Are We Going to Listen to the Knock or the Whispering? By Joshua Campbell

Yuma PrisonAre We Going to Listen to the Knock or the Whispering?
By Joshua Campbell

In 1993, there was a skater comic-book-nerd who was sitting in a movie theater with his girlfriend. As he watched the movie, he longed to be the character on the screen. He cheered at every shooting along with his female sidekick next to him who would shout, “Way to Go! Get those idiots!”

This skater-nerd was an angry young man full of hurt and self-pity. He was a senior in high school with a B-average, which his dad said would not get him a full ride. His dad was right. The worst part for the young man was when the guidance counselor told him that his dad would have to pay his way to college. As he shouted, the whisperings inside his head was louder, “Life is unfair people need to pay!”

The movie, Falling Down, seemed to speak to him. It’s a Michael Douglas film about a man who lost his job and went on a rampage throughout Los Angeles. Douglas played a man who believed he was robbed of the things he thought he deserved out of life. When the movie was over, the young man’s date, who wanted his approval, leaned towards him and said, “Let’s make them pay.” Then the whispering came to him, “Do it. Make them pay,” but at the same time, a sick feeling came to him and he thought, “No, not this way.” The young man also had a strong feeling to get away from his date because she was wrong and that was the last time he saw her.

A year later, this young man ran out of the money he had saved and was unable to return to college. As he left, he heard a woman laughing at her fortune that her college tuition was being paid for because she had children. The whispering continued to play in this young man’s mind, which resulted in more self-pity and hate.

A couple of months go by and this young man is now using speed and gets busted. He is angry, and the whispering in his head gets louder. They are telling him that his parents and society have let him down. But then that sick feeling overcomes him like before, and he senses that the whispering is wrong, as well as, what he is doing. This feeling felt like knocking inside his heart.

During this time, his dad hired a lawyer who was able to drop the charges if he enlisted in the Army. His dad said it was a second chance for him. The young man thought he did well that year and he graduated from Tech school and had a permanent station at Fort Knox. The world seemed great and he did not experience the whispering for a while. Then things changed when he was told to take an exam the following morning. The exam was strange, but he thought he had done well. A week later, he was called into the Commander’s office. He was unprepared to receive the shocking news that he was being discharged. “Why?” he asked. He was told that the results of the test revealed that he had a “charismatic” personality, which flagged him as a potential threat to the Army. They believed that this type of personality could entice others to follow him in a revolt. The news was very upsetting to him. He wanted to know how they determined this from the test. They said that it was the affirmative reply that he gave to the comment, “You cannot always judge a book by it’s cover.” He thought that was nonsense. The commander said that while the young man was being observed, it was also clear that he posed a future threat.

Eight weeks later he was on his way home with an honorable discharge, but to him, it was another failure. Then the whispering returned, “They need to pay; that Clinton needs to pay.” And once again, along with the whispering came that familiar feeling in his stomach like a knocking on his heart that told him the whispering thoughts were not right. A short time later he was at his family’s house, and his parents had the Bible out. His grandfather leans towards the young man and says, “Son, it says in the word…” “Who’s word?” he replies to his grandpa and his grandpa answers, “Son, the Lord Jesus says in Revelation 3:20, ‘Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hears my voice, and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.’”

That young man was me, Joshua Campbell. I wish I could say that was the day I was converted, but it came later. But I now understood that the sick feeling I got when the whispering came was the Lord knocking on my heart. All that time, our Lord and Savior, Yahweh was knocking at my heart and reasoning with me. He was saying to me, “Just let me in Joshua. I’m the answer.” The whispering was the whispering of the serpent just like in the garden.

This week, a horrible tragedy occurred when a married couple committed a mass murder. They were comic-nerds like I was and they felt something was wrong with the world liked I did. But they listened to the whispering so much that it possessed them. When reading the story in the news, my heart ached for the policemen and their families. My heart also ached because I know that my Lord Jesus Christ had grace and mercy on me. I could have been them back in 1993 with the girl who wanted my attention, and the other times after that. But he knocked over and over. “Just let me in, Joshua,” he would say. He put the scripture in my grandfather’s mouth!

When that couple shouted, “A revolution is starting,” they were listening to a partial truth given to them by Lucifer himself. There is a revolution; a spiritual revolution. It’s a war between Yahweh and Lucifer and there is a side to choose. Are you going to hear the knocking and join the side of Yahweh? Will you become a soldier in his kingdom and fight against the powers of wickedness? Or, are you going to listen to the whispering of the fallen ones? So let us pray that the Lord places remnant members before these people to let them know that the answer is not the one who whispers but with the one who knocks.

Written by Joshua Campbell for the Remnant Resistance Blog!

Check out our new eBook, “Idol’-i-cide: The Killing of Idols” at Fifthookmedia.com. 

Where are the Shepherds? By Josh Campbel

Little GoatThursday, I was listening to a Bible question-and-answer show called, “Pastors Perspective.” This radio show is broadcast out of Calvary Chapel, Costa Mesa. This show allows people to call in to the program and ask pastors questions about the Bible or to inquire about a problem in their life. The pastors will then respond to their question or give Christian advice regarding their personal issues.

For those of you who are not familiar with Calvary Chapel, Costa Mesa, it is a mega-church founded by Chuck Smith. After his death, his son-in-law, Brian Brodersen became the senior pastor, and is one of the hosts of this radio program. This is typical of what these mega-churches do when the founder of that church dies. They leave their so-called kingdom to a family member as if their ministry was a corporation instead of a place of worship for like-minded believers. Well that is a topic for another post!

As I was listening to the program, a man called with a question about his four-year old daughter. The man said that over the last week, he and his wife would wake up in the night hearing their daughter crying, or sometimes laughing, or talking to someone. When they went into her bedroom to check on her, should would tell them that she was talking to her friend. She told her parents that this person was still in her room while she was talking with them. Her parents understood that this friend was an imaginary friend, so they asked her what her friend looked like. She described him as a man with dark eyes, and then she screamed and started to cry. They asked her what was wrong, and she said that the man was mad at her for telling them about him, and that when he gets mad, he gets ugly. So they asked her what she meant by “ugly, but she didn’t want to say. After a few minutes of them begging her, she said that when she did not do what her friend wanted her to do, his face would change into a face of a monster with glowing orange eyes and long hair like a lion. She said he would be real mean when he was mad. The dad told the two pastors, hosting the show, that he and his wife are terrified and needed help. At this time, I was already thinking, this family is under attack and they need deliverance. Get the wife and child on the phone with the dad and let’s bind these demons right? But, no! That is not what happens.

You can hear the man’s nervousness in his voice. Then both pastors ask him how long this has been happening. He responded, “Over the last week.” Then what I heard next made my blood boil! Pastor Brian Broderson responded, after he muffled one last chuckle, and said, “Well you know these little ones can be asleep and look like they’re awake.” The dad insisted that she wasn’t asleep, but was wide awake. Then Pastor Brian, (and I use the term pastor loosely), says, “Oh yeah, my son used to walk into their room while being fast asleep.” But the dad told them again with frustration that his daughter was not asleep. Then Pastor Brian continues and says, “Well I’m sure you prayed for her.” The dad says, “Yes, but…” and the call gets disconnected. You can hear the other co-host pastor conveniently say, “Oh, I think we lost him.” That is when you hear Pastor Brian talk to the disconnected caller, “If you’re listening and it happens again, take her to a doctor and we will be praying for her mental health.”

I couldn’t believe what I had just heard. I prayed, “My Lord this man needs you and these shepherds just laugh at him and tell him that his daughter is crazy and needs mental help.” Then the Lord spoke to me and said, “Where are the shepherds?” My heart ached so badly for the Lord’s people. This Pastor Brodersen inherited a church with over 20,000 members from a man, Chuck Smith, who was making over a million dollars a year, but he has no eyes to see the demonic attack on this poor family. Pastor Brian could only offer his false doctrine and worldly advice. He is no shepherd. He is a hireling because he cares more about his salary and prestige then to give one of our Lord’s flock the truth and deliverance.

Let’s see what the Lord says about a shepherd in John 21:15-17, “So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.” A shepherd feeds the sheep with the word of our Lord Jesus Christ. The shepherd protects the flock by casting out and binding demons and exposing wolves in sheep clothing.

Now let’s see what the Lord says about false shepherds in Ezekiel 34:1-10, “And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks? Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but ye feed not the flock. The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them. And they were scattered, because there is no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered. My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and upon every high hill: yea, my flock was scattered upon all the face of the earth, and none did search or seek after them. Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the Lord; As I live, saith the Lord God, surely because my flock became a prey, and my flock became meat to every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, neither did my shepherds search for my flock, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not my flock; Therefore, O ye shepherds, hear the word of the Lord; Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them.”

These false shepherds are scattering the flock. They are making themselves rich and fat while our Lord’s flocks starve for the lack of spiritual food that only comes from preaching of the word. The flock has been scattered and there are wolves picking sheep off one-by-one. Therefore, we need to spread the truth about these false shepherds. We need to pray for the remnant and we need to pray that our good shepherd, the Lord Jesus Christ come quickly.

 

Written by Josh Campbell for the Remnant Resistance Blog

Who really are our brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ? By Josh Campbell

FifthHook OptB(400x400)About a year ago while attending a church service in my local community, I was amazed to hear the pastor state, “Except for the Mormon and Jehovah Witnesses, we should embrace other denominations and churches as our brothers and sisters in Christ.” When I repeated what he just said over in my mind, I felt moved to see what my Lord and Savior said about the topic in the Bible. Let us look at Matthew 12:47-50.

“Then one said unto him, Behold, thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to speak with thee. But he answered and said unto him that told him, Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And he stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren. For whosoever shall do the will of my Father, which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.”

We see that at the beginning that Jesus was with a group of disciples, and someone announced to Jesus, “Your mother and brothers are here!” For those who believe Mary was a perpetual virgin, please take a look at that scripture and that should put this belief to rest. Jesus responds to this announcement of his mother and brothers being present by pointing at the disciples and asking a question.

That question was “who is my mother and brothers?” This is one of the awesome things about our Lord. He answers the question in a way we can understand. The answer is this; whoever does the will of my Father in heaven, the same is my brother, my sister and my mother. To be considered a brother or a sister in Christ, you have to do the will of the Father!

So back to the question, “Is everyone in every church a brother or sister in Christ? In Luke 6:43-44 we are told how to know if someone is doing the will of the Father. This is what The Lord says,

“For a good tree brings not corrupt fruit; neither doth a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. For every tree is known by his own fruit. For thorns men do not gather figs, nor of bramble bush gather they grapes.”

The Lord just said by their fruit we will know them. So if they are producing Godly fruit then they are a brother or sister in Christ. On the same note, if they are producing corrupt fruit, they are not of God. We can tell by a person’s actions if they are of God or not of God.

If the church is promoting dead people as saints and building idols to them, then we know by the Ten Commandments that is a violation of God’s law in that we are not to have any other gods or make graven images. People following that belief are not producing good fruit. They are not your brothers and sisters in Christ.

If they allow homosexual ministers, (in the Old Testament law they were to kill the people who did such acts), they are not following the will of the Father. Therefore, they are not a brother or sister in Christ. Now in Luke we find that Jesus sent the disciples to preach the Gospel, and heal the sick casting out Demons. If you are in a church and you are going word for word in the Bible, you are following the will of the Father, and you are producing good fruit, then those people would be your brother and sister in Christ.

But, even wolves will creep in unaware. We need to ask the Father for wisdom and discernment to be able to spot them. Just because someone goes to a church and calls themselves a Christian does not make them your brother or sister in Christ.

Pastors stating that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ are spreading a false doctrine. I truly believe this false doctrine is also part of the emergent church movement that has the spirit of antichrist behind it. Therefore, it is important that we stay in the word and ask our Lord Jesus to bind these evil spirits of deceit. Also, pray for boldness so we can speak out against these false doctrines so that as many people can be saved.

By Joshua Campbell / ohmyitsjoshandgina@yahoo.com

False Doctrine of Escapism by Joshua Campbell

FifthHook MediaA doctrine is spreading throughout our churches, a false doctrine! The doctrine is the doctrine of escapism. This doctrine states if you ask Jesus into your life then all tribulation will be over. They say that God will never bring his anger and judgment on his believers. That all will be taken out in a twinkle of an eye, and all left will suffer Gods wrath. Well they do have correct the part that true Christians will not suffer Gods wrath. But where the false doctrine comes in is lumping tribulation as coming from God, and that true followers of Christ are going to escape tribulation. Let us see what the word says about the subject. In John 16:33, this is what Jesus says about tribulation”

“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” Now if you notice, does Jesus say, I tell you these things so you will know what unbelievers will have. No. He says, “In the world ye shall have tribulation,” and here comes the part that Jesus says that will get us through it. He says, “Be of good cheer for I have overcome it.” Jesus is our Lord and he suffered for us, and the servant is never greater then his master. So if our Lord endured suffering, why do we go to churches that speak a false doctrine of escapism and prosperity, and then leave wondering why we’re suffering with many trials in our life? Why are so many people are falling away? Now let us go back to the word and see what else it says about trials.

In the book of Daniel chapter 3:15 we find that king Neb-u-chad-nez’-zar built a huge statue in his image and commanded all to worship this image at the sound of music. Let us see how Daniel’s friends respond. “Now if ye be ready that at what time ye hear the sound of the cornet, flute, harp, sackbut, psaltery, and dulcimer, and all kinds of music, ye fall down and worship the image which I have made; well: but if ye worship not, ye shall be cast the same hour into the midst of a burning fiery furnace; and who is that God that shall deliver you out of my hands?

“Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, answered and said to the king, O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.”

Now that sounds like a huge trial to me. Let us see what happens to these brave servants of our God. Daniel 3:19-25 reads, “Then was Nebuchadnezzar full of fury, and the form of his visage was changed against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego: therefore he spake, and commanded that they should heat the furnace one seven times more than it was wont to be heated. And he commanded the most mighty men that were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. Then these men were bound in their coats, their hosen, and their hats, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.

Therefore, because the king’s commandment was urgent, and the furnace exceeding hot, the flames of the fire slew those men that took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counselors, did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king. He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.”

These three went through a huge trial and our merciful God got them through it because they trusted in him. See our Lord never promised there would not be trials. Instead, he promises to get those who trust in him through them just like Noah with the ark and Daniel when he was thrown in the lion’s den. Over and over again our Lord and God Yeshua shows us in his word that if we trust in him and follow him he will get us through the trials.

True Christians do not suffer Gods wrath yet we will have trials. Here is the answer; it is not God who does it. It is our adversary Satan. This is what the bible declares in 1Peter 5:8, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”

Our churches are failing to equip the saints with the full armor of God by not teaching the truth that we are in a war with princes and principalities that are not of this world but are fallen angels. These pastors worry about saying something nice and filling the seats rather than saving souls.

This doctrine is going to set up the misinformed to a great deception. If you are taught by these wolves that a great revival is coming with a great escape from trials, then Satan has come as the bible says. 2Thessalonians 2:9 states, “Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders.” See with all “signs” it reads. So, brothers and sisters pray for eyes to see and ears to hear, and study the word so that you will not fall for these false doctrines and be deceived. Because our Lord comes quickly, and if you trust in him with all your heart, he promises to direct your paths.

Written by Joshua Campbell for the Remnant Resistance Blog

Doctrine of Demons Warning by Josh Campbell

FifthHook OptB(400x400)

A viral post making the rounds on Facebook is a picture of a bible, and the caption says, “Don’t know the word-know the author!”

 

I’ve seen people respond to this with “Ooh so true!” as if this was some come back to a put down! People like this saying. But here is the problem, it’s a saying straight from satan!! Because to know the word is to know the author!

 

John 1.1 speaking of Jesus says this, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” See Jesus is the “word” that’s in the bible! So, to know the author you need to know what the author says. If you wanted to learn about a former world leader you wouldn’t take some commentary as the truth. You would listen to speeches and read about things they did while alive.

 

The same is true about our Lord and savior. Instead, the majority of the world proclaiming that they are Christian  go to a church were they are quoted one bible verse and then are filled with so much fluff that they leave the church feeling dizzy.

 

So let’s get to know our Lord and again what he says. In John 5:39 it says, “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” Again another reference to him being the author and the word in the bible.

 

So my brothers and sisters we have to watch for lies and doctrines of demons. Our adversary is the father of lies and comes with a twisted version of the word of our Lord. So I pray that you don’t fall for these cute sayings, and you search and meditate on the WORD so when the time comes you are found worthy and escape the coming trials.

 

Written by Josh Campbell for the Remnant resistance Blog.

 

The Illuminati can’t change its spots-by Marcos

NWOThe conspiracy world has been shaken in the last weeks by declarations from the expert on the Illuminati, Fritz Springmeier, that the elite group is now led by a new generation of heirs with a different perspective, more transparent and open to dialogue. The 13 bloodlines have been reduced to seven. They now declare to have humankind’s interests in mind, and want to lead us as modern Plato’s philosopher-kings to an age of prosperity and peace. His new leader is supposed to be a certain William Cornelius Van Duyn, a kind of compassionate and super smart guy. Is this possible?

 

THE PLAN

 

The Illuminati is adapting to the new reality of the internet. Since the advent of the web, millions of people who never had any contact with conspiracy theories, mostly the youth, have watched Youtube videos, read articles and forum posts about the heinous crimes of the Illuminati. A response was needed.

The answer is a marketing campaign: the old generation was greedy and materialist, the new generation is open and generous. Let’s catch the flies with honey.

They have realized that they must get rid of the image of blood sucking satanic banker​s and ​be seen as enlightened, spiritually developed gnostic beings who will pave the way to the reign of peace of the antiChrist. Satan is right now working in many fronts in order to give us the impression that his antiChrist will get rid of the evil banking system, imperialism, the industrial-military complex and all bogeymen he himself created, in order to bring a spiritual age of love and peace, guided by his enlightened beings of light, benevolent aliens or ascended masters.

Think about the ecology freak, baby Illuminati David de Rothschild and his media coups, like the use of a recycled plastic bottle boat as a public relations stunt to push his eco-warrior image. The Rothschilds, narcissists by nature, have always loved the spotlight, in the way of fine wines from James Mayer or car races by Victor. They allegedly have given 50,000 works of art to museums. Their minions Bill Gates and Warren Buffet have surprised the world by giving away tens of billions of dollars. How not to love such benevolent rulers?

Since they believe in the gnostic concept of moral balance, they have no problem giving away US$ 10 MM to a Children’s Hospital the day following a ritual with human sacrifice. Of course, the public will only hear about the good action. We should expect many more such deeds in the near future.

 

EXTERNALIZATION

 

Alice Bailey, the head of the gnostic Theosophy, showed that the actions taken by the Illuminati today were never an idea of a new generation, as they want us to believe. They had been carefully planned and dictated by an ascended master (demonic fallen angel) in the book “Externalization of the Hierarchy” (1919), specifically in the section “Stages in the Externalization”:
“The old rituals must be revived and brought up to date (in the esoteric sense of the word) and the religious students of the world must be graduated into a higher school, given the occult interpretations, and taught that, after all, the truth has been present all the time, but hidden and misinterpreted.”

“It is surely easier to swing the masses into step and give them the newer light of truth if that light is poured on to familiar ground.”

“…the truth must be stepped down and adapted in such a way that the advanced minds, the enquiring minds, and the reactionary masses may have opportunity proffered them, to the measure of their receptivity.”

All these passages talk about bringing occultism from the inner secret circles to the mass culture and the common folk, in their own language. That’s why we see useful idiots like Madonna and Lady Gaga in the music industry displaying the Illuminati symbols and hand gestures openly in the last five years. Same in movies, always in a more open way, and even in the fashion industry. Illuminati is now a mainstream word.

 

THE NEXT STEP

 

There is an old strategy that tells us to put a goat in the living room. Soon, the stink will be so bad that people will pay you to remove the foul beast and forget you were the one who brought it in the first place. That’s what the Illuminati are doing now. They brought the world to such a decadence that even the most optimist person realizes we are going downhill fast: immorality, gratuitous wars, economic disparity, environment problems…there is no hope in the current system.

Enter the “Pepsi” new generation with solutions for all these evils. Free energy, perhaps, or eternal health by DNA modification? Their solutions might work, if only we get rid of old notions like sovereignty, gun rights and organized religion. We must embrace the global gnostic faith, follow our leaders, and everything will be alright.

 

CONCLUSION
Anyone with the slightest knowledge about secret societies and the Illuminati in special know about their oaths of allegiance and the promises of stark punishments for betrayal. Members of occult families are more often than not brainwashed and tortured in childhood in order to be acquiescent. The deep demonic and psychological strongholds make freedom, apart from divine intervention, almost impossible.
Just remember Amschel Rothschild, the non-compliant Illuminati heir who was conveniently suicided in 1996 in Paris, or names throughout history like Lincoln, Kennedy, Sadat, Bill Cooper and so many others, who died after becoming a nuisance for the group.

The key to understand the Illuminati is to know that they are more than a group interested in political and economic power. They have a spiritual demonic structure that is subordinated to Satan and his hierarchy. Even if a generation changes their way of thinking, Satan never changes. If they disobey their master, they would be eliminated and substituted by more compliant others. We can be absolutely sure that the Illuminati are following Satan’s directions to the letter, and their objective is to gain acceptance to their coming murderous and dictatorial world leader, called the AntiChrist by the Christians. A coming short period of peace is possibly in the plan, and after that the knot in the rope will be tightened. Total crisis is not in their plans right now, because usually suffering make people turn to God.

The Illuminati, like the snake they worship, may change its skin, but it is still the same old lying serpent inside.

Article written by Brother Marcos. Contact him on Facebook: BrotherMarcosRadio.

The Line in the Sand

FifthHook MediaThe Line in the Sand

The angry crowd surrounded the frail and frightened woman.  They shouted terrible things at her… the truth, but terrible still the same.  They raised the stones that would soon take her life and then it happened: fight or flight set in, and she ran.  She could feel her heart pounding in her chest and her breath coming in huge gulps of air.  She ran, not to escape judgment, but to escape death.

Her mind screamed at the stupidity of her actions.  If only she had…you can fill in the gap as easily as I.  She had been caught in the bed of a man that was not her husband.  Even worse, at least one of the two parties was married, because the crowd called it adultery.  Whatever it was called, it was against the law.  She had committed a terrible crime against the ruling government and against God.  She knew her sin…she had chosen her sin…but she had not calculated the cost.

Maybe her love for this man was so great that she refused to accept that consequences could follow her actions.  Maybe she refused to believe that something as beautiful as love could even have consequences.  Possibly, she possessed so little self-respect that she chose the action, not for defiance sake, but for quick, easy money.  The story does not make her motivations clear.  Whatever the motivation, the consequence of sin is why she found herself on this day, desperately running.

Through the dust that filled the narrow street, she saw in the distance the temple.  That was the last place she wanted to go, because within its walls there would be inevitable judgment and consequences.

The angry mob behind her caught up forcing her through the doorway into the outer court.  Unsuccessfully she reached, arms flailing for anything that might stop her forward progress.  Sweat and tears dripping from her body, adrenaline pumping, she desperately searched the crowd.  Then, in the distance, she saw Him: The Teacher.  She asked herself why this Teacher would be any different than the men behind her.  But in her desperation, she decided to trust one more man.  Thrown to the floor at the feet of Jesus, she sought out a place of refuge.  Frantically she scurried to hide behind the Teacher.  There was no promise that He would not also raise a stone, but He was her only hope.  She chose Jesus, or did He choose her?

Jesus knew her story.  He knew every detail of her life.  Even before time began He knew that she would seek love in the arms of a man that was not her husband.  He knew she would be caught in the bedroom of her sin.  He knew that the crowd of men would seek her life to bring honor to the law and to test Him.  He knew she would run, and He knew she would run to Him.  Why else would He have stood in the temple on that spot, on that day, at that hour?

As a child, I played in the streets and back alleyways of Long Beach, California.  My brother and I would pretend to be soldiers.  He was always the general, and I had to be the lowly foot soldier.  The other neighborhood children were obviously the enemy, though we were best friends.  So many summer hours were spent perusing the block around our apartment complex, looking for the place that we could claim as our fort!  When we found the perfect spot, we would pretend to raise our flag, claiming that land for our side of the conflict.  We never really knew what the conflict was, but that minor detail was unimportant at the time.

For hours we taunted one another and would throw objects at the barricades, but we never approached the fort of the enemy, because that meant certain death.  Eventually, evening fell and our conflict had to come to an end.  The conclusion of course required a battle to be waged and lost by one side or the other.  So, the foot soldier would go out at the urging of the general.  She would draw a line in the dirt and say, “Anyone who crosses this line dies!”  An ultimatum!  When the challenge was laid down, the soldiers from our enemy camp had to test us.  They had to determine if we were bluffing.  So, they came out in mass, crossing the line.  We drew our pretend weapons and they fell to the ground!

The angry mob that chased the woman to the feet of Jesus, demanding that Jesus cross their imaginary line.  They asked Him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery.  The Law of Moses commands us to stone her.  What do you say we should do?”  Jesus simply appears to ignore them.  He kneels close to the woman and He writes or draws something in the sand.

The mob continues to insist on an answer.  So, Jesus, once again, kneels to write in the sand.  The Bible leaves to the imagination of the reader what the message was that He scrawled in the dirt.  One thing is clear, He drew a line.  Whether in words or in drawings, Jesus drew a line.  He looked at the men and asked the one who was completely sinless to throw the first stone.  The men stood motionless, memories of past failures filling their minds.  Starting with the oldest, the men dropped their stones and walked out of the temple.

The line that Jesus drew was symbolic of the mark that all of us miss.  It’s not that we want to miss the mark.  The smallest circle on the dartboard of life has never been an achievable goal…we have all crossed the line.  We have all sinned and fallen short of Gods’ glory.  Crossing that line means certain death, but the grace of God brings forgiveness and mercy.

Jesus looked at the woman.  His eyes filled with tears of compassion.  She was still shaken and weeping.  He reached down and gently lifted her to her feet and asked, “Who is there now to accuse you?”  She replied in little more than a whisper, that there was no one.  His answer, “Neither do I condemn you.  Go, and sin no more.”

There is still a line in the sand whose consequence is death.  We love to claim mercy and enjoy being told we are free, but we stop short of the “sin no more” command.  We no longer have a healthy fear of crossing the line that Jesus drew in the sand indicating the point of spiritual death.  In fact, we cuddle up as close to that line as we feel we safely can, taunting the enemy on the other side.  We play with the fire enough to wrongly believe that it can no longer harm us.  Our vision becomes blurred and our eyes can no longer clearly see the line and, eventually, we cross it.

Spiritual death is slow.  Like a sweater that we wear too long.  It slowly accumulates dirt and we do not notice until the white patterns take on a mottled tan coloration.  Then we realize how terribly soiled it has become.  We cross the line, but are we compelled to return?  More than likely, rather than returning to our God given place of repentance behind the line of our first love, we move the line farther out.  We continue to move the line until all that comprises who we were before the conflict, who we were on the other side of the God-placed boundary is no longer recognizable.  When all else fails, re-adjust the parameters, and fool yourself and everyone else into believing that 50 is the new 40, or what was a line was simply a suggestion.

When our little battle in the streets of Long Beach came to a final end, it was usually due to our Mother calling us in for supper.  She had a gruff voice and the heart of an angel.  However, her voice was not easy to hear.  It was something we had to listen for.  But you grow accustomed to the sound of a voice.  In the dusk we could hear her call, and knew without a doubt the “game” was over.  Supper was on the table and there is nothing like the family table.

God is calling us to supper…calling us back in fellowship with Him.  Our lives were not meant to be lived behind enemy lines, but in the safety of our base camp or on the front line of battle.  There is NO buffer zone!  Do not deceive yourself, if you are over the line, you are in enemy territory and fair game.

It is a constant struggle to retain the values of our Christian heritage, and often until we slip and falter, we fail to realize how far we have strayed.  Then we hear it…off in the distance…too far in the distance.  Have we really travelled that far from our mark?  The question is, will we once again respond to the call of the Shofar?

Excerpt taken form the eBook, “The Fate of Holiness” by Pamela Telgenhoff available at Amazon and FifthookMedia.com.

The Great Pendulum

FifthHook MediaThe Great Pendulum

A big box! Yes, that is how I would describe it.  It was a big square building with a small rectangular platform at the end.  Two small rooms on either side of the platform were used mostly for storage.  The carpet was of a non-distinct color from fading over many years: the stories it could tell.  A large organ and a piano engulfed the left side of the platform and a sadly empty choir loft was center stage.  The hymnals had seen better days, mostly torn from many years of wear.  A few Bibles graced the back of the theater style chairs.  The air was a bit musty, and very little light filtered through the small windows.  A small but proper, wooden pulpit stood on the edge of the platform with a cross engraved on the front.  As I entered the building, I took this all in.  I was eight years old.

Quietly I sat in the third row with my mother and we were quickly greeted with a huge, gracious hug from the pastor.  He had a smile that could light up a room and was a man of God.  His dark eyes held a glint of humor and his tanned skin was weathered.  His black suit was a touch wrinkled and his shoes, obviously too big for his small stature.  This pastor had been placed by God, because no one would deliberately choose to pastor a church in this neighborhood.  He loved the Lord and he loved the people of the Lord.

But there was, in the corner, a gentle giant…

He was tall and lanky.  Many years my mother’s senior.  At first glance, he was slightly unsteady on his feet.  On closer observation, you could tell that, at one time there had been a stately elegance about him.  Yet, we rarely saw him on his feet.  We were far more likely to see him on his knees.

Before any of the congregation arrived, Brother Kolb, as he was known, would have found an altar.  He did not require the wooden benches that served as altars in the sanctuary.  No, they were up front, where everyone could observe someone in prayer.  A small corner on the front row of chairs would do, and he knelt before the Lord, his God, and quietly cried out for holiness.  He called out for the fire to consume the things in his life that were unpleasing to God.  He wept for his unworthiness!  When, finally, he stood, his face was glowing.  I thought to myself, this must be what Moses looked like when he came down from the mountain, because Brother Kolb had surely seen the face of God.

Another man of God stood silently in the desert night, looking up at silvery stars that seemed to laugh at the simplicity of life on this planet, we call home.  He felt the cool breeze touch his face and he closed his eyes.  The vision was clear.  There had to be a temple for the sacrifice, for the atonement of the sins of the people.  “I am too old I guess,” he whispered to the twinkling stars.  He was of the tribe of Levi, a priest.  Ezra, reached to the rope tied around his waist to grasp the anointing vessel that was always at his side.  The Shofar felt cold in his hands in the night air.  He looked closely at the foundation of the new temple.  It was not quite as large as Solomon’s temple, but would contain all of the required elements.  So why was his heart stirring so?

The people had sacrificed for this and given what they could for a house for Almighty God to reside in.  But was it enough?  The men had climbed the mountain that day for the unveiling of the foundation.  Young and old alike were invited.  Ezra had laughed at the youthfulness and energy of the young men as they ran up the hill to get the first glance.  They danced and they shouted and laughed at the promise fulfilled.  It was a good day!

It took the elderly longer to climb.  As they topped the hill and got their first look at the promise, the hearts of those that had seen the first temple were shaken.  The young did not even notice, but the old men wept.  They cried for what was and for what could have been.  The young were simply glad to have a temple, but the old remembered…they remembered the glory…they remembered what was.

The wailing and the shouts so mixed together that day that none could distinguish between the two.  But on this night, Ezra looked beyond the stars to the heavens and wept.

A great pendulum has swung.  It is in constant motion, but we do not perceive the movement because we have acclimated to its sway.  Just like, a frog placed in a pot of cold water, as the temperature rises we notice little until it is too late.  Oblivious to the changes in spiritual temperature that brings an imbalance to our very minds, we simply enjoy swimming in the pot, until the swimming turns into sleeping and the sleeping turns into death.  Then we become no more than a meal for Satan to devour.  He loves his meals fat with little meat or muscle.

Pendulums have one thing that is consistent, they always return to where they started, but not without being acted on by an external power.  In other words, if the pendulum swayed in one direction and it was not acted on by gravity it would continue on the one path.  The object dangling precariously at the end of the pendulum would travel in one direction and always travel in that direction.  Because of gravity, the pendulum sways back to its original position.

Gravity holds things to Earth like unseen glue that keeps everything anchored to the world.  Do you know that gravity varies on different parts of the earth?  It decreases with altitude to the extent that, if you are on top of a very tall building, a pendulum style clock may actually have to be reset to keep accurate time.

The church was meant to travel in one direction from a very high elevation, but our earthly nature, our gravity, keeps pulling us back to Earth.  Because of the momentum that is gained from the fall, we swing too far and once again find ourselves in a nosedive.  Brother Kolb was traveling in one direction, unaltered by the gravity of sin because he lived in constant surrender and constant repentance.  His eyes were focused on the final lap of the race.  He continued to pursue holiness and only his tears fell back to earth.

The altar of holiness is demanding, and yet so satisfying.  It is the path of righteousness that is truly for His name’s sake and not our own.  Our lives are not our own, but we were bought with a great sacrifice.  A monumental price was paid for our souls.  We have joined an army, and just as our troops do not live to themselves, but become the property of the US Military, we can no longer pretend to be soldiers in the Army of God.  We must BE worthy soldiers in the Army of Almighty God, the property of God, and no longer of ourselves.

The church of the first century, or for that matter the church of just a century ago, is no longer recognizable in the lives of some Christians today.  Rather than taking up our crosses, we raise our glasses to the grace that allows us our spiritual freedom.  I believe in the grace of God.  I believe that we are saved though faith and not of works.  However, I also know that our personal salvation, as wonderful as it is, is not the final purpose of our lives.  That would simply make the gospel a type of insurance.

The final purpose of our lives is at the pendulum swing that takes us into the great commission.  “Go ye into the world and preach the gospel…”  There in that quiet command is the purpose of our lives, but if the gravity of Earth pulls us plummeting toward a lifestyle that resembles everyone else, why would the world want what we have?  They already live that lifestyle and they are completely miserable.  Seeing no difference, they will not hear what we have to say until they see what we have to offer.  If God commands us to go into the world does that not imply that we do not begin our journey with them?  God does not need a church that relates.  He needs a church that revives!  Holiness still awakens the darkened heart, and those who seek it, hear the sound.  They hear the call of the Shofar.

Excerpt taken from the eBook, “The Fate of Holiness” by Pamela Telgenhoff, available on Amazon and at FifthookMedia.com.

The Altar of Sacrifice

FifthHook MediaThe Altar of Sacrifice

Abraham was familiar with altars.  He had constructed many of them in his lifetime.  It had become a pattern to construct an altar whenever God spoke to him concerning promises, or when he felt the desire to communicate with God.  The altar was a place of commitment to the covenant, and stood as a reminder for Abraham of the promise.  It was a place where Abraham was certain he could hear the voice of God.

In the book of Genesis, when God promised Abraham that the land would be an inheritance to his descendants, Abraham built an altar to the Lord.  When God spoke, Abraham listened and he made certain the Lord knew he had listened by building an altar and offering a sacrifice.

When Abraham pitched his tent to the east of Bethel, he built an altar and he sought God.  The Bible says, “…he called on the name of the Lord.”  Another altar was built to the Lord in Hebron where Abraham chose to live after parting ways with Lot.  This altar was a promise that God would always be the center of Abraham’s life and home.  Many altars had been built and left as a testament to God and to His covenant relationship with Abraham.  The final altar built by Abraham was to be a sacrificial altar.  It was constructed on Mount Moriah, just outside of Jerusalem.  According to Jewish tradition, it is the same hill known as the Temple Mount, and twice was the site of the Temple of God, the very dwelling of the Most High.  The sacrificial altar for Isaac was placed there, and it is in direct line of site of another smaller hill, Golgotha.

Sacrificial altars are not pretty.  They are not gold plated, engraved, embossed, or carved.  They are not the beautiful place where one gets married, or dedicates a child.  They are immersed in blood, the blood of various spotless creatures.  Altars are blackened by the extreme heat of the fire of God that consumes the being whose life was bound on the altar’s table.  One could hardly stand the stench of burning flesh that emanated from the sacred place of the sacrifice.  The altar is a monument to death and, as difficult as it seems, a celebration of life.  You see, without the altar there is no hope, because the altar holds the promise.

Over 2000 years after Abraham built his altar to sacrifice Isaac, the plot came full circle and God completed His plan.  God had asked for the sacrifice of Abraham’s son, but with Abraham’s obedience, God had provided a ram.  God asked for perfection, but the Law of God was not possible to fulfill perfectly by an imperfect man, so God provided a sacrifice, His son, the Lamb.

Let’s step forward in time.  The day had turned to night.  Clouds had gathered above, but there was no rain.  Heaviness filled the air and humidity not common to the area permeated the atmosphere.  One could hardly breathe.  The trip up the hill had been difficult on Mary.  This was her Son, her little boy with the cherub face and curly hair.  She knew this day would come.  She knew the promise, but like anything else that you know is inevitable, she had pushed it back into the recesses of her mind and refused to look at it.  She had often thought that maybe the promise could be fulfilled by a kingdom on earth brought about by His message of peace.  But in her heart of hearts, she knew this was the Son of God, and that He would one day return to His father.  Her heart was crushed for the gentle little boy that once had graced her home and now hung on this cross like a common criminal.  She held her hands tightly together as if, in doing so, she could somehow restrain the emotions that came like the never-ending tides of the sea.  She looked to John so close to her side and saw the raw emotion on his face.  Mary could take no more.  She rushed the cross in a desperate attempt to comfort her baby, but the soldiers roughly pushed her aside…and she wept.  Above her, she heard her Son whisper, “It…is…finished,” and his body slumped.  She looked up, sobbing uncontrollably, and reached for John at her side.  Collapsing into his arms she was enveloped in sweet darkness.

The thunder sounded with a loud crack and the earth began to dance under the feet of three crosses on the hill called Golgotha.  At that same moment, the veil of the temple was torn, from top to bottom.

The veil was the division between the main portion of the sacred temple and the Holy of Holies where God resided.  It was so massive that it took 300 priests to manipulate it into position.  Only once a year could the priests enter the Holy of Holies: the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur.  Yom Kippur is preceded by Rosh Hashanah, which signifies the beginning of the Jewish calendar, but also begins 10 days of repentance ushered in by the cry of the Shofar.  But Christ did not die on Yom Kippur, as seems most likely.  He died as our great sacrifice.  Would not Yom Kippur be the perfect day?  But Christ died on The Feast of the Passover.  It was twilight on the Passover when Christ became the sacrifice for all.

The Feast of the Passover began with a demand, from God, brought forth from the stammering lips of Moses to the Pharaoh, “Let my people go!”  God demanded the Children of Israel be freed from slavery and be allowed to leave Egypt.  After many rejections and many plagues, the tenth and final plague was the lives of the firstborn Egyptian children.  God told the Children of Israel to place the blood of the pure sacrifice above the door of the home so the angel of death would pass over that household.

Imagine the parents of these children, how they must have felt when they knew that God was sending the angel of death to the households of Egypt and the only thing that stood between their children, and the sword, was a splash of blood above the doorway.  And not just any blood but the blood of a spotless lamb.  Their obedience was the only protection for their children from certain death.  What is the depth of importance that God must place on obedience if He selected this Holy day of the Feast of the Passover for the ultimate sacrifice, His Son?  Obedience must certainly hold as great a weight as grace.  Grace was shown to the Israelite families if, and only if, they were obedient.

Today, we place the blood of the sacrifice on the archways to the doors of our hearts.  We quickly claim the grace of a merciful God, but conveniently overlook the responsibilities that we have to attain that grace.  The Bible says that obedience is better than sacrifice.  I never understood that statement as I do today.

The altar of salvation is the easy part.  It is a quick circumcision of the heart.  We place our living sacrifice on the altar and allow God to draw just enough of the blood from the sacrifice to mark the doorway, but not enough for us to die to the world.  Before the fire consumes all, we wriggle off the altar like, children playing a game of hide and seek.  Uncomfortable with the idea of exchanging the ropes that tie us to this world for the ropes that tie us to His altar, we continue to ignore the changes that come about only through obedience.  We would rather continue in death than to be transformed through the cleansing fire into new life.  We would rather remain bound in grave clothes than find joy in obedience.  We choose our cage over our freedom.

The altar of holiness is not easily satisfied.  It is neither quick nor easy.  The knife is sharp and uncomfortable; it cuts deep.  The pain is temporary but holds a greater, even an eternal glory.  Holiness comes when we steadfastly refuse to remove ourselves from the altar of a powerful, almighty God and submit with obedience to an altered existence.  A life that lives as a testament beyond reproach conveys a covenant relationship with Jehovah God.  The fire of God consumes all that is not pleasing, all that could cause a brother to stumble, and all that does not give Glory to God.  As we approach this altar, we hear the sound, the unmistakable wail!  It haunts the very soul of those that seek to be set apart to God, because it calls the people to Holiness.  It is the call of the Shofar!

Excerpt taken from The Fate of Holiness eBook by Pamela Telgenhoff, available on Amazon and on FifthookMedia.com.

The Shofar’s Call

The Shofar’s Call 

FifthookMedia.com

The cry rings out, an ominous wailing sound that cuts to the very soul…the sound of an instrument of sorts, but without distinct pitch or timber.  It stirs the soul and the memory of the moment is forever etched into the corners of your heart and in your mind.  The sound filters into your subconscious and calls to you in the midnight hours.  This is the call of the Shofar.

Nothing more than a ram’s horn, the Shofar is sounded even today.  In Jewish tradition, it was used to call to the Children of Israel, calling them into obedience to a new King, or into submission to Jehovah God.  For the Israelites in the days of David, there was little difference.  There was no polling place, there was no vote: King David was simply anointed by the prophet of God.  Though the Israelite people had made the choice to follow a king, this king was to be chosen by God.

The day had been a long and exhausting day for the prophet Samuel.  The air in the outlying areas of Bethlehem was dry and hot and there were far too many people in the small home where the family of Jesse lived.  Samuel had been sent by Jehovah God to the home.  He was to anoint the future King of Israel.  Yet, as each of Jesse’s sons passed before the prophet, God’s voice remained silent in Samuel.  So silent was the voice that the prophet questioned within himself.  Had he misunderstood God?  No, the voice was clear and Samuel had heard that voice since childhood.

The prophet turned to Jesse and raked his hands through his long beard.  Staring intently, he asked if there were other sons not in attendance.  Only David, the youngest, a shepherd boy keeping watch over the flock, but surely God had not chosen him.  The prophet slowly and silently stood.  He felt a stirring within and commanded that David be brought before him.  As David entered the room, the prophet’s heart must have leaped inside his chest with the realization that before him stood a King…not just any King, but Israel’s King…Samuel’s King.  The prophet removed the vessel that God had commanded him to fill with oil.  He looked at the young man, but never questioned God’s instrument of choice as he lifted the vessel and poured the oil.  The vessel containing the anointing oil was the horn of a ram…the Shofar.

Many years later, a single, long, wailing cry (the Tekiah) would be sounded on a Shofar to announce the coronation of King David, and the people would congregate into the city to hear the words that God would speak to them through this new King, to hear David’s heart and know his vision for the people.

The Shofar is also used for the announcement of the major holy days of Rosh Hashanah, to awaken the spiritually sleeping, and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.  The three short wails call the people to repentance.  The number three is significant to the people.  It signifies that which is of substance or real, three dimensions.  Three is the number of completion and the number of the trinity.

The Holy Ark of the Covenant concealed three objects.  First, the jar that held a sampling of the manna that God sent to feed the Children of Israel while they wandered in the desert seeking the land promised to them.  Though they grumbled about the manna, it sustained their lives and was the gift of God to restore strength to the weary.  In that sense, it stood as a representation and a reminder of God’s blessing.

The second item found was Aaron’s rod.  This was the rod that Aaron was instructed to throw to the ground in front of Pharaoh as a sign.  The sorcerers of Pharaoh thought they could match the miraculous power by transforming the rods that they held into serpents as well.  But the serpent that was Aaron’s rod devoured the serpents of the sorcerers.  Thus, the rod stands as a representation and reminder of the protection and the wrath of God wrapped into one.

The third item in the Ark was the covenant of God, brought down from the mountain by Moses in the form of tablets of stone.  This was the Ten Commandments, the covenant document.  A covenant contains three parts.  The first was a description of the initiating party.  “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt…,” Exodus 20:2.  Then the covenant outlines a list of obligations between the two parties (the Ten Commandments).  The document goes on to outline the consequences and rewards that follow the covenant.  In this case, they are outlined within the body of the commandments.   An example, honor your father and mother (that is the commandment) that your days may be prolonged on the earth (that is the promise and consequence).  These three items were placed in a compartment within the Ark and sealed above by what is known as the mercy seat.  Thus, the three wails of the Shofar to call the people back into a covenant relationship with their God.

The Shofar also called the people of Israel to battle.  Imagine with me standing at the foot of a four-story building.  Now imagine that building is a six-foot thick wall.  An army is approaching it with nothing more than a promise from God.  They were instructed to march around the walls of Jericho and to blow the trumpets.  The generals must have questioned Joshua on his planned offensive.  It was, without question, ridiculous on its merits.  But Joshua was not the author of this strategic offensive.  God was the initiator.  The “trumpets” that would be sounded were ram horns and the walls of Jericho would certainly fall.  The battle would be won, just as God had promised, at the sound of the Shofar!

A nagging question comes to mind.  Why did God choose the horn of the ram?  It is certainly not a beautiful horn.  He could have chosen a silver trumpet!  Surely, that would have been a more suitable instrument.  The pitches would prove more precise and the timber of the instrument much more appealing than this ram’s horn.  God, surely you should choose the more dignified instrument!  But God chooses whom He chooses, without consulting with man.  God chose the horn of a ram, why?

To find the answer let’s go back in time, back to early biblical days and visit a simple man called Abraham and his beautiful wife named Sarah.  The backdrop of this stage is Mount Moriah and Abraham is with his only son, Isaac.  Isaac is a beautiful child, the child of Abraham and Sarah’s old age.  Sarah laughed when God told her she would give birth to Isaac.  I do not think the laughter came from disbelief, because Sarah knew God could do anything, but laughter bubbled to the surface because of the picture that was painted in her mind at the choice God had made.  She laughed at God’s choice of instrument to fulfill His promise.  We are so quick to limit God’s choices to our finite options.  So ready to rectify what we see as an obvious blunder.  We think, surely God did not choose that person to fulfill His purpose.  He should choose who I see as a leader, the person that I would be willing to follow…God cannot possibly have chosen this situation for my life.  I know how my story should end!

Isaac was longed for, anticipated, he was travailed for…this was not the everyday child that Abraham took to the mountain.  This was the child that God had chosen Sarah to conceive, this was the child that God had chosen for Abraham to father.  Isaac was supposed to be the father of many nations.  On Mount Moriah, he was to be the sacrifice.

Moriah means, “seen by Yahweh.”  Abraham could not fathom how Yahweh could see this, how He could look on this moment.  His God that he had trusted and loved, the one that had blessed him with this son, how could He see what was happening and not know how it tore Abraham apart to obey?  But obey he would, even if it cost him his son.  He would sacrifice to the altar of Yahweh all that his God required.

He laid the boy gently on the altar.  I imagine that he must have wrapped one of Isaac’s curls one more time around his finger and brushed a hand across his soiled cheek.  Then slowly, he raised the knife above his head.  He closed his eyes tightly as tears ran down his weathered face onto the altar below.  Just as his heart skipped a beat at the final moment before the knife would fall and take the young boy’s life, Abraham hears a sound that he would hear in the midnight hour for many nights to come.  He stops mid strike and turns…God has provided a sacrifice, caught in the thicket…a RAM.

Excerpt taken from Chapter One of “The Fate of Holiness” by Pamela Telgenhoff.