read my mind

October 21, 2017

If you could read my mind love

What a tale my thoughts could tell

Just like an old time movie

About a ghost from a wishing well

In a castle dark or a fortress strong

With chains upon my feet

You know that ghost is me

And I will never be set free

As long as I’m a ghost you can see

If I could read your mind love

What a tale your thoughts could tell

Just like a paperback novel

The kind the drugstore sells

Gordon Lightfoot.

first thoughts.

Number one; God can read your thoughts

Number two, the devil cannot read your thoughts.

Number three your spouse can’t read your thoughts

Number four, all tv mind readers, spirit guides, palm readers, horoscopes, mediums, they are all fake and or demonic.

Number five we are commanded to know the mind of God.

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Neither are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isa. 55:8-9).

We are also told to “be of the same mind toward one another” which means essentially that we must develop and maintain the mind of Christ or God’s thoughts. We are to “stand firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel” (Rom. 12:16; Phil. 2:5; 1:27). But if my thoughts are contrary to God’s, then I must exchange my thinking with God’s and for that process, He has given us His inspired, inerrant, and authoritative Word. So what is our need? We are to study the Scripture, but for that to be effective, we also need to develop the art of biblical meditation.

Joshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.

Psalm 1:2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, And in His law he meditates day and night.

Psalm 4:4 Tremble, and do not sin; Meditate in your heart upon your bed, and be still.

The bible has quite a bit to say about our minds, thoughts, intents, feelings. More than we may think (pardon the pun).

Possibly the third most asked question; “how can I be a better Christian?”

Here’s the short answer;

Psalm 63:6 When I remember Thee on my bed, I meditate on Thee in the night watches,

Psalm 77:11 I shall remember the deeds of the LORD; Surely I will remember Thy wonders of old.

Psalm 78:42 They did not remember His power, The day when He redeemed them from the adversary,

Psalm 143:5 I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Thy doings; I muse on the work of Thy hands.

Spend more time thinking about God and less about yourself.

One thing that amazes me about social media is how often people take pictures of themselves. Get over yourself.

He (God) must increase, I must decrease. Pretty simple.

Well I promised myself this would be a short devotion.

Think about God.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

schooled

October 20, 2017

It has been said that the most repeated phrase in Scripture is, “Do not be afraid.” Some variation of it is mentioned over 350 times. God said it to Gideon when calling him to lead Israel (Judg 6:23). God said it to Jeremiah when calling him to be a prophet to the nations (Jer 1:8). Christ said it to the women at his resurrection (Matt 28:10). Christ told his disciples, “Do not worry about what you will eat, drink, or wear” (Matt 6:25). Philippians 4:6 says, “Be anxious for nothing.”

It was never God’s will for mankind to be fearful. It wasn’t until the advent of sin that fear became a problem for mankind. In Genesis 3, when Adam committed sin, a new word came into his vocabulary. In speaking to God, Adam said, “I was afraid so I hid.” Mankind now struggles with fear. We struggle with fear about the past, present, and future, anxiety disorders, phobias, etc. Fear is natural to man; even though, it was never God’s will for us to be afraid.

First John 4:18 says, “Perfect love casteth out fear. He who fears has not been made perfect in love” (KJV). For those who know God and are born again, we have experienced a love that when perfected in us, can wipe away all our fears.

Fear is not only common to people in general, it is even common to believers. After calling down fire from heaven and having the priests of Baal put to death, Elijah runs out of fear, as Jezebel threatened to kill him (1 Kgs 19). The disciples, after Christ was taken to be crucified, fled in fear. This is the very reason that we see so many admonitions in Scripture to not be afraid or to not be anxious. It is because we all struggle with fear in some way or another.

“Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.” (Genesis 5:1)

Fear is normal, it can save your life, every soldier must deal with fear. It might be your first thought or emotion but it’s what comes next that is the most important. Fear is short circuited by training, faith, experience, victories, trusting God and knowledge.

Someone asked me today how I would solve several different problems, they were a bit surprised when I said there is only one answer, ‘education’ all the examples I gave in the previous paragraph are examples of education. Faith, trust, victories, they are all a part of our education in the school of faith.

And make no mistake God wants to school you. Call it 40 years in the wilderness, there is a divine school and the lessons are hard. But that’s why we have such a magnificent God. Big problems, big God.

My prayer today is you pass muster, graduate. If we fail a test, trust me you will take the exam again. The beauty in an old saint is the perfection of patience and trust in the Lord.

Blessings from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Continue to pray for Jennifer and her upcoming eye surgery, talk about fearful.

Pray for Lauren, she is unsaved and wild, now she is reaping the whirlwind, pray for her salvation.

Pray for Lisa and Dyrrin, they are ending their marriage after only 5 years. Everyone counseled them to not get married, now with a young 2 year old.

rest in peace

October 18, 2017

  “I, the Lord, search the heart” (Jeremiah 17:10).

Feeling convicted by the Holy Spirit is good news, it means your heart is still soft and the painful piercing of your heart means you are still capable of repentance and genuine Godly sorrow.

We are afraid to face up to the sinful nature within, not fully realizing that it was dealt with in condemnation to God’s full satisfaction at Calvary. When we come to see that all the old nature was taken down into the death of the Cross, and in Christ Jesus we are completely clear of its penalty and power, then it is that we begin to welcome the work of the Cross upon all that of which the Holy Spirit convicts us. Just as we trust God for Salvation, it is by faith we accept regeneration, sanctification and the new being in Christ.

The next time you are tempted tell that temptation there is no one to work on in you, as you are crucified in Christ, buried and resurrected. You will find it is easier to deal a death blow to that temptation than wrestling with it.

The natural man cannot bear the thought of being searched by God; he cannot stand to think of being found out in his true condition and character. But to the truly hungry believer it is a positive comfort to be assured that God knows everything about us; He knows the very worst that can be discovered. He has searched out all that we are, and in spite of all He has thoughts of blessing concerning us. There is, therefore, no fear of anything coming to light that might cause Him to change or reverse His thought of blessing and acceptance.

Our acceptance with God in Christ is perfect, and therefore unimprovable. It never alters; never varies. And it is very important for us not to mix the acceptance itself with our enjoyment of it. Our acceptance is ‘in Christ,’ and therefore eternal; the enjoyment is ‘by the Spirit,’ and therefore (because of the working of the flesh) often hindered.

The sense of His goodness removes the guile of heart that seeks to conceal its sin.

  “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end” (Jeremiah 29:11).

Think victoriously, and accept your total forgiveness, past, present and future.

Truly rest in peace.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

Pray for Walter L, throat cancer

Pray for Betty C, 84 years old today, widowed for 15 years, today is bitter sweet as her husband Charles died on her birthday.

Pray for Ronald D, he can’t leave the house anymore because of phobias.

 

WE ARE NOT TRYING TO PERSUADE YOU TO ONE FORM OF THEOLOGY OR ANOTHER, WE ARE JUST INFORMING YOU OF TWO PREDOMINATE SCHOOLS OF THOUGHT. YOU AS A CHRISTIAN MUST BE READY TO GIVE AN ANSWER TO ALL.

Part two on theology

Yesterday we talked about Reformed or Covenant Theology. So that would be some Presbyterians, and Baptist, not all but most.

Today we’ll cover Dispensationalist’s. first a cautionary note. And that’s jumping to conclusions. Not all Pentecostals are Dispensationalists. In fact a great many are Reformed in theology except for the speaking in tongues part.

Some great Dispensationalist for you are John MacArthur and The Dallas Theological Seminary. Foundation.

.Plymouth Brethren Movement -J. N.Darby, WilliamKelly . C.I.Scofield . WilliamTrotter . C.H.Mackintosh

Key Influencial Preachers .L. S. Chafer F.W.Grant

.Harry Ironside Erich Sauer .W. A. Criswell John Walvoord

Charles Ryrie

Wiliam Newell

  1. C. Gaebelein- Our Hope Magazine

Institutions

Moody Bible Institute

Dallas Theological Seminary

Grace Seminary, Indiana

Talbot Seminary, California

1930s-1940s

Harry Ironside

William Newell

  1. C. Gaebelein

  2. S. Chafer

Theodore Epp-Back to the Bible (1939)

Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry(1938)

1950s-1960s

Dallas Seminary, Charles Ryrie, John Walvoord, Dwight Pentecost

  1. E. Vine, Erich Sauer

Warren Weirsbe

Lehman Strauss

Charles Swindoll

Quite a surprising list and not to mention there are Classical Dispensationalist and Neo Classic and Modern and Ultra Modern Dispensationalists.

And the New Reformed Movement is attacking Dispensationalists like they were a cult. Which they are really attacking the Ultra Modern’s and not the classics.

So enough of that; here is some info to help you converse and understand the other side of the coin compared to the Reformed Movement.

Dispensational theology is probably the most popular theological understanding in America at this time, even though it has a more recent origin than Covenant theology. The development of Dispensational theology dates back to the nineteenth century in Britain. J.N. Darby (1800-1882), an Irish lawyer, sought to explain the uniqueness of the Christians’ spiritual condition “in Christ.” To explain the radical different in Christian “benefits” from that afforded to peoples in all prior times, Mr. Darby employed the division of time into distinct “dispensations.” Harry Ironside, a later proponent of Dispensational theology, noted that “until Mr. J.N. Darby…it (the dispensational idea of a postponed kingdom) is scarcely to be found in a single book or sermon through a period of sixteen hundred years.” Darby’s novel idea of distinguishing “dispensations” of time became the basis of a new theological system known as “Dispensationalism.”

   As with Covenant theology, it is equally important to explore the socio-political climate in which Dispensational theology emerged. In nineteenth century Britain there existed an abundance of oppressive and depressing sociological conditions, out of which grew an anti-establishment movement of thought against both governmental and ecclesiastical authority. Historical analyst, George Marsden, has noted that two individuals who were contemporaries of one another both became the catalysts of popular systems of thought. J.N. Darby (1800-1882) and Karl Marx (1818-1883), both reacted to the existing conditions in nineteenth century Britain.  Whereas Darby came to the forefront in saying the church must look forward to ‘The Rapture’ as the world was to evil to successfully reform.

   J.N. Darby became an instrumental leader in the movement which became known as the “Plymouth Brethren. (not the same as the Brethren Church)” This independent religious group was outside of the mainline institutional churches of that.Other British Dispensationalists include C.H. Mackintosh, William Kelly and E.W. Bullinger. Darby made at least eight visits to America to promulgate his new interpretations, and they were espoused by such American leaders as Dwight L. Moody (1837-1899) and J.H. Brookes (1830-1897). Other prominent names associated with Dispensational theology in the twentieth century include W.E. Blackstone, L.S. Chafer who founded Dallas Theological Seminary, and C.I. Scofield who popularized Dispensational theology with his explanatory notes in The Scofield Bible. Dispensational theology became entrenched in the “Fundamentalist” movement of the 1920s and 1930s. More recent Dispensational writers included John E. Walvoord, and Charles Ryrie who like Scofield has added explanatory notes in hisRyrie Study Bible.

   Dispensational theology is not as closely connected with Calvinistic theology as is Covenant theology. This explains in part why it so quickly and easily found favor across denominational and theological lines in America, for there were many American Christians who did not appreciate the rigid dogmatism of five-point Calvinism and desired more freedom for diversity, in typical American pluralistic fashion. One could wish that Dispensationalists could have maintained such tolerance for diversity without becoming so dogmatic and exclusivistic about their own theological and eschatological opinions, which led eventually to the “Evangelical” movement breaking free from the “Fundamentalist” movement in the 1940s. Dispensational distancing from strict Calvinism allows Pentecostal and Holiness theologies, which are quite Arminian, to be Dispensational in theology as well. Covenant theologians are quick to fault Dispensational theology for not adhering to pure Calvinism, but sometimes unfairly charge all Dispensationalists with being Arminian in their theology. (which the majority are not Arminian). (Arminian’s believe you can be saved and then lose your salvation).

   Some of the prominent features of Dispensational theology include (1) distinct dispensations of time, (2) the dichotomy of Israel and the Church, (3) the unconditional covenant of God with Abraham, to be fulfilled physically and literally for the Jewish people in the future Davidic/millennial kingdom. Upon these basic presuppositions the system of Dispensational theology is constructed.

the early formulators of Dispensational theology defined a “dispensation” as “a period of time with a test that ends in failure,” and began to divide all history accordingly. A more complete Dispensational definition of a “dispensation” might be “a period of time wherein (1) a distinctive idea of revelation is given by God, (2) a specific test of obedience is given based on that revelation, (3) man fails the test of obedience, (4) God judges man for his disobedience, and then establishes another dispensation.” These dispensations do not build upon one another, but are regarded as totally distinct and separate from one another.

   Dispensationalists are not agreed as to the number of dispensations of time wherein God deals with men in different ways. At least three dispensations are required for the theological system to provide the contrasts necessary; these are the dispensation of law, the dispensation of grace, and the dispensation of the millennial kingdom. The most popular calculation of dispensational time periods is seven. They are usually identified as

(1) The dispensation of innocence (Gen. 1-3), wherein the test was the eating from the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil,” and the failure was the fall of man into sin.

(2) The dispensation of conscience (Gen. 4 8:14), wherein the test was proper sacrifice and the failure was the continual evil of men’s hearts judged by the flood.

(3) The dispensation of human government (Gen. 8:15 11), wherein the test was governance and compliance with government and the failure was evidenced at the tower of Babel.

(4) The dispensation of promise (Gen 12 Exod. 18), wherein the test came when God offered the Law to the Israelites, and the failure is alleged to be their abandonment of a prior grace/faith relationship with God by their rash and foolish acceptance of the Law.

(5) The dispensation of Law (Exod. 19 Acts 1), the test of which came when Jesus came to earth and offered the Jews the Davidic kingdom which they refused, so God postponed the fulfillment of the kingdom promise.

(6) The dispensation of grace (Acts 2 Rev. 19), wherein the test is for Christians to live obediently in grace, but the failure is predicted to be the apostasy of the institutional church.

(7) The dispensation of the kingdom (Rev. 20), a thousand year period which will end in final rebellion leading to the judgment of God upon the earth and the inauguration of a “new heaven and new earth.”

Dispensationalist’s believe in a more literal interpretation and less allegorical than the Reformed tradition.

A second prominent feature of Dispensational theology is the radical dichotomy and disjuncture of Israel and the Church. In an apparent attempt to keep law and grace distinctly separated, Dispensational theology has divided the nation of Israel from any connection with the Church of Jesus Christ, the Body of Christ. They are alleged to be so mutually exclusive as two separate peoples that “never the twain shall meet.” J.N. Darby indicated that “the Jewish nation is never to enter into the Church.”The physical race of Jewish people is regarded as God’s “earthly people” while Christians are regarded as God’s “heavenly people.” Dispensational theology indicates that separate promises are given to Jews and to Christians.

That is why a Dispensationalist has a problem with Messianic Jews. You are either a Christian or you are not. There are to the Dispensationalists Kingdom promises and then promises to the Church.

A third basic presupposition of Dispensational theology is the unconditional covenant with Abraham, to be fulfilled physically and literally for the Jewish people in the future Davidic/millennial kingdom. Beginning with the promises of God to Abraham in Genesis 12, 15 and 17, the Dispensationalist argues for a literal fulfillment of these promises for the physical race and nation of the Jews. Such fulfillment is alleged to be the epitome of God’s intent and the primary message of the Bible. Charles Ryrie states that “the goal of history is the earthly millennium…(which is) the climax of history and the great goal of God’s program for the ages. John E. Walvoord further explains that “the Abrahamic covenant furnishes the key to the entire Old Testament…(and) sets the mold for the entire body of Scripture truth. Thus, there will be after the Rapture, the time of Tribulation and Jesus returning to set up a literal kingdom on earth for a 1000 year reign.

God therefore postponed the re-implementation of the Kingdom until Jesus comes again to set up the millennial kingdom, which will be the fulfillment of the “new covenant” promised to the Jews. The period of the postponed kingdom, the “dispensation of grace,” is a parenthetical time period wherein God’s primary purpose is interrupted and held in abeyance. The Church is not to be identified with God’s kingdom and was unforeseen by all of the Old Testament prophets whose prophesies never refer to the Church age. The Church, which is primarily for Gentiles, began on Pentecost, and there are many “mysteries” concerning God’s revelation of Himself in Jesus Christ so as to “call out” a “heavenly people” whose destiny is to be seated with Christ on the throne in the New Jerusalem of heaven. Meanwhile the primary futuristic focus is on the return of Jesus Christ to re-establish the realm of the earthly Davidic Kingdom in Palestine during the 1000 year millennial period which fulfills the promised “new covenant,” the “dispensation of the kingdom.” (Some Dispensationalists will allow that the “new covenant” may have a double application: a spiritual application for the church and a physical application for Israel.) The return of Christ is “imminent,” expected at “any moment.” It will be preceded by the “rapture” in order to remove the Church and keep Israel and the Church separated. Dispensational theology is necessarily premillennial, but that does not mean that all premillennialists subscribe to Dispensational theology. There are covenant theologians who believe in a premillennial return of Christ.

There are of course many other ‘schools’ of theology, and most borrow bit and pieces from the other. There are those who say we only have ‘Biblical Theology’ of we only have a ‘Christocentric’ theology. Each borrow strongly from the other.

The more you study you will probably end up like me and say I have an Adaptive Theology. It is the sum of all the parts. There are quotes attributed to Calvin (Reformed) that he never said. As well as quotes to Darby and Dispensationalists that are pure myth. Find out the truth, for one reason, you make sense when you talk and can give a better answer than ‘because’.

Where do i fall, Reformed, Dispensationalist, semi Pentecostal, brethren, Mennonite.

That’s it, no more theology, back to rant and rave, prod and poke.

Blessings from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

chasing our tails

October 13, 2017

Psalm 42:1-2 As the deer pants for the water brooks, So my soul pants for Thee, O God. 2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God; When shall I come and appear before God?

Matthew 5: 6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

John 4:13-14 Jesus answered and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water shall thirst again; 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life.”

Revelation 7:16-17 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; neither shall the sun beat down on them, nor any heat; 17 for the Lamb in the center of the throne shall be their shepherd, and shall guide them to springs of the water of life; and God shall wipe every tear from their eyes.

A word loaded with figurative meaning is the word, “thirst.” In the Bible, “thirst” is a translation of the Hebrew sama, and the Greek dipsos. We have an English word that is derived from dipsos, the word dipsomania used of extreme thirstiness, but especially of the insatiable craving for alcoholic beverages. Thirst refers to the sensation of dryness in the mouth and throat caused by the lack of fluids which results in a desire to drink. From this sensation it seems that people of almost any language use the word thirst as a synonym for a strong desire or craving for whatever the object, like a thirst for knowledge, or a thirst for wealth.

Have you ever really been truly thirsty? To some degree we all know the sensation of thirst and the longing for a drink especially when expending a lot of energy. In the heat of summer when our bodies do a lot of perspiring they cry out for more fluids. But very few of us have ever been in the desert without water to the point of serious life-threatening dehydration and known the real pain of thirst or a craving for water like Hagar and her son in the wilderness of Beersheba (Gen. 21:14).

But I would ask you this, what will it take for you and me to stop chasing our tails. Or in the more common vernacular ‘three steps forward, two steps back” and that’s being wildly optimistic.

Why do we keep screwing up?

Why do we have pornographic thoughts in the middle of our prayers? Or have you ever thought of all the money you’ve spent on things you don’t really need? Oh, that’s right we call it a collection.

Or how about the time the offering plate is going by and you’re going to put in a twenty and see you have a five and grab that instead. The plate goes by and there’s a twinge of guilt and you do what you always do, ‘next time’.

How many ‘next times’ will there be.

The broken promises to God.

Oh, God it was an accident I never was planning on having sex when I left the house.

The cursing you promised you’d quit and the quick not really meaning it “I won’t do it again God” prayer. And since you don’t really plan on stopping, there isn’t even an apology to God anymore.

When did God become a habit or just a religious routine?

And if you are a person without any accountability, you are actually shocked at how far you’ve drifted.

Well someday there has to be a reckoning. You can either do it now, with real intent or just let the carnal cocoon keep spinning its soft web around you, hey there’s always tomorrow.

And    BAM, YOUR DEAD, WHOOPS TO LATE.

Oh well I hope I’ve at least given you indigestion.

Blessings from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

think on this

October 8, 2017

Ok, before reading this devotion, remember, I’m not trying to be cruel or a misogynistic Neanderthal. I’m just asking you to think about a topic not ventured on from the pulpit.

There is the mistaken notion that having children will strengthen weak marriages, or that having children will keep a marriage from falling apart. Within this paradigm are individuals who believe that by having children, they themselves will be made complete individuals. The Scripture does teach that children are a blessing from God (Ps 127:3); it does not, however, guarantee that those children will be the resolution to all or any of the personal problems of their parents.

 Having children is not absolutely essential to a happy marriage or relationship to the Lord. Our ultimate joy is in the Lord, not in our children. This needs to be shouted from the rooftops, because many of us have prioritized our children over our spouse and over our God. We may not want to admit this, but deep down we know it’s true. Many married couples determine to stay together for their children. Now don’t get me wrong, that’s very admirable. What’s not so admirable is failing to devote time to your spouse to build a healthy marriage.

I want to bring up a very sensitive topic here, just something for you to think about.

The bible mentions “closing the womb” that it is God who ‘opens’ or ‘closes’ the womb.

The apostle Paul mentions that he would that more adults were like him and unmarried, so they could do more for the Lord.

So here’s the deal; don’t have children because it’s expected, or a tradition or you are being pressured by parents to have grandchildren.

If you are medically unable to have children, consider if this is the Lord’s will and he will bless you in other ways. Don’t torture yourself with drugs and fertility clinics, prayerfully consider what is happening. Your identity is not defined by children.

Before having children make it a matter of prayer to God of if, and when and how many. Scandalous thought right, natural, rhythm, birth control, vasectomies, wow not a hot bible topic. Does ‘be fruitful and multiply’ is it still valid?

Second marriages and previous kids, one word, if the father (non bio) isn’t allowed to be the father and discipline, don’t even bother having a marriage. Find another woman. (I know, stone me) this type of marriage never works and the children end up being intolerable little momma’ boys that don’t respect authority and the girls end up marrying father figures because they never had a good one.

So women, it’s your womb, is it? Or is it God’s.

See I’m devoting this whole week to devotions with no answer by me, you’re going to have to pray about it and figure it out, with God’s guidance.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

liar, liar

September 30, 2017

Ok, this particular devotion is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, however it is educational about how far even nations will go to discredit Jesus.

The vast literature proving the historic Jewish connection to the Land of Israel has been extensively manipulated and distorted as part of the Palestinian politics of nationalism. Propaganda, indoctrination, and socialization, both domestically and internationally, are essential parts of the strategy and tactics of asserting Palestinian nationhood and statehood. By appropriating to themselves the values, traditions, and historical facts that belong to the Jews, Palestinians have managed to fabricate a “legitimate” history and political traditions out of nothing while denying those of Israel.

The Palestinian Nation-building Strategy

A Palestinian flag emblazoned with “Jesus.” Not even Jesus’s origin as a Jew is safe from the Palestinian fabrication of their history. While Jesus was certainly viewed for centuries as a Muslim prophet (along with Abraham and Moses), only recently has he become a model Palestinian shahid, a martyr to their cause.

Nation-building often involves the invention of foundation myths although these normally require a certain relationship to historic facts, however tenuous. Palestinian leaders, under the leadership of Yasser Arafat and his successors, adopted a different tack: stealing the enemy’s heritage, history, and values, and denying its legitimacy as a people and a state. The Palestinian objectives are to disqualify Israel’s historical standing and to inherit its belongings by delegitimizing and even dehumanizing its national identity and personality.

Palestinian tactics are simple yet sophisticated: preaching and dispersing lies and distortions of reality. History proves that the bigger the lie and the more common its reiteration, the more it is accepted as authentic and genuine. Moreover, most people are unwilling to accept the idea that an entire national leadership would dare to totally distort and fabricate history in full. Part of the Palestinians’ success in doing so is also due to the fact that most people do not know the history of the Land of Israel and of Jerusalem.

Usurping the Jewish, Biblical, and Christian Pasts

Rewriting the history of the Land of Israel by erasing Jewish history and replacing it with a fabricated Palestinian history is a central goal of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and something that the early generations of Palestinian leaders, including the notorious Hajj Amin Husseini, who led the Palestinian Arabs to their 1948 defeat, dared not do. This fictitious history, which ignores all historical documentation and established historical methods, is based on systematic distortions of both ancient and modern history with the aim of denying Israel’s right to exist.

The Palestinian leaders claim lineage from ancient history, describing the Canaanites as their direct ancestors.[1] In the words of the PA president Mahmoud Abbas: “We said to him [Netanyahu], when he claimed the Jews have a historical right dating back to 3000 years B.C.E., we say that the nation of Palestine upon the land of Canaan had a 7,000-year history. This is the truth that must be said: Netanyahu, you are incidental in history. We are the people of history. We are the owners of history.”[2]

According to Palestinian Authority historians, the Palestinian people has been living in Palestine for over seven thousand years.[3] Another claim states that Palestinians were in the land since the beginning of creation.[4] According to Sheikh Ikrima Sabri, chairman of the Supreme Islamic Council of the Palestinian Authority, Palestinians have roots in this land originating from earlier than 7500 B.C.E.[5] Arab villages have allegedly existed since the days of the Canaanites.[6] The “Arab” Canaanites supposedly established ports on the coast of Canaan, known today as Palestine, and Jaffa is said to have been one of the cities whose Canaanite origins later invaders failed to erase.[7] Overall, the Palestinian people claim to be rooted in the region for thousands of years and long before Israel.[8]

According to this argument, some 6,000 years ago, the Palestinians of Canaan created a great civilization that, like the sun, was producing light and shining it on human beings as the Islamic religious basis of the world.[9] Palestinian scholars and media have touted the claim that the Palestinian Arab nation has been rooted in its land for thousands of years since the human settlement of the “Arab-Palestinian-Canaanite” city of Jericho—the oldest city in the history of human civilization. In their claim, the history and heritage of Jericho confirm the Arab-Palestinian-Canaanite narrative concerning the entire Palestinian land, from the sea to the river, and negate the false Zionist narrative. Jericho allegedly proves that the Palestinian nation is the most ancient and earliest of all, whose roots are the most deeply dug into history.[10]

Palestinians also declared themselves to have been the center of historical events and peoples found in the Bible in the form of the Edomites, Amorites, Midianites, Amalekites, Ibrahim bin Azar (biblical Abraham), and al-Khadir (Prophet Elijah).[11] In the view of the Palestinian ambassador to India, Adli Sadeq, to ignore the existence of the Palestinian people and its rights reflects a logic that mocks intelligence, culture, and the Bible itself, in which Palestine and its people are mentioned more than 250 times.[12] Of course, the term Palestine appears nowhere in the Bible. The assertion that the Palestinians are descended from the biblical Jebusites, who, according to the Bible, were the original inhabitants of Jerusalem, has also been frequently made.[13]

To claim that Palestinians are the original inhabitants of the Land of Israel not only goes against secular history and scientific knowledge, but it also flies in the face of Islamic religious history. Not only do the Islamic scriptures recognize the unique Jewish claims to the Land of Israel, but there is no reference whatsoever to any Palestinian people dwelling on any land called Filastin during any part of Islamic history until the twentieth century. The term Jund Filastin was used to describe a military district of the Umayyad and Abbasid caliphates and had no ethnic or national significance until the twentieth century.

The Qur’an declares that the Jews are the chosen people, exalted among the nations of the world.[14] It clearly declares the Jews (Bani Israil) as the only owners of the Land of Israel, which is al-Ard al-Muqaddasah; al-Ard al-Mubarakah; Ard Bani Israil (the sacred land; the blessed land; the land of the People of Israel), and they are not allowed to leave it, for otherwise they will be punished:[15] “It is the promise of God, and God does not go back on his promise.”[16] The Qur’an goes on to acknowledge that the Jewish first and second kingdoms existed but states that they were punished by God.[17] Arab ownership of Palestine is also critically connected to exegesis on the Qur’anic description of Muhammad’s Night Journey from Mecca to the “furthest mosque,” which is juxtaposed with a verse on the destroyed Temple of the Israelites.[18] The existence of that temple, however, though it had been acknowledged by officials of the Islamic religious endowment authority (waqf ) in their publicity materials from the 1920s and 1950s,[19] was famously denied by Arafat in an exchange with U.S. president Bill Clinton.[20]

Another Palestinian tactic is aimed at co-opting Christianity. For the PA leaders, Jesus is defined as a Palestinian who preached Islam, thus denying not only Jewish history and Christian legitimacy but also strengthening ancient Palestinian history. According to this narrative, Jesus was a Muslim prophet,[21] like all other Jewish-born figures,[22] who was born in Bethlehem, lived in Nazareth, and moved to Jerusalem.[23] Therefore, Jesus the messiah is a Palestinian par excellence, the son of Mary the Palestinian.[24] The Virgin Mary, the woman of love and peace, is of the nation of Palestine, whose roots are grounded in the depths of history.[25] Jesus is a shahid, a holy martyr of Islam, the only Palestinian prophet, and the first Palestinian shahid who was tortured in this land.[26]

Denying the Jewish Connection

In the official Palestinian narrative, the Palestinian people are authentic and indigenous while it is the Israelis who are the foreigners, invented, and sown in a land that is not theirs.[27] According to Nabil Alqam, a PA historian, the Israeli state concerns itself with cultural theft and with stealing, distorting, and erasing the Palestinian heritage, which has a historical depth of 4,000 to 5,000 years. The state of Israel attempts to steal Palestinian symbols and to create a fake Israeli identity.[28] In his book, Jerusalem, City of Allah, Yunes Amr, president of the al-Quds Open University, claims to disprove all Israeli connections and the history of the Jewish presence in Palestine, both historically and linguistically, by exposing the falsification of facts and affirming that the Palestinians are Arab Canaanites indigenous to the land.[29]

Throughout Palestinian media and education, all Israeli cities and areas are featured as Palestinian in origin, including Haifa, Acre, Ashkelon, Jaffa, Safed, Tiberias, Tel Aviv, Nazareth, the Sea of Galilee, Kiryat Shmonah, and the Negev. These are the “Palestinian homeland” or “occupied Palestine.”[30] Instilling these assertions and psychological worldview as facts among youth and in the political arena requires a multilevel process of socialization and indoctrination, beginning with the education system. Reinforcement is constant and all-pervasive: Palestine is continually represented as an area of 27,000 sq km, and an overwhelming Palestinian majority believes this is the truth.[31]

The Palestinians also portray Israelis of today as having no genetic, religious, cultural, or historical connections to the Jews of the past, who are supposed to have disappeared long ago. Issam Sissalem of the Islamic University in Gaza further claims that the biblical Hebrew tribes were in fact Bedouin. As such they were Arab tribes, and there is no connection between them and today’s Israeli Jews, who are the descendents of Eurasian Khazars who converted to Judaism. The original Hebrew tribes were erased and ceased to exist, leaving no traces.[32] Likewise, Jarir al-Qudwa, once educational advisor to Arafat, holds that the Israelites of the Bible were not only Arab tribes but were among the purest. Fathi Buzia, a PA political commentator, argues that Europe, led by Britain, founded Israel, creating and implanting a thieving, fabricated entity upon the Palestinian land, in order to get rid of Jews at home.[33]

Israelis are described as religious groups of imposters who were never Jews but part of a Zionist plot to occupy Palestinian lands and steal the Palestinian identity and cultural heritage. This is derided as the greatest crime ever committed against humanity with the aim of the Judaization of Palestine.[34] Even the Hebrew language is said to be stolen from Palestinian Aramaic.[35] The Israeli state creates “false names” for sites to “erase the Palestinian facts.” It steals everything it lays its hands on “by means of terror,” including music, food, clothing, and folk traditions, even falafel and humus.[36] All the territory held by the state of Israel is occupied, and the Palestinians will not compromise on it.[37]

In the light of this, Palestinian commentators demand that Zionists must acknowledge publicly before the world that Jews have no connection to Palestinian Arab land. Zionist history is nothing more than invention and falsification, constituting a crude form of colonialism.[38] Zionists are trying to create a fake history at the expense of a real Palestinian history so as to steal the history and the culture of the Palestinians.[39]

The Palestinian “Nation’s” Modern Foundations

The alleged Zionist process of theft and usurpation is, in fact, precisely the official Palestinian policy toward Jewish history.

The paradoxical fact is that Palestinian nationalism effectively owes its creation to Zionism, the Jewish national movement.[40] Stimulated partially by the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire and the search for Arab national identities, the main lines of Palestinian nationalism developed during the 1920s and 1930s in reaction to and in contrast with Zionism.

Though Palestinians claim descent from Canaanites, the fact is that there has never been any historical Palestinian state, nor any indigenous political system and institutions. The Land of Israel witnessed many conquerors over the course of its history, but in the last two thousand years since most of the people of Israel went into exile—albeit not without leaving an uninterrupted presence in the land—it was not the home of any indigenous political entity. Not only has there never been a Palestinian state and a Palestinian people, but there were no other political entities besides those established by invading forces, such as the crusading statelets or district capitals created by Umayyad and Abbasid caliphs.

Most of the population now known as Palestinian descended from migrants originating from the surrounding Arab countries and from local Bedouins. Many migrated in waves from the middle of the nineteenth century to the middle of the twentieth century. Others were imported by the Ottoman Empire and by the British for infrastructure and agricultural projects, or migrated to the region following Zionist economic success, which produced a staggering population growth.[41] Palestinians are perhaps the newest of all peoples, comprising many scattered groups. In fact, in origin they are more Egyptian, Syrian, Jordanian, Lebanese, and mainly Bedouin, than Palestinian.

Perhaps the most conspicuous fact regarding the novelty of the Palestinian nation is that when it was within their power, the Arab leaders never seriously sought to create a Palestinian state during the 1940s, and after the establishment of the State of Israel, from 1948 until 1967, when the West Bank and Gaza were under Egyptian and Jordanian direct rule. Moreover, during that time all Arab leaders referred to the Palestinian issue as a refugee problem. They did not call for the creation of a Palestinian state for the Palestinian nation. Even after the 1967 Six-Day War, United Nations Resolution 242 of November 22, 1967, mentions only “refugees,” not even “Arab refugees”—let alone a Palestinian people and a Palestinian state.[42] Calls in earnest for a Palestinian state did not begin in the United Nations or elsewhere until the late 1960s or the early 1970s.[43]

Even today, as all Arab states pay lip service to the idea of a Palestinian state, and Palestinian leaders are treated as equals by their Arab counterparts, it is far from clear that a Palestinian state is a real priority. If the Palestinians are a people today, they are indeed a new invention. However, do they deserve a state? Establishment of a Palestinian state would rightly open the floodgates for the creation of numerous states based on both new and old national identities. The Kurds and the Berbers, for example, have lived for centuries in the Middle East. They are distinct and ancient peoples that were not invented in the full light of history, but unfortunately, their existence does not translate automatically into statehood. If it did, such a process of granting statehood to all peoples would begin to unravel the fabric of the modern Arab world. Arab leaders, especially under pressure from the Arab upheavals of 2011 show no enthusiasm for this.

What Do Palestinians Want?

The important question is what Palestinians really want. What are the Palestinians’ political objectives, and how do they wish to realize them? All their leaders’ declarations and policies clearly show that they have never moderated their primary objective, which is to eliminate the State of Israel. From the Abadan (“never”) rhetoric of the 1920s through 1948 to Arafat’s “phased strategy,” adopted at the June 1974 Palestinian National Congress,[44] Palestinians still lay claim to a land “from the river to the sea.” Palestinians appear unwilling to compromise, to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, or to accept an Israeli state on any territory they call Filastin.

It is also evident that Palestinian political evolution is closely tied to Israel’s territorial and political development in two continuous phases. The first emerged after Israel’s independence in 1948 and differentiated the Palestinians as a social group of Arab refugees, also called “Palestine Arabs,” and lacking obvious cultural, social, or political characteristics that distinguished them from their Arab kin, who largely reviled them. The second phase developed after the 1967 Six-Day War; Palestinians then became a political group seeking to develop a national identity during the period of global anti-imperial and anti-colonial ferment. But even as a Palestinian national identity has been developed and marketed, it is overwhelmingly founded on the negation of its rival, namely Jewish and Israeli identity, rather than on positive attributes or real history.

Given this, how have Palestinians been so successful in disseminating their message in the international arena? What brings them the overwhelming political and financial support at the expense of so many nations and other peoples, such as the Kurds and the Berbers, who are denied the chance to establish a state?[45]

Part of the answer is perhaps the Palestinians’ sophisticated ploy of telling all players what they want to hear. In the international arena, the Palestinians emphasize the ideologies of post-colonialism, post-modernism, and multiculturalism. They depict themselves as the victims of colonial Zionism that has stolen their land and express the wish to establish Palestine as a small or even a multicultural state.[46] In Europe, where there is a high level of guilt and remorse about its own colonialist past, the Palestinians depict Israel as the last remnant of the bygone European colonialist era and directly blame Europe for the creation of the Jewish state.[47] Israel is accused of occupying the land that belongs solely to the Palestinian people, and worse, Israel is accused of perpetuating Nazi methods and committing genocide against the Palestinians.[48] These Palestinian accusations are supported by European intellectuals and leftists who feel remorse about the colonial era and who do not wish to be reminded any further about the Nazi atrocities.

In the United States, where many feel guilt and remorse over historic racism, the Palestinians depict Israel as a racist state, which treats them in the same way as African Americans were treated.[49] For human rights organizations, Israel is a cruel occupier that violates all human rights and freedoms of the Palestinians.[50] In world public opinion, Israel is depicted as an oppressive society that perpetuates systematic extermination and ethnic cleansing.[51] And to Palestinians and other Muslims, the prospect of a Palestinian state is represented as the creation of another proud Arab or pious Muslim state.

The question remains why the international community accepts the Palestinians’ claims regarding their fabricated past and the corresponding negation of the Jews. Oil, ignorance, anti-Semitism, and a politically correct unwillingness to offer any challenge to such falsehoods, all play a role. Still, it is difficult to recall a time in modern history when one group of people openly expressed such visceral animosity and hatred and declared its eagerness to eliminate a neighboring state and its people while the international arena ignored and, in fact, enabled and legitimized it.

Conclusion

Palestinian Arabs, as opposed to Arabic-speaking residents, have not been in the area west of the Jordan River from the Islamic occupation, from the Ottoman Empire, or even from British rule since 1917. No Palestinian state has ever existed, and so, no Palestinian people has ever been robbed of its land. There is no language or dialect known as Palestinian; there is no Palestinian culture distinct from that of surrounding Arab ones; and there has never been a land known as Palestine governed by Palestinians at any time in history. For these reasons, Palestinians have been driven to fabricate a past by denying and expropriating that of Jews and Israel.

Only after the Palestinian leadership comes to terms with Israel’s legitimacy and recognizes it as a Jewish state can one begin discussing the emergence of a Palestinian state that lives in peace beside the State of Israel.

Thank you David Bukay who is a lecturer at the School of Political Science in the University of Haifa, peace and blessings my friend.

[1] All references from Palestinian Authority media are taken from Palestinian Media Watch.

[2] Palestinian al-Fath TV, May 14, 2011.

[3] Al-Ayyam (Ramallah), Sept. 11, 2006.

[4] Palestinian al-Fath TV, July 25, 2004.

[5] Al-Hayat al-Jadida (Ramallah), July 3, 2010.

[6] Ibid., Dec. 3, 2010.

[7] Palestinian al-Fath TV, repeatedly from 2005-07.

[8] Al-Hayat al-Jadida, Mar. 17, 2009, Dec. 11, 2011.

[9] Palestinian al-Fath TV, Feb. 20, 2011.

[10] Al-Hayat al-Jadida, Oct. 21, 2010.

[11] Ibid., July 8, 2011.

[12] Ibid., Nov. 18, 2005, Dec. 19, 2011.

[13] David Wenkel, “Palestinians, Jebusites, and Evangelicals,” Middle East Quarterly, Summer 2007, pp. 49-56.

[14] Qur: al-Baqarah, 2:47; ad-Dukhan, 44:32.

[15] Qur: al-Maidah, 5:21; al-A’araf, 7:137; Bani Israil, 17:104.

[16] Qur: ar-Rum, 30:6.

[17] Qur: Bani Israil, 17:104-7.

[18] Ibid., 17: 1, 7.

[19] Philip Mattar, “The Role of the Mufti of Jerusalem in the Political Struggle over the Western Wall, 1928-1929,” Middle Eastern Studies, Jan. 1983, pp. 104-18; Muhammad Amin al-Husseini, Haqa’ik An Qadiyat Filastin (Cairo: n.p., 1957), pp. 115-9.

[20] See Yitzhak Reiter, Jerusalem and Its Role in Islamic Solidarity (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008), pp. 1-2.

[21] Qur: al-Imran, 3:51-2; an-Nisa, 4:171; al-Maidah, 5:111.

[22] Qur: al-Baqarah, 2:127-8, 133; al-Imran, 3:84; Yunus, 10:71-2, 84.

[23] Palestinian al-Fath TV, Apr. 21, 2006; al-Hayat al-Jadida, Mar. 9, Oct. 28, 2006.

[24] Al-Hayat al-Jadida, Nov. 18, 2005; Palestinian al-Fath TV, May 12, 2009.

[25] ,com.Palvoice Mar. 17, 2010.

[26] Al-Hayat al-Jadida, June 24, Dec. 11, 2000, June 17, 2005, Oct. 28, 2006, Apr. 30, Nov. 18, 2008; Palestinian al-Fath TV, June 9, Dec. 24, 2009.

[27] Al-Hayat al-Jadida, Dec. 11, 2011.

[28] Palestinian al-Fath TV, Oct. 22, 2009.

[29] Al-Ayyam, Apr. 7, 2009.

[30] Palestinian al-Fath TV, Apr. 11, June 14, 24, Sept. 2, Nov. 1, 2011; al-Hayat al-Jadida, Jan. 31, June 17, 20, 2011.

[31] Palestinian al-Fath TV, May 16, June 11, 25, July 5, Aug. 12, 13, 19, 2010.

[32] Ibid., July 25, 2004.

[33] Ibid., June 17, 2009.

[34] Al-Hayat al-Jadida, Apr. 4, May 26, 2011; Palestinian al-Fath TV, May 23, 2011.

[35] Palestinian al-Fath TV, Dec. 7, 2010, Feb. 8, July 15, 2011; al-Hayat al-Jadida, May 15, July 1, 2011.

[36] Al-Hayat al-Jadida, Dec. 16, 2010, Apr. 4, May 16, July 5, Dec. 8, 2011; Palestinian al-Fath TV, Dec. 23, 2010.

[37] Al-Hayat al-Jadida, Aug. 18, 2011.

[38] Ibid., May 27, 2011.

[39] Palestinian al-Fath TV, May 23, 2011.

[40] Daniel Pipes, “Mirror Image: How the PLO Mimics Zionism,” National Interest, Fall 1994; idem, “Mirror Image: Palestinians Continue to Mimic Zionism,” DanielPipes.org, Jan. 10, 2008.

[41] See, for example, Efraim Karsh, Palestine Betrayed (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2010), pp. 2-16; Fred M. Gottheil, “The Smoking Gun: Arab Immigration into Palestine, 1922-1931,” Middle East Quarterly, Winter 2003, pp. 53-64; Arieh L. Avneri, The Claim of Dispossession, Jewish Land Settlement and the Arabs, 1878-1948 (Edison, N.J.: Transaction Publishers, 1982), pp. 162-80.

[42] U.N .Security Council, “Resolution 242 of November 22, 1967.”

[43] See, for example, “10 Point Program,” Palestine National Council, Cairo, June 8, 1974.

[44] “Political Program for the Present Stage Drawn up by the 12th PNC, Cairo, June 9, 1974,” Journal of Palestine Studies, Summer 1974, pp. 224-5.

[45] James Minehan, Nations without States (Westport: Greenwood Press, 1996), index.

[46] Hanan Ashrawi, Palestinian legislator, al-Hayat al-Jadidah, Dec. 27, 2011; Issa Karake, minister of prisoners’ affairs, al-Hayat al-Jadidah, Nov. 24, 2011; Bassam Eid, “Can a Bi-National State Be a Solution to the Middle East Conflict,” Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group, Jerusalem, 2009.

[47] Fayez A. Sayegh, “Zionist Colonialism in Palestine,” Research Center Palestine Liberation Organization, Beirut, Sept. 1965; Gilbert Achcar, “The Arab-Israeli War of Narratives,” Open Democracy, London, Apr. 19, 2010.

[48] See, for example, Marwan Bishara, Palestine/Israel: Peace or Apartheid. Occupation, Terrorism and the Future (London: Zed Press, 2003); Ziyad Abu Ein, Palestinian Authority deputy minister of prisoners’ affairs, interview, Palestinian Fatah TV, Oct. 6, 2011; al-Hayat al-Jadidah, Apr. 17, July 5, Oct. 3, 2011.

[49] See, for example, Occupation, Colonialism, Apartheid? A re-assessment of Israel’s practices in the occupied Palestinian territories under international law (Cape Town: Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa, 2009); Jamal Dajani, “Israel: Occupation or Apartheid?” The Huffington Post (New York), Feb. 5, 2010; Uri Davis, Israel: An Apartheid State (London: Zed Books, 2002), pp. 55, 61.

[50] See, for example, “Israel and Occupied Palestinian Territories: The 2011 Report,” Amnesty International, New York, accessed Mar. 12, 2012; “Israel/Occupied Palestinian Territories, Events of 2009,” World Report 2010, Human Rights Watch, New York, accessed Mar. 12, 2012.

[51] See, for example, Ha’aretz (Tel Aviv), Oct. 31, 2009; Inter Press Service (Rome), Mar. 23, 2011; Asia News (Bangkok), Mar. 22, 2011.

SPIRITUAL STEROIDS

September 27, 2017

  If [since] ye, then, be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God” (Col. 3:1).

  The growth truths seem complicated and difficult to understand on first encounter. However, with progress in grace we find them to be as clear and logical as the truth of justification. For both time and eternity, all is summed up in John 17:3: “And this is life eternal. . . [to] know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ.”

  “The marvel of divine grace is that not only has everything according to the heart of God been secured for me through the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus, but that I, a child of Adam, should be, not only in peace with God where I was under His judgment, but that I am transferred from Adam to Christ, and I am to have Christ formed in me now.

  “I am born of God—of new and divine origin—a new creation to be here on earth now where I was a child of Adam, in the grace and beauty of Christ, led by His own power to stand for Him; daily more and more transformed into the same image from glory to glory even as by the Spirit of the Lord’ (2 Cor. 3:18).”

“I used to study this passage and that passage to obtain guidance and light. I see now that if I were really near Him beholding His glory (2 Cor. 3:18), I should be transformed, this glory should come from His throne so impressed upon myself that with Jesus living in my heart that His interests would, as it were, naturally control me, guide me and the growth process would occur naturally in the normal course of me growing more Christ like.

  “When the heart has found its rest and satisfaction in Him, it can turn to Him naturally and continually in every circumstance.”

  “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Col. 3:2).

God bless from scumlikuschurch@gmail.com

 

THE PRODIGAL CHILD

September 26, 2017

THE PRODIGAL CHILD

Kids are born naked and no instructional manual. I’m sure as parents we’ve all made mistakes and some of the stuff we’ve done as parents is borderline crazy.

Being a preacher and having you kids labeled PK’s (preacher’s kids) I was always amazed at the stories congregations would tell us about previous pastors and the behavior of their kids.

I had two kids, or I should say my wife had two kids, one was an angel and one was a demon. I kept telling my wife it was ok if she would admit the bad kid wasn’t mine, I’d actually feel better. This kid broke our hearts, I can’t tell you how many times my wife and I would go to bed and just weep over the things our one kid did.

As she got older the behavior got worse, as a pastor and marriage and family counselor I was extremely frustrated. What advice I gave to other parents that seemed to work had no effect on her.

Finally in a fit of desperation we arranged our clothes on the floor, my wife’s in the kitchen and mine in my study as though we’ve been “raptured” up and away. And then went and walked down to some neighbors.

We saw our daughter drive home from school and watched as we saw her pull in and go into the house. We waited 20 minutes and then walked in the house.

Well, like Paul Harvey, there is a rest of the story.

We walked in and she was on the phone, we thought she might be calling church folks to see who else might have got “caught up”. Nope, not our kid, she figured the rapture did happen and was calling her friends to come over for a party.

Tough nut to crack, hard row to hoe, whatever the phrase. In long talks to our daughter as an adult I’ve told her I would not have changed one single thing we did as parents. Now that she has had 3 kids and now has grandchildren the shoe is on the other foot. Grandkids are a great payback.

Let me end with this, you can be a good parent and still have a child wander off the reservation. We will trust the Lord until the day we die that she will invite the Lord into her heart and have a good relation with him, whether that includes us or not isn’t as important as that.

I sleep fine at night knowing that God is more concerned, caring and compassionate than I can be and He can do more to influence her life than I can.

So today I have one prayer request, pray for parents that have adult children that are not living a biblical lifestyle, that God will bring people into their lives that can reach out to them and guide them and trust that the Holy Spirit is very active in their lives.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com

 

steppin out

September 20, 2017

This is a really long devotion, you may want to print it out and read it in parts.

Let me give you seven reasons why faith is so important, and all of this is just by way of introduction, but just to put this in your heart. Listen, folks, faith is the distinguishing mark of the Christian. Did you know that the Christians were called believers before they were ever called Christians? Believers—that is the distinguishing mark of a Christian is that he’s a believer.

Number two, to exercise faith is our chief duty. Who said so? Jesus. Put in your margin John 6:29, “Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” This is the work of God that you believe. It’s the, chief duty. Therefore, unbelief is the supreme evil. There is no greater evil than unbelief. To aim the gun of unbelief at Almighty God and to pull the trigger.

You see, how did man get into sin to begin with? Eve did not believe God. She fell into sin because of unbelief and, men don’t go to hell today because they steal or because they lie or because they commit adultery, for those sins have been paid for with the precious blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible says to the contrary in John 3:18, “He that believeth on him is not condemned, but he that believeth not is condemned already because he hath not believed.” Think about it. The reason that men go to hell today and women is they have not believed on the Lord Jesus Christ.

And, once you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, how you gonna live the Christian life? By trying? No. By trusting. The Christian life is lived by faith. Four times in the Bible, the Bible says “the just shall live by faith.” You find that in Habakkuk 2:4, Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11, and Hebrews 10:38. All of these say the just shall live by faith. One, two, three, four times God says it. Do you think he’s trying to tell us something? I’m telling you, the way to live the Christian life is by faith.

Number five, your success in the Christian life is going to be measured by your faith. Matthew 9:29, “According to your faith be it unto you.” Not according to your feeling, your fame, your fortune, your friends, your fate, but according to your faith be it unto you.

Number six, faith above all things pleases God and if you please God, it doesn’t matter whom you displease, and if you displease God it doesn’t matter whom you please, amen? And, how you gonna please God? Well, the Bible says in Hebrews 11:6, “But without faith it is impossible to please him.” Doesn’t say hardly possible, but 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.”

Number seven, the only way that you’re gonna overcome this world is by faith. John 5:4, “And this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” When we greet one another here in church, rather than saying, How you feeling? We ought to say, How you faithing? Amen? I, we live by faith.

Now there are several things I want you to learn from Abraham in the school of faith, and the very first thing I want us to learn is what I’m going to call the root of biblical faith. Genesis 12:1. Look at it. “Now the Lord had said unto Abram, get thee out of thy country and from thy kindred and from thy father’s house into a land that I will show thee.” Now this is the preamble to his faith. This is the basis to his faith. God had spoken to him. The root of biblical faith is divine revelation—it is to hear from God. Notice how this says, “And the Lord hath said”—just underscore that.

Friend, there are a lot of people who misunderstand faith and the source of faith. Faith is not rooted in human will. Faith is not rooted in human will. Let me show you something interesting. Go back to a Genesis 11. Now you’re in 12, just turn left. Go one page. Look in Genesis 11. You see there the building of the tower of Babel, this colossal high-rise to hell. And notice how, it says, it describes what happened. “And the whole earth was of one language and of one speech and it came to pass as they journeyed from the east that they found a plain in the land of Shinar and they dwelt there,” now watch this and count with me, “and they said one to another, Go to let us,” underscore the word us, that’s one, “make brick and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone and slime had they for mortar and they said, Go to let us,” underscore the word us again, “build us,” underscore the word again, “a city and a tower whose top may reach unto heaven and let us make us a name.” Us, us, us, us. This is man’s will. This is man’s attempt to establish his own kingdom through his own will. As a matter of fact, in that one verse, verse 4, you have four us’s right there. You have four let us, let us, let us.

Now, go back over to where we were in Genesis 12, and notice the difference. Look in these verses here. In 12:1, God says unto Abraham, “unto a land that I will show thee,” underscore I will. Look in verse 2, “And I will make of thee a great nation and I will bless thee and make thy name great and thou shalt be a blessing. And I will bless them that bless thee.” Man says, I will, I will, I will. God says I will, I will, I will. Man says, Let us, God says, I will. Now faith is not rooted in man’s I will’s but in God’s I will’s. Not in man’s let us, but in God’s sovereign will.

Now why, what were people in Babel trying to do? Well, they were trying to make themselves a name. Look if you will in verse 4, “Let us make us a name.” They’re trying to make themselves a name. They failed miserably. Tell me, anybody here can tell me the name of any of those people who built that tower? We know the name of one whose name was Nimrod who’s a type of the Antichrist—the name is despised. They wanted to make a name—they failed miserably. God said to Abram, I will give you a name, and the name Abraham is revered throughout the entire world.

Now, what I’m trying to say is this—that faith is not rooted in human will. Say human will. That’s very important that you understand this because, we have so many people today who have sort of a tower of Babel mentality, trying to make for themselves a name and they call it name it and claim it. You don’t do that. You have to hear from God. Faith is not rooted in human will.

Secondly, faith is not rooted in human worth, in human worth. Look again if you will in verse 1. “Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country.” Now we’re going to learn something right there. He was living, he was a pagan, living in pagan idolatry, in an idolatrous land and, go back to Genesis 11 and look if you will in verse 31 again, in this same chapter. “And Tara took Abram, his son, and Lot, the son of Haran, his son’s daughter and Sarai, his daughter-in-law, his son Abram’s wife, and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees to go into the land of Canaan.” Now, they’re coming, they’re coming out of Ur, which was the center of idolatry.

Now, on top of all of that, listen to me now, this pagan was seventy-five years old. When Abram first heard God, he was seventy-five years old. What does that tell us? Nobody’s too bad, nobody’s too old, amen? God chooses a man who is a raw pagan and he became a believer. Faith is not rooted in human will—it is not rooted in human worth. Say human worth. It’s not rooted in your worth.

Now thirdly, it’s not rooted in human wisdom. Look again in 12:1. “And the Lord said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country and from thy kindred and from thy father’s house unto a land that I will show thee.” There wasn’t something that Abram figured out. He went under sealed orders. What is faith? Faith is not positive thinking, it’s not following a hunch, it’s not hoping for the best, it’s not figuring out and then trying to make it work, it’s not a feeling of optimism, it’s not believing what you know isn’t so. Abraham, when he went out, did not know why and he did not know where, he only knew whom.

Faith is not rooted in human worth. Faith is not rooted in human will, faith is not rooted in human wisdom. True faith comes from the Word of God. Abraham had a word from God, that’s very important because the Bible tells us clearly and plainly that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Faith therefore does not rest on a road map or any road map, but in a relationship with Almighty God. You think of Abraham now. He’s seventy-five years of age, he’s well established, he’s rich, he has a beautiful wife, he’s living in comfort and God says, Get up, let’s go. And he did not know where he was going, he did not know why he was going at this time. All he knew was that God had spoken. Now that must’ve been very exciting. If your life is dull and insipid, perhaps you ought to do what Abraham does, did, and live by faith and that’ll turn the monotonous to the momentous.

Faith is obeying God’s Word in spite of circumstances or consequences. Now that’s worth saying again and, it’ll be on the test, so listen to it now. All right, faith is not believing in spite of evidence—that is superstition. Faith is obeying God’s Word in spite of circumstances or consequences. We do not live by explanations—we live by promises.

Now what is the root of faith? God said. Abram heard from God. Are you hearing from God? Do you have a quiet time? Are you connected to God? Is God speaking to you? If God is not speaking to you, you’re not living by faith—it’s impossible. You’re going here and there, doing whatever you think you ought to do. Faith is hearing the Word of God and acting on it.

Number two, we talk about the root of faith, let’s talk a little bit about the requirement of faith. Look again in Genesis 12:1. “Now the Lord had said unto Abram, get thee out of thy country and from thy kindred and from thy father’s house into a land that I will show thee.” Now what he said, in shorthand, is get thee out unto. Come out of where you are and go to where you need to be. As I told you this morning, real faith not only brings us out, real faith brings us in.

Now, you cannot really have faith as you continue to live in the land of idolatry. You have to forsake. I’m talking about spiritually, a spiritual application now. You cannot live in your old way of life and think at the same time you can live by faith. It cannot be done. Remember the scripture that I gave you this morning from Deuteronomy 6:23? “And he brought us out from thence that he might bring us in, to give us the land.” God said to Abraham similarly, Come out of Ur that I might bring you in.

Now do you want to have a life of faith? Have you forsaken idolatry? Well, you say, I’m not an idolater. Maybe. You say, You mean I have idols in my life? I don’t know, I hope you don’t, but you may. Anything you love more, serve more, fear more, trust more than God is an idol. And some love money more than God. Some, fear man, more than God. Some trust ability more than God. You see, you can’t have faith unless you are willing to come out. And you have to turn from that idolatry which is sin. Do you know the reason that many people don’t have faith? They’re not willing to leave Ur of the Chaldees. They try to have faith right where they are in their same old lifestyle and they wonder why it doesn’t work. There’s nothing more damning, more stultifying to faith than sin in the heart.

Let me give you some scriptures. I pray God that he will rivet these upon your soul. Hebrews 3:12, “Beware, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief.” Unbelief never comes out of the head—it comes out of the heart. “Beware, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief.” You say, I have intellectual problems. No you don’t, you have dirty, rotten sin. Beware, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief.

Notice Hebrews 12:1, 2, “Wherefore seeing we also compassed about by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight and the sin which doth so easily beset us and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.” How do you look to Jesus? By laying aside every weight and the sin that doth so easily beset us. There’s no way that you can pray with unconfessed, unrepented of sin in your heart and pray in faith.

the requirement of faith, the root of faith is the Word of God. But the requirement of faith is that you come out of that land of idolatry, you leave it. God brought us out that he might bring us in. I mean, many people say, Well I just doubt my salvation, I’m not sure I’m saved, I have doubt about my salvation, I have doubt, I have doubt and you talk to them about their theology and so forth and they’ll nod their head, but they still have their doubts. If you stay there long enough, you’ll find out that that person has that doubt has sin in his or her life. Idols that they’ve not forsaken, things that they’re doing. What right would you have to have absolute assurance if you’re living with sin in your heart and in your life. And if you’re having trouble with faith, try repentance. If you know, if you’re having trouble with faith.

You ever notice how God puts certain things in order in the Bible? For example, he says, grace and peace be multiplied unto you. He doesn’t say peace and grace, but grace and peace. Why? Grace comes before peace. He says believe and be baptized. He never says be baptized and then believe. That’s never the order. Real baptism follows real belief. I was so grateful tonight, to see a young lady who came for believer’s baptism because she’d gotten it settled and she’d given her heart to the Lord Jesus Christ and she wanted believer’s baptism. To be baptized before you believe would be like having your funeral before you die.

Now, just, listen, just as grace comes before peace, just as belief comes before baptism, repentance comes before faith. The Bible speaks of repentance and faith, not faith and repentance—repentance and faith. Are you listening? Say yes. If you’re having trouble with faith, try repentance. The requirement of faith, when God says, Get thee out, I’m gonna bring you into the land of Canaan, you have to leave that idolatrous relationship and come to the Lord Jesus Christ. If you’re having doubts, it just may be unconfessed sin in your heart and in your life.

Third thing I want you to see, not only the root and the requirement of faith, I want you to see the reward of faith. Look now beginning in verses 2, 3, we’re still in Genesis 12, God says, “And I will make of thee a great nation.” Now watch this. “And I will bless thee and make thy name great and thou shalt be a blessing.” I love it. I’ll bless you, you’ll be a blessing. “And I will bless them that bless thee and curse them that curseth thee and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” Now, by faith Abraham received a blessing. God is a rewarder of those that diligently seek him. Remember the verse I gave you in Hebrews 11:6, “But without faith it is impossible to please him, for he that cometh to God must believe that he is and that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” You see, by faith man gives God pleasure and by faith God give man treasure. We please God when we believe God. And God said, Abraham, I’m going to bless you, I’m going to give you a land, and God gave him the land. God said, I’m gonna make your name great, his name is great.

God’s promises are a sure bet, the school of faith is sometimes hard, and we need to remember if we fail one test, God will make sure you have another test. The length of our faith journey is marked by mile markers. Some are the scene of victories and others are the mark of accidents, crashes and blowouts. But the road is already mapped out for us. The ‘speed’ in which we travel is based on how thorough we are in cleaning ‘idols’ out of our life.

Think long and hard about what is still in your life that is not pleasing to God. We have a choice, tear down the idols ourselves or we have a “wreck” in our life that will need to be cleared up before we go on.

God bless from scumlikeuschurch@gmail.com