The Church of Jerusalem and the Christian Nation Preaching the word of God.

Evensong, Psalm and Prayer.

By Senior Pastor Don Roy Hemingway.

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Pastor Don Roy. Gooooooooooooooooooooood Evening brethren, peace unto you and the grace of our lord Jesus be with you. May the Almighty God of hosts stay ever with you this evening and thank you, for joining us here at ‘The Church of Jerusalem and the Christian Nation’ for worship and praise. Let us begin as is our tradition every day here at the Nation, by reading from the word of God. Amen……

Evening Psalm.

Psalm 92. 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)

It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto Thy name, O Most High,

to show forth Thy lovingkindness in the morning, and Thy faithfulness every night,

upon an instrument of ten strings and upon the psaltery, upon the harp with a solemn sound.

For Thou, Lord, hast made me glad through Thy work; I will triumph in the works of Thy hands.

Lord, how great are Thy works! And Thy thoughts are very deep.

A brutish man knoweth not, neither doth a fool understand this:

when the wicked spring up as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish, it is that they shall be destroyed for ever;

but Thou, Lord, art Most High for evermore.

For lo, Thine enemies, O Lord, for lo, Thine enemies shall perish; all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered.

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10 But my horn shalt Thou exalt like the horn of a unicorn; I shall be anointed with fresh oil.

11 Mine eye also shall see what I desire on mine enemies, and mine ears shall hear what I desire upon the wicked that rise up against me.

12 The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree; he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.

13 Those that are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.

14 They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing to show

15 that the Lord is upright. He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.

Evening Prayer.

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O merciful God and Heavenly Father, all rule and authority in the kingdoms of the world
comes from you, and you hold in your hand all the might of humanity. You have instituted the governing authorities that exist for the punishment of those who do wrong
and for the approval of those who do good. Look on your servants, the President of the United States, the governor of this state, our judges and officials, and all the rulers of the earth. May all who have authority work as your servants and use their authority
according to your will and command. Enlighten and defend them by your name, O God.
Give them wisdom and understanding, that under their peaceful governing your people may be guarded and directed in righteousness, quietness and unity.
God of our salvation, protect and prolong their lives, that we, with them, may declare the praise of your name; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Blessing.

Have a great day Brothers and Sisters of the CJCN, The Lord bless you and keep you; The Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious unto you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace, now and evermore, Amen.

The Secret of Joy : Psalm 126.

Psalm 126. New International Version (NIV)

Psalm 126.

A song of ascents.

When the Lord restored the fortunes of[a] Zion,
    we were like those who dreamed.[b]
Our mouths were filled with laughter,
    our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
    “The Lord has done great thingsfor them.”
The Lord has done great things for us,
    and we are filled with joy.

Restore our fortunes,[c] Lord,
    like streams in the Negev.
Those who sow with tears
    will reap with songs of joy.
Those who go out weeping,
    carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
    carrying sheaves with them.

Spurgeon was once criticized for putting too much laughter into his sermons. Frivolous. Lacking gravity. His reply to the woman who had button-holed him was classic: “My good lady, if you only knew how much I restrain myself.” This psalm shows us not only that “laughter” (Psalms 126:2) and God go together but also God and “joy” (Psalms 126:2-6). This psalm is written to help you discover the secret of joy.

Mistaken Notions of Joy

When the psalm refers to joy, it does not mean the tendency that some people have, because of their temperament, to be happier than other people. For one reason or another there appear to be people who are more naturally wired to smile, who can wake up in the morning singing a cheery song, and who look at their breakfast cereal and simply clap their hands with delight. You may feel sympathy with the Snoopy T-Shirt that was popular when Charlie Brown was all the rage—“I hate people who sing in the morning”—but then others get up early because they like it. Some people are morning people, some people are evening people, and some people seem to feel happier than others. They are wired that way. However, the joy here is not this matter of temperament.

Nor is this joy about faking it, the sort of pretend joy that plasters a smile on your face while inside you growl. Nor is it imposing joy on others by going up to someone who that moment discovered his best friend had a car accident and telling him to “rejoice in the Lord always,” to which the understandable reply might be, “Let me punch you in the nose and see how much rejoicing you’re doing then.” Nor is it the deep Christian joy that is so deep—soooo deep—that to find it you practically have to set up an oil well. Drilling, drilling, deeper, deeper, deeper. Ah, we have struck oil; there is a smile down there; it was deep Christian joy.

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Living the Dream

No, this joy is not a matter of temperament (your natural predisposition), an experience that must be manufactured for yourself and other people (faking it), or something so deep that it is not really happy (where the smile goes down rather than up). Instead, this joy is a result of being “restored” by God (Psalms 126:1)—not happy because of your genetics but happy because of what God has done for you. This joy is based upon an objective, real, God-given restoration. And those who have this joy are “like those who dream” (Psalms 126:1). The ancient world, when it referred to dreams, did not, first of all, mean a daydream. They meant an actual dream, the sort of dream you have when you are asleep. So when the psalmist says this was like dreaming, he is comparing joy to a very good actual dream. He is saying that this joy is like that. This joy is so good that when you experience it you think, “I am living the dream.” Such is the joy that this psalm is talking about.

So throw away all ideas that joy is found in things apart from God, or that God is the serious, gloomy, despondent, negative, critical sort of religious freak who will smack you over the wrists with a wooden ruler as soon as you step out of line. This psalm, first, describes the dream and then, second, tells you how that dream comes true.

The Dream

First, the dream:

When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
we were like those who dream.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with shouts of joy;
then they said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us;
we are glad. (Psalms 126:1-3)

Zion, as the last chapter explained, stands for the whole story of the people of God that finishes in the heavenly Jerusalem—“When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,” that is, when God brought back God’s people to where they should have been all along. Notice there is a parallel between Psalms 126:1and Psalms 126:4Psalms 126:1 says, “When the Lord restored” or “When God restored.” Verse 4 prays, “Restore our fortunes, O Lord” or “Please God restore.” So the first part of the psalm is the dream, what happened when God restored. The second part of the psalm is how to live the dream, asking God to restore your fortunes.

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Being Restored

“Fortune” here doesn’t mean luck or chance. It is not saying, “I’ve been playing the gaming tables and finally I got lucky.” It is not saying, “I’ve been down on my luck and finally I got my lucky break.” The word “fortune” here mirrors the word “restore,” so “When the Lord restored our fortunes” (Psalms 126:1) means something like “When God restored us to a restoredsituation.” We find the same in the Psalms 126:4, which is parallel: “Restore our fortunes, O Lord,” meaning, “Restore us to this restored situation, O Lord.” This matters because people think they are “living the dream” when they have bought a new vacation home or a whole new wardrobe from Savile Row. Truly such people are missing real joy. Joy is not financially living well or looking good. Joy is about being restored, that is, brought back to who you were designed to be.

Laughter

If joy is being restored, what is being restored like? “We were like those who dream.” What sort of dream? Now the dream is described: “Then our mouth was filled with laughter” (Psalms 126:2). See the laughter clearly in your mind. This laughter is not a little tweak of the lips. This is not a polite living-room chortle. This is not a snigger behind your hand. This is not a mild happy laugh. This is a slap-your-thigh burst-out in laughter, LOL, giggle fit. “Our mouth was filled with laughter”—wide open, yawning chasm, filled with laughter.

Wide-mouthed laughter is how the psalm describes the dream. This is not one of those church-bulletin blooper jokes you can find online. You know, “The epistles are wives of the apostles,” “The fifth commandment is humor thy father and mother,” “Lot’s wife was a pillar of salt by day but a ball of fire by night,” “Noah’s wife was Joan of Ark,” and the rest. This is tears rolling down your face, laughing out loud, together—not just “my own” but God’s people together—engaged in wide-open-mouthed laughter. This joy makes you laugh so hard that there is no room for anything else in your mouth!

Shouts

“And our tongue [was filled] with shouts of joy” (Psalms 126:2). Other versions translate this “songs” (not shouts) of joy, but if it is singing, it is the volume you hear that lifts the roof at a sports stadium. This is the fist-pump shout when you score a touchdown, or hit a home run, or score straight A’s on your tests.

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There is still more to this description of the dream: “Then they said among the nations ‘the Lord has done great things for them’” (Psalms 126:2). When they started laughing out loud, really loud, and shouting songs of joy, then everyone around looked at them and thought, “Whoa something good’s going on there. I want to be a part of that God thing.” The people of God agreed with this verdict: “The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad” (Psalms 126:3).

I do not think there is anyone who, if they truly understand this psalm, would not want the dream it describes. Whatever your temperament (morning person or not), whatever your situation (tough or easy), do you not desire to have a constant joy that is so amazing and so obvious that people all around you say, “I want some of that joy juice he’s on”? The dream is described as God’s restoring his people, which causes laughter, joy, and witness.

The Dream Come True

Second, the dream come true:

Restore our fortunes, O Lord,
like streams in the Negeb!
Those who sow in tears
shall reap with shouts of joy!
He who goes out weeping,
bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
bringing his sheaves with him. (Psalms 126:4-6)

Psalms 126:4-6 develop a model of praying for the dream to come true and a contrast of what it is like when that dream does come true. To begin with, “Restore our fortunes, O Lord” (Psalms 126:4) mirrors the description that runs from Psalms 126:1-3 of fortunes restored. Having described that dream in the first half of the psalm, now in the second half the psalm begins to model the surprising contrast of being restored. Being restored is a contrast “like streams in the Negeb” (Psalms 126:4), Negeb meaning “parched” or “dry,” the southern part of the country. So “like streams in the Negeb” contrasts water with a desert. We find another contrast: “Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him” (Psalms 126:5-6). So tears contrasts with shouts of joy. Psalms 126:4-6, then, model asking God to restore his people. They tell us that God’s restoration contrasts water flowing in a desert and shouting with joy after crying. Let me explain this model and contrast of joy with the mnemonic H-A-P-P-Y.

H—humility. Joy begins with humility. To say, “Restore, O Lord,” requires the humility to admit that you need restoring. Jesus said “Blessed [or happy] are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied” (Matthew 5:3-6). This psalm is saying that restoration begins with having the humility to ask for it.

A – advice. Notice it is “our” (Psalms 126:4), not “my,” fortunes. The psalmist is doing this in community. Let me make a pastoral sidebar here. In my view there is a medical condition called “clinical depression.” I have known people, very godly, holy people, who are clinically depressed. This is not because they are sinning. It is not because they are not praying enough or trying hard enough. It is because there is a medical condition called “clinical depression.” If you have felt sad for a long time, and you talk to someone who cares about you and knows you well and they say, “Well maybe you should go and see someone,” then just do it. You have nothing to lose other than your pride. That is different from being temperamentally slightly melancholic or Eeyore-like. That’s a personality type, a glass-half-empty kind of person. Fine. But if it’s more than that, get some advice.

P – Perspective. There is a perspective going on in this contrast. Negeb, streams flowing in the desert. Tears, leading to joy. So far in these Psalms of Ascent we have been through the dark side of the emotions, asking for help, now we are coming to the bright side of the emotions: joy, happiness, in God. The perspective here is the story line of the Bible. What we are really talking about is the gospel. So this is not merely a contrast of a cathartic effect—weeping then rejoicing. This is saying, “Because of who God is, because of what the gospel is, if you turn to God he will restore you.”

The story of the gospel is that God has come to rescue us in Christ. Part of experiencing true joy is keeping that perspective your perspective. It’s working hard at whatever is noble and true and thinking about such things (see Philippians 4:8). The point of Paul’s words there in Philippians is not just looking at a flower rather than at a depressing piece of news, though that can be wise at times. It is looking at the flower and asking, “What does that tell me about who God is as the creator?” It is asking, when you hear that bit of bad news, “What does that tell me about the fallen world, and how glad does that make me that God is going to make a new heaven and a new earth, and he is redeeming his people through the gospel?” Perspective, perspective. Martyn Lloyd-Jones in his book Spiritual Depression says, “The trouble with Christians is they listen to themselves when they should talk to themselves.”1 Talk to yourself, that is, in the sense of adopting a gospel perspective of what is happening.

P – Prayer. This is a prayer: “Restore our fortunes, O Lord.” Some of us need to slow down to make room for prayer. Let me ask you a direct question: are you having a regular, daily quiet time? I don’t mean with four other people in the room in a Bible study, good as that is; or with your family in devotions, excellent as that is. I mean you on your knees or in your favorite chair, with the Bible open, quiet around, and connecting with God in prayer and saying, “Lord, would you restore me to joy?”

Y – You. I wrote a book called The God Centered Life, so why am I now talking about you?2 I am, because to be truly joyful, you (or “our,” as in the psalm; it is “you” in the plural) need to be restored to who you were designed to be. It is restoration, coming back to the way you were meant to be as designed by God. It is a God-centered you. The gospel enables you to become you as you were meant to be, the new creation. It is to be reconciled to God, to be in Christ and Christ in you, to have your sins removed and his righteousness yours as you are in Christ. This restoration happens as you become a Christian; it happens more and more as you follow Christ.

Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson were out camping. Holmes woke up Watson in the middle of the night and pointed up at the stars. Watson blinked the sleep out of his eyes as Holmes asked what he deduced. Watson said, “Well, astronomically, I deduce there are millions of galaxies and potentially billions of planets. Astrologically, I deduce that Saturn is in Leo. Horologically, I deduce that the time is approximately a quarter past three. Meteorologically, I deduce that we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. What about you, Holmes,” he said, “what do you deduce?” “Watson” said Holmes slowly, “I deduce that someone has stolen our tent.”

Joy is both very complex and very simple. I studied the Puritans at Cambridge University. My teacher was a senior, eminent professor toward the end of his career, a brilliant man. I remember talking to him once about the caricature of Puritans as a dour and despondent lot, the puritanical myth. He said to me, “Whenever you meet a Puritan [he used the present tense meet, for he knew that there are still Puritans today, even if they wear jeans and have tattoos instead of wide brimmed hats and buckled shoes], you meet a happy person.”

We tend to think that being happy is being trite, and the more miserable we are, the more profound we must be. Nothing could be further from the truth. God’s ultimate destiny for us who will believe is not miserable profundity but joyful severity, a thrill that reverberates with the truth that “God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:3-4). For those who will put their trust in God that is their destiny, and it is one filled with joy.

Europe: The Rapid Spread of Dhimmitude.

One of the most troubling aspects of this rapidly spreading dhimmitude, is the de-facto enforcement of Islamic blasphemy laws. Local European authorities have been utilizing “hate speech” laws to prohibit criticism of Islam, even though Islam represents an idea, not a nationality or an ethnicity. The conventional purpose of most hate-speech laws is to protect people from hatred, not ideas.

Pictured: Women wearing Islamic niqab veils stand outside the French Embassy during a demonstration on April 11, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

The British Foreign Office, which has ignored Iranian women’s desperate fight for freedom and stayed shamefully silent during the Iranian people’s recent protests against Iran’s regime, unbelievably handed out free headscarves to its staff. Meanwhile, at least 29 Iranian women were arrested for shedding the hijab, and were likely subjected to rape and other torture, as is common in Iranian prisons. Yet British MPs and Foreign Office employees were perversely celebrating the hijab as some sort of twisted tool of “female empowerment”.

Counter-jihad measures have been obstructed by Western leaders everywhere since immediately after 9/11. President George W. Bush declared that “Islam is peace”. President Obama removed all references to Islam in FBI terror training manuals that Muslims deemed offensive. New York City’s current leadership threatened New Yorkers, immediately after the October terror attack in Manhattan, not to link the terror attack to Islam. UK Prime Minister Theresa May claimed that Islam is a “religion of peace”.

Although Europe is not part of the Muslim world, many European authorities nevertheless seem to feel obliged to submit to Islam in more or less subtle ways. This voluntary submission appears to be unprecedented: Dhimmi, historically speaking, is the Arabic term for the conquered non-Muslim, who agrees to live as a second-rate, “tolerated” citizen, under Islamic rule, submitting to a separate, demeaning set of laws and the demands of his Islamic masters.

In Europe, submitting to the demands of Islam, in the name of “diversity” and “human rights”, has also been happening voluntarily. This submission to Islam is, of course, highly ironic, as the Western concepts of “diversity” and “human rights” do not exist within the foundational texts of Islam. On the contrary, these texts denounce in the strongest – and supremacist – terms those who refuse to submit to the Islamic concept of divinity, Allah, as infidels who must either convert, pay the jizya[“protection”] tax or die.

One of the most troubling aspects of this rapidly spreading dhimmitude, is the de-facto enforcement of Islamic blasphemy laws within European jurisdictions. Local European authorities have been utilizing “hate speech” laws to prohibit criticism of Islam, even though Islam represents an idea – a religion and ideology – not a nationality or an ethnicity. The conventional purpose of most “hate-speech” laws is to protect people from hatred, not ideas. It would therefore appear that European authorities are under no legal obligation to prosecute people for criticizing Islam, especially as Islamic law, Sharia, is not part of European law; yet they do so only too willingly.

The most recent example of this kind of dhimmitude comes from Sweden, where a pensioner has been indicted for calling Islam a ‘fascist’ ideology on Facebook. The legal provision under which he is being charged, (Brottsbalken chapter 16, § 8,1 st), explicitly talks of “incitement” (Swedish: “hets mot folkgrupp“) against groups of people defined by their ‘race, skin color, national or ethnic origin, faith or sexual preference’. However, the provision does not criminalize criticism of religion, ideology or ideas, because Western democracies, back when they were genuine democracies, did not criminalize the free exchange of ideas.

Dhimmitude in Europe is manifested in many other respects, as well. On World Hijab Day a yearly recurring February event founded in 2013 by a Bangladeshi immigrant to the US, Nazma Khan, “to fight discrimination against Muslim women through awareness and education”, several British MPs chose to don the hijab. These included MP Anne McLaughlin and Labour’s former shadow Equalities Minister Dawn Butler and MP Naseem Shah. Furthermore, the British Foreign Office, which appears to ignore Iranian women’s desperate fight for freedom, and which stayed comparatively quiet during the Iranian people’s recent protests against the Iranian regime[1], unbelievably handed out free headscarves to its staff. According to the Evening Standard, an email reportedly sent to staff said:

“Would you like to try on a hijab or learn why Muslim women wear the headscarf? Come along to our walk-in event. Free scarves for all those that choose to wear it for the day or part of the day. Muslim women, along with followers of many other religions, choose to wear the hijab. Many find liberation, respect and security through wearing it. #StrongInHijab. Join us for World Hijab Day.”

Meanwhile, at least 29 Iranian women were arrested for shedding the hijab, and were likely subjected to rape and other torture, as is common in Iranian prisons. Yet British MPs and Foreign Office employees were perversely celebrating the hijab as some sort of twisted tool of “female empowerment”.

The above incident is hardly surprising: Britain is rife with some of the most jarring examples of dhimmitude. Mass rapes of children by Muslim gangs in many British cities, went on for years with the knowledge of the British authorities, who did not stop these crimes for fear of appearing “racist” or “Islamophobic”

The dhimmitude is also apparent in the lengths to which British authorities will go to excuse or explain away customs that are practiced by British Muslim communities. The police commander responsible for tackling honor crimes, female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage, Ivan Balchatchet, recently wrote a letter in which he said that the reason there have not yet been any convictions for FGM (which was criminalized in 1985), despite an estimate that 137,000 women and girls are affected by FGM in England and Wales, is that the crime has “many nuances”. He later apologized for the statement:

“I apologise for this letter… FGM is the appalling abuse of children. It is unacceptable that there have been no successful prosecutions. Working with others, this is something that needs to change.”

Similarly, according to new figures, hundreds of “honor” violence and forced marriage crimes go unpunished in London. Data shows that between 2015 and 2017, police recorded 759 “honor” crimes and 265 forced marriages in London alone — but only 138 people were charged with offenses. Diana Nammi, executive director of the Iranian & Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation, which provides refuge for victims, said

“What makes it so alarming is that figures that we obtained through freedom of information requests show that, at the same time, since the criminalisation of forced marriage in 2014, many more people at risk than ever before are coming forward for help”.

Dhimmitude, however, leads not “only” to child rape, female genital mutilation and “honor” killings, all spreading under the willfully blind eyes of national authorities, but also to the obstruction of counterterrorism efforts. In a recent interview for SVT public television, Peder Hyllengren, a researcher at the Swedish Defense College, said:

“You risk being identified as racist in a way that you have not seen in other European countries. There, this question has been as uncontroversial as the importance of combating Nazism and right wing extremism. But in Sweden it took a long time before it was acceptable to discuss jihadism in the same way that we have been discussing Nazism”.

Hyllengren is being too harsh on Sweden: Counter-jihad measures have been obstructed by Western leaders everywhere since immediately after 9/11, when President George W. Bush declared that “Islam is peace”. President Obama removed all references to Islam in FBI terror training manuals that Muslims deemed offensive. Theresa May claimed that Islam is a “religion of peace”. New York City’s current leadership threatened New Yorkers, immediately after the October terror attack in Manhattan, not to link the terror attack to Islam.

Most recently, the British government’s terror watchdog and independent reviewer of terrorism legislation Max Hill QC, said that it is “fundamentally wrong” to use the phrase “Islamist terrorism” to describe attacks carried out in Britain and elsewhere. According to a report by the Evening Standard, he said that the word terrorism should not be attached “to any of the world religions” and that the term “Daesh-inspired terrorism” should be used instead. Last year, Max Hill opined that some jihadis returning from Syria and Iraq should escape prosecution as they were “naive”.

In Germany, dhimmitude now runs so deep that the minister of family affairs recently suggested that sexual assaults by Muslim migrants could be prevented by inviting more Muslim migrants into the country — the mothers and sisters of the male Muslim migrants already there. This was the German minister’s answer to a question in the Bundestag about what “concrete educational and danger prevention measures” her ministry was planning to “protect and inform women and girls in the long term about the disproportionately increased physical and sexual and life threatening attacks that have taken place since 2015” by migrants. This was the minister’s pathetic answer:

“… On the one hand this concerns the accommodation where the young unaccompanied refugees live. Also of course to the…yes… the macho culture from which they often come… That one does not conceal this and attempts to discuss this there, and of course influence them, this is quite obvious… We have the expert’s report from Professor Pfeiffer here, which gives very precise starting points… we must work with the youth and we also know that family reunification is important… he [the professor] says it is just the same with young men whether they are from here or elsewhere, they are easier to handle when they have their mothers and sisters with them”.

Europe is rife with other recent examples of dhimmitude, exhibited by countless state and commercial actors. There was the removal of a cross by the presiding judge in a German courtroom during the trial of an Afghan charged with threatening another Muslim for converting to Christianity; H&M recalling a range of socks after Muslims complained that the pattern on them resembled the word “Allah” written in Arabic upside down; a French court dropping hate crime charges from the indictment of a Muslim murder suspect, who confessed to killing his 66 year old Jewish neighbor, a woman whom he tortured, before throwing her to her death off her balcony, while shouting “Allahu Akbar”. He had also reportedly called the victim’s daughter “dirty Jewess” two years prior to the murder.

The list goes on. Sheikh Yussuf Qaradawi, the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, who has said that Europe will be conquered not through the sword, but through dawa, probably could not be happier. Europe is leaping to fulfill his request.

 

Pictured: Women wearing Islamic niqab veils stand outside the French Embassy during a demonstration on April 11, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

Judith Bergman is a columnist, lawyer and political analyst.

[1] Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson merely said:

“…there should be meaningful debate about the legitimate and important issues the protesters are raising and we look to the Iranian authorities to permit this… people should be able to have freedom of expression and to demonstrate peacefully within the law… We …call on all concerned to refrain from violence and for international obligations on human rights to be observed”.

The Church of Jerusalem and the Christian Nation Preaching the word of God.

The CJCN Daily Worship.

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By Senior Pastor Don Roy Hemingway.

Pastor Don Roy. Gooooooooooooooooooooood morning brethren, peace unto you and the grace of our lord Jesus be with you. May the Almighty God of hosts stay ever with you this evening and thank you, for joining us here at ‘The Church of Jerusalem and the Christian Nation’ for worship and praise. Let us begin as is our tradition every day here at the Nation, by reading from the word of God. Amen………

Bible Reading.

Matthew 13. 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)

The same day, Jesus went out of the house and sat by the seaside.

And great multitudes were gathered together unto Him, so that He went into a boat and sat, and the whole multitude stood on the shore.

And He spoke many things unto them in parables, saying, “Behold, a sower went forth to sow.

And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the wayside; and the fowls came and devoured them up.

Some fell upon stony places where they had not much earth; and forthwith they sprang up, because they had no deepness of earth.

And when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away.

And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up and choked them.

But others fell into good ground and brought forth fruit, some a hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.

Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.”

10 And the disciples came and said unto Him, “Why speakest Thou unto them in parables?”

11 He answered and said unto them, “Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven, but to them it is not given.

12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance. But whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that which he hath.

13 Therefore speak I to them in parables, because seeing, they see not, and hearing, they hear not, neither do they understand.

14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, which saith, ‘By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive.

15 For this people’s heart has waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.’

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16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see; and your ears, for they hear.

17 For verily I say unto you, that many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them, and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

18 “Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower:

19 When any one heareth the Word of the Kingdom and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he that received seed by the wayside.

20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the Word and at once with joy receiveth it;

21 yet hath he not root in himself, but endureth for a while. For when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the Word, by and by he loses faith.

22 He also that received the seed among the thorns is he that heareth the Word; and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the Word, and he becometh unfruitful.

23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the Word and understandeth it; who also beareth fruit and bringeth forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”

24 Another parable put He forth before them, saying, “The Kingdom of Heaven is likened unto a man who sowed good seed in his field;

25 but while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.

26 But when the blades had sprung up and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.

27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, ‘Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? From whence then hath come the tares?’

28 He said unto them, ‘An enemy hath done this.’ The servants said unto him, ‘Wilt thou then have us go and gather them up?’

29 But he said, ‘Nay, lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.

30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, “Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”

31 Another parable put He forth before them, saying, “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a grain of mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field,

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32 which indeed is the least of all seeds; but when it is grown it is the greatest among herbs and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.”

33 Another parable spoke He unto them: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like unto leaven, which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal till the whole was leavened.”

34 All these things spoke Jesus unto the multitude in parables; and without a parable spoke He not unto them,

35 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, “I will open My mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.”

36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away and went into the house, and His disciples came unto Him, saying, “Explain unto us the parable of the tares of the field.”

37 He answered and said unto them, “He that soweth the good seed is the Son of Man.

38 The field is the world, the good seed are the children of the Kingdom, but the tares are the children of the wicked one.

39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil, the harvest is the end of the world, and the reapers are the angels.

40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire, so shall it be at the end of this world.

41 The Son of Man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His Kingdom all things that offend and them that do iniquity,

42 and shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the Kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

44 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field, which, when a man hath found, he hideth; and for the joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.

45 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls,

46 who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.

47 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like unto a net that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind,

48 which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away.

49 So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth and sever the wicked from among the just,

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50 and shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.”

51 Jesus said unto them, “Have ye understood all these things?” They said unto Him, “Yea, Lord.”

52 Then said He unto them, “Therefore every scribe who is instructed unto the Kingdom of Heaven is like unto a man that is a householder, who bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.”

53 And it came to pass that when Jesus had finished these parables, He departed thence.

54 And when He had come into His own country, He taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished and said, “From whence hath this man this wisdom and these mighty works?

55 Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary and his brethren James and Joseph, and Simon and Judas?

56 And his sisters, are they not all with us? From whence then hath this man all these things?”

57 And they were offended at Him. But Jesus said unto them, “A prophet is not without honor, save in his own country and in his own house.”

58 And He did not many mighty works there, because of their unbelief.

Bible Shorts.

Verse of the Day.

And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, ‘The Lord, the Lord, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.’ Exodus 34:6-7, NIV

Daily Prayer.

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Dear Father in heaven, how great are your goodness and mercy to us all on earth, who are subject to misery and death! May our hearts be strengthened through your goodness and through the saving power of your nature, revealed to us in Jesus Christ, our Redeemer. Protect and bless us this night. May your Spirit help us find your ever-present kindness and mercy. Praised be your name forever! Amen.

The CJCN Daily Lesson.

Matthew 13:45-46

(45) “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, (46) who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.

Like the hidden treasure (Matthew 13:44), the pearl is an object of value. It can be part of a treasure, but there is a difference between “treasure” and “the pearl.” Jesus says in verse 44: “like treasure.” However, notice what He says in verse 46: “one pearl of great price.” The difference is that “treasure” is a collective noun. Treasure is made up of many pieces of gold, silver, coins, articles of fine clothing, art, or gem stones. We can think of it like the treasure of a pirate in a chest buried somewhere in the Caribbean. That is what Jesus intends in the Parable of the Hidden Treasure—many valuable things in a collection. In the Parable of the Pearl of Great Price He considers one particular object of great value, the centerpiece of His treasure.

Emphasizing the oneness under God, Paul writes in Ephesians 4:4-6:

There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all.

Note in particular “one body.” Here Paul stresses the church’s singularity, uniqueness, oneness. Christ has onlyone church. Paul mentions this in Romans 12:5: “So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.” We have unity even though the church is made up of many members. Not only that, its members are interdependent of one another. They rely on one another to do certain things within the body to make the body function as it is designed.

Paul continues the thought in Colossians 3:15: “And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful.” This verse focuses us on being called into one body, and God put us in it to do or be something specifically. In I Corinthians 12:12-14, 27, this is repeated. We are many members but one body, and God put us each in the body to do what He wants us to do.

The “pearl” is the church as a whole, whereas the “treasure” in the preceding parable is the church in its individual members. In the first parable, Christ is assuring us that He has His eye on us for ourselves—that we are immeasurably valuable to Him as individuals. However, in this parable, He switches the focus slightly to assure us that all of us as a body, His Bride, are important. We are the centerpiece of His treasure—the Bride who will marry the Son.

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Ephesians 5:25-27 brings out the “bride” aspect:

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for it, that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, that he might present it to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that it should be holy and without blemish.

This gives an idea of how much value Christ places on the church. It is pretty high praise, a lofty goal, to be considered this way by Him. Once He calls us, He sets out to perfect us, to make us absolutely holy and without blemish, so we can be a fitting spouse for Him.

Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready. And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, “Write: Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.” (Revelation 19:7-9)

What is the lesson? Christ joyfully gave His all for the church as His Bride, and He will prepare it as His adornment, just as a king adorns his clothing and crown with pearls. This should give us encouragement in our battle against Satan. We have so much going for us, not only as individual sons and daughters of God, but because we have been called right now as part of His Bride. If we keep up the good work, if we allow God to work in us and remove all our blemishes, what a glorious future we have!

Blessing.

Have a great day Brothers and Sisters of the CJCN, The Lord bless you and keep you;

The Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious unto you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you, and give you peace.

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