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An early fantasy I used to have…

Posted by on Jul 24, 2020 in Gifts of the Spirit | Comments Off on An early fantasy I used to have…

…and those members of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable, whereas our more presentable members have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked, so that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it…  1 Corinthians 12:23-26

My Bible reading led me to 1 Corinthians 12 today. I was all set to think about gifts of the Spirit and how they operate in a church, but what really caught my attention was what was said in verses 23-26.

I asked myself, “How well do we honor those members among us whom we may deem less honorable? How do we approach those whom we think are less presentable? Are we being scriptural in our dealings with members who lack the elegance of our more appealing members? Are we ignoring and shunning them or are we taking them under our wings, listening to them, and lovingly discipling them?”

Tough questions. But we are entering a new time in the church. Whoever I listen to online these days, the call for the re-establishment of the gifts of the Holy Spirit in our churches is clear. The Holy Ghost must be free to flow, the voices are all saying. I agree.

But I found it interesting that Paul, the writer of the letters to the Corinthians, included—and did not exclude—the less honorable, the less presentable, and those who lacked (in my opinion, social graces) in his admonition concerning the gifts of the Holy Spirit. In fact, I LOVE that he included these precious, awkward souls in his teaching!

This thought came to me: Is it because the churches—generally—have been somewhat embarrassed and put off by such souls in their midst that the Holy Spirit has actually been hindered in His full, powerful, life-giving and life-affirming operation and manifestation?

Then I remembered a fantasy I used to play frequently in my mind when I moved back to St. Louis after my first year of teaching. I was a whopping four years old in Christ, gobbling up the Word of God, and full of the zeal of the Lord.

I would see people wherever I went—to the gas station, McDonald’s, the store, in the neighborhood—and I would fasten my eyes on a random individual. Whoever that was, black or white, old or young, male or female, big or small, dirty or clean, wealthy or poor—I would imagine them behind a pulpit, preaching a fiery sermon, and praying for the sick and oppressed while signs and wonders followed. This fantasy made me incredibly happy.

The Lord told me as memory took me back to my old fantasy, “That fantasy used to make Me very happy, too.”

As we the church transition into the restoration of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, we must be sure to make every correction Paul prescribed to re-establish not only the gifts of 1 Corinthians 12, but also the very heart of that message as well. Otherwise, we will merely be noisy gongs or clanging cymbals.

Dorothy

© 2020, Dorothy Frick

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The power of Your anger

Posted by on Jul 3, 2020 in Prayer Perspective | Comments Off on The power of Your anger

Some of you may remember my series at the beginning of the year on Vision. The Lord downloaded six principles that He wanted me to hold dear this year.

Today as I was praying concerning these, I decided to reacquaint myself with the accompanying Scriptures.

The very first principle I received for the year of clear vision was to fear God.

Who understands the power of Your anger and Your fury, according to the fear that is due You? Psalm 90:11

Right away, I was transfixed as I absorbed that first statement: Who understands the power of Your anger?

As I prayed and mulled it over in my mind, I thought of recent scenes of anger in the news. An officer kneeling on a defenseless man’s neck, depriving him of oxygen…of life. The ensuing anger and rage, destroying properties and burning cities. I thought of the targeted rage of man against man and of multitudes intent on destroying an individual. I imagined myself as the focus of such targeted rage; then I heard this in my spirit: That rage is nothing compared to Mine when once it is released.

The God I serve is Love (see 1 John 4:16), and yet, He who made Man and Woman in His own image feels—and He feels deeply—just like us.

When we see a wrong, it angers us. God made us that way because He is that way.

I read it again, in a different translation. Who knows the power of Your anger? Then it hit me: No one alive—north or south, east or west, left or right—KNOWS the power of our God’s anger. None of us have experienced it—if we had, we would no longer be here.

And because we have never experienced the full range of God’s anger—and because we know from Scripture that He is Love—we suppose He is devoid of anger.

He is not.

Who understands the power of Your anger and Your fury, according to the fear that is due You?

He is patient with us; He is kind toward us. He loved us so much and longed for intimate friendship with us, His creation, so greatly that He sent His Son to allow our sins to be heaped upon Him and, as a result, He took on the full wrath of God that we deserved. Once the full measure of that punishment was spent, in accordance with God’s plan, He raised Jesus from death to be our forever Advocate before God as a reminder—I paid for their sins in full.

So why fear Him if everything is already covered? It has to do with the very reason Jesus came here in the first place—to restore relationship between God and His creatures.

I know many of you are bothered by that word “fear” in relation to a loving God. Well, imagine with me for a moment my favorite animal on earth—a cat.

Let’s say a large cat—a Lion—came to live with you. This Lion loved humans—and not necessarily to eat! This Lion enjoyed companionship with humans and chose to live with you, to love you, and to be loved by you.

Imagine burrowing your face into His [hypoallergenic] golden fur, walking with him down your street with your hand on his back, unafraid of a soul due to his magnificent strength and presence.

You would learn how to care for him and what made him happy. Just as quickly, you would want to know what made him mad. In your love and desire to continue to live with your Lion in harmony, you would refrain from everything that would arouse his displeasure. Why? Because fellowship with this Lion would be too rich, too amazing, and too precious to recklessly neglect, discard, or jeopardize.

In other words, you would both love and fear your Lion. You would love him because of his great love and gentleness toward you; you would fear him because you understood that in his love for you, he restrained the unmatchable exercise of the full range of his terrifying ability to destroy. And because of his terrifying ability to inflict damage on those who hated him (and by association, you), you felt safe whenever he was near.

So it is with the Living God. He loves you and is gentle toward you. And yet, He is unmatchable in the full range of His terrifying ability to destroy—that devastating power which He has chosen to restrain for now. But because of that power, those of us who have opened our hearts and our homes to Him can feel safe.

I am grateful that I have neither known nor experienced the power of His anger. But not unlike that Lion, He is certainly worthy of all the fear, respect, and reverence that is due Him. The day is coming when His anger toward those who shun Him will no longer be restrained.

Choosing to live in the fear that is due Him,

Dorothy

© 2020, Dorothy Frick

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Declare

Posted by on Jun 17, 2020 in Everyday Observations, Prayer Perspective | Comments Off on Declare

I had a thought today while reading Romans 1:4a. “[Jesus] was DECLARED the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead…”

That word DECLARED stood out to me. I thought that word always had to do with WORDS that are SPOKEN. However, here, it is a NON-VERBAL declaration by the ultimate DEMONSTRATION of GOD’S POWER—raising Jesus from the dead.

That got me to thinking. I SAY things all the time; but what is my LIFE declaring? It is certainly speaking day in and day out.

I will pray that my life, as well as my words, will declare the things God has ordained for me to declare. I am aware that this will take some discipline, self-control, and at times being brutally honest with myself and others. It will take the power of God that is beyond my ability.

But I believe it will be well worth it. 

Dorothy


© 2020, Dorothy Frick

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One way to restrain…

Posted by on Jun 15, 2020 in Prayer Perspective | Comments Off on One way to restrain…

Second Timothy 3 is one of the oft-quoted end times chapters in the Bible. BUT good news! Buried within are these two verses which reveal how to pray in such a time (which I am taking out of order for the purpose of my argument):


Verse 13: “But evil men and impostors will PROCEED from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.” NOTE the word PROCEED. It is the EXACT same Greek word as the word PROGRESS in the next verse (vs. 9a):

“But they will not make further PROGRESS; for their folly will be obvious to all…”

How do we pray in such a demonically-driven, deceptive time?

One way is revealed in 2 Timothy 3:9. Pray boldly that “their folly will be OBVIOUS, OPENLY MANIFESTED to ALL.”

You see, men and women of evil intentions WILL proceed from bad to worse; however, their PROGRESS will remain LIMITED as we pray and act effectively. After all, this is STILL the Age of Grace. We STILL have authority as members of the Body of Christ. We ARE individually members of the RESTRAINING FORCE that is STILL on the earth (2 Thes. 2:6-7).

We must pray and act like it!

Dorothy

© 2020, Dorothy Frick

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The weapons of our warfare

Posted by on Jun 2, 2020 in Ferguson, Prayer Perspective | Comments Off on The weapons of our warfare

[As intercessors, we are engaged in probably the most intense battle we’ve seen in our lifetime. Your stand in this hour is not one of weakness or ineffectiveness, NO. God, in His foresight has equipped you and me with spiritual weapons custom-made for this very hour of warfare. My hope is that this entry, originally posted on August 15, 2014, will help to gird and strengthen you for your portion of this spiritual battle.]

***This was first posted on Day 6 of the conflict in Ferguson after the death of Michael Brown. Although our current events rage even greater than in those days, the principles in the Word of God are eternal and sufficient for every conflict.

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ… 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

Many around the nation have been praying about the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri. I am grateful for every bit of spiritual assistance in the face of all the hurt, anger, and discord in the area—my area.

We stand in the gap before the Lord on behalf of the residents and others involved in this situation. As we stand, we pray, sowing seeds of peace for the purpose of rebuilding the hedge of protection around the community.

But we also stand equipped. God never sends His children into spiritual battle without granting them the appropriate equipment and weaponry.

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh…

If you are alive, you are walking around in a flesh and blood body. But even though you are “packaged” in flesh, you don’t conduct spiritual warfare according to the flesh.

for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh

Bible commentator David Guzik explained this portion of Scripture. He wrote, “The carnal [or fleshly] weapons Paul refuses were not material weapons like swords or spears. The carnal weapons he renounced were the manipulative and deceitful ways his opponents used.” (Guzik’s Bible Commentary can be found at BlueLetterBible.com)

No matter what the concern or conflict may be, you need to lay aside manipulation, backstabbing, slander, deceit, hate, insinuations, power plays, and all the other methods which typically rise up out of a fleshly desire to justify yourself, prop yourself up, save face, or get ahead.

but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.

God does outfit you with equipment and weapons for fighting spiritual battles. In Ephesians 6:11, the apostle Paul urged, “Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil” when struggling against the unseen forces of darkness. The armor He provides not only protects you defensively, but it is also effective offensively against the enemy targeting you or those for whom you pray. However, you must lay aside both the defensive and offensive techniques of the flesh and take up God’s equipment if you are serious about effectual gap-standing.

According to Ephesians 6, God provides six specific pieces of equipment to any believer seeking to stand against the enemy—the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of the gospel, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit. Guzik observes, “Our spiritual weapons are scorned by the world, but feared by demonic powers”. The man or woman who launches into prayer covered by the truth and righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, the preparation of the gospel of peace, steadfast faith, the helmet of salvation, and the Word of God can be confident in the face of any scheme of the evil one.

We are destroying speculations

While praying for volatile situations such as in Ferguson [or in 2020, throughout the nation], you may not be able to distinguish between speculation and fact. But your part is to remain in the gap and pray. As you do, speculations will be brought down and truth will be made known. Pray that the authorized fact-finders will receive divine direction, grace, and wisdom as they do their jobs. Cover them—those in law enforcement and government and the journalists reporting on unfolding events—so that speculative and incorrect information will be squelched, enabling truth to prevail and healing to begin.

…and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God…

One prayer focus of mine is to address the “lofty things raised up against the knowledge of God” stirring around in Ferguson. People from outside of the community have arrived to take advantage of the chaos and to push their own agendas [as has occurred in 2020 across the nation, drowning the message of those protestors who sincerely cry out for reformed and humane policing]. As I pray, I remind myself that despite what I see or hear, the weapons I’m wielding in the gap are divinely powerful to bring those lofty things down. The forces of darkness—manipulating men like pawns—are not more powerful than the living God—and as you and I pray, their demonic effectiveness is being diminished. However, more often than not, it takes persistence and the long-haul in prayer to see the restoration of territory which the devil has ravaged. That’s why Paul wrote, “…and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm” (see Ephesians 6:13-14).

If things you’re hearing or seeing in a local, national, or international situation don’t line up with the knowledge of God, you are equipped with spiritual weaponry to address them in prayer and render them ineffective. But again, remember—this is warfare, and it won’t necessarily change overnight. Stand.

…and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ…

Whose thoughts should you take captive to the obedience of Christ as you stand in the gap? Despite the fact that individuals being manipulated by the enemy are unpredictable or volatile, it’s not their thoughts you’re to take captive. As a prayer warrior, that’s not your job—controlling people or their minds. Instead, first you must get control over your own thoughts, lining them up with the Word of God to the obedience of Christ. Saturate yourself in His Word; let it speak to your heart and direct your thoughts as you yield to the Holy Ghost. Then you’ll be ready to take up your authority in the name of Jesus against the realm of demonic forces stirring and agitating chaos, violence, and destruction.

I have barely scratched the surface of the divinely powerful weaponry God has given to you for effective spiritual warfare. My aim in writing this is to whet your appetite, hoping to make you hungry to press in and learn more and more about how to stand in the all the gaps God reveals to you—and to do so effectively.

Dorothy

Now the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep through the blood of the eternal covenant, even Jesus our Lord, equip you in every good thing to do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be the glory forever and ever. Amen. Hebrews 13:20-21

© 2014, Dorothy Frick; revised 2020

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Gaps

Posted by on Jun 1, 2020 in Ferguson, Prayer Perspective | Comments Off on Gaps

[How can YOU, as an intercessor, make a difference regarding the sea of unrest roiling in our nation? Because of our current situation, I have decided to post the series I originally wrote in August, 2014, during the crisis in my neighboring town of Ferguson. It is my hope that this teaching will assist you as you make a difference in prayer for our country. Originally posted August 14, 2014]

And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none. Ezekiel 22:30, KJV; emphasis added

Let’s take a closer look at gaps: What are they, what is your responsibility concerning them, and how do you interact with them?

Gaps—what are they?

A gap is a gaping hole in a hedge—an unprotected opening through which bad things can gain access to a person, a relationship, a family, a church, a community, a people group, or a nation. The original gap was sin—Adam and Eve blasted a gap in the protective “bubble” surrounding the human race by disobeying God. Ever since then, sin has been the common denominator for all gaps, both large and small. And the common denominator for closing the gap blown opened by Adam and Eve—and every subsequent gap—is Jesus Christ.

Gaps exist wherever there are people. They happen because the devil wants access to lives—saved and unsaved alike. Conflicts between husbands and wives, if not dealt with appropriately, create gaps. Hurts, misunderstandings, miscommunication, and the like can tear open gaps between friends, neighbors, and colleagues. I call these “micro-gaps” due to the limited number of people involved. How do you approach these micro-gaps? Simply, you pray and then you obey; you stand your ground in love before God and you walk by faith—not by feelings or by sight.

Macro-gaps also exist, affecting hundreds, thousands, millions, or billions of souls. Very likely each one of these gaps began as micro-gaps—unresolved conflicts between two parties which eventually became infected by unforgiveness, bitterness, and unrepentant, hardened hearts. “See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled (Hebrews 12:15, emphasis added) In effect, this is how micro-gaps morph into macro-gaps

Here are some of the glaring macro-gaps in today’s world: the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; terrorism; racial conflict; culture war; political polarities; etc. How do these issues qualify as gaps? They are openings through which the devil has gained entrance to create turmoil, confusion, terror, destruction, and the like. They are opportunities for Satan to create a smokescreen, obscuring the gospel. They are openings through which ungodly men and women gain access to positions of influence so as to steer entire cultures away from both godly values and the Lord Himself. Have you noticed any gaps in your world lately?

Gaps—what is your responsibility concerning them?

Because of the immense number of gaps on every hand, recognize that you won’t be able to cover everything you see. But as certain issues pop up on your “radar”—especially repeatedly—you can be certain that those are gaps in which you are to stand in prayer. Trust God to direct you to those specific people and issues about which to pray. Then believe that He will lead you as you pray.

Due to the avalanche of issues out there, I frequently ask God to orchestrate the prayers of believers all over the nation and around the world, divvying up all the various situations, people, and crises, depositing them separately into all the different hearts so that every gap gets plugged and every broken hedge gets addressed. A great company of men, women, boys, and girls are called by the name of Christ; if each one of us prays our part, then much will be accomplished.

You may ask, How much time should I pray about an issue or a person? You pray about it until it lifts off of you or until it resolves. This doesn’t mean, though, that you do nothing else but pray; you set aside time to pray specifically and you pray as you go about your business. This is one reason I like to pray in the Spirit quietly as I move through my day—I keep my spirit open to input from God, making myself available to pray when He brings something up.

And although you’re responsible to pray and stand in the gaps He assigns to you, you need to stay balanced. If you get “heavied out”, back off for a while. Talk with someone. Sing. Laugh. Have fun. Eat a good meal. Get some sleep. If you wipe yourself out as an intercessor, you diminish your effectiveness. You aren’t God; He is, and He’s the only One who neither slumbers nor sleeps. You will need to give it a break from time to time—and then, just like a soldier who has been on leave—after you have rested, you return once again to the front lines.

Gaps—how do you interact with them?

Once you become aware of a gap, simply ask God how He wants you to pray. If you can, pray in tongues as you think about it. The Holy Spirit will direct you. It may lift off of you quickly; that’s OK. A lot of the time, you will be a “stop-gap” gap-stander. In other words, you may be led to pray about something in passing. Sometimes that’s all the Lord leads you to do; perhaps you’re plugging the gap while some other intercessor takes a break. God has all the angles covered; your part and mine is to be ready and willing to participate however He leads.

In the case of the Ferguson, Missouri, situation, I know that I’m supposed to stand for the dissipation of chaos and the resolution of conflict. It’s my region that’s under attack; I must stand for my people—both black and white. I could shrug it off, denying any responsibility to pray by saying that God is sovereign and His way will prevail, but to do so ignores the fact that He searches for folks to stand in the gap.

So how do you stand in the gap? You pray, both in the Spirit and with the understanding. You pray the Word over the situation. You make time to pray; you pray quietly as you go about your day. When God brings light, you pray what you see; when He speaks to your heart, you pray what you hear. If you get no direction, you trust God and pray for His intervention. If your faith is wavering, you build it by feeding on the Word and praying in the Holy Spirit. And you stand, refusing to believe that the situation is hopeless. And you stand, resisting the temptation to throw in the towel. And you stand; having done everything to stand, you stand.

Know that your Father girds you up as you stand. “Now He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness” (2 Corinthians 9:10). Although this verse speaks of financial seed, know that as you pray for crisis situations by the leading of the Holy Spirit (often far harder on the flesh than giving money), you are sowing precious seeds of life and deliverance. And He—who has given you that seed to sow directly in the gap of the hedge—will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and He will increase the harvest of your righteousness—a tall, robust hedge!

That’s how you stand in the gap.

Dorothy

Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Ephesians 6:13

© 2014, Dorothy Frick; revised 2020

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Gap-standing

Posted by on May 31, 2020 in Ferguson, Prayer Perspective | 2 comments

In mid-August of 2014, I wrote a series of blog entries focused on praying for Ferguson, Missouri, and seeking God to turn the tide of chaos hitting this region. I believe that now is the time to revisit that series.

My goal is that you will be inspired and encouraged to “pray your part” and that you will recognize that your prayers will indeed make a difference—even in our current situation.

[Originally posted on August 13, 2014.]

“And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none.” Ezekiel 22:30, KJV

The recent turmoil in Ferguson, Missouri, has hit national and international news. And while pundits, leaders, personalities, and citizens give their opinions to awaiting microphones and cameras, another stream of focus has hit Heaven—men and women are taking their stand in the gap.

The last clause of Ezekiel 22:30 is terribly sad. “I found no one,” lamented the living God concerning His search for an intercessor. However, the seriousness of our times compounded by the critical events in St. Louis—the heart of America—have brought many sincere men and women to their knees, crying out to the God of all things to intervene with His mighty power and unquenchable love.

“And I sought for a man among them…”

God searches for people. One type of person for whom He looks is someone who will stand in the gap, praying and interceding for others.

“… a man among them, that should make up the hedge…”

God looks for a man (or a woman) who will make up the hedge. What is the hedge? According to Strong’s Concordance, this is the Hebrew word “gader” and simply means a fence or a wall. Enemies are deterred by hedges, walls, and fences surrounding those they seek to harm.
What is it that God wants the man or woman to do with the hedge? He wants them to “make up” the hedge. “Gadar” is the Hebrew word for “making up” and means “to wall up, wall off, close off, build a wall [or] to shut off”.

Consider societal unrest. Somehow, violence and lawlessness exalts itself over a population, victimizing a community or region with anger, fear, and chaos. The restraining effects of discipline, decorum, and lawfulness have somehow fallen apart, and God wants the hedge of protection rebuilt and repaired because of His great protective love for the people. This is accomplished by walling up, walling off, closing off, and shutting off the community in question from the ravages of the destroyer—sometimes literally (as in the boarding up of broken windows in looted businesses). But this “hedge making-up” enterprise is also—and always—to be enacted in the realm of the Spirit as intercession is offered by someone on behalf of those lacking full hedge-coverage. Effective gap-standing prayer takes place right where the hedge has been trampled down.

“…and stand in the gap before me for the land…”

God has been talking about a hedge in need of repair. This hedge has a gap. “Perets” is the Hebrew word which is used, and it means a breach or a bursting forth—similar to when a dam breaks and water spills out. In other words, a gap in a hedge is a great big hole. And you know what holes allow: They allow that which is good on the inside to leak out and get lost, and they open the door to let the wickedness outside come flooding in.

What does the Lord instruct His man or woman to do about the gap? Does He lead them to wring their hands and worry? Does He tell them to condemn the hedge?

No. Once the intercessor is made aware of the gap, he is to stand in it. As the trampled hedge is repaired, the intercessor is to remain in the gap, plugging it up until it is rebuilt. This word “stand” is “`amad” which indicates to take a stand, to remain and endure, and to hold your ground. As you stand in the gap, you are blocking the devil from gaining continued entrance into a volatile or destructive situation. You are restraining him and his lawlessness as you stand in the hedge’s gap.

God is seeking today for a man or woman among us to make up the hedge and to stand in the gap, and I believe that He is finding an army of us in this hour. In fact, I believe that every living member of the Body of Christ has gap-standing assignments every day on behalf of lost and hurting humanity. And despite the critical nature of those gaps to which you are led, the God before whom you stand is quite capable of shaping your prayers and granting you effectiveness as you stand in the gap in the hedge.

You are called to be a gap-stander in this hour. You are a repairer of the hedge. May God grant you effectiveness as you stand before Him.

Dorothy

“Those from among you will rebuild the ancient ruins; you will raise up the age-old foundations; and you will be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of the streets in which to dwell.” Isaiah 58:12

© 2014, Dorothy Frick; revised 2020

**[All Hebrew definitions are from www.BlueLetterBible.Org]

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