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Newsletter for November 2002

Happy Thanksgiving! 

This is the month when we in America set aside a day of thanksgiving and we do indeed have so much to be grateful for in this most blessed nation.  It is so easy to slip into a funk these days if one focuses on the problems & ills of this age.   There is much evil in this world, evil inspired and fostered by “the god of this world”, the father of liars & murderers, Satan the Devil.  But there is a God in Heaven and there is MUCH to give thanks for this and every day.  While the U.S.A. has its enemies both without and within, this nation is still the most blessed of all nations.  Why is that? 

The concept called British-Israelism, as postulated by J.H Allen’s 1917 book Joseph’s Birthright & Judah’s Scepter, maintains that our blessings are the result of our bloodline, passed on to us as descendants of Abraham, children of Israel.  The concept, and it is a fascinating one, maintains that the U.S. & Great Britain are descendants of Ephraim & Manasseh.  Some say that the U.S. is Manasseh while others hold that we are Ephraimites enjoying the fulfilled promise from Jacob that a multitude of nations would come from Ephraim.  As the descendants of either one, the concept holds that the U.S. has inherited the Abrahamic promises and specifically the promises made to these sons of Joseph. 

I personally maintain that while this notion of “British-Israelism” has some merit, there is a larger reason for the blessings that America has enjoyed in its brief and colorful history.  As a result of being a Christian-based nation, God has richly blessed us.  I know that there are those who would debate exactly who are true Christians, but that is for God to judge.  I accept any who claim to be Christian on their word and leave it to God to sift the wheat from the chaff.  Paul recognized the benefits derived from all who claim Christ.

Phil 1:15-18

15         Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will:

16         The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds:

17         But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel.

18         What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice. 

And while this nation has strayed from Godliness in so many ways, we are a nation founded upon Christian and Godly principles.  Our Declaration of Independence, our Constitution and Bill of Rights, as well as our system of law is Biblically based.  People are free to practice any religion they choose in America, but we are still a Christian nation…”one nation under God”.   God’s people are known by their fruit.  Wherever there is hunger, America sends food; wherever there is catastrophe, America sends aid; wherever the sovereignty of a nation comes under attack from a hostile neighbor, America uses its might to make right and to relieve oppression.  The U.S.A., as the most powerful nation on God’s green earth, does not use its overwhelming power to oppress, to seize territory or to in any way inflict harm upon innocent people as some Godless nation might.  When I look at the state of nations that are not Christian, but perhaps Islamic, Hindu, or Buddhist, I wonder why they don’t see the need to find another “God”, for their gods not “blessed” them.  And when Communist or atheist nations feel grateful, I wonder whom do they give thanks to? 

Jesus Christ knocked down the “middle wall of partition” that separated people by race.  To God there is now neither Jew nor Gentile.  It is spiritual Israel that matters most to God, and it is these new people of promise that God deals with in the New Covenant. Those circumcised of heart, not the flesh, are now the spiritual children of Abraham and therefore heirs of the promise.  

Gal 3:6-7            Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.

7          Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. 

Rom 2:28-29

28         For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:

29        But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.   

For that reason, both Israelites and Gentiles, all who accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Messiah, are responsible for the 

blessings that this country enjoys.  And it is the duty of Christians throughout our 50 states to keep this nation “under God”; to fight against injustice, Godlessness, and all that the Lord finds abhorrent within our borders

Rom 9:6            Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: 

When God said he would be a God to Abraham, and to his seed, it was not ALL of his seed.  He intended it with a limitation.  From the beginning it was appropriated to Isaac and not to Ishmael, to Jacob and not to Esau.   And so now the same promise is appropriated to believers, Jewish or Gentile, that embrace Christ and Christianity and, though it is withdrawn from multitudes that refuse Christ, the promise is not invalidated, any more than it was by the rejection of Ishmael and Esau. 

Gal 4:28-3128            Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise.

29         But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now.

30            Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the, bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.

31         So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.

God blesses America because of the children of promise, the spiritual seed of Abraham, the heirs of the Kingdom.  God blesses the U.S.A. because of Christians in our nation… that counts for far more than the migration of our ancestors.  Grace does not run in the blood but rather is the result of the blood of Christ!  

This Thanksgiving, let us thank God for our blessings, let us work for Jesus Christ in our land, and let us pray, “God bless America!

-Jeff Booth 

As we approach November, elections loom large.  TV ads are constantly bombarding us with various views and pleas.  

So I pose a question to all Christians, do you vote?  Are you even registered to vote?  Lots of Christians complain about the government, about certain policies – but are you voicing your vote? 

I read a statistic that amazed me regarding the number of “Christians” who are registered to vote.  While I cannot vouch for its accuracy I also have no reason to doubt its validity.  Roberta Combs, new executive director of the Christian Coalition, recently said, "Over half of the people sitting in the churches are not registered to vote. If all Christians would vote and register to vote, imagine what we could do nationwide." 

While I realize that it is too late to register and vote in this election, I submit that it is our Christian duty to vote.  Indeed, we could literally alter the course of this nation if we could motivate all believers to vote. I believe it is inexcusable for Christians to fail to vote during an election. 

Just over a year ago, shortly after 9/11 I gave a sermon in which I used the following quote, “…evil prevails because good men do nothing to stop it…” 

Well, evil politics and anti-Christian men rule over us because we do nothing to prevent it.  To all those who think, “my vote doesn’t count”, the election of our President was decided by less than 600 votes in Florida – EVERY vote counts and yours most of all; so get out and vote. 

As you cast your vote let the words of Noah Webster direct you vote: 

“In selecting men for office, let principle be your guide.  Regard not the particular sect or denomination of the candidate, look to character.  It is alleged by men of loose principles and defective views of the subject, that religion and morality are not important qualifications for political stations.  But the Scriptures teach a different doctrine.  They direct that rulers should be men who rule in the fear of God, men who are able, men of truth who fear God and hate covetousness… 

When a citizen gives his vote to a man of known immorality, he abuses his civic responsibility; he sacrifices not only his own interest, but that of his neighbor; he betrays the interest of his country.” 

We have been blessed to live in abundance, in a nation that is literally a gift from our Creator God.  It is a God given responsibility for all Christians to uphold the values of the bible, to promote and elect those candidates who best represent our values.  All too many are waiting for the perfect candidate, well they don’t exist – just like all of us they too have faults.  Let character, morality, value, and the Spirit of God direct your vote, but make sure you cast it. 

Proverbs 14:34 Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people. 

-Joe Kirkpatrick

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