Christians, the Corona Virus and the World

Christians, the Corona Virus and the World

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“Because he loves me,’ says the Lord, I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”
Psalm 91:14-16

As we all face a troubled world we are now, in addition, grappling with the added, and very serious, problem of the Corona Virus pandemic that is raging through many nations. It is very important then that we as followers of Christ should focus our attention on those things that are most vital for our health and well-being. We should then begin by noting the following.

The death of Jesus, as a substitutionary sacrifice for our sins and rebellion against God, if accepted by faith and repentance, brings us into a real and vital relationship with God our Father. We are in every way reconciled to God and we know Him, walk with Him and have fellowship with Him. (1 Peter 3:18; 2 Corinthians 5:19; 1 John 1:3)

This great saving work of Jesus gives our lives meaning and purpose so that we together with God can witness our days on the earth as having significance. Also, while declared righteous we have to become righteous meaning that our dear Lord will lead us through trials and difficulties, as He did with Paul, in order to transform us into His image (James1:2-4; Romans 8:29; Acts14:22). Many of these trials are great and leave us bewildered as if some strange thing were happening to us (1 Peter 4:12) but scripture reminds us that God works all things together for our good if we love Him (Romans 8:28). His ways are not our ways and most often we do not understand them! (Isaiah 55:8)

In addition, our great God has given us all an allotment of years (Psalm139:16). If we serve Him faithfully we will reach this allotment and then He will take us home to hear Him say, “Well done good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord” (2 Timothy3:6-7; Matthew 25:21). This is the road of heavenly fellowship that Jesus, by His grace, calls us all into! It is sustained by frequent prayer, fellowship and the reading of God’s most holy word (Acts 2:42). It is also a road of mystery sometimes, but it is filled with God’s love and presence; made real to each one of us by the power of the Holy Spirit. We have a down payment of heaven in our hearts! Therefore no one can deter us from our path not even the prospect of martyrdom (Ephesians 1:13-16; Acts 21:13).

There is no doubt that the God of the Bible commands us to be a holy people (1 Peter 1:15-16). Holiness is Christ’s image or character (Ephesians 4:11-16) and this means that as followers of Jesus we are to embrace everything I have written about above with zeal, enthusiasm and Joy. Our citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20) and consequently our calling in Christ Jesus is to press on aggressively to make all that heaven has for us real in our lives. This is what it means to be holy. (Philippians 3:12)

We live in a world that is dark, evil, greatly troubled and now threatened by a deadly virus. According to the Apostle John it is passing away and we should not love it (John 2:15-17). That is, be influenced by its treasures, riches, lusts and pursuits. Sadly, many Christians are!

Be assured of this; the Corona Virus now sweeping the world is a manifestation of God’s judgment. A global pandemic of this magnitude cannot happen outside of the sovereignty of God. The devil may seek to use it, as he did the cross of Jesus, by breeding fear and panic in the hearts of men and women, but the God of the Bible, by this judgment, is calling His people out of the world to deep repentance. That is to the confession of our sins of commission and omission and to holiness of life (James 4:7-10).The word of God affirms that judgment begins with household of God (1Peter 4:17) and thus the people of God, rather than railing against the devil (Jude 8-9), should get right with God and seek to live as His word says they should. We are all involved with this; me included! In due course God will have mercy on His people because in judgment He always remembers mercy. (Habakkuk 3:2; Lamentations 3:22-24)

The book of Revelation, that warns the world of great coming judgments not too unlike the Corona Virus, tells us that these in terms of the world, are designed to lead it to repentance and salvation (Revelation 16:11). Here again mercy and redemption are in mind.

As this article points out, as Christian people we all have a designated allotment of years and, if we live our lives in a way that we please God (1 Thessalonians 4:1), nothing, not even the Corona Virus, can rob us of this. So, let us cast off all fear and humble ourselves before the throne of God for in due time He will lift us up and make us a blessing to a dying world (James 4:10). Let us be in the world and not of it and let us hold out the love of God for it in the good news of that which Jesus has done for it on the cross. (1 Thessalonians 1:6-8)

Remember that the Word of God calls upon us to submit to the governing authorities as, in their own way under God, they are the servants of God (Romans 13:1-4). Therefore, in terms of the Coronavirus we must:

1. Stay at home
2. Wash our hands regularly
3. Practice social distancing
4. Care for the most vulnerable amongst us
5. Encourage ourselves with the Word of God and ..
6. Pray for one another.

May “the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” Amen.

Popular Myths

Popular Myths

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“When peace comes, we will perhaps in time be able to forgive
the Arabs for killing our sons, but it will be harder for us to
forgive them for having forced us to kill their sons. Peace will
come when the Arabs will love their children more than they
hate us.”
Golda Meir

The Nazis believed that if you told a lie often enough it would eventually be accepted as truth. Nowhere is this more evident than in the so called Palestinian/ Israeli conflict. One lie has been heaped upon another until the myth has become popular legend and accepted everywhere as truth. Those who try to put the record straight are ridiculed and not even given a hearing. Why is this so and, more important still is the question, why do learned people who know better accept this scenario? I will leave you to find an answer to this question.

On the 14th May 1948, in response to international approval voiced through the United Nations, David Ben Gurion announced Israeli’s existence as a nation. The very next day five Arab armies attacked Israel with the express intention of, as they put it, “driving the Jewish people into the sea”. This was illegal and an act against the will of the international community and was thus a blatant case of pan Arab aggression against the fledgling Jewish State. Listening today to the media one would never believe that Israel was attacked in this way. If anything the Arabs and the Palestinians are victims of Israeli aggression!

Speaking of Palestinians; up until 1948 Arabs and Jews were all considered Palestinians. I recently met a Jew who showed me his identity card from that era which clearly designated him a Palestinian. The truth is anyone who lived in that region up until 1948, and thus under the British Mandate, was designated Palestinian. No particular racial or ethnic group had that exclusive identity. There were Jewish Palestinians or Arab Palestinians and even International Palestinians and that was it. However, again, you would not know this today. The conventional wisdom is that Arab Palestinians were the only racial group bearing this title. In fact the Arabs in the region up until then were not even thinking in this way. This “exclusive thinking” is a recent development! But then who cares about facts?

Thankfully and rather remarkably Israel won the so-called War of Independence, but the beautiful Holy City of Jerusalem fell into the hands of Jordanian forces and that country then promptly and illegally annexed Jerusalem and the West Bank (Judea/Samaria). This was a real occupation but it drew no real outcry from the world. So, for nineteen years when the Arab/Palestinians had what they say they want now they never lifted a hand to establish a state of their own with East Jerusalem (The Old City) as its capital. An independent Palestinian State was definitely not on their minds; the destruction of the Jews was! So, in 1964 when they held East Jerusalem and the entire West Bank they founded the PLO with the express mandate to liquidate the State of Israel. They not only agreed on a phased plan by which they would accomplish this, but they also launched a terror campaign against the Jews in what was Israel proper. That is, what today is undisputed Israeli territory. Yasser Arafat, up until the day he died, never moved away from the 1964 phased plan for the destruction of Israel and he said it. However, you would never believe this if one listens to the politicians that strut the world and the media that follows them. For them Israel is the obstacle to peace and any declaration by an Arab or Palestinian leader to the contrary is not to be taken seriously. Actually, some of these politicians, sadly from Western Democracies, are now calling for Israel to be reasonable and talk to the leadership of Hamas. The mythological war continues and sadly infects minds across the globe with error posing as truth.

In 1967 Israel was again in the firing line of the pan Arab alliance that thought that they could again destroy her. Emboldened by Russian support, and new generation weaponry from that state, Abdul Nasser removed the United Nations peace keepers from the Sinai, he blocked the Straits of Tiran and mobilized his armed forces and those of Jordan, Syria and Iraq for war with Israel. In addition, he made fiery speeches predicting the destruction of Israel and the arrival of a new era of Pan Arab power. Israel, with little options, seized the opportunity and with lightening speed destroyed Egypt’s airpower in one day and in six days inflicted a crushing defeat on the surrounding Arab armies. The rest is indeed history but today, in many cases, because Israel struck first, she is accused of being an aggressor. These accusers rewrite history by ignoring the hostile posture adopted by Nasser’s Arab alliance coupled with his military mobilization that dragged Israel into a war that she never wanted or initiated. The conventional wisdom is that she should have waited for the “death blow” before defending herself. The Arabs and Palestinians were again projected as the victims!

In 1973 the same scenario unfolded on the Day of Yom Kippur. This time Israel was attacked and taken totally by surprise. Golda Meir, the Prime Minister of Israel, at one point feared that the state would be lost and even said as much. Thankfully the tide of battle turned and with much loss of life Israel survived. Not only did she survive but she almost took Damascus and Cairo! To save Arab honor the world stepped in and Israel agreed to a ceasefire. Strangely today the Yom Kippur war is celebrated as a victory in Syria and Egypt. The myth continues.

In the 1990s and up until the year 2000, by virtue of the Oslo Accords, Israel did the unthinkable and eventually offered Yasser Arafat 97% of the West Bank including significant parts of East Jerusalem including the Temple Mount. A trade off for the remaining 3% of territory was to be made. It was an unprecedented offer that even alarmed many Israelis. Arafat refused it demanding that a right of return of millions of Palestinians be agreed upon that would grant them permission to live, not in Palestine, but in Israel. Israel could not agree to this and thus an offer that would have led to Palestinian statehood was rejected on the grounds of something that had nothing to do with that proposed state. The Palestinians broke with discussions and returned to war by provoking the Second Intifada. Many Israelis died in the most horrific suicide attacks but Israel was the aggressor in the minds many international leaders. The media happily played along with this myth and even fabricated scenarios of so called Israeli abuse of Palestinians. And, as for the Temple Mount where this Intifada began, according to Palestinian historians, including Mahmoud Abbas, a Jewish Temple never ever did stand there, and the Holocaust never happened! The mythological march continued.

And just in case you are doubting all of this, for many in the West, sadly, thousands upon thousands of missiles aimed at Israeli civilians by Hamas and Hezbollah terrorists are not a problem and Israel should definitely not vigorously defend itself from this outrage. She is an aggressor and so, for more than a decade now, the international community has done nothing about these attacks that continue until this day. There were no demonstrations in the streets of Europe, and no one cared up until the day that Israel decided to defend itself. Then the world cared enough to condemn her and the masses came out onto the streets to express their rage against her. All the while millions of people were dying in Sudan, Iraq, Syria and central Africa but no one cared. In Nigeria thousands of Christians are being murdered every month by Boko-Haram, Islamic terrorists, and no one lifts a finger to help them because what really matters is the problem of the Jewish State. It must be delegitimized, discredited and ultimately dismantled and so perpetuating the myths surrounding her conflict with the Palestinians is essential because the ultimate goal is to return the region to the Dar al Salam! (The House of Islam)

Now President Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu have agreed upon a reasonable and promising peace plan that will afford the Palestinians one last opportunity to acquire a state of their own with the hope of peace, economic development, investment and the delivery of much needed social services to the Palestinian people. Their answer so far has been one of rejection. In fact, Mahmoud Abbas called President Trump a dog! This is not without meaning in the Islamic world since Muslims are forbidden to have dogs because they are considered demonic and evil. It is an insult that one only levels against those that one hates and detests the most. This will surely be to their loss because, should they persist in their rejection, Israel will have no other option than to press ahead with resettling Judea and Samaria, which after all is their ancient biblical and historical heartland. When one builds castles on sand one should not be surprised if they collapse. It is this reality that now faces the Palestinian Authority.

Malcolm Hedding

International Holocaust Memorial Day

International Holocaust Memorial Day

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“As part of the Young Leaders of Yad Vashem, I find it imperative to spread
awareness to as many people as possible, Jew and non-Jew alike… We may
carry their names, we may tell their stories, but we can never forget their
sacrifice. It is Yad Vashem that has ignited the fire and it is up to us to spread
the flame.”
Rachel Shnay

All around the world today the awful and evil deeds of the Holocaust, perpetrated by the Nazis and their many collaborators, are being remembered. Chiefly the martyrs of this diabolical program of industrial killing are being remembered and honored just as they were last week at the sacred and solemn assembly that took place at Yad Vashem to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the liberation of those still held hostage in Auschwitz-Birkenau. As heads of state gathered to say, “Never again” the facts on the ground all over Europe, in America and beyond tell another story. Antisemitism is on the rise everywhere and again on the streets of Europe we hear the cry, “Kill the Jews”. In Belgium awful images of rat-like looking Orthodox Jews have been paraded through the streets and in Brooklyn New York, Jews are now routinely attacked and beaten up. Once again, the Jews are being discredited and delegitimized with the end goal being their destruction. We cry never again but in reality, this has to be coupled with action. Who do we think will stop these antisemitic attacks?

A recent study has found that much of the antisemitism in Europe is being driven by the huge Middle Eastern communities that have migrated to the continent. The same is true of America where we now have Muslim Congresswomen who routinely mainstream antisemitism, attack Israel and the local Jewish community and refuse to condemn acts of Islamic terrorism. For them, “Some people did something on 9/11.” All over the middle East the discredited book, “The elders of the Protocols of Zion” is still being published and sold, as is Hitler’s, “Mein Kampf.” In addition, the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, is a Holocaust Denier and continues to call for the killing of Jews while he honors those who actually do so. The danger signs are everywhere just as they were in the 1930s. If good people do nothing, then this evil will gather momentum and it is.

Yad Vashem in Jerusalem stands as a beacon of remembrance and warning and we should heed its message on this very important and solemn day. This should be coupled with a prayer that asks the God of Heaven what we can do to make good our declaration of, “Never Again.”

Malcolm Hedding

Christianity Today

Christianity Today

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Mark Galli’s article of the 20th December in Christianity Today calling for the impeachment of Donald Trump on so called moral grounds was neither courageous nor biblical. In fact, it displayed a remarkable ignorance of the relationship between the Church and the State, as put forth by the New Testament scriptures.

There are two passages in the New Testament that outline the context in which we are to relate to national political leaders, Presidents, Prime Ministers and even Dictators. The first is 1 Timothy 2:1-4 and the second is Romans 13:1-5. The latter is infrequently referred to by most preachers and magazines because it contradicts much of their thinking and debunks their social justice gospel that has infiltrated much of the Church in our day. Both passages are very important because they harmonize and enable us to avoid the trap into which Galli has fallen.

The passage in the book of Romans reads as follows:

“Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority
except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore
whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror
to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what
is good and you will have praise from the same.

For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does
not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath
on him who practices evil. Therefore, you must be subject, not only because of
wrath but also for conscience sake.”

It is important to note that this passage was written by Paul in reference to the Roman Empire and the Caesars who governed it. They were ruthless, cruel tyrants and certainly by biblical standards had no “moral values” and yet Paul asserts that:

1. They are appointed by God.
2. Wield their authority only at God’s pleasure….and,
3. Are in fact the ministers of God.

Consequently, Christians are to obey them, do what is good in their sight and by so doing honor God. That is, to resist them is to resist God and it is for this reason that he calls them to submit for conscience sake. These rulers were evil, they laid waste the Church in every corner of the Empire and Paul did not call for Caesar’s impeachment!!! In fact, just the opposite, because he knew that in the end by love and good works the Church would triumph, and it did. Actually, in comparison to the leaders of Rome Donald Trump is a saint!

Also, the national or political leader is referred to by Paul as one raised up by God and as the minister of God. In what sense then is Donald Trump the minister of God? Definitely not in a saved or redeemed sense but, in the sense, that he is a secular ruler like Caesars of old. We, as Christians do not vote for a Pastor, Priest or Reverend to become President but for a leader who best expresses our values and who will provide space and opportunity for the Church to preach the gospel to the nation in which it resides. Some of the greatest leaders of our times were not Christian, including Winston Churchill. He embraced Christian values but was something of a drunkard and a political opportunist, as he flipped flopped between political parties and as Lord of the Admiralty was responsible for the deaths of thousands of Anzac troops at Gallipoli in the First World War. To add insult to injury, he was the master of insult and in this regard out did Donald Trump’s Tweets by far. Churchill was despised and rejected by almost all of the political elite, just as Trump is, and yet God raised him up, gave him authority and, as a minister of God most high, he saved Britain from the tyranny of Nazism. Today he is celebrated as the Greatest Britton and millions wept at his funeral including my father. Did anyone call for his impeachment on moral grounds in Britain’s darkest hour? The answer actually is yes, and history has now judged them to be fools!

It is then important to note that for Paul, the Church is to submit to the governing authority by prayer, good works, suffering and proclamation in the knowledge that God who sees will change the governing authority and in the end enable such an authority to make space for the Church to preach the saving message of the cross. This is why we submit for conscience sake because the message we have of eternal life in Jesus is more important than anything else and calling for Trump’s impeachment, as Mark Galli did, was in every way naïve and a contradiction of scripture.

In addition, it is to be noted that Donald Trump has done more to encourage and support the mission of the Church in America than any other President in recent years. He has supported Christian values, stood against abortion, rolled back the Johnson Law and has encouraged all Christians everywhere to come out from hiding and own their faith. So, the high biblical goal that Paul sets for leaders has been fulfilled in Donald Trump; and yes, hopefully by the grace of God he too one day will embrace the Savior sent from heaven to deliver us. For this too we should and must pray but to call for his impeachment is a contradiction of scripture.

In 1 Timothy 2:1-4 Paul affirms all of this when he writes:

“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions,
and giving of thanks be made for all men, for Kings and all who are in
authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness
and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our
Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge
of the truth.”

So, once again it is the first priority of the Church to pray for leaders and rulers because in doing so there is the expectation that God will change them and inspire them to bring order, stability, peace and quiet to a nation so that the Church may freely preach the Gospel. For the Apostle Paul the preaching of the Gospel was the greatest priority for a Christian and he considered even his sufferings to be working toward that end (Philippians 1:12). It is not our first responsibility to antagonize leaders by calling for their impeachment. This is counter productive to our great calling to fulfill the Great Commission. Again, can any of you demonstrate from scripture where Paul called for the impeachment of Caesar, a more wicked and cruel despot than Donald Trump will ever be? He was a Roman citizen by birth (Acts 16:37) and could have done so but he didn’t. Rather, he called the Church to a higher office and eventually by it he penetrated Caesar’s Household (Philippians 1:12-14) and finally the Christian Gospel triumphed over Rome and got a foothold in Europe and we have greatly benefited by it and are indebted to him for it. Mark Galli would have done well, in the light of his retirement, to call the Church in America to prayer and intercession for the President but he didn’t and rather opted to bring division to the people of God and to play into the arms of those who, if assuming power one day, will continue the immoral behavior of murdering babies in the womb! It is not surprising that these were the first people to receive his editorial with glee.

Malcolm Hedding

Notes:

For Paul the Church’s relationship with the State was governed by one thing only; that everything should be made subservient to the Church’s right to freely preach the Gospel. The right to preach the death, burial and resurrection of Christ was outside of the governing authority’s jurisdiction and consequently, if the state moved to curtail or prohibit this right, it had to be reasoned with (Acts 26:1-23) and even resisted and was (Acts 5:26-32). For this right the early Church leaders were prepared to die, and they did!

They well knew that it was not the “Social Gospel” or the “Social justice Gospel” or the “Prosperity Gospel” that saved people from their sins and gave them the gift of eternal life but only the Gospel that faithfully proclaims what Jesus did for the world on the cross. Evil cannot be out-smarted, out-thought or overcome by well thought out programs of one sort or another. No, it can only be overcome by the spilt blood of Jesus and having the right to preach this message governs our interactions with the State. Mark Galli could have re-enforced this, but he didn’t, opting rather to inject himself into the political squabbles of impeachment.

Christmas 2019

Christmas 2019

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Dear Friends,

At this time of year, we should all pause to think of the things that really matter; especially since we will all be together with friends and family to celebrate Christmas and enjoy one another. Life is definitely more important than just getting on with it and living for our passions. If it were this simple then why do we have a guiding light called the Bible? Indeed, our lives are fragile and we each one only has one shot at it, and it may pass quicker than we think. I heard this very day of a father of 46, very active and very fit, who just fell down and before he reached the ground was dead leaving a wife and two beautiful young daughters. Eternity took him just as it will take us one day, don’t for a moment think that it will not. Your life, like mine, is but a vapor:

“Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For
what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little
while and then vanishes away.”
James 4:14

For Abraham, our spiritual father according to the flesh, life was a walk of faith with God. “He believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness” (Genesis 15:6). In fact, Abraham looked forward to Christ and believed in Him (John 8:56; Hebrews 11:13). Once his faith decision was made, he set out to pursue, with all his heart and strength, the God who had turned up in his workshop in Ur some 4000 years ago now. He would thereafter, by ongoing faith, appropriate righteousness and he would seek to impact others with a message of hope that in the end would touch billions of people all around the world. Just like the stars of the heavens and the sand of the seashore (Genesis 13:6; 15:5).

Abraham knew God, became His friend and walked with Him (2 Chronicles 20:7). Those who embark on this journey, as Paul correctly points out, have the assurance of eternal life beating in their hearts. Paul wrote that our spirits witness with God’s Spirit that we are children of God (Romans 8:16). I know of no greater blessing or pursuit on earth and I urge you, one and all, to think carefully on these things as we now come to one of the most joyous times of the year. I know that God loves you dearly but He wants you to look up and see more to life than ambition, career and success. To die in these things without faith in God is a tragedy and quite frankly a waste of one’s life. This is surely Abraham’s abiding message. We must become the friends of God.

How amazing that God sent a child to show us His light and by which to lead us all to eternal life (1 John 5:11-12). Let us take hold of it by welcoming Jesus into our lives (John 1:12).

Merry Christmas and much love,

Malcolm and Cheryl Hedding

Incarnation

Incarnation

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“Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them!
Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the
Devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because
he knows that he has a short time.”
Revelation 12:12

“No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son,
Who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.”
John 1:18

“Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith.
Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus
Christ is in you.”
2 Corinthians 13:5

The Incarnation of evil

The Bible most certainly warns us of a demonic incarnation of dreadful proportions. Even now the ground work to make this possible is being built by powerful and evil principalities and scripture calls this “the spirit of antichrist” (1 John 4:3).This foundation of wickedness is becoming more brazen with every passing day in its attempt to delegitimize the Bible and attack those who hold dear its pages. Soon there will be an incarnation of the Devil himself whereby he will take on a bodily form and lead the world, and even possibly, the Church (Matthew 24:24) down a pathway of delusion.

In the 14th chapter book of Isaiah the evil king of Babylon is described but it becomes clear that what is being portrayed is more than just the king of a region but the Devil himself. It is a picture indeed of demonic incarnation:

“How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!
How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the
nations. For you have said in your heart; I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the
mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I
will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most
High. Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the depths of the pit.”
Isaiah 14:12-15

The book of Ezekiel does the same thing in its 28th chapter when it describes the evil king of Tyre:

“You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.
You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your
covering………………The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was
prepared for you on the day you were created. You were the anointed
cherub who covers; I established you; you were on the holy mountain
of God; you walked back and forth in the midst of the fiery stones. You
were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity
was found in you.”
Ezekiel 28:11-15

So here again a human being is presented as an incarnation of the Devil himself and, just for the record, the Prophet Habakkuk writes of the proud man in similar terms:

“Indeed, because he transgresses by wine, he is a proud man, and he
does not stay at home. Because he enlarges his desire as hell and he
is like death, and cannot be satisfied, he gathers to himself all nations
and heaps up for himself all peoples.”
Habakkuk 2:5

These biblical references warn us of a day that is fast approaching when the Devil, having been pushed out of the second heaven, will descend to the earth (Revelation 12:9-12) and incarnate himself in a human body. This is the truth of God’s word and the book of Revelation clearly presents it to us and describes this individual as, “The Beast” (Revelation 13:1). Outwardly he will be a smooth-talking miracle working politician but inwardly he will be the Devil incarnate. In fact, the closest we have come to this reality can be seen in the rise and fall of Adolf Hitler; only this will be far worse in that all nations will follow after him and he will unleash a global persecution of the Church and Israel. The book of Revelation describes his reign of tyranny thus:

“Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme
His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. It was granted
to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority
was given to him over every tribe, tongue and nation. All who dwell on
the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the
Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If anyone
has an ear, let him hear.”
Revelation 13:6-9

The last refrain, “If anyone has an ear, let him hear”, is important because the Holy Spirit is calling us to attention and clearly warning us of things to come. Evil has advanced at a rapid pace in our world and the ease with which it is presently being accepted is providing the stepping stones by which the Devil can literally step into our world. We have been warned!

 

The incarnation of God

The Christmas story reminds us year by year that in Jesus God became man and dwelt among us in order to save us from our sins, ourselves and all that is wicked in the world. John’s Gospel speaks of this wondrous incarnation in these terms:

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld
His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of
grace and truth.”
John 1:14

These most beautiful words tell us that Jesus was not made or created but was “begotten”. That is, he was incarnated in the virgin’s womb having come from heaven (Luke 1:26-38)! He was perfect and sinless in every way and the holy light shining from Him could not in any way be contained in this world and so the darkness of sin and evil collided with Him and seemingly overcame Him in that He, being innocent, was cruelly crucified (John 3:19). However, in this wicked hour of darkness He thereby willingly bore the penalty of our sins and rose from the dead freeing us from the power of sin and of the Devil (Luke 22:53). He purchased on the Roman stake of execution, eternal life for all of us; that is, if we surrender our lives to Him, make Him king and follow Him all the days of our lives (John 1:12). What a marvelous incarnation. Paul, writing to the Corinthian Church puts it this way:

“Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through
Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is,
that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not imputing
their trespasses to them…”
2 Corinthians 5:18-19

This is truly the real message of Christmas and we must make sure that our children, gran-children and friends know it. There is nothing more wonderful and as we gaze again in wonder at the Manger Scene, the glory of Angels singing in the heavens on that first Christmas night and the arrival of three Kings from the east let us do so with gratitude and joy in our hearts.

 

The incarnation of salvation

More wondrous still is the fact that Jesus fills our hearts with His love and salvation by the Holy Spirit. This is an incarnation that regenerates, empowers and changes us forever. Paul refers to it in many parts of his letters but here are two examples:

“For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your
prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my
earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed,
but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified
in my body, whether by life or by death.”
Philippians 1:19-20

And,

“To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory
of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope
of glory.”
Colossians 1:27

Jesus has actually invaded our lives and thereby given us a real taste of heaven and enabling us, in all respects, to overcome the world and the Devil. We are truly and literally new creations in Him. John the Apostle puts it this way:

“Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in
Him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.”
1 John 3:9
And,

“You are of god, little children, and have overcome them, because
He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
1 John 4:4

Dear friends, Christ incarnated in us means that we only have one goal in life and that is that Jesus may be magnified in our lives. This encompasses everything in that it calls us to total character transformation and change. This is why we attend a local Church, engage in fellowship, study the Bible, break bread and reach out to the world (Acts 2:42). We have a glorious message of incarnation.

Merry Christmas,

Malcolm Hedding

The Shai Fund Receives International Recognition

The Shai Fund Receives International Recognition

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“Then the King will say to those on His right hand, “Come, you
blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you
from the foundation of the world: for I was hungry and you
gave Me food; I was thirsty, and you gave Me drink; I was a
stranger and you took Me in; I was naked, and you clothed Me;
I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to
Me.

Then the righteous will answer Him saying, ‘Lord, when did we
see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink?
When did we see you a stranger and take you in, or clothe You?
Or, when did we see You sick or in prison, and come to You?’ And
the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you,
inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren,
you did it to Me.”
Matthew 25:34-40

At a prestigious international event held in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, on the 20th October 2019 the Shai Fund became the joint winner of the annual Aurora Award in recognition of its outstanding service to the suffering people of the Middle East and beyond. The official designation of this prize is summed up as follows:

“The Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity to the plight of
countless survivors around the world who owe their chance
of life to the generosity of others.”

The Shai Fund has for some years now alleviated the pain of suffering and persecution that has visited the Christians of Iraq, Syria and beyond at the hands of ISIS and other radical Islamic terrorist movements. The Executive Director of the Shai Fund, Charmaine Hedding, has personally gone into these regions of the Middle East, at great risk to her personal safety, in order to bring refuge, medical treatment, help and care to the suffering Church. Much of this work was done at a time when ISIS still possessed its Caliphate and so it was a dangerous initiative that required wisdom and the grace of God to discharge. Charmaine was unflinching in her determination to fulfill the call of God over her life and so her courage is an inspiration to all of us and a testimony to the authenticity of the purpose of God flowing through her life.

That the Shai Fund has now received international recognition for its work constitutes an affirmation as to the excellent manner in which this non-profit organization runs its affairs and it constitutes a reassurance to donors that their financial contributions to the organization are rightly deployed according to their wishes. The Shai Fund is registered in the great state of Tennessee and its headquarters are situated in Murfreesboro. There is no doubt that the good people of Middle Tennessee, including World Outreach Church, ungirded its beginnings by their financial support and spiritual encouragement. Charmaine Hedding has not forgotten these small beginnings and is thankful for the many people who believed in her and supported her mission. Truly God be praised!

Charmaine began reaching out to the suffering Christians of the world when she first became aware of the plight of the South Sudanese Christians in Africa. Two million of these people were literally butchered by the Muslims of North Sudan and largely suffered alone. She came to their aid and at present she is reaching out to Christians elsewhere in the Middle East and to those who are now suffering at the hands of Boko Haram in Nigeria. It is important to note that the Shai Fund on average helps “ten thousand people every year who are under significant distress.” She needs your prayers and your financial support.

You can with confidence enable the Shai Fund to help the suffering Church of the Middle East and beyond by visiting its website at: theshaifund.org or by mailing your gift to:

The Shai Fund
500 N. Walnut Street,
Murfreesboro,
Tennessee, 37128,
USA.

Thank you and many blessings in Jesus,

Malcolm Hedding

A proud father!

The Place and Role of Women in the Church

The Place and Role of Women in the Church

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“Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not
permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but
to be in silence.”
1 Timothy 2:11-12

“For this reason, the woman ought to have a symbol of authority
on her head, because of the angels. Nevertheless, neither is man
independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the
Lord. For a woman came from man, even so man also comes
through woman, but all things are from God.”
1 Corinthians 11:10-12

“Obey those who rule over you and be submissive, for they watch
out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so
with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.”
Hebrews 13:17

No one serves, in any capacity in the world or in the Church for that matter, in isolation and free from authority structures. Human nature resents being told what to do because the very essence of sin is rooted in rebellion. This root is in all of us and we have to overcome it. There are then authority structures in our world that are the prerogative of men and others that are of women. For instance, women generally serve in nursing roles more than men do and they are exceptionally good at it. One does find male nurses within this field of activity, but they are generally required to submit to the authority of their female overseers.

The truth is, there are some roles in life where men have authority over women and others where women have authority over men because of the manner in which God constitutionally created them. Men generally serve in combatant roles because they are physically stronger than women. It was young men who stormed the beaches of Normandy on the 6th June 1944 and not young girls!

The Christian scriptures are clear about the fact that while men and women differ in their constitutional make up, they are equal in dignity and status before God their Creator. The one is not in anyway inferior to the other and shouldn’t be treated that way. Indeed, Paul affirms that in the believing community there is, “…neither male nor female (Galatians 3:28).” This means there should be no prejudice held when engaging men and women. They are equal in every way and should be afforded this dignity.

Having said this, it is true that the manner in which God made a woman means that she is ideally fitted to make up the deficiencies of her husband. She is made to help him be the man that God wants him to be and so she submits her wisdom, intellect, intuition and opinion to him. He needs help and God calls him to lead with her help (Genesis 2:18). Submission in the Bible is not one-way traffic. Meaning, that it is not only a man telling a woman what to do but also as a woman giving a man advice what to do in a spirit of gentleness (1 Peter 3:4-5). Men who turn this on its head and become authoritarian and abusive to their wives, and or to women in the Church, will not get their prayers answered (1 Peter 3:7). Men and women are “heirs together of the grace of life.” Men then have been equipped by God to lead and this is precisely why Jesus chose twelve men to be His Apostles. In fact, Jesus honored women, defended them, helped them and had them in His inner circle because He valued their spiritual intuition and appreciated their help and generosity, making possible His mission together with the disciples (Luke 8:2-3).

All this being true we should note the following:

1. That God has uniquely equipped men to assume teaching and leadership roles in the Church. However, the point of Paul’s statements in 1 Timothy is that women can teach and lead as long as they do so with male leadership recognition and support and do not usurp this authority structure. Just as a male nurse in a hospital ward must discharge all his duties in submission to the female leadership team. The male nurse is not allowed to do his own thing!

2. The Bible affirms and demonstrates that in Israel’s long journey there were always unique and strong female leaders who did great things for God; but always under authority. Deborah, Rahab, Miriam, Ruth, Esther and Mary easily come to mind in this respect.

3. The New Testament church was greatly blessed by male and female preaching teams such as Priscilla and Aquila (Romans 16:3-4). It is no doubt worth noting here that Priscilla is mentioned before her husband Aquila. Was she the dominant ministry gift? In fact, Paul refers to a woman called Junia, who together with her husband Andronicus, he calls “of note among the apostles” (Romans 16:7). (See footnote) Then there are the four daughters of Philip who were recognized as prophets (Acts 21:8-9). This of course means that they were part of the “gift ministries” of the ascended Christ recorded in Ephesians four verses eleven and twelve. Paul also writes about Euodia and Syntyche, two women who served with him in the preaching of the Gospel (Philippians4:2-3).Mary, the mother of Jesus, was continually in the company of the early leaders of the Church and the non-canonical writings of the early Church confirm that she played a very active role in the development and growth of the Church (Acts 1:14). To suggest then that women cannot share in the gift ministries of the Church and should not be preaching in our pulpits is just wrong and a contradiction of scripture.

It is certainly true that when women assert themselves without due recognition of the male authorities in the Church, they are disruptive, can be led into deception and more dangerous still, into a Jezebel spirit; all of which I have witnessed in my long years of Christian ministry (Revelation 2:20). But equally I have encountered deceived men in leadership who became authoritarian and dominating and they too brought a spirit of deception into the body of Christ (Titus 3:9-11). Diotrephes written about in 3 John was just such an individual as he loved the place of pre-eminence (3 John 9). The truth is, the abuse of God-given roles is rampant in the Church today and it all comes down to a problem with authority structures. According to Paul, Eve moved out of her covering of authority and instead of deferring to Adam she gave into the deception of the Devil. The original language of 1 Timothy 2:14 demonstrates that while Eve was deceived Adam sinned willfully because he knew better and consequently God held him accountable for the original sin and not Eve. Scripture then states, “As in Adam all die…” and not, “As in Eve all die” … (1 Corinthians 15:22).

4. In Paul’s day there were also cultural problems in that throughout the Roman Empire women who went around uncovered were actually prostitutes looking for business. Women in the Church, feeling the liberty that Christian teaching gave them, began to discard head coverings thus potentially bringing the church into conflict with the community. Paul writes to correct this as it would cause outsiders to stumble and bring the Church into disrepute. He urgently needs to rectify this matter and thus tells them that, though they may disagree, this is the “custom” that all the churches embrace (1 Corinthians 11:16). In fact, to reinforce this “custom” he notes that even angels recognize the divine sphere in which they live and appropriately respond to it by covering themselves (1 Corinthians 11:10). We sometimes have to submit to the culture to win it for Christ. Today head coverings are no longer an issue; thank God!

Also, the early Church adopted a Synagogue type of structure which meant that men and women were separated in the services. Consequently, the women would sometimes disrupt the meetings by calling out to their husbands for theological clarification. Paul brought this practice to an end (1 Corinthians 14:34-35) and so it is also important to point out that the command, given by Paul in 1 Timothy 2:11-12, that women should be silent in the Church, is in fact not the correct interpretation of the text. The original language is more correctly translated as “settle down” and not, “be silent”. That is, that women should not be disruptive in the meetings and settle down and, if we doubt it, then we should take note of the fact that the same word that is translated as “silent” in 1 Timothy 2:11-12 is used in 2 Thessalonians 3:12 where it is translated as “work in quietness” or “settle down.” Paul’s real concern was that all things in the gatherings of the local churches should be done “decently and in order” (1Corinthians 14:40).

5. It is thus worth noting that there have been and are great women ministries in the Church of Jesus. I have known and worked with such women and have been greatly enriched by their powerful pulpit and leadership ministries. Who can doubt that Corrie ten Boom was a huge blessing to the people of God and to the Jewish people and what of Kathryn Kuhlman, Ruth Ward Heflin, a powerful healing evangelist, Christine Darg, Gwen Shaw, Amy Carmichael, an extraordinary missionary to China, Joni Eareckson Tada who though disabled led thousands of people to Jesus, Christine Caine who rescued thousands of people from human trafficking, Francis Willard, Henrietta Mears, a great preacher in her own right who mentored great men like Bill Bright of Campus Crusade for Christ and of course Aimee Semple McPherson the founder of the Four Square Church of God and who led hundreds of thousands of people to Jesus. We could go on and on, the list is never ending.

It is worth noting here that when I studied theology, at a well-respected Reformed Theological establishment, half the student population were women. The majority of these became missionaries to Africa, Asia, the Middle East and the Indian Ocean Islands. The term missionary is a nice way to disguise the fact that they were actually Apostles going out into the world because the term missionaries means “those sent out”; the exact same definition of the term Apostle!

Conclusion

No paper like this would be complete without referring to the fact that scripture calls upon women to submit to their husbands (Ephesians 5:21-33). We have already noted what this means but it is certainly worth pointing out that God calls men to lay down their lives for their wives as Christ did for the church. This means that they must be given to extreme sacrifice for their wives and it is love like this that will encourage women to willingly and happily submit to their husbands.

All in all, then, Women can teach, preach and even become Apostles in the Church of Jesus but they do have to minister in a sphere that is mainly occupied by men. Hence, they must discharge their remarkable ministry gifts in recognition of this God-given authority structure. Most important of all is that male leadership teams should not be authoritarian, corrective and restrictive but rather encouraging, edifying and upbuilding. This is why God gives us positions of authority, to build up and edify (2 Corinthians 10:8). We rob the Church of a great blessing if we close our pulpits to godly women who have been called of God and anointed to preach.

The peace of Jesus be with you!

Malcolm Hedding


Contributing Editors:

Dr. Peter Watt-The General Chairman of the Assemblies of God of Southern Africa
Dr. David Elms-Founding Minister Emeritus of Kingsway Christian Fellowship, Liverpool England
Rev. Graham Jefferson- Minister Emeritus of Word of Life Baptist Church, Durrington England

Note; with reference to Romans 16:7:

Early church writers and scholars translated one of the persons referred to here by Paul as Junia, which is absolutely correct since the ending of the name is in the female designation. For 1900 years every translation that came out did the same but in the 20th Century, translators, all of which were mainly male, unilaterally and without textual basis, changed the name to a masculine ending meaning that it became Junias. This was wrong, in fact entirely wrong, and it was only done because they would not accept that a woman could be an Apostle. In other words, they arrogantly inserted their prejudice into the inspired text! In recent years this unjustified edit has been corrected in keeping with the original text, which is beyond dispute, and so Junia, the female “Apostle of note”, took her rightful place again in scripture.

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Days of Testing

Days of Testing

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“But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with
the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God
who tests our hearts.”
1 Thessalonians 2:4

“Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer.
Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison,
that you will be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days.
be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.”
Revelation 2:10

The God of the bible has a great plan for your life since His word declares that in Jesus, He “created you for good works that He prepared beforehand that you should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10). The truth is, we do not have the spiritual capacity to walk into our God-given destiny and so God has to teach us about our real spiritual capacity and through a process of testing strengthen us. Paul is clear that before he moved into his God-given destiny, he had to be approved by God who put his heart to the test.

So, there is no doubt that days of testing are upon us. God puts His people to the test as He did with Paul and Peter and even Jesus. These “tests” are designed to determine the nature of our commitment to truth and whether our characters are dependable, stable, and useful to God, even under fire. No one escapes this principle in the Christian life. The Lord God of Heaven knows exactly what’s in our hearts, but He brings it out into the open for our instruction by the process of testing. We always think that we are stronger spiritually than we in fact are. These times of testing invariably involve times of great difficulty and our response to them teaches us something about ourselves that we didn’t know! In fact, Paul writes that we are “appointed to this.”

“…that no one should be shaken by these afflictions, for you
yourselves know that you were appointed to this.”
1 Thessalonians 3:3

The “testings of God” always have to do with truth. That is, the truth of God revealed through His Word. This truth cannot be bent, changed or adapted to our liking. It remains forever and is above His name and must be built into our lives (James 1:21). And Paul stated that we must allow the Word of God to “richly dwell in us “(Colossians 3:16). Jesus said quite simply, “Thy word is truth” (John 17:17). It is up to us to live by it or reject it and we shall never fully enter into God’s plan for our lives if we do not live in the Bible day and night (Psalm 1:4). A good devotional exercise for us all to do would be to read, in one sitting, Psalm 119. This will give us a very good idea as to how important it is to know God’s Word. The grace and patience of God always leads us to its truth but there comes a time when we have to demonstrate, through a time of testing, that we have truly received the Word of God and have built it into our lives in such a way that our actions flow out from it . Actually, to be “put to the test” means to be tempted. The word temptation in the original language means to be “put to the proof”. This invariably involves being exposed to the Devil!!!

Jesus was “put to the proof” when He was led by the Spirit of God into the wilderness to be tempted by the Devil:

“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted
by the devil.”
Matthew 4:1

Jesus’ temptations were not fictional or merely theoretical. No, as man he had to prove that He was perfect and sinless and therefore qualified to enter upon His God-given mission in life. He overcame the choices presented to him by the Devil by standing on the Word of God (Matthew 4:1-11).

Also, Jesus gave the Devil permission to prove Peter or “sift him like wheat”:
“And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you,
that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your
faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen
your brethren.”
Luke 22:31-32

Peter was a big mouth and therefore “cashed cheques with his mouth that his body could not pay.” Upon hearing that Jesus was going up to Jerusalem to die he loudly asserted that he would do the same. He was indeed sincere, but actually, sincerely wrong because he did not have the spiritual capacity to do what he boldly claimed. Through a process of testing he found out who he really was and was enabled to take stock, repent, be strengthened and then become what God wanted him to be. It will be the same for you and me.

Two things are clear from this:
1. The Devil cannot attack you when and how he pleases…and;
2. The Devil can be an instrument, in the hand of Jesus, to help you grow!!

When we are put to the test, or proved as Christians, the Devil can do nothing to you other than, as he did with Jesus, give you an option or choice; the decision will be entirely yours to make. Peter was presented with the same option and ended up cursing and denying that he even knew Jesus. What did he learn? That he wasn’t the strong Christian that he thought he was and was not ready for ministry. So, James writes:

“Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been
approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has
promised to those who love him.

“But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires
and enticed.”
James 1:12,14

So then, the “testings of God “always have to do with three things:
1. Materialism or things
2. Status or self-importance…and,
3. Cravings or self-indulgence

The Bible lists these as follows:
1. The lust of the eyes (materialism)
2. Lust of the flesh (self-indulgence) …and,
3. The boastful pride of life (self-importance)

Note: 1 John 2:16
In the wilderness “proving’s” Jesus faced the exact three things and responded according to the Word of God and thus proved that He was beyond sin and indeed perfect. Adam on the other hand faced the exact same three things in the Garden of Eden and failed because he doubted the Word of God. All that the Devil said to him was, “Has God said……? According to Jesus, the faithful Church is the one that keeps His Word (Revelation 3:8). That is, yes, God has said!

Note:
The extent of our ability to overcome the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life determines our usefulness to God. The testings of God then are designed to prove if our lives are built upon the Word of the Living God and that consequently our characters are dependable, stable and useful to Him. There are many Christians who have failed in this respect because, having not built the Word of God into their lives, they make huge decisions that contradict the Word of God, that are in all respects life changing and that sideline their usefulness to God for years. Remember Jacob!

So, Don’t be surprised at the fiery trial you are going through. Read carefully what Peter has to say about this:

“Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which
is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you.”
1 Peter 4:12

Be sure that you noted his refrain “to try you”, because God is putting you to the test through strange trials.
Don’t doubt that God is with you. Again, note what Peter has to say:

“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be,
you have been grieved by various trials.”
1 Peter 1:6

Once again, be sure to note the refrain, “if need be”. That is, your trials are needed so that God can test the nature of your faith and commitment to Him. He knows the nature of your commitment but you do not and so He will help you to find out!

Stand on the Word of God. That is, God is looking for men and women who will “under fire” always make decisions that flow out of the Word of God embedded deep within them. Jesus said:

“Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds
from the mouth of God.”
Matthew 4:4

Stand in the place of prayer. In the Garden of Gethsemane, the Disciples were all over the place spiritually and Jesus saw their weakness and spiritual inability. He consequently responded by saying the following:

“When He came to the place, He said to them, “Pray that you
may not enter into temptation.”
Luke 22:40

What He actually meant was, “Pray that you may not enter into the trap of temptation.” That is, that you may not make the wrong choice or decision. We must be a praying people.

Conclusion
Above all remember that our confidence; in God’s loving care for us, and in His sovereignty, will get us safely through these times of testing. Because He will not allow us to be tempted beyond that which we are able to bear (1 Corinthians 10:13). Even though from time to time, like Peter, we will fail, He will pick us up, strengthen us and help us to fulfill our destiny. It all comes down to how much we love Him and our love for Him is measured by the degree to which we keep His word (John 14:15). Amen.

Malcolm Hedding

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The Fourth of July 2019

The Fourth of July 2019

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“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…”
The Declaration of Independence July 4th, 1776

The New York Times just put out an article with a video questioning “American Exceptionalism.” They undermined this concept by seeking to point out that, as a people, Americans are no better, and indeed, are a lot worse than other peoples in the spheres of education, racial relations and science etc. For them then the concept of American Exceptionalism has to do with race as if this term asserts that Americans are just better than other people. This whole understanding of American Exceptionalism, as put forward by the New York Times, is actually based on a false narrative, is not based on historical fact and is just a lie! However, people believe this stuff because, quite simply put, they do not know their history.

It is to be noted that the Declaration of Independence clearly states that all men are created equal and therefore this undermines the notion that American Exceptionalism is based on race. It is this declaration that empowered Martin Luther King Jr in his fight for black civil rights in the 1960s and because of this he was guaranteed victory.

A plaque on the walls of the Holocaust Museum in Israel, called Yad Vashem, states, “Remembrance is the road to redemption, but forgetfulness is the road to exile.” How true this is, as a people who have forgotten their origins and history will eventually abandon them and lose the freedoms that were once purchased for them at a great price by their founders. This is happening in America today.

American Exceptionalism is to be understood by this; that by the grace and hand of God, and because of the Great Awakening (An amazing Christian revival led by George Whitfield and Jonathan Edwards in the original 13 States), the Founding Fathers crafted a form of governance, called the Constitution in 1787 that was unique to the world because it guaranteed freedom and equal dignity for everyone. This Constitution sets out three spheres of government and thereby puts checks and balances in place that would make it well nigh impossible for the freedoms won in the War of Independence with England to be taken away by a dictator. The Bill of Rights (The first Ten Amendments) re-enforced this idea and gave Americans additional protections from abuse by leaders. In fact, the idea of three houses of government; the Congress, Judiciary and the Executive, came directly from Isaiah 33:22:

“For the Lord is our Judge (Judiciary), the Lord is our Lawgiver (Congress),
the Lord is our King (President)…”

Also, Liberty Bell has inscribed upon it a verse of scripture taken from the book of Leviticus that states:

“…….Proclaim liberty throughout all the land to all
its inhabitants….”
Leviticus 25:10

It is because of this Constitution that Americans could build a nation that became a “shining light on a hill” since it freed a people, like none other on earth, to go forth and fully exploit their potential; free from government restraint and abuse. American Exceptionalism has nothing to do with race but everything to do with freedom; and the history of America proves it. It is for this reason that all those seeking high office in the Federal Government have to swear allegiance to the Constitution. A Constitution that is in every way Exceptional, but sadly today, continuously under attack.

So, don’t be fooled by the New York Times or anyone else as American Exceptionalism does exist, we have all been blessed by it and rightly do we rejoice in it on the fourth of July.

God bless America!

Malcolm Hedding
A soon-to-be-proud American Citizen