Censorship

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.” Romans 1:18 ESV

Throughout the ages, censorship was used by nations to control the flow of information to gain the compliance of the masses. In today’s world – the same tactic is still being used in differing degrees in nations around the world and through international internet access. What does this mean for you and me?

Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us truth, uncensored truth. Help find ways to get the truth to us and let us recognize truth when we see it. Strengthen our discernment so our spirit will only find peace in truth, no matter how absurd our human minds find it to be.  Please open our ears to hear what you are saying. Please open our eyes to see and open our understanding that we may know you. Please continue to pour out your grace upon us! Continually, all we want is more of you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

The powers that be prohibit the people of the world from accessing certain information which floats freely on the internet in other countries. When searching for news stories in other countries to get a broader understand of current events or to find out what is happening in those other countries, I know information does exist, yet I cannot get to it from here. My sister used to travel the world and she often couldn’t access links I sent her which were from the United States. And some countries like China restrict access with the outside world all together. This level of censorship has existed as long as the internet has existed. And other forms at the same level have existed for even longer.

In the United State – twitter has banned the president of the United States, then unbanned, and rebanned, etc. Based on principle alone this is bad form and a scary concept (in other situations). Now, I have often prayed that someone would just take President Trump’s phone away from him so he would stop with the, sometimes, ridiculous tweets – but not by censorship. Many of the social media and search engines has also decided to join in on censoring anything that does NOT flow with their agendas. Big tech has even managed to censor entire platforms by having them removed from servers. Last week we studied false prophets and teachers so we can identify censorship as a form of false teacher/prophet – which the Bible tells us to beware of (as well as be aware of).

So I have a request of those of you who read this daily – pray! Pray that WordPress does NOT start censoring content. Let us pray in agreement together that that day shall not come, and at the least, God will help push it off.

“I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me.” Psalm 101:3 ESV

These works of censorship shall not cling to me – I am free in Christ Jesus and He will make a way for His works (which I shall cling to). I will set the Word of the Lord before my eyes, retain it in my heart and out of the abundance of my heart I will not be silent… but, let me tell you of my failings:
A dear friend said to me, “let me buy you a new Bible. Yours is old and highlighted and pages have fallen out and it is written in.” and my response was – I will not use another. This is MY KJV study Bible. I have worked hard to make it mine, full of my prayers and my thoughts.  Besides, I use the internet to access many versions for my studies, translations of Greek and Hebrew words, and concordances and commentaries. I have an entire library of resources that God’s grace has made available to me, free. Also, limited – as somethings are not free and I lack access. My failing is that saying no to such a gift will mean my resources are all the more limited when the time comes for censorship of the Word of God on the internet. 
I woke up today with feeling I should start investing in other versions of the Bible as well as a good concordance and a Hebrew and Greek translator/dictionary/lexicon. (If you want to study the Bible on your own a good place to start is a good study Bible with a concordance, commentary, maps, and some even have a lexicon. This is where I started. If you want to get further into the studies you will have to buy each of those tools separately which have more in them than you find in a study Bible. These are what I lack.) I think I might start building my library.  Also noting, that during the first Covid shut down, printers were closed and Bibles were on back order and prices have increased – it may prove more difficult than I hope, with my modest income. But if it is God, there will be a way.

I feel like many will think I have lost my mind – but logically we have NO reason to think it will not happen. If private companies can censor social media and news media throughout a national election process (which DID happen) because some things did not match their agendas – how long until the Word of the Lord (which definitely goes against their story flow) shall be censored? How long? We can pray and hold it back – but how long?
My mother used to tell me to memorize my Bible because some day the book might be taken from me and they cannot remove it from my mind. I do have a great deal of it memorized – just not as much of it as I would like.

“In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” 2 Corinthians 4:4 ESV

Those censoring are blinded by the small “g” god – the devil himself. So, until we are silenced, we must proclaim light, which breaks through the darkness – light which overcomes the darkness. Again, it is spiritual and not by military strategies of this world and not by us manipulating the situation or even banging them over the head with the word. It is simply fluid light which can creep into every dark space and expose what is hidden to each person which darkness is hidden within.

“And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.” Luke 19:39-40 ESV

What the blind world does not understand is that if they seal our mouths with masks and censorship – the rocks shall rise up and shine the Holy Light!  What they fail to know is that my God is bigger and more powerful than they are capable of imagining – and once we have tried to imagine and understand it, know – HE IS BIGGER AND MORE POWERFUL THAN EVEN THAT! We need understanding of His ways.

“For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.” John 3:20 ESV

Just by being the light and being full of love, people are exposed: to themselves first for conviction unto repentance and if they fail to repent then they are exposed to others – with the goal to get them to repent, not to embarrass or humiliate them.  God appears to work slowly, but it is actually quickly (as the scriptures say) – we just cannot see what He is doing within the hearts of people.

“Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” Proverbs 4:23 ESV
Keep your heart – heart! Not your body, and not your life. Because as Jesus commanded us to love – love is the key. The Word of God is a weapon against evil – but love is the key that opens MAN’S heart so that he can receive the light.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 ESV

Saving humans, redeeming humans, extending grace, restoring relationships, and giving and receiving love are God’s primary concerns. He wants a relationship with every one of the people on earth.

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God” 1 John 4:7 ESV

We are not judges and it is not our job to correct them (unless God rose you up to a position of authority over them). It is our job to love them with such great and powerful love that God can get inside and do what He does. In the opening verse we see “the wrath of God” not of us. Let us love the people and speak the Word against the enemy – letting God be the mighty God that takes care of the little things deep inside people’s hearts.

From spiritual warfare, to false teachers / prophets, to censorship – we have deep things to learn quickly as we confront 2021 – but let us not forget to do it all in love. So, no matter what happens, stay humble, prayerful, and in the spirit of love.

RELATIONSHIP:
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
9 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

I CONFIRM:
I confirm that through my relationship with God and through prayer and communication with Him, I will not censor the truth or the Word of God. I will ask the Lord to deepen my discernment and understanding so I may be a light in these dark times.  I praise and thank Him for His grace and goodness!

MEMORY WORK: 2 Corinthians 10:4
NKJV – “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds”
NAS – “for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.”
ESV – “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.”
NLT – “We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments.”
NIV – “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.”

Thank you for reading.
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

BIBLE READING: Genesis 19-21 NKJV

Sodom’s Depravity

19 Now the two angels came to Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he rose to meet them, and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground. And he said, “Here now, my lords, please turn in to your servant’s house and spend the night, and wash your feet; then you may rise early and go on your way.”

And they said, “No, but we will spend the night in the open square.”

But he insisted strongly; so they turned in to him and entered his house. Then he made them a feast, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.

Now before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, both old and young, all the people from every quarter, surrounded the house. And they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may know them carnally.

So Lot went out to them through the doorway, shut the door behind him, and said, “Please, my brethren, do not do so wickedly! See now, I have two daughters who have not known a man; please, let me bring them out to you, and you may do to them as you wish; only do nothing to these men, since this is the reason they have come under the shadow of my roof.”

And they said, “Stand back!” Then they said, “This one came in to [a]stay here, and he keeps acting as a judge; now we will deal worse with you than with them.” So they pressed hard against the man Lot, and came near to break down the door. 10 But the men reached out their hands and pulled Lot into the house with them, and shut the door. 11 And they struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they became weary trying to find the door.

Sodom and Gomorrah Destroyed

12 Then the men said to Lot, “Have you anyone else here? Son-in-law, your sons, your daughters, and whomever you have in the city—take them out of this place! 13 For we will destroy this place, because the outcry against them has grown great before the face of the Lord, and the Lord has sent us to destroy it.”

14 So Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law, who had married his daughters, and said, “Get up, get out of this place; for the Lord will destroy this city!” But to his sons-in-law he seemed to be joking.

15 When the morning dawned, the angels urged Lot to hurry, saying, “Arise, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be consumed in the punishment of the city.” 16 And while he lingered, the men took hold of his hand, his wife’s hand, and the hands of his two daughters, the Lord being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city. 17 So it came to pass, when they had brought them outside, that [b]he said, “Escape for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be [c]destroyed.”

18 Then Lot said to them, “Please, no, my lords! 19 Indeed now, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have increased your mercy which you have shown me by saving my life; but I cannot escape to the mountains, lest some evil overtake me and I die. 20 See now, this city is near enough to flee to, and it is a little one; please let me escape there (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live.”

21 And he said to him, “See, I have favored you concerning this thing also, in that I will not overthrow this city for which you have spoken. 22 Hurry, escape there. For I cannot do anything until you arrive there.”

Therefore the name of the city was called [d]Zoar.

23 The sun had risen upon the earth when Lot entered Zoar. 24 Then the Lord rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the Lord out of the heavens. 25 So He [e]overthrew those cities, all the plain, all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground.

26 But his wife looked back behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.

27 And Abraham went early in the morning to the place where he had stood before the Lord. 28 Then he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain; and he saw, and behold, the smoke of the land which went up like the smoke of a furnace. 29 And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when He overthrew the cities in which Lot had dwelt.

The Descendants of Lot

30 Then Lot went up out of Zoar and dwelt in the mountains, and his two daughters were with him; for he was afraid to dwell in Zoar. And he and his two daughters dwelt in a cave. 31 Now the firstborn said to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man on the earth to come in to us as is the custom of all the earth. 32 Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve the [f]lineage of our father.” 33 So they made their father drink wine that night. And the firstborn went in and lay with her father, and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose.

34 It happened on the next day that the firstborn said to the younger, “Indeed I lay with my father last night; let us make him drink wine tonight also, and you go in and lie with him, that we may preserve the [g]lineage of our father.” 35 Then they made their father drink wine that night also. And the younger arose and lay with him, and he did not know when she lay down or when she arose.

36 Thus both the daughters of Lot were with child by their father. 37 The firstborn bore a son and called his name Moab; he is the father of the Moabites to this day. 38 And the younger, she also bore a son and called his name Ben-Ammi; he is the father of the people of Ammon to this day.

Abraham and Abimelech

20 And Abraham journeyed from there to the South, and dwelt between Kadesh and Shur, and stayed in Gerar. Now Abraham said of Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.” And Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah.

But God came to Abimelech in a dream by night, and said to him, “Indeed you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is [h]a man’s wife.”

But Abimelech had not come near her; and he said, “Lord, will You slay a righteous nation also? Did he not say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she, even she herself said, ‘He is my brother.’ In the [i]integrity of my heart and innocence of my hands I have done this.”

And God said to him in a dream, “Yes, I know that you did this in the integrity of your heart. For I also withheld you from sinning against Me; therefore I did not let you touch her. Now therefore, restore the man’s wife; for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you shall live. But if you do not restore her, know that you shall surely die, you and all who are yours.”

So Abimelech rose early in the morning, called all his servants, and told all these things in their hearing; and the men were very much afraid. And Abimelech called Abraham and said to him, “What have you done to us? How have I [j]offended you, that you have brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin? You have done deeds to me that ought not to be done.” 10 Then Abimelech said to Abraham, “What did you have in view, that you have done this thing?”

11 And Abraham said, “Because I thought, surely the fear of God is not in this place; and they will kill me on account of my wife. 12 But indeed she is truly my sister. She is the daughter of my father, but not the daughter of my mother; and she became my wife. 13 And it came to pass, when God caused me to wander from my father’s house, that I said to her, ‘This is your kindness that you should do for me: in every place, wherever we go, say of me, “He is my brother.” ’ ”

14 Then Abimelech took sheep, oxen, and male and female servants, and gave them to Abraham; and he restored Sarah his wife to him. 15 And Abimelech said, “See, my land is before you; dwell where it pleases you.” 16 Then to Sarah he said, “Behold, I have given your brother a thousand pieces of silver; indeed this [k]vindicates you before all who are with you and before everybody.” Thus she was [l]rebuked.

17 So Abraham prayed to God; and God healed Abimelech, his wife, and his female servants. Then they bore children; 18 for the Lord had closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech because of Sarah, Abraham’s wife.

Isaac Is Born

21 And the Lord visited Sarah as He had said, and the Lord did for Sarah as He had spoken. For Sarah conceived and bore Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken to him. And Abraham called the name of his son who was born to him—whom Sarah bore to him—Isaac.[m] Then Abraham circumcised his son Isaac when he was eight days old, as God had commanded him. Now Abraham was one hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. And Sarah said, “God has [n]made me laugh, and all who hear will laugh with me.” She also said, “Who would have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? For I have borne him a son in his old age.”

Hagar and Ishmael Depart

So the child grew and was weaned. And Abraham made a great feast on the same day that Isaac was weaned.

And Sarah saw the son of Hagar the Egyptian, whom she had borne to Abraham, scoffing.[o] 10 Therefore she said to Abraham, “Cast out this bondwoman and her son; for the son of this bondwoman shall not be heir with my son, namely with Isaac.” 11 And the matter was very [p]displeasing in Abraham’s sight because of his son.

12 But God said to Abraham, “Do not let it be displeasing in your sight because of the lad or because of your bondwoman. Whatever Sarah has said to you, listen to her voice; for in Isaac your seed shall be called. 13 Yet I will also make a nation of the son of the bondwoman, because he is your [q]seed.”

14 So Abraham rose early in the morning, and took bread and [r]a skin of water; and putting it on her shoulder, he gave it and the boy to Hagar, and sent her away. Then she departed and wandered in the Wilderness of Beersheba. 15 And the water in the skin was used up, and she placed the boy under one of the shrubs. 16 Then she went and sat down across from him at a distance of about a bowshot; for she said to herself, “Let me not see the death of the boy.” So she sat opposite him, and lifted her voice and wept.

17 And God heard the voice of the lad. Then the angel of God called to Hagar out of heaven, and said to her, “What ails you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the lad where he is. 18 Arise, lift up the lad and hold him with your hand, for I will make him a great nation.”

19 Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. And she went and filled the skin with water, and gave the lad a drink. 20 So God was with the lad; and he grew and dwelt in the wilderness, and became an archer. 21 He dwelt in the Wilderness of Paran; and his mother took a wife for him from the land of Egypt.

A Covenant with Abimelech

22 And it came to pass at that time that Abimelech and Phichol, the commander of his army, spoke to Abraham, saying, “God is with you in all that you do. 23 Now therefore, swear[s] to me by God that you will not deal falsely with me, with my offspring, or with my posterity; but that according to the kindness that I have done to you, you will do to me and to the land in which you have dwelt.”

24 And Abraham said, “I will swear.”

25 Then Abraham rebuked Abimelech because of a well of water which Abimelech’s servants had seized. 26 And Abimelech said, “I do not know who has done this thing; you did not tell me, nor had I heard of it until today.” 27 So Abraham took sheep and oxen and gave them to Abimelech, and the two of them made a [t]covenant. 28 And Abraham set seven ewe lambs of the flock by themselves.

29 Then Abimelech asked Abraham, “What is the meaning of these seven ewe lambs which you have set by themselves?”

30 And he said, “You will take these seven ewe lambs from my hand, that they may be my witness that I have dug this well.” 31 Therefore he called that place [u]Beersheba, because the two of them swore an oath there.

32 Thus they made a covenant at Beersheba. So Abimelech rose with Phichol, the commander of his army, and they returned to the land of the Philistines. 33 Then Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there called on the name of the Lord, the Everlasting God. 34 And Abraham stayed in the land of the Philistines many days.

Footnotes

  1. Genesis 19:9 As a resident alien
  2. Genesis 19:17 LXX, Syr., Vg. they
  3. Genesis 19:17 Lit. swept away
  4. Genesis 19:22 Lit. Little or Insignificant
  5. Genesis 19:25 devastated
  6. Genesis 19:32 Lit. seed
  7. Genesis 19:34 Lit. seed
  8. Genesis 20:3 Lit. married to a husband
  9. Genesis 20:5 innocence
  10. Genesis 20:9 sinned against
  11. Genesis 20:16 Lit. is a covering of the eyes for you to all
  12. Genesis 20:16 Or justified
  13. Genesis 21:3 Lit. Laughter
  14. Genesis 21:6 Lit. made laughter for me
  15. Genesis 21:9 Lit. laughing
  16. Genesis 21:11 distressing
  17. Genesis 21:13 descendant
  18. Genesis 21:14 A water bottle made of skins
  19. Genesis 21:23 take an oath
  20. Genesis 21:27 treaty
  21. Genesis 21:31 Lit. Well of the Oath or Well of the Seven

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