Sep-Oct, Year of Our Lord, 1995
Machinery rusts away.
Earthly pleasures fade in a moment.
But a child lives on and on in the lives of descendants and in those he influences all the way into eternity.
Give him an inch and he thinks he is a ruler.
When: September 27 - October 1, 1995
Theme: Practical Kingdom Living
Mark your calendars and plan to fellowship with us in the forested foothills of the Cascade Mountains. Topics include:
Debt Free Housing - 24-foot domes for under $1,000
Hydroelectric and Solar Power - See our working models
Healthy Eating without Supermarkets
Traveling with Kingdom of Heaven Passports
Health - Cleansing the Temple
Alternatives to Carnal Weapons
Leaving the World System - and more.
For further details, request our Retreat Brochure.
Rick Sheppard is in the mission field of Dallas, Texas. The police have stopped him in a Heaven vehicle THREE times over the last two months. He was hauled to jail twice. Shortly after we finished writing his road report which is inside, he was stopped a third time. He was released from jail after less than 24 hours, without signing anything. He says, "I hope it's somebody else's turn pretty soon. I'm not really fearing what men can do to me, so much as I'm getting weary of what they are doing to me." (Daniel 7:25)
Rick continued, "I did not give any fingerprints willingly. So two sheriff's deputies jumped on me and wrestled me to the floor. I did not resist, they just took the fingerprints forcibly. Then their boss walked in and said, 'We ain't doing it that way. I want to knock him out to get them.'
"The deputies argued that they already had the prints. But the boss was screaming for blood. He said, 'We're going to use the Cuban knockout maneuver on this guy.' So he stuck his hand up under my lower lip and picked me up off the ground a couple of times, yanking my neck and ripping loose my top lip. It tore up my face pretty bad there. But he could not knock me out. Then he said, 'Well, we won't knock you out this time because there is too much paper work involved.' He had obtained his pound of flesh, anyway.
"The two deputies were almost coming to my defense because I was not resisting. One of the deputies had asked me earlier why I was opposed to State law and I was able to preach to him. The deputies tried to explain that they would lose their job if they did not follow orders. I told them I understood and that I was not angry. At that point the guy who roughed me up had a change of heart and his whole demeanor changed. He was almost whining about what he had just done.
"I was released and the jail gave back all the documents for the car and my Heaven driver license. They also gave me citations that are not even supportable by their own law. Even though I had given my address to them many times, the citations read, 'Street unknown, Dallas, Texas 00000.' A paper titled, 'Released to Appear' had a blank for the amount of the fine and citation numbers, but no citations listed."
Rick is glad to be out and though they beat on him, he feels some hearts were changed. "It was like pouring coals of fire on their heads."
Mac Fournier, an ambassador for the Kingdom of Heaven, was released on August 28 from the Lincoln County Jail, Newport, Oregon. He fasted for 34 days. Please pray that God uses his suffering to soften hearts.
Desire the pure milk of the word that you may grow thereby.
1 Peter 2:2
This thought needs to be written down, but I don't have any paper with me," said Rachel as we walked by the cows in the neighbor's pasture. I told her, "Woe unto the man who does not have a milk bucket when the cow is ready."
My wife Rachel was puzzled. I explained, "If you do not take action when the cow is ready to milk, the milk will be wasted, or the calf will get to it before you do. Possibly, the cow will kick her udder because she hurts so bad. Maybe she will get mastitis and dry up."
Most of us don't have a cow. Old Elsie has been put out to pasture. But there are other things in life that come along and we miss opportunities. We attend a wedding and miss capturing the event because we did not bring a camera. Or there is going to be a solar eclipse and we do not have a telescope. Some things in life we can plan for, other events are known only by the Father. Therefore, we must always be ready, for He will come like a thief in the night.
Yes, Jesus is coming again. What will we be doing when he comes? Will we be running jails and ruining people's lives? Will we be bowing down to the State's demands because we fear what they will do to us? Or will we be in the Kingdom of Heaven, serving one another, loving one another and doing to others as we would want done to us?
What can we do to prepare for Christ's arrival? When the bridegroom appears, we need to be ready. We better have oil in our lamps. "Woe unto the man who has no milk bucket when the cow is ready." For in this instance, we are not talking about losing a little milk. We are talking about losing eternal life. Those who are not busy doing the Father's business will suffer eternal damnation. Therefore, prepare yourselves. Stop whoring after the false gods that men worship. Make yourself ready by coming out from among them. The Bridegroom approaches. He wants a pure bride, without spot or wrinkle. Amen.
Paul Revere, Pastor
by Caleb Israel
Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ our King. Have you ever listened to what the leaders of the patriot community are saying? I hear them give lip service to God and Jesus Christ, but their real allegiance is to the government created by the Constitution of the United States. They claim that God inspired the writing of the Constitution. God would not inspire a document for government of the people that did not give Him honor and glorify Jesus Christ as the highest authority. Neither God nor Jesus Christ is even mentioned in the Constitution.
None of the patriots are advocating that the government of the United States should be abolished and the government of Jesus Christ, the Kingdom of Heaven, be put in its place. No, not one.
What these groups and militiamen are advocating is: Kick out the people who are currently in office and replace them with their own people. That is all they are picking up arms to do!
If the militia in the States clash with the U.N. forces in America and the militia wins, what changes are going to take place? The patriots and militia want to keep the Constitution of the United States in effect as the supreme law of the land. The only noticeable change that would take place is the decrease in the population caused by Americans killing Americans. The New World Order has already taken over. That is what the Constitution of the United States was designed to do from the beginning.
There are many folks, such as myself, who are not a part of this Babylonian system of world slavery. We saw a long time ago that the only way to change the system, was to get out of it. As long as the people stay in the system, and take part in its satanic rituals of voting, paying taxes, and pledging allegiance, all things will continue to get worse and worse. And the beast will grow larger and larger.
The beast lives on the blood of the people who support it. If you do not like the way the system operates, the best way to change it is to get out. As Christians, we should not even be partakers of the system, lest we share in her sins (Revelation 18:4).
The government for Christians is the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. Jesus Christ has been given all authority. If Jesus Christ is your King, why are you supporting the United States and the several states? They are the other gods which Yahweh said, "You shall not have before me" (Exodus 20:3-6).
Christ's Sermon on the Mount in Matthew, Chapters 5, 6 and 7, is the Constitution for His Kingdom on earth. This Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land. Jesus Christ is my King and Lawgiver. I need no other, do you?
Ambassador: Richard Sheppard
Mission Field: Texas
Date of Incident: July, 1995
I had just finished putting temporary Heaven plates on a new vehicle and was on my way to mail in the vehicle registration when the Addison, Texas, police stopped me again. This was four or five days after I had not shown up at their kangaroo court. I figured I was headed for jail. I had been stopped earlier this month, gone to jail for a couple days, and the Heaven vehicle had been confiscated. I had hoped that I would not be stopped for at least a couple months, but here I was in their clutches again.
The policeman came over and started talking with me about Romans 13. He wanted to support his allegation that men are obligated to obey manmade laws. I witnessed to him that God's Law is the ONLY LAW. The Congress of the United States makes NO LAW. The enabling clause for all rulers is clearly spelled out in scripture. Rulers are to enforce God's Law. There is no need to fear a ruler if one is obedient to God's Law. The judgment of good or evil is determined by God's Law, for they are the ministers of God. However, we are plainly told that the time would come when governments would not be acting as the ministers of God.
Matthew 24:9 says, "Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death and you will be hated by all nations because of me." I said that the City of Addison does not know or obey God's law, and that this is the time spoken of in Matthew.
Scripture gives many examples that God's people are not to obey "laws" of kings, which violate God's Law. The three Hebrew children were cast into a fiery furnace, Daniel was thrown into the lion's den, and Stephen was stoned. All are examples that God's people had to obey God's Law, nonetheless. Even if they were thrown into a fiery furnace. Even if they were cast into a den of lions. Even if they were stoned to death.
Man does not have authority to make Law. There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the ONE who is able to save and destroy (James 4:12). After talking with the policeman about 20 minutes, I figured he was going to throw me in jail, but he didn't. He said, "You're talking about all those laws for ancient Israel. But we're not Israel." I said, "the Bible only divides humanity into two categories, the Israel of God and the heathen. If you are a Christian, then you are Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise. Everyone else is the heathen. In 2 Kings 17:7, we are commanded to obey God's law and we are not supposed to obey any laws made by the kings of Israel. And we are not to obey any laws made by the heathen. We are only to be in obedience to God's Law."
Then the policeman asked about rendering unto Caesar (Matthew 22:21). I said that Jesus never said to render to Caesar what is God's. And the MAKING OF LAW is not anything that God has ever given to "Caesar."
God never let Israel set up kings over themselves that could make law. The only thing they could do was set up kings over them to enforce His law. And we are certainly not to walk in the statutes of the heathen (2 Kings 17:7-8). It does not seem to me that the City of Addison is using the right law.
Then the policeman asked me where I was going. I said, "You guys took my last car and will not give it back. Therefore, I had to obtain another car. I am on my way to send off the registration to get new license plates from the Embassy of Heaven."
He asked how I registered with the Embassy. Since I was on my way to mailing the forms, I pulled out my Request Forms and explained the procedure.
Finally, the policeman said, "I'm sorry I stopped you and I did not mean to interrupt what you were doing or anything. I'm just going to let you go. Have a nice day."
His reaction was a surprise to me because I thought they had a warrant out and I was going to jail. This time he listened to the words God gave me and chose not to cite or arrest me or take the Heaven vehicle. May God be glorified.
Legislative bodies, kings and governors can make no law for true Christians. A true Christian is led by the Holy Spirit and is not under the law (Galatians 5:18). Christians love everyone, even their enemies. By their love, they satisfy the requirements of the law, for love is the fulfilling of the law (Romans 13:10). P.R.
"I don't think you can make a lawyer honest by an act of legislature. You've got to work on his conscience.
"But his lack of conscience is what makes him a lawyer."
By Leo Tolstoy (1894)
Every government knows by what means and in what manner to defend itself from revolutionists, and has resources for doing so, and therefore does not dread these external foes. But what are governments to do against men who show the uselessness, superfluousness, and perniciousness of all governments, and who do not contend against them, but simply do not need them and do without them, and therefore are unwilling to take any part in them?
The socialists, the communists, the anarchists, with their bombs and riots and revolutions, are not nearly so much dreaded by governments as these disconnected individuals coming from different parts, and all justifying their non-compliance on the grounds of the same [Christian] religion, which is known to all the world.
The revolutionists say: The form of government is bad in this respect and that respect; we must overturn it and substitute this or that form of government. The Christian says: I know nothing about the form of government, I don't know whether it is good or bad, and I don't want to overturn it precisely because I don't know whether it's good or bad, but for the very same reason I don't want to support it either. And I not only don't want to, but I can't because what it demands of me is against my conscience.
All state obligations are against the conscience of a Christian; the oath of allegiance, taxes, law proceedings, and military service. And the whole power of the government rests on these very obligations.
Revolutionary enemies attack the government from without. Christianity does not attack it at all, but, from within, it destroys all the foundations on which government rests....
Thus they refuse the voluntary payment of taxes, because taxes are spent on deeds of violence - on the pay of men of violence - soldiers, on the construction of prisons, fortresses, and cannons. They, as Christians, regard it as sinful and immoral to have any hand in such deeds.
Those who refuse to take the oath of allegiance refuse because to promise obedience to authorities, that is, to men who are given to deeds of violence, is contrary to the sense of Christ's teaching. They refuse to take the oath in the law courts, because oaths are directly forbidden by the Gospel. (Matthew 5:34)
They refuse to perform police duties, because in the performance of these duties they must use force against their brothers and ill treat them, and a Christian cannot do that. They refuse to take part in trials at law, because they consider every appeal to law is fulfilling the law of vengeance, which is inconsistent with the Christian law of forgiveness and love. They refuse to take any part in military preparations and in the army, because they cannot be executioners, and they are unwilling to prepare themselves to be so.
The motives in all these cases are so excellent that, however despotic governments may be, they could hardly punish them openly. To punish men for refusing to act against their conscience, the government must renounce all claim to good sense and benevolence. And they assure people that they only rule in the name of good sense and benevolence.
What are governments to do against such people?
To buy them over with bribes is impossible; the very risks to which they voluntarily expose themselves show that they are incorruptible. To dupe them into believing that this is their duty to God is also impossible, since their refusal is based on the clear, unmistakable law of God, recognized even by those who are trying to compel men to act against it.
To terrify them by threats is still less possible, because the deprivations and sufferings to which they are subjected only strengthen their desire to follow the faith by which they are commanded: to obey God rather than men, and not to fear those who can destroy the body, but to fear him who can destroy body and soul.
To kill them or keep them in perpetual imprisonment is also impossible. These men have friends, and a past; their way of thinking and acting is well known; they are known by everyone to be good, gentle, peaceable people, and they cannot be regarded as criminals who must be removed for the safety of society. And to put men to death who are regarded as good men is to provoke others to champion them and justify their refusal.
And it is only necessary to explain the reasons of their refusal to make clear to everyone that these reasons have the same force for all other men, and that they all ought to have done the same long ago. These cases put the ruling powers into a desperate position. They see that the prophecy of Christianity is coming to pass, that it is loosening the fetters of those in chains, and setting free them that are in bondage, and that this must inevitably be the end of all oppressors.
The ruling authorities see this, they know that their hours are numbered, and they can do nothing. All that they can do to save themselves is only deferring the hour of their downfall. And this they do, but their position is none the less desperate....
Thus it is that the ruling authorities are in such a defenseless position before men who advocate Christianity, that but little is necessary to overthrow this sovereign power which seems so powerful, and has held such an exalted position for so many centuries. And yet social reformers are busy promulgating the idea that it is not necessary and is even pernicious and immoral for every man separately to work out his own freedom...
But the thing has gone too far. Already ruling governments feel their weak and defenseless position, and men of Christian principles are awakening from their apathy, and already begin to feel their power...These separate fires may be few, but they are burning with a flame which, however small a spark it starts from, never ceases till it has set the whole ablaze. And this fire is beginning to burn. "I am come to send a fire on the earth," said Christ, "and what will I, if it be already kindled?" Luke 12:49
(This excerpt is from the book, THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS WITHIN YOU, by Leo Tolstoy, reprinted in 1984 by University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, NE 68588-0520
Dear Pastor Revere,
I received your newsletter # 954. There are many interesting articles in it. The one about giving up insurance was of special interest to me. For a number of years, the Lord's Divine Insurance Policy of the Holy Scriptures has been our only coverage for auto, home, health and life.
There are only two types of protection available, the unrighteous policies of a manmade system of fraud, and the Divine Insurance policy written in the Holy Scriptures. The manmade policy in effect states: "Give us your money and when sickness, accidents, and death come to your household, we will give you some funds, unless we can find a loophole."
The Divine policy, issued by the Almighty, in effect states: "Trust in me, and me alone, and I will not allow any of these plagues to visit you or your household."
Now as for me and my household, we like the Divine Policy. Those who choose the worldly system play a "what if" confidence game with large insurance corporations. They are apparently not allowed coverage under the Divine plan because the scripture says, "No man can serve two masters" (Matthew 6:24).
Another interesting article was about your trip to Florida, especially the police stop in Alabama. Wicked men such as these have no idea to what extent they are abusing their power, (not authority). They should be ashamed of themselves. Look at the zeal and dedication being expended for their own condemnation.
We're thankful for your newsletters and prayers and urge you to remain steadfast in the Faith. Take care.
In His Name and Service,
Mike Allen - New Mexico
Dear Paul and Rachel,
Praise be to our Lord Jesus Christ, and his Peace be with you and your family. I am really grateful you have sent me the Cleansing and Surgery book. I have no way of taking the cleanses while I am here in prison, but I hope to be out in a few months.
A few years ago I spent over $8,000 trying to figure out what was wrong with my kidneys. They were aching all the time. I could not sleep for more than four hours without my kidney pains waking me. I would get up and walk around for a half hour or so, then I could go back to sleep for a few more hours. During that time, I had numerous kidney stone attacks, but never found any stones. Sometimes my urine would be dark red and brown, which I was told was caused by the stone trying to pass through the kidney. None of the doctors I went to could tell me exactly what was wrong. Finally, we left the city and moved to the farm. After less than two weeks of drinking the spring water on the farm, my kidneys stopped aching altogether.
A homeopathic doctor in Portland informed me that chlorine could cause kidney problems and he sent me testimonials from people who had similar problems from drinking chlorinated water. The city doctors who have taken all my money without helping me, refuse to believe that chlorinated water can harm the kidneys.
Now that I am in prison and drinking chlorinated water again, my kidney problems have returned. When I get back to the farm, I plan to bottle our spring water. It is naturally sweet and I would rather drink it over pop or anything else.
May Christ Bless You
John M. - Oregon
Our Cleansing or Surgery book describes a simple kidney cleanse using apple juice to soften the stones. This three-day cleanse allows you to painlessly pass kidney stones as large as the end of your thumb. P.R.
"Every time I try to fast, I go into convulsions," complained our neighbor, Abigail. "How am I supposed to use the book, Cleansing or Surgery?"
We were standing in her spotless kitchen eating homegrown strawberries. "I can't even eat strawberries," she moaned. "All fruits and fruit juices make me ill."
We had stopped for a visit after talking with her husband out in the goat pasture. He had explained that his fifty-year-old wife was recovering from breast surgery and they were looking for alternatives to doctors. We took our Cleansing or Surgery book to her, hoping it would be helpful.
At first we were puzzled by her severe reaction to cleanses, but then we realized that her symptoms were signs of a highly toxic body. She admitted to having been hospitalized for polio in her youth. Seven years ago, her female organs were removed and she was given chemotherapy. Abigail was suffering from two major assaults on her body: the ill effects of modern, factory processed food, and the toxic residues left in her tissues from taking prescription drugs.
Paul C. Bragg, who started the first health food store, also suffered disease symptoms when he ate fresh food. Bragg grew up on a farm in the South. His diet was rich in animal proteins and fats from hogs, chickens, cows and sheep. Accompanying these meats was white flour biscuits and bread, mashed potatoes and a heavy, sugary desert. When Bragg ate strawberries, tomatoes, green peppers and many other fruits, he would break into painful, red itching hives.
He attended military school where his body became saturated with toxic poisons. When he ate any fresh fruits, he suffered not only hives, but also colds, headaches, and other pain. He was erroneously told that these were allergic reactions. In reality, they were the natural responses of a body trying to become healthy. The fresh fruits were helping to clean his body and push out the toxins.
When large servings of raw fruits and vegetables are eaten, the body starts unloading poisons. If your body is loaded with toxins, this creates an uncomfortable cleansing reaction. If you would like to be able to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables without discomfort, we recommend doing an Intestinal Cleanse. This Cleanse gently removes toxins, while allowing you to continue eating regular meals.
Our neighbor, Abigail, is too clogged with toxins to do a cleansing juice fast without suffering physical discomforts such as nausea and vomiting. But she should be able to complete the Intestinal Cleanse without suffering from cleansing reactions. If toxins are being removed too fast to be comfortable, she can decrease the dosage.
Once Abigail completes the Intestinal Cleanse, her body should be clean enough to do other cleanses without suffering unpleasant cleansing reactions. And, once she has removed these accumulated toxins from her body, eating homegrown strawberries will again be a pleasure.
For many years Abigail has been looking outside herself for a "cure" for her ailments, aches, pains and diseases. If she would look within, she will find the body has its own internal healing forces. God has designed the human body to be self-repairing and self-healing. When you break an arm, a doctor can set the bone and put it into a cast. But it is not the doctor who knits the broken bone together again. It is the healing mechanism of your own body that knits the broken bone and makes it as strong as it was before the break. This same healing mechanism also rids the body of disease.
The body's internal healing system is called its Vital Force. When our Vital Force is exhausted, there is death. The basic cause of a low rate of Vital Force is a poor diet that has clogged the system. You cannot expect to build a high Vital Force on poor fuel.
Most physical problems are caused by blockages in the body's natural flow. The body is a plumbing system. We are made up of large pipes like the gastrointestinal tract, medium pipes and small pipes like the capillaries, which are the size of a human hair. The human pipes of most people are chronically clogged by the foodless foods of civilization.
Any localized disease symptom is usually caused by clogged plumbing. When the flow of these pipes is interrupted, toxins accumulate. Then disease strikes. Cataracts blur the vision, arthritis cripples and stiffens, and ears go deaf.
We can reverse this process of disease and aging by eating more raw foods. Fresh uncooked vegetables and fruits contain bulk, moisture and lubrication. All raw vegetables and raw fruits act like a broom to help keep the gastrointestinal tract flowing. The best "brooms" are coarse raw vegetables such as carrots, cabbage, beetroot and celery. When plenty of raw foods are eaten every day, toxins are kept swept out and disease cannot gain a foothold.
Mother Nature is a hard person to do business with. If we disobey her laws, she will make life a living hell on earth. Disease is not a thief in the night that creeps up and attacks us. We create the aches and pains that torment us by putting devitalized foods and drugs in our bodies.
The body responds to the Law of Compensation. You cannot get something for nothing. Rebuilding health requires individual disciple. You must abstain from devitalized foods and seek wholesome, natural foods to put in your stomach.
When you do your part in building health, then you can expect that blessed results will follow. Your body is dishonored by habitually eating refined and chemicalized foods. Therefore, be temperate in your eating habits. Eat natural foods, simply prepared. The man of the world eats to satisfy his lusts and cravings. As a Christian, your body is more than just flesh and bones. It is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, glorify God in your body. (1 Corinthians 6:20)
One day a man decides to take a hike through the wilderness. He plods slowly through the tall grass and after much difficulty, finally arrives on the shores of a crystal clear lake. After a short visit, he returns home. This first man merely took a hike.
A couple months later a man comes along and notices how cumbersome it is to plod through the high grass. He takes out a machete and cuts a path to the lake.
Beside the lake, he builds a small shelter and a lean-to for firewood. He cuts wood and fills the lean-to. After digging a fire-pit, he sits beside the lake and builds a small fire with the extra wood he has gathered. After watching a glorious sunset, he walks around the lake and goes home. This second man improved a hike.
One summer day, a third person discovers the new path to the lake. "Well, bless me! Praise the Lord! Look at this trail that has been prepared for me. God surely has been thinking about me."
He walks down the path and comes to the lake. He sees the prepared fire-pit and the wood neatly stacked in the lean-to. "The Lord is blessing me with all this wood. Praise God."
He builds a fire and warms his hands. It is August and there is only a slight chill in the air. "Oh it is so wonderful to be in God's great outdoors," he says.
Though he is not cold, he heaps the wood on the fire, for the sheer joy of watching it burn. After several hours, all the wood is burned and he heads back home. This third man used a hike.
A fourth man comes along and by this time the grass has grown tall again and covers the path. It starts raining and it becomes so foggy he loses his way. His feet are soaked and his spirits are low.
Finally, he locates the fire-pit. But alas, there is no wood in the lean-to. All the other wood is wet and he cannot start a fire. Finally, after many tiresome hours of cold, wet and hunger, he finds his way back home. This fourth man suffered a hike.
Now comes the easy question, which of these four men stands approved by God?
The first man, who merely took a hike, added nothing and took away nothing. He has done little that God can even examine. People like that are just trying to sneak through life. You do not notice they are there. He is like the man who buried his talents (Matthew 25:14-30).
The third man, who used a hike, is common among those who claim to know God. They love to praise God for His blessings. Yet, they cannot take their blessings one step further and bless their neighbor, as they have been blessed. Maybe they should be replacing what they took, or at least being frugal so that others can also be blessed.
The man who is saying, "God bless me" is probably the most selfish individual of the four hikers. Yet all he sees is blessings. "Look at all that the Lord has given me. Wherever I go, God goes before me and clears a path. He put the dry wood in its place to give me pleasure."
Yet, what happened? Because this man's life is centered on self, he caused someone after him to suffer a true hardship. The wood was not cut for number three. He didn't need it. Hiker number two, who improved a hike, set up the wood and it was intended for number four. Number three stole the wood and did not replace it. He had no thought about anybody else. He was only thinking, "God always blesses me." Hiker number four, who suffered a hike, was a victim of hiker number three's wastefulness.
I think we will agree that number two, who improved a hike, met God's approval. In this world, there are takers and givers. Hiker number three was a taker. He could not see the other people in the picture. His whole viewpoint was self. Those who walk in the Spirit of God, will be known for their giving. They will remember the needs of their fellow travelers and help make life easier for them.
Oh, there is something I did not tell you. Hiker number two (who improved a hike) and four (who suffered a hike) are the same individual. And hiker number one (who took a hike) and three (who used a hike) are the same man, also.
We have been plagued with problems lately. I can't seem to find jobs because I don't have a social security number. I've been doing odd jobs, but it's just not enough to support my family. Our phone just got cut off. I've had to borrow a car, and it keeps breaking down. Every day there is a new problem and it seems like it is always worse than the last one. Do you know why we are experiencing all these problems? Do you have any suggestions?
Dear ones, don't be surprised by the painful trials you are suffering. (1 Peter 4:12) God has His purpose. It is important not to focus on the cares of the world or you will forget your high calling. You are grubbing around with the small things and forgetting about the Kingdom. Remember the words of the gospel hymn, "Rise up O Man of God! Have done with lesser things. Give heart and mind and soul and strength To serve the King of kings."
We just received a call from another man who said he has also been going through lean times and was tempted to go back into the system. But then he realized this was his time of testing. He did not want to be one of those who shrinks back and is destroyed (Hebrews 10:38-39). He chose to wait on the Lord. He gathered his family and they prayed earnestly for God's help. Today he is rejoicing in the Lord who has renewed his strength. Now he is prospering, both materially and spiritually. And his family has grown closer together through these difficulties.
Hard times don't last forever. They are only for a season. Meanwhile, God is able to give you the strength to do His will day by day. You might consider taking a few days off, and being alone with God. Humble yourself and pray for wisdom and understanding. Study God's word and let God speak to your heart. A very effective way to hear God's voice is to spend a few days in fasting and prayer. Fasting will give you a craving for spiritual matters, so you can put aside fleshly concerns. As your mind forgets about physical necessities, and you seek His Kingdom, you will experience a wonderful nearness to God and the refreshment of His Spirit. (If you have never fasted, the book Cleansing or Surgery describes various methods and what to expect.)
God is sorting out His people. He has reserved for Himself those who have not bowed the knee to Baal. Babylon will crumble in an hour. When it does, will you share in her sins and receive of her plagues? Or will you be among the "called out" ones who are standing with the King of kings?