Friend, are you unable to read the Bible, that is, make sense of it? Or do some parts make sense, but others, such as Leviticus or Revelation or Romans seem totally bewildering? Are you desiring to go deeper, or reach a higher ground, spiritually, but your difficulty in comprehending scripture is holding you back? It may well be you need to consider that the Bible is essentially Messianic--that is, it exists to tell you about the Messiah and Savior, and virtually everything in the Bible points to Him. With this understanding, you are on your way to unlocking the scriptures and opening the door to Yeshua--for they are, in truth, a living Person, Jesus (Yeshua), who delights in His Name, the Word (John 1:1: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."
Ezra Meeker, a pioneer farmer, came to the lush, forested riverine valley of the Puyallup Indians when it was still a jungle of trees and underbrush and a few trails and settlers' cabins and clearings.
He too cleared land for farming, but was more than a farmer. He founded the town of Puyallup, named it after the Puyallup Indian tribe of the area (it is supposed to mean "generous people") and saw it grow into an agricultural magnet that attracted the world markets of London and New York with the valley's hop production, of which he was the undisputed king, until disease destroyed the hops and wiped them out as the town's main income.
Never one to let anything get him down, he won and lost several fortunes in his long lifespan (he even joined the Yukon gold rush in Alaska, and earned more gold selling to the goldminers than he ever dug out of the ground!), but his main, enduring legacy was immortalizing the Oregon Trail and its role in America's Manifest Destiny (a politically incorrect, pro-America term nowadays in the opinion of liberals, but the one that best describes the phenomenal creation and growth of the United States of America in little more than two centuries).
A man of vision, he was not equalled in this town in his day, nor has he been surpassed since. It is too bad he was not a Christian, though his wife certainly was, by all accounts (her tastes were different, however, for the Meeker mansion in town was her creation). Without him, it is doubtful there would have been a Puyallup of the kind I grew up in--where urban sophistication is not well liked, but honesty and simplicity are still valued.
Ronald Ginther credits his faith in God to his godly mother (who is his prayer partner too at age 97) and godly father (deceased in a plane crash when he was five years old) and godly grandparents and relatives. The Lord was always near to his family. He, however, resisted grace and put off salvation until he was fifteen, attending a Christian high school in South Dakota. That was a life-changing decision, he found, though he didn't understand it at the time. Ronald Ginther says he has been most richly blessed by the living Word that the Lord has graciously given Him any time he goes to the scriptures. It is God's Word that, more than his secular education at college and university, provides his view of the world, the purpose for our life on earth, and the direction and guidance we individually need to fulfill our purpose and live in a loving way toward others. Everything we need is in Jesus Christ, and everything Jesus Christ is we can find in the Bible. It is up to us to use these resources and with prayer seek a personal Jesus who is waiting for us to call on Him. Those who seek, find. Those who do not seek, do not find. It is really simple, is it not? Feeling overwhelmed? See the song, "God has a Plan for My Life," in the link below the Bible which is your best source of help in time of need!
"WHAT IS THE STATE OF CHRISTIANITY IN AMERICA?"--a proposed overview, by Ronald Ginther.
We also would like to follow up with an article of the state of Christian churches in American society. It seems no one, partly for fear of appearing negative and judgmental, partly for pride and presumption, partly for traditionalism, partly for sectarians, partly for sheer spiritual blindless, partly for making the Bible over with a Gentile, modern-American viewpoint, partly for ignoring and simply not investigating the times and people out of which Christ and the Gospel first arose, partly...well, there are many such "partly's", which we wish to do some justice to by at least ennumerating them for further thought and discussion by you. The point it, to recapitulate, no one seemingly wants to make the most obvious observations about what is accepted and current practice in American evangelical churches, while the mainstream society continues to ignore Christian faith because of these very practices.
I ask you: How can nationwide repentance come and true change and transformation occur, if the Christian churches continue to make themselves irrelevant to mainstream Americans?
Adapting to mainstream American culture, compromising the Gospel and the Bible and even Jesus Christ the Savior, does not work. It has never worked. It is not going to work in the future either. Only the Gospel works--in the way it was intended to work: on the heart, soul, mind, spirit, and lifestyle of the individual. Everything else may be nice, worth-while, even seemingly necessary, but it is not essential. John Wesley was an "essentialist," throwing out what was not needed, keeping what was good to keep, while adapting to the ever changing circumstances in a hostile English environment. He succeeded spectacularly. How? He proposed to spread the Gospel, preaching it primarily any place where he found the freedom to preach (often in open fields because the churches refused him entrance), while showing Christ-love and practical application of that love regarding the physical and social needs of people. John Wesley's two-pronged approach, though tremendously successful in saving Britain from another French-style Revolution and transforming that country for the good (not to mention the saving of millions of souls) has been abandoned, our churches today choosing one or the other part of the program (the Bible thumper vs. the Social Gospelite conumdrum). Some churches attempt to combine the two, and have many programs for both spiritual and the physical/social/emotional needs of people. But many factors or distractions or whimsical projects enter in that sideline and isolate those churches, so that their Gospel message (clouded, over-spread with other things, even distorted, or rendered piecemeal, or shoved at people at the tail end of the wonderfully-orchestrated programs and big events) does not connect with the mainstream of America's life.
Something must be done to break this impass, as we are losing generation after generation in America, despite the rise of so-called "mega-churches." What does it matter if you have a congregation of 100,000 in a state and you lose the nation? Truly, a church with such a number could revolutionize the world--if it truly connected with the Gospel and knew how to preach and promote it. Christ revolutionized the whole Roman world with 12 men. It does not take great numbers--only committed disciples who know what they are doing and who truly follow the Spirit of God's leading.
No amount of electronics or CDs and video "packages" and books and big mass teaching seminars will substitute for 12 committed men and women and youth. All our vast resources are pouring over a sort of Niagara Falls, dissipating without effect. How does this turn around? It has to be a re-discovery of the Gospel and a re-learning of the way of Christ, so that the Great Commission can be fulfilled by present-day churches and true disciples of Christ. We are so enculturated and adulterated with the world and its world-views that we cannot see or relate to the real world, except in terms of disaster aid relief ministries or projects.
But how can we effectively share Christ in affluent, comfortable, normal circumstances? Obviously, we lose hands down in such places. People there do not need anything, they think, from us Christians. They can do very well without us, thank you! We are insulting them by sending missionaries to them, of all people! Yet they are the neediest, spiritually and morally, of all the world's peoples--if only we can shine the light of the Gospel on them. When their eyes are opened by the Word of God, and the Spirit, they will see they are actually naked, starving, dying, condemned to hell--but they cannot see this with the message and light of the mega-churches and their Americanized world-view. Consequently, Europe is a Dark Continent. America, for the most part, is also part of a vast Dark Continent. We desperately need missionaries, who will come to us and deliver us from ourselves and the frills-replete religion we have concocted, thinking it is Bible-based, Christ-centered, when statistics prove it is not.
In non-affluent societies, we are just as alien and unneeded. We cannot relate to non-affluence--very few missionaries know how to, choosing to live simply as the people to whom they minister live. Aliens from an alien culture, they remain aliens all their lives--wherever they go. That is not the way of the Gospel and the Apostles--not if what Paul said about himself: "I desire to be all things to all men."
Furthermore, very few ministries even grasp the physical dimension of the Gospel. Most churches do not see Christ fed the multitudes when it was needed to keep them from starving, so that they might survive to hear and receive the Gospel of the Kingdom. People can sit, broken-hearted, uninvited, needy, without the means to pay a heating bill or repair a car, and go away from a church service the same way they came! We are not talking about hand-outs to "Rice Christians" who snap, crackle, and pop at services to the tune of "Gimme, Gimme," though it is true many in America are in that pathetic category. We are only talking Christ's love in practical terms, a giving which needs to be discerning to be truly useful and not wasted on fraudulent Christians or parasites who refuse to do what they can do for themselves, preferring to burden others.
This article will attempt to show the problem of the problematic condition of Christian faith in America, which is truly a national problem, but fortunately simple at the core issues, and how we must correct it. Please return when it comes on-line.
Now connections aside, off we go on our "cruise" to Alaska--"Al-ay-as-ka," meaning "Great Country."
One day, I was sitting in a hardware store-type shop in "downtown" Jericho waiting for the Arab proprieter to bring ordered paint for a missionary's home and a religious zealot in Muslim Jericho did not like the sight of me sitting there, I suppose, minding my own business, and he came and challenged me. He asked me what nationality I was, and the words came forth without hesitation. I told him: Jesus Christ!
Angry and full of himself and his religion (I'll never forget the man's flustered reaction and befuddlement), he did not know what to say to that, and went away grinding his teeth.
That is still true. I am Christ's first, and American second.
My true nation and country is Jesus Christ--He is my very being and reason for existence on earth. I am a citizen of heaven who happens to reside temporarily on this sick, old earth. I cannot exist without Him!
The Good News includes this, and ought to cause the Middle Easterners to all rejoice together in the streets: We do not have to be bound to religion, to nationality, to any -ism or ideology or even to race. We are free in Yeshua! Yeshua alone can give us all this freedom. No religion can give it. Religion can only bring enslavement.
I did not think of Judaism and Islam in terms of beasts. It was not my idea. But seemingly God did view these competing religions this way--for a missionary in Israel shared this dream with me, which I have here in a simple illustration. Two beasts, one brown, one black, were fighting, much like two gigantic dinosaurs. One beast, Judaism, signified by the black beast, prevailed over the brown beast, which signified Muslim religion. This dream was highly significant, because of the time. For you see she received this dream at the time of the beginning of the disaster of the Intifada, or the Uprising of the Arab Muslims against Israel and Judaism.
Implications extend to our own time (since the dream was told me in the early 1980's). Iran is Muslim, bound by that religion, and so it too is ruled by a beast, the Brown Beast. That Brown Beast will be subdued by the Black Beast--Judaism and Israel. We shall see this happen, I would wager, in the coming conflict between Israel and Iran, which must occur if Israel is to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran coming against it. I once restricted the dream's meaning to the Intifada, but it may well apply to the Israel-Iranian war as well. America may be a part of this conflict, or stand in support, as it did when Israel destroyed Iraq and Saddam Hussain's nuclear reactor with an aerial strike force of bombers.
It is a question in my mind, how can I see Judaism as this Black Beast if Yeshua is a Jewish rabbi? Yet this is clear enough: Judaism at present rejects Yeshua as its Messiah, though many Jews are still not able to make up their minds--and are doing so, one by one, choosing Yeshua as Messiah. Judaism the religion still rejects Yeshua, however. The State of Israel, reflecting this, does not recognize Yeshua as Messiah, and is largely secularist-humanist, with a strong Orthodox Jewish sect that has influenced its laws to a significant extent. This present condition is hardly God's will for Israel and his Chosen People. They are living far from God, though they are now back in the Promised Land He gave them to possess forever. Is not Judaism, then, living in rejection and denial of Israel's rightful King, Yeshua? Yes, it is. It has a constitutional democracy, but the nation does not worship Yeshua or acknowledge Him as Lord and Savior and King. This will come to pass, however--Israel will someday, perhaps not long from now, turn back to God and acknowledge Yeshua as its Messiah.
Now, as to Israel's protection and right to protect itself. War is a terrible thing. It should not have to happen--if people will only turn to God and accept His Son's Cross-produced salvation. But nations have a right to protect themselves against sworn enemies who will attack them, given the opportunity. Iran has sworn to attack Israel with every weapon at its disposal. It has been attacking Israel for many years, in fact, ever since the Shah of Iran's overthrow by the Mullahs and revolutionist students such as the current President of Iran. It needs to re-consider, and stop. The Jews are the apple of God's eye, and their nation is God-ordained, whether Muslims in Iran or Egypt or Libya or wherever else like it or not. God has created only one Chosen People, and all the rest of us must recognize that fact, and choose blessing or cursing by God. Curse Israel, and God will curse us. Bless Israel, and God will bless us. His Word in the Bible says this is so. I for one want to be blessed by God, and I must always remember that Jesus (Yeshua to the Jews, or Issa to the Muslims) is a Jew, even now sitting on the right hand of the Father in heaven as a Jewish rabbi. This is an indisputable fact. It is more a fact than Gibraltar or the Atlantic Ocean. Everything we see will burn up someday, we know from God's Word, but Jesus is King of kings, Lord of Lords, and He rules as Son of God forever and ever. No man, no religion, no contrary word, can change or alter that fact in any way. Even if one Jew existed on earth, I must respect him as the representative of the Chosen People, the sole Nation created by God for His purposes on earth, the sole place where He has set his throne, in Zion, in the city of Jerusalem. In that capacity, that one hypothetically remaining Jew is greater than any president, any king or queen, any general, any billionaire, any saint or holy man, any celebrity you can name, one earth. He may be a lowly farmer or a shoeshineman, but he is immeasurably greater than anyone else, due to his connection as Abraham's seed through Isaac with Jesus Christ, the Jewish rabbi who sits on the throne in heaven.
Come soon, Lord Jesus! Your Bible, Your Holy Word, proclaims cover to cover exactly who you are, and yet men disregard the truth that the prophets and apostles proclaimed in it regarding You. Yet if one dear Muslim brother or sister takes heed to You as Messiah and Son of God, if one Jewish man or woman takes heed to You as Messiah, if anyone else holding any other religion (or no religion) takes heed, it will be worth the re-stating here at this late hour, at this lonely work desk.
President Bush has been written to by the so-called "president of Iran"--the former student kidnapper and hostage taker of Americans in post-Shah revolutionary Iran, now nuclear arms-ambitious dictator of a theocratic-ruled, totalitarian state--accusing President Bush, leader of the free West, of hypocrisy as a known, praying Christian for attacking Islamic Jehadists and rulers like Saddam Hussain and the Afghanistan Taliban. If the ruler of Iran knew the Bible, he would know that God would never judge President Bush for defending his own country and his American people against attackers such as these--indeed, it is his responsibility to go on the offensive and defeat these brutal, violent, bloodthirsty, self-declared enemies! This is a clear instance of the End-Times anti-christ deceit speaking forth, like a evil frog boasting blasphemies against God from the mouth of the Anti-Christ and the Beast pictured in the Book of Revelation.
This ruler of Iran has forgotten mercy, and that without mercy, he himself will be destroyed by the very violence he incites and leads against other nations--without cause--though he claims the nations he attacked and is still attacking are the oppresssors, not him. He listens to anti-Bush, anti-America, anti-War in Iraq voices in the U.S. Congress and even the top levels of the Democratic Party and the Republican Party, and is encouraged to write such a letter, which is completely absurd and anti-God. The U.S. has lost hundreds of lives, in the Iranian-financed Hezbollah attacks on the U.S. Marine barracks stationed as peacekeepers in Lebanon some years back, and in many other bloodly, destructive incidents around the world the Hezbollah terrorists have committed. No, the U.S. and Britain are not the oppressors--the last things free societies can be accused of after the most vicious attacks on their commercial planes, subways, markets, skyscrapers, and unarmed, private individuals everywhere who are just trying to go about their daily lives. And we have full, biblical, godly right to resist those who attack us.
Yes, we shall resist him and all terrorists--with the Gospel of Peace, AND with a just offensive war against terror utilizing the brave men and women of the U.S. Armed Forces--both means are necessary and fully justified by the Bible. To argue otherwise is to argue against God's own governance and the record of His dealings with Israel and the nations that forget God. Let God be true, and every man a liar--as scripture says. We can stand on the record of God's Word, and we know He is the Victor, as His Word says He is--these enemies too, shall fall before Him. It is just a matter of time.
Again, let me make this message absolutely clear: Children are off-limits, President of Iran! Children are off-limits, Hamas and Hezbollah and PLO! All Terrorists, beware: children are off-limits. They belong first of all to God their Creator and Protector. They are under His protection and authority. Touch them, and you strike God himself! Jesus is the God of Grace still, but touch these children, and refuse to repent and change your hearts and your evil ways, then Jesus will be your Judge without mercy, as soon as you draw your last breath! All of you, Hamas, Hezbollah, and mullahs of Iran, torture and kill your own people when they are baptized as Christians--you think that you will keep your people under your subjection by holding the sword over their heads. It will not work. Thanks to the Internet and satellite TV, they can now access the truth, the Gospel, and you cannot stop them from finding Jesus (Issa) as their Savior and Lord in a million places where you cannot see or put surveillance cameras or listening spies. Your walls are crashing down! Jesus is breaking through them everywhere! Jesus the Lion of Judah! He is appearing personally to countless people in your midst, and they are turning with tears of gladness to Him to save them! You know this is true--even your own families are being reached by Jesus and His love! You cannot stop Him. He is the unstoppable, saving God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and He can and does appear anywhere He chooses! He doesn't even need satellite TV or the Internet. He can walk through any wall (have you read what He did shortly after his resurrection? He walked through a wall into the room where His discouraged disciples were hiding, fearful of the Romans and Temple authorities--). Why not accept Him now as your own Lord and Savior and cease kicking, like Saul of Tarsus once did, against the pricks? Why cling to a sinking ship of false religiosity? It is your life you can save--if you want to save it. Jesus is waiting for you to turn to Him, with open arms of love and forgiveness!--Ed.
Jesus loves the little children,
all the children of the world.
Jew and Gentile, Arab, Greek--
He's Loving Lord to all who seek;
Jesus loves the little children of the world.
Jesus loves the little children,
all the children of the world.
Turk and Bantu, Chinese, Finns,
His pardon's free for all our sins;
Jesus loves the little children of the world.
Jesus loves the children of the world,
all the children of the world.
Just reach out, He'll take your hand;
He'll lead you like a Shepherd can!
Jesus loves the little children of the world.
As events have proved out, the millions of jobless, hopeless, frustrated young Moslem Arabs serving the trained terrorists over in the Middle East were rejecting the very idea of peace with Israel while our Secretary of State was over in Egypt and Israel holding talks with the various heads of state, Arab and Jewish--so how could a peace treaty succeed?
I am sure I was but one of many dismayed thousands of evangelical Christians who wrote and emailed Israel not to give Gaza to the terrorists in Prime Minister Sharon's vain hope of achieving peace with them--and we saw we were right to warn Israel the very day they cruelly evicted Israeli citizens from their beloved homes in Gaza and turned over all the new greenhouses (to establish an economy in Gaza for the Arab people, which Yassir Arafat with his billions given his people by Europe and America never tried to do) and Jewish synagogues and Jewish homes to the terrorists, because the terrorist-led people of Gaza burned and destroyed the greenhouses, synagogues, and homes while missiles were sent rocketing into Israel from Gaza. The liberal-dominated U.S. media did not show this wanton, senseless destruction inside Gaza, of course, for although they do not support President Bush's peace initiatives they do support appeasement and giving up Israeli territory to the terrorists, saying that Israel stole the land, which is a shameless lie, because Israel, by winning wars the Arab countries started, could have kept all the land won in war, right up to the Nile.).
THAT IS PEACE? IT IS THE EQUIVALENT OF STANDING IN THE MIDDLE OF TWO ARMIES, GENERAL PATTON'S AND HITLER'S, WHILE BOTH ARE FIGHTING IN THE BATTLE OF THE BULGE, AND DECLARING THERE IS PEACE. YOU CAN NEVER ACHIEVE PEACE BY APEASEMENT WITH TYRANTS AND TERRORISTS! AND YOU CERTAINLY CAN NEVER ACHIEVE PEACE BY HANDING OVER ISRAELI TERRITORY GIVEN ISRAEL FOREVER BY THE COVENANT GOD OF ABRAHAM, ISAAC, AND JACOB. WITHOUT CHRIST, THE NATIONS ARE STUMBLING IN THE DARK, COMMITTING FOLLIES SUCH AS THIS TURNOVER OF GAZA AND THE RECENT UNWISE, POLITICALLY RESTRAINED, LIMITED MILITARY REACTION AGAINST HEZBOLLAH BY PRESIDENT OMERT OF ISRAEL. BOTH POLICIES FAILED MISERABLY, AS COULD ONLY BE EXPECTED.
Without God, the heads of the nations are following the foolish advice of councillors who do not have the wisdom of God--they do not know the true roadmap to peace lies only in submitting humbly at the feet of Jesus Christ. This truth will someday prevail, as all nations submit to Him. May that Day come soon--Maranatha!.
Do you pray daily at least for Israel? Do you pray daily for the Moslems? It is our duty as Christians to pray for both, that they come to Christ, Who came to be their Savior and Lord. As Billy Graham preached to thousands night after night in a weeks-long Crusade at the University of New Mexico in Albuerquerque, New Mexico, Jesus Christ belongs to the whole world--everybody needs Jesus Christ. He said that back in the 1970's, and it is just as true now as it was then as we see world events, particularly in the Middle East, shaping up to the Return of Christ.--Ed.)
"Where is that guy coming from?" A Discussion of Important Issues and Influences on the Instructor, by Duane L. Smith
"Smith Wigglesworth," Apostle of Faith, biography by Stanley Howard Frodsham, Radiant Books, Gospel Publishing House, Springfield, Missouri
"George Muller, Man of Faith and Miracles," biography hy Basil Miller, Bethany Fellowship, Dimension Books, Minneapolis, Minnesota
"Tortured for Christ," autobiography of Richard Wurmbrand, Diane Books, Glendale, California
"Hope for Man in a Hopeless World," by Basilea Schlink, Bethany Fellowship, Dimension Books, Minneapolis, Minnesota
"Glory in the Church, the Coming Revival," by Edward E. Hindson, Thomas Nelson Publishers, New York/Nashville
"Czechmate," autobiographical account of imprisonment of author in a communist country for Bible smuggling
"The Everyday Guide to "God," A to Z Listing of God's Attributes, with Scriptures, by Amy Ng Wong, Humble Creek Publisher, Uhricksville, Ohio
"The Complete Book of Bible Lists," by H.L. Willmingon, Tyndale House, Wheaton, Illinois
"God Sent a Man," the story of Joseph, by Carylye B. Haynes, Review and Herald Publishing Association, Washington, D.C.
"Israel Act III," The Bible and the Mideast in prophecy, by Richard Wolff, Tyndale House, Wheaton, Illinois
"Eric Liddell, Pure Gold," biography of the Chariots of Fire Olympic runner turned missionary to China, by David McCasland, Discovery House Publishers, Grand Rapids, Michigan
"C.S. Lewis," Heroes of the Faith series biography, by Sam Wellman, Barbour Publishing, Uhrichsville, Ohio
"A Passion for the Impossible," The Life of Lilias Trotter, by Miriam Huffman Rockness, Discovery House Publishers, Grand Rapids, Michigan
"Jerusalem Countdown," A Warning to the world, containing a prophetic view of Iran's role in coming world events affecting or centered on Israel, with parallels between Joseph and Jesus tieing in with these events and others of the End-Times, by John Hagee, Frontline (A Strang Company), Lake Mary, Florida
We as Christians AND Moslems AND Hindus AND Secular-Humanists AND whatever material thing or philosophy or political organization or nation or human being we worship as God in His place must inform ourselves--as the truth concerning God and His Ways is definitely not being given us the common people through most all officials and religious authorities and all of the media and government channels. That is the way it is in this fallen, self-destructing world, and we must seek Jesus for ourselves, and then we will find Him! Jesus promises He will come personally to us, if we make this effort, and reading the right book, preferably the Bible first, will enable us, with His Holy Spirit opening our understanding, to find and understand the One True God and His Son, Jesus (Yeshua, Issa).--Ed