Obtain A Knowledge of the Scriptures

There is a question that is asked from time to time; “How does one obtain a knowledge of the scriptures?”. The question stated in this manner does not express what is really being asked, so I will restate it.
 
“How does one who is not a scholar, or an intellectual, effectively obtain a functional, accurate knowledge of the scriptures?”. I might add that the person seeking may have limited reading skills and a limited use of the English language.
 
All of us started out knowing absolutely nothing about the Bible, God, Jesus Christ, or the concepts of prayer and worship. Someone had to teach us about these things. I was blessed to be taught the Bible by my parents, starting at a very early age. As a young child I acquired some knowledge of the scriptures without any study, reading, or memorization. My parents taught me by informally telling stories, during the day or before bed time. In the years since, most of my time with the Bible could not be classified as “studying”, but reading, as one would read for enjoyment.
 
In a related note, I must state that there are men and women in the body of Christ who are quite adept at the art of storytelling. It has been my experience that these people and their calling are unappreciated; they seldom are permitted to serve. If they are permitted to serve, it is in the capacity of (almost invisible) baby-sitters. Identify these men and women and incorporate their service into the general activities of the body of Christ; the benefits will be amazing! 
 
There is basically only one prerequisite for acquiring a knowledge of the scriptures and that is a hunger to know The Truth. The hunger to know The Truth is a desire that is intense enough to be compared to physical hunger. This is a desire that is enough to motivate a person to act. If you have a ravenous hunger, you will be fed as much as you desire.
 
The first step in acquiring a knowledge of the scriptures is to make the time to become familiar with the numerous stories that are recorded in the Bible. One book my parents used to teach me the stories in the Bible was “Hurlburt's Story of the Bible”, which is available on the Internet.
 
The author of this book arranged the stories in their chronological order. Each story is expressed in simple, clear language. Each one is a complete story and can stand on its own. Yet, together these stories construct the narrative of the Bible, thus expressing “the story of the Bible”. The target audience of the book are those who do not have a Biblical background and may have a limited English vocabulary.
Artwork is included in the book to make it even more appealing. The artwork is not accurate so it can be ignored. Scriptural references are noted with each story, so it is easy to read each story from the Bible whenever you are ready.
 
Then find a version of the Bible that is easy and enjoyable for you to read. When I just want to read, I use the Revised English Bible. When I want to read in preparation for studying or for teaching, I use the English Standard Version. Once you have become familiar with the stories of the Bible, you can begin using your reading Bible. Read as if you are reading a novel. Just read for enjoyment. If you come across a section that you don't enjoy reading, such as a family tree or genealogy, skip that section. Don't attempt to retain and understand every little detail. Read to capture the narrative, the story. Memorization of individual scriptures at this point is not needed. It is much easier to remember a story than the individual scriptures that make up the story. Even young children can remember stories.
 
Once you have learned the general narrative of the Bible, you can begin to perceive the different contexts that make up that narrative. Now you can begin to read the contexts and see how they fit together. All the while you are reading for enjoyment.
 
“How much time will this take?” you might ask. It depends upon how hungry and persistent you are. Everyone grows at their own pace.
 
My book "Godly Abundance and Prosperity", Kindle edition, is now available at
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Leave a comment, or contact me at keith@ksradcliffe.com
(C)2015 Keith S. Radcliffe 

 

 

 

 

Preparing For an Uncertain Future

Preparing for an uncertain future has its advantages, it is one way in which we begin to adjust to a changing world. The question is, how well will we and our families endure these changes?
 
I don't write this to cause discouragement and grief but I write for the sake of endurance and thoughtful planning. Thinking through and preparing for "the worst that can happen" can negate or reduce the tendency to be consumed with fear and worry. If one is to prevail (not just survive), one must be strong enough to endure.
 
Today, much of what is published in the media and on the Internet has the purpose of provoking a strong emotional reaction. There is hope of a magical "awakening" of the American masses that will somehow stop the destruction of our country and the elimination of our freedoms. I submit to you that this hope is a mirage, a pipe dream; if it were to actually happen, it would do little to restore our country and freedoms. One reason I state this is the national debt; our country and untold generations of our children have been sold into slavery.
The rich rules over the poor, and the borrower is the slave of the lender.
(Proverbs 22:7 ESV)

 

 

This truth has not been experienced by the electorate in the manner which would be expected. Individually, our lives seem to continue as they always have. However, there is much discontent and anguish because we cannot gain control of our government. On critical issues the government is unresponsive to the will of the people; instead it is marching in unison towards tyranny. I submit that it is our government which is experiencing this enslavement; regardless of the desire of any individual politician, they have no choice but to ignore the will of the people and to ignore the constitution. They must obey the will of our lenders and those who continue to prop up our economy.
 
The truth of the matter is this; what used to be America is gone, only a shell remains. The constitution has become irrelevant; it is only a script for the theater and drama that is staged in Washington. The freedoms we continue to enjoy are imperiled. A tyrant is not required to control everyone all the time; a tyrant is only required to have access to any individual and control of any individual at any time. This type of tactic is what we seem to be subjected to, more and more.
 
So, if this is true, what can any individual do, how should an individual respond? I offer the following suggestions. If nothing else, don't react, but think through your own response.
 
Mourn and grieve the loss of our country. Have a funeral, put flowers on the grave if needed. Right now there is enough time to do this. Try to release the past and begin to face the future.
Say not, “Why were the former days better than these?”
For it is not from wisdom that you ask this.
Ecclesiastes 7:10 ESV)

 

 

Don't make any effort to attempt to reclaim or restore the "glory days" of the past. The world has changed and those days are gone. These efforts will weaken the ability to endure the challenges of the future.
 
Do some research regarding people of faith in tyrannical countries; here are a couple of books to start with:
 
 
 
If you are worried about your ability to worship and serve God in the manner in which you are accustomed to, please consider the following:
 
The time span to consider for your planning is multi-generational. Plan for the prevailing endurance of your great-grandchildren. There is an example of this kind of planning in the bible, in Jeremiah 29. We are in similar circumstances. One of the things recorded, which is good guidance for the current challenges is:
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)

 

 

Note the lack of guidance for an armed resistance or violence of any kind.
  • Think through the best long-term location for your family to live; Brazil? Argentina? Chile? Where? In the country or in the city?
  • What kind of spouse should your children look for; Chinese? Arab? Latino?
  • What kind of skills and training should your children have?
Today we are free to make some choices that may not be available tomorrow. Today there is time to prepare ourselves, mentally, emotionally and practically for the challenges, fears and shocks that are sure to occur in the near future. 
The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it.
(Proverbs 22:3 ESV)

 

 

"Godly Abundance and Prosperity", Kindle edition, is now available at
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(C)2015 Keith S. Radcliffe 

Quit Trying to be Good

The following is from my book "Godly Abundance and Prosperity"

Mark 10:18
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.

My book "Godly Abundance and Prosperity", Kindle edition, is now available at
The paperback is available at https://www.createspace.com/4552448
 
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(C)2015 Keith S. Radcliffe 

 

Deliverance and Self Condemnation

Throughout the years, I have known of and accompanied many on a search for personal deliverance. We were searching for such things as healing, strength, fame, fortune and love. After great effort, sometimes for years, the only result was self condemnation, poverty and in some cases, death. Most have continued with unresolved needs, but the search for deliverance has left them scarred with the additional specter of nagging self doubt, self condemnation and sin consciousness. In some others, the search has cultivated an enduring bitterness against God.
 
"So much of the self-help industry and corporate religion is dedicated to the individual in crisis. Libraries of books have been written and centuries of sermons have been delivered describing what the individual has done wrong to bring calamity to themselves. Following the criticism is a prescription of actions to take and principles to apply which will appropriate deliverance. A majority of these teachings from the religious realm use the Bible as the source of their theories and prescriptions. The Bible is used to legitimize their theories.
 
From the corporate religious institutions we are taught how to be 'good' or 'righteous' so as to curry divine favor and to avoid divine 'wrath'.
Is this really a proper use of the Bible? Is it a book which defines the correct conduct of the individual which will bring about an abundance of prosperity? Is it a book which shows us the way to avoid the wrath of an angry god? Is it a book which imparts legitimacy to a religious institution, its officers, its policies and procedures?"
 
Self condemnation is one of the most miserable, damaging and hurtful devices which is cultivated in us. The chapter "No Condemnation" addresses this device, showing how it is NOT a godly practice; God does NOT want us to condemn ourselves at all. The chapter also shows how the Bible is misused to promote self condemnation.
 
The great man of God, Job, was subject to the same pressures and devices used in religion today, such as self condemnation. The two chapters on Job illustrate how Job was abused in the same manner as many of us have experienced. It also shows the wonderful results of his endurance which occurred, even before he was delivered.
 
A similar post was written specifically regarding the Quest for Healing:
 
If you have unresolved issues between you and God, if you have experienced abuse in your search for deliverance, or if you just want to help others, then the book "Godly Abundance and Prosperity" was written for you.
 
My book "Godly Abundance and Prosperity", Kindle edition, is now available at
The paperback is available at https://www.createspace.com/4552448
 
Leave a comment, or contact me at keith@ksradcliffe.com
(C)2015 Keith S. Radcliffe 

 

 

 

The Torah, The Law and Legalism

In "Godly Abundance and Prosperity", page 18, I write:

 

 

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!
 
Since publishing this book, there has been several extended conversations about the word "abolish". It is obvious that what is called the "Torah" has not been eliminated, done away with; it has not come to an end. God's teachings about how to live a godly life has not changed! 
 
So, what has changed? What has been "abolished" by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ? It is "Legalism" which has been abolished for those who have Jesus Christ as their savior. The legal requirements have been fulfilled by Jesus Christ; he has been our legal substitute, paying the penalties which were against us. The result of his accomplishments is that we are "dead to the law" as it says in Romans. There is another way to state this; Due to the accomplishments of Jesus Christ, we and our relationship to the Law and Legalism has changed. Being dead to the Law, we are no longer bound by the Law or its requirements. In this case, has the Law itself ceased to exist? Not at all.
 
The laws of commandments contained in ordinances have three distinct sections dealing with: The Atonement, The Mediator and Right Living. The Mediator is Jesus Christ. The Atonement has been accomplished by one man, the messiah, our mediator, Jesus Christ. Right Living remains "right living" without legalistic consequences for us. 
 
Most give lip-service or mental assent to the Atonement provided by the accomplishments of Jesus Christ. There is little recognition in the religious realm of the effect that the Atonement has. 
 
Sin and sin consciousness is a key factor which enables religion to exist and flourish. By deception, religion has stolen the atonement from the messiah, claiming the atoning action for itself. Religion claims to be the mediator. This is why religion and religious people fight so hard to retain sin, sin consciousness and its position as mediator; without these things, religion would cease to exist!
 
It is thought that being dead to the law is equivalent to being lawless. The religious mind, centered solely on the world and on the flesh, concludes that only legalism restrains the believers from a debased life of depravity. This is a false conclusion; the truth of the matter excludes the existence and functioning of religion.
 
Paul states the truth so simply – the law and legalism is ineffective because of the weakness of the flesh. This is true before and after salvation. What is the solution? Paul reveals that we no longer serve or live by a written standard. It is with the flesh he serves sin, yet with the mind (the mind of the new spiritual self or the mind of Christ) he serves the law of God. This "law of God" cannot be religious legalism to which we have died. This "law of God" is revealed, known, understood and obeyed as we walk by the (gift of holy) spirit. This "law of God", written in the innermost part of our being is NOT legalism; it exists outside of the bondage of religion and its man made legalism. Note that none of this invalidates or brings an end to the Torah. Our relationship to the Torah has changed because of the accomplishments of Jesus Christ.
 
Ephesians 5: 1, 2
Therefore 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.
 
Religion, legalism and sin consciousness will never enable a person to fulfill this wonderful admonition in Ephesians. This is a much greater calling than living by a written legalistic standard. Religion cannot accommodate, facilitate or tolerate such a calling. Note that we are to "…walk in love as Christ loved us…". Christ did not love us by adhering to a written, legalistic standard. He loved us as he walked by the spirit. Jesus Christ cast off his own will and replaced it with God's will. He did this consistently in detail for each specific situation. 
 
Jesus Christ demonstrated that the expression of God's love is personally tailored for each one of us. The expression of God's love and God's will is manifested by us as we walk by the spirit. To walk by the spirit is to sacrifice our own will and replace it with God's will. It is to cast aside the identity of the old self of the flesh and take on the identity of the new self of the spirit. It is by way of this new self of the spirit that we are able to be imitators of God, we are able to love others as God would have them loved.
 
My book "Godly Abundance and Prosperity", Kindle edition, is now available at
The paperback is available at https://www.createspace.com/4552448
 
Leave a comment, or contact me at keith@ksradcliffe.com
(C)2014 Keith S. Radcliffe 

 

 

 

The Prayer of a Righteous Man

Prayer is not to be devoid of power. In the Bible are records of the power of God that is invoked by praying. Yet, this kind of power is extremely rare in this world today. When the religious, theological blinders are removed and cast aside, the Bible can reveal exactly how prayer is to work.
 
Matthew 21:18
18 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.
 
Is the tree withering a normal physical response to human speech? Do you expect plants to instantly respond to your voice and the words that you speak? The instantaneous, remarkable work that was done here was beyond the normal, natural laws. The words which were spoken invoked spiritual power. 
 
Matthew 21:20
20 When the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, “How did the fig tree wither at once?”(They saw the effect, but did not discern the cause.) 21 And Jesus answered them, “Truly, I say to you, if you have faith (believing) and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. 22 And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith (believing).”
 
Verse 22 is a “promise of God” often referenced when teaching about the power of prayer. Once hearing or reading this verse I would start again, praying various prayers, without the type of results Jesus demonstrated here. Then the self condemnation would start – “oh, I just must not be believing…”. By the context of this section, we know that whatever is asked for in prayer here in verse 22, the expected result is the invocation of spiritual power in order to have the impossible come to pass at our command. So, what kind of prayer is this? 
 
Romans 8:26
26 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.
 
We have a weakness. By the senses, in the flesh, we do not know what to pray for as we ought. It requires the operation of holy spirit to overcome this weakness. The instruction, the wisdom is this – as the gift of holy spirit is operated, it intercedes for us, it intercedes for the saints (the believers) according to the will of God. This intercession is associated with speaking in tongues – that is one way in which we act upon these instructions from God and overcome this weakness.
The Epistle of James is written to Hebrew believers whose background and culture is the law and the Jewish religion. In most instances they continued to practice this religion. So there are references in this epistle which we may have difficulty understanding. 
 
James 5:13
13 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
 
Here is a promise of God, again related to prayer. There is nothing magical about oil. Anointing with oil does not initiate the energizing of holy spirit power. This is a custom that the Hebrews practiced in their culture. 
 
James 5:16
16 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. 
 
Is our flesh righteous? No! Our righteousness is in the new creation in us, the inner spiritual self. It is spiritual. This confession to one another is not a religious act, it is that we minister to each other and strengthen each other. 
 
James 5:17
17 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.
 
In this record in James, Elijah is given as a practical example, an illustration of one who prayed, with the result that spiritual power went into operation. This illustration applies to this context of prayer, here in James 5.
To the people raised in the Hebrew culture, this record of Elijah would be very familiar, and would communicate clearly to them. The word 'prayed' here in the Greek is the root of the word 'pray' used in Matthew 21:22, so these verses are referring to the same thing. Remember we are examining the Word to find out what kind of prayer this is that results in the invocation of spiritual power.
Lets briefly check the record of Elijah in 1 Kings 17 so we can see what James is referring to. 
 
1 Kings 17:1
1 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')”
 
Elijah communicated the promise of God which had been given to him. This record does not mention Elijah praying, but until he gives the command of his word there would be no rain. James says that he prayed and the rain stopped. At the time of 1 Kings 17:1, the rain had stopped; the spiritual power of God had been invoked by the words of Elijah. 
 
1 Kings 18:1
1 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.”
 
They were close to the end of the three years and six months. Here God give Elijah word of wisdom and word of knowledge by the operation of holy spirit which was upon him. 
 
1 Kings 18:41
41 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.
 
How did Elijah know what to pray for? How did he know when to pray? He knew because of revelation, word of knowledge and word of wisdom. God taught him what to pray for, how to pray, and when to pray.
This is the nature of prayer that the verses we examined are referring to, not prayer initiated in our flesh, by our senses! Remember Romans 8, that we have a weakness – we do not know what to pray for as we ought. It is by way of the operation of the gift of holy spirit that this weakness is overcome.
Revelation is one way in which we can know what to pray for according to the will of God. Then, as we move according to the word of wisdom, spiritual believing is energized, and God's will comes to pass.
So, back in James, the Elders are to pray for the sick, and the believers are to pray for each other. What kind of prayer is to be prayed? This prayer is according to the will of God, as he directs by the operation of the gift of holy spirit, word of knowledge, word of wisdom, and spiritual discernment. That is the kind of prayer which produces the spiritual power to bring deliverance to those in need.
Back in Matthew, what kind of prayer allows the believer to bring to pass the impossible at his command? The same kind of prayer as in James; prayer which God teaches by way of the operation of holy spirit. Then spiritual believing goes into operation and the impossible comes to pass. This is how we learn of the specific promises of God to us, or those we minister to. This is how these promises come to pass in our lives.
 
Excerpt from the book "Godly Abundance and Prosperity" (C)2014 Keith S. Radcliffe
 
My book "Godly Abundance and Prosperity", Kindle edition, is available at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HKJKXHE
The paperback is available at https://www.createspace.com/4552448
Leave a comment, or contact me at keith@ksradcliffe.com
(C)2014 Keith S. Radcliffe 

Sons of Abraham – Isaac and Ishmael

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.

Furthermore:

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

My book "Godly Abundance and Prosperity", Kindle edition, is now available at
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(C)2014 Keith S. Radcliffe

Giving Up Liberty

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.

Three Deceptions

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:
-Guaranteed housing
-Guaranteed jobs
-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 keith@ksradcliffe.com
(C)2014 Keith S. Radcliffe

An Introduction to “Walking by the Spirit”

In the simplest terms, "walking by the spirit" is a term which expresses conducting ones life by the abilities and power imparted by holy spirit. Holy spirit is obtained when anyone becomes "born from above"; acknowledging Jesus Christ as Lord (boss, director, single authority). This acknowledgment recognizes that the living God, his father, raised him from the dead. Anyone who arrives at that point in their life have done so in response to the action of holy spirit in their life. That is all that is required to receive the gift of holy spirit with all its benefits and responsibilities.
 
The God and father of Jesus Christ is holy and He is spirit. Receiving the gift of holy spirit is receiving the presence and life of God. Scripture refers to as this as "Christ in You" because it imparts to you (and all the brothers and sisters in Christ) the same ability and authority as Christ has; it is available because of the accomplishments of Jesus Christ. 
 
Scripture also expresses that there is an "old self" of the flesh and a "new self" of the spirit. Building upon the concept of "Christ in You", each believer has the "mind of Christ". With this power from God, the old physical self has been transformed into a new spiritual self with a new nature, new abilities and a new identity. Because of the presence of God in you, you have the ability to act as an agent of God in the same manner as Jesus Christ did.
 
Just as a baby has all the abilities to function and grow in the physical realm as a human being, you have all the abilities to function and grow spiritually, with the presence of God in you! Just as a baby physically grows, develops and matures, so you can spiritually grow, develop and mature.
 
If this is so, then why don't people automatically manifest the power of God with more effectiveness? Why don't people manifest the deliverance that such power imparts? There are three aspects to the answer. 
 
First, the systems of the world (especially religion) have taught and deceived people to ignore the spiritual side of life. People have been deceived into stunting their growth. The systems of this world (especially religion) work with deception and error to impart spiritual bondage, blindness and slumber to all. The systems of this world (especially religion) are designed to detect whenever a person is walking by the spirit of God. When such a person is detected, pernicious spiritual pressure is applied to shut down the Godly spiritual energizing in that person, or to limit their effectiveness. 
 
Second, people are taught and deceived to ignore the effects of holy spirit. It often requires spiritual perception to be able to perceive the operation of the spirit of God. Although people are walking by the spirit and the spirit of God is moving in and around us, all are deceived to be blind to this reality. The spirits of blindness and slumber, which infect the religious realms, work hard to keep all from seeing anything Godly.
 
Third, the systems of this world (especially religion) teach and deceive with a multitude of errors regarding what it is to walk by the spirit and what to expect. People are deceived with errors regarding godliness, prosperity, deliverance and the power of God.
 
The single most effective deception which stunts spiritual growth and limits spiritual effectiveness is sin consciousness and self condemnation. Self condemnation is engendered and fostered by religious legalism. Religion and religious legalism is antithetical to walking by the spirit of God.
 
Regardless of working of the systems of this world and the spiritual forces arrayed against the agents of God, walking by the spirit continues to be an available reality to all those who desire to function and live through Christ for the living God.
 
In our culture, we are taught that life is like cooking food; we are taught that success is as simple as finding and applying the correct recipe. This concept is a life-wasting simplistic deception which ignores the spiritual side of life. Walking by the spirit is not learned or performed by recipe. Don't waste time or energy in the unfruitful search for recipes! 
 
No book can teach how to snow ski; a book cannot teach a baby to walk. No book can teach how to walk by the spirit. What a book (or epistle or blog) can do is to introduce spiritual ideas and concepts which are needed in order to walk by the spirit. This is similar to what the epistle of I John does.
 
As an agent of God, who walks by the spirit, your purpose is to represent God and bring forth his will in your life, his will in the lives of those around you and his will in the physical realm. The agent of God manifests God's love in order to love others in the manner in which God desires for them to be loved. The wisdom and power of God is required to enable his agent to accomplish his will. 

 

 

 
My book "Godly Abundance and Prosperity", Kindle edition, is now available at
The paperback is available at https://www.createspace.com/4552448
 
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(C)2014 Keith S. Radcliffe 

 

 

 

How Do You Know?

Question: How do you know that there is a God or that Jesus Christ is His son, who is the messiah? How do you know the truth of these things? I have heard the essence of this question asked on numerous occasions. All the harassing religious noise that would drown out the truth makes it a challenge to separate the truth from all the lies and counterfeits. This may be challenging for people, but it is not challenging for God.
 
As was reported in "It's Not Rational!", belief in God is not rational – there is no empirical evidence that proves the existence of God. This may be a problem for people, but it is not a problem for God.
 
The prerequisites for knowing for sure (no further doubt or questioning) that Jesus Christ is the son of God and what he teaches is the truth are simple:
  • Be taught of God. No one can even approach Jesus Christ unless the ability to approach is given by God. This ability is given as  part of the instructions from God. Note that it is not efforts or words from other people, or from religion that makes the difference. It is the instruction from God that makes it possible to approach Jesus Christ. It is in this process that you come to know that there is one true God.
  • Have a deep desire for a close relationship with God – no further separation.
  • Have a desire to know and perform what God wills; your own will is secondary.
Note that there is not one prerequisite here that has anything to do with religion or religious doctrines, the fear of hell, or whatever. God must draw you to his son; no one else can accomplish this task.
 
Those who come to acknowledge Jesus Christ as God's son, the first man raised from the dead, and that this man is now their superior, get to skip any pending judgment. You can skip the judgment that religion promotes so rabidly. No, that is not in the future for those who trust in Jesus Christ, for they have already passed from death to life.
 
This should really simplify things. "Knowing for sure" is personal, it is between you and God; the way it should be!
 
"Godly Abundance and Prosperity", Kindle edition, is now available at
The paperback is available at https://www.createspace.com/4552448
 
Leave a comment, or contact me at keith@ksradcliffe.com
(C)2014 Keith S. Radcliffe