Psalms 133:1 Behold how good an how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
As you look at this verse you are perhaps reminded of family. Some families can’t wait to see and enjoy one another. Others can’t wait to see each other then tear each other apart within ten minutes and disparage one another til the next reunion. With others it is good fences make good neighbors, if you know what I mean.
As a parent I can only imagine how Good feels as he looks on the brethren. Now not everyone who says Lord Lord is a Christian and not every Christian pleases the Lord. But often I see brethren willing to take to the battlefield over a trivial point and accuse a man they have never seen of all kinds of deeds and motives when they have never spoken to him or know his heart. Of course this is mostly because of social media. No wonder our elected officials act the same way.
Now while sin must be denounced and heresy exposed and sometimes in very strong terms, as in Matthew 23, remember I Peter 3:8-9 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous: not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contraiwise blessing: knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye may inherit a blessing.
And while there is a time and manner in which to defend yourself from false accusations, don’t answer like for like. Remember a soft answer turneth away wrath and using the Lord Jesus method of answering a question with a question will bring thought rather than unthinking response. And of course there is a time to just take it like a man and let your Heavenly Father take care of the matter. It is hard to suffer wrong but there is a great final reward also. Most importantly remember that it’s not who’s right but what’s right that is important. And before you access the keyboard access The Lord God in prayer and PRAY for that brother. It really works.
I Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty. This nation was founded upon Bible principles of self government and individual liberty, especially soul liberty. We are not exclusively a democracy but a democratic republic with constitutional guarantees for the minority and dissenting factions of our population. As I view the recent activity of our nation I am worried that many do not value these precious freedoms that our forefathers fought and died for. For instance people who are peaceful assembled are attached by people of an opposite view. The so called hate crimes legislation is used for the thought police. All crimes are hate driven which is why Jesus said the great Commands were to love the Lord thy God and thy neighbor as thyself. As long as a group or individual does not incite a riot or calls for violence or crime against others his rights to freedom of speech, religion and peaceful assembly are to be respected and protected no matter how repugnant the view may be to you. Nazi thugs calling themselves antifa regularly attack peaceful demonstrators. Abortion fanatics attack pro life demonstrators. Congress tries to remove a president because he has other views, not for high crimes. If the first amendment and the tenth amendment were respected so that the views of all individuals and the various sovriegn states were respected and one section did not try to silence or force its views on another we could return to civility and peaceful coexistence. Many positive changes come from the free exchange of ideas. Often as we listen to others we disagree with our horizonsare expanded and sometimes we discover that we are wrong about a particular point. I hope you will consider the reasons we have the bill of rights and take time to enjoy your freedom and the freedoms of others.
He died upon a Roman cross As many died before A Roman spear then pierced His side And thus His blood was poured But oh behold His graciousness His mercy and His love It was no common thief who died But Jesus from above. He suffered grief and agony He bore such awful shame As they mocked and spit on Him And vilified His name. But hear His voice, Father forgive they know not what they do. This grace He showed His enemies He offers now to you.
His blood flowed from His nail scared hands. The very blood of God. And as the world showed forth it’s hate. His tears flowed down in love. His blood has washed away my sin. I feel it in my soul. O let me shed a tear with thee for those who do not know.
Forty years ago, on October 22, 1979, after much internal struggle I quit resisting God and called on the Lord Jesus Christ to save my soul and He did. I cannot tell the comfort of knowing for sure I am on my way to Heaven, that I have escaped Hell. Nor can I explain the joy of a personal relationship with God, a friend that never forsakes. God has been good to me, he has changed my heart and behavior. He has kept me from many sins that would have devastated my life. His Holy Spirit gives me understanding of the Bible. He has given me a wonderful wife and precious children. I love Him and pray that you will come to Christ for your salvation and if you are saved will pause to remember all the good things He has done for you.
Galatians 3:1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified before you? There has been some interest shown in a previous blog on witchcraft on the rise, maybe because Halloween is coming up (which I do not celebrate), so I would like to elaborate on this point. Witchcraft is all over. Some proclaim themselves to be “Christian” witches. Churches practice various forms of this. Now the BIBLE says that this is sin. Galatians 5:19-21 calls it a work of the flesh, Revelation 9:20-21 and 18:20-24 says God will bring punishment because people don’t repent of it, specifically of sorcery. The witchcraft spirit of Babylon (Isaiah 47:9-15) Nineveh (Nahum 3:4) and Jezebel (II Kings 9:22 Revelation 2:20-23) is on the increase and it is the duty of Bible Christians to fight it. First let us look at how it got here. I was born in 1960 so I have a living knowledge of some of this. Next October I will be 60. I told my wife I should write a book called From ’60 to 60 but I am sure someone else already has. First we were raised on television, the one eyed monster, the glass toilet. We had Disney with the sorcerer’s apprentice and Tinkerbell then in the 70’s Escape to witch mountain and a whole lot more. How about Bewitched and Dark Shadows? Then of course there were many Satanic toy, the worst of which was the Ouija board. If you don’t believe these things have a wicked spirit ask 20 people randomly if they have a personal story about it. And of course science told us it was just fairy tales and enlightened people didn’t believe in it. So while the Church slept Satan sowed Hell and the youth of today get on the internet to find out how to cast spells and get possessed by devils. And don’t forget the explosion of dope abuse. Can a preacher bewitch his congregation? Look at Simon the sorcerer in Acts 8:9-13. Can a population be bewitched? Look at how they vote! And no conversation or debate just yelling and name calling.
Now to close. Deuteronomy 18:9-14 and Isaiah 47:9-15 give a list of witchcrafts which includes the horoscope. God hates these. Examine your life your home your movies (especially vampire and werewolf) and please please the beat and lyrics of your and your children’s music! Then read consider and repent at Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and SORCERERS, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
Matthew 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you.
History repeats itself. Sadly in this day and age we see governments of Nations at odds with each other. The United States and China could very well go to war over differences similar to those that brought us to war with Japan in WWII. North Korea constantly rattles the saber. South Korea and Japan are at odds over the flying of the Rising Sun flag. Shia and Sunni Muslims regularly kill one another and join hands to kill Jews and Kurds. Russia is flexing it’s muscles in Eastern Europe and the Middle East on a collision course with NATO and the U.S..
But let us go back to December 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor Hawaii. Two nations cannot reconcile their differences and neutral United States gets swept into a world wide conflict on the greatest scale in human history. Shortly after another air raid happens, this time the United States bombs Japan in the Doolittle raid. It is of two air men, Mitsuo Fuchida and Jacob DeShazer, and their reconciliation that we will speak.
Throughout the war Fuchida, the leader of the raid on Pearl Harbor, comes within a hair’s breadth of death. This includes leaving Hiroshima just before the dropping of the atomic bomb and surviving radiation poisoning that kills all the rest of the damage assessment crew that went to that city in the aftermath of it’s destruction.
Likewise DeShazer survives parachuting into enemy territory and brutal treatment at the hands of his captors. It was at this time that DeShazer’s reconciliation begins. His hatred for the Japanese grows and grows until he wonders if there is any cure for the hatred in this world. He miraculously gets a Bible and finds the answer. Father forgive them for they know not what they do. First forgiveness for his own sins then forgiving them that despitefully used him. The change in him is so great that one of his guards received Christ as his Saviour after the war. Shortly after the war DeShazer returns to Japan as a missionary.
Fuchida is disillusioned with defeat and seeks the meaning of life. He meets a shipmate he thought was dead returning from a POW camp in the United States. He tells him a strange story of a teenage girl who volunteered to help at the POW camp and treats the Japanese as if they were her own brothers. When the prisoners questioned her about her kindness she replies that it was because the Japanese had killed her parents. Her name was Peggy Covell.
Miss Covell’s parents were missionaries in Japan and later went to the Philippines, sending their children to the United States for safety. Eventually they were found by the Japanese who believed them to be spies because they had a small radio. They were granted 30 minutes to pray before they were beheaded. On their knees praying they were executed. Of course this at first angered young Peggy but remembering the Scriptures and her parents example forgave them and did good to those who had despitefully used her.
Fuchida then read DeShazer’s story of forgiveness and determined to find out how anyone could forgive on this fashion by reading the Book that had changed him-the Bible. It is important to know that the Bible is not an American nor a European book but God’s word for all mankind. As Fuchida came to the words of Christ in Luke 23:34 Father forgive them for they know not what they do, he understood how DeShazer and Miss Covell could forgive. Fuchida received the forgiveness of Jesus Christ. He met with DeShazer not as an enemy and occupier but as a friend and dedicated his life to being a preacher of the Gospel.
Will nation’s ever reconcile? Not until The Lord Jesus Christ sets up His kingdom here on the Earth. But you can reconcile with your enemies. You can forgive and do good. An Amish school was attacked by a man who killed several children then himself. The Amish community brought item to help the widow and her family in their time of need and attended the murderer’s funeral. They stood in front of the news cameras so the grieving family could have privacy. Remember the aversion the Amish have to photographs. Has Christ forgiven you? Is He your Saviour? Are you washed in His blood? If you are will you Be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you? Ephesians 4:32