The Sovereignty of God

Exodus 1:8 Now there arose up a new king over Egypt, which knew not Joseph. 9 And he said unto his people, Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we: 11 Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh treasure cities, Pithom and Raamses. 12 But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were grieved because of the children of Israel. The new king of Egypt was taking inventory of the nation and found that the large and growing. That caused a fear that they might become a force against them in the event of an attack so he began to oppress them to gain control of them so as to prevent such an event. I am hearing that the number of Christians in China is in the neighborhood of 100 million. I don’t know if that number is right but if it is, then 1/14 of China is Christian and that number would scare any ruler who did not control them. It scared Pharaoh and probably also scares the rulers of China. Because they fear the people, they try to instill fear in the people in order to control them. They do not understand that God was the one who put them into power, not the people, and God can remove them at His will. If they want to secure their place as ruler then they should be pleasing God rather than attacking His people. Pr 14:34 Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people. Proverbs 29:2 When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.

The Lord is sovereign and sets up rulers and establishes kingdoms, even to the extent of the boundaries of the nations. Acts 17:26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;. God alone ordains the rulers of the nations. Daniel 4:35 And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?  Their security is not in might but in their righteousness. It was not the Hebrews who destroyed Egypt but Egypt was destroyed by God. If they only knew that they are working on their own destruction by persecuting the Christians.

Genesis 12:3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.  Furthermore, there is a blessing to them that work with and are a blessing to God’s people. Contrary wise there is a curse to them that oppose and persecute God’s people. Its kinda like drilling holes in the bottom of a boat to let the water out. The problem is that the water comes in those holes instead of out so in fact you are working against yourself.

While I was in China I noticed a large number of banner signage that I was told the government had posted and referred to Christians as the darkness. Just the opposite is true. Jesus said in John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. He stated further that Matthew 5:14 Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.  and further it is stated in 1Thessolians 5:5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.  To arbitrarily name Christians as the darkness is just the opposite of what is actually true.

I believe that the persecution is because of fear and lack of knowledge of the truth. If they really knew what they are doing I doubt that they would continue on their present course. They already have a great nation and a great people but they are pursuing a course that the Egyptians and the Romans traveled. History records that rather than break the people down, they were in turn broken and destroyed by self inflicted wounds.

Study the Scriptures

My wife teaches the two year old’s in Sunday School and was sharing with me her lesson on the Ten Commandments.  It said that God wrote the Ten Commandments and she wanted to review that Scripture and asked me where it was.  I told her it was in Exodus, Chapter 20 but she could not find it there.  I told her that it says that God wrote them “with the finger of God”.  That lead me into a discussion that lasted over an hour and my searching several chapter in Exodus and then even my preparing of two studies: one about the actual writing of the Ten Commandments and the second about God‘s Covenant with Israel.  That took up all of this morning and a couple hours this afternoon.  If you would like to check out the verses that deal with the actual writing of the Ten Commandments here they are.  Exodus 24:12,31:18, 32:15, 19, 34:1, 27, 28 and Deuteronomy 4:13, 5:22, 9:10-11, 15-17, 10:1, 4

The Ten Commandments were first spoken in chapter 20; then written on the two tablets of stone that God cut out and written with the finger of God; then the tablets were broken by Moses when he saw the golden calf; then God told Moses to cut two new tablets of stone and take them up to the top of Mount Saini where they were written again by Moses and God.  Read again the above Scriptures.

There are many wonderful nuggets of truth that can be mined from the Scriptures if you will take the time to examine them carefully, prayerfully and spiritually.  Which brings me to my verse for today’s verses:

 2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 

2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

There is a need for the follower of God to study the Scriptures.  That doesn’t mean only read but to study or dig deep into not only the letter of the law but also into the spirit of the law.  What is the purpose of it being recorded?  Compare other scriptures of the same event such as the four Gospels.  Some information is common to all four but some information is only recorded in one or two or three of them.  In the Old Testament we have three sets of two books: I & II Samuel, I & II Kings and I & II Chronicles that deal with the same period of time.  You will find many such study methods that you can find similarities and comparisons that will bear rich insights that will aid you in your study. 

Secondly, remember the purpose for study.  It is not to collect information or to make you look good to others, but to gain God’s approval.  You are not doing this for selfish purposes or to gain knowledge or even to impress God.  Your purpose is that you might be stretched to hold the blessings of God; that you might be prepared to live in this world in a manner to be a blessing to others and to properly represent your God.  You want to study in such a way that you become all that you can be and to do it in a way that you are both correct and accurate in its application.

God is the source of its inspiration, the one who determines its content and preserves its message.  He has our good in mind and when we study the Scriptures, we receive a blessing.  Its study will enable us to come to the great doctrines (teachings) that God’s people have held through the ages.  It will show us when we get off course and get us back on the right course.  It will keep us on course and bring us all the way home to be with the Lord for ever.

The Greatest Miracle

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his  glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. (KJV)

We see miracles every day but we don’t call them miracles.  The miracle of a new birth, the miracle of life itself, the miracle of our environment, healing, and a million other things that go together that we call life.  Somehow we have come to expect miracles to happen as though they were the natural order of things.  These events are not natural, but supernatural, and go beyond the scope of universal law.  They require the involvement of our creator’s intervention.  He who established the law has reserved for Himself, the right to supersede the law and go beyond it.  For example, natural law allows for a chemical reaction whenever wood is burned.  Also, the heat of the fire will cause a burning of the flesh.  However, in the third chapter of Daniel we have the story of three Hebrew children who were cast into a burning furnace that was heated 7 times what it was designed for, yet they were unharmed in any way.  We call that a miracle.

In the New Testament we read the story of Jesus performing a number of miracles.  He healed the sick, caused the blind to see, calmed the storm, walked on water and raised the dead.  Still, it was not enough to convince the Pharisees of who He is and they still asked for a sign.   Luke 11:29 And when the people were gathered thick together, he began to say, This is an evil generation: they seek a sign; and there shall no sign be given it, but the sign of Jonas the prophet.  That was the sign that God would give, He would be resurrected 3 days after He had been crucified.  The miracles that Jesus did was not the focus intended.  God wanted mankind to know the God of the miracles, and not to just marvel at the miracle.

It was a tremendous thing that God (the Word) would be made flesh or simply become a man.  The incarnation is and incredible and wondrous miracle that defies our understanding, yet it enables us to know our Creator (and we beheld His glory).  Even greater than His arrival into this world was His purpose of delivering man from sin.    Galatians 1:4 Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father:  God never intended to abandoned man when he sinned but to deliver him from sin and its grip on him.  Not only did He die for man but in three days He was resurrected to destroy the power of sin and truly set us free.

Once delivered from sin it is then God’s purpose to transform him into His own children. 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.  Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.  That is a miracle the exceeds words to explain it.

So what was the greatest miracle; God becoming a man, Christs miracles that reveals God’s love for man, His death to pay for man’s sin, His resurrection, His ascension?  I don’t think it is any one of them, but rather all of them.  It is not his deeds, but rather, it is He, Himself.  It is not about what He did, it is about who He is.  That is the greatest miracle and it finds its expression in His love for me.

Looking Up to See Ahead

It has been several days since my last post and I don’t like to have such gaps in my posting but I have had a wonderful opportunity to spend some time with my host from China and we have rejoiced in what the Lord did in China last fall. They will be making a report to our church on Wednesday and as I read the report I rejoiced to hear that their work has been blessed so extensively.

They also brought a number of copies of my book that was translated into Chinese for me to autograph. Their plan is to distribute them among the other Chinese churches here in America. This brings me to a prayer request to each of you. I am searching for a publisher to print the various translations for distribution. The Lord has not begun this work to just allow it to falter now. I believe that if you are reading this post that it is not an accident and God intends to use you to further this work. You may be a prayer warrior, or you may be a contact point or you may be part of the means to enable this work to be accomplished. Please pray about what the Lord would have you to do.

We also spent several hours praying about and planning ahead to see if the Lord would have us to make another trip into China this year. One of the main considerations is the state of the persecutions of the church in China. We do not want to draw attention from the government but we do want to minister to the church there. Our purpose is to edify the people and to encourage them in doing good to all men. Thereby they will be a blessing to one another and to those who have not come to be a part of the church. Another consideration is what we should plan that will meet the needs of the people. We do not want to just present a program but rather give them knowledge that will aid them in their spiritual growth. We must find what the Lord is doing and simply join Him. To do this we must remove our personal aspirations and worldly wisdom and follow His leading.

One of the important considerations that we discussed is the use of my book, “The Mystery of Faith”, as we move forward. On the one hand we want for it to be used extensively in training. The Bible declares in Romans 14:23 that ‘. . . whatsoever is not of faith is sin.’ Also, in Hebrews 11:6 it says ‘. . . without faith it is impossible to please Him.’ Since it holds such an important role in the life of the believer and because it is one of the overlooked doctrines of the Bible, it is essential that the new believer is grounded in faith. The second consideration is that we are not looking to create issues for the Government but rather want to under-gird the fabric of a healthy society. In this aspect we are not looking to make a show but to build the quality of life for the people. This is a tight rope situation and requires the Lord to guide us in it. Again please pray for us that we will be sensitive to God’s leading.

They also brought a number of copies of my book that was translated into Chinese for me to autograph. Their plan is to distribute them among the other Chinese churches here in America. This brings me to a prayer request to each of you. I am searching for a publisher to print the various translations for distribution. The Lord has not begun this work to just allow it to falter now. I believe that if you are reading this post that it is not an accident and God intends to use you to further this work. You may be a prayer warrior, or you may be a contact point or you may be part of the means to enable this work to be accomplished. Please pray about what the Lord would have you to do.

We also spent several hours praying about and planning ahead to see if the Lord would have us to make another trip into China this year. One of the main considerations is the state of the persecutions of the church in China. We do not want to draw attention from the government but we do want to minister to the church there. Our purpose is to edify the people and to encourage them in doing good to all men. Thereby they will be a blessing to one another and to those who have not come to be a part of the church. Another consideration is what we should plan that will meet the needs of the people. We do not want to just present a program but rather give them knowledge that will aid them in their spiritual growth. We must find what the Lord is doing and simply join Him. To do this we must remove our personal aspirations and worldly wisdom and follow His leading.

Update 1/14/2019

The year end holidays are now past and we are turning our focus to the coming events. This Friday (the 18th) I will be visiting one of the men’s Bible studies in our church to do a report on our China mission trip. It will be a 30 to 45 minute power point presentation and I am excited to share it.

Then on the 20th of this month I will be meeting with my host from my trip to China, here in Keller, Texas. We will be considering another possible trip to China this year. With the crackdown on religion there we will need your prayers once again. We want to find the will of the Lord most of all and pray for us to be sensitive to Him. We will also be considering how the Lord would like for us to proceed on how to best use my book that has been translated into Chinese. There are two specific needs: the first is to make the best use in China. The second is that I find the right publisher here in the US to get it in print here and to make it available to the many Chinese that are living here. I have talked with a couple publishers but as of right now I do not have specific leading. On Wednesday, the 23rd of January, Forest will be making his report to our church in the 7:00 PM service.

I am happy to report that the Russian translation is nearing the completion of Chapter 5 and will begin chapter 6 in the very near future. I have also heard from the translator of the Japanese copy and he has been undergoing a major spiritual attack. His assistant has dropped out after a flood destroyed all of their work that they had done together. He is back to chapter 5 which is where he was before the flood. Since then he has been trying to meet the additional load from his church, and the mission activities he has been involved in. Added to that, there has been false teacher come in and created a lot of disturbances in many churches. They need your prayers. Finally, we come to the Spanish translation and it is not moving well either. A live in mother-in-law and health issues have become overwhelming. Satan is at work, trying to stop this effort.

As a member of the missions committee, I am currently working on a possible mission trip to Japan this year. It is in the very early stages so I don’t have any thing specifically to report except that is is under consideration and the initial contact has been made with my contact in Japan. Once again we are looking for God’s will and following His leading.

I just joined LinkedIn (prounced Linked In) on January 1 and yesterday I recieved my first comment from someone I did not know. He and I have a common contact and he read one of my articles. He was the 9th person to read one of my four entries.

This year promises to be even more active than last year and prayerfully the Lord will find us faithful in His service.

A Diamond In The Rough

The following is quoted from Wikepedia:

Carbon (from Latin: carbo “coal”) is a chemical element with symbol C and atomic number 6.  It is nonmetallic and tetravalent-making for electrons available to form covalent chemical bonds.  It belongs to group 14 of the periodic table.  Carbon is one of the few elements known since antiquity.

Carbon is the 15th most abundant element in the Earth’s crust, and the fourth most abundant element in the universe by mass after hydrogen, helium, and oxygen.  Carbon’s abundance, its unique diversity of organic compounds, and its unusual ability to form polymers at the temperatures commonly encountered on Earth enables this element to serve as a common element of all known life.  It is the second most abundant element in the human body by mass (about 18.5%) after oxygen.

The atoms of carbon can bond together in different ways, termed allotropes of carbon.  The best known are graphite, diamond and amorphous carbon.  The physical properties of carbon vary widely with the allotropic form.  For example, graphite is opaque and black while diamond is highly transparent.  Graphite is soft enough to form a streak on paper, while diamond is the hardest naturally occurring material known.  Grophite is a good electrical conductor whlile diamond has a low electrical conductivity.  Under normal conditions, diamond carbon nanotubes, and graphene have the highest therman conductivities of all known materials.  All carbon allotropes are solids under normal conditions, with graphite being the most thermodynamically stable form at standard temperature and pressure.  They are chemically resistant and require high temperature to react even with oxygen. 

Carbon forms a vast number of compounds, more than any other element,  with almost ten million compounds described to date, and yet that number is but a fraction of the number of theoretically possible compounds under standard conditions.  For this reason, carbon has often been referred to as the “king of the elements”.

To simplify the the above quote, the stuff to make diamonds with is the 15th most abundant element on Earth which is carbon. All it takes to make a diamond is the basic element, carbon, and a lot of heat and pressure. It does not take a lot of time either for diamonds have been made in literally a few hours, rather than the millions of years that is sometimes stated. And so it is that a diamond is made from the simplest and most common elements just as God has chosen the foolish things of this world to confound the wise. 1Corinthians 1:27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;   All of us have the potential to become a jewel in the crown of God. All we need is the difficulty and pressures of this world to make us into a precious jewel for the Lord.

Just being a gem stone is not the same as being a cut stone that reflects the brilliance of the Light. It must be cut and polished in order for its beauty and glory to be seen. An uncut stone looks just like any other stone until it is cut. Only then are the beauty and dynamic of all that went into its creation, seen and radiate the Light from its creator. The glory is that of its Creator and not of the stone. Only He knows how much fire and how much pressure it takes to build all the faucets within to reflect the Light out for others to see the wonder of God’s working, for we are the workmanship of God.

Expanding Our Reach

It was one year ago today that I posted my first blog and if you read my last post it has been an exciting year with many wonderful experiences. Today I am announcing that I have added a new avenue to reach out with the Gospel (Good News) to a lost and dying world. That avenue is that we are now on LikedIn (pronounced – Liked In) and that site is being developed. I have a lot of work to do yet but I posted an article on it and am presently working on connecting it and this web site so that each post here will also be posted on it as well. I am slow in getting all the ends connected as I am not tech savvy but I have others to help me so I will get there.

LinkedIn is the world’s largest communication network and reaches around the world. It encompasses virtually all trades, professions and interest. Already, I have been confronted with literally hundreds of possible connections and I am asking the Lord to give me wisdom in these contacts. When the Lord sets a plan, it will always be bigger than the individual and far more encompassing. It really helps me to trust Him as I know that I fall way short of the task.

One of the features that has caught my attention is that when you become a subscriber, then every time I make a new post, the subscribers will be notified so that they can utilize their time more effectively without having to check to see if I have made a new post. I think it will be a great feature. I’ll let you know when I have that feature set up as well as other new opportunities.

My prayer for each of you for this coming year is that your faith in the Lord will not be weak, but strong in your confidence in His bringing it to pass. I am amazed at what He has done just in this past year. John 20:27 Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing.