Accepting God’s Sovereignty

EPHESIANS 1: 11-12

(11) In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: (12) That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.

Do we get the significance of the truth that He works all things in our lives too, according to the counsel of His will? This truth does not apply to just the “big” things of His overall purpose but even to us! Do we really perceive our relationship to Him as being one of the Potter to the clay?

As He formed and shaped Adam and Eve, He is forming and shaping us, and it is our responsibility to accept and submit. Do we live our lives as though He truly is omnipotent, omniscient, and individually aware of us? Do we conduct our lives in such a manner that we fully understand that this awesome Being is actively and personally involved in what we do?

By viewing Him as Potter, do we grasp that He has every right to mold the clay into whatever form or state and make whatever use of it as He chooses? He can fashion from the same lump one person to honor and another to dishonor. He can determine our sex, race, ethnicity, level of wealth, or location. He is under no law or rule outside of His own nature and purpose. He is a law unto Himself, under no obligation to give an account of His actions to anybody else. He exercises His power as, where, and when He wills.

He is not merely overseeing our lives but actively participating in them, and He is ultimately responsible for what happens in them just as much as those national and worldwide occurrences that we hear in the news. The sovereignty of the Bible’s God is absolute, irresistible, and infinite. Our trust is to be in Him.

God’s purpose and plan has been and is being carried out as He purposed, and nobody can turn Him aside. Now His purpose and plan has reached out to include us just as He predestined when He declared the end from the beginning. Have we caught the vision?

Are we willing to completely turn our lives over to this Being who does not always act in a way that is pleasant to us? God immediately struck Aaron’s sons and Uzzah dead, but He has allowed countless others who perhaps did far worse things to live long and seemingly full lives.

God permitted Methuselah to live almost a thousand years. He chose to endow Samson with strength as no other person ever had. Jesus went to the pool of Siloam and chose one man to heal, paying no attention to the others. Why did He allow the Morgans, Carnegies, Vanderbilts, Rockefellers, and many others to amass incredible wealth, while allowing perhaps billions of people around the world barely to scrape by in miserable poverty?

When the Israelites entered the Promised Land, the city of Jericho and its citizens stood barring their progress. God brought the walls down, and the city’s defenses collapsed—the one and only time God did such a thing. Every other city had to be conquered by warfare, risking Israelite lives to take them.

Clearly, He treats and responds to individuals according to the counsel of His own mind, and He answers to no one. He does this even in the lives of His children. The apostle John lived to be around one hundred years old, yet Stephen was stoned to death, Peter crucified, and Paul beheaded.

Considering the witnesses of those great servants, what right do we have to complain about the discomforts He creates for us to endure and grow within? He could rescue everybody in every uncomfortable circumstance, but He does not. Have we fully accepted that He may choose difficult things for us?

Cathey Lynn

God’s Covenant Laws

1 Corinthians 7:19

(19) Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but the keeping of the commandments of God.

That tells us that we are to keep the Ten Commandments under the New Covenant. It cannot be refuted. The Ten Commandments were part of the Old Covenant too. That part is not obsolete; we are still using it in the brand new model. The moral law is still in force and effect. To break the commandments is sin, while to do them is righteousness.

That includes all ten – not just nine. Remember Jesus‘ declaration that not one jot or tittle would pass from the law. If Jesus speaks the truth, how can people say that the fourth commandment is done away? They directly refute their Savior. It is really quite silly.

Most of the rest of the law, that is, part of the terms of the Old Covenant, still directly apply. How about tithing, part of the Old Covenant? We find that tithing supersedes the Old Covenant. What about the food laws, also is part of the Old Covenant? The New Testament records that they were still being kept by people who should have known better if they were done away. Many of those laws still directly apply.

Even those that may only indirectly apply are still applicable in their spirit, in their intent. Intent suggests “the stretching out.” Those laws help to define sin and righteousness in specific situations. Their positive intent is always to bring us to holiness– to the image of God.

We need to discipline ourselves never to look at a law of God – whether it is civil or ceremonial – and assume it has no application for us, as if God just intended it for the Israelites back then. Far from it! God’s law (and its intent) is always love and eternal, which is why Jesus says that none of it would pass until all is fulfilled.

Obedience to those laws can neither justify nor save us, but they are the wisdom and the love of God, given to guide us. We should be studying them to understand how to make our lives holier than ever before.

Our Living Source

For us as believers, contentment should be governed by inner attitude and the decisions we make rather than by external circumstances. Because Paul had learned this secret, he was able to experience joy and peace in any kind of situation–whether he was surrounded by friends or isolated in a Roman prison; whether he had plenty or was in great need.

The apostle understood what it meant to live in Christ and to have Christ living in him (John 15:1-9; Gal. 5:22-23). He had made a simple but profound faith decision to draw his life from the Lord and, as a result, had the calm assurance that what he possessed inside could never be stolen. He was confident in his identity as a child of the Almighty, with full access to the abundant life Jesus offers.

I want to challenge you–this week, when something threatens to steal your contentment, choose to draw from God; decide to stop drawing from other sources and trying to be in control. When you find yourself becoming flustered, anxious, or angry, stop and say, “Lord, You are my source, and I draw from You the capacity to be kind. I draw from You the forgiveness I need to extend right now. I draw from You the love I need to express.” This decision is a matter of simple trust.

Watch and see how God will quiet your spirit and provide confidence when you draw only from Him as your source. You’ll be surprised at your own attitude: when you respond from within–rather than from the flesh–Jesus will give you the ability to respond as He would.

The Power Belongs To God

Romans 8:27-30

(27) And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. (28) And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (29) For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. (30) Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

With such postive statements about our salvation, why should we be hopeless and fearfully doubt that God will supply all our needs? Does He ever fail to succeed in whatever He undertakes? These verses flatly and dogmatically state that, if we want to cooperate in faith to bring God’s purpose for us to its intended conclusion, we must, I repeat, must, believe that His watchfulness over us involves every circumstance of our lives.

Verses 31 and 32 put a cap on this issue: “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?”

In verse 30, note that the term “sanctified” is missing from the list of the general stages of God’s purpose. Sanctification is the only part of the salvation process in which our cooperation plays a major, consistent, and daily role. Why does Paul exclude it? This was not an oversight; he deliberately leaves “sanctified” out because he wants, for the remainder of this section of this epistle, to focus entirely on the absolute certainty of God’s providence, not on any works we may perform in cooperation with Him during the sanctification process.

Paul is not saying that God will always do what we might want Him to do; he is reminding us that He will always do what is right according to His purpose. God has the necessary powers to do as He sees fit for His purpose and us. He is watching, which is even more reason for us to draw on that power.

Nobody can successfully stand in the way of His completing that purpose in each of us, but based on our knowledge of those powers, are we willing to accept His providence? Do we accept what He provides in any given circumstance, even though what He provides might not be what we would like to have?

All of the things Paul writes here are wonderful, but the key to this particular subject is the answer to the question he asks in verse 30: “If God be for us who can be against us?” God has the power and the will, and He does not make mistakes or empty promises. Paul then lists what God has already done for all concerned. Our responsibility is to choose to put these facts to work in our specific circumstances.

The handwriting on the wall for us is this: Terribly difficult times are coming, and they will affect all of us to varying degrees. The only successful way to complete our minute part in God’s purpose is to choose to draw on His power. We must begin at once to cultivate the habit of cooperating by faith, accepting whatever He chooses to provide in our circumstances. If this habit is in place through long practice, we will be ready when the pressure really mounts.

Because He is the Source of our deliverance in every circumstance, it is crucial for us to know God as well as we can. Our relationship with Him through Jesus Christ is the key that gives us access to the deliverance He provides. He has the power, and it is His will to meet our every need. It is incumbent upon us, therefore, to use our time now to build on our present relationship with Him, making it stronger and more intimate.

Seeing God Is Not Necessary

(1) Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. (2) Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. (3) And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

People spend their lives chasing after a name that will bring them a measure of honor or notoriety. They want to be associated with a “name” university, a “name” team, a “name” company; wear clothing with a certain “name” label; drive a “name” automobile; or marry into a certain family “name.” Yet, the greatest name that anyone could possibly bear has come to us unbidden. Thus, John is exhorting his readers to remember their privileges in bearing that awesome name. Chrysostom, a fourth-century Catholic archbishop, counseled parents to give children scriptural names, urging them to tell the children stories about the person who bore that name so that, as they matured, they would have something to live up to.

Is there a paradox in what John writes? We know that in order to see God, we need to be like Him. Carnally, we think that to be like Him, we need to see Him. God says that seeing Him is not necessary, as He has chosen to conduct His purposes for man through faith in His Word. He has revealed what He is by His names and by the life of Jesus Christ. By faith, we can emulate Him through His Spirit. If we saw Him in the flesh, our curiosity would likely be satisfied, or we would be so overwhelmed by His perfection that we would give up. That is how human nature works. God’s way of faith is better.

Malachi 3:16, provides wise counsel befitting the times in which we live: “Then those who feared the LORD spoke to one another, and the LORD listened and heard them; so a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the LORD and who meditate on His name.” The people described here are pictured as meditating for the purpose of praising, imitating, and passing on their thoughts to each other. They looked for God’s good hand in every area of their lives.

David exclaims in Psalm 34: 1-3: “I will bless the LORD at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make its boast in the LORD; the humble shall hear of it and be glad. Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt His name together.

Light Of Peace

A wise man once said that our minds are like great bodies of water. Sometimes numerous thoughts, stimuli, or emotions act like rough winds, beating our minds into waves resulting in confusion, anger, sadness, exhaustion, stress, sickness and all the other problems we face.
It is only when we surrender our hearts, let go of our cares, and be still that then our soul becomes like it is intended to be… refelecting exactly what is above it. In this painting, we are reminded of “the peace that transcends all human understanding (Phil 4:7)” as we are dazzled by an almost impossible display of the heavens as it reflects on the perfectly peaceful glassy sea.
To me, Lighthouses have always held some symbolism to Jesus in that they shine in the storms, keep us from the rocks in life, offer a harbor and shelter in the storm, and guide us. Jesus said ” Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not be afraid”.
In this painting, the lights are on and the pathway is lit for you to come in to the warmth of Christ’s love, as ships from all corners of the sea, and from all nations are being drawn to the glorious and everlasting.
A wise man once said that our minds are like great bodies of water. Sometimes numerous thoughts, stimuli, or emotions act like rough winds, beating our minds into waves resulting in confusion, anger, sadness, exhaustion, stress, sickness and all the other problems we face.
It is only when we surrender our hearts, let go of our cares, and be still that then our soul becomes like it is intended to be… refelecting exactly what is above it. In this painting, we are reminded of “the peace that transcends all human understanding (Phil 4:7)” as we are dazzled by an almost impossible display of the heavens as it reflects on the perfectly peaceful glassy sea.
To me, Lighthouses have always held some symbolism to Jesus in that they shine in the storms, keep us from the rocks in life, offer a harbor and shelter in the storm, and guide us. Jesus said ” Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not be afraid”.
In this painting, the lights are on and the pathway is lit for you to come in to the warmth of Christ’s love, as ships from all corners of the sea, and from all nations are being drawn to the glorious and everlasting.

Where Did The Star of David Begin

This popular Jewish symbol is a six-pointed star formed by two overlapping equilateral triangles. It appears on many synagogues and also ON THE NATIONAL FLAG OF ISRAEL. The star symbol IS VERY OLD and was used as a decoration by MANY ANCIENT CULTURES, from Britain to Mesopotamia. The oldest known example dates from about 6000 B.C.

THE BURNING BUSH VERSES THE STAR OF DAVID

The oldest known symbol of Israel is NOT the Star of David but THE BURNING BUSH as mentioned in Exodus 3.

“And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a FLAME OF FIRE OUT OF THE MIDST OF A BUSH: and he (Moses) looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was NOT CONSUMED.” (Exodus 3:2)

The burning bush symbolized Israel, A NATION NOT CONSUMED. In spite of many nations trying to annihilate the Jews, God has promised to preserve them and this has proven true in history.

BUT WHAT ABOUT THAT STAR?

Note that the above says that the star dates back to about 6000 B.C., and was in many ancient cultures. This is very important because THIS STAR HAS BEEN CONNECTED TO FALSE PAGAN WORSHIP and Moses had a very difficult time getting the people of Israel to forsake this false religion.

During the Middle Ages the symbol became connected with MAGIC and protection, along with the pentagram or five-pointed star.

The connection with magic DATES MUCH EARLIER THAN THE MIDDLE AGES for both stars (The six-point and the five-point) and this can easily be proven by a study on magic and witchcraft.

The Star of David also came to be called the Shield of David or the Seal of Solomon, although its use by these leaders is doubtful. The STAR OF DAVID IS NOT MENTIONED IN SCRIPTURE.

At this point the Bible appears to disagree with the above even though the phrase “Star of David” itself does not appear in the Bible, it is obvious that THERE IS A STAR MENTIONED. Please note the following verses.

TWO TABERNACLES MENTIONED IN SCRIPTURE

  • THE TRUE – “And Moses took the tabernacle, and pitched it without the camp, afar off from the camp, and called it THE TABERNACLE OF THE CONGREGATION. And it came to pass, that every one which sought the LORD went out unto the tabernacle of the congregation, which was without the camp.” (Exodus 33:7)
  • THE FALSE – “And the LORD spake unto Moses saying, Speak unto the congregation, saying, Get you up from about the TABERNACLE OF KORAH, DATHAN, AND ABIRAM.” (Numbers 16:23-24)

So according to the above two passages there were TWO TABERNACLES in the wilderness. The true and the false. Notice below how God in His word identifies these two tabernacles and places THE FALSE ONE WITH A STAR.

  • THE TRUE – “When God heard this, he was wroth, and greatly abhorred Israel: So that he forsook the TABERNACLE OF SHILOH, the tent which he placed among men.” (Psalms 78:59-60)
  • THE FALSE – “Have ye offered unto me sacrifices and offerings in the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel? But ye have borne the TABERNACLE OF YOUR MOLOCH AND CHIUN your images, the STAR OF YOUR GOD, WHICH YE MADE TO YOURSELVES.” (Amos 5:25-26)

STEPHEN MENTIONS THIS STAR IN ACTS 7

  • “Then God turned, and gave them up to WORSHIP THE HOST OF HEAVEN; as it is written in the book of the prophets, O ye house of Israel, have ye offered to me slain beasts and sacrifices by the space of FORTY YEARS IN THE WILDERNESS? Yea, ye took up THE TABERNACLE OF MOLOCH, AND THE STAR OF YOUR GOD REMPHAN, figures which ye made to worship them…” (Acts 7:42-43)

THE FALSE TABERNACLE AND THE TRUE TABERNACLE
ARE ALSO MENTIONED IN HEBREWS

  • “Now of the things which we have spoken this is the sum: We have such AN HIGH PRIEST (JESUS CHRIST), who is set on the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in the heavens; A minister of the sanctuary, and of THE TRUE TABERNACLE, WHICH THE LORD PITCHED, AND NOT MAN.” (Hebrews 8:1-2)

During the LAST TWO CENTURIES the six-pointed star has become a distinct Jewish symbol. One motive was the desire to have a common Jewish identification similar to the Christian cross.

Notice that it has ONLY BEEN THE PAST TWO CENTURIES that the star has become a distinct Jewish symbol.

Although the Nazis used the star as A BADGE OF SHAME during World War II, it came to represent unity and hope.

The Jewish people in Hitler’s time were not thinking of unity and hope. They were thinking of SURVIVAL.

Today the Star of David stands alongside the much older MENORAH or candelabrum as a symbol of Jewish tradition.

Even though the menorah is old THE BURNING BUSH IS OLDER and is in direct connection with the Jewish nation.

CONCLUSION

The burning bush is THE REAL SYMBOL of the Jewish Nation and not the Star of David. The Star of David (so called) is definitely from pagan origins and is not approved by God Almighty in the scriptures.

Who knows? Maybe when the Lord returns and sets up His kingdom He will present a NEW FLAG for Israel – with A BURNING BUSH on it AS A REMINDER to His people that HE LOVED THEM AND PRESERVED THEM THROUGHOUT THE AGES AS A NATION

God’s still on the Throne

…because everyone who has been fathered by God conquers the world. This is the conquering power that has conquered the world: our faith. (1 John 5:4)

At every turn in the road one can find something that will rob him of his victory and peace of mind, if he permits it. Satan is a long way from having retired from the business of deluding and ruining God’s children if he can. At every milestone it is well to look carefully to the thermometer of one’s experience, to see whether the temperature is well up.

Sometimes a person can, if he will, actually snatch victory from the very jaws of defeat, if he will resolutely put his faith up at just the right moment.

Faith can change any situation. No matter how dark it is, no matter what the trouble may be, a quick lifting of the heart to God in a moment of real, actual faith in Him, will alter the situation in a moment.

God is still on His throne, and He can turn defeat into victory in a second of time, if we really trust Him.

“God is mighty! He is able to deliver;
Faith can victor be in every trying hour;
Fear and care and sin and sorrow be defeated
By our faith in God’s almighty, conquering power.

“Have faith in God, the sun will shine,
Though dark the clouds may be today;
His heart has planned your path and mine,
Have faith in God, have faith alway.”

“When one has faith, one does not retire; one stops the enemy where he finds him.”
~Marshal Foch