As I was going about my morning responsibilities, I heard in my spirit: “ …the prize goes to the one who finishes the race not to the one who starts the race.” It was such a strong impression that I stopped midstream in my morning responsibilities to sit and contemplate the meaning. THE PRIZE GOES TO THE ONE WHO FINISHES THE RACE NOT TO THE ONE WHO STARTS THE RACE.
The obvious implication is easily discernable. If you sign up to run a marathon you are not guaranteed recognition just because you signed your name on the entrance form and paid the entry fee. You are not going to get a ribbon or medal for starting the race and then dropping out midway through. Your name will not be listed as one who completed the race if you decide to detour off the designated raceway or take a break from which you never return. NO. The prize goes to the one who not only begins the race but also successfully crosses the finish line.
The Apostle Paul compared living the Christian life to a race in several different passages; all with the understanding that we are participants in an eternal event. We are, as professed Christians, running toward or running away, or not running. Each category has it’s own predetermined reward. We do not set the race rules, the Master Race Builder, Initiator, Referee, Trainer, etc., has set them.
I Corinthians 9:24-27 declares the following: Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So, run that you may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beats the air; But I keep under my body and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.”
We truly need an understanding that allows us to embrace the longevity of our commitment, requirements to win and the consequences of not completing the race. We are racing for our eternal rewards.
Paul, who pinned the words of I Corinthians, plainly states that we should have as our goal to “obtain.” There is a reward stored up for those that successfully finish. Second Timothy four and eight states it this way: And now a crown of righteousness is kept for me, which my Lord shall award to me in that day when he shall judge the just. And again in Philippians 3: 13-14 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high. calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Running to win. That really is the gauntlet that the Apostle Paul is throwing down in the Corinthians 9 passage. And like any winning athlete the regimen is one of discipline and training. The Olympic runner watches carefully what he eats and drinks. He is mindful of his daily routine and is diligent to maintain his physical fitness with daily exercise. What ever the cost to obtain defines his lifestyle. Now, if we transfer that same mindset to our spiritual race, we see the correlations. Again, it was the Apostle Paul who wrote, “Whether I eat or drink or whatsoever I do, I do all to the glory of God. (I Cor. 10:31) And, …”Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.” (I Cor. 8:13) The Apostle Paul was very serious about his spiritual race and so should we.
The writer of Hebrews encourages us to eliminate everything that would slow us down or hinder us in our life ‘s journey:“…let us lay aside every weight and every sin that does so easily beset us and let us run with patience the race that is set before us. Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.” We are called to live a disciplined life if we desire to win the prize, even to the elimination of everything that would disqualify us.
As it was stated earlier, it would be foolish for a runner that does not finish the race to expect the same acclamation as the runner who crosses the finish line. The Apostle Paul was cognizant of this fact: “ But I keep under my body and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” Imagine the great Apostle Paul fearing that he himself would be castaway because he became slothful, lazy and spiritually unfit? Where, beloved, do you suppose that puts you and me? He boldly declares that he buffets his body. In other words he makes himself uncomfortable to the point of pain in order to insure he does not lose his crown or become a “castaway.” Sobering.
I truly believe in the power of the blood of Jesus to keep us unto the day of His appearing. If, I am rightly discerning these passages, I see a differentiation between salvation and the crown that is laid up for us. Jesus states in Revelation 3:11: I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one will take your crown. He also tells us in the Gospel of John the tenth chapter and the twenty-eighth verse: I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.” There is heaven to gain, hell to eschew and a crown to obtain.
Again, this is what the Holy Spirit whispered in my heart: “ it is not the one who starts the race that gets the prize, it is the one who finishes.” I beseech you my brothers and sisters in Christ to make the main thing the main thing. In the words of a dear departed saint and family member: “the main thing is to always be ready.”
Let us all run to win!
A Mother’s Lament
When against the
Flow of common sense
The mind endeavors go
The rationale of life and
With what is so.
There then exists
No curfews, curbs, or cause
Only “self” controls
The basic human law
Here there are no barriers
For the boudoir
Thus we will see
The sacred scattered
Beyond both near and far
When holiness is hollow
And defined by time
The safe, secure, selection
But never faced
The standard voice
Is trampled by the shouts
Of the insecure
Brokenness “come out.”
All the while
The family in the
Weeping for the
That’s in a foreign land
Disdain for God’s one plan
Lovers stand on
Sordid sinking sand
Or broken hearts
Will fix or bridge the gap
Only blind approval
Causes those progressive
Hands to clap
And in the end
What will become
Of those who enter in?
It all depends on
The label given:
Unbridled “love” or sin.
A Mother’s Response to a “gay” declaration.
How does that work? After carrying your baby girl next to your heart for nine months, suffering through morning sickness, back labor and transition you finally hold that small feminine bundle of humanity in your arms. Counting fingers and toes comes automatically but then what happens next is unbelievable. Somehow you find yourself standing in the front of an amazingly adorned chapel watching as this bridal-gowned bedecked beauty slow walks to the alter on the arm of her father. It is, of course, a dream of some sort but it is the future and hope of almost every mother’s heart.
Unfortunately, we all know that “life” happens and years, many years come between the birth and the bride. Try as we may, mothers, we cannot predict the future nor mold it into our own mind’s eye image. At some point reality becomes what it is and we are left standing on the side of broken hearts and discounted dreams. Or so it seemed this afternoon when I received a text from our adult daughter: “Got engaged yesterday on a Farris Wheel (emoji included).
What should have been a day of rejoicing, instead projected me into a future without grandchildren or normal family gatherings. What should have been an announcement celebrated with a festive dinner and fine wine was now the source of bitter tears and betrayed loyalties. Our daughter was texting to let us know her intentions to marry her lesbian lover. Life happens.
It has been two years since our daughter sent me an email “coming out of the closet.” I truly wished she had stayed in; sanity would be more firmly in my grasp. Writing her back was easy. All the reasons why this could not be true flowed like Niagara Falls from my laptop. All my eloquent responses, however, were repealed by what I felt was the PC logic of our ever decaying culture. There was no agreement or compromise on either side, like two trains running on parallel tracks in opposite directions. And never the twain shall meet…
The North Bound Train is the Judeo-Christian Express. It has a well-known route and destination. The road map has served its adherents well for eons of known time. These travelers take hold of tried and true traditions that trump the trends of moral relativism. Those on board embrace the truth and obligations of their faithful forefathers.
Not so much the South Bound Locomotive that carries those on board towards the hedonistic expression of uncharted social mores and a denial of absolute moral standards. No road signs, no rules, no respect for the righteous standards that have guarded societies for time immemorial This transport requires the journeyer to throw out the inconvenient baggage of the generations honored foundation stone of civilized peoples: heterosexual marriage. Not only is this a requirement for those on board, but also for all territories through which the “freedom train” would traverse. Everyone is expected to not only give the train an easement through their property but also stand and wave the flag of celebration as it gouges deep ruts through the emotional property of their lives.
So here I am stuck in the after math of a simple text: “ I got engaged yesterday on a Farris Wheel;” except it is I who am on the Farris Wheel. I feel my mind whirling with more and more questions and very few answers. The solid truths of the Word of God embedded into our progeny have been uprooted and discarded by “desire,” the family name brought to shame, the hope of grandchildren dashed, the celebration of a Holy and Sacred marriage sabotaged by lust. And they call this gay? Nothing happy about this situation, only a lot of broken hearts.
The only solace I find is in the promises of the Lord. His Word tells me that if I call unto Him in time of trouble that He will answer me and send deliverance. And, He is near to the broken hearted. After all, He is the Lord the God of all flesh and nothing is too difficult for Him.
The Holy Spirit reminded me this morning in my prayer time that The Lord sent angels to take Lot by the hand and pull him out of Sodom and Gomorrah before the fire and brimstone fell. I can believe Him to do the same for my daughter, and for all prodigals eating in the pig pen of deception. The Lord Jesus came to seek and to save those that are lost and those that are on that South Bound Locomotive.
Dear Father in Heaven,
Thank you that you hear me when I cry unto you. Your heart is touched with the feelings of my own infirmity and anguish. Stretch forth your hand to heal in the name of your Holy Child Jesus. Turn the darkness into light, dispel all deception and set the captive free. I believe you Lord that you are not only able, but willing to set everything in righteous order as You have ordained. I pray with confidence, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in all of our lives as it is in heaven,…lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
Redemption Part III
“I’ll never know how much it cost to see my sin upon that cross…and I’m forever grateful.” Michael Smith Lyrics
Listen here: https://youtu.be/6aEhXBEUnZU
When I first started studying the Hebrew sacrificial system I was overwhelmed. Overwhelmed with the amount of blood required and the time-consuming rituals required to remediate the penalty of sin. Even more amazing to me was the rejection of the Lamb of God by the Jewish religious leaders. One would think that if the Lord’s plan were to do away with all the animal sacrifices by the once–and-for-all sacrifice of Jesus, the Spotless Lamb of God, the latter would win hands down. Religion dies hard. But The Father never gives up. Redemption has always been the plan.
I started this series of posts, in Part I, with the definition of “redemption.”
1. The action of saving or being saved from sin, error, or evil
“God’s plans for the redemption of his world.” Synonyms: saving, freeing from sin, absolution. “God’s redemption of his people.”
2. The action of regaining or gaining possession of something in exchange for payment or clearing a debt. Synonyms: retrieval, recovery, reclamation, repossession, return
The Lord’s plan from the foundation of the world was to redeem that which is rightfully His from the power of the enemy. (Rev. 13:8, I Peter 1:20) This redemption required the remediation of sin. And we know from the scriptures that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin. (Hebrews 9:22) But, whose blood? Under the Old Covenant it was the blood of animals. The life-blood of created beings. Under the New Covenant it is the life-blood of the Creator himself.
Under the Old Testament, the blood “covered” sin for a period of time. Under the New Testament, the Blood, destroys sin forever. It is the Blood of Jesus Christ the spotless, sinless Lamb of God that accomplishes for mankind what we cannot do for ourselves: it purchases redemption.
Ephesians 1:7 puts it this way: “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace.”
The Father, freely gives to all human kind the way to reconciliation. It is His plan, not ours, His provision, not the path of works or religious rites. His Blood that calls out for forgiveness speaks so much louder that the blood of Able that cries out for vengeance. This Blood is a grace gift and a grace enabler; meaning, He gives it to us freely and it releases in us the evidence of salvation. According to Strong’s Concordance, grace is the saving power of God in our hearts that is reflected in changed and victorious lives. Grace not only covers, it also empowers so that we are no longer slaves to sin. We are enabled to walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit. Good News!! He has redeemed us from the curse of sin!
Please consider Titus 2:14: “…who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds. Is it not interesting that this scripture declares redemption as a means by which we are to be purified as His possession unto a prescribed result: good deeds. As redeemed people of the Living God, we are to have purpose. No longer are we to pursue our own passions, but the passion of the Lord. No longer living out of “lawless deeds,” but deeds that bring honor and glory to our Father, deeds that rightly represent Him to a lost and dying world. “Redeemed, how I love to proclaim it,” as the old hymn declares. It is our privilege and our responsibility.
Watching the National Prayer Breakfast after November’s Presidential election was truly a thrilling moment. The speakers were anointed and the music inspirational. However, for me, the highlight was not just the words of our 45th President, but the address given by Senate Chaplin, Barry C. Black. By his own testimony, he rose from extremely humbling circumstances to excel in academia as well as the military. He explained with passion the saving power of the blood of Jesus Christ. Unashamedly, he declared to the world the power of redemption through the Cross of Calvary, as the only way to be reconciled with the Father.
I vividly recall him recounting the struggles he had with self-worth. Raised in the housing projects, one of eight children, he often felt lost and overlooked until as a child he came across I Peter: 18-19.
His mother had set up a system by which the children earned nickels and dimes for memorizing bible verses. He said he knew every “short” verse available. But, when he came across I Peter: 18-19 something grabbed his eight-year-old heart:
“Knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.”
He somehow knew that the value of the object is reflected in the price someone is willing to pay for it. A light came on in his heart and he realized how precious he was to the Father who was willing to redeem (buy back) him with the very lifeblood of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. He never struggled with worthlessness from that moment on.
It is the Blood of the Spotless Lamb of God that has redeemed us to the Father, opened the gates of heaven and empowered us to walk in overcoming faith by the power of the Holy Spirit. We are redeemed! As we prepare to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, may we all rejoice in the great sacrifice that was made by the Father. May we dedicate our lives a fresh and anew to rightly representing Him to a lost and fallen world. May our own redemption resound with notes of righteous resonation: Redeemed how I love to proclaim it, Redeemed by the Blood of the Lamb…Redeemed by His infinite mercy, His child and forever I am! Amen!
The Price of Redemption, Part II
Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir –
Oh, the blood of Jesus!
Oh, the blood of Jesus!
Oh, the blood of Jesus!
It washes white as snow.
What can wash away my sins?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus
In Part I of The Price of Redemption, we briefly examined the sacrificial system set in place by Moses for the Nation of Israel. There were daily prescribed sacrifices and there were sacrifices that were specific to different sins as well as required offerings for the first day of the month, the Sabbath and all festival days. The regulatory sacrificial/offering system was a constant reminder for the Hebrew people that entering into the presence of Holy God was to be both intentional and costly.
When Jesus was offered on the cross, as the Spotless Sacrificial Lamb, everything changed spiritually. He became the offering for sin once and for all. Father God demonstrated this dramatic shift to the Jewish religious leaders by tearing from top to bottom the veil that separated the Holy of Holies from the approach of the common worshippers. This occurred at the exact moment that Jesus uttered these words: “It is finished.” (Matt. 27:50 When Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, He yielded up His spirit. 51At that moment the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth quaked and the rocks were split.…)
The Nineth and Tenth chapters of Hebrews go into great detail and wonderfully explain the replacement of the blood sacrifice of bulls and goats with the supreme sacrifice of our blessed Savior. This is a long read, but I hope you will take the time to study this passage as a whole. Often we pick and choose verses from these chapters without reading it as one letter as intended:
The Old and the New
9 Now even the first covenant had regulations for divine worship and for the earthly sanctuary. 2 A tabernacle (sacred tent) was put up, the outer one or first section, in which were the lampstand and the table with [its loaves of] the sacred showbread; this is called the Holy Place. 3 Behind the second veil there was another tabernacle [the inner one or second section] known as the Holy of Holies, 4 [a]having the golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered entirely with gold. This contained a golden jar which held the manna, and the rod of Aaron that sprouted, and the [two stone] tablets of the covenant [inscribed with the Ten Commandments]; 5 and above the ark were the [golden] cherubim of glory overshadowing [b]the mercy seat; but we cannot now go into detail about these things.
6 Now when these things have been prepared in this way, the priests continually enter the outer [or first section of the] tabernacle [that is, the Holy Place] performing [their ritual acts of] the divine worship, 7 but into the second [inner tabernacle, the Holy of Holies], only the high priest enters [and then only] once a year, and never without [bringing a sacrifice of] blood, which he offers [as a substitutionary atonement] for himself and for the sins of the people committed in ignorance. 8 By this the Holy Spirit signifies that the way into the Holy Place [the true Holy of Holies and the presence of God] has not yet been disclosed as long as the [c]first or outer tabernacle is still standing [that is, as long as the Levitical system of worship remains a recognized institution], 9 for this [first or outer tabernacle] is a symbol [that is, an archetype or paradigm] for the present time. Accordingly both gifts and sacrifices are offered which are incapable of perfecting the conscience and renewing the [inner self of the] worshiper. 10 For they [the gifts, sacrifices, and ceremonies] deal only with [clean and unclean] food and drink and various ritual washings, [mere] external regulations for the body imposed [to help the worshipers] until the time of reformation [that is, the time of the new order when Christ will establish the reality of what these things foreshadow—a better covenant].
11 But when Christ appeared as a High Priest of the good things to come [that is, true spiritual worship], He entered through the greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not a part of this [material] creation. 12 He went once for all into the Holy Place [the Holy of Holies of heaven, into the presence of God], and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, having obtained and secured eternal redemption [that is, the salvation of all who personally believe in Him as Savior]. 13 For if the sprinkling of [ceremonially] defiled persons with the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a [burnt] heifer is sufficient for the cleansing of the body,14 how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal [Holy] Spirit willingly offered Himself unblemished [that is, without moral or spiritual imperfection as a sacrifice] to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works and lifeless observances to serve the ever living God?
15 For this reason He is the Mediator and Negotiator of a new covenant [that is, an entirely new agreement uniting God and man], so that those who have been called [by God] may receive [the fulfillment of] the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has taken place [as the payment] which redeems them from the sins committed under the obsolete first covenant. 16 For where there is a will and [d]testament involved, the death of the one who made it must be established, 17 for a will and testament takes effect [only] at death, since it is never in force as long as the one who made it is alive. 18 So even the first covenant was not put in force without [the shedding of] blood. 19 For when every commandment in the Law had been read by Moses to all the people, he took the blood of the calves and goats [which had been sacrificed], together with water and scarlet wool and with a bunch of hyssop, and he sprinkled both the scroll itself and all the people, 20 saying, “This is the blood of the covenant [that seals and ratifies the agreement] which God ordained and commanded [me to deliver to] you.” 21 And in the same way he sprinkled both the tabernacle and all the containers and sacred utensils of worship with the blood. 22 In fact under the Law almost everything is cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness [neither release from sin and its guilt, nor cancellation of the merited punishment].
23 Therefore it was necessary for the [earthly] copies of the heavenly things to be cleansed with these, but the heavenly things themselves required far better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ did not enter into a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but [He entered] into heaven itself, now to appear in the very presence of God on our behalf; 25 nor did He [enter into the heavenly sanctuary to] offer Himself again and again, as the high priest enters the Holy Place every year with blood that is not his own. 26 Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer over and over since the foundation of the world; but now once for all at the consummation of the ages He has appeared and been publicly manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.27 And just as it is appointed and destined for all men to die once and after this [comes certain] judgment, 28 so Christ, having been offered once and once for all to bear [as a burden] [e]the sins of many, will appear a second time [when he returns to earth], not to deal with sin, but to bring salvation to those who are eagerly and confidently waiting for Him.
One Sacrifice of Christ Is Sufficient
10 For since the Law has only a shadow [just a pale representation] of the good things to come—not the very image of those things—it can never, by offering the same sacrifices continually year after year, make [a]perfect those who approach [its altars].2 For if it were otherwise, would not these sacrifices have stopped being offered? For the worshipers, having once [for all time] been cleansed, would no longer have a consciousness of sin. 3 But [as it is] these [continual] sacrifices bring a fresh reminder of sins [to be atoned for] year after year, 4 for it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins. 5 Therefore, when Christ enters into the world, He says,
“Sacrifice and offering You have not desired,
But [instead] You have prepared a body for Me [to offer];
In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin You have taken no delight.
“Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come
To do Your will, O God--
[To fulfill] what is written of Me in the scroll of the book.’”
8 After saying [in the citation] above, “You have neither desired, nor have You taken delight in sacrifices and offerings and whole burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin” (which are offered according to the Law) 9 then He said, “Behold, I have come to do Your will.” [And so] He does away with the first [covenant as a means of atoning for sin based on animal sacrifices] so that He may inaugurate and establish the second [covenant by means of obedience]. 10 And in accordance with this will [of God] we [who believe in the message of salvation] have been sanctified [that is, set apart as holy for God and His purposes] through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed) once for all.
11 Every priest stands [at his altar of service] ministering daily, offering the same sacrifices over and over, which are never able [b]to strip away sins [that envelop and cover us]; 12 whereas Christ, having offered the one sacrifice [the all-sufficient sacrifice of Himself] for sins for all time, sat down [signifying the completion of atonement for sin] at the right hand of God [the position of honor], 13 waiting from that time onward until his enemies are made a footstool for His feet. 14 For by the one offering He has perfected forever and completely cleansed those who are being sanctified [bringing each believer to spiritual completion and maturity]. 15 And the Holy Spirit also adds His testimony to us [in confirmation of this]; for after having said,
“This is the covenant that I will make with them
After those days, says the Lord:
I will imprint My laws upon their heart,
And on their mind I will inscribe them [producing an inward change],”
He then says,
“And their sins and their lawless acts
I will remember no more [no longer holding their sins against them].”
18 Now where there is [absolute] forgiveness and complete cancellation of the penalty of these things, there is no longer any offering [to be made to atone] for sin.
A New and Living Way
19 Therefore, [c]believers, since we have confidence and full freedom to enter the Holy Place [the place where God dwells] by [means of] the blood of Jesus, 20 by this new and living way which He initiated and opened for us through the veil [as in the Holy of Holies], that is, through His flesh, 21 and since we have a great and wonderful Priest [Who rules] over the house of God, 22 let us approach [God] with a true and sincere heart in unqualified assurance of faith, having had our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us seize and hold tightly the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is reliable and trustworthy and faithful [to His word]; 24 and let us consider [thoughtfully] how we may encourage one another to love and to do good deeds, 25 not forsaking our meeting together [as believers for worship and instruction], as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more [faithfully] as you see the day [of Christ’s return] approaching.
26 For if we go on willfully and deliberately sinning after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice [to atone] for our sins [that is, no further offering to anticipate], 27 but a kind of awful and terrifying expectation of [divine] judgment and the fury of a fire and burning wrath which will consume the adversaries [those who put themselves in opposition to God]. 28 Anyone who has ignored and set aside the Law of Moses is put to death without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 How much greater punishment do you think he will deserve who has rejected and trampled under foot the Son of God, and has considered unclean and common the blood of the covenant that [d]sanctified him, and has insulted the Spirit of grace [who imparts the unmerited favor and blessing of God]? 30 For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine [retribution and the deliverance of justice rest with Me], I will repay [the wrongdoer].” And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” 31 It is a fearful and terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God [incurring His judgment and wrath].
32 But remember the earlier days, when, after being [spiritually] enlightened, you [patiently] endured a great conflict of sufferings, 33 sometimes by being made a spectacle, publicly exposed to insults and distress, and sometimes by becoming companions with those who were so treated. 34 For you showed sympathy and deep concern for those who were imprisoned, and you joyfully accepted the [unjust] seizure of your belongings and the confiscation of your property, conscious of the fact that you have a better possession and a lasting one [prepared for you in heaven]. 35 Do not, therefore, fling away your [fearless] confidence, for it has a glorious and great reward.36 For you have need of patient endurance [to bear up under difficult circumstances without compromising], so that when you have carried out the will of God, you may receive and enjoy to the full what is promised.
Understanding the redemption process is so foundational to our relationship with Father God. When we really grasp the depth of separation that sin brings and the remedy to restore, our hearts melt in gratitude. We truly need to comprehend, as far as is possible, the great sacrifice of the Only Begotten of the Father on our behalf. Part III of this series will look more closely at redemption and what our response to this righteous act of restoration should be.
Oh, the blood of Jesus, that washes white as snow…….
The Price of Redemption, Part I
“Redeemed, how I love to proclaim it!
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb;
Redeemed through His infinite mercy,
His child and forever I am.
I awoke this morning with the above, wonderful, old, gospel hymn playing in my mind. So loud was the music that I finally had to join in on the chorus, lifting my voice even though the rest of the household was still peacefully completing their nocturnal nap.
The Holy Spirit, in response to the bible study I have been doing on redemption under the two covenants ( Old Testament and New Testament) prompted the song. I began asking myself several questions: What exactly is redemption? How did the people of Israel experience redemption so that they were welcomed into the presence of a Holy God? And what does it take today for a seeker of God to be redeemed and given permission to approach the throne room without fear? These are the questions I have been examining.
1. The action of saving or being saved from sin, error, or evil
“God’s plans for the redemption of his world.” Synonyms: saving, freeing from sin, absolution. “God’s redemption of his people.”
2. The action of regaining or gaining possession of something in exchange for payment or clearing a debt. Synonyms: retrieval, recovery, reclamation, repossession, return
We understand the dictionary definition of “redemption” academically. But how exactly is that translated spiritually into an appropriation for God’s people? How did “they” receive redemption and how do “we” receive redemption today? And how are the two related?
These questions began swirling in my mind as I read through the Old Testament books of Leviticus and Numbers. Each year I try to read the bible through starting in the book of Genesis on January 1st and ending with the last chapter of Revelation on December 31st of each year. (Four chapters a day and five on Sunday facilitates this plan nicely) Last week I found myself once again in the third and fourth books of the Pentateuch. Usually, kind of a “drive by” read; meaning, I read the words, but not expecting any great revelation. This time it was different. Even though I’ve read these same verses many, many times, this reading stirred something deeper.
First, the Holy Spirit prompted me to take note of all the different kinds of offerings and sacrifices that were required of the people. Required, meaning this was necessary to maintain a right relationship with Holy God. The Almighty Architect of the Universe who was inhabiting a dwelling place in the Tent of Meeting, very close to their own tent. Here is the list of the offerings that Moses instructed the Children of Israel to participate in:
The Burnt Offering
The Meal or Grain Offering
The Drink Offering
The Trespass Offering
The Consecration Offering
The Peace Offering
The Wave Offering
The Heave Offering and
The First Fruit Offering
The following is a brief explanation of these sacrifices from the webpage www.gotquestions.org :
There are five main types of sacrifices, or offerings, in the Old Testament. The burnt offering (Leviticus 1; 6:8–13; 8:18-21; 16:24), the grain offering (Leviticus 2; 6:14–23), the peace offering (Leviticus 3; 7:11–34), the sin offering (Leviticus 4; 5:1–13; 6:24–30; 8:14–17; 16:3–22), and the trespass offering (Leviticus 5:14–19; 6:1–7;7:1–6). Each of these sacrifices involved certain elements, either animal or fruit of the field, and had a specific purpose. Most were split into two or three portions—God’s portion, the portion for the Levites or priests, and, if there was a third, a portion kept by the person offering the sacrifice. The sacrifices can be broadly categorized as either voluntary or mandatory offerings.
There were three voluntary offerings. The first was the burnt offering, a voluntary act of worship to express devotion or commitment to God. It was also used as atonement for unintentional sin. The elements of the burnt offering were a bull, a bird, or a ram without blemish. The meat and bones and organs of the animal were to be totally burnt, and this was God’s portion. The animal’s hide was given to the Levites, who could later sell it to earn money for themselves.
The second voluntary offering was the grain offering, in which the fruit of the field was offered in the form of a cake or baked bread made of grain, fine flour, and oil and salt. The grain offering was one of the sacrifices accompanied by a drink offering of one-quarter hin (about a quart) of wine, which was poured into the fire on the altar (Numbers 15:4–5). The purpose of the grain offering was to express thanksgiving in recognition of God’s provision and unmerited goodwill toward the person making the sacrifice. The priests were given a portion of this offering, but it had to be eaten within the court of the tabernacle.
The third voluntary offering was the peace offering, which consisted of any unblemished animal from the worshiper’s herd, and/or various grains or breads. This was a sacrifice of thanksgiving and fellowship followed by a shared meal. The high priest was given the breast of the animal; the officiating priest was given the right foreleg. These pieces of the offering were called the “wave offering” and the “heave offering” because they were waved or lifted over the altar during the ceremony. The fat, kidneys, and lobe of the liver were given to God (burnt), and the remainder of the animal was for the participants to eat, symbolizing God’s provision. The vow offering, thanksgiving offering, and freewill offering mentioned in the Old Testament were all peace offerings.
There were two mandatory sacrifices in the Old Testament Law. The first was the sin offering. The purpose of the sin offering was to atone for sin and cleanse from defilement. There were five possible elements of a sin sacrifice—a young bull, a male goat, a female goat, a dove/pigeon, or 1/10 ephah of fine flour. The type of animal depended on the identity and financial situation of the giver. A female goat was the sin offering for the common person, fine flour was the sacrifice of the very poor, a young bull was offered for the high priest and the congregation as a whole, and so on. These sacrifices each had specific instructions for what to do with the blood of the animal during the ceremony. The fatty portions and lobe of the liver and kidneys were given to God (burnt); the rest of the animal was either totally burned on the altar and the ashes thrown outside the camp (in atoning for the high priest and congregation), or eaten within the tabernacle court.
The other mandatory sacrifice was the trespass offering, and this sacrifice was exclusively a ram. The trespass offering was given as atonement for unintentional sins that required reimbursement to an offended party, and also as a cleansing from defiling sins or physical maladies. Again, the fat portions, kidneys, and liver were offered to God, and the remainder of the ram had to be eaten inside the court of the tabernacle.;4:14—5:10).
Besides the above offerings, the priests were to daily offer a Morning and Evening Sacrifice, a Sabbath Sacrifice, a First Day of the Month Sacrifice, A Passover Sacrifice, and a First Fruit Sacrifice.
Meditating on these requirements, I began to wonder what the current day cost would be to comply with these offerings. I did a little research and compiled the following expense list using “fair market value.” In other words, if we were required to meet these same obligations to stay in good standing with the Lord, this is what the economic impact would be:
1) One young bull . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $2,000
2) One ram. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $600
3) One lamb. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $400
4) One female goat . . . . . . . . . . . . . $400
5) One quart of fine flour. . . . . . . . $16
6) one quart of olive oil. . . . . . . . . $12
7) One quart of fine wine. . . . . . . . $119
8) One dove or pigeon. . . . . . . . . . time and effort to acquire the bird
Remember that the animals had to be the best; in rural Southeast, Oklahoma, we would call them “show quality,” without spot or blemish, the best of the best. The priest inspected each animal and if it was found defective it was rejected and had to be replaced by another animal.
The two mandatory offerings were the “sin offering” and the “trespass offering. “ With the above price list in mind, what would it cost today to fulfill this requirement of the law? The sin offering would have been either a young bull, a male goat, a female goat, a dove/pigeon or a quart of fine flour depending on the economic status of the giver. So the starting “cost” of the “sin offering” was anywhere from “time and effort “ to acquire a pigeon and $2,000 to provide a young bull.
The “trespass offering” was slightly different. It had to be a ram. The cost for each family would be, in today’s economy, at least $600.00. The trespass offering was an “atonement for unintentional sins that required reimbursement to an offended party, and also a cleansing from defiling sins or physical maladies…”. [gotquestions.org]
These two mandatory offerings were foundational to the other offerings:
Burnt offering: a voluntary act of worship and devotion to God.
Grain offering: the offering of fruits of the field in thanksgiving
Drink offering: accompanied the grain offering
Peace offering: a sacrifice of thanksgiving and fellowship followed by a shared meal.
Wave offering or heave offering: were part of the peace offering.
The burnt, the peace and the wave offerings would have included a bull, a ram or a bird without blemish. The grain and the drink offering were fruits of the field and wine from personal grape arbores. The elements of these offerings would represent several hundreds of dollars. Maintaining a right relationship with the Lord was both intentional and costly.
In addition to the personal sacrifices of the common people, the priests were required to offer the Morning and the Evening Sacrifice for the nation on a daily basis. The costs of those offerings would look like this in our market place:
One-year-old male goat without blemish . . . . . . .. .. . . . $400.00
One quart of fine flour . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . $ 16.64
One quart of pure olive oil . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$ 11.22
One-year-old male goat without blemish . . . . . . .. . . . . $400.00
One quart of fine flour . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . $ 16.64
One quart of pure olive oil . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$ 11.22
Total each day: $1,118.88*
(*Price of animals based on area livestock show prices. Olive oil was priced off of Amazon, Baja Precious Oil, $44.99 per gallon, Flour was priced off of Amazon at $16.64 per four cups and the price of wine was derived off of www.finewine.com)
The Sabbath required additional offerings in conjunction with the above daily morning and evening sacrifices:
Two one-year-old male lambs without blemish . . .. . . $800.00
Four quarts of fine flour . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . .$ 66.56
Two quarts of olive oil . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..$ 22.44
Two quarts of fine wine. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $229.98
Therefore, the cost for the Sabbath Sacrifice and the regular Morning and Evening Sacrifices
totals:. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$ 2,237.76
On the first day of each new month, there was an additional sacrifice required.
This offering was as follows:
Monthly Burnt Offering
Two young bulls. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$2000.00 each
One ram. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $600.00
Seven one year old male lambs. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 400.00 each
Six quarts of fine flour for each bull . . . . . . . . .. . .$ 16.64 each
subtotal $ 199.68
Four quarts of fine flour per ram. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$ 16.64 each
subtotal $ 66.65
Two quarts of fine flour per lamb. . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 16.64 each
subtotal $ 232.96
Two quarts fine wine for each bull . . . . . . . . .. . . .. . . $ 114.99 each
subtotal $ 229.98
One third gallon of wine for each ram. . . . . . . . . . . . .$ 272.44
One quart wine for each lamb. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$ 114.99 each
On the First Day of Each Month A Sin Offering
One male goat. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $ 400.00
subtotal from above $9,4004.20
Total from Morning and Evening Sacrifice $1.118.88
Grand Total for Morning and Evening Sacrifice
Plus First of the Month Offering, Sabbath Offering
And Sin Offering $10,519.08
There were also special offerings required at Passover and the Festival of First Fruits and Tabernacles. These were perpetually offered from day to day, month to month, season to season, generation to generation. All were establishing the worth of the future Sacrifice yet to be revealed. As stated earlier serving the Lord and being welcomed into His presence demanded both intentionality and economic resources. How does this interface with our own experiences of approaching the Father and worshipping Him on a daily basis? How do we connect the two?
In Part II, we will examine redemption through Jesus Christ, the spotless Lamb of God . The New Testament has much to say about the shadows and types of the Old Testament sacrificial system and it’s fulfillment through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. How thankful we should all be for access to the Father through the finished works of Calvary. Amen.
2:50 am January1, 2017
I have been in bed for three days fighting flu-like symptoms. Using the down time to examine my heart and repent of things that have become way to "normal." One of the most insidious is spiritual pride....God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble....I do not want the LORD to resist me....I fell asleep a little after midnight and had the following dream.
In the dream a stage is set, a stage like a high school or college auditorium with lights and black curtains. Left center is a large, square, wooden table. Barack Hussein Obama is seated behind the desk and Donald Trump is to the right. Obama is sitting upright and looking very smug and in control. Trump is slightly bent over resting his elbows on his knees, head looking slightly down. ...falling from the ceiling is a form of confetti, not small pieces but large, perhaps 4 in by 4 in. ...the pieces are a shiny metallic and pink...then i saw written across the scene: "phony money."
I asked the Lord what "phony money" means. He asked me what does phony mean. I replied "fake". Then He asked what is money? I replied it is currency as a mode of exchange.
The picture of the two men represents what is going on in the battle for the presidency. Obama still feels he is large and in charge...Trump is submitting to him in a subservient manner. The spiritual battle rests around some type of "compromise" a fake exchange ...the "deal" would cause rejoicing in the natural as per the confetti...but as the colors of the confetti show, all that glitters is not gold and all that seems innocent is not (color pink).
Please pray with me:
1) The Lord awakens Donald Trump to the "fake exchange". Either by wisdom, knowledge and understanding or an angelic visitation.
2) That Mike Pence will be privy to this charade and confirm to President -elect Trump what the rouse is.
3) That Donald Trump will successfully resist all compromise with the current administration. We can not make a deal with the devil.
4) That Donald Trump and Mike Pence are protected by His Holy Hosts against all attempts at assassination. (breaking all word curses that are daily being thrown on them from every quarter.)
I thank the LORD for the privilege of serving Him in prayer...Let us all be faithful in what He has called us to do.
Blessing your lives in this New Year.
November 2, 2016, 4:17 PMURGENT PRAYER ALERT FOR PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION! When I went to bed last night, I was very weary; tired from the pressure of the last 18 months of constant intercession. The highly charged spiritual atmosphere had taken a toll on me physically as well as spiritually. I, like many Americans was disheartened by the continual flow of filth from the leaders of our federal government and the mass media bias and cover-up. Before I closed my eyes, I whispered to the Lord, “I think I’m done….I’m not going to pray for this election anymore.” I fell asleep to a depressed state of slumber.
However, when I opened my INBOX at 5:30 this morning, I found an email from a dear friend in Australia. ( The information I am including below. ) The electronic letter was actually the recounting of a vision the Lord gave to one of His servants in Australia. But it was, for me, a swift answer to my heart-felt exhaustion over the condition of our nation and my response as an intercessor. Just to make sure I got the message, another email arrived a few hours later from another dear friend in Texas with the same information from an American prophetic leader yet in a different format. I understand. And, I want you to understand that this election is not a “done deal.” The Heavenly Court is still in session and we need to make out case before the Judge of the whole earth who will do righteously. (Gen. 18:12) Now, is not the time to grow faint in our responsibility to go “boldly into the throne room and let our requests be made known un to the Lord.” (Hebrews 4:6, Philippians 4:6)
Now is the time to pray without ceasing!
Please review the following two appeals for pray and then commit yourselves to praying and fasting until next Wednesday. The fervent effectual prayer of the righteous availeth much! (James 5:16)
This man is supported by our church and can be trusted.
From: Ashwin <email@example.com>
Sent: Monday, 31 October 2016 1:41 PM
Subject: Ps Daniel has Vision in God's Court Roon -Trump and Hilary - For Your urgent attention
Dear Family and Friends in Christ,
You are about to view the word of the Lord - Given to His humble servant, the Rev. Dr. Daniel Nalliah on Saturday October 29 at 3.40am to share with you.
This is not a word of encouragement, but a severe warning to all Christians that they need to come before the Lord and seek his face to pray for the Nation of America, which at this moment is standing in the balance between Good and Evil. This Election will not only change the soul and direction of America but indeed the whole world will bear the ripple effect.
Who is Rev Dr Daniel Nalliah?
He is the Founding President of:
Catch The Fire Ministries.
Over the past 25 years God has spoken to Ps Daniel through Visions and Dreams, and one life changing personal appearance of Jesus in Saudi Arabia, where he lived for two years. He has Prophesied over King Far-had of Saudi Arabia; King Hussein of Jordan; the US Congress; the British Parliament, House of lord, House of Commons and the Australian Parliament.
Dr Daniel Nalliah has been instrumental in bringing changes to legislation and policy in several countries, including Saudi Arabia. He is also the Author of two books - ‘Worship Under The Sword" and’ and ‘The 21st Century Culture War In The West'. These books are available for your perusal on the Catch the Fire website. [ www.catchthefire.com.au ]
Ps Daniel Nalliah – is given a vision from the Lord Jesus
‘God’s’ Court Room’
Time and Date; Saturday October 29 at 3.40am
In a Vision regarding the US election Ps Daniel was taken into God's court room - this was a very challenging and confronting experience. In his own words Ps Daniels describes his vision; he writes:
“On the 29th of Oct 2016 around 3.40am I had an amazing encounter with Jesus in heaven’s court room.
There in my vision, in heaven’s court room was Jesus and 2 other people. Jesus
said to me, “these are the 2 witnesses (from Rev 11) who will be released very
soon to carry out my will on earth".
At once my attention was drawn to Malachi 4:5-6, where it says, “See I will send
the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes. (6) He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction ......” Then Jesus said, "For the spirit of Elijah, operating in boldness, reconciliation & restoration is upon my servant Donald Trump - to open the door for America to seek me".
I asked Jesus as to why he called him servant and not son. He replied, “even though he invited me into his life, he does not know me as his Lord and Saviour; but if my church pray and stand with him he will come into sonship and he will know my power at work'. At that point, I asked Jesus why he chose Trump. His answer was, “he has the boldness like the spirit of Elijah. Have I not said that I will make the rocks cry out if my people stay quiet"?
(Luke 19:40) "I tell you," he said, "if they (His people) keep quiet, the stones will cry out”.
The State of Florida was then brought to my attention. I asked, “why Florida” and He, the Word said, "Florida is the battle ground for this election". I feel that there could even be a recount of votes in Florida.
It seemed that in an instant, I saw Hillary Clinton seated with a clairvoyant speaking and
casting curses and spells over Trump, the Church and the people of America. Then I saw Trump very distressed, sitting on his bed and praying. He was saying “God I don't know you, but if you are real expose this woman, for I love my country and want to protect America".
The Vision continues..... Jesus appeared, coming with a Golden Scepter in His hands, and
on the scepter were the words, ‘Power to Govern’. He was pointing it towards Trump, but not releasing it. After this I was shocked to see hordes of demons led by the spirit of Jezebel, demanding that the Scepter be given to Hillary.
At once I knew that Heaven was calling out for intercessors from across the world to go into deep intercession for America and pray for Trump to receive the Golden Scepter to lead America”.
I want to challenge my brothers and sisters in America and across the World. Please intercede for America as if you want to save your own family from death and destruction. America needs your urgent prayers- NOW. As Florida will play a very important part in the outcome, please, if you can, go to Florida ASAP and pray in that state that Trump will win the Election.
I personally hope and pray that Trump will be the Victor, a Victory that stands for righteousness, like this, will have a domino effect across the world.
The next country where we will see leadership change in politics shift from left to right will be Australia, when Tony Abbott is put back as Leader. I believe this will be followed by; Germany, France, England, Canada and also many countries in Europe will see change. This in turn will have a ripple effect around the word. The Judeo Christian heritage of the West will be restored in that hour.
Where we are now is at the very end of times. I don't want to even mention what I saw if Hillary wins. I am being very positive, and believe the church will rise up in this hour and pray, be proactive and act and not re-active.
Well Glory to God! There are 10 more days before the election, which is due to be held on the 8th of November.
Proverbs 14:34 says, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people’.
May God Bless America and the Nations!
Penned on Sat, 29 Oct 2016 13:36:48 +1100, CTCHA08C8608@catchthefire.com.au
Jesus is The Word of God! King of Kings and Lord of Lords
Here begins the message from Dutch Sheets:
Dear Fellow Believers,
As you can tell from my greeting, I am writing primarily to you, the American church. I am doing so personally, not representing Dutch Sheets Ministries. Though this is longer than the blogs I normally send, please read it as an urgent, heartfelt appeal. The sense of urgency I feel is hard to put in words. I have prayed and wept much over the condition of our nation, and continue to be deeply burdened. We are so close to the precipice of a complete self-destruction—a devastation of such magnitude that it would take decades to recover. Some believe a complete recovery would never be possible. The America we have known and loved is being systematically dismantled and reshaped. Voting is a precious right and a serious responsibility; I realize it is also a very personal and private one. We do it by secret ballot in America for a reason. I don't want to be another voice of manipulation—there are so many in presidential election campaigns—therefore, it is with the utmost caution and conviction that I do this.
I also want to state upfront that I am neither a registered Republican nor Democrat. Years ago, I concluded that if my "calls to prayer" were to be trusted by believers across the board, I would have to issue them as an independent voter. With this in mind, I relinquished my party affiliation, along with the rights to vote in primaries, help shape party platforms, possibly become a delegate, etc. and became an Independent. Since then, like many of you I have become fed-up with both parties—disillusioned with the Republicans, offended and appalled by the Democrats. I say this to assure you that I am not making this appeal in order to stump for "my party's candidate."
Finally, I want to also preface my appeal by saying I have not been a huge Trump fan. Had I been allowed to vote in the primaries, he would not have been my first choice. His seeming arrogance, insults, history of philandering, personal ambition, etc. were very disconcerting to me. I kept an open mind, however, knowing God uses imperfect people and that He is very merciful—I don’t condone sin, but neither do I cast the first stone—and knowing that people do, indeed, change. I was also challenged to remain open-minded about Trump by the fact that several spiritual leaders I trusted were convinced God wanted to use him to overthrow an ineffective and corrupt system. Over time, I came to agree with them. However, for me, this election is not nearly as much about who I am for, as it is who and what I am against; and frankly, even with my initial concerns, the decision has never been easier.
One of the most devastating occurrences in America in our lifetimes, ranking up with The Supreme Court's decisions of Roe vs. Wade and Engel vs. Vitale (the removal of prayer from schools), was the election of Barack Obama. I gave a strong warning about what would happen to our nation if he was elected. Sadly, it has all come to pass: a continued liberalization and empowerment of the judicial system in America; a weakened economy (our national debt has doubled in 7 years to $19 TRILLION!); further moral deterioration, along with a rebellion to and mockery of God (does anyone remember the White House lit up in the colors of the LGBT movement after marriage was re-defined by the Supreme Court? If that wasn't an "in your face" to God and those of us who "cling to their God, guns and religion" by the man who mockingly said it, I don't know what could ever be!); increased violence; a weakened position in the world, along with a weakened military; the advance of radical Islamist terrorism; a setback in race relations; and more. I rejoice that our nation has been able to elect our first black president. I am deeply saddened, however, that it was Barack Obama.
The damage has been so great that America is now one president away from a complete transformation to secularism, a loss of our Judeo-Christian foundation, the loss of our position as the stabilizing force for good in the earth, and the leading voice of the gospel to all the world. If elected, Hillary Clinton will be the president who finishes the job. She stands almost entirely against everything we, the church, are for, and for everything we are against. Hillary is pro-abortion, including partial-birth abortion, the most insidious evil of the last century; will raise taxes while continuing out-of-control spending; will further weaken our military; is for completely open borders; is pro-gay marriage; supports Obamacare; has no respect for our Judeo-Christian heritage; sells influence; and is a proven liar. Do not be fooled—she will completely finish what Obama started.
The notion peddled by some "Never Trump" Republicans that they can keep Hillary from accomplishing what she wants for 4 years, then replace her with someone they prefer, is laughable. The fact that they should know this, and don't, is truly scary. Even more frightening is...perhaps they do. The Republican Congress has done nothing to stop Obama; why should we believe they will do so with Hillary? When they threaten to curb Obama with "the power of the purse," he simply calls their bluff and either bullies them into giving him what he wants, or simply does as he pleases through unconstitutional executive orders. A Republican controlled Congress has done nothing to defund Obamacare, slow down the TRILLIONS of dollars of debt he has accrued, prevent his treasonous acts with Iran, defund Planned Parenthood and their selling of babies' body parts (can you even believe such a thing even exists, and that the Obama’s and Hillary condone it?!), or stop any number of other inappropriate actions and wasteful expenditures. Much of Washington, DC is an out-of-control cancer that must be cut out.
To be sure, there are Republican leaders who desperately want to change things but the entrenched, lobbyist-owned, career politicians–many of them liberals in conservative clothing–have neither the will, backbone, and perhaps not the intellect needed to change it. Radical surgery is necessary. Again, it is laughable to think that the leadership of this weak and diluted Republican Congress would be able or willing to stop the agenda of the libs once they enjoy an even greater momentum from another White House win. Someone please tell me why we should believe that. If the Republican Party has not sold us out, why did they spend $18.2 million on Bush's election in 2004, $53.5 million for McCain in 2008, $42.4 million for Romney in 2012, and $0 on ads to elect Trump?! They have sold us out. It is also ridiculous, and perhaps insincere, for the "Never Trump" Republican leaders to suggest "we would only need to reverse 4-8 years of damage if Hillary is elected, which in the long run isn't much." Again, these leaders are either lying or horribly deceived. The damage presently occurring to our nation is—in the sense of time—exponential. Every year of damage means closer to 10 years in it's longevity.
I respectfully appeal to you to turn your "conscience" and "principles" toward the unborn, your children, grandchildren, and the destiny of this nation. Please! We have already been down this “not voting” path once before when millions of evangelicals refused to vote for Romney because he was a Mormon. As disgusted as I am with Romney’s current choice of Hillary over Trump, how much better off would we have been with him, rather than 4 more years of Obama? To see how Trump would actually lead, I would challenge you to look at those with whom he has surrounded himself: Pence; Carson; Huckabee; Giuliani; Christie; Gingrich; Palin; trusted generals; law enforcement officials; border patrol officials; evangelical leaders of all races; and otherwise, ethical, conservative leaders.
What does this tell us? It is probably the greatest indicator of who Trump now is, clearly making the case that he has changed his moral ways over the past 10 years, as he claims. I personally believe he has changed. I also believe God has gripped his heart for the nation, and is in the process of further transforming Mr. Trump. God has certainly allowed him to be humbled. Of course, the statements made by Trump on the video released from 2005 were despicable. However, if we reject him because of the sins of his past, we would also have to reject Abraham, King David, Rahab, “the woman at the well”, Mary Magdeline—all adulterers in their unrighteous past. And don’t forget murderers like the Apostle Paul. A lot of formerly despicable people will be in heaven! And a lot of them, by the way, became great leaders and champions for God. Some changed the world. These associations also tell us that Trump’s stated conservative bent is genuine, and they state that he is wise enough to know what he doesn't know! I believe Trump is showing us that he will function, if elected president, as any wise businessperson does: find qualified people who know how to get the job done, as in the above examples, and empower them to do it. I like those whom he is signaling to us would be those leaders. They are proven, trustworthy and honorable. If you cannot vote for Trump, vote for them.
Hillary, on the other hand, would give us 4–8 more years of polytheists, liberal progressives, media elites, police-haters, global statists, financially irresponsible leaders and a weak military. Perhaps a better way for the disenchanted to approach this election is to vote AGAINST someone. I would suggest to you that voting against a candidate is a good reason to vote! "Neutrality" is not a valid option at this critical crossroads in history. The times demand that we make a stand! If not for, make your stand against:
Sincerely, Dutch Sheets
Pray and do not stop until the Spirit gives witness.
Oct. 1, 2016
As the secular media tries to keep us distracted with the smoke and mirrors of the election cycle, the whole world is caught in escalating turmoil. Consider:
nuclear weapons. Their insane dictator brags about the ability to
“nuke “ the United States. His threats are not idle. http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/08/22/north-korea-threatens-pre-emptive-nuclear-strike-amid-us-south-korea-drills.html
Early yesterday morning, I heard the Holy Spirit say: “…in the time of trouble….” I felt He was responding to the research I had been conducting on the above world events. I decided to do a Strong’s Concordance “word study” on that phrase: “in the time of trouble.” The following is what I learned :
1) the word time H6256, means:
due season, occurrences, experiences, especially now
2) the word trouble H6862 means:
enemy, foes, opponents, oppressors, adversary distress, affliction, narrow straight, a tight place, sorrow, tribulation
For in the time H3117 of trouble H7451 he shall hide H6845 me in his pavilion: H5520 in the secret H5643 of his tabernacle H168 shall he hide H5641 me; he shall set me up H7311 upon a rock. H6697
We need this verse written upon our hearts. The Lord has promised that when we are “in” Him, we will be hidden in the day of trouble. There is a secret place that belongs to the redeemed of the Lord. We have nothing to fear as we are found on the Rock of our Salvation, which is Jesus Christ.
But the salvation H8668 of the righteous H6662 is of the LORD: H3068 he is their strength H4581 in the time H6256 of trouble. H6869
When stressful times come , the enemy would rob us of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual strength; it is the devil’s weapon against us. However, we are assured strength that comes from our salvation when the dark clouds of doubt and despair appear.; the time of trouble.
“The joy of the Lord is our strength.” Neh. 8:10
[[To the chief Musician, H5329 A Psalm H4210 of David.]] H1732 Blessed H835 is he that considereth H7919 the poor: H1800 the LORD H3068 will deliver H4422 him in time H3117 of trouble. H7451
This verse is the spiritual protocol for protection and provision: consider the poor. We have His Word that states plainly that we will reap what we sow. Providing for those who cannot provide for themselves is like storing up an abundance of provision when we find ourselves in time of trouble.
Confidence H4009 in an unfaithful man H898 in time H3117 of trouble H6869 is like a broken H7465 tooth, H8127 and a foot H7272 out of joint. H4154
If you have ever tried to walk with a sprained foot, or eat a meal with a bad tooth you understand the painful situation we could find ourselves in if our confidence is in the arm of flesh.
Let us look fully and completely to the Man who cannot fail, the One Jesus Christ; even when we are faithless, He remains faithful in the time of trouble. “There is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the Man Christ Jesus.” I Timothy 2:5
O LORD, H3068 be gracious H2603 unto us; we have waited H6960 for thee: be thou their arm H2220 every morning, H1242 our salvation H3444 also in the time H6256 of trouble. H6869
The comforting words of Isaiah the prophet encourage us to prepare our hearts every morning with the grace of the Lord.
It is the Lord’s arm that will keep us, it is His salvation we look toward in the time of trouble.
O the hope H4723 of Israel, H3478 the saviour H3467 thereof in time H6256 of trouble, H6869 why shouldest thou be as a stranger H1616 in the land, H776 and as a wayfaring man H732 that turneth aside H5186 to tarry for a night? H3885
Saints, we need to look no further than to our “hope,” our Savior, Jesus Christ. Especially in the time of trouble, let our hearts be settled on the truth of Who He Is: Almighty God, Jehovah Shammah, The God that is already there. Our hope is in the God of Hope: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13
And at that time H6256 shall Michael H4317 stand up, H5975 the great H1419 prince H8269 which standeth H5975 for the children H1121 of thy people: H5971 and there shall be H1961time H6256 of trouble, H6869 such as never was since there was a nation H1471 even to that same time: H6256 and at that time H6256 thy people H5971 shall be delivered, H4422 every one that shall be found H4672 written H3789 in the book. H5612
This verse is explicit; the ones that are to be delivered in the time of trouble are the ones who have been written in the book. This is the Lamb’s Book of Life. Jesus instructed His disciples to rejoice that their names have been recorded in heaven. (Luke 10:20) Paul told the believers in Philippi to help those who labor for the gospel and whose names are in the Book of Life. (Philippians 4:3) Revelations, Chapter 3:5 states that, He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I (Jesus) will not erase their name from the Book of Life , and I will confess their name before My Father and before His angels. Only the true believer will be kept from the great hour of trial. We need to make our election sure.(2 Peter I:10)
If you have never cried out to the Lord to save you from your sins, now is the hour and today is the appointed time. In it’s simplest form :
The ABC’S of Salvation
Pray this prayer:
Father in Heaven,
I know that I am a sinner. I confess my need for a Savior. I repent of going my own way and living apart from You and Your plan and purpose for my life. Please forgive me and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that Jesus is your Son that takes away the sins of the world. I believe that Jesus died on the cross for my sins, and rose again the third day. Thank you for saving me and making me “born again by your Spirit” today. Amen.