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Toying with Death—Learning to Love Evil and Crave Violence

LTRP Note: The following article was written by veteran discernment researcher and author, Berit Kjos, several years ago. The children she speaks of in this article who were growing up in environments that exalted violence and evil . . . are grown!

Vile “entertaining” images mold the minds of children and youth around the world! Do you wonder what will happen to our nation and culture when these conditioned youth reach adulthood? Might the civilized world be following a path to corruption and chaos that makes the decadence in ancient Rome seem mild by comparison?—Kjos

Toying with Death—Learning to Love Evil and Crave Violence

By Berit Kjos

Police investigating the Virginia Tech killings are looking at whether Cho Seung-Hui was copying parts of a violent film when he murdered 32 people. Officers believe he repeatedly watched Oldboy as part of his preparation for the killing spree…. It contains stylized scenes of killings and an attempted suicide, and is filled with what one critic called ‘punishing emotional violence’…. The video, which Cho posted to an American TV network while carrying out his murderous rampage, appears to include photographs of Cho re-enacting scenes from the film.”[1]

After the Jonesboro shootings, one of the high-school teachers told me how her students reacted when she told them about the shootings at the middle school. ‘They laughed,’ she told me with dismay. A similar reaction happens all the time in movie theaters when there is bloody violence. The young people laugh and cheer and keep right on eating popcorn and drinking pop. We have raised a generation of barbarians who have learned to associate violence with pleasure, like the Romans cheering and snacking as the Christians were slaughtered in the Coliseum.[2]

“Are we training our children to kill?” asked Lieutenant Colonel David Grossman, an expert in the field of killology. For many years, he has “traveled the world training medical, law enforcement, and U.S. military personnel about the realities of warfare.” He contends that point-and-shoot video games actually train young players to accurately shoot and kill human targets in spite of their natural, God-given resistance. His statistics validate his frightening conclusions:

“The per capita murder rate doubled in this country between 1957… and 1992. A fuller picture of the problem, however, is indicated by the rate people are attempting to kill one another—the aggravated assault rate. That rate in America has gone from around 60 per 100,000 in 1957 to over 440 per 100,000 by the middle of this decade.  Click here to continue reading this article.


Related Information:

Resources from Lighthouse Trails to help protect and raise children in today’s world.

Out-of-House Commentary – “You Can Be A Christian, You Can Be A Marxist, But You Can’t Be Both”
LTRP Note: The following is posted for informational and research purposes. Please also read the Lighthouse Trails article on “Critical Race Theory.”

By Joshua Lawson
The Federalist

It’s unclear how many Christians are going along with the current neo-Marxist collective guilt movement out of fear, a misunderstanding of what they’ve signed onto, or an authentic conversion to the cause. What is clear, however, is that you can’t be a Christian and a Marxist at the same time—not without irresolvable contradictions.

Whereas traditional garden-variety Marxism views history as a struggle between the wealthy and the working class “proletariat,” neo-Marxism cranks up the heat and redefines the fight to incorporate biological sex, race, ethnicity, and a whole gambit of various “identity” badges.

The grand unifying principle for the Marxists behind the Black Lives Matter movement is that everything—and they mean everything—can be reduced to “oppressors” versus the “oppressed” [e.g., “Critical Race Theory”]. If you happen to be a member of one of the “oppressor” groups, then expect to see all sorts of punishments heading your way until the neo-Marxists are satisfied. Except they never are. Click here to continue reading.

Related Reading:

Letter to the Editor: “Critical Race Theory”—A Political Tactic That Results in Cultural/Marxist Segregation

Southern Baptist Convention Adopts “Critical Race Theory”—A Dangerous Marxist “Solution” That Will Not Work

Is America Racist? (Video – Larry Elder)

 

The Lisa/Isabella Miller Case—”Criminalizing Christianity in America”

Lighthouse Trails has been reporting on the Lisa/Isabella Miller case for ten years as many of our readers know. 419Fund is a group that is helping to raise awareness and support for both Lisa and her daughter Isabella as well as for one of the men (Philip Zodhiates) who today sits in a federal prison for helping Lisa Miller even though he never did anything illegal. 419Fund has put together the following video which explains the Lisa Miller Case—an example of criminalizing Christianity in America.

We hope you will consider praying for Lisa and Isabella Miller, that they will receive a pardon from President Trump so they can return to the United States safely and also consider prayerfully and financially supporting Philip Zodhiates in his legal battle.

Toying with Death—Learning to Love Evil and Crave Violence
Out-of-House Commentary – “You Can Be A Christian, You Can Be A Marxist, But You Can’t Be Both”
The Lisa/Isabella Miller Case—”Criminalizing Christianity in America”

Coronavirus, George Floyd, and Riots in the Streets—When God Discloses the Heart of Man

Leftism: The Difference Between Spiritual and Political
“Charge That to My Account” – True Freedom to the Captive and Downtrodden
Comments From Lighthouse Trails Readers on America’s Present Upheaval
“St. Louis Police Captain [David Dorn] Killed by Looters at Pawn Shop”
“DOJ Has Evidence That Antifa, Other Similar Groups Have ‘Instigated’ Violent Activity”
Media Falsely Claims Violent Riots Were Peaceful in a Nation Gone Mad
A Picture Says a Thousand Words . . .
Riots Spread to Canada: “Montreal Antifa Website Calls for Attacks on Police, Says Looting Is ‘Legitimate'”
In Such a Time as This, Let Us Pray . . .
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Coronavirus, George Floyd, and Riots in the Streets—When God Discloses the Heart of Man
By David Dombrowski

Our nation is in the midst of civil unrest as we have not known for many decades. Still in the throes of the coronavirus, rioting, upheaval, and violence seem to have eclipsed it with frequent reports and video footage of communities being trashed, burnt, and pillaged all in the name of freedom and equality. Many of those who have expressed disagreement with these means are labeled as bigoted and racist; thus, the hatred and violence that instigators are incurring on our nation is camouflaged.

Meanwhile, low-income black communities, ironically, will end up suffering the most with the present discussions of defunding or minimizing police forces across America, leaving these communities unsafe and unprotected.

George Floyd’s death was tragic and brutal, but what can be gained when the so-called solution is brutalizing and terrorizing American citizens (of all colors)? While many who are demonstrating are trying to do it peacefully and with intentions to bring recognition and action to needed police reform, what about the not-so-peaceful and often downright violent demonstrations? What about those who go about leaving a wake of destruction behind them? And what about the radical socialist-motivated groups who have instigated (and are heartily financed by democracy-despising sources)  the violent reactions—groups whose agendas reach far beyond the scope of racial equality? Are all these, in some crazy way, ultimately helping? If we look at it from the point of view of these groups, the problem and solution are exceedingly complex.

However, complex as it may seem, the problem and the solution may not be so very complex after all. Perhaps Americans, including many Christians, are looking in the wrong places for answers. Scripture has a way of providing simple solutions to seemingly difficult problems—if only people would turn to the Lord and His Word for the answers.

Remember, it is Jesus who said that mankind’s sin problem proceeds from the heart. After being confronted by the religious leaders who said that His disciples had defiled themselves by eating bread with unwashed hands, Jesus later explained to His disciples:

But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man. (Matthew 15:18-20)

It seems that Jesus must have also been seeing into our generation at this very time when He said these words because the Critical Race Theory (CRT) mandating confessions of “institutional/systemic racism” now being promoted in secular institutions and some of our churches and seminaries is really all about confessing the lie that all whites are racist by virtue of being white (which is actually a racist statement against whites). They maintain that racism is currently at the very heart of America because of slavery and because some of the “fathers” and pioneers of America were slave owners. Bob Woodson, a black civil rights veteran and the founder of the Woodson Center, disagrees. He says that while slavery is a birth defect of America, it does not define who America is. (source*)

Bob Woodson (photo from YouTube clip)

Webster’s definition of racism states: “a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race”(**see note below). The Oxford Dictionary says racism is “the belief that certain races are better than others; discrimination against or hostility towards those of other races.” No matter what color your skin is, if your beliefs fall within these definitions, then you are a racist. Granted, God has given everyone a moral conscience to know right from wrong (just watch a toddler sneak a cookie and know she has done something wrong); with that in mind, it is inaccurate to say that all whites are racist. All whites sin just as all blacks sin, but we cannot say that every member of any one particular people group practices the same sins.

The fact is, there are racists within all "races" of people, and the reason is found within the words of Jesus—man’s heart and the sin which lies within it. We are all descendants of Adam and have inherited the sin nature. Society can educate people (which certainly can, at times, be helpful) and can force people to confess to the transgression of racism, but if someone is a racist, he will remain that until God deals with his heart because racism, like all sin, will remain until the sin problem is dealt with. This is the only real remedy for sin; and to truly be free from the bondage of sin, be it racism, envy, jealousy, hate, murder, sexual sin, deceit, greed, and so forth is to receive Jesus Christ as Savior (who takes our hearts of stone and gives us tender hearts where love and compassion reign).

Some may say: well, if that were true, why is it, over the course of history, that so many who claimed to be Christian did horrible things including participation in slavery.

First, not all who say they are Christian are that. Being a Christian involves truth, faith, and relationship; when a person acknowledges his own sinfulness, confesses (believes) that Jesus Christ died and resurrected to save him from his sins, and puts his faith in Christ, a change takes place, and he is born from above (born again). Now as a child of God, he is able to have a relationship with Him. Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me” (Revelation 3:20). Once we have that living relationship with Christ, He begins to change our hearts. Look at John Newton, the slave trader who became convicted of his sins, gave his life to the Lord (and became an abolitionist), and wrote one of the most beautiful and meaningful hymns, Amazing Grace.

Second, becoming a Christian does not mean that one is perfect. Christians do sin. In the Bible, it says “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us  (1 John 1:8). But as Christians, the Holy Spirit convicts our heart when we sin, and He can cleanse our hearts when we do sin. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

But the sure cure for racism is to receive the salvation that Jesus offers, which allows Him to do the work of transforming us from the inside out. Until then, we will be striving but never attaining. Society can force people with laws to live uprightly and to treat others justly and rightly, and so should such laws be in place. But laws cannot change hearts, and that is what is truly needed to fight racism and the other horrible sins that so badly hurt people.

In a recent interview,* civil rights veteran Bob Woodson, whom I quoted earlier, describes how he has worked with low-income black communities for the last 38 years in helping them achieve their hopes for a better future. This man has peacefully fought for civil rights over the years and, at the same time, has acquired tremendous wisdom and insight as to why many inner-city black communities are still struggling. When asked how he feels about whites apologizing for past racist acts committed by others and for the condition of such black communities (which is what Critical Race Theory and intentional racism are insisting on), he responded that he is deeply offended by this practice and finds it very insulting to black people. He explained that, what intelligent blacks are really hearing is that blacks are incapable of rising above their condition until and unless whites clear the way for them. Consequently, he finds the practice, now instituted in many colleges under Critical Race Theory, to be patronizing at best. Even many evangelical groups, like the Southern Baptist Convention, have adopted CRT.

We have heard other reports from black people who feel very uncomfortable when a white person approaches them and apologizes for things others have done in the past. Perhaps, this helps the white person rid himself of an acquired guilt complex, but it really does nothing to promote a sense of true equality between different groups of people. Again, we must remember that God created all people as equal, in that we all have a common origin in the singular parents, Adam and Eve. DNA tests prove that we all have this common origin, thus proving the biblical record. Evolution may suggest “spontaneous generation” and “inferior and superior species,” but the Bible has proven itself to be consistent with the facts. In knowing this, it should not be difficult for us to see that God loves everyone (Christ gave His life with the shedding of His blood for all). The Bible also says that God does not respect one person above another (Acts 10:34). So, if Jesus is residing in our hearts, we also should love everyone in the same fashion; what is really needed is to have the love He has for all to be placed into our hearts through faith in Him.

It doesn’t take much to see that between the coronavirus and George Floyd’s death that God is disclosing what’s in the heart of man. For some, it is racism and brutality; for others, it is hatred, violence, and anger; for others, greed and covetousness; and others fear and even cowardness. It is my prayer that during this time, when the sin and weakness of men’s and women’s hearts are being revealed, that many will turn to Him in contriteness and humility and that God will purify the church and help us to be a light to a lost and desperately needy world. I leave you with a verse from the Old Testament. It was written by the prophet Ezekiel to the people of Israel, but it reveals what God will do to the heart who turns to Him:

A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. (Ezekiel 36:26)


*One word of caution: The Epoch Times edited into the interview a three-minute video clip of a woman who was vehemently rebuking the rioters for destroying areas of the city that were low income and challenged. While her message was absolutely valid, she was very distraught (understandably) and used a lot of profanities. You can skip over this section (30.10-33.04 minute mark) as the interview itself explains what her message was.

**As we were going to press with this article, we learned that the editors of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary have just made the decision to add systemic aspects of racism (e.g., CRT) to their age-old definition of racism. (source)

(photo of heart from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission)

 

Leftism: The Difference Between Spiritual and Political

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20)

By Bill Randles

Some find it very offensive when I decry “the Left” and when I espouse a “conservative” outlook. More than a few of my brothers and sisters in Christ have challenged me that I am being “political” and not “spiritual.”

I appreciate the concern and the willingness of those concerned to call me out on what they think is a drift away from the prophecy analysis and biblical exposition which I usually offer. “Faithful are the wounds of a friend.”

I don’t consider myself “political”; I think of myself as “spiritual.” As far as I can tell, I write and think from a God-centered and biblical perspective.

I don’t have a political “party” with which I identify. I do not believe there is a political solution to our national problems. I have no doubt that our nation will go the way of all nations that “forget God.” Psalm 9 tells us:

The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. (Psalm 9:17)

I realize this and mourn over it greatly. All that remains is to try to urge people to see what is happening and to get them to repent and receive the Gospel. That is not a political perspective by any measure; it is a Kingdom-of-God, realism perspective.

Having said that, I do decry “Leftism,” or “the Left,” and for that, there are some who passionately warn me against being political.

First of all, they think I am being one-sided. “Why don’t you criticize the right?” as if I have to be careful to constantly balance everything out in the name of fairness.

For example, would a critic of Nazism in the 1930s who happened to be a pastor, have to make sure his criticisms of Nazism are balanced with criticisms of the Social Democrat party or any other of the German political parties that were in existence in those days? Would criticizing Nazism make him any less Christian if he didn’t also criticize the others? Would criticizing Nazism prove that the pastor was political and unspiritual? I think not. That should be obvious. Nazism was and is blatant evil, and it would be the job of German pastors to criticize and call it out in the same ways the Prophets of the Bible called out the Baals and other idolatries.

It is as a Christian that I call out Leftism. In fact, Leftism has infiltrated all of our political parties. It is a cancerous blight, an idolatry based on a Utopian fantasy, which ruins everything precious in society. Leftism in both major political parties has given us the abomination of Abortion on Demand and has thus cheapened human life, desecrated the sacredness of women, and perverted the natural instincts to love, nourish, and cherish human life.

Leftism has also spawned abortion’s deformed twin, so-called gay marriage and sexual anarchy.

I hate Leftism because it is evil and has nothing to do with any political party; the cancer is in both lungs of America now, and we are dying. We are to hate and decry evil.

As a pastor, shouldn’t I be able to make a diagnosis and call out for repentance. I know that our nation is under judgment and is dying, but didn’t all of the prophets explain to sinners what they were dying of and call them to repentance?

There are some who accuse us of loving and worshipping President Trump. I do love Trump, but not as a Savior, but as a sinner whom God has allowed to be our leader for the time being. I pray for him, but I do not believe in him the way I believe in Jesus. He has some remarkable gifts and qualities about him, I must admit, but for all I know he could turn out to be the Antichrist. Probably not, but who knows?

He certainly will not save our nation, but in my view he is a reprieve from the deadly, sickening, downward spiral that the philosophy of Leftism has inflicted on us. This sickness is definitely unto death. Are we not to hate it and warn against it?

Some misunderstood our joy when Trump took power in 2016.

It wasn’t political; it had more to do with the fact that the Clintons are manifestly evil people who do not have scruples and have engaged in criminal behaviors at the highest levels. Why shouldn’t we be happy we dodged that bullet?

So many Christians are conflicted due to the humanistic pablum that passes for Bible teaching these days in some churches. They do not get that. Yes, we are to love the LORD and each other, but also, we are to hate evil! The Clintons are not Christians—they are anti-Christians. After covering our nation with soot for eight years, they went on to be the advocates of LGBT, abortion, Planned Parenthood, and virtually everything godless that is bringing judgment on America.

Should I criticize the right? Why? What do you mean “Right.” In theory, one group (the Right) stands for personal responsibility, the right to self defense, religious liberty, freedom of speech, and the conservation of our Judeo-Christian culture.

On the other hand, the other group (the Left) stands for the deconstruction of our borders, group identity, abortion, sexual anarchy, State control of education and every other facet of life, government-funded illegitimacy, and so forth.

“Right” has nothing to do with Party—both Democrat and Republican are infiltrated by Leftism.

The real urgency I have is that I see Leftism as an alternative religion which will damn people’s souls. Being a Leftist is the antithesis of being a Christian. One cannot be a “Leftist Christian” for that is an oxymoron.

Another form of Leftism is currently making many into converts through the use of false guilt. I speak of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement (co-founded by three women, two of which are lesbian) which is responsible for the murder of policemen in Dallas and God knows where else, and which openly calls for the slaying of policemen.

And yet so many have taken to the streets (indeed in many, many cases peacefully) while chanting the slogans of this hateful and, in fact, “racist” movement, which condemns and criticizes people who insist that “All Lives Matter.” God says: Man was made in the image of God; therefore, all lives matter.

I have come to realize that Leftism is a powerful, godless political religion, which is a rival to Christianity and will one day persecute us as they have in every nation that adopted its tenets in the last century. It demands sacrifices, brings judgment on those it hates, and is virulently atheistic at the core.

Should I ignore that, as a man of God, and just stick to “preaching”?

am Preaching! Maranatha!



(photo from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission)

 

 

“Charge That to My Account” – True Freedom to the Captive and Downtrodden
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LTRJ Note: In the Bible, there is a small book called Philemon, which tells the story of a slave, his owner, and an apostle of Christ who defended this slave. Today, with our current protests and demonstrations against racism (much of it resulting in looting and violence), many believe these are the things that will bring about change. But lasting change and true freedom can only come through Jesus Christ. Below, we have posted the story of Philemon (the slave owner) and Onesimus (the slave) and how the apostle Paul intervened, as told by Harry Ironside. Also, there is a sermon with some worthwhile insights and reminders by an Oregon pastor who discusses our current situation. Plus, there is an interview on Epoch Times with civil rights veteran, Bob Woodson that is worth listening to (*see note below) in order to gain some perspective of current events.

“Charge That to My Account”
By Harry Ironside
 (1876-1951)

If thou count me therefore a partner, receive him as myself. If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine account; I Paul have written it with mine own hand, I will repay it; albeit I do not say to thee how thou owest unto me even thine own self besides. (Philemon 17-19)

Someone has said that this epistle to Philemon is the finest specimen of early private Christian correspondence extant. We should expect this since it was given by divine inspiration. And yet, it all has to do with a thieving runaway slave named Onesimus who was about to return to his former master.

The history behind the letter, which is deduced from a careful study of the epistle itself, seems to be this: In the city of Colosse dwelt a wealthy Christian man by the name of Philemon, possibly the head of a large household, and like many in that day, he had a number of slaves or bondsmen. Christianity did not immediately overturn the evil custom of slavery, although eventually it was the means of practically driving it out of the whole civilized world. It began by regulating the relationship of master and slave, thus bringing untold blessing to those in bondage.

This man Philemon evidently was converted through the ministry of the apostle Paul. Where they met, we are not told; certainly not in the city of Colosse, because in writing the letter to the Colossians, Paul makes it clear he had never seen the faces of those who formed the Colossian church. You will recall that he labored at Ephesus for a long period. The fame of his preaching and teaching was spread abroad, and we read that “all . . . in Asia heard the word.” Among those who thus heard the Gospel message may have been this man Philemon of Colosse, and so he was brought to know Christ.

Some years had gone by, and this slave, Onesimus, had run away. Evidently before going, he had robbed his master. With his ill-gotten gains, he had fled to Rome. How he reached there we do not know, but I have no doubt that upon his arrival he had his fling and enjoyed to the full that which had belonged to his master. He did not take God into account, but nevertheless God’s eye was upon him when he left his home, and it followed him along the journey from Colosse to Rome. When he reached that great metropolis, he was evidently brought into contact with the very man through whom his master, Philemon, had been converted. Possibly Onesimus was arrested because of some further rascality, and in that way, came in contact with Paul in prison, or he may have visited him voluntarily. At any rate, God, who knows just how to bring the needy sinner and the messenger of the Cross together, saw to it that Onesimus and Paul met face to face.

“He Delighteth in Mercy”

God was watching over Onesimus. He saw him when he stole that money, and as he fled from his master’s house. He watched him on his way to Rome, and in due time brought him face to face with Paul. Through that same precious Gospel that had been blest to the salvation of Philemon, Onesimus, the thieving runaway slave, was also saved, and another star was added to the Redeemer’s crown.

Then I can imagine Onesimus coming to Paul and saying, “Now, Paul, I want your advice. There is a matter which is troubling me. You know my master, Philemon. I must confess that I robbed him and ran away. I feel now that I must go back and try to make things right.”

One evidence that people are really born of God is their effort to make restitution for wrong done in the past. They want a good conscience both before God and man.

“Paul, ought I to go back in accordance with the Roman law? I have nothing to pay, and I don’t know just what to do. I do not belong to myself, and it is quite impossible to ever earn anything to make up for the loss. Will you advise me what to do?”

Paul might have said, “I know Philemon well. He has a tender, kind, loving heart and a forgiving spirit. I will write him a note and ask him to forgive you, and that will make everything all right.”

But he did not do that. Why? I think he wanted to give us a wonderful picture of the great Gospel of vicarious substitution. One of the primary aspects of the work of the Cross is substitution. The Lord Jesus Christ Himself paid the debt that we owe to the infinite God in order that when forgiveness came to us, it would be on a perfectly righteous basis. Paul, who had himself been justified through the Cross, now says, “I will write a letter to Philemon, and undertake to become your surety. You go back to Philemon and present my letter. You do not need to plead your own case; just give him my letter.”

We see Onesimus with that message from Paul safely hidden in his wallet, hurrying back to Colosse. Imagine Philemon standing on the portico of his beautiful residence, looking down the road and suddenly exclaiming, “Why, who is that? It certainly looks like that scoundrel, Onesimus! But surely, he would not have the face to come back. Still, it looks very much like him. I will just watch and wait.”

A little later, he says, “I declare, it is Onesimus! He seems to be coming to the house. I suppose he has had a hard time in the world. The stolen money is all gone, and now perhaps he is coming to beg for pardon.”

As he comes up the pathway, Onesimus calls, “Master, Master!”

“Well, Onesimus, are you home again?”

“Yes, Master, read this, please.”

No other word would Onesimus speak for himself; Paul’s letter would explain all.

Philemon takes the letter, opens it, and begins to read: Paul, a prisoner of Jesus Christ.

“Why Onesimus, where did you meet Paul? Did you see him personally?”

“Yes, Master, in the prison in Rome; he led me to Christ.”

Unto Philemon our dearly beloved, and fellowlabourer.

“Little enough I have ever done, but that is just like Paul.”

And to our beloved Apphia. (That was Mrs. Philemon.)

“Come here, Apphia. Here is a letter from Paul.” When Mrs. Philemon sees Onesimus, she exclaims, “Are you back?”

One can imagine her mingled disgust and indignation as she sees him standing there. But Philemon says: “Yes, my dear, not a word. Here is a letter for us to read—a letter from Paul.”

Running on down the letter he comes to this: Yet for love’s sake, I rather beseech thee, being such an one as Paul the aged, and now also a prisoner of Jesus Christ. I beseech thee for my son Onesimus.

“Think of that! He must have been putting it over on Paul in some way or another.”

Whom I have begotten in my bonds.

“I wonder if he told him anything about the money he stole from us. I suppose he has been playing the religious game with Paul.”

Which in time past was to thee unprofitable.

“I should say he was.”

But now profitable to thee and to me.

“I am not so sure of that.”

Whom I have sent again.

“Paul must have thought a lot of him. If he didn’t serve him any better than he did me, he would not get much out of him.” He goes on reading through the letter.

“Well, well, that rascally, thieving liar! Maybe Paul believes he is saved, but I will never believe it unless I find out he owned up to the wrong he did me.”

What is this? If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on my account, I Paul have written it with mine own hand, I will repay it: albeit I do not say to thee how thou owest unto me even thine own self besides.
Oh, I think in a moment Philemon was conquered. “Why,” he says, “it is all out then. He has confessed his sin. He has acknowledged his thieving, owned his guilt, and, just think, Paul, that dear servant of God, suffering in prison for Christ’s sake, says: Put that on mine account. I will settle everything for him. Paul becomes his surety.” It was just as though Paul should write today: “Charge that to my account!”

A Gospel Picture

Is not this a picture of the Gospel? A picture of what the Savior has done for every penitent soul? I think I see Him as he brings the needy, humble sinner into the presence of God and says, “My Father, he has wronged Thee, he owes Thee much, but all has been charged to My account. Let him go free.” How could the Father turn aside the prayer of His Son after that death of shame and sorrow on Calvary’s Cross when He took our blame upon Himself and suffered in our stead?

But now observe, it is not only that Paul offered to become Onesimus’ surety, it was not merely that he offered to settle everything for Onesimus in regard to the past, but he provided for his future too. He says to Philemon: “If thou count me therefore a partner, receive him as myself.”
Is not that another aspect of our salvation? We are “accepted in the beloved.” The blessed Savior brings the redeemed one into the presence of the Father, and says, “My Father, if thou countest Me the partner of Thy throne, receive him as Myself.” Paul says, “Not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved, specially to me, but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh, and in the Lord?” He is to take the place, not of a bondsman, but of an honored member of the family and a brother in Christ. Think of it—once a poor, thieving, runaway slave, and now a recognized servant of Christ, made welcome for Paul’s sake. Thus our Father saves the lawless, guilty sinner and makes him welcome for Jesus’ sake, treating him as He treats His own beloved Son.

Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain:
He washed it white as snow.

And now every redeemed one is in Christ before God—yea, “made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Oh, wondrous love! Justice is satisfied. What a picture we have here then of substitution and acceptance. The apostle Paul epitomized it all for us:

Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. (Romans 4:25)

We are accepted in the Beloved. The Lord Jesus became our Surety, settled for all our past and has provided for all our future. In the book of Proverbs (11:15), there is a very striking statement, “He that is surety for a stranger shall smart for it; and he that hateth suretiship is sure.” These words were written centuries before the Cross, to warn men of what is still a very common ground for failure and ruin in business life. To go surety for a stranger is a very dangerous thing as thousands have learned to their sorrow. It is poor policy to take such a risk unless you are prepared to lose.
But there was One who knew to the full what all the consequences of His act would be, and yet, in grace, deigned to become “Surety for a stranger.”

Meditate upon these wonderful words:

For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich. (2 Corinthians 8:9)

He was the stranger’s Surety.

A surety is one who stands good for another. Many a man will do this for a friend, long known and trusted, but no wise man will so act for a stranger unless he is prepared to lose. But it was when we were strangers and foreigners and enemies, and alienated in our minds by wicked works, that Jesus in grace became our Surety.

Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God. (1 Peter 3:18)

All we owed was exacted from Him when He suffered upon the tree for sins not His own. He could then say, “I restored that which I took not away” (Psalm 69:4). The clergyman Robert Lowth’s beautiful rendering of Isaiah 53:7 reads: “It was exacted, and He became answerable.” This is the very essence of the Gospel message. He died in my place; He paid my debt.

How fully He proved the truth of the words quoted from Proverbs when He suffered on that cross of shame! How He had to “smart for it” when God’s awful judgment against sin fell upon Him. But He wavered not! In love to God and to the strangers whose Surety He had become, He “endured the cross, despising the shame” (Hebrews 12:2).

His sorrows are now forever past. He has paid the debt, met every claim in perfect righteousness. The believing sinner is cleared of every charge, and God is fully glorified.

Savior, Surety, Lamb of God,
Thou hast bought us with Thy blood;
Thou hast wiped the debt away,
Nothing left for us to pay.

None other could have met the claims of God’s holiness against the sinner and have come out triumphant at last. He alone could atone for sin. Because He has settled every claim, God has raised Him from the dead, and seated Him at His own right hand in highest glory.

Have you trusted “the stranger’s Surety”? If not, turn to Him now while grace is free.


*Warning: There is a short 1 or 2 minute video clip of the protests during the interview that contains profanities (not by Woodson or the interviewer). You can fast forward this short piece and continue with just the interview.

To read more by Harry Ironside, visit www.harryironside.com.

(Painting is in the public domain; taken from http://thebiblerevival.com/clipart.htm.

 

Comments From Lighthouse Trails Readers on America’s Present Upheaval

Upheaval: “a violent or sudden change or disruption to something.”

LTRP Note: The following comments are from Lighthouse Trails readers over the past two weeks.

____________________

I heard from a friend in California last night. Her home is near an area where businesses are boarding up their windows and doors because of riots and that’s also not far from her workplace. She is staying with some friends right now who live far from the riots. At this point she is still going to work, but she may start working from home if this continues. She has been skeptical in the past about things like this — ironically, she thought the mainstream media made things seem worse than they really were (which they do if they’re talking about conservatives) — but is seeing the truth firsthand now.


The Lord saved me on August 1st 1983 at the age of 32. While in college, I was a rebel without a clue. A liberal wanting to change the world. Marxist Ideology was in full swing. I was “championing the oppressed.” Marxist leaders could call all of us “Useful Idiots.” Why? Because we were helping them to destroy our own society for their Communist cause. Most of the media today is owned by Marxist/Communist satanists. Good is bad and bad is good. They are liars. Truth is bad. The riots are good to them. Riots are bad to us. Many in our government seem to side with rioters and have been handcuffing the police. Pray for peace. We live in dangerous times.

David Horowitz, who was raised hard-line Communist (as was Obama, whose mom and her parents, who raised him, were radical communists), says there is no real difference between socialism and communism. He says that if our country goes “socialist,” it will become communist. That is their agenda (2016 and onward was “supposed” to be Part 3) and the great majority of our national media are in bed with them, totally complicit.

Anyone who ever had to read 1984 in school knows that it didn’t happen by that year (by the grace of God), but there is a whole cadre of “leaders” who want to lead us in that direction. They were thwarted in 2016 and have been out for revenge ever since. Hence the false attacks on the current president from Day One, and now the current events of this election year, and how they have all been / are being reported.


This poor man [David Dorn]! This is how his life ended, bleeding in the street like a dog? No one helped? No one cared? “And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.” ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭24:12‬ ‭NKJV‬‬ Not one mention of this in the leftist media! Why? Because Mr. Dorn didn’t fit the narrative! There is dominance in fear and emotionalism and the media perpetuates this narrative 24/7! It’s sickening “But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.” ‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭3:13‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Do the preachers in the pulpits stand against the atrocities of abortion, the highest numbers being in the African American communities? I’ll wait! Still waiting! Where’s the peaceful protests, riots, looting? It’s appalling to watch the utter destruction of people’s livelihoods and communities! Praying for the families of Mr. Floyd and Mr. Dorn. Let’s stand firm brothers and sisters🙏🏽


There is black on black murder daily in Chicago and Dems do not care. Chicago never improves. Most of the babies aborted at Planned Parenthood are black. Dems do not care. Margaret Sanger, who started Planned Parenthood, or is championed by them was an extreme racist, saying that there were superior races and other races should be sterilized, something she actually did to those she deemed unfit for procreation.


I do remember the fact that God was booed at the DNC [Democrat National Convention]. I also remember the fact that the Obama administration was hostile toward Bible-believing Christians, that courts were forcing them to pay draconian fines, go to jail, and even lose their businesses (their livelihoods, by which they supported their families) if they could not in good conscience violate God’s Word in order to provide services for weddings. That was just one issue; there were many more.

David Horowitz (raised Communist; now a conservative) has written a book about that administration’s hostility toward Bible-believing Christians. Even though he is not one, he saw that very clearly. Radical Son is his autobiography, and very enlightening in the wake of current events re: socialists in this country who want to turn our country in that direction. I highly recommend it for anyone who wants to understand what has happened in our nation since the 1960s/’70s, what has brought us to where we are now.


The word slave comes from the word Slavic because hundreds of yrs. ago Muslims would kidnap women in the slavic northern countries to put into Arabic harems. The Hebrews were slaves for hundreds of yrs. in Egypt. Hebrews owned slaves but had to free them every 7 years if they desired to be free. The slave trade still continues in Africa when Muslims kidnap non-Muslims and force them to become Muslims. The first anti-slavery movement in the West started with Evangelical preachers and evangelists in Great Britain; this movement went west and continued with Evangelical preachers in America. . . . A person should not be judged by the color of his/her skin but on the content of character. God does not see the color of our skin but only our heart. Racial division was encouraged by the Obama administration and friends. . . The brother of George Floyd is extremely saddened by the violence and riots that have followed. His brother would not have condoned the horror that has come, which is political and funded to some degree by G. Soros. Some are paid rioters. Much of what has happened has nothing to do with George Floyd. Even the Fairfax District in L.A. was vandalized–a Jewish area.


Having been born & raised in Santa Monica, my understanding is that it would take very little manpower to post guard on Ocean, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th & Lincoln by Wilshire, Arizona, Broadway & Colorado. The business-heavy 3rd Street Promenade & Santa Monica Place are within this very small section of town right next to the police dept. In my estimation, there is no excuse for looters. None. My almost daughter (whom I’ll call Witness) was on a road trip in Santa Monica Sun 5/31/20 & Facetimed me on 4th & Broadway around noon, just a block from the Vans Shoe Store. Police had already blocked off the nearby California Incline & San Vicente access to Ocean Ave, so how come they could not secure a few more city blocks?!

Witness later parked near 16th above Wilshire & walked back to downtown area to see what she could see, noting five helicopters. Must have been the scripted news crews because just one true police copter zooming in on an area would send thousands to flight. How sad that with five coptors overhead, Witness noted seven men dressed in black going in to business on Wilshire & Lincoln with trash bags. She said she was the only one seeing this. There’s a famous saying: “All the world’s a stage,” brought to us by an entity known as Shakespeare—perhaps one person, or maybe a group of 50 or more working as a team. An SM classmate of mine who makes movies said the “looting” appeared to be well-organized. Together, Everyone Achieves More. Who is this…


Christians of all races have barely spoken up against the culture promoted now which is destroying the family unit. Crime is rampant among the many fatherless among us, regardless of color. Sin is rampant and unchecked now. May true Christians not succumb to hearts that wax cold because of the abounding iniquity, as Jesus spoke about.


A lot of issues have been about race ever since African Americans were stolen by white so-called Christians and brought to America as slaves. The white church did nothing to combat slavery except for a few white godly abolitionists. They were true Christians. The white church did nothing to combat the evils of Jim Crow. The only changes that really occurred were through peaceful protests that changed laws. The white church especially the evangelical church (not all white Christians) has not really stood up against racism. There is a stance against abortion, which it should be, but my question is when will the white church fully stand up against racism? America has never apologized or really dealt with the evils committed to African Americans and the results are what we see today. African Americans are tired of being mistreated and devalued. I do not condone rioting and looting but understand it even though it is wrong. The left CANNOT be blamed for division…our country has always been divided!

Racism is a condition of the heart until the heart changes racism will continue. This is why the gospel needs to be preached and at the same time, the white church needs to speak out and fight against the evils of racism. I believe that if so-called Christians would have fought racism in the past and not had been purveyors of it, we would not see what we see today.


Editor’s Note: While we sense and sympathize with the pain and distress of the above reader’s comment, we cannot agree with all of his statements.

It’s sad that “Christians” get blamed by so many for racism when Darwin’s evolutionary ideologies that have permeated our schools and society have done much much more damage. And . . . not everyone who says they are Christian are actually that. A truly born-again believer with Christ living inside could not, in good conscience, hate or show cruelty to someone who is of a different skin color. This is not compatible with the teachings of Jesus Christ. But many have claimed to be Christian then in His name do atrocities. The Lord will say, I never knew you.

 We do agree with our reader that racism is a condition of the heart. The cruelty done to Jews and African Americans over the centuries is worse than tragic. 1 John 4: 7 and 8 are verses that say much truth: “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.”

Below is a another LT reader response to the previous comment:

I agree and disagree. 🙂

A few points: 1) Not all slaves were stolen. Many were sold by their brothers. Alex Haley (author of Roots) talked about this, and there is historical evidence for it. 2) White churches did indeed speak up against slavery and also put their lives on the line to get slaves to safety. The Underground Railroad was manned by Christian families whose homes were used as stops, and they delivered “packages” (their code word) to safe places. Slave hunters were hunting for them too. 3) Americans and church denominations have indeed apologized for actions which they themselves did not commit, but for the actions of people who lived in the past.

Christ Jesus made it very clear that not all who profess to be His really are His children. We should not paint all white churches and all Christians with a broad brush by blaming them all for the actions of people and churches whose actions were disobedient to the Lord.

One issue which many people miss or don’t know about (and I’ve known some who studiously ignored it) is that Charles Darwin’s seminal book about evolution Origin of the Species promotes racism. Its subtitle is “For the Preservation of the Races” and its premise is that some races are superior to others. This is totally contrary to God’s Word which teaches us that “God has made of One Blood all men” (caps for emphasis). The teaching of evolution in our schools has led to much corruption in our nation, including this.


From all I’ve heard and read, Officer Chauvin in Minneapolis should not have been on the police force. He had had multiple incidents of misusing his authority. Why was he even on the force even more? Those who condoned his ill behavior by keeping him on the force should also be held to account for his wrongful actions.

The title of this article is so true, and the Lord has been emphasizing Ephesians 6 to me for quite some time (“For we wrestle not with flesh and blood, but with principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this world and spiritual wickedness in high places; therefore, take unto yourselves the whole armor of God …”. ALL true Christians need to be interceding for this issue and every other evil issue afflicting our nation, right now. The LORD is able to do exceeding, abundantly above all we can ask or think! Ephesians 3


That article hits it on the nail all around! . . . But this is unprecedented, and orchestrate ,. . . I even saw signs being held (on the news) about how ‘white silence equals violence.’ If they mean not condemning it, okay, but just not if they want to coerce people into marching. I will not be coerced into anything and tend to avoid these things altogether, and I have that right; it doesn’t mean anything that they want to try and twist it into meaning. And the false claims of ‘privilege’ have been touted too. Mark my words, the events in the future are orchestrated to sculpt man’s actions and usher him into a false choice such as that; “if you don’t do this, then you are like that,” etc. They will come after us for not being manipulated.

All of this is connected. The covid events were for manufactured compliance to a global tyranny. Now this race war is being used for the manipulation and division of the masses. The masks too, “if you don’t do this, then you are guilty” etc., no more individual autonomy, it’s all for the ‘collective good’ you see… that you comply… etc. It’s all leading to the oneness campaign. All of these things have been planned and implemented behind the scenes. It’s just all coming out on stage now. And soon one of the next events will be like the one in NZ involving a religious nature, more manipulated coercion, more propaganda for the ‘oneness’ campaign, more promotion of the one world religion, and more vilification of those who refuse to join in, refuse to comply, and choose to remain separate as a witness for Jesus as the one and only way of salvation, the truth, and the only way to heaven! I am in THAT group!


I could write a long post, but it boils down to (after years of wrestling with this) the fact that I’ve determined that I will not be bullied into accepting guilt for things that I’ve never done, and I will continue to do my best to love everyone!


The video by Candace Owens was removed by the apostate media. The truth is not what they want us to see about the riots in America. Black Americans are trying to stop Antifa terrorists from burning down and destroying stores where they live. These Black Americans hate what they are doing! The terrorists are telling children to throw rocks! This is sick. Pray for the black parents, the police and the National Guard that they can return America to peace.


David Reagan, in this short video, makes the point that while God calls HIS people to repent and pray, we have substituted that by turning to Patriotism. Nothing wrong with loving our country, and supporting the President, but God is calling us to something else, and we are largely ignoring Him, or, as we pray, we ask Him to heal our land without meeting the conditions. https://youtu.be/M0U3sDg0Euk


In my town, much was made in the media that several successive nights of demonstrations had been peaceful. 24 hours after it happened, it was revealed that a couple, in their car with their three children, were driving on a street at the very outer edge of the “downtown” area, were stopped by demonstrators, somehow pulled out of their car, and beaten up in front of their three kids (who, thank God, were not harmed – physically). Media manipulation.


 For decades we have warned about what was to come and now it is well underway, we are still surprised by the madness of it all as society falls apart. Maranatha – and yet, there is so much more to come.
James 4:8


Smart people with bombs, rocks and general mayhem. Reminds me of the Romans when they invaded Gaul and the Britons and look how that turned out. God is good; people in sin are not. And in the end I look forward to the Justice of the Righteousness of Christ to bring this madness of destruction, pain and suffering to an end.


This has morphed into something other than Justice for George Floyd. It’s about destroying capitalism and Western Civilization.


“The Lord tests the righteous, But the wicked and the one who loves violence His soul hates.” Psalm 11:5


More than ever, we need the churches to open. People are in open rebellion and a melt-down of this type is no good. And the toll not only in property damage is going to be high but the relationship with the police authority and people will break down completely. I am desperately praying for the U.S. and what’s happening. I live in Canada.


I am a racial minority and understand first hand bad treatment because of that. M stories are manifold and painful. Any racial prejudice is wrong and the Word make its clear in Galatians 3:28, rooted back to the Old Testament, Exodus 22:21 and most importantly, John 3:16-21.   The only solution is not racial diversity but the unspeakable salvation that brings the true love of God to all men who accept our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as the only way, truth, life and the pathway to the Father as found in the Word of God.

 

 

(photo from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission; design by LT)

“St. Louis Police Captain [David Dorn] Killed by Looters at Pawn Shop”
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photo: David Dorn

LTRP Note: The following is posted for research and informational purposes.

June 3rd, By Robert Gearty
Fox News

Authorities say looters shot and killed a retired St. Louis police captain early Tuesday, according to reports.

David Dorn, 77, suffered a gunshot wound to his torso about 2:30 a.m. Tuesday and died on a sidewalk in front of the looted shop, Lee’s Pawn & Jewelry, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. The paper reported the shooting was apparently recorded on Facebook Live. The Ethical Society of Police, a St. Louis black officers fraternal organization, mourned Dorn in a tweet as “the type of brother that would’ve given his life to save them if he had to.” Click here to continue reading.

 

“DOJ Has Evidence That Antifa, Other Similar Groups Have ‘Instigated’ Violent Activity”

By Bowen Xiao
The Epoch Times

The Department of Justice has evidence that the far-left extremist organization Antifa and other similar groups have been behind the recent riots in order to fuel their own violent agenda, according to Attorney General William Barr.

Barr told reporters at a June 4 presser that there are “three different sets of actors” involved, including peaceful demonstrators, opportunistic looters, and extremist agitators. Foreign actors have also played a role in the violence, he said.

“We have evidence that Antifa and other similar extremist groups, as well as actors of a variety of different political persuasions, have been involved in instigating and participating in the violent activity,” he said. “We are also seeing foreign actors playing all sides to exacerbate the violence.” Click here to continue reading.

Related News:

At Least 6 Shots Fired at Denver Protest of George Floyd’s Death

While Defending Rioters, The Media Ignores Slain Black Police Officers

The Left’s Normalization Of Collective Guilt Is Ripping America Apart

Chicago pastor: Liberal policies to blame for ‘burned and looted’ community

4 reasons the ‘collective culpability’ racket is dangerous: During my lifetime, the national conversation about race has gradually moved from culpability for individual behavior to culpability for ideology to collective culpability without regard to behavior or ideology. This transition is significant. It is deliberate. And it is dangerous.

 

A Picture Says a Thousand Words . . .

From Behold Israel Twitter

Media Falsely Claims Violent Riots Were Peaceful in a Nation Gone Mad
LTRP Note: The following two news stories (and two more links below the stories) from NON-mainstream media are posted for research and informational purposes and to issue a warning to our readers to use discerning wisdom and judgment when choosing which media outlets to listen to during these challenging and perilous times. Remember, things are not always as they seem, and mainstream media has proven it cannot be trusted.

Story #1: “Media Falsely Claimed Violent Riots Were Peaceful And That Tear Gas Was Used Against Rioters”

By Mollie Hemingway
The Federalist

Following days of violent riots and looting in cities across the country, Washington, D.C., announced a 7 p.m. curfew on Monday night. About the same time, President Donald Trump addressed the nation from the Rose Garden. Afterward, he walked through Lafayette Park to St. John’s Episcopal Church, which rioters had set on fire the night before. Standing before the church sign, which reads “All are welcome,” President Trump, who previously said he’d be paying his respects to a very special place, held up a Bible.

The speech announcing the country would return to rule of law and protection of civil liberties, the walk through a park that the night before had been given over to rioters, and the visit to the vandalized historic church where every president has worshiped since James Madison, were reassuring to many in the country. . . .

Every single major media outlet falsely reported that Park Police were unprovoked when they used “tear gas” to clear the area. If any of that were true, it might mark the first time in history that cops without gas masks launched tear gas in an area that the president of the United States easily walked through minutes later. Click here to continue reading.

Story #2: “The Nation Has Gone Mad”

By Tristan Justice
The Federalist

In case you had any doubt, yes, the nation has gone mad.

Last week, the death of a Minnesota black man named George Floyd ignited the worst outbreak of civil disobedience in recent history plunging a nation already under lockdown stress further into anarchy as angry rioters take to the streets terrorizing American cities in the name of social justice.

Floyd’s death at the knees of a Minneapolis police officer caught on tape was clearly unjust, rightfully setting off a wave of anger over the killing of a black civilian who appeared to be no threat. As the protests got underway however, demonstrations quickly took a darker turn in a nation grappling with record levels of unemployment and an ongoing public health pandemic. With more than 40 million unemployed Americans roaming the streets of a country fatigued under 10-week lockdowns, a nation that has been increasingly convinced by a Left-wing movement that it is irredeemably racist and full of white supremacists was primed for the storm of civil unrest it is now suffering. Click here to continue reading.

Related Articles:

The Media Are Lying To You About Everything, Including The Riots

Antifa, Other Far-Left Groups Exploit Protests for ‘Revolution’

(illustration from bigstockphoto.com; used with permission)

Riots Spread to Canada: “Montreal Antifa Website Calls for Attacks on Police, Says Looting Is ‘Legitimate'”

June 5 - By Cosmin Dzurdzsa
True North News
 (Canada)

A Montreal-based Antifa website has issued calls for further violence against police and more looting of Canadian businesses “because everyone should have nice things.” 

Montreal Counter-Information has a longstanding history of instructing anarchists on violent tactics and sabotage. The website serves as a communications base where various groups and users share information and communiques within Montreal’s Antifa community. 

In one anonymous submission published on Tuesday titled “Bring the Uprising Home”, the article calls for anarchists to replicate the violent US riots within Canadian cities.  Click here to continue reading.

Related News:

Vancouver Businesses Board Up Storefronts

In Such a Time as This, Let Us Pray . . .

LTRP Note: As we witness the distressing events happening all around us, let those who name the name of Jesus Christ and put their trust in Him pray that God’s Word and the Gospel of Jesus Christ would go forth, that hearts would be softened, and that many would turn their lives over to the Lord in humility, faith, and truth. The Bible says that God is “longsuffering” and does not want any to “perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). Repentance means changing direction – turning around and turning toward God. May many do that in this country and around the world.

The following piece by Warren B. Smith is a reminder of the importance of prayer.

Praying Through It All

By Warren B. Smith

PRAYER
Prayer was appointed to convey
The blessings God designs to give;
Long as they live should Christians pray;
For only when they pray they live.

And shall we in dead silence lie,
When Christ stands waiting for our prayer?
My soul, thou hast a Friend on high;
Arise and try thy interest there.

If pain afflict, or wrongs oppress;
If cares distract, or fears dismay;
If guilt deject, if sin distress;
The remedy’s before thee—Pray!

Depend on Christ, thou canst not fail;
Make all thy wants and wishes known.
Fear not; His merits must prevail;
Ask what thou wilt; it shall be done!1
—Joseph Hart

E. M. Bounds (1835-1913) authored a number of classic books on prayer. A former attorney who became a preacher, editor, author, and intercessory prayer warrior, Bounds reputedly arose at four each morning and prayed for three hours. In his book The Necessity of Prayer, Bounds wrote:

God’s Word is a record of prayer—of praying men and their achievements, of the Divine warrant of prayer and of the encouragement given to those who pray.2

He described the urgency of prayer as:

. . . a mighty movement of the soul toward God. It is a stirring of the deepest forces of the soul, toward the throne of heavenly grace. It is the ability to hold on, press on, and wait. Restless desire, restful patience, and strength of grasp are all embraced in it. It is not an incident, or a performance, but a passion of soul. It is not a want, half-needed, but a sheer necessity.3

He further wrote:

Nothing distinguishes the children of God so clearly and strongly as prayer. It is the one infallible mark and test of being a Christian. Christian people are prayerful, the worldly-minded, prayerless. Christians call on God; worldlings ignore God, and call not on His Name. But even the Christian had need to cultivate continual prayer. Prayer must be habitual, but much more than a habit. It is duty, yet one which rises far above, and goes beyond the ordinary implications of the term. It is the expression of a relation to God, a yearning for Divine communion.4

Jesus Our Mediator

Scripture tells us Jesus Christ is the one mediator between God and man (1 Timothy 2:5) and that we are to take everything to God through Him in prayer. He is our Lord, our Savior, and our Friend.

WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS
What a Friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry,
Everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!

Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful,
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness;
Take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden,
Cumbered with a load of care?
Precious Saviour, still our refuge—
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?
Take it to the Lord in prayer!
In His arms He’ll take and shield thee,
Thou wilt find a solace there.

Blessed Saviour, Thou hast promised—
Thou wilt all our burdens bear;
May we ever, Lord, be bringing,
All to Thee in earnest prayer.
Soon in glory bright, unclouded,
There will be no need for prayer—
Rapture, praise, and endless worship
Will be our sweet portion there.
—Joseph M. Scriven (1855)

Biblical Prayer

Pray to God
Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near. (Isaiah 55:6)

Thus saith the LORD the maker thereof, the LORD that formed it, to establish it; the LORD is his name; Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. (Jeremiah 33:2-3)

Pray God’s Will Be Done
And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. (1 John 5:14-15)

Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: thy spirit is good; lead me into the land of uprightness. (Psalm 143:10)

Pray in Jesus Name
For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. (1 Timothy 2:5-6)

And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. (John 14:13-14)

Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. (John 16:23-24)

Pray and Abide in Jesus
If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. (John 15:7)

Watch and Pray
Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. (Matthew 26:41)

But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. (1 Peter 4:7)

And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. (Luke 21:34-36)

Pray in the Morning
Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation. Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray. My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up. (Psalm 5:1-3)

Pray Morning, Noon, and Evening
As for me, I will call upon God; and the LORD shall save me. Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry a loud: and he shall hear my voice. (Psalm 55:16-17)

Pray Everywhere
I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting. (1 Timothy 2:8)

Pray Continually
Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer. (Romans 12:9-12)

Pray Unceasingly
Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-17)

Pray Always
And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint. (Luke 18:1)

Pray with Striving
Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me. (Romans 15:30)

Pray with Faith
Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. (Matthew 21:21-22)

But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)

Pray Humbly
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

Pray Boldly
Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16)

According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him. (Ephesians 3:11-12)

Pray Fervently
The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. (James 5:16)

Pray and Sing Praises
And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed. (Acts 16:25-26)

Pray With Thanksgiving
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)

Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving. (Colossians 4:2)

Pray for One Another
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. (James 5:16)

Pray for Your Enemies
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; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? (Matthew 5:44-46)

Pray For All Men
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:1-4)

Pray in Your Closet
And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. (Matthew 6:5-6)

Pray Without Repetition
But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. (Matthew 6:7-8)

Pray With Forgiveness
Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses. (Mark 11:24-26)

Pray For Forgiveness
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:8-9)

Pray With Crying and Strong Tears
So also Christ glorified not himself to be made an high priest; but he that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. As he saith also in another place, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec. Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared; Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered; And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him. (Hebrews 5:5-9)

Pray Being Righteous
The LORD is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous. (Proverbs 15:29)

For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. (1 Peter 3:12)

Pray Being Upright
The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight. (Proverbs 15:8)

Pray for Wisdom
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. (James 1:5-7)

Pray the Lord’s Prayer
After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. (Matthew 6:9-13)

Pray and Fast
And they said unto him, Why do the disciples of John fast often, and make prayers, and likewise the disciples of the Pharisees; but thine eat and drink? And he said unto them, Can ye make the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days. (Luke 5:33-35)

Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting. (Matthew 17:19-21)

Pray to be Kept from Enemy Devices
Keep me from the snares which they have laid for me, and the gins of the workers of iniquity. (Psalm 141:9)

Pray for Deliverance from Persecution
My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me. Make thy face to shine upon thy servant: save me for thy mercies’ sake. (Psalm 31:15-16)

O LORD my God, in thee do I put my trust: save me from all them that persecute me, and deliver me. (Psalm 7:1)

Attend unto my cry; for I am brought very low: deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I. (Psalm 142:6)

Pray With the Holy Spirit Interceding
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8:26-27)

But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. (Jude 1:20-21)

Pray With All Perseverance and Supplication in the Spirit
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching there unto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints. (Ephesians 6:18)

Pray For Laborers
But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest. (Matthew 9:36-38)

And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey: and the LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment. And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor, therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him. (Isaiah 59:14-16)

Pray for Doors of Opportunity
Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds. That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak. (Colossians 4:3-4)

Pray That God’s Word Has Free Course
Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you. (2 Thessalonians 3:1)

Pray Not to be Prideful

Let not the foot of pride come against me, and let not the hand of the wicked remove me. (Psalm 36:11)

Pray to be Proven
Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart. (Psalm 26:2)

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:23-24)

Pray for Help
Help me, O LORD my God: O save me according to thy mercy. (Psalm 109:26)

O LORD, I am oppressed; undertake for me. (Isaiah 38:14)

Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man. (Psalm 60:11)

Pray For Mercy
Have mercy upon me, O LORD, for I am in trouble, (Psalm 31:9)

Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me; for I am desolate and afflicted. The troubles of my heart are enlarged: O bring thou me out of my distresses. (Psalm 25:16-17)

Hear, O LORD, and have mercy upon me: LORD, be thou my helper. (Psalm 30:10)

Pray That We Recognize Our Frailty and Vanity
LORD, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am. Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. (Psalm 39:4-5)

Pray Concerning Unbelief
Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief. (Mark 9:23-24)

Pray to Be Saved
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Romans 10:13)

Pray to be Led by the Lord
For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me. (Psalm 31:3)

Teach me thy way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies. (Psalm 27:11)

O send out thy light and thy truth: let them lead me; let them bring me unto thy holy hill, and to thy tabernacles. (Psalm 43:3)

Pray God Would Order Your Steps
Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me. (Psalm 119:133)

Pray for Strength Through God’s Word
My soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen thou me according unto thy word. (Psalm 119:28)

Pray to be Quickened Through God’s Word
Quicken me, O LORD, for thy name’s sake: for thy righteousness’ sake bring my soul out of trouble. (Psalm 143:11)

I am afflicted very much: quicken me, O LORD, according unto thy word. (Psalm 119:107)

Pray For Cleansing
Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me. (Psalm 51:1-3)

Pray For a Right Spirit
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee. (Psalm 51:10-13)

Pray for Acceptability
Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer. (Psalm 19:14)

Pray for Jerusalem
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee. (Psalm 122:6)

Pray For God’s Peace
The LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace. (Numbers 6:24-26)

Prayer for the Church

For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. (Ephesians 3:14-21)


The article above is also in booklet format. If you would like to order copies to share with others, click here. You may also freely print a copy from this blog to share with someone. To learn more about Warren Smith, you may visit his website.

ENDNOTES:
1. D. L. Moody, Prevailing Prayer: What Hinders It (Chicago, IL: F.H. Revell, 1884), p. 5.
2. E. M. Bounds, The Complete Works of E. M. Bounds on Prayer (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1990), p. 66.
3. Ibid., p. 39.
4. Ibid.

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