Today’s Scrip-Bit 15 October 2017 Psalm 37:7a.

Psalm 37:7a.   Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: 

And this God-given Sunday might just be another rainy day in my area, like the past two days were. However friends, that should not stop us from gathering in the Lord’s sanctuary to worship and fellowship in joyful abandon, while His indispensable and indisputable Word strengthens our hearts, minds, bodies and souls, for that’s what the Lord desires of us. 

And just tonight I read this interesting quote in an article titled ‘Fun Challenged’ in the September Edition of the In Touch Magazine that immortalizes what I’m talking about. The quote is attributed to the theologian Simon Chan, who says: “Christians who do not play together do not worship well together either, since worship is a ‘religious form of play.’ Both at play and at worship the Christian community enjoys its Sabbath rest.” 

Now isn’t that the God-awesome truth friends? Christians should be the happiest and most joyful people on the planet because of what our great God and our wonderful Saviour have done for us! And I believe, both as Christians and as secular people, we have forgotten how to have fun, to laugh and be merry and carefree, which are all healthy aspects of a well-lived life. We’re taking our messed up, strife-filled world too seriously. 

Remember Jesus has already been victorious over hell, death and the grave and we have every reason to rejoice. So, on this the Lord’s Day, let’s lighten up and sing this wonderful old hymn ‘The Church’s One Foundation,’ with lyrics by Samuel John Stone (1839-1900) and music by Samuel Sebastian Wesley (1810-1876). Let’s raise our voices to heaven in sacrificial praise and sweet harmony, so that there can be absolutely no doubt of our sincere and everlasting allegiance to Jesus. 

‘The Church’s one foundation Is Jesus Christ her Lord; She is His new creation By water and the Word: From heav’n He came and sought her To be His holy Bride; With His own blood He bought her, And for her life He died. Elect from every nation, Yet one o’er all the earth, Her charter of salvation, One Lord, one faith, one birth; One holy Name she blesses, Partakes one holy food, And to one hope she presses, With every grace endued. 

’Mid toil and tribulation, And tumult of her war, She waits the consummation Of peace for evermore; Till, with the vision glorious, Her longing eyes are blest, And the great Church victorious Shall be the Church at rest. Yet she on earth hath union With God the Three in One, And mystic sweet communion With those whose rest is won: O happy ones and holy! Lord, give us grace that we, Like them, the meek and lowly, In love may dwell with Thee.’ 

Ah mih people, what a joy it is to sing praises to our High Priest and heavenly Advocate Jesus Christ, for He has been so wonderful to us, when He did not have to! Now let’s hear some choice tidbits from His Word based on our Bit: ‘Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him:’ Yes my fellow believers, those are absolute words of wisdom! And all the great men and women of faith practiced it and some even wrote about it. 

Listen first to Jesus when He described the signs of the end times to His disciples. ‘And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake. But not a hair of your head shall perish. In your patience possess ye your souls.’ (Luke 21:19) As followers of Christ we just have to be trusting and patient and persevering, because that’s what His discipleship calls for. 

Now hear Bruh Paul in his treatise to the Romans, concerning ‘Life in the Spirit.’ ‘For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for (it)? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience (perseverance) wait (eagerly) for it.’ (Rom.8:24-25) Yeh friends, true faith in Jesus is all about hoping, waiting and persevering to the very end! 

And nobody says this better than the author of Hebrews. ‘Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience (endurance), that after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.’ (Heb.10:35-36)  And there’s no better example of waiting on God than the patriarch Abraham. After the Lord promised to bless and multiply him, he waited for 25 years for Isaac, the promise to show up. The author of Hebrews tells us: ‘And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.’ (Heb.6:15) 

And we’ll close with these words of Bruh Paul as he talks to the church at Rome about ‘Unity in Christ.’ ‘For whatsoever things were written aforetime (beforehand) were written for our learning, that we through patience (perseverance) and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Now the God of patience and consolation (comfort) grant you to be like-minded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (Rom.15:4-6) 

Oh friends, that is exactly my prayer for us today; that we come together in fellowship and worship, and enthusiastically and sincerely glorify and exalt our heavenly Father, for He richly deserves our reverence and exaltation! Much LOVE!

…waiting patiently…and eagerly on God…is wisdom of…and for the ages…

 

 

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 22 September 2017 Luke 12:32.

Luke 12:32.   Fear not little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. 

And another one bites the dust…well possibly two! Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic have recently felt the wicked lash of hurricane Maria, and who knows where it’s going to land next. Meanwhile, they are still trying to come to terms with the earthquake in Mexico City… 

Ah mih people, these are certainly rough and tough, but also interesting times in the annals of mankind. How will we end up, what will our society look like after the devastation eh? 

Will it be more of the same evil, godlessness, or will a wiser, repentant and godlier society rise from the ashes of our calamity? Only God knows. And only time will tell. For all our sakes though, let’s hope our future is based sincerely on the latter option. 

But with all that misfortune going on, it still doesn’t stop the workingman from declaring his Friday anthem: ’TGIF! Thank God it’s Friday and the weekend is finally here! Regardless of what’s happening in the rest of the world, we going to party hearty…eat, drink and be merry! 

For who knows, tomorrow, or even today we shall die! So bring on the good times, especially in this extra summer weather we getting here! Let the waters flow…the food pile up…and the music blast out! Thank God is Friday and we done work for another week!’ 

Oh friends, that is exactly the kind of attitude we’re trying to counteract. There’s nothing wrong with celebrating the end of the workweek, but the limits to which we go is another story. The workingman’s definitely goes overboard. A more sober and constructive one would be like our Friday Chant. 

So let’s chant it with nuff enthusiasm nuh! ‘Oh Lord, thanks for getting me safely through another week of work! It hasn’t been easy, but with your generous help, I made it through. 

Now, please help me to get sufficient fun, fellowship, rest and relaxation in these two short days off, so that I can be renewed and refreshed in soul, body and mind, to go back out and do it all over again next week, furthering your glorious kingdom with each step I take. I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.’ 

Yeh mih breddren, to many of the young folks that might sound too retro for them, but it’s the kind of thing that the Lord desires; we enjoy His blessings, but keep our feet on an even keel so the enemy doesn’t get any leeway into our lives. 

And quite rightly, though we are all concerned about what’s happening worldwide, and also close to home, if we are living with and for Jesus then we should not be disturbed or blatantly afraid. 

For as He said, if we seek God’s kingdom as our priority, the Lord will satisfy all our needs. And as a lagniappe, or extra encouragement, Jesus tells us in our Bit: ‘Fear not little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.’  

And if Jesus says it’s so, then it’s obviously so, for He has no reason whatsoever to lie or lead us astray. However, our natural sinful nature encourages fear much more than faith, so today we’re just going to concentrate on a few passages from God’s word on the subjects of fear and faith, beginning with this famous verse from Deuteronomy. 

‘Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee nor forsake thee.’ (Deut.31:6) Oh my faithful followers of Jesus, our God can’t say it in any plainer language than that. 

But in Isaiah, He unfailingly repeats the promise, the invitation to partner with Him. ‘Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.’ (Is.41:10) 

And friends, if we truly believe the Lord of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the Creator and controller of the universe, then we should not have any problems believing His word. But my favourite verses on fear and faith come from God’s command to Joshua, when He made him leader of the Israelites after Moses’ death. 

‘This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shall meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. 

Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.’ (Josh.1:8-9) 

And if that doesn’t grab you right in your heart my people, then I don’t know what will. But we’ll end with these uplifting words from Ethan, the Ezrahite from Psalm 89 – God’s sure promises to David. 

‘Blessed is the people that know the joyful sound: they shall walk, O Lord, in the light of thy countenance. In thy name shall they rejoice all the day: and in thy righteousness shall they be exalted. For thou art the glory of their strength: and in thy favour our horn (strength) shall be exalted. For the Lord is our defense; and the Holy One of Israel is our king.’ (Ps.89:15-18) 

That’s for certain sure my fellow believers in Christ. Now let’s stand strong as soldiers of Christ, and fight the good fight of faith, as He desires of us nuh! Much LOVE!

…one can only stand strong…if one is bolstered by faith…and not debilitated by fear…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 August 2017 Psalm 23:1.

Psalm 23:1.   The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want (lack anything).

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea culpa! Yeh friends, it was just one of those days, after running around in the hot sun yesterday afternoon, the old body just cried out for rest and simply refused to get up this morning before it felt sufficiently rested. (smile) 

And yesterday was probably the hottest day yet for this summer. Old July went out with a heat wave, and August seems to want to come in the same way, because it’s also supposed to be fairly hot today. 

And I have to go out and do some more stuff out there today too. But I have no doubt that with the Lord’s invaluable help, it will all turn out fine. 

Now here is something from our One Year Book of Bible Promises, with writings by Ruth Harms Calkin that ought to lift us all up this morning, give us comfort and assurance to face the day’s problems. It’s titled ‘The Promise.’ 

Let’s pray together: ‘O dear God, I continue to believe Your personal promise still stands Though every quivering question within Shouts that it will be broken. I am claiming Your help through the wilderness Despite every frightening shadow and vale. Often You do the most When you seem to do the least. 

Sometimes secretly Sometimes quietly Often slowly But always most certainly You are true to Your word. And so, my Lord Though I am weak, weary, and worn help me not to despair. You see me, You hear me. You know I am depending utterly Upon Your unblemished integrity Surely You will keep Your word.’ 

And that’s an indisputable fact my fellow believers in Christ! The Lord God Jehovah, creator of the universe and all therein WILL keep His Word for He is a Deity of the utmost integrity!  And that’s exactly why we can place our utmost trust in Him and feel safe and assured! Glory to God my brethren! 

Yeh friends, that’s the whole purpose of having a God; someone to look up to, especially in tough times, someone who CAN, and also WILL hear our cries for help and answer them in the affirmative. 

And the awesome, omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is the ONLY One of the many gods being worshipped today, who is actually capable of doing that! For He is the ONLY LIVING GOD! 

All others are merely dead and lifeless idols, creations of man’s mind, or the creation of the One and Only True God Jehovah. So how can you worship something that is dead, or was created by someone else and has absolutely no power to do anything under its own will or power eh? It just doesn’t make sense. Hope what I’m saying makes sense though? (smile) 

And the Bible Verse that substantiates that Promise is none other than one of our most famous Bible Verses; the true and wonderful words of Bruh David: ‘The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want (lack anything).’ 

What marvellous words of assurance eh mih people! No other faith can proclaim such a statement and have it be the truth…but we can! All power and glory to our great God! 

And Bruh David lays it out, all nice and simple and straightforward. ‘He maketh me to lie down in green pastures (pastures of tender green grass): he leadeth me beside the still waters (waters of rest): He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.’ (Ps.23:2-3)  

Oh my faithful brethren, doesn’t that just resonate powerfully and peacefully through your hearts, bodies and souls? It certainly does through mine, and has me longing for the green pastures and peaceful waters of sweet Tobago, which I haven’t experienced for almost two years. 

And can’t you just imagine Bruh David penning those heartwarming words as he sat below some shade tree, on a beautiful summer’s day, beside a quiet stream, watching his sheep graze on the lush and plentiful green grass around him? 

It was just the perfect metaphor to describe his God; the eternal and merciful One who found healthy forage for his sheep and protected him from the wild animals and natural disasters that constantly came against them. 

That’s why they have become such a standard, such foundational truth in our faith! The only prayer possibly known better than that is the ‘Lord’s Prayer,’ or ‘Our Father.’ 

And Bruh David didn’t stop there, he went on to elaborate even further on the rich and blessed assurances of his awesome God. ‘Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and staff they comfort me. 

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy (LOVING-kindness) shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.’ (Ps.23:4-6) 

And all God’s people shouted ‘Amen and Amen!’ Yeh friends, it couldn’t get any better than that! 

As the scholars explain: ‘Psalm 23: The psalm has been a favourite of God’s people through the ages and with due reason: it expresses as simply and clearly as any the role of God as our protector and provider in life. 

The charm of the psalm rests on two figures of speech: the Lord is compared to a shepherd and the believer to his sheep (vs.1-4); then the Lord is likened to a host with the believer as the guest (vs.5-6).’  

So my people, with all of that bubbling and reverberating in our hearts, spirits and souls, let’s go home now sincerely declaring our Tuesday Mantra. 

‘I’m not what I do. I’m not what I have. I’m not what people say about me. I am the beloved of God, that’s who I am. No one can take that from me. I don’t have to worry. I don’t have to hurry. I can trust my friend Jesus and share His LOVE with the world.  Amen!’ 

Now, the next move is for us to put it all into action! Much LOVE!

…with God as our shepherd comes…’an honoured position…abundant provision…vindication before one’s enemies…eternal celebration of God’s goodness…’  

P.S. Yes, I know it’s long and late, but it’s still beautiful, even if I say so myself. (smile)

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 28 July 2016 Deuteronomy 31:6

Deuteronomy 31:6.    Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee nor forsake thee.

Awright mih breddren, another bright and beautiful day is upon us! So let’s be thankful for life, for health, wealth and strength by declaring as the psalmist did: ‘This is the day which the Lord hath made, we WILL rejoice and be glad in it.’ (Ps.118:24) 

Yes friends, we need to rejoice and enjoy God’s goodness and blessings, because that’s why He bestows them on us. But unfortunately, sometimes our faith is at low ebb, and thus we have doubts and queries like found in this poem from our One Year Book of Bible Promises with writings from Ruth Harms Calking. 

Listen to it. It’s called ‘The Promise.’ ‘O dear God, I continue to believe Your personal promise still stands Though every quivering emotion within Shouts that it will be broken. I am claiming Your help through the wilderness Despite every frightening shadow and vale. 

Often you do the most When you seem to do the least. Sometimes secretly Sometimes quietly Often slowly But always most certainly You are true to Your word. 

And so, my Lord Though I am weak, weary, and worn Help me not to despair. You see me, You hear me. You know I am depending utterly Upon Your unblemished integrity Surely You will keep Your word.’ 

Yes my people, the Lord WILL keep His word! There’s absolutely no doubt about that! So when we go through those rough patches, we need to remember that our God is ALWAYS faithful to His promises and we can utterly rely on Him to fulfill them! 

And the scripture verse attached to that poem is one we all know, rely on and LOVE! I’m talking about those magnificent and encouraging words of Bruh David: ‘The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want (lack). He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters (waters of rest): He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.’ (Ps.23:1-3) 

Oh my fellow believers how tender, moving and reassuring are those sentiments eh! Millions of us turn to that psalm for comfort in times of stress and strain. But here’s another powerful, reassuring and mountain moving promise of our great God that we can also hold on to. 

It features the words of Moses found in our Bit. ‘Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee nor forsake thee.’ 

Ah precious people of God, what more can we ask of our God eh? Nothing really, for it’s all found in those words! And the promise is so pervasive, it’s found in several parts of the Old Testament. Let’s check out a couple of them, beginning with when Moses was laying out God’s laws concerning wars to the Israelites. 

‘When thou goest out to battle against thine enemies and seest horses and chariots, and a people more than thou, be not afraid of them: for the Lord thy God is with thee, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt. And it shall be, when ye are come nigh unto the battle, that the priest shall approach and speak unto the people, And shall say unto them, 

Hear, O Israel, ye approach this day unto battle against your enemies: let not your hearts faint, fear not, and do not tremble, neither be terrified because of them; for the Lord your God is he that goeth before with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.’ (Deut.20:1-4) 

Yes friends, in times of war, our wonderful God will surely fight for His people! Now listen to Bruh David as He counsels Cousin Sol re being strong in times of peace. 

‘Now, my son, the Lord be with thee; and prosper thou, and build the house of the Lord thy God, as he hath said of thee. Only the Lord give thee wisdom and understanding, and give thee charge concerning Israel, that thou mayest keep the law of the Lord thy God. 

Then shalt thou prosper, if thou takest heed to fulfill the statutes and judgements which the Lord charged (commanded) Moses with concerning Israel: be strong, and of good courage; dread not, nor be dismayed.’ (1 Chr.22:11-13) 

Oh my fellow believers, a parent couldn’t give their child any better advice, because it’s in keeping the Lord’s commandments that one prospers! 

And no, I did not forget, I was just keeping the best for last. (smile) It’s Thursday, so let’s go home with a powerful, sincere and overwhelming declaration of our Thursday Blessings nuh. 

As one now: ‘I declare that I am blessed with God’s supernatural wisdom and receive clear direction for my life! I declare today that I am blessed with creativity, courage, talent and abundance! I am blessed with a strong will, self-control and self-discipline! I am blessed with a great family, good friends, good health, faith, favour and fulfillment! 

I am blessed with success, supernatural strength, promotion and divine protection! I am blessed with a compassionate heart and a positive outlook on life! I declare that any curse or negative word that’s ever been spoken over me is broken right now in the name of Jesus! I declare that everything I put my hands to will prosper and succeed! I declare it today and everyday! Amen!’ 

Remember friends, a blessing is not a blessing until its been declared! Much LOVE!

…one can utterly rely on the promises of God…for they are never broken…

 

 

 

 

Today’s Scrip-Bit 18 May 2016 Joel 2:28.‏‏

Joel 2:28.   And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.

Oh my, my, friends, another glorious day is in the offing, and we’re alive to tell the tale! Mama Mia! 

How blessed we are, that our great God chose us to see another day of earthly pilgrimage! Give Him plenty thanks and praise for His goodness and LOVING-kindness to us nuh, for He certainly deserves it. 

I don’t know about you all, but I certainly look forward to each new day, that I know will be brim full of wonderful mercies, blessings and oodles of unimaginable opportunities to LOVE others, to do good, and to be obedient to His holy will. Glory to God! 

Ohhh, what a magnificent God we serve and worship my people! 

And since today is Wednesday, let’s wail our grateful and sincere Wednesday Wail. As one wailer now (smile): ‘Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: I’m so glad to be alive on this Wednesday! Wednesday, Wednesday, Wednesday: Thank God the breath of life is still flowing through me on this Wednesday! 

I am halfway home. My hands are fixed securely on the plough, and I’m not turning back. I’m not looking back at the past, not focusing on what has gone before. But my eyes are fixed straight ahead; straight ahead to a glorious future with Jesus. Glory Hallelujah!’ 

And as fine, upstanding Christians, that is exactly what we are expected to do my brethren; be glad to be alive, have our hands strong and steadfast on the plough, looking straight ahead to the glorious future that’s promised with Christ! 

And what a future that is going to be my fellow believers! I don’t think we can really imagine or contemplate it nuh with our small, finite minds. But believe me, it’s going to be extraordinary, just like everything with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is extraordinary! 

All praise and glory be to our wonderful Redeemer! 

Now let’s continue with our Bit, which was prophesied by the prophet Joel long before that momentous day of Pentecost. ‘And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.’ 

And with the universal launching of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost Day, that aspect of Joel’s prophecy was fulfilled. And we’ll also continue looking at Simon Peter’s great sermon on that fateful day of Pentecost. We stopped yesterday where he had explained to his listeners about the crucifixion, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. 

And after that, the Good Book declares thus: ‘Now when they had heard this, they were pricked in (cut to) their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren what shall we do? 

Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission (forgiveness) of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord shall call. 

And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward (crooked) generation.’ (Acts 2:37-40) 

Wow mih people! Peter certainly had the Holy Spirit moving and a grooving in him that day! 

And oh so many of us today deserve to hear that sermon, because too many of us have been separated from God, and will be left on the outside looking in when the day of judgement is fulfilled, unless we repent and accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. 

And as I keep reminding us, the worse thing that can ever happen to a human being is to be eternally separated from Almighty God when the roll is called up yonder! 

Now some of us might wonder what happened on that Day of Pentecost after Peter gave his great speech. Listen to the Good Book tell it: ‘Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added about three thousand souls. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.’ (Acts 2:41-42) 

Ah friends, what a feast of souls was laid out before God that day! 

Hn! Just wish nowadays that we can get three hundred, or even thirty, or some days even three. But getting people to turn to God in these sad times, when they truly need Hi most, is becoming more difficult every day because of the enemy’s stranglehold on the world, and our less than satisfactory behaviour as true Christians. 

Now here is some info from the scholars re the Apostles’ doctrine. ‘2:42. The word doctrine derives from the Latin term for teaching and refers to the content that was taught in the New Testament. The proper teaching of Scripture was called “the apostles’ doctrine,” meaning that which the apostles’ taught. 

This contrasted with erroneous teaching called “doctrines of devils” (1 Tim.4:1), meaning that teaching whose source is not God but the messengers of Satan, whose desire is to substitute false religion for Christianity (2 Cor.11:13-15). 

Illustration: The apostles’ doctrine was true, not because an apostle taught it, but because it was consistent with the Scriptures. The Bereans examined the teaching of Paul in light of the Scriptures before accepting it (17:11). Also, the church at Ephesus examined some who called themselves apostles and found them liars (Rev.2:2). 

Application: A Christian should attempt to understand and believe true doctrine, while rejecting all that disagrees with the Word of God (1 John 4:1). (First Ref. Acts 2:42: cf. Titus 3:10).’ 

Now friends, those are very important distinctions, that’s why I am always admonishing us to read the scriptures for ourselves, because that’s the only way we can know if what is being preached or taught to us is truly God’s Word. 

So please, please try and read even a little of the Word each and every day, so that your knowledge of it can be steadily improved and you will better know how to pick sense from nonsense. (smile) 

So until tomorrow, God in favour, let’s get with the Word nuh friends. And may the Good Lord bless and keep us and help us to walk safely and kindly on this our earthly pilgrimage! Much LOVE!

…if you’re not aware of what the Word says…then you’ll fall for any and every thing…