WE SING

The same year I finished the last part of my M.Ed. degree, I also taught at Alabama Christian Academy while our elder son and daughter attended Alabama Christian College, later called Faulkner University. Our two youngest children attended elementary school at ACA. Our elder son met his future wife at Faulkner that year, and the three sang in the Alabama Christian College chorus together.

Keith Lancaster’s A’ Capella group was a regular feature at the school, often appearing on special programs. Someone mentioned that the lead bass singer, Rodney Britt, made the flatware vibrate on the tables even when he spoke.

Dayspring (Job 38:12Luke 1:78), was another singing group at Faulkner featuring four young men who raised funds for Alabama Christian College by travelling to sing for interested audiences. Our elder son, his two roommates and another young man often sang by appointment. We enjoyed hearing them live when they were back at home, and we enjoyed listening to their cassette tapes.

As you can see, music filled our lives day after day. We sang because we were happy (James 5:13), and those times were often. We sang while riding in the car together, and after our daily Bible readings. Sometimes we invited friends over just to sing together. Today, we still sing often, but we also take a more serious approach to Christian music, as we sing and make melody in our heats to the LORD (Col. 3:16-17 KJV). Colossians 3:17 directs Christians this way: “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name (by the authority) of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”

If we do not have book, chapter and verse for everything we teach, then we must reconsider what we are doing. We determined to speak where the Bible speaks and be silent where the Bible is silent. How could we not understand that our singing also must be to this end? Our first determination was to sing as the LORD directs. We later realized that some songs actually were loaded with false doctrines, which needed to be abandoned or corrected to be sure we were not teaching each other the wrong things (Eph. 5:19). Singing is serious because it is actually teaching each other.

As I was considering some of the newer religious songs that have come out, I came across a pitiful little boy’s stage appearance on America’s Got Talent. No doubt, the deeper meaning in this prayer song is something the child probably did not understand at age four. What about age ten? Without a doubt, there are more than enough doctrinal issues with the way “Open the Eyes of My Heart, Lord” is done on stage with instrumental music. My reason for including it here is to cause us to think of the, spiritual implications of the words. What a pitiful child! His mother’s drug addiction caused so much suffering. Spiritual sight could be so much more valuable to this young boy than physical sight. At least his uncle found where he was and adopted him before he had his second birthday. May the LORD bless us all to open the eyes of our hearts to see His purpose and promises for our lives.

Beth Johnson

Chennai Teacher Training School

Women’s Studies

Muliebral Viewpoint

Articles and Books by Beth Johnson

ADOPTION (Part 3c of 4)

Even though God disciplined His children, he loved them dearly.

Jeremiah 31:20—this account is probably the same as Israel being God’s son.

“Is Ephraim my dear son? is he a pleasant child? for since I spake against him, I do earnestly remember him still: therefore my bowels are troubled for him; I will surely have mercy upon him, saith the Lord.”

Hosea 1:3-11—Jezreel seems to be a physical place but starting in verse 10 could be a prophecy of the church

God used Hosea as an object lesson to prophesy of a spiritual nation that would genuinely love him.

So he went and took Gomer the daughter of Diblaim; which conceived, and bare him a son. 4 And the Lord said unto him, Call his name Jezreel; for yet a little while, and I will avenge the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu, and will cause to cease the kingdom of the house of Israel. 5 And it shall come to pass at that day, that I will break the bow of Israel in the valley of Jezreel. 6 And she conceived again, and bare a daughter. And God said unto him, Call her name Lo-ruhamah: for I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel; but I will utterly take them away. 7 But I will have mercy upon the house of Judah, and will save them by the Lord their God, and will not save them by bow, nor by sword, nor by battle, by horses, nor by horsemen. 8 Now when she had weaned Lo-ruhamah, she conceived, and bare a son. 9 Then said God, Call his name Lo-ammi: for ye are not my people, and I will not be your God. 10 Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God. 11 Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land: for great shall be the day of Jezreel.

Romans 9:23-27—This is obviously a fulfillment of the prophecy concerning the church. It proves by the prophecy in Hosea that He would call his nation out of the world to be his beloved people.

“And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, 24 https://tinyurl.com/y5xwk3sgEven us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles? 25 As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. 26 And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God. 27 Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved:”

Hosea 11:1—Even though this is quoted in Matthew 2:15 and applied to Christ, it no doubt applies to God calling ‘his son’ Israel, his firstborn, out of Egypt by Moses. Israel’s leaving Egypt is a shadow of God calling His Son Jesus out of Egypt.

“When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.”

In the Old Testament our Heavenly Father made Israel his nation (2 Cor. 6:16 from Isa. 51:4), which is a shadow of the New Testament. He quotes the OT references that he will dwell with them, and applies this to the NT spiritual temple of the Holy Spirit.

16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Exodus 29:45 God did send His Presence with Israel who remained with them until the law of Moses was fulfilled.

45 And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God.

Leviticus 26:12

12 And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people.

Haggai 2:5 Even after the Captivity where there is no mention of the Ark of the Covenant, God comforted the Israelites to know that His Spirit still remained among them.

5 According to the word that I covenanted with you when ye came out of Egypt, so my spirit remaineth among you: fear ye not.

Now also in the New Testament we have the promise of God’s Holy Spirit dwelling in the one spiritual temple.

Deuteronomy 23:14—One main purpose for the presence of the Holy Spirit was to deliver the physical Israelites from their enemies.

This is the same reason he dwells in the New Testament spiritual temple of God.

14 For the Lord thy God walketh in the midst of thy camp, to deliver thee, and to give up thine enemies before thee; therefore shall thy camp be holy: that he see no unclean thing in thee, and turn away from thee.

Beth Johnson

Chennai Teacher Training School

Women’s Studies

Muliebral Viewpoint

Articles and Books by Beth Johnson

Living by Faith

When honest people repeat a man’s words, they generally do their best not to interpret–or say more than he said. That’s fair. Let a man speak for himself.

hymnstudiesblog

“LIVING BY FAITH”

“But without faith it is impossible to please Him; for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him” (Heb. 11:6)

INTRO.: A song which talks about the importance of faith in our lives to please God is “Living by Faith” (#286 in Songs of the Church). The text of stanzas 1-3 was written by James S. Wells (1872-1947). I have not been able to locate any further information on this author. The text of stanza 4 was written by Robert Emmett Winsett (1876-1952). The tune was composed by J. L. Heath. I have also not been able to locate any further information on this composer. The song first appeared in His Voice in Song edited by R. E. Winsett for the Winsett Music Co. of Chattanooga, TN, in 1918. What I have…

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HIS NAME IS JESUS — A SONG OF PRAISE

Before the worlds were created, there was Christ with God (John 1:1-2).

He has forever existed, and Himself is God (John 1:1-2Acts 17:29Rom. 1:20Col.2:9 [deity]).

He made all things–Great Creator, by His perfect design (John 1:3Gen. 1:26).

He is the light ever shining that enlightens mankind (John 1:4-5John 8:122 Cor 4:6).

 

He came to earth – “God with us” as the Son of Man (John 1:14Matt 1:23John 3:13-14Php. 2:6-7).

His virgin birth, Hosanna! Part of God’s mighty plan (Isa. 7:14Matt. 1:24-25Rev. 13:8).

He was despised, Man of Sorrows, And rejected by men (Isa. 53:3John 1:11Mark 8:31).

But everyone who received Him was born again (John 1:12-13).

 

He healed the sick, Great Physician, made the blind man see (Acts 10:38John 9:11-14).

He raised the dead, what a wonder, set the prisoners free (Isa. 61:1John 12:1).

He gave His life, Lamb of Calvary, to atone for our sin, (Rom. 5:11John 1:2936)

But He arose, hallelujah! And He lives again (Rom. 1:4Rev. 1:18).

 

Well He ascended, holy, holy, To the throne of God (Luke 24:50-51Eph. 4:8Rev. 3:21).

Poured out His Spirit, glory, glory, as He promised He would (Joel 2:28Acts2 17-18Eph. 4:8-11).

He’s coming back, maranatha! Yes, He’s coming again (Rom. 16:221 Thess. 4:15-17Rev. 1:7).

He’s coming back, King of kings, Lord of lords, amen (Rev. 17:14)!

 

His name is Jesus, (Jesus), Jesus!
His name is Jesus, the mighty God.
His name is Jesus, (Jesus), Jesus!
His name is Jesus, the Living Word.

Beth Johnson

Chennai Teacher Training School

Women’s Studies

Muliebral Viewpoint

Articles and Books by Beth Johnson

ADOPTION (Part 2 of 4)

Esther was a Jewish orphan adopted by her uncle before the Jews were carried into Babylonian captivity. Eventually, she became the queen of Persia (Esther 2:7). Her Persian name, Esther, means star, the planet Venus. Hadassah, her Hebrew name, means myrtle, a flower.

Esther is best known as the heroine of the Old Testament book named for her. She was the niece of Mordecai, a servant of Ahasuerus, whose queen she became after Vashti’s banishment for disobedience. Using her influence as queen, Esther managed to avert the persecution of the Jews planned by Haman (Esther 2:7 to Est. 9:32).

FOR SUCH A TIME AS THIS

The book of Esther and the book of Ruth are two books in the Bible that bear the names of Hebrew women. While the book of Ruth begins and ends in poverty, the book of Esther begins with all the splendor of the kingdom of Persia. Persia was the wealthiest nation ever to exist in the history of the world, and Nebuchadnezzar had carried the Jews away from Jerusalem to be bondmen in foreign lands. According to Jeremiah, Jerusalem became a land of desolation (Jer. 9:9-11; Jer. 25:10-11). Esther, the heroine, is first seen as a lowly orphan child brought up by an uncle; yet, to the spiritual eye, she rises to a position of power and service to her people because God put her there for His work among the good figs.

When Esther lacked courage to put her life in the balances in order to save her people, Mordecai used the phrase, “…who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Est. 4:14). Yet for all the work given to Esther, if she had not cooperated with God’s plan to do it the way He wanted it to be done, He would have raised up another deliverer from another place and destroyed both her and her house (Est. 4:14).

In addition to Esther’s love and respect for her adoptive uncle, consider a few other important facts associated with this short book:

  • Esther is apparently the only Jewess ever to sit on a foreign throne.
  • Training in respect for her “parents” manifests itself in Esther’s respect for and obedience to Mordecai in spite of her position as queen.
  • We also see that Esther had respect for her husband and the laws of the land even though she was doing her best to find a way to repeal the unfair law that would destroy her people.
  • The accuracy of the accounts of the Persian Empire and its palaces and rules is unsurpassed in secular history.
  • Ahasuerus also, known as Artaxerxes, in secular history for anyone who doubts the authenticity of the account.
  • The Jewish Feast of Purim gains credibility under the Hebrew Old Testament Law because of the explanation found in the book of Esther.
  • “Pur” from which the word Purim comes, means “a lot.” The lot was cast to see which would be the most favorable day for the Jews to stand against their enemies.
  • Even today the Jews respect the “law” given by Esther to remember the Feast of Purim on the fourteenth and fifteenth of March (Est. 9:32).

Did Mordecai tell Esther that she alone could save the Jews (Esther 4:14)? Some men preach that God cannot get his work done unless we do it.  They say, “God has no hands but our hands, no feet but our feet . . . ,” etc. Read (Isa. 55:10-11 and Luke 19:35-40).

ONE LAST EXAMPLE OF ADOPTION IN THE OLD TESTAMENT:

King Saul originally promised to give his elder daughter, Merab, to David, but later he gave Merab to Adriel the Meholathite. After David’s success in battle against the Philistine giant Goliath, King Saul became jealous and therefore connived to destroy David through a marriage to his younger daughter Michal (1 Sam. 14:49). When he invited David to marry Michal, David replied, “I am a poor and lightly esteemed man”, meaning that he was unable to provide a bride price. King Saul offered to accept the foreskins of 100 Philistines for his daughter’s hand in marriage. David immediately killed 200 Philistines, and brought double the number of foreskins to Saul.

Later, we see Michal’s compassionate heart when she chose the welfare of David over the wishes of her father. When Saul’s messengers searched for David in order to kill him, Michal sent them away while saying he was ill and laid up in bed. After Saul’s men left, she let David down through a window and arranged a ‘body’ in his bed as a decoy.

While David hid from King Saul for his life, Saul gave Michal as a wife to Palti, son of Laish. Later, when David became king of Judah and Michal’s brother, Ishbosheth, assumed kingship over the rest of the nation of Israel, David and Ishbosheth made peace, but one condition of peace was that Ishbosheth return his wife Michal. Ishbosheth complied, despite the public protests of Palti. David had indeed paid the bride price twofold for Michal.

After Michal returned to David, she despised him in her heart (1 Chr. 15:29) when he supposedly danced naked (unclothed), while he and the priests were bringing the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem (2 Sam. 5:14). Actually, David wore an ephod like the priests wore and thus was not literally naked. David rebuked Michal, and she never bore children until the day she died (2 Sam. 6:20-23). Nevertheless, she was still mother to her sister Merab’s children (2 Samuel 21:8). During that time, Michal had showed great compassion in ‘adopting’ her older sister Merab’s five sons for her. Merab’s husband was Adriel (1 Sam. 18:17-19; 2 Sam 21:8). Nothing is recorded to explain why Merab did not raise her own children, but likely, she had died.

The account has a very sad ending for Michal, when the Lord required David to take vengeance on King Saul’s house because he broke Joshua’s covenant with the Gibeonites by killing many of them. The Gibeonites required the seven of King Saul’s grandchildren be hung.  Thus David was required to take “… the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, whom she bare unto Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth; and the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul, whom she brought up for Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite.”  After that God was entreated for the land and removed the famine (2 Samuel 21:1-4).