Archive by Author | jritterbrunson

Christians: You Have Not Missed The Rapture

Whosoever Will, May Come

Photo by Milkovi on Unsplash

As a born again believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, I know I am sealed to the Holy Spirit and my salvation is secured. Yet, like a lot of Christians, I sometimes have a moment where satan tries to plant doubts in my head. The Bible, through the apostle Paul, clearly teaches a pre tribulation rapture. But, sometimes when I haven’t heard from some Christian friends in awhile, I have a fleeting thought that they have been raptured and I missed it. The comfort I have is that many believers go through this. The devil loves nothing more than to cause us discomfort, apprehension and to doubt our salvation and not trust God and what He said in His word.

The other day I was listening to a great Bible teacher by the name of Les Feldick. He is what is called: a “right divider.”…

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Beware of People who Call Themselves Christian Witches

I ran across a frightening commentary today. Geoffrey Grider commented on an article posted by Pulpet and Pen. It talked about the first Christian witches annual convension to be held in Salem, Mass. this April. The article discussed the idea that Jesus used magic when he walked on earth. It called the miracles he performed magic. That goes against everything the Bible says. If it were magic, others would have been able to perform it as well. Yes, He gave His disciples the power to heal for a period of time, but as the disciples died, so did that ability to heal.

Rev. Valerie Love and Prophet Calvin Witcher will head up this so called convention. They both believe people can practice Christian witchcraft today. Nothing could be further from the truth. Even worse it can be dangerous. Yes, there may be something that looks like magic, but don’t be fooled.

Demons are still on earth today, and they would love to practice some magic of their own. Believe me, as a Christian counselor I have been exposed to demons. It’s not something I would want to do again. Take my word for it. It’s frightening. Rev. Valerie Love and Prophet Calvin Witcher are treading on dangerous ground. God has the power to control demons, but He also has the power to use them to teach humans to swallow their pride.

Jesus was able to do miracles on earth because He is God’s son, not because He wanted to show off. He defied Satan on the highest mountain peak for thirty days without food. The angels came to minister to Him. Angels still minister to God’s children, but saying a person can practice Christian magic sounds nothing but prideful to me. Make no mistake, pride doesn’t make God happy. My suggestion to you – stay away from witches, Christian or otherwise.

Got Trauma!

The word “trauma” appears everywhere we look these days. Some people  under-rate the cause of the trauma, like it’s no big deal. This may prevent the traumitized person from seeking the help they need. If trauma is ignored, the victim may not have the opportunity to heal, because others downplay their pain.

On the other hand, some over-rate trauma, which can also keep the traumatized person from receiving the help they need, because those close to him or her may try to keep sweep it under the rug.  As a counselor, I have seen both situations.

Another issue in trauma depends on the make-up of the survivor. Some people are highly resilient, like Navy Seals. I suspect they have to have the right temperament before they are selected for the job. Their lives depend on the whole team working together, knowing their job and doing it well.

Psychologists have learned much about trauma by studying the brain. Dr. David Amen and Dr. Timothy R. Jennings have made great strides in brain research and brain health.

I, on the other hand, have learned some things about trauma in my counseling office, especially in the area of ritual abuse. Years ago I went to an American Association of Christian Counselors conference. I attended a session where a woman had been diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder (DID) or also called multiple personality disorder. She had been healed of her alters (alternate personalities) in a short time.

I had never had a client with that diagnosis, but I found it fascinating. So I sought to learn more. I attended another conference, but wondered if I was wasting money. No. Almost as soon a I got home, I realized I already had two clients with DID and another one I co-counseled. It’s hard to diagnose if you don’t know the symptoms. Also I discovered someone in my family dated a person with DID. My psychology teacher in college said we would probably never see a client with this disorder, I have found it to be more prevalent than I thought.

People with DID have experienced horrific trauma in their childhood. It causes them to create alter identities in their minds. This helps them take a break from the pain and pretend to be another person. Many of the identities are children in their minds, because they created them as children. In a sense without knowing it, the host personality pretends to be  someone else, so they won’t have to feel the pain.

People seem to come in two camps when it comes to DID, especially when the client has memories of horrible abuse. They either don’t believe it or they are afraid to learn about it. They sometimes fear the person with DID. People with dissociative identity disorder struggle with life. They may believe they are a five year old child one minute and a sacred teenager the next.

People with DID are wounded souls seeking help, but they may not know where to find it. They are not dangerous. In fact, they are some of my favorite people. As they find someone they can trust, the healing begins. But it can take years for those who have had extensive abuse to integrate their alters.

They will be able to be themselves most of the time. However, depending on the extent of their dissociation, it could take a long time for the person to heal. I have worked extensively with three people with DID and helped with several others. They present as normal people, but once they trust their counselor, they allow their alternate personalities to emerge. Often they don’t know about the alters until they come out in counseling.

My book, What Lies in the Shadows: How Truth Healed a Splintered Mind, chronicles the healing journey of a woman I call Kathy. When she came to me for counseling, she already suspecting she had alters, but didn’t know she had about seventy personalities. As we began the counseling process, she remembered times when her mother taking her to a satanic cults to be ritually abused. She was a small child. Her child alters acted out the experiences on my office floor.

There are several other good books about people with DID, but this one is different. Kathy gave me all her amazing journals, where she and her alters drew pictures and wrote to each other and to Jesus. One by one, she wrote the stories of the child alters as if they were still there. Kathy gave me permission to use her journals to write exactly what she rememberd in my office. The words are those of Kathy and her alters just as she wrote them in her journals, so the words belong to her and the alter personalities.

What Lies in the Shadows: How Truth Healed a Splintered Mind tells her fascinating story of survival and healing. It also tells how Jesus spoke truth to her spirit to dispel the lies of the cult. What Lies in the Shadows is a true story of God’s redemption and love. I hope you will take the time to read it.

Ruth and Boaz: A Match Made in Heaven

In the days of the Judges, a famine arose in the land of Bethlehem of Judah. A man named Elimelech took his wife, Naomi, and two sons, Mahlon and Chilion, to the land of Moab and they stayed there. Elimelech died and left Naomi with her two sons. They both married women from Moab. Their names were Ruth and Orpah. After ten years, Mahlon and Chilion died. Their wives survived.

Naomi heard that the famine had left the land of Judah, so she packed to go back to her people. She went out to return to Bethlehem. She told her daughters-in-law return to their people, because she had no way for them to find another husband. She kissed them and they wept. Orpah stayed in Moab, but Ruth went with Naomi. She pledged her love to Naomi in a poem that is sometimes used in weddings.

“Entreat me not to leave you,
Or from turning back from following after you;
For wherever you go, I will go;
And wherever you lodge, I will lodge;
Your people shall be my people,
Where you die, I will die.
And there will I be buried.
The Lord do so to me, and more also,
If anything but death parts you and me.”

Naomi and Ruth went to Bethlehem. When they reached the city, the people rejoiced to see Naomi. She said, “Do not call me Naomi, but Mara, for the Almighty has dealt bitterly with me.” Naomi means bitter.

They arrive in Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest. Naomi had a wealthy relative name Boaz. Ruth asked Naomi’s permission to go and glean the fields for food. God sent her to glean in the field of Boaz. He told his workers to take care of Ruth and let her glean all she wants. She worked hard all day and maybe several days. Boaz invited her to share a meal with him. He noticed she saved some food to take home to Naomi.

Naomi told Ruth to prepare herself and go to the threshing floor after Boaz had eaten and drank and made merry. When she found him asleep, she quietly uncovered his feet and laid there until he awoke. At midnight he moved and discovered Ruth. He asked who she was. She told him her name was Ruth, his maidservant. He praised her greatly and said all the town knew her virtue. He told her he was her relative, but there was one closer.

He asked the man who was a closer relative if he wanted to redeem Ruth, but he said he couldn’t or he would lose his own inheritance. So Boaz redeemed the land for Naomi and Ruth. Everyone at the gate witnessed the redemption and Boaz married Ruth.

The witnesses said, “The Lord make the woman who is coming to your house like Rachel and Leah, the two who built the house of Israel: and may you prosper in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem. May your house be like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore Judah, because of the offspring which the Lord will give you from the young woman.”

The genealogy of Perez:

Perez begat Hezron
Hezron begat Ram
Ram begat Amminadab
Amminadab begat Nahshon
Nahshon begat Salmon
Salmon begat Boaz
Boaz begat Obed
Obed begat Jesse
Jesse begat David

Although Ruth was a Moabite woman, she was in the line of David which made her a woman in the line of Jesus. God greatly honored her because of her loyalty to Naomi.

Ruth did the right thing for her mother-in-law. Boaz honored her for her sacrifice. Boaz loved her in spite of the fact that she was not Jewish.

My conclusion to my original question as it relates to the women in the Old Testament books of Judges and Ruth.

Just like now, some woman have a blessed life with a wonderful family and others have to struggle through life.

No one has a perfect life and there are hard times, but for those woman, especially Christians, who have a good life, we need help those who don’t.

We also need to share Jesus.

The Concubine

At the time of Judges 19, the Bible says there was no king in Israel.

A Levite man lived in the remote mountains of Ephraim. He took a concubine from Bethlehem, but she played the harlot and went back to her father’s house, where she stayed four months. Then the man went to get her from her father’s house and spoke kindly to her. Her father begged him to stay to eat and drink for several days. Finally he decided to leave, even though the hour was late. His servant suggested they stay in Jebus (Jerusalem, but he wanted to stay in Gilead because it was a Jewish city. He probably thought it would be safer.

No one offered him lodging. Finally an old man came from his work and let them stay with him. Perverted men of the city begged the master of the house to let the man and his servant come out. They planned to abuse them carnally. The master of the house gave them his virgin daughter and the man’s wife (concubine) instead. The men had their way and left the concubine lying on the doorstep in the morning, dead. The man put her on a donkey and went home. Then he cut her body into twelve and sent a piece to all the tribes of Israel, saying, “Nothing like this has been known in Israel.”

Chapter 20 describes how all the children of Israel came out from Dan to Beersheba and beyond. They asked how the wicked thing happened. The Levite explained how the men wanted to abuse him, but the master of the house sent out the concubine and the men left her for dead. This led to a great battle against the tribe of Benjamin. At first the tribe of Benjamin was winning, but God gave the other tribes victory when the tribe of Benjamin turned and saw their city burning.

The men of Israel grieved for the tribe of Benjamin, because the Lord had made a void in the tribe of Benjamin. They had made an oath at Mizpah saying none of them would take a bride from Benjamin’s tribe. Then they wondered what their brothers would do if they had no wives. They realized no one came to battle from Jabesh Gilead, so they sent valiant men to Jabesh Gilead to kill all men, women, and children. They utterly destroyed every man and every woman who had known a man intimately. They found four hundred virgins and brought them to Shiloh. They needed more, so they remembered there would be a feast of the Lord in Shiloh. When the women went out to dance, every man came out of the vineyards and catch a woman and made her his wife. The children of Benjamin had found wives for themselves and they all went back to their homes.

My thoughts on the story of the concubine: It surprises me that in this story about a young woman who had been terribly abused, she never had a name or said a word. We don’t know why she played the harlot or went back to her father’s home, but I wonder if her master had mistreated her. It appears so, since he decided to speak kindly to get her back. Then he allowed the master of the house to sent her out to be abused by the evil men of the city. They tortured and murdered her with no regret.

I don’t understand why it was worse in the Old Testament when evil people man abused than a woman. It seems it would be worse for a woman since she might become pregnant.

The concubine could not help herself. Her husband refused to protect her. He ignored her plight. The pain for her loss belonged to the Levite, but I saw no regrets, just anger. I don’t see any love lost for this poor woman.

The Israelites treated the people of Jabesh Gilead horribly. The way they caught the women of Shiloh disgusted me.

Even though the situation caused war and great loss of life between brothers, in the end they worked together and grieved for the children of Benjamin. The men worked out their differences, but the women had no say.

“In those days there was no king in Israel: everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”

Please give me your ideas about this story. How are things different for women now?

Does everyone do what’s right in their eyes? Are we any better off as women than the women in this story?

Please keep the conversation going.

A Look at How Deborah in the Old Testament Book of Judges Was Treated by Men

In the last few days my quiet time brought me to the books of Judges and Ruth. Three stories, which I assume are true, made me ponder the the treatment of women in the Old Testament. I will bring the stories to light with my thoughts, which you may or may not agree with. I’m not a Bible scholar. I would love to hear your thoughts as well. I will post Deborah today. Tomorrow the Concubine, and finally Ruth. I hope this will be fun and enlightening. The news about Brett Kavanagh and his accusers gave me the idea, but this is only about the women in the Old Testament history.

Deborah

Judges tells about the men and two women who served the Israelite people in the years before Saul became king. God wanted to be their king, but the people begged for a man, so God gave them what they wanted.

In Chapters 4 and 5, Deborah, a prophetess and wife of Lapidoth, sat under a palm tree between Ramah and Bethel, where the people came to her for judgement. She called for Barak in Kadesh and told him the Lord gave him a charge to go and deploy troops at Mt. Tabar. He needed to take ten thousand men of the sons of Naphtali and Zebulun. God promised He would route Sisera into Barak’s hand. Barak said he would only go if Deborah went with him. She agreed, but she told Barak there would be no glory for him if she went, for the Lord would sell Sisera into the hands of a woman. Barak summoned Zebulon and Kedesh to Naphtali. He went up with 10,000 men, and Deborah.

Heber, the Kenite, of the children of Hobab, Moses’ father-in-law, had a from the Kenites. His tent was near the teberinth tree beside Kedesh. He told Sisera that Barak had gone to Mt. Tabor. So Sisera gathered nine hundred chariots of iron and all the people who were with him. Deborah said to Barak, “Up! for this is the day the Lord has delivered Sisera into your hands.”

The Lord routed Sisera and all his chariots and all his army before Barak, but Sisera left on foot and went to the tent of the Jael, Heber’s wife. “Turn aside, my lord, turn aside to me. Do not fear,” she said. He entered her tent and asked for a drink, so she gave him some milk. He told her to sit at the edge of the tent, and if anyone asked if there was a man there, she should say no. While Sisera rested Jael drove a tent-peg into his temple and he died. When Barak pursued him, Jael showed him where she left him after she killed him, so Barak didn’t get the glory. The Lord gave the two women glory for the death of Sisera, which is rare in Bible times.

My thoughts on the story of Deborah: She was a brave and powerful woman with a tremendous amount of influence on the people and leadership of Israel.

My thoughts on Jael: She was in the right place at the right time, and she wisely used her God-given advantage to help save the Israelites from Sisera.

Both women deserve applaud for their work.

Both women were probably well-respected and treated well.

God guided both women to make decisions that would bless their nation.

I  urge you to read Deborah’s story in Judges 4.

You might also enjoy The Song of Deborah in Judges 5.

Please comment and tell me what you think about Deborah and Jael.

It could lead to some interesting conversations.

Come back tomorrow to find out about another woman in Israel, The Concubine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pastor Andrew Brunson

Pastor Andrew Brunson, now known by many as the Forgotten American in Turkey, is a member of my family. I remember the first time I saw him as a tiny baby. At that time I was still in high school. I never expected to marry his uncle. His parents were on their way to the mission field and stopped to see the family and share what they would be doing. Andrew became the first of seven children. His parents came home about once a year to see the family and drum up support. In that respect I watched him grow up. He loved to ask questions about biblical things.

With the hustle and bustle of friends and relatives when they were home, I didn’t have opportunity to get to know him well then. As time went on, his grandparents died and his family stayed at my house when they came. He still liked to discuss the Bible and ask us questions about the new pastor at our church.

We saw the family in late summer after the coup. Looking back, everyone that came to be with them that summer wanted to say “Come back home,” but none did. I doubt Andrew and Norine would have left Turkey at that time. They were sold out to the people there and to sharing Jesus with them. Whatever you, the reader, believes about Christianity, please know Andrew never went to Turkey to destroy it. He went to make a positive difference. Ironically, he made a difference, but not the way he expected. If you are a Christian, please pray for Andrew and his family. If not, be aware that Andrew would never get involved in a terrorist organization. His one and only goal is to share Jesus with those who want to hear.