The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender. (Proverbs 22:7 ESV)
Say not, “Why were the former days better than these?” For it is not from wisdom that you ask this. Ecclesiastes 7:10 ESV)
But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the LORD on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare. (Jeremiah 29:7 ESV)
The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it. (Proverbs 22:3 ESV)
The following is from my book "Godly Abundance and Prosperity"
And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.
A man speaking with Jesus called him "good teacher", but Jesus rejected this title. If Jesus himself did not regard himself or any other person as "good", then why is so much effort being spent on attempting to reforming people to make them "good"?
The question is asked over and over, "…why do bad things happen to good people?". The assumption of this question is that if a person is "good" then bad things should not happen to them. Hidden away are other, related questions; "…how good do I have to be before I obtain deliverance or prosperity?", "…what did I do that was so "bad" that I deserved this challenge or crisis?"
Again, the theories of the self-help industry and the corporate religious institutions place the emphasis on the individual as the cause of bad things happening. Briefly, the theory is that you must recognize your badness, correct it, and become good. It is the individual that must be corrected so as to bring about the blessings of deliverance and prosperity. These theories and teachings are very ancient, as will be seen.
The book of Job is a record of a man that many would regard as "very good". Yet very evil things happened to him. Not only that, but he was subjected to the kind of abuses that many in the religious realm will recognize. The book of Job is unique in that it plainly describes the actual causes of Job's calamities, the actual nature (godly or ungodly) of the self-help theories, and what a Godly believer should do in such circumstances.
Job's victories were such a stunning triumph that he remains a subject of derision in the religious realm, even to this day. This account of his life provides a complete and absolute refutation of the doctrines and beliefs promoted by the corporate religious institutions and the self-help industry.
There is much that can be learned by studying Job. The care-giver, friend, acquaintance, and employee of those who are challenged all have something to learn.
Are you a mother, father, husband, wife, employer? Does anyone look up to you, or do you influence anyone? Then you are a leader. Those who are, or who would be leaders should pay special attention to Job. He illustrates and personifies God's view of leadership. It is a warning to leaders of the kind of spiritual pressures that this world reserves for those who function effectively as leaders. It is encouragement to leaders, communicating the care and the love that God has for those who function effectively as leaders.
Ephesians 2:14 – 16
For he (Christ) himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself (here is our fellowship with him) one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.
The hostility to God that is in the flesh has been killed!The law of commandments expressed in ordinances has been eliminated, done away with, repealed, abolished!
Ephesians 5: 1, 2Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Matthew 21:1818 In the morning, as he was returning to the city, he became hungry. 19 And seeing a fig tree by the wayside, he went to it and found nothing on it but only leaves. And he said to it, “May no fruit ever come from you again!” And the fig tree withered at once.
Romans 8:2626 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints (believers) according to the will of God.
James 5:1313 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith (believing) will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven
James 5:1616 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
James 5:1717 Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. 18 Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.
1 Kings 17:11 Now Elijah the Tishbite, of Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab (the king of Israel), “As the Lord, the God of Israel, lives, before whom I stand, there shall be neither dew nor rain these years (he did not say how many – but the length of time would be in years) , except by my word. (or 'except at the command of my word')”
1 Kings 18:11 After many days the word of the Lord came to Elijah, in the third year, saying, “Go, show yourself to Ahab, and I will send rain upon the earth.”
1 Kings 18:4141 And Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink, for there is a sound of the rushing of rain.” 42 So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Mount Carmel. And he bowed himself down on the earth and put his face between his knees. 43 And he said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.” And he went up and looked and said, “There is nothing.” And he said, “Go again,” seven times. 44 And at the seventh time he said, “Behold, a little cloud like a man's hand is rising from the sea.” And he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot and go down, lest the rain stop you.’” 45 And in a little while the heavens grew black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode and went to Jezreel. 46 And the hand of the Lord was on Elijah, and he gathered up his garment and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel.
The conflicts in the middle east and elsewhere in the world defy logic, reason and solution. This is an age old conflict which is spiritual in nature. Inappropriate, out of control rage seems to embroil most of the world. It is difficult to discern the causes of the conflict and ones role in that conflict. The angry trouble originates with the original two ancestors of the main protagonists, Isaac and Ishmael.
The origin of these two individuals are recorded in Genesis. The narrative here mainly reveals and emphasizes the causes of events. Initiation and causation would be lost if a simple sequential, historical narrative were recorded.
Genesis 21:8 – 13 (Net Bible)
8 The child (Isaac) grew and was weaned. Abraham prepared a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned. 9 But Sarah noticed the son of Hagar the Egyptian – the son whom Hagar had borne to Abraham – mocking. 10 So she said to Abraham, “Banish that slave woman and her son, for the son of that slave woman will not be an heir along with my son Isaac!”
11 Sarah’s demand displeased Abraham greatly because Ishmael was his son. 12 But God said to Abraham, “Do not be upset about the boy or your slave wife. Do all that Sarah is telling you because through Isaac your descendants will be counted. 13 But I will also make the son of the slave wife into a great nation, for he is your descendant too.”
The first battle between the Hebrews and Ishmaelites is recorded in verse 9. Ishmael, a young man, was molesting young boy (not a baby). The mother, Sarah, noticed. She was inspired by God to take action; after all, she knew the promises that God had made to Abraham. Sarah was a top spiritual woman in her time! Additionally, God backed up the words which she spoke, confirming them to Abraham. Sarah declared the will of God "…the son of that slave woman will not be an heir along with my son (of the promise) Isaac!" The Ishmaelites will not inherit the promise of Abraham. They are banished, separated from the promise, its blessing, and those that inherit.
Note what God says to Abraham regarding Ishmael – "…But I will also make the son of the slave wife into a great nation…" The nation of the Ishmaelites continues in the world today.
Jesus gives fresh insight into the significance of membership in the family of Abraham. For those who think their salvation is secured through their descent from Abraham (e.g. the Ishmaelites and unbelieving Hebrews), Jesus prophetically declares:
Matthew 3:8, 9
8 Therefore produce fruit that proves your repentance, 9 and don’t think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that God can raise up children for Abraham from these stones!
By Revelation from God, Paul declares God's confirmation of these things to the new sons of the promise who are grafted into the family tree through Christ Jesus:
Romans 9:6b – 8
6b For not all those who are descended from Israel are truly Israel, 7 nor are all the children Abraham’s true descendants; rather “through Isaac will your descendants be counted.” 8 This means it is not the children of the flesh (Ishmaelites and unbelieving Hebrews) who are the children of God; rather, the children of promise (Isaac, the believing Hebrews and those born again) are counted as descendants.
Galatians 3:13, 14
13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us (because it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”) 14 in order that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham would come to the Gentiles, so that we could receive the promise of the Spirit by faith.
We can KNOW (not doubt or question) we have received the blessing of Abraham and are counted among the children of promise. Our standing before God is confirmed every time we manifest that gift of holy spirit which is in every single person who is "born from above" or "born again".
The Ishmaelites are always so angry at us, no matter what we do. The spiritual cause for this is apparent as we have read. By revelation, the apostle Paul mentions the persecution as well:
Galatians 4:28 – 31
28 But you, brothers and sisters, are children of the promise like Isaac. 29 But just as at that time the one born by natural descent persecuted the one born according to the Spirit, so it is now. 30 But what does the scripture say? “Throw out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman will not share the inheritance with the son” of the free woman. 31 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we are not children of the slave woman but of the free woman.
If Jesus Christ is your savior and your director, then you are a child of promise like Isaac. Because of this, you continue to be persecuted by the one born by natural descent (Ishmaelites). Rest assured that they will not share in your inheritance!
2 Corinthians 4:15 – 18
15 For all these things are for your sake, so that the grace that is including more and more people may cause thanksgiving to increase to the glory of God. 16 Therefore we do not despair, but even if our physical body is wearing away, our inner person is being renewed day by day. 17 For our momentary, light suffering is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison 18 because we are not looking at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen. For what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.
The Bible verses are from the NET Bible, http://bible.org/netbible/index.htm
Leave a comment, or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
(C)2014 Keith S. Radcliffe
There are so many things that people want for free. Throughout history these desires have been manipulated in order to influence people to willingly give up their liberty. Ignorance is the cornerstone of slavery. So the first thing that must be destroyed is any real and effective educational system.
The first illusion and deception that has to be accepted is that what you desire can be obtained for free.
The next deception which must be accepted is the devaluation of liberty. Liberty is only obtained with great sacrifice – it is priceless! Nothing can compare to liberty and yet so many would embrace slavery to obtain what they think they want. To live a life of liberty is to embrace self control and self responsibility.
To accomplish this devaluation, liberty must be replaced with something else. Liberty is now replaced with the right, the lust to do whatever you want (unbridled, out of control passion) without consequence.
The third deception is that the government or some other entity can fulfill your desire. They will claim that they can, but what is actually produced is not what was desired.
If you desire public safety (no need to defend yourself, product, food, medical, job safety), you will pay with your liberty
– you will not be safe
If you desire guaranteed elimination of all risk (business, medical, financial, etc.), you will pay with your liberty
– life will continue to be "risky"; no guaranteed outcome for your decisions
If you desire free health care for all, you will pay with your liberty
– you will not have the health care you imagined or need
If you desire equality for all (in all things), you will pay with your liberty
– you will not have equality as some will be more equal than others
If you desire free (college) education for all, you will pay with your liberty
– you will continue to be ignorant
If you desire a guaranteed "living wage", you will pay with your liberty
– you will not obtain that wage as these jobs will not exist
If you desire guaranteed employment, you will pay with your liberty
– you will not obtain the job that you wanted
When slavery was legal in America, the slaves had the following:
-Free job training
-Equal wages for both men and women
-Free health care
This is the kind of life which is offered in exchange for your liberty.
Finally, if you want full equality in all things, there is only one place where that exists. The grave is the only place where full equality will ever be found.
Leave a comment, or contact me at email@example.com
(C)2014 Keith S. Radcliffe