CHRISTIAN MARITAL ABUSE
DOES THE BIBLE ALLOW WOMEN TO TEACH MEN?
by Irene Webster
The Lord announces the word, and the women who proclaim it are a mighty throng. Psalm 68:11
To many this question doesn’t warrant being answered and is ludicrous, but to others it is a very serious question which needs to be addressed. In fact, some Christian denominations, as well as other religious beliefs, have accepted women are not to teach men at all. Women are considered to be second class citizens.
How do I know? As a passionate Christian woman, I have personally experienced this type of one-sided biased understanding of 1 Timothy 2:10-11. And I am not alone, as untold women have experienced rejection of their gifting’s over and over, told to be silent, not to even speak, not to teach, not to preach.
However, despite this intimidation I would say most women, saved or not reject this notion because intuitively they know they are just as perceptive, wise and good at teaching as their male counterparts. In fact, spiritually discerning Christian women know their God created them in His own image, and gifted many to teach and minister, making them full of wisdom, knowledgeable, and understanding.
So I ask you, is God a liar? Did He not say that in the end days He would pour out His Spirit upon ALL FLESH? Joel 2:28-32 And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.
Or what about Galatians 3:28? (KJV) There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. Surely, this is in God’s Word? So why are some women still accepting they are to be silent and not to teach men? And why are some men expecting women to be silent and not teach men? I ask you, don’t women teach little boys at bible studies, Sunday School and also in educational facilities from pre-school to post doctorate?
Didn’t Timothy himself receive instruction from his own grandmother, and mother? Or what about the woman at the well? John 4:6-30 Hummm?? She carried the good news and TAUGHT the truth about a Man who knew everything about her to AN ENTIRE VILLAGE.
What about Debra, a Judge in Israel who led Barak, the leader of the Israelite army into battle? Judges 4:6-10. Let’s not forget about Queen Esther who spoke to her husband when it would mean certain death to talk without being called to the King in advance? Esther 5. Or what about the apostle Junia? Romans 16:7 NIV Greet Andronicus and Junia, my fellow Jews who have been in prison with me.
They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was. Or how about Phoebe, a deacon and trusted emissary in Romans 17”1-3? Or Priscilla, a Roman woman who married to a Jewish believer named Aquila. Paul calls Priscilla and Aquila his “fellow workers” in Roman 17:3.
It is also noteworthy to point out Priscilla is mentioned in scripture first before her husband probably because she was the more prominent teacher. Some scholars also note Priscilla did not limit her discipleship ministry to women and contributed to the growth of the men of the church as well.
No question women throughout the ages have suffered subjugation and have been forced to accept a subservient existence because of the sin of Eve in the Garden when she invited her husband to have a bite. I get it. That was her punishment. But this was not an eternal judgement. No, Christ took the curse upon Himself on the cross and set free all that would believe!
Again, sons and daughters of the Most High God, we are free from the curse! Culture and a renegade society like Ephesus is not the problem now. The women of old could not teach or even talk in certain churches in the New Testament but this didn’t mean women for two thousand years would be condemned to sit on their gifts! No, this is Satan’s continued work, deceiving mankind, trying to eliminate 50% of the Christian believers from utilizing their anointing!
Let’s look at the Word of God together and see the truth from an original perspective and using the original language and translation.
Here is are some concerning passages:
1 Timothy 2:9-14
9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;
10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.
11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.
12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.
13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.
14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.
15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.
Whoa now, don’t you have to ask yourself why was this an issue in Ephesus? So were women only saved if they had children and were quiet?? Really? Or was this a universal problem then, women talking too much and dressing provocatively, usurping authority over men?? Obviously it was a big problem there but the problems in the church of Ephesus does not warrant locking up until Christ’s return ALL women’s gifts or even denying all women the opportunity to be on an equal footing with her husband.
Besides, this blanket statement of condemning all women to a life of silence and subservience to ALL MEN is not God by any stretch of the imagination. After all He did send His son to set us all free. Furthermore, are we are to believe bible scholars like Alexander Strauch who wrote the book Biblical Eldership teaching that no women has any right to leadership in the church.
Are we to accept the oppressive views of men throughout the ages that oppressed women. Or are we to realize God is for us. After all, didn’t He say in Mark 16:15, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. No gender mentioned there. Strange. Big revelation here: the word man in 1 Timothy 2: 12 is referring to husband but somehow in some Christian circles the singular man is now being taught to mean MEN, plural, ALL males.
So if we are to believe this then all women are to NOT TEACH ANY OF THE MALE GENDER. Tell me, does this make sense? Of course not. This is not the God I serve. Jesus loved women, used them mightily and wanted them to know God’s complete, loving acceptance. So how come so many people don’t get it?
Please, search your heart and ask yourself, did God really condemn all women to an eternal punishment to be oppressed and looked down on as second class, unworthy of teaching and preaching the gospel?
What did God really show us with His precious son’s life? Didn’t Jesus Christ accept women? Yes, of course, so I implore you to search deep within your heart for what the truth really is. Look at the full Word of God. Consider the cultural differences and sin issues of those days. Look deep, ask God to reveal the truth. He will show you.
DOES GOD REALLY HATE DIVORCE?
by Irene Webster
Does God really hate divorce? I am convinced He doesn’t. Why? In the Jewish religion the Bible says God hates the putting away, not divorce! There is a difference between divorce and putting away.
Putting away a spouse meant separation thereby allowing the man to refuse to pay the bills and be responsible for his legal wife and her children. This man literally pushed his wife out of their home and denied her the right to support, a rightful, legal divorce, and any hope for a happy remarriage. Putting away his wife forced her to live as an adulteress if she chose to live with another man.
Many husbands at that time were getting away with just telling their wives to get out and so they could marry another woman. These men never gave their wives a legal document of divorce and their rightful property, ultimately stealing from them and denying their financial support. This is what God hates!
In an older biblical version we see in Malachi 2:15-16 KJV “putting away” instead of divorce mentioned:
Malachi 2:15-16 King James Version (KJV)
15 And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth.
16 For the Lord, the God of Israel, saith that he hateth putting away: for one covereth violence with his garment, saith the Lord of hosts: therefore, take heed to your spirit, that ye deal not treacherously.
This is where we get confused. The newer translations don’t use the words “putting away” but they do unfairly and blanketly say, “divorce”.
Malachi 2:16 Amplified Bible (AMP)
16 “For I hate [a] divorce,” says the Lord, the God of Israel, “and him who covers his garment with wrong and violence,” says the Lord of hosts. “Therefore keep watch on your spirit, so that you do not deal treacherously [with your wife].”
So let’s break it down with the help of Strong’s Concordance.
Garment is translated “a wife”…
Violence meant wrong, unjust gain, cruelty, damage, false, injustice, x oppressor, unrighteous, violence (against, done) violent (dealing), wrong.
Treacherously means to act covertly (without being openly, acknowledged or displayed, secretly), to pillage, deal deceitfully, unfaithfully, offend, transgress, depart, unfaithful.
So, it is safe to say spouses whom are unfaithful, deceitful, cruel, and denying what is rightfully theirs from their mates are in big trouble with the Lord! That is what “putting away” does. A legal divorce is not what God hates!
Also, adultery does not happen just because you remarry after a divorce. Adultery only occurs when you are still married. And how could a woman that was “put away” be able to remarry without a legal divorce?
Luke 16:18 King James Version (KJV)
18 Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.
So God doesn’t truly hate divorce. He just hates the unlawful way these husbands treated their lawful wives, by denying them a legal divorce and all their financial needs which often caused them to become adulterous! It is only a half truth that God hates all divorce.
In fact, most Christians don’t realize that God Himself stated that He divorced His own wife in Jeremiah 3:8 and gave her a bill of divorce, or a legal document, something many Jewish men did not do.
Jeremiah 3:8 (KJV)
8 And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also.
God Himself understands how painful and destructive a bad marriage is. That is not what He wants for His children. He also wants us to live in PEACE.
1 Corinthians 7:15 King James Version:
15 But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.
Again Strong’s Concordance brings clarity to this passage:
Unbelieving means disbelieving, i.e. without faith (spec a heathen); untrustworthy (person), or incredible (thing): that believeth not, faithless, incredible thing, infidel, unbeliever (-ing).
Depart means to be (give) space, i.e. to pass, enter, or to hold, admit: come, contain, go, have place, can, be room to receive
Bondage means to enslave, become servant
Peace means peace literally or figuratively, prosperity, - one, peace, quietness, rest
The question: is your spouse truly a believer? Do they exhibit the fruit of the Spirit? Do you feel loved? Is there joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentle, and self- control exhibited in your home?
Does your spouse have the faith in God and is trustworthy? If not, you do not have to stay in an enslaved state as a servant to someone who does not know your value and does not have faith in God. You are, however, called to rest and quietness, prosperity and peace.
Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against things like this.
One other thought. Do not let a misguided Church or Christian try to tell you to stay in an ungodly marriage. Not everyone has personally seen the serious effects of an abusive marriage, had a similar experience, or taken the time to truly study the Word of God concerning the painful subject of divorce. They may not understand God’s Word and with good intentions may recommend you stay in a destructive marriage.
Instead of going to people whom do not understand your dilemma, seek experienced, Godly counsel as well as you personally studying the Word to really know what the Lord wants for you. God will confirm His will for you.
In conclusion, I ask you, is your marriage reflecting God’s character? If not, examine your marriage, your partner and yourself, draw close to Him, obey His Word and release forgiveness, seek Godly counsel and make a decision concerning your marriage.
Please know not making a decision concerning a destructive marriage may endanger yourself and your children. God does not want you to stay where you and your family are being hurt and may even be in danger.
Also please note this: You cannot change your spouse. And you will never be good enough in their opinion if they are not following God’s ways. No one can make your spouse happy enough and no one can change another person. God has to do that. You have to let go and let God…
God loves you. He created you to be blessed but how can you be when you are living a life of misery? God does not want you to live a life of stress and fear, being pushed down and hurt. So, after you have prayed, forgive and tried all you can to make your marriage work, trust that God will not condemn you for divorcing an ungodly person.
In fact, God has a better life for you. Trust Him. He loves you and will help you overcome any challenges you have. He will never leave you nor forsake you. He loves you.
MARRIAGE: GOD'S WAY
God’s Original Intention for Marriage
by Irene Webster
From the very beginning of creation God had a plan, a plan for man and woman to prosper and subdue the earth. And He said it is GOOD. However, God always knew that humanity would fail to meet His high standards yet He continued to show mankind the best way for husbands and wives to function together.
God had a plan for couples to be blessed and free from the Genesis curse and went to great lengths to demonstrate it through His own personhood and character. No question, God is faithful and His best for all Christian marriages is that they operate as one flesh and also be faithful.
God’s best is for all marriages to be entered into for a committed lifetime, permanent and covenant, functioning more like one person, however, allowing each distinctly different individuals to excel in their own personal expertise’s with both deferring to one another in love and respect.
God knew that it wasn’t good for man to be alone and that each person should have a mate, a good marriage. However, it took the sacrifice of God’s own Son, Jesus Christ to show us the way to salvation and a better life. Jesus Christ became the great equalizer between male and female in marriage.
It is when we are born again the curse is broken off couples and if they follow Christ’s example of sacrificial service, even unto death the results are amazing. These couples lives become a reflection of the very same sacrificial life style Jesus himself role modeled, with the husband lovingly putting his wife first, treating her as he would his own flesh and the wife respecting her husband, reciprocating in her role as the more spiritually sensitive helper, not a slave.
The result is a loving husband and a subjected wife, but with each deferring to one another in love.
That is true heaven on earth…..
In His Love,
Rev. Irene Webster
1 Corinthians 1:9
Cleave in this passage means to cling or adhere, follow close, be joined, keep, overtake, pursue hard, stick, take
KNOWING GOD MORE INTIMATELY
Why know God more intimately?
It will be well with those who revere and worship Him realizing His continual presence. God will pour out His rich rewards on them.
Proverbs 8:34-36 (AMP) 34 “Blessed [happy, prosperous, to be admired] is the man who listens to me, Watching daily at my gates, Waiting at my doorposts.35 “For whoever finds me (Wisdom) finds life and obtains favor and grace from the Lord. 36 “But he who fails to find me or sins against me injures himself; All those who hate me love and court death.”
Proverbs 8:18 (AMP) “Riches and honor are with me, Enduring wealth and righteousness (right standing with God).
How can we know God more intimately?
Spend time with Him. Show your gratitude, even when you don’t feel like it and bring a sacrifice of praise to Him. Stir yourself up and recall what the Lord has done in the past! Remember, all relationships mean sacrifice…and like any relationship you need to make time for Him. Put Him first and your day will go well! Pray like David did, asking for help from the Lord with specific requests.
Example: Psalm 143
Put your trust in Him.
Proverbs 3:5-6Trust in and rely confidently on the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know and acknowledge and recognize Him, And He will make your paths straight and smooth [removing obstacles that block your way]
Study the Word of God. Let Him talk to you through His Word.
2 Timothy 2:15 Study and do your best to present yourself to God approved, a workman [tested by trial] who has no reason to be ashamed, accurately handling and skillfully teaching the word of truth.
Discover how God talks to you…still small voice, audibly, through others, events
Obey and be blessed –
Deuteronomy 1:26-28 Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse; 27 A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you this day: 28 And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known.
Psalm 18:20-25 (AMP) The Lord dealt with me according to my righteousness (moral character, spiritual integrity); According to the cleanness of my hands He has rewarded me. 21 For I have kept the ways of the Lord, and have not wickedly departed from my God. 22 For all His ordinances were before me, And I did not put away His statutes from me. 23 I was [a]blameless before Him, And I kept myself free from my sin. 24 Therefore the Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness (moral character, spiritual integrity), According to the cleanness of my hands in His sight. 25 With the kind (merciful, faithful, loyal) You show Yourself kind, With the blameless You show Yourself blameless,
Know His perfect Word brings protection
Psalm 18:30 (AMP) As for God, His way is [a]blameless. The word of the Lord is tested [it is perfect, it is faultless]; He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.
God says so and wants us to hide the Word in our hearts!
Psalm 119:11 Amplified Bible (AMP) 11 Your word I have treasured and stored in my heart, That I may not sin against You.
Be like Solomon
1 Chronicles 28:9 “As for you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father [have personal knowledge of Him, be acquainted with, and understand Him; appreciate, heed, and cherish Him] and serve Him with a blameless heart and a willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts and minds, and understands every intent and inclination of the thoughts. If you seek Him [inquiring for and of Him and requiring Him as your first and vital necessity] He will let you find Him; but if you abandon (turn away from) Him, He will reject you forever.
Make a real effort to come to Him and be refreshed, freed from dead religion.
Matthew 11:28 Amp Come to Me, all who are weary and heavily burdened [by religious rituals that provide no peace], and I will give you rest [refreshing your souls with salvation].
Because we are sustained by His Words. It is our daily bread.
Matthew 4:4 (KJV) But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Also we live by Jesus Christ’s example. For instance, it was during times of great surrender and intimacy Jesus was empowered. In fact it was right after Jesus fasted 40 days and used God’s Word when tempted that He then stepped into His powerful destiny Matthew 4:23-24
We too will find greater anointing and power when we draw closer to God by spending time with Him, by reading His Word, praying, and listening to His voice.
God is responsive to our pursuit
Proverbs 8:17 God loves those who love Him and those who seek Him early and diligently shall find Him!
Commit to coming to Him each day, early and in a set place without interruption.
Be determined to come to Him early!
Psalm 63:1 (KJV) O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;
Psalm 108:2 (KJV) Awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early.
Early means to search, seek diligently, in the morning
God is calling us to come early!
Song of Solomon 2:10 My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.
Come defined mean to carry away, bear, bring, come away, go, grow, lead, let down, march, prosper and pursue, cause to run, spread, take away, vanish, cause to walk, wax x be weak.
Go alone like Christ did
Matthew 14:23 (AMP) After He had dismissed the crowds, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. When it was evening, He was there alone.
Jesus asked His disciples, “Can you not tarry?”
Matthew 26:38 (KJV) Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.
Tarry means to stay, abide, continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand (don’t be in a hurry to leave)
Sing and praise Him for His mighty works like David!!!
Psalm 108:2 (KJV) Awake, psaltery and harp: I myself will awake early.
Psalm 146:2 While I live will I praise the Lord: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being.
PRAY – use the Lord’s Prayer. Also, pray in tongues (the Holy Spirit) when you don’t know what to pray.
Matthew 6:9-13 “Pray, then,
in this way:
‘Our Father, who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name. PRAISE THE LORD
10 ‘Your kingdom come,
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven. ASK HIM TO BE PART OF YOUR LIFE AND OTHERS TODAY
11 ‘Give us this day our daily bread. ASK HIM TO BE YOUR PROVIDER, MEET YOUR NEEDS
12 ‘And forgive us our debts, as we have forgiven our debtors [letting go of both the wrong and the resentment]. CONFESS YOUR SINS, AS WE FORGIVE OTHERS GOD WILL FORGIVE YOU
13 ‘And do not [lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.]’ ASK FOR HELP WITH TEMPTATION, TO OVERCOME THE WORKS OF EVIL
FINALLY DECLARE GOD’S AUTHORITY, POWER AND MAJESTY OVER YOU AND OTHERS TODAY!
Be vigilant and passionate
Colossians 4:2 (AMPC) Be earnest and unwearied and steadfast in your prayer [life], being [both] alert and intent in [your praying] with thanksgiving.
Psalm 17:1 (AMP) Hear the just (righteous) cause, O Lord; listen to my loud [piercing] cry;
Listen to my prayer, that comes from guileless lips.
Wait on the Lord
Lamentations 3:25 (AMP) The Lord is good to those who wait[confidently] for Him,
To those who seek Him [on the authority of God’s word].
Wait means gather (together), look, patiently, tarry, wait (for, on, upon)
Acts 1:4 (AMP)
4 While being together and eating with them, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Of which,” He said, “you have heard Me speak.
Wait here means to stay around, await
How often and how much time?? I believe a tithe of our time is a good start…
The Jews prayed 3 times a day…
Psalm 55:16-19 (KJV)
16 As for me, I will call upon God; and the Lord shall save me.
17 Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.
Joshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
Psalm 1:2 (AMP) But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And on His law [His precepts and teachings] he [habitually] meditates day and night.
Daniel 6:10 (AMP) Now when Daniel knew that the document was signed, he went into his house (now in his roof chamber his windows were open toward Jerusalem); he continued to get down on his knees three times a day, praying and giving thanks before his God, as he had been doing previously.
Why? We follow Christ’s example and commands.
4 Matthew 7:7-11
(AMP) “[a]Ask and keep on asking and it will be given to you; seek and keep on seeking and you will find; knock and keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who keeps on asking receives, and he who keeps on seeking finds, and to him who keeps on knocking, it will be opened. 9 Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will [instead] give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will [instead] give him a snake? 11 If you then, evil (sinful by nature) as you are, know how to give good and advantageous gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven [perfect as He is] give what is good and advantageous to those who keep on asking Him.
God responds to consistent prayers.
Psalm 52:8 I consistently trust in God
Other ways to get to know God more
- Be baptized in the Holy Spirit.
Acts 1:4 (AMP) While being together and eating with them, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised, “Of which,” He said, “you have heard Me speak.
Acts 2 Tells how the Holy Spirit came to the followers of Christ.
- Repent when you fail, give heed to God’s reproof. Stop sinning and obey. Seek the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 2:38 And Peter said to them, “Repent [change your old way of thinking, turn from your sinful ways, accept and follow Jesus as the Messiah] and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ because of the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Proverbs 1:23 (AMP) “If you will turn and pray,
Behold, I [Wisdom] will pour out my spirit on you;
I will make my words known to you.
Are my sins really forgiven?
Psalm 103:12 KJV As far as the east is from the west, So far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
Ezra 8:23 (AMP) So we fasted and sought [help from] our God concerning this [matter], and He heard our plea.
Isaiah 58:6 (AMP)“[Rather] is this not the fast which I choose, To undo the bonds of wickedness, To tear to pieces the ropes of the yoke, To let the oppressed go free And break apart every [enslaving] yoke?
Daniel 9:3 (AMP) So I directed my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes.
Joel 2:12 (AMP)
“Even now,” says the Lord,
“Turn and come to Me with all your heart [in genuine repentance],
With fasting and weeping and mourning [until every barrier is removed and the broken fellowship is restored];
No question. Fasting helps us better communicate with God. It quiets our flesh, and makes us more aware of what we are asking for, who we are, our own issues, and helps us to hear His voice more clearly.
What do these scriptures say to me?
Psalm 139:1-18 O Lord, you have searched me [thoroughly] and have known me. You know when I sit down and when I rise up [my entire life, everything I do]; You understand my thought from afar. You scrutinize my path and my lying down, And You are intimately acquainted with all my ways. Even before there is a word on my tongue [still unspoken], Behold, O Lord, 5
You know it all. You have enclosed me behind and before, And [You have] placed Your hand upon me. Such [infinite] knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is too high [above me], I cannot reach it. Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol (the nether world, the place of the dead), behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, Even there Your hand will lead me, And Your right hand will take hold of me. If I say, “Surely the darkness will cover me, And the night will be the only light around me,” Even the darkness is not dark to You and conceals nothing from You, But the night shines as bright as the day; Darkness and light are alike to You. For You formed my innermost parts; You knit me [together] in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks and praise to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, When I was being formed in secret, And intricately and skillfully formed [as if embroidered with many colors] in the depths of the earth. Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were appointed for me, When as yet there was not one of them [even taking shape]. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I could count them, they would outnumber the sand. When I awake, I am still with You.
Other concerns that if answered will help us know God more:
Can you see God?
John 14:9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?
Can we really hear God?
John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
John 10:16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one-fold, and one shepherd.
Does God hear you? Yes, talk to God!!! Tell Him your concerns.
Psalm 17:6 KJV I have called upon thee, for thou wilt hear me, O God: incline thine ear unto me, and hear my speech.
Will God help me?
Psalm 18:3 (KJV) I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised: so, shall I be saved from mine enemies.
What is God like to me according to these scriptures?
Psalm 18:2 (AMP)
The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and the One who rescues me;
My God, my rock and strength in whom I trust and take refuge;
My shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower—my stronghold.
My High Tower
Psalm 18:28 (AMP) For You cause my lamp to be lighted and to shine; The Lord my God illumines
Psalm 18:25 With the kind (merciful, faithful, loyal) You show Yourself kind,
With the blameless You show Yourself blameless,
Psalm 59:16 (AMP) But as for me, I will sing of Your mighty strength and power;
Yes, I will sing joyfully of Your lovingkindness in the morning; 7
For You have been my stronghold
And a refuge in the day of my distress.
Psalm 55:22 God will sustain us if we cast our burden on the Lord. He will never allow the righteous to be shaken (slip, fall, fail).
Jonah 3 and 4:2 When the people repented God was:
3. Slow to anger
4. Of great kindness
What else is God like?
A teacher using His Word to bring instruction to life and life more abundantly!
Prov. 5:7…listen to God and depart not from the Words of His mouth!
Prov. 5:23 We can die for lack of discipline and instruction…
Micah 1:3-5 God is jealous for our attention and wants to be 1st in our lives
Nahum 1:2 King James Version (KJV)God is jealous, and the Lord revengeth; the Lord revengeth, and is furious; the Lord will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies.
Psalm 147:11 (AMP)
The Lord favors those who fear and worship Him [with awe-inspired reverence and obedience],
Those who wait for His mercy and lovingkindness.
Psalm 147:3 (AMP)
He heals the brokenhearted
And binds up their wounds [healing their pain and comforting their sorrow].
Psalm 78:34-39 Full of compassion, forgiving because He remembers we are but flesh…
Joyful, mighty, dances
Zephaniah 3:17 The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.
Psalm 16:2 (AMP) I said to the Lord, “You are my Lord; I have no good besides You.” 8
God is my counselor
Psalm 16:7 (AMP) I will bless the Lord who has counseled me; Indeed, my heart (mind) instructs me in the night. God brings pleasures forever
Christ is our advocate (lawyer)
1 John 2:1 [Christ Is Our Advocate] My little children (believers, dear ones), I am writing you these things so that you will not sin and violate God’s law. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate [who will intercede for us] with the Father: Jesus Christ the righteous [the upright, the just One, who conforms to the Father’s will in every way—purpose, thought, and action].
Steadfast in His love
Psalm 59:10 Amplified Bible (AMP)
My God in His [steadfast] lovingkindness will meet me;
God will let me look triumphantly on my enemies [who lie in wait for me].
God is just (fair)
Proverbs 24:12 (AMP)
If you [claim ignorance and] say, “See, we did not know this,”
Does He not consider it who weighs and examines the hearts and their motives?
And does He not know it who guards your life and keeps your soul?
And will He not repay [you and] every man according to his works?
God is revengeful
Zephaniah 3:8 (AMP)
“Therefore [you of the godly remnant of Judah, patiently] wait for Me,” declares the Lord,
“[Wait] for the day when I rise up as a witness [against the nations].
For it is My decision and My right to gather the nations,
To assemble kingdoms,
To pour out on them My indignation,
All [the heat of] My burning anger;
For [in that day] all the earth shall be consumed
By the fire of My zeal.
God is good, and protects when you are in trouble.
Nahum 1:7 God is good, a Strength, and Stronghold in the day of trouble to those who take refuge in him and trust him.
Like a father God instructs, corrects and reproves, and disciplines
2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for
reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
Hebrews 12:5 My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
6 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 9
7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons.
9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?
God is your Father in heaven.
Matthew 23:9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.
Matthew 18:14 Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.
Matthew 6:26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
Matthew 7:11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 9
God is like a shepherd
Psalm 80:1 (AMP) Hear us O Shepherd of Israel; You who lead Joseph like a flock;
You who sit enthroned above the cherubim [of the ark of the covenant], shine forth!
But what does a shepherd do?
1. Provides, feeds, shelters, waters
2. Protects, defends, delivers
6. Is merciful Matt 12:7,
7. Comforts Matt.12:11-12
8. Gives peace, calms (still waters, song) Philippians 4:7
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Why is this important? We too are like sheep!
Bottom line Sheep need a shepherd to lead, heal, protect. WHY? 10
1. They are very group oriented but bite each other when too close…
2. Stay in flocks (there is safety in numbers). Church is perfect for us!
3. Have delicate bones and can be hurt easily, slip and fall, breaking a leg.
4. Sheep are not very bright. They have a brain the size of a walnut. A sheep can drown in 2 inches of water.
5. Sheep are very meek, easily frightened or spooked by rushing water, other animals and can die easily if by itself.
6. Sheep need protection because they have no defense naturally and are easily killed by predators.
So I ask you now, who is God to you? Read all of Psalm 18, Proverbs 1:33, Matthew 7:24
- What did David do to get God’s help?
- Who is free from fear or dread of evil?
- Have you ever experienced God’s help this way? Share a brief testimony
- If not yet what can you do to get God involved in your need? List 2-3 things:
SELF DEFENSE ACCORDING TO GOD'S WORD
By Irene Webster
God showed us in His Word that evil people would break into other’s home to steal if we are not fully armed, prepared, guarding our homes and belongings.
Luke 11:21-22 When the strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his belongings are undisturbed and secure. 22 But when someone stronger than he attacks and overpowers him, he robs him of all his armor on which he had relied and divides his [goods as] spoil.
Lord also uses these scriptures to show us how spiritually take back what is ours from Satan, the strong man.
Matthew 12:29 Or how can anyone go into a strong man’s house and steal his property unless he first overpowers and ties up (binds up) the strong man? Then he will ransack and rob his house.
Yet the Lord clearly says to LOVE YOUR ENEMIES
Luke 6:27-36 English Standard Version “But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. 29 To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. 30 Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. 31 And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.
32 “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. 35 But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. 36 Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.
If someone hurts you clearly vengeance is God’s to do!
Romans 12:19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
Revenge is God’s job, not ours! We have to seek His help and pray, keep our hearts right but be as wise as serpents but gentle as doves…
So, it is good to love others that persecute you, treat you badly but nothing is mentioned about loving those that steal, and kill. In fact, the Lord clearly wants us to help the helpless, defend the poor, weak and vulnerable.
However, as Christians we are called to value the image of God in the lives of others and to protect the weak and vulnerable.
Isaiah 1:17 Learn to do good. Seek justice, Rebuke the ruthless, Defend the fatherless, Plead for the [rights of the] widow [in court].
Psalm 82:3-4 Defend the poor and orphans. Protect the rights of the poor. Help those who are poor and helpless. Save them from those who are evil.
Proverbs 31:8-9 New International Version
8 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute.
9 Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.
In some cases the defense of the weak may require intervention with an attacker. There are countless examples of this taking place in modern times because of demon possessed individuals attempting to murder helpless people. Christians should be prepared! Why? The Word of God gives us both examples in both Old and New Testaments of believers taking steps to defend themselves in case of danger.
In Nehemiah 4:16-18 while the city was being rebuilt the men divided the labor in such a way that half of the people took up spears, shields, and bows while the others worked. Those who carried the loads or built the wall did so with their weapon readily available.
In the New Testament Jesus himself instructed his disciples to sell their cloak and buy swords (Lk. 27:36).
Nehemiah 4:13-14 Amplified Bible (AMP)
13 So I stationed armed men behind the wall in the lowest places, at the open positions [where it was least protected]; and I stationed the people in families with their swords, spears, and bows. 14 When I saw their fear, I stood and said to the nobles and officials and the rest of the people: “Do not be afraid of them; [confidently] remember the Lord who is great and awesome, and [with courage from Him] fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and for your homes.”
In Exodus 22:2-3 we see God speak to the acceptability of defending one’s home against a thief.
Exodus 22:2-3 If a thief is caught breaking in [after dark] and is struck [by the owner] so that he dies, there shall be no bloodguilt for him. But if the sun has risen, there will be bloodguilt for him. The thief [if he lives] must make [full] restitution; if he has nothing, then he shall be sold [as a slave to make restitution] for his theft.
In Esther we also see the people being given permission by the King to defend themselves.
Esther 8:11 King James Version (KJV)
11 Wherein the king granted the Jews which were in every city to gather themselves together, and to stand for their life, to destroy, to slay and to cause to perish, all the power of the people and province that would assault them, both little ones and women, and to take the spoil of them for a prey,
Esther 9:5 King James Version (KJV)
5 Thus the Jews smote all their enemies with the stroke of the sword, and slaughter, and destruction, and did what they would unto those that hated them.
We are called to fight the good fight!
I Tim 6:12“I have fought the good fight” is also significant for believers today because it serves as a stark reminder that the Christian life is a struggle against evil—within ourselves and in the world.
However, he Greek word agonizomai, translated “fought,” means literally “to engage in conflict.” The word was used in the context of competing in athletic games or engaging in military conflict.
Spiritual warfare is the other half of the fight question!
Matthew 12:29 King James Version (KJV)
29 Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first binds the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.
The strong man is a reference to Satan. Bind the strong man! Take the authority the Lord gave us.
Luke 10:19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
Our battle is not with flesh and blood “but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places”(Ephesians 6:12).
The Christian life is a fight in that Christians face a never-ending struggle against evil—not an earthly military campaign, but a spiritual battle against Satan. This is why we must “take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day” (see Ephesians 6:13-18).
1 Tim. 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
In this scripture the Greek word agonizomai, translated “fought, fight” means literally “to engage in conflict.” It also means to struggle, lit. to compete for a prize, fig to contend with an adversary, or gen to endeavor to accomplish something; fight, labor, fervently strive.
The word was used in the context of competing in athletic games or engaging in military conflict. Spiritually our battle is not with flesh and blood “but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12). The Christian life is a fight in that Christians face a never-ending struggle against evil—not an earthly military campaign, but a spiritual battle against Satan. That is why we need to “take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day” (see Ephesians 6:13-18).
Scripture also deals with self-defense differently. Being persecuted and being attacked physically appear to be entirely different things.
*Matthew 10:34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.
Sword here means 3262 in Strong’s concordance: a knife, i.e. dirk; war, judicial punishment
*Luke 22:38 The disciples said, “See, Lord, here are two swords.” “That’s enough!” he replied.
This is the same sword as we saw in Matthew 10:34, knife, dirk, war, judicial punishment
*****Where it gets confusing we hear Jesus tell the disciples not to fight back when he was being taken captive by the Roman soldiers in the Garden of Gethsemane.
*Luke 22:49-51 When Jesus’ followers saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, should we strike with our swords?” 50 And one of them struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his right ear.51 But Jesus answered, “No more of this!” And he touched the man’s ear and healed him.
Matthew 26:50-55 New International Version (NIV)
50 Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend.” [a]
Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. 51 With that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.
52 “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. 53 Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?”
*Can’t we see that fighting to protect Jesus was an exception and would have stopped God’s sovereign plan to set mankind free from their sins!? We are not also called to be lambs to be slaughtered. He did it for us!
Jesus himself told the disciples to defend themselves.
Luke 22:36 He said to them, “But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one.
Sword again here means 3162 Strong’s concordance a knife, i.e. dirk; war, judicial punishment
We can protect ourselves.
Additionally, let’s not forget that those in authority are given the right to bear arms to protect us.
Romans 13:4 For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.
In this country the second amendment declares it is our sovereign right to bear arms for self-defense and protection against tyrannical authorities.
Jesus will return someday and he will come with vengeance, with a two edged sword!
Revelation 1:16 In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.
Double edged sword is defined as a sabre, a long and broad cutlass. A sword.
But why double edged? This is a great mystery. Why out of His mouth??
So until His return, regardless of whether we are fighting a physical battle or enduring a great spiritual battle we are called to fight the good fight of faith and finish the race!!!!!
2 Timothy 2:3 King James Version (KJV)
3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
Ken said this regarding self-defense:
God never told His people to let the enemy, the enemy soldiers, the intruder, the terrorist, the robber, the thief, the rapist, the pedophile the mugger or road rage driver just do whatever they want to do to them. Remember Apostle Paul compared spiritual warfare to physically fighting and wrestling against flesh and blood. The whole Armor of God teaching has it’ roots in understanding physically surviving often times comes from physically resisting the enemy and if we are to resist.
We are to fight even eliminate (kill) the enemy if the enemy is trying to kill us. Paul told Timothy to be as a good Soldier to stand your ground do not give in to the enemy spiritually just like a good soldier will fight to his death or the enemy’s death….to fight the only good fight is the fight you win. You live or die in real and serious situations…
In the bible we are asked which will we choose this day blessing or cursing. life or death…we have a choice. If you do not believe in fighting for your life or being armed for your life that’s your belief. But I plan on living a spiritually victorious life by putting on the tactical armor for protection from the fiery darts of the devil and his principalities and powers and rulers of wickedness and darkness in high places…
BUT those same demonic powers work through and live in some people who will become driven and possessed to kill you physically. Then to choose life or to even have a choice or a chance to survive we need the equalizer ….is first level if the attacker is threatening or has shown a gun and you do not have a gun, use pepper spray (best is police grade) if the attacker intruder robber has a gun or knife or has made a threat to harm you use the pepper spray to blind him if that is all you have and or preferably quickly pull out and fire your concealed handgun to his chest 2-3 shots .
If someone anyone pulls a weapon knife or gun on you have the laws supporting you to save your life to do whatever you can stop the threat.
EASTER: CHANGED BY THE BLOOD
By Irene Webster
The Blood! As I laid there waking and light began to pierce the bedroom window my mind heard, “The BLOOD.” Suddenly, I was reminded of where Jesus lost blood: His head, His back, His two hands, His two feet, and finally His side…seven times, seven times he was pierced for our iniquities and sin.
The perfect Lamb of God, given as the final sacrifice, for the sins of the world! Seven piercings, seven, meaning eternity! Eternally forgiven for our wicked thoughts, forgiven for the bitterness we carry on our backs, forgiven for the things our hands have committed, forgiven for where we have walked when we shouldn’t have, and finally forgiven for who we were side by side with when it should have been God we were closest to…
It’s the blood of Jesus which brings healing, cleansing from sin, and life, just like human blood carries away impurities, bringing life giving oxygen, water, and food so we may live. But only Christ’s blood can purify us, making us holy, giving us the right to eternal life!!!
Nothing else cleanses like the precious blood of Jesus! So, let’s once again celebrate God precious sacrifice for men and women this Easter season. Because of God’s great love for us all, He made a way for humanity to live eternally with Him, through Jesus Christ’s amazing sacrifice.
Jesus, although sinless, took our punishment upon himself. What great love God has for us to give His very best gift to us!
But now, it’s up to you. Not to to choose to believe is to reject this amazing gift of eternal life and open yourself to eternal damnation! Doesn’t it make sense? Is it worth taking a chance? No. It’s not.
So, I encourage every person reading this today to choose, choose now and choose life. Ask God to forgive your for your sins, wash you in Christ’s blood, and ask Jesus Christ to be your Savior and Lord. You will be glad you did. It’s as if you have never sinned…amazing.
In His Love, Irene
THE ULTIMATE ABUSE
by Irene Webster
Years ago, when I was a new mother of a beautiful baby girl, I received a disturbing phone call from a church acquaintance.
Although I barely knew her, she sought me out for help not knowing what to do except she knew I could pray.
This precious woman, we’ll call Linda, had recently been born again and was set free from a life of sorrow due to the death of her baby because of domestic violence.
During an all-out assault her husband had kicked her in her stomach causing her to lose her child, as well as her uterus. But her angry husband could not destroy her mother’s heart and the day she called me God was using this heart to do His work.
You see, Linda had remarried and suddenly had inherited a 15-year-old daughter who that very day came to Linda asking her to take her to an abortion clinic. Needless to say, Linda was determined to stop the girl from aborting her child but no matter what she said to the girl she could not break through her will to end this baby’s life.
Now, Linda was begging me to come and intercede in prayer in the clinic not knowing the law prohibited me from coming into the building.
After arriving I began to march back and forth across the street from the clinic praying intensely and even shouting. Suddenly, I felt impressed to go in to the building knowing full well I could be arrested at any moment.
Within seconds, I found Linda and her step daughter and dropped to my knees in front of this young mother begging her, in heaving sobs, not to abort her child. My heart was breaking and all I could do was plead with her over and over not to do it.
As I looked into her cold, stony face I could hear God say to me, “Ask her what would you do if someone tore the head off one of your new born puppies?”
Within seconds she cried out, “How did you know my dog just had puppies?!” With that she broke down in great sobs crying, ” I won’t do it, I won’t!!”
But it wasn’t over. A nurse suddenly arrived and escorted this precious 15-year-old child into her office only to tell her the baby growing in her belly was nothing more than a ‘clump of tissues’.
The enemy had won. She believed the lies. I heard later she seemed alright and was back to being a regular teenager. Or that’s what they thought.
I never heard from Linda again. Perhaps because she lost faith in God or perhaps, she simply chose to try to forget her disappointment. Who really knows why she never called me again, but this I do know…we did try!
Sadly, not everyone submits to God’s messengers. Yet I could rest knowing I did what the Lord wanted me to do.
However, through that experience I did learn, without God in a person’s life they can be easily swayed, believing the wicked ones lies and schemes, resulting in thinking what is right must be wrong or what is wrong is right.
Yes, the great deceiver has come to steal, kill and destroy. That’s his job, yet we carry God’s Spirit and are messengers of God’s life-giving truth.
Yes, the Word of God is clear: Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved! Saved from a life of sorrow, saved from a life of guilt and condemnation, saved from loneliness and despair. It’s our job to bring this truth to the world!
That sad day a precious, teenage girl had a life changing choice but because of her lack of faith in God she chose to believe a convenient lie and allowed the enemy to destroy her baby’s soul, steal a life and bring guilt and shame on herself for the rest of her life.
Satan, the ultimate abuser had won. So, in closing, my heart’s cry today is for us to come out of the shadows, step up and be bold to share the truth with all those whom think evil is good. How else will they ever know?
So be strong and courageous, for God is with you! Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world!!!
In His Love, Irene