Memorial Day for Martyrs Day


Christian activits pay tribute to the martyrs

Shamim Masih writes about a Memorial Day for Pakistani-Christian Martyrs killed as a result of Islamic Supremacism in the Muslim majority nation of Pakistan. Below is Shamim’s article. After Shamim’s article I am going to make the attempt to add more details to the Christian Martyrs Shamim writes about.

 

JRH 2/28/13

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Memorial Day for Martyrs Day

Pakistani activists hold joint memorial service to remember slain Pakistani Christians

 

By Shamim Masih

Sent: 2/26/2013 2:23 PM

 

Islamabad Pakistan (Shamim Masih): The courageous person who sacrifices his life for values of religion or rights of community secures very unique respect and honors of a “Hero” in society and becomes part of history. The generations pay tributes to sacrifices of martyrs and celebrate their anniversaries to remember them.

 

§  Martyr Feroz Masih, who was killed by Karachi Police firing in front of Governor House on Feb 13, 1997.

 

§  Bishop John Joseph was mysteriously murdered by secret agencies of Pakistan on May 6, 1998 in Sahewal city of Punjab province of Pakistan.

 

§  Martyr Nawaz Masih and Martyr James Masih were not bishops or high profile Christian leaders but common laymen who had love for Christian nation in Pakistan.

 

§  Shahbaz Bhatti, Federal Minority Minister, was assassinated on March 2, 2011, in Capital city Islamabad.

 

In recognition to their struggle for Pakistani Christians, religious leadership and human rights activist hold a joint memorial service to remember the slain Pakistani Christians on 23rd February, 2013.

 

Basharat Khokhar, a human activist said whenever a nation is in crisis their martyrs become a ray of hope and successes to launch a new campaign to successfully resolve issues but nation which forget their martyrs have always faced failure as history records. We as Pakistani Christians remember our martyrs, he added.

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Here are some more thoughts on the Martyrs listed above.

 

Feroz Masih

 

Feroz Masih - Pakistan Christian Martyr

 

We are observing the 15th anniversary of Martyr Feroz Masih, who was killed by Karachi Police firing in front of Governor House on February 13, 1997, during a peaceful protest procession against a Muslim mob attack on a Christian village, Shanti Nagar in the Punjab province of Pakistan.  Amidst clouds of tear gas shelling and police firing on Christian protestors, hundreds were rendered unconscious, dozens were injured, whilst nine received bullet injuries and more than 1,000 were arrested. Feroz Masih was among those nine critical bullet wounded Christian who were rushed to JPMC Hospital where he died with his one hand fastened to his bed in a police hand cuff.

 

Feroz Masih was not any politician or Church leader or an activist of any foreign funded non- government organization, or any political party leader or any federal minister in government or any tool of the Pakistan establishment, but an honest Christian who had a passion for the oppressed Christian nationals in Pakistan and love for his fellow brothers who were victimized in village of Shanti Nagar – hundreds of miles away from his home in Karachi. Feroz Masih had never ever met any of the suffering Christians of Shanti Nagar, nor was he hoping for their votes to seek any public office in the national assembly or provincial assembly or any district council, but still he felt their pain and took to the streets on February 13, 1997, to ensure justice and basic equal democratic rights in Pakistan for which he sacrificed his life. (Excerpted from: In memory of Pakistan’s martyrs; Nazir Bhatti; British Pakistani Christian Association; 5/22/13)  

 

Chief of Pakistan Christian Congress and Chairman Martyr Feroz Masih Award Committee announced the names of nominated persons for first Martyr Feroz Masih Award. PCP Report.

 

 

The award is in the memory of the sacrifice of Martyr Feroz Masih who was killed by the Karachi Police firing on peaceful protest procession of PCC against Shanti Nager village attack by the Muslim fundamental group on February 13, 1997 before Sindh Governor House. The PCC central council at meeting in Karachi passed a resolution to inaugurate Shaheed Feroz Masih Award for remembrance of his precious life sacrifice for Christians in Pakistan. The resolution also added to press for the demand of the arrests of the killer police officials involved to gun down Feroze Masih and injuring many on Feb. 13, 1997. This is the first award nomination, which shall be continued in future every year in month of February, and award distribution ceremony shall be held in Pakistan and also in the foreign countries as per decision of Martyr Feroz Masih Award Committee.

 

(Pakistan Christian Post; February 14)

 

Bishop John Joseph

 

Bishop John Joseph - Pakistan Christian Martyr

 

Rev. Dr. John Joseph, 66, Catholic bishop of Faisalabad and a high profile human rights activist, shot himself dead in the dark corridors of a sessions court in Sahiwal (700 kilometres from the capital, Islamabad) at about 9:30 p.m. on 6 May 1998 in protest against the death sentence recently given to Ayub Masih on 27 April for blaspheming Islam. This is the same spot where Ayub Masih, a Christian of his diocese, was shot at on 6 November 1997.

Bishop John Joseph travelled to the city of Sahiwal in the afternoon of 6 May from his residence in Faisalabad. He went to address a prayer meeting for the Christian parishioners there specially organised for the victims of blasphemy cases. Since the early 1990s when Section 295-C of the Pakistani Penal Code was amended, making the death sentence mandatory for the offence of blaspheming Islam, dozens of non-Muslims have fallen victims to the often-abused blasphemy laws. And the bishop was deeply shocked by Ayub’s verdict.

At dinner time on 6 May, Bishop John Joseph had little appetite as according to the parish priest, Fr. Yaqoob Farooq, O.P.. After others had had their meals, the bishop asked Fr. Yaqoob to accompany him to the spot of the court-house where Ayub Masih was shot at exactly six months ago. On reaching close to the vicinity of the sessions court, the bishop asked Fr. Yaqoob to stay back and went to the spot himself. Moments after, Fr. Yaqoob heard a gun shot. He then rushed to the spot and found the bishop had shot himself in the neck. According to Fr. Yaqoob, Bishop John Joseph was instantly dead.

On hearing the news of the bishop’s death, the Christian populace of the city gathered at the spot in the court-house. As of 12:35 a.m. of 7 May, the Christians there refused to remove the dead body until the prime minister would come personally to express his sorrow. Bishop John Joseph, a human rights activist well-known locally and internationally, was the founding chairperson of the National Commission for Justice and Peace under the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Pakistan, and he remained in office since its establishment in 1984.

Bishop John Joseph had led two nationwide protests of the Christian community and even went on hunger strike for the cause. The first protest was in 1992 against the government’s proposal to include a column for one’s religious faith in the national identity cards. Christians and other minorities in the community thought that the new identity card system would lead to further victimisation of religious minorities in Pakistan. The second nationwide protest was in 1994 against the murder of Manzoor Masih, a Christian tried on blasphemy, outside the court right after the court hearing on 5 April 1994.

On 20 March 1998, Bishop John Joseph led … (Excerpted from: PAKISTAN: Bishop John Joseph’s Protest Against Victimisation of Minorities; Human Rights Solidarity; 8/24/01)

 

Fourteen years ago, around the time young Rimsha Masih, now in jail under Pakistan’s blasphemy law, was born, a Roman Catholic bishop walked into a courthouse in Sahiwal, quite close to my hometown in Central Punjab. The Right Rev John Joseph was no ordinary clergyman; he was the first native bishop in Pakistan and the first ever Punjabi bishop anywhere in the world. He was also a brilliant and celebrated community organiser, the kind of man oppressed communities look up to as a role model. Joseph walked in alone, asking a junior priest to wait outside the courthouse. Inside the court, he took out a handgun and shot himself in the head. The bullet in his head was his protest against the court’s decision to sentence a fellow Christian, Ayub Masih, to death for committing blasphemy. Masih had been charged with arguing with a Muslim co-worker over religious matters. The exact content of the conversation cannot be repeated here because that would be blasphemous. The bishop had campaigned long and hard to get the blasphemy law repealed without any luck. He wrote prior to his death: “I shall count myself extremely fortunate if in this mission of breaking the barriers, our Lord accepts the sacrifice of my blood for the benefit of his people.” (Excerpted from: How to commit blasphemy in Pakistan; By Mohammed Hanif; The Guardian; 9/15/12 15.00 EDT)

 

Nawaz Masih and James Masih

 

Nawaz Masih and James Masih were the first Christian Martyrs of modern Pakistan – they were killed by Police in Rawalpindi who opened fire on a peaceful protest procession of Christians protesting against the nationalization of missionary Schools, Hospitals and Colleges during the ZA Bhutto government in 1972. This protest procession went out from Gordon College Rawalpindi and marched towards Governor House to present a memorandum against the nationalization of Christian institutions.

 

Like Martyr Feroz Masih, Martyr Nawaz Masih and Martyr James Masih were also not Bishops or high profile Christian leaders but common laymen who had a love for the Christian people in Pakistan. The families of Nawaz Masih and James Masih were not supported by any Christian political groups or indeed the Bishops, who had been enjoying benefits of Christian institutions and living like feudal lords. It is very unfortunate that no Christian clergy or associations have ever celebrated or marked anniversary of these Martyrs. (Excerpted from: In memory of Pakistan’s martyrs; By Nazir Bhatti; British Pakistani Christian Association; 5/22/12)  

 

Shahbaz Bhatti

 

Shahbaz Bhatti - Assassinated Pakistan

 

Today, March 2, is the one-year anniversary of the murder in Pakistan of 42-year-old Shahbaz Bhatti. Still no one has been charged with the crime, much less tried and held accountable.

 

On March 2, 2011, Bhatti, the minister of minorities affairs, and the only Christian member of Pakistan’s cabinet, was ambushed and assassinated by gunmen as he sat in a car outside his mother’s house before leaving for work.

 

Bhatti’s work, his life’s work, was to struggle for equality under the law for Pakistan’s various religious minorities. He had often expressed his opposition to Pakistan’s notorious blasphemy laws and persistently sought to reform them. Like Punjab’s governor Salman Taseer — who had been murdered in January 2011 — he had championed the case of Asia Bibi, the mother of five sentenced to death for blaspheming Islam’s prophet, a charge brought by other villagers with whom she had a property dispute.

 

He had waged a strong campaign for the repeal of the blasphemy laws, both in the government and as the longtime head of the All Pakistan Minorities Alliance, a non-governmental organization. He saw the blasphemy laws – which only protect Islam — as potently divisive to Pakistan’s society. They are used as a platform within the society for extremists to determine which ideas can be expressed and which cannot, and they are used by ordinary citizens to pursue vendettas and personal grievances.

 

The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for Bhatti’s killing. Two weeks ago, Interpol agents arrested, in Dubai, Zia-ur-Rehman, and a few days later Pakistani police took custody of Abid Malik, two Pakistani suspects in the murder. But the case is far from solved. Dubai has already released Rehman. An Islamabad police official, who requested anonymity, told Pakistan’s Tribune:

 

“To treat them [the two] as prime suspects would be wrong. We have no evidence to suggest that they were involved in the murder even though they could have certain issues with him,” said the police official . . . They had differences with Bhatti over property issues, “but they were not capable of carrying out such a high-profile assassination,” said the official. “Investigations regarding the case were muddy and not carried out in a proper manner, some evidence points towards sectarian or militant violence,” he added.

 

Meanwhile, Shahbaz Bhatti’s old post of Minority Affairs has been abolished, Asia Bibi languishes on death row, and Pakistan sinks ever deeper into radical Sunni Islam. And, the blasphemy arrests continue apace: … (Excerpted from: Pakistan’s Honorable Shahbaz Bhatti, Murdered with Impunity One Year Ago; By Nina Shea; National Review Online; 3/2/12 12:08 PM)

 

 

A Bishop from Pakistan has called on his country’s government to catch the killers of Christian human rights campaigner Shahbaz Bhatti.

 

Bishop Sebastian Shaw, Apostolic Administrator of Lahore, told Aid to the Church in Need that almost two years on no one had been tried for his murder – and gave his blessing to a 2 March event in London commemorating Mr Bhatti’s life and work.

 

Bishop Shaw said: “Nothing has happened yet, but we ask the government of Pakistan that the killers be arrested and brought to justice.”

 

Mr Bhatti, federal minister for minority affairs, was murdered in Islamabad on 2 March 2011 after calling for clemency for Asia Bibi, the first woman to be sentenced to death under the country’s blasphemy laws.

 

Abid Malik, who was arrested on suspicion of Mr Bhatti’s murder, was cleared of the charge in February 2012.

 

Bishop Shaw said that a few months ago the press in Pakistan suggested his killer may have been from outside the country.

 

He added: “We are very sad for what has happened to Shahbaz Bhatti, who was martyred.

 

(Excerpted from: PAKISTAN: Still no justice for Shahbaz Bhatti; By John Newton; Aid to the Church in Need; 2/18/13)

 

Shamim Masih has brought our attention to the cruelty that Christians experience in the Muslim nation of Pakistan. Pakistan treats Christians in the classic style of dhimmitude which is a policy to humiliate non-Muslims to the point that the life of Christians is miserable and also ends in death for the glory of Allah. The Human and Civil Rights of Christians are nearly non-existent in the face of Islamic Supremacism.

 

JRH 2/28/13

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Memorial Day for Martyrs Day

 

Edited by John R. Houk

 

Shamim Masih

Christian Rights Activist
Freelance Journalist 

President

REAP
Public Affairs coordinator

UMJI

 

Shamim Masih’s Donate/Support info:

 

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Here are some more thoughts on the Martyrs listed above.

 

Research by John R. Houk

February 28, 2013

It Appears I May have been Wrong about Hector Aleem


Hector Aleem Family

John R. Houk

© November 16, 2012

 

About a week ago I noticed an update from the Facebook group Free Hector Aleem. I admit I have been hesitant to post it. Here is why.

 

I noticed an article written by Shamim Masih that appeared to be a balanced report that focused on Hector Aleem. Here is a brief profile Masih I found at one his articles found at Salem-News.com.

 

I am Christian rights activist and freelancer Pakistani journalist specializing in writing about Christians rights for the different papers in the world. My aim is to create a peaceful environment in the society and to help eliminate Christian persecution through my writing as I bring the plight of these brave people under the spotlight of the whole world.”

 

Shamim Masih was born in Sheikhopura’s village and raised in Gujranwala, a city in Pakistan’s Punjab province. He earned his Bachelors (sic) Degree from the University of the Punjab, Lahore majoring in English, Economics and Statistics; he also received a Masters Degree in Business Administration.

 

Shamim’s diverse working experience includes banking and finance; serving as a social worker/counselor in interfaith harmony, Christian Solidarity activism and he is a writer and author.

 

He began working in the social sector in 2003; from 2009 onward it has been a full time role for Shamim. He has done fund raising for earthquake affected people; Shamim reached the affected areas in Pakistan in 2005 and supplied the necessary required material to the people of Toba Tak Sigh affected in 2009. He has have visited the slum settlement and established the stitching and beauticians centers in different areas of the Islamabad.

 

As a freelance writer and author, Shamim has written for different papers in the world; his expertise is in writing articles highlighting different social issues. He has served as freelance chief reporter and column writer in “Minority Times” in Islamabad, and a number of Shamim’s articles have been published in local papers as well. (From Salem-News.com Staff Page – scroll down – Masih’s profile is at the bottom)

 

 

As of this writing I do not remember the exact article that I read so I Googled Masih and Hector Aleem. Here is the investigative report posted by Shamim Masih on Hector Aleem.

 

[SlantRight Editor: More from Shamim Masih about either Hector Aleem or legitimate persecution of Christians in Pakistan to be forth coming.]

 

JRH 11/16/12

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High Profile Hector Aleem Dragged Christian Families of Rawal Town Islamabad onto the Road

 

Displaced families of Rawal Town dwelling under the sky; cold could be hard to live for them.

 

By Shamim Masih

Oct-18-2012 01:08

Salem-News.com

 

Displaced families members of Rawal Town claiming for rights and Shamim at far right

Displaced families members of Rawal Town claiming for rights and Shamim at far right

 

 

(ISLAMABAD, Pakistan) – Pakistani police have arrested a Christian human rights activist after a member of militant Islamic organization accused him of sending a blasphemous text message from his cell phone.

 

Hector Aleem, 55, the director of a non-governmental organization, Peace Worldwide, is said to have raised a voice for the local Christians, who were locked in a land dispute with Capital Development Authority (CDA). Demolition of a church built at the controversial property of Park Road Rawal Town added to the ongoing tension.

 

Kausur Hector, wife of the fresh blasphemy accused told the Centre for Legal Aid Assistance and Settlement (CLAAS) that elements unhappy with Hector’s intervention in the church property case have “trapped him” in a false blasphemy case. (ANS reported in 2009)

 

Facts behind the story:

 

A God fearing lady, Susan from USA, wrote me an email in May, 2012, let me give you her statement “I got to know the Aleems, through a friend of a friend. They are friends with Melanie Woods. I happen across their situation through Melanie, starting exchanging messages through face-book with Hector’s kids. They are delightful young adult kids, who love the Lord. I pray for them, encourage them and help in other ways when I can

 

Please investigate for me about Hector Aleem and get back to me please? The family seems to be in a difficult situation, Hector has been in jail since 2009. I am pretty sure; they live not far from Islamabad Pakistan. I am not real familiar with Islamabad; I do not know how close you and the Aleems are. Since I have your permission, I will pass on your phone number to them. I look forward to hearing from you”

 

Since I got this email we exchanged views through emails’ and on her request I went to investigate the matter and bringing the fact found behind the scene:

 

Findings:

 

According to Basharat Khokher, Hector Aleem was running an organization with the name “peace worldwide” and produced good repute worldwide on the name of helping the poor Christians in Pakistan but the facts behind this were bitter to chew”. He has been involved in many unethical activities which brought him to this stage now.

 

In 2008, he was involved in the land mafia group and grabbed the piece of land in Rawal Town, Islamabad unlawfully and taking money from the poor Christians he made them to sit on piece of land, which he did not own or bought for them but of government’s land. He made a church there unlawfully to have sympathy of the world with him. He called many Christians families from different cities of the country to Islamabad. Poor Christians far from different villages came there and become the pray of his ensnare. He took Rs.3500/ from 1000 families on the name of registration for the land and thus collected Rs. 35, 00,000/- from the poor Christians.

 

On August 09, 2008 a delegation from the government include Mumtaz Alam Gillanin (Minister Human Rights), joint secretary Khalid Amin and Farid Khan (secretary), Khush Dil khan (Deputy Secretary) came to him on the piece of the land he was holding unlawfully to negotiate and to provide the alternate land for the poor Christian families.

 

But the stubborn Hector Aleem didn’t listen to them; he went to Prime Minister of Pakistan at that time Mr. Yousaf Raza Gillani who showed his sympathy towards poor Christians and made a committee to investigate the issues raised by him intentionally.

 

Meanwhile Hector took passports from few Christians include Bashaarat Khokhar working for him promising them to visa stamp for abroad.

 

A committee includes Dr. Moen Masood (SSP) Ishaq Warraich (DSP) and few other officials went to investigation and found him guilty.

 

Chief Minister Punjab took action against them in November 2008 and police arrested Christians involved in it including, Basharat Khokher, David Akmal, Arif, Qazi Asharaf, Hanok Bhatti and Hector Aleem.

 

Hector Aleem than planned a false story involving his Muslim friends to file an FIR against him of a blasphemy case, in which he took Basharat Khokher with him.

 

“I have been falsely implicated in a blasphemy case. I am a human rights activist. How could I hurt feelings of Muslim brothers? I never used SMS for any kind of purpose,” Hector Aleem told the CLAAS fact-finding team.

 

And then he intentionally knotted his so called spokesman Basharat Khokher saying he has been using my cell phone and he may have done this.

 

Government took action against all the Christians families living there unlawfully and dispersed denizen. Those innocent Christians families were pulled down from the land and have been wondering in the cold winter session of Pakistan from one place to another.

 

Displaced Christian’s families then moved on the road track of sector G-7 Islamabad and Julius Salik (Ex. Federal Minister) plunged into the matter and requested the official to provide them an independent piece of land.

 

J. Salik then left the displaced families on the track and went on his way, luckily Mr. Akram Masih Gill became the member national assembly and he took those families and settled down them on CDA land in H-9 sector Islamabad.

 

Since then, displaced Christians of Rawal Town are living under the sky; they are not allowed to construct a roof for them there. They are living there in tents since 2009, with no water provision, no electricity, and no sewerage system. On my way to finding the displaced families of Rimsha case, I went there and found them living in pathetic situation ever since then.

 

Observation:

 

When I went in interviewing the different people to reach the facts, I met many peoples, Christians and Muslims as well. Based on the statements of different people, I can say that Hector Aleem has no sympathy for Christian people but greed of money and power. He or his family has no interaction with Christian people in Pakistan. His family is still mixed up Muslims and feels comfortable with them, but claiming the world and gaining benefits from the Christians in the world on the name of Christianity. He had been involved in unethical activities and human trafficking. There are cases pending against him of human trafficking and he is not paying them off the money he took from them on the name of sending them abroad. In 2009, one of his close friend who requested not mention his name said, he was neither sincere to Christians to his Muslim friends. Now I can just pray for him and his family, and I pray to God to forgive him for his wrong doings.

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© 2011 Salem-News.com. All opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Salem-News.com.

Word of Faith is no More Heretical than Mainstream Christianity


Christ Crucified

John R. Houk

© September 5, 2012

 

I gladly admit I became a Born Again Christian through the Word of Faith (WF) Movement. When I became a Christian quickly began to understand the WF was controversial because of the view of Faith, Charismata (Holy Spirit Gifts) and the Prosperity Message.

 

Because of these controversies faith witch hunters have become numerous labeling WF as a heresy in Christianity. In fact if you Google “Word of Faith Movement” you will be guided to site after site that calls WF a heresy.

 

Labeling WF a heresy is somewhat like a Roman Catholic labeling the Eastern Orthodox Church and various Protestant Churches as heretical. The fact is all three versions of Christianity believe in the death of Christ on the Cross, Jesus’ dead body was laid in a tomb for three days and that on the third day Jesus Christ resurrected to a fully human life and is just as much God as He is human. The three major strains of Christianity believe Christ told the Apostles and Disciples to go throughout the world and share the Good News (Gospel) that Jesus arose from the offering His Blood as a once and for all sacrifice to redeem humanity from the Fallen Age of Satan that occurred when the first man (Adam) fell from fellowship with God transforming from immortal to mortal. And that the curse on Adam also became a curse on all the Earth. The three strains of Christianity believe that Jesus is the Son of God and the Second Person in the Holy Trinity. They believe the Trinity is Three Persons that are One God.  AND that the Resurrected Christ will return again to reign on Earth from the Throne of David centered on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. THEN whether it is after a millennial rule or simply at the end of the age, God will create the New Earth and the New Jerusalem. AND the New Heaven will come upon the New Earth and God will reign in Eternity and humanity will KNOW God. God and humanity will be as one with humanity knowing the Will of God instinctively.

 

As much as Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox and Protestants accuse each other of being heretics, the basics of Salvation are agreed upon. Guess what: The Word of Faith Movement also believes the simplicity of Salvation in Christ Jesus.

 

Among Protestants the basics are agreed upon, it is in dogma variations within Protestantism that various Denominations will call another Denomination in error. In the modern era this called agreeing to disagree; however not too long ago various Denominations would call differences of dogma heresy.

 

Now the next logical argument might lead one to say if WF is not a heresy in the basics why shouldn’t we basic Christians consider Mormonism (Latter Day Saints), Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Science, Unitarian and other derived sects from Christianity that do NOT follow the basics as non-heretical?

 

Briefly let’s look at some of these Christian offshoots that ignore the basics.

 

Mormonism (From Contender Ministries):

 

Mormon                                                                      Mainstream Christianity

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The Church has 4 Standard Works that are authoritative:  The Bible (in so far as it is translated correctly), the Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price.  Speeches and writings of the current president of the church are also authoritative.  The Bible is far below the other standard Works because it is full of errors (wherever it disagrees with Mormon doctrine).

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The only authoritative scriptures given by God are the 39 books of the Old Testament and the New Testament of the Bible.  God promised to preserve his word and to suggest that the Bible was mistranslated and corrupted would be to call God a liar.  If God were to give additional revelations they would be consistent with any prior revelations thus eliminating Mormon writings, since they stand in direct opposition to the divine revelation that has already been given in the Bible.

One God

There are many Gods. Brigham Young-Journal of Discourses 7:333 “How many Gods there are, I do not know.  But there never was a time when there were not Gods.

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There is only one God.  (Dt 6:4; 33:26-27; Isa 43:10; 45:5; 46:9; 1Ti 2:5)

The Nature of God

God the Father is an exalted man (a man who has progressed to godhood) with a body of flesh and bones.

Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 1973 ed., p. 346 – “God himself was once as we are now, and is an exalted man…I say, if you were to see him today, you would see him like a man in a form-like yourselves in all the person, image, and very form as a man.”

D & C 130:22  “The Father has a body of flesh and bones as tangible as man’s; the Son also.”

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The Bible is most explicit in stating that God is not a man (Nu 23:19; 1Sa 15:29; Hos 11:9).  God the Father, the eternal God is Spirit (Isa 55:8-9; 6:1-5; 57:15; Pss 90:2; 113:5-6; 123:1; Jn 4:24: 8:23)  Jesus said that a spirit does not have flesh and bones (Lk 24:39)

 

God the Father became a God after learning truth, aggressively pursuing godhood, and being obedient to the laws of the gospel.

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God the Father has always existed as such (Dt 33:27; Isa 43:10; 44:6; 45:5, 21; 46:9; Mal 3:6; 1Co 8:4; 1Ti 2:5; Rev 1:8; 21:6; 22:13).

 

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As Psalms 90:2 and 93:2 state, God has been God “from eternity to eternity.”

 

God the Father has a wife, through whom he procreates spirit children.

“Implicit in the Christian verity that all men are the spirit children of an Eternal Father is the usually unspoken truth that they are also the offspring of an Eternal Mother.  An exalted and glorified Man of Holiness (Moses 6:57) could not be a Father unless a Woman of like glory, perfection, and holiness was associated with him as a Mother” (Mormon Doctrine, 1977 ed., p. 516)

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The Godhead determined to make man in their image, not to procreate spirit children (Ge 1:26).  Nowhere does Scripture even hint at the existence of an Eternal Mother.

 

God is not a uniquely eternal being.  All spirit is self-existent matter and is eternal (without beginning or end).  Such “matter (called intelligences) sometimes becomes organized into a spirit being through birth to celestial parents.  Then that spirit is born through human parents on earth.  Like all people, God took this course and eventually reached Godhood.

God would stop being God if intelligences stopped supporting him as God.

(D&C 93:29, 33; Abraham 3:18-23; Mormon Doctrine, 1977 ed. p. 751)

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God is not God unless He is all-powerful, all knowing, absolutely in charge.  If God exists only as God because of support given from other intelligent forms, He is not God at all (Isa 44:6; Ro 3:4; Rev 1:8; 21:6; 22:13)

 

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God is unchangingly omnipotent, and no purpose of His can be thwarted.  He is not overruled by anyone (Ge 17:1; Job 36:22-23; 42:2; Isa 14:26-27; 40:13-14; Jer 32:27; Mt 19:26; Lk 1:37; Ac 17:24-25; Rev 19:6)

Man and Sin

Man was also in the beginning with God.  Intelligence, or the light of truth, was not created or made, neither indeed can be”  (D&C 93:29)

Life, intelligence, mind, the ‘light of truth’ , or whatever name one gives to the center of the personality of man, is an uncreated, eternally existent, indestructible entity…In the first stage, man was an eternally existent being termed an intelligence…The next realm where man dwelt was the spirit world….eternally-existing intelligences were clothed with spirit bodies…numerous sons and daughters were begotten and born of heavenly parents into that eternal family in the spirit world” (The Gospel Through the ages, pp.126-127)

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Man is a finite being, not an eternal one.  The first man Adam was created at a specific point in time (Ge 1:26-27; 2:7; 1Co 15:45-49).  Man did not exist in the beginning when God was creating the universe, for if he had, God’s question to Job would have made no sense (Job 38:4).  Man was created lower than the angels, so that David wondered why God is even mindful of him (Ps 8:3-5; 144:3).  Not a single verse in the Bible suggests that God has a wife, but Isaiah 44:24 explicitly says that the Lord made all things by Himself.  Moreover, several passages in Isaiah indicate that there is only one God and there is none beside Him (44:8; 45:6) or like Him (46:9).

 

“…these spirit children were organized, possessing divine, eternal, and godlike attributes, inherited from their Heavenly Father and Mother.  There in the spirit world they were reared to maturity, becoming grown spirit men and women prior to coming upon this earth” (The Gospel Through the Ages, p. 127).

“Jesus is man’s spiritual brother.  We dwelt with Him in the spirit world as members of that large society of eternal intelligences, which included our Heavenly Parents and all the personages who have become mortal beings upon this earth or who ever shall come here to dwell…Jesus was the ‘firstborn,’ and so He is our eldest brother” (Ibid., p.21)

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Jesus was and is Almighty God from everlasting to everlasting.  He is the creator of all that exists and is “firstborn” over all creation in the sense that He is the preeminent originator of life and the universe (Mic 5:2; Ps 90:2; Jn 1:1-3; Ac 3:14-15; Col 1:16-17; Heb 1:2).  This meaning for the word “firstborn” can be understood by comparing Genesis 41:51-52, which states that Manasseh was Joseph’s “firstborn” son while Ephraim was the second, with Jeremiah 31:9, where God calls Ephraim the “firstborn.”  Obviously, “firstborn” does not always mean the one literally born first.

 

Death and sin came through the fall of Adam and Eve.  But their deed was not actually a “sin.”  It was really a blessing because it enabled man to continue progressing on toward eternal life.  “They (the Christian world) have been long taught that Adam and Eve were great transgressors…We, the children of Adam….should rejoice with them, that through their fall and the atonement of Jesus Christ, the way of eternal life has been opened up to us” (Articles of Faith, p. 476)

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Rejoicing is hardly the proper response to Adam’s sin.  Because of that sin, both Adam and Eve died spiritually and their physical bodies began to deteriorate.  Eve was given pain and sorrow in child-bearing, Adam was required to work and sweat in order to eat, the entire creation was cursed, they were thrown out of the Garden forever, and the entire human race was destined to be born dead in sins and children of god’s wrath by nature.  To rejoice in the fall of man is to embrace Satan’s lie.  It was Satan who deceived Eve by convincing her that sin was good and would bring her knowledge and reward.  (Ge 3:16-24; Ro 3:23; 5:12-15, 17-19; 8:19-22 Eph 2:1-5; 1Jn 3:4)

The Doctrine of Salvation

Christ’s death on the cross (the atonement) canceled the penalty of death imposed on ALL men through Adam’s sin, thereby ensuring that all men would be redeemed – resurrected and given immortality (the reuniting of spirit with body)-as a gift.

“If there had been no atonement, temporal death would have remained forever, and there never would have remained forever, and there never would have been a resurrection.  The body would have remained forever in the grave” (Mormon Doctrine, 1977 ed., p.63)

“Redemption from death, through the sufferings of Christ, is for all men, both the righteous and the wicked” (Ibid., p. 65)

“Immortality is a free gift which comes by grace alone without works on man’s part” (Ibid., p. 377)

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Not everyone is blessed through Christ’s crucifixion.  Only those who accept His sacrifice and surrender themselves to Him (Ro 10:9) will receive the benefit of Jesus’ death and resurrection, which is forgiveness of sins (Ac 10:43) and salvation (Ro 3:24).  Eternal life “in Christ,” and not just simply eternal existence through resurrection, is the gift offered by God to humanity (Ro 6:23).  This gift is obtainable only by grace through faith (Eph 2:8-10).

 

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Jesus’ death serves to reconcile all believers to God (Ro 5:10).  In dying, Jesus broke down the wall of separation between us and God that was present through man’s disobedience to the Law (Eph 2:11-22)

 

As you can there is NO WAY Mormonism follows the basics of Christianity.

__________________

 

Jehovah’s Witness and Christianity (From AllExperts.com)

 

A.  God

    1.  The JW belief about God is that only the Father is God.  They do not believe the Son is God, nor do they believe that the Holy Spirit is a living personality, but rather a force.

    2.  The Christian belief states that there is 1 God, whom the Bible has revealed in 3 separate and distinct persons, namely, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.  These 3 persons are not 3 separate Gods, but 3 persons uniting as the one true God of creation.  Just as 1 family may have many different members, each a separate person, but not a separate family.  The many members would unite as 1 family, just as the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit unite as one God.

B.  Jesus Christ

   1.  The JW belief about Jesus Christ is that He was created by the Father in the beginning, is the same being in Scripture as Michael the Archangel, and came to earth and died on an upright pole (They do not believe He died on a cross).  They believe He was not raised in a fleshly body, but rather as a spirit being.  They believe that Jesus will never return to this earth in the flesh, but instead, has been ruling the earth invisibly from heaven since the year 1914.

   2.  The Christian view about Christ, is that He is fully God, and was always in existence in the beginning with God (John 1:1-3).  He is not a creation, but rather the Creator.  We do not believe He is Michael the Archangel, or any other angel.  Instead, He is above the angels of heaven, and is to be worshipped by them (Hebrews 1:4, 6, 8).  Christians believe that He died on the cross, rose again in the flesh (Luke 24:36-39; John 2:19-21), and will return to this earth in power and judgment (Rev. 1:7, 19:11-16).  Christians also believe that putting one’s faith in the death of Jesus Christ as an atonement for sin, is the only way by which we can enter the kingdom of God.  It is not by our good works, but by His work on the cross.

C.  The Bible

   1.  The JW belief about the Bible is that it is the Word of God.  It should be mentioned, however, that they have produced their own translation of the Bible, in which many verses have been changed to support their beliefs.  It is called the NEW WORLD TRANSLATION, and it is the one that they believe in.  They also believe that the Bible cannot be interpreted by the individual, but must be interpreted with the help of the publications of the Watchtower Society, which they view as the “faithful and wise servant” of Matthew 24:45-51 and Luke 12:42-48.

   2.  The Christian view of the Bible is that is the infallible, inerrant Word of God, and that it alone can “make us wise unto salvation” (1 Tim. 3:15-17).  It should be read and studied diligently, and is meant to be understood.  It is God’s will that all people be saved, and He will not hide the message of eternal life from anyone who desires to know Him (John 17:3, 2 Peter 3:9).

D.  Heaven

    1.  The JW belief concerning Heaven, is that it is reserved for only 144,000 select individuals, while the rest of saved mankind (faithful JWs) will live forever on a paradise Earth.  These with an Earthly destiny are called the “Great Crowd” (Rev. 7:9), or the “other sheep” (John 10:16), and have no hope of ever going to Heaven or seeing God.

   2.  Christians believe that anyone who puts their faith in Christ’s death and resurrection, and lives for Him, can enter the Heavenly kingdom of God.  We believe that Christians go to Heaven immediately at death, and those who live until the return of Christ, will be “caught up” (raptured) to Heaven to be with Him (1 Thess. 4:13-18).  There will be a Tribulation period of 7 years on this Earth, and at the conclusion of this period, Christ will return and set up a kingdom here for the duration of 1,000 years.  At the conclusion of this time, Satan will be allowed to tempt mankind one final time, after which himself and those who follow him, will be cast into everlasting punishment.  There will then be a “new Heavens and a new Earth”, where righteousness will last for eternity.  All Christians will be able to enjoy Heaven, and a paradise Earth (Rev. 19-22). 

E.  Hell

    1.  JWs do not believe in a literal Hell, but that Hell only represents the grave.

    2.  Christians believe that there is a literal Hell, which was prepared for “the devil and his angels” (Matthew 25:41).  It is not God’s will that any human go to Hell, and by accepting Jesus Christ and His sacrifice, we will escape Hell.  Those who reject Jesus Christ as their personal Savior will have no atonement for their sins, and will be under the judgment of God (Rev. 14:9-11).  But by making Jesus Christ the Lord of one’s life, he/she can live forever in God’s kingdom.

F.  Holidays

    1.  JWs forbid their members from celebrating almost every holiday, including the individual’s own birthday.

    2.  Christians believe the principle found in Romans 14:4-6, namely, that days of celebration are an issue for each person to decide for him/herself, provided that they use that day to honor God.  Certainly days which have occultic connections, such as Halloween, would not be honored by those who are true servants of God.  But when it comes to celebrating days which remind us of Christ’s birth or resurrection, each Christian has the freedom to do this if he wishes. 

G.  Medicine

    1.  JWs, in the past, forbade their members from receiving vaccinations against diseases, or life-saving organ transplants.  It was taught that these procedures were “against God’s law”, and many loyal JWs died as a result of their obedience to these teachings.  Though these procedures are no longer forbidden by the Watchtower Society, they do forbid the practice of blood transfusions.  Today, a loyal JW will allow himself, or even his child, to die rather than accept a blood transfusion.  Just as JWs many years ago on the issue of vaccination and organ transplants, the loyal JW today is taught that blood transfusions are “against God’s law”.  A JW believes that, to accept a blood transfusion, would be jeopardizing his chances of everlasting life.

    2.  Christians recognize the Old Testament prohibition against eating blood, which was given to the Jews.  They do not, however, extend this command to the practice of blood transfusions.

 

AGAIN Jehovah’s Witnesses is definitely not part of the basics of Christianity.

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Christian Science (From OnceDelivered.net)

 

What the Bible says about God:

What Christian Science says about God:

There is one true and living God, who exists as three distinct, co-equal, co-eternal persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit (Deut. 6:4; John 1:1-3, 6:27, 20:28; Acts 5:3-4; 2 Cor. 13:13; 1 Peter 1:2).

Christian Science teaches that “the theory of three persons in one God (that is, a personal Trinity or Triunity) suggests polytheism, rather than the one ever-present I AM…. Jesus Christ is not God, as Jesus himself declared, but is the Son of God” (Science and Health, pp. 256, 361). Eddy also denied that the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity, since God is an impersonal “principle.” The Trinity is redefined as life, truth, and love.

What the Bible says about Jesus:

What Christian Science says about Jesus:

He is the virgin-born Son of God, conceived by the Holy Spirit (Isa. 7:14; Matt. 1:18-23; Luke 1:35).  He is eternal, the Creator, co-equal and co-eternal with the Father and Holy Spirit (John 1:1-14; Col. 1:15-20; Phil. 2:5-11; Heb. 1:1-13). Jesus died for our sins (1 Cor. 15:3), rose physically from the dead (Matt. 12:38-40; Rom. 1:4; 1 Cor. 15:4-8; 1 Peter 1:18-21) and is coming back physically and visibly one day (Matt. 24:29-31; John 14:3; Titus 2:13; Rev. 19:11-14).

Christian Science denies the deity of Christ: “Jesus Christ is not God, as Jesus himself declared, but is the Son of God” (Science and Health, p. 361). It also denies His virgin birth: “A portion of God could not enter man; neither could God’s fullness be reflected by a single man, else God would be manifestly finite, lose the deific character, and become less than God…. Jesus was the offspring of Mary’s self-conscious communion with God” (Science and Health, pp. 336, 29-30).Christian Science minimizes Christ’s work at Calvary: “One sacrifice, however great, is insufficient to pay the debt of sin…. The material blood of Jesus was no more efficacious to cleanse from sin when it was shed upon ‘the accursed tree’ than when it was flowing in His veins…. One sacrifice, however great, is insufficient to pay the debt of sin” (Science and Health, pp. 23, 253).Eddy taught, “If there had never existed such a person as the Galilean Prophet, it would make no difference to me” (First Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, pp. 318-19).Finally, Christian Science denies that Jesus died and rose again: “His disciples believed Jesus to be dead while he was hidden in the sepulcher, whereas he was alive, demonstrating within the narrow tomb the power of Spirit to overrule mortal, material sense…. Jesus’ students … learned that He had not died” (Science and Health, pp. 44-46).

What the Bible says about salvation:

What Christian Science says about salvation:

Christ’s death at Calvary completely paid our sin debt so that salvation comes by grace through faith in Jesus (John 3:16, 5:24; Rom. 4:4-5; 1 Cor. 15:1-4; Eph. 2:8-9; Titus 3:5).

Since sin and death are false beliefs (illusions), salvation involves overcoming the false idea that they exist with the realization of man’s divine spirit and mind. “Man as God’s idea is already saved with an everlasting salvation” (Miscellaneous Writings, p. 261).

What the Bible says about man:

What Christian Science says about man:

God created man in His image – with a human spirit, personality and will. A person’s life begins at conception and is everlasting, but not eternal; that is, our lives have no end, but they did have a beginning (Gen. 1:26-28; Ps. 139:13-16).

People are divine spirits, or part of God. “God is the principle of man; and the principle of man remaining perfect, its idea or reflection – man – remains perfect” (Science and Health, p. 466). Eddy further taught, “Spirit is God, and man is His image and likeness. Therefore man is not material; he is spiritual” (Science and Health, p. 468).

What the Bible says about the Bible:

What Christian Science says about the Bible:

The Bible is the inerrant, infallible, inspired Word of God, and is His sole written authority for all people (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21).

Christian Science interprets the Bible in light of Eddy’s writings, particularly Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures. In addition, Eddy expressed some doubts about the textual reliability of the Bible: “a mortal and material sense stole into the divine record, with its own hue darkening to some extent the inspired pages” (Science and Health, p. 139).

What the Bible says about sin:

What Christian Science says about sin:

Sin is violation of God’s holy standards. All humans are sinners (Rom. 3:10) and are under the curse of sin – spiritual and physical death (Gen. 2:17, 3:17-19; Rom. 3:23, 6:23). Only faith in Christ and His work on our behalf frees us from sin and its consequences (John 3:16, 5:24; Eph. 2:8-9).

Sin, along with death, disease and pain, are not real; they are merely illusions. “The only reality of sin, sickness, or death is the awful fact that unrealities seem real to human, erring belief…. They are not true, because they are not of God” (Science and Health, p. 472).

What the Bible says about death:

What Christian Science says about death:

Physical and spiritual deaths come upon all people as a consequence of their sin (Gen. 2:17; Rom. 6:23; Eph. 2:1). People become spiritually alive when they are “born again” (John 3:3-6; Eph. 2:1-5). At physical death, our souls and spirits separate from our bodies [which go into the grave to await resurrection and final judgment] and enter an everlasting state of blessedness [for those born again] or torment [for those who die in their sins] (Luke 16:19-31; 2 Cor. 5:8).

Death is an illusion. People, like God, are immortal spirit or mind and therefore do not die.

What the Bible says about heaven and hell:

What Christian Science says about heaven and hell:

Hell is a place of everlasting conscious existence where the unbeliever is forever separated from God (Matt. 25:46; Luke 16:19-31; Rev. 14:9-11, 20:10).  As for Heaven, all believers have God’s promise of a home in Heaven, will go there instantly upon physical death, and will return with Christ from Heaven to earth one day (Luke 16:19-31; John 14:1-3; 2 Cor. 5:8; Rev. 19:11-16).

Christian Science teaches that “the sinner makes his own hell by doing evil, and the saint his own heaven by doing right” (Science and Health, p. 266). “The advanced psychist knows that this hell is mental, not material, and that the Christian has no part in it (The first Church of Christ, Scientist, and Miscellany, p. 160). “Heaven is not a locality, but a divine state of Mind” (Science and Health, p. 291).

 

___________________________________

Unitarian (Unitarian Universalist since 1961)

 

1. Source of Authority. The UUs deny the divine inspiration and absolute authority of the Scriptures. They claim the Bible was merely the creation of men, and therefore, the Bible contains many “inaccuracies, inconsistencies, and errors.” They substitute human reason for revelation as their source of authority, and believe there are no absolute or infallible guides, including reason. [HJB] In fact, UUs desire a world religion that “draws from and honors the teachings of all of the great religious traditions.”

2. Trinity. The UUs deny that one God exists in three Persons. Instead, they claim that Trinitarian doctrine was added by the Council of Nicaea in A.D. 325. [HJB]

3. God. The UUs hold a variety of liberal views about God: Some do not believe that He is a Person, but instead claim He is an impersonal spirit, a natural force, or a principle. Some even claim that He is a created being, not supernatural. Others even deny His existence completely.

4. Jesus Christ. The UUs deny the deity of Christ — that He is not God and Savior, but only a good man and teacher. They claim that the apostles and other Christian writers added to the Scriptures the teachings concerning Christ’s atonement for sin.

5. Salvation. The UUs teach that the essence of salvation is character development (“deeds not creeds”), rather than faith in Jesus Christ alone — the “social gospel” reigns supreme in UU. This belief allows every person to do whatever is right in his own eyes as long as he is sincere about it (including homosexual behavior — UU became the first denomination to call for the legal recognition of same-sex marriages [Associated Press:6/25/96]; as early as 1970, UUs called for an end to discrimination against homosexuals and bisexuals, and in 1980, UUs resolved that homosexuals should be ordained.).

6. Hell. The UUs hold the “universalist” belief that no one will be eternally condemned. They, therefore, deny the existence of hell, claiming it is unreasonable for a loving God to send people to a place of eternal torment. They believe that we suffer the consequences of sin in this life only. [HJB] (From RapidNet.com. See Also: Unitarian Universalist Beliefs and Practices and Unitarian Universalism Exposed.)

 

Yup, Unitarianism does not pass the Basic Christian test. There are other Christian off-shoots that are better described as a cult because they do not pass the Basic Christian principle. AND yet the Word of Faith Movement is labeled a heretical Christian off-shoot by what is known as Mainline Christians that follow the basics but have variations of dogma.

 

There are more Christian off-shoots that do not follow the basics of the faith but call them self Christian that I have not listed here. You can Google those other cults or you can take a look at a comparison chart I found HERE. However, even that chart lists some of the bigger cults and doesn’t show them all.

 

The point I am driving home is that the Word of Faith as a movement should not be labeled a heretical cult because various Protestant Denominations, Roman Catholics or the Eastern Orthodox Church consider WF principles as heretical. Trust me there are many Protestants that look upon Roman Catholicism as Popery or Papist heresy. There are many Protestants that reject the Eastern Orthodox concept of deification because of the belief it is heretical. Keep in mind the Eastern Orthodox Church is older than the Roman Catholic Church and definitely older than Protestant Denominationalism. Then there was the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox mutual excommunication of each other over something as simple as where the Holy Spirit proceeds from: e.g. does the Holy Spirit proceed from the Father and the Son or just the Father.

 

Okay, I’ve set the tone in support of WF. Now in future posting I am going to examine the WF beliefs that are outside the basics of Christianity.

 

JRH 9/5/12

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A NEW EXODUS


Charleton Heston as Moses

 

I can’t think of anyone’s toes that are faithful readers of Jeffrey that would feel stepped on. I only wish there were more people writing about the Muslim persecution of Christians in Egypt (and elsewhere in the Muslim world). If indeed there is a Coptic Christian genocide it would make the Jewish Holocaust shrink in travesty. What would the West do for Egyptian-Christians?

 

JRH 8/29/12 (Hat Tip: 1683 AD)

 

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The Abrahamic Covenant


Abraham-Isaac & Covenant

The Abrahamic Covenant is a promise of land for Jews and Salvation for the world through the Jews. All who disagree are disagreeing with God.

 

JRH 3/25/12

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The Abrahamic Covenant

 

By Malcolm Hedding

Posted on:  Wed, 29 Feb 2012

ICEJ International

 

“Now the Lord had said to Abram: ‘Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”  Genesis 12: 1-3

The Abrahamic Covenant is a God-given promise that has influenced the very course of human history. The Apostle Paul, in writing to the Galatians, was clear that it could never be annulled (Galatians 3:17). Many preachers have tried to annul it in some form or fashion, in an attempt to deny the Jewish people a national destiny in their ancient homeland of Canaan. That God would displace peoples in order to restore Jewish national sovereignty offends them, since they regard this as unjust. But God does not see the world as we see it and therefore He harmonizes His judgment of peoples with the return of His people to the Promised Land.

Thus He only brought His people into Canaan four hundred years after the Exodus, when the wickedness of the nations living there was “ripe” for judgment (Deuteronomy 9:4-5). This idea of God judging people and nation groups is rejected by many theologians today. Michael Pryor, an Anglican minister, so fully rejected this notion that he referred to Joshua as “the patron saint of ethnic cleansing.” This ignores the fact that a loving God, who does not change, called for the judgment that Israel’s possession of the land brought on the peoples who were already living there.

The Abrahamic Covenant is also everywhere affirmed as an everlasting Covenant (Genesis 17:7-8; Psalm 105:9-12). Most theologians agree that it was unconditional, but if it were not it was conditional upon Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac. This he completely fulfilled and thus God affirmed that henceforth He would keep the terms of the Covenant; a fact that David acknowledged in the Psalms.  Note the words of Genesis 22:15-18:

“Then the Angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time out of heaven, and said: ‘By Myself I have sworn, says the Lord, because you have done this thing and have not withheld your son, your only son – blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies. In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.’”

So this forever settles the debate! The Abrahamic Covenant is everlasting, cannot be changed and even the New Testament scriptures affirm this (Hebrews 6:13-20). Why is it so hard for Christian leaders to get this? Especially since the fruit of seeking to reconstruct it has been rotten to say the least. It has brought arrogance and prejudice against the Jews, taken the Church down a pathway to anti-Semitism and birthed pogroms, expulsions, persecutions, Apartheid and the Holocaust. This is undeniable! Worst of all, those who deny the everlasting nature of the Covenant accuse God of lying!

Because they cannot accept that God has returned Israel to Canaan in our time, they concoct elaborate theories all designed to undermine the truth of the Abrahamic Covenant. So Catholic and Protestant prelates declare that the Abrahamic Covenant has been abolished, and even Evangelicals are constructing elaborate theological theories to disavow the efficacy of this everlasting promise.  Some Palestinian Christians have called for the Bible to be “de-Zionized!” Those who affirm its efficacy are smeared as working against peace in the Middle East. They are called hateful warmongers always advancing the Zionist plots of the Jews!

So, what is the Abrahamic Covenant?

A.  It is the watershed of redemption history in that it constitutes God’s decision to save the world from sin (Galatians 3:8).

B.  It has many aspects or facets, like a diamond;

(1)  A promise of custodianship
That is, it will be through an ethnic group called Israel that God will bless the world. This nation will exist as long as the stars are in the sky above us! (Genesis 12:1-3; John 4:22; Romans 3:1; 9:1-5; Jeremiah31:35-37)

(2)  A promise of land
Those who “mess” with this land and seek to disinvest the Jewish people of it can expect divine judgment (Genesis 17:7-8; Joel 3:1-3). This promise, in spite of Israel’s disobedience, has been fulfilled time and time again through the course of history.

(3)  A promise of a saving Messiah
In Genesis 22 we have the story of the “binding of Isaac”, which Christians view as a foreshadowing of the death of Jesus (Hebrews 11:17-19). The Abrahamic Covenant always held a promise to the descendants of Israel and to the “seed” – Jesus  (Genesis 22:17-18). To believe in the one does not deny the other. In Galatians three, Paul was pointing to the “one” – Jesus – and was not denying the promises to the “many” – the people of Israel. Manipulators of the Word of God, anti-Semites and Replacement adherents emphasize one aspect of the promise and claim the promises to the many have been abolished. They have absolutely no biblical grounds for doing this.

(4)  A promise of blessing (Genesis 12:1-3)
That is, God has promised to bless those who defend Israel’s existence, recognizing the unique role she is playing out for the sake of the world. This does not mean “blind support of Israel,” but it does mean standing against those who seek her liquidation and deny her claim to the Promised Land. Israel’s servant purpose on behalf of the world was not finished with the coming of Jesus in the first century. She will yet mediate, in its fullness, the final great covenant of redemption history to the world; the Davidic Covenant (Ezekiel 37:24-28; Revelation 22:12-17).

(5)  A promise of cursing (Genesis 12:1-3)
All the nations who resisted the plan of God for world redemption through the Jews have become the wreckage of history. We would do well to learn from this as it is the same as resisting God Himself (Psalm 83). The Book of Esther is a stark reminder of this as, if Haman had destroyed the Jews, Jesus would never have come. The same is true of the Egyptians in Moses’ day and all the other ant-Semites of history, including the wicked thugs of the Third Reich and their children today, the radical Islamic jihadists. A rude and humbling awakening is awaiting our world (Psalm 2).

(6)  A promise of salvation (Galatians 3:8)
Israel’s ultimate and great purpose given to her in the Abrahamic Covenant was to mediate eternal life to the world through her great son Jesus Christ. We owe her a great debt of gratitude and our God-given role is to appreciate her, pray for her and provoke her to jealousy (Romans 11). God loves all people the same but He did make Israel His servant to the nations; a role that she has ultimately and uniquely carried out.

C.  This Covenant has been uniquely validated by the return of the Jews to Canaan in our day and by a living Church that is found in almost every tribe and nation (Revelation 5:9-10). This return of the Jews is no coincidence and is quite remarkable. As in the past, it has aroused the anger of the surrounding peoples. Even some in the Church are angry, and yet Scripture everywhere gives testimony to this return (Luke 21:24).

Jeremiah gives testimony to a return from the “north country” that will surpass that of the Exodus (Jeremiah 16:14-15). We have witnessed this in that well over a million Jews have returned to Zion from the former Soviet Union.

Israel will be judged and corrected but the nations will be made a full end of before the age closes (Jeremiah 30:11). Israel will not be uprooted ever again (Amos 9: 13-15); she will be redeemed and all nations will flow toward Jerusalem to acknowledge her role in history and rejoice in her God! (Isaiah 2:1-4; Zechariah 14:16-19; Revelation 21:22-27)

In the end, Israel will radiate all the truths and promises God made through her to a fallen world (Isaiah 62:11-12; Romans 11:25-26). All of this will happen because of a promise that God made with the man Abraham 4000 years ago. What an incredible God we serve!

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Rev. Hedding is vice chairman of the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem; www.icej.org

 

The International Christian Embassy Jerusalem was founded in 1980 as an evangelical response for the need to comfort Zion according to the command of the scripture found in Isaiah 40:1-2; “Comfort, comfort my people says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem…”

 

PO Box 1192, Jerusalem, 91010, Israel
Tel +972 2 539 9700
©International Christian Embassy Jerusalem

 

Help Persecuted Christians


Bashar & Hafez al-Assad

John R. Houk

© February 16, 2012

 

There is a war against Christianity. In the West, that is expressed by Leftists and Muslim apologists as portraying Bible believing Christians as perpetrators of bigotry and hate-speech. The bigotry accusation results from standing up for Biblical Morality because Free Speech, Religious Freedom and Freedom of Conscience allow the choice to be immoral. Religious Freedom is used as an excuse to allow counter-cultural (i.e. non-Western) practices (e.g. intolerance socially) to protect the hatred of one religion (e.g. Islam) and accuse another religion (e.g. Christianity) intolerant. It might be considered intolerant for say a Christian to say Christian beliefs are superior to say Islamic beliefs. The Christian spreading the message of Salvation is labeled a bigot while the angry Muslim gets a pass by reacting onerous violence.

 

Then there is the war against Christianity in which Christians are the minority yet hated simply for being Christians. The classic example of this is the genocide of Christians in Muslim dominated nations because the very existence of a Christian asserting their human and civil rights is offensive to Muslim. An offended Muslim is a murderous Muslim and the murdered is sanctified against Christians by Muslim holy writings.

 

Open Doors sent an email that demonstrates the fear Christians deal with on an everyday basis in a Muslim nation. Below is the story of Abella from Open Doors.

 

JRH 2/16/12

*********************************

Our peace comes from heaven—not from earth.
A believer finds peace in Christ in the midst of another Arab revolution.

 

By Carl Moeller President/CEO

Sent: Feb 16, 2012 at 12:12 AM

Open Doors USA

 

Dear Friend of the Persecuted,

 

Horrified how Egypt, Libya and other countries experienced violent leadership turnovers, the whole world is now watching Syria, where the death toll has reached 7,100.

 

And no one knows what to do.

 

The UN is split on its vote for a resolution calling for President Bashar Assad to step down. Protestors want more freedom from the harsh and mistrusted regime while some Islamic groups want freedom to rule and force their faith on all Syrians. It’s difficult to imagine a happy ending.

 

Abella*, a girl in her early twenties, gives a mature perspective:

 

“In the beginning I was so afraid. Every night when I went to bed, fear sneaked in because of all the news I heard and watched on television.”

 

“But one day I got a text to remind me about practice with our Peace Choir—that’s what we call our choir. I asked myself how I could be part of a Peace Choir without having peace in my heart.

 

“I got convinced again that my peace comes from heaven and not from earth.”

 

Christians in dozens of countries around the world experience the same fear each night as Abella. But when they receive Bibles, discipleship training and practical support from Open Doors they too, through all the violence and uncertainty, are able to find peace in Christ.

 

There is something you can do. You can help Christians like Abella around the world discover peace and hope through the ministry of Open Doors.

 

Your prayers and support have never been more critical.

 

HELP NOW

 

May God’s Peace be in us all,

 

Carl Moeller
President/CEO
Open Doors USA

 

*Name has been changed to protect this believer’s identity.

________________________________

 

Help Persecuted Christians

John R. Houk

© February 16, 2012

_______________________________

Our peace comes from heaven—not from earth.

 

Open Doors works in the world’s most oppressive countries, strengthening Christians to stand strong in the face of persecution and equipping them to shine Christ’s light in these dark places. Open Doors empowers persecuted Christians by supplying Bibles, training Christian leaders, developing Christian communities and ensuring prayer, presence and advocacy for these suffering believers.

 

Web: www.OpenDoorsUSA.org
Mail: PO Box 27001 Santa Ana, CA 97205
Phone: 888-5BIBLE-5
Email:
USA@OpenDoorsUSA.org

 

Editor: A spell check was performed on this email.

ARE YOU BEING TEMPTED?


Philip. 2_5 Mind of Christ

 

Joyce Meyer wrote a book entitled The Battlefield of the Mind. I encourage everyone to buy or borrow it to read. Until then, here is a little essay from Carolyn Spring-Baker with some anointed words that makes the mind a friend rather than a foe in right thinking defeats wrong thinking.

 

JRH 2/9/12 (Hat Tip: InChrist NetworkLight Unto My Path Group)

************************************

ARE YOU BEING TEMPTED?

 

By Carolyn Spring-Baker

Sent: Feb 9, 2012 at 9:55 AM

Sent to Members of:

Light Unto My Path Group

InChrist Network

 

Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life” ~Proverbs 4:23~

Ever watch a food commercial on television and suddenly feel hungry? That’s the power of suggestion. Whatever can grab your attention can capture you. Simply repeating, “I must stop drinking, or smoking, or overeating, or lusting,” doesn’t work because it just keeps you thinking about what you don’t want.
 
Instead of trying to remove those thoughts, replace them. Once your focus is on something good, evil begins to lose its grip. Only by reprogramming your mind can you keep it centered on the right things.
 
The Bible says: “Don’t let evil get the upper hand but conquer evil by doing good” (see Romans 12:21). Satan can’t get and keep your attention when your mind is given to something else. That’s why Paul writes: “Fill your minds with…good” (see Philippians 4:8).
 
Fighting a thought is futile; it only strengthens the connection between you and it. By dwelling on it you actually reinforce it. Hit the remote; change the channel!
 
Furthermore, you don’t overcome temptation by fighting the feeling of it. The more you fight a feeling, the more it engages and draws you. Turn your attention to something better!
 
Your mind is where the battle is won or lost. Start managing your mind and monitoring your media intake. The Bible says, “Your life is shaped by your thoughts.” The Psalmist prayed, “Keep me from paying attention to what is worthless” (see Psalm 119:37).
 
Is this easy to do? No, it takes discipline and practice. But with time, and God’s grace, you can change the way you think and overcome temptation
 
Father in heaven, we know that all things are possible with and thru You and Your son Jesus Christ. Lord we come before You today to ask that You will help us to fill our minds with good thoughts, to think of only wholesome things. Help us to overcome the temptations of the world, so that we may be with You at all times and for eternity.  In Jesus name we pray, Amen
 
VIDEO: “I AM FREE” by Jon Egan

 

 

 
Have a safe and wonderful day in the Lord our God,
Carolyn

START THE NEW YEAR RIGHT


Here is an excellent New Year’s word posted by Carolyn Spring-Baker. The Carolyn also refers to a YouTube link attributed to Sanctus Real.

 

JRH 12/31/11

***************************

START THE NEW YEAR RIGHT

 

Posted by Carolyn Spring-Baker

December 31, 2011

In Christ Network

 

Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye”   ~Colossians 3:13~

 

To start the New Year right you must let go of any old grudges that are weighing you down. Philip Yancey describes forgiveness as an UNNATURAL ACT and says, “You don’t find dolphins forgiving sharks for eating their playmates. It’s a dog-eat-dog world…not a dog-forgive-dog world.”

Grudges come naturally when you’ve been hurt, whereas forgiving requires God’s enabling grace.

Jesus said, “If you do not forgive…your Father will not forgive your sin” (see Matthew 6:15).

Humanly speaking, there’s not one single reason God should forgive your sins, yet the offenses He pardons you for every day far outweigh anything you’ll ever be asked to forgive others for.

By forgiving, you change the whole dynamic. You open the door of a prison where you are both prisoner and jailer, setting yourself and the other person free. Grudges not only isolate you from people who were once friends, they actually shorten your life by producing deadly enzymes that contribute to a host of physical ailments.

One man told his counselor, “I wish my brother could come to my wedding, but we haven’t spoken in years.” The counselor asked, “How come?” Pausing, the man replied, “It sounds ridiculous now, but I don’t even remember.”

Drifting apart is the natural result of an unforgiving spirit; forgiveness reverses the trend by restoring and healing broken relationships.

It’s a medical fact that forgiveness adds years to your life. As a rule, when you talk to people who’ve passed the eighty-year mark you find they are at peace with themselves – because they’ve learned to forgive and let go.

Can you FORGIVE AND LET GO?

Thank You Father for the mercy & grace You show to us on a daily basis. Forgiving us for the simplest sins and even when we do what we think is unpardonable. Father I ask today that you will convict the hearts of all who are reading this, let them see what it is that is in need of forgiveness, and then Lord lead them to the act of forgiving everyone that they hold a grudge against. Father this I know You can do as You did this for me the other night, and I feel so much better now and want to see my brothers & sisters in Christ feel the weight of the world lifted off of them. In Jesus name we pray Amen.

“FORGIVEN” by Sanctus Real
http://youtu.be/3F9z54g30Eo

Love to all my brothers & sisters in Christ
Carolyn

 

_____________________________

In Christ Network Main Page

 


Two Horses


Brown & White Horse

 

Here is an awesome Christian parable that should evoke all Christians to check their heart this Christmas season.

 

JRH 12/11/11 (Hat Tip; Vicki)

************************************

Two Horses

 

By Unknown Author

Sent Dec 6, 2011 at 4:05 PM

 

Just up the road from my home is a field, with two horses in it.

 

From a distance, each horse looks like any other horse. But if you stop your car, or are walking by, you will notice something quite amazing….

Looking into the eyes of one horse will disclose that he is blind.  His owner has chosen not to have him put down, but has made a good home for him.

 

This alone is amazing.

If you stand nearby and listen, you will hear the sound of a bell. Looking around for the source of the sound, you will see that it comes from the smaller horse in the field.
Attached to the horse’s halter is a small bell. It lets the blind friend know where the other horse is, so he can follow.

As you stand and watch these two friends, you’ll see that the horse with the bell is always checking on the blind horse, and that the blind horse will listen for the bell and then slowly walk to where the other horse is,
Trusting that he will not be led astray.

When the horse with the bell returns to the shelter of the barn each evening, it stops occasionally and looks back, making sure that the blind friend isn’t too far behind to hear the bell.

 

Like the owners of these two horses, God* does not throw us away just because we are not perfect or because we have problems or challenges.

He watches over us and even brings others into our lives to help us when we are in need.

Sometimes we are the blind horse; being guided by the little ringing bell of those whom God* places in our lives.

Other times we are the guide horse, helping others to find their way….

Good friends are like that…  You may not always see them, but you may trust that they are always there.

Please listen for my bell and I’ll listen for yours.

And remember…

Be kinder than necessary – – – Most everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.

Live simply,
Love generously,
Care deeply,
Speak kindly…….

FOR WE WALK BY FAITH AND NOT BY SIGHT!

Revival is in You – Revival Begins in Us


AbaloneKid 2

 

The AbaloneKid is a person that is friended on YouTube. He is a Christian that has the appearance of a New Age Native American shaman. Every once in a while he sends a personal message that has awesome spiritual nuggets of truth. He always includes a video with his PM. The videos are not quite as enlightening as the words; nonetheless below are those words with the video included for cross post integrity.

 

JRH 11/27/11

***************************

Revival is in You

 

AbaloneKid

Sent: 11/17/11

 

Beloved Brethren, Friends The Lord Has Called;

We know that God always has His Elect Saints in every generation. This is His will and He executes it in the midst of rank apostasy as well as all world conditions in any time.

People speak of “Revival” coming! They are even believers! But I say to them:

Revival has never left any generation.

It is a personal miraculous event.

It is fashioned through the power of the Holy Spirit in each of God’s chosen.

It manifests in the service of a saint as well it should, in our maturation, knowing our Father’s will for us.

And the convicting power of the Spirit proves it in our refreshed and empowered walk as we shed our sins before His mercy seat above and the blood of Jesus keeps cleaning us so we can be empowered to REVIVE again and again, manifesting in WORKS OF FAITH for His Glory.

Revival is ongoing in each of us. This is what God sees. And anoints. And empowers each of us to GO OUT and exercise His Gifts in His love. There is no “Look over here” “revival is in this building” or “revival is in this group” “this nation”. NO!!

REVIVAL IS IN EACH OF US AND THE PROOF IS IN THE PUDDING! Each of us is blessed to partake of with God’s fullest power given us as much as we are chosen to serve according to His perfect will for us.

“YES LORD, I AM HERE TODAY! LEAD ME LORD, AND MAKE ME A LIVING SACRIFICE IN SERVICE IN LIFE FOR YOUR GLORY FORGIVE MY SINS AND FILL ME AGAIN AND AGAIN AS I OBEY YOUR TRUTHS”

Thank God for you, Beloveds. Your family is standing daily in the light of the Lord wherever you reside, and even if God deems it His will to remove you from where you are now, that Glorious Light of Jesus and His truths remains as a love gift FROM GOD who first moved you to where you were needed, and then elsewhere IF that is His will.

A TESTAMENT REMAINS THAT GOD WILL USE OVER AND OVER IN THAT HOUSE, AS IT IS HIS GOOD PLEASURE TO SEND HIS LOVE AND GRACE IN MANY WAYS, AS A REMEMBRANCE OF HIS ELECT WHO HE HAS SENT TO OFFER UP THEIR LIFE FOR THOSE HE SENT TO. IT CANNOT BE FORGOTTEN. GOD STAMPS IT ON THE LOST SOUL AND THIS GRACE WILL NEVER LEAVE, BUT HAVE IT’S DAY OF RECKONING, BY THE PERFECT WILL OF HIM WHO SENT HIS OWN.

There are no vain attempts God makes. His word will never return void of some impact He ordained, yet in TIME, His time, it will be according to His will. BUT THE SENT ELECT SHALL NOT HAVE SERVED IN HIS LOVE IN VAIN! NEVER!

REVIVAL HAS ENTERED THIS HOUSE! This coffee shop! This sidewalk or back ally…this part of the world we are positioned in.

And so too your labor of love has, by His predetermined will, gone out beyond the borders of your personal life, and I thank God we could have had this blessing together here AND in THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST REVIVAL!

For in each house, apt, Starbucks, etc someone is moved by God, in the few hours in a lifetime of a multitude of days, God willing, that they experience this unified and faithful collective event, they will NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN. GOD MAKES REVIVAL WHERE HE MAKES IT, AND IN THOSE HE CALLS AND CHOOSES… AND IT WORKS!

And everyone who loves the Lord can COME! And Use.

Chaim

 

 

http://www.theabalonekid.com/id103.html Revival Event.

 

Receive the blessings of a faithful work. Make this video yours and share with saved and lost. Revival Event is ongoing around the world. JUMP IN!

The Gospel of Jesus Christ set forth in scriptures encourages all humans to believe on Jesus Christ for remission of sins and eternal life. A revival has the purpose of encouraging believers to be dedicated, confess sins, and live in Christ and to the lost to come to Him for forgiveness of their sins.

It is a great truth: REVIVAL BEGINS AT THE CHURCH ON OUR KNEES.

Hats off to YOU TUBE for it’s genius of providing a vehicle for freedom of expression, through these videos of biblical topics. Without this blessing through their creation this Revival would not be possible.

I gratefully acknowledge the faithful and anointed contributions of ministers, evangelists, teachers and recording artists. Without the Lord’s blessings upon them this revival would not be happening.

KNEELING SOLDIER PHOTO CREDIT
North MT Zion Church of God
423 Scataway Rd
Hiawassee, GA 30546

_________________________________

Revival Begins in Us

 

AbaloneKid

Sent: 11/17/11

 

We know that God always has His Elect Saints in every generation. This is His will and He executes it in the midst of rank apostasy as well as all world conditions in any time.

People speak of “Revival” coming! They are even believers! But I say to them:

Revival has never left any generation.

It is a personal miraculous event.

It is fashioned through the power of the Holy Spirit in each of God’s chosen.

It manifests in the service of a saint as well it should, in our maturation, knowing our Father’s will for us.

And the convicting power of the Spirit proves it in our refreshed and empowered walk as we shed our sins before His mercy seat above and the blood of Jesus keeps cleaning us so we can be empowered to REVIVE again and again, manifesting in WORKS OF FAITH for His Glory.

Revival is ongoing in each of us. This is what God sees. And anoints. And empowers each of us to GO OUT and exercise His Gifts in His love. There is no “Look over here” “revival is in this building” or “revival is in this group” “this nation”. NO!!

REVIVAL IS IN EACH OF US AND THE PROOF IS IN THE PUDDING! Each of us is blessed to partake of with God’s fullest power given us as much as we are chosen to serve according to His perfect will for us.

“YES LORD, I AM HERE TODAY! LEAD ME LORD, AND MAKE ME A LIVING SACRIFICE IN SERVICE IN LIFE FOR YOUR GLORY FORGIVE MY SINS AND FILL ME AGAIN AND AGAIN AS I OBEY YOUR TRUTHS”

Thank God for you, Beloveds. Your family is standing daily in the light of the Lord wherever you reside, and even if God deems it His will to remove you from where you are now, that Glorious Light of Jesus and His truths remains as a love gift FROM GOD who first moved you to where you were needed, and then elsewhere IF that is His will.

A TESTAMENT REMAINS THAT GOD WILL USE OVER AND OVER IN THAT HOUSE, AS IT IS HIS GOOD PLEASURE TO SEND HIS LOVE AND GRACE IN MANY WAYS, AS A REMEMBRANCE OF HIS ELECT WHO HE HAS SENT TO OFFER UP THEIR LIFE FOR THOSE HE SENT TO. IT CANNOT BE FORGOTTEN. GOD STAMPS IT ON THE LOST SOUL AND THIS GRACE WILL NEVER LEAVE, BUT HAVE IT’S DAY OF RECKONING, BY THE PERFECT WILL OF HIM WHO SENT HIS OWN.

There are no vain attempts God makes. His word will never return void of some impact He ordained, yet in TIME, His time, it will be according to His will. BUT THE SENT ELECT SHALL NOT HAVE SERVED IN HIS LOVE IN VAIN! NEVER!

REVIVAL HAS ENTERED THIS HOUSE! This coffee shop! This sidewalk or back ally…this part of the world we are positioned in.

And so too your labor of love has, by His predetermined will, gone out beyond the borders of your personal life, and I thank God we could have had this blessing together here AND in THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST REVIVAL!

For in each house, apt, Starbucks, etc someone is moved by God, in the few hours in a lifetime of a multitude of days, God willing, that they experience this unified and faithful collective event, they will NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN. GOD MAKES REVIVAL WHERE HE MAKES IT, AND IN THOSE HE CALLS AND CHOOSES… AND IT WORKS!

And everyone who loves the Lord can COME! And Use.

Chaim

 

[Same video as above]