ZADOK PUBLICATIONS MONTHLY NEWSLETTER
January 1, 2017
Today begins the first in a series of studies covering the entire book of Ezekiel. This work is entitled, Exact Ezekiel, because the prophet performed every assignment by the Lord with meticulous efficiency. He became the model for future times when dependency on the Holy Spirit's leadership would require similar adherence to detail. The mantra of "Obedience is better than sacrifice" is a hallmark throughout history. (Do you remember the Old Testament "man of God" who stopped by a fellow prophet's home, when specifically told not to linger in the land, and got himself attacked and killed by a lion, I Kings 13:24?)
(Note: For a more detailed introduction to Ezekiel go to pages 225-233, Sealed Unto His Coming.)
Biblical History plays an important part in understanding this book. Judah and Benjamin, the two remaining tribes of Israel, were being carried away in a massive resettlement to Babylon.
Nebuchadnezzar dismantled the government of Israel. He captured Jehoichin, took him to Babylon and set up Mattaniah to reign in his place.
(Read also: 2 Chronicles 36:11-14; Jeremiah 52:1-3)
2 Kings 24:8-25:1:
Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. His mother's name was Nehushta the daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem. 9 And he did evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that his father had done.
10 At that time the servants of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up against Jerusalem, and the city was besieged. 11 And Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came against the city, as his servants were besieging it. 12 Then Jehoiachin king of Judah, his mother, his servants, his princes, and his officers went out to the king of Babylon; and the king of Babylon, in the eighth year of his reign, took him prisoner.
13 (The Captivity of Jerusalem) And he carried out from there all the treasures of the house of the LORD and the treasures of the king's house, and he cut in pieces all the articles of gold which Solomon king of Israel had made in the temple of the LORD, as the LORD had said. 14 Also he carried into captivity all Jerusalem: all the captains and all the mighty men of valor, ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths. None remained except the poorest people of the land. 15 And he carried Jehoiachin captive to Babylon. The king's mother, the king's wives, his officers, and the mighty of the land he carried into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon. 16 All the valiant men, seven thousand, and craftsmen and smiths, one thousand, all who were strong and fit for war, these the king of Babylon brought captive to Babylon.
Then the king of Babylon made Mattaniah, Jehoiachin's uncle, king in his place, and changed his name to Zedekiah.
18 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned eleven years in Jerusalem. His mother's name was Hamutal the daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah. 19 He also did evil in the sight of the LORD, according to all that Jehoiakim had done. 20 For because of the anger of the LORD this happened in Jerusalem and Judah, that He finally cast them out from His presence. Then Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.
Notice please the fact that all history is spiritual in nature. The underlined portions, above, give this truth an added punch. It was God who deposed Zedekiah even though history says it was Nebuchadnezzar.
Ezekiel's account begins with a date midway through Zedekiah's eleven year reign. Jerusalem had not yet been burned nor the walls broken down. Jeremiah was mostly in prison,
repeatedly sent there by his kin.
(Remember how Isaiah prophesied in the 700's BC and said that unless Israel changed their ways and repented and revised their view of God, they would be punished? Now it was happening.)
Isaiah was followed many years later by Jeremiah, who told Judah they had just a short time
to repent or they would fall. His prophetic words landed him in prison and caused him to be in constant disfavor with his contemporaries, both king and prophet.
King Zedekiah and his entourage did not have favor with God. Hence, they were in dilemma
and lacked direction and knowledge. The king's plans failed and his prophets capitulated during the last years of his reign. The prophets said, "We may get captured, but God said it would only be a short time before our return." They ventured their time would be seven years. That may have been why Ezekiel was called in the fifth year because there would be great disappointment when seven turned to seventy. One might call those prophets--false. They promoted a "prophetic lie."
(How many false prophets are there today?)
This priestly son of Buzi was about to receive his mandate from heaven, as he labored with the other captives in what could have been a demeaning job around the river Chebar. Ezekiel lived in a community of the captured. More than likely, he was carried off with the other bright young people in the first diaspora to Babylon, along with Daniel and the three Hebrew children. He would one day answer a whole nation's inquiry of,
"How in the world did we wind up here?"
But first, he had to be anointed, separated for the task and given special authority. His account of the heavenly visitation was not unlike Isaiah's or Jeremiah's in impact; however, it contained elements refined just for him.
Now it came to pass in the thirtieth year, in the fourth month, on the fifth day of the month, as I was among the captives by the River Chebar, that the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God. 2 On the fifth day of the month, which was in the fifth year of King Jehoiachin's captivity, 3 the word of the LORD came expressly to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the River Chebar; and the hand of the LORD was upon him there.
"The hand of the Lord" is not just a feeling; it is an anointing of power beyond the senses reach.
Definite in touch, it demands attention even to the blotting out of all other considerations. His hand reassures, transmits confidence and gently directs focus. By His hand, one enters the "God realm of reality on an eternal scale." It silences the noise of the world and causes one to step into
the sovereign reign of heaven.
Standing in the place called "there," made Ezekiel aware of the close proximity of heaven and gave him understanding of the importance of God's people in the Father's eyes.
4 Then I looked, and behold, a whirlwind was coming out of the north, a great cloud with raging fire engulfing itself; and brightness was all around it and radiating out of its midst like the color of amber, out of the midst of the fire. 5 Also from within it came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance: they had the likeness of a man. 6 Each one had four faces, and each one had four wings. 7 Their legs were straight, and the soles of their feet were like the soles of calves' feet. They sparkled like the color of burnished bronze. 8 The hands of a man were under their wings on their four sides; and each of the four had faces and wings. 9 Their wings touched one another. The creatures did not turn when they went, but each one went straight forward.
10 As for the likeness of their faces, each had the face of a man; each of the four had the face of a lion on the right side, each of the four had the face of an ox on the left side, and each of the four had the face of an eagle. 11 Thus were their faces. Their wings stretched upward; two wings of each one touched one another, and two covered their bodies. 12 And each one went straight forward; they went wherever the spirit wanted to go, and they did not turn when they went.
The Four Living Creatures:
Though there are differences between the living creatures of Ezekiel and those John saw in Revelation, there also are similarities as well. One main difference is Ezekiel saw "man" as
the first face.
Describing the four living creatures, John says that the first was like a lion. A lion is the "King of the beasts" and represents majesty. Christ is portrayed in the Gospel of Mathew as "King of Kings".
The Ox was a servant animal sometimes used for sacrifice. Jesus is portrayed as "Sacrifice" for our sins. Mark in his gospel presents "Christ as the servant" who was to be sacrificed.
Representative of the highest in the creation cycle was "the face as a man," representing Christ as a man. The Gospel of Luke presents Christ as the Perfect Man. He is described in Philippians 2, "as Christ who left His position of Glory with the Father" and became a man so that He might die on the cross for our sin.
The face of an eagle symbolizes Sovereignty and Supremacy. Thus the living creature represents Jesus in all his deity. John's gospel presents Jesus as the Son of God and shows His relationship with heaven.
These four living creatures are shown constantly moving, as they protect the throne of God in its holiness. When Israel was camping in the wilderness, there were special precautions taken with the tabernacle which was the habitation of God in their midst. The Tabernacle was always in the center of the camp and was surrounded by 12 tribes.
EPHRAIM WEST OX FLAG
DAN NORTH EAGLE FLAG
REUBEN SOUTH MAN FLAG
JUDAH EAST LION FLAG
(On the east side was Judah which had a banner of a Lion. Ephraim was on the west with a standard of the ox. Reuben was on the South with the standard of a Man and Dan was on the north with a standard of an eagle.)
Engulfed in Manifest Glory :
Fire, in the vision scene, is descriptive of Glory. Cloven tongues of fire graced the upper room in Acts and is the defining element in true fellowship among the saints. Judgment Fire was called out to assist in Elijah's confrontation with the prophets of Baal. Fire fell upon Sodom. Fire speaks of Holiness where man's dross is burned away in its refining power. It was the evangelism ignition of Jeremiah with fire in his bones. Three Hebrew children saw holiness fire overcome natural fire. The fire of the Holy Ghost obliterates the opposition.
13 As for the likeness of the living creatures, their appearance was like burning coals of fire, like the appearance of torches going back and forth among the living creatures. The fire was bright, and out of the fire went lightning. 14 And the living creatures ran back and forth, in appearance like a flash of lightning
Wheel in the middle of a wheel:
Making a perfect gyroscopic vehicle is still a spectacle, even in our day. One can conjure many
types of machinery in his attempt to emulate what Ezekiel saw.
Creature ability to project their spirit upon a device for travel is something science has not been
able to replicate. Nonetheless, the mode of travel described in the following verses is enviable,
to say the least. Having four faces facilitated travel in any direction without turning; this, coupled with the all seeing prospect of "eyes," is daunting.
15 Now as I looked at the living creatures, behold, a wheel was on the earth beside each living creature with its four faces. 16 The appearance of the wheels and their workings was like the color of beryl, and all four had the same likeness. The appearance of their workings was, as it were, a wheel in the middle of a wheel. 17 When they moved, they went toward any one of four directions; they did not turn aside when they went. 18 As for their rims, they were so high they were awesome; and their rims were full of eyes, all around the four of them. 19 When the living creatures went, the wheels went beside them; and when the living creatures were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up. 20 Wherever the spirit wanted to go, they went, because there the spirit went; and the wheels were lifted together with them, for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels. 21 When those went, these went; when those stood, these stood; and when those were lifted up from the earth, the wheels were lifted up together with them, for the spirit of the living creatures was in the wheels.
22 The likeness of the firmament above the heads of the living creatures was like the color of an awesome crystal, stretched out over their heads. 23 And under the firmament their wings spread out straight, one toward another. Each one had two which covered one side, and each one had two which covered the other side of the body. 24 When they went, I heard the noise of their wings, like the noise of many waters, like the voice of the Almighty, a tumult like the noise of an army; and when they stood still, they let down their wings. 25 A voice came from above the firmament that was over their heads; whenever they stood, they let down their wings.
In verse twenty-five, we are not told what "the voice" said, but we do know the creatures stood at attention. Ezekiel heard this voice above the roar of the wings and the wheels. What happened next brought him into the presence of God and His majesty.
26 And above the firmament over their heads was the likeness of a throne, in appearance like a sapphire stone; on the likeness of the throne was a likeness with the appearance of a man high above it. 27 Also from the appearance of His waist and upward I saw, as it were, the color of amber with the appearance of fire all around within it; and from the appearance of His waist and downward I saw, as it were, the appearance of fire with brightness all around. 28 Like the appearance of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the brightness all around it. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD.
Isaiah saw the "Lord high and lifted up." Jeremiah was taken to the altar in the Temple of
heaven and touched by coal's of fire. Now, Ezekiel will join the ranks of his predecessors and become God's special agent with an assignment. His priestly duties would fade before the urgency of his mandate.
(Note: Oh, this is the greatest need the nations have and they don't know it. They need to hear an anointed voice with an anointed message freshly taken from the altar of God. The nations need to see a man who has stood in the presence of angels, creatures and the throne of the Most High. They need to see what it means to operate in the exactness of the Spirit. Multitudes would then be able to see the contrast between such anointing and the haughty crowd of clerics to whom they submit.)
Ezekiel 1:28- Ezekiel 2:1-5:
So when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard a voice of One speaking.
And He said to me, "Son of man, stand on your feet, and I will speak to you." 2 Then the Spirit entered me when He spoke to me, and set me on my feet; and I heard Him who spoke to me. 3 And He said to me: "Son of man, I am sending you to the children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that has rebelled against Me; they and their fathers have transgressed against Me to this very day. 4 For they are impudent and stubborn children. I am sending you to them, and you shall say to them, 'Thus says the Lord GOD.' 5 As for them, whether they hear or whether they refuse - for they are a rebellious house - yet they will know that a prophet has been among them.
There it is. God calls Ezekiel "Son of Man," the same term of endearment that was descriptive of Jesus during His earthly ministry. Notice how God pictures Ezekiel's audience encompassing the whole of Israel, including his own relatives and fellow priests. "Impudent and stubborn children" and a "rebellious nation," having a history of transgressing the Laws of God is not a complimentary appraisal. BUT, it was accurate, and when God gives His point of view-that is fact.
(The question arises, "What is God's appraisal of your nation and society?" Does anyone care
to know? Daily, ministers ply media with their appraisals, and sadly, there is little given under the standard of, "THUS SAITH THE LORD!")
God is not interested in His servant receiving the applause of man. Ezekiel was told, "whether they listen or not they must get a glimpse of a true PROPHET of God."
6 "And you, son of man, do not be afraid of them nor be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with you and you dwell among scorpions; do not be afraid of their words or dismayed by their looks, though they are a rebellious house. 7 You shall speak My words to them, whether they hear or whether they refuse, for they are rebellious. 8 But you, son of man, hear what I say to you. Do not be rebellious like that rebellious house; open your mouth and eat what I give you."
9 Now when I looked, there was a hand stretched out to me; and behold, a scroll of a book was in it. 10 Then He spread it before me; and there was writing on the inside and on the outside, and written on it were lamentations and mourning and woe.
Moreover He said to me, "Son of man, eat what you find; eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel." 2 So I opened my mouth, and He caused me to eat that scroll.
3 And He said to me, "Son of man, feed your belly, and fill your stomach with this scroll that I give you." So I ate, and it was in my mouth like honey in sweetness.
Ingesting without indigestion:
There is a sweetness to the Word of God. There is a taste of delight as those words are
received in power and again when those words roll off the tongue in delivery. Those words change everything in their presence. Those words have life and to savor them brings life to the hearer and faith to the receiver.
Ezekiel was told to ingest the scroll containing the "entire message for His career." He was to take that message and become identified with every word. He was to be inseparable from his task. Those words were to flow from his inner being like living water and the bread of covenant.
David knew this dimension as well.
Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good;
103 How sweet are Your words to my taste,
Sweeter than honey to my mouth!
104 Through Your precepts I get understanding;
Therefore I hate every false way.
Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.
That scroll changed the entire person of Ezekiel. His self image was changed from priest to prophet. It changed forever his relationships. His mandate became his mantle. These words occupied every aspect of his life, including not being able to be self-reliant. Like the true minister, he went where God directed him and took no initiative of his own. He spoke what God gave him, to people he was sent to. He delivered his message on God's timetable. He traveled under God's direction -in other words, he laid down his life.
(That's the kind of brother I want to be around and listen to. They are the dignitaries of Jude.)
Not a Foreign Missionary:
4 Then He said to me: "Son of man, go to the house of Israel and speak with My words to them. 5 For you are not sent to a people of unfamiliar speech and of hard language, but to the house of Israel, 6 not to many people of unfamiliar speech and of hard language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely, had I sent you to them, they would have listened to you. 7 But the house of Israel will not listen to you, because they will not listen to Me; for all the house of Israel are impudent and hard-hearted. 8 Behold, I have made your face strong against their faces, and your forehead strong against their foreheads. 9 Like adamant stone, harder than flint, I have made your forehead; do not be afraid of them, nor be dismayed at their looks, though they are a rebellious house."
10 Moreover He said to me: "Son of man, receive into your heart all My words that I speak to you, and hear with your ears. 11 And go, get to the captives, to the children of your people, and speak to them and tell them,
'Thus says the Lord GOD,' whether they hear, or whether they refuse."
Jesus could do little in his home country because of the same heart condition as God said was prevalent in Ezekiel's time: "impudent and hard hearted."
(Note: Oh church, these were the religious folk. These were the Temple stalwarts in both eras. Would it be amiss to cry out and ask, "How would God appraise the modern congregation?" The hardest people to have as audience are those seasoned in sin while declaring their good deeds.)
God sent Ezekiel like the prophets before him-to his own people. A Jonah, in Nineveh, had a listening audience who eventually repented. But, Ezekiel faced "self -righteous" prigs who governed a system that welcomed no messenger. This is why God conditioned Ezekiel in the fundamental aspects of his ministry: "Deliver My message and pay no attention to their comments or looks." (This is the easiest way to become a social outcast.)
Ezekiel was given a forehead of flintstone. He was instructed not to be afraid of them or their remarks. He was told not to be dismayed or lose heart-not to become despondent. In other words, "steel himself" against the slings and arrows hurled by the religious community. (Stephen
knew that rocks hurled by fellow minister's hurt worse than those sent by ignorant followers-they both killed him as he cried, "Forgive them.")
Ezekiel was told to receive God's message into his heart. (Oh Listen! An anointed message, pouring out of a heart filled with His word, cannot come from a tearless face.)
Heart messages sound different than prepared texts from professional pulpiteers. Heart messages bear lasting fruit of a different order. (Oh church, millions of congregants have never heard such preaching. Oh Lord, prepare some Ezekiel's for our day! Let men of God hear and see what Ezekiel saw and out of the glory come with a message of fire from the coal's of the Holy Temple.)
Ezekiel's commission was to address "the captives." They had learned nothing from their experience of being conquered. With hard hearts and stubborn ways, they failed to repent. (Now, we are on the brink of what Revelation portrays as the unrepentant attitude of the multitudes facing the onslaught of heavenly wrath.)
Made a Watchman:
(Read also, Jeremiah 4:16 and Daniel 4:17)
14 So the Spirit lifted me up and took me away, and I went in bitterness, in the heat of my spirit; but the hand of the LORD was strong upon me. 15 Then I came to the captives at Tel Abib, who dwelt by the River Chebar; and I sat where they sat, and remained there astonished among them seven days.
Now it came to pass at the end of seven days that the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 17 "Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel…"
After ingesting into every fiber of his being, "lamentations, mourning and woe," and receiving that message in the context of a heavenly Glory-Ezekiel returned home and sat in astonishment. He was being changed as he countenanced what had just happened. Unlike Isaiah, who answered a call with "send me," Ezekiel was conscripted and made to realize he was an enlisted man now.
The words of his commission were summed in "I have made you a watchman." That is a burdensome office! He would not be a watchman as portrayed in Song of Solomon. They were paid, but slothful in their work. He would be the reflection of the heavenly watchmen, like the ones who accommodated Daniel's prayer (Daniel 4). Ezekiel knew the job description required warning the people of impending danger and being alert to threats both within and without.
God MADE him a watchman. Ezekiel was reminded of his watchmen statues again in Ezekiel 33:3 which is very much like his commission in chapter 3. There is such a vast difference between self -appointed watchmen and those made so by God. When God makes something, it is perfect and marked for sustained success.
…therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me: 18 When I say to the wicked, 'You shall surely die,' and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. 19 Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.
My, what an "onus," is in this mandate. In order to save himself from blood guiltiness, Ezekiel must deliver God's message when He said it, to whom He said it and where He said. The results were left to God. Every person who heard the message must determine for himself to receive it or reject it. Their response had nothing to do with the situation-the message must go out in order to escape their blood being upon the prophet.
Along with this mandate came an interesting feature: "the righteous that do iniquity."
The very fact such a priestly matter is considered is, in itself, unique. Ezekiel had officiated many times as a priest, offering sacrifices for such persons, but this was a different matter. Encountering righteous men who sin and confronting them with a prophetic warning is different than preaching to the multitude. Just consider the confrontation that might occur. This is a whole new category of sinner. What would happen today, if the men of God, with the message of God, would begin to confront backslidden preachers and church leaders with one message: repent or perish.
What would be the response?
Remember, Ezekiel was sent to his own religious community.
The Place Called THERE:
In the book, En Punto, a chapter is given to this subject. A significant factor in the life of a prophet is being at the right place and at the right time. Often this is not revealed except by the Spirit and then it is not based on convenience to the schedule of the man of God. Philip, for instance, was given directions while at home resting from a Samaritan outpouring. In Acts 8, it says, "he arose and went." He required no extra time to talk with his family, give a location of his whereabouts, or secure documentation for border crossing. He made no personal provision for his water, meals or travel expense. Result: one man carried God's message to Ethiopia, and it lasted 2,000 years.
22 Then the hand of the LORD was upon me there, and He said to me, "Arise, go out into the plain, and there I shall talk with you."
23 So I arose and went out into the plain, and behold, the glory of the LORD stood there, like the glory which I saw by the River Chebar; and I fell on my face. 24 Then the Spirit entered me and set me on my feet, and spoke with me and said to me: "Go, shut yourself inside your house. 25 And you, O son of man, surely they will put ropes on you and bind you with them, so that you cannot go out among them. 26 I will make your tongue cling to the roof of your mouth, so that you shall be mute and not be one to rebuke them, for they are a rebellious house. 27 But when I speak with you, I will open your mouth, and you shall say to them,'Thus says the Lord GOD.' He who hears, let him hear; and he who refuses, let him refuse; for they are a rebellious house."
Often THERE is not of our choosing, but most always is somewhere away from our routine. Ezekiel was told to go to a plain, which speaks of an area like a wilderness. He arose and went (v.23). There he was baptized in the Holy Spirit ("The Spirit entered me, v.24"). He heard the audible voice of the Spirit speaking from within and telling him the future. He was told how
the religious folks will bind him up like some crazy man and how his tongue will cling to the roof of his mouth until a message from God must be given. (How he communicated with others is not covered.) He must not offer resistance to be bound. This will happen in his own house; since he was a captive, he had no civil rights.
Starting a ministry under these circumstances required a different spirit than that of clergy today.
It spoke of an obedience that most would say was a demand on the unreasonable. However, the forthcoming verses will over and again lead Ezekiel into more unusual commitments. It is not
an easy road for a true prophet, but is better than a lion's mouth.
Until Next month,
Happy and Prosperous 2017!
Dr. Cosby R. Oliver, PhD.
From the Mailbag:
Vaughn L, North Carolina:
A note on Nov. 27th. The Lord quickened me to pray extra for the "Transition" going on naturally & spiritually from then till Jan. 8th, 2017. I don't know what the importance of Jan. 8th is but thought I would share the thought with you. No response needed. The Lord is also drawing more into Intercession & recently a thought came about Intercession being a "Starting
&/or Stopping" Ministry... What a time we are entering.
Roni, H., (email correspondence)
I always look forward for your monthly writing it was confirmation to what the Father was saying. The election was a big thing, and what happens in the "natural first then the spiritual", God is preparing a people for such a time as this.. I would like to donate to your website because your teaching is critical for today? Thank you for your obedience in sharing and Teaching.
Mike E. (An email to a friend recommending OEA and Zadok Publications):
I learned of CR after I finished reading Russell Stendal's book - "The Hidden Agenda". Since I had read all of Russell's books and also those published by his parents, Chad Sr and Pat (made available free on Kindle) I began to also check to see if there were works available by other Americans with whom they were associated. There were three names that soon appeared. They were Albert Luepnitz' , Clayt Sonmore and CR Oliver. All three of these men are of the highest integrity and have moved very strongly in the power of the Holy Spirit - I've enjoyed their works immensely. The first book that I read by CR was "En Punto" and the second was "Consumed by His Fire". Both of them just knocked me out. I soon learned there were also a lot of strong teaching parallels between Russell and CR - particularly, regarding the subject of the new covenant foreshadowing in the tabernacle of David and the son's of Zadok. Great stuff that frankly I had never heard before! After more investigation, I learned of CR's missionary efforts and support and therefore his newsletter. I've also have kept him updated regarding some of up-to-the-moment happenings in Cuba/Colombia and have received several notes expressing appreciation for being "kept in the loop" on these things. In reading his writings I have inferred from them an apparent high appreciation of both the Stendals and also Clayt - without his actually mentioning them by name…
Tiffany L, Kansas:
Dr. Oliver, at all times we are thankful for your ministry. At this time of year we
also want to let you all know we are ever so thankful for you. Happy
Thanksgiving. (offering enclosed)
Rita , F., Wyoming:
Dr. Oliver, I am still not through En Punto for the 3rd time. It seems as though I am reading it for the very 1st time. It is very profound. Again, thank you for being obedient to the Holy Spirit "for all of us!"
Missionary Alert, Alert, Alert:
This just in…the compound of Missionaries Larry and Marla Johnson was invaded
Dec. 27 by six armed thugs who broke through a gate and entered the compound,
tying up the young couple who manned the unit in their absence. The couple was
able to talk them out of shooting them, and the dogs, even though they robbed the
compound of all things valuable. All the electronics, with information about
the ministry, locations of key pastors and all outreach stations, including the
feeding station personnel and their private information. They left nothing.
They confiscated the trucks and severely beat the young man to the point
of having him hospitalized. This was a well planned operation with far
reaching implications. Larry and Marla, who have been in our locale for
Christmas with their family, are returning immediately, Dec. 28th 9am flight.
Our prayer: That the thugs will be apprehended. That the compound will be safely
secured. That local volunteers will assist the missionaries and protect their interest.
That organizations worldwide may know this information and prayer groups be alerted
to pray for these missionaries who have planted over 400 churches in 30 yrs of
Larry and Marla Johnson contact information:
From: Reverend Brian Mason
Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word or by our epistle.
2 Thessalonians 2:15
Please can believing prayer in the Holy Ghost be made for God to turn the tide from unbelief in His Word? For many years wicked deceiving spirits have tried to destroy Bible-believing Christianity. Dare you join me to stand fast and hold the traditions which you have been taught through the inspired, anointed and unchanging Word which is God's as in those Bibles based on the Antioch line? This at a time when there has been compromise by previously strong Protestant denominations who have been deceived by the Church of Rome with its teachings which cannot be supported by the Bible. Furthermore most Bible translations no longer have the Bible as the inspired, anointed and unchanging Word of God having compromised by using the Alexandrian line with its codices of Egypt.
Just as Elijah when he stood firm and immovable against the prophets of Baal this is a call for pulling down the stronghold of this scheming of Satan against the Bible. It is the Lord Jesus Christ through His shed blood, death and resurrection who has already won a glorious victory over Satan. Before the throne of grace you can come before the Father with confidence. A confidence that you are asking the Father to do that which He has already purposed to do yet is waiting to be asked to do so.
From Pastor Samuel Karunanithi and Anna; Missionaries to India:
Our vision is to reach the nations, feed the poor, build churches, train and support native missionaries, and distribute the Bible in different languages. In 1982, we founded Living Word International Outreach Inc. and Living Word Church. We have two orphanages in India and support sixty-four native missionaries in India and France.
India has the second largest population in the world. Around 5% of their population are Christian according to the census. If we count the born again believers, there may be 2%. Since Indians do not have one language, it is difficult for foreigners to reach them. The trained national workers make missionary efforts a little easier. We support them in their ministries. The local pastors do not have an easy life; they cannot hold a secular job to support themselves. The church members are poor. With their financial support, it is hard to run the church and take care of the pastor's family. In fact, these ministers are persecuted to a certain extent for the Gospel's sake. Many of these young ministers have to sacrifice by going without sufficient food, clothes, transportation, or money to pay rent for their churches. At the present time, we are supporting 64 native pastors in North & South India. They are pastoring small churches in villages. They are supported by donations from believers with as little as $30 in monthly donations.
Many children are forsaken orphans and start working at the age of six or seven because of poverty. In 1982, we gave our only piece of land to build a home for the needy children. With the help of God, through supporters we built a home for 20 children in Chennai, India. In 1995, we moved to a new and larger home. Now, we have two orphanages in Madurai and Chennai with 30 children.
Many pastors in village areas do not have a place of worship. Properties are very expensive in the main cities of India. We have helped to build a few churches in India and want to do more. We now have two orphanages that God has provided to help needy children in India. In 2012, we built a second story to our Living Word Orphanage home. This second story will provide more room for new children to come in and have a new home. In Psalm 41, God says, "Blessed is he that consider the poor: the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble. The Lord will preserve him, and keep him alive; and he shall be blessed upon the earth; and thou wilt not deliver him unto the will of his enemies."
Many churches, pastors, and orphans are in need of your prayers and financial support. Please join hands with us as partners to reach the unreached.
From Chamroeun Mau,President,Shade of Grace Community, Inc:
Thanks to our Lord Jesus that now I can have time and can get internet to send out my report, and here are some update that relate my trip from last 15 days.
12/29th of November my friend David Miller and I are safety landing in Cambodia but next day David was sicked for two days that we cannot get out from town or away from doctor.
12/2 and 3rd we have training about "the Leadership of Pastoral" to 78 leaders and Pastors in Porsat Province.
Nextday on 12/4th we Worship in Shade of Grace in KK Village with 96 high school students whose commit to come to church every Sunday, because they they got a free class (computer, English, and Music) from Shade of Grace. But they are not come to Christ yep please pray for them to understand God's love.
12/5-7 we trained to another 56 Leaders and Pastors at Banteay Meanchey Province for the same lesson and we provided them some supply to some Pastors that they can teach back to their church prople.
12/8th we trained to all leaders in Shade of Grace at KK church to understand their responsibility with their daily job during they have many student come before God.
12/9 we have Christmas Celebration at Pailin Province (Khmer Rouge) area with 100 plus people come to join with us, and many children can sing and praise God with us.
12/10 all of leaders in KK church decorate church for Christmas next day.
12/11 (Sunday) more than 100 high school students plus their parent come to join with us and we have not enough seats for them, we have more than we expected. (Praide God).
12/12 bring David Miller back to Capital Cioty ready to return to State the next day.
12/13 David Departure around noon and now he is home.
12/14 We travel back to Battamban Province ready for another two Christian Celebrations different churches.
So please pray for me and my leaders can finish every things wioth successful and can get more people to Crist and planned to Baptize them on New Year day. I did not know how many will Baptize. I will tell more detail about number of them.
Pray for my health, a little and big tired may be get some allergy going on.
Christmas in Sophy Village has cancel because very muddy we cannot get in there, so this Sunday we will Worship in KK church.