Why Abraham

GEN 11:31 And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son’s son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram’s wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there. And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years: and Terah died in Haran. 12:1  Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:  And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:  And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

The Old Testament does not really outline why Abraham was chosen.  Yes, it is true that the scriptures verify that Abraham was a great man of faith and he believed God.  Further, his faith was drastically tested and he passed the test.  However, what were the circumstances that led to God picking Abraham in the first place?  The account of Abram’s being called out is given in the Book of Jasher.  Some of you may remember the phrase, “written in the Book of Jasher” which is a direct quote from Joshua 10:13 and II Samuel 1:18.  When we understand why Abram was called out, we can then understand his legacy as a blessing to the earth and his seed.

The Book of Jasher gives us some general background about Abram.  Abram was born in the days of King Nimrod in the times before the tower of Babel fell.  His Father Terah was a chief military officer in Nimrod’s army.  All of the earth was of one tongue and words of union, but Nimrod did not go in the ways of the Lord, and he was more wicked than all the men that were before him, from the days of the flood until those days.  And he made gods of wood and stone, and he bowed down to them, and he rebelled against the Lord, and taught all his subjects and the people of the earth his wicked ways; and Mardon his son was more wicked than  his father. Jasher 7:46, 47.  Abram was also a contemporary of Noah and Shem and secretly visited them at times to receive instruction in the ways of the Lord.  So this sets the stage for the advent of the birth of Abram who the Lord called to turn away the earth from worship of many idolatrous gods.

The birth of Abram has many similarities to the birth of Jesus.  On the night that he was born, the wise men and conjurors saw a large star swallow up four other stars.  They were alarmed for King Nimrod and made this report to him.  And thy servants were astonished at the sight which we saw, and were greatly terrified, and we made our judgment upon the sight, and knew by our wisdom the proper interpretation thereof, that this thing applies to the child that is born to Terah, who will grow up and multiply greatly, become powerful, and kill all kings of the earth, and inherit all their lands, he and his seed forever.  … If it seemeth good to the king to give his father value for this child, we will slay him before he shall grow up and increase in the land … Jasher 8:11, 13  Much like the story of Herod and the child Jesus, it was thought that Abram was killed, but he was secretly taken to a cave for 10 years and then later to Noah and Shem.

Later Abram returned to Terah’s house.  And Terah had twelve gods of large size, made of wood and stone, after the twelve months of the year, and he served each one monthly, and every month Terah would bring his meat offering and drink offer to his gods; thus did Terah all the days. Jash 9:8  When Abram saw all this he pondered within his heart the meaning.  And Abram saw the sun shining upon the earth, and Abram said unto himself Surely now this sun that shines upon the earth is God, and him will I serve.  And Abram served the sun in that day and he prayed to him, and when even came the sun set as usual, and Abram said within himself, Surely this cannot be God.  …  And Abram saw the stars and moon before him, and he said, Surely this is the God who created the whole earth as well as man, and behold these his servants are gods around him, and Abram served the moon and prayed to it that night. And in the morning when it was light and sun shone upon the earth as usual, Abram saw all the things that the Lord God had made upon earth.  And Abram said unto himself  Surely these are not gods that made the earth and all mankind, but these are the servants of God; and Abram remained in the house of Noah and there knew the Lord and his ways, and he served the Lord all the days of his life, and all that generation [Nimrod’s] forgot the Lord, and served other gods of wood and stone, and rebelled all their days.  Jash 9:13-15, 17-19.

From the writings of Dayspring. [To be continued].

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Praising God Through the Storm

Andrew Wommack

“Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say REJOICE.”  –Philippians 4:4

The Effects of Praise

A life of praise is not only the most enjoyable way to live, it’s also one of the most powerful ways to change your life. It doesn’t only affect you, It also affects those around you, God, and even the devil!

While we can all agree that praising God is good, many only choose to do so when they feel like it. They think that praising God is only the response of a positive outcome. They allow their emotions and circumstances to lead them, which should NEVER be the case. Praise is not the inevitable byproduct that comes because everything is going right. It is the driving force!

We may not feel joyful, but Galatians 5:2 tells us that the fruit of the Spirit is joy! Therefore, if the Holy Spirit is dwelling inside you, you have joy. You may not feel it, but you can still choose to life up your hands and speak forth praise by faith. When we praise in the midst of our hardships, our problems shrink, helping us keep our focus where it needs to be–on God.

We will never be victors until we stop being victims. With the help of daily praise, you will get there!

The Key to True Happiness

Andrew Wommack

True happiness isn’t dependent on circumstances… it’s dependent on God.

How To Be Happy

Everyone longs for happiness, but few possess it. Happiness isn’t a state of being; it’s a state of mind. A person can be happy when everyone and everything around them is in turmoil. They can be content no matter what their financial or physical conditions might be. So, how do we acquire happiness?

First, we need to deal with what’s on the inside. Most people take a different approach; they want to deal with the outside. They pray for their problems to be solved and that only good things and good people will come their way. Guess what? That ain’t going to happen!

As long as we are in this world, we will have problems John 16:33. And if we are living for God, we will have persecutions 2 Tim. 3:12. If you never bump into the devil, it’s because you’re going in the same direction. When you turn around and start swimming upstream, you will always encounter resistance. People and circumstances might start working against you. You can’t always control what goes on outside, but you can control what goes on inside when faced with that resistance. When you understand that, you will have discovered one of the greatest keys to happiness. In addition, you will be on your way to eliminating grief in your life. You see, it’s not your problems that are the problem; it’s the way you see your problems and the value you place on them that makes them a problem.

Romans 8:18 says, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Our future is so bright, we have to squint to look at it. All the sufferings of this life are short and insignificant compared to eternity and all the pleasures the Lord has in store for us. True happiness and contentment isn’t dependent upon circumstances– it lies in Jesus and our future with Him.

So What! – He’s God and you’re Not!

Many who claim unbelief in God continuously give the most ludicrous reasons for their unbelief.

Scripture teaches and Christ Jesus demonstrated to us a God who is good, compassionate, loving, forgiving, merciful, righteous, holy, full of power and authority. Yet, those who twist scripture to justify their own desires would have you believe that God is none of the things mentioned above – instead, they choose to ascribe malevolent characteristics to Him in order to reason against the reverence and worship of Him.

“The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.” Psalm 145:8

“He [Jonah] prayed to the LORD, “Isn’t this what I said, LORD, when I was still at home? That is what I tried to forestall by fleeing to Tarshish. I knew that You are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity.” Jonah 4:2

Even if God was none of the above and all the things these people say He is, they are still without excuse or reason for not worshipping or praising Him, simply because He IS God, and He made them.

God IS who He IS. He’s not who you wish Him to be!

God IS your Creator. You didn’t create Him, and neither did you create yourself or anything else for that matter. It’s not up to you to pick and choose in order to satisfy your foolish pride.

God IS your judge. Your stupid judgments of Him mean absolutely nothing.

So what if you don’t like the doctrine or idea of hell!

So what if you do not know or understand the reasoning behind God’s righteous judgments! Who are you to think that you can stand in judgment over the Supreme Judge of the Universe!

Who are you to label his righteous judgments as genocide. Is this your creation? Did you set the laws that govern both the spiritual and the natural in place? Can you even govern your own mind?

So what if you don’t understand how and why God does things.

So what God doesn’t conform to your ignorant standards!

He IS God and you are NOT! It’s not up to you to decide whether or not He’s worthy of praise and worship!

Know yourself and know your place in this universe.

“O Lord, I know that the path of [life of] a man is not in himself; It is not within [the limited ability of] man [even one at his best] to choose and direct his steps [in life].” Jeremiah 10:23

Godlessness and End Times Deceptions

…Knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. 2 Peter 3:3

See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception [pseudo-intellectual babble], according to the tradition [and musings] of mere men, following the elementary principles of this world, rather than following [the truth—the teachings of] Christ. Colossians 2:8

The following excerpt was taken from a post of one claiming to be a “closet atheist Christian missionary female” :

God to us:

“You’re not enough.  You should be dead.  You should burn.  You are a horrible person.  There is so much evil in you.  You are evil.  Don’t trust yourself.  Don’t trust your emotions. Don’t trust your judgement.  It isn’t good enough, it could be evil and most likely is.  You will ruin yourself.  And everyone and everything around you.

“But don’t worry, just be in relationship with me.  Then it’ll get better.  You’ll get better.  Then you can say you’re sorry as often as you want!   And as long as you do so often enough and really actually be sorry, then I’ll let you be close to me.  Basically, you should just be in a constant state of sorry.  Because everything you do is covered by your stench of evil sin, so I have to go back over it and smear my son’s blood all over it to cover up the horrible smell that is you.

The rest of that garbage wasn’t worth pursuing… you already get the idea.

Seriously, is this the caliber of people (dangerous filthy liars) that some churches are sending out as ambassadors ( as representatives) of Christ to the nations!?

But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people2 Timothy 3

“And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.” Matthew 11:16

… who do not have to make up reckless, treacherous, disgusting lies in order to create offense.

Romans 9 – Pt. 4

14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! 15 For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” 16 So then it depends not on human will or exertion,[b] but on God, who has mercy. 17 For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” 18 So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.

VS 14: Paul was seeking to stop anyone from interpreting his statements in a way that would make it look like God was unfair in His dealings with man. God can extend mercy to an individual without treating others unjustly. Just as in the parable that Jesus gave in Matthew 20:1-16, God treats everyone fairly, but to some He chooses to give extra mercy. Does that mean He is unjust? Not at all.

If God chooses to call individuals to account for their actions and choices they have made of their own free will, He is completely justified to do that at any time. In Luke 13:1-9, Jesus mentioned the people whom Pilate had killed and mingled their blood with the sacrifices, and the people on whom the tower in Siloam fell and were killed. He raised the question (Luke 13:2 and 4), “Were these people worse sinners than others to suffer this judgment?” He answered His own question by saying that all of them deserved such judgment, but God in His mercy had spared them.

He then immediately followed that with the parable about the man with an unproductive tree in his vineyard. He was going to cut down this dead tree and replace it, but the vine dresser interceded for the tree. The owner then gave him some extra time to see if he could revive itVS. Likewise, people all deserve judgment, but through things such as the intercession of others, God will sometimes show extra mercy to certain individuals.

However, if He chose not to extend mercy to anyone and He called everyone’s accounts due, He would be completely justified in doing so. It’s His choice. God has never brought judgment on anyone without being righteous in doing so. Likewise, He has never extended mercy to any individual that made His treatment of someone else unfair.

VS 16: There is a very subtle trap that many people who have been used of God fall into. They see what God has accomplished through them, and they begin reasoning, “God must use me because of my great faithfulness.” But that is not the case. God has never had anyone qualified working for Him yet. God is a lot more merciful than we are faithful.

Commentary: awmi.net

Romans 9 – Pt. 3

 she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” 13 As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” 14 What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means!

VS 12: There is no record in Scripture that the individual Esau ever served the individual Jacob. However, Esau’s posterity (Edomites, Genesis 32:3) did serve Jacob’s posterity (1 Chronicles 18:13). Although Paul was making reference to the actual birth of these two individuals, the prophecy given to Rebekah and its fulfillment were referring to the nations that came from these men.

VS 13: God did not hate Esau and love Jacob while they were still in their mother’s womb. He did choose Jacob over Esau as the inheritor of Abraham’s blessing before they were born, but Esau could have walked with God and have been blessed by God if he had chosen to do so.

Malachi 1:2-3 says, “I loved Jacob, and I hated Esau.” This was written in approximately 557-525 B.C., thousands of years after the birth of Esau and Jacob, so this is not speaking of God hating Esau at birth. There is no mention in Scripture that God hated the individual Esau. This reference to Esau was referring to the nation of Edom (Esau’s descendants) in the same way that the term Israel often referred to the entire nation of Israel, not the individual (Genesis 32:28). God was saying that He had rejected the nation of Edom and had chosen the nation of Israel.

Paul quoted from Malachi, not to show that God hated Esau and loved Jacob while they were still in their mother’s womb, but rather to confirm that the choice God made before they were born, based on His foreknowledge (see note 1 at Romans 8:29), was the right choice. Jacob went on to become a mighty man of God, and Esau despised the things of God. God’s choice of Jacob didn’t cause this to happen. This quotation from Malachi simply confirms that God’s foreknowledge was accurate.

Jacob was called to a higher position than his brother, Esau, before they were born, but that does not display any rejection of Esau on God’s part. That is comparable to God choosing certain people to be pastors while others are called to be deacons. The deacons are not inferior to the pastors. They are simply called to different positions. Jacob and Esau were called to different positions before they had done any good or evil, to illustrate that election was not based on performance but choice.

Commentary: awmi.net

Romans 9 -Pt. 2

But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring. For this is what the promise said: “About this time next year I will return, and Sarah shall have a son.” 10 And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, 11 though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls—

VS 6: Paul had just expressed a compassion for the Jewish race that was so strong that he was willing to be damned in their place if that would have produced their salvation. As he said in Romans 9:2, this produced “great heaviness and continual sorrow.”

According to Romans 9:4-5, one of the reasons he longed for the salvation of the Jews so intensely was because he himself was a Jew and he was acutely aware that Christ was the Jewish Messiah. How ironic it was that Jesus came unto His own and His own received Him not (John 1:11). Here Paul began to relate the reasoning that had enabled him to cope with the Jews’ tragic rejection of Jesus.

The promises made to Abraham and his descendants were not made to his physical descendants but to his spiritual seed (Romans 9:6-8). Therefore, the true people of God have not rejected their Messiah. There is a body of believers comprised of believing Jews and Gentiles, and they are the true Israel of God. To back this up, Paul cited the two Old Testament examples of Isaac (Romans 9:9) and Jacob (Romans 9:10-13) to illustrate how the blessing of God was not passed on through the normal method of inheritance but through election.

VS 8: Paul cited six Old Testament references to make his point that God’s promises to Abraham and his “seed” were made to the spiritual offspring of Abraham, not the physical.

First, Isaac was not the firstborn son of Abraham, entitled to the birthright and blessing, yet he obtained both because he was chosen by God. Next, Jacob was not the firstborn either, yet he was chosen by God. These two examples confirm that God’s promise was not inherited by birth.

Paul also pointed out that before Jacob and his twin brother, Esau, were born, God told Rebekah that the elder would serve the younger. They weren’t even born yet, so they had not done any good or evil that caused God to make this choice. This means that the blessing of Abraham was not obtained by individual performance either but was based solely on God’s choosing by grace.

VS 11: Paul was citing these Old Testament examples to show that those who were considered the children of Abraham were not his physical descendants, but they were chosen by God, in this case, before they were born. This proves God’s election is not based on birth or performance.

However, some people have interpreted this verse and the quotation from Malachi 1:2-3 in Romans 9:13 as an example of extreme predestination. They reason that Esau was hated by God before he was born. Therefore, some people are predestined by God for damnation, while some are elected to salvation before they are ever born. This means people have no choice in the matter. That is not what these verses are saying.

As explained, God’s predestination is based on His foreknowledge. Only those whom God foreknew would accept Him have been elected and predestinated. God did not force Jacob and Esau to make the choices they made. But through His foreknowledge, He was able to foresee who would respond to Him, and that is the one He chose.

Commentary: awmi.net

Romans 9 -Pt. 1

I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit— that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh. They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen.

VS 1: Paul was going to great lengths to verify that what he was saying was the truth. This needed to be stated because Paul’s statement in Romans 9:3 would certainly have been interpreted as a hyperbole (exaggeration) if there had not been some clarification.

VS 2: This is not a contradiction to other statements by Paul (2 Corinthians 7:13; Galatians 5:22-23; Philippians 1:4, 18, 2:2, 18, 4:4; Colossians 1:24; 1 Thessalonians 3:9, 5:16; and Philemon 7). Paul did operate in the joy of the Holy Ghost, just as he told others to do. However, there was this continual heaviness and sorrow in his heart when it came to the unbelieving Jews.

This is comparable to those who have lost loved ones who were very dear to them. In the process of time, they “get over it” to the point that they may be considered very joyful people, but there is always that vacancy in their hearts. Similarly, Paul was rejoicing in the Lord, but he always had this great longing in his heart for the salvation of the Jews.

VS 3: What a statement! Paul was saying that he would go to hell in the place of the Jews if that would accomplish their salvation. This is nothing less than the perfect “AGAPE” love that Jesus demonstrated when He died for our sins.

Although this desire on Paul’s part is commendable, there is nothing that he could have accomplished that Jesus hadn’t already accomplished completely. Paul was specifically commissioned by the Lord to go to the Gentiles, yet we see him repeatedly going to the Jews, even after he said he wouldn’t do that anymore (Acts 13:14). Paul even went to Jerusalem, apparently against the instruction of the Holy Ghost, and was more than willing to lay down his life for the sake of the Jews (Acts 21:13). This illustrated his great love for the Jewish people as he was describing here.

Commentary: awmi.net