Identity theft of today is not to be taken lightly, nor should we have an “it can never happen to me” attitude. A carelessly thrown away piece of mail with an account number or a social security number could be all it takes in our world today. We could loose everything we have, from our bank accounts to our credit. But it does not stop there, it could go so far as loosening our homes, our jobs and livelihood. There is nothing good that can come from this evil, and it hurts everyone.
Yet, as horrific and terrifying all this sounds (and is), I hope that when I am through I have taught you how to do this very thing, (that is to take on an identity other than your own)! This where 1 Cor. 14:23 comes into play, “…will they not say that you are out of your mind ?”
NO, I’m not talking about the cheating, stealing and lying stuff, just the Identity. You’ll see.
Did you know that when Jacob took Esau’s blessings from his father, Isaac, it is the first recorded identity theft? (Genesis 27-28) Now, Esau had already sold his birthright to Jacob (Gen.25:29-34) “…who for one morsel of food sold his birthright. For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, thought he sought it diligently with tears. (Heb.12:16&17) You see, Esau, as the firstborn, had a birthright to a double portion of the family estate. Esau was unconcerned about land because his father had so much of it, but moreover, he also inherited from Isaac the privilege of an everlasting covenant with God. (Gen 12:1-3) Esau scorned God’s promises given to the heirs of Isaac. Now the real ‘identity theft’ comes in chapter 27, but before I begin, lets do a portion of study on identity. In chapter 27 comes the real identity theft, for Jacob has to lie to Isaac, his father. He has to assume his brothers character. Feel free to open your word and read along as it’s a fascinating story. “Now it came to pass when Isaac was old and his eyes were so dim that he could not see, that he called Esau his older son and said to him, “My son.” And he answered him, “Here I am.” So Isaac told Esau to get his bow and arrow, kill some venison and cook it the way Isaac loved. Bring it to him, and he would eat and that his soul may bless his first born before he dies.
Now Rebekah was listening at the door, and after Esau left she hurried to get Jacob. She told him to obey his mothers voice and to go and kill two choice young kid’s of a goat, and that she would make savory food for his father. But I does not stop there, for Esau was a hairy man and Jacob was smoothed skin. So now the deception has to take on falsehood, where Jacob had to become like his brother. So Rebekah took some of Esau’s garments, and put the skins of the kid goats on his hands and neck, and gave Jacob the food to take to his father. So he went to his father and said “my father.” And he said, “here am I. Who are you, my son?”
“And Jacob said to his father, I am Esau your first-born. I have done as you asked me. Arise, I pray you, sit and eat of my game, that your soul may bless me. And Isaac said to his son, How is it that you have found it so quickly, my son? And he said, Because Jehovah your God brought it to me. (Blaming God?) And Isaac said to Jacob, come near, I pray you, so that I may feel you, my son, whether you are truly my son Esau or not. And Jacob went near to Isaac his father. And he felt him and said, The voice is Jacob's voice, but the hands the hands of Esau. And he did not know him because his hands were hairy like his brother Esau's hands. And he blessed him. And he said, Are you truly my son Esau? And he said, I am. And he said, Bring it to me, and I will eat of my son's game, so that my soul may bless you. And he brought it near to him, and he ate. And he brought him wine, and he drank. And his father Isaac said to him, Come near now and kiss me, my son. And he came near and kissed him. And he smelled the smell of his clothing, and blessed him, and said, See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which Jehovah has blessed. And may God give you of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of grain and wine. Let people serve you, and let nations bow down to you. Be lord over your brothers, and let your mother's sons bow down to you. Cursed be everyone that curses you, and blessed be he that blesses you.” (Gen. 27:19-29)
Because of Isaac’s eyesight, Jacob was able to deceive his father with clothes, sheep’s skin, smell and food and win the blessing’s which God had promised Abraham.
But, put this into thought, if you or I wanted to take on the true identity of someone, but we had never met or seen this person, try to imagine this; all you have is a book of who they are, what they did, how they felt and lived. You don’t know anyone who has ever seen him, but they tell stories with such passion that you are sure they must have met this person. So as we listen, we learn that if we were to take on (or steal) this identity there would be great riches in store, and treasures beyond numbering. We learn that he was so rich and powerful his influence was known around the world. Stories that he owned the cattle on a thousand hills, and as far as eye could see could be your’s. Would one not want to be this person? We would gladly open the book and begin to read. To study diligently and with purpose. But as you read on, you begin to see he has a complex character and nature. He claims to be a king! He claims to be the son of God. He claims to be a man. How could the theft be done? He claims to be the good teacher. He says he is the light of the world and the word of God. Yet He sat with sinners, publicans and thieves. Others have called him a wine bibber and a glutton. Definitely a whole lot more study has to be done.
I am finding it very difficult to get to a starting point. One would think you’d start at the beginning, but just where exactly is the beginning??? We have the birth of Christ and know Christ is the Son of God. Ok, lets continue on. I have found my starting point, my beginning! I have been looking at this all wrong! I have been looking at it as the world does. When you steal someone’s identity, the operative word being “steal”, your looking for gain of some sort. Wealth, material items, fortune, power, fame, politics and all sorts of goodies, but when we look at Jesus, being God’s son, we see him as being the wealthiest man on earth. Why? Because Daddy own’s it all!!!! The earth and all that’s there-in. And dad of course would never withhold anything from his only son. (Except His death on the cross, where after He arose on the third day to be with father in glory!)
Now for a thief, finding that Jesus was dead, his mission would stop there, for there could no Identity theft, nor gain. Finding now that people around the world knew Him personally, and knew Him deeply as their savior and Lord, one could never pull off such a thing. But as the thief read on, for now he could not stop, he had to know more about this man, they call Lord. He came to the part where Jesus was on the cross, and how the thief on his right asked for forgiveness, how Jesus, near death, forgave the man and said he would join Him in paradise that very day. Well the identity thief fell on his face and cried out to Jesus, and with tears running down, he gave his heart to the only Lord of this earth, and received forgiveness and mercy. Now he is a different man who steals now more, but gives to the poor and needy. He desires to become like his Lord. Oh Hallelujah Hallelujah!!!
Glory To God. I Know My Jesus is alive And well for He talks to me daily. Oh that we may we take on the identity of Christ, for it is freely given, just for the asking. Oh to be like Him! What Honor, what Glory!
As we celebrate the birth of our Lord and gather loved ones and strangers, let us show forth the mercy, love and joy of God, let us remember from where we came and where we are now. Because He first loved us. Amen. May the blessings of God be upon you now and forever
Today, people have a tendency to look for power and victory in this “natural world,” but the same is true of people in all the ages. Jesus disciples of thought the coming messiah would rule with power and be victorious in all his dealings. (Mat 12:20) Remember when Jesus was crucified and all but 2 of his disciples deserted him? Not only condemned to death on a cross but also hung between two other condemned criminals. The victory of the cross had not yet been made evident. We humans always want evidence, but Paul tells us that “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”. (Heb 11:1) Those who walked with Jesus did not realize the power and victory he displayed concerning the ‘Kingdom of God.’ O Jehovah, Yours is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty. For all in the heavens and in the earth is Yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Jehovah, and You lift up Yourself to all as Head. (1Ch 29:11)
Fortunately, today, we are not in the same place the disciples found themselves, we have heard and read of his victory. Even better, we experience this victory in our own lives. Every time an ‘impossible’ prayer request is answered, a person is healed from an addiction or disease, every time our soul is calmed in the midst of trouble, we know the victory that comes by no other way than by trusting and believing in Him! His following continues to increase and HE still has rule & reign over hearts. Empires and governments have crumbled and even disappeared since the resurrection of Jesus, but his Kingdom is without end. (Luk 1:33). During those times of difficulty, including heath, financial & all other discomforts, we can not, nay, must not, set our thinking on anything other than what God is doing in the immediate. It is this second, right now that is important. Am I trusting fully in him regardless of the outcome? And the riches and the honor are from You, and You reign over all. And in Your hand is power and might. And it is in Your hand to make great and to give strength to all. (1Ch 29:12)
I tell you though, there is still that sector of the world who thinks that if we are not being blessed “continually” we are being punished by God. When I talk with my creditors I usually end on a note of “God bless you, have a wonderful day.” Some receive that benediction, and bless me in return, but the other day one told me that apparently I had broken the 10 Commandments and was on God’s bad side. I was being punished. When I started to mention “Lot” or “Jesus” I was quickly told they were not going to argue religion with me. This conversation set me on a search through the Bible to see if perhaps he was correct. I believe it’s ok to check our spirit against the scripture, after all, the Bereans were counted as noble because they searched the scriptures daily to see if the Word Paul taught was true. (Acts 17:11)
I found quite a bit about not looking at circumstances but it was Luke 6:20 that settled my thinking, “And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.” The word ‘poor’ in The Strong Concordance means beggar. Jesus gives hope to the destitute, that they might know and believe God’s love towards them.
The kingdom of God is when we trust and believe in Him to the place where we have opportunity to experience his benevolence towards us. WOW! What a powerful place to be, that place of experiencing God’s great love! If I have to choose, I would rather be poor and know God than be rich and lacking in experience. After all, Jesus said, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. (Mat 19:24, Mark 10:25 & Lu 18:25) Please don’t get me wrong, I am thankful our Father brings increase to his children. He gives riches to those he pleases, but we must never shake our finger at the poor and tell them they if they were in God’s perfect will they would be doing better.
Ego will tell us that we are not enough; we don't have enough, we don't do enough. It is the ‘must-have more,’ called "wanting," that feeds the ego. The Kingdom of God is the peace and joy in which we rest regardless of the needs that over-whelms or the situations that surround us. Oh the victory and power that surges through our thinking when we accept this reasoning. No more self loathing, no more pleading with God to show us what actions must be taken, but instead acknowledgment that HE is in charge of everything. We have been given the kingdom of God and it is within. (Luke 17:21) How awesome is our God and how majestic is his name? It is in our spirit that we have power and victory.
Terrie and I are doing well here in Lakeport, CA. We could not be in a better place, for in this “stage” of our lives we are completely dependant on God’s provision. He is teaching us to trust him no matter what our eyes see or our ears hear. We do not look at what is happening around and to us, but instead we trust that we are hearing the Word of our Father concerning our health, wealth and well-being. We pray we are an example of him in our community and we are asking him to enlarge our territory. God has given Terrie a Word concerning the hospital across the street and she would covet your prays in accomplishing that which Father has shown her. Her health is improving daily as she gets up every morning and “exercises” her mind and body before the Lord. She is such an prayer champion. I highly recommend anyone contacting her if you want to join her in prayer. The two best methods to reach her are either by phone, (see heading of “The Implanter”) or email: Terrie@promiseed.com
I am well and so happy that God continues to use me. This is my second Christmas without Stacy but his dedication to making known the Kingdom within has not been lost on me. I so appreciate what he planted in me and taught me and I expect to continue on in exhortation and the ministry. Stacy’s children, Jana and Stacy III, are especially feeling the loneliness of the physical absence of both parents. Although lonely we are not without hope for in it all we realize our Heavenly Father is preparing this age for a greater and richer presence of Himself.
We have more than 500 people on “The Implanter” email list and over one hundred people receiving postal mailings. Our web site is still at www.promiseed.com and being utilized by many across the globe. Promised Seed Ministries is dealing with automobile issues. Our van needs repairs and we do not yet know how extensive they may be. We are praying we are able to accomplish the repairs, (including tires & alignment), before March so I can again cross the county communing with the Brethren. I love each and every part, piece and tittle of the Body and it is wonderful to be in love! I can not imagine even one year without this great joy in my life.
We pray everyone had a very merry Christmas and a joyfully expectant New Year!