September 20, 2009 All Things Are Possible With God [Cont’d]

All Things Are Possible With God, Continued

 

Jeremiah 12.5 puts your encouragement, ‘hang in there’, into perspective.

Paul may have had this in mind when he penned 1 Corinthians 9.24-27. Isaiah 40.28-31 repeats this theme and attributes the source of your victory as God Himself – strength Coach, training Partner, Mentor (Psalm 18.31-39).

With Him, all things are possible!

When you fail, it is because you have not prepared for the challenge.

Don’t limit God’s success through you by your lack of conditioning!

 

Be persistent!

  • Like the little dog that grabs your pants leg, hang on until the challenge stops (and you win).
  • This was Jesus’ message in the parable He told in Luke 18.1-8.
  • Luke expresses this in verse 1.
  • What two points will Jesus make in verses 2-8?
  • Who is the ‘judge’ introduced in verse 2?
  • What clues are given about his identity?
  • How does the ‘widow’s’ complaint in verse 3 implicate the judge you identified?
  • What tipping point does the ‘judge’ give into in verse 5?
  • He sounds like Samson in Judges 16.16.
  • How is this like the drips of so-called Chinese water torture?
  • Note Jesus’ emphasis of this tipping point in verse 6.
  • How are you to be like this ‘widow’?
  • Jesus’ perspective in verse 7 is that God is ready and anxious (verse 8a) to help you but cannot.
  • How does your lack of conditioning explain ‘though He bears long with them?’

 

 

Jesus’ question.

  • ‘Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?’

(Luke 18.8b)

  • How does His question relate back to the message in verse 1?
  • When your faith is weak, you ‘lose heart’ when satan persists; when you ‘lose heart’, you give up on ‘prayer’; when you don’t ‘pray’, you lose!
  • Paul introduces the heroes of faith listed in chapter 11 with an admonition in

Hebrews 10.35-39.

 

What does this mean to you?

Don’t be part of verse 38; be part of verse 39!

 

Don’t give up; hang in there!

 

Revelation 12.11!

August 30, 2009 Are All Things Really Possible?

Are All Things Really Possible?

The Scripture verse on our meeting room wall makes a firm declaration: All things are possible with God! Really? All things? Possible? Maybe for God, but….

 

God means this for you, too. Consider the contexts.

In Matthew 19.26, Jesus tells the disciples that eternal-life salvation comes from God, alone, not by man’s works.

Paul repeats this in Ephesians 2.8-9.

So, what’s your part in the salvation process? See John 6.47.

In Mark 9.23, Jesus applies this reality to the healing of a father’s epileptic son.

Matthew 17.20 records Jesus’ words in the same incident with a general principle and promise; what is it?

Read Isaiah 7.9b in the positive tense. Is sickness really a ‘mountain’ to be cast away?

Jeremiah 32.17 expresses his faith in obeying God’s command in the midst of contrary observation. Would you buy property that was about to be confiscated?

How would you answer God’s question in Jeremiah 32.27?

Consider it from the past, the present, and the future. What limitations do you list?

Why do you have trouble with God’s absolute declarations?

You are conditioned by observation of the present and past.

What is wrong with the statement: if rescue/deliverance/healing/prosperity/completeness (you choose from your observation) did not come to so-in-so, it won’t come to me?

How have you put so-in-so between yourself and God?

How does James 1.5-8 answer these questions?

Consequently, is doubt good?

Consider, also, Hosea 4.6a.

You give up too quickly. God challenged Jeremiah in 12.5 with this point.

Jesus illustrated this with a parable and concluded with the question in Luke 18.8b.

How would you answer for yourself?

Notice that the widow’s resolution took longer than a sitcom, and she stayed focused on the goal!

You want to fit in with the crowd.

Does John 12.42-43 describe you?

How would you answer Jesus’ question in John 5.44?

Your beliefs are a mixture of teachings from the Bible, the song book, and the fraternal or social organization to which you belong.

How does this explain Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7?

Also, in Jesus’ confrontation with the Pharisees in Matthew 15.1-9, He asks a question and offers a condemnation.

Are you a ‘Pharisee’?

Does Jeremiah 8.8-9 explain your life?

 

How can you change each of these?

Change your observations by remembering God’s successes.

Micah 6.5 encourages remembering God’s faithfulness.

Stephen did this in Acts 7.1-50.

Moses did this regularly during the Exodus.

So, what watershed moments do you remember about God’s faithfulness?

How do these encourage you to believe He can do anything?

‘Choose today Whom you will serve’. Elijah’s question and alternative in 1 Kings 18.21 calls for your answer.

How did God show up and show off for Elijah?

Remember Samuel’s encouragement in 1 Samuel 12.20-24 and Jesus’ words in Matthew 6.24.

Choose Christ Jesus instead of the crowd. Consider Jesus’ instruction to disciples in Matthew 10.28, 32-33. Pretty cut and dry!

WWJD. He stayed focused to the end. ‘Persevere’ was Paul’s word to believers in Rome and Ephesus; see, Romans 5.3-5 and Ephesians 6.18.

Contemplate Jesus’ word in Revelation 3.10 in the context of today.

 

Praise God!!!

August 16, 2009 Ideologies v Christianity

Ideologies v Christianity

Christians experience many ideologies in the contexts of our days.  Webster defines ideology as ‘the doctrines, etc. on which a particular political or social system is based.’  The United States’ Constitution is a collection of such doctrines, as is the Baptist Faith and Message and the economic system called capitalism.

 

How are Christians to know which are acceptable to follow? 

For most of us, the Bible is our ‘proof text’. 

If we cannot find a particular ideology taught in the instructions from God, we know that He does not approve, and, so, we must disdain it.

Examples include abortion (Exodus 20.13), homosexuality (Leviticus 18.22, Leviticus 20.13),

greed (1 Timothy 6.9-10), sexual promiscuity (1 Corinthians 6.18-20), and

narcissism (Romans 12.3). 

We hear apologists for these systems of belief and practice each day in personal conversation, in newspaper and magazine articles and advertisements, and on the television and radio stations of secular society.

 

An OneNewsNow.com story by Jim Brown on August 11, 2009, discussed a study, by the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research, on how college majors and religious faith affect each other.  Its findings are as follows:

Students majoring in social sciences and humanities are likely to become less religious during the years from start to finish of their college experience.

Students majoring in education are likely to become more religious.

Students majoring in biology and physical sciences remain about the same during their years at university.

Students were asked how often they attended religious services, how important religion is in their lives and their assessment of the impact of churches and para-church organizations in society.

I believe that Judges 2.7-13 helps to explain these results. 

See Proverbs 22.6 and 2 Timothy 3.16-17 also.

 

Dr. Phil Mitchell, former history professor at the University of Colorado and currently teaching social sciences at Colorado Christian University, explained that ‘humanities and social sciences at most major public and private universities are no longer academic disciplines, but instead advocacy groups that are specifically anti-Christian.’  

 

Why would professors and students of humanities and social sciences be systematically hostile to Christianity? 

Pope Benedict XVI answered in his latest encyclical Cartias in Veritate (charity in truth).  Newsmax.com reporter Edward Pentin quoted the Pope in his article on Monday, August 10, 2009, as follows:

‘”On the one hand, there are philosophies and ideologies, but also on an increasing scale, ways of thinking and acting that extol the freedom of man as the only principle, as an alternative to God, and thus transform man into a god, whose system of behavior is of an arbitrary nature.’”  (Relativism)

He continues with a warning: ‘…ideological rejection of God and an atheism of indifference oblivious to the Creator and at risk of becoming equally oblivious to human values, “constitute some of the chief obstacles to development today.”’

Bottom line, humanists and social scientists detest John 14.6; they are not the way; their philosophies are not ‘the’ truth; they are dead without Jesus; and they do not like it!

This is the lie that satan told Eve in Genesis 3.1-7.  Their opened eyes led to their discovery of evil led to their choosing evil led to their rationalizing their decision led to blaming and disobeying God because He did not agree.

And so, ideologies of man continue to degenerate and devolve the world around us.  Notice God’s comments on this in Isaiah 14.12 and Jeremiah 13.10.  This is the natural course when satan leads!

 

Is there any difference between Islam and Marxism?

Dr. Bill Warner, from the Center for the Study of Political Islam, described Islam as the confusion of two Korans, the life of Mohammad, and the resulting traditions over time.  ‘Confusion’ because there is no alignment that promotes understanding; Islam intentionally confuses its followers.

Mohammad converted only 150 people to his peaceful teachings during his 13 years in Mecca.  But, the jihadist movement during his next 10 years in Medina resulted in the systematic slaughter of his opposition and increasing control over the people and society.  During the next 1,400 years, 270,000,000 Africans, Christians, Hindus, and Buddhists have been massacred by Muslims.  How many is that per year?  Per day?  Per hour?

Islam subjugates peoples to the controls of ideologists who use satan’s deceptions of choice: force, greed, ambition, selfishness, and sexual pleasure.

Marxism does the same.  Allaboutphilosophy.org/what-is-marxism-faq says that ‘Marxism is a system of socialism of which the dominant feature is public ownership (the state, MP) of the means of production, distribution, and exchange.’

As in Islam, the relative few leaders in Marxism decide for the masses of people and enforce their dictates with fear and force.

As ideologies, Islam is the antithesis of Christianity, just as Marxism (socialism and communism) is the antithesis of capitalism.

 

Karl Marx is the poster child for knowing who is teaching the children!

He was born in Trier, Germany, in 1818 to Hirschel and Henrietta Marx.

Hirschel was a lawyer who abandoned his Jewish faith because of anti-Semitism when Karl was a child.  Although most of Trier was Catholic, he became a Protestant and changed his name to Heinrich.

Karl was educated at Berlin University, being especially drawn to atheist and political radical Bruno Bauer, who introduced him to the philosophies of G. W. F. Hegel.

Spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/TUmarx completes the story of Marx collaboration with Friedrich Engels in implementing Hegel’s theories on class warfare.

Again, we see Judges 2.7-13 at work.

 

Our children will be exposed to the ideologies of teachers and administrators through teaching goals and texts that support fact or fiction.

 

What are Christians to do? 

Read their texts; talk with their teachers about the curricula; and, above all, 2 Timothy 3.16-17! 

If you find the worst, protect young minds from satan’s deceptions. 

Remember God’s command in Deuteronomy 6.6-7.

 

Another way to stay focused on Christianity and not on ideologies.

Israel gave in to the ideologies of the nations that surrounded them and asked for a king. 

Read 1 Samuel 8.4-7 and compare it to Jeremiah 13.10.

God knew the people would weaken and assimilate to look no different from their neighbors. 

So, Moses wrote Deuteronomy 17.18-20.

 

Would writing out the Ten Commandments or Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount be a good exercise for all who lead countries, companies, schools, classes, and families?

 

How would this reduce our tendency to follow after ideologies?

 

Remember Colossians 2.8-10!

 

(This lesson and others can be found at www.sozoclass.com.  Enjoy.)

August 2, 2009 Zeal That Produces Results

Zeal That Produces Results

 

(This is the final lesson in our discussion of privatization in America.  The outline comes from Don’t Ask; Don’t Tell.)

How zealous are you for the Lord?  Would you do what Jesus did in John 2.13-17?  Notice King David’s example in Psalm 69.9

 

How zealous is the Lord for you?  He is ready to do what He needs to do to provide for you and make you successful in whatever you do.  This is especially true when you are fighting satan.  What does He say to King Hezekiah in Isaiah 37.32?  His zeal is ready to help you, too!

 

Zeal is the best word to describe the apostles’ prayer in Acts 4.23-31.

  • Remember Peter’s shot heard in satan’s kingdom in Acts 4.19-20.  This was a declaration of war!
  • How should Acts 4.23-31 and 33 remind you of 2 Corinthians 10.3-6?
  • How does verse 30 define ‘confidence/boldness’ in verse 29?  What is the similarity of this with Jesus’ words in Matthew 10.7-8?
  • Peter turned Jesus’ warning in Matthew 10.22 into his weapon in Acts 4.30!  This is the greatest work of the Christian in the present hour of satan’s attack.
  • How did God say ‘amen’ in verse 31?  What three things happened? 
  • How is the last thing illustrative of Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 2.4-5? 
  • Acts 4.33 comments on the disciples’ effectiveness.  This is what He wants for you and me.

 

Don’t be intimidated by privatization; YOU bow its knees with the name Jesus!

 

Occupy until Jesus comes!

July 26, 2009 Don’t Ask Don’t Tell [cont’d]

Continuation of Don’t Ask; Don’t Tell

 

How can you endure privatization until the earlier of your Rapture or Earthly death? 

In Matthew 10.22, Jesus explains the increasing hatred of Christians and encourages us with the hope of eternal life.  In Luke 19.13, He says, ‘Occupy till I come!’  This is a command, not a request, for our faithfulness to His name.  It is that name, ‘Jesus’, which will keep us safe until His return for us, just as He said in John 17.11-12.  Notice that He says that He kept the disciples by ‘Jesus’, and He asks God to keep us by that name, ‘Jesus’.  There is power in that name!

 

‘Onward Christian soldier marching as to war’

  • Peter and John experienced leaders gone postal because of satan’s lies.  Read the story in Acts 4.1-31 and 33 and consider the following.
  • What were the leaders upset about?  Verse 2.  Why?  Read Acts 3.11-26.
  • How is Peter’s defense in Acts 4.10 and 12 explained by Paul’s Philippians 2.9-11? 
  • What is the connection of demons and paralysis?  How does Luke 13.16 explain?  Note the power of the name ‘Jesus’ to cause a man who had been reminded of his inability to walk for 24/7/365/40 = 2,452,800 hours!  The instant of faith, however, strengthened his legs and feet and taught his brain how to put one foot in front of the other, even to run and leap!  How powerful is that name, ‘Jesus’!!!
  • Note how Luke 10.9 and 17-20 were on Peter’s mind in Acts 4.20.  What inspires your greatness?
  • Would you agree that Peter’s declaration of war in Acts 4.19-20 express the song lyric, ‘no turning back; I’ll follow Him’?  Can you think of a better lyric?
  • Peter said he could not stop talking about the power of the name, ‘Jesus’.  What do you talk most about?  What is the lesson for us in the context of privatization?
  • How should Acts 4.23-31 and 33 remind you of 2 Corinthians 10.3-6?
  • How are these verses illustrated by Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 20, Hezekiah in Isaiah 37, and Paul in Acts 14.19-20?
  • How does verse 30 define ‘confidence/boldness’ in verse 29?  What is the similarity of this with Jesus’ words in Matthew 10.7-8?
  • Peter turned Jesus’ warning in Matthew 10.22 into his weapon in Acts 4.30!
  • How did God say ‘amen’ in verse 31?  What three things happened? 
  • How is the last thing illustrative of Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 2.4-5? 
  • Acts 4.33 comments on the disciples’ effectiveness. 

 

Don’t be intimidated by privatization; bow its knees with the name Jesus!

July 12, 2009 ‘Don’t Ask; Don’t Tell’

Don’t Ask; Don’t Tell

 

You recognize this as President Clinton’s instruction to the military about the abomination of homosexuality. It is satan’s intent to enforce this ban on Christians who would tell others that Jesus is the only way to God.

(Jo 14.6)

It is called ‘privatization’. This is not new; satan has deceived other generations with ecclesiastical or civil law to remain silent about Jesus.

What will you do if/when ‘hate speech’ legislation is forced upon you?

 

‘Tell us lies; tell us sweet little lies’

          This lyric from contemporary song was written long ago, in other words.

          The generation in Judah, about 700 BC, sang it, as Isaiah evidences in

Isaiah 29.13             Isaiah 30.8-11

          God asks an interesting question after a similar complaint about another generation in

Jeremiah 5.30-31.

What is happening?

          God drills down deeper into the cause with, still, another generation in Malachi 2.7-8.

What would persuade God’s spokesmen to compromise their teaching?

What has repeated each time from Isaiah 30.8-11?

          Fast forward to Paul’s analysis in 2 Timothy 4.3-4 and hear the same complaint.

          What evidence do you see of this same malady today?

          Privatization says, ‘don’t ask; don’t tell.’

Privatization is caused by Jeremiah 13.10 and Jeremiah 22.8-9.

See also Proverbs 29.18. Privatization leads to Hosea 4.6.

 

‘There’s something about that name’

          You cannot say that Jesus did not warn us.

What did He say in Matthew 10.16-26 would cause this?

What behavior should you expect?

          How do Paul’s and Barnabas’ experiences in Acts 13.50 and Acts 14.2, 5-6, 19-20, illustrate this?

          How does Acts 13.51 fulfill Matthew 10.14?

Have you ever done this?

          It is true; Philippians 2.9-11 tell us there is something about that name!

What is it?

 

‘Onward Christian soldier marching as to war’

          Peter and John experienced leaders gone postal because of satan’s lies.

Read the story in Acts 4.1-31, 33 and consider the following.

                             What were the leaders upset about? Verse 2. Why? Read Acts 3.11-26.

          How is Peter’s defense in Acts 4.10, 12 explained by Paul’s Philippians 2.9-11?

What is the connection of demons and paralysis?

          Note how Luke 10.9, 17-20, were on Peter’s mind in Acts 4.20.

What inspires your greatness?

Would you agree that Peter’s declaration of war in Acts 4.19-20 express the song lyric, ‘no turning back;

I’ll follow Him’?

Can you thing of a better lyric?

          How should Acts 4.23-31, 33, remind you of 2 Corinthians 10.3-6?

                   How does verse 30 define ‘boldness’ in verse 29?

          Peter turned Jesus’ warning in Matthew 10.22 into his weapon in Acts 4.30!

          How did God say ‘amen’ in verse 31?

What three things happened?

How is the last thing illustrative of Jesus’ words in Matthew 10.7-8 and of Paul’s words in

1 Corinthians 2.4-5?

Acts 4.33 comments on the disciples’ effectiveness

Enjoy Psalm 75.1 and Psalm 80.3.

 

Don’t be intimidated by privatization; bow its knees with the name of Jesus!

July 5, 2009 Confronting American Pluralism [cont’d]

Confronting American Pluralism [cont’d]

 

Are you a ‘plunderer’? 

Are you a ‘battle axe and weapon of war’?  See Jeremiah 51.53 and 20. 

 

Remember the military recruiting poster showing Uncle Sam sternly looking at you and saying, ‘America wants you!’  Replace his words with ‘America wants Jesus in you’, and you understand why you were born in the United States of America at this time.  You are needed to overcome her enemies ‘by the blood of the Lamb and the word of [your] testimony’.  See Revelation 12.11.

 

The same enemy continues the cycles of weakening the nations that began in the Garden.

See Isaiah 14.12 and Genesis 3.1 and 5. 

 

satan has used his seductions to twist the hearts of leaders to do his nefarious works.  There are similarities between Israel (the northern kingdom of 10 tribes of Jacob) and America that are the topic of this lesson near the 233rd celebration of our independence. 

 

‘Sold out to do evil’ explains our Declaration of Independence.

1 Kings 21.25 describes King Ahab with this accusation, which is explained further in 1 Kings 16.30-33. 

 

He invited evil back into the Promised Land after God had driven its seven practicing nations out.

Such an accusation had led Puritans and Separatists from the Church of England, as Peter Marshall and David Manuel reveal in their book, The Light and the Glory, 1977, page 108.  “The church hierarchy had grown increasingly alarmed at the growth of two movements of ‘fanatics’.  The first and much larger group claimed to be dedicated to ‘purifying the Church from within’, which made them suspect from the start to the [House of] Bishops, who saw nothing which needed purifying.  These ‘Puritans’, as they were sarcastically dubbed (and which epithet they eventually took for their own) did, however, at least continue to acknowledge canonical authority.  Thus they could easily be kept from positions of responsibility, and otherwise ignored. There was another element, however, which the Bishops considered more dangerous.  These were radicals who held that the Church of England was already corrupted beyond any possibility of purification.  Moreover, they believed that the Church could only be under the headship of Jesus Christ, and hence no person, not even the Queen, could take the title ‘Head of the Church’.  They chose to separate themselves from the Church, and conduct their own worship.  And, given their way, these ‘Separatists’ would reduce worship to primitive preaching, teaching, singing, and free praying, which would do away with sixteen centuries of established liturgical tradition.” 

They came to America, and their progeny wrote our Declaration of Independence, which ‘represents both the genesis and heart of American liberty.  Our rights come from our Creator, not the government, sovereign, or King’ (Rediscovering God in America, by Newt Gingrich, 2006, page 30).

“The Declaration of Independence contains four references to God:

as Lawmaker (‘the laws of nature and nature’s God’);

as Creator (‘endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights’);

as Supreme Judge (‘the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions’); and

as Protector (‘the protection of Divine Providence’)” (ibid).

Like Ahab, however, the leaders of America have, especially during the last 50 years, defiled our land with the demons which guided their philosophies – multiculturalism, diversity, homosexuality, perversion, and anti-Christianity.

 

Will the First Amendment to our United States Constitution be our undoing?

The introduction of philosophies by the election or appointment of their holders to public office or university professorships or broadcast celebrity caused the downfall of earlier societies and will cause our downfall, too. 

See Isaiah 14.12 and Isaiah 5.20-21 and Amos 2.4.

 

The ACLU cleverly twisted the meaning of the words to exclude God from government.  But, the framers of the Constitution only wrote that the government could not impose a specific system of belief.  “People came to America’s shores to be free to practice their religious beliefs.  It brought the Puritans with their desire to create a ‘city on a hill’ that would be a beacon of religious belief and piety.  The Pilgrims were another group that poured into the new colonies.  Quakers in Pennsylvania were another, Catholics in Maryland yet a fourth” (ibid, page 10).

God within our government was the framers’ desire, as is expressed by the following:

Thomas Jefferson: ‘God who gave us life gave us liberty.  Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?’ (ibid, page 42);

Samuel Adams: ‘Religion and good morals are the only solid foundation of public liberty and happiness.’ (ibid, page 19);

Benjamin Rush: ‘The only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be laid in religion.  Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments.’ (ibid, page 20);

Benjamin Franklin: ‘God governs in the affairs of men.  And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?’ (ibid, page 26)

But, relativism is now promoted by governmental leaders.  Today, Eastern mysticism and Islam are the pet promotions of anti-Christian elitists who profane God and His Christ. 

Jeremiah 13.10,    Isaiah 2.6,    John 8.42,    Acts 17.21,

 

Romans 1.20-23, 2 Corinthians 4.3-4, Colossians 2.8

 

Further, the numbers of persons who claim ‘no religion’ has grown in all 50 states in the past 18 years; so wrote Saritha Parabhu, a Tennessean columnist, on May 29, 2009, in her opinion article titled, ‘Atheists, agnostics part of our individuality’.  She describes herself as a Hindu with agnostic tendencies.  The website of a San Francisco atheist group says they ‘want to live natural, religion-free lives…respect science and learning, knowing that only human thought, effort and courage will bring individual freedom and cultural progress’ (WorldNetDaily.com article, ‘Atheists stage festival for anti-religion films’, June 27, 2009).

 

Who will step forward and proclaim

Proverbs 14.34?

 

God has always wanted to be part of man’s activities – personal time, marriage, work, church, and government.  Because He is Spirit (John 4.24), He chose men before and after the time of Jesus Christ to be His spokesmen and workers of ‘signs and wonders’ (Exodus 34.10).  Join with the following.

 

Elijah was chosen by God to proclaim this truth to Ahab; see 1 Kings 17.1.  God proved His sincerity through an act of nature; He stopped the rain; a consequence of Ahab’s being ‘sold out to do evil’ (1 Kings 21.25; Hosea 4.1-2, 6a, 12b, Hosea 5.4; spirit of harlotry). 

The result of spiritual adultery is the absence of God’s blessings.  See Proverbs 11.11 and Proverbs 29.2.

 

Jonah was chosen by God to deliver His message to a wicked people.  God prepared the people to listen for certain words from Jonah that would prompt specific actions; connect Jonah 3.2, 4, 5, 10. 

He does the same each time we speak for Him (how does Matthew 10.19-20 explain this?). 

 

Note God’s description of the people of Nineveh in Jonah 4.11: they are so confused by satan        (2 Corinthians 4.3-4; Isaiah 44.19-20)

that they cannot discern between their right and left hands! 

 

How does Jonah 2.8 explain this?

 

Jeremiah was told by God that He had planned for him to be His ‘prophet to the nations’ (Jeremiah 1.4-10). 

 

So, are you a ‘plunderer’?  Are you a ‘battle axe and weapon of war’?  You are in the contexts of your life!  See Jeremiah 51.53 and 20.  You are needed to overcome America’s enemies ‘by the blood of the Lamb and the word of [your] testimony’. 

See Revelation 12.11.

 

Isaiah was convicted by God to go and proclaim warning and salvation to Judah (the southern kingdom of 2 tribes of Jacob), and he volunteered. 

See Isaiah 6.8. 

 

Who has God birthed at this time to be His prophet to America?  If you are not him, you should pray for God to bring him forth!

 

And, will you go into your contexts as a prophet to speak against the spirit of harlotry?  What steps will you take to prepare? 

How will you listen to the Holy Spirit as you speak and act?

June 28, 2009 Confronting American Pluralism

Confronting American Pluralism

 

Are you a ‘plunderer’? 

Are you a ‘battle axe and weapon of war’?  See Jeremiah 51.53 and 20. 

 

Remember the military recruiting poster showing Uncle Sam sternly looking at you and saying, ‘America wants you!’  Replace his words with ‘America wants Jesus in you’, and you understand why you were born in the United States of America at this time.  You are needed to overcome her enemies ‘by the blood of the Lamb and the word of [your] testimony’.  See Revelation 12.11.

 

The same enemy continues the cycles of weakening the nations that began in the Garden.

See Isaiah 14.12 and Genesis 3.1 and 5. 

 

satan has used his seductions to twist the hearts of leaders to do his nefarious works.  There are similarities between Israel (the northern kingdom of 10 tribes of Jacob) and America that are the topic of this lesson near the 233rd celebration of our independence. 

 

Will you be Elijah in God’s hand?

 

‘Sold out to do evil’ explains our Declaration of Independence.

 

1 Kings 21.25 describes King Ahab with this accusation, which is explained further in 1 Kings 16.30-33. 

 

He invited evil back into the Promised Land after God had driven its seven practicing nations out.

Such an accusation had led Puritans and Separatists from the Church of England, as Peter Marshall and David Manuel reveal in their book, The Light and the Glory, 1977, page 108.  “The church hierarchy had grown increasingly alarmed at the growth of two movements of ‘fanatics’.  The first and much larger group claimed to be dedicated to ‘purifying the Church from within’, which made them suspect from the start to the [House of] Bishops, who saw nothing which needed purifying.  These ‘Puritans’, as they were sarcastically dubbed (and which epithet they eventually took for their own) did, however, at least continue to acknowledge canonical authority.  Thus they could easily be kept from positions of responsibility, and otherwise ignored. There was another element, however, which the Bishops considered more dangerous.  These were radicals who held that the Church of England was already corrupted beyond any possibility of purification.  Moreover, they believed that the Church could only be under the headship of Jesus Christ, and hence no person, not even the Queen, could take the title ‘Head of the Church’.  They chose to separate themselves from the Church, and conduct their own worship.  And, given their way, these ‘Separatists’ would reduce worship to primitive preaching, teaching, singing, and free praying, which would do away with sixteen centuries of established liturgical tradition.” 

They came to America, and their progeny wrote our Declaration of Independence, which ‘represents both the genesis and heart of American liberty.  Our rights come from our Creator, not the government, sovereign, or King’ (Rediscovering God in America, by Newt Gingrich, 2006, page 30).

“The Declaration of Independence contains four references to God: as Lawmaker (‘the laws of nature and nature’s God’); as Creator (‘endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights’); as Supreme Judge (‘the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions’); and as Protector (‘the protection of Divine Providence’)” (ibid).

Like Ahab, however, the leaders of America have, especially during the last 50 years, defiled our land with the demons which guided their philosophies – multiculturalism, diversity, homosexuality, perversion, and anti-Christianity.

 

Will the First Amendment to our United States Constitution be our undoing?

The introduction of philosophies by the election or appointment of their holders to public office or university professorships or broadcast celebrity caused the downfall of earlier societies and will cause our downfall, too. 

See Isaiah 14.12 and Isaiah 5.20-21 and Amos 2.4.

 

The ACLU cleverly twisted the meaning of the words to exclude God from government.  But, the framers of the Constitution only wrote that the government could not impose a specific system of belief.  “People came to America’s shores to be free to practice their religious beliefs.  It brought the Puritans with their desire to create a ‘city on a hill’ that would be a beacon of religious belief and piety.  The Pilgrims were another group that poured into the new colonies.  Quakers in Pennsylvania were another, Catholics in Maryland yet a fourth” (ibid, page 10).

God within our government was the framers’ desire, as is expressed by the following:

Thomas Jefferson: ‘God who gave us life gave us liberty.  Can the liberties of a nation be secure when we have removed a conviction that these liberties are the gift of God?’ (ibid, page 42);

Samuel Adams: ‘Religion and good morals are the only solid foundation of public liberty and happiness.’ (ibid, page 19);

Benjamin Rush: ‘The only foundation for a useful education in a republic is to be laid in religion.  Without this there can be no virtue, and without virtue there can be no liberty, and liberty is the object and life of all republican governments.’ (ibid, page 20);

Benjamin Franklin: ‘God governs in the affairs of men.  And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid?’ (ibid, page 26)

But, relativism is now promoted by governmental leaders.  Today, Eastern mysticism and Islam are the pet promotions of anti-Christian elitists who profane God and His Christ. 

Jeremiah 13.10,    Isaiah 2.6,    John 8.42,    Acts 17.21,

 

Romans 1.20-23, 2 Corinthians 4.3-4, Colossians 2.8

 

Further, the numbers of persons who claim ‘no religion’ has grown in all 50 states in the past 18 years; so wrote Saritha Parabhu, a Tennessean columnist, on May 29, 2009, in her opinion article titled, ‘Atheists, agnostics part of our individuality’.  She describes herself as a Hindu with agnostic tendencies.  The website of a San Francisco atheist group says they ‘want to live natural, religion-free lives…respect science and learning, knowing that only human thought, effort and courage will bring individual freedom and cultural progress’ (WorldNetDaily.com article, ‘Atheists stage festival for anti-religion films’, June 27, 2009).

 

Who will step forward and proclaim Proverbs 14.34?

Elijah was chosen by God to proclaim this truth to Ahab. 

The God of ‘signs and wonders’ proved His sincerity through nature; see 1 Kings 17.1. 

The result of spiritual adultery is the absence of God’s blessings. 

          See Proverbs 11.11 and Proverbs 29.2.

 

Later, Isaiah was convicted by God to go and proclaim warning and salvation to Judah (the southern kingdom of 2 tribes of Jacob).  See Isaiah 6.8.

 

Jesus and His followers continued this. 

It is the subject of the New Testament.

 

So, are you a ‘plunderer’? 

Are you a ‘battle axe and weapon of war’?  See Jeremiah 51.53 and 20. 

 

You are needed to overcome America’s enemies ‘by the blood of the Lamb and the word of [your] testimony’.  See Revelation 12.11. 

 

Enlist today!

June 21, 2009 Beware, You, Too, May Fail

Beware, You, Too, May Fall!

 

The Apostle Paul reminds us to be diligent with every step we take. 

See 1 Corinthians 10.12  

 

It is interesting that times have not changed, for he was writing almost 2,000 years ago and about people who lived 2,000 years earlier.

Philosophies are insidious, like the iceberg that sank the Titanic.  We hear just enough, and innocent at that, to lure our interest and compassion from remembering our experience with hot surface that appeared just warm.  Too late, the skin of our protection is pierced and we capsize amidst our good intentions.  So, heed Paul’s words!

 

Jehoshaphat needed to know Paul.

2 Chronicles 19.1-2 was the unwelcomed news that Jehoshaphat should have anticipated. 

He had been listening to philosophies for some time, and God knew and was not happy.  Do we, too, believe that we can get away with our ‘secret sins’?  There are no secrets with God!  What part of omniscient do we not understand?

‘Helping the wicked’ and ‘loving those who hate God’ is the worse condemnation that a person can hear!  Are we guilty, too?

Jehoshaphat had helped a fellow king of Judah’s sister country with a conquest by force. 

Read the story in 2 Chronicles 18; notice the deception and philosophy that caused it.  

Remember, also, that force is one of satans five lures to gain control of our lives.  The others are greed, ambition, selfishness, and sexual pleasure.

Verse 1 of Chapter 18 tells us that Jehoshaphat had ‘allied himself with Ahab’.  Such alignments were usually sealed by marrying a daughter.  (He should have chosen better advisors, too.)  He would have done well to have read about his ancestor, Solomon’s troubles that began with such alignment. 

See 1 Kings 3.1 leading to 1 Kings 11.1-11

 

Why did he align himself with wickedness, in light of 2 Chronicles 17.10?  This was just another of the blessings of

 

God outlined in Verses 3-10. 

How does verse 3 remind you of Joshua 1.7-8 and

Proverbs 3.5-6?

 

Ahab was the type of person your mother used to warn you not to be with.  What philosophies do you count in 1 Kings 16.29-33 and 1Kings 21.25-26 that controlled him? 

 

How is 2 Chronicles 19.2 both a warning of movement toward and an explanation of

Jeremiah 13.10?

 

What would Paul have told him?

2 Corinthians 6.14, amplified in 1 Corinthians 5.9 and (Moses in) Deuteronomy 7.1-3 and Deuteronomy 22.10.

Romans 6.16, amplified in Galatians 4.3 , 9;  Hebrews 7.18-19.

Colossians 2.8-10, amplified in 1 John 2.15-17

1 Corinthians 13.11.

 

Would Jehoshaphat have listened?

  • What does 2 Chronicles 20.12 indicate?
  • Will you listen to Paul’s words? 
  • What will you do differently, so others will know?

Remember that the Bible gives God’s instructions for mankind and illustrations of people who failed by not following or who succeeded by keeping His word.  See 2 Chronicles 16.9.

June 14, 2009 The Beginning and End of Philosophy

The Beginning and End of Philosophy

 

Liberal theologian Paul Tillich observed: ‘Religion is the essence of culture, and culture is the dress of religion.’  Anyone old enough to remember several decades will confirm that American culture has changed and can give poignant illustrations.  If Tillich’s connection is true, what are we to deduce from our observations of change in religion?  We are in ‘the last days’, as the Apostle Paul described them to his protégé in 2 Timothy 3.1-9, ‘times of stress’.

 

Philosophy is destroying America and the world around us. 

Let’s consider the essence of philosophy.

 

Think of a teeter-totter on the playground, with two children alternatively lifting each other from low to high. 

Call one child ‘spirit’ and the other ‘body’ and the fulcrum ‘mind’. 

 1 Thessalonians 5.23

Your mind must decide when it will respond to the words of Jesus to your spirit and when it will respond to satan’s temptations of your body.  1 John 2.15-17. 

This is the struggle of daily life, and you must choose moment by moment!  Jeremiah 13.10 and John 16.33

 

The Beginning of Philosophy

It began with a lie.

Eve believed the serpent’s deception that she could be god.  Genesis 3.1-5.

It was an easy transition: opened eyes led to knowing evil and good led to deciding which was better led to rationalizing evil led to calling God a liar for not agreeing with her.

Life became ‘relative’ with the end being increasing degeneration/devolution.

Adam and Eve knew the perfection of good in the Garden – beauty, abundance, innocence, harmony, and walks with God Himself! 

Before the lie, their minds chose the spirit because that’s all they knew.  Philippians 4.8.

After the lie, their minds chose the body and the consequences of loss of ‘paradise’, struggle against satan for food, difficult birth of children, and sibling rivalry leading to murder and more lying. 

James 3.16.

satan constructed a philosophy through words of lie.  Eve bought into it.

Like the fish in the story, the lie grows with new variants of philosophy.  This is relativism. 

But it still is a lie.  Ephesians 4.14.

 

Characteristics of a Lie/Philosophy

Colossians 2.8 says that philosophy is ‘empty deception’. 

How are the items listed in Colossians 3.5-6 and 8-9 empty deceptions?

Colossians 2.8 says that philosophy is ‘tradition of men’. 

How is the groups listed in Colossians 3.11 the tradition of men?

Colossians 2.8 says that philosophy is ‘elementary principles of the world’. 

How is the items listed in Colossians 2.21 elementary principles of the world?

Philosophy weakens people, thereby nations, because it is comprised of satan’s weapons:

force,       greed,           ambition,       selfishness, and        sexual pleasure.  Isaiah 14.12. 

These satisfy the body! 

satan keeps them in our eyes and ears as constant deceptions.

In its end, philosophy calls God a liar! 

It represents man’s decision to choose evil over good.

 

Philosophy Ends When Truth Arrives

Colossians 2.8 contrasts each of lie’s characteristics against the clause ‘not according to Christ’. 

Colossians 3.10–4.6     Matthew 5.1-7.29     John 8.31-32.

 

Why ‘according to Christ’?  He is the ‘truth’ against which all words are to be measured. 

John 3.33       John 8.45-47          John17.17       John 18.37

 

Based upon this, how much more time will you commit to Bible study? 

2 Timothy 3.16-17                 2 Peter 3.17-18. 

 

How can you at least balance the evil messages you receive with those that are good?

 

Why ‘according to Christ’? 

 

He has won the victory over philosophy for us;

John 16.33                 Romans 10.17             1 John 5.4

 

How much faith do you need to overcome the philosophies that surround you? 

Which specific verses contain that faith for you? 

When will you memorize them? 

How often will you repeat them?

 

Why ‘according to Christ’?  John 14.6. 

His words will judge us; John 12.46-50. 

How does Deuteronomy 18.19 add importance to these verses?

 

Why choose truth?              Proverbs 14.12 and Proverbs 4.23

Contemplate the following illustrations of these verses:

free v slave;    strong v weak;      absolute v relative;    

truth v philosophy.

Now, what will you do?