Friends,
The Lord has counseled us and equipped us in how to stay calm and strong, including in the storm. If we heed Him, then when the torpedoes come, we are already shielded and they have minimal, if any, negative impact on us.

Here are some specifics we should be practicing daily:

~~taking every thought captive to be obedient to Christ. This comes from 2 Cor. 10:5. Upon waking, before even getting out of bed, we should do this, for where our thoughts go, there go we. Verses 3 and 4 tell us that we have available to us, for waging war against evil, weapons that have divine power to demolish strongholds. That would include the stronghold of anxiety which many seem to be bearing lately.

More of these weapons are:

~~quoting the Scripture (Mt. 4:4 // Heb. 4:12)

~~putting on the armor of God. (Eph. 6:12-17) I do this by just stating, “I put on the… [I mention each piece], all in the name of Jesus.” These are excellent for victory in the war.

~~focusing on the Lord and His love and faithfulness (Isa. 26:3,4) and setting our hearts and minds on things above where Christ, who is our life, is seated in power. (Col. 3:1-4) Thus we have power –and victory!

~~praising the Lord (we can read a praise psalm aloud or read a verse like Rev. 7:12 aloud). The evil realm hates to hear praise (worship and thanksgiving) to God, so they leave. If they return, we should immediately begin praising God again, yes, staying in a mode of praise all day, but increasing it any time they attempt to return until they give up trying to bother us at all. Praise to God defeats the work of the enemy in our lives (Ps. 50:14,15,23) and in those we are interceding for.

~~submitting our whole selves to the Lord –our heart, mind, will, emotions, decisions, affections, etc. –all our thoughts, words, and actions.

~~praying in the Spirit. (Eph. 6:18 // Jude 1:20) This is praying prayers led by the Spirit of God, through a heart and mind and life that is in submission to Him.

~~singing in the Spirit. (2 Chron. 20:21,22 // Eph. 5:18-20) Singing spontaneous new songs to the Lord (Ps. 96:1-4), which will come from Him (40:3) if we open our mouths to do it. (81:10)

~~eating (meditating on) the Word of God so that Christ’s Spirit is filling our spirit and giving us Life. (John 6:53-57) This is necessary for abiding in Christ (v. 56) and for walking in Life (v. 53), meaning in eternal life and abundant (peaceful, joyful, purpose-filled, etc.) life (v. 54,63 & 10:10) and blessing. (Ps. 1:1-3)

~~applying the Word of God / putting the Word into practice. We can’t just know what it says, we have to believe it and do what it says. (Mt. 7:24-27 // Ja. 1:21,22)

~~rejecting being influenced by human philosophies, worldly wisdom, unbiblical doctrines, and ungodly people. (Ps. 1:1 // 1 Cor. 1:19,20 & 3:18-20 & 15:33)

~~being very careful about getting help from anyone other than the Lord and who He, Himself, sends to us to help us. (Ps. 118:8,9 // Isa. 31:1)

~~believing we have the mind of Christ (1 Cor. 2:16) and believing we have Christ’s divine power for everything we need to live victorious and godly every day. (Eph. 3:20 // 2 Pe. 1:3,4)

~~continuing to have faith in the Lord and His Word (2 Chron. 20:20), waiting in patience and expectation for His perfect timing (Ps. 130:5,6), and remembering that we need not be afraid with God as our Helper and Refuge. (71:3)

Doing any of these things daily will set us on the road of strength. But certainly putting all of them into practice daily will make us spiritual Olympians –strong servants of God, who, in spite of the crooked and depraved generation in which we live (Phil. 2:15), “shine like stars in the universe” (same verse) with joy, gentleness, and blamelessness. (Same verse & 4:4,5)

May we utilize all that God has made available to us to make it so. –For our own benefit, for the benefit of others, and for the honor of Christ Jesus and His Gospel, in front of a watching world.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

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Friends,
Israeliteindeed, who used to be a close email friend (we met via the internet in 2009 because of our blogs and she lives in another state) began, in the summer of 2014, vehemently writing against Israel. I kept warning her to not do so, even while she tried to get me to believe her beliefs. Our friendship and communication ended that August, but then, two years later, in July of last year I wrote to her this:

[I sent this email July 9, 2016 at 11:24 a.m.]
_______,
I have read all your posts and am continually grieved. This morning I was very surprised to feel a strong impression from the Lord to write to you a personal note exhorting you to reevaluate your own heart and spirit. After praying, I asked the Lord to confirm in His Word if this was from Him. He did, for when I got my Bible, I opened right to Ezek. 18:24 which says, “But if a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits sin and does the same detestable things the wicked man does, will he live? None of the righteous things he has done will be remembered. Because of the unfaithfulness he is guilty of and because of the sins he has committed, he will die.” Then immediately I saw 20:4 where God commands, “Then confront them…”

Truly, your writings are not Life. They are full of anger and self-righteousness and blindness; they are, with the exception of a small bit, not of the Spirit but are instead coming from your own energy, heart, and spirit. You are falling from the Lord and His Truth. Accusing America and others of it, you are continuing your own slide toward apostasy.

I urge you to take this warning very seriously as from the Lord, which it is. We will all, before the Judge on that Final Day, be giving an account of ourselves, including the attitudes of our heart, and the words we have said and written.

Rachel
~~~~~~

Israeliteindeed responded that she did not believe me but instead was choosing to believe those other “strong believers” who were telling her the opposite. I did not respond for almost a month, but then wrote this:

[I sent her this email Aug. 4, 2016 at 10:45 p.m. (I’ve cut some out for brevity, but have also made bold print my words of alarm for her.)]
_________,
I woke up this last Sunday morning with you heavy on my mind –a burden from the Lord. While reading my Bible, first thing as I always do, God had me turn also to Isa. 44:21-23. Verse 22 especially jumped out at me. So I started my latest post with it, and after working on it off and on every day since Sunday, I finally finished it last night. Being you and I had corresponded, I’d also been praying throughout the day about how to respond to your long email. As I got into bed and prayed one last time about it, I heard, “Tell her, ‘Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.'” It was very, very clear.

This morning I prayed again and kept feeling it was the same answer, though it seemed the Lord was going to give me more to say to you as well… [See my post link at P.S. below for full email.]

I need to tell you that during that couple of hours this afternoon in the Word, and asking the Lord for what to say to you, I heard way, way more than I expected. I asked for confirmation concerning things I’d heard from Him about you earlier this week, last week, and over the last two years, and the Lord responded today by booming them at me loudly through His Word. I was almost shaking, was having trouble breathing I was so upset, I had tears rolling down profusely, and I had to finally get up and walk around for a bit before I could continue.

I will tell you what I heard… [I said if she wanted me to tell her, I would, but she responded that she didn’t believe I was hearing from the Lord, so I never wrote to her again.]

It is God’s deep and faithful love that compels us to keep trying to woo people to Him and His Truth. Again when I say it to you from Him I get tears: “Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.”

Rachel

~~~~~~~

So, because Israeliteindeed had repeatedly informed me that she strongly believed that my warnings to her were coming from a false spirit, not from the Lord, I gave up and never wrote to her again after the above email. However, I have grieved much for her, knowing the Lord was going to bring her intense sorrow and discipline. Yesterday I received her post about her husband’s death. That can be read here: https://israeliteindeed.wordpress.com/2017/04/21/a-race-finished-well/

Knowing that God had firmly decided to bring heavy judgement to Israeliteindeed and her family in some way, I continually pleaded with the Lord to at least not let any of them go to Hell, her and her husband especially. I am greatly relieved to hear of God’s compassion in the midst of their earthly judgement. Do know, Readers, that I have cried, with deep love, for this couple many times over the years and again upon reading Israeliteindeed’s post yesterday. Truly, always, every time that she has sent me pictures of her and her husband, I have been flooded with the Lord’s love for them. This huge love for them as a couple has been unique and overwhelming.

However, I am sharing about this because the differences of beliefs Israeliteindeed and I have had, have been written about at our blogs, are thus public, and are of huge importance in the Lord’s eyes. I want others to fear God and take warning, for the Lord really was warning her about her animosity toward Israel (who is the apple of His eye –Dt. 32:10 // Zech. 2:8) and I want others to understand how awful and dangerous it is to insistently preach extreme false doctrine. It is not a light thing at all. The Lord hates such attitudes and teachings and His hand of judgement raises above any of us who commit such affronts against His Truth. If the Lord sends us warnings through those who love us and who know Him and His Word, it is great folly to not listen. May all of us take very sober warning.

Israeliteindeed needs to repent of her refusal to listen to the Lord’s Word and Spirit concerning Israel and the false doctrines she preaches. Since last Fall I have felt the Lord impressing on me that the only way she can prove her repentance is to remove all of her posts that have not been of Him. This would likely be a heart-wrenching thing for her to do as she has obviously put in countless hours creating those articles, but it is necessary. I exhort her to seek the Lord earnestly and to remove all the posts she has written that are not of the Lord and have thereby led others away from the Truth, which we know is no small sin. In fact, it is an enormously grievous sin which incurs upon the Bible teacher the heaviest of judgements. (Jer. 23:1 // Mal. 2:7-9 // Mt. 18:6,7 // 1 Tim. 4:1,2 // Ja. 3:1 // 2 Pe. 2:1-3 // 2 John 1:9-11)

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel
P.S. Another warning at my blog less than a month before her husband passed away:

https://knowgodsword.wordpress.com/2017/01/30/god-judges-teachers-who-blaspheme-his-word/

Friends,
I’ve written here before at my blog about Mr. and Mrs. B and how I have witnessed to them often down through the years while they have continued to state, matter-of-factly, that they are going to Hell. Their resistance toward the Lord has been distressing for me, especially lately when Mrs. B, who is 87 years old, is on hospice with a brain tumor. (Mr. B is 84 years old and had colon cancer 4 years ago, but got through it.)

A bit over a year ago I noticed that Mrs. B’s health, in particular, was really beginning to fail and I began asking more and more people to pray for them, especially for their salvation. I increased my attempts to remind the Bs of the Gospel, but their hearts wouldn’t budge. However, miracles still happen. Yes, the Lord worked a miracle a week ago Saturday. What happened was this:

I visited the Bs Saturday evening, April 8th, at their home. Early in the conversation, Mrs. B had said to me, “Don’t even start,” when I asked her about what else is important at Easter besides eggs. (They have chickens and sell eggs and she had been telling me how annoyed she was at Mr. B for buying more chickens to produce more eggs.)

So we went on to talk about other things and when I got up to leave after being there about an hour, Mr. B said about his wife, “She thinks I’m going to Hell and so she doesn’t want to get saved because she says why should she go to Heaven if I’m going to Hell?” I responded that Hell is not going to be a place of fellowship with anyone. I reminded them that it is going to be a place full of loneliness, pain, and regret, a place where there is no blue sky, no gentle breeze, no flowers, and no laughter; and that an existence there will last forever. It will be the absence of God, I said, and a place full of demons. Why, I asked, would anyone choose to go to a place like that when they could go to Heaven where everything will be good and peaceful and pain-free?

As I described Hell, Mr. B was nodding in somber agreement, so, seeing belief in his face, I asked him if he was saved. He said, “Not yet, but I’m planning to.” This statement was coming from a man who had for over 15 years, along with his wife, told me that they weren’t sure if there really was a Hell and if there was, then so be it –they’d be going there and there was nothing that would change that!

Of courses upon hearing Mr. B’s words “Not yet, but I’m planning to”, I immediately took the opportunity to say, “Well, you could pray right now to be saved,” and I added that I would pray with him if he wanted. “Do you want to?” I asked. Amazingly, Mr. B nodded that he did. I was so shocked, I started crying, which I think shocked them. But I took Mr. B’s hand and prayed, while he repeated each phrase after me, asking the Lord to forgive him of his sins, cleanse him, save him, and allow him into Heaven forever. Still crying, I tried to persuade Mrs. B again, and though I noticed both she and her husband looked misty-eyed, Mrs. B still refused the Lord. I hugged her and said I would pray for her about it and that I loved them both very much.

As I drove away from their house I started crying again, so filled I was with relief and hope and joy, and I just kept thanking and thanking the Lord. And certainly, I do expect another miracle soon –that of Mrs. B’s repentance and turn to the Lord.

There is still more to this story. I sent out an email to those who may have been praying for the Bs, telling pretty much what I wrote above. Many wrote back of their feelings of excitement, thankfulness, hope, and faith. Here is one woman’s texts that especially edified me:

Absolutely! Praying!!! Will text soon, just wanted you to know about Isabella getting saved and how the B’s story helped in that!!

She is 10! She came to Church with us last weekend [April 9th] and we got to talk about communion. We had communion at Church. I baptized her in 2014. After she read the letter about the Bs I asked her when she was saved and prayed to ask for forgiveness. She did not remember! She remembered the baptism. So I asked her if she would like to pray. We held hands and I led her to ask Jesus to forgive her sins and cleanse her and make her His very own! We said thank you Abba!!!! I explained how she is God’s now and turns away from sins, always asking for His help. It was beautiful!!! Thank you Rachel for your faithful service to our Lord!

This text reminded me of how God multiplies good from our efforts, all the time. Sometimes He even lets us hear about it.

God did a miracle that first Easter by raising Jesus from the dead. But, transforming a person –who, by an act of their will, cooperates with God and steps from death to new life –well, that is another true miracle as well. Wonderfully, during this year’s Easter season, I got to have a role, however large or small, in these two miracles of salvation.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Friends,
Wednesday my mom and I went downtown and passed out the 200 or so Easter treat bags we’d made with decorated wood crosses, candy, trinkets, and tracts. We’d also filled plastic eggs, but since we hadn’t gotten those passed out that day, my husband offered to go down with me today. I was surprised as he’s only gone once or twice with me down there, and it was years ago. But I was happy he wanted to and after finding a basket in the garage to put the eggs in (plus in a bag because there were many), off we went.

The first guy we met and talked to was very happy to testify to what the Lord had been doing in his life lately –that he had been off drugs for five months and how the Lord was blessing him. Several others approached us, asking for an egg and smiling and thanking us. It had begun positive.

But then when we were going to cross the street one way, a group of black guys on microphones waved us to come over to them. I wasn’t sure if it was a good idea, but we took up their invitation. Right away I realized I wished we’d not gotten snagged by them as they were asking trick questions and going on about the origins of Easter. When I saw a 666 on the forehead of a picture of Jesus, I told them that was wrong. They kept saying something about Jesus not being a white man. I just really wanted to leave, but they kept saying to my husband, loudly for all to hear via their microphone, “So you’re going to let your woman tell you what to do?!” We were trying to tell them that it doesn’t matter what color skin Jesus has, but instead that we live out the Truth by loving God and others. They wouldn’t let us get a word in edgewise, of course, and when we did walk away, they turned up their microphones, yelling away at us. They were truly racist and sexist.

When we went through the station we met a lot of grateful, cheerful people and it was enjoyable talking with many about the Lord. But there was still another black group over there and they kept yelling things at us as well. My husband mentioned that it was really a wild place down there and I said it is not normally like that.

When we went around the station and then up a few blocks, and were talking to one man, two beautiful black girls came across the street and hung out near us until the man left. Then they talked to us and said that they had seen us and wanted to talk to us too and that they had become born again just yesterday through an evangelist woman down there. We were excited about that! And they were from the city and state where I’d gone to college and had just come here this week to be in some video.

After we got home and I had texted my prayer partners to thank them for praying and to relay things that had happened, several of them said some really encouraging things about not being disturbed when we get persecuted, for Jesus has said that we are blessed and will be rewarded. This is true and it helps to hear it after a somewhat troubling experience.

In spite of the negative parts, my husband said that he really enjoyed walking around passing out eggs with me and watching me witness. I enjoyed it too and was really touched that he had wanted to join me. Here are some photos he took of me down there today:

May the Lord bring many to Himself through each and every effort His servants make.

Sincerely,
with love,
Rachel

Explain Isaiah 65:17-25

April 12, 2017

[Sent 3/24/17 to the same “preacher” I was addressing in my last two posts.]
________
I did not miss what you sent. I’ve carefully read everything you’ve sent to me. This time I underlined and made black Isaiah 65:17 and 20 that you sent me below. I’m not sure why you won’t answer my specific question about why there is still death (dying at a hundred will be considered an early death) even after the new heavens and the new earth are created. I would really like to know the answer.

I don’t think I’m to understand that you are saying that we Christ-followers are now living in the new heavens and the new earth, right? I don’t think you’re saying that, for certainly you must believe along with me that creation itself is still groaning and waiting for us and it to be (fully, including physically) redeemed (Rom. 8:19-24) “until the time comes for God to restore everything, as He promised long ago through His holy prophets.” (Acts 3:21) –For “He must remain in Heaven until the time comes…” (same verse) and then come back (v. 20,21) “in the same way you have seen Him go into heaven.” (1:11) –Visibly. (v. 9 // Zech. 14:4-9)

Here is my question again and I italicized and made bold what I am emphasizing in my question:

I wonder, do you allegorize all of Isaiah 65:17-25 or just parts of it? For there God says, “‘Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth… I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy. I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in My people; the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more… he who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere youth; he who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed… They will not toil in vain or bear children doomed to misfortune… The wolf and the lamb will feed together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox… They will neither harm nor destroy in all My holy mountain,’ says the LORD.”

You yourself, in your 3/15, 4:03 p.m. email, quoted Rev. 21:4 and said that there will be no more death in the new heavens and the new earth, meaning you do not allegorize this promise found in God’s Word. So… the rest of my question:

While considering verse 17 of Isaiah ch. 65, and that there is no marriage or death for those considered worthy of taking part in the age following the resurrection of the dead (which is what Jesus teaches in Luke 20:34-38), then why in this Isaiah passage is there death (after prolonged life) and the bearing of children during the age of the new heavens and the new earth?

Thank you for your time,
Rachel

Friends,
This post is a continuation of my March 28th post which was a copy of the first part of my 3/12/17 email to the person whose website I contacted to thank them for preaching obedience to Christ, but who deemed me one to be shunned based on my teaching about Israel and the 1,000 year earthly, bodily reign of Christ. The correspondence that ensued somewhat alarmed me as it revealed the apparent continued and growing division between those who believe God will absolutely bring to pass His promises to the nation of Israel and those who do not believe that God will do this because He has negated those promises as applicable for Israel by transferring them to the (mostly Gentile) Church who is in Christ. I have noticed that often those in this latter group scoff at those who take God’s promises at face-value. Here is the second half of my March 12th email:

About teaching: Those of us who explain, by the Spirit, God’s Word, are teachers. Indeed, Jesus has commanded us to go everywhere, “teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (Mt. 28:20) When Rom. 8:9 informs us that if we possess the Spirit of Christ we will be controlled by Him, this means He controls our actions and thoughts, as well as our words and writings. I caution both of us to keep this in mind at all times, for yes, we have the continued choice to submit to Him or to submit to our own impulses and judgements.

Therefore, we are only to say what is in line with the Truth and what the Holy Spirit leads us to say, “because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” (Rom. 8:14) We are not to lord it over others as if we have that right, for we don’t (Mt. 20:25,26), even if we are ahead of others in our learning process (John 16:13), including “in what is yet to come.” (Same verse) Thus everything is to be done in meekness, gentleness, and respect. (1 Pe. 3:16) There are times we may need to rebuke someone, but we better know without a doubt that the Holy Spirit has actually given us the specific command to do so and we’d better do it in just the manner and attitude He instructs.

You say that you have had many battles with false teachers, but, I trust you know that contending for the faith does not mean we should be contentious. Instead, “The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life” (Pr. 10:11) and, “The lips of the righteous nourish many.” (v. 21) It is “gracious words [that] promote instruction.” (16:21) It is words void of insult that make one’s words persuasive. (Same verse) We are to explain the Truth to people without making judgements that we’ve not been authorized to make. As Rom. 14:4 says, “Who are you, judging Another’s servant? To his own Master, he stands or falls. However, he will be upheld, for indeed, the Lord is able to make him stand.”

As we exhort others to obey all of God’s Word, let’s make sure we are obeying all of it as well, including, “Brothers, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against his brother or judges him, speaks against the law and judges it… There is only one Lawgiver and Judge… But you –who are you to judge your neighbor?” (Ja. 4:11,12) And, “Don’t grumble against each other, brothers, or you will be judged. The Judge is standing at the door!” (5:9)

In explaining the true walk of Salvation, we are not to engage in quarreling (2 Tim. 2:23), and “quarreling about words… only ruins those who listen.” (v. 14) “He who loves a quarrel loves sin,” (Pr. 17:19) and it is “pride that breeds quarrels.” (13:10) In that Gal. 5:19-21 warning (about the acts of the sinful nature that result in Hell), strife, discord, contentions, dissensions / disagreements, and factions are also listed. Quarreling, particularly about whose teachings we adhere to, reveals that immaturity and worldliness are still present. (1 Cor. 3:1-4) Therefore, “The Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct…” (2 Tim. 2:24,25)

I’m saddened that you find my writings wordy and that you seem bent on discouraging me in my efforts to spread the Truth. Even so, I am encouraged daily by The Teacher and my Shepherd, given confidence from Him that I do write His Truth, even as I ask Him about every single word I write. I do not take Scripture’s warnings lightly.

May the Lord bless all Christ-followers who faithfully and carefully serve Him in furthering His Truth.

Sincerely,
Rachel