Psalm 119:114

Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word. Psalm 119:114

I remember right after I trusted in Christ I heard the testimony of a woman named Corrie ten Boom (April 15, 1892 – April 15, 1983). Corrie ten Boom was a Dutch Christian Holocaust survivor who helped many Jews escape the Nazis during World War II. Corrie ten Boom co-wrote her autobiography, ‘The Hiding Place’.                                          (Resource en.wikipedia.org/Corrie_ten_Boom)

 

In this testimony she told of how she had secret rooms and hiding places all throughout her house and she would hide Jews escaping the persecution of the Nazis during the Holocaust.

In one story she told of how she only had time to hide escaping Jews under the dinning room table with only the table cloth pulled down to provide the seeming protection from the view of the Nazi soldiers. After vehemently searching all of the house, just before exiting the room, the soldiers walked over and threw up the table cloth that should have most assuredly revealed their hiding place, but the solider’s eyes were withholden that they could not see.

Without question Corrie ten Boom was a light in a world of darkness during the Holocaust. It is the Spirit of Christ lived out in the testimony of one of His own. But every now an then, we get a glimpse of that same Spirit and same powerful testimony today, as is the case with South Korean national Choi Yong-Hun. Please consider his testimony and them keep him lifted before our faithful Lord.                         

(Autumn Rain International)

 

“The measure of a life, after all, is not its duration, but its donation.”          Corrie ten Boom

malachi

Strange Fire?

A couple of months ago I ran a post “What’s Wrong With This Picture”. The purpose of the post was to raise questions surrounding the long term affects of one sitting under the tutelage of a pastor such as Jeremiah Wright; pastor of the Trinity United Church of Christ….

Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.”

 

….tells us that a friend can have an affect on an individual, surely the spirit of our pastor will.

Shortly after the public rants of pastor Wright, we see his pulpit replacement  Rev. Otis Moss III has a kindred spirit liken to Rev. Wright. Now the latest release from the YouTube bank, we see the message that Father Michael Pfleger preached at Trinity on May 25, 2008.

I would that you would consider the following:

  • the doctrine (absence of God’s Word)
  • the edification of the flesh
  • attitude of the messenger
  • spirit of the congregants

 

After having an opportunity to see the service for yourself, let’s consider a few things. It is not about the color of ones skin. It’s not about  the denominational association. It’s all about the spirit; for out of the abundance of the heart… the mouth speaketh! 

One would do well to consider the admonition to the church at Corinth from the apostle Paul. BEWARE….. of another gospel espousing another Jesus, and propagated by another spirit.

The thing that continues to amaze me is the spiritual stupor of so many churches in America.

Did you notice the spirit of the congregants? “they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears’.

malachi

It’s All In The Name… Hussein?

No it’s not Saddam Hussein or even Barack Hussein Obama that I wish to discuss today. It is a 21-year-old young man named Mojtaba Hussein, that is in jail in Iran for his faith in Christ. [Resource FOX News].

The above article speaks to the step up of persecution against the body of Christ in Iran… When ever we find a believer that is standing in the fire of persecution, we can rest assured that there is but one name that is firm enough to stand upon. A name that will carry the believer both through time and eternity.

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth; And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:8-11

Pray that Mojtaba Hussein will stand fast upon Christ and His faithfulness will carry Mojtaba where he can not walk.

Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. 2 Timothy 2:19

malachi

The Flag That Will Not Die!

If one has moved across the streets of America, they will notice that the streets are adorned with American flags. On street corners, lamp posts, automobiles, motorcycles, bicycles, parade floats, etc… American flags are every where. Memorial Day in the United States is a day that is set aside to honor both men and women who have served our country in the armed forces and that have given the ultimate sacrifice that we might enjoy the freedoms and liberties that we are recipients of as a nation.

 

With this thought in mind it is always amazing to me to see the violent spirit that is often associated with the flag. We have see the enemies of America take the American flag curse and burn it publicly. I remembered right after the events of 9-11, men took the American flag in New York City, placed the flag upon the ground and tread it under foot while the residences of New York City watched and new reporters filmed their new events.

 

Being from the south, we see a similar disdain for a flag, not the American flag, but the Confederate Flag. There are concerted efforts to legislate that states and public buildings can not fly this flag or schools cannot fly it above public institutions. There are even places of business that will not allow vehicles to don this emblem. Like the America flag it carries a bitter and vehement taste in the mouths of those that oppose it.

 

The flag is nothing more than mere material, nylon sewn in a regimented format to bring forth the emblem that it is designed to represent. The flag can do no harm because it is an inanimate object that has not thought or evil. It just flies in the breeze upon the pole that it is erected upon, yet brings such railing accusations. Herein we see the problem, it is not the flag itself, it is the flags historical foundation that meets such anger.

 

Though it is Memorial Day and I truly do appreciate all that the men and women of the armed forces of the United States of America have done in the name of Old Glory that we might enjoy the freedoms that we take for granted today, it is not the American, or even the Confederate Flags that I am thinking. It is a flag that has far greater importance than any other flag, yet carries a controversy and great opposition. This flag when it first flew brought railing accusations and still does today from those individuals that opposes Him.

 

And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious. Isaiah 11:10

 

The word that is translated ‘ensign’ is the word for standard, banner, sail or flag. This root of Jesse, shall fly in that day… The Day of Righteousness when the King of Kings and Lord of Lords shall rule and reign in justices.

 

For the believer, He should already be flying, ruling and reigning if you please. If I be lifted up, I will draw all me unto me. The first day that ‘ensign’ flag was lifted up on Calvary’s Hill, suspended between heaven and earth, the enemies of the cross railed on Him with their mouths. We see it today; the enemies of the cross are still railing and cursing His holy name. Never has society seen such a vehement persecution, not even liken to that of the American or Confederate flags, but against God and His Christ.

 

If you are a veteran of any war and are reading this post, I would like to thank you that I have the liberty and freedoms to own the word of God and the liberty to stand and preach it and type it in this setting. It is a blessing that I do not take for granted, realizing that one day it may cost me to do so.

 

malachi

 

中国的宝石

中国的宝石 ‘the gem of China’

 

Religious freedom and Chinese law
The current Chinese Constitution (adopted in 1982) grants “freedom of religious belief,” but only specifies that right as belonging to the individual citizen. It refers to, but does not define, “normal religious activities.” These two items have been pressure points in religious policy and law ever since. Article 36 reads as follows:

“Citizens of the People’s Republic of China enjoy freedom of religious belief. No state organ, public organization or individual may compel citizens to believe in, or not to believe in, any religion; nor may they discriminate against citizens who believe in, or do not believe in, any religion. The state protects normal religious activities. No one may make use of religion to engage in activities that disrupt public order, impair the health of citizens or interfere with the educational system of the state. Religious bodies and religious affairs are not subject to any foreign domination.”

I receive the weekly Christian History Connection newsletter via email from Christianity Today. This week the news letter profiled the Church in China in an article entitled ‘Worshiping Under the Communist Eye’  (Source Christianity Today Read the article in its entirety)

In the newsletter, the church profiled ‘the former Anglican cathedral in a provincial capital’. The article goes on to say concerning attendance….

“it is jammed to the rafters. A thousand voices echo from the unadorned brick walls as they recite the Apostles’ Creed, and the elderly blind pianist, raised in a Christian orphanage until the Communist victory in 1949, leads her small choir through a lovely rendition of “Alas, and did my Savior bleed?”

From all indications it appears that the church in China is a growing and thriving spiritual success. Of course there is more than one church in China today. I am not talking about the distinction between protestant or Catholic or even the distinction in protestant denominationalism. The distinction that is seen in China is that of a visible church which is known as the state church- ‘Three Self Patriot Movement’ church and the other is less visible and it is known as the ‘underground church’. To the later, the article gave little or no credence, so it (the underground church) is what are in my thoughts in this post.

In the early 1900’s the only strong mission presence still present in China was from the ‘China Inland Missions’ that was founded in the late 1800’s by J. Hudson Taylor.

In the early 1930’s it was a time when other missionaries in China were declining, that CIM successfully launched ‘the 200’ campaign. The purpose of the campaign was to send 200 new missionaries into China. Missionaries that answered the Spirit’s call were the likes of David Adeney and John and Betty Stam. During this time of immense opposition by the enemies of the cross it was very dangerous to be a Christian, whether native born or foreign.

David Adeney, a Cambridge University student, came to China in 1934 where he worked with the students in China and served until 1950. He returned some 30 years later to find quite a different church.

For John and Betty Stam the story ended quite differently. They did not leave China to return some 30 years later as Adeney. They left, carried to the loving arms of our blessed Savour. Like Stephen, they being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up steadfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God.

This is still the case for some in the ‘underground church’ in China today. They can loose all their material possessions, undergo severe beatings and even imprisonment, but just like John and Betty Stam, no one can separate them from their Lord Jesus Christ. 

I am convinced that the believer that has a strong enough conviction to stand with the same faithfulness as Christ stood, that no man can even take their life, they lay it down.. just like He did. Many in the underground church are doing such for His honor and glory.

malachi

Free Quran coming to your doorstep?

“If you’re in your front yard, working in the flower bed or chatting with a neighbor, they’ll pass by silently to attach one of the bags they’re carrying to your front door knob and leave without speaking or engaging you in debate. Their mission? To place a copy of the Quran in every home in the United States.”  Source: WorldNet Daily

If you read the article in its entirety, you would have read that the reason ‘Book of Signs’ which is also known as the Al-Furqaan Foundation is distributing the Quran to every home is so “You can make you own judgment”.

The article goes on to say that the foundation usually receives one of three responses to the Quran being hung on ones front door.

  • 30% are appreciative
  • 30% are indifferent and request that the book be taken back.
  • Rest are often filled with expletives.

I am not really surprised with the three above mentioned response to finding a Quran hanging upon the front door knob of your home. I am a little surprised with the 30% that are appreciative although there is no mention of what spiritual affect, if any, the book has on the 30%.

If we consider the number of congregants that frequent mainline denomination, protestant churches on Sunday mornings, we must admit that there is very little evidence, if any of God’s word in terms of their daily lives. Does one think that the Quran will be any different? I guess my thoughts on this may seem a little strange, especially coming from a pastor of the Christian faith.

You see, the Muslim wants to prohibit any opportunity for the Christian faith to have free course in their society. They vehemently oppose and even persecute the word of God and those who have placed it in high esteem, in an attempt to suppress the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Personally I have no problem with someone hanging a Quran upon my front door, because my faith is grounded in the truth of God’s word. It does not matter if it is a Book of Mormons, Literature from Jehovah Witness’ or even the ‘mighty Quran’. They have absolutely no power or influence. Very similar to what we see in those who go to church Sunday after Sunday, yet come away with a spirit that is devoid of God’s word and it has no power in their life.

I kind of liken it to what Christ told His disciples in the gospel of Matthew….    “Let them alone, the blind need leaders. If the blind lead the blind, they will both fall into the ditch”.

You see error is for no one, but the one who chose to live in error. If one wilfully rejects the word of truth and the Spirit of Truth, they must immerse themselves in some element of error. That’s the purpose of all the other material, and it is sufficient for the day. The purpose of God’s word is to shine light into the heart of darkness, those who do not chose it’s revelation must remain in darkness… It is sadly man’s choice.

Concerning the negative responses to those who contact Wajahat Sayeed, founder and director of  the foundation, concerning the receipt of the Quran…….

“It is not pleasant to hear that after all the effort you made,”

Guess one should not have trouble understanding how God will feel when He finds one has openly rejected His word and trodden under foot the precious blood of His Son….. Yeshua ha Massiach

malachi

Habiba Kouider- the spirit of Felicitas

Felicitas: The Woman Who Worried an Emperor (A.D 164)
Felicitas was a Christian widow who lived with her seven sons in Rome during the early days of Christianity. Both she and her sons were mightily used of God in winning many to Christ. Her witness for Jesus was such that Emperor Antonius, himself, learned that many Romans were turning from idol worship to Christianity because of this family. Alarmed, he ordered Publius, the chief magistrate of Rome, to compel this woman and her sons to renounce their faith and sacrifice to the Roman gods, as was their duty as Roman citizens. If they refused, they were to be put to death.
Publius first attempted to bribe Felicitas into readopting the Roman religion with various kinds of promises. When this was unsuccessful, he began to threaten her with torture, but still he could not move this woman of faith. He urged her to think of her sons. “If you love your sons,” he said, “at least, command them to save their own lives.”
“If I were to do that,” she replied, “they would not be saving their lives but selling their bodies and souls to the devil.” She then turned to her sons and said, “Remain steadfast in the faith and in the confession of Christ; for Christ and His saints are waiting for you. Behold, heaven is open before you; therefore fight valiantly for your souls and show that you are faithful in the love of Christ, where with He loves you and you Him.”
Enraged, Publius had Felicitas brutally beaten in front of her sons and then sought to convince each of them to renounce their faith. But emboldened by their mother’s courage, they followed her words and example and refused.
Finally, Publius sent a message to the Emperor, informing him of his failure. Antonius ordered that the entire family be executed, but that the sons were to be tortured to death by separate executioners, Each son was to be killed in a different manner, with their mother forced to watch each of them die before she was to be put to death.
Thus Felicitas witnessed each of her sons give their lives for Christ just as she had urged them to do. Last of all, this woman who worried an emperor was beheaded. Together, they had remained faithful “even unto death” (Rev.2:10).

 

The Spirit of Felicitas is alive and well. Christian could face three years in prison for practicing faith ‘without license.’: Source Compass Direct News

Pray for Habiba Kouider, that she will remain steadfast and true to her Lord.

malachi