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God’s Sovereign Call

God’s Sovereign Call

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 1:1–2, )

Paul was called, Paul was chosen by the will of God. He did not seek, ask, or desire. He was chosen by the Grace of God. 

In fact, he was radically opposed to God and hated God. He fought God with all his might!

Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace, which was given me by the working of his power. To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,” (Ephesians 3:7–8, ESV)

I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent (violent) opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.” (1 Timothy 1:12–17, ESV)   (He knows your destiny!)

Then he (Jesus)  appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.” (1 Corinthians 15:7–10, ESV)

Paul’s will was involved. He had to yield to God and say yes to the calling., BUT WHO WOULDN’T? But God is the one who called him to this ministry.  He didn’t invite himself! 

But the Good News for Paul is the Same as it is For YOU.  You are called and You are Chosen! (if you be in Christ) :

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,” (Ephesians 1:3–7, ESV)

Note here that Paul continually repeats that God is accomplishing everything according to the purpose of his will! 

In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.” (Ephesians 1:11–14, ESV)

People don’t like the word “predestination,” because it implies we don’t have free will. But we have to be faithful to what the scripture says, and Paul mentions it several times here in this passage.  Predestination has to do with the Sovereign will and ability of God to accomplish everything according to his will in spite of the resistance and rebellion of mankind. And the key here is that you are predestined in LOVE to be conformed to the image of Jesus.  

Predestination has to do with the ultimate plan of salvation, but it does not mean we cannot resist or choose to cooperate. We still have temporal freedom of our will, to the degree we are not enslaved to sin, addictions, and oppression. For if we are under the devil’s power, we are indeed not free in our will, but enslaved.  Jesus came to free us from slavery and restore the freedom of our will. 

Jesus Said: “Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:34–36, ESV)

Because before we come to Jesus, our wills are indeed enslaved, just as Paul was to hatred and violence, it makes sense why Paul says, :

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:7–10, ESV)

We cannot throw out predestination because it makes us uncomfortable or because we are concerned for those who have not yet accepted their calling to Jesus.   A pastor I know once said wisely, “Preach grace and let election happen.”  Our calling is to call all to repentance, and let him who will come Come!  But the Good News is God is working to bring to salvation all He has called and HE CANNOT BE STOPPED! He will have his own! No man can stop him and that should give us hope and courage when we preach the good news of God’s grace and forgiveness.    And you should be encouraged because you were called and chosen! 

Paul does indeed paint a picture of the natural man outside this grace of salvation. We don’t have the ability to choose God unless God chooses us: 

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:1–7, ESV)

There are plenty of scriptures that indicate that God is indeed in control. We preach the good news of God’s forgiveness, but the Sovereign God is a faithful judge of humankind. He is able to judge the human heart and know whether someone truly wants God or prefers hatred. Paul was in rebellion, but God saw his heart. He chose Paul in spite of his rebellion, just as he offered forgiveness to the thief on the cross next to him. 

While we may not like the idea of God’s right to judge the souls of men, there are plenty of scriptures that reveal God’s ability and right to do so.

All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.” (John 6:37, ESV)

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”” (John 3:17–21, ESV)

Jesus answered them, “Do not grumble among yourselves. No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.” (John 6:43–44, ESV)

In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” (Luke 10:21–22, ESV)

Finally the Good News: Your destiny is kept in Him, and not by yourselves, your own strength or power.  Your salvation is not dependent upon how good you are or how good you can be; it is dependent upon the grace of God and his love for you. In Him you are secure. In ourselves we have no hope! 

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Joseph & the Process of Preparation by God

Genesis 37: 1-11

Joseph is 17, a tattletale, and not very humble or smart.
Joseph Enslaved, He Prospers
Falsely Accused & Thrown into Prison
While in Prison, He Prospers.
God is more interested in the development of your character than in giving you things.
Faith and Confession cannot shorten the process.

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What is Faith?

What is Faith?

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:5–8, ESV)

Double-Mindied = Two Souled, Two Thoughts, Two Minds, Undecided.Vanilla or Chocolate? Will God or Won’t He Heal? Is it God’s Will to heal or not? 

Doubt: evaluate and judge for oneself. Adam set himself up as a judge and evaluator of God’s Word about the fruit.  It isn’t so much a doubt as the opposite of trusting God.  

 The Three types of faith: knowledge, agreement, and trust. 

The Word of Faith Movement has a lot of truth to it. God does want you to “prosper and be in health,” as  John says. But what is prosperity?  

Having everything you need to do what God has called you to do. 

Would God want you to fail in what he has told you to do? 

The problem of the Word of Faith movement is that it can take away your focus from Jesus and put it on yourself, your efforts, your faith and upon how much faith you have, OR DON’T HAVE! 

Faith can become a form of works of self-improvement and a cycle of performance so that your focus is no longer on Jesus, but upon you: are you doing enough? Do you have enough faith? What if you don’t have enough faith? 

The result of this misplaced focus is humanism. Man becomes the center of your theology instead of what Jesus has done for you on the cross. 

The reason this happens is because when faith is treated like an object that we can possess or own, faith becomes separated from the One who is Faith and the One who gives Faith.  

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1–2, ESV)

Faith is not something we have separately from a relationship of intimacy with Jesus. It says 

“faith works through love” (Gal. 5:6). And it says faith is a gift: 

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” 

 (Ephesians 2:8–10, ESV)

If Jesus is the author and perfecter of our faith and faith is a gift given to us by the Father, how so is faith something we can exercise ourselves outside a relationship with God?  Is the focus on our faith or upon Jesus whose faith we share by his faith working in us?  If we are his workmanship, is it not his faith which works in us to perfect us and make us like him? 

So,  let us look a the kind of faith Jesus had as our model. 

The word for faith in Greek is the same as the English word TRUST.  In almost every instance in the New Testament, everywhere the word faith appears, you can substitute the word trust. And it would be good for you to do so, as it changes the meaning of the scriptures as it applies to us. It becomes a term of relationship, rather than a term describing our performance or ability. 

First of all, Jesus shows that he is totally dependent upon the Father for everything he does. 

“Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise.” (John 5:19, NRSV)

“Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.” (John 14:10–11, ESV)

Why is this:  Jesus operates in his flesh as a perfect man: as Adam without sin, who is in perfect fellowship with his Father. The supernatural power working through him came not as an innate ability of his human nature, but because the Holy Spirit rested upon him and enabled him to do these works.  As proof of this, there is no recorded miracle of Jesus until AFTER he was baptized by John and the Holy Spirit descended upon him like a dove. 

In other words, Jesus is showing us what it is like to be a perfect human being who never defied God, ate fruit he wasn’t supposed to, and he never broke trust with God. 

The Key here is that not only did Jesus never sin against the Law, but he NEVER doubted God. It wasn’t just his obedience to the Law that made him Just, but that his faith or trust in the Father was never broken. He trusted God even unto death. 

Before Eve sinned, both she and Adam doubted and did not believe God’s word to them. They entertained what the serpent said. It was their unbelief that then motivated them to disobey God’s law. All unbelief is sin.  Romans 14:23 says, whatever doesn’t come from faith is sin. 

This is why Jesus’ righteousness was not based upon obedience to the Law but upon his unbroken faith and trust in God. Paul says this very thing in Romans: 

But now the righteousness of God has been revealed apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets point to it— the righteousness of God through the faith of Jesus Christ for all who believe in him. For there is no distinction:” (Romans 3:21–22)

Note here: in the original Greek, and in the King James version of the bible, the Greek is correctly translated. What made Jesus righteous was his faith.  In fact, the whole book of Romans is revealing Jesus as the new Adam who did for us what we could not do for ourselves: believe God perfectly. He is our champion, like David, slaying the Giant of unbelief, to bring us to God with the gift of his perfect faith: his righteousness… 

We are made God’s righteous children through God’s perfect Son, who gives us HIS faith as a gift. 

the righteousness of God through faith of Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins.” (Romans 3:22–25, ESV)

So if faith is God’s work in us and not our work, trust in God is the sign of faith.  How then do we apply faith?   

So why is Faith translated so often as it is?   After the Reformation the Anabaptist movement made faith a kind of personal decision leading to an evangelical emphasis on one’s individual faith. 

In the Reformation it wasn’t so: they just preached the scriptures in the common language and the people believed. They never asked people to receive Jesus as their personal savior. They confessed their faith, but there wasn’t such an emphasis on their personal ability to believe. After the Anabaptists, there was much more focus on the individual decisions, confessions, and experiences. 

Modern translation: 

As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. And Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.” And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”” (Mark 11:20–25, ESV)

Historical translation: 

“Trust God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not waiver in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”” (Mark 11:20–25)

What is trust?   Sit in a chair? 

Trust in God like a child being carried to bed.  

Letting GO and Let God.  Giving up, Surrender, relying upon God. Trusting him with your life. Resting in him.  This all comes through challenges that lead us to surrender. And through intimacy, as we get to know Him better and his love, we will trust him all the more. 

To do miracles?  Only God can give us that kind of faith. It doesn’t come from us. 

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Thy Kingdom Come – on Earth!

Thy Kingdom Come ….on Earth

(audio has an echo…. sorry)

Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” (Matthew 6:9–13)

Verbs in the Lord’s Prayer are IMPERATIVES, not pleadings.

He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”” (Matthew 16:15–19, ESV)

The church is not on the defense but on the offense. The gates of hell are on the defense and will not withstand the advance of the church.

He put another parable before them, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.’” (Matthew 13:31–32, ESV)

In Greek, the word for  ekklesia, or assembly. It was used to describe the government of a city or state.  The church is the governing body of Christ on the earth.

The Kingdom of God is where the God has control, dominion and where God’s will is carried out:

And he called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal.” (Luke 9:1–2, ESV)

Heal the sick in it and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’” (Luke 10:9, ESV)

This is what the God’s Rule looks like, where is will is done: Healings, deliverances, people set free spiritually and emotionally.

And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.” (Matthew 24:6–8, ESV)

And this Good News of the rule of God on earth  will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14)

In order to accomplish this task, we need supernatural power to fill us, because in our own strength we cannot do it. (Psalm 110:3)

There will be a falling away and a coming Man of Lawlessness (2 Thessalonians 2), but it is not that time. The End is NOT YET.

The Church hasn’t fulfilled the Great Commission yet.

So what is it we face today?  Wars, Rumors of wars, earthquakes,  satan’s attempt to take over the world and forbid the Name of Jesus from being spoken.

But it says

For the Lord God does nothing without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets.” (Amos 3:7, ESV)

Now in these days prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. And one of them named Agabus stood up and foretold by the Spirit that there would be a great famine over all the world (this took place in the days of Claudius). So the disciples determined, every one according to his ability, to send relief to the brothers living in Judea. And they did so, sending it to the elders by the hand of Barnabas and Saul.” (Acts 11:27–30, ESV)

What are the Prophets  saying today:

Get prepared:

  1. There will soon be a time where all looks lost as the dark side makes one last push to take control.
  2. There will be darkness: loss of Internet, communications, electricity, and economic shutdown. A total collapse of the stock market and bond market.
  3. God is doing it to deprive the globalists, the international corporations who fund this evil, the social media oppressors, and the deep state, of their finances and to disrupt their plans for a great reset, while God does one of his own.
  4. The move of God will be like NOTHING anyone has ever seen before, similar in style to the Exodus, but multiplied by 1000% as He rocks the world. This move will not be just one of political changes, but supernatural.
  5. There will be accompanied with volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and tumult in the seas.
  6. God will provide for and protect his faithful servants during this time and the wealth of the wicked will be transferred to the just, so that God’s purposes will be accomplished through his servants.
  7. Many evil leaders will suddenly be removed either by death, resignations, arrests. Many false republicans will also be brought down. Many compromised pastors and church leaders will be exposed.
  8. America will be restored, or rebirthed. There will be a great revival in the land, esp. As people become desperate.
  9. The Republic will be re-established, as it was turned from a Republic to a corporation in 1871 by bank acts that made us subject to foreign financial powers, contrary to the Constitution.
  10. All these events will lead to world-wide harvest of souls like the World has never seen!

Isaiah 26   https://www.scholarscorner.com

For More info: https://www.scholarscorner.com/a-time-of-darkness-a-time-of-light-9-prophetic-words/

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Evaluating the Contemporary Prophets.

A Time of Darkness; A Time of Light – 9 Prophetic Words

There is a conflict between the World’s System of Governance and God’s desire for all Nations. Prophetic Words recorded in 1992 are being confirmed by contemporary prophets and are coming to pass, or soon will be. Financial collapse, Supernatural provision, International corporations want to rule the world and control the people, their thoughts, their speech, and an end their freedom to disagree.

00:00 – The Current Situation of Darkness: Rollerball
04:00 What God is Doing, Current Prophecies
06:50 The Supernatural Move of God!
08:00 Earthquakes, Volcanoes, Judgment of Church & Political Leaders
09:07 It is Impossible! How Can God Do This?
10:29 A Shaking is Coming! Protection for the Faithful in Times of Lack
15:23 Judging of the World’s Financial Tower of Babel
17:54 Praying “Thy Kingdom Come… On Earth”
20:25 God Alone Will Get the Glory! – A Great Awakening
25:15 We Are Living Isaiah Chp. 26 Now! Our Destiny is Freedom!

Get prepared:
1. There will soon be a time when all looks lost as the dark side makes one last push to take control.
2. There will be darkness: loss of Internet, communications, electricity, and economic shutdown. A total collapse of the stock market and bond market.
3. God is doing it to deprive the globalists, the international corporations who fund this evil, the social media oppressors, and the deep state, of their finances and to disrupt their plans for a great reset, while God does one of his own.
4. The move of God will be like NOTHING anyone has ever seen before, similar in style to the Exodus, but multiplied by 1000% as He rocks the world. This move will not be just one of political changes, but supernatural.
5. There will be accompanied by volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and tumult in the seas.
6. God will provide for and protect his faithful servants during this time and the wealth of the wicked will be transferred to the just so that God’s purposes will be accomplished through his servants.
7. Many evil leaders will suddenly be removed either by death, resignations, or arrests. Many false republicans will also be brought down. Many compromised pastors and church leaders will be exposed.
8. America will be restored, or rebirthed. There will be a great revival in the land, esp. As people become desperate.
9. The Republic will be re-established, as it was turned from a Republic to a corporation in 1871 by bank acts that made us subject to foreign financial powers, contrary to the Constitution.

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One New Man in the Place of Two: Reconciliation in an Age of Racial Hostility

first published in 1994 in Love 86 Express -Issue #75 Vol 8, No 1, p 7.PO Box 20494Atlanta, Georgia 30325404-279-0382

One New Man in the Place of Two: Reconciliation in an Age of Racial Hostility

Jan 1994 by Jefferis Kent Peterson

As we see the day of Christ approaching, we also see a countervailing force in the world seeking to disrupt the Kingdom of God. One barometer of the devil’s resistance to the plan and purposes of God is racial and ethnic animosity. Jesus said that in the latter days, “nation (ethnic group) will rise up against nation (ethnic group)…” And if we look around the world, even in our own country, we see a rising tide of racial strife. The hope of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society, which was to produce an end to poverty and create equal opportunity for all, has collapsed under its own weight on the unstable economic base of the United States. Just as Communism failed to produce a utopian society, we too are finding the limits of our government’s ability to solve to human problems such as drugs, poverty, and murder. We are finally facing the truth that these problems are as deeply spiritual as they are material.

Racial hatred and fear are as natural to the human condition as is sin. But in the United States, we are substituting a New Age anthropology, which believes in the basic goodness of human beings, for a biblical one. We believe that if we can just “educate” someone right, that prejudice, racism, drugs, and unwanted pregnancies will disappear. But the Bible says that sin is the natural state of “Man,” and these problems will not disappear without a revival of the Spirit of God. Unrestrained by the countervailing force of the Holy Spirit, racism and hatred are as natural to humanity as are lust and greed. And we are seeing all these forces of hatred and ethnic strife rearing their ugly heads anew in spite of all our “education.” It is not just happening here in the United States, but these same forces are ripping apart the fragile peace of the world, just as Jesus said.

It is the challenge of the Church to provide an alternative to this sea of hatred. If we are going to shine forth in the darkness, we need to show the world how different the Kingdom of God is from this world and its ways. If we can reveal true unity in spite of ethnic and racial differences, we can appeal to liberals and conservatives alike who are hungering to see some ideals manifest in the earth. But the government cannot do this; no law can enforce it among us; only true unity born of the Holy Spirit can overcome the natural prejudice of “Man” and cause love to reign supreme. I submit, this call to racial harmony is the challenge to the Church for the 1990’s. And the Bible has the pattern for the Church to follow:

In ancient Israel, there was a low wall, called the Soreg, around the Temple, beyond which no Gentile could pass upon pain of death. Paul called it a “dividing wall.” It was a wall that kept the nations out of the Holy Place. Although Isaiah declared that the Temple would be a place of prayer for all nations and that all nations would come to the light of God in Zion (Is. 56:7; 60:1), the Gentiles still had to worship God from afar. They could not get too close to the presence of the Lord because, according to the Law, the Gentiles were unclean. God had called Israel to be a light to the Gentiles; to be an example, separate and set apart. But a misinterpretation of this special calling of the Jews encouraged a racial pride and prejudice that created a spiritual division between the races as well as a natural and physical one. Hatred and mistrust, envy and racism were the outcomes of this division. This is the reason that Paul called the Soreg, “a dividing wall of hostility,”

But don’t you know, God had an answer for this problem, and his name is Jesus! Paul said, “but you Gentiles who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who has made us (Jew and Gentile) both one, and has broken down the dividing wall of hostility… that he might create in himself one new humanity in the place of two… thereby bringing the hostility to an end,” (Ephesians 2:14-16) God created the Church to be that model of reconciliation for the world. The Church is to be that model of unity in fellowship, worship, and prayer. Now if there is to be any division, it is to be between the people of God and the people of the world. There, a natural animosity exists, because those who hate Christ and his government will hate his people as well. But we cannot help that.

However, what a crime it is for us who claim the Name of Christ to resurrect that dividing wall of hostility between us in the Church on the basis of race, culture, class, skin color, or ethnic heritage! How sinful to deny by our actions that we are one in Jesus! If the world’s divisions become part of the Church, how can we offer any testimony to the world? How can we offer the desperate world any hope? If Jesus said the world will know us by our love for one another, and we fail to love one another in a practical way; then how will the world know there is a Savior! The Church is called to be an example of the Kingdom of God in distinction to the strife of this world. And if we fail to be an example, then we give no witness worth believing and Christ becomes irrelevant to this age; for he has no solutions to the world’s problems. Jesus may be God’s answer to man’s prejudice and fear, one new man in the place of two; but if his truth does not have any affect on the way we treat each other, why should anyone believe us? We have made a lie out of the Good News of God and we make a mockery of the Kingdom.

But we can fulfill God’s plan. We can come together. I have seen it happen. I have seen churches strive to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Anywhere people will truly submit themselves to the Holy Spirit, God will deal with their fear, their hatred, and their pride. I have seen it in city churches and suburban churches. It is possible. But it is happening on such a small scale while our society is being torn apart. Too much of the Church is denying the call of God or is finding an excuse for its prejudice and fear. Beloved, it must not be so. We can fulfill the call of God to love each other in deed and in truth.

But how do we love one another? Do we pretend that the races don’t exist and that everyone is one color? No! By all means, no! For that denies the beauty of our diversity. We are to appreciate the God given differences in race and culture as expressions of the divine character. We can have unity in the midst of our diversity. And only in that diversity can true love be shown. There is a message spray painted on a school parking lot in my neighborhood that sums up the danger of racial or cultural blindness. It says, “conformity corrodes the soul; equality sets us free.” This is the truth. Somewhere, somehow, we need to be a witness to the beauty of God. That beauty is revealed in a Pentecost that unites all the nations of the earth in One people without destroying what makes them unique.

My friends, what this world desperately needs to see is the love of God truly shown among us in our love for one another. If we can walk in this love for each other, we can reach the world. If we fail in it; God may pass us by for another generation who will truly listen to His call.

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The War Within

The War Within   

But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth.” (James 3:14, ESV)

The hardest struggle we have in this life is not with others, but within ourself.

Humility was not valued in Roman culture, Ambition was.*

What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.” (James 4:1–4, ESV)

Passions in the Greek is hedon from which we get the word  hedonism.  It is self-centered pursuit of selfish and sensual pleasure.  

We want what we want. 

My grandson is in the terrible 2’s. 

2 Views of Human Nature: People are basically Good in the world’s view, they only do bad or feel bad because of what others do to them. 

No, the biblical view is that we are basically selfish, self-centered, self-willed and sinful, and we need to overcome our selfish impulses through self-discipline by the aid of the Holy Spirit. 

The sinful nature called “the flesh” in Greek and the KJV is best translated as an independent self-will that chooses its own way, rather than submit to God’s way.  When Adam decided for himself to trust his own judgment and eat the fruit, rather than depend upon God’s word, he basically became a judge of God and decided to do his own thing.  That is the flesh.  The consequence of the flesh is all sorts of disorder and every evil work, including sexual immorality, theft, anger, hostility, jealousy, murder, etc. 

Traditional Judaism described this conflict within us as a conflict between our good and evil impulses called the Yetzer in Hebrew. The problem with reading James through the lens of traditional morality is that we think James is telling us to behave if we just put our shoulder to the wheel and buck up. Yet the entire range of scripture tells us that we can’t control our own behaviors and that is the problem.  In fact, the very attempt to be good and moral out of our own resources is in fact the same fleshly self-reliance that got us into trouble in the first place. We are trying to be right and good without relying upon and depending upon God and His Holy Spirit. That is called “self-righteousness.”   

There is a curious psycho-dynamic that the attempt to be good in our own strength leads to a cycle of performance, failure, guilt and trying to do better next time.  In other words, the very thing we are trying to resist becomes an even more powerful temptation than it was if we didn’t know it was wrong. 

There is a line from a Joni Mitchell song called the Boho Dance: 

Like a priest with a pornographic watch
Looking and longing on the sly
Sure it’s stricken from your uniform
But you can’t get it out of your eyes

The power of temptation is in what is forbidden. The fact that it is forbidden makes it all the more tempting. 

Long before Sigmund Freud, Paul wrote of the strange psychology of temptation and the fruitless attempt to resist it in the 7th chapter of Romans. 

What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead.” (Romans 7:7–8, ESV)

A modern translation of covetousness would go like this:

The law says, “you shall not desire forbidden things,” but the law made me lust after and crave the forbidden things all the more, creating in me uncontrollable desires.

For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.” (Romans 7:14–20, ESV)

For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.” (Romans 7:22–25, ESV)

Paul reveals what it means to strive in human strength to resist sinful desires within the human heart. The harder we try the behinder we get.  This is the perfect picture of human nature without Jesus Christ. We know what we should do, what we should desire, but no matter what we do to control our behavior, the worse we become. This is especially true when it comes to fighting additions like drugs, tobacco, alcohol, pornography or sexual immorality. The desire is still there even if we, through force of will restrain our behavior.   

However, Jesus said,  “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:34–36, ESV)

Who is freer from addiction to smoking?  The person who has quit but still wants one, or the person who has never smoked and so has no desire? 

Jesus promises us liberty from the power of sin. Paul also speaks of this in Romans 8, where he says 

For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.” (Romans 8:2–4, ESV)

Paul says, that by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit, who is the presence of God in us, the war within can be won, not by our power but by His. 

Now, sometimes addictions to drugs and cigarettes, for example, require deliverance from demonic spirits of oppression, because the human will is so bound up, that God must set you free by a supernatural act of the Spirit. Sometimes this is instantaneous, but at other times it requires cooperation and resistance to the devil, where we join our will to God’s will and by consent, ask the Holy Spirit to help us resist temptations.  

Or do you suppose it is to no purpose that the Scripture says, “He yearns jealously over the spirit that he has made to dwell in us”? But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.” (James 4:5–10, ESV)

James does not sound promising to our ears, but he knows on the other side of repentance, lies dependence upon God that will turn into joy as we submit to God’s strength and power and give up our self-righteousness.    AA in fact recognizes that we need a “higher power” as they call it. We know it is Jesus who is that higher power. 

Finally, this battle between self-will God’s will is often a lifelong battle. It is a battle which brings humility, for we often will fail which forces us to recognize our need for Jesus. And the fact that, as Paul says, there is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus, the power of temptation and the cycle of performance, failure and guilt is broken. We get free from our addictions as the guilt of our failures is washed away in Christ’s love and forgiveness. 

*Historical Background *The cross, in antiquity, was an instrument of Rome’s brutalizing power to humiliate. It has been well established that “humility” was not a virtue in Greco-Roman ethics. Rather the word (humilitas in Latin, or tapeinos in Greek) meant something closer to “debased” or “crushed.” It was a term reserved for failure and shame. The ancient Greeks   praised philotimia, “the love of honour.” It would seem that building one’s honor and reputation would prove to be far more advantageous than completely debasing oneself.

In the context of the prevailing Roman Imperial influence. Probably, one of the best known expression of love-of-honor is the  The Achievements of the Divine Augustus, written by the emperor himself and inscribed by his order onto bronze tablets set up in front of his monument. Copies of this were distributed throughout the empire, and it provided a catalogue of the emperor’s activities. However, more importantly, it provides a glimpse of a world-view so different than our own where a sense of boastfulness was accepted and associated with power.

In its place was philotimia, “the love of honor.” Aristotle had insisted that “honor” and “reputation” are among the pleasantest things one could contemplate and attain for oneself.

The logic was compelling. If one had achieved great things, it was only right and proper that full recognition be given: achievement deserves public praise.

Humility before the gods, of course, was appropriate, primarily because they could kill you. Humility was advisable before the emperors for the same reason.

But humility before an equal or a lesser was morally suspect. It upset the assumed equation: merit demanded honor, thus honor was the proof of merit. Avoiding honor implied a diminishment of merit. It was shameful.

Now he told a parable to those who were invited, when he noticed how they chose the places of honor, saying to them, “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest someone more distinguished than you be invited by him, and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this person,’ and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”” (Luke 14:7–11, ESV)


Abuse of the Legal System to Stifle Free Speech

A local Hispanic family is being sued by the Biden admin for traveling alongside the Biden-Harris bus in Texas while flying the American Flag.  They are being sued under an ancient Texan KKK law, which is ironic, since they are Hispanic.  It is a corrupt attempt to use legal intimidation to shut down dissent.  The husband is a plumber, and they don’t have the money themselves to fight the huge war chest of the Biden campaign.   This family was picked to make an example of them to frighten off others who want to express their free speech. None of the organizers were sued, only a couple of families who did nothing more than ride alongside the bus. 

“Unfortunately, our Obama-appointed judge has denied our motion to dismiss the frivolous lawsuit and ruled we will go to trial by jury in Federal court. We continue to fight back to defend free speech rights for all Americans. “

If you are still interested in sharing our story, feel free to pass on this quick video: https://youtu.be/gnv7rBe8wts

Biden Campaign SUES FAMILY under K K K Law!!!Triggered Democrat politicians and Biden-Harris campaign staff (including a White House cabinet member) are suing a small town couple from Texas for exercisi…youtu.be

Or feel free to share our interview on Flashpoint on The Victory Channel which aired last week: https://fb.watch/ctqM9LWiJP/

The Victory Channel is LIVE with FLASHPOINT! 4.14.22The Victory Channel is LIVE with FLASHPOINT! 4.14.22 We are LIVE with FLASHPOINT. Host Pastor Gene Bailey is joined by John Graves, Robert & Joeylynn…fb.watch
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Russia Initiates Currency War

Russia Strikes Back Against Sanctions. -from a post that was sent to me.

EDIT: an important response from a trusted jeweler friend of mine at the bottom.

Gold Backing Russian Ruble

The Russian Central Bank has announced that the ruble is now tied to gold at 5000 rubles per gram of gold.

There are 28 grams in each ounce. 28 grams for 5,000 rubles per gram is 140,000 rubles.

If the rubles are tied to gold at 5000 rubles per gram, and there are 28 grams per ounce, which means that an ounce of gold would cost 140,000 rubles, then the conversion into US dollars means that gold costs 1400 dollars per ounce when using the rubles, instead of 1,928 dollars by ounce using the dollars.

This effectively means Russia just wiped out about 30 percent (30%) of the US dollar worldwide when it comes to gold ingots.

This has been cause for people all over the world to literally throw their money on the ruble and disregarding dollars and euros to do it.

What Russia just did is the financial equivalent of detonating a nuclear bomb.

The last guy on this planet to try to support a currency with gold was Muammar Quadaffi of Libya.

That did not work out well for Quadaffi. That was a threat that needed to be removed by those not wanting to see currency supported by gold.

What Russia has done will damage both the both the US dollar and the Euro.

Last week, Russia said it would sell only OIL and GAS in Rubles

This means that Russian oil and gas are anchored in gold with rubles like gold proxy.

EFFECT: Europe (which needs Russian gas and oil) will now have to buy rubles from Russia using gold, or pay for oil and gas with gold itself.

Currently, the FOREX rate for Rubles to Dollar is around 100:1

BUT… with 5,000 Rubles now equivalent to a gram of Gold, and oil being priced directly into Gold, we will see a MASSIVE price disturbance in the FOREX markets, in terms of how much Gold a Dollar can still buy.

Foreign countries holding dollar debt notes as a reserve will see an immediate and much less use for them and will want to start downloading them in favor of something more stable; something that holds its value.

Basically, any currency anchored in gold will fit into the account. which means countries like that – like Japan – will start unloading their dollar debt as soon as possible. They’ll move to more stable values like… The Ruble.

This will have a DE-flationistic effect on the Ruble, making it more precious with time.

The immediate result is that all those foreign countries dumping their dollar reserves will make all those excess dollars start going home, triggering a worse hyper-inflation than we already have in the USA.

Russia holds roughly $130 billion in gold reserves, according to lawmakers.

Unleashing sanctions on Russia will bring a backlash that will effect the entire global economy.

It will be interesting to monitor the monitor the daily price of gold going forward.

from BenDannie… https://goldbuyer.com

First of all, gold is weighed in Troy ounces (31.1 grams per oz) not Avoirdupois  ounces (28 grams per oz) The math is a small difference when 28 is used rather than the correct value of 31.1 in the formula and its applied to a single ounce. But this is a huge difference when calculating the world trade for a year or decade. This is a red flag to me that the report is unaware of a very simple fact & I find it an unbelievable one that anyone knowledgeable could make such a mistake. 

On to the rest of the report, many factors & variables and forces contribute to the worlds “dominant reserve currency” other than the few described in the report. And a Paradigm shift will be prevented by the non-described forces that will arise, so I see no possibility of the reports scenario playing out. IMHO It’s a desperate attempt by Russia to distract the news cycle from war & to side step US & NATO sanctions by offering 1850 dollars of oil for a discounted price of 1400 & get gold which it can sell anywhere as the world bank has barred Russia. Also China has been trying to replace US as the reserve currency for quite some time and would never be willingly beaten to it by another country.  

Also since Russia has announced there has been very little movement in gold prices, although it’s slightly elevated on Friday. 

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I Was in FedEx Jail for 3 Days

FedEx Jail

So, I ordered a piece of equipment from B&H Photo for our church. I have no complaints about them. Just praise. They were very helpful, answering all my questions as a novice Video man for our church. We settled on a good camera with accessories. All well and good. The equipment was to arrive on Friday.

My wife met the delivery man from FedEx at our gate as she arrived at the same time as he did. He gave her 2 of the three packages, but could not find the third, which was the camera. He told us it would be delivered on Saturday. Not his fault, obviously. Someone did not load it on the truck.

Here is where the jail begins. My wife and I were working the front yard all Saturday, awaiting delivery. We got a note that a delivery was attempted at 1:39 pm but no one was home. That was a total fabrication. We were in the front yard at that time. No one came to our home. Plus, rather than just deliver it to our porch, a signature would be required. So, we had to be there.

I called FedEx to complain about this discrepancy, and the customer service rep said it would be rescheduled to be delivered later that day, by 8 pm. We waited… and waited… and waited… and waited…. No delivery. We wasted the rest of the day waiting on FedEx.

We get to church on Sunday and get a text message that it was going to be delivered that day. So, we turn around, leave church at the start of the service and head home; knowing we either have to sign for the package or drive 50 miles (25 there and back) to pick up the package at the FedEx warehouse. It is now 1 pm… 2 pm… 3 pm…. Can’t do any other errands or other things we had planned. No, we are captive awaiting FedEx to deliver a package so we can sign for it… 4 o’clock, 5 o’clock, 6… Nothing

Finally at 7:50 pm, I see the truck out side the driveway and walk out to meet him. I see the driver’s assistant sling the package over our walking-in gate, get back in the truck and drive away. No signature required!

Can you tell, I’m a bit upset? Just wanted to vent to that hopefully someone from FedEx reads this and they improve their services. BTW, have not had these issues with UPS. Just saying.

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