the word of a wise man in foolish hands

“The Church is the totality of those who are predestined to blessedness. It includes the Church triumphant in heaven… and the Church militant or men on earth. No one who is eternally lost has part in it. There is one universal Church, and outside of it there is no salvation. Its head is Christ. No pope may say that he is the head, for he can not say that he is elect or even a member of the Church.”  – John Wycliffe

John Wycliffe was an English Scholastic philosopher, theologian, lay preacher, translator, reformer and university teacher at Oxford in England, who was known as an early dissident in the Roman Catholic Church during the 14th century. Wikipedia

Born: 1328, Hipswell

Died: December 31, 1384, Lutterworth

Education: The Queen’s College, Oxford

John Wycliffe is called “The Morning Star of the Reformation”. He was the first person to translate the Bible into the English language in the 1380’s. Consider the fact that he lived nearly a century before Gutenberg invented the printing press, his New Testaments and Bibles were of course, hand-written manuscripts. In his day, Wycliffe was given more attention as a controversialist than a translator.

Wycliffe, was well-known throughout Europe for his opposition to the teaching of the organized Church, which he believed to be contrary to the Bible. As a church militant of sorts, his writings propagated the idea that the “Holy Scripture contains all truth and, being from God, is the only authority”.

Other comments taken from his writing “dominion founded by grace”“it is not necessary to go either to Rome or to Avignon in order to seek a decision from the pope, since the triune God is everywhere. Our pope is Christ.”… gives the impression that he was anti-church. In all of his controversies, he was a loyal churchman. Historical renderings of Wycliffe’s life reveals his problem was with religion, not the church.

One would think that the church would welcome and embrace the word of God, certainly not oppose it, but that is not historically been the case.

It can be seen the very first time God gave His word to the nation of Israel. It was met with a rebellious and stubborn spirit. The people of God not only opposed  His word, they supplanted it with a religious doctrine that would satisfy nothing more than their own, vain, religious spirit.  This is the same spirit that was evident in the day of Wycliffe, and we see that same spirit is alive and well in this dispensation we are living in.

vom extreme devotion – ‘Satan Tried to Get Rid of John Wycliffe’s Message’

On a cold English morning in 1428, men traipsed irreverently through the graveyard. One of them, finely dressed in religious robes, said, “Here it is. Dig it up. Let’s get this over with.”

When the shovels finally hit something solid, the man in fine clothes stood by, idly watching, and said, “Open it.”
“But, sir, he’s been in there fifty years!” replied one of the diggers. “There can’t be much left!”
The religious leader shuddered and then shrugged off his irritation. “Then pull the whole thing out. We’ll burn it all.”
What could have angered this man so much? Why dig up the man’s body fifty years after his death to ceremoniously burn him as a heretic? Around 1376, John Wycliffe had published the doctrine of “dominion as founded in grace.” This highly controversial message states, “The gospel alone is sufficient to rule the lives of Christians everywhere.”
Wycliffe had also begun translating the Latin Vulgate Bible into English and distributing it secretly in pamphlets and books. He continued this work until his death in 1384, one hundred thirty-three years before the Reformation.
“Dump the ashes in the river,” the man ordered as the fire died down. “That should be the last we hear of John Wycliffe and his teachings.” One hundred more years would pass before it was legal to read an English Bible.

Opposition to Wycliffe had nothing to do with the man, but his message…The religious folk of Wycliffe’s day were nothing less than pawns in the hand of the devil. The lust of their father, they were doing. Their vitriolic hatred for Wycliffe and the word of God did not only burn hot while he was alive, standing before their councils, but was just as vehement forty-four years after his death.

Words from the Psalmist… “from the wicked who assail me, from my mortal enemies who surround me. They close up their callous hearts, and their mouths speak with arrogance. They have tracked me down, they now surround me, with eyes alert, to throw me to the ground.”

“Dump the ashes in the river… that should be the last we hear of John Wycliffe and his teaching”, conversely, the world is still hearing from John Wycliffe and his teachings.

The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.

A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. So it is senseless to pay tuition to educate a fool who has no heart for wisdom.

He that hath ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit saith!

brother malachi

if God is real, why does He allow His people to be martyred?

The Murder of St. Peter the Martyr, 1509, Giovanni Bellini.

I’ve come to believe that God, in his wisdom, allows martyrdom in every generation in part because, without them, the reality of Christ’s death for us becomes increasingly blurry. . . . As we look at [the martyrs], the mist that sometimes enshrouds first-century Golgotha is burned away, and we see . . . the Lord nailed to the cross.

MARK GALLI – senior managing editor Christianity Today

I have tracked the persecution of Christians for a number of years, so I was intrigued by this quote from Mark Galli, senior managing editor for Christianity Today. Even though I have some reservations with the entire quote, Galli does address a spiritual deficiency that the believer must constantly guard against… forgetting what God has done for us. For scriptural support read Deuteronomy 8:10-20.

The lesson is this, when God allows His people to enjoy abundant blessings, we tend to envelope ourselves in the pleasure of the blessing and not only forget how we got to where we are, but we begin to convince ourselves we are responsible for the outcome.

WARNING: Blessing is the greatest enemy for the people of God, unless they keep the blessing in its proper perspective. It should alarm the church in America that ‘BLESSINGS’ seems to be its spiritual focus.

Galli’s quote may be apropos for the church in America, in that the vast majority of the people attending church with some regularity, very rarely if ever, give thought to the work of God at Golgotha, but this is quite the contrast for our brothers and sisters in the rest of the world. “Taking up their cross and following Jesus is a normal way of life.

I was reading the VOM’s Extreme Devotion post about an Iranian pastor who had escaped to the West. In Iran, arrest and police harassment were common experiences. This pastor had lost his home and job because of his faith. Now living in the West he was free to live and worship wherever he wished. How could he long for the days of persecution. “Sometimes I miss those days”, he said, “because I was so alive. I felt every day that Jesus was with me.” Very few faithful church attendees in America  would echo these sentiments.

I find Galli’s quote still leaves the believer somewhat short sighted of what Christ expects from His followers. “As we” only see what the martyrs endure, it gives us in America nothing more that a faint picture of the events of Golgotha. This blurry view of Golgotha is then overwhelmed by the seeming blessings the church enjoys in America. But when we endure the same level suffering that Christian (Iranian pastor) all around the persecuted world are enduring, we not only live the events of Golgotha but see with all clarity the very LORD of Calvary.

So to understand why God allows His people to suffer as martyrs we need look no further than the scripture…

 

“If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me. If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin. He that hateth me hateth my Father also. If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father. But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.”  John 15:18-25

So what was Jesus telling his disciples?

The world hates the believer- If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

This is a hard saying… who can understand it? We, in America, understand little about the world hating the believer. Now I am not speaking to the isolated incidences where there are certain individuals and even groups that hate what the church represents, but overall the church in America does not experience the hatred of the world.

The only explanation is that the church in America is so immersed in the world, that it is little more than a religious extension of the world. We could liken it to Hinduism in India, Buddhism in East Asia or Islam in the Middle East.

This is not the case in the rest of the world. To name the name of Christ or call oneself a Christian in most of Asia will put one in jeopardy. Jeopardy of loosing ones job, their material possessions, subject to beatings, imprisonment and even death. In other words, most professing Christians in America would not fit the bill in other parts of the world, nor could they endure the opposition the body of Christ is confronted with on a daily basis in North Korea, China, etc…

This hatred of God is a willful rejection of Him and His Christ- But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.But now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.

It is important that we clear the religious fog that shrouds Christianity in America. Many associate Christianity with religion… religion with God. That is not the case at all. Christianity is NOT a religion. Christianity is comprised of individuals that are Born Again by the Spirit of God, resulting in these same individuals being placed spiritually into the Body of Christ. These individuals (Christians) which have been born again make up the True Church mentioned in the Word of God. Therefore a better description of Christianity would be that of a living organism instead of an organization. Just because someone is a member of a religious institution or attends a church with regularity does not make one a Christian. Just because an organization espouses a religious doctrine is no guarantee that they even know God. In fact if they do not align themselves with the Word of God it is evidence that they do not know God or His Christ, hence not born again or Christian at all. For there is no other name under heaven whereby a man may be saved… Jesus The Christ

Now when we think of religions that oppose the word of God, Wiccan, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Atheism, etc…comes to mind. What is very alarming, and becoming more common place, is the rise of this anti-Christ (religious) spirit in the church (organization not the organism) in America.

Just to reiterate, the anti-God / anti-Christ spirit can be borne by the likes of Methodist, Baptist, Lutherans, Catholics, Assemblies of God, etc…We could liken them to the religious folk of Jesus day. They were not only ignorant of God’s word but opposed His Christ at every turn, seeking to eradicate Him from their society.

The evidence that there are religious folk that hate God in the church can been seen in the opposition of His word. If the word of God is hated, the Word that was made flesh would receive the same if he were to stumble into the temple (church) today. This is a hard saying but he that hath ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit saith.

The servant of Christ is the only one left that the hating world can touch- If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you.

Time and time again we saw the religious leaders of Christ day move to take up stones to kill Him. This vehement hatred came from there father the devil. The lust of their father they desired to do .

Now Satan cannot touch God, for He is the Creator and Satan the creature. He can not touch Christ as He is seated at the right hand of the Father. This only leaves His body. It’s a trickle down effect and the Christian (the body of Christ, the believer) is the only one left for the world to persecute.

If you follow the persecuted church, the persecution is not because of the churches criminal activities or any wicked deeds they have done. They are persecuted simply for associating themselves with Jesus-Christianity. This vehement anti-Christ spirit prevailing in the world today can only kill the body but are not able to kill the soul, but the believer is commanded not to fear him; rather fear Him which is able to destroy both the soul and the body in hell.

 

Take up your cross and follow me-

The persecution that the body of Christ is meeting head on did not take God by surprise. In fact He told His believers it would come and the reason they would experience it.

It is in the midst of this grievous suffering that we get a sweet, in depth, intimate vision of Jesus Christ. This may seem sadistic at the surface, but it has scriptural support.  The body and the soul of the believer belongs to the LORD, and He is God!

 

But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God, And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God. Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord, And cast him out of the city, and stoned [him]: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul. And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep. Acts 7:55-60

When Christ exhorts us to take up ‘our cross’ and follow ‘Him’, rest assured He does not expect us to carry the cross, He will carry the cross for us. He has already carried His own and is fully capable of taking ours.

For my brothers and sisters that are suffering for the cause of Christ, rest assured, He is strong an faithful and will not leave you to your own!

Prayerfully consider the voice of Justin…

“If you are scourged or beheaded as a criminal, do you believe you will still ascend to heaven?” asked Rusticus, the city official.

“I believe that if I endure these things I shall have what Jesus promised me,” Justin said. “For I know his gift of life stays with all who remain in him, even until the end of the world.”
“Do you think then that you will receive some reward there?”
“I do not think it; I know it. I am certain of it.”
Rusticus sat back with impatience. “You must agree to offer a sacrifice to the gods.”
Justin stood unmoved. “No right-thinking person slanders communion with God by going to the godless.”
Rusticus had had enough. “Unless you obey, you will be mercilessly executed.”
“I know if I die for his testimony that I need not fear. I count dying for such a reason to be our salvation and confidence before Christ.” Justin answered.
The others who stood with Justin said, “Do what you will, for we are Christians and do not sacrifice to idols.”
Rusticus pronounced the sentence on the Christians who refused his demands. “These people, who have refused to sacrifice to the gods and do not obey the dictates of the emperor, shall be scourged and beheaded according to the law.”

Justin was a wise man… he listened to the voice of truth.

brother malachi

the spirit of intolerance

in·tol·er·ance [in-tol-er-uhns]  noun

1. lack of toleration; unwillingness or refusal to tolerate or respect contrary opinions or beliefs, persons of different races or backgrounds, religion, Christianity, etc…
2. incapacity or indisposition to bear or endure the Word of God: intolerance to Christianity.

 

Spiritual Salmonella Sprawled Across a Chick-fil-A

Chick-fil-A Vandal Comes Out of the Closet

Homosexual activists vandalized a Chick-fil-A in Torrance, California. The graffiti showed a cow with the writing "Tastes like hate."

Homosexual LA artist, Manny Castro, has come forward as the vandal. Castro has been pretty open about his actions and has celebrated with other radical activists.

Homosexuals hate Christians for believing Scripture and not accepting or affirming their sinful lifestyle as legitimate. [1]

 

Muslim Terrorists Tell Nigeria’s Christian President: ‘Convert or Resign’

By Patrick Goodenough

August 7, 2012

Goodluck Jonathan

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan visits a village in his native Bayelsa state on Feb. 27, 2012. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

(CNSNews.com) – Boko Haram is demanding that Nigeria’s Christian president convert to Islam or resign, a stance that again calls into question the Obama administration’s playing down of religion as the primary motivation for the radical group.

In an online video clip released over the weekend, Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau told President Goodluck Jonathan to “repent and forsake Christianity.”

The News Agency of Nigeria said Shekau, speaking in Hausa, said the president should convert or resign if he wanted Boko Haram to end its violent campaign. [2]

Burnt Church

Burnt Church

In northern Nigeria, radical Muslims of the Boko Haram sect have chosen Sunday as their favored day for bombing churches.

“We attacked simply because it’s a church, and we can decide to attack any other church. We have just started.” -Boko Haram spokesperson in a UPI interview

Many Christians have been martyred in Nigeria, including church leaders, the elderly and even children in Sunday school classes. While some want to retaliate against their Muslim attackers, many Christian leaders urge prayer as the best recourse. [3]

 

Inviting an enemy to convert to Islam or face the consequences is a longstanding tradition in Islam, modeled on the example set by the religion’s seventh century prophet.

A hadith (the writings and sayings of the prophet) by Sahih al-Bukhari quotes Mohammed as saying, “I have been ordered (by Allah) to fight against the people until they testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is Allah’s Apostle, and offer the prayers perfectly and give the obligatory charity, so if they perform a that, then they save their lives an property from me except for Islamic laws and then their reckoning (accounts) will be done by Allah.”

Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for dozens of deadly bombings and other attacks, mostly targeting Christians in northern parts of Africa’s most populous country. It has vowed to cleanse northern Nigeria of Christians.

Despite its increasingly bloody campaign, the Obama administration so far has resisted calls by U.S. lawmakers to designate Boko Haram as a foreign terrorist organization (FTO) under American law. [2]


Homosexual Iranians executed for homosexual lifestyle:

Following photo is linked to an article posted by this author in December of 2008. Please read the article in its entirety at the link below. The times online.co.uk article linked to the post has been removed, but there are enough quotes from the Times article to get the full intent of the message.

‘do as I say, not as I do… from the homosexual perspective’

Even though the above article was posted in 2008, there still seems to be some strong similarities in this day we are living.

A Kindred Spirit

The spirit that is found in both the radical homosexual and radical Islamist has the same author (origin) and is without question, an anti-Christ spirit. Opposition from this spirit is vehement and openly defiant when it encounters the unadulterated teaching of God’s word.


Islamic Teaching from the Quran

Quran Teachings- “A religion of peace”, quite the contrary. A religion of hate and destruction!

Of the Unbelievers: Sura 4:89 “seize them and slay them wherever you find them: and in any case take no friends or helpers from their ranks.”

Slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush. (Sura 9:5)

8:59-60 “Let not the unbelievers think that they can get the better (of the godly): they will never frustrate (them). Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies, of God and your enemies, and others besides, whom ye may not know, but whom God doth know. Whatever ye shall spend in the cause of God, shall be repaid unto you, and ye shall not be treated unjustly.”

Another translation makes this plain – “The infidels should not think that they can get away from us. Prepare against them whatever arms and weaponry you can muster so that you may terrorize them.”


As you can see from the Quranic teaching, radical Islam does not differentiate between the homosexual and the Christian. In adherence to the Quran’s teaching, Islam would hang the both (homosexual and Christian) from the same rope, or decapitate the infidel for emphasis. So much for the religion of peace and a societies freedom of choice and speech…

While the spirit in the radical homosexual is akin to this Islamic spirit it is somewhat different in its mode of operation. Like the Islamic spirit,  the attacks against the clear teaching of God’s word is very vocal and on some occasions can manifest rather violent  tendencies against those who follow Jesus. Ironic though, this homosexual spirit is seemingly tight lipped concerning the destructive practices of the Islamic religion.

Contrast the teaching of Jesus Christ with Islam. Christ’s message was immersed in mercy and grace. Jesus was a ‘friend of sinners’, offering a message of hope, peace and reconciliation to God, while Islam’s god decries not only the Christian faith, but the homosexual alike and would desire nothing less than total destruction of the both… infidels in the eyes of Islam. How can the homosexual find this attack by Islam any less offensive than the issue of sin propagated in God’s word?

At the Heart of the Problem

The Word of God is the crux of the matter. When one stands upon the clear teaching of God’s holy word, he/she will encounter this radical spirit of opposition.

Religion does not like for the word of God to belittle it’s god. The thought that there is one True and Living God and He has denounced (in His word) all other gods as foolish and useless does not set well with other religions. They cannot attack God, so they direct the persecution toward His people. This same anti-Christ (religious) spirit opposed Jesus Christ at every turn.

Additional ‘salt in the wound’ is when an individual stands face to face with the same word and find they are dead in their trespasses and sin and in need of a savior. Sin is not a pretty picture and to constantly be reminded by the Word of God, that all have sinned and that the heart is deceitful above all things is desperately wicked, is not palatable to the flesh.

We all like to think that we are correct in our thought process. When a man/woman is told that the way that seemeth right unto them is in fact the way of death, the natural tendencies of the human spirit is to resist this truth. For both the radical homosexual and Islamist this kindles the anti-Christ spirit afore mentioned, but for the true follower of Jesus Christ there cannot be a shadow of turning. 

It has been almost four years since the posting in 2008. Not much has changed. If anything, things have digressed, which are to be expected.

 

Radical Homosexuality

It is not enough now that the radical homosexual suppresses the truth of God’s word by their unlawful deeds, but like the radical Islamist, they want to mold the independent thought processes unto their own way of thinking. When it encounters dissension, the attack begins. When the thought process is aligned with the truth of God’s word, the vitriolic attack intensifies.

What we seeing in America is a concerted effort from every level of our society to not only stop the mouth of free speech, but to completely remove any hint of God’s word from our society. In other words, the homosexual in essence is attempting to make us more like an Islamic nations.

It is rather strange, to see the radical homosexual continue its vehement spirit of opposition against Christianity, while Islam is seemingly receiving a free pass. As the radical homosexual and radical Islamist fight for the thought process of our society, and the both seeking to shut out the Word of God, if Islam prevails, where will this leave the homosexual life style?

Envision this new America… No Christian churches or bible book stores or Christian doctrine permeating the radio or television. No need to Google Christianity because there will no Christian churches, only mosque in every town in America with the call to daily prayers vocalized across the airwaves. Oh, and in every town square, a gallows, for non-conforming thinkers. And instead of freedom of speech and independent thinking, Shuria law. You think Chick-fil-A taste like hate… smoke this new America over my friend! What you’ll find is a catch-22 for a hopeless society immersed in darkness, with no Light at the end of the tunnel.

 

 

Radical Islam

The spirit of radical Islam has not changed. It continues its attempt to stop the mouths and the testimony of the people of God. When all measures to force their thought processes to align with Islam fails, the only option left is annihilation. In the most brutal manner, but to my brothers and sisters in Christ, stand firm, for our Lord has already traveled this road and has overcome. We will too!

 

The Heart of the Problem

The real problem is God’s word has not changed. A word that is cemented in the righteousness of a Holy, True, and Living God cannot and will not change. His word is the same today, the same yesterday and forever, just like His mercy and forgiveness.

It is this same word that has the power to change the spirit of homosexuality and Islam. The Ethiopian can not change the color of his skin nor the leopard his spots, but when a man is born again, he is a new creature in Christ. Old things are passed away and all things shall become new.

May you come face to face with Jesus (Yeshua, Isa) and find the peace that surpasses understanding.

Posted in the Love of Christ’s Spirit

brother malachi

 

[1] Anti-Defamation Commission – ‘Chick-fil-A Vandal Comes Out of the Closet’ August 9,2012

[2] CNSNews.com – Muslim Terrorists Tell Nigeria’s Christian President: ‘Convert or Resign’ August 7, 2012

[3] VOM ‘It’s Sunday… Will Your Church Be Bombed?’ August 12, 2012

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    "Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me." Martin Niemoller

    Who will speak for those who can't speak for themselves?

    “Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, ‘But we knew nothing about this’, does not He who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not He who guards your life know it? Will not He repay each one according to what he has done?” Proverbs 24:11-12