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Midnight Rider Newsletter

May-Jun, Year of Our Lord, 1995
Number 953

What's Inside


Scientists Using Lawyers

Scientists Using Lawyers

Why are scientists now using lawyers in experiments instead of rats?

There are two reasons:

First, the scientists don't get attached to lawyers.

And, second, there are some things that rats won't do.

Dear Friends,

As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds His people both now and forever more.

Psalm 125:2

Mountains of protectionThese are perilous times. The people of the world are discontented with their government. They are actively seeking alternatives. Many are escaping by nonparticipation. Others are attempting to set up a new government. Some hope to save the current system by cracking down on those who want change. Regardless of the course of action, they are entering an age of violence and disaster. A divided house cannot stand.

The world is coming to an end. It is a matter of time. They will do it to themselves. Those who dig a pit, into the pit they shall fall. The sword they use, will be turned on themselves.

As we look into history, almost every government of the world has come to an end. The kingdoms of the world start with "a good idea," prosper for awhile, and then, in the last hour, are destroyed.

We all know that a proper foundation is important. The best building will be destroyed if it is not on a good foundation. The same is true of government. A government with an improper foundation will be destroyed in the last hour.

Through the ages, people have created governments apart from Almighty God. They have come up with many "good ideas" for a foundation.

One "good idea" occurred about 200 years ago. A group of men came up with the idea that government should be the protector of our God-given rights and liberties. But is that government's responsibility? Haven't we known all along that our only protection comes from God rather than men?

Nevertheless, the people were deceived. They allowed the U.S. Constitution to be the "supreme law of the land." But instead of protecting life, liberty and property, a multitude of laws has been erected with swarms of officers to enforce them.

The Bill of Rights does not protect man's rights. Rights are already protected by God. Government must ignore God-given rights in order to grant privileges. Once we give them authority, they sit in God's seat.

This philosophy of government protection eventually conquered the people. This was accomplished by writing laws that appeared to protect the people, but in reality, enslaved them. It is obvious that if you must ask your government for permission to work, or build, or travel, you have been conquered.

The use of the highways is a prime example of how the State government conquers the people. First, the State declares the need for public safety. This is a form of government protection. It then makes laws declaring that it is a privilege to use the highways in order to keep the public safe. Now the door is open for making unlimited laws in the exercise of that privilege. Anyone who wants to use the highways must then come under the government in order to travel. The State has become a god over the highways.

Today, the people in the kingdoms of the world are tired of being trampled upon by their government lords. Their government, which started out as a protector of their rights, is now their god. Anytime they say "no," their government uses unlimited force to change their "no," to a "yes."

This struggle is becoming more visible. Randy Weaver's wife and son were killed by United States agents because he said "no," and wanted to be left alone. In April of 1993, almost 100 Branch Davidians were shot and burned by the BATF because they said, "no."

On the other hand, on April 19, 1995, almost 200 United States Government people were killed by the bombing of a Federal building in Oklahoma City. Some say that it was for revenge. Others say it was done by the BATF in order to create more oppressive government.

The high officials of the United States quickly declared that the bombing was done by terrorists. They started pushing new laws to infiltrate assemblies of people who are not happy with their government. They are also planning to build higher "walls" to protect government employees from the people they represent.

When will all this come to an end? The answer is easy. When the people repent and forgive each other. Love heals a multitude of sins.

What is the long term solution to oppressive government? Quit trying to set up government. God's government is already here. Jesus Christ died on the cross to bring us His Father's Government. It is the Kingdom of Heaven. His Constitution is the Sermon on the Mount. The Supreme Law of the Land is the Golden Rule. By repenting of our sins and being born again, we can enter the Kingdom of Heaven. The world will come to an end, but His Government is Everlasting (Psalm 145:13).

Our protection does not come from men. It comes from Almighty God. In exchange for His protection, we must obey His commands, and they are not grievous. We are Citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven. In Him we have the Perfect Law of Liberty. A Sure Foundation. Amen.

Paul Revere, Pastor

Kingdom of Heaven
Questions and Answer

How about two Swords?Do you believe that a citizen of Heaven can use a gun for self-defense?

No. Our flesh desires to use force to correct a wrong. But in order to determine if a wrong is being done, we must judge. The Spirit of Christ lets God do the judging and lets God correct the wrong. Jesus demonstrates this through His teachings of, "Resist not evil" (Matthew 5:39).

When Jesus was being arrested, He rejected the use of the sword. Peter tried to come to His defense, but Jesus told Peter to put away his sword. "Do you think that I cannot now pray to My Father, and He will provide Me with more than twelve legions of angels?" (Matthew 26:53). Jesus did not defend himself. He put his life in the Father's hands and took up the cross.

We are also to take up the cross, rather than taking up the sword. We believe that we never have license to compel or use force when the other party wrongs us. We have something much greater than physical force to overcome them. We have the power of God and the wisdom of God abiding in us. Our weapon is the Word of God.

Once we have offered the Peace of Jesus, they must decide what they will do. What they do to us, they do unto Jesus Christ. We are in the hands of the Living God and if they harm us, they must answer to our Father.

Let us keep our eyes on Jesus. Self-defense is a diversion from the straight and narrow. We need not fear what men will do to us for God is our shield and protector.


Didn't Jesus command us to sell our cloak and buy a sword?

No. Just prior to Jesus' arrest, He told His disciples to sell their cloak and buy a sword. (See Luke 22:35-38). But this was not a command for us. Christ's purpose for the command was not to build up an army, but to fulfill the scriptures, "He was numbered with the transgressors" (Isaiah 53:12).

Notice that when the disciples came up with two swords, Jesus said, "that is enough." How could two swords be enough to defend 12 people? Jesus had another purpose for the swords.

Our Lord was being accused of rebellion. Rebels must have weapons to create an insurrection. The two swords would make it appear that the disciples were leading an armed rebellion.

The real message of this scripture is precisely the opposite of taking up weapons. Jesus was so committed to carrying out His mission, that He instructed His apostles to carry a couple swords so that they would appear to be transgressors. He deliberately provided the evidence to convict Himself as an evildoer.

Jesus taught that the way to overcome evil was by doing good, not by wielding the sword. The two swords were only for a show of men, so that the scripture could be fulfilled.

There is further evidence that Jesus did not intend for His followers to use the physical sword. When Peter tried to actually use the sword as a weapon, Jesus rebuked him. "Put your sword back in its place, for all who draw the sword will die by the sword" (Matthew 26:52).

When Jesus disarmed Peter, He disarmed all of us (Matthew 26:53).

Living by the Sword

"Put your sword back in its place," Jesus said to him, "for all who draw the sword will die by the sword."

Matthew 26:52 NIV

Who lives by the sword?

It is obvious that soldiers and law enforcement officers live by the sword. But are they the only ones?

How about the people who finance their weapons? Are they not also "living by the sword?" Taxpaying citizens provide the means for soldiers and law enforcement to live by the sword. Because these "paid protectors" are supported by taxpayers, taxpayers also live by the sword.

When I pay a man to do a job for me, he acts as my agent. I am responsible for his actions. Soldiers and police use the sword in the name of the citizens of this world. Those citizens who finance them, live under the protection of the sword, as surely as the soldier and policeman. Therefore, they are doomed to the same fate. For "ALL who take the sword will perish by the sword" (Matthew 26:52).

Are your monies going to promote death, destruction and slavery; or Life, Salvation and Liberty?

Treasures in Heaven

 

 

Who is testing who?

The Experiment with a Rat

Every time I nudge that Spring
a bell rings

and a man walks out of a cage
assiduous and sharp
like one of us

and brings me cheese.
How did he fall
into my Power?

Carl Rakosi

Test All Things

Who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ.

1 Corinthians 2:16

The mind of Christ searches for truth. A true Christian desires to know truth and is willing to accept truth when it is found.

One of the bad qualities of many minds is that they resist new ideas. Often the possessors of these minds resent any opinions different from their own. They want no new facts that will upset their old beliefs. They may persecute those who hold different ideas.

This closing of the mind to new and different ideas is completely opposed to the Christian way. The Christian, so far as he embodies the True Spirit, welcomes new facts and new interpretations of facts. He knows that what we know is only a small fraction of what we will someday know. Even the humblest man, with no titles, is listened to if the facts he presents is supported by Truth.

The Christian mind is an open one, but it is also an exceedingly narrow one. New ideas are welcomed, but they are given the most searching examinations before they are accepted. They are weighed against the Word of God, the Holy Spirit guiding them into all truth.

Most untrained minds will accept statements as true, when there is no proof that they are true. This is a bad weakness in the human thinking mechanism. One result is that people build up superstitious beliefs which enslave and often degrade them. A second result is that false statements and ideas are spread and accepted as facts. Thus, men are made to live in a world where there is no distinction between the false and the true. One of the missions of Christianity is to free mankind from the superstitions of the past and to strengthen the mind against the acceptance of untested assertions and schemes of thought that are launched in the present.

Belief in witchcraft

Among practically all savages, there is a belief in witchcraft. In civilized nations, until recently, it was generally accepted that certain persons were in communication with the spirit world and by incantations or charms could bring good or bad fortune. Among European peoples, it was common for women to be singled out as witches and accused of being in league with evil spirits. It was believed that such a woman could take the form of a black cat or of some other animal; that she could ride through the air on a broom; that she could raise storms on the sea; or that she had an evil eye that would bring bad luck or sickness to those on whom it fell.

There was never any proof that any of these things are true and people of sound minds never should have believed them. Estimates of the number of persons put to death as witches in Europe within historic times vary from 100,000 up to several million. Hundreds of thousands more have been tortured. Millions of others have been accused of witchcraft and made miserable by the persecution from their neighbors that followed. In Massachusetts, only about 300 years ago, twenty persons were officially put to death as witches in accordance with the English law of that time. In 1933, two boys in Pennsylvania killed an aged woman because they believed she had "hexed" their cow. We need sound minds to keep us from being lured into such superstitions.

Belief in astrology

Astrology takes it for granted that the sun, moon, planets, and brighter fixed stars have a great influence on the personal affairs of men. This superstition grew up in ancient Babylonia when there was a belief in many gods and it was thought that a different god was associated with each planet or star. From Babylonia it spread to Egypt and Europe and then to America. To pay money for horoscopes is an utterly senseless thing to do. Many people still go to astrologers and wonder if it would be better to wait about beginning some undertaking until Jupiter or Mars changes its position in the sky.

This superstition has done much harm. It was the very bulwark of the doctrine of the divine right of kings. Even today, certain men proclaim a belief in their "stars" and announce that by destiny they are selected to lead and rule. Other men accept these ideas and, like sheep, follow them into senseless undertakings.

A man who practices astrology cringes before unseen forces. It encourages him to think that he is helpless in the hands of fate, instead of seeking truth.

When a London morning newspaper omitted its horoscope one day, the editorial office received more than fifty thousand telegrams, telephone and personal calls within twenty-four hours from complaining readers.

Prevalence of superstitions

Up to a few hundred years ago, superstition hung like a miasmatic fog over the whole earth and even yet it envelops much of mankind. India is fettered with a belief in a hereditary caste system and with a multitude of smaller superstitions that go with this malignant doctrine. China lives in dread of flying dragons and demons. More primitive peoples accept all sorts of ideas about the powers of conjurers and medicine men. In the United States, fortune tellers, palmists, numerologists, and crystal gazers flourish. Back through history, it has been the same. The ancient Greeks, brilliant as they were, were afraid to go into battle without the permission of an oracle. The practical Romans were guided in the most important affairs by the appearance of the internal organs of animals and the flight of birds.

We may smile at such superstitions, but the practices that accompany them in real life are far from amusing. Innocent people are put to death because of malicious charges against them. Humans are sacrificed and women throw their babies to the crocodiles to appease the angry river gods. Such are the kind of things we find in a superstitious world.

Safeguard Against Propaganda

Today it is much easier to establish and maintain a tyranny, than it was in the days of Nero or Genghis Khan. A grave new danger has come to mankind. Over radio or television, a whole nation can be addressed at once. Accounts of happenings can be flashed to distant parts of the earth and made to appear in newspapers everywhere. The technique of arousing and organizing masses of people and of setting them against other classes or peoples has been greatly improved. There are now nationwide and worldwide systems of propaganda designed to rouse the emotions of people and to direct their actions along certain ways. Propaganda threatens to reduce civilized man to a mental servitude as degrading as that enforced by the superstitions of the past.

The best defense against propaganda is to "Test all things; holding fast what is good" (1 Thessalonians 5:21) Don't be too quick to follow a multitude. Watch and pray. "You will know them by their fruits" (Matthew 7:16).

The test of any way of doing things lies in the results that are secured. The rule in industry is, "Do your experimenting in the laboratory and your manufacturing in the factory." Only one out of scores of ideas that are suggested works out and everything must be tested and proved before it is adopted. The same is true of a Christian. We are wisest to examine and test before we adopt and use an idea. Measuring an idea by examining its fruits is the best guarantee that the false will be rejected and the true approved.

Monkey SeeMonkey DoOne scientist, who worked with a colony of chimpanzees, reported that if one of them was punished for wrongdoing and cried out in anger, all the other chimps would howl in unison with him - even when they did not know what it was all about. Instead of howling in unison with propagandists who appear as experts among us, we should subject their ideas to the light of Truth.

Are you a Monkey?Unless a man actively seeks truth, he will be ruled by fears and superstition. He is exploited and tyrannized by mental racketeers who make a pretense of protecting him from evils that exist only in his own imagination. When propagandists come with their false tales, the untrained man drinks in their doctrines and allows the fetters to be placed on his wrists. Without the mind of Christ, man has always had a complete set of false explanations of the causes of his woes and blessings. He has always failed to do the things that would bring him a happier and more abundant life. All men should be trained to seek and know truth.

"You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

(John 8:32)

Appealing to Men's Courts

Some of the brethren proposed having the U.S. Supreme Court sign an injunction to prevent the States from interfering with Church activities, unless Church members constitute an immediate threat to someone or their property.

The only function such a document would serve is to pray to Antichrist for relief. Why would we want to do that? It is a principle of law that if you ask a court for a decision, it is assumed you will abide by their decision. Asking the court to do something is also tacit recognition of their authority over you. What if you don't like the court's decision? By going to them, you have obligated yourself to obey their ruling.

What the Church is really struggling over is authority. We want to have a standing in Christ. We don't want a standing recognized by the world, for what communion has the Kingdom of Light with the Kingdom of Darkness?

The officials of the Church will come into authority because they are acting in His name, in a righteous manner. Everyone will notice who the real Authority is. The real question is, "Who sits on the highest throne?"

We, as Christians, have been given the highest Authority, and we need to act in a Christian manner as we carry out His commands. We must joyfully accept the plundering of our property and meekly suffer, rather than retaliate. At some point, unbelievers will start to see how harshly Christ's people are being treated. They will be unable to stomach such cruelty. Eventually, those who rule over the unbelievers will make their own "toleration acts" for these peculiar people who are suffering at their hands. We do not need to petition their government. Their own people will demand that something be done.

The unbelievers need to take the initiative in making a place for God's elect, lest they be destroyed in their way. We are not called to "plea bargain" with the unbelievers, but to rule the earth and make them His footstool.

Letter from Jail

Ambassador: Abraham
Date: February 17, Year of our Lord, 1995
Mission Field: Marion County Jail, Salem, Oregon
Date of Arrest: February 11, 1995
Released from Jail: February 27, 1995

Dear Friends at the Embassy,

I pray that in this time of suffering that our roots sink deeper into Jesus Christ. There are times to be together and times to be apart. I hope Jesus makes this time apart a fruitful one in spite of our fleshy desires. Praise the Lord!

This time in jail has been one of great pain and great joy. The devil wants to traumatize me out of Christ. But as I cry out to God, that which was meant to destroy, only drives Jesus and I closer together.

A lady at the front desk began to question me. I asked for her delegation of authority to question me. She said she was authorized by State Law. Then I asked for her specific delegation of authority over the Kingdom of Heaven. Her tone grew very authoritarian, yet she could not answer the question.

Later, Cindy, a nurse, began to question me concerning my medical status. I posed the same question to her. She, too, was unable to provide a delegation of authority. She rose up to leave and said curtly, "Well, I hope you are in good medical condition, sir."

What makes things so difficult is that I am working with folks who move according to a fixed procedure. They cannot conceive that anyone in their facility in not subject to their law. Their whole world is the word of their judge and the jail-house rules. The only thing one can do, is to suffer, educate, and not lose hope.

You are too a chicken, Or you wouldn't be here.I feel like a turkey on a conveyer belt at a chicken processing plant. I say, "I'm a turkey! I don't belong in chicken soup!" The workers say, "Well, if you weren't a chicken, you wouldn't be here."

I have been fasting and not wearing the jail uniform. Before they dragged me to court, they forced their clothes upon me. It was amazing. One guy pulled one arm while another applied a "pressure hold" to my hand. This caused great pain and I screamed, "Lord Jesus forgive them!" at the top of my lungs the whole way to court. I arrived at the "processing plant" in agony, the tears streaming down my face. It was a day of victory.

It did not look good for the court to drag in a pathetic mess, crying, "Father forgive them!" at the top of his lungs. Being in much pain, my mind was a blur. They never bothered asking if I "understood my rights" and all the usual rigmarole. A man in a black robe entered a "not guilty" plea for "Person A".

I don't think the guards expected such a scene in the synagogue. Usually, the "pressure hold" brings someone into submission very quickly and he walks. About 10 feet from the courtroom door, the guards realized they were not getting me to my feet. The guard let off the pressure hold and said sarcastically, "Working for Satan is hard work." With tears rolling down my face, I said, "Working for God is hard work, too." He smiled.

The guards were really angry at me, but I forgave them and shook the hand of the guy who applied the pressure hold. He said, "That was a first, we usually get them walking with that one." I don't know if the guy will do it to me again, but we parted on good terms. It was good to see him smiling and not all bent out of shape.

My prayers are with you, that you bear much fruit and that your fruit shall remain as a testimony to all generations.

Abraham

Judged In Absentia

By Abraham

On February 23, 1995, I was chained and transported to the Marion County Courthouse in a police van. As I entered the empty courtroom, a lawyer approached me to sell his services. Over and over, I responded by saying, "Lord Jesus save me."

The following dialog is from the court transcript. A man wearing a black robe, named Ochoa, began calling out a name I do not know, as if it were me.

Abe: You cannot access me based on State records. I have not authorized the State to manufacture records on my behalf. Jesus save me.
Ochoa: We would certainly appreciate it if Mr. "Person A" were to participate in these matters.
Abe: These are strangers. Lord Jesus, you are the Lord and only You can save me.
Ochoa: Mr. "Person A" has on the record said that he has not accepted the authority of this court or any other governmental body.
Abe: Lord Jesus you can save me. Forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do.
Ochoa: Mr. "Person A", if you do not wish to participate, you do not have to participate.
Abe: I am not Mr. "Person A"! I am not Mr. "Person A"! I am not Mr. "Person A"!
Ochoa: If you choose to be disruptive, I will have you removed.
Abe: Lord Jesus save me.
Ochoa: Let the record show that Mr. "Person A" does not wish to participate --
Abe: You have not filed a complaint with my Embassy.
Ochoa: ...That he does not wish to be undisruptive.
Abe: You have not gone through proper channels. You've trampled down the Lord's pastures.
Ochoa: At this point in time I am going to ask that --
Abe: You're trespassing on the Kingdom of Heaven.
Ochoa: ...And order that Mr. "Person A" be removed.
Abe: The State of Oregon is on trial - not me.
Ochoa: Remove him.
Abe: The Father in Heaven is taking silent judicial notice.
Ochoa: Ok. Mr. "Person A", do you want to participate in this matter?
Abe: Lord Jesus save me. Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit.
Ochoa: OK, Mr. "Person A" is refusing to answer the question. He is being disruptive. I am not going to let the order of this court--
Abe: No, a woman crying 'RAPE' is not being disruptive. You cannot hold a woman in contempt for disturbing the peace for crying out for help from my Shepherd.
Ochoa: Mr. "Person A", it is a shame that you are not more articulate than you are because you are not making any kind of case for yourself.
Abe: You understand perfectly. You are willfully refusing to acknowledge the truth. I forgive you, though.
Ochoa: Mr. "Person A" is being led by his own will out of the court.
(Abraham is being carried out by guards in a complete horizontal position.)
Abe: No, I'm not!
Ochoa: He has submitted to the jurisdiction of this court.
Abe: No, I have not! (Abraham is carried out the door of the synagogue of Satan, down to the courthouse basement. He is not seen again by judge, witness, prosecution or jury.)

Ochoa proceeds ahead. "I am going to advise the jury of the circumstances of this matter because they are certainly going to wonder why we don't have a defendant here. Mr. "Person A" has a belief that he submits to a Higher Authority than this court and that he will not submit to the authority of this court."

Ochoa tells potential jurors. "It is the court's decision to have Mr. "Person A" removed. Would anyone have any difficulty making a decision on the case knowing that Mr. "Person A's" position is that he will not submit to this court, that he answers to a Higher Power?"

A prospective juror responds, "My husband is a State police officer. He deals with these people on a regular basis. I have no tolerance at all. I see what the officers on the street have to go through dealing with the people who go to a Higher Power. I have no tolerance for them."

END OF TRANSCRIPT EXCERPT

"Everyone wants to follow a winner, but no one wants to follow someone to the cross." P.R.

Getting Even

Bear eating with skunk

 

 

Bear eating with skunk

by S. I. McMillen, M.D.

Have you ever observed the grizzly bear feeding area at Yellowstone Park? The park ranger dumps garbage into a clearing and it isn't long before a grizzly bear arrives. Soon he is joined by the one animal he allows to eat with him - a skunk. The grizzly is one of the strongest animals in the West and could easily win in any fight with a skunk. Yet the grizzly leaves the skunk alone. Surely the grizzly resents the skunk and yearns to get even with him for his brazen impudence. But he doesn't. Why? Because he knows there is a high cost in getting even.

Smart grizzly! Certainly much smarter than many human beings who spend weary days and sleepless nights brooding over their resentments and trying to hatch ways to squelch someone. Man doesn't seem to learn that the high cost of getting even may be ulcers, colitis, toxic goiter, strokes or even fatal heart attacks.

The moment I start hating a man, I become his slave. I cannot enjoy working any more because he even controls my thoughts. My resentments produce too many stress hormones in my body and I become fatigued after only a few hours of work. The work I formerly enjoyed is now drudgery. Even vacations cease to give me pleasure. I may drive a new, luxurious car along a lake fringed with the autumn beauty of maple, oak and birch. But as far as my experience of pleasure is concerned, I might as well be driving a wagon in mud and rain.

The man I hate hounds me wherever I go. I cannot escape his tyrannical grasp on my mind. When the waiter serves porterhouse steak with a baked potato, asparagus, green salad and strawberry shortcake smothered with ice cream, it might as well be stale bread and water. My teeth chew the food and I swallow it, but the man I hate will not permit me to enjoy it.

King Solomon must have had a similar experience, for he wrote; "Better a dish of vegetables, with love, than the best beef served with hatred" (Proverbs 15:17).

The man I hate may be many miles from my bedroom; but more cruel than any slave driver. He whips my thoughts into such a frenzy that my innerspring mattress becomes a rack of torture. The lowliest of the serfs can sleep, but not I. I really must acknowledge the fact that I am a slave to every man on whom I pour the vials of my wrath.

Fattening Grudges

The most common way people get even with others is by talking about them. But running people down does not keep us free from a host of diseases of body and mind. The verbal expression of animosity toward others calls forth certain hormones from the pituitary, adrenal, thyroid, and other glands. An excess of these hormones can cause disease in any part of the body. Many diseases can develop when we fatten our grudges by rehearsing them in the presence of others.

Man can fill every moment with thoughts that fume like nitric acid and corrode as deeply. Are human beings more stupid than grizzly bears? Or is man controlled far more than he realizes by an inner evil force?

Knowing the Spirit

I think Jesus gave the answer when James and John wanted Him to call down fire on a Samaritan village because the Samaritans would not give them lodging. These disciples were believers and followers of Jesus. Yet, these Christians, smarting from the sting of racial discrimination, were so full of carnality that they besought the Lord to call down fire on the village. The Lord rebuked them by saying, "Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of" (Luke 9:55).

Before Pentecost, Peter also had an innate evil spirit. In the Garden of Gethsemane, Peter, with fiery vengeance, tried to cut off the head of one of the opposition party. He wasn't the first or the last carnal theologian who has retaliated by cutting off heads.

A complete transformation occurred in James, John and Peter after they crucified self and were filled with the Holy Spirit. The old spirit of getting even was replaced by the Holy Spirit of Christ who, when He was reviled, reviled not again.

The seventh chapter of Acts describes how Stephen, "being full of the Holy Spirit," reacted when he was stoned. Stoning was a horrible and painful way to kill a man, but Stephen was devoid of the spirit of revenge. Bleeding and bruised, he summoned his last bit of energy to get on his knees and pray, "Lord, lay not this sin to their charge" (Acts 7:60).

How many of us, stoned by a vicious mob, would be primarily interested in praying with our last breath for their spiritual welfare?

Failure to possess His Spirit will make us susceptible to many diseases of body and mind. When we are shamefully wronged by someone, we cannot resist the temptation to get even. And paying the price of getting even means losing a pound of our own flesh.

Christ can crucify the carnal spirit if we drive the spikes into everything in our lives that He marks for destruction. Then we are candidates for His baptism with the Holy Spirit.

Paul, who was convinced as he witnessed the stoning of Stephen and heard his prayer, outlines the steps toward getting rid of the disease-producing spirit of retaliation:

So put to death those members that are on earth. . . . Once you moved among them, when you lived in them; but off with them all now, off with anger, rage, malice, slander. . . . you have stripped off the old nature with its practices, and put on the new nature. . . . be clothed with compassion, kindliness, humility, gentleness, and good temper - forbear and forgive each other in any case of complaint; as Christ forgave you, so must you forgive. And above all you must be loving, for love is the link of the perfect life.

Colossians 3:5, 7-10; 13-14 MOFFATT.

What about our Rights?

One may ask, "Isn't it foolish to give up our rights?" Perhaps it is not foolish, since in giving up our rights, we insure our health and happiness. In giving the other fellow a "piece of our mind," we always lose our "peace of heart."

To the natural man, it is unthinkable that he should give in when he is right. He refuses to sacrifice his pride, but in so doing, he sacrifices his health. Not too intelligent a transaction.

It is the spirit of retaliation that calls forth glandular toxins, and man suffers from his strong sense of self-expression and self-pity. If one takes time to analyze the cause of faulty adaptation to life's difficulties, one will often discover a little four-letter word - self. Stress and disease result because of our unwillingness to sacrifice the big "I."

Reacting to Stress

All of us are subjected to many, many stress factors in our daily lives, but that does not mean we have to develop inner stress with its resultant toxic chemicals and diseases. Our reactions to stress determine whether stress will make us "better or bitter."

Apostle Paul, after listing many stress agents that assail mankind, gives the divine secret, "Can anything separate us from the love of Christ? Can trouble, pain or persecution? Can lack of clothes and food, danger to life and limb, the threat of force of arms? Indeed some of us know the truth of that ancient text: 'For Thy sake we are killed all the day long; We were accounted as sheep for the slaughter.' No, in all these things we win an overwhelming victory through Him Who has proved His love for us." Romans 8:35-37, PHILLIPS

Here is the Scriptural secret for victorious adaptation to life's insults. At the beginning of each day, consider yourself a sheep that is going to be abused even to the extreme of being slaughtered. If you take that attitude of mind, then nothing that comes up should frustrate or disturb you.

Learn from the Meek

There is a big difference between the individual who is seeking great things for himself and the one whose energies are devoted to God's Kingdom. In the world of business, the individual who is self-employed has only his own resources to fall back upon when he meets trouble. But the man who is a vital part of a large corporation, has all the resources of a billion-dollar company. Hence, he has a sense of security in knowing that, regardless of what happens, he does not have to worry.

Doesn't it go without saying that the man or woman who is faithfully devoting his energies to a corporation that owns the cattle on a thousand hills, the oil in a million wells, and the silver, gold, and jewels in a billion solar systems, has a sense of security and freedom from frustration and disease that nothing in the world can ever give?

Jesus said something that few people took seriously because it was as high above our earthly thinking as the heavens are above the earth. He said, ". . . the meek . . . shall inherit the earth" (Matthew 5:5).

We can believe that the meek will inherit heaven when they die, but Jesus was trying to tell us that the meek are going to inherit the earth here and now. Study the meek people you know, and you will discover that they are actually coming into possession of everything that is worthwhile on this earth.

With a little reflection, you can understand why the meek inherit the earth. They have been thoughtful and considerate of your interests, they have been slow to talk about their great accomplishments and quick to congratulate you on your minor achievements. Down through the years they have always laughed at your "corny" jokes. Yes, you will gladly give them what you possess. The earth belongs to them.

What's Eating You?

Big Bill Brandon was a very likable fellow - when he didn't "go off at the handle." When one of his men at the plant messed up an assignment, Bill would get furious and throw at him the sharpest epithets in his voluminous, but unprintable, vocabulary. But the abuse he hurled at the other fellow always seemed to boomerang on poor Bill.

After one of these outbursts, Bill would start vomiting for weeks at a time. His trouble was always brought on by anger, which tightened the outlet of his stomach and caused the intractable vomiting. The occurrences were so frequent and severe that Bill was having a hard time working enough to support his family.

Changing Hate to Love

Only a doctor can fully appreciate the amazingly large percentage of human disease and suffering which is directly traceable to worry, fear, conflict, immorality, dissipation, and ignorance. Christ taught a life of mental peace and joy, unselfishness and clean living. If mankind would sincerely put into practice these teachings, more than half the difficulties, diseases and sorrows of the human race would be wiped out.

Laying aside all discussion of future life, it would pay any man or woman to live the Christ-life just for the mental and moral rewards it affords here in this present world. Someday, man may awaken to the fact that the teachings of Christ are potent and powerful in preventing and curing disease.

"Do good to them that hate you." Impossible? Try doing something good for your enemy and it will surprise you to find how much easier it is to love him. This is the Scripturally sound method of changing our feelings.

"Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you." That may be a very bitter tonic to swallow, but you will discover that when it reaches the heart, it will be surprisingly invigorating and exhilarating. By doing good, you can change hate to love.

Obedience to the Lord in loving others, even the unlovely, will save you from a host of debilitating and serious diseases. Only when such love exists between individuals, between races, and between nations, is there any hope for the world.

From the book, "None of These Diseases" by S.I. McMillen, M.D., published by Fleming H. Revell Company, 1963.

Preacher Turned Lawyer

I was surprised to discover that my ambitious friend in the ministry gave up the pulpit and was practicing medicine. I asked why he made the change. He said, "I took up the practice of medicine because I discovered that people will pay more money to care for their bodies than to care for their souls."

Just recently, my friend gave up medicine and became a lawyer. Perplexed, I asked for a reason. He replied, "I took up the practice of law because I discovered that people will pay much more money to get their own way, rather than to care for either their soul or their body."

. . . One day a plumber came to the lawyer's house and fixed his sink. He handed the lawyer a bill for $150 for a half-hour's work. My friend the lawyer was outraged. He said, "That is $300 per hour. That's more than I make." The plumber replied, "I know, I used to be a lawyer."