Lamb of God. Help me to see Your Presence with the Father and the Son. Show my dull mind how You are depicted in Your vision given to brother John. 

As the author of the Book, You are not seen, just as the one who takes a photo is not in the picture. It is Your efforts in John’s heart that allowed him to reveal those images to us. Your magnificent humility holds You back from the center stage. And as the director is never on stage in a play, You are in obscurity while glorifying the Father and the Son.

In Your self-effacing stance, You teach us to be brothers and sisters, always lifting up others into the spotlight, while quietly working the works of our Father. Give me the shelter of obscurity to concentrate on God’s purposes and to accomplish great things that give glory only to Him. Stifle my yearning for recognition. Give me the satisfaction of my Father’s quiet approval. Let me find deep pleasure in worldly shunning, while my Father takes pleasure in my efforts on His behalf. Keep me under the shadow of Your wings in intimate relationship with You and separate from worldliness and applause.

Blessed Holy Spirit, speak to me in that still, small voice that is for me alone. Allow me the courage and the privilege of proclaiming Your Name, so that others will begin praising Your Majesty, glory and dominion over their lives! Hallelujah most magnificent God, Almighty.  Hallelujah! 



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Glad Tidings

This Amazing Machine!

17 Sep , 2019  

Photo by Chermiti Mohamed on Unsplash

GT—Volume 16 Issue 9

Our Bodies are a Marvel!

As I am creating this issue, I am typing, while at the same time I’m hearing the lovely sounds of Classical music. My ears are receiving sound waves all the time, waking or sleeping. Those invisible waves beat against our ear drums on both sides of our heads. Those vibrations are funneled into the ear by the shape of the external ear and the ear canal. As the sound waves impact the ear drum it vibrates according to the variations of the sound waves. The vibrations of the eardrum cause the three bones of the middle ear to vibrate, transferring sound energy to mechanical energy. The energy is transmitted to the cochlea, a snail-shaped, liquid-filled organ. It has hairs and nerve endings that pick up the mechanical sound waves. Pitches or the specific sound frequencies stimulate specific individual hair cells in the inner ear. Thus, certain frequencies cause specific hair cells to respond. The hair cells translate the pitches into nerve impulses. Each ear has two nerve pathways, one to the left side of the brain and one to the right side of the brain.

What all that means is that I can hear beautiful harmonies. I can distinguish strings from wind, from brass and percussion. By concentration I can hear the violin or the cello, the flute or the clarinet, the french horn or the coronet, the timpani or the snare drum and in the midst of the sound pick out the tinkle of a triangle.

But that is only the beginning. I see the letters on the keyboard and they are quite different from those on the screen. The eye distinguishes letters in both fonts.

When I glance up to look out the window, but only for a fraction of a second, I can clearly see the trees, the lawn, the patio, the side of the house with windows and a door. All in living color. All in perfect definition, not blurred by the movement of my eye – Amazing! It is the most natural thing in the world, because we have grown up with such routine actions and impressions.

But how does the eye work? It has a clear lens attached by muscles that change its shape according to what we are looking toward. If it is close work our eye compensates by muscles tightening to make the lens more round. Conversely, to focus on far away objects, the muscles relax to make the lens more flat. The iris expands to allow more light to enter the eye in dim light and contracts to reduce the impact of bright light.

The retina is at the back of the eye. The lens focuses the light that falls onto the retina, which converts light into electrical impulses. The photo-receptors, include rods and cones. Rods are sensitive to black and white, while cones distinguish colors in daylight. The image that falls in the retina is upside down. This complex, inverted image is transformed into an electric code that is transmitted by the optic nerve to the visual center of the brain. There the brain decodes electrical input into a visual image inverted to give us the “right-way-round” sight.

There are too many “systems” for us to examine in this brief exposition – the circulatory system, the cardio-pulmonary system, the nerve “tree”, the complex organ that is the skin, the skeletal system, etc.

Let’s explore one more: the digestive system. There are four main processes in digestion: ingestion, digestion, absorbsion and assimilation. The whole process after a person places food in the mouth, chews it and swallows it is controlled by the autonomic nervous system. We have no volitional control of any part after we swallow.

The mouth reduces the food by slicing and grinding. Saliva is incorporated to lubricate and begin the digestive process. This is ingestion.

Digestion occurs as ground food is swallowed into the stomach. The stomach manipulation and addition of acid further reduces food into its constituent parts, i.e. macro-nutrients (carbs, fats and proteins), and micro-nutrients (vitamins and minerals).

Absorption by the small intestine takes fluid and nutrients into the bloodstream, primarily simple sugars, salt and alcohol.

The uptake of the nutrients into cells and tissues is assimilation. The last part of assimilation is the reassembly of absorbed nutrients into complex organisms – cells, blood, organs, etc.

Remember all of this is beyond your control. Your autonomic nervous system “knows” how to do everything exactly right so that the bones receive calcium and not sugar; that the blood receives fluids and not bone-building material, that your eyes receive fluid for tears, and your ears wax and not the reverse.

We live in a fantastic machine. It is built to transport us through this material world. It is flexible, strong, reliable, and has the amazing ability to heal itself without our direction or effort. We cover a cut with a bandage to prevent contamination. The coagulation of blood seals the wound and the cells regenerate tissue that is exactly appropriate – skin, subcutaneous tissue, muscles. Break a bone and all we have to do is immobilize it and the bone knits together.  dove-vector-clipart

The Machine Transports What?

As a transport machine, this amazing Body works effectively. It carries our bodies to the table and carries fuel to our mouths. It moves us efficiently and easily around this planet’s surface. It has the ability to interact with others in both friendly (hugs and kisses) and aggressive ways (football tackles).

Consider locomotion. Walking takes strength and agility. Your legs alternate in carrying your body weight. The interchange requires balance as your transfer the weight of your body from one leg to the other. Your ankles adjust to the ground, whether on cement sidewalks or rough, plowed ground.

Then when speed is required other systems come into play. The heart accelerates to increase the nutrients and oxygen needed by the more active muscles. Your lungs increase the processing of air to accommodate the increased the oxygen-fueled burning up of energy. Think of the flexibility of spine, legs, arms, ankles, toes that come into play as you take a simple walk around the block.

That is all mechanical. What the body truly transports is you. And what is “YOU”?

We have had many of our young men injured in our various wars. Does the loss of an arm or leg, make a person any less of a person? It effects the person, no doubt, but the person is not diminished one iota.

Stephen Hawking contracted amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) when he was 21. He went on to become the world-renowned theoretical physicist, despite the crippled and contorted body and his inability to speak. His amazing machine was tragically and profoundly broken; nevertheless, it did not change who he was, nor prevent the real Stephen inside from becoming great.

Who we are is not determined by our body! The body transports who we are to accomplish what we desire to accomplish. dove-vector-clipart

Survival Of The Fittest?

Most scientists tell us it was an accident. There are numerous other creative theories of the start of our world. A random lightning strike into primordial soup (or “goop”) that sparked life. The drastically shocked atoms became alive to form molecules and the molecules formed simple cells. As the cells got bigger some broke apart and those who did could grow again and feed more efficiently. Some say “lost city smokers” in the depths of the oceans exuded amino acids that combined with iron attracted hydrogen and oxygen compounds that then formed RNA. RNA became more robust and made viruses, which were alive and began reproducing. A few believe life was seeded on earth by meteors from distant stars. But there is no evidence of the non-living material substances transforming into life, let alone reproducing life.

Scientists believe the Earth is ca. 3.5 to 4.5 Billion years old. If life originated as a single cell, that cell reproduced and its second generation reproduced and over time, became more complex forming rudimentary botanical life with photosynthesis. And it formed biological life with sentience. Those respective molds or viruses had mutations, accidental changes in the basic structure that enhanced survivability. On the biological side, after several billions of years, a human was formed containing ca..30 Trillion cells (30,000,000,000,000). Humans have not only sentience, but love, a moral sense, a sense of justice, a conscience that plagues us when we do harm to others.

This Theory of Evolution (not a law, because there is no proof and because it is not reproducible, as the Law of Gravity is proved, every moment we live – ask your skinned knee from falling) has many unanswered questions. For instance, “Irreducible Complexity” (“a single system composed of several well-matched interacting parts that contribute to basic function; wherein removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning. Michael Behe, Darwin’s Black Box, pg. 39) means that all the parts must be in place and working together.

Above I described the eye. Having a light-processing portion of the brain would be of no value unless there was a way to get exterior light to the brain. The optic nerve would be useless unless there were a light sensitive brain and a source of light. The cornea would have no survival value unless there was a lens to focus exterior light on the rods and cones and an optic nerve to transport the electrical impulses to the light sensitive brain. The eye consists of irreducible complexity. Without one of the several parts in place, the other parts could not enhance survivability and therefore would not be kept in the gene pool.

Mathematicians have taken the 400 Billion years and the huge numbers of changes necessary to transform a-one celled living creature and calculated that even 100, 000,000,000,000 years would not be enough for random mutations to form the 30,000,000,000,000 cells in the modern human being. One has stated that there is more chance of a tornado hitting a junkyard, whipping around scattered parts and leaving behind a fully assembled and airworthy Boeing 747, than for Evolution to produce us.

Despite the extreme complexity of the body, this amazing machine, scientists have great faith in evolution. Just think how this amazing machine converts a hamburger – a complex of bread bun, made from wheat, and eggs, and sugar, etc., the hamburger, made from muscle tissue and fat (in turn made from grass and grain), a slice of tomato, a piece of lettuce, a slice of pickle, some dressing, perhaps catsup or french dressing, add french fries, and a chocolate milk shake, into its constituent parts of protein, fat, sugar, vitamins, minerals and distributes them to bones, nerves, organs, while separating out the waste products – solids and liquids. The body processes them further, recycling some of the fluid in the blood stream.  dove-vector-clipart

God’s Wonderful Plan

If you were walking in the woods and discovered a pocket watch lying on the ground, you would pick up the watch and examine it. Opening the back cover, you would see the finely machined gears and wheels. In examining it more closely, you would discover that it was powered by a main spring which was wound by the stem. In contemplating the watch and its ability to measure time, you would naturally assume that its wheels and springs, hands and crystal just happened to fall together in a workable whole out of the natural minerals in the soil and rocks. Right?

Of course not! You would know from just picking it up that it was manufactured by someone of intelligence and upon opening the back would know it was engineered by an extremely skilled maker.

It is a wonder that intelligent scientists, well educated and studied in anatomy refuse to see that truth that the human body did not come together by chance. The human body (or for that matter any animal body) could not have developed on the basis of faulty mutations. Faulty, because mutations by definition are a change in the nature of something. That which was proceeding along a natural course gets interrupted and becomes something else. But the something else gets outnumbered by the natural and soon disappears.

It is far more logical to observe the handiwork of a master engineer. Think back on the few parts of the body were have investigated here. Our eyes are doubled, so we have depth perception. The lens is focused by minute muscles so we can see clearly both distant and very close objects. God designed eyes in those ways.

God planned you to be based on a common, very functional design. Two legs for a bipedal transportation, balanced by a bubble in the inner ear. He designed your digestion to be omnivorous. You can eat vegetables and meat. He gave you the ability to taste a wide variety of tastes. His love for your enjoyment gave you the pleasure of chocolate, of strawberry ice cream, of coleslaw, and fried chicken, of the mixed flavors of lasagna or borscht.

It is amazing that injuries heal. That is because our living Lord created the capability in our cells to regenerate. The blood coagulates over an open wound to protect from infection. Then the body sends in fibroblasts, a type of cell that helps rebuild skin tissue. These cells break down the clot and start replacing it with proteins, primarily collagen. This is a well-planned process. It does not happen unless an injury occurs.

He gave you emotions. And not just fear, anger, contentment, restlessness. But a spectrum of feelings from exuberance to grief. They, to a great extent, define who you are. God made you a reflection of Himself. He takes great joy in obedience and in ministering to the needs of others. He is deeply saddened by our sin and rejection of His sensible and productive way to live. dove-vector-clipart

The Great And Loving Engineer!

Every time you use your manipulative hands and fingers to remove a jar lid or play an instrument, to pick up a pin, give praise to God for creating you the way you are. He could have made you like a turtle, instead he made you more like a gazelle. Recall,

I will give thanks unto thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: Wonderful are thy works; And that my soul knoweth right well.  (Psalm 139:14)

Set aside all your education that tries to tell you the lie that you are an accident by multiple mutations. Common observation and common-sense shouts of a loving Creator. Recognize His fingerprints all over your life.

Not only has He Created you physically, but Almighty God has done so much more. He built into this world the reality of His redemption. His perfect world was ruined by man’s sin. As a result, we live in a broken world of natural disasters, of human inhumanity to man, of sick violence and murder against the weak and defenseless.

But our loving God has given us the wisdom to recover from natural disasters. We see disparate groups of people coming together to rescue, restore and rebuild, while succoring the injured and comforting the grieving. That does not come from “survival of the fittest”, but from the love of God exercised through believer and unbeliever, alike.

While never turning a blind eye to sin, God does not hold a grudge. Man destroyed God’s perfect world by his sin, still God has brought redemption to us. He has opened His heart and accepted us as His children.

For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His loving devotion for those who fear Him. (Psalm 103:11)

As far as the east is from the west, So far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, So Jehovah pitieth them that fear him. For he knoweth our frame; He remembereth that we are dust. (Psalm 103: 13-14)

But the lovingkindness of Jehovah is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, And his righteousness unto children’s children; To such as keep his covenant, And to those that remember his precepts to do them.” (Psalms 103:17-18)

He wants all people to live according to the precepts He has given to us, because that is the best way for us to live. Acknowledging Jesus in every hour and every part of our lives is the only reasonable thing to do. God loves us! dove-vector-clipart

Questions Demanding Answers

This is a recurring feature. I pose a question in one issue. You have the opportunity to send me answers. I publish the best ones in the next issue. Please cite Biblical authority, and keep you answer within 250 words.

QUESTION: What is Propitiation?

ANSWER: Propitiation comes from the Hebrew ίλασμός (hil-as-mos) = “conciliate, atone for [sins], be propitious, be merciful, make reconciliation for”. While it is used only three time in the New Testament it is a powerful concept.

For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God set forth to be a propitiation, through faith, in his blood, to show his righteousness because of the passing over of the sins done aforetime, in the forbearance of God;” (Romans 3:23-25);

My little children, these things write I unto you that ye may not sin. And if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: and he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the whole world.” (1 John 2:1-2)

Herein was the love of God manifested in us, that God hath sent his only begotten Son into the world that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:9-10)

God established sacrificial worship in the Old Testament for the purpose of atoning for the sins of His chosen people. The blood of the sacrificial lamb (and other animals) was shed to propitiate the anger of God against sin.

God knew His people would sin. The Children of Israel also knew that they would sin; therefore, there needed to be a way to appease the just wrath of God against their inevitable sinning. God in His mercy set up the sacrificial system. The death of the lamb was both a substitution and an object lesson. The substitution was life of the animal for the life of the sinner. The object lesson was to teach that sin had dire consequences.

Jesus death on the cross was the once and for all propitiating sacrifice for our sinning. As Paul and John teach, Jesus, the God-man died in our place. As we have faith in the Blood of Christ, it becomes the propitiating sacrifice that atones for our sins. We are free, because God, out of love for us, sent His Son to be our substitute and our atoning sacrifice.
Jesus said

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.   (John 15:13)

QUESTION: How can the Holy Spirit dwell in us?

The Holy of Holies

Join me in bowing before our God in gratitude that we can speak directly and personally to Him. He is our loving Father, so we can embrace Him boldly, but respectfully.

My gracious God, all praise be to You. You are most holy. You are majestic. Praise Your Glory, Your Majesty, Your Love for Your People.

Your magnificent Creation, even in this broken state, is glorious. That testifies to the power of Your creative ability. You exercised Your word and said “Let it be.” And it was. You created it and us perfect. But we, Father, messed up your perfect world. We have corrupted everything we have touched.

Only Your grace has kept this world functioning well and providing well for all people. You have made its beauty mask the ugliness of corruption that has saturated the world and our lives.
I am amazed that You have granted us the beauty of this world. It is wonderful that You have given us the heart to appreciate all the beauty around us. Even our ungodly architects can create beautiful buildings. Nevertheless, the beauty of those committed to Your will and way far out shined the work, the art of unbelievers.

It is beauty from “both sides”. You, Holy Spirit inspire today’s work as You did the People of God in building the Tabernacle in the Wilderness. So it is with created beauty. It is especially beautiful to the believing beholder, because we see Your inspiration in the work.

Your love for us is represented in the world around us. Note the majesty of the mountains; the stark beauty of the desert and then the startling transformation when cacti bloom. A walk in the forest excites praise for the beauty of Your Creation.

The passing parade of people display the beauty You have designed in the variety of the people. Skins of all hues, hair of all colors, but what enlivens one’s beauty is the smile. You have created us to smile, to experience happiness and reflect Your joy. Dwelling in Christ is the seat of joy. You, our Savior enlighten our lives with the beauty of worship and the joy of living in Christ. Come now, Lord Jesus, visit Your servant with the grace of Your love. Fill my life with Your goodness. Make me to be a servant worthy of Your service. Open my heart and allow me to pour out Your grace onto the people around me – believers and unbelievers alike. Give me the beauty of holiness, so that I may attract others to Your beauty.

Oh, My God, my King and Savior, there are so many distressed people around me. They have no eyes to see Your beauty. They have no heart to appreciate Your loveliness. Have mercy on them and break through their resistance to Your truth. Give them the eternal, unshakable hope of Your love. Melt their frozen hearts with the warmth of Your Spirit.

Holy Lord God I praise You. I worship Your beauty. I praise Your loveliness. I magnify Your glory. Praise You, My Father. Praise You, My Savior. Praise You, my Teacher. All glory in all the world belongs to You and only to You. Praise God!


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Glad Tidings

Good Versus Evil

7 Aug , 2019  

Photo by chris liu on Unsplash

GT—Volume 16 Issue 8

God’s Morality Abandoned

This never ends well. It always leads to more and more awfulness.

History is full of terrible examples of how evil is perpetrated in the name of what people have decided is “right”. It can be painful to consider. But we have reason to hope and rejoice! God has shown us what is always “right”!

Right in His Own Eyes

At the end of the book of Judges in the Old Testament is the history of the horrific war between the 11 Tribes of Israel and the Tribe of Benjamin. The operational phrase was “In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.”

In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes. (Judges 21:25)

Chapters 19-21 of Judges in the Old Testament of the Bible record a real and awful history of what happened to the People of God when they began to live without God. The depravity of man began to assert itself, leading to the further depths of depravity. There appears to be no “good guys”.

A Levite and his concubine were on their way home. As night fell thy arrived at Gibeah, a town in the Tribe of Benjamin. One of the residents offered them hospitality, according to the law of God. As they were settling in for the night, lewd, ungodly men pounded on the door. Lusting for homosexual relations with the Levite guest. To assuage their sexual lust, the Levite sent his concubine out to the wolves.

Gang raped, she died of the multiple assaults. The Levite took her body home, then callously butchered her body and sent parts to each of the Tribes of Israel. The other Tribes were furious at the horrific assault on the woman. They gathered to punish the offenders.

The Tribe of Benjamin not only refused to condemn the perpetrators, but rallied to defend their city of Gibeah from retribution against the offenders and the Israeli assault against the city that harbored the assailants. And so the two sides went to war with each other.

There were three battles in that tragically internecine war. The loss on both side was over 60,000. That was bad enough, but in victory the Tribes of Israel went berserk, rampaging through Benjamin. They destroyed every town and slew all the men, women and children. When their blood lust was exhausted there were only 600 men of Benjamin left alive.

The fury against the tribe of Benjamin caused the people of the Tribes to view all those of Benjamin as aliens, so they swore a sacred oath that they would not give their daughters to Benjamin for wives. As tempers cooled and the reality of the situation dawned on them, the eleven Tribes realized that Benjamin, without wives, was about to become extinct. Their oath (stupid and unthinking as it was) prevented them from providing Benjamin survivors with wives.

They did a head count to discover who had not joined in the war against Benjamin. Only the city of Jabesh-gilead had not come to fight.

Therefore, the Tribes of Israel attacked Jabesh-gilead, slaying all the males and the older women, saving only the virgins. There were 400 virgins left alive. These they turned over to the surviving Benjaminites. But they were 200 short.

Benjaminites seize wives from Shiloh, By Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld – Die Bibel in Bildern, Public Domain

What to do? They needed 200 more Israeli virgins, but they also needed to keep their oath. Someone reminded them that there was going to be a feast at Shiloh. During the feast the virgins danced in the evening. They told the 200 wifeless Benjaminites to hide in the vineyard adjacent to the celebration ground where the virgins danced. They instructed the men to pounce on the virgins as they were dancing, and carry off 200 to supply wives for Benjamin.

When the families of the abducted women complained, the elders of Israel asked them to forgive the kidnapping. The elders conceived that plan, because they had not been careful to save wives for the Tribe of Benjamin men out of the wholesale slaughter.  dove-vector-clipart

A Summary of Evils

  1. Vile men sought to sodomize a man
  2. He callously sacrificed his concubine
  3. Those vile men gang-raped and murdered her
  4. Instead of giving over the perpetrators for just punishment, the foolish pride of Gibeah and Benjamin defended them
  5. Misplaced fury led Israel to a stupid oath
  6. Three battles slew over 60,000 soldiers
  7. Blood lust led to mass murder and destruction of all the cities in Benjamin
  8. Realization – too late – of the consequences of their stupid oath and their out-of-control rampaging
  9. Unwilling to break their oath before God led to further carnage as they slaughtered the families of 400 virgins
  10. To provide a full number of wives the elders of Israel plotted with Benjaminites to provide more sex slaves
  11. 200 virgins were kidnapped in the midst of celebratory dancing

All of these terrible results came about because morality of God had been lost. The loss of morality that caused mass murder and ruined lives resulted from abandoning God. dove-vector-clipart

Man’s Inhumanity to Man

By Pavel Semyonovich Zhukov (1870-1942): Lenin. Collection Of Photographs And Stills in two volumes, vol. 1, Russian edition, Moscow, 1970: page 302.

History has too tragic many examples of the depths to which people will go to dominate other people. Without God, people easily turn to utilitarian thinking “You can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.” This isn’t actually a proverb, however. It’s a justification used by Vladimir Lenin regarding the killing of thousands of Russian citizens during his push to produce a “better, more wonderful” Communist state.

As Chancellor of National Socialist Party, Adolf Hitler wanted to produce a pure Arian race (prompted by Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche’s concept of the superman [Übermensch], who justifies the existence of the human race.). Therefore, Hitler carried out his plan to exterminate all the “inferior races”. His inhumanity branded Jews as sub-human and relentlessly murdered 6,000,000 true humans.

Those many godless systems discounted humans as either tools to be used to attain goals, or they considered people as obstacles to be eliminated.

Communism, an avowedly atheist religion, seeks to replace Christian morals. Communists advocate disinformation, i.e. lies, to advance their addendum. This has the unintended consequence of fomenting a culture of deception. It makes liars and cheats out of people in general. Factory workers over report their completed work to “meet” quotas. Managers misrepresent that they have met or exceed their factory’s goals that are set by the central committee. This sort of deception went up the line in Russia causing a series of 5-Year Economic Development Plans. When the first did not work the Central Committee began a another of 5-Year Plan. Still, there were bread lines, potato, lines, toilet paper lines, etc., etc., etc.

This deception filtered into the general population. Without a standard of morality, people became pragmatic – they did whatever worked to achieve what they needed. The people became cheats, liars and thieves.

In A.D. 2000, I went with a team to St. Petersburg, Russia to help in the construction of a Christian College. A Professor at the College needed an instructor of Christian Ethics. The believers in the school were so permeated with the immorality of the Soviet Communist regime that they retained the culture of deception and theft. They stole from one another, cheated on tests, and lied so often that those were endemic characteristics. Despite true conversion and embracing Jesus as Savior, they had not embraced Christian morality. The College needed instruction in righteousness. The godlessness of the regime had debased the people. dove-vector-clipart

Ungodly Morality

In 1993, I was on a mission in Pakistan. The first night at a guest house in Lahore, at dinner was a Christian missionary and a young man he had converted. The young man had had a successful button business, which afforded him an exclusive apartment in an excellent district and an expensive car.

When his family heard that he had become a Christian, they took away his business his car and his apartment. His brothers were hunting for him to murder him. According to Islam Sharia Law, “Conversion by Muslims to other faiths is forbidden under most interpretations of sharia and converts are considered apostates (non-Muslims, however, are allowed to convert into Islam). Some Muslim clerics equate this apostasy to treason, a crime punishable by death.” (

Often, direct relatives are the first and heaviest persecutors of believers from a Muslim background. For many Muslim families, leaving Islam and converting to another religion brings “shame” to the family. In moderate families, a new Christian may be ignored or excluded. In stricter families; forced separation, divorce or the removal of children are all common. ( Murder sanctioned by law is reprehensible, but sanctioned fratricide, murder by brothers is horrific callousness.

How then do we describe a mother’s murder of her own child?

New York’s Reproductive Health Act was signed by Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Jan. 22, the anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision

The RHA permits abortions when — according to a medical professional’s “reasonable and good faith professional judgment based on the facts of the patient’s case” — “the patient is within twenty-four weeks from the commencement of pregnancy, or there is an absence of fetal viability, or the abortion is necessary to protect the patient’s life or health.

In other words, women may choose to have an abortion prior to 24 weeks; pregnancies typically range from 38 to 42 weeks. After 24 weeks, such decisions must be made with a determination that there is an “absence of fetal viability” or that the procedure is “necessary to protect the patient’s life or health.” That determination must be made by a “health care practitioner licensed, certified, or authorized” under state law, “acting within his or her lawful scope of practice.” (

“Patient’s life or health” is an open door to perform abortions (murders of healthy babies up until and including the moment of birth). The mother can decide she does not want to be burdened with rearing a child. The doctor can affirm the “fear of the burden” is a mental health issue that qualifies. Thus, babies: beautiful girls and handsome boys are severed from life without remorse. After all, “It’s a woman’s right to choose!”

This is America’s “man’s inhumanity to man”. We have denied humanity to the child being grown within the mother’s womb, by describing he or she as a “clump of cells”. This inexcusable euphemism is a dehumanizing of the real baby formed by the father’s sperm and the mother’s ovum, which when united has the 46 chromosomes of a human and a complete DNA of a human. The Zygote (from Greek ζυγωτός zygōtos “joined” or “yoked”) “is a eukaryotic cell formed by a fertilization event between two gametes. The zygote’s genome is a combination of the DNA in each gamete, and contains all of the genetic information necessary to form a new individual.” (

By any rational definition that is a human, alive; and rightly should be loved and nurtured by both father and mother; but especially by the mother, since she has by God (or if you must, by nature) been built to house and nourish the infant, protecting its life from a hostile world.

Tragically there are two victims of abortion. The first is the child who is poisoned or dismembered in the womb. The second is the woman. She has been sold a lie to gratify her convenience, “There are no consequences.” In contrary fact, many, if not most, women commonly experience some guilt, grief and depression. In reality, they are murderesses. There are a number of more debilitating consequences: “nightmares, auditory hallucinations of babies crying, suicidal thoughts — reported in a study done in Ohio by Suicide Anonymous Hotline over a 36-month period, of the 4000 women who called, 1800 had previously had abortions.” (   dove-vector-clipart

Righteousness Under God

These cases described above are “right” sanctioned by state law; what society decides is “right”. What society rejects is “wrong”.

The reality is that society is fickle. What is “right” today may be at a stroke of a pen “wrong” tomorrow. Mankind is only safe under a universal determination of what is right and wrong that does not change.

During the English Reformation, the evangelicals were initially persecuted by the Catholics – imprisoned and slain. Then the evangelicals came into power. They persecuted Catholics – imprisoned and slew them. Then Catholic Queen Mary was crowned and again the Evangelicals were imprisoned and slain.

Unless he was fast-footed and a chameleon, A Bishop, within the course of 50 years, could find himself on the wrong side of religion! Thus, a dependable, universal standard of right and wrong is necessary for an ordered society.

Only God’s standards are universally applied to all mankind, throughout all time. They a are utterly dependable.

Often times they are uncomfortable to a person or a nation. That does not make them faulty. God loves his Creation. He loves all the people he has created.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3:16, 17)

He wants them to live in love and peace. He established laws to preserve life and to make society work for the benefit of all who live in accord with God’s Law. He has laid out a world that is not only beautiful, it is bountiful. There are ample resources for all people to live in comfort. God has set up the world, not to be a comfortable bed with automatic food dispensers and perpetual entertainment. He has established righteous laws that require each competent person to secure a living from the world. Work is not only to provide the necessities to keep body and soul together, but to give mankind, men and women dignity, self-respect, and pride of accomplishment.

There is one fly in the ointment. The world was not created to be eternal. God intended it to be a temporary, perhaps “training ground” is as close as we can come to what this temporary world is for humans. We have been told (and believers know to be true) that God has an eternal Plan that is unlimited. This world is limited, so it is but a “stepping stone’ to God’s NEXT.

He loves us. So, God has something far better than this temporary and faulty world. He gives us inkling in the two Testaments. The Patriarchs had a foundation of insight into God’s revelation of the LAW, summarized in the Ten Commandments that were based on:

And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.  (Deuteronomy 6:5)

… and amended by Jesus:

And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. (Mark 12:30-31)

That should have been enough, but God knows us completely.

He knew that He would have to actually become a man and share our world and life, then be the sacrifice for our sins. What glorious demonstration of His love! He demeaned Himself from Almighty God to become one of His creatures. Jesus the God-man imparted teachings to His Disciples and they to us, giving us an upwards look, a window into eternity. Our Lord set our sights on eternity with our Great and loving God.

For everyone who has believed the truths that Jesus is real and living God; there is an eternity of basking in God’s unlimited love; believers will be caught up in God’s eternal peace; and will experience ever increasing joy.

That is too wonderful to fully appreciate in our present limited state. Nevertheless, the truth is far greater than we can conceive.

It is ours because God LOVES us!    dove-vector-clipart

Questions Demanding Answers

This is a recurring feature. I pose a question in this issue. You have the opportunity to send me answers. I will publish the best ones in the next issue. Please cite Biblical authority, and keep you answer within 250 words.

QUESTION: Why did Adam pass the buck to Eve?

ANSWER: Almighty, totally Righteous God walked in the Garden with Adam, apparently each evening. Adam could walk with God, because Adam was also wholly righteous. Then one day, Adam was not there.

Then the man and his wife heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the breeze of the day, and they hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. (Genesis 3:8)

He was hiding because Adam had sinned. He was guilty and ashamed. God called to Adam and he came out from hiding in his leaf clothing. “Who told you that you were naked,” God asked. “Have you eaten the fruit of good and evil?”

Instead of answering directly, Adam immediately implicated Eve and blamed God,

The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it. (Genesis 3:12)

Adam was overcome by sin.

  • Adam disobeyed the one command God gave
  • He was ashamed of his naked body
  • He feared God’s judgment
  • He felt guilt for the first time
  • He wanted to escape God’s censure
  • He naturally tried to shift the blame to escape the full wrath of God
  • Eve was an easy target
  • Instead of protecting her, he blamed her

It is abundantly clear that sin had overwhelmed his love for God and his love for Eve. A righteous man would have acknowledged his own fault and sought to protect his wife by allowing the blame to fall on him, “I wasn’t there to protect her from temptation. I didn’t refuse the proffered fruit. I didn’t come to You to plead for You to have mercy on her.”

Adam is a prime example of the sinful response. We who are seeking to walk with the LORD must study Adam’s bad example and seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance to walk in righteousness, so that we can walk with God.

To do so, we must keep short accounts with God.

For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest. (Psalms 51:3-4)

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalms 139:23-24)

Honesty before the all-righteous God is the only policy!

QUESTION: What is Propitiation?

The Holy of Holies

Join me in bowing before our God in gratitude that we can speak directly and personally to Him. He is our loving Father, so we can embrace Him boldly, but respectfully.

Father, life is too much with me! Sometimes I feel overwhelmed. I long for release and surcease and peace. I have far more to do than I have time to do it. Important things are set aside to beat back the crises.

Just as I see a window to do the important, something crops up to demand immediate attention.

This in not the way You want me to live. Jesus, Your Word promises, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” (Isaiah 26:3) You told us that You were leaving us peace that the world cannot give – perfect peace!

Oh, My Lord God that is what I need – Your perfect peace. Please, Holy Spirit produce in me Your fruit of peace. Oh, my precious Savior Your Love is here now!

Oh! Gracious God, You have overcome all my fears. Oh! Father You are holding my heart and giving me what I need!

Oh, precious Savior You care for me and You carried all my sins on the cross at Calvary.

Oh! Sovereign God You have triumphed over all.

Nothing, nothing, no thing, no spirit, no person can afflict me, no pile of responsibilities can overpower me. You have my calendar and my daily work schedule in Your hands. Give me the grace to comply and address each item as You direct.

What is important is Your love for me and that I, out of gratitude, love You and love those around me. My God, steady my thoughts on You. Give me the grace to set all, ALL in this world aside so I can be more loving.

All the important and vital things in my life and the work I MUST accomplish are in fact negligible in the scope of eternity. They are all temporary and at the moment You Come Again, our Lord and King, they will be as chaff in the wind.

Give me that perspective when I begin to take my responsibilities too seriously and begin to be pressured. Grant me the equanimity to say, “I can do some more tomorrow. Now I need to praise my loving Lord!”

You are my first and overwhelming priority. I love You, My God. I worship You My King. I rely upon You my gracious Holy Spirit to guide me in what is needful; to stop me in what is unnecessary.
You are worthy of all honor, glory, majesty and praise! Praise the Holy LORD God. Praise the magnificent King! Praise the loving Father! Praise the marvelous Lamb of God! Praise the giving Holy Spirit. Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Glory be to Thee throughout the whole Earth!



Christ and Culture,Prayers

The Way, The Truth and The Life

7 Mar , 2018  

We Were Taught to Be Good

I first met our dear friend when I was in college. My wife knew her in high school. We were all members of the college group, across from the University of Washington campus.

333501171_047e0ca345_zThat was a time of the beatniks and when drugs first were rampant on the “Ave” in the University District. We were all good people. We were raised in Sunday School. We had all been trained in the church. We didn’t take drugs.

I was taught in Sunday School, “You don’t have to say you are a Christian, just live your life and people will know you are.” They taught us that if we were good persons we went to Heaven when we died. We weren’t taught about sin. We were taught to obey our parents, the law and be respectful to older persons. They taught us courtesy, generosity, loving everybody. We were taught to go to church because there you were taught to be good.

Hell was an unspoken threat – never mentioned but sort of known as a bad place where you didn’t want to go.

So, we grew up with a moral code that was supposed to get us through life. But we did not obey it strictly. We obeyed and were good when we could be seen, but when parents or authorities were not looking we chose to stretch the limits to the breaking point and beyond. But we were good people!

We were never taught the hard truths of Scripture and of God,

All have sinned and come short of the glory of God!   (Romans 3:23)

All we like sheep have gone astray.   (Isaiah 53:6)

They have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is none who does good, not even one.   (Romans 3:12)

We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away.   (Isaiah 64:6)

Those are the harsh words of the Gospel, the Good News. We never heard them and would have disregarded them if we had.

We had fun together. No one got hurt. We were living in a prosperous America. Our parents were comfortably well off. What was there to worry about? We graduated, then got jobs or married or both. Children came along. We were adults in churches.

We Were Wrong

823129147_4703c0491b_zThen someone came into our lives teaching that our complaisant lives were not good. He said we were going to Hell because we did not believe in Jesus as God, Lord and Savior. Because we had not surrendered our lives to Jesus, we were doomed for eternity. I, for one, tried to ignore that unpleasant teaching.

Funny thing about truth. It has a way of being right and being persistent. The truth is that we had been wrong. All our Sunday School teaching had been wrong because it emphasized earning our way into God’s favor by being good.

We were wrong to disbelieve in the devil and in Hell. Both are real.

We were wrong to think that if we could balance out more good than bad we were set to go to heaven.

We were wrong to not believe that there will be a final reckoning, a Final Judgment when Jesus as the Righteous Judge will assess each person’s life.

We were wrong to discount Jesus as being just a good man instead of God’s righteous Son and our only Savior.

We Met Jesus

Untitled design (1)My wife believed the man and surrendered her life to Jesus. A real transformation happened. The Real Live Jesus, unseen, but very real, became a part of her life, filling the void that had been there.

Next, despite the fact that I was satisfied with my life, I met the real, living Lord God, Jesus Christ. He changed me completely, too and showed the true way to love, joy and peace. He has led us for half a century.

A year or so after my wife and I were saved, Jesus gave us the privilege of leading our friend to Jesus. Then the Holy Spirit led her to Overlake Christian Church in Kirkland, where she received excellent teaching.

From the moment she acknowledged Jesus was God and her Savior, to the moment of her death, she had absolute assurance that because she belonged to Jesus, she had nothing to fear in the Final Judgment. Scripture is full of that assurance.

“Whosoever, therefore, shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.”   (Matthew 10:32)

“These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.”   (1 John 5:13)

“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”   (John 3:36)

Our dear friend doesn’t believe that anymore because she has no need for faith. She is in the Presence of her Gracious, Loving Father and she knows His grace and salvation!

We Can Be with Jesus

Let me tell you what she is currently experiencing with Jesus. She has cast off her temporal, diseased, pain-ridden body. She has been clothed in a celestial body that never will experience pain. All sadness has been banished and replaced by eternal joy. There will never again be any grief at partings. On the contrary, there will be joyous greetings with those who have gone before and with those who will come after. She is seated with Jesus on His throne. She will spend everlasting life in His love. She is now receiving and will ever receive the love of her Heavenly Father. And that is wonderful beyond our imagining. She will be loving others to a far greater extent than she could in this life.

That is wonderful for her right now. And it is wonderful for all who have given their lives to Jesus and God the Father and the Holy Spirit, all those throughout the past and all who will in the future.

Now it is your turn, it is in this place and at this time that you can make the decision to affirm your faith in Jesus; to avoid eternal separation from the love of God the Father and to avoid the eternal misery of Hell.

Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.   (2 Corinthians 6:2)

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”   (Acts 16:31)

Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.   (Revelation 3:20)

We Can Receive the Free Gift

When she knew she was dying, our dear friend was confident in her place in the family of God. She knew she was going to be with Jesus. When I talked with her a week before she died she spoke with anticipation of leaving this life to be in God’s glorious Kingdom forever. She is there now.

Is there is any doubt in your heart that you are on Jesus’ pathway to Heaven? Now is the moment of decision.

Don’t waste your life! Come now into the joy that awaits all who confess the Lord Jesus as God and accept His forgiveness for all your sin. Receive today the free gift of eternal life!

Please pray with me

I believe that You are real Jesus. In many ways, I have not lived to give you glory. I am sorry for my lapses. Please forgive me and draw me into Your loving Presence. I give you my life. Cleanse me and present me to Your Father as Your own. Thank you for saving me, Jesus.

The Lord’s Prayer

Now, Lord, we open our hearts to seek Your blessings for each of our lives through the prayer that Jesus taught us. Saying…

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever and ever.



Yield Not To Sin

17 Jan , 2018  

Photo by Teddy Kelley on Unsplash

Your Reasons to Pray

Before I begin my introduction to prayer, please consider the concerns that are on your hearts.

God created us with volition, the capacity to choose.

And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.   (Genesis 2: 16-17)

He gave Adam a choice from the beginning.  This was before Almighty God created Eve from Adam’ rib.  So, when Adam instructed Eve he pointed out that they had a choice between the two trees the good one and the bad one.

Much later on, Moses quoted God in saying,

See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil.   (Deuteronomy 30:15)

Shortly thereafter, Joshua challenged the Children of Israel,

And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.   (Joshua 24:15)

The history of the Jews clearly shows their choices. When they single-heartedly served God, they prospered. When they sinned against one another and against Him they suffered, at times greatly.

Our Puritan forebears came to this land and sought to establish a city set on a hill, whose righteousness would be a beacon for all to come and share in the blessings of God. They established a loving community of single-minded service of neighbor and single-hearted service of God. The first generation, at the first sign of trouble dedicated themselves, as a community of believers, to prayerfully search their hearts to seek out and confess sin. In loving response, God miraculously, time after time, delivered them.

Unhappily the next generations began to prosper and began to rely on self instead of Jesus. When trouble, God’s warning sign, came their way, they dug themselves out with their own wits and strength. They unconsciously chose against God.

Choose Righteousness

Today, America is on a path they are paving with the denials of God:

  • denial of His existence
  • denials of His hand on individual lives
  • denials of salvation through Christ alone

America is evading and ignoring God‘s warning signs. We are continually choosing the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. We are continually choosing sin, not God. We are continually choosing human knowledge, not life eternal.

God keeps telling people everywhere, “Do not yield to sin.”  He is calling, “Choose Me, choose righteousness!”

We are believers in the reality of God, in the assurance of salvation through Christ alone and in the truth, that the only true and righteous God will punish sin. Therefore, we need to pray for America and the people around us who are oblivious to their horrific peril.

After we pray for America I will give you the opportunity to pray for the concerns that you have declared.

Please pray with me.

Lord God, Holy Spirit, we acknowledge we are sinners saved by our Lord Jesus Christ. We are aware that while He has atoned for all our sin, we still sin each day. One of the fruit You ripen in our lives is faithfulness. We ask that You make us faithful to our Lord in seeking after righteousness and turning our backs on sin.

Father, we desire to be obedient children and faithful stewards of the gift of life You have given us: life in our initial birth into the world and life in the spirit; therefore, we choose life and obedience to You, and we choose to reject our tendency to sin.

Thank you, Holy Spirit, for indwelling us and in tirelessly guiding us to and along Jesus’ way of obedience.


Please pray with me.

Please pray that America will have a spiritual awakening and put Jesus back on the throne of our nation.

Please pray for the concerns that have been announced.

Please pray for our church our Pastor and for your brothers and sisters in Christ.

The Lord’s Prayer

Now, Lord we open our hearts to seek Your blessings for each of our lives through the prayer that Jesus taught us. Saying…

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever.


Glad Tidings

Freedom in Christ Jesus

7 Aug , 2017  

Photo by Stephanie McCabe on Unsplash

GT—Volume 14 Issue 7

Liberty, Equality, Fraternity

Glad Tidings 2017The battle cry of the French Revolution in 1779 when the people sought deliverance from the oppression of uncaring kings. The royalty continued spending money, while the income of the nation fell.  This required extensive borrowing. The peasants were starving while the royalty feasted using borrowed money. France was bankrupt. The people could see that the feudal system was a failure. The concept of human reason promoted by 17th Century philosophers led intellectuals to believe that society governed by common people was the “natural order” and “Reason”, based on humanistic ideals, was the governing principle.

The Revolution was based on Enlightenment ideals, but not on a godly foundation. It sought to bring about popular sovereignty and inalienable rights. Those rights were based on those revealed in historic Christianity, but their French humanism sought to uphold rights while discarding God. Tragically, the Revolution degenerated. Eventually, with no godly morality, no one was safe from the Guillotine.

MaximillianMaximilien Marie Isidore de Robespierre was born in Arras, France, on May 6, 1758. Thirty years later he was instrumental in bringing about the Revolution. It was his outcry in Estates General of the French legislature that brought about the guillotining of King Louis XVI.

Robespierre became a leader of the Committee of Public Safety. He instituted the Reign of Terror in which some 17,000 were guillotined. He was a calculating man who used his position to eliminate his opponents in that chaotic government. Ironically, Robespierre fell into disfavor and he too was guillotined in 1794.

The Fight for FreedomThe first French revolution was only the beginning of the turmoil.  There were a number of coups in the ensuing years.  Napoleon Bonaparte, a general in the Army in 1799, along with others overthrew the French Directory and replaced it with three-member Consulate, of which Napoleon was the First Director.  The Directorate revised the French Constitution, making Napoleon Director for life in 1802.  He crowned himself as Emperor in 1804. Ten years later, after several disastrous military defeats, he was forced to abdicate.

Essentially Napoleon destroyed the French Revolution, creating a confused back and forth government of “popular” governments and monarchies that alternated. The French Revolution, based on human reason, failed.  dove-vector-clipart

Certain Unalienable Rights

Having undertaken, for the Glory of God, and advancements of the Christian faith and honor of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the Northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents, solemnly and mutually, in the presence of God, and one another.

One Hundred years later, when the English government became oppressive, the American colonies, sought many avenues of reaching a reasonable accommodation. The King and the Parliament were in accord to keep the Colonists under the English heel.

Declaration_of_Independence_(1819),_by_John_TrumbullThe Colonies realized that there was no hope of bargaining with the English. They believed their only avenue was to declare their independence. Their basis for seeking separation from the monarchy was rights guaranteed by God. They looked to Him as their foundation. Enshrined in the Declaration of Independence was their rationale,

…separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them.”  They continued, “… all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.  Declaration of Independence

This was no riot and there were no kangaroo courts to railroad the King or members of Parliament to be executed. The Declaration was an honorable statement of the disagreements between England and the American Colonies. It was a last-ditch attempt to diplomatically seek redress from the King.

This was in contrast to the riots and the murder of thousands of royals among the French. The difference was that the American Revolution was under the authority of God; whereas the French Revolution, begun just three years later, was under the authority of reason. Unhappily, “reason” depended upon who was doing the reasoning. Since the “reasoner” changed with the changing tides of politics in the French Revolution. The “reason’ for executions changed.

There were few executions in America. A lot of blood was spilled in the many battles with the British, but that was because England declared war on the Americans. The latter was not looking for a fight. To avoid a fight, they exercised great initial restraint.

In The Light and the Glory, by Peter Marshall, Jr. and David Emmanuel, they point out that the inferior Colonials against the greatest army in that day should not have won. Through the War, there were a series of “saves” of George Washington’s army. Had any one of them failed, the war would have been lost for the Colonists. These were miraculous incidents orchestrated by God.

Boston_MassacreTwo incidents, both perpetrated by the British were sparks that ignited the war. First was the Boston Massacre, March 5, 1770. British soldiers responded to cat calls and snowballs, by firing into the mob, killing 5 Colonials. The second was five years later, “the shot heard around the world”, April 19, 1775, when the British marched to Concord to seize stores of Minutemen arms and ammunition. They encountered a small force on the Lexington Green. An exchange of shots resulted in eight Colonials killed and ten wounded.

God’s hand has been on America in bringing believers seeking to worship Him to this continent. He preserved the seed of a nation through the Revolutionary War. He prompted the Declaration of Independence. God’s Spirit guided the Framers of our Constitution with wisdom. They were believers who had a realistic view of the sinfulness of man and man’s thirst for power. They carefully divided the government into three Branches to provide checks and balances against any one growing a dominating role in the government.

Years before, George Washington was a Commander of Colonial troops supporting the British Army during the French and Indian War. He distinguished himself in the Battle of Monongahela when the British General Edward Braddock was wounded. Washington, astride a horse, took command. He extracted the British and led them to safety. Colonel Washington had two horses shot out from under him. His coat had four bullet holes, but Washington was unscathed. The Indians thought Washington was a miracle man, powered by their “Great Spirit”. God kept him safe.

God’s hand has been on America in bringing believers seeking to worship Him to this continent. He preserved the seed of a nation through the Revolutionary War. He prompted the Declaration of Independence. God’s Spirit guided the Framers of our Constitution with wisdom. They were believers who had a realistic view of the sinfulness of man and man’s thirst for power. They carefully divided the government into three Branches to provide checks and balances against any one growing a dominating role in the government.  dove-vector-clipart

Stewardship of the Legacy

Tragically the foundation in Christ has been discarded. It appears we have adopted the failed French foundation, “Reason”. It did not work for them and it is not working for us. Each political party has “Reason” to pass pet projects when in the majority.  The next party in power has “Reason” to pass theirs, discarding the former’s.

The check on this foundation of Reason is a theologically educated populace. Those who are steeped in Scripture, look to the Father, the Son, and The Holy Spirit to guide their lives, decisions, and votes. They have learned that Human reason, while valuable, can “run off the rails”, if not guided by the hand of God. We are in danger of losing our legacy. We have lost the impetus of Christianity.

engelv_supremecrtcases.weebly.1We are short of the critical mass to correct the course of our Nation because the populace is uneducated in Christianity and there are far too few believers in Jesus as the Lord God, Creator, and Governor of the universe and of nations. This began to be critical when the Supreme Court decided to exclude prayer from our schools in 1963. They sought to make a “neutral” decision. In fact, the banning of prayer has created two distinct problems.

First, they have banned all faiths, which means that they have banned all foundations of morality. This has created an absence of authoritative behavioral standards, except, “Because I told you to!”. This ebbs and flows with the current psychological trends. Thus, teachers have too few and too weak tools to discipline unruly students.

The second is that the local schools unconstitutionally infringe on the rights of students to freely exercise their religion. Christian students have been denied the freedom to pray in school. They are denied the right to express their faith.

By squelching the expression of the Christian faith our society has moved away from a morality-based culture. Such a culture has limits on behavior, which provides the classroom order students need for effective learning.

John_F._Kennedy,_White_House_photo_portrait,_looking_upWith three generations quarantined from exposure to Christianity, there are numerous adults who have little conception of the faith and the morality that is the basis of society. This is evident in the lack of courtesy we see among too many people. The failure to inculcate the respect for others that Christianity teaches has made our society far more self-centered. This is reflected in the attitudes toward our government. President Kennedy proclaimed in his inaugural address January 1961,

…ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.

Tragically, far too many are expecting our government to provide them a basic living.

This self-centered approach means that they vote for the politicians that offer them the biggest handout. There are a growing number of theologically ignorant and also politically ignorant voters. This is a combination that is dangerous for the stability of the nation.

America began as a Christian nation. That idea has become today out of favor, seeking instead to be multicultural. This emphasis upon diversity has fragmented our nation into political interest groups that are pitted against one another to gain the most for their pressure group.   dove-vector-clipart

Established in Christ

George Whitfield in the Great AwakeningGod established an ideal human government, first by separation from a despotic overlord. Next, by guiding the American Colonies to found a new government on Christ. He then guided forty-one men to write and approve a masterful Constitution that formed a great government.

Earlier, as our Lord saw the Colonials straying from His path of righteousness, the Lord God Holy Spirit used John Wesley and George Whitfield of Britain and Jonathan Edwards of Massachusetts to ignite the Great Awakening of 1740. The power of the Holy Spirit drew thousands to Jesus and revived multitudes of others to full trust in Jesus as sovereign Lord.

The New England preachers following that powerful revival called for liberty in Christ. They fomented the Revolution, seeking a new nation under God.

The Colonials were predominantly Christian believers in Christ as God. Their habit was to use “Deity” and “Providence” as euphemisms for God and Christ, nevertheless, they were devout believers in Jesus Christ.   dove-vector-clipart

Founding Fathers’ quotes

George Washington Quote

It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible.

“The propitious smiles of Heaven can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right which Heaven itself has ordained”, George Washington, 1st President of the United States

“It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here.” Patrick Henry, Ratifier of the U.S. Constitution.“And what were these general Principles? I answer, the general Principles of Christianity, in which all these Sects were United: And the general Principles of English and American Liberty.” John Adams, 2nd President

“The hope of a Christian is inseparable from his faith. Whoever believes in the divine inspiration of the Holy Scriptures must hope that the religion of Jesus shall prevail throughout the earth. Never since the foundation of the world have the prospects of mankind been more encouraging to that hope than they appear to be at the present time. John Quincy Adams, 6th President

“The Bible will also inform them that our gracious Creator has provided for us a Redeemer, in whom all the nations of the earth shall be blessed; that this Redeemer has made atonement ‘for the sins of the whole world,’ and thereby reconciling the Divine justice with the Divine mercy has opened a way for our redemption and salvation; and that these inestimable benefits are of the free gift and grace of God, not of our deserving, nor in our power to deserve.”, John Jay, 1st Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

The American Revolution was founded on the firm understanding that

If therefore the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.  (John 8:36)

The Framers of our separation from the English determined to preserve the independence of the people from any rule but that of Almighty God.  They recognized that God had ordained human rulers.

Let every soul be in subjection to the higher powers: for there is no power but of God; and the powers that be are ordained of God.  Therefore he that resisteth the power, withstandeth the ordinance of God: and they that withstand shall receive to themselves judgment.  For rulers are not a terror to the good work, but to the evil. And wouldest thou have no fear of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise from the same… (Romans 13:1-3)

The rulers were in turn subject to the rule of God. The Colonists did not foment the violent overthrow of Britain. They, in the Declaration of Independence, stated their reasons for declaring the American colonies independent,

That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect <sic> their Safety and Happiness.   –Declaration of Independence

In the Declaration, they listed 28 cases of abuse that the English government put upon the Colonies.

The Framers declared it was the duty of such a people to throw off that despotic government. Finally, they appealed to God to confirm the rectitude of their actions. They consigned their cause, the seeking of Liberty, to the judgment of Almighty God. He approved their stance in Christ and their establishing a government that rested on trust in God.    dove-vector-clipart

Restoration in Christ

Jesus the Lion and the Lamb

The true and only source of Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity is the risen, victorious Son of God, Jesus the Savior.

God now calls us to reaffirm our allegiance, not to our Nation, but to our God. It is important to us to preserve America. It is not important to God to preserve our nation or our government. What is important to Him is the state of our hearts.

First, He wants our hearts, not in part, but the whole, including all our errors and our sins. He wants our complete devotion.

Next, Christ wants us to love our families, our neighbors, strangers and our enemies.

Empowered by God‘s love working through us, He wants us to proclaim His righteousness and be demonstration projects of His righteous in us. Like the prophets of old, Jesus wants us to decry the evils in our culture. He wants His Chosen minority to declare His righteousness among the people, and to call them back to worship of the One true God.    dove-vector-clipart

Questions Demanding Answers

This is a recurring feature. I pose a question in one issue. You have the opportunity to send me answers. I publish the best ones in the next issue. Please cite Biblical authority, and keep your answer within 250 words.

QUESTION: Are there Guardian Angels?

ANSWER: Yes. God’s angels are his messengers. They serve His purposes with instant obedience. One of the ministries of our loving Father’s angels is to keep watch over His children, those who have been adopted into His family, i.e. those who have surrendered to Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

Scripture has many references to God’s angels ministering to and protecting God’s children.

For he will give his angels charge over thee, To keep thee in all thy ways.  They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.   (Psalm 91:11, 12)

They are all around His faithful to shield them.

The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him and he delivers them.   (Psalm 34:7)

Angels are God’s warriors against the demons and against human evil.

My God hath sent his angel, and hath shut the lions’ mouths, and they have not hurt me; forasmuch as before him innocency was found in me; and also before thee, O king, have I done no hurt.” (Daniel 6:22)

Second, legions of angels await God’s call to battle with human and demonic forces arrayed against God’s Son and His children.

“Then saith Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into its place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.  Or thinkest thou that I cannot beseech my Father, and he shall even now send me more than twelve legions of angels?” (Matthew 26:52-53)

In the Garden of Gethsemane, there are two examples of ways Angels minister to us personally. In our anguish, they strengthen us.

… saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.  And there appeared unto him an angel from heaven, strengthening him.  And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became as it were great drops of blood falling down upon the ground.  (Luke 22:42-44)

We are surrounded by guarding angels. However, they are at God’s bidding, not ours. God knows us intimately and loves us extravagantly. He has our lives in His hands. He allows some things either bad or good to come into our lives. Probably, times without number, and at His bidding angels prevent things natural and demonic from affecting our lives.

Our role is to focus on God. We may be aware of the angels that surround us, but we must not become distracted by our curiosity about angels. Let the One Who is of Prime Importance be the dominating influence in our lives. Keep our thoughts centered on Jesus, and allow Him to direct the angels in our lives.

QUESTION: What can believers do to bring America back to Christ?

The Holy of Holies

Join me in bowing before our God in gratitude that we can speak directly and personally to Him. He is our loving Father, so we can embrace Him boldly, but respectfully.

Almighty Father, I bow in submission before your sovereignty. You are my savior and my God. I worship You. 

When I consider the marvelous gift You have given Americans I am amazed that You are so overwhelmingly gracious to us. You have given us a free land. You have made us the most prosperous nation in the history of humankind.

Further You prompted our Founding Fathers to draft and approve a government that was comprehensive and limited. You gave us the freedom to change our government peaceably. You warned the Framers of our Constitution of the sinfulness of humanity, so, My LORD, You gave them the wisdom to build into our government checks and balances, so none of the three branches of government could dominate and form a dictatorship.

Father, we are far from the idealism of the Founders. We have lost sight of You and have turned our backs on Jesus. We have excluded Him from our national decision-making. We have banished Jesus from our schools. We are told that witnessing for You makes for a hostile workplace.

Have mercy on us, O Righteous Judge. Deliver us from our foolishness. Renew our minds to again embrace the truth that without You, we are poor, and blind and naked. We are without hope in this world and the next without Your love. Save us from our self-contrived suicidal plunge over the cliff of materialism and relativism.

Lord Jesus, Our Savior, release the power of the Holy Spirit upon us to convict us of our sin and chastise us for straying from our Foundation, which is You, Christ, our Lord. Bring us back into Your sheepfold, where we are safe from our own folly.

You are our gracious King, whether people acknowledge You or not. You are the One who runs the universe. Your ways are the only correct ways. Your government is the only righteous rule; therefore, we desperately need Your Hand controlling our lives, our government, and our leaders. Rescue us from the enemy’s attacks. Hold back the forces of darkness and give us Your marvelous light of godly wisdom to recapture the godly vision of our Founders.

America has the potential if guided by godly men and women who trust completely in Your guidance as did our forefathers. If You will have mercy on us and send us leaders that will declare Your truths as their and our nation’s guiding principles, we will rebuild what we have destroyed. But nothing can be done without You.

Thank You for Your love for us. Thank You, Jesus, for Your love for me.

Unto God Almighty be all Honor, Glory, Dominion, and Power!


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Our Lord, Jesus, is Magnificent

17 Jul , 2017  

The Lord is Magnificent

O Magnify the LORD with Me

Oh, sing unto Jehovah a new song:

Sing unto Jehovah, all the earth.

Sing unto Jehovah, bless his name;
Show forth his salvation from day to day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
His marvelous works among all the peoples.
For great is Jehovah, and greatly to be praised:

He is to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the peoples are idols;
But Jehovah made the heavens.
Honor and majesty are before him:
Strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.
Ascribe unto Jehovah, ye kindreds of the peoples,
Ascribe unto Jehovah glory and strength.
Ascribe unto Jehovah the glory due unto his name:
Bring an offering, and come into his courts.
Oh worship Jehovah in holy array:
Tremble before him, all the earth.
Say among the nations, Jehovah reigneth:
The world also is established that it cannot be moved:
He will judge the peoples with equity.
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof;
Let the field exult, and all that is therein;
Then shall all the trees of the wood sing for joy
Before Jehovah; for he cometh,
For he cometh to judge the earth:
He will judge the world with righteousness,
And the peoples with his truth.”   (Psalm 96:1-13)

Please Pray with me.

Oh Lord, our Lord, You are our God And you are the God of all nations. As we bow in submission to Your Omnipotent Authority we acknowledge our unworthiness in and of our selves.

But in triumph, we assert that through Your Son our Lord we are now one with You. We come before You, our Father trusting in the blood of Christ to cleanse us and His righteousness to make us worthy.

Thank you, Almighty Father for Your magnificent provision for each one of us here present.

You have shown us, and our knowledge of the world teaches us that there are multitudes in the world who are dying without Christ. Who are consigned to everlasting darkness and fear and loneliness and torment?

It is our prerogative and responsibility to deliver to them Your Truths. Give us a burden for the unsaved. Give us a passion for reaching unbelievers with the most vital message in all the world – Jesus saves!

Your message is simplistic but powerful. It is the greatest news in the history of the World, but so very hard to share. We hesitate or don’t even think of it when in the presence of unbelievers – our neighbor next door, our co-worker, the woman in the checkout line ahead of us or the man behind. Give us he forethought and courage to speak to them about the love we have found in Jesus and God’s truth – Jesus saves!

Almighty and most powerful and fearsome God Our Father, most righteous and perfect God our Savior, Most Holy and loving Spirit, Who convinces us of sin, we come now before Your majesty.

We come to intercede for our missionaries. They are on the front lines in the battle to rescue the souls of men and women from condemnation. Prompts us to pray often for them. Move us to support them with generous offerings. Empower them by Your Holy and mighty Spirit to proclaim boldly, Jesus Saves!

Please Pray for our Missionaries

We lift our hearts to give thanks to our God for Your love for all Your children. Lord, Jesus, You have sheep in many other pastures. We recognize these as our brothers and sisters. Here in the Holy of holies we bow before Your throne and offer brothers and sisters we do not know to You for Your help, for Your healing, for Your deliverance, for Your instruction in righteousness, and for Your blessings of basic necessities and safety.

Please Pray for our Brothers and Sisters around the World

Please Pray for our Loved Ones in Need

To You, our God, we offer Honor Praise and Glory. We declare Your Majesty, Dominion, Power, Grace, and Love in the joy that You have given us.

Hallelujah, Lord God Most Holy!

Join with me now in offering the prayer that our Lord Jesus taught us, saying…

The Lord’s Prayer

Now turn with me in honoring our Lord Jesus in the prayer that He taught us, saying…

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever.


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Father’s Day

18 Jun , 2017  

Fatherhood of God

Untitled design (17)Scripture is filled with passages that affirm the truth that God is not only our Creator, but He is also our Father. Here are just a few:

Wherefore David blessed Jehovah before all the assembly; and David said, Blessed be thou, O Jehovah, the God of Israel our father, forever and ever.   (1 Chronicles 29:10)

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.   (Isaiah 9:6)

For thou art our Father, though Abraham knoweth us not, and Israel doth not acknowledge us: thou, O Jehovah, art our Father; our Redeemer from everlasting is thy name.   (Isaiah 63:16)

…but I say unto you, Love your enemies, and pray for them that persecute you; that ye may be sons of your Father who is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust.   (Matthew 5:44-45)

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?  (Luke 11:13)

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For ye received not the spirit of bondage again unto fear; but ye received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are children of God: and if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified with him.  (Romans 8:14-17)

Please Pray with me

We are deeply Grateful, Almighty Lord God and our Father that You have bestowed upon us the inestimable honor of adoption as Your daughters and sons. We desire to live in ways that honor You. Guide us by Your Holy Spirit.

Please pray your prayer of thanksgiving to your Father.

Pause for Prayer

Untitled design (18)Father, you have called us to be your children and joint heirs with Jesus. You have enlisted us in Your service as intercessors to pray for the world, for our brothers and sisters in Christ for Rulers and all in authority, and for the needy.

Please present your intercessions to your Heavenly Father who is always ready to hear.

Pause for Prayer

We individually and jointly thank you for the father’s you gave us. We ask your blessing on them. Grant them your everlasting grace and peace.

Now, Father as Your beloved children, we join our hearts together in honoring You with the prayer Jesus taught, saying.

Join with me in the Prayer that Our Savior taught us, saying…

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever.