Posted by: Tom Graves | July 28, 2014

NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN!

NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN!

Are you aware that what is going on in Israel and Gaza is nothing new? In fact, it is simply a continuation of an attempt to destroy the nation of Israel and the Jewish people that has been going on for several thousand years. Ecclesiastes 1:9&10: “The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. Is there any thing whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.”

The conflict between the Jews and the Arabs actually started as a feud between two half-brothers, both sons of Abraham. One is Isaac, the son of promise, born to Abraham and Sarah. The other is Ishmael, born to Abraham and Hagar, Sarah’s handmaid. (see Genesis 16 for the story). It was prophesied by the Angel of the Lord about Ishmael and his descendants, Genesis 16:12: “And he will be a wild man; his hand will be against every man, and every man’s hand against him; and he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.” Ismael is the father of the Arab race. The Prophet Mohammed, the founder of Islam, is his descendant. However, this is simply an extension of the conflict that begun in Genesis 3 when Satan, as the Serpent tempted man to rebel against God. Genesis 3:14&15: “And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: AND I WILL PUT ENMITY BETWEEN THEE AND THE WOMAN, AND BETWEEN THY SEED AND HER SEED; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”

The Hebrew word translated “enmity” in this verse literally means hostility and hatred. The hostility will be between Satan’s seed and the seed of the woman which is a direct reference to the coming of Messiah. That means Christians as well as Jews!

CHRISTIANS IN THE CROSSHAIRS!!

We see this conflict beginning to play out, not only against the Jews and the Nation of Israel but also against Christians. While the conflict of Israel and Gaza continues to make daily news, the murder of Christians in Iraq is being totally ignored by the mainstream media. Consider this report from Christianpost.com.

“The end of Christianity in Iraq could be ‘very near’ according to Canon Andrew White, the vicar of the only Anglican church in Iraq, as Islamic militants continue their attacks of Christians and the central government. ‘Things are so desperate, our people are disappearing,’ White said in an interview with BBC Radio 4 over the weekend. ‘We have had people massacred, their heads chopped off. Are we seeing the end of Christianity? We are committed come what may, we will keep going to the end, but it looks as though the end could be very near.’”

“ISIS militants had warned Christians in the northern state of Iraq that they need to convert to Islam, pay a tax or be put to death, forcing thousands of them to flee the region. The militants have also been painting the letter ‘N’ for Nasrani, the Arabic word for Christian, in Christian homes in Mosul. Watchdog groups like International Christian Concern have said that up to a million Christians lived in Iraq prior to the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 against the government of dictator Saddam Hussein, but that number has dropped to less than half.”

“Other church leaders, such as Syriac Patriarch Ignace Joseph III Younan, who last week traveled to Washington to speak with federal government representatives and members of Congress, have also condemned the ‘mass cleansing’ of Christians from Mosul by what he called ‘a bed of criminals.’ ‘We wonder how could those criminals, this bed of criminals, cross the border from Syria into Mosul and occupy the whole city of Mosul … imposing on the population their Shariah (law) without any knowledge of the international community,’ Patriarch Younan said, referring to Islamic State fighters, according to Catholic News Service. ‘What happened is really kind of a cleansing based on religion. You have heard about what they did: proclaim — they announced publicly with street microphones, the ISIS – there’s no more room for Christians in Mosul, that they either have to convert, pay tax, or just leave. And they have been leaving now since then with absolutely nothing,’ he added.”

“Patriarch Younan noted that ‘there is no more Christian presence’ in Mosul, which he described as ‘tragic’ because it had been the largest Christian city in Iraq, and a nucleus of Christians for many centuries. ‘And we have at least 25 churches in that city. All are abandoned. No more prayers, no services, no more Masses on Sundays in Mosul because no clergy, no people there that are Christian,’ he said.” [1]

ISRAEL –GAZA CONFLICT!

The main stream media has made much of the claim that Israel purposely fired on a UN school causing a number of civilian casualties. Consider the following:

While all three networks denounced the shelling of a U.N. school in Gaza on Thursday, NBC, ABC and CBS all failed to report on similar U.N. schools in the war-torn territory being used to hide Hamas rockets. As Fox News reported on Tuesday, ‘The U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) said the rockets were found in between two other UNRWA schools that are being used to host 1,500 displaced people.’” “On Wednesday’s Special Report, anchor Bret Baier read a statement from the office of the U.N. Secretary General condemning Hamas for the action. Panelist Charles Krauthammer blasted the international organization: ‘The U.N. workers, UNRWA, have collaborated with Hamas for years and years. They know that there are missiles in the schools, in the hospitals, in the mosques, and they know what’s going to happen. Kids will be killed and that’s going to be on television.’ Krauthammer also took the media to task: ‘The U.N. is so committed to the Palestinian cause, and in this case, the Hamas cause, that it doesn’t even care about appearances. And after all, who, but you, and a few other outlets, are gonna report it? How many have reported the rockets in the school?’ Baier responded: ‘I don’t know. But it’s not many, I guarantee you that.’ The answer is none when it comes to the Big Three networks.”

“Despite the nonexistent coverage of Hamas using U.N. schools to conceal weapons, Thursday’s network evening newscasts seized on the opportunity to lambast Israel over the school that was hit – though it remains unclear who was responsible. [2]

Well, now we do know who was responsible for the rocket that hit the school! It was a Hamas rocket that went off course, but have you heard that on any of the mainstream media? I don’t think so.

MAJOR NEWS OUT OF ISRAEL: It was an errant Hamas rocket that hit the UN school, ooooops! UNRWA has admitted that a Hamas misfired rocket hit a U.N.-run school in Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza, according to Channel 2′s Ehud Ya’ari…” [3]

Christians should not only educate themselves as to what is really happening, they should not sit by idly when others are speaking without knowing what is going on.

Psalm 122:6-9: “PRAY FOR THE PEACE OF JERUSALEM: they shall prosper that love thee. Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces. For my brethren and companions’ sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee. Because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek thy good.” (emphasis mine.)

Also pray for the Christians, especially in Iraq, but also all around the world where they are being targeted by the enemy.

Blessings, Tom and Jeanie

Works cited:

[1]  Link: http://www.christianpost.com/news/end-of-christianity-very-near-in-iraq-anglican-bishop-warns-123926/

[2] Link: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/kyle-drennen/2014/07/25/networks-condemn-attack-un-school-gaza-ignore-hamas-hiding-rockets-sch?utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Marketing&utm_term=Facebook&utm_content=Facebook&utm_campaign=Hamas-Schools

[3] Link: http://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.jewsnews.co.il%2F2014%2F07%2F26%2Fmajor-news-out-of-israel-it-was-an-errant-hamas-rocket-that-hit-the-un-school-ooooops%2F&h=7AQGvLeSj&s=1

 

 

 

 

Posted by: Tom Graves | July 22, 2014

UNDERSTANDING GAZA!

UNDERSTANDING GAZA!

Are you aware of what is really going on in Gaza? Why is Hamas firing World War II vintage missiles into Israel that they cannot guide or control? Just what are they trying to accomplish? Why are they using civilians and children as human shields for their launch sites? In a nutshell, with the help of a biased media, they are still trying to turn world opinion against the nation of Israel. Why turn the world against Israel and the Jews?

I believe the answer lies in the fact that Israel and the Jews brought forth some 2000 years ago, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world! You see, this is not simply about things that are happening in the natural realm. Rather this is an outplaying on earth of things that are happening in the spiritual realm. These are “signs of the times.” I believe we are living in the last of the last days! Jesus is coming again very soon! Revelation 12:7-9 & 12b: “And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,  And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him…Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.”

Jesus, speaking to the Jews of His day, made it very plain that the world would hate them because of Him. Matthew 24:4-14: “And as he sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and WHAT SHALL BE THE SIGN OF THY COMING, AND OF THE END OF THE WORLD?  And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: AND YE SHALL BE HATED OF ALL NATIONS FOR MY NAME’S SAKE. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.  And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. AND THIS GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM SHALL BE PREACHED IN ALL THE WORLD FOR A WITNESS UNTO ALL NATIONS; AND THEN SHALL THE END COME.” (emphasis mine.)

What is happening today in Gaza is at least in part, the beginning of the fulfilment of these end times prophecies. Consider the following article from “National Review.”

“Israel accepts an Egyptian-proposed Gaza ceasefire; Hamas keeps firing. Hamas deliberately aims rockets at civilians; Israel painstakingly tries to avoid them, actually telephoning civilians in the area and dropping warning charges, so-called roof knocking.

‘Here’s the difference between us,’ explains the Israeli prime minister. ‘We’re using missile defense to protect our civilians and they’re using their civilians to protect their missiles.’

Rarely does international politics present a moment of such moral clarity. Yet we routinely hear this Israel–Gaza fighting described as a morally equivalent ‘cycle of violence.’ This is absurd. What possible interest can Israel have in cross-border fighting? Everyone knows Hamas set off this mini-war. And everyone knows Hamas’s proudly self-declared raison d’être: the eradication of Israel and its Jews.

Apologists for Hamas attribute the bloodlust to the Israeli occupation and blockade. Occupation? There is not a soldier, not a settler, not a single Israeli in Gaza. Does no one remember anything? It was less than ten years ago that worldwide television showed the Israeli army pulling diehard settlers off synagogue roofs in Gaza as Israel uprooted it[s] settlements, expelled its citizens, withdrew its military, and turned every inch of Gaza over to the Palestinians.

There was no blockade. On the contrary. Israel wanted this new Palestinian state to succeed. To help the Gaza economy, Israel gave the Palestinians its 3,000 greenhouses that had produced fruit and flowers for export. It opened border crossings and encouraged commerce.

The whole idea was to establish the model for two states living peacefully and productively side by side. No one seems to remember that simultaneous with the Gaza withdrawal, Israel dismantled four smaller settlements in the northern West Bank as a clear signal of Israel’s desire to leave the West Bank too and thus achieve an amicable two-state solution.

And how did the Gaza Palestinians react to being granted by the Israelis what no previous ruler, neither Egyptian, nor British, nor Turkish, had ever given them — an independent territory? First, they demolished the greenhouses. Then they elected Hamas. Then, instead of building a state with its attendant political and economic institutions, they spent the better part of a decade turning Gaza into a massive military base, brimming with terror weapons, to make ceaseless war on Israel.

Where are the roads and rail, the industry and infrastructure of the new Palestinian state? Nowhere. Instead, they built mile upon mile of underground tunnels to hide their weapons and, when the going gets tough, their military commanders. They spent millions importing and producing rockets, launchers, mortars, small arms, even drones. They deliberately placed them in schools, hospitals, mosques, and private homes to better expose their own civilians. And from which they fire rockets at Jerusalem and Tel Aviv.

Why? The rockets can’t even inflict serious damage, being almost uniformly intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system. Even West Bank leader Mahmoud Abbas has asked: ‘What are you trying to achieve by sending rockets?’

It makes no sense. Unless you understand, as a Washington Post editorial explained, that the whole point is to draw Israeli counterfire.

This produces dead Palestinians for international television. Which is why Hamas perversely urges its own people not to seek safety when Israel drops leaflets warning of an imminent attack.

To deliberately wage war so that your own people can be telegenically killed is indeed moral and tactical insanity. But it rests on a very rational premise: Given the Orwellian state of the world’s treatment of Israel (see: the U.N.’s grotesque Human Rights Council), fueled by a mix of classic anti-Semitism, near-total historical ignorance, and reflexive sympathy for the ostensible Third World underdog, these eruptions featuring Palestinian casualties ultimately undermine support for Israel’s legitimacy and right to self-defense.

In a world of such Kafkaesque ethical inversions, Hamas’ depravity begins to make sense. This is a world in which the Munich massacre is a movie and the murder of Klinghoffer is an opera — both deeply sympathetic to the killers. This is a world in which the U.N. ignores humanity’s worst war criminals while incessantly condemning Israel, a state warred upon for 66 years which nonetheless goes to extraordinary lengths to avoid harming the very innocents its enemies use as shields.

It’s to the Israelis’ credit that amid all this madness they haven’t lost their moral scruples. Or their nerve. Those outside the region have the minimum obligation, therefore, to expose the madness and speak the truth. Rarely has it been so blindingly clear.” [1]

Unfortunately, our nation has bought into this “madness” and is blaming Israel for what is going on at the present time. Consider the following article:

“The escalating Israel-Palestine crisis illustrates the ‘real tragedy’ of  the Obama administration’s inability to both fully support Israel’s right to defend itself and condemn Hamas for using Palestinian casualties to win political victories, American Enterprise Institute fellow Richard Perle said Friday.

The former chairman of the Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board and former assistant secretary of defense told “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV the United States ‘mustn’t play along’ with Hamas’ violent strategy. ‘The real tragedy here, at least with respect to American policy, is the apparent inability to say that not only do the Israelis have the right to defend themselves when they’re attacked in this way, but [that] we have no sympathy for Hamas, which is undertaking these attacks.’

The humane response of sympathy for the Palestinian casualties, Perle insists, ‘has the effect of encouraging Hamas to believe that it can win political victories.’

‘Their strategy is very simple,’ he said. ‘They launch rockets at Israel, Israel retaliates, they showcase the products of the retaliation – which is damage on the Palestinian side – and they are using that in a grand strategy of delegitimizing the state of Israel, and we mustn’t play along with that. Perle said it’s ‘a reflexive action’ of the United States to scold Israel for the deadly violence in Gaza, though ‘it’s a little worse with this president.’

‘The Israelis go to such unprecedented lengths to try to avoid civilian injury that they deserve to be praised for it, and they deserve to be praised for it by the president of the United States even while it is going on,’ he said. ‘Hamas, on the other hand, fires rockets at innocent civilians. You’ve got to be clear about what’s at issue here, and unfortunately we’re not nearly clear enough – and the virtue of clarity is that it takes away whatever political advantage Hamas hopes to achieve by cultivating casualties, which they can then exploit,’ he said.” [2]

It is nothing new for the enemy to use the tactics of placing innocent civilians and especially children in the line of fire to draw the ire of the world against Israel when the civilians and children are killed by Israel in an attack. Golda Meir, the 4th Prime Minister of Israel from 1969-1974 made the following statement: “We can forgive the Arabs for killing our children. We cannot forgive them for forcing us to kill their children. We will only have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than the hate us.”

Golda Meir      [3]

Christians should not only educate themselves as to what is really happening, they should not sit by idly when others are speaking without knowing what is going on.

Psalm 122:6-9: “PRAY FOR THE PEACE OF JERUSALEM: they shall prosper that love thee. Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces. For my brethren and companions’ sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee. Because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek thy good.” (emphasis mine.)

Blessings, Tom and Jeanie

Works cited:

[1] Link:

http://www.nationalreview.com/article/383024/truth-about-gaza-charles-krauthammer

[2] Link:

http://www.newsmax.com/Newsmax-Tv/Richard-Perle-Israel-Hamas-Obama/2014/07/18/id/583639/?ns_mail_uid=51108628&ns_mail_job=1578142_07212014&s=al&dkt_nbr=pizi27gg

[3] Link:

https://www.facebook.com/StandWithUs/photos/a.350931762688.151625.19459912688/10152241874722689/?type=1&theater

 

Posted by: Tom Graves | July 15, 2014

BETWEEN THE BLOOD MOONS

BETWEEN THE BLOOD MOONS

What is a BLOOD MOON? Why is it important? If you are not familiar with this term or the issues involved, I urge you to read my earlier post “BLOOD MOON COMING!!!” for an explanation of the term. In that post, I made the following statement:

This is not the first time in history that this grouping of BLOOD MOON events has taken place. ‘Such events have occurred only three other times in recent centuries, and each time they were linked to significant events for the Jewish nation…For example, when it happened in 1493 and 1494 Jews were expelled from Spain. The blood moons in 1949 and 1950 came right after the nation of Israel was assembled, giving the Jews a homeland for the first time in thousands of years. And in 1967 and 1968 it was linked to the Six-Day War.’ Look for some miraculous events concerning Israel during these times.”

I think we can safely say we are now, today, seeing “…some miraculous events concerning Israel during these times.” According to an article in the “The Huffington Post” on July 13, 2014, there have been over 800 rockets fired into Israel in the last few days. CNN News reported yesterday (July 14, 2014) that there had been 186 Palestinians killed in Israel’s retaliation, but there was no mention of any deaths in the rocket fire into Israel! If you ask me, that is a miracle! Over 800 rockets fired into Israel and not one death! God is miraculously protecting His people!

WHO STARTED THIS CONFLICT?

I have a friend in Israel who posted what I think is a great explanation of what has been going on in Israel and Gaza:

“The situation here simplified: Three Jewish boys were murdered just because they were Jewish by Hamas operatives. In an operation in the West Bank to find the boys, Israel arrested many Hamas operatives in their attempt to find the boys including terrorists who were released in the Gilad Shalit deal. A Jewish revenge group of boys killed an East Jerusalem Palestinian in a horrible manner, which led two days of violent riots across Israel by Arab Israelis. During those same two days, Hamas started sending many rockets to the areas around Gaza Strip, Israel answered those rocket barrages with two days of quiet and no response. Hamas made demands for the stopping of the rockets including releasing the Shalit Hamas terrorists from jail and opening up the borders in Egypt. Both Israel and Egypt do not want to give in to Hamas demands. A larger barrage of rockets were shot, and Israel responded with attacking military targets against Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Israel is planning to hit Hamas so hard they will stop their rocket fire without the demand to release the Shalit terrorists from jail. Hamas is not giving up on their demands. So Israel is hitting harder each day and at the end of the day giving Hamas a chance to stop the rocket fire and give up their demands. So far, for three days, Hamas is sticking to their demands and renewing rocket fire.”

Unfortunately, the main stream media is portraying the whole situation as simply Israel attacking Hamas for no apparent reason. This cartoon hits the nail squarely on the head!

10513407_10204601414782077_8917525925180472761_n

Cartoon copied from Facebook post

THIS IS A SPIRITUAL CONFLICT!

What we as the Church need to understand is that this is not simply a natural skirmish between two groups of people. I have a friend who says, “If it’s happening in the natural, it’s happening in the spiritual.” That is certainly the case here. This is a battle that has been going on for several thousands of years between God and the Devil and it has been playing itself out ever since the children of Israel came into the Promised Land after being delivered from slavery in Egypt. After the death of Joshua; Israel went through the time of Judges, as recorded in the book of Judges. The repeating theme of this time may be summarized as follows: 1. Israel rebels against God (Judges 2:11), 2. God allows an enemy to overcome Israel (Judges 2:14), 3. Israel repents and God raises up a Judge or Deliverer (Judges 2:16), 4. The Judge dies, and the cycle is repeated (Judges 2:19). God warned Israel, Judges 2:1-3: “And an angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I WILL NEVER BREAK MY COVENANT WITH YOU.  And ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land; ye shall throw down their altars: but ye have not obeyed my voice: why have ye done this? Wherefore I also said, I WILL NOT DRIVE THEM OUT FROM BEFORE YOU; BUT THEY SHALL BE AS THORNS IN YOUR SIDES, and their gods shall be a snare unto you. The inhabitants of Gaza are certainly a THORN IN ISRAEL’S SIDE to this very day.

If you look at the maps in the back of your Bible, you will discover that Gaza was a city in existence long before the Exodus, in fact the first mention of Gaza is Genesis 10:19. For most of the period of Judges, it was occupied by the Philistines (note the similarity to Palestine) who were worshippers of Baal. The conflict with the Philistines is recorded in Judges 13 through 16 which you will recognize as the Story of Samson and Delilah. Judges 16:21: “But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house.” But the story doesn’t end there. The Philistines brought Samson into their temple to make sport of him, but Samson called upon the Lord and he regained his strength. Judges 16:28-30: “And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes. And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left. And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.”

Then there is Joshua11:22: “There was none of the Anakims left in the land of the children of Israel: only in GAZA, IN GATH, AND IN ASHDOD, there remained.” (these are cites in the Gaza strip). David would later have to face Goliath of Gath, the champion of the Philistines and a descendant of the Anakin or the “giants” (See Numbers 13:32-33 and I Samuel 17). David, as a teenager, would win a most unlikely victory over the giant Goliath with a sling and a rock, because God was with him! I Samuel 17:45, 46a and 48: “Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied. This day will the LORD deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee…  And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.”

I believe that God is with Israel today. How else can you explain the fact that not one Israeli has died as the result of over 800 rockets fired into Israel? On March13, 2014, before any of this conflict had begun; Larry Randolph delivered the following prophecy from a vision he had seen: “I saw the land of Israel like I was three or four miles up in the atmosphere. From the dust of the ground of Israel, I saw this image coming out of the dust and I recognized that – somehow in my spirit, that this was King David and he was fully dressed with a robe on and with a sword. And he stood up for war and this is what I heard when David said to Goliath, ‘This day shall God deliver you into my hand.’ And he ran toward Goliath… And I heard the Lord say, ‘The safety of Israel shall not be compromised!’” [1]

Psalm 122:3-9: “Jerusalem is builded as a city that is compact together: Whither the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD, unto the testimony of Israel, to give thanks unto the name of the LORD. For there are set thrones of judgment, the thrones of the house of David. PRAY FOR THE PEACE OF JERUSALEM: they shall prosper that love thee. Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces. For my brethren and companions’ sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee. Because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek thy good.”

Blessings, Tom and Jeanie

[1] Link to Larry Randolph’s prophecy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLgF0lMxwS8

 

 

 

 

Posted by: Tom Graves | June 24, 2014

PURSUING DIVINE HEALING

PURSUING DIVINE HEALING

Someone once said, “If sickness is from God, then hospitals and doctors must be from the Devil!” If we truly believed that God is the one who puts sickness on us for our benefit, then why are we so anxious to get rid of it? If sickness is from God then is going to a doctor and taking the medicine that he prescribed a sin? There are some who believe that and it puts divine healing in a bad light in many people’s eyes. They confuse faith with foolishness. If you believe God to heal your eyesight so you don’t have to wear glasses, you don’t take your glasses off and stomp them in the floor as a sign of your faith! That is foolishness. Faith simply stands on the truth of God’s Word. We had a lady in our congregation once who believed God for healing for her eyes. But instead they seemed to be getting worse. When she went to the eye doctor she discovered that her eyes were actually healed; they only seemed worse because her glasses now distorted her vision.

The truth is, sickness is not from God, it is the result of sin being in the world, thanks to Satan’s temptation and the fall of Adam in the Garden of Eden! Sickness entered into the world because of Adam’s sin. Before Adam’s fall there was no sickness in the world and there is no sickness in heaven. Romans 5:12: “… by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin…” The ultimate consequence of sin is death. Sickness lies between sin and death. It is the sequel to sin and the prelude to death. If there had been no sin in the world, there would be no sickness!

God is the healer, but man has failed to lay hold of the divine healing that God has made available, therefore, God has provided us with doctors, nurses, hospitals and medicine. It would be foolishness not to use them to try and gain relief from sickness and pain. However, it is just as foolish, if not more so to ignore the divine healing that God has provided. We should pursue God’s healing even more that we pursue healing from doctors and medicine. But do we; and if not, why not?

How then does one pursue divine healing? We shared that Communion is one way that God has provided for healing in last week’s post, “DIVINE HEALING; LAY HOLD OF IT!” There are at least five other scriptural ways that we can pursue divine healing. Here they are in no particular order.

I. MEDITATING ON GOD’S WORD

Proverbs 4:20-22: “My son, ATTEND TO MY WORDS; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. FOR THEY ARE LIFE UNTO THOSE THAT FIND THEM, AND HEALTH TO ALL THEIR FLESH.” I particularly like the Amplified Bible in verse 22: “For they are life to those who find them, HEALING AND  HEALTH TO ALL THEIR FLESH.”

The Hebrew word translated as “HEALTH” is Strong’s “ H4832  מרפּא  marpê’ mar-pay’  From H7495; properly curative, THAT IS, LITERALLY (CONCRETELY) A MEDICINE, or (abstractly) a cure…” (capitalization for emphasis mine). God is literally saying, “…ATTEND TO MY WORDS…THEY ARE MEDICINE…”

When God says “… ATTEND TO MY WORDS…” that means to give your undivided attention to what God is saying in His Word. Webster defines “attend” as “…to devote or apply oneself to…” Give God’s Word first place in your life. Don’t let other things distract you from spending time with God’s Word on a daily basis. If a doctor gives you a prescription, you take it faithfully at the times prescribed. How much more should you take “GOD’S MEDICINE,” His Word on a regular basis.

 Dr. Kenneth Hagin, who some call the father of the modern faith movement, was dying of an incurable heart disease as a teenager. He found these verses in Proverbs 4 and in faith began to meditate daily on the Word of God. He was completely healed and lived an active and long life serving God. He called God’s Word his medicine and he took it daily. Search the scriptures for verses dealing with healing. Meditate upon Jesus’ miracles of healing. Faith comes, i.e. is built up, by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17).

God has made three great provisions for man; salvation, healing and deliverance. Psalm 107:19-20: “Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, AND HE SAVETH THEM out of their distresses. HE SENT HIS WORD, AND HEALED THEM, and DELIVERED THEM from their destructions.” The Word of God has healing in it! Lay hold of your healing from the Word of God!

II. THE GIFTS OF HEALINGS

I Corinthians 12:28: “And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, THEN GIFTS OF HEALINGS, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.” God wants us healed! So much so that God has sent the Holy Spirit to endow some individuals in the church with “…GIFTS OF HEALINGS.” But because many in the church today believe that the gifts of the Holy Spirit have passed away, GIFTS OF HEALINGS are not found in most churches today. But take hope! That is about to change as a new wave of revival is beginning to sweep the world.

III. THE LAYING ON OF HANDS

Mark 16:17-18: “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; THEY SHALL LAY HANDS ON THE SICK, AND THEY SHALL RECOVER.”  I am aware that some will tell you that verses 9-20 are not found in the two oldest manuscripts, but they are quoted by early church fathers and God apparently had them included in the Canon of the Scriptures. That is good enough for me. These are the Words of Jesus, not just Mark. Jesus said that believers would lay hands on the sick and they would recover. That is a pretty strong promise. Can you stand in faith and believe it and go out and begin to lay hands on the sick?

But what if it doesn’t work? Then keep doing it until it does work. Most of those who have a successful healing ministry today give testimony to the fact that it took faith and courage to hang in there until they began to see results. I heard one minister talk about visiting the hospital to pray for the sick. He said the first seven or eight people died not long after he prayed for them. Not very encouraging to say the least, but he persevered and ultimately had a long ministry of seeing people healed.

I have heard the process that one must go through to see success in praying for the sick compared to a father training his son in the art of hunting. It begins with the son simply walking with the father and listening and learning, until one day the father gives the son his own gun, but no bullets. The son must learn how to carry the gun and how to use it safely. Finally one day, the father gives the son one bullet and instructs him to choose carefully how he uses it. This scenario repeats itself several times until the father is sure he can trust the son with his own box of shells. Right now for me, God gives me a shell every now and then. I have seen ruptured disks healed and restored, cancer disappear a couple of times along with some minor issues, but I am not yet seeing healing come on a consistent basis. Still, when the opportunity arises, I purpose to take the chance and step out in faith believing God will do His part and the desired results will come. One day, God is going to give me my own box of shells! I look forward to that day!

IV. ANOINTING WITH OIL

James 5:14-15: “Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and LET THEM PRAY OVER HIM, ANOINTING HIM WITH OIL IN THE NAME OF THE LORD: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.” There are not many churches that practice this today so if you can’t find someone else to anoint you, anoint yourself. I heard testimony of a young woman who felt God had told her to do just this, to anoint herself with oil. The only oil she could think of in her house was flax seed oil. She anointed herself with the flax seed oil, the power of God came and she was totally healed and delivered from her illness. Jeremiah 32:27: “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?”

V. SOW HEALING TO REAP HEALING

James 5:16: “Confess your faults one to another, AND PRAY ONE FOR ANOTHER, THAT YE MAY BE HEALED. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” First, get the sin out of your life and humble yourself before God by confessing your sins. I will acknowledge that it is a hard thing to find someone you can trust to keep a confidence and who will not reject you when you open up to them. I have experienced this type of rejection in the past. At the least, clear the air between you and God and let the Blood of Jesus wash you clean and then stand in the His Righteousness! II Corinthians 5:21: “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; THAT WE MIGHT BE MADE THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD IN HIM.” Then go out and begin to sow healing into the lives of others.

Jeanie and I had the privilege of seeing the reality of “…PRAY ONE FOR ANOTHER, THAT YE MAY BE HEALED…” in a very dramaticway at the “AWAKE AMERICA” revival meeting in Charlotte NC in the late 1990’s. “AWAKE AMERICA” was the traveling arm of the Brownsville Revival from Pensacola, FL. During the prayer time at the end of the service, there was a man who was unable to walk and was in a wheel chair. One of the team, a revival preacher from South America came to the man and asked him if he would be willing to pray for others so that he could be healed. The man agreed. The team member pulled the man up out of the wheel chair and he and another team member supported the man and literally carried him from person to person who was waiting for prayer. The more the man prayed for others, the stronger he got until he was able to stand by himself and then walk. The team member then got in the wheel chair and the man began to push him around. The man’s wife had not been with him while all this was happening and all of a sudden she sees her husband up and out of the wheel chair pushing it. Her first comment was one of disbelief, “I don’t believe it!” Jeanie immediately said to her, “You better believe it!” God had healed and restored this man right before our eyes as he sowed healing into the lives of others. He left that night pushing his wheel chair! God is good!

Go out and sow some healing.

Blessings, Tom and Jeanie

 

Posted by: Tom Graves | June 17, 2014

DIVINE HEALING; LAY HOLD OF IT!

DIVINE HEALING; LAY HOLD OF IT!

Have you ever seen the old classic film, “The Ten Commandments” with Charlton Heston? I remember seeing it as a kid, and have watched it several times since then. It won all kinds of awards and was voted one of the Ten Best Films ever. You can be sure that wouldn’t happen today. The scene that is most vivid in my mind is the scene where the children of Israel are preparing to leave Egypt on the morning after the Passover. There is a great group of people all lining up to march. There are older people on crutches, some on stretchers and even wagons and litters being pulled by animals, carrying the sick and lame. You may find it strange that that is the scene I remember most from the movie. Let me tell you why!

Early on in my ministry, at the recommendation of a well know speaker from the 1970’s I began reading the Proverb for the day of the month and five Psalms. For example on the 1st of the month, I read Proverbs 1 and Psalms 1, 31, 61, 91 and 121. One day while reading Psalm 105, which talks about the Exodus, I had a revelation in which I saw something that I had never seen before and I realized that the scene I just described from the movie was totally incorrect! Here is the verse I read, Psalm 105:37: “He brought them forth also with silver and gold: and THERE WAS NOT ONE FEEBLE PERSON AMONG THEIR TRIBES.” Nobody was on crutches; nobody had to be carried or pulled on a litter. They had all apparently been healed, but when were they healed?

All of a sudden I realized that when God said in Exodus 15:26b: “…FOR I AM THE LORD THAT HEALETH THEE,” He wasn’t just making a statement about something He was going to do, He was literally saying, “I AM THE ONE WHO HEALED YOU BACK THERE IN EGYPT SO THAT THERE IS NOT ONE FEEBLE PERSON AMONG YOU!” When did this happen? I believe it happened during the night of the Passover meal and was actually a result of eating the Passover meal which represented the body and the blood of our Passover Lamb, the Lord Jesus Christ! Here is why I believe that.

In I Corinthians 10: 1-15, Paul is talking about the Exodus. Twice he says in this passage that the things which happened to Israel happened for examples for us. First in verse 6a: “Now these things were our examples…” and again in verse 11: “Now all these things happened unto them for examples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” Because Paul seemed to talk only about the negative aspects as warnings and admonitions, we have a tendency to overlook the fact that there are also positive examples for us in the things that happened to Israel! It is noteworthy to me that Paul spends the next chapter and a half discussing the Passover Supper and its relationship to the Christian. In I Corinthians 11:23-26, Paul spells out the order and meaning of the Lord’s Table: “For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, TAKE, EAT: THIS IS MY BODY, WHICH IS BROKEN FOR YOU: this do in remembrance of me.  After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.  For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.”

We saw last week, the benefits that came from His body being broken for us! Isaiah 53:4-5, KJV: “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” Is Isaiah 53:4-5 talking about healing physical sickness or is it talking about healing spiritual sickness as some claim? Matthew 8:16-17: “When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias (Isaiah) the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.” That is pretty plain! It is talking about physical sickness and Jesus “…Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.” Peter affirms that healing in the atonement is an accomplished fact! I Peter 2:24: “WHO HIS OWN SELF BARE OUR SINS IN HIS OWN BODY ON THE TREE, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: BY WHOSE STRIPES YE WERE HEALED.”  Notice the verb tense, “WERE!” It is past tense, no longer just a promise but an accomplished fact!

Notice that it was the stripes on Jesus’s Body that brought our healing, so when Jesus said, “TAKE, EAT: THIS IS MY BODY, WHICH IS BROKEN FOR YOU,” what was He really saying? I think Jesus was referring back to Isaiah 53:4 -5 and affirming that the stripes He bore on His body brought healing for us and we can appropriate that healing as we take the Bread of the Lord’s Supper; even as the entire nation of Israel was healed when they partook of the Passover Meal! Paul apparently thought this way also for he warned us in I Corinthians 11:29b-30: about “…not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.” Do you discern the Lord’s Body when you take communion, that there is healing available because of the stripes that He took on His body for our healing? Perhaps we need to take communion more often.

Are you aware that you can serve communion? Are you aware that God’s original intent for Israel was for the entire nation to be Priests before Him and not just the house of Aaron and the tribe of Levi? Exodus 19:5-6: “Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine:  AND YE SHALL BE UNTO ME A KINGDOM OF PRIESTS, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.” Remember, this is an example for us and God has made the same promise to us! I Peter 2:5&9 “YE ALSO, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, AN HOLY PRIESTHOOD, TO OFFER UP SPIRITUAL SACRIFICES, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ… But ye are a chosen generation, A ROYAL PRIESTHOOD, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light.”

If you are a believer, you are a priest before God and you can serve communion, for yourself and for your family and for others! The church I grew up in preached the priesthood of the believer, but as Jeanie would say, “It was both mandatory and prohibited.” We were told we were priests but then we were given the example that there are “Professional Clergy” who are set apart by God to do the special things such as baptizing and communion. But God gives us permission to do these things when He says that we are “…A KINGDOM OF PRIESTS…” and we are also “…AN HOLY PRIESTHOOD, TO OFFER UP SPIRITUAL SACRIFICES, ACCEPTABLE TO GOD BY JESUS CHRIST…” Begin to live your priesthood before God.

God has provided at least five other ways for us to obtain healing. We will talk about these in next week’s post. For now, get before the Lord and deal with any sin that might be in your life, confessing and repenting of it. Then get some bread and wine (or grape juice if you are a tea-totaller) and begin to take communion, believing God for your healing!

Blessings, Tom and Jeanie

 

Posted by: Tom Graves | June 10, 2014

DIVINE HEALING IN THE SCRIPTURES

DIVINE HEALING IN THE SCRIPTURES

Is there a scriptural basis in the scriptures to believe God for divine healing? I believe there are at least four major scriptural bases for believing God for divine healing. And when you cover four bases, you have hit a homerun! So let’s go for it all! Here they are in no certain order because I don’t think you can say one is more important than the other, but when taken together, they should increase your faith to be able to receive all that God has prepared for those who love Him!

I. HEALING IS ONE OF THE BENEFITS OF THE COVENANT

Psalm 103: 2-5: “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; WHO HEALETH ALL THY DISEASES; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.”

In the Old covenant, or as we know it, the Old Testament, God made a number of covenants with individuals and with the nation of Israel. Throughout these covenants, God would reveal Himself and His covenant benefits by revealing His various Names. The first revelation came to Abraham when God had asked him to sacrifice his only son Isaac. With the knife raised to slay Isaac, God stopped Abraham and revealed Himself to Abraham as JEHOVAH-JIREH which means the Lord will provide. Genesis 22:14: “And Abraham called the name of that place JEHOVAH-JIREH: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.”

The second covenant Name that God revealed came to Moses and the children of Israel soon after they crossed the Red Sea and before they came to Sinai. The story is found in Exodus 15:22-26. Briefly, Moses has led the children of Israel three days journey into the wilderness after crossing the Red Sea. They are in need of water and come to a place called Marah which means “bitter.” The water there is bitter and the people cannot drink it and complain to Moses. “And he (Moses) cried unto the LORD; and the LORD shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them.” (vs 25)  God here gives a very vivid picture of the work of Christ on the cross, i.e. the tree. Then God reveals Himself as JEHOVAH-RAPHA when He says (vs 15b) “…FOR I AM THE LORD THAT HEALETH THEE.”  The amazing thing about this verse is that many have taken the first part of the verse to mean the exact opposite; that God is actually the one who puts sickness on us. They have come to that conclusion because they don’t understand the use of Hebrew verbs. Robert Young, LL.D., author of YOUNG’S ANALYTICAL CONCORDANCE to the BIBLE, in “HINTS AND HELPS TO BIBLE INTERPRETATION” explains in paragraph “70 (b) Active verbs frequently express a permission of it…” In other words, there are times when a verse seems to say that God is the cause of something when in reality, it is saying that God has permitted it to happen. I believe that is the case in Exodus 15:26: “…If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put (i.e., allow or permit) none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought (i.e., allowed or permitted) upon the Egyptians: FOR I AM THE LORD THAT HEALETH THEE.” I think this is a correct interpretation, because Acts 10:38 plainly states that the devil was the one behind the sickness of every person that Jesus healed! Acts 10:38: “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, AND HEALING ALL THAT WERE OPPRESSED OF THE DEVIL; for God was with him.” It seems to me that if God was the one who had put the diseases on some of these people, Jesus would have had to say, “I can’t heal you, God put that on you for your benefit, to make you a better person!” But Jesus never said anything like that, He simply healed all who came to Him and asked for healing!

Healing is in the Old Covenant, but we are under a New Covenant, Read the eighth chapter of Hebrews! Here is verse 8: “But now hath he (Jesus) obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he (Jesus) IS THE MEDIATOR OF A BETTER COVENANT, WHICH WAS ESTABLISHED UPON BETTER PROMISES.”

II. HEALING IS IN THE ATONEMENT

I love the way God chose to start the 53rd chapter of Isaiah! Isaiah 53:1: “Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed?” In other words, God is saying, “What I am about to say here will sound too good to be true! Will you choose to believe it?” There are many who have chosen not to believe it. We talked about them in my last post. They are called Cessationist and they deny that healing is included in the Atonement. Let us see what the scriptures actually say!

Isaiah 53:4-5, KJV: “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”

Isaiah 53:4-5, AMP Bible: “Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and  pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God [as if with leprosy]. 5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and  iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and  well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and  made whole.”

The word that is translated “griefs” is CHOLI in the Hebrew and literally means sickness and is translated as sickness 12 times, as disease 7 times and only 4 times as grief. Most notably, every time the word sickness is used in Deuteronomy 28 discussing the curse of the law, it is CHOLI. We will talk about this later.

For now, let us let the Bible comment on itself. Is Isaiah 53:4-5 talking about healing physical sickness or is it talking about healing spiritual sickness as some claim? Matthew 8:16-17: “When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick: That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias (Isaiah) the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.” That is pretty plain! It is talking about physical sickness and Jesus “…Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.” Peter affirms that healing in the atonement is an accomplished fact! I Peter 2:24: “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: BY WHOSE STRIPES YE WERE HEALED.”  Notice the verb tense, “WERE!” It is past tense, no longer just a promise but an accomplished fact! Healing is in the atonement!

III. JESUS SET US FREE FROM THE CURSE OF THE LAW

As I mentioned earlier, sickness is a curse of the law. Deuteronomy 28:61: “  Also every sickness, and every plague, which is not written in the book of this law, them will the LORD bring (permit) upon thee, until thou be destroyed.” Even if it is a sickness not specifically listed, it is included in the curse of the law! Galatians 3:13-14: “CHRIST HATH REDEEMED US FROM THE CURSE OF THE LAW, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” You can read the blessings in the first 14 verses of Deuteronomy 28!

I love the way Paul phrased it in Romans 8:2: “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” Sickness is in the world because of Adam’s sin! Romans 5:12: “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” Sickness is sequel to sin and the prelude to death! But God in His Grace and Mercy has made possible deliverance from both!

IV. HEALING IS IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD

When the disciples asked Jesus to teach them to pray, Jesus revealed God’s will concerning healing for mankind. Matthew 6:9-13: “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. THY KINGDOM COME. THY WILL BE DONE IN EARTH, AS IT IS IN HEAVEN. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” Lay hold of this truth! There is no sickness in heaven! Revelation 21:4: “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be NO MORE DEATH, NEITHER SORROW, NOR CRYING, NEITHER SHALL THERE BE ANY MORE PAIN: for the former things are passed away.” Oh but you say, that is for the future. Not so, it is for now.

Matthew 4:23: “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and PREACHING THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM, AND HEALING ALL MANNER OF SICKNESS and all manner of disease among the people.” And Matthew 9:35: “And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and PREACHING THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM, AND HEALING EVERY SICKNESS and every disease among the people.”

Then Jesus delegated the responsibility of preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom to the Twelve Apostles, Matthew 10: 5-8: “These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.  And as ye go, preach, saying, THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND. HEAL THE SICK, CLEANSE THE LEPERS, RAISE THE DEAD, CAST OUT DEVILS: freely ye have received, freely give.” That was a pretty tall order, but lest you think it was only for the Twelve Apostles, consider Luke 10:1 & 9: “After these things THE LORD APPOINTED OTHER SEVENTY ALSO, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come… And HEAL THE SICK THAT ARE THEREIN, AND SAY UNTO THEM, THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS COME NIGH UNTO YOU.”

Then Jesus told us to go and do the things He did and the things He commanded His disciples to do when He gave the Great Commission. Matthew 28: 18-20: “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: TEACHING THEM TO OBSERVE ALL THINGS WHATSOEVER I HAVE COMMANDED YOU: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Do you hear what the Great Commission is really saying? What should we have been taught? Not just to love one another and share the Gospel with others when it’s not too inconvenient. We should have been taught to do the things that Jesus commanded them to do! “.  And as ye go, preach, saying, THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND. HEAL THE SICK, CLEANSE THE LEPERS, RAISE THE DEAD, CAST OUT DEVILS.”

Jesus made it plain in John 14:12-14: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.”

If you ask me, that’s not just a homerun, that is a Grand Slam!

Be Blessed and Healed in Jesus’ Name

Tom and Jeanie

References:

Some material gleaned from: Randy Clark, Equipping You to Heal the Sick, a four part DVD teaching series, DVD1, “Biblical Basis for Healing”

 

Posted by: Tom Graves | June 3, 2014

DIVINE HEALING! WHY NOT HERE?

DIVINE HEALING! WHY NOT HERE?

I am beginning to hear testimonies of healings and even the raising of the dead from all around the world! One of my favorite stories comes from a DVD message by Randy Clark about a trip his team made to India not too long ago. They were going into a part of India that had a large work by a western denomination and they had hoped to be able to rent their facilities for the meeting. However, because this denomination did not believe that healing and miracles were for today, they refused to let Randy’s team rent their facility and they told their constituents in the area to stay away from the meetings. Randy’s team found another meeting place owned by the “Anti-Christian Society” and they agreed to rent them their facility. The first night, only a few people showed up, but God showed up and miracles and healings abounded; so much so that the meetings grew to several thousand. Then a most amazing thing happened. The keeper of a “Hindu Shrine” about twenty miles away heard about the healing and miracles and sent a message to Randy. He said, “I have heard what your God is doing! If you will come and minister to our people, you can use our property for free.” The team accepted his invitation and about 100,000 people came to the meeting. Over 50,000 received some type of healing and 30,000 received Jesus as their savior! [1] This story is a demonstration of the “Power of the Gospel!” Romans 1:16: “For I am not ashamed of THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST: for IT IS THE POWER OF GOD UNTO SALVATION to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” What is holding back this kind of power and revival in most of the United States?

THE POWER OF DOUBT AND UNBELIEF

I believe scripture gives us a couple of answers to this question. The first place I want to look is Mark 6:1-6 which describes Jesus returning to His hometown of Nazareth. There was a lot of unbelief in Nazareth, I think, because they had been defiled by the stories of Jesus’ supposed “illegitimate birth.”  Mark 6:5-6a tells us: “And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. And he marvelled because of their unbelief…” Listen to how the Amplified Bible expresses it: “And He was not able to do even one work of power there, except that He laid His hands on a few sickly people [and] cured them. 6 And He marveled because of their unbelief (their lack of faith in Him).” This is amazing! Jesus Himself was limited by the unbelief of the people!

The second story I want to look at is the only time that it took two tries for Jesus to get a man healed. Mark 8:22-26:  “And he cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him. And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought. And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking. After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly. And he sent him away to his house, saying, Neither go into the town, nor tell it to any in the town.” It is significant that Jesus led the man out of town before He ministered to him and then told him not to go back into the town or even tell anyone in the town about his healing. Apparently another town full of doubt and unbelief! Jeanie and I had an experience once where we prayed for a woman with cancer and she was healed, began to gain weight and no longer was confined to a wheelchair. But shortly after we left that area, the doubt and unbelief of others took over and the cancer reoccurred and she died a short time later. Doubt and unbelief are powerful allies with the enemy!

THE POWER OF TRADITION

Jesus gives us further insight as to why we don’t see healing and miracles in America when He talks about the power of our traditions. Mark 7:6-9 &13: “He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men. FOR LAYING ASIDE THE COMMANDMENT OF GOD, YE HOLD THE TRADITION OF MEN, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do. And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition… MAKING THE WORD OF GOD OF NONE EFFECT THROUGH YOUR TRADITION, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.” Once I was pastoring a Baptist Church and did a series of messages on healing. I encouraged people to follow James 5:14-15 which says: “Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.” I was rebuked by one of the deacons and told in no uncertain terms we could not do that in that church. I responded by saying, “But it’s in the Bible!” His response, “Well it may be in the Bible, but it’s not Baptist!”

This deacon was under the influence of a tradition of men known as “The Doctrine of Cessation.” The denominational leader in India who refused to let Randy Clark rent their facilities and warned his constituents not to attend the meetings was also under the influence of the idea of cessation. Now what do I mean when I talk about the “Doctrine of Cessation?” It is the idea that signs and wonders and the gifts of the Holy Spirit were given only to the Apostles to authenticate the writing of the scriptures and once the Canon of the Bible was completed, these signs and wonders and gifts passed away. They base this on I Corinthians 13: 8-10: “Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.” They believe that the canonization of the scriptures was “…that which is perfect…” thus when the scripture were canonized, the gifts and signs and wonders and miracles, i.e. “…that which is in part shall be done away.”

This “Doctrine of Cessation” has permeated the traditional denominations in America and has resulted in a culture of unbelief in regard to signs and wonders and healings in America. Truly, right now in America the church is guilty of “MAKING THE WORD OF GOD OF NONE EFFECT THROUGH YOUR TRADITION!”

Why did the church go off in this direction? I believe it is because the church lost its power because of “easy believism!” The downward spiral started about 1800 years ago with Roman Emperor  Constantine and the “Edict of Milan” in 313 A.D. that made Christianity the state religion. The church began to be filled with nominal believers or even unbelievers who had not had a genuine conversion experience. Doubt and unbelief became the norm for the church. Theologians began to look for explanations for the lack of miracles and signs and wonders and it has continued until today. [2]

CONCLUSION

We must never allow our experiences to establish what we believe. We must never bring God’s Word down to a level to agree with our experience so far in our lives. We must hold on to God’s Word as absolute truth in our lives and make it the basis for making correct decisions; decisions that will bring healing and health and blessing. When we base our theology on our experience rather than on what God actually says in His Word we end up believing very little. I grew up in a church that believed the “Doctrine of Cessation” as no doubt many of you did. Early on in my ministry, God began to deal with me about this lie that much of the church had accepted. My favorite Old Testament professor at Seminary, Dr. J. Leo Green had a tremendous impact in my life in helping break this lie for me. In one of our Old Testament classes, he suddenly began to speak about a New Testament study that he had done during a year of Sabbatical. At the end of that study, he came to the conclusion that the “Doctrine of Cessation” was incorrect and the gifts and miracles had not ceased. Shortly after that I received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit and received the gift of speaking in tongues. I have not arrived at maturity yet, but I am continuing to press in to God that I might gain all He has to offer and I might become a better servant to those who are searching for God and truth. Pray for Jeanie and me as we continue seek His will and do His bidding. Change is in the air! I can feel it! Jesus is coming soon. Keep pressing in!

Romans 11:29 AMP: “FOR GOD’S GIFTS AND HIS CALL ARE IRREVOCABLE. [He never withdraws them when once they are given, and He does not change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call.]”

“The goodness of God is the cornerstone of our theology. When we start breaking down our concept of who God is, we are most vulnerable to the lies of the devil. Hope dissipates in direct proportion to our loss of understanding God’s goodness. Plus, lies never come without the accompaniment of the liar’s personality. Believing a lie empowers the liar. And he comes ‘to steal and kill and destroy’ (John 10:10). This is the number one reason Christians withdraw from a life of  true biblical faith displaying the miraculous – because of our inability to deal with disappointment. It is much easier for some to just consider God angry and vindictive. That way we can explain our losses much more easily. But lies never satisfy the human spirit. It is only satisfied with truth that leads to His presence.” Bill Johnson, Pastor, Bethel Church, Redding, California [3]

Blessings, Tom and Jeanie

References:

[1] Randy Clark, Equipping You to Heal the Sick, a four part DVD teaching series, DVD2, “Four kinds of Faith for Healing”

[2] An excellent summary of this subject can be found in The Essential Guide to Healing, pages 92-110, by Randy Clark and Bill Johnson.

[3] Bill Johnson and Randy Clark, The Essential Guide to Healing, Chosen Books, 2011, pg156

Posted by: Tom Graves | May 28, 2014

IS IT GOD’S WILL TO HEAL?

IS IT GOD’S WILL TO HEAL?

Is it God’s will to heal everyone? If the answer is yes, why do we see so very little divine healing, especially in the United States? To give a little perspective, perhaps we should ask “Is it God’s will for everyone to be saved?” Based on II Peter 3:9: “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, NOT WILLING THAT ANY SHOULD PERISH, BUT THAT ALL SHOULD COME TO REPENTANCE.” The answer is yes, it is God’s will for everyone to be saved.  But it is quite apparent that not everyone is or will be saved! Why isn’t everyone saved? For a number of reasons; perhaps they may not have heard the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Or they may have heard but chose not to believe. Perhaps they have believed a lie and are following a false god or there could be any number of reasons for a person not to be saved. Does this negate the will of God? NO IT DOES NOT! It is still God’s will for all to be saved. By the same token, just because everyone does not get healed does not mean it is not God’s will to heal everyone!

Consider Luke 5:17: “And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judaea, and Jerusalem: AND THE POWER OF THE LORD WAS PRESENT TO HEAL THEM.” If you continue to read the story, you will discover that not a single Pharisee or Doctor of the Law got healed that day, even though “…THE POWER OF THE LORD WAS PRESENT TO HEAL THEM.” Only one man got healed that day, just an ordinary man, and he was let down through an opening in the roof (read verses 18-26). Jesus first said to the man, “…thy sins are forgiven thee.” This infuriated the Pharisees and the Doctors of the law. Jesus responded to them in verses 23 & 24: “Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Rise up and walk?  But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power upon earth to forgive sins, (he said unto the sick of the palsy,) I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy couch, and go into thine house.” Here Jesus does a most amazing thing! He links salvation and healing! This is exactly what the Greek word for “save” or “saved” or “saving” (Strong’s G4982) does! Note that Strong’s definition includes both salvation and healing!

“G4982 – σώζω – sōzō – sode’-zo

From a primary word σῶςsōs̄ (contraction for the obsolete σάοςsaos, “safe”); to save, that is, deliver or protect (literally or figuratively): – heal, preserve, save (self), do well, be (make) whole.”

 

In W. E. Vines, An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words, under “SAVE” we find “SOZO…to save, is used… (a) of material and temporal deliverance from danger, suffering…from sickness… (b) of the spiritual and eternal salvation granted immediately by God to those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ…” Here again, salvation and healing are linked together!

When Jesus began His ministry in His hometown of Nazareth, He went into the Synagogue on the Sabbath day and stood up to read. He was given the scroll of Isaiah and he found the place we know as Isaiah 61 and began to read as recorded in Luke 4: 18-21: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.”

This could be called Jesus’ ministry outline. Some have called it the “Fivefold Ministry of Jesus:” 1. Evangelism, 2. Counseling, 3. Deliverance, 4. Healing and 5. Social ministry. This comprises the “Gospel of the Kingdom of God” that is spoken of in Matthew 4:23: “And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and PREACHING THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM, AND HEALING ALL MANNER OF SICKNESS and all manner of disease among the people.” And Matthew 9:35: “And Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and PREACHING THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM, AND HEALING EVERY SICKNESS and every disease among the people.”

Then Jesus delegated the responsibility of preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom to the Twelve Apostles, Matthew 10: 5-8: “These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.  And as ye go, preach, saying, THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND. HEAL THE SICK, CLEANSE THE LEPERS, RAISE THE DEAD, CAST OUT DEVILS: freely ye have received, freely give.” That was a pretty tall order, but lest you think it was only for the Twelve Apostles, consider Luke 10:1 & 9: “After these things THE LORD APPOINTED OTHER SEVENTY ALSO, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come… And HEAL THE SICK THAT ARE THEREIN, AND SAY UNTO THEM, THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS COME NIGH UNTO YOU.”

Now, consider the above verses in light of the Great Commission! Matthew 28: 18-20: “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: TEACHING THEM TO OBSERVE ALL THINGS WHATSOEVER I HAVE COMMANDED YOU: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Do you hear what the Great Commission is really saying? What should we have been taught? Not just to love one another and share the Gospel with others when it’s not too inconvenient. We should have been taught to do the things that Jesus commanded them to do! “.  And as ye go, preach, saying, THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND. HEAL THE SICK, CLEANSE THE LEPERS, RAISE THE DEAD, CAST OUT DEVILS.”

Jesus made it plain in John 14:12-14: “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.”

Some say, “Oh, but that would require us to operate in the gifts of the Holy Spirit and all that passed away when the Apostles died.” Then how can Matthew 24:14 be fulfilled if the gifts of the Holy Spirit have passed away? Matthew 24:14: “AND THIS GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM SHALL BE PREACHED IN ALL THE WORLD for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” Which Gospel? The same Gospel Jesus preached and the one He commissioned the Twelve Apostles to preach, “And as ye go, preach, saying, THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN IS AT HAND. HEAL THE SICK, CLEANSE THE LEPERS, RAISE THE DEAD, CAST OUT DEVILS…”

Jesus apparently didn’t think the gifts of the Holy Spirit were going to pass away when He gave the Great Commission “…TEACHING THEM TO OBSERVE ALL THINGS WHATSOEVER I HAVE COMMANDED YOU: and, lo, I AM WITH YOU ALWAY, EVEN UNTO THE END OF THE WORLD. Amen.”

I am beginning to hear testimonies of healings and even the raising of the dead from all around the world! What is holding this kind of revival back in most of the United States? We will discuss that in our next post!

Blessings, Tom and Jeanie

 

Posted by: Tom Graves | May 20, 2014

IS MAN CAUSING ANTARCTICA TO MELT?

IS MAN CAUSING ANTARCTICA TO MELT?

Have you noticed the great number of articles lately talking about the ice on Antarctica melting? Invariably, they contribute it to “manmade climate change” but they do admit “OTHER FACTORS” could be the cause! That intrigued me! What are these “OTHER FACTORS” that they refer to? Why this great onslaught of news about “Global warming” anyway? What is the hidden agenda?

ARTICLES AND LINKS FOR EXAMPLES

“A European Space Agency satellite has found that Antarctica has been shedding ice at an accelerated pace compared to when the continent was last surveyed, backing up other research that has detected similar trends. The study, accepted for publication in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, comes one week after other studies claimed that the “collapse” of some glaciers in the West Antarctic Ice Sheet may be inevitable, due to manmade global warming AND OTHER FACTORS.” (Capitalization for emphasis mine)

Link http://mashable.com/2014/05/19/antarctic-ice-melt-accelerating/

SOME ARTICLES JUST BLAME “CLIMATE CHANGE”

‘New research shows a major section of west Antarctica’s ice sheet will completely melt in coming centuries and probably raise sea levels higher than previously predicted, revealing ANOTHER IMPACT FROM THE WORLD’S CHANGING CLIMATE. According to a study released Monday, warm ocean currents and geographic peculiarities have helped kick off a chain reaction at the Amundsen Sea-area glaciers, melting them faster than previously realized and pushing them “past the point of no return,” NASA glaciologist Eric Rignot told reporters.The glacial retreat there “appears unstoppable,” said Rignot, lead author of a joint NASA-University of California Irvine paper that used 40 years of satellite data and aircraft studies.” (Capitalization for emphasis mine)

Link http://www.cnn.com/2014/05/12/us/nasa-antarctica-ice-melt/

THE “SPIN DOCTOR”

If you have been keeping up with any of this, you know that there are two opposing views as to whether the ice is melting or increasing! Listen to this explanation of how it is really melting but just “looks like” it is growing!

“Antarctica is melting, not growing. In fact the ice mass is dropping at an accelerating rate due to multiple factors including accelerated glacial ice calving rates. The loss of sea based ice allows the Antarctic ice to move faster towards the ocean resulting in an increased rate of loss of the Antarctic ice. ANTARCTICA IS LOSING ICE MASS WHILE GAINING ICE EXTENT. THIS IS A CONFUSING POINT TO SOME. There are a few keys that can help us understand what this means in the context of GLOBAL WARMING.” (Capitalization for emphasis mine)

Link http://ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/antarctic-ice-melt

THE “OTHER FACTORS” ARTICLES  AND LINKS FOR EXAMPLES

Article #1

Richard A. Lovett for National Geographic News Published July 15, 2011

“A chain of giant, undersea volcanoes has been found off Antarctica, scientists say. All told a dozen previously unknown peaks were discovered beneath the waves—some up to 10,000 feet (3,000 meters) tall, according to the British Antarctic Survey.

The volcanoes were found near the U.K. territories of the South Georgia Islands and South Sandwich Islands (see map) during a monthlong mapping expedition, which used multibeam sonar to fill in a 370-mile (600-kilometer) by 90-mile (150-kilometer) gap in existing seabed maps. ‘It was amazing finding them,’ said Phil Leat, a geologist volcanologist with the survey. ‘There were so many of these volcanoes we had no idea about.’”

Link http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/07/110715-undersea-volcanoes-antarctica-science-tsunamis/?rptregcta=reg_free_np&rptregcampaign=20131016_rw_membership_n1p_us_se_w#

Article #2

“A string of a dozen volcanoes, at least several of them active, has been found beneath the frigid seas near Antarctica, the first such discovery in that region. Some of the peaks tower nearly 10,000 feet (3,000 meters) above the ocean floor — nearly tall enough to break the water’s surface. ‘That’s a big volcano. That’s a very big volcano. If that was on land it would be quite remarkable,’ said Philip Leat, a vulcanologist with the British Antarctic Survey who led a seafloor mapping expedition to the region in 2007 and 2010.”

Link http://www.livescience.com/15006-underwater-volcanoes-discovered-antarctica.html

Article #3

Hot and Cold: Long-Suspected Antarctic Undersea Volcanoes Discovered

“The British Antarctic Survey has mapped 12 submarine volcanoes, which have created hydrothermal vents that support previously unseen life.

Jul 18, 2011 |By Sophie Bushwick

“Iceland is known as the “land of ice and fire,” but new findings suggest that the South Sandwich Islands in the southern Atlantic Ocean could easily take over that title. In addition to the 11 volcanic islands that make up this Antarctic archipelago, the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) recently discovered that 12 volcanoes lurk below the water’s surface. Despite their icy environs, the South Sandwich Islands have fiery origins thanks to the volcanoes, some of which are still active. ‘Eruptions have been observed over the last century or so,’ says BAS scientist Philip Leat. In addition to a large eruption observed in 1956, a low-level eruption that started in 2002 lasted for six years. Between these two visible surface volcanic reactions, an underwater volcano blew in 1962. Although nobody directly observed that activity, scientists discovered the eruption when large amounts of pumice, a volcanic rock so filled with gas bubbles that it floats on water, washed up on the shores of Antarctica, New Zealand and South America.”

Link http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/hot-and-cold-long-suspect/

Article #4

Antarctic ice threatened by undersea volcano

Jonathan Leake and Nadine Forshaw Published: 11 May 2014

ANTARCTICA’S ice sheets may face a far more imminent threat than climate change: scientists have found a new volcano forming a mile under the ice, which is threatening a full eruption.

Link http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/news/uk_news/Environment/article1409368.ece

Why are we not being told of this volcanic activity by the news media? Why is the push to blame “MANMADE GLOBAL WARMING?”

MANMADE OR GODMADE GLOBAL WARMING?

I find the following very interesting!

Deuteronomy 32:22: “For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn into the lowest @#!*% , and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.” That sounds a lot like a volcano!

Consider this: Is @#!*% in the middle of the earth? That is what Deut. 33:22 seems to indicate.

Deuteronomy 32:22: “For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn into the lowest @#!*% , and shall consume the earth with her increase, and set on fire the foundations of the mountains.”

Compare Isaiah 5:14a: “Therefore, @#!*% hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure…” Why did it have to be enlarged? @#!*% was originally prepared for the devil and his angels, but after the fall of man apparently it had to be enlarged. Matthew 25:41: “Then shall He say also to them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels.”

God also says that this fire “…shall consume the earth with her increase…” Compare II Peter 3:10 & 11: “But the day of the Lord shall come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat; the earth also, and the works that are in it shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy living and Godliness?”

Is GLOBAL WARNING a sign of the times, the end times? If so, man cannot do anything to stop it, regardless of what Al Gore or Obama say.

THE HIDDEN AGENDA?

If in fact “Global Warming” is God made and not man made, it is truly a “sign of the end!” If that is the case, the enemy must realize that if the truth is known, it could result in a great number of people turning to the Lord for salvation to escape the wrath that is to come. The statement has been made, “A lie often told is soon believed, how much more the truth, though it seems impossible.” (Source unknown)

Ben Carson feels there is another agenda for the current administration in pushing “Global Warming.”

“Whether we are experiencing global warming or a coming ice age, which was predicted in the 1970s, we as responsible human beings must be concerned about our surroundings and what we will pass on to future generations. However, to use climate change as an excuse not to develop our God-given resources makes little sense. Expanding our wealth of energy resources, as well as encouraging the development of new renewable energy sources, would provide an enormous economic lift with obvious benefits, but it also would bolster our role as a formidable player in the struggle for world leadership.”

Ben Carson link http://www.desertsun.com/story/opinion/columnists/2014/03/30/ben-carson-energy-path-peace/7075809/

Whatever happens, and whatever is to come in the future, be assured of one thing! GOD IS IN CONTROL!  “While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.” (Genesis 8:22) We are living in exciting times. Pray to the Lord of the harvest that He will send forth laborers into the harvest, for indeed the fields are white unto harvest. (Luke 10:2, John 4:35) Then put “feet to your prayers” and go out into that harvest and share JESUS, the Hope of Salvation!

Blessings, Tom and Jeanie Graves

 

 

Posted by: Tom Graves | May 14, 2014

CAUSE AND EFFECT

CAUSE AND EFFECT!

Do you understand what is going on in our nation? Do you understand why these things are going on in our nation? Nothing happens simply by chance. There is a reason when something happens. We may not always see or understand the reason something happens, but you can be sure that CAUSE AND EFFECT is at work.

What do I mean by CAUSE AND EFFECT? I shared some illustrations from my life in a post entitled THROWN TO THE TORMENTORS, and then made this statement: “My actions and attitude in the whole situation brought about the entire episode of problems. My failure to forgive caused me to literally be thrown to the tormentors. It was not that God was being mean to me or punishing me, it was simply a ‘reproof of life.’ Proverbs 6:23: ‘For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life.’ If you touch a bare electrical wire, you get a shock. That is like a reproof of life. If you break God’s law, you pay the consequence until you repent and receive forgiveness.”

A SIMPLE ILLUSTRATION

CAUSE AND EFFECT is very easy to see in the natural realm. It is easy to understand the natural law of gravity. One does not break the law of gravity; in fact it is the other way around. You no doubt have experienced this many times. I know I have; a missed step, a trip, a loss of balance, all resulting in a fall that brought an injury. You did not break the law of gravity; you were broken by the law of gravity. On the other hand, you can overcome the law of gravity by applying a higher law, for example the law of aerodynamics. This law results in airplanes being able to overcome the law of gravity and thus be able to fly.

SPIRITUAL LAW

Spiritual law on the other hand is a very different story. Because we now live in a society that generally speaking, rejects the existence of God and the spirit realm, things that happen are just chalked up to “luck.” This good thing happened to him or her because they were lucky, or this bad thing happened to him or her because they were unlucky. Settle it once for all in your mind that there is no such thing as luck, good or bad! The word “luck” does not occur in the scriptures.

The words “Blessings” and “Curses” do occur in the scriptures. Deuteronomy 28:1,2: “And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: And ALL THESE BLESSINGS SHALL COME ON THEE, AND OVERTAKE THEE, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.” The picture here is of blessings that literally come and tackle you.

But there are also curses that come from breaking the law, or perhaps I should say, being broken by the law. Deuteronomy 28:15: “But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that ALL THESE CURSES SHALL COME UPON THEE, AND OVERTAKE THEE.” Some people look at God’s law and come to the conclusion that God just doesn’t want mankind to have any fun. It is true that sin has its pleasure, but it is short lived. Moses chose to suffer for truth and for God, rather “…than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.” Hebrews 11:25b. God did not establish His Law to keep us from having fun; He established His law to protect us from curses, the major one being spiritual death. You see, sin has a cost, Romans 6:23a: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Let’s look at a few verses in Deuteronomy 28 and see if we can locate the reasons for some of the problems that are happening in our nation. The United States has been in some debt from its beginning, but until 1930, that debt was from the wars it had fought for the cause of freedom “In the century after Alexander Hamilton refunded the debts of the Revolutionary War with a federal debt, the United States only went into debt to pay for its wars. But then in the 1930s the administration of President Roosevelt attempted to get the nation out of the Great Depression with federal borrowings.” [1] This coincides with the time that America began to turn its back on God and reject His truth. The enemy began by trying to destroy the foundation of creationism by introducing the theory of evolution into our school system in the aftermath of the “Scopes Monkey Trial” in July 1925. Psalm 11:2,3: “For, lo, the wicked bend their bow, they make ready their arrow upon the string, that they may privily shoot at the upright in heart. IF THE FOUNDATIONS BE DESTROYED, WHAT CAN THE RIGHTEOUS DO?” From that point on, our debt has increased exponentially! Today, May 14, 2014 it stands at: $17,476,086,937,255.43. [2]

The blessing of the law: Deuteronomy 28:12: “The LORD shall open unto thee his good treasure, the heaven to give the rain unto thy land in his season, and to bless all the work of thine hand: and thou shalt lend unto many nations, and thou shalt not borrow.”

The curse of the law: Deuteronomy 28:43-44: “The stranger that is within thee shall get up above thee very high; and thou shalt come down very low.  He shall lend to thee, and thou shalt not lend to him: he shall be the head, and thou shalt be the tail.”

You decide, is the United States of America under the Blessing or under the curse?

Once this nation was blessed, very blessed, when Jesus was Lord over the United States of America; Psalm 33:12a: “BLESSED IS THE NATION WHOSE GOD IS THE LORD.”

The good news is that Christians do not have to fall under the curse with the nation! We have been delivered from the curse by the Lord Jesus Christ when He was crucified. Galatians 3:13-14: “Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” Psalm 12:8 AMP: “You will keep them and preserve them, O Lord; You will guard and  keep us from this [evil] generation forever. 8 The wicked walk or  prowl about on every side, as vileness is exalted [and baseness is rated high] among the sons of men.” Romans 8:2: “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Make  Psalm 144: 11-15 AMPLIFIED BIBLE  your prayer for our nation:

“Rescue me and deliver me out of the power of [hostile] alien [tribes] whose mouths speak deceit and whose right hands are right hands [raised in taking] fraudulent oaths. 12 When our sons shall be as plants grown large in their youth and  our daughters as sculptured corner pillars hewn like those of a palace; 13 When our garners are full, affording all manner of store, and our sheep bring forth thousands and ten thousands in our pastures; 14 When our oxen are well loaded; when there is no invasion [of hostile armies] and no going forth [against besiegers–when there is no murder or manslaughter] and no outcry in our streets; 15 Happy and  blessed are the people who are in such a case; yes, happy (blessed, fortunate, prosperous, to be envied) are the people whose God is the Lord!”

Numbers 6:24-26: “The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.”

Receive His Blessing! Tom and Jeanie

Links to works cited:

[1] http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/debt_deficit_history

[2] http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/

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