1 Corinthians 15
King James Version (KJV)
15 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.
8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.
9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
11 Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.
12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?
13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:
14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.
16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:
17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.
19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.
24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.
28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.
29 Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?
30 And why stand we in jeopardy every hour?
31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.
32 If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die.
33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.
35 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?
36 Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die:
37 And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain:
38 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.
39 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.
40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.
41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.
42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:
43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:
44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
47 The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven.
48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.
49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
Was America once a Christian nation?
Exclusive: Bill Federer looks at Obama’s 2006 statement in light of state constitutions
“Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation.” – President Barack Obama, June 28, 2006
Wouldn’t it be interesting to find out “whatever we once were”?
Originally, laws that governed personal behavior were under states’ jurisdiction, not federal.
People today are aware that some states allow minors to consume alcohol, and others do not; some states have smoking bans, and others do not; some states allow gambling, and others do not; some states attempt to limit the Second Amendment, and others do not; some states allow gay marriage, and others do not; and one state allows prostitution, while the rest do not.
At the time the Constitution was written, religion was under each individual state’s jurisdiction, and each state expanded religious tolerance at its own speed.
The U.S. Constitution went into effect June 21, 1788, when two-thirds of the states ratified it.
What was in those original 13 state Constitutions concerning religion at the time those states ratified the U.S. Constitution? [Caps added throughout for emphasis.]
DELAWARE – first to ratify the U.S. Constitution, stated in its 1776 state constitution:
“Every person … appointed to any office … shall … subscribe … ‘I … profess faith in GOD THE FATHER, and in JESUS CHRIST His only Son, and in the HOLY GHOST, one God, blessed for evermore; and I do acknowledge the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by Divine inspiration.’”
PENNSYLVANIA – second to ratify the U.S. Constitution, stated in its 1776 state constitution, signed by Ben Franklin:
“Each member, before he takes his seat, shall … subscribe … ‘I do believe in one GOD, the Creator and Governor of the Universe, the Rewarder of the good and the Punisher of the wicked. And I do acknowledge the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament to be given by Divine Inspiration.’”
NEW JERSEY – third to ratify the U.S. Constitution, stated in its 1776 state constitution:
“All persons, professing a belief in the faith of any PROTESTANT sect, who shall demean themselves peaceably under the government … shall be capable of being elected.”
GEORGIA – fourth to ratify the U.S. Constitution, stated in its 1777 state constitution:
“Representatives shall be chosen out of the residents in each county … and they shall be of the PROTESTANT religion.”
CONNECTICUT – fifth to ratify the U.S. Constitution, retained its 1662 Colonial Constitution, which was established PROTESTANT CONGREGATIONAL, till 1818:
“By the Providence of GOD … having from their ancestors derived a free and excellent Constitution … whereby the legislature depends on the free and annual election. … The free fruition of such liberties and privileges as humanity, civility and CHRISTIANITY call for.”
MASSACHUSETTS – sixth to ratify the U.S. Constitution, stated in its 1780 state constitution, written by John Adams:
“Any person … before he … execute the duties of his … office … [shall] subscribe … ‘I … declare, that I believe the CHRISTIAN religion, and have a firm persuasion of its truth.’ … The legislature shall … authorize the support and maintenance of public PROTESTANT teachers of piety, religion and morality.”
MARYLAND – seventh to ratify the U.S. Constitution, stated in its 1776 state constitution:
“No other test … ought to be required, on admission to any office … than such oath of support and fidelity to this State … and a declaration of a belief in the CHRISTIAN religion.”
SOUTH CAROLINA – eighth to ratify the U.S. Constitution, stated in its 1778 state constitution:
“No person shall be eligible to a seat … unless he be of the PROTESTANT religion. … The CHRISTIAN PROTESTANT religion shall be deemed … the established religion of this State.”
NEW HAMPSHIRE – ninth to ratify the U.S. Constitution, stated in its 1784 state constitution: “No person shall be capable of being elected … who is not of the PROTESTANT religion.”
VIRGINIA – 10th to ratify the U.S. Constitution, stated in its 1776 state constitution, bill of rights, written by James Madison and George Mason:
“It is the mutual duty of all to practice CHRISTIAN forbearance, love, and charity towards each other.”
NEW YORK – 11th to ratify the U.S. Constitution, stated in its 1777 state constitution:
“The United American States … declare … ‘Laws of nature and of NATURE’S GOD … All men are created equal; that they are endowed by their CREATOR with certain unalienable rights … Appealing to the SUPREME JUDGE of the world … A firm reliance on the protection of DIVINE PROVIDENCE’ …”
NORTH CAROLINA – 12th to ratify the U.S. Constitution, stated in its 1776 state constitution:
“No person, who shall deny the being of GOD or the truth of the PROTESTANT religion, or the Divine authority either of the Old or New Testaments, or who shall hold religious principles incompatible with the freedom and safety of the State, shall be capable of holding … office.”
RHODE ISLAND – 13th to ratify the U.S. Constitution, retained its 1663 Colonial Constitution till 1843, which stated:
“By the blessing of God … a full liberty in religious concernements … rightly grounded upon GOSPEL principles, will give the best and greatest security … in the true CHRISTIAN faith and worship of God. … They may … defend themselves, in their just rights and liberties against all the enemies of the CHRISTIAN faith.”
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Lafayette Black wrote inEngel v. Vitale, 1962:
“As late as the time of the Revolutionary War, there were established Churches in at least eight of the 13 former colonies and established religions in at least four of the other five.”
John K. Wilson wrote in “Religion Under the State Constitutions 1776-1800″ (Journal of Church and State, Volume 32, Autumn 1990, Number 4, pp. 754):
“An establishment of religion, in terms of direct tax aid to Churches, was the situation in nine of the 13 colonies on the eve of the American revolution.”
The Journal of the U.S. House recorded that on March 27, 1854, the 33rd Congress voted unanimously to print Rep. James Meacham’s report, which stated:
“At the adoption of the Constitution, we believe every State – certainly 10 of the 13 – provided as regularly for the support of the Church as for the support of the Government. …
“Down to the Revolution, every colony did sustain religion in some form. It was deemed peculiarly proper that the religion of liberty should be upheld by a free people. …
“Had the people, during the Revolution, had a suspicion of any attempt to war against Christianity, that Revolution would have been strangled in its cradle.”
Over the years, the Christians in these states extended tolerance to other denominations, to Jews, to monotheistic religions, to any religion and eventually to atheists.
Activists judges creatively used the 14th Amendment to remove authority over many issues from state jurisdiction.
Though our government has seemingly abandoned ties to the past, for the student of history, it is still fascinating to find out “whatever we once were.” —
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American Minute By Bill Federer
His death went unnoticed, as he died the same day John F. Kennedy was shot.His books are some of the most widely read in English literature, with over 200 million sold worldwide and, nearly 50 years after his death, continue to sell a million copies a year.
His name was Clive Staples Lewis, born NOVEMBER 29, 1898.
An agnostic, he became a professor at Oxford and Cambridge.
C.S. Lewis stated (The Oxford Socratic Club, 1944. pp. 154-165):
If minds are wholly dependent on brains, and brains on bio-chemistry, and bio-chemistry (in the long run) on the meaningless flux of atoms,
I cannot understand how the thought of those minds should have any more significance than the sound of the wind in the trees.”
In Mere Christianity, 1952, C.S. Lewis wrote:
“All that we call human history – money, poverty, ambition, war, prostitution, classes, empires, slavery – is the long terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.”
“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God.’
That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher.
You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse.
You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”
“The safest road to Hell is the gradual one – the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.”
C.S. Lewis wrote:
“God cannot give us happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.”
“There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, ‘All right, then, have it your way.’”
“Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea, until they have something to forgive.”
“Christianity…is a religion you could not have guessed…It is not the sort of thing anyone would have made up. It has just that queer twist about it that real things have.”
In Mere Christianity, 1952, C.S. Lewis wrote:
“The Eternal Being, who knows everything and who created the whole universe, became not only a man but (before that) a baby, and before that a fetus in a woman’s body.”
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“For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.” Luke 12:48 KJV
When we give thanks this Thanksgiving, we should take time to consider if we are giving as much as we are receiving and what we can do better. We need to review our abundance and look for opportunities to share. The most important thing that we can do is make sure that we do not pass up any opportunity to share God. Whether it is monetary, or with the message we send, or if it is simply with our actions in how we celebrate the day. For in everything we do, we are the face of God that people see, if they see our own thanksgiving, they can have a better understanding of God.
King James Version (KJV)
100 Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.
2 Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
3 Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
5 For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
American Minute By Bill Federer
After the victory of the Battle of Saratoga during the Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress proclaimed the first National Day of Thanksgiving, November 1, 1777:”The grateful feeling of their hearts… join the penitent confession of their manifold sins… that it may please God, through the merits of Jesus Christ, mercifully to forgive and blot them out of remembrance…
and… under the providence of Almighty God… secure for these United States the greatest of all human blessings, independence and peace.”
That He would go forth with our hosts and crown our arms with victory;
That He would grant to His church, the plentiful effusions of Divine Grace, and pour out His Holy Spirit on all Ministers of the Gospel;
That He would bless and prosper the means of education, and spread the light of Christian knowledge through the remotest corners of the earth…
I do therefore… issue this proclamation… appointing… a day of public and solemn Thanksgiving and Prayer to Almighty God… Given under by hand… this 11th day of November, in the year of our Lord, 1779… Thomas Jefferson.”
After traitor Benedict Arnold’s plot to betray West Point was thwarted, the Continental Congress proclaimed a Day of Thanksgiving, October 18, 1780:
“In the late remarkable interposition of His watchful providence, in the rescuing the person of our Commander-in-Chief and the army from imminent dangers, at the moment when treason was ripened for execution…
“It being the indispensable duty of all nations… to offer up their supplications to Almighty God…
the United States in Congress assembled… do hereby recommend it to the inhabitants of these states in general, to observe… the last Thursday… of November next, as a Day of Solemn Thanksgiving to God for all his mercies.”
After the Treaty of Paris ended the Revolutionary War, John Hancock, the former President of the Continental Congress now Governor of Massachusetts, proclaimed a Day of Thanksgiving, November 8, 1783:
“The Citizens of these United States have every Reason for Praise and
that all the people may then assemble to celebrate… that he hath been pleased to continue to us the Light of the Blessed Gospel…
That we also offer up fervent supplications… to cause pure Religion and Virtue to flourish… and to fill the world with his glory.”
After the U.S. Congress passed the First Amendment, it requested President George Washington issue a National Day of Thanksgiving, which he did, October 3, 1789:
“Whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me
‘to recommend to the People of the United States a Day of Public Thanksgiving and Prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness;’
That we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere andhumble Thanks… for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government…
particularly the national one now lately instituted, for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed… to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue.”
After the Treaty of Ghent ended the War of 1812, President James Madison proclaimed a Day of Thanksgiving, March 4, 1815:
“The Senate and House of Representatives…signified their desire that a day may…be observed by the people of the United States with religious solemnity as a Day of Thanksgiving and of devout acknowledgments to Almighty God for His great goodness manifested in restoring to them the blessing of peace.
No people ought to feel greater obligations to celebrate the goodness of the Great Disposer of Events and of the Destiny of Nations than the people of the United States.
He protected…them under all the difficulties and trials to which they were exposed in their early days…
In the arduous struggle…they were distinguished by multiplied tokens of His benign interposition…
He…enabled them to assert their national rights and to enhance their national character in another arduous conflict, which is now so happily terminated by a peace and reconciliation with those who have been our enemies.
And to the same Divine Author of Every Good and Perfect Gift we are indebted for all those privileges and advantages, religious as well as civil, which are so richly enjoyed in this favored land…
I now recommend…a Day on which the people of every religious denomination may in their solemn assemblies unite their hearts and their voices in a freewill offering to their Heavenly Benefactor of their homage of Thanksgiving and of their songs of praise.
Given…in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and fifteen… James Madison.”
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It is not good to navigate grief, nor face trials all on our own. God gives us people to walk beside us and keep watch. Though our first and foremost resource is our Heavenly Father, He created us to need people too. In the glory of His goodness, He allows people to be His hands, heart and voice. Jesus in us, makes Christ tangible to others, when we are faithful friends who do life with one another.
This morning, as I read further in Matthew, something stood out to me in a new way. “Then He said to them, ‘My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.” – (Matthew 26:38) Though Jesus, who was fully God, did not need to have people with Him, He wanted to have friends near Him in His hour of need to keep watch, as He knew what He would soon endure. If the God of all creation wants to keep friends near when trials come, how much more should we desire the same? We are relational creatures, created to be in relationship with God and with people. We must do both to obey the greatest command: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and, Love your neighbor as yourself.” – (Luke 10:27, also Mt 22:37, Mk 12:30)
in the face of grief;
His heart made known,
friendship’s sweet relief.
For we are called,
to love people well;
as Christ loves us,
our actions do tell.
To walk beside,
through the good and bad;
grants glimpses of,
our Heavenly Dad.
Seek Father first,
and let people in;
we are all made,
for sweet communion.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You created us to be relational people. Thank You that even Jesus, in His hour of need, wanted to have those closest to Him nearby. Though His priority was time with You, the nearness of friends was also good. Forgive us for the times that we isolate ourselves, not wanting to bother those who care about us and are a gift from You, and for the times that our priorities are out of order and we do not seek You first. Help us to know the balance. Teach us how to seek You first, and to know when to reach out, and when we are meant to sit in Your presence on our own for a time. Thank You that You love us so well. May we be a blessing to those around us, as we choose to love as we are loved. May many come to know You as their Redeemer and Friend. Be glorified in our love for You and for those around us. Amen.
© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.
“Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith.” This makes known the principle which is to be exercised in our approaches unto God, for, “without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a Rewarder of them that diligently seek Him” (Heb. 11:6). None but a genuine believer can obtain access unto God: all others are rigidly excluded. There must be the actual ex- ercise of faith in every spiritual work: “by faith Abel offered unto God” etc. (Heb. 11:4). The “full assurance of faith” does not here signify a firm knowledge of our sonship, but an implicit confidence in the sufficiency of Christ’s sacrifice and priesthood. Many Hebrews who had received in general the faith of the Gospel were wavering in their minds about the Person and office of Christ and the glorious things predicated of Him by the Apostle, and therefore he stresses the fact there must be a firm conviction of the reality and efficacy of the Atonement if we are to draw near unto God.
“Having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.” Here is the twofold preparation prescribed unto us for the right performance of this duty. In these expressions there is an obvious allusion unto the necessary preparations for Divine worship made by Israel under Judaism. As there were various ways in which the Jews became ceremonially and legally defiled, so there were various means appointed for their purification (Heb. 9:13). Those institutions the Apostle now applies spiritually: “our hearts” and “our bodies” signify the inward and the outward man. “Bodies washed with pure water” has no reference to baptism, but is to be understood of our members being preserved from evil and used for God. Rightly did John Owen say at the close of his exposition of these verses, “Universal sanctification upon our whole persons and the mortification in an especial manner of outward sins are required of us in our drawing nigh unto God.”
“Having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience” has reference to an efficacious application of the blood of Christ unto sanctification or internal purification, so that the burden of guilt is removed. This is accomplished originally in the communication of regenerating grace at the new birth, and is repeated whenever the Spirit grants a fresh renewal and experience of the virtues of the Atonement. That a good conscience is an indispensable qualification for access to God is seen from, “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit, offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God” (Heb. 9:14), where “serve” signifies communion and worship. When the conscience is unpurged, the weight of condemnation lies so heavily upon it that we are then at a loss in approaching the Holy One.
Now to sum up. It is one thing to know theoretically the legal way and right of approach unto God, but it is quite another to enjoy conscious access to Him. For that, the aid of the Spirit is imperative, but He will not perform His gracious operations within us if He be grieved. If we have spent the night in ransacking the newspapers, in worldly conversation, or in backbiting the servants and saints of God, think you that the Holy Spirit will draw out your heart unto the Father when you perform your evening devotions? Not so, unless you penitently confess those sins, and sincerely determine there shall be no repetition of them. “Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you” (James 4:8). What has been before us was strikingly foreshadowed of old in connection with the approach of Israel’s priests unto God: first the blood was applied to their persons, then the oil (emblem of the Spirit), and then they washed at the laver.
By Bill Federer
Born a slave in New York in 1797, she spoke only Dutch until sold around the age of 9, together with a flock of sheep, for $100.Suffering hardships, her third master made her marry an older slave with whom she had five children.
After New York abolished slavery, she returned as a domestic servant and helped with Elijah Pierson’s street-corner preaching.
Her name was Sojourner Truth.
In Massachusetts, she worked with abolitionists William Lloyd Garrison and Frederick Douglass.
After the Emancipation Proclamation, Sojourner Truth moved to Washington, D.C., met Lincoln and helped former slaves.
In 1850, she dictated her biography, The Narrative of Sojourner Truth: A Northern Slave, stating:
“When I left the house of bondage I left everything behind. I wanted to keep nothing of Egypt on me, and so I went to the Lord and asked him to give me a new name.”
“I set up my banner, and then I sing, and then folks always comes up ’round me, and then…I tells them about Jesus.”
Her last full day on earth was NOVEMBER 25, 1883. Sojourner Truth would begin her messages:
“Children, I talk to God and God talks to me.”
Always the decisive conflict in religion will be where important concepts are joined in opposition, concepts so vital that they are capable of saving or wrecking the Christian faith in any given generation. At this critical juncture in church history, the real conflict is between those who hold to an objective Christianity capable of being grasped in its entirety by the human intellect and those who believe that there are far-in areas of religious experience so highly spiritual, so removed from and exalted above mere reason, that it takes a special anointing of the Holy Spirit to make them understood by the human heart. The difference is not academic merely. Should the advocates of religious intellectualism succeed in setting the direction for the church in this generation, the next generation of Christians will become helpless victims of dead orthodoxy.
In conversation with one of the better-known devotees of neo-intellectualism in evangelical circles, I asked the question bluntly, “Do you actually believe that everything essential in the Christian faith may be grasped by the human intellect?” The answer was immediate–”If I did not, I would be on my way toward agnosticism.” I did not say, but might properly have said, “And if you do, you are on your way toward rationalism.” For such indeed is the truth.
Having as the High Priest of our profession the incarnation of all divine wisdom and having as our source book of religious knowledge the holy Scriptures, the soundest and saltiest work ever written, why do we tend so easily to become confused about things spiritual? I believe the causes are four, and I propose to state them in this and the next chapters.
The first cause of religious confusion is our failure to understand that the truth as it is in Christ Jesus is a moral and spiritual thing and not something intellectual merely. Let a man approach the burning bush of divine truth with the desire to grasp it in his hand and the intensity of the fire will blind his eyes and cauterize his hands and face to the point of insensibility. Before the awesome vision of revealed truth, the human intellect should kneel and hide its face in trembling adoration. Because Moses was afraid to look upon God, the Lord could speak to him face to face as a man speaks to his friend; but God hides His face from the man who does not instinctively hide his own.
Intellectual pride, then, with its corollary, irreverence, is one cause of religious confusion. Satan’s original doctrine, “You will be like God, knowing . . .” (Genesis 3:5) has been accepted by millions of religious persons through the centuries and commands a big following today even among professedly orthodox Christians. In spite of all Christ said while among men and all His inspired apostles wrote after His ascension, we seem never to learn that the inner essence of truth cannot be apprehended by the mental faculties. We still come at the awesome supernatural reality headfirst.
Verse of the Day
Obadiah 1:15 For the day of the LORD is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done (to Israel), it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head.
China’s new air defense zone above Senkakus ‘very dangerous’ escalation, Japan says 11/23/13 The Chinese feel that now is the time to move for control of Asia.
It appears China feels that America is now weak enough under Obama as the Commander-in-Chief to exert itself in Asia. With the weakness of Obama, it was just a matter of time until China felt safe to move against America. Obama is embarrassingly weak and the Chinese are about to test America’s mettle.
Please notice the connection to China’s move against Japan and what Obama/Kerry are doing to Israel! They are pushing Israel to war with Iran, at the exact time that God is raising up China to confront America!
It is frightening to think of America going to war in Asia with Obama as the Commander-in-Chief. This is the man who is a world evangelist for homosexuality, he leads the charge to kill babies in the womb and betrays God’s covenant nation Israel.
He has done everything in his power to sodomize the military. Notice the short time between sodomizing the US military and China confronting America! The judgment did not take long.
Inside China: Nuclear submarines capable of widespread attack on U.S. 11/01/13 (This article was in my post of November 2. To read this entire post go to: Inside China: Nuclear submarines capable of widespread attack on U.S.)
Just a short time ago, the Chinese newspapers showed China’s ability to attack America with nuclear weapons and now this move against Japan. The Chinese pattern is clear that they are heading for war with America.
It is crystal clear to me, that God has raised up China as a rod of judgment against America.
Dangerous Times: A Looming Strategic Disaster in the Middle East.11/23/13 This is a great article showing what Obama’s lies and weakness have done to the Middle East. He now has set the stage for World War 3 or, as I see it in the Bible, it will start with the Psalm 83 war. This is the all-out war between Israel and the surrounding Arab nations that will spread throughout the world.
God is about to turn the world we know upside down. Please do not fear but stay focused on God and His word. This will keep you from fear.
May the Holy God of Israel bless and protect you.
Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
As America Has Done to Israel
Hagel: U.S. ‘deeply concerned’ with China air defense map 11/23/13 This map includes islands that belong to Japan!
“We view this development as a destabilizing attempt to alter the status quo in the region,” Hagel said in a statement. “This unilateral action increases the risk of misunderstanding and miscalculations.” “The Associated Press reports that the Chinese Defense Ministry issued a map showing the new East China Sea Air Defense Identification Zone, which encompasses what the Chinese call the Diaoyu islands. The move is seen as an aggressive step against Japan, which bought what it calls the Senkaku islands from private owners in 2012. The islands are uninhabited, but are believed to rest near large underwater oil reserves. Taiwan also claims possession of the islands.”
Iran, world powers reach historic nuclear deal 11/23/13 President Clinton did the same thing with North Korea, and it turned out to be a joke. NK actually completed the nuclear bomb and detonated it while under the terms of the agreement! Iran needs this time to complete its bomb and maybe six months is all Iran needs. The key issue is what is Israel going to do?
“The deal, intended as first step toward a more comprehensive nuclear pact to be completed in six months, freezes or reverses progress at all of Iran’s major nuclear facilities, according to Western officials familiar with the details. It halts the installation of new centrifuges and caps the amount and type of enriched uranium that Iran is allowed to produce.”
‘Geneva talks a facade, US-Iran worked secretly on deal for past year’11/17/13 This shows just how treacherous and underhanded Obama is. Deep down, I knew that Obama would sell Israel out. His love for the Muslim Brotherhood was all the proof that I needed. Now that it is his second term in office, he does not have to worry about the political ramification. This is the real Obama and Hard Left in action against Israel.
“The Geneva negotiations between the so-called P5+1 powers and Iran are a mere “facade,” because the terms of a deal on Iran’s nuclear program have been negotiated in talks between a top adviser to President Barack Obama and a leading Iranian nuclear official that have continued in secret for more than a year, Israeli television reportedSunday.”
Will Israel Attack Iran? 11/23/13 Now that the West made a “deal” with Iran, watch these nations unify against Israel. It is possible that Iran will become the “good guy” while Israel now becomes “intransigent” to the West. I think that Obama will try to break Israel. What will happen if he does this is that God will break him.
“Benjamin Netanyahu understands this. Jewish history, and not just Jewish history, teaches this lesson. Netanyahu may well judge that he has to act to stop the Iranian regime from getting nuclear weapons. If he does, then Israel will fight. And Israel will be right.”
Iran Launches ‘Massive’ War Drills 11/21/13 Iran is building and preparing its military for an all-out war with the “dreaded Zionists”. According to the Bible, they are preparing for their own massive defeat.
“Iranian military forces launched a series of “massive military drills” across nine provinces on Wednesday following an order by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, according to state media reports.
The drills, codenamed “Towards Jerusalem,” will continue over the coming days and throughout the rest of the year.”
Rouhani to the West: Ignore Israel, Sign a Deal 11/22/13 What I think will happen is that the coming war will turn into a world war. There is great bloodshed coming to all these countries as God will use the Muslims as judgment. I also think that Russia will take control over Europe also as judgment. The West is forcing Israel into war and bloodshed, and that is exactly what is coming on a massive scale to the West .
Revelation 22:20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
From the villain in the C.S. Lewis story “That Hideous Strength”, ”The world I look forward to is the world of perfect purity… What are the things that most offend the dignity of man? Birth and breeding and death..” I would add God into that mix for many. It is as if they are not willing to credit anything for change, those who call themselves “progressive”, are so often the very ones who do all that they can to prevent any real progress for humanity. So often their policies are policies that lead to the death of humanity and a loss of morality to all men.
They treat the environment as if it were sacred and do their best to forbid the ability of any to practice their faith. Especially if it is a faith that say’s that God gave control of the world’s resources to man to oversee and benefit from. These are the same people who promote promiscuity and perversion, and yet condemn those who commit such to the final death. No promise of eternal salvation in their eyes.
One of my favorite authors when I was growing up was H.G. Wells, especially the “Time Machine.” It was fascinating to see different levels of society and when the time machine reached the very end of civilization, there were two classes. One a class of people who could be considered perfect by the standards of the day. Beautiful people who cared for nothing, did whatever they wished, had no responsibility nor any wants. Everything was taken care of for them, but at the same time, they had no curiosity, no desire except to fulfill their physical desires. The catch was that they had a master that they didn’t even realize that they had. This was who provided for all their needs. Unfortunately for them, they were the sacrifice that fed the master.
The gods of today always require a sacrifice but so often many people don’t even realize that they are being asked for one. Promiscuity leads to many things, including disease and pregnancy. Disease leads to death, and pregnancy to them leads to abortion and death for the child created by the promiscuity. The constant pressure to improve your situation in life by buying more stuff, leads to debt that is often inescapable and people wind up with nothing. The search for beauty is a black hole that leads to indebtedness for some, and death for others who are so obsessed with perfection that they are willing and need to go under the knife in order to reach that perfection. We are bombarded with things that we are told we need, when in truth, if we have faith in God, we are promised that He will provide our needs.
The good news is that our God gave a sacrifice for us and that we don’t have to give one on this earth in order to have the opportunity for eternal life with Him. He sent His son to earth to be that Sacrifice and Jesus made it willingly. He gave Himself in order that we could be saved. Unlike the gods of today who insist that we must do things their way, He has given us the opportunity to ask for Him to help us. Nothing is forced upon us and it is offered freely.
While C.S. Lewis’ villain looked forward to a world of perfect purity, and says that “birth, breeding and death” offend the dignity of man, these are the very vechicles of creation. Birth and the bringing of new life into a family or the world is one of God’s miracles and to witness it is to know that it is something special. Breeding, two becoming one and the product of that is also one of the miracles of God’s creation. Death, while something that many fear, is a step to a new life for a believer of God and to one who has accepted Jesus as their Savior.
How sad it must be to think that all that you can expect is here on earth alone and that there is nothing else. It is to say that nothing is important but what you can get for yourself. To not be able to envision the wonder of what God has created.
How sad to think that it is progress to have and use the ability to kill those you think are not worthy to survive. The morality of me leaves little for those in need. And so often while those who claim the mantle of progressiveism, what they really practice is regressiveism. They want man to kill those that they consider weak, ugly, non-intelligent or non-productive. They want the environment protected to the point that man does not interact with it. They want what they want and yet never see the consequences of their wants. They seem to forget that many of the great works of man were created by imperfect people and that an environment that is not inhabited by man is still inhabited and whatever their idea of perfection is, they cannot control God! Man does not control tornado’s, earthquakes, volcano’s, floods or any other aspect of nature. These things will still happen and the environment will not be static and remain in whatever idea of perfection that they have. They may think that by encouraging the abortion of the weak, ill and disabled, or even the euthanizing of them later, that perfection will enter in. They fail to recognize that what they consider perfection is just a reproduction of sameness. They champion diversity and yet do everything that they can to stamp out diversity of everything, whether it is physical or diversity of thinking.
Growing up in the country you learn a few things that perhaps those who never have that experience don’t seem to realize. A tree that is challenged by whatever weather and circumstance that affects it in the wild is much stronger that a tree that is planted in a nursery and nurtured until it is ready to set out in someone’s yard. Drought makes it’s roots grow deeper in order to reach water, wind shakes it and make the roots reach for a better hold. All these things make it able to endure. People are the same way, and no matter how much progressives want to provide their version of equality to mankind, by doing so they take away that very ability to grow stronger and endure the difficulties that will appear in the future. And they will appear, since man is not and never will be God, there will always be something unexpected to come along and if we take away people’s ability to survive, we leave them vulnerable.
Personally, I will put my strength in the Lord and accept His promise that He will provide what I need. I look forward to sharing the future with Him and death is just the doorway that I hope to walk through and meet Him on the other side.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. Psalm 100:4-5KJV
At the heart of salvation is the notion of loving God with all our heart, mind and soul, and as Jesus said, to love our neighbor as ourselves. It is impossible to pass this test and break any of the commandments. We can visualize the latter concept as a package of virtue, consisting mostly of love, acceptance & forgiveness. I cannot imagine being like Christ, while lacking one of these traits.
I would like to introduce you to my grandson, Dylan. He is also one of my best friends. He calls me Papa. He is a model of acceptance for me, because he never rejects me, is always happy to see me, and lets me know this with a greeting and a big hug. He is impressive. He embodies the meaning of the Apostle Peter, where he says,
“Most of all, love each other as if your life depended on it. Love makes up for practically anything.” 1 Peter 4:11 [MSG].
[Picture above: Love doesn’t begrudge one an extra glass of milk at Denny’s!]
Love is essential to relationships, in order for them to endure. People tend to shun relationships that have no payback. Acceptance is also important to all of us. We fold to peer pressure because we are looking for acceptance, but Dylan is pure in his love and acceptance. He doesn’t put any conditions on it; like the love and acceptance we get from Jesus – unconditional! It’s too bad that some others are not as loving and accepting of Dylan. They are missing out on a terrific relationship.
As you can tell from his picture, Dylan has Down ’s syndrome; thus he has not been blessed with a totally ideal life. He has faced challenges from birth. Despite this, he has great compassion for others.
Some time ago, I had some minor surgery on my leg. Dylan saw the bandage near my knee and demanded to see beneath it. ”Poor Papa,” he exclaimed, asking if it hurt. He insisted on monitoring the progress of the “scar” every time we were together, until you could hardly notice it any more. This is a level of caring that you do not see in others that often.
I Corinthians, chapter 13 describes love in certain ways, some of which are particularly characteristic of Dylan.
- Cares more for others than for self.
- Trusts God always,
- Never looks back, but keeps going to the end.
Dylan has learned to operate in this world in a way that illustrates clearly to all who know him, that the nature of Christ is transcendent to all of us, if we dare to embrace it. Love and acceptance needs to be cherished and celebrated, because it is rather rare. I am very fortunate to receive these gifts from Dylan.
It costs nothing to experience the love and acceptance of Jesus. He did it all! But I would like to be a disciple of Jesus. Stopping at (free) salvation and an eternity in Heaven is OK for some, but I want to be like Jesus. Part of the cost of discipleship is to give the gift of love and acceptance to others, like Dylan, thus emulating Jesus, who gave so freely to us!
Pray for me, I have a long way to go. It’s hard to love and accept some people, but I am trying to let The Holy Spirit work through me to accomplish things in my heart that I could never do!
Forgiveness also seems inherent to some of us.
It has been several weeks since I wrote about the remarkable capacity for love and acceptance demonstrated by my grandson (and best friend) Dylan. A lot has happened since. Unbeknownst to me at the time I first wrote the article, there was a controversy at Dylan’s school concerning a teacher that he used to have. He had been in her class about 2 1/2 years, but not currently. [Dylan attends a public school and takes special needs classes.]
This teacher and Dylan were in the same school district for over ten years, as Dylan took pre-K classes there. That is where Dylan met her. It came to the parents’ attention that all was not right in her current classroom. Reportedly, loud voices could be heard whenever approaching the classroom. A student with Down’s syndrome was found wandering alone out in the school parking lot. Someone inside the classroom stated that the teacher was upset with an autism student, because he would not join the group at a table; She reportedly went to him and yanked him out of the chair, where he fell to the floor. Accordingly, she kicked him several times.
Even more was to come to light, as it turns out that there was a poorly documented history of incidents with this teacher. It is suspected that the pattern went back to the time Dylan attended her class. Dylan has not said anything about any incident. One wonders what he possibly went through. This is a hard thing for parents/grandparents to forgive. I believe it is a test for us to see if we can walk the walk we have been talking! Can we separate the “sin” from the “sinner?” I am proud of my daughter-in-law, who went to the public meetings, concentrated on change, not punitive measures and helped point others that way also. This was hard for her, because the authorities moved this teacher around and did not fix the problem while it recurred, over and over.
At one of several meetings held to remedy the matter, when it was time for Dylan’s mother to speak, focusing on the heart of the issue, she took 1 1/2 of her three minutes at the podium in total silence. She explained, “That is all my child could do while witnessing events such as this.”
It is part of the prophet Isaiah’s message to help the helpless (loose translation). What should the role of the Parent/Grandparent/Concerned Citizen be in a situation such as this? Good Question…it will not be totally answered on this blog. But I would like to point out what I do know, so that we can at least head in the same general direction in unity. The Lord’s Prayer has us ask God to forgive us, “as we forgive those who trespass against us.” Ouch! I want to be forgiven, because I am certainly in need of that, but when someone else (deliberately?) wrongs me, I want justice. No world can be equitable, where certain people are always judged with mercy, and others always face the sword of justice. I’ve chosen to err on the side of mercy and let God balance it out. I trust Him more than the courts, anyway.
Then there is the account of Christ on the cross as recorded in Luke 23:34 (NKJV) Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” I do not know the mind of Dylan’s teacher, but I suspect she did not know the impact of her continued disrespect for her students. And as much as it goes against the grain, I have to fall on the side of Jesus’ guideline; from the cross where he was dying He encourages us to forgive the offenders. How powerful is that?
While I do not have all the answers, I know that the path of forgiveness is the answer for me. I am earnestly following that path, because there are some obstacles in the path of true forgiveness. I will face them honestly and adjust my attitude to meet God’s expectations. As for Dylan, just like his love and acceptance, he is a whole-hearted forgiver. And although he has not mentioned anything about abuse, if it happened or even if he witnessed abuse of others, Dylan is passed it. He is much more advanced in the fine art of forgiveness than many of us.
Finally, I am not saying that all of this should go unpunished. But if God takes care of it, any judgment will be appropriate and those of us who refrain from judging will not be destroyed in the process.
My prayer for you today, is that those of you who are seeking forgiveness will find it and that every one of us will be as liberal with our forgiveness as Jesus is with us!
P.S. The Brentwood Unified School District subsequently announced that the teacher in question has had her credentials revoked. The superintendent was placed on administrative leave and three other employees were fired. I take no special joy in this except to note that the battle was The Lord’s all along. He took care of it, so I didn’t have to worry about it. And that, my friends, is known as grace! Amen!
By Bill Federer
On NOVEMBER 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas, shots rang out as President John F. Kennedywas assassinated.The youngest President ever elected, being 43 years old, he was also the youngest to die, barely serving 1,000 days.
“We in this country, in this generation, are – by destiny rather than choice – the watchmen on the walls of world freedom.
We ask, therefore, that we may be worthy of our power and responsibility, that we may exercise our strength with wisdom and restraint, and that we may achieve in our time and for all time the ancient vision of peace on earth, goodwill toward men…”
“That must always be our goal – and the righteousness of our cause must always underlie our strength.
For as was written long ago, ‘Except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.’”
John F. Kennedy stated in his Thanksgiving Proclamation, October 28, 1961:
“The Pilgrims, after a year of hardship and peril, humbly and
I ask the head of each family to recount to his children the story of the first New England Thanksgiving,
thus to impress upon future generations the heritage of this nation born in toil, in danger, in purpose, and in the conviction that right and justice and freedom can through man’s efforts persevere and come to fruition with the blessing of God.”
On February 9, 1961, President Kennedyremarked at a Breakfast for International Christian Leadership:
“Every President of the United States has placed special reliance upon his faith in God…
The guiding principle and prayer of this Nation has been, is now, and shall ever be ‘In God We Trust.’”
Though Kennedy was the youngest electedPresident, it was actually Theodore Roosevelt who was the youngest President, being just 42 years old when, as Vice-President, he assumed the Presidency when William McKinley was assassinated in 1901.
“In no other place and at no other time has the experiment of government of the people, by the people, for the people, been tried on so vast a scale as here in our own country in the opening years of the 20th Century.
Failure would not only be a dreadful thing for us, but a dreadful thing for all mankind, because it would mean loss of hope for all who believe in the power and the righteousness of liberty.
Therefore, in thanking God for the mercies extended to us in the past, we beseech Him that He may not withhold them in the future.”
By Bill Federer
The longest serving member of the United States Congress was Senate Majority Leader Robert Byrd, who was born NOVEMBER 20, 1917.Elected as a Democrat to Congress in 1953, and serving in the Senate from 1959-2010, he never lost an election.
“Inasmuch as our greatest leaders have shown no doubt about God’s proper place in the American birthright, can we, in our day, dare do less?…
In no other place in the United States are there so many, and such varied official evidences of deep and abiding faith in God on the part of Government as there are in Washington….
Senator Robert Byrd continued:
Senator Byrd went on:
The ship’s revered chaplain, Brewster, who later joined the Mayflower, has open on his lap the Bible. Very clear are the words, ‘the New Testament according to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.’
On the sail is the motto of the Pilgrims, ‘In God We Trust, God With Us.’
The same phrase, in large words inscribed in the marble, backdrops the Speaker of the House of Representatives…”
Senator Byrd added:
Moses is included among the great lawgivers in Herman A MacNeil’s marble sculpture group on the east front.
Engraved on the metal on the top of the Washington Monument are the words: ‘Praise be to God.’
Numerous quotations from Scripture can be found within its (the Library of Congress) walls.
And still another reference: ‘The light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not’ (John 1:5)…”
“Millions have stood in the Lincoln Memorial and gazed up at the statue of the great Abraham Lincoln.
The sculptor who chiseled the features of Lincoln in granite all but seems to make Lincoln speak his own words inscribed into the walls.
‘…That this Nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.’
It then continues:
‘As was said 3000 years ago, so it still must be said, The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether.’…
Senator Robert Byrd concluded:
“On the south banks of Washington’s Tidal Basin, Thomas Jefferson still speaks:
‘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?
Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, that his justice cannot sleep forever.’
Jefferson’s words are a forceful and explicit warning that to remove God from this country will destroy it.”
Do you ever just consider what words mean? Intersection is an interesting word and it just kept going through my head this morning. I kept thinking “I know what it means, why do I need to look it up?” But then I looked it up and got a different perspective. It’s odd but sometimes life is that way as well. We think we understand, but when we examine and reevaluate, we see things a little differently.
1. To cut across or through
2. To form an intersection with; cross
To cut across or through– do we look at the area that we cut across or go through? Is there a reason we pick a certain route? Do we ever consider that there might be a better way? Or do we just become so focused on our destination that we don’t even see what is around us?
To form an intersection with: cross — what if we get to an intersection and God tells us to go a different direction today? Would you listen?
But it isn’t just our physical location is it? Isn’t it all the people we meet and the things that we do. We run across a friend or our paths intersect for a moment, does God intend that this take place and we miss an opportunity because we are so caught up in our routine that we really fail to notice?
I remember when I was growing up that the phrase, “stop to smell the flowers”, was popular and you heard it from someone almost everyday. Whether we smell the flowers or not, we sometimes miss out on God in our lives because we don’t stop and consider if there might be another reason for our being at a certain intersection. Sometimes that intersection is a point in our life where everything changes and nothing is ever the same again. Whether it is an accident, an illness, a job loss, whatever, it makes us take a different direction.
So often we are so concentrated on getting to where we think that we are going, we don’t realize that God has another destination in mind for us. Do you ever wonder where you would be if you had taken a different path? Consider then that your intersections are sometimes opportunities and sometimes obstacles, should we take time to really look at them?
By Bill Federer
On NOVEMBER 18, 1807, Thomas Jefferson replied to Captain John Thomas of the Newhope Baptist Church:”Among the most inestimable of our blessings is that…of liberty to worship our Creator in the way we think most agreeable in His will;
a liberty deemed in other countries incompatible with good government and yet proved by our experience to be its best support.”
“In the unity of the nation…we hope much from religion; very little from sectarian churches;
much from the Spirit of God blessing the Truth of his Word to the hearts of individual men;
much from the individual men that are nobler than their sect;
much from free men whose adhesion to forms and ceremonies is the least part of their existence;
much from religion as it exists in its higher forms in individual nature and in public sentiment;
very little from dogmas; very little from theology as such…
Let us implore the God of our fathers, by his own wise providence, to save us from our wanton passions, from impertinent egotism, from pride, arrogance, cruelty, and sensual lusts, that as a nation we may show forth his praise in all the earth.”
President Chester Arthur stated October 25, 1882:
“The blessings demanding our gratitude are numerous and varied…for…moral education of our youth;
for the influence upon the conscience of a restraining and transforming religion…for these and for many other blessings we should give thanks…
I do recommend…that the people, ceasing from their daily labors…draw near to the throne of Almighty God, offering to Him praise and gratitude for the manifold goodness which He has vouchsafed to us.”
“We are celebrating the planting of the Colony of Georgia… which had its roots in religious teachings and religious liberty, a State in which the first Sunday School was established…
Let me…read to you a very short passage from…a great son of a great Georgia mother, Theodore Roosevelt. He said:
‘Spiritually and ethically we must strive to bring about clean living and right thinking. We appreciate that the things of the body are important; but we appreciate also that the things of the soul are immeasurably more important.’”
“The less we emphasize the Christian religion the further we fall into the abyss of poor character and chaos in the United States of America.”
On NOVEMBER 18, 1957, Julius Caesar Watts, Jr., better know as J.C. Watts, was born.
A college and pro football player, he was a youth minister and, in 1994, was elected to the U.S. Congress, where he was chosen House Conference Chairman.
“I was taught to respect everyone for the simple reason that we’re all God’s children.
I was taught, in the words of Martin Luther King, to judge a man not by the color of his skin, but by the content of his character.
And I was taught that character is simply doing what’s right when nobody’s looking.”
THE TWELVE APOSTLES:
1. Andrew – crucified
2. Bartholomew – beaten then crucified
3. James, son of Alphaeus – stoned to death
4. James, son of Zebedee – beheaded
5. John – exiled for his faith; died of old age
6. Judas (not Iscariot) – stoned to death
7. Matthew – speared to death
8. Peter – crucifed upside down
9. Philip – crucified
10. Simon – crucified
11. Thomas – speared to death
12. Matthias – stoned to death
(source: Fox’s Book of Martyrs)
Chart courtesy of Every Student.com
Do you want to follow Jesus Christ? How much? What are you willing to give up? Your life? Will you stand in civil disobedience when you are told to obey the laws of whichever government in power over you?
We are quickly coming to a point where here in America, although we are supposed to have freedom to practice our faith, we are being restricted on how and where we can do so. The current administration argues that if you are a business, even though you have always used Christian principles for your business, that you should not be exempt from laws that violate your belief. This includes providing abortion services, along with honoring marriages between same sexes, to just name a few. Whether this will stand we don’t yet know. There are currently arguments before several judges with some of the cases either at the Supreme Court or on there way.
Then there is the school system. Our children are taught at church and at home that certain things are unacceptable in the eyes of God, yet when they are as school, these things are often promoted. Our children are taught that both their parents and their churches are wrong, bigoted, racist and evil. Schools are becoming less a place to teach our children what they need for the future and more a place for those who have differing values to indoctrinate our children. They are also being taught that the government comes before God.
Even as individuals we are not safe, we are being forced to pay for abortion in the insurance that we have, even though this practice is abhorrent to us. Recently Pastors that speak out in public or hand out tracts have been arrested. Even praying in public has been a cause for arrest and harassment.
Our men and women in the military have lost the ability to even talk about their faith to their fellow men and women. They are told to shut up and be quiet or they will face a court martial. We have in the last six years seen Veterans families told that they cannot say Jesus name in prayers at funerals, in hospitals, or anywhere on federal land.
We are told that instead of the Constitution saying we have freedom of religion, that instead it is a document that protects all others from having to either hear, or even know that we are a people of faith and follow Jesus. At the very same time we are told that Muslim’s should not be insulted, their prayers’s need to be respected and special places allowed within schools, and that laws that apply to everyone else, such as head covering when you are photographed at the DMV.
You read the history of the apostles and how they were treated, we know that they were tortured and killed because they followed Jesus, but how often do you consider what they were doing when this happened and who did it? It wasn’t always at the hands of the Jews. Often it was because they angered the government of the time. Consider the Apostle Andrew:
Concerning the cause and manner of his death, the following is contained in Apophthegm. Christian. Baudart., page 3: AtPatras, a city in Achaia, he converted besides many others, Maximillia, the wife of Aegaeas, the governor, to the Christian faith. This so enraged the governor against Andrew, that he threatened him with death of the cross. But the apostle said to the governor, “Had I feared the death of the cross, I should not have preached the majesty and gloriousness of the cross of Christ.”
The enemies of the truth having apprehended and sentenced to death the apostle Andrew, he went joyfully to the place where he was to be crucified, and, having come near the cross, he said,”O beloved cross! I have greatly longed for thee. I rejoice to see thee erected here. I come to thee with a peaceful conscience and with cheerfulness, desiring that I, who am a disciple of Him who hung on the cross, may also be crucified.” The apostle said further,”The nearer I come to the cross, the nearer I come to God; and the farther I am from the cross, the farther I remain from God.”
The holy apostle hung three days on the cross; he was riot silent, however; but as long as he could move his tongue, he instructed the people that stood by the cross, in the way of the truth, saying, among other things, “I thank my Lord Jesus Christ, that He, having used me for a time as an ambassador, now permits me to have this body, that I, through a good confession, may obtain everlasting grace and mercy. Remain steadfast in the word and doctrine which you have received, instructing one another, that you may dwell with God in eternity, and receive the fruit of His promises.”
The Christians and other pious people besought the governor to give Andrew unto them, and take him down from the cross., (For it appears that he was not nailed to the cross, like Christ, but tied to it). When the apostle learned of this, he cried to God, Saying,”O Lord Jesus Christ! suffer not that Thy servant, who hangs here on the tree for Thy name’s sake, be released, to dwell again among men; but receive me. O my Lord, my God! whom I have known, whom I have loved, to whom I cling, whom I desire to see, and in whom I am what I am.” Having spoken these words, the holy apostle committed his spirit into the hands of his heavenly Father. M. W. Baudart. in Apophthegm Christian. lib. 1, super Andream, ex August. de Vera et Falsa Poenitentia., cap 8, Bernhard. in Sermon. de Andrea. Lanfrancus contra Berengar. Niceph., lib. 2, cap. 39, and lib. 15, cap. 39. Remigius in Psal. 21 and 40. Johan. Strac. in Festo Andreae, p. 23, haec et alia. Also, Konst-tooneel van veertig, by N. D. C., Concerning the Life of Andrew. MARTYRS MIRROR
But it wasn’t just the Apostle’s who faced the wrath of the rulers or Synagogues. It was almost any Christian that came to the attention of the leaders of that time. Paul himself was one of those who participated in imprisoning and killing followers of Christ. Consider the case of
FELICITAS WITH HER SEVEN SONS, JANUARIUS, FELIX, PHILIPPUS, SYLVANUS, ALEXANDER, VITALIS, AND MARTIALIS, PUT TO DEATH FOR THE FAITH, AT ROME, A. D. 164
Felicitas was a Christian widow at Rome, and had seven sons, whose names were Januarius, Fe-
lix, Philippus, Sylvanus, Alexander, Vitalis, and Martialis. These lived together with their mother in one house, as an entire Christian church. Of the mother it is stated, that by her Christian communion, (conversation) which she had with the Roman women, she converted many to Christ. The sons, on their part, also acquitted themselves well by winning many men to Christ.
Now, when the heathen priests complained of this to Antonius, the Emperor-who had resumed the persecution which had begun with Trajan, but had subsided-saying, that there were not only men, but also women, who blasphemed the gods, despised their images, trampled under foot the Emperor’s worship of the gods, yea, turned away many from the old religion of the Romans; that this was principally done by a certain widow, named Felicitas, and her seven sons, and that, therefore, in order to prevent this, they must be compelled to give up Christ, and sacrifice to the gods, or, in case they should refuse to do so, be put to death, the Emperor, prompted or instigated hereby, gave . to Publius, the provost, or chief magistrate of Rome, full authority over them.
Publius, willing to spare Felicitas, as being a highly respectable woman, first secretly summoned her and her sons into his own house, where he entreated them with fair words and promises, but afterwards threatened to punish them with severe tortures, unless they would forsake the Christian religion, and readopt the old Roman worship of the gods. Felicitas, remembering the words of Christ,”Whosoever shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven,” did not seek to evade the issue by using dissimulating or indirect words, but answered briefly thus, “I am neither moved by thy flatteries and entreaties, nor am I intimidated by thy threats; for I experience in my heart the working of the Holy Ghost, which gives me a living power, and prepares me for the conflict of suffering, to endure all that thou mayest lay upon me, for the confession of my faith.”
When Publius could not move the mother from her steadfast purpose, he said to her, “Very well; if it seems pleasant to thee , to die, die alone, but have pity and a mother’s compassion for thy sons, and command them, to ransom their own lives at least, by sacrificing to the gods.”
Thereupon Felicitas said to the judge, “Thy compassion is pure wickedness, and thy admonition is nothing but cruelty, for, if my sons should sacrifice to the gods, they would not ransom ‘their lives, but sell them to the hellish fiend, whose slaves, yea, whose serfs in soul and body, they would become, and be reserved by him, in chains of darkness, for everlasting fire.”
Then, turning away from the judge, to her sons, she said, “Remain steadfast in the faith, and in the confession of Christ; for Christ and His saints are waiting for you. Behold, heaven is open before you; therefore fight valiantly for your souls, and show, that you are faithful in the love of Christ, wherewith He loves you, and you Him.”
This filled the judge with rage against her, and he commanded them to smite her on the cheek, while he at the same time upbraided her vehemently, saying, “How darest thou thus impudently exhort thy sons in my presence, and make them obstinate to disobey the commands of the Emperor; whereas it would be far more proper for thee to incite them to obedience toward him?”
Felicitas, notwithstanding that death had been threatened her, answered with more than manly courage, saying, “If thou, O judge, didst know our Saviour Jesus Christ, and the power of His Godhead and majesty, thou wouldst undoubtedly desist from persecuting the Christians, and wouldst not seek to draw us away from the Christian religion by blaspheming His holy name; for whoever curses (or blasphemes) Christ and His faithful ones, curses (or blasphemes) God Himself, who, by faith, dwells in their hearts.”
Thereupon, though they struck her in the face with their fists, in order to silence her, she did not cease to admonish her sons to remain steadfast, and to fear neither tortures nor rack, nor even death itself, but to die willingly for the name of Christ.
Therefore, Publius the judge took each of her sons separately, and talked first to one and then to the other, hoping by this last resort to draw away from the faith, by promises as well as by threats, some of them at least, if not all. But as he could not prevail upon them, he sent a message to the Emperor, stating that they all remained obstinate, and that he could in no wise induce them to sacrifice to the gods. Thereupon the Emperor sentenced the mother together with her seven sons, that they should be delivered into the hands of different executioners, and be tortured and put to death in various ways; yet, that the mother was first to see all her sons die, before she herself should be put to death.
In accordance with this sentence, they first scourged Januarius, the first-born, to death, in the presence of his mother. The scourges were made of cords or ropes, to the ends of which balls of lead were attached. Those who had to undergo this mode of torture were scourged with them on their necks, backs, sides, and other tender parts of their bodies, either to torture them, or in order to martyr them to death as was the case in this instance. Felix and Philippus, the two brothers next (in age), were beaten to death with rods. Sylvanus, also called Syllanus, was cast down from a height. Alexander, Vitalis, and Martialis were beheaded. Last of all, the mother was beheaded or put to death with the sword. This took place under Emperor Antonius Pius. A. Mell. 1st book of the Hist., fol. 33, col. 4 and fol. 34, col. 1-3, ex Prudent. in hincentio. Also, Acto. Adon. Mart., 23 Novemb. Greg. P. in Natali. S. Felic. Homil. 3, in Eu. Bet. Chrysol. Serm. 134. Arta apud Mombrit. MARTYRS MIRROR
Could we stand the same type of persecution? Many in the Middle East are doing so now. We have heard and read of people even in the last few weeks being crucified or dismembered. And yet there are those in this country who think that we should just go along with the government because the Bible tells us to obey them. They ignore the part of the Bible that tells us in all things God comes first.
Many of the ways in which we have to make decisions everyday are not even known by many people. Take a recent case where nurses were required to take part in abortions even though it is against their faith to murder. Or Pharmacists who are forced to give drugs that cause abortions. Or Doctors who are forced to provide abortions. The same with hospitals, especially under the new laws, if they don’t they are forced to close their doors in many instances because the government will not pay for patient care at them and they cannot get by without it.
Or consider teachers who are not allowed to wear a cross and are made to participate in practices at school that promote homosexuality. They are often fired if they pray with their students. Instead of protecting our ability to practice our faith. We are being pushed further and further into secrecy.
And yet if those early Christians had listened to the rulers of the day, they would not have lost their lives. For those who say that we should not practice “civil disobedience”, I must ask, what was the beginning of Christianity if it was not “civil disobedience?” The definition of civil disobedience is “the refusal to comply with certain laws or to pay taxes and fines, as a peaceful form of political protest.”
While these early Christians did not go to battle to change peoples and we should never do that, they did stand when those in power tried to force them to kneel to whomever was in control. They didn’t cease converting people to Christianity. They didn’t sacrifice to the false gods of the time.
Even before Jesus we have examples throughout the Bible of men and women of faith who disobeyed the rulers of their times. Daniel didn’t bow down. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, did not either. We have only to look to these to see examples of civil disobedience.
Reposted with permission of the author:
Verse of the Day
1John 2:17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.
The Demise of Pax Americana11/15/13 The word “pax” is used but it means: ” A time of wide-ranging stability when there is only a single dominant power” It is most often associated with the Roman Empire.
God’s judgment on Obama and America are really starting to accelerate into a collapse. Under Obama’s leadership America’s position as the dominant world power is now ending. He is totally untrustworthy and seems that his only coherent foreign policy is to promote the Muslim Brotherhood. In addition, he seems determined to see to it that Iran obtains nuclear weapons.
He is so diabolical I have a sense that he cut a deal with Iran, that they could obtain nuclear weapons, as long as they agreed to only use them against Israel and not the United States. I really think that Obama is that evil. In the meantime, China is very subtly threatening America with nuclear war or at least war in Asia! I do believe that God is raising China up as a rod of judgment against America both economically and militarily.
If Obama tries to set up Israel for war with Iran, then for sure, America will find itself in a war that it cannot win.
The 1956 Israeli war is viewed by historians as the end of Great Britain as a world power. Great Britain came against God’s prophetic plan for Israel, and this war put an end to Great Britain’s power. As a result, now this nation is under the complete control of the Hard Left reprobates along with the ascension of Islam to power. God is crushing Great Britain with judgments.
It does appear that this confrontation between “Pharaoh” Obama and Israel is now America’s turn to be punished as was Great Britain’s. As the “Pharaoh” comes against Israel, his presidency is being destroyed both nationally and internationally right before our very eyes.
God’s Final Warning to Obama/America
Obama: Same-Sex Marriage ‘Exemplifies the Values We Hold Dear as a Nation’ 11/13/13 This is his heart of sin that he projects onto the entire nation. Homosexual “marriage” is a delusion invented by the modern Hard Left which are in total rebellion against God.
Gallup: Belief Obama’s ‘Honest and Trustworthy’ Hits All-Time Low 11/13/13 Now that Obama is a proven liar to the public, he has no place to go but down. I expect his ratings to fall to the percentage of his hardcore believers, which is about 25 percent or so. He is heading towards not being able to govern because he is now exposed as a pathological liar. Everyone around him are also pathological liars! Each hearing showed that all the members of Obama’s administration are bold liars. They actually lie about lying! God raises up people like this into power as punishment for a rebellious nation.
He is wounded and now very dangerous. If he cannot get his way with the Hard Left agenda, he might move with an attempt to usurp power with a form of coup. I repeat that he now is extremely dangerous like a wounded animal. God is now dealing directly with Obama and through him the American people. It really does appear that judgment day is approaching very fast.
The belief among the American people that President Barack Obama is “honest and trustworthy” has hit an all-time low, – See more at:http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/terence-p-jeffrey/gallup-belief-obamas-honest-and-trustworthy-hits-all-time-low#sthash.ejkIRPQi.dpuf
State Dept.: Israeli Settlements Are ‘Illegitimate’ – See more at:http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/patrick-goodenough/state-dept-israeli-settlements-are-illegitimate#sthash.9BFJg0R0.dpuf
State Dept.: Israeli Settlements Are ‘Illegitimate’ 11/15/13 God might deal with America that sections of our nation are illegitimate. The nation could divide up into regions as the unity of the country melts away.
Increasingly often in recent months, Secretary of State John Kerry and State Department officials have made the point about settlement illegitimacy.
Usually, they have attributed the term to “continued” settlement activity – implying active construction work in existing or new settlements. (President Obama used the same term in his 2009 speech in Cairo and again at the United Nations later that year, saying the U.S. “does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements.”)
But at a meeting with Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem last week Kerry dropped the modifier, saying only “we consider now and have always considered the settlements to be illegitimate.”
Health Law Rollout’s Stumbles Draw Parallels to Bush’s Hurricane Response 11/14/13 Hurricane Katrina was the destruction of Bush’s presidency and it happened at the exact time that he pressured Israel to abandon Gaza. Now Obama is being destroyed, as he is pressuring Israel to create a Palestinian state by April 2014. I see Obama going “down in flames” like Bush did, only Obama might take the nation down with him.
Israel and the Coming Middle East War
The following articles show more of Obama’s pattern of turning against Israel. The real Obama is now starting to show himself. He could not do it during his first term because of reelection, but with nothing to lose, the real Obama is surfacing.
Senators Appalled by Kerry’s Anti-Israel Remarks in Iran Briefing 11/15/13 (Video)
Gallup: Belief Obama’s ‘Honest and Trustworthy’ Hits All-Time Low – See more at:http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/terence-p-jeffrey/gallup-belief-obamas-honest-and-trustworthy-hits-all-time-low#sthash.ejkIRPQi.dpuf
Obama: Same-Sex Marriage ‘Exemplifies the Values We Hold Dear as a Nation’ – See more at: http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/cnsnewscom-staff/obama-same-sex-marriage-exemplifies-values-we-hold-dear-nation#sthash.Ofig2jVU.dpuf