OUR STRENGTH AGAINST THE POWERS OF EVIL

Illustration from Foster's book, THe Scroll with 7 Seals, What the Book of Revelation Really Says

Illustration from Foster Shannon’s book, THE SCROLL WITH SEVEN SEALS (What the Book of Revelation Really Says).  Illustration by Ruth Elliott

By Dr Foster H. Shannon

We cannot and must not ignore what is going on in Libya, Iraq, Syria, and Nigeria. Isis, a radical Muslim movement is seeking to expand its control over Syria, Iraq, Nigeria and beyond. The movements have different names in Iraq (Isis) and Nigeria (Boko Haram). In the process of trying to control territory, they are especially focusing on Christians. On Monday of this week we learned of the beheading of 21 Egyptian Coptics (Christians) in Libya. Earlier as the Isis militants moved from Syria eastward and northward in Iraq, they sought out Christians and beheaded or otherwise killed them. They slaughtered several hundred Iraqi soldiers who had surrendered to them.

It is hard for us to not be distressed when we hear and see beheadings and mass executions. We are seeing before our very eyes the fulfillment of what the scriptures teach: that we are contending with the powers and forces of evil! In fact, we are seeing manifestations of evil, slaughtering, the kidnaping of young girls and making sex-slaves of them—a thirst for blood and a delight in the suffering of others, exemplified by cutting off heads and showing all of this on international television. We wonder if matters can get any worse!

The Bible tells us that the wages of sin is death, and that those who resist the will of God, on the one hand, can do great harm and on the other hand will suffer for their evil, and be eternally separated from the presence of God.

We must not be downcast and crying that we do not know what to do! God has warned us against the powers of evil and their effects. These powers and forces of evil are formidable. Ephesians 6:12, “For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Revelation 12:17, “Then the dragon was angry with the woman, and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and bear testimony to Jesus.” I think of a passage in Genesis, before the Flood: “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Genesis 6:5) Surely we are seeing a similar thing in our day: the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually.

Now what do we do? Do we despair? Do we give up praying? Do we give up studying and discerning what the scriptures teach? Do we remember Psalm 23? “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.” (23:4) “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind,” (I Timothy1:7) We must be in prayer that God will give strength to those who are opposing Isis. We must honor the promises of God found in the Psalms and many places in the Bible that God will watch over us and protect us. Our Lord said, “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense to repay every one for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” (Revelation 22:12,13)

Foster H. Shannon
Please contact Foster directly with any questions or comments at the following address:

 Thank you.

More about Foster… Foster H. Shannon, Brief Biographical Note Dr. Foster Shannon received his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science, and went on to obtain a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, with emphasis on church growth. The Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA until recently, he is the author of seven books and a Sunday School curriculum. As the President of Green Leaf Press, a non-profit Christian publishing company, established in 1981, he publishes and markets Christian books with special emphasis on Bible Study, Church Growth, and Christian Evidences.
The website is: www.gogreenleaf.com.
He enjoys riding his bicycle and swimming weekly. He likes both classical and popular music. He roots for the CAL Bears and the Chicago Cubs.
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THE RESOURCES OF GOD ARE ABUNDANT

"Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear." Surely the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear." Psalm 59:1

“. . .the arm of the LORD is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear.”Ps 59:1

Dr. Foster H. Shannon

We live in a dangerous and difficult world. There is too much violence, too much hatred, too much meanness. Isis in Syria and Iraq and Boco Haram in Nigeria are the epitome of evil. The drug traffic that is doing devastating harm to Mexico is supported by Americans (and others) who purchase illegal drugs—not caring a whit regarding the damage that they do to their neighbors in the south! France and Belgium and other countries in Europe are struggling with radical Muslim terrorist groups. We worry that more of the same may come to the United States.

Our newspapers and television and radio are full of reports of murder, violence, and thievery every week.

Some of the Psalmists looked out at the world of their day and asked if God had forgotten them; they complained that he seemed distant. And yet after their complaints, they turned again to God affirming his goodness and authority and power.

The Bible is filled with many assurances that God wants to help us. Indeed, that he is near and desires to help us. Plaintive calls like those below are found frequently in the Psalms—yet such Psalms inevitably conclude in affirming the greatness of God and the wonder of his mercy.

“O God, why dost thou cast us off for ever? Why does thy anger smoke against the sheep of thy pasture?” (Psalm 74:1) “For thou art the God in whom I take refuge; why hast thou cast me off? Why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? (Psalm 43:2)

The promises of God, like the following, are wonderfully rich:

“Fear not, for I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you.  I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)

“Come to me all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

The Bible gives correct assessments of our times, making plain the source of the trouble:

“For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of the present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)

The Bible also assures us that sufficient resources are at hand:

“Therefore take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day…having girded your loins with truth…righteousness…the gospel of peace…the helmet of salvation…the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Ephesians 6:13-17)

“I am the door, if any one enters by me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture…I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:9,10)

An important element of faith is trust in God. That trust includes living in accord with his teachings. He promises not to leave us or forsake us.

Foster H. Shannon
Please contact Foster directly with any questions or comments at the following address:

 Thank you.

More about Foster… Foster H. Shannon, Brief Biographical Note Dr. Foster Shannon received his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science, and went on to obtain a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, with emphasis on church growth. The Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA until recently, he is the author of seven books and a Sunday School curriculum. As the President of Green Leaf Press, a non-profit Christian publishing company, established in 1981, he publishes and markets Christian books with special emphasis on Bible Study, Church Growth, and Christian Evidences.
The website is: www.gogreenleaf.com.
He enjoys riding his bicycle and swimming weekly. He likes both classical and popular music. He roots for the CAL Bears and the Chicago Cubs.
THIS BLOG IS CHANGED EVERY OTHER WEDNESDAY.
Please ‘LIKE’ our FACEBOOK PAGE!





EVIL MEN WAX WORSE AND WORSE IN BOKO HARAM

Nigerian School Girls

Nigerian School Girls, photo courtesy of Breitbart

 

The news from Nigeria is disturbing, upsetting. Unfortunately we know that there are troubles all over the world. But somehow the kidnaping of almost 300 school girls, who may be compelled to become Muslims, who may be sold into slavery, or who may be used as prostitutes—especially offends us. The Boko Haram is a blatant manifestation of the powers of evil. We must pray, that even at this late date, the girls may be found and delivered from their evil captors.

Many people are calloused, they feel that they cannot be troubled with the pain of others. They may find the problems of the world to be over whelming. And there is something to be said for that. We cannot become so absorbed in the problems and pain in the world that we cease to do the things that we ought to do or fail to live the life that we are appointed to live. Nonetheless, there are events that must engage our concern.

In situations similar to this, some ask, “Is it in our national interest to get involved?” I think that it is in our interest that justice triumphs over violence; that righteousness prevails over indifference; and that mercy prevails over disinterestedness, and that help is given where it may be effective. There are many passages of scripture that rebuke us if we do not care—if we are indifferent. The difficulties of this situation are formidable—but we should pray.

Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean; remove the evil of your doings from before my eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; defend the fatherless, plead for the widow. (Isaiah 1:16,17) Everyone helps his neighbor, and says to his brother, Take Courage! (Isaiah 41:6) 

It is helpful to ask why do we and many people over the world care? What difference does it make? It is the teaching that we have had from the Bible for 3000 years. Because of that teaching many understand that life is a gift of God; that every person is created in his image. That is, life is significant and valuable. This has not been so—in much of history—and it is not so in many places today. Some resort to believing in a rigid fatalism. The consequence is indifference: “whatever will be, will be” Many believe in reincarnation, if you die you will come back as a something.

The Judeo/Christian perspective is different. We believe that every life is precious; that we are to love our neighbours as ourselves. Jesus gave us the story of The Good Samaritan, who went out of his way to save a person, who had been beaten and robbed and left by the side of the road to die. As Christians we value life because it is good when we walk in the will of God, and because we anticipate the promises of God in a blessed and complete life in eternity. We can always pray, and be ready to help those who are in need—even if at the time we are not sure
how to help.

Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, to him be glory in the church an in Christ Jesus to all generations, for ever and ever. Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20,21)


Foster H. Shannon
Please contact Foster directly with any questions or comments at the following address:

Thank you.

More about Foster… Foster H. Shannon, Brief Biographical Note Dr. Foster Shannon received his degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Political Science, and went on to obtain a Master of Divinity at Fuller Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, with emphasis on church growth. The Interim Pastor of True Light Presbyterian Church in Alhambra, CA until recently, he is the author of seven books and a Sunday School curriculum. As the President of Green Leaf Press, a non-profit Christian publishing company, established in 1981, he publishes and markets Christian books with special emphasis on Bible Study, Church Growth, and Christian Evidences. The website is: www.gogreenleaf.com. He enjoys riding his bicycle and swimming weekly. He likes both classical and popular music. He roots for the CAL Bears and the Chicago Cubs.

THIS BLOG IS CHANGED EVERY OTHER WEDNESDAY.

Please ‘LIKE’ our FACEBOOK PAGE!