GOD’S PROVIDENCE: HE IS A GOD OF INTENTION

“Providence” is a word we use frequently in talking about God, but we may not have thought deeply about what it means. Theologian Timothy George defines it as “God’s faithful and effective care and guidance of everything which He has made toward the end which He has chosen.”

In quadriplegic’s Joni Eareckson Tada’s book Pain and Providence, she writes about God’s providence in Joseph’s life:

“I draw a lot of inspiration from the story of Joseph. There were plenty of unfortunate mishaps in Joseph’s life, like being tossed by his envious brothers into a pit and left to die. But later on, after more mishaps, Joseph told his brothers, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (Gen. 50:20-21).

I like that word, intended. He is a God of intention—He has a purpose, a target, a goal, and a plan. Joseph’s problems did not catch God off guard. From the beginning, God calculated for Joseph to experience all these things. Why? For the salvation of others.

God is not a sweep-up boy who follows you with a dustpan and brush, second-guessing how everything will fit into a divine pattern for good. God’s hands stay on the wheel of your life from start to finish so that everything follows His intention for your life. This means your trials have more meaning—much more—than you realize.

Consider this: If Joseph had not been sold to those caravan traders by his wicked brothers, he would not have ended up as the right-hand man to Pharaoh. And if Joseph had not become Pharaoh’s right-hand man, no one would have built giant grain silos to ward off the famine. And if the famine hadn’t happened, Jacob and his family would never have come to Egypt for food and safety. And if Jacob’s family weren’t in Egypt, there would have been no slave laborers. And if no slaves, no Exodus, no Israel and no giving of the law to Moses. And no Promised Land. And, finally, no line of Judah from which the Messiah, Jesus Christ, would come.

What an amazing example of the providence of God! It is enthralling to see how the troubles of one young man named Joseph could kick-start a whole chain of earth-shaking events which would ultimately lead to our salvation.

Joseph’s story could be yours. Only heaven will reveal the incredibly complex intertwining of events in which you have played a pivotal role. Like Joseph, you may not be able to discern it at the time, but God has it all in hand. He has it all in control. And you, dear friend, are needed in His marvelous plan to spread His kingdom in your corner of the world.”

God is in control of history and in His Word, the Bible, He has told us the entire story of this world from the start, a perfect world to its firey end. We know that we are living in the time before Jesus prophesied second coming to earth, first to raise the dead Saints and to rapture the living Saints and pour out His wrath on unrepentant earth, and second to return to earth one year and ten days later for the battle of Armageddon and set up His Millennial Kingdom.

They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.Revelation 20:4-6

WORLD VIEWS CONTRARY TO GOD’S WORD

Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure” Isaiah 46: 9– 10

This verse tells us that GOD at the very beginning laid out his plan for mankind. God controls history and He has given us this history, past, present, and future in the Bible. Much of God’s Word is prophecy and fulfilled prophecy proves it was inspired by God and yet rather than Scripture being the basis upon which everything else is judged, it is fast being relegated by the world to the realm of myths and fables and by much of Christianity, it now takes second place to the prevailing cultural canons.

Central to this issue is that many view the Scriptures as a source we can go to in order to support what it is we truly believe about the world around us, rather than revelation given by God Himself that reveals the world for what it is. Some even affirm that Scripture is the lens through which we must understand the world—yet have adopted worldviews opposed to Scripture itself. Thus, arguments using the Scriptures are in abundance, but when push comes to shove, what wins out is not what the text says, but historical, sociological, psychological, and anecdotal arguments (and often, emotionally manipulative ones at that). All of these systems are seen as a lens through which one can and should interpret the Scriptures, especially as they seemingly fall silent on some of the predominant cultural issues in our day.

available from http://www.creation.com

It is increasingly rare to find Christians who will agree that the systems of thought concerning the issues of race relations, LGTBQ + narratives of identity, gender roles, etc., are under the domain of darkness and yet they are totally contrary to God’s commandments. The apostle John expresses it clearly when he says that the love of this world is incompatible with genuine faith (1 John 2). In this, he is not merely speaking to the things we typically gravitate towards in our understanding of “the world.” He is not solely identifying a love of possessions, power, prestige, and wealth—he is identifying a system of thought that denies God’s sovereignty. The apostle James likewise draws attention to this reality when he takes to task the adulterers and adulteresses guilty of making friendship with this world, which is at enmity with God (James 4:4). Jesus told us that the world would be like this prior to His second coming.

Many so-called Christians are seeking a sort of ecumenism with these various systems of thought the world holds dear. This, rather than God Himself, is what captures the hearts and minds of professing Christians. The Word is no longer the central, dominating focus of the church. It is claimed to be; it is preached as such; it is taught this way in our academic institutions—yet in practice, the Word is not sufficient to substantively inform us how we ought to think and even act on these matters. Instead, the broader church is integrating various disciplines from this world in a manner consistent with the mantra “all truth is God’s truth,” yet without subjecting these disciplines to the ultimate authority of the Scriptures. Yet they claim to do so. Compromising with evolution and billions of years is the stand-out example. How can you have death and suffering before mankind when God’s Word tells us that the world was perfect at creation and mankind’s rebellion is what brought death and suffering to the world?

On paper then, you can find one who is socially and theologically conservative, yet in practice, they embrace ideologies born out of socially and theologically liberal frameworks. These things become sufficiently “Christianized,” or draped in the language of redemption, yet at its core, it is a fundamental denial of many plain teachings of Scripture. For example, an elder candidate is not considered exclusively on the basis of the biblical criteria outlined in the pastoral epistles, but in part, includes things like diversity quotas. God’s Word is not considered the ultimate guide.

When we get into the issues of systemic or institutional racism, hegemonic power, white guilt, generational guilt, etc., the same can be said. The debate is not over the facts representative of each case, but the values of the people interacting with these facts. In more plain language: It isn’t about the truth of what objectively happens, nor the truth of the Biblical text in relation to those facts, but what emotions have been felt regardless of either. This is why one can continue to see riots even after the acquittal of officers based on the evidence at hand, yet likewise why you can see cultural commentators, pastors, and various others, comment on the injustice of it all when the verdict doesn’t match their anticipated outcome. One’s reaction dictates the truth, rather than the truth dictating how one then responds.

When we get to issues of gender roles, or whether or not you should identify as a gay Christian a la Revoice, the presenting issue is much the same. Objective biblical reality is not considered; the norm is the prevailing cultural dogma, draped in biblical garb. In either case, the subjective interpretation of reality informs the objective reality rather than the other way around—but the phraseology and language still bear intrinsic Christian likeness. Thus, you can have one who affirms one thing on paper, yet is a wildly different thing when the terms are defined and it is put into practice— it is this that reveals whether or not we truly take God at His Word, and therefore, whether or not we truly believe God’s Word is sufficient and authoritative on these things.

One of the things the recent pandemic, social unrest, and even political unrest has revealed, is what professing Christians genuinely believe about Scripture—not simply in its content, but in its nature and purpose. It has likewise revealed just how much the broader church has made friendship with the world, not just in those easy-to-identify idols of the heart we so often draw focus to like sex, money, and power, but in the embrace of the worldview this age expresses, which does not come from the Father. Much like any time of theological crisis, the solution is much the same: the people of God must return to being a people of His Word. We must approach the text as if God is truly speaking to us and He means what He says, otherwise, we will be driven by the ever-changing winds of cultural dogma.

adapted from “Why Churches Go Woke: They Deny The Sufficiency Of Scripture”  July 28, 2021, by Grayson Gilbert http://www.patheos.com

IS THIS THE PROBLEM IN AMERICA?

American higher education institutions are stripping student’s ability to think critically.

Yeonmi Park experienced enormous struggles and hardship to get to America, but she does not call herself a victim.   

One of several hundred North Korean defectors settled in the United States, Park, 27, transferred to Columbia University from a South Korean university in 2016 and was deeply disturbed by what she found. 

I expected that I was paying this fortune, all this time and energy, to learn how to think. But they are forcing you to think the way they want you to think,” Park said in an interview with Fox News. “I realized, wow, this is insane. I thought America was different but I saw so many similarities to what I saw in North Korea that I started worrying.

Those similarities include anti-Western sentiment, collective guilt and suffocating political correctness.

‘America’s future is as bleak as North Korea’ says defector after attending Columbia
Yeonmi accuses American higher education institutions of stripping people’s ability to think critically.

Yeonmi saw red flags immediately upon arriving at the school.

During orientation, she was scolded by a university staff member for admitting she enjoyed classic literature such as Jane Austen. “I said ‘I love those books.’ I thought it was a good thing,” recalled Park. “Then she said, ‘Did you know those writers had a colonial mindset? They were racists and bigots and are subconsciously brainwashing you.’”

It only got worse from there as Yeonmi realized that every one of her classes at the Ivy League school was infected with what she saw as anti-American propaganda, reminiscent to the sort she had grown up with.

She was also shocked and confused by issues surrounding gender and language, with every class asking students to announce their preferred pronouns. 

“English is my third language. I learned it as an adult. I sometimes still say ‘he’ or ‘she’ by mistake and now they are going to ask me to call them ‘they’? How the heck do I incorporate that into my sentences?” “It was chaos,” said Yeonmi. “It felt like the regression in civilization.” “Even North Korea is not this nuts,” she admitted. “North Korea was pretty crazy, but not this crazy.”

After getting into a number of arguments with professors and students, eventually Yeonmi “learned how to just shut up” in order to maintain a good GPA and graduate. 

She accuses American higher education institutions of stripping people’s ability to think critically.

“In North Korea I literally believed that my Dear Leader [Kim Jong-un] was starving,” she recalled. “He’s the fattest guy – how can anyone believe that? And then somebody showed me a photo and said ‘Look at him, he’s the fattest guy. Other people are all thin.’ And I was like, ‘Oh my God, why did I not notice that he was fat?’ Because I never learned how to think critically.”

“That is what is happening in America,” she continued. “People see things but they’ve just completely lost the ability to think critically.”

Moreover, to say you believe in the God of the Bible and His history of the Cosmos would have you expelled from these mainstream universities. Why? Because you believe God has and still is in control of what takes place in His Cosmos including the following miraculous events:

1. God’s created the Cosmos just six thousand years ago in six days purely as a pattern for man’s working life. Evolution does not provide a credible mechanism for creating our complex world.

2. God judged mankind with a worldwide flood that destroyed all human life on this planet except the eight people on Noah’s Ark. It caused the billions of dead things we find all over the world including fossil fuels.

3. God’s judgement occurred less than two thousand years after creation.

4. The nations were established by God creating new languages at the Tower of Babel. This caused people to disperse across the planet beginning just a few hundred years after the worldwide flood.

5. God created a nation – Israel from whom the Redeemer/Jesus would come and we know from God’s Word that Jesus will eventually rule the nations from a reconstructed Israel.

ARE CHURCHES BEHAVING LIKE MALLS IN THE AGE OF AMAZON?

This quote from church thought leader Carey Nieuwhof sums up the institutional church well. It is obvious that only a major disruption , indeed a catastrophe was needed to bring the church to its knees and consider it may not be serving the purposes of God.

History tells us that God uses disruption even major catastrophes for His purposes. History also tells us that disruption leads to innovation which in turn changes the world.

God forcefully moved Adam and Eve out of the garden of Eden. This pattern of forced displacement of people by God is in the whole narrative of Scripture. It is an essential part of His global plan for the redemption of mankind which brings glory and honour to Him.

Does God bring destruction and calamity? Does our loving and gracious God cause disasters to occur in the world?     Read these words God spoke to Noah:

I have determined to make an end of all flesh for the earth is filled with violence through them. Behold I will destroy them with the earthGenesis 6:13,

God destroyed that He might save. God saved Noah and His family that He might preserve the line of His coming Redeemer.

What about the TOWER OF BABEL: Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth. Genesis 11:3-4

Once again we see a massive disaster brought about by God, which caused massive migration and displacement of people: the foundation of the nations that exist today. A refugee crisis on a much larger scale than today.

“You will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your lives (eternal life).” Luke 21:17-19

Covid 19 is another of God’s major disrupters. The church needs to recognise that we are in a time when God is doing something new. Therefore, it is a time to get into prayer to seek His leading, just as the church at Antioch did in Paul’s day. Those that read my posts know I believe the church in the prophesied “last days” before Jesus returns to take His Saints to heaven and before He pours out His wrath upon a world which is fast becoming as it was in Noah’s day, will be much like the early church as described in the Book of Acts. It is one of the reasons I am supporting the Kenya House Church Movement (KHC) and I am hoping that some of my followers will join me in that endeavour. None have done so as yet, but that is OK, God’s timing is always perfect. My next post will be an update on KHC.

9TH OF AV – PROOF GOD IS IN CONTROL OF HISTORY

9th of Av is the most solemn day on the Jewish calendar. It occurs on the 9th day of the 5th month on the Jewish calendar – Av (30 days, equivalent July- August).

WHAT HAPPENED ON THE 9TH OF ARV?

Thousands of years ago God vowed to Abraham that He would “bless those who bless you; and curse those who curse you.” (Gen 12:3) Many individuals, nations, and empires have put God’s Word to the test. As one of the greatest superpowers the world has ever known, has Britain proved the potency and longevity of God’s ancient covenant with Abraham and his descendants?

This documentary film traces the rise and fall of the British Empire as it intertwines with Britain’s complex historical relationship with the Jewish People. What was Britain’s role in the re-birth of Israel in her historic homeland? How did Britain’s rich Christian heritage intersect with geo-political factors surrounding the First and Second World War? Did Britain’s destiny end in a forsaken promise?

Presented by Lance Lambert, the film features interviews with academics and church leaders, alongside eye-witness accounts, historical footage, and live action dramatisation of an epic journey with urgent implications for our modern times. It demonstrates God is in complete control of events on His planet. World history is unfolding exactly as He says it will in His book, the Bible. Another great movie from Hatikvah Films. Check them out for other great prophetic Biblical films particularly relating to the role of Israel in Gods plans.

 

TO LIVE AS IF GOD DOES NOT EXIST IS ABSURD

And yet, our educational establishments lead the way with this foolishness. clinging to the notion that nothing can produce something, even more obtuse, a big bang can produce the complex universe in which we live.

Image result for beauty of God's creation pictures

Our children are taught there is no right or wrong, no meaning or purpose in life, despite the fact that our Creator God has revealed the true history of the universe through His prophets, His covenant people Israel, His Word, and finally stepping into history just over 2,000 years ago as the God/Man, Jesus Christ. Is it any wonder that false science is now a major problem when people call evil good and good evil.

The Bible gives us an accurate record of this world and even more important reveals to us the end of the story. Twenty five percent of the Bible is prophecy and just as it accurately predicted Jesus first coming to earth, it also tells us of His second coming. Moreover, the events unfolding on earth at this time indicate we are fast approaching the final seven years prophesied by Daniel in the 70 Weeks prophecy (Daniel 9:24).

It is now inconceivable to think that nations would repent of their past godless actions as President Abraham Lincoln  did just one hundred years ago. His April 30, 1863, call expressed timeless sentiments that remain applicable to us today, including:

It is the duty of nations as well as of men to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God; to confess their sins and transgressions in humble sorrow, yet with assured hope that genuine repentance will lead to mercy and pardon; and to recognise the sublime truths announced in the Holy Scriptures and proven by all history that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord. 
. . . We have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity. We have grown in numbers, wealth, and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God; we have forgotten the gracious hand which served us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us! It behoves us, then, to humble ourselves before the offended Power, to confess our national sins, and to pray for clemency and forgiveness…”
We know this: the Lord will do His part. As He sees “His people called by His name” turning from our sins, He will hear once again, will forgive our personal and national sins, and will heal our precious land.”
Sadly, as mentioned, we know the end of the story, for Christians the last six years of history this side of the Millennium will be a serious challenge, but also exciting for those who stand firm, who overcome. “To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.” Revelation 3:21

TRUMP – “A TREMENDOUS VICTORY FOR OUR NATION”

Trump is right, his appointment of Brett Kavanaugh as a Supreme Court judge demonstrates he is doing exactly what God intended he should do, when God allowed him to become President of the U.S.A.

President Donald Trump acknowledges the crowd during a campaign rally in Topeka, Kansas. Picture: AP

Trump declared it an “historic night,” not long after signing the paperwork to make Kavanaugh’s status official.

“I stand before you today on the heels of a tremendous victory for our nation,” he said to roars of supporters at the Kansas Expo-centre in Topeka.

Trump invited reporters travelling with him to Kansas, to watch the final vote in his private office aboard Air Force One, then delivered a thumbs up from his desk as the confirmation was made official.

“Very, very good,” Trump said. “Very happy about it. Great decision. I very much appreciate those 50 great votes and I think he’s going to go down as a totally brilliant Supreme Court Justice for many years.” Trump, throughout the day, insisted Kavanagh would not be tainted by the sexual assault allegations from Christine Blasey Ford and others that nearly tanked his nomination, declaring he was “100 per cent” certain his nominee was innocent. “I have no doubt,” Trump said, telling reporters that he had chosen Kavanaugh, in part, because “there’s nobody with a squeaky-clean past like Brett Kavanaugh because he is an outstanding person and I’m very honoured to have chosen him.” He said Kavanaugh had withstood a “horrible, horrible attack” that “nobody should have to go through.” Trump continued lashing out at Democrats when he rallied supporters in Topeka, telling them the opposition party conducted a “shameless campaign of political and personal destruction” against Kavanaugh.