Category Archives: Bible

Sunday Devotional: Abraham’s Test and the Chosen People

Genesis 22:1-2, 9A, 10-12, 15-18

God put Abraham to the test.
He called to him, “Abraham!”
“Here I am!” he replied.
Then God said:
“Take your son Isaac, your only one, whom you love,
and go to the land of Moriah.
There you shall offer him up as a holocaust
on a height that I will point out to you.”

When they came to the place of which God had told him,
Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it.
Then he reached out and took the knife to slaughter his son.
But the LORD’s messenger called to him from heaven,
“Abraham, Abraham!”
“Here I am!” he answered.
“Do not lay your hand on the boy,” said the messenger.
“Do not do the least thing to him.
I know now how devoted you are to God,
since you did not withhold from me your own beloved son.”

Again the LORD’s messenger called to Abraham from heaven and said:
“I swear by myself, declares the LORD,
that because you acted as you did
in not withholding from me your beloved son,
I will bless you abundantly
and make your descendants as countless
as the stars of the sky and the sands of the seashore;
your descendants shall take possession
of the gates of their enemies,
and in your descendants all the nations of the earth
shall find blessing—
all this because you obeyed my command.”

Angel stays Abraham's hand

There was a time when this passage from Genesis greatly troubled me. How could a loving God actually command a father to kill his son as a “holocaust,” a sacrificial offering to Him?

Note: The historical and original meaning of the word holocaust is “A Jewish sacrificial offering that is burned completely on an altar.”

Not just any son, but his only son, whom Abraham loved desperately, who was born when Sarah was 90 years old and Abraham was 100. I can’t even begin to imagine Abraham’s anguish . . . .

But then, of course, the answer is in St. Paul‘s Letter to the Romans 8:

Romans 8:31B-34

Brothers and sisters:
If God is for us, who can be against us?
He who did not spare his own Son
but handed him over for us all,
how will he not also give us everything else along with him?

Who will bring a charge against God’s chosen ones?
It is God who acquits us, who will condemn?
Christ Jesus it is who died—or, rather, was raised—
who also is at the right hand of God,
who indeed intercedes for us.

Christ crucified

In other words, God the Father asked of Abraham what He was prepared to do Himself — and did do, two thousand years later.

Not only is He a loving God, for He sent His messenger in the nick of time to stay Abraham’s hand, He sacrificed His only Son for us puny, puking, petty, congenitally ungrateful humans.

Why did God put Abraham to this horrible test?

The best explanation I’ve come across is the one by Roy H. Schoeman,* a Jew who converted to Christianity (Catholicism). It is also the best accounting of what Jews as God’s “chosen people” means.

In his book, Salvation is from the Jews: The Role of Judaism in Salvation History from Abraham to the Second Coming, Schoeman writes (pp. 19, 20, 23):

This story illustrates the quality for which Abraham was chosen to start the Jewish race — his total dedication to God. This quality was also to be the central characteristic of the entire race, the quality that would enable it to undertake all that was necessary to prepare the world for the coming of the Messiah . . . . The Scripture makes it clear that it was Abraham’s behavior during this test that would earn for him, and hence for the Jewish race, the honor of bringing forth the Messiah — “and by your descendants shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice” (Genesis 22:18) . . . .

God would need a people to provide a temporal home for the Messiah when He came and to announce His arrival to the world . . . . The Jews were to host the Incarnation itself, to be the people among whom God would become man . . . a people of sufficient spiritual purity, virtue and morality . . . . This role . . . was entrusted to the Jews.

Put simply, Hebrews were “chosen” by God the Father to be the “people” — a spiritually pure (no false idols: “thou shalt not have strange gods before Me”) biological line among whom His only Son would be incarnate as man.

* Roy Schoeman grew up studying Judaism under the most prominent rabbis in American Judaism. After receiving a B.S. from M.I.T. and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, he taught at Harvard. His unexpected conversion to Catholicism led to a dramatic refocus of his activities. Schoeman now hosts a Catholic TV show, studies, and writes on religious topics.

Our Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit, I love You with my whole heart, my whole soul, my whole mind, and with all my strength.

Jesus, I trust in You!

May the Peace and Love of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you on this glorious joyous Sunday, a day of worship in memory of His Resurrection!

~Éowyn

Obama downplays blood-thirsty ISIS but targets right-wing Americans as extremist terrorists

The jihadists who call themselves the Islamic State (formerly ISIS or ISIL) are Islamic fundamentalists who, convinced that the apocalypse is imminent and that they are its agents, are committed to purifying the world in the name of Allah by killing vast numbers of people. (See “Major U.S. magazine breaks with Obama admin by calling ISIS Islamic and apocalyptic“)

But Barack Obama simply refuses to call the Islamic State, who now controls a third of Syria, as either Islamic or a state. Instead, in his speech of Sept. 10, 2014 and since, he calls ISIS jihadists — who have been slaughtering Christians in Iraq, Syria, and most recently beheading 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya — generic “terrorists.”

Incredibly, U.S. State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf recently proclaimed that America can’t win against the Islamic State “by killing them” and ought instead to focus on addressing their root problem of a poor economy and a lack of job opportunities.

While treating the jihadists with denial and kid gloves, Obama doesn’t hesitate to identify millions of “right wing” Americans as “extremist terrorists,” the latest example being an intelligence assessment by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Evan Perez and Wes Bruer report for CNN, Feb. 20, 2015, that a new intelligence assessment, circulated by the DHS this month, focuses on the “domestic terror threat from right-wing sovereign citizen extremists,” who reject government authority, carry out sporadic terror attacks on police, and threaten to attack other government buildings.

Some federal and local law enforcement groups view the domestic terror threat from sovereign citizen groups as equal to — and in some cases greater than — the threat from foreign Islamic terror groups, such as ISIS.​

Note: The sovereign citizen movement is a loosely affiliated group of Americans who believe they are free people and reject many elements of federal, state and local governance, including, but not limited to, taxation. According to Colorado Prowers County Undersheriff Ron Trowbridge, he was told at a Colorado State Police training session on April 1, 2013, that sovereign citizen groups include Americans who believe the United States was founded on godly principles and “fundamentalist” Christians who take the Bible literally. (See Trail Dust’s “Have you ever heard of a ‘Sovereign Citizen’?“)

The DHS report, produced in coordination with the FBI, defines sovereign citizens as “extremists” who believe they can ignore laws and that their individual rights are under attack in routine daily instances such as a traffic stop or being required to obey a court order. The report counts 24 “violent” sovereign citizen-related attacks across the U.S. since 2010, including:

  • In 2012, a father and son allegedly engaged in a shootout with police in Louisiana in which two officers were killed and several others wounded. The confrontation began with an officer pulling them over for a traffic violation. The men were sovereign citizen “extremists” who claimed police had no authority over them.
  • In 2013, a man who held anti-government views carried out a shooting attack on three Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employees at Los Angeles International Airport, killing one TSA officer.
  • In 2014, a couple killed two police officers and a bystander at a Las Vegas Walmart store.

Other findings in the DHS intelligence assessment include:

  • An expectation that sovereign citizen “violence during 2015 will occur most frequently during routine law enforcement encounters at a suspect’s home, during enforcement stops and at government offices.”
  • “Law enforcement officers will remain the primary target of (sovereign citizen) violence over the next year due to their role in physically enforcing laws and regulations.”

Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center, said that by some estimates, there are as many as 300,000 people involved in some way with sovereign citizen extremism, with a core of perhaps 100,000. Potok says sovereign citizen groups have attracted support because of poor economic conditions. Some groups travel the country pitching their ideology as a way to help homeowners escape foreclosure or get out of debt by simply ignoring the courts and bankruptcy law.

While groups like ISIS and al Qaeda garner the most attention, for many local cops, the danger is closer to home. A survey last year of state and local law enforcement officers listed “sovereign citizen terrorists” as the top domestic terror threat, ahead of foreign Islamists and domestic militia groups. The survey was part of a study produced by the University of Maryland’s National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism.

Sheikh Sa'ad Musse Roble at WH summit2nd and 3rd from left: Imam Abdisalam Adam of the Islamic Civil Society of America and Imam Sheikh Sa’ad Musse Roble

The DHS intelligence assessment coincides with the Obama administration’s convening of a White House summit on fighting “violent extremism” last week.

Penny Starr reports for CNS News, Feb. 19, 2015, that the second day of the summit had opened with a Muslim prayer by an imam, Sheikh Sa’ad Musse Roble of the Minneapolis’ World Peace [sic] Organization, following remarks by Obama administration officials and Democratic members of Congress. No other faiths were represented.

This is not the first time that the DHS identifies “right wing” Americans as “domestic terrorists.

In 2012, a DHS-funded study, Hot Spots of Terrorism and Other Crimes in the United States, 1970-2008 — by the same University of Maryland National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism that conducted the 2014 survey of state and local police officers — characterized Americans who are “suspicious of centralized federal authority” and “reverent of individual liberty” as “extreme right-wing” terrorists.

In fact, University of Maryland’s National Consortium was launched with the aid of DHS, that is, taxpayers’, funding to the tune of $12 million.

See also:

H/t ZeroHedge and FOTM’s dee

~Éowyn

Sunday Devotional: The beginning of Lent

Mark 1:9-13

And it came to pass in those days that
Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee,
and was baptized by John in the Jordan.
And straightway coming up out of the water,
He saw the heavens opened,
and the Spirit like a dove
descending upon Him.
And there came a voice from Heaven,
saying, “Thou Art My Beloved Son,
In Whom I Am Well Pleased.”
And immediately the Spirit
drove Him into the wilderness.
And He was there in the wilderness forty days,
tempted by Satan,
and was with the wild beasts;
and the angels ministered unto Him.

The Devil actually tempted the Second Person of the Triune Godhead!

Imagine the grandiose narcissism, the utter gall that would prompt a creature — a created being — to tempt the Creator Himself.

That is why it is my belief that Narcissism is the First Sin — of the fallen angel named Lucifer, and of Adam and Eve, our first parents. That is also why narcissists are of the devil because their self-worship violates the First Commandment:

I am the Lord your God: you shall not have strange Gods before me.

Lent

Today is the first Sunday of Lent, the 40-day period before Easter, excluding Sundays.

Sundays are excluded from our observance of Lent because Sunday is the day on which Jesus rose from the dead, wherein it is inappropriate to fast and mourn as we must celebrate Jesus’ resurrection, our salvation. That is also the reason why Christians worship on Sunday, instead of Judaism’s Saturday Sabbath.

Lent is 40 days long pursuant to previous traditions set forth in the Holy Scriptures:

  • Moses remained on the Montain of God for 40 days (Exodus 24:18 and 34:28).
  • The prophet Elijah traveled 40 days before he reached the cave where he had his visions (1 Kings 19:8).
  • Nineveh was provided with 40 days to repent (Jonah 3:4).
  • Most importantly, Our Lord Jesus, before going forth in His public ministry, spent 40 days in the wilderness praying and fasting (Mark 1:12-13; Matthew 4:2).

The season of Lent actually began last Wednesday, Ash Wednesday, when Christians receive ashes on our foreheads as a reminder of our mortality: “Dust thou art, and to dust thou shall return.”

Since Jesus prepared himself for his public ministry during these 40 days, Christians imitate Him with prayer and fasting during this time to prepare for Holy Week. In remembrance of how Christ our Lord was tortured, suffered, and died for our sins, we are also asked to make a sacrifice during Lent by surrendering something that gives us pleasure, e.g., eating chocolates, and/or by doing something good that we don’t ordinarily do, e.g., doing a chore for an elderly neighbor.

For Lent, I’m giving up going to Savers, which is like one gigantic yard sale. What are you giving up for Lent?

May the Peace and Love of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you!

~Éowyn

A Jew laments over his fellow Jews

Saint Paul in Prison – by Rembrandt

Saint Paul in Prison – by Rembrandt

Paul’s Anguish Over Israel

“I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit— I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race, the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption to sonship; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of the Messiah, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.”
– Romans 9:1-5

Consider Paul’s position. He’s been personally directed by the Lord to take the gospel to the Gentiles, but in his heart, his allegiance has always been to his own people, the Jews. He has received great revelation about the grace of God to all people, but he knows too well the kind of thinking that might block the understanding of his fellow Hebrews. And his heart is broken for them.

There is much more brilliant light in Romans chapter 9, but I would just like to stop here and ponder the heart of this great man of God.


Shalom Aleichem
(peace be upon you)

Erasing Barcode Tattoos and Setting People Free

Just saw this on CBN.com ~ TD 


Tattoo Artist Uses Talent as a Showcase for God

Human trafficking is a huge sin
being practiced right under our noses

Find out how tattoo artist Chris Baker is helping cover the ink of human trafficking victims and also gangsters.

Barcode Tattoo

Barcode Tattoo

See also http://fellowshipoftheminds.com/2015/02/17/50-shades-fans-heres-where-your-bondage-fettish-is-leading/


Media Blitz: Ever Increasing Fear

Our islamic enemies are running a publicity program

Have you noticed that a week does not go by before ISIS has committed a horror worse than the one the week before?

Last week ISIS owned the news cycle by burning a Jordanian pilot alive. This after a long series of other atrocities committed against innocent people in areas they’ve invaded.

At that moment I saw their strategy. Their game plan became clear. We can expect that within one week of beheading 21 Christians on the beach in Libya and immolating 45 families in Iraq, there will be something worse and bigger. It’s Tuesday February 17. By Tuesday February 24, we will see something that will again steal the news cycle.

This is psychological warfare

They are doing this on a schedule to be sure to make everyone in the world fear them. Remember when you were a kid, and the local bully would show up hurting kids and threatening every other kid? Well this is that, but on an adult scale. This will happen week after week, until they are stopped. Until they meet someone who brings death and hell to their world and every place they think will remain safe.

Our news media is their tool

“If it bleeds, it leads.” That’s the rule our news people live by. They reflexively play right into the hands of the jihadists.

They know their opportunity is brief

The current president of the United States will be replaced in less than 2 years. He has left such a stench in his wake that the president who replaces him will likely be a man who will reverse everything. That would include mounting an unprecedented military expedition with the goal of exterminating jihad wherever it exists or is even taught.

So they are compelled to play every card they have within the next year and a half. Every week, the atrocity drum will beat. Another horror will be on every screen. All this while they have an American president who will keep the door open for them.

Brace yourself

Build yourself up in faith. Do not feel obligated to look at any horrifying image. Be armed. Be prepared to fight. Be determined to be anything but a soft target. Call on God to send His angels to assist and protect you.

Never stop unmasking islam

“The name of the LORD is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.” – Proverbs 18:10