Tuesday, April 28, 2009

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Study The Word Of God That His Story May Be Rewritten In Us

Do we really want to be led by the Holy Spirit? If so, the only way is to open our eyes, ears, and hearts to see God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit in the love letter, known as the Word of God, that the Lord has given to us by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. For faith comes by hearing the Word of God. It is the manna, spiritual food, which is provided to nourish our souls. It is through His Word that we are guided and led into all truth. It is the lamp unto our feet by which He leads us upon the right path. It is His Word that keeps us from veering to the right or the left, our very present strength in resisting the temptations of this world. Otherwise, we may become easily seduced by any and every false teaching sent to lure us onto wrong paths in life.

We are to read and hide his Word in our hearts that we might be forewarned, forearmed and protected from the fiery darts of the devil, from our own deceitful nature, or our “old man”, that is our natural self before we became a new creation in Him. God is our fortress, our shield and buckler, protecting us from Satan who would seek to devour and destroy us. The more we study His word, the better equipped we become to discern the difference between good and evil, and become empowered to choose to be more Christ-like, that we may truly glorify God in all our ways.

His Word is one of the tools that He uses to melt and mold us more into His image. If we neglect so great a gift, or look upon it as just a collection of nice little stories written by mere men, then we have rejected the strength and guidance upon which we are to build our faith. To be rooted and grounded in His Word, is to have that rudder that keeps us steered in the right direction, just as a rudder of a ship keeps it heading toward its correct destination. For us, Believers and those who are seeking Him, He has provided His Word that we may be raised in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. He has said that His Word, inspired by His Holy Spirit, is for the express purpose of providing instruction, correction, and enlightenment for our eternal lives.

Our eternal life begins here on Earth, and leads either to our home in heaven, which He has prepared for us, or to an eternity in perpetual darkness and separation from Him forever. Neglecting the study of the Bible is as foolish as a carpenter going out to work with some of his most important tools missing from his tool belt. How can he expect to complete the job successfully without the proper equipment? If we are not rooted and grounded in His Word, our faith is merely built on the sinking sand of our own opinions, rather than the solid rock of the gospel of Jesus Christ. If we do not study and hide His Word in our hearts, we will be led astray like lost sheep by any false gospel, prophet, or gods that arise on the scene of life.

Man does not live by bread alone but by every word from the mouth of God. He draws us closer to Him when we seek to communicate with Him through His Word. How can we hear from Him if we never listen? How can He direct, guide, strengthen, and help us through the storms of life if we never open His Word and yield ourselves to instructions? How can we place our trust in Him if we never seek His assurance and advice? Let us not choose to pattern our lives in the image of man, but in the image of God the Father as He reveals Himself to us by the power of His Holy Spirit through His written Word, the Bible, and through His Living Word, Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord.

The Bible is a difficult book to read because it came from the one true God whose wisdom and knowledge is infinite. If man could read and understand the Bible as he does other books, then the Bible would just be another “natural” book, and could not be the Word of God. Since the Bible is from God, and therefore spiritual, before reading it one must first be born again and filled with the Holy Spirit. Without His guidance we can not understand the wisdom, or knowledge, of God. (I Cor. 2)

We are encouraged to let the “mind of Christ” dwell in us richly. We are also instructed to renew our minds by the “washing of the water of the Word.” How can we expect to truly learn day by day to be more like Christ if we do not trust in His Word to teach us to do so? Jesus is the Living Word and is revealed to us by His written Word. To let His will be done in our lives, we must allow the Holy Spirit to rewrite His story within us that our story will be a reflection of His story. Only then can His story be seen in our lives that we may help to draw others to Him. For it is when others can see Jesus in us that they are then drawn to have what we have- the Living Christ that draws all men unto Him that they too may have the peace that passes understanding and eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ. Oh that all would know, as the song says,

“He touched me, Oh He touched me,
And oh the joy that floods my soul!
Something happened and now I know
He touched me and made me whole.”

If God is for us, who can be against us? Nothing can separate us from the love of God. He never leaves us or forsakes us. It is not He that walks away from our side, but we who walk away from His side. By our own choice, we are either drawing closer to Him each day, or we are walking away from Him either by commission or omission. We are either hungering or thirsting to be filled daily by His Spirit and Word, or we are dining at the trough of the ways of the world that will never be able to quench our hunger or thirst.

When we are tempted to feel like “Where are you Lord and, if you are truly in control, why do you allow bad things to happen in my life?”, our first response should be to turn to Him in prayer and turn to His Word for assurance, peace, and direction. He knows the beginning from the end, while we just happen to be in the middle and can’t see the whole picture of our lives as He does. You know His Word tells us that there will be trials and tribulations in our lives, but He will always be with us and help us to get through them. He did not say that we would be spared any pain or suffering in this life. Look at Jesus. Was He not the Son of God? Yet He was not spared from enduring the ultimate pain of separation from His Father, and received the punishment for all of our sins when He died upon the Cross.

Yes, He set the ultimate example of what it means to yield to the will of the Father. He asked His Father, if possible, could He be spared this cup, but then He said “not my will be done, but yours Father.” If we trust in Him, we can be assured that He can take even those negative things in our lives to work out for the good, not to glorify ourselves, but to the glory of God Almighty. Our God reigns. We must choose to let Him reign in our lives and stop trying to put ourselves on the throne. A right relationship to and fellowship with the Lord should be our ultimate goal. May His Word live in us richly for it is far more precious than any silver or gold.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

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The Government Is Not The United States - The People Are

Here I am again, “a voice crying in the wilderness”. At least that’s what it feels like. None is “so blind as he who will not see”. The roots of our countries problems started long ago and insidiously worked their way to the present dangers we face. Yes, a lot depends on whose ox is being gored.

In the beginning there were dissenters, and over the years these dissenters have presented many faces. A percentage of our citizens wanted to remain English. Today these dissenters have gained the upper hand and their intention is to rebuild our country in their image rather than abide by the dictates of our founding fathers.

As they’ve gained control of the ebb and flow of the world’s money, controlling industry with scare tactics such as global warming, and slowly chipping away at our individual freedoms, we are loosing ground. There is already talk of a multinational banking authority. The seeds of international law superceding our own laws are being planted. Global warming (although caused by fluctuations in solar radiation) is said to be caused by man. While only a handful of scientists still espouse this belief, unscrupulous politicians are using it in an attempt to control various industries. God forbid that we should listen to the thousands of scientists around the world who say that man made global warming is simply not true. The planet has actually been getting cooler since 1998.

The new stance of the United States is no longer “walk softly and carry a big stick” but rather to walk softly and when confronted – shrink into your sneakers.

Remember, “It rains on the just and the unjust all the same”. This could be said to mean that what is imposed by the few covers us all. In other words we are all subject to each other’s stupidity. Now we need to know the difference between ignorance and stupidity. Ignorance is a lack of knowledge. Stupidity is the lack of the ability to use knowledge.

Thomas Jefferson said, in essence, that if the people with little to loose ever found out how to vote themselves that which belongs to others would cause the foundations on which this country is based to shrivel and fall. This in my opinion was why this country was set up as a republic rather then a democracy. We, for instance, are not guaranteed happiness, but rather the pursuit of happiness. We are not guaranteed success in business, life or love, but rather have the right to try. In our country, stupid politicians and other career government officials apparently have decided that the pursuit of their happiness takes preeminence over the welfare of our country, our citizens and our constitution. Many of these people have never had a real job or have spent very little time in providing for themselves and their families. Those who have been nurturing at the fount of government plenty have, in their infinite wisdom, decided that they know better than we how we should live our lives. This has been referred to as big brother. As I have said in the past, our country was founded on Judeo-Christian principals and removal of these principals destroys the country.

I can’t imagine what life will be like in our country in twenty years or so. I probably won’t see all that much of what I fear come to pass as in all probability I will be dead by then. I really feel sorry for my children and grandchildren who will see the changes and won’t live in the wonderful country in which I grew up. I know I sound pessimistic about the future, but I judge what I see happening based on the changes I have already seen. Changes in the past have been slow and insidious; whereas changes in the past ten to fifteen years have been occurring exponentially. I, for example, was born during World War II when we were truly “one nation under God”. Since the forties, and perhaps before, there has been a concerted effort to remove all vestiges of the Christian God from our consciousness. I lived in Baltimore and was attending a public school when Madeline Murray O’Hare brought suit on behalf of her son to have prayer removed from the schools. The Lord got even however, by allowing her son (the object of her suit) to be born again and become a Christian minister.

PETA is a good example of the evil, which is rampant in today’s world. This group values animal life more than human life. Does this remind you of the Bible reference to those who worship the creation rather than the creator? The ACLU, under the guise of fighting for civil rights, has fought long and hard to undermine the ideals of our country.

Those of us who have studied history as well as His story realize that the Bible is in essence a textbook on life. On what do groups like the ACLU and PETA base their moral judgments and reasons for being alive? Karl Marx said he was right, and he is dead. Hitler said he was right, and he is dead. Stalin said he was right, and he is dead. Mohamed said he was right, and he is dead. Buddha said he was right, and he is dead. Jesus said he was right and therein I rest my case. You can base your life on the one true and living God, or some dead guy, or even something you make up yourself. Therein lies the rub. The choice is up to you. Base your life on fact or fable; there are consequences either way. The choice is life or death – choose life.

My wife has greater wisdom than I do. When I get all upset about what I see happening, she reminds me that these things must take place before the Lord can return. Isn’t it amazing how the Lord provides for us in our hours of need? We don’t like to see what is happening all around us, and yet it may all be part of the plan. I can’t see where the United States is mentioned in the end time writings of the Bible. Perhaps what we now see happening will continue, and diminish us to a point of insignificance in those times. If that is what must be –so be it.

Is it wrong of me to refer to those on the far left as bastards just because they have no founding fathers? Apparently they have no moral fiber as well. On April fifteenth of this year there were about 750 gatherings across the nation to protest our out of control government. They called them tea parties in remembrance of the Boston tea party just before our revolution. Reaction from the far left was that they were right wing radical, racists, bigots, disgusting, out of control, stupid, ignorant, sexually deviant and sponsored by wealthy corporations. Wow! The left is really scared! What are they afraid of? These gatherings were just plain Americans who are upset with the government being out of control and non responsive to the wishes of the people. What the left is really scared of is the truth. It is truly amazing when you realize the disgust and contempt that the far left has for the American people. Some would try to relegate all our present problems to the battle between Democrats and Republicans, right wing and left wing. This point of view however, is merely a smoke screen to distract us from of the reality that there really is a right and wrong in life.

Because I believe in God, our Constitution and other founding papers love my country, served in the military, own a gun, think that abortion is wrong under most circumstances, think that marriage is between one man and one woman; I am now considered by some to be a right wing extremist. Who is it that thinks that is what I am? There are those who are so far left, and right, in their thinking that that they hate anyone not also on the far fringes. The category I really qualify for is center right. If you doubt this fact, you need to reevaluate your own positions. The vitriol in current political discourse is something that has to be addressed. We can have different views and we may not even understand the other’s position, but we don’t need to hate each other.

In essence, what is happening in our country at the present time is the silent majority is not being silent anymore. This worries both, those on the far right, and the far left. This momentum of the people may not succeed in producing anything that will save our nation, but by God, I’m willing to help in the attempt.

If you don’t get any thing else from this – at least go to the following web sites –



Rick Rahn

Saturday, April 4, 2009

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Random Bible Questions/Insights

1. Why refrain from debate of the Word with unbelievers especially?

The Word tells us it is fruitless and only leads to strife because the unbeliever has no correct basis of thinking because their minds are “beclouded” by a lack of knowledge. All “right” thinking must be based upon faith in the wisdom of the Lord, not on man’s opinion. Right thinking is based upon faith in God, His Word, and the resurrection power of Christ.

Titus 3: 9 “But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and striving about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.”

I Timothy 6: 3, 4, 5 “ If any man teach otherwise (than God and His doctrines), and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud (a fool), knowing nothing, but doting (being fond of) about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings. Perverse disputings of men of corrupt mind, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.

I Timothy 1: 4 “Not to be teaching otherwise (against the doctrine of Jesus Christ), nor yet to be giving heed to stories and endless genealogies, the which bring arguings, rather than the stewardship of God which is in “faith.”

The following translation provides an even more complete understanding of the dilemma.
I Timothy 6: 4 “He (the unbeliever) is beclouded, knowing {nothing} rightly, But is diseased about questionings and word-battles out of which spring envy, strife, defamations, wicked surmisings, incessant quarrelings of men wholly corrupt in their mind and bereft of the truth- Supposing godliness to be {a means of gain}.

Furthermore, lest the reader think that I am being judgmental or arrogant in stating that an unbeliever has no “right thinking” within him, please consider the following scripture:

I Corinthians 2:14 “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
Remember that is not my personal statement, but rather from the Lord God Almighty. So if there is a disagreement, it must be with God, not me.

II Timothy 3: 16, 17 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”

Each Christian is responsible for renewing his own mind by the “washing of the water of the word.” As a baby grows in knowledge in little daily steps, so does the Christian grow in his ability to gain “right thinking.” That growth to “think rightly” depends, to a great degree, upon our willingness to learn and receive instruction from the word of God. We are exhorted to study the word that we may be a “workman that need not be ashamed.”

2. The Balm of Gilead: balm is a medicinal gum. It is a sap that is obtained from certain trees and made into a suave or cream that relieves pain. Jesus

Christ is the Great Physician and is the true Balm of Gilead. Through His death and resurrection, He has provided the balm that cleanses and heals us from the pain of our sins. He has removed the “sting of death” from the believer.

In a recent prayer time for a loved one, the Holy Spirit spoke forth this proclamation. We were lifting the loved one up to the Lord. We looked upon Jesus, the Great Physician, holding this person in the peace of His loving arms, while the Holy Spirit covered the person with the Balm of Gilead providing soothing and calming power.

Later, I was led to search for the scriptures about the balm of Gilead. I have copied two of those scriptures below:

Jer. 8: 22 “Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? Why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?” (This is not a real question, but rather an expression of wonderment as to why those things had not been sought out, and provided for the recovery of the person in need.)

Jer. 51: 8 “…take balm for her pain, if so she may be healed.”

3.Why we are to refrain from letting persons, not even family and other loved ones, cause us to compromise on our stand upon the word of the Lord?

The following story is relayed in the book Fresh Wind Fresh Fire, pgs.157-163.

II Chronicles 14 and 15: tells of the story of Asa, the grandson of Solomon. He was not brought up to be a God fearing man, but at some point in his life he chose to truly seek the Lord and follow Him and Him alone. He ordered all symbols of foreign gods to be removed. Yet later he discovered that his own grandmother, Maacah, still had such a repulsive “ Asherah pole.” Not only did he cut down the pole, going even further, he deposed the woman from her throne as queen mother. One can only imagine the pressure that must have come against him. Can you hear the voices around him demanding that he consider the happiness and “feelings” of his very own Grandmother? “After all,” they might say, “doesn’t she deserve to have this last little bit of solace in her later years? What harm can a little pole do? How can you possibly even think of dethroning her? If you really love her, why not do all that you can to make her last years happy? Why not just let her have her way, and give her your undying support?” Yet when we do choose to be a respecter of man’s “feelings,” we are oblivious to the greater danger and harm that we are doing to that very person that we say we love so very much. For in so doing, we are supporting them in their sin, rather than letting them suffer the consequences of their behavior, in hopes that they may possibly come to see the error of their ways, repent, and be restored to a right standing with the Lord, and bask in His blessings.

As Christians today, we are constantly bombarded with social issues that are intended to influence us to compromise the word of God and our allegiance to Him. Can we not hear the voices of our fellow man luring us to “have compassion and tolerance?” Yet what is more important- considering the feelings of others, or standing strong for the advancement of the Kingdom of God? As Jim Cymbala
stated in his book, “Whatever God approves of comes first. Whatever grieves Him has to go.”

4. The gift of rebuke from a righteous man.

Related to the previous topic is a scripture that really jumped out and went to the core of me. None of us enjoys discipline at the time. However, it is part of the protection against the fiery darts of the powers and principalities of the darkness of this world. How many times have I been able to look back upon this scripture in thanksgiving to the Lord? It reminds me NOT to have “itchy ears” that would seek to only listen to words that I may want to hear that soothe my “feelings,” or agree with my “opinions,” but rather seek the words and ways of the Lord which may be hard for me to hear, but serve to refine me in His fire and mold me into His image.
Psalm 141: 5 “Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head:…”

I can only think of the many times that I have had to undergo suffering, because I would not learn a lesson the first time. If we don’t learn a lesson, then we are doomed to suffer again and again the same agony until we finally yield to Him, shunning our rebellious nature and seeking to let Christ live within us. I also ask the Lord to forgive me for being an enabler to others, helping sin become more entrenched in their lives.

5. How do we renew our minds that we may be able to think rightly?

The Bible warns us to become properly equipped in the wisdom of the Word that we will not be easily seduced by the darkness and hypocrisy of this world. II Timothy 3: 2-7 “ This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

The Word tells us that the natural man without the “mind of Christ” is devoid of understanding and right thinking. We, who are made a new creation in Christ Jesus, are to submit ourselves to the daily infilling of the Holy Spirit that He may renew us daily in thought, word, and deed. Being a new creation in Christ does not mean that we are instantly grown in maturity, but that we are to seek His face daily that we may be made more and more into His image. Ephesians 4: 11- 15 And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets, and some, evangelists, and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting (equipping) of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying (building up) of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect (mature) man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight (tricks) of men, and cunning craftiness(cleverness), whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into Him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.

We are to guard against thinking and behaving as our old man (natural corruptible nature), which was our previous practice before we were made a new creation in Christ. Ephesians 4: 17, 18 “This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity (emptiness) of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart.” We are reminded that our daily walk with the Lord is a process that is strengthened only in the relationship to the process whereby we seek to put off the old man (our old nature). Ephesians 4: 21- 24 “If so be that ye have heard Him, and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: That ye put off concerning the former conversation (life) the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts: and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness (holiness of truth).

6. Can we out-give the Lord? And does He invite us to let Him show forth just how much He wants to bless us?

Psalm 34. It includes the phrase "Oh taste and see that the Lord is good." Then the other scripture we had mentioned that goes along with the latter one in many ways is in Luke 6:38. The idea is not that we give to get, but rather that the Lord is so good to us if we but trust in Him in all things. "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete (use in measuring anything) withal it shall be measured to you again." Then Malachi 3:10,11 " Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." We can never out give the Lord as His crucifixion proved that He was will to leave the glory of heaven to give His very life for us that we may be saved by grace through faith in Him as our Savior and Lord. Isn't that a wonderful invitation that He has given us? If we will only turn to Him and give Him the chance to prove to us just how very much He does love us. Again, " Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good." No matter what trials and tribulations we may go through here on earth, thank the Lord that He has promised to be with us always to give us His peace that passes understanding and provide oil that turns any of our mourning into joy.

7. Where and what is true liberty?

II Corinthians 3: 17. “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”
The Lords not only gives liberty or freedom to do but freedom from-such as freedom from sin and freedom that gives us access to the things of the spirit as only the Lord’s Spirit can provide. Within the realm of freedom, it is God that gives man inalienable rights. Rights that are given by God are secure. Rights given by the state are never secure for they can be taken away from us at the whim of the state.

Liberty from the Spirit of the Lord is more than just human rights. True liberty deals with the freedom of choice. God grants us freedom, or free will, to choose to receive or reject Him as Lord and Savior. We have the liberty to choose to belong to ourselves or belong to Him. Man’s ways are right in his own eyes. What does that mean?

It means that there are no absolutes of right and wrong, for left to his own devices, man’s opinion of what is right and wrong is forever changing from day to day based upon what might seem acceptable at any time or place. Man, without God, just makes things up as He goes along; whereas, God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. When man chooses to belong to God through faith in His Son Jesus Christ, then His Spirit comes to live within us and thus redeems us from the enslavement to our fleshly lusts and desires and bestows upon us liberty to become more Christ-like as we yield our free will to Him. Liberty in the Lord grants us the spiritual liberty to receive all the promises of God granted to us within His Word, which includes the cloak of righteousness of Jesus Christ which was bestowed upon us when He took our sins upon Himself.