In these times, I feel and see anger all around and even inside of me. I can hardly watch the news without yelling at the TV set. The bad times seem to be getting worse, and anger seems to be having a field day with those who watch politicians and liars that are even playing with our lives and livelihoods concerning COVID, the economy, giving our terrorists enemies billions of dollars’ worth of weapons, and other such atrocities. However, anger can be controlled, or it can lead to our own loss and even destruction.
Anger is a feeling of extreme hostility, rage, and wanting to fight back according to the definition in Webster’s Dictionary and Thesaurus that I own.
Often, it is a response that we have when we are assaulted or wronged either mentally or physically.
The Bible clearly tells us to not get angry and that patience and trust in God is better than anger:
“7 Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.
8 Cease from anger, and forsake wrath;
Do not fret—it only causes harm.” Psalm 37:7-8.
There is much evidence that crafty politicians are rich due to their deviance, but we should not look at others prosperity, the riches they have, or the efficiency of how others plans have succeeded and be bothered, angry, or even jealous of them. Do not think that I am against hard work and prosperity. I believe it is OK to be rich if you earned it legally.
Often, I see hidden agendas drive people to do horrible things, even in God’s church.
The Bible also says that anger will not help you live the kind of life that you should live:
“19 [a]So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; 20 for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” James 1:19-20.
We can often have our own agendas and even nations have rage and anger that leads to useless stances against God. Psalm 2 tells our rulers to not be angry and that Yahweh is still in charge and that we should place our trust in Him:
“2 Why do the [a]nations [b]rage,
And the people plot a [c]vain thing?
2 The kings of the earth set themselves,
And the rulers take counsel together,
Against the LORD and against His Anointed,[d] saying,
3 “Let us break Their bonds in pieces
And cast away Their cords from us.”
4 He who sits in the heavens shall laugh;
The Lord shall hold them in derision.
5 Then He shall speak to them in His wrath,
And distress them in His deep displeasure:
6 “Yet I have [e]set My King
[f]On My holy hill of Zion.”
7 “I will declare the [g]decree:
The LORD has said to Me,
‘You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You.
8 Ask of Me, and I will give You
The nations for Your inheritance,
And the ends of the earth for Your possession.
9 You shall [h]break them with a rod of iron;
You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.’ ”
10 Now therefore, be wise, O kings;
Be instructed, you judges of the earth.
11 Serve the LORD with fear,
And rejoice with trembling.
12 [i]Kiss the Son, lest [j]He be angry,
And you perish in the way,
When His wrath is kindled but a little.
Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.” Psalm 2
The world’s methods of dealing with anger is seen in the news and in our entertainment such as movies.
It is about people lashing out in rage to include jealousy, revenge, or even hatred because someone has worked and prospered and has riches because of their work and efficiency. I hear politicians do this and say evil against others just because they have money or fame but do not believe as politicians think they should. I see in Westerns and other movies people vent on revenge and vengeance on those who wronged them.
Sometimes personally, the wrong is only perceived but is seen through our memory of bad events that we perceive the same thing going to happen again even though the threat is not real.
The world teaches in movies and in many circumstances to react with rage. I am not speaking about protecting yourself such as when your life or someone’s life is in danger. At that time, we should do what we have to do to survive. But I am saying the world’s methods of lashing out with anger with the physical or mental weapons is contrary to what the Bible teaches.
We can hurt a person both physically or mentally or both by not controlling our anger. Physical weapons of anger are guns, knives, blunt objects, fists, and other forms of weapons used in violence. Mental weapons can be cutting someone down in public, gossip, rumors, and even speaking badly behind a person’s back.
But the Bible teaches us about the ultimate weapons against anger:
“10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the [a]wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of [b]the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which, you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; 18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— 19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.” Ephesians 6:10-20
Anger sometimes consumes us because we are seeing our country eroding away with greedy politicians and those with evil intentions. Let us remember, the most powerful weapons against our own anger and against other’s anger toward us are spiritual and include prayer, faith, love, patience, and forgiveness.
Rage can only lead to guilt and harm toward others- even an unkind word as we know can hurt for years.
We must remember that rage and anger lead to violence and harm. It can lead to grief and vengeance, and often the punishment we give does not fit the crime. The emotion of anger turned within ourselves makes us depressed and bitter.
Yet, we are to deal with our anger through our Messiah and look at anger as a spiritual problem to be solved with spiritual weapons. Prayer will change things and us and place us into the correct perspective. Speaking with others who are children of the faith will help to distinguish the real problem and many times it is something within ourselves such as our history of hurts that causes certain reactions.
A very wise man was asked how he made such good decisions. The man said, by experience.
The person asked the wise man how he got the needed experience to make the good decisions.
The wise man said by making bad decisions.
Personally, I have made enough bad decisions while I was angry. Now, I want to pray, cool down, think before I act, speak with my wife or someone I can trust before I get the wrong idea. Also, I want to forgive and not allow my rage to last through the day.
Anger from hurt can develop and control us for years. Past harms can make us think something is real that is causing us to lash out at others or to go off in our own depressing areas.
The spiritual weapons of faith, love, prayer, forgiveness, and patience are much harder to hold sometimes, but they are much more effective and are better for everyone involved. They also foster the feelings that lead to peace and not violence. They are the best weapons for us in a world of hurt and anxiety; however, the world often does not use these, and that is why we have so many problems with anger in the world today.
Evil seems to be everywhere, but we can stand on the fact that our Father in Heaven and our Messiah can overcome all the evil of this world. We just celebrated our Feast of Trumpets- the day that represents our Messiah’s return to the earth to set up His wonderful Kingdom. Let us look forward to that day, set aside our anger concerning those who want to harm and control us, and have faith that against Divine Elohim, the anger of this world can never win.
May Divine Elohim bless all of you and keep you healthy and safe.
“One Day at A Time”
This Pastor’s corner explores faith verses fear- especially concerning the recent rise in COVID cases.
I remember the radio station KWTX news reporting at 6PM on April 27, 2020 that, and I am paraphrasing, ‘church services can expand their capacity’. Social distance with two chairs between members was one of the rules, and I remember that this could all begin May 1, 2020 in Texas.
Therefore, the 7th Day Congregation Church at Eddy started to institute rules as given by Governor Abbott for eating, drinking, and socializing. That was a year and a half ago. Many freedoms returned, but now, the COVID D variant has increased the epidemic again. We know of a small church that possibly all the members contracted this disease with the Pastor being hospitalized. This is serious, and many live within fear of what might happen. Today, during the reading of the prayer list in church, we heard about a teenager dying of COVID. These, as last year, are fearful times.
My wife and I were driving home today from church began to wonder if the church would even be allowed to congregate for the Feast of Tabernacles in September. Also, we do not know who the next victim of this horrible disease will be. Preachers are asking from the pulpit if this is the time of the end. I think along those lines all the time; catastrophe does that to us.
“One Day at a Time”
I can never forget the two times in my life when fear gripped me so hard that I was walking the floor at 2AM and fearing tremendously what daybreak would bring. The first was going to the gulf war known as Iraqi Freedom, and the second was the day when I began my radiation treatments for cancer. This kind of fear brings on feelings that are very now, deep, and real. The Air Force calls it when a pilot is in the dangers of an ariel dogfight- “a sudden dose of reality”. It is not about the pleasures from that future vacation that you might have next year if you can save enough money, but it is about just surviving another day. Crystal Lane’s song “One Day at a Time Sweet Jesus” reflects the feelings of the Vietnam war and how the soldiers survived one day at a time.
We may be heading into that era of “one day at a time”. Fear grips us when we think that we might be the next victim of COVID. We fear the unknown of being cut off from our church. The first time that I put on my chemical suit for real in the gulf war, I felt an aloneness that I had never felt before in my life. Hearing my own breathing through that heavy rubber mask did not help either. In the last COVID outbreak, my wife Lisa and I drove to the church, and while alone, she ran the sound equipment while I preached sermons on line. We may be back to that again soon. Any direction you look at it, the future looks bleak.
What does the Bible say concerning fears?
Isaiah knew fear, yet he knew the power of Yahweh concerning fear. “Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.” Isaiah 41:10.
It is very difficult to face a disease and “not be dismayed”, but Yahweh is our strength. He promised His help and that he would uphold us.
But many still get sick, and unfortunately, some die. This is very fearful.
I prayed every day that I was in war and every day that I went into radiation. Finally, the war ended for me, and I was on the most beautiful airplane that I ever saw riding home. When radiation ended, I got to ring that large brass bell in the lobby. In both cases, God and the people around me got me through. I can only wish the best for those who helped me so much to overcome my fears and do what was appropriate.
Faith against fear
Yahweh did not give us the spirit of fear. Satan or ourselves took on that spirit. God gave us power to overcome fear with “love” and “sound minds”:
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” 2 Timothy 1:7.
The shepherd and later king of Israel David wrote: “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.” Psalms 23:1
There are many such scriptures that prove God’s eternal love for us and His wanting to protect and watch over us. Yet, we are tested at times to build our character. I have seen the mighty of men crumble and the weak hang on for another day through the grace of God. I think of myself as the latter.
Paul said, “38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39. Paul lived during some very rough times of persecution. Yet, he followed Our Messiah through all things. David said, “I sought the LORD, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears.”
We are His!
It all boils down to this, we are His. “But now thus saith the LORD that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.” Isaiah 43:1-3. Of course, Yahweh was speaking to the prophet Isaiah, but He is also speaking to us. We are His, and He protects us and guides us through those things that we fear just like He guided me through war and through radiation for cancer. That “one day at a time thing” really works if that one day is spent in prayer and dependence on Him to get you through.
The old song, “I am weak, but Thou art strong” says it perfectly. He is our strength and our fortress. Bad things will happen to us, even death, but He is always there to get us through to the other side. That is perfect love, and “He” is that perfect love that casts out all fears. The Apostle John proclaimed, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear hath torment. He that fear is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18. In a few days, we will be into the Fall Feasts of 2021. We do not know what will happen tomorrow, let alone in a few days. But He is there always. Let us remember to always pray and trust in Him. Our Messiah said it best, and I close with these two verses, “Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34, and Paul declared, “13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. Philippians 4:13. May God bless all of you and keep you well.
We listen to much music in our lives. Church music, radio programs- even talk shows have bumper music, TV programs and movies with sound tracks. There is even a certain class of music that many find boring named “elevator music”. Music is in much of our lives, yet we do not notice it a lot of time. As I am writing this, background music is on in the living room.
Music is written about in the Bible and is usually expressing emotions. Luke 15:25 reports the use of music to express happiness that the prodigal son had returned home: 25 “Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 So he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. 27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and because he has received him safe and sound, your father has killed the fatted calf.’” In contrast 1 Samuel 16:23, Saul needed music to help relieve his depression: “23 And so it was, whenever the spirit from God was upon Saul, that David would take a harp and play it with his hand. Then Saul would become refreshed and well, and the distressing spirit would depart from him.” There are also many psalms and songs of Solomon; some teaching great thoughts of God and some even teaching prophecy.
Modern music sets our moods. There are some songs that teach about the mercies and wonders of God, and there are others, such as heavy metal, that can literally cause demonic possession. Often our moods and sometimes our problems are due to the music we choose.
There is nothing better in my mind than old hymns such as “Amazing Grace”, “Rock of Ages”, and “Abide with Me”. Listening to every word as I sing them in church is a blessing. My mood lightens, and my hope is more secured.
The New Testament church used music during their worship services. Paul writes in Ephesians 5:19: “19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord,” Songs are to be a “melody in your heart”.
Often, we take for granted the music parts of our worship services, but it is so important that we have that divine rhythm and words in our minds and hearts as we begin, continue, and end the service. I thank Divine Elohim for those who lead singing and do special music.
Please come and worship with us during our next Sabbath.
People need the truth, and the truth can be sent out to everyone now by using the internet. It is our light to the world.
Change is as certain as life, and change can be on a scale from wonderful to dreadful. 2020 is becoming a horror in many ways. Now, it is predicted that over 100 thousand people have died from Covid 19. On a lesser note, I drive by businesses, especially restaurants, that are closed due to this horrible virus; they probably will never open again. Other businesses too have been marauded by this disease. We had the greatest economy, and now, we hear news that over 40 million people are now unemployed in the United States.
What does it all mean? Did we not follow Divine Elohim and are now being punished? Or, is this change that seems to just take place? That is a difficult question to answer. Are we transitioning to final judgement from Divine Elohim? Deuteronomy is full of do’s and don’ts concerning the faithfulness of God’s people. Deuteronomy translates to second law. It is a review of what the Israelite children are to remember when they enter the promised land.
Deuteronomy 26:16 “This day the LORD your God commands you to observe these statutes and judgments; therefore, you shall be careful to observe them with all your heart and with all your soul. 17 Today you have proclaimed the LORD to be your God, and that you will walk in His ways and keep His statutes, His commandments, and His judgments, and that you will obey His voice. 18 Also today the LORD has proclaimed you to be His special people, just as He promised you, that you should keep all His commandments, 19 and that He will set you high above all nations which He has made, in praise, in name, and in honor, and that you may be a [a]holy people to the LORD your God, just as He has spoken.”
As a nation, we are not following God’s laws. But the promise is that we would be a holy people and “set high above other nations.”
However, if we do not follow God’s commandments, we will have His anger against us.
Deuteronomy 2927 Then the anger of the LORD was aroused against this land, to bring on it every curse that is written in this book. 28 And the LORD uprooted them from their land in anger, in wrath, and in great indignation, and cast them into another land, as it is this day.
29 “The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.
It would be wonderful if our nation went to God’s divine laws. Our curses would become blessings. Is COVID 19 judgement upon us for not following divine laws? That one I cannot specifically answer.
As a nation, bad things are happening to us, and we are not following God’s laws. That relationship seems obvious to me. What should we do?
For our church, the simple answer is to continue spreading the word of God around the world. The internet is both a blessing and a curse, but we use it as a blessing. We are doing the job of the watchman:
Ezekiel 33: 6 But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take [any] person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.”
The use of the internet does have expenses as do cameras, sound boards, speakers, microphones, and other such necessary items. Yet, we are able to virtually teach people around the world.
Matthew 24: 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
We are having significant problems in this country, and with the help of the internet, we are preaching the gospel around the world. We are doing a specific duty. We are a witness and a warning.
Will the United States go to God and begin to follow His laws? More than likely, we will not as a nation. However, a few watch people will continue to send out the truth. It is so important that we keep that light going.
Matthew 5: 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
We may be transitioning toward final judgement as a nation due to not following God’s laws, but we are to send out the light of truth to everyone who will listen. Therefore, the expense of internet and equipment is a small price to pay if only one person listens and turns to God.
See you in church.