Preterists do not forgive, but Jesus does!

ec”Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”  Jesus

 

Preterists will tell you the Jews rejected Jesus and so AD 70 occurred and was the end of their story as a nation, called and chosen by God.  They could never be forgiven as a nation called and chosen by God.  Ezekiel chapters 36 and 37 say otherwise, but more importantly the intercession of Jesus says otherwise and it started here at the cross.  So why can’t preterists forgive?  Why do they reject what God says He will never withdraw, His gift and calling?  It is a gift after all.

Kathy book – A Word to Caregivers

A Word for Caregivers

Jesus calls His followers to the impossible so that, they will cry out to Him at the end of their strength.

Being a caregiver is a calling that will place you firmly at the end of your strength, patience and love in a short amount of time.

Illness, pain and the discouragement of not seeing anything get better rob a person of their ability to be kind and understanding. The person needing care is then at a low point and with no reserves can begin to feel like a burden. Unknowingly, manipulation can come into the situation and the caregivers can feel like they are being taken advantage of. Only the love of God can defeat the Enemy at times like these. Caregivers need to have time quietly in the presence of God, receiving steadfast love and lots of care from Him, before they can enter the situation. The Enemy is out to break the love and peace in the room. The focus needs to be on proclaiming God faithful through it all. Recognizing the true Enemy and not turning the frustrations of the situation into anger and impatience with one another. Sometimes all the person going through and illness needs is 5 more minutes of attention and care, but the caregivers do not have even 1 more minute of strength. This is the place of brokenness and weakness and death that God is bringing us to, this is the place where He can truly work. If the caregivers can be honest and cry out to Him that they have nothing left, He will come in and take over. Love will defeat the enemy, resurrection life out of a place of death, is the ultimate pattern for the defeat of Satan as he schemes to divide and conquer. At all costs, maintain your unity with God and with the one you are taking care of.

Kathy new chapter one rough draft

“We want God to give us all kinds of assurances and confidence and He wants to give us faith.” Rich Mullins

“Hard to Get” by Rich Mullins

You who live in heaven
Hear the prayers of those of us who live on earth
Who are afraid of being left by those we love
And who get hardened by the hurt

Do you remember when You lived down here where we all scrape
To find the faith to ask for daily bread
Did You forget about us after You had flown away
Well I memorized every word You said

Still I’m so scared, I’m holding my breath
While You’re up there just playing hard to get

You who live in radiance
Hear the prayers of those of us who live in skin
We have a love that’s not as patient as Yours was
Still we do love now and then

Did You ever know loneliness
Did You ever know need
Do You remember just how long a night can get?
When You were barely holding on
And Your friends fall asleep
And don’t see the blood that’s running in Your sweat

Will those who mourn be left uncomforted
While You’re up there just playing hard to get?

And I know you bore our sorrows
And I know you feel our pain
And I know it would not hurt any less
Even if it could be explained

And I know that I am only lashing out
At the One who loves me most
And after I figured this, somehow

We can’t see what’s ahead
And we can not get free of what we’ve left behind
I’m reeling from these voices that keep screaming in my ears
All the words of shame and doubt, blame and regret

I can’t see how You’re leading me unless You’ve led me here
Where I’m lost enough to let myself be led
And so You’ve been here all along I guess
It’s just Your ways and You are just plain hard to get

I am deeply indebted to Rich Mullins for writing these very honest words,

“All I really need to know

Is if You who live in eternity
Hear the prayers of those of us who live in time“

The raw human emotion expressed is what many of us felt watching Kathy walk through her overwhelming time. No human can hope to convey anything about such a time that would explain or reveal the themes that such a time provokes in the heart. I feel to remind the reader, if necessary, on every page, pray that God would help us all to get what we need out of this. There is a reason God sends His message through a body, a gathering of believers, with differing gifts, talents, and personalities. No one person has or is the answer. Many people have contributed to this writing and there is yet one more contribution that is needed, the submission of the reader to the Holy Spirit to help these words on a page to be reality in the individual spirit.

When recently a group of us were reading through Hebrews, we got to Chapter 6 and I knew in my heart it was a mine field that had been used to bring about division in the body, between brothers, and I just felt led to say, “This is holy ground, we are not going to stop and comment on this section we are just going to read it.” This is the hardest part of this book for me to write, so as best as I can I will get out of the way and treat this as holy ground.

One of the Kathy’s family members that I sat down to talk with was, her niece, Tiffany she said that in some way she felt Kathy, was somehow given a choice and chose this path. The sacrificial love that God placed in her heart was such that when Jesus revealed to her that this path could be used in His hands to bring about the answer to some of her intercessory prayers for her family and friends (and beyond) she fully surrendered to walk with Him through whatever His wisdom saw fit. Sharon’s husband Dane brought up almost the exact same sentiment. He feels God revealed to Sharon what “life” would look like if she did not go down this path and what it would look like if she did and even though the cost was great she chose the path that would bring the greatest love to those she cared about.

This point is a point where eternity is more real than this temporal world. The place of giving God everything in a moment of absolute surrender, is holy ground. It doesn’t mean the person has a visible halo, in fact they are still very much human but a sacred threshold has been crossed and the creature has given the Creator total dominion. What follows is an untwisting of the love of family members and friends who are still so tied to this plane, that they cannot yet join the, now totally free, sick person in their wide open field of freedom and God’s carrying love. Many times then there is a very difficult period while the others catch up to the sick person.

The good soil is the fully surrendered soil, where the Life of God can truly grow a hundred fold return. We follow the Lamb. The concept behind a Jewish rabbi saying, “Follow me.” is that the disciple of that rabbi would live their life following the pattern of the way that rabbi lived. When Jesus spoke of going to the cross, Peter knew full well what that meant to the true disciple and although it sounds like he is looking out for Jesus’ best interests by saying, “No master”, Jesus saw the underlying selfish temporal view, that Peter was looking to make sure there was no cross in his own future. I say again, we follow the Lamb. Sacrifice is intrinsic to the word love and the word wisdom and the word righteousness and just about every other important word in the Bible. This life is a precious seed that will go into the ground and die. The sacrificial, surrendered, life is what we are called to. Love calls us to it by demonstrating it. Jesus came as a servant because servant hood is the very heart of the God. These individuals came to a place where they truly trusted the heart of God even though they could no longer see or feel His hand.

It is a divine paradox, that we are far less important than we think we are, but at the same time each moment has eternal purpose. Each moment can be lived in a place of eternal rest. Each moment can be lived aware of eternal redemption.

As sickness and disease rob us of strength and ability and basic human needs like privacy and the ability to communicate we are taken to a place of being more heavenly minded. The veil is removed that sees this life as the be all, end all of existence. A precious costly gift is received, eternity is touched by temporal beings.

I came to the conclusion years ago that some of the Psalms that we can read in a minute, were written over a period of months, which would explain why they sometimes take such twists and turns. God has provided the people and the life experiences up to this point and I trust that He will continue to, as you read this, if we ask, if we admit our powerlessness and our need of Him, He will act. I have found Him to be faithful, not fast, but always faithful.

Kathy Sharon and Phil chapter modified

I am privileged to know a couple who were walking through terminal illness and a husband who had been one of his wife’s primary care takers through terminal illness. I benefited greatly from the time that both of them gave me and this chapter will reflect their input.

Phil and Debbie Workman were part of a clinical trial of an experimental drug near the end of Phil’s illness when they agreed to let me visit them in the hospital where the treatment was being administered. As I approached the door to enter the room there were all kinds of warning signs that would have intimidated anyone without a medical background, but from inside the room I heard laughter and “life”. Some other relatives were in the room visiting and the first thing you noticed on entering the room was the love that the room was filled with. Machines were hooked up to Phil and IV lines were here and there but all of that stuff took a back seat to the love. I immediately felt comfortable and let them know what a deep blessing it was to me to be allowed in the room at that time.

Phil spoke first, “My main concern is for her.” In the midst of a long battle with a life threatening illness his main burden was that his wife would be okay. He had made his peace with the situation and had deep confidence and trust in God. From that place of peace he was free to be aware of and interceding for his wife, whose battle was going to actually be harder and last longer. She was going to have to continue on this earthly plane with the questions, loneliness and longing for a better place. This reflected what Kathy’s mom had shared with me, that Kathy was concerned about how her husband would handle her passing away. He was faithful, strong and an unwavering support during her illness, “you could not have asked for a better man” she stated, but, the concern was there for the time after her death.

Debbie spoke next, with great honesty, “I’m trusting, but I’m scared.” Debbie spoke of anger and trust and learning to live in the moment, truly appreciating the moment. Even her anger is something that a person would not have if they did not believe that the Person they were angry with had the power to change the situation – so that too is faith.

I did not feel to impose for very long and it was obvious Phil was tired, so I thanked them for their time, prayed and left the room. The love and the trust that is only available to a people who have stopped believing that this world is all there is was the most powerful thing I gained from this time. Phil’s Christ-like sacrificial love which no longer saw himself, but truly could only see what was best for “the other” was something that would be a theme that would carry over to the next person God brought into my life.

—————This section needs work I just wanted to get a start—————————

Dane Burnworth had walked with his wife, Sharon, through many years of a battle with ALS. For the last three years of her life she could not talk. The disease stole her ability to use her muscles to move, but heightened the nerve sensations telling her that something about her positioning was not comfortable or right. God allowed them to work out a way to communicate with out words. God made it clear that this sickness was way, way bigger than just them. It was about the love of the Father and understanding who He is. The oneness that is present in a marriage that has come to the ultimate place that God has for marriage was something God was using the illness to bring them to. Dane came to a place where he saw that in caring for Sharon’s needs he was caring for his own needs. Sharon trusted him to know her needs and to help her through the scariest of times when even being able to breathe was not something they could take for granted. About 6 months before she passed, without using words this became her typical response to everything that came their way.

I know, it’s okay, I love you, tell them all.”

Dane can see now that this was a message straight from the heart of God for those who are struggling through this life. Every failure, every weakness, every step of the way we can trust Him fully.

In the course of the illness God would bring them to a place in her condition where they would need to be equipped by Him to handle it. He would stop there, equip them, let them rest there for awhile and then bring them to a new level of challenge. Dane emphasized that as Sharon became weaker it was like living with the very presence of Jesus. Friends who visited spoke of the amazing peace that was in the home.

In what would be the last night before Sharon passed away, a very special moment took place. Dane asked if she was as comfortable as he could make her, she said, “Yes.” He asked her if there was any other person she wanted there, she said, “No.” Then he lifted up his hands and said, “Then can we agree that the precious blood of Jesus paid this debt too?” She said, “Yes.” They agreed they were both at the end of their strength and had done all that they can do. At that moment, God restored all her vital signs to normal including the lung that had collapsed. (Dane took this as a sign that all our healing has indeed been paid for by the blood of Jesus, but that at this time Sharon was being called home.) Then her heart rate rate started to slow and Dane just knew that it was time to call family and let them visit one last time. But, God had demonstrated that if it had been His will, He could have healed her body.

Dane learned some good and deep lessons during this time. They saw the community united in support and love for Sharon. Two of the lessons were 1) Much of what I used to see as challenges I now see as opportunities. 2) We can carry way too much that we were not meant to carry.

God could have brought healing, but that is only one aspect of Him being greater than sickness. Sometimes we just want delivered of the illness, but that takes the focus off of Jesus

Laura Story “We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
And all the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things

The universe is subject to decay and that too is a blessing from God to make us hunger and long for His presence where there is no decay.

I want to be careful not to be dishonoring in any way by putting a sentence like, “For the last three years of her life she could not speak.” I am grateful for being “allowed in” to the lives of people mentioned here, but there is a fine line between telling their story and not truly getting across the weight that they had to carry, the dark that they had to go through the struggle.. So God help me.

Kathy introduction

Introduction

The original burden to write this book came to me simply as the title. I did not feel that it could possibly be true, so I put it aside. Many times it was out of my thoughts completely and it just kept getting confirmed by God, until I knew I needed to write it. I started off gathering stories from people who knew and loved Kathy. Some chapters came out of those conversations and then there was a period of time where the project lay dormant. Then connections with people came into my life that re-sparked my burden but now there was a slightly different perspective. Never having attempted anything like this before how does one know when all the learning that the author needs is done, and thoughts can be put to paper. I hope this worked is looked upon with eyes of mercy. Ask God to “fill up what is lacking” in my abilities and pray that you will get out of it what you need, in spite of the author’s failings.

Israel God’s physical literal promises

Taken from a work by Adolph Saphir   ”

Wherever faith takes up its position it beholds the eternal counsel of the Most High, which must stand for ever. It develops; it unfolds; and nothing is able to withstand its progress. The very unbelief of Israel, and their very chastisement and dispersion among the nations of the earth, cannot make the promises of God of none effect. The Lord has chosen Israel, and this choice of Israel is rooted in the everlasting counsel of God, of which Jesus is the centre.”

When we believe this, we who know Jesus as the centre cannot place the centre anywhere else but where God has placed it. Round Jesus are the people of Israel. That is the circle immediately round Jesus; and Jesus and Israel are perfectly inseparable. There we have election, God’s own will to manifest His glory; and while the purpose of God is the manifestation of His glory, the inside of that purpose is nothing else but love. It is His glory that He wishes to manifest Himself to all the ends of the earth. It is this election which is its own force and its own motive—out of which comes the whole history of Israel, and out of which comes the whole history of the Church. Your salvation and the election of Israel are inseparably connected; and because God chose Israel, therefore He called Abraham, and therefore He made a covenant with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob—an unconditional covenant. Mark this, because upon this rests the whole Gospel.

This covenant with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, which embraced the Messiah, our Lord Jesus, the nation Israel, and the land of Palestine, is a covenant which depends exclusively upon the faithfulness of God—not upon our faithfulness; not upon our works. It is an absolute election of grace. It is quite true that when Israel is unfaithful she is chastised and punished, just as we are chastised and punished when we depart from our Lord Jesus Christ. But the counsel of God, the plan of God, the thoughts of God, the election of God, cannot be altered. “The gifts and calling of God are without repentance” (Rom 11:29). He may suffer them to be afflicted for four hundred years in Egypt, but He will bring them out on account of the covenant. He may send them to Babylon for seventy years, but He will bring them back on account of the covenant. He has punished them for nearly 2,000 years on account of their rejection of Jesus, but He will bring them back because the covenant is unconditional, and His purpose is unchangeable.

Unconditional is the covenant, and the counterpart of that is the doctrine of grace. Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His own purpose and according to His infinite love, has He given us salvation in Christ. With regard to this covenant which the Lord God has made with Israel, and of which our blessed Savior Jesus Christ is the centre, in the whole history of God in all His dealings with Israel, He has continually to go back to His love, else He would have to give them up altogether; and so we find that to reveal Himself to Israel and to carry out His great promises, there appeared among the people of God two things, which do not appear among the other nations, and which are a great stumbling-block to all unbelief. Why do people find such great difficulty in accepting the Bible? There are two things which they do not like. The first is prophecy, and the second is miracle—prophecy and miracle. And when I speak of unbelief I am sorry to say that I have to include a great many people who think themselves Christians and Christian theologians. But faith they have not, whatever else they may have.

God does not care for numbers; God does not care for outward power. On the contrary, He must make it perfectly plain that His is the power, and that ours is only weakness. Now look at the people of Israel. How many entered into the promised land? None but Joshua and Caleb. Look at Gideon. Thirty-two thousand were ready to go forth into battle, but God said, “I do not care for thirty-two thousand. They must be real godly ones that trust in Me, and who know that I am with them and in them.” And the thirty-two thousand were reduced to three hundred. Oh, how different God is from us! We want to force everybody into the Church to make them Christians, whether they like it or not—to call them or label them Christians, although they do not believe, because we want to bring in, as it were, the whole nation into the Church. God’s plan is to winnow, to sift—to separate the chaff from the wheat. Three hundred out of the thirty-two thousand! Look at the time of David. Who was it that acknowledged David when he was persecuted? Saul was a tall man, and had all the splendid and regal qualities that made him to be estimated a powerful and suitable leader. But it was a poor and despised people who flocked round David.

But God has not totally rejected His people, and the conversion of even one Jew—so Paul argues—is a proof of it. This then is how faith beholds Israel now, in the apostasy. Great is that apostasy. They have crucified Jesus.

 Jesus said that the temple would be destroyed, and all the prophets announced the judgment that would come upon Israel. And God fulfilled it. And just as we believe the destruction of Jerusalem and the judgments which have come upon Israel because God foretold them, so do we believe the restoration of Israel simply because God has told us—because it is written.

Our hope is built upon nothing less than the Word of God. It will require the omnipotence of God to raise the dead out of their graves. But so it is written in the Prophet Ezekiel that the dead bones shall live. It will require all the attributes of Deity to bring about the wonderful things which God has promised to us in the Scriptures. But God will do it. In the Word of God the restoration of Israel is always based upon the power and love and the unchanging character of the promises of the everlasting God. And just as God says, “I, even I, have created the world; I, even I, have redeemed sinners”—so it is only God who Himself is able to restore His people Israel. “For My own Name’s sake I will do it.” And how will the Lord do it? The Lord is an holy God; and Israel having departed from God there are these two principles which seem to be conflicting—the holiness of God and the sin of Israel. But God is able to subdue their iniquities and forgive all their sins, and renew their hearts, and to put a right spirit within them. Do not imagine that any temporal glory or power will be entrusted by God to Israel as an unconverted nation. That would not be for the glory of God, nor would it be for the welfare of Israel and the world. They must be led through deep waters. They must be brought through fearful judgments. They must experience the wrath and the indignation of the Lord. They must be led into the valley of humiliation. Then will the Lord appear unto them, even as Joseph appeared unto his brethren, and the spirit of grace and of supplication will be poured out upon them; and there will be weeping such as this world has never heard; and there will be repenting and contrition more profound than the angels have ever witnessed upon earth, for they shall mourn over Him as over their only child; and then God, having cast them into the fire of His indignation, and having by the Holy Ghost worked in them repentance and granted to them the remission of sin, shall fit them for the wonderful work that is before them in the future; for a nation that has come through such repentance and through such faith—a nation that has so tasted the bitterness of sin, and the sweetness of the infinite love of God, which is stronger than death—will then go on for a thousand years without ever looking back. In the Old Testament you always read, “Oh, backsliding Israel.” They are always backsliders; they have always to be restored. But there are so many passages in the Prophets which tell us that after Israel has been brought back the second time they will never look back. There will be no backsliding any more; but for a thousand years Israel shall go on in the fear of the Lord, and in the love of the Lord, and from Israel shall flow forth blessings in all the world.

Notice this. It is nowhere said that Jesus died for any nation, except for the Jewish nation. He died for that nation, and for that nation only. He died that all the children of God should be gathered in: but you see there is a difference. He died for the nation, and He died for the rest as individuals. It is nowhere said in the Bible that any nation will exist for ever; but it is said of the Jewish nation that they will exist for ever. This nation has God chosen, and when He divided the world unto mankind, it is written in the Book of Deuteronomy that He planned it all in relation to the central nation of Israel, who are to be the point from which all His blessings will radiate. And therefore this is the remarkable thing about Israel. “All Israel shall be saved” (Rom 11:26)—the nation as a nation, that is to say, that godly remnant that shall be left after all the judgments which shall come upon Israel; and then they shall be a blessing to all the world.

(The usurping nature of man to want to do this without Israel is pride, hidden in “just Jesus” talk that puts our ministry at the forefront and writes off Israel. Arrogance it is called and arrogance it is, disguised as “Jesus is everything, Israel is past and gone.”)

Oh, we pray every day, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” And this is what I hope, and what every Christian must hope—that, through the intervention of Jesus Himself, and through the mediation of the Jewish nation, there is a time coming when God’s will will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Talk of drunkenness; talk of profligacy; talk of all the crimes and vices which now pollute the earth: they shall be done away. But that is only the negative side of it. How is God’s will done in heaven? There is no drunkenness there; there is no profligacy there; there is no war and bloodshed there. True; but how is God’s will done? It will be an angelic world. As the angels above, so will men be here upon the earth, “for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” Then the promise, “In Thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blest” (Gen 22:18), shall be fulfilled, and the Son of David shall rule over all the world, and righteousness shall flow as a river, and the knowledge of the Lord shall cover all the earth as the waters cover the sea. That is what we hope about Israel, and all because of Jesus.

Remember how God loves Israel; and, here again, I wish to appeal to your experience. You read such passages as “I have loved thee with an everlasting love. Therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee. The mountains may depart and the hills be moved: but My lovingkindness shall not depart. My thoughts are thoughts of peace concerning you.” And you apply them to yourself. Why do you apply that to yourself? You are quite right to apply it; but why? What right have you? Oh, these promises were given to Israel. Now, listen to me. God says to Israel, “I have loved thee with an everlasting love. Although the mountains depart I cannot change My love to you. I will plant you in your own land.” With My whole heart and with My whole soul; and even during the time of their banishment and captivity He calls them “the beloved of My soul.” If God does not mean this to Israel, how much less does He mean it to you! You apply the assurances of love which God has given to Israel, and argue by analogy that the Lord will also be faithful and loving and forgiving to you. Ah! therefore you must believe the first to be true. Oh, God loves Israel! Jesus loves Israel, and wept over Jerusalem. The Apostle Paul loved Israel, although he had thousands of converts among the Gentile nations. Love Israel, because God loves Jesus, and because Jesus loves Israel.”