Friday, July 12, 2019

WHY AMERICA'S FOUNDERS WOULD REJECT SOCIALISM

Socialism requires a powerful, centralized government to implement its policies. This inevitably leads to a ruling elite, like the old Soviet politburo, that controls every facet of society, spreads the wealth around, and enriches itself. Socialism and political power thus go hand in hand.
The Vision of Socialism
In socialism, which is rooted in Marxism, the state is deified. The God of the Bible is replaced by the god of the state. People no longer need to look to God for help with life’s problems; they can now look to the government to solve every problem and meet every need.
In socialism, the God of the Bible is viewed as a competitor—an enemy of the state. This is why, during the 20th century, millions of Christians were imprisoned and put to death in socialist/communist regimes such as China, Cambodia, Cuba and the Soviet Union. The god of socialism is a jealous god and will tolerate no rivals.
Have you noticed that the Democrat party seems to be moving further and further from any open identification with God and Christianity? Have you also noticed a corresponding rise of hostility toward Bible-believing Christians? This always happens as a people move from faith and liberty to agnostic socialism.
The Vision of America’s Founders
America’s Founders understood something that few in Washington D.C. understand today. “Liberty flourishes where there is boundless faith and limited government.” Liberty and governmental power are anathema to one another. As power is centralized in Washington D.C., there occurs a corresponding loss of liberty throughout the heartland.
The Founders, their parents, and their grandparents had fled oppressive governments that sought to control their lives with tyrannical laws and regulations. They came to America with visions of individual and religious liberty. They were not looking for help from any government.
They were people of faith. They looked to God as their Source for life and meaning.  Government for them was a nuisance and a pain. They agreed with Thomas Paine, who in his book, Common Sense, wrote, “Government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state, an intolerable one.”
They issued the Declaration of Independence, not from a quest for political power, but from a deep desire to protect the liberties they had experienced in the New World. This would require a government with limited power for they knew from their study of both the Bible and human history that human nature cannot be trusted with power.
Their distrust of power is why they divided the powers of government into two legislative branches, an executive branch, and a judicial branch. It is why they implemented checks and balances to keep absolute power out of the hands of any person or group.
It is also why they instituted the 2nd Amendment--to give the citizens the right to defend themselves against a tyrannical, over-reaching government that might arise in the future. The Founders would agree with the adage of Sir John Dalberg-Acton, “Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
Socialism, by contrast, loves and needs power. If you want to understand the passion of the new progressive wing of the Democrat party, this is it. They have visions of power. They have exchanged the God of the Bible for the god of power, which they envision being expressed through themselves in a powerful, centralized government.
The Christian Answer to Socialism
The ultimate answer to the challenge of atheistic socialism in American today is not a political one, but a spiritual one. America must return to the vision of the Founders who saw liberty and faith as being joined together in an indissoluble bond. They did not believe one to be possible without the other
That is why the First Continental Congress opened with an extended time of Bible reading and prayer. It is why George Washington insisted on taking the oath of office with his hand on a Bible. It why he said, “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible” (Hyatt, Pilgrims andPatriots, 137).
For this same reason John Adams wrote to his cousin, Zabdiel, a minister of the gospel, two weeks before the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, and said,
Statesmen, my dear sir, may plan and speculate for Liberty, but it is Religion and Morality alone, which can establish the Principles, upon which Freedom can securely stand" (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 173.)

The Bible-believing Christian who takes his faith seriously is socialism’s worse nightmare. This is why we must pray for another Great Awakening across the land. This is why we must challenge the contemporary church to move beyond an entertainment culture and begin training people the to be salt and light and live out their faith in this culture.
Dr. Eddie Hyatt is the author of numerous books, including Pilgrims and Patriots, which documents America's birth out of a great, spiritual awakening. His books are available from and Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

THE FALLING AWAY OF THE AMERICAN CHURCH AND HOW WE CAN TURN IT AROUND


According to the Pew Research Center, Christianity is declining in America. In the early 1990s, 86% of Americans identified themselves as Christian. By 2007 that number had dropped to 78.4%, and only 7 years later, in 2014, the percentage had dropped another 6% to 70.6%.
Over the same period, the percentage of Americans who describe themselves as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular,” has jumped dramatically. From 2007 to 2014 their number jumped more than six points, from 16.1% to 22.8%. Also, the number of Americans who identify with non-Christian faiths has grown, especially among Muslims and Hindus.
Our Shout Lacks Clout!
Interestingly, all of this has been happening while we have been “taking our cities for God,” “pulling down demonic strongholds,” “re-digging wells of revival,” and launching a “new apostolic reformation.”
Surely, this discrepancy indicates that in our movement there is more talk than walk, more shout than clout, and more symbolism than substance. Why is this the case? And what can we do about it?
A Vision of 3 Waves & Their Significance
After completing two years of Bible school in 1975, I saw a vivid vision that has never left me. During a time of prayer, I saw three overlapping waves, with each succeeding wave larger than the previous. I immediately and intuitively knew the meaning of each wave.
The first wave represented the Charismatic Renewal that was at its height when I saw the vision. The second wave, that emerged out of that Renewal, represented a falling away. The third wave, that would emerge out of the second, represented an even greater revival and Spiritual awakening.
Regarding the second wave—the falling away--I heard the words, “Jesus is a means and not an end.” In other words, the falling away would be characterized, not by a rejection of Jesus, but by a distortion of Jesus. He would be portrayed as a means to self-fulfillment, rather than as the End and Goal of life.
Loaves and Fishes Christians
This truth is vividly illustrated in the story surrounding the multiplying of the loaves and fishes in John 6:1-26. The group that had seen the miracle crosses the Sea of Galilee looking for Jesus. When they find Him, He confronts them for seeking Him as a means to their own comfort, rather than because of who He is.
It happened after Jesus took one lad’s five barley loaves and two small fish and fed a great multitude. The people, seeing this miracle, were elated and decided to take Jesus by force and make Him a king. What a comfortable life He could make for them with this kind of power!
When Jesus saw their intention, he departed to a mountain to pray. Later that night He walked on the water and joined his disciples in their voyage to the other side of the sea. When the crowed who had seen the miracle on the other side of the sea finally found Him, they inquired as to when and how He had arrived on this side of the sea.
Jesus confronted their self-serving motives in seeking Him, saying, Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled (Jn. 6:26).
In John’s Gospel, the miracles that Jesus performs are called “signs” because they point to who He is as the Son of God. They are indicators of His Messiahship.
In this context, it is obvious that Jesus rebukes the people for seeking Him out of self-serving motives. They are not seeking Him because they recognize who He is. They are seeking Him for what they think they can get from Him. They see Jesus as a means to their own personal comfort rather than as the End and Goal of life.
Worship: Who Is This For?
Recently, during a praise and worship service, I noted a troubling in my spirit. Outwardly, all was a picture of perfection. The musicians and singers were superb. The enthusiastic congregation shouted, danced, and waved banners. 
But as I pondered the disturbance in my inner person, the question occurred to me: Who is this for? The answer then became clear. This was for them. They were having fun. They enjoyed doing this. They were reveling in their own excellence and feeling good about their own expertise in “worship.”
They were more enamored with the means of worship than with the End or object of worship. The prophet Zechariah addressed this same problem in the nation of Israel. He wrote,
During those seventy years of exile when you fasted and mourned, was it really for Me? And even now in your holy festivals, you don’t think about Me but only of pleasing yourselves. (Zech. 7:5-6, NLT)
The Meaning of Repentance
Charles Finney, the famous 19th century revivalist, pointed out that the end or goal of all sin is self-gratification. The act of sin is the means of pleasing self. Whether the sin is murder, adultery, gossiping, or stealing, it is the means toward the end of fulfilling a selfish need or desire.
According to Finney, repentance is the refocusing of a person’s life so that self is no longer the end or goal. As Adam and Eve “turned from” God to selfish independence, we now turn from selfish independence "to God." The end of life is now to serve and please Him. Jesus is Lord. He is the focus. He is the One to Whom we turn.
Contrary to this, in the currently popular gospel, repentance may not occur because self is not required to give up its central place. Self remains the end and Jesus is simply another means of satisfying self.
We Must Allow the Holy Spirit to Purge Our Message
Have we not fallen into the trap of preaching Jesus as a means rather than as the End? “Come to Jesus,” the masses are exhorted! “Jesus will bless YOU! Jesus will heal YOU! Jesus will help YOU! Jesus will prosper YOU!” (especially if you will send a donation)
Now, all these things are true! Jesus is concerned about us. But according to the New Testament, these promises are the by-products of the gospel, not its central message and core. The gospel is not about me. The gospel is about Him.
Because we have preached an anthropocentric (man-centered) gospel, our churches are filled with self-centered, immature Christians. They can speak in tongues and prophesy, but they have no real power to counter the forces of darkness making inroads into this nation.
A Fresh Vision of Jesus Will Bring the New Wave of Revival.
Ephesians 1:10 says that God will gather together in one all things in Christ. The phrase gather together in one is the translation of a Greek word that means “sum” or “total.” In other words, when all of God’s activity in time and eternity are totaled, it will add up to Jesus Christ. He is the End and Goal of God's plan and purpose.
Let us, therefore, take “self” off the throne and enthrone Jesus as Lord. Let us not be afraid to present the demands of His character and grace to this generation. As we proclaim Him as the End and Goal of life and eternity, I believe that greater wave of revival will roll across the churches of America.

Dr. Eddie Hyatt received a commission from the Lord in 2009 to reconnect America with her roots in Spiritual awakening and to pray for another Great Awakening across the land. His books on this topic are available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

THE MARRIAGE OF FAITH AND FREEDOM IN EARLY AMERICA


Faith and freedom were married in the thinking of America’s founding generation. They were convinced that there could be no real freedom apart from faith in the God of the Bible. This is why George Washington insisted on placing his hand on a Bible to take the presidential oath of office. It is why he said, “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.”
The marriage of faith and freedom in the founding generation is why the Liberty Bell is inscribed with the jubilee passage from Leviticus 25:10, Proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all inhabitants thereof. It is why John Adams wrote to his cousin, Zabdiel, a minister of the gospel, two weeks before the adoption of the Declaration of Independence, and said,
Statesmen, my dear sir, may plan and speculate for Liberty, but it is Religion and Morality alone, which can establish the Principles, upon which Freedom can securely stand" (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 173.)
Faith and Citizenship Were Linked in Early America
This marriage of faith and freedom was expressed by James Madison, the chief architect of the Constitution, when he wrote, "Before any man can be considered as a member of civil society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governor of the Universe." Madison also wrote,
The belief in a God All Powerful wise and good, is so essential to the moral order of the world and to the happiness of man, that arguments which enforce it cannot be drawn from too many sources nor adapted with too much solicitude to the different characters and capacities impressed with it" (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 131).
The Founders functioned on the assumption of a divine Creator to whom all creatures owe their love, honor and respect, and this is made clear by the many proclamations for days of prayer, repentance and thanksgiving issued by the Continental Congress and by founding presidents.
That the First Amendment had nothing to do with secularizing the American government is made clear by the fact that the day after ratifying the First Amendment, those same Founders issued a proclamation for a Day of Prayer and Thanksgiving. The First Amendment was the Founders rejection of an official state church like the nations of Europe.
They rejected the idea of a state church, but they all agreed that only Christianity provided the moral fabric for a stable society. Thomas Jefferson was referring to this when he said, “Of all the systems of morality that have come under my observations, none appear to me so pure as that of Jesus.” This why the well-known Catholic scholar, William Novak, wrote:
Far from having a hostility toward religion, the founders counted on religion [Christianity] for the underlying philosophy of the republic, its supporting ethic, and its reliable source of rejuvenation" (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 174).
America's Founders Believed Faith to Be Essential for Freedom
America’s Founders were unanimous in their belief that only Christianity provided the moral and intellectual underpinnings for a stable and prosperous nation. This was made clear by George Washington in his Farewell Address after serving two terms as America’s first president. He said, "Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports."
When the founders use the word "religion," they are referring to Christianity, and Washington here warned of the inherent dangers in the neglect of religion and morality. And notice that he did not call religion [Christianity] optional. He referred to Christianity and morality as indispensable for political prosperity. In his thinking, faith and freedom were married and could only be divorced to the hurt of the nation.
Thomas Jefferson was in complete agreement with Washington, and he made Washington's Farewell Address required reading at the University of Virginia, which he had founded. He also invited churches of all sects and denominations to establish schools of instruction adjacent to or within the precincts of the university. He wrote,
The students of the University will be free and expected to attend religious worship at the establishment of their respective sects, in the morning, and in time to meet their school at the University at its stated hour (Hyatt, Pilgrims andPatriots, 151).
As President, Jefferson sat on the front row of church services that were held each Sunday in one of the chambers of the House of Representatives in Washington, D.C.
At one point, displeased with the music, he ordered the Marine Band to be present in the service on Sundays and to provide music for the singing of psalms and hymns. The Band was paid out of the federal treasury. No one protested because faith and freedom were married in the thinking of America’s founding generation.
Jefferson and all the founders knew that the success of the free Republic they had formed hinged on the moral character of its citizens and their ability to govern themselves according to Christian values. This is clearly borne out in a 1798 address by John Adams to the officers of the Massachusetts Militia. He declared,
We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion . . . Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious [Christian] people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other" (Hyatt, Pilgrims andPatriots, 173).
Missionaries Sent Out to Establish Faith and Freedom
When the young French sociologist, Alexis de Tocqueville, visited America in 1831 to study her institutions, he found a Christian people who saw their citizenship linked with their faith. He discovered that missionaries were being sent to the western frontier out of concern that if the new settlements did not have the gospel, they would not be able to enjoy the freedoms guaranteed by the American Constitution. He then said, "Thus, religious zeal is warmed in the United States by the fires of patriotism" (Hyatt, 5 Pillars of the American Republic, 31).
Tocqueville also told how a judge at the court in Chester County, New York threw out the testimony of a witness when he learned that the witness did not believe in the existence of God. The judge said that by denying the existence of God, the witness had, "Destroyed all the confidence of the court in what he was about to say."
There were no complaints because faith and freedom were still married in America. The judge said it was the first time he had met someone who did not acknowledge the existence of God. He also said that he knew of no case in a Christian country where a witness had been permitted to testify without such belief in God.
Tocqueville concluded that in America, "From the beginning, politics and religion contracted an alliance that which has never been dissolved" (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 168).
The U.S. Supreme Court Affirms the Marriage of Faith and Freedom
John Marshall (1755-1835) served as the second Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court for thirty-four years (1801-1835). Many consider him the greatest Chief Justice the court has known. During his tenure, he heard many cases and offered groundbreaking opinions that continue to guide the Supreme Court and the United States Government today.
In one of his writings, Marshall clearly states what every Founder assumed--that the founding documents and institutions on which the nation was formed presuppose a commitment to Christian principles and values. He wrote,
No person, I believe, questions the importance of religion in the happiness of man, even during his existence in this world. The American population is entirely Christian, and with us Christianity and religion are identified. It would be strange, indeed, if with such a people, our institutions did not presuppose Christianity, and did not refer to it, and exhibit relations with it (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 166).
While Chief Justice, Marshall made the Supreme Court facilities available to a local congregation for their Sunday gatherings. So, each Sunday, the singing of Christian hymns and the preaching of God’s Word could be heard ringing through the chambers of both the House of Representatives and the Supreme Court. This was neither surprising nor offensive to anyone, for it fit perfectly within the mindset of the founding generation.
The marriage of faith and freedom was still a part of the American mindset as recent as 1892, when in the ruling of Church of the Holy Trinity vs The United States, the United States Supreme Court declared,
Our laws and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of The Redeemer of mankind. It is impossible that it should be otherwise; and in this sense and to this extent our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian . . . From the discovery of this continent to the present hour, there is a single voice making this affirmation . . . we find everywhere a clear recognition of the same truth that this is a Christian nation (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 167).
Modern Secularists Have Departed from the Vision of America’s Founders
The modern divorce of faith from freedom is a sharp departure from the founding generation where religious liberty was considered a God-given right. The modern removal of crosses, nativity scenes, Bible reading, and prayer from public schools and other public venues would horrify the nation’s Founders who considered Christianity the moral fiber that would hold the nation together.
This is illustrated by the fact that Benjamin Franklin refused to print a manuscript by the Deist, Thomas Paine, in which Paine railed against orthodox Christianity. Franklin suggested to Paine that he burn the manuscript and then said, "If men are this wicked with Christianity, what would they be if without it" (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 142).
Faith and Freedom Must Be Married Once Again
Faith was not something optional for America’s Founders, as Washington made clear in his Farewell Address. They considered faith to be “indispensable” for the life of the nation. After a meticulous study of the Founders, Novak wrote, "The founders did not believe the constitutional government they were erecting could survive without Hebrew-Christian faith" (Hyatt, Pilgrims and Patriots, 174).
Yes, the modern liberal, progressive is the one that has departed from the vision and values of America's Founders. We must, therefore, not be intimidated by their misguided attempt to remake America in their own image.
We must stand for truth and be salt and light in this generation. We must also pray that God will visit us once again with a heaven-sent revival that will awaken His church and alter the course of this nation—a revival in which faith and freedom will be married once again.
This article was derived from Dr. Eddie Hyatt's books, Pilgrims and Patriots and 5 Pillars of the American Republic, available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com. Eddie is an author, biblical scholar and ordained minister with a passion to see America return to its Christian roots as a nation born out of spiritual awakening. He can be reached at dreddiehyatt@gmail.com.

Friday, June 28, 2019

THE ONE BIBLICAL WORD THAT AFFIRMED HETEROSEXUAL MARRIAGE AND LIFTED THE STATUS OF WOMEN

The Greek word translated “head” in Ephesians 5:23 is kephale. By using this one word, Paul undermined the basis of homosexuality in the ancient world and lifted the woman to an equal status with her husband.
Recent studies have shown that the ancient meaning of kephale was “source” rather than the traditional “authority.” For example, in a landmark study that was published in the February 20, 1981, issue of Christianity Today, Dr. Berkeley and Alvera Mickelsen examined and compared how the translators of the Greek Septuagint had translated rosh, the Hebrew word for “head,” into Greek. Their findings demolished the traditional understanding of the word as meaning “authority over.”
They discovered that when rosh was used literally to refer to someone’s physical head, theSeptuagint translators used kephalē. When rosh was used figuratively to refer to the “source” or origin of something, again they would use kephalē. They discovered, however, that when rosh was used figuratively to refer to a person of authority, the Septuagint translators avoided kephalē and used árchōn (ruler) or a similar word.
In his magnanimous commentary on I Corinthians, noted evangelical scholar, Dr. Gordon D. Fee, sums up the research of the Mickelsens and others, saying,
Paul’s understanding of the metaphor, therefore, and certainly the only one the Corinthians would have grasped, is “head” as “source,” especially “source of life” (Hyatt, Who’s the Boss?, 30).
Kephale was the appropriate word for Paul to use in addressing the issue of marriage in a pagan world where homosexuality was rampant and based on the essential inferiority of women. His point was to show that the woman has her source in the man and is made of the same substance as he.
This was important for the Greeks believed that the gods had created woman as a form of punishment for man. She had originated from a different source and was inferior to man in substance and intellect. One pagan writer said,
Some women were made from the sow, some from the bitch, others from the high-stepping mare or the unstable waves of the sea (Hyatt, Who’s theBoss?, 32).
Additional evidence for the low value placed on womanhood surfaced in a debate conducted slightly later than the New Testament. In it, the judge decided in favor of homosexuality because of the alleged moral inferiority of women. He said,
Therefore, let the obligation to marry be universal, but let the love of boys be reserved only for the wise, because perfect virtue flourishes least of all among women (Hyatt, Who’s the Boss?, 32).
Plato (ca 427—347 bc) was of the same mindset and taught that the truly noble soul is masculine and would seek out another male as the object of its love—because they are alike and of the same substance (Hyatt, Who’sthe Boss?, 32).
In speaking of the husband as the kephalē (source) of the wife, Paul is undermining this pagan view of womanhood. He is also alluding to the Creation narrative in Genesis where, instead of creating a separate creature from the ground to make the woman, God took a side from the person He had already created from the dust and formed the side into the woman.
Commenting on this Genesis account of the creation of the woman, the Jewish commentary on the Torah, The Chumash, says,
Unlike man’s, the woman’s body was not taken from the earth. God built one side of the man into woman—so that the single human being became two, thereby demonstrating irrefutably the equality of man and woman (Hyatt, Who’s the Boss?, 31).
If Paul’s purpose in Ephesians 5:23 had been to establish authority, he could easily have done so by choosing words at his disposal, such as archon (ruler), despotes (master) or kurios (lord). In speaking of the husband as the kephale (source) of the wife, Paul is undermining the pagan idea that she originated from a different and inferior source.
By using kephale, Paul proclaimed that she was, in fact, bone of his bone, flesh of his fleshas Adam had declared of Eve in Genesis 2:23. By using kephalē, Paul undermined the ancient argument for homosexuality and declared that woman is, indeed, a fit partner for the man.


This article is derived from Dr. Eddie Hyatt's latest book entitled, Who's the Boss? and available from Amazon in both paperback and kindle, and also from his website at www.eddiehyatt.com. If you would like to contact him to schedule him to speak on this or other issues, contact him at dreddiehyatt@gmail.com.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

WHEN THE MIRACLE FOR WHICH YOU PRAYED DOES NOT HAPPEN, DO THIS


Oral Roberts estimated that only 5% of the people on whom he laid hands received an instantaneous miracle of healing. Wherever pragmatic studies have been done, the results have been similar. Only a small minority receive an instantaneous miracle in answer to prayer.
Does that mean God is not willing to heal everyone? No! Does that mean the sick one should relinquish their faith for healing? No!
I had a similar experience in the 1989-92 while associated with some of the most prominent faith-healing ministries in America. At the time, I was working on a master’s degree at Oral Roberts University and answering the phone for Richard Roberts’ TV program. I was also associated with T.L and Daily Osborn and taught a class at the church they had founded. Just down the street from where I lived was Kenneth Hagin and Rhema Bible Training Center.
During this time, I became very ill with sharp pains in my chest, heart palpitations, and an alarming loss of energy. At the onset of this illness, my body shook uncontrollably and I could not stand noise.
Being a person of faith myself, and surrounded by people of faith, I decided to trust God for my healing. However, the prayers and faith declarations seemed to be of no avail and the symptoms continued unabated.
After two years of this fight of faith, and seemingly no change, I was feeling weary in the battle. My hope was starting to slip. At this point, God visited me and showed me 3 keys to answered prayer that restored my hope and changed my life.
I awakened one morning with the memory of a conversation that had occurred on the inside of me during the night. It seemed to be a conversation between my mind and my spirit, or the Holy Spirit.
I clearly recalled the Spirit saying, “There are 3 keys to answered prayer.” There was a brief silence and then I heard, “They all start with P.”
At this point, my mind asked, “What words begin with ‘P.’” It then seemed that 3 words flowed effortlessly into my consciousness and I knew that they were the 3 keys to answered prayer. The 3 words were “Promise,” “Praise,” and “Perseverance.”
When I awakened, there was not only the memory of this conversation, but also a new sense of strength and exhilaration in my spirit. I knew that God had visited me and given the answer for my dilemma.
Not long afterwards, I learned that these were the 3 principles that Abraham applied in believing God for a son. They are found in Romans 4:20-22, which reads,
He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strong in faith, giving glory (praise) to God, and being fully persuaded that what He had promised He was able also to perform.
This is important for Paul calls Abraham the father of all who believe (Romans 4:11-16). In other words, Abraham’s faith is a faith that we can all emulate, and I discovered that his faith was characterized by Promise, Praise and Perseverance.
For example, Romans 4:20 literally reads in the Greek, “Against the promise he did not decide.” In other words, Abraham looked at God’s promise and then looked at his and Sarah’s impotent bodies. He had to choose between the problem and the promise, and he chose to go with the promise. He then had to persevere, for it was another 13 years before Isaac was born. What was he doing during this time? He was giving glory, or praise, to God.
I immediately began applying these principles to my life. I stayed focused on the promise. I did not deny the symptoms, but I determined to give my attention to God’s word. I chose to surround myself with praise to God for His goodness and faithfulness. I also chose to persevere.
It paid off. After another 1½ years, my health was restored. Promise, Praise, Perseverance. These 3 keys brought me through into health and victory apart from an instantaneous miracle.
What about you? Has a miracle eluded you?
Why don’t you begin now to utilize these 3 keys in your life? Get out your Bible and find the promises that are relative to your situation. Write them out on a piece of paper. Keep them before you. Saturate your mind with them.
Stay focused on the promise. Surround yourself with praise. Persevere. Be prepared to rejoice. God’s answer is on the way.

This article is derived from Dr. Eddie Hyatt's book, 3 Keys to Answered Prayer, which is his testimony of how God showed him the unique path of healing for his situation. It is available from Amazon and his website at www.eddiehyatt.com.



Wednesday, June 19, 2019

JEWISH RABBIS CLARIFY THE MEANING OF "HELP MEET" IN GENESIS 2:18


A few years ago, at a wedding reception in Ontario, Canada, Sue and I were seated with a Jewish businessman and his wife who are quite orthodox in their faith and fluent in Hebrew. We had a great time discussing Scripture and I decided to ask them a question concerning what I had read in the Chumash, a well-known Jewish commentary, about the expression ezer neged in Genesis 2:18. This phrase is translated “help meet” in the KJV and “helper comparable” in the NKJV.
Edited by Rabbis Nosson Scherman and Meir Zlotowitz, the Chumash provides commentary on the Torah by Jewish rabbis and teachers, both ancient and modern, and is widely used in Jewish homes and synagogues.  Written by people for whom Hebrew is their native tongue, the Chumash says neged literally means “against,” and that God literally said he would make the man a helper “against” him. The Chumash commentators go on to say:
Many have noted that the ideal marriage is not necessarily one of total agreement in all matters. Often it is the wife’s responsibility to oppose her husband and prevent him from acting rashly, or to help him achieve a common course by questioning, criticizing, and discussing. Thus the verse means literally that there are times a wife can best be a helper by being against him (Hyatt, Who’s the Boss?, 25).
I told the couple with whom we were seated about this reading in the Chumash and asked their opinion. They were familiar with the Chumash and confirmed that the word, indeed, means “against.”
I then recalled how, in my own studies in Genesis, I had learned that the Hebrew word translated “helper” in Genesis 2:18 is ‘ezer (ay’-zer) and has no connotations of a secondary status, as does the English word “helper.” The word ‘ezer (ay’-zer) occurs 17 times in the Old Testament, and 14 of those 17, it is used of God being the helper of humanity.
Psalm 33:20, for example, reads, Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help and our shield. The word translated “help” in this passage is ezer, the same word that is used of the woman in Genesis 2:18. Strong’s Concordance defines the word as meaning “to surround, protect or aid.”
Through all of this, it was becoming very clear that the “helper” God creates in Genesis 2:18 is not a mild, meek, yes-dear sort of person who never challenges or expresses an opinion. I was beginning to see the truth of the Chumash that the helper God was making was a strong and equal individual who has both the right and the responsibility, when called for, to confront her husband as an equal partner. 

Yes, our marriages must consist primarily of mutual love, support, and encouragement. But because we are all fallible and prone to shortcomings, there are times that we need to be confronted by the person closest to us, which should be our spouse. Tradition has given this right to the husband, but not to the wife. 
The Bible, however, is clear on this matter. As the man's ezer neged, the wife has both the right and the responsibility to confront her husband when necessary. In doing so, she is fulfilling her role as "helper" spoken of in Genesis 2:18.

This article is derived from Dr. Eddie Hyatt’s latest book, Who’s the Boss?, available from Amazon in both kindle and paperback. To learn more of Eddie’s ministry and vision, visit his website at www.eddiehyatt.com.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

HOW GOD ADMONISHED ME TO AFFIRM WOMEN PASTORS


It was a Saturday evening and I was prayerfully preparing to speak the following morning at a church that had been founded, and pastored for many years, by a woman. I had ministered there before, and it seemed like a very successful church that loved and respected their female pastor.
For years, I had studied the issue of women in leadership and had become convinced that God calls women to preach, pastor and do all the things He calls men to do in the church. However, as I considered a topic for my message, I said to myself,
I don’t need to address the woman issue and show the Biblical basis for women in leadership. Gloria is respected and loved by her congregation, so there is no need for me to go there.
Despite my prayers and preparation, I went to bed without a sense of direction, except having decided I would not address the issue of women pastors and leaders.
A God-Given Dream
I am not one given to visions and dreams, but that night I had a very vivid dream. Amazingly, it was not skewed in any way, but everything was exactly as it is in real life.
In the dream, I was sitting in the pastor’s office the next morning with her and two of her associates. We were in our Sunday best with the men, including myself, wearing jackets and ties. As the worship team led the congregation in the final song, we all stood to go on the platform where, in a few minutes, I would be introduced and preach the message for that Sunday morning.
As we stood, I looked down and was shocked to see that my feet were bare. I could hardly believe my eyes. Here I was all dressed up with a suit and tie, but with no shoes.
I hurried out the door to the parking lot to see if I had taken off my shoes during the 45-minute drive to the church. I searched frantically under and around the seats, but there were no shoes to be found. I then stood by my van and looked at my watch, wondering if I had time to rush home and get my shoes.
It was obvious I didn’t! The pastor would be turning the service to me in just a few minutes. I then thought, “Maybe I can make some sort of joke about my bare feet,” but decided that would not go over with this congregation.
I stood by my van feeling so distressed and wondering, “How could I do this? “How could I get all dressed up and go out without my shoes!”
At that point, I woke up.
A New Understanding of the “Gospel of Peace”
I knew God was speaking, and the first Scripture that came to mind was Ephesians 6:15, which reads, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace.
I had always thought of the word “peace” in this passage as referring to that nice internal sense of tranquility and well-being. However, as I took a fresh look at the verse, I realized that Paul was talking about the kind of peace that occurs when different parties that have been at odds and separated, lay down their hostilities and are reconciled in peace. It is the kind of peace that occurs when warring nations lay down their weapons and there is a signing of “peace.”
I then saw that the “gospel of peace” is the good news of what Jesus has done to remove the racial, social, and gender animosity that has divided the human race since the fall.
Walls of Separation Have Been Removed “in Christ”
The second passage that came to mind was Ephesians 2:14, which reads, For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation. Paul is specifically addressing, in this passage, the racial separation of Jews and Gentiles. He says that Christ is our peace—the point of reconciliation—and that He has broken down the middle wall of separation between Jew and Gentile.
In the Jerusalem temple of Paul’s day, there was an actual wall that kept Gentiles separated from Jews. There were signs posted on this wall warning Gentiles not to proceed any further on the threat of death. During one of Paul’s visits to Jerusalem, the Jews tried to kill him because they thought he had taken a Gentile—an Ephesian—past this dividing wall (Acts.21:27-29).
There was also a wall that separated the women so that the only individuals who had free access to the sanctuary were Jewish males. These walls divided the people according to both race and gender.
Paul now says to the Ephesian believers that in Christ these dividing walls have been removed. This is what he is referring to in Galatians 3:28 where he says, There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
Paul is not here blurring the races and the sexes. He is saying that the old value system wherein people were judged, valued, and divided according their race, sex, or class have been removed in Christ. Jesus broke down these walls of separation and discrimination so that all may now move freely in His presence, and in obedience to Him.
The Good News of Reconciliation
I now saw clearly that the gospel of peace is the good news of what Jesus has done to reconcile fragmented humanity to Himself and then to one another. It is the good news that the walls of separation and discrimination based on sex, race, and class have been broken down.
I saw as never before that excluding women from leadership based on their sex is not a part of the gospel. It is, in fact, a truncated gospel. How dare anyone build walls of exclusion and separation in the one community (the Church) where they have been eliminated through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ!
I now saw that to have one’s feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace means that we stand ready, at a moment’s notice, to declare that in Christ those dividing wall are gone and everyone has free access to His presence and are free to obey Him.
Do You Have Your Shoes On?
As I reflected on my dream and the new understanding of Paul’s admonition to have your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, I heard the Holy Spirit say,
Don’t ever go anywhere without your shoes on. Don’t ever go anywhere without being ready to declare that “in Me” the walls of separation, discrimination, and marginalization have been broken down and removed.
What about you? Do you have your shoes on? Are you prepared to declare the Gospel of Peace?

Dr. Eddie Hyatt is the president of Hyatt Int' Ministries and also serves on the board of God's Word to Women, an organization dedicated to helping women around the world be all that God created and called them to be. He is the author of numerous books including Paul, Women and Church, available from Amazon and his website at  www.eddiehyatt.com. Watch for his latest book on marriage equality, to be released later this month, and entitled Who's the Boss?