Managing Fear, Walking by Faith

When I heard my pastor say this morning that we need to manage our fears and walk by faith, my heart perked up. Will this be an answer to my prayers? For the last few days, I have felt aggravated by what’s going on at work, and I also know that I am struggling with fear; fear of the person that I work for. Well, last night I was not able to sleep and so I sat up in my bed with my bible in hand, trying to find a verse of Scripture to help me—but nothing. So, I prayed that God would soon show me a good Scripture passage and tell me what to do. Then this morning I really didn’t feel too good and almost didn’t go to church. Then I thought: well, maybe the Lord will give me something; maybe He will answer my prayers. And He surely did.

This morning’s sermon was from the book of Numbers, chapters 13 and 14. You may remember what happened. Twelve spies went into Canaan to spy out the land. They found that the land was very good, but that the people were huge and their cities were well-guarded. Ten out of the twelve spies had great fears; they reported that they were not able to go up against them, that they were not strong enough. They said, “We became like grasshoppers in our own sight and so we were in their sight.”

Here are a few notes that I wrote down from the sermon:

  • When they went into Canaan and looked around, they didn’t manage their fears and so they didn’t walk by faith.
  • God said, enough of the whining, just trust Me.
  • We are to walk by faith, not by fear.
  • There is a high price for not managing our fear.
  • “Fear is a reaction; courage is a decision.” – Winton Churchill
  • The people of Israel wept all night at the peril they faced, but they didn’t turn to God in faith.
  • “If we do not fear God, we fear everything else.” – Oswald Chambers
  • When we fear and don’t trust God, we will miss His gifts.

So, what should I do with my situation at work? First of all, I will be praying and will trust God in what to do. I will not let fear rule my life. I will not let myself stew over any further potential problem. I will have a positive attitude as I manage my fears. And I will follow the example of Caleb who said (in Nu. 13:30), “We should by all means go up and take possession of it [the land], for we will surely overcome it.”

5 Ways to Deepen Your Desire in Prayer

Prayer A to Z

Desire is the beginning and the basis of prayer. We cannot pray at all without desire. Now if you want to really deepen your prayer life, you must deepen your desire in prayer. Here are five ways to do it.

1. Pray for desire. Since prayers are somewhat meaningless without desire, if you have just a little desire, I think it would be wise to focus that desire in praying for more desire.  While you are praying you may discover that your lack of desire is even worse than you thought—because you may not feel much like praying at all, for anything!  If that’s the case, it may be that God is already at work in you to answer your prayer. He is creating in you what is necessary to have desire—recognition of your need, which is your first step to achieve it.

Your next step is to focus your…

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Foxe’s Book of Martyrs: On William Tyndale

William Tyndale came around one hundred years after Wickliffe and Huss. But though there is no writing in this book on any martyrs in-between that time, we know that there were very many martyrs—thousands of them. The Roman church was relentless in killing true Christians. It was part of their Babylonian roots.

Well, Tyndale was brought up from a child in the University of Oxford, where Wickliffe taught. But he moved on to Cambridge and other schools to pursue more degrees. He became a master at translating the Scriptures, as Wickliffe was. And, it was not uncommon, wherever he abided, that priests of the church came against him, saying that his words were heresy. So, Tyndale, rather than fight, moved around from place to place seeking for places to do his translation work. He went to London and also to Germany—where he had good words and learning from Martin Luther.

Tyndale was constantly grieved that people everywhere did not have the Scriptures available to them in their mother tongue. So, it was his goal to translate the Scriptures for them, even though the evil church did the opposite. They wanted to hide the Scriptures from their eyes in order that they could delude and control the people. Some said that Tyndale’s translations were wrong, that there were thousands of heresies in it. Some said that it was not possible to translate the Scriptures correctly and that it was not lawful for the people to have them in their mother tongue, and that it would make them rebel against the church and the king.

There was one (and others also) that plotted against Tyndale. He would buy his translations, then would burn them. Another time the devil came against him so that he suffered shipwreck, in which he lost all his books, writings, copies, and money so that he had to begin his work all over again. Yet, there were some copies that survived, and Tyndale’s work became a key link in the translation of the Scriptures, even from the original manuscripts—so important.

At the end, he, being plotted against, was brought to prison in England. And by the emperor’s decree was tied to a stake and consumed with fire. As he began to be burned, he cried with a loud voice, “Lord! Open the king of England’s eyes.”

Jesus and the Pharisees: from Luke 7:28-35

Jesus and the Pharisees: from Luke 7:28-35

This is our twenty-third study. Please click HERE for an intro to this study.

Luke 7:28-35

28 “I say to you, among those born of women, there is no one greater than John; yet he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”  29 And when all the people and the tax-gatherers heard this, they acknowledged God’s justice, having been baptized with the baptism of John. 30 But the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected God’s purpose for themselves, not having been baptized by John. 31 “To what then shall I compare the men of this generation, and what are they like? 32 “They are like children who sit in the market place and call to one another; and they say, ‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not weep.’ 33 “For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine; and you say, ‘He has a demon!’ 34 “The Son of Man has come eating and drinking; and you say, ‘Behold, a gluttonous man, and a drunkard, a friend of tax-gatherers and sinners!’ 35 “Yet wisdom is vindicated by all her children.”

Observations

Jesus here observed the Pharisees’ childish behavior. They rebuked His behavior of eating and drinking with sinners in order to befriend them. But they also rejected John’s more rigid behavior of abstinence, a behavior that they said Jesus should have. This reveals that they were rejecting anyone who was a true believer in God. They were revealing their pagan nature.

Application

We should be able to judge whether a person is a true Christian or not by their attitude toward good Christians. A pagan, like the Pharisees will always have a negative attitude toward any true Christian; they will always find something wrong with them.

Sir John Oldcastle — from Foxe’s Book of Martyrs

After John Wickliffe, the battle against the evil Pope of Rome, which they regarded as the great Antichrist of Europe, came to Sir John Oldcastle, knight, Lord Cobham, leader of the Lollards. The king at first supported him in his beliefs, but soon he gave into the church and insisted that Lord Cobham go to the Pope and be corrected.

So he submitted himself and was fully examined in what he and his brethren, the Lollards believed. And, as it was also with John Wickliffe, he spoke straight out boldly, even to call the Pope the Antichrist! So, he explained both how he believed and also how he did not believe in many of the doctrines of the Pope (the church at that time).

They required him to speak concerning four points: 1) On the sacraments; 2) on the need to join the Catholic church; 3) that the power of the Papacy was given to the church by St. Peter; and 4) on the requirement to go on a pilgrimage to view holy places, relics, and images, etc. To all these four points Lord Cobham gave them the wrong answer, but instead said that he saw no commandment of God in the Scriptures concerning any of those points. He also said, “I will no otherwise believe in these points than what I have told you here before. Do with me what you will.”

And with that answer the archbishop stood and read a bill of his condemnation. They charged that he was a heretic in his own person as well as a heretic of the church of Rome. They also denounced as many as were in favour of him and defended him.

To that condemnation Lord Cobham responded “with a most cheerful countenance:”

Though ye judge my body, which is but a wretched thing, yet am I certain and sure, that ye can do no harm to my soul, no more than could Satan unto the soul of Job.

Then, because of Lord Cobham’s good response, they feared that maybe they were too cruel in the eyes of the people and the king, so they gathered together to make him look bad. Well, after one false accusation did not work, they tried another. They set out to bring a pack of lies about him to the king and so to set the king against him. And it worked.

And so, the true Christians were betrayed both by the church of Rome and also by the king. And as it happened, the king ordered that all who read the Scriptures according to Wickliffe’s translation, would forfeit land, cattle, body, life and goods forever. And so, they were condemned as heretics and as enemies to the crown. And if they would not repent and recant, they would suffer death by hanging for treason against the king, and then be burned for heresy against God.

So, as it was, many of the Lollards did suffer cruel death. But many fled out of the land and to other countries. Lord Cobham also escaped and fled into Wales. But after four years they found him and brought him back to London. There he had his Arms bound behind him; and after he fell down upon his knees, he in prayer forgave his enemies; and then he stood and exhorted them in a godly manner to follow the laws of God. He was then hanged by the middle and also was consumed alive in fire. And all the while he was praising the name of God as long as his life lasted.

My Comments

As I thought about how the Papacy set out to make themselves look good and to make Lord Cobham look bad with lies, I thought about how this also happened at our Lord’s trial. It was the same. And it was by the same Pharisees. But it is also being done today. There are many evil doers like the Clinton’s and like the Obama’s and like the Biden’s. They are constantly telling lies in order to make themselves look good and others look bad. Yes, it is interesting how evil is repeated over and over again through the centuries. And it is so interesting how those in high positions take such great pains to plot their evil schemes. It was done many centuries ago, and it is still being done today. I think how President Trump was plotted against, saying that he was aided by Russia. And then, the latest and most damaging evil scheme is the voting fraud. And it seems that there is nothing stopping it—because there are so many ways that this evil is being done: by rigging the voting machines, by not counting votes, by duplicating votes, by counting the votes of the dead, by discarding ballots, etc.

And soon we will see true Christians being tormented and martyred just as was done in Rome and then by the church. Well, it is being done in some countries now by Muslims. But soon it will be done world-wide by the state and the church, by the Antichrist and also by the false church. Yes, as soon as the true church is taken up to God, these things will begin. I think this evil action is closer to us than we think.

John Wickliffe — from Foxe’s Book of Martyrs

As mentioned in my last post on this subject, Constantine the Great stopped the persecutions for 1,000 years until John Wickliffe. However, it was through the doings of Constantine that the church became corrupted by the Romans as they successfully mixed the church with the evil Roman government (as they were corrupted by Babylonian influence by which much idolatry was introduced).

So it was, with this background, John Wickliffe came on the scene. This biblical scholar from England, the Lord raised up to detect and combat all the Pope’s false doctrine. Indeed, he had a challenge since the Pope managed to keep the true gospel and all of the bible out of the hands of the people. They did know the name of Christ, but they knew nothing of the apostle’s doctrine, such as justification by faith, the liberty of the Christian, the strength of sin, etc. Instead, the Pope’s main teaching was of ceremonies and traditions.

So it was, seemingly, that John Wickliffe alone took great pains to protest this false teaching of the Pope openly in the schools. And he was somewhat supported by the King—at least at first.

Oh, Wickliffe was a bold fellow, not afraid of the Papacy in the least. Here are a few points of Wickliffe’s sermons:

  • The holy eucharist is not the very body of Christ.
  • The church of Rome is not the head of all churches.
  • The Gospel is a rule sufficient of itself, without any other rule.
  • The Pope ought not to have prisons to punish transgressors.

Wickliffe, for his sermons, was commanded by the bishops to keep silence, but it was written that “he burst out afterward much more fiercely.” And he for his boldness got “the goodwill and favour of certain noblemen… [and] the common people.”

Then, in 1377, Pope Gregory, sent a letter (a bull) to the university of Oxford (where Wickliffe arrived from and taught at) and rebuked them for putting up with the teachings of Wickliffe. His words were quite fierce against Wickliffe: that he made “erroneous and false propositions…savoring even of heretical pravity, tending to weaken and overthrow the status of the whole church…” So, they were told, “By our authority you seize or cause to be seized the said John.” And then another letter was sent that he should be warned by public citation to appear before the Pope to be admonished.

Well, as it happened, by the miraculous grace of God, John Wickliffe managed to escape out of the bishops’ hands, by the aid one time of a great earthquake, and a second time by a lightning strike.

But yet, the Archbishop of Canterbury ordered a mandate against John Wickliffe that he was forbidden to preach “his heresies” against the church. But at the same time the chancellor in Oxford favoured Wickliffe and said that he was a good and innocent man. And so, it went like that back and forth.

Well, as it happened Wickliffe was secretly kept safe from the Pope and he died an old man. Yet he was declared a heretic and was cursed by the holy catholic church. And they set out to find his body and to burn his bones, but they could not find him; so they burned the bones of another man instead and said it was John Wickliffe.

Wickliffe became the father and leader of all those true Christians who would follow him. And though he was not martyred, all that followed him were martyred, as the Popes became more and more evil and not willing that any would escape from their grasp.

How Desire Helps Prayer Gain the Answers

Prayer A to Z

 

M. Bounds has said, “It is the ardor created by desire that burns its way to the throne of mercy and gains its plea.” Again, Bounds said of desire, “This holy and fervid flame in the soul awakens the interests of heaven, attracts the attention of God, and places at the disposal of those who exercise it, the exhaustless riches of Divine grace.” Thus desire not only helps me pray, but it helps my prayers reach God.

But we must not think that what Bounds is suggesting is that we can manipulate God by our desire.  No, God is in no way surprised by our desire or feels manipulated.  In fact, He waits for us to come to Him with desire—that desire that He has already planted within our heart.

Moreover, when we come to Him with holy desire for certain things, we have the promises of God assuring…

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