FIRST-TRUMP#top..........Sound the alarm in Zion..... ...........................

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. A Priest sounds the alarm on a shofar

 

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THOUGHTS & COMMENTS

page 17

15And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful. 16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord (Col 3:)


MAKING SENSE OF THE WORD


It's natural for us to try and make sense of everything we read and encounter. In fact with some of us this desire goes beyond the mere "I'd like to know," to; "I gotta' have it!!" I must confess, I lean heavily toward the latter group.

Most people, I assume, attend church with half an ear tuned to what the preacher or the Sunday School teacher is saying, and with a yawn accepts it as Truth without question or effort to understand what was said. It wouldn't make any difference if the sermon or the lesson was from the Bible or Little Orphan Annie's Mud pie Cookbook, the result would be the same.

But there are others of us who hang on to, and question every word told to us, seeking to "prove" the Word. And I, as well as others (Perhaps you as well) tend to be a skeptic, looking for error in all I encounter.

Such an attitude can easily find its way to negativity and Stick-in-the-mudness. It certainly is clear by the reading of what I write that I at times totter on the edge of such negativity and scepticism. But tottering and falling are not the same thing. While I may lean in that direction in my investigation of the Word; I do not look that way in my daily living.


There are times when viewing with a critical eye is not such a good thing; correcting your boss or drill sergeant is one example. Finding fault with your spouse's cooking is another. At these times, as well as most others of our day-to-day encounters with society it is best to turn a blind eye to the faults and imperfections of others. Paying too much attention to the misgivings of people will not likely further our cause, and could well leave us with a black eye.


But the studying of the Word of God is not one of those occasions when a blind eye is appropriate. Far from simply losing your job, or enduring a rolling pin over the head for insulting your wife's cooking, the consequences of not questioning that which is preached or taught to you in church could effect your eternity, or the lack of it.


Everyone wants to make sense of the Word. Your preacher and Sunday School teacher are no exception. They have probably read the Bible 50 times, and poured over study books and commentaries by the dozens in effort to make sense of the Word. They want to give you the very best and the clearest instruction they possibly can.

But they can't.


Wanting to understand the Word is not enough. A person could spend a lifetime doing nothing but studying the Bible and not make sense of it. And why is that?

Because, there is no sense to the Bible.


When we read Proverbs or the Psalms it is so comforting and so easily understood (most of it) because they speak to our life. They give us comfort and understanding when we need comfort and understanding. In fact, many people carry the Psalms with them wherever they go.

But have you ever heard of anyone carrying with them the book of Leviticus? Have you ever had someone tell you that in their times of troubles they find relief in studying the prescribed sacrifices of the Jews?

Hardly. Nor are you likely to find anyone having the book of Zechariah, or Malachi stuffed safely away in their purse or pocket.


The books of the Law have no application to us in our daily life as they did to the Jews. In fact, though the Jews still study them "religiously" today, the laws only add frustration to them because there is no way they can fulfill that which they are commanded to do by the God they seek to follow. They read what must be done to be a "good Jew" and to have their sins forgiven; but regardless of their sincerity or their love for God and Judaism, they can not perform that which is written. It must be terribly anguishing for the Jews to seek a God who has turned His back on them. This is especially true when these same Jews refuse to recognize that their God is trying to get them to come around to the front of the direction He is facing.


The first five books of the Old Testament are easily understood; that is superficially they are easily understood. But the O.T. is no longer intended to be read superficially as it was 2,000 years ago. Since the cross, the O.T. is a portrayal of the one we are to follow, and a key to unlock the mysteries of the New Testament.

Without the O.T. the N.T. makes little sense - except superficially. When read in depth, the O.T. is exciting and encouraging. Yet I hear well known preachers and Bible commentators say that we are not to consider the O.T., that it has no application for the Christian of today.

A superficial understanding of the Word is what most people have, and it is all they want. In the same way that a person buys a car and only wants to know how to start, stop and turn the thing, not how to check the oil or fix a flat; the Christian only wants to know where in the Bible it says they are going to heaven, and the instructions on how to pray in order to get all the goodies promised to them.

The above people expect Santa Clause to come on a fluffy white cloud and take them away to their well-deserved Heaven were angels will spend eternity waiting on them hand and foot.


But since you are still reading this piece, I assume you are either looking for the place where I get my foot stuck in my mouth (and you must certainly have found several places already), or you are a person seeking a fuller understanding of the Word, and hope I have a fragment of it to offer.

I hope so too.


No one can make sense of the Bible because the Bible makes no sense. If you have read the Bible with any attentiveness at all, you already know this. You have come across numerous passages that seem to contradict one another; that seem to jump from the past in one verse, to some far future point in time in the next, and then back again. You have found what must be spiritualized metaphors that are written as if they have to be taken literally, but can't. And you have come across symbols and word pictures that just don't make any sense at all.

So, what do you do with these confusing passages? You go to the "experts," the commentators, and your Pastor. And what you hear from these experts make no sense either. It seems to make sense to them; but you see too much in the Word that conflicts with their explanation.


Then you see these verses if Scripture:


39And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. 40And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? 41Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth. (John 9:)


And these:

Yea, they have chosen their own ways, and their soul delighteth in their abominations. 4I also will choose their delusions, and will bring their fears upon them; because when I called, none did answer; when I spake, they did not hear: but they did evil before mine eyes, and chose that in which I delighted not. (Isa 66:)


10And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? 11He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. 12For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath. 13Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. 14And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: 15For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. (Mat 13:)


34And they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken. (Luke 18:)


41And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, 42Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes (Luke 19:)


No doubt reading these passages leaves you scratching your head and saying; "I don't get it. Why would God want to hide His meaning from anyone? I thought He was trying to make things clear so everyone would come to Him and be saved. Isn't that what we're told in church?"


Then you read a little further and you come across these verses:


16But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear. 17For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them. (Mat 9:)

And these:

1For I would that ye knew what great conflict I have for you, and for them at Laodicea, and for as many as have not seen my face in the flesh; 2That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; 3In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. (Col 2:)


19For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; 20And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. 21And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled 22In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: 23If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister; 24Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church: 25Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; 26Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: 27To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: 28Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus: 29Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily. (Col 1:)

And this:

3But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: 4In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. (2Cor 2:)


Chances are you are now saying: "I get it. God hid His intentions from the lost, the unsaved, but not from those who are His disciples," or something of the like. But you probably are adding to this, like I did: "But if the Truth is hidden, how can the disciple, that is those of us who seek Him, see the Truth He has hidden?"

Here is the answer, from the Words of no less than Jesus Himself:


15If ye love me, keep my commandments. 16And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.

18I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. 19Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. 20At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. 21He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. 22Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? 23Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. 24He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.

25These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. 26But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. 27Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:)


12I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. 13Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. 14He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you. 15All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you. (John 16:)


Again I say; there is no sense to the Bible. It can not be understood. Not by the carnal mind. It takes the Holy Spirit to understand what the Bible means. And if it is the Holy Spirit who understands, than we, carnal man, can take no credit for what we know and have been given.


26The king answered and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, Art thou able to make known unto me the dream which I have seen, and the interpretation thereof? 27Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers, the magicians, the soothsayers, show unto the king; 28But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days. Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these; 29As for thee, O king, thy thoughts came into thy mind upon thy bed, what should come to pass hereafter: and he that revealeth secrets maketh known to thee what shall come to pass. 30But as for me, this secret is not revealed to me for any wisdom that I have more than any living, but for their sakes that shall make known the interpretation to the king, and that thou mightest know the thoughts of thy heart. (Dan 2:)


EVANGELIZING THE EVANGELICALS


I have a question. It appears to me that the denominations are so busy trying to prove themselves right, and trying to convert those in other denominations to their own that the unbelievers who are supposed to be evangelized are left to fend for themselves.

I am not attempting at this point to condemn anyone or any doctrine - I do plenty of that elsewhere. It's just that I noticed how much harder church members come down on those of other denominations and what they call "cults" then on the worst of offenders outside the church altogether. Is it like families who bite and pick at each other's smallest fault while ignoring the violent gestures of those outside the family?

I don't know the answer, but I wonder.


There are two things in particular that got me thinking about this. One is all the effort the "cults" such as the Jehovah's Witnesses and the Mormons put into their evangelizing. They put far more effort into enlarging the borders of their church than do any of the mainline churches, as far as I can see.


But why? I mean, why go after the members of other churches?

Now, I myself rarely see any such missionaries, not even when I was not attending any church whatever for many a year. But, oddly enough, a Pastor and his wife who live just up the street have had many encounters with them. Now, I say, here is a prime target for evangelizing (me) who sees not a hair on the head of any "Christian" making an effort to bring into the fold. And here are two people who have essentially dedicated their lives to the furthering of God's will, and they are proselytized often with great fervor.

Is there something wrong with this picture?


I also wonder why so much effort is spent in the downward direction of evangelizing. By this I mean, the Mormons and the Witnesses believe less about the Christ they preach than the ones they are preaching to! I Can somewhat see why the mainline Christians might try to "convert" the Mormons and the Witnesses since in their minds they are bring their converts up in their acceptance of Christ.


I am in no way saying that one or the other of any denomination is right or wrong. If you have read any of my writings at all, you know I think they are all dead wrong. I believe that there are True Christians in all the Christian Faiths, and that all the Faiths are overrun by tares and wolves. Of course you doubt what I have just said - for your church, and agree with it for all others.


Continuing; the cults and the mainliners are not the only ones battling one another. We also have the Catholic church in the Frey swinging at everyone.

When I was a little boy my father would take me to the wrestling matches. There would be the greats of their time like Gorgeous George and Baron Mechel Leoni. For a period of time these huge creatures would throw each other all over the ring, and outside of it as well (once into my ten-year-old lap, which horrified me to the point I would no longer go to see the bouts). Then came the "tag" events and wrestlers I know-not-who were throwing everyone I knew not who hither and yon. Then to conclude the excitement, members of the audience would climb into the ring in order to see who could be thrown out first.

Other things that come to my mind is the after-event activities at Spanish soccer games and the Mexican bull runs.

I wonder why these came to my mind while talking about Evangelizing?


The second thing that brought on my thinking of evangelizing is the Mission Field. We already know how much at one another's throat all the denominations are; yet when it comes to Missions, there seems to be no distinctions between the denominations and the cults.

Yesterday I got to wondering about this. We hear from our preachers and the like how terribly abused the Christians and the Christian Missionaries are in other countries. Yet, it seems, I hear no one saying that Missionaries or Christians from their denomination are being abused.

It made me to wonder just who it is being abused. So I went on the WWW in order to research this subject. I expected little trouble in my efforts, after all, surely the news articles, or the sites dedicated to the persecution of the Christians, or the denominational home pages will have statistics.

I spent hours, and not a nibble. The closest I could come is that it is the Copts in some areas of the world, and the Bahai's in other parts. And here and there the Catholics are having problems. (If I sound vague, it's because I'm grasping at straws because either no one seems to know the statistics, or they're not telling - or I just didn't find the right website.) One thing was clear, however, the Mormons and the Witnesses, because of their very aggressive proselytizing were singled out. But, of course, persecution is what these two denominations are known for, and without persecution, they feel like they are failing in their duty.

But tell me the truth, have you ever had a Baptist, or a Pentecostal, or a Methodist come to your door, Bible in hand, wanting to witness to you? (I'm not talking about them inviting you to a church social, I've heard of that occasionally). And since this is not being done here in the U.S of A where it is safe, can you imagine it happening in countries where it could cost one their life?

YET, in the churches, when the topic of Christian problems in other country arises, what's the chances you are told these "Christians" that you are told not to allow in your door are to be prayed for fervently in order that they may be released so they can once again proselytize their "demonic" messages?


This was just a thought. No conclusions. This mainly because I could find no information on which to set me on a good course of thought.


AMAZING GRACE


How many times, I ask you have you sang the song "Amazing Grace?" Would a hundred times be much of an exaggeration? Why, even the secular world considers this song one of their own. Have you ever seen a songbook without Amazing Grace as one of the included songs? In fact, I wouldn't be at all surprised to hear atheists singing Amazing Grace without even a hint of a blush.

I myself have sung it constantly in my mind for the past year - thousands of times would not be much of an exaggeration, if any at all.

But have you ever stopped to listen to what you are saying? I mean, have you really given thought to the words and their meaning?


Yesterday I did just that.

And though the words to the song gave me no great surprise as I already full well agreed (and have so written) with the concept, I wondered how many people had no idea of what they were saying.


"Amazing Grace." No problem there. We all know we are saved by Grace, that is, the Grace that our Lord Jesus provided for us by dying for us on the cross. Even "Works" oriented churches accept that it is by Grace we are saved, though they believe there are other things that must be added to this foundation. Then there are churches that believe since Jesus did it all, there is nothing we can, or should do to add to what Jesus has done. And going a bit farther (not much farther, mind you) we have the far end of the spectrum where churches say because of what Jesus has done for the world everybody is saved in the end, no matter how rotten and rebellious they are. Then of course there are the two opposite poles such as the Jews who are all works oriented, and the humanists who don't give a hoot one way or the other.

Some where in the mess above stands you and me. If you are a Christian who has been singing Amazing Grace, you most likely mean what you say, and say what you mean (or at least try to).

"Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound." Is that true? Ok, moving on: "That Saved a Wretch Like Meeeee!"


Wait a minute now! Who says I'm a "Wretch?" why, if anyone called me a "wretch" I'd knock their block off!

Yet here we say, over and over, "A Wretch like me."

Do we mean it? Or are we lying through our teeth?

Or, like we do in the rest of our life, we just aren't paying attention to what we are saying?


"Wretch," what does the word mean? According to Mr. Oxford (or maybe it's Mrs. Oxford) a wretch is a: 1. Very unfortunate or miserable person, or 2. A despicable person.

Despicable? What's that? Let's see what Mrs. Oxford says about that. 1. Deserving to be despised, contemptible. No #2 is given, so I guess we're stuck with being contemptible.


Are you contemptible? Are you a lowlife? Are you less than a worm in your own eyes?

If you're a Christian, and hope to see Heaven, you had better be, and here's why:

14I have said to corruption, Thou art my father: to the worm, Thou art my mother, and my sister. (Job 14:)

5I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee. 6Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes. (Job 42:)

This is Job speaking of himself, a person God Himself said was perfect.


24O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 25I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. (Rom 7:)

Here we have Paul speaking of his condition as a man, even a man of God.


6But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.

7All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, (Psalm 22:)

Here we have David speaking in the voice of Jesus Himself as He hung on the cross. Should we be better than He?

24The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. 25It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. (Mat 10:)


Still not convinced? Maybe these Words from Jesus will soften you up.


15I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 17Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 18I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. 19As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 20Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 21To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. 22He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. (Rev 3:)


TRANCE


A couple years ago I was strongly into music, both learning it and recording it. One of the processes of recording I found interesting was what is called MIDI. MIDI is an electronic sound simulation that sounds like regular audio such as a recording of a piano or a guitar (or a full orchestra), but is in fact nothing but a tiny spot of bumps on a disk. It is what keyboards use to produce their music.

One style of music that easily lends itself to MIDI is what's called "Trance." As you might expect, trance is often used to induce a fairly hypnotic state, and is often used by drug users for this purpose.

I always found a little trance music rather fascinating, but never particularly indulged in it to any extent.

It has been a year since I have heard trance (or any kind of music other than Christian). I was looking at my computer files today and came across the Trance folder. (I was searching for the Dobro files in order to find practice material), so I thought I would give it a try. As per usual, I paused to listen to my "Spirit" to see if there was any resistance to what I was about to do. I felt none, so I double-clicked the trance file - and instantly my body reacted with great repulsion (rather like a shock). I had the music stopped within two seconds, but my bodily rejection continued for a time.

The experience kind of reminded me of turning on a radio that is near a small puppy. While the radio was quiet, the puppy is happy and enthusiastic about everything. But when the radio is turned on, not realizing it to be at full volume, the puppy reacts violently with fear and bewilderment. And for a time after the radio is turned off, the puppy remains in that shocked, bewildered state of fear.


What did I learn from the experience with Trance? Is it of the devil?

I'm not going to place judgment on trance or any other form of music. All I can say for sure is I learned that I can't go by my initial instincts, even though I feel I have checked with the Lord first. Sometimes it seems He lets me go ahead with something so I can learn what my reaction will be. Sort of like letting a child touch something hot but not burning so he or she will know why he should stay away from fire.


In the verses at the top of the page Paul tells us to follow our peace. We tend to think that means we will have no problems if we stay in that realm of peace. But let's take a look at what Jesus said about the "Peace" we are to follow:


34Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. 35For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36And a man's foes shall be they of his own household. 37He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. 39He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. (Mat 10:)


41And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, 42Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. (Luke 19:)


25These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. 26But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. 27Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. (John 14:)


33These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. (John 16:)


With the above as a guide, consider this statement by David and see if new meaning is brought to light:


Psalm 23

1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

2 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

3 He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.


Consider the word "though," as in "though I walk through the valley." Below I have presented Strong's explanation of the word. Notice how "though" could just as easily be translated as "Certainly, Surely, Assuredly" added to "When, and While."

"Though" H3588 ki^y kee

A primitive particle (the full form of the prepositional prefix) indicating causal relations of all kinds, antecedent or consequent; (by implication) very widely used as a relative conjugation or adverb; often largely modified by other particles annexed: - and, + (forasmuch, inasmuch, where-) as, assured [-ly], + but, certainly, doubtless, + else, even, + except, for, how, (because, in, so, than) that, + nevertheless, now, rightly, seeing, since, surely, then, therefore, + (al-) though, + till, truly, + until, when, whether, while, who, yea, yet,


Remember the words of Jesus?


In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.(John 16:)


"Ye Shall have tribulation, not "Might have."

Perhaps David's Psalm might better have been translated: "When I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me."

You will have troubles; and you will have peace in those troubles; if you follow Jesus to the cross through the valley of the shadow of death.

The Peace that Jesus gives us takes us through the valley of the shadow of death. If we don't follow His Peace, we are left on our own.


So, if you expect the Holy Spirit to warn you that you are entering into a treacherous valley, you may well be mistaken. The Peace you feel may be the very hook that is intended to lead you into the valley.

Do you doubt it? Take a look at this bit of Scripture:


11And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 12And immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness. 13And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him. (Mark 1:)


But that was Jesus, you might say, it surely wouldn't be expected of us. God wouldn't intentionally lead His children into temptation?


"And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?" (Job 1:8)

These are the Words of God to Satan before He unleashed the devil on His only perfect servant.


"And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of." (Gen 22:1-2)

Almost all temptations in the Bible are us (Man) tempting God. And the Bible says that God does not tempt us (James 1:13). But it appears by the above God does test those who are special to Him.

But God does not leave it at this; He adds this:

13There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. (1Cor 10:)


2My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; 3Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. 4But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. 5If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. 7For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. 8A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. 9Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: 10But the rich, in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. 11For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withereth the grass, and the flower thereof falleth, and the grace of the fashion of it perisheth: so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways. 12Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

13Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: 14But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. 15Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. 16Do not err, my beloved brethren. 17Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. 18Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. (James 1:)


Perhaps you are saying: "Wait a minute. Nobody told me about this. I thought all I had to do was sit back, rake in the goodies, and wait to be taken to my well-deserved Mansion in the clouds."

If this, or anything like it is your attitude, perhaps you should consult your Pastor, and while your at it, consider this:

25And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, 26If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. 27And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. 28For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? 29Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, 30Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. 31Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? 32Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. 33So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple. 34Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned? 35It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. (Luke 14:)


21And Araunah said, Wherefore is my lord the king come to his servant? And David said, To buy the threshingfloor of thee, to build an altar unto the LORD, that the plague may be stayed from the people. 22And Araunah said unto David, Let my lord the king take and offer up what seemeth good unto him: behold, here be oxen for burnt sacrifice, and threshing instruments and other instruments of the oxen for wood. 23All these things did Araunah, as a king, give unto the king. And Araunah said unto the king, The LORD thy God accept thee. 24And the king said unto Araunah, Nay; but I will surely buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the LORD my God of that which doth cost me nothing. So David bought the threshingfloor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. 25And David built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the LORD was entreated for the land, and the plague was stayed from Israel. (2Sam 24:)


22Then David said to Ornan, Grant me the place of this threshingfloor, that I may build an altar therein unto the LORD: thou shalt grant it me for the full price: that the plague may be stayed from the people. 23And Ornan said unto David, Take it to thee, and let my lord the king do that which is good in his eyes: lo, I give thee the oxen also for burnt offerings, and the threshing instruments for wood, and the wheat for the meat offering; I give it all. 24And king David said to Ornan, Nay; but I will verily buy it for the full price: for I will not take that which is thine for the LORD, nor offer burnt offerings without cost. 25So David gave to Ornan for the place six hundred shekels of gold by weight. 26And David built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and called upon the LORD; and he answered him from heaven by fire upon the altar of burnt offering. 27And the LORD commanded the angel; and he put up his sword again into the sheath thereof. 28At that time when David saw that the LORD had answered him in the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite, then he sacrificed there. 29For the tabernacle of the LORD, which Moses made in the wilderness, and the altar of the burnt offering, were at that season in the high place at Gibeon. 30But David could not go before it to inquire of God: for he was afraid because of the sword of the angel of the LORD. (1Chron 21:)


 

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