Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding - Job 28:28.
... because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax (grow) cold - Matthew 24:12.
... Without understanding, ... without natural affection ... : - Romans 1:31 .... Without natural affection, ... despisers of those that are good - 2 Timothy 3:3.
“Wisdom”, the Bible states, “is the principal (chief) thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all your getting get understanding” (Proverbs 4:7). Wisdom and understanding are linked and sometimes used interchangeably in the Bible. Job 28:28, quoted above, tells us what wisdom is, how it is gained, and what, through understanding, it achieves. Likewise the other texts cited, effectively describe the state of mankind without true wisdom, because of the lack of the “fear of the Lord.” It is a state where evil abounds, true love is sparse, understanding and natural affection are lacking, resulting in goodness being despised.
Matthew 24:12 (cf. v.3) and 2 Timothy 3:3 (cf. v.1) are prophecies about the end time and apt descriptions of our time, while Romans 1:31 is part of one of the darkest passages of the Bible. Romans 1:18-32 describes the depravity of man in his state of estrangement from and rebellion against God. It is true of mankind for all time but especially at the end of time.
Into this morass enter the brilliant light of Proverbs 11:30:
The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he who wins souls is wise.
I recall that veteran classic Pentecostal, the late John Nelson Parr, long time pastor of the famous Bethshan Tabernacle in Levenshulme, Manchester, UK say that he would hate to be someone who defended true doctrine but never won a soul for Christ. In a sense soul winning defines “wisdom”. Of course nowadays there are people both inside and outside “the church” who need to be won for Christ. “Dear Lord, help us to be winsome that we may ‘win-some’.”
As I contemplated this editorial a myriad thoughts flooded my mind. I started with another heading—On a Personal Note—with the thought of writing something about our family, especially seeing our youngest son, Jonathan was married last December 3, 2011. He and Deb (nee Tan) make a wonderful couple and have some lovely photographs that would interest our many friends worldwide. However the content of CETF # 59 doesn’t allow for that so we’ll find some other way, time and space permitting. 2013 will see the start of the Jubilee of my wife and I working together in ministry. We married in 1966 but started our friendship shortly after I was inducted as pastor in Manchester in February 1963.
Another “line” that occurred to me was the almost overwhelming bombardment of the internet and IT related world of our day. As I start this editorial I have some 4,400 emails in my IN BOX and increasing by the minute. Part of my problem is NOT knowing what to delete and how to file others. Frequently, as emails resurface, I have been glad that I didn’t delete them, but there’s a down side. I must apologise to my many communicants whose emails are buried among the 4,000+. How does a pastor and editor, keep up with everything? The “IT” invasion just can’t continue unabated. I must become ruthless and delete thousands of my emails, so I’ll start now, but first a summary of some topics, extracted from those emails on their way to cyber space with our advice and warnings about the pitfalls that you need to know about.
ISRAEL - IRAN – THE MIDDLE EAST
This is a veritable news media “hotchpotch”. We recommend great diligence and discernment. Some communicants are anti-Semitic; others are Judaistic and still others self-serving, even though their news and information may be reliable. CWM cannot and will not endorse any Jewish or “Messianic” organisation which, in their policy, withholds the Gospel from their contacts. Those who are only committed to bringing Jews back to Israel and are NOT sharing the gospel with them should not be supported. I trust the following short summary may help:
The Good and Reliable
- The Berean Call – Dave Hunt & Tom McMahon - http://www.thebereancall.org/ - e.g. http://www.wnd.com/2012/02/ayatollah-kill-all-jews-annihilate-israel/ .
- Israel Today - http://israeltoday.co.il/ This seems to be a reliable source of information. I file all of their stuff as I do that of the Israel Report referred to above. I have not detected any overt self-serving activity as with some other similar organisations.
- Moriel – Jacob Prasch - http://www.moriel.org/ . If I am ever in doubt about anything relating to Israel I always turn to this source. You can be assured they will “tell it like it is” Arnold Fruchtenbaum of Ariel - http://ariel.org/ - is another organisation CWM recommends.
Reliable (? maybe) yet Ugly
Jerusalem Prayer Team headed by so called “Dr.” Michael Evans, who constantly grandstands and whose bottom line in ALL his personally addressed emails (Dear Philip) is, “Please send me your donation”. He is the man who clowned with Ken Copeland and Rodney Howard Browne in one of the early “Toronto” videos. Anyone associated with Toronto or Pensacola must be suspect. I am told that genuine Christians in New York, where Mike Evans “ministered” more than 25 years ago, considered him a con-man. He appears not to have changed. While his emails may be correct in their news releases, please use discretion and discernment re his speculations and his money appeals, no matter what ploy he adopts. There are a number of sources like this from which I am open to receive communiqués, but I will never send them money. The approach of Michael Evans is typical of the Word of Faith and Faith Prosperity televangelists who are masters at getting your money. Beware and take care.
WORLD AND NATIONAL NEWS
Two things are noteworthy: Firstly, the internet today is fast becoming more reliable as a source of unbiased “news” than our national and international media outlets, who are so bogged down by “political correctness”. Secondly, news and historic articles always tend to reflect the political and/or religious and/or educational bias of the author (writer). These things must be taken into account in making conclusions no matter where our information comes from. We all tend to gravitate to the things which appeal to us.
- World Net Daily (WND) would appear to be extremely right wing. Their writings are well researched from their perspective. In the recent past and continuing they have an obsession with a question about the electoral eligibility of President Barrack Obama (BO). Their persistence may pay off as powerful people are now challenging whether BO has in effect defrauded the American people by declaring himself eligible when, it is alleged, he was not a natural born citizen. The argument seems to go on and on ad infinitum, but it may be grinding to a halt. Of course American politics is not rightfully the province of CWM and CETF, but for those who find it interesting, which includes me, the above caution about background bias and appeal is worthy of note. WND’s latest release as I am writing this is headed The guy who can bring down Obama and claims – “Barack Obama's constitutional qualifications for the presidency have never been investigated by any law-enforcement agency. Until now.” We’ll see what happens but don’t forget that WND, like all similar organisations have books and other resources to sell – BEWARE. Personally I will hopefully continue to get their material and that of other news outlets, which I only cursorily peruse on its way to cyber space.
- CHRISTIAN CONCERN - http://www.christianconcern.com/ - Christian Weekly News out of UK – “Christian Concern brings you cutting edge stories week by week, to equip the church to act and pray, to restore the hope of Christ to the centre of our nation.” Here’s one (10/02/2012) Victory for Free Speech today as Christian preacher found not guilty – “Street Preacher Mike Overd was today (10 Feb 2012) cleared by Taunton Magistrates' Court of a ‘Hate Crime’ for preaching against homosexual conduct. ... Following the ‘Not Guilty’ verdict by the Magistrates, Mr Overd said: "This is a case that should never have been brought. Christians like me are being harassed. Thankfully the Magistrates saw the truth of what happened and is happening on a wider scale in our country. Something is wrong when Nick Lansley of Tesco’s Supermarkets can insult Christians by reading out an abusive poem on You Tube about homosexual acts on Christ; Abu Qatada can preach about Jihad and death to the Jews; but the police arrest me, a Christian preacher who cares deeply for Jesus Christ and the people of Taunton. Something has to change and I hope my case will encourage others not to be scared to speak up for Christ.”
It is NOT wise to remain silent about important issues that affect the Christian faith – REMEMBER ... “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he who wins souls is wise.”
Guess what? Under the above listed headings there were 400+ emails which have now thankfully been filed or have hit the cyber dust. The count now stands at 3,953. So with your prayer and help, by holding off sending more emails unless the matter is important, I’ll get there, God Willing.
Once more I commend to you the following articles and their authors for prayerful interest and support. Please pray for the special CWM meetings, conferences and speakers’ tours. Tom McMahon’s and Arnold Fruchtenbaum’s visits (March 2012) will have come and gone by the time you read this. My own preaching tour of UK is scheduled for May/June 2012 and then the four CWM Conferences in Australia plus possible extra meetings in NZ—September 2012, advertised herein. Last year’s series of CWM Conferences were blessed of the Lord and worth repeating.
God bless you - please help us circulate the message by distributing CETF far and wide. We are grateful to the Lord’s people for their prayerful and practical support that enables CWM to continue publishing and distributing CETF. Thank you in the Name of the Lord. May Jesus Christ be PRAISED
- Philip L. Powell