VIDEO A Tale of Two Revolutions

May 10, 2019 by Dr Jerry Newcombe

Could a contrast between the American Revolution and the French Revolution be relevant to today’s conflicts? I think so. The attempt to demote historic icons, like George Washington, is a case in point.

George Washington grew up as a gentleman farmer in Virginia and was a fourth generation slave-owner. But by the end of his life, he had decided slavery was immoral and so at his death, he freed his slaves and made provision for them.

But in our day—where the alleged “right to not be offended” often seems to trump the constitutional right to free speech—some are calling for images of George Washington to be torn down, like statues of Confederates.

The dailywire.com (5/2/19) reports on how “George Washington High School” in Northern California is contemplating tearing down two 1930’s panels featuring George Washington because the pair of murals allegedly “traumatizes students and community members.”

This is in San Francisco, so the outcome seems likely.

How long will our historical iconoclasm last? The cultural Marxists are working overtime to cut Americans off from our history.

I believe that despite his flaws, including being a slave-owner, there are many heroic aspects of our first president. Dr. Peter Lillback and I wrote, George Washington’s Sacred Fire, which puts all this in context. Recently we discussed Washington and slavery.

Our founders fought the American Revolution, led by Washington, so that we could enjoy our God-given rights. Though slow in coming, recognition of those God-given rights eventually gave the slaves their freedom. What is happening in the culture wars today is a revival of the French Revolution, which waged war against God.

France in 1789 fought against injustice, even in the church; but their godless “cure” ended up being worse than the disease. The French Revolution was anti-God and pro-tyranny—leading to death in the streets. The American Revolution was pro-God and pro-freedom.

America’s founders mentioned God four times in the Declaration of Independence. They identified King George III’s tyranny as illegitimate—because he was violating our God-given rights. The founders, with a firm reliance on the Lord, laid down “their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor” in support for their declaration as a new nation.

When George Washington first read the Declaration to his troops, one of his first acts was to hire Christian chaplains—systematically, throughout the army. He felt that if we were to win this war, it would only be with God’s help.

And he and the other colonists felt that God did help. To paraphrase Washington in his First Inaugural Address, no people should be more grateful to the Lord than we Americans because God aided us at every step to become an independent nation.

Consider a few further contrasts between the American Revolution and the French Revolution.

Our framers signed the Constitution in “the year of our Lord” 1787. The French Revolutionaries got rid of the Christian calendar; and so they declared 1791 as Year 1 of their new non-Christian calendar.

The French Revolutionaries desecrated Notre Dame Cathedral, disallowing Christian worship there and placed a half-naked woman on the altar, calling her “Reason,” whom they worshiped.

In contrast, our founders hired Christian chaplains for the military and also for the House and Senate. Since there weren’t enough church buildings in Washington, D. C., they held Christian worship services in the Capitol building. Presidents Jefferson and Madison attended those services.

The French Revolution eventually consumed its own. Since then, France has had 17 different governments, while the U.S. still lives under one—the Constitution.

I predict that today’s social justice warriors, who are consuming our past heroes, will one day be consumed themselves by future revolutionaries. Future generations could look back at us and say things like:

“You had 4D sonograms documenting the humanity of the unborn and yet you allowed millions of abortions on demand?”

or

“Science has documented genuine differences between men and women, yet you allowed boys who claimed to be girls to compete and dominate in sports, winning valuable scholarships?”

Every generation has its flaws and blind spots. Our generation has yet to recognize its own.

Slavery was evil. Thank God for those strong Christians who defeated it. Thank God for William Wilberforce’s Christian anti-slavery crusade, which took him about five decades to complete. That crusade inspired abolition here in America. Interestingly, in his day, Wilberforce was sometimes called “the George Washington of Humanity.” Both men worked hard to liberate others.

Slavery has plagued humanity from the beginning of time and can even be found in some places today, places where the gospel of Christ has no sway.

Too bad the children of the French Revolution are rising up today to cut us off from our past heroes. There is a reason Washington continues to be a hero to millions. Enough with the historical revisionism.

###

Jerry Newcombe, D.Min., is an on-air host/senior producer for D. James Kennedy Ministries. He has written/co-written 31 books, e.g., The Unstoppable Jesus Christ, American Amnesia: Is American Paying the Price for Forgetting God?, What If Jesus Had Never Been Born? (w/ D. James Kennedy) & the bestseller, George Washington’s Sacred Fire (w/ Peter Lillback)   djkm.org  @newcombejerry      www.jerrynewcombe.com

 

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Bringing Back The Black Robed Regiment (Full Movie)

A Pilgrimage to Secure Boundaries

by Jack Hayford

 

“Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are—northward, southward, eastward, and westward; for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever…Arise, walk in the land through its length and its width, for I give it to you.” (Genesis 13:14b-15, 17)

This was the first time that I have ever referred to one of our trips to the Holy Land as a “pilgrimage,” but it was just that—a mandate from the Lord to go and pray in Israel. We were a group under God’s hands, joining in prayer with multitudes also praying for the peace of Jerusalem. We knew somehow that our actions in the invisible realm were pivotal, invoking through prayer the rule of God Almighty. Never have I felt involved in a more significant venture. Believers and secular people alike in Israel were deeply moved by our visit.

We went with a sense of mission to exercise the practice of prophetic prayer, literally moving through the land to touch the North, South, East, and West. As a prayer team, we built altars at each of these boundaries of the nation, where we lifted up key issues to be proclaimed over the land. These are the same issues that need to be raised up over your life—kingdom principles that apply to all of us.

In the South, we built the Altar of TRUTH (Psalm 119:165), praying that Israel will honor the Word; that the Word be made alive—a veil removed to see more than words; to see truth: “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).

In the East, we built the Altar of LIFE (Ezekiel 37:9,14), praying that there would come an outpouring of the Spirit according to Zechariah 12:10: “I will pour on Israel the Spirit of grace and supplication, and they will look upon Me whom they pierced.”

In the North, we built the Altar of WORSHIP (Zechariah 14:16-18), praying in intercession that all who worship the Lord now in spirit and in truth would become a token invoking further grace, including breaking the drought in this land.

In the West, we built the Altar of PRAISE (Psalm 113:1-3), praying praise to drive back the darkness; praise for what has begun; and praise that Israel’s boundaries not only be secured but expanded in her mission to mankind.

I gained three convictions from this divinely appointed visit to Israel. First, the Spirit of prophecy is ready to come upon people who will rise in faith, obey with action, and work with discernment. Second, the Spirit of life is breathing with force ready to break down walls and bring salvation. Finally, the Spirit of harvest is calling for prayer warriors who will resist the Adversary and contend for God’s boundaries of intended blessing.

More than ever, there’s reason for us as the people of the Lord to let our hearts be quickened with anticipation and stirred with a sense of accountable duty. We are called to occupy until Jesus comes, and that responsibility centers on intercessory prayer and a faithful life of service that shows the love of God in everything we do. As the world faces uncertainty, let us march forward in full confidence that He has called us to action in prayer that will result in the securing and expansion of boundaries of intended blessing in our world and in each of our lives.

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Pence Warns Graduates to Prepare for Persecution for Their Christianity

May 13, 2019

On Saturday, Vice President Mike Pence spoke to the 2019 graduates of Liberty University.

While many commencement speakers wish the graduates a bright and glorious future, Pence issued a dire warning.

He told the students that for most of America’s history, there was no problem being a Christian, but times have changed.

He continued to tell the graduates that in today’s America to be prepared to be ridiculed and shunned because of their Christian faith.

He also said that the loudest voices for tolerance have little tolerance for anything pertaining to Biblical teachings.

The Hill – Mike Pence tells Liberty University graduates to prepare to be ‘shunned,’ ‘ridiculed’ for being a Christian – Vice President Pence warned the 2019 graduating class at Liberty University in his commencement address that they would face persecution for their faith.

“Throughout most of American history, it’s been pretty easy to call yourself Christian,” Pence told students Saturday, according to USA Today. “It didn’t even occur to people that you might be shunned or ridiculed for defending the teachings of the Bible.”

“But things are different now,” he continued, adding that “some of the loudest voices for tolerance today have little tolerance for traditional Christian beliefs. Be ready.”

Drawing from his own personal experience during the address, Pence discussed the criticism his wife, Karen, received last year after she returned to work as an art teacher at a private elementary school that prohibited LGBT students and teachers

Pence as right when he said the loudest voices calling for tolerance are the most intolerant of all.

They preach inclusion, but NOT the inclusion of Christians or anyone who disagrees with their perverse and sinful agenda.

The Obama administration launched a war against Christianity in the workplace, military and even private life.

The leaders of most major social media outlets have also been busy persecuting Christians and trying to silence the truth of Scripture.

READ MORE HERE

 

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VIDEO Canada Moves to Ban Christians From Demonstrating in Public – War To Destroy Christian America

Canada Moves to Ban Christians From Demonstrating in Public Under New Anti-Hate Proposal

The Canadian province of Ontario is considering legislation that would officially criminalize Christianity.

May 11, 2019 By Shane Trejo

Legislation proposed in the Canadian province of Ontario would criminalize public displays by Christians deemed hateful to Muslims, the LGBT community and other victim groups designated by the left.

The bill, “Prohibiting Hate-Promoting Demonstrations at Queen’s Park Act, 2019,” bans any demonstration, rally or other activity that is deemed hateful by the Speaker from being permissible on legislative grounds – effectively insulating the government from Christian speech.

Life Site News explains that the nebulous nature of Canada’s anti-hate laws essentially give leftist legislators carte blanche to ban all Christian protest:

The problem with this bill, however, lies in the fact that the definition of “hate” is uncertain under Canadian law. As a result, unfortunately, the use of the word “hate” can be a useful tool for some to prevent differing views from being expressed. That is, the word “hate” can be used to silence opposing views expressed when, in fact, the views are simply a reasonable expression of belief.

This concern is based on actual experience. Canadians have already experienced the contempt shown by the Supreme Court of Canada towards Section 2 of the Charter of Rights which provides for freedom of opinion, expression and religion. In the Trinity Western Christian University case (2018), a private Christian university’s moral covenant was deemed hateful and discriminating. In the Bill Whatcott case (2013), the Supreme Court of Canada concluded that the effects of an expression used, not the communicator’s intent, are what is relevant. The court went on to conclude that “truthful statements and sincerely held beliefs do not affect the finding of “hate”. Mr. Whatcott merely expressed in his pamphlet the well-established facts about homosexuality which the court held to be “hateful”. It is worth noting that the Saskatchewan Court of Appeal, presumably consisting of equally learned judges, had previously concluded that the pamphlet was not hateful. The Supreme Court of Canada prides itself on being a “progressive” court and has an established bias as evidenced in a series of decisions that have struck down laws based on traditional values. There is little likelihood that the court will protect tradition-based groups if they are denied the right to demonstrate at the provincial legislature.

As Canada becomes more restrictive toward Christianity, they open their arms for the LGBT agenda and Islam to take a foothold in their culture.

The Royal Canadian Mint issued a commemorative coin last month to celebrate homosexual love as a core principle of Canadian society.

“Marking 50 years since a landmark decision that began a process of legal reforms to recognize the rights of LGBTQ2 Canadians is a powerful way to recognize Canada’s profound belief in equality and inclusion,” said Marie Lemay, president and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint.

Meanwhile, the far-left Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has been revealed to be plotting different ways to bring ISIS terrorists to his nation and possibly be re-introduced in public life.

“None of the options are ideal and all present different challenges and risks,” said the three-page secret paper, which was heavily redacted after its release through the Access to Information Act.

As globalism and liberalism takes a stronger hold in Canada, the government can be expected to become even more hostile to Christianity and more hospitable to subversive agendas.

 

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DARK AGENDA: THE WAR TO DESTROY CHRISTIAN AMERICA

David Horowitz exposes the Left’s war against Christianity — and against America and its founding principles.

In this new video, David Horowitz discusses his new book, Dark Agenda: The War to Destroy Christian America. The Freedom Center founder exposes not only the Left’s war against Christianity, but also a war against America and its founding principles. Don’t miss it! [Order the book: HERE].

 

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Stressed to Temptation

May 9, 2019

 

Good morning everyone and happy Friday! I’d like to talk to you about one of the things that truly brings out the worst in many of us. Stress makes us always want to take the easy way instead of the right way. Stress makes us irritable to even our loved ones. Stress can destroy our lives if not dealt with properly and more importantly our Christ like behavior. We are always going to face it in one form or another so we should be wise to respond appropriately to it!

Here’s some of the ways you shouldn’t respond to it. Everyone wants relief but most of the time they seek the wrong reliever. A reliever that is temporary and imperfect has a habit of being self destructive. The stress of a job can lead a man or woman to substance abuse. The stress of problems in a relationship can lead to adultery or divorce. In short, stress can lead us to sin!

The King of Kings experienced stress unlike any other. When he went into the desert for 40 days, did he falter under the physical stress he endured? No, because the Word was on his heart and lips always: temptation had no power over him. When Jesus knew that he was going to be killed, the religious leaders hated him, or that he was constantly on the move with people always trying to swarm to see him, what was his solution? Prayerful quiet time kept the most stressed human being to ever live at perfect peace.

In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety. Hebrews 5:7

After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone. Matthew 14:23

Granted our Lord is perfect and it may make it seem like it’s easier for Him to resist the temptations of the flesh. However, he has simply shown us what to do and we just have to slowly train ourselves to respond in ways that he does. Whether it is stopping what we are doing or separating ourselves from others to cool off. Placing our focus back on God through prayer is a great way along with giving thanks for our undeserved heaven sent amazing GRACE!

Stressed to Temptation

Abide in Me

MAY 5, 2019 | CHRISTIAN MOM

 

Before 2018 ended, we went up to the Cloud of Glory Prayer Mountain in Lilo-an Cebu. It is a place where our church built for us to get away from the hussle of life in the city and seek the face of God.

For the past two years I have asked the Lord for His one word for me every year. Or should I say, my spiritual theme for the year. This year, God’s one word for me was REMAIN. In another translation from the Bible – ABIDE.

While browsing through my online notebook, I came across with one of the exhortations I made last 2017. I may have written this two years ago but this is a good reminder for me this 2019 and for the rest of my life.

In John 15:1 Jesus declared, “I Am the True Vine and my Father is the vinedresser.” , This was the last of the seven “I Am” declarations of Jesus recorded in the Book of John. This was His last message to His disciples before His pending crucifixion, death, resurrection and ascension. Knowing that His temporal leaving bothered His disciples, Jesus encouraged them with this beautiful metaphor as the True Vine Himself and God the Vinedresser.

The vine gives us a picture of a close, permanent and vital union with it’s branches. It is symbolic of entirely belonging to the vine. Jesus was saying “You are entirely Mine and I am all you need.” Jesus was saying although I will be physically away, I will continue to nourish, support, and sustain you like a vine sustaining and nourishing it’s own branches as long as it is attached to the Vine, as long as they abide in Christ.

John 15:5 says I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”

This message goes out not only for the disciples but for every believer of Christ. We are to attach, depend, rely, abide in the True Vine Jesus Christ.

The word abide has been repeated 10x in the first 10 verses of Chapter 15. Jesus emphasized our need to abide in Him.

The word abide in the Greek means “we make our home in.” Abiding in Christ is much more than just being beside Him, it is making our home in Christ. Making our home is His love. And when we make Christ our home, we will see Him in all His beauty, stand in awe of His greatness, glory in His power and experience His strength.

Let it be that we make our home in no one else but Christ. He is the True Vine. He is all that we need. And much more let it be that He is all that we desire and want.

Psalm 27:4 “One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, To behold the beauty of the Lord And to meditate in His temple.

Love,

Christian Mom

Abide in Me

Mother’s Day Encouragement: God’s Guidance for Happy, Respectful, Obedient Children

By Larry Tomczak – May 12, 2019

 

I heard a man of God rehearsing his upbringing when he inserted the following, evoking a hearty laugh from the audience:

“People ask me in my mischievous childhood if I ever got spankings? I surprise them when I say I was never spanked. But I sure got some ‘wuppins!’”

Enjoying Turner Classic movies and reruns of wholesome family shows like Andy Griffith or Lassie, an occasional spanking for little children was just the norm when they persistently misbehaved. A little protoplasmic stimulation to the backside of learning got a wayward child back on track with a lesson learned.

Celebrating Mother’s Day brings  pleasant memories for moms along with some persistent questions like the appropriateness of spanking in our hyper politically correct culture.

Years ago I authored a book now titled, “The Little Handbook of Loving Correction.” It was formerly called, “God, the Rod and Your Child’s Bod” but I changed it out of cultural sensitivity.

For every wonderful mother in America struggling with this nagging issue, receive this biblically informed reassurance as a gift. May it bring peace from alignment with God’s plan for raising happy, respectful and obedient children.

Realism in Raising Kids

Raising children requires a realistic perspective on our inherited sinful nature and a rejection of the “inherent goodness of man.” Adam rebelled and all of us have ratified that rebellion because of our inherited sin nature.

We don’t have to teach children to be selfish, lie, hit their siblings, steal or pout when they don’t get their way.  We do have to train them to learn to control themselves and do what is pleasing to God.

Don’t you just love it when parenting “experts” expound their views on TV in their world of Utopia? A couple living together with no children confidently shares their “wisdom” philosophy about raising their future children by simply reasoning with them, calmly affirming them and ignoring clear cut disobedience as “a stage they’ll grow out of.”

Yeah, right. Wait ’till they confront strong-willed little Grayson in all his glorious defiance one day! This is why seasoned veterans wince at this idealism and understand bumper stickers reading:

“Insanity is inherited. You get it from your children.”

Going God’s Way

Better to approach parenting God’s way and embrace the truth that appears on a plaque we had in our home:

“It is better to build children than to repair men.”

If you permit a child to nurture destructive habits, which they will one day be forced (with greater difficulty) to break, you are living beneath the revealed will of God concerning your role as a parent.

There is a difference between abusing a child and lovingly, responsibly disciplining him. Children know the difference between an objective spanking ministered in love and a smacking springing from pent up anger.

  • “Correct your son, and he shall give you rest; yes, he will give delight to your soul” (Pr. 29:17).
  • “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction will drive it far from him” (Pr. 22:15).
  • “The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings his mother to shame” (Pr. 29:15).
  • “Do not withhold correction from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die. Punish him with the rod and deliver his soul from death” (Pr. 23:13).
  • “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it” (Pr. 22:6).

God’s method for curbing harmful attitudes and nurturing healthy ones in young children is not parents going ballistic, threatening, screaming, hauling off in anger, or tuning out destructive conduct, bribing with candy or by banishment to a room to brood and fester in resentment.

Loving correction, which includes spanking at times, is an expression of love! Though not literally, have you ever experienced a “spanking” from the Lord for persistent, ungodly conduct?

“My son, do not despise discipline from the Lord nor grow weary when you are rebuked by Him for whom the Lord loves He disciplines” (Heb. 12:5-6).

Loving, Legal and Logical

Research reveals that in America up to 85% acknowledge they’ve used corporal punishment. Every state in America allows corporal punishment of children.

Due to disciplinary problems in schools many are reevaluating their policies like the Arlington school district outside Memphis, Tennessee. They voted to reinstate corporal punishment saying:

“Teachers need all tools possible.”

Former NBA superstar, Charles Barkley, has joked:

“If corporal punishment is a crime, then every black parent in the South is going to be put in jail!”

10 Essentials of Loving Correction

May this acrostic for CORRECTION reinforce the “basics.”

  1.  CLARITY: Loving correction always begins by clearly defining and communicating reasonable boundaries before they are enforced.
  2.  OBEDIENCE: Spankings can occur if there’s persistent, deliberate disobedience. “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right” (Eph. 6:1).
  3.  RIGHT ATTITUDES: We are to “serve the Lord with gladness” (Ps.100:2), so persistent whining and complaining have to be addressed.
  4.  RESTORATION: Embracing and reassuring a child afterwards enables us to avoid leaving them feeling guilty or rejected.
  5.  EXPLANATION: Taking time to explain the offense as well as enabling the parent to calm down (if needed), makes this essential.
  6. CONSISTENCY: Loving correction requires an investment and persevering commitment… “He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him disciplines him dearly” (Pr. 13:24).
  7. THOROUGHNESS: Shaping the will without breaking the spirit requires being authoritative not authoritarian so the child experiences some pain, versus simple “love pats.” “Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying” (Pr. 19:18 KJV). “Now no discipline seems to be joyful at the time, but grievous, yet afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness in those who have been trained by it” (Heb. 12:11).
  8.  IMMEDIATELY: With exceptions, loving correction should be given in the moment not “when daddy comes home” hours later. “Because the sentence against an evil deed is not executed swiftly, the heart of the sons of men is fully set to do evil” (Eccl. 8:11).
  9.  OUT-OF-SIGHT: Discipline is administered in private so as to not humiliate or embarrass a child.
  10.  NEUTRAL OBJECT:  Scripture states a “rod (a small, flexible branch) of correction” not a hairbrush or the nearest object. Hands should be instruments expressing affection and tenderness; we don’t want children flinching or retreating when a hand is raised.

A closing question:

“Where is the rod administered?”

God in His wisdom prepared a strategic place on the anatomy of our toddlers and children which has ample cushiony, fatty tissue and sensitive nerve endings to respond to Spirit-led stings. “Fannies” are gifts from God! In 47 years of ministry, I’ve discovered that all children come equipped with one!

“On the lips of him who has understanding wisdom is found, but a rod is for the back of him who lacks sense” (Pr. 10:13).

Here’s the deal: Scripture tells us:

“reproofs of instruction are the way to life” (Pr. 6:23).

May this Mother’s Day gift of God’s timeless wisdom educate and encourage moms across America. God’s ways are always best when carried out consistently and in faith for His glory.

Happy Mother’s Day!

 

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VIDEO 8 Moms in the Bible Who Served God Well

 

Eight mothers in the Bible played key roles in the coming of Jesus Christ. None of them was perfect, yet each showed strong faith in God. God, in turn, rewarded them for their confidence in him.

These mothers lived in an age when women were often treated as second-class citizens, yet God appreciated their true worth, just as he does today. Motherhoodis one of life’s highest callings. Learn how these eight mothers in the Bible put their hope in the God of the Impossible, and how he proved that such hope is always well-placed.

Eve – Mother of All the Living

Adam and Eve
God’s Curse by James Tissot. SuperStock / Getty Images

Eve was the first woman and the first mother. Without a single role model or mentor, she paved the maternal way to become “Mother of All the Living.” She and her mate Adam lived in Paradise, but they spoiled it by listening to Satan instead of God. Eve suffered terrible grief when her son Cain murdered his brother Abel, yet despite these tragedies, Eve went on to fulfill her part in God’s plan of populating the Earth.

Sarah – Wife of Abraham

Sarah
Sarah overhears the three visitors confirming she will have a son. Culture Club / Contributor / Getty Images

Sarah was one of the most important women in the Bible. She was the wife of Abraham, which made her the mother of the nation of Israel. Yet Sarah was barren. She conceived through a miracle in spite of her old age. Sarah was a good wife, a loyal helper and builder with Abraham. Her faith serves as a shining example for every person who has to wait on God to act.

Rebekah – Wife of Isaac

Rebekah
Rebekah pours water while Jacob’s servant Eliezer looks on. Getty Images

Rebekah, like her mother-in-law Sarah, was barren. When her husband Isaacprayed for her, God opened Rebekah’s womb and she conceived and gave birth to twin sons, Esau and Jacob. During an age when women were typically submissive, Rebekah was quite assertive. At times Rebekah took matters into her own hands. Sometimes that worked out, but it also resulted in disastrous consequences.

Jochebed – Mother of Moses

Jochebed and Baby Moses
Public Domain

Jochebed, the mother of Moses, is one of the underappreciated mothers in the Bible, yet she also showed tremendous faith in God. To avoid the mass slaughter of Hebrew boys, she set her baby adrift in the Nile River, hoping someone would find him and raise him. God so worked that her baby was found by Pharaoh’s daughter. Jochebed even became her own son’s nurse. God used Moses mightily, to free the Hebrew people from their 400 year, bondage of slavery and take them to the Promised Land. Although little is written about Jochebed in the Bible, her story speaks powerfully to mothers of today.

Hannah – Mother of Samuel the Prophet

Hannah840x616.jpg
Hannah presents her son Samuel to the priest Eli. Gerbrand van den Eeckhout (circa 1665). Public Domain

Hannah’s story is one of the most touching in the entire Bible. Like several other mothers in the Bible, she knew what it meant to suffer long years of barrenness. In Hannah’s case she was cruelly taunted by her husband’s other wife. But Hannah never gave up on God. Finally, her heartfelt prayers were answered. She gave birth to a son, Samuel, then did something entirely selfless to honor her promise to God. God favored Hannah with five more children, bringing great blessing to her life.

Bathsheba – Wife of David

Bathsheba640x400.jpg
Bathsheba oil painting on canvas by Willem Drost (1654). Public Domain

Bathsheba was the object of King David‘s lust. David even arranged to have her husband Uriah the Hittite killed to get him out of the way. God was so displeased with David’s actions that he struck dead the baby from that union. In spite of heartbreaking circumstances, Bathsheba remained loyal to David. Their next son, Solomon, was loved by God and grew up to become Israel’s greatest king. From David’s line would come to Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World. And Bathsheba would have the distinguished honor of being one of only five women listed in Messiah’s ancestry.

Elizabeth – Mother of John the Baptist

Elizabeth - Mother of John the Baptist
The Visitation by Carl Heinrich Bloch. SuperStock / Getty Images

Barren in her old age, Elizabeth was another of the miracle mothers in the Bible. She conceived and gave birth to a son. She and her husband named him John, as an angel had instructed. Like Hannah before her, she dedicated her son to God, and like Hannah’s son, he also became a great prophetJohn the Baptist. Elizabeth’s joy was complete when her relative Mary visited her, pregnant with the future Savior of the World.

Mary – Mother of Jesus

MaryMotherOfJesus.jpg
Mary the Mother of Jesus; Giovanni Battista Salvi da Sassoferrato (1640-1650). Public Domain

Mary was the most honored mother in the Bible, the human mother of Jesus, who saved the world from its sins. Although she was only a young, humble peasant, Mary accepted God’s will for her life. She suffered enormous shame and pain, yet never doubted her Son for a moment. Mary stands as highly favored by God, a shining example of obedience and submission to the Father’s will.

Watch Now: Learn About Mary, the Mother of Jesus


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What Did Mary Know? (Selected Scriptures) John MacArthur


 

Leave Behind the Weariness of Bitterness

by Jon Bloom
Staff writer, desiringGod.org

 

The gears of God’s justice sometimes grind slowly — so slowly that we may not even notice them turning during our brief sojourn on earth. We even begin to wonder if they’re really turning at all.

Asaph writes, “Truly God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. But . . .” (Psalm 73:1–2). But what? But Asaph had really struggled to believe that. His biblical theology and history told him God is good and God is just, but as he looked on the way things evidently operated in the “real” world around him, Asaph read a different narrative.

He watched unashamedly wicked people prosper, seeming to avoid the hardships most of humanity is subject to (Psalm 73:3–5). He watched them violently oppress others without God seeming to lift a finger to stop them or protect the oppressed (Psalm 73:6–8). He watched them in their luxuriant ease blaspheme God with apparent impunity (Psalm 73:9–12). Like many suffering Christians today, he watched while the godless flourished.

Hard on Those He Loves?

Meanwhile, when Asaph looked at his own experience, he couldn’t help wondering why in the world he was fighting so hard to keep his heart clean and his hands innocent, only to find himself “stricken and rebuked [by God] every morning” (Psalm 73:13–14). What’s with that?

Hard on those who love him, and seemingly easy on those who hate him — that looks a lot like turning justice on its head. Asaph’s “feet . . . almost stumbled” over whether God truly is good to Israel (Psalm 73:2). He could have said, as Teresa of Ávila allegedly did, “If this is how You treat Your friends, no wonder why You have so few of them!”

Thus, Asaph is endeared to us — an ancient friend who understands. He understands the hard experience of living in what can look and feel like a world of inverted justice.

Where Bitterness Takes Root

We know deep down God can’t approve of this inversion. The fact that humanity shares such a massive consensus regarding what’s just and unjust bears witness to what God considers just and unjust. Philosophers call this the “moral law.” Theologians call it God’s law written on the heart (Romans 2:15–16). Even the unjust bear witness to this reality by what they desperately try to conceal (or rationalize if their power is removed and they are held to account for their actions).

But when they aren’t held to account, when they do as they unjustly and wickedly please and God doesn’t intervene, we try to understand. And, like Asaph, we can find it “a wearisome task” (Psalm 73:16). We can become “pricked in heart” and embittered in soul (Psalm 73:21).

Here’s the real danger: the indignance we feel toward injustice — the way we’re supposed to feel toward injustice — can metastasize into bitterness in our soul toward God and his apparent lack of concern and willingness to take action against injustice. This can turn us “brutish and ignorant” (Psalm 73:22), leading us to fall away from God (Hebrews 3:12) or to distort his word into saying what it does not say, because in our lack of faith, we cannot bear it. Few things drive us to twist the Scriptures like the problem we have with evil and the pain it can cause us or those we love. This is a “root bearing poisonous and bitter fruit” (Deuteronomy 29:18) that defiles many, as Hebrews warns us (Hebrews 12:15).

Counsel for the Embittered Soul

So, what do we do when, like Asaph, our heart is pricked and we feel that bitterness in our soul that makes us question if God really sees, if he cares, if he’s really in control, if he really exists? The remedy God provides us against the brutish ignorance of unbelief is simple, but it is profound, and it is pervasive:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones. (Proverbs 3:5–8)

This can sound so trite, so cliché, when what we want from God are answers— and, more immediately, action! This is not cliché. This is the Bible — all of it. The Bible is God’s book of justice. The whole thing is about God’s justice — about his ultimately making every wrong right and exhaustively settling every account of every moral agent, visible and invisible to us, that has ever perpetrated even the smallest injustice. Nothing will be missed, for God “will by no means clear the guilty” (Numbers 14:18) without fully satisfying his holy, righteous law — the one to which all our consciences bear witness.

God is working with a timetable toward this end that is long — and our lives are short. We may not see the justice needle move much during our time under the sun. That doesn’t at all mean God is not relentlessly and fearfully moving toward the terrible, unfathomable destruction of evil.

We must trust him with all our hearts and not lean on our own very limited perspective and understanding of the “real” world. If the catastrophe of Eden teaches us anything, it teaches us that we are ill-equipped to manage the knowledge of good and evil. The bitterness of soul that Asaph describes is a warning that it is time to hand God back the fruit before it bears something poisonous and bitter in us.

How God Treats His Friends

If the eucatastrophe of the cross of Jesus teaches us anything, it teaches us that God does not take injustice lightly — that he is, in fact, willing to go to extremes we would never imagine in order to fully settle accounts. At the cross, God’s righteous unwillingness to clear the unjust kisses his righteous desire to pardon the repentant unjust and be at peace with them (Psalm 85:10). It is the miraculous moment when the righteous Judge takes upon himself our unrighteousness, paying for it in full that we might become his righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21). It is the place where God becomes both just and the justifier of the unjust ones who put their faith fully in Jesus (Romans 3:26).

This is how God treats his friends: he gives his only Son for them in order to give them eternal life (John 3:16).

It is this God, and the remembrance of his mercy foreshadowed in the old covenant, that Asaph beheld when he “went into the sanctuary of God” (Psalm 73:17). Then his perspective on justice changed. He saw the long-term end of the short-lived unrepentant wicked. God was not inattentive or inactive as they brazenly oppressed and blasphemed.

Truly you set them in slippery places; you make them fall to ruin. How they are destroyed in a moment, swept away utterly by terrors! Like a dream when one awakes, O Lord, when you rouse yourself, you despise them as phantoms. (Psalm 73:18–20)

He saw the mercy in his being “stricken and rebuked,” for it was this very discipline that kept him from going astray (Proverbs 3:11–12Psalm 119:67). And he saw an approaching judgment upon those who were not being led to repentance by the kindness of God (Romans 2:4). He remembered the long-term end of his short-lived afflictions: “You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory” (Psalm 73:24), the same hope the apostle Paul expressed (2 Corinthians 4:17).

How Bitterness Leaves

And when Asaph gave up his wearisome task of trying to understand how God can let injustice and evil persist, and instead trusted God with all his heart, the bitterness left him. And out of the healing and refreshment he experienced, he sang,

Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:25–26)

Thus, if we have ears to hear, God is endeared to us — our far more ancient and future Friend who understands how hard it can be for us to endure evil while he “works all things according to the counsel of his will” (Ephesians 1:11). For it was his compassion that moved him to inspire these words in our friend, Asaph, and make sure his song of the rescued cynic was preserved in the canon to help rescue us from our bitterness of soul.

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A Remedy for Imbalance

by Jack Hayford

The Challenge of Anchoring the Charismatic Experience in Biblical Truth

“Kingdom Now,” “Demons and Deliverance,” “Prophets and Prophecy,” “Signs and Wonders,” “Confessing the Word,” “Healing and Prosperity” – these are just half a dozen of the emphases that sporadically ricochet through the charismatic movement. They delight proponents, dismay critics and provide fodder for innumerable questions and fiery suppositions. They also create serious concerns.

Those concerned generally point to a theological imbalance that many charismatics either fail to recognize or choose to accept as normative or even desirable. “It’s as though large segments of the charismatic movement are either indifferent to or unaware of the theological thin ice on which they skate,” one classical Pentecostal leader observed.

Both traditional evangelicals and supportive insiders from the Pentecostal/charismatic community are hoping that the blessing and spiritual advances being realized by advocates of these special emphases will seek to ground their teaching biblically. This doesn’t mean, as some charismatics fear, to ground in the sense of penalizing a careless pilot or punishing a reckless teenager. Rather, it means to ground in the sense of securing or adjusting certain teachings to more solid scriptural foundations—and to do so with a sensible perspective on history’s lessons, while insisting on solid ethics and practical holiness.

This appeal reflects a delicate tension between two realities, one affirmative and the other negative.

First, charismatic life abounds in vital New Testament living, joyous service and surging evangelistic impact. Convinced of the present power of God’s promises, many charismatics make faithful applications of the truth they hold and enter the marketplace of human experience with it. Objective non-charismatics agree that the vibrancy of charismatic meetings is not all “fluff.” They especially welcome the evidence of practical evangelistic impact made in many parts of the world where first-century faith with signs, wonders and transforming power are being displayed.

At the same time, however, we must note that the apparent absence of concern for biblical and theological substance that supports many charismatics’ practices cause observers to suspect the durability of such dynamism. Towers of practical truth rise splendidly, as people are healed, faith is made practical, demon power is broken and the glory of Christ’s kingdom is seen in flashes of momentary splendor. But amid the blessing, we find too seldom the ministry and practices secured on biblical footings. Balance seems to concern only a few, as participants revel in the thrill of God’s power.

Christians practicing certain emphases, such as those we first listed, seem each to have discovered a pillar of New Testament power, as though a theological “archeologist” has found out something about ancient church history. But now that these towering artifacts of functional truth appear to have been recovered, their discoverers haven’t yet uncovered the broad biblical and historical foundations that should lie beneath them. How can this be done?

A good beginning would be to trust more readily the intentions of sympathetic critics. Rather than judging appeals to greater carefulness in theology as a threat to our style or liberty, we might listen to them.

More and more, inquiries by our critics reflect a hunger—a desire to find out how to advance the spread of Bible-based, Spirit-filled renewal. They request a more clearly rooted theology so that the dynamics charismatics enjoy might be more broadly understood, received and applied. But too often the response of charismatic leaders and congregations, who have been burned by past criticism, is outright rejection of such suggestions. Part of the challenge before us is to cultivate a new tolerance and wisdom toward those who question us.

Listen to the Echoes of History

Church history flashes many warning signals about the penalties of extremism. We are not immune to such penalties, so we must resist the common ploy of mocking those who question us, reacting in kind to antagonists. Instead, we can learn from history.

Often it seems that groups with little knowledge of church history mistakenly suppose they are the sole discerner or recoverer of a given truth or practice. Pride and presumption enter subtly, confusion distracts and moves them off course, and often shipwreck results. A pillar, intended for raising up, crashes down instead—and the dust blinds the eyes of all who hoped to see its design and gain the strength of its support.

How can we gain without losing?

First, we must avoid the idea that supposes theology is arthritic or that history is a waste of time. We must take time to investigate the church’s history. We must bother to examine the theological implications of our experiences. If our experiences truly verify the Word, they’ll fit into sound theology. Remember, vital revivalists and reformers of church history—such as Luther, Wesley and Finney—were not theological wimps. Both distant and recent church history reminds us of the folly of freewheeling revelation without foundation.

Listen to the Voice of the Scriptures

No doubt each emphasis that has risen within the charismatic movement has some biblical claim for its thrust—whether, faith, signs, prophecy, deliverance, discipleship or whatever. But charismatic Bible interpretation exhibits a general propensity for looseness, an inclination to strain the limits of God’s “sure Word.” This frightens many Christian leaders who, while welcoming the refreshing that some of these emphases introduce, deeply regret the casual disregard of Scripture by some who claim “revelation” or “prophetic insight” as conclusive or authoritative of their teachings. Without a will to bend our private “revelations” to the plumb line of the Word, trouble is certain.

Protection against such error is assured when we don’t insist on supporting our own insights or emphases with selected proof texts. We must remain willing to accept honest inquiry into apparent weaknesses in our systems of doctrine. To do otherwise is to chart a path to short-lived spirituality.

Not Just Leaders

Meanwhile, the problems we’re describing aren’t limited to charismatic leaders and teachers. Most people tasting the Holy Spirit’s new wine show little interest in the relative durability of what they’re experiencing. Yet disillusion, division and disintegration occur when people disregard the wisdom of building strong foundations.

Sad to say, the practice of many charismatics is to “hitch their wagon to a star” rather than to anchor to the solid base of long-term growth in a trustworthy fellowship. Many pursue itinerant prophetic and healing ministries while neglecting steadfast, accountable commitment to the disciplines of continuity in a local, faithfully pastured congregation. The pastor may not be as exciting a personality as the more visible, eloquent or miracle-graced traveling preacher. But after the more mobile minister has left town, that pastor is the one to be counted on when believers face the tough realities of daily Christian living.

Countless scat-about, undisciplined believers “come for the show but refuse to grow.” Everywhere we see shallowness, unaccountability and a neglect of balancing wisdom. So where can we find the wisdom we need?

Listen to the Heartbeat of the Cross

I believe that the charismatic movement must chart a fresh course to the central point of Christian truth: the cross of Jesus. The remedy for any imbalance is precisely there, where those two crossbars remind us of the need to balance heaven’s requirements (vertical) and human need (horizontal).

We certainly want to retain the vitality of our charismatic experiences, which ought not to be questioned simply because they are experiences. Like the arms of Jesus extended in saving, healing and delivering power on the cross, the charismatic approach in ministry that expects God to act in the now results in vital experience. This is a charismatic hallmark and a righteous goal.

Nevertheless, the cross not only reaches out with life and power, it also stands with authority and stability. It is at the vertical crossbar that we align with Christ’s head and His feet—majestic symbols of His Lordship and His dominion. Too often charismatics lay claim to the cross’s authority for ministry while either forgetting or minimizing the authority of that cross over us.

One recent study of the content of most charismatic worship music indicated that both Christ’s cross and His blood are scarcely mentioned. Does this drift from the biblical and historic center of Christian faith signal a warning? I think so. It’s hard to synchronize this tendency with the theme song of heaven, both now and eternally: “To Him (the Lamb) who loved us and washed us form our sins in His own blood” (Rev. 1:5; see also 5:9).

The cross must command center stage in our lives, ever and always; and as participants in this revival, let us be certain it does in the charismatic movement as well. The cross is the fountainhead of all God’s wisdom, as well as the source of all His power (I Cor. 1:18-25; 2:1-40).

Let’s start signing again, “Jesus, keep me near the cross.” Humility is assured there, which will keep arrogance and pride from gaining ascendancy. Holiness is assured there, which will keep presumption and ungodliness at bay. Love abounds there, which will help us to hear each other and to keep the teachable heart of a child. Finally, the power is there, for the fountainhead of all Christ’s glory-workings toward all humankind was opened there. We must keep that fountainhead as our foundation—resting all our revelations and blessings on the footing Calvary provides.

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