Author Archives: jrpmail2003

About jrpmail2003

Christian ministry with a broad view of the church and society as they interact with the message of the Lord Jesus Christ according to bible scriptures . Commentary and responses about today's events.

A Prayer: The People of Israel, Past and Present, Confess Sin

By Prophetess Joyce Reba Payne

July 9, 2017

Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save. Isa 45:20

Neh 9:1 Now in the twenty and fourth day of this month the children of Israel were assembled with fasting, and with sackclothes, and earth upon them. 2 And the seed of Israel separated themselves from all strangers, and stood and confessed their sins, and the iniquities of their fathers. 3 And they stood up in their place, and read in the book of the law of the LORD their God one fourth part of the day; and another fourth part they confessed, and worshipped the LORD their God. 4 Then stood up upon the stairs, of the Levites, Jeshua, and Bani, Kadmiel, Shebaniah, Bunni, Sherebiah, Bani, and Chenani, and cried with a loud voice unto the LORD their God. 5 Then the Levites, Jeshua, and Kadmiel, Bani, Hashabniah, Sherebiah, Hodijah, Shebaniah, and Pethahiah, said, Stand up and bless the LORD your God forever and ever: and blessed be thy glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise. 6 Thou, even thou, art LORD alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee. 7 Thou art the LORD the God, who didst choose Abram, and broughtest him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gavest him the name of Abraham; 8 And foundest his heart faithful before thee, and madest a covenant with him to give the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Jebusites, and the Girgashites, to give it, I say, to his seed, and hast performed thy words; for thou art righteous: 9 And didst see the affliction of our fathers in Egypt, and heardest their cry by the Red sea; 10 And shewedst signs and wonders upon Pharaoh, and on all his servants, and on all the people of his land: for thou knewest that they dealt proudly against them. So didst thou get thee a name, as it is this day. 11 And thou didst divide the sea before them, so that they went through the midst of the sea on the dry land; and their persecutors thou threwest into the deeps, as a stone into the mighty waters. 12 Moreover thou leddest them in the day by a cloudy pillar; and in the night by a pillar of fire, to give them light in the way wherein they should go. 13 Thou camest down also upon mount Sinai, and spakest with them from heaven, and gavest them right judgments, and true laws, good statutes and commandments: 14 And madest known unto them thy holy sabbath, and commandedst them precepts, statutes, and laws, by the hand of Moses thy servant: 15 And gavest them bread from heaven for their hunger, and broughtest forth water for them out of the rock for their thirst, and promisedst them that they should go in to possess the land which thou hadst sworn to give them. 16 But they and our fathers dealt proudly, and hardened their necks, and hearkened not to thy commandments, 17 And refused to obey, neither were mindful of thy wonders that thou didst among them; but hardened their necks, and in their rebellion appointed a captain to return to their bondage: but thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and forsookest them not. 18 Yea, when they had made them a molten calf, and said, This is thy God that brought thee up out of Egypt, and had wrought great provocations; 19 Yet thou in thy manifold mercies forsookest them not in the wilderness: the pillar of the cloud departed not from them by day, to lead them in the way; neither the pillar of fire by night, to shew them light, and the way wherein they should go. 20 Thou gavest also thy good spirit to instruct them, and withheldest not thy manna from their mouth, and gavest them water for their thirst. 21 Yea, forty years didst thou sustain them in the wilderness, so that they lacked nothing; their clothes waxed not old, and their feet swelled not. 22 Moreover thou gavest them kingdoms and nations, and didst divide them into corners: so they possessed the land of Sihon, and the land of the king of Heshbon, and the land of Og king of Bashan. 23 Their children also multipliedst thou as the stars of heaven, and broughtest them into the land, concerning which thou hadst promised to their fathers, that they should go in to possess it. 24 So the children went in and possessed the land, and thou subduedst before them the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, and gavest them into their hands, with their kings, and the people of the land, that they might do with them as they would. 25 And they took strong cities, and a fat land, and possessed houses full of all goods, wells digged, vineyards, and oliveyards, and fruit trees in abundance: so they did eat, and were filled, and became fat, and delighted themselves in thy great goodness. 26 Nevertheless they were disobedient, and rebelled against thee, and cast thy law behind their backs, and slew thy prophets which testified against them to turn them to thee, and they wrought great provocations. 27 Therefore thou deliveredst them into the hand of their enemies, who vexed them: and in the time of their trouble, when they cried unto thee, thou heardest them from heaven; and according to thy manifold mercies thou gavest them saviours, who saved them out of the hand of their enemies. 28 But after they had rest, they did evil again before thee: therefore leftest thou them in the hand of their enemies, so that they had the dominion over them: yet when they returned, and cried unto thee, thou heardest them from heaven; and many times didst thou deliver them according to thy mercies; 29 And testifiedst against them, that thou mightest bring them again unto thy law: yet they dealt proudly, and hearkened not unto thy commandments, but sinned against thy judgments, (which if a man do, he shall live in them;) and withdrew the shoulder, and hardened their neck, and would not hear. 30 Yet many years didst thou forbear them, and testifiedst against them by thy spirit in thy prophets: yet would they not give ear: therefore gavest thou them into the hand of the people of the lands. 31 Nevertheless for thy great mercies’ sake thou didst not utterly consume them, nor forsake them; for thou art a gracious and merciful God. Now therefore, our God, the great, the mighty, and the terrible God, who keepest covenant and mercy, let not all the trouble seem little before thee that hath come upon us… (KJV)

We pray…

 Father God, we see the troubles that have come upon our churches and preachers, on our political leaders, on our homes, and that which have fallen upon our sons and daughters as you have foretold to us (Jer 16) and as it is this day. Our forefathers and mothers were brought to this land in chains and put into slavery as you warned us through the prophets (Is 45:14). Our people have suffered hardship and bondage because our forefathers and mothers sinned and we, their seed, have sinned. Yet you heard the cry of our elders in their suffering as you have heard our cry and have sent us deliverance through your servants whom you led to speak for you and on our behalf. We thank you, Father, that you have brought us out of hard bondage and many of our people have received blessings as you promised and have flourished in this land. But our hearts have not stayed faithful and we have begun to walk away from you because of the wonderful things you have given us. You forewarned us of the consequences we would experience if we walked away from you. We have begun to see the deterioration of the blessings we received and oppressors appointed to us because of our disobedience.

We confess that we, as all of our people, have sinned and have broken covenant with you by not obeying your word and voice. We do this day acknowledge our sin and that we deserve your displeasure in us because of our disobedience. But Father, we remember your great mercy which you have shown throughout the generations toward our people and we are mindful of the prayer by King Solomon (1Ki 8:47-51) and the prophets that followed, to whom you promised to forgive our sins even in the latter days if we would repent, turn from our wicked ways and call upon you (2Ch 7:14). You promised to remember us, be merciful and forgive us. Father God, we are not righteous of ourselves or without sin as we call upon you but we are mindful of your great mercy shown toward the people of your heart in your sending an Intercessor for our sins and His pleasing sacrifice on our behalf. Because of the great favor you found in your only begotten, Son, Jesus Christ, we call upon you to have mercy upon us as we repent and turn our hearts back to you. Father, remember us and forgive us, our churches, our families, our political leaders, our descendants, our land and our homes as we call upon you. Father, we pray that you would bless us and deliver us from all bondage and servitude we have experienced in this place and from all the places you have scattered us (Deu 4:27) because of our disobedience. We pray that you would bring us into your bounty and bless us as you have promised. We ask that you restore us to a place of obedience. Perfect our hearts toward you and give us a greater love for your word and fellowship with you. Help us to love our neighbors and our enemies as you commanded (Mat 19:19; Mat 5:44). We need a cleansing and healing Father that only you can perform. We fall upon your mercy and call upon your grace to forgive, heal and restore us. We reject and throw off all false deities and renew our covenant with you. We acknowledge that you alone are our God and we are dependent upon you alone for our life. Reveal to us what you would have us to do. Hear this, our prayer we pray in Jesus name, Heavenly Father, as we wait upon you. Amen.

 

By the mercy of God and the grace we receive through Jesus Christ, the truth has been revealed to our people and now it behooves us to acknowledge that we have missed God’s perfect will for us and confess our waywardness to Him, asking for forgiveness and healing. The pride of the biblical people and their refusal to obey God led them to Babylonian captivity. Like the religious leaders of biblical Jerusalem, people can assume today because God has been with them that He will continue to be with them even though they wallow in sin. Jesus cried over Jerusalem and suffered for them, but they would not be turned from their sin and they, in stubbornness, continued to believe they were in the will of God. Jesus challenged the religious leaders to search the scriptures and see that it foretold of Him and that very moment (John 5:39). The scriptures are a mirror to reveal to us our own heart and truth for any stage of our life. The time that we are presently living in is described in scriptures. Though some hearts obey it does not preclude God dealing with us as a people. Let’s pray, seek the mercy and favor of God through Jesus Christ and turn our hearts fully back to Him.

        But Israel shall be saved in the LORD with an everlasting salvation: ye shall not be ashamed nor confounded world without end. Isa 45:17

THE RACE FOR LIBERTY: IS IT STILL WORTH IT?

By Joyce Reba Payne

June 13, 2017

Most everyone across the nation of America has discovered by now that the founders of this nation were flawed individuals. We have had a chance to look at their ideas compared to their lives and have found they did not always practice what they preached. Some founding fathers debated the morality issue of slavery and yet continued their slave plantations. One of them, Thomas Jefferson, had conflicting opinions of slavery even though he owned slave plantations, worked on ways to free the slaves and had a second family with his black mistress, whom many believed he loved. There is so much controversy and conflict with the ideas of the nation when we examine American history. The nation has been great in comparison to other nations in many ways but it has not been perfect.

There is one thing we can say about the founding fathers even though they were not perfect or perfect examples for their descendants and that is they esteemed the perfect example of a perfect God whom they honored in the nation’s founding documents. Nor can we, as individuals, claim perfection but there is something so right about our hearts when we strive toward perfect ways. That is the quality that propelled this nation above so many others.

The founding fathers had seen nations with great governing authority, great military prowess as well as great minds and wealth on display.   But what they sought for in America was a nation that could be great and yet just toward its people. They had never seen that before but they sought it!

The founders did not borrow ideas of greatness from the philosophy of Socrates, the political strategies of Napoleon, the military expertise of Alexander the Great or the ruling example of previous European Kings. They did not set out to put royalty over each state. Nor did they organize exploitive campaigns to attack the wealth of other nations to be divided among their elites or poor settlers. No, what they did do was look at a great God who had outlined ways that every man, woman and child could be provided for and come to greatness in God’s eyes. They chose to use the book God provided as their guide to establish their laws that could be later examined and expanded by descendants to lead the nation into what God had in mind. They did not complete the work; they only started the process and others would have an opportunity to develop the nation into the full plan of God using the model they set forth.

Where the nation of America went astray was by taking its eyes off both the model and God; and they began to establish their own plan and set up their own gods of wealth, pleasure, lust, physical perfection and mental superiority. Previously Americans sought her leadership in men who possessed integrity, humility, wisdom and a servant attitude; but now America seeks leadership from those that have fame, worldly success, wealth and arrogance. The great men of the bible like Abraham (the father of God’s chosen people), King David (a man after God’s own heart), Elijah (the prophet God took bodily to heaven in a fiery chariot) or Daniel (to whom God revealed His plan for future nations) were great men because they kept their eyes on God and followed His instructions. Men of America’s past like the first general and president of the nation, George Washington, were esteemed as great because they honored and sought out the mind of God. These men were smart enough to know that greatness came from their God and not their own fleshly mind or ability.

The founders of America referenced where they put their trust (in God) and seemingly expressed naivety in believing that their descendants would have the same wisdom to follow their guide rather than squander their heritage on greed and lust.

The Declaration of Independence and the U. S. Constitution were only outlines of the principles, ideas and intent that the founders set up as a foundation for the nation. It was not and could never have been the whole plan for a developing nation that would represent life and freedom for a multitude of diverse people that no one had ever seen modeled. Only the bible itself and God, which they referenced, could walk us through the future steps to bring about the great freedoms the founders envisioned in the founding documents.

Every journey has a beginning, mid way point and an end. The intent to strive for the goal is expressed at the beginning and the destination is predetermined. Every runner in a race reaches a point in the race where it seems he cannot go any further, that his legs will buckle under him or that his lungs will explode under the pressure; but he continues to run because he made a decision at the beginning to reach the goal and that it was worth the toil of the race. He could give up in the middle of the race and announce to everyone that he had the honor of running in the great race for the goal, but no one would applaud or celebrate with him for failing to reach his destination. Even he would eventually feel the disappointment of not fulfilling his promise to himself of reaching the goal and obtaining the prize. There is no glory in going half way and stopping. The joy of the race comes from focusing on the goal and completing the course. God wants us to have the joy of finishing the race because there are other races yet to be run and prizes to be obtained. The struggle is not a sign we should give up, but it is just a sign that we must press beyond the present opposition to obtain our worthy goal.

America is not at the end; it is in the middle struggling with the decision of whether or not it will continue to run its race to reach the goal of liberty for all or turn back and be a copy of old European ways. Europe and other nations looked to us as a light to imitate and follow, not as one who would join them in the mire. In the middle is the time when runners must remember the enthusiasm they had at the beginning and envision the joy of obtaining the prize. The prize is still there and it is still worth obtaining, but we must keep up the enthusiasm and the effort. We must also envision in the audience those who ran before us and how they endangered and offered up their very lives for the vision of something we experience but they never had a chance to see in operation anywhere. They dared believe it was possible for men to live with freedom of worship, ideas and speech in harmony with others. There are still other races and goals to be obtained beyond this race of liberty. Life is a journey and only God know the ultimate and final destination.

America needs to have today men, women and children that will catch the vision the founders had and continue the journey to its conclusion. We must look again at their inspired words, purpose and the God they trusted to help them achieve their destination. Veering off the path leads to the confusion, weariness, disappointment and turmoil that we are seeing expressed in our society today. It is clear to most people that we have gotten off the path and few, if any, seem to know the way to get back on track. There is no leader who can get America out of the confusion it is in without renewing past covenants and following Divine direction. Modern men tend to believe they are more advanced than the people of the past but the foundation which America has stood on for over 200 years was built by those very men we discount from the past. There are mysteries that our ancestors understood that modern man is still wrestling to decipher. The same God that steered the first settlers over troubled waters is still available to help every citizen of America run the race for the home, city, state, organization or party that is so important to the larger race America’s must run to obtain the goal of true liberty for all. Run the race, America! Happy Anniversary!

                      Happy 4th of July

A CONTROVERSIAL JESUS!

December 2016

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Is. 9:6

At this time when we are celebrating the coming of Baby Jesus, we must remember: He is not a baby anymore. Jesus entered the earth as a vulnerable human infant, lived a normal human life, was guided by humans for 30 years but yet this baby came for a crucial life and death mission on behalf of God, the Father. Yes, this little baby boy came to die on the cross for your salvation and mine.

Many people express great love for this little baby at Christmas who will not accept this same baby in His adulthood. The story of Baby Jesus is so full of joy, hope, love and the magic of Christmas as if it was a fairy tale to be told to starry eyed children once a year. It does illustrate the great love of God and it was a gift to bring joy and hope to a troubled world. Much more than a fairy tale to be recited to children once a year though, it was an introductory to a new life for all mankind who would receive Him. Even in His infancy, there were those that set out to take his life.

When Jesus rode into Jerusalem, the miracle of His birth and the mission of His Father were not important to the religious leaders of the temple. Though heralded in hope by the people as a King their hearts were soon turned to shout: “Crucify Him, Crucify Him.” They were now rejecting the King of King and Lord of Lords that the Father had sent to be King of the Jews. He was controversial Savior. Those that were the governmental authority, Roman Government, had no need of a peasant king. Those that were religious leaders were well established in their religious positions and did not welcome Him or His new doctrine. Those that had experienced His miracles and healing in an instant turned their backs on Him. He was a controversial Jesus.

Jesus did not come to say that all was well and continue to live in peace and hope. Jesus came to turn things upside down. He came to be a messenger for the Father and to say that God was not pleased with their ways. God had called His children to be a royal priesthood in the land and an instrument of change but they had compromised with the people and become idolatrous. God had called them to set the captive free but they had instead extorted and imprisoned them. They had not obeyed the voice of the Father, nor had they welcomed the Savior of the World into their midst. They found him to be a stranger among them. They found him to be an interference with their ways. They found him to be an enemy because He did not agree with the religious system they had set up. Jesus came to do the will of the Father and some changes had to be made. He came to be a light for those that sat in darkness and their oppressors would not be happy about it.

This little baby had come to be a light and truth at a time when darkness was preferred and falsehood was accepted as the truth. He came to pull down the lie and to establish the truth of the Father. So he was not received by the leaders when he rode into Jerusalem, Though welcomed for a moment by some, He was rejected and cast out. We must remember the reason Jesus came: to deliver us from darkness. And we must remember the words that He spoke: the Kingdom of God is come upon you.

In this time when Christianity has become known to everyone and many assume they are living in the Christian way, we must remember Jesus came at a similar time when the Jews thought they were living according to the Father. But somehow they had allowed the truth to be counterfeited and they had established a religious way that was accepted by all but in error.

When we celebrate the coming of the Savior into the world we must remember He is not a baby anymore and that He came to turn this world upside down. Are we accepting of the message that this baby has come to bring? Are we accepting of the changes He want to bring to our lives? Are we willing to accept the baby but not the Savior He would become? Do we accept Him fully from the miracle birth to the horror of the cross? Do we accept only His beauty but shone His shame? Are we willing to embrace His entrance into our lives to turn it upside down for God?

Jesus is no longer a baby in the crib. He is a controversial Jesus that many do not want to receive as their Lord and Master. He said He did not come to bring peace but a sword (Mat 10:34). Can we welcome this controversial Jesus? Have we accepted this controversial Jesus in our hearts? Is He welcome to come into our homes to correct that which is wrong and establish a new throne dedicated to the Father? Do we welcome this Jesus who will destroy evil and bring in its place truth, love and well being? Do we welcome this controversial Jesus who has come to set the captive free or do we want merely to worship the Baby Jesus as a symbol love and peace?

Jesus is no longer a baby in a manger; He is a controversial Jesus. Not all people welcome His message or receive His love because they do not want to change. He is not an ornament; He came to work in our hearts. From the very beginning, He represented truth and He is still demanding truth today. So, let’s celebrate Christmas as the birth of the Savior in the true spirit of love the Father showed us. He gave us the best gift: His only begotten Son. Let’s celebrate Christmas with right hearts and truth. This is a time to celebrate the miracle that God gave us. This is a time when all hearts are soften to receive the baby so it is a wonderful time to remember that He came to save us and allow our hearts to be changed. While we are experiencing peace within ourselves and expressing it toward others, let’s remember that this is a time of hope that life can be improved and we can receive the liberty that Jesus came to give us. Jesus came to save the whole world and even those that do not look like us, talk like us, live like us are welcomed into His love. Yes, Christ has come. Yes, He is the Savior of the World. Yes, He is love. He is all that and more. Let’s embrace Him fully for who He is and the message He came to bring. If we can receive Him into our hearts and then live out His message to the world, then there can be: “Peace on earth and good will toward men.” He is not a baby anymore; He is Lord of Lords and King of Kings!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!

America Has a Monarchical Complex

America has come full circle.  A people descendant from those that once rebelled against their homeland of England to be individuals rather than subjects has proven to be fickle or bipolar.  After over 200 years of demanding individual rights and discarding the ideas of monarchy/aristocracy and communism, the nation now appears to want a bit of both.  America believes in having equal rights and provision for everyone but she now wants a monarchical/aristocracy personality to administer it.  Its people have become too individualistic and divided and demand a strong hand for leadership.  America wants a king or queen!  Never mind integrity, right or wrong; the only question is who best would serve as this new monarchical ruler.

Our nation has been unique in the western hemisphere because of choosing democracy, a system of rule that allows its citizens to have a voice in the governing power over them.  The founders of the nation had seen the confusion, tyranny, greed of rulers and poverty for citizens that were produced when one person solely had his or her way in governing a people.  So the founders used wisdom in dividing the power structure of the developing nation into the three sectors of legislative, judicial and administrative governing authority and gave the deciding voice ultimately to the people as they chose their leaders. American citizens have enjoyed great freedom and financial benefits under democracy as a form of government while many surrounding nations are still subjected to the rule of a single person or party and experience great poverty under their monarchy, aristocracy or dictator type of government.

When the American people fell into a time of great poverty during the Great Depression, our three-party governmental system approved a system of provision for its citizens that put food on everyone’s table.  When threaten by war, our three-party political system made the united decision with the people’s approval to go to war and defend the nation.  When the people protested the horror of unjust war and burden of its cost, our government leaders had to listen and consider cessation of war. The nation permits any qualified citizen the opportunity to become political leader or president. Corrupt leaders can expect to be exposed and prosecuted. Citizens have the right to be whatever they desire and are willing to work for while having their voice heard.  This has been the American way of life.

In any place where there is plenteous supply and inadequate accountability, people can become dependent subject to the crafty who boldly plunder the defenseless.  While the U.S. government defended the rights of the poor in America, some level of balance was maintained.  But the persuasion of wealthy companies using lobbying and payoffs to influence congressional leaders, media slant, and financing of political candidates have caused some to gain power and their way in U.S. society.   The powerlessness of people to prevail against an overpowering wealthy sector that deliberately attack the people’s rights and persuade government toward their efforts have caused the people to crave strong leadership in government for their protection.

History has always worked as a preventative weapon to keep us from repeating the bad judgment of the past.  But a people at ease and rest tend to ignore their required responsibility of ensuring sound government and leadership while they are in the midst of enjoying their leisure and pleasures.  Over two hundred years of freedom has dulled the minds of American citizens about the founding of this nation from oppressive monarchical rule in Europe and American rights have been taken for granted.  Now that the nation is headed back to that same kind of oppressive government, American citizens are seeking an answer in the same proven system of erroneous monarchical-style leadership that was previously experienced in Europe.  This error shows that our nation has failed to rehearse our history for the people and uphold these learned lessons in our school textbooks, literature and media. We hear the age-old cry: “Give us a king to judge us” (1Sa 8:6).

The primary reason the nation has arrived at its present predicament though is the failure of moral leadership which has always come through our churches.  The wealthy have influenced our political leaders but that influence has also subjected our moral leaders to laws and persuasion that bind the voice of truth through the preached word.  It was the strong voice of religious leaders that influenced the early founders and politicians of the nation in moral guidance. Laws and policies pertaining to “equal rights for all” were derived from the promises and values taken from bible scriptures that kept the majority of American citizens and politicians convicted enough to follow a moral path. The silence of preachers and their failure to confront sin and immorality in all areas of our civilian life have given license to the rise of immoral leaders from an immoral population who covet wealth as incentive rather than righteous leadership.  We have witnessed one by one the compromise of our leaders in politics, business and ministry as they sought wealth and pleasure over a life of integrity and solemn leadership.

America was begun with strong desires for individual rights, religious freedom, fair taxes and equality for all people.  These rights were promoted through the commitment of strong God-fearing, bible believing citizens who became preachers, business owners and politicians.  Now that our nation is refusing the religious and spiritual aspects of our past, we are to seeing a quickening downward spiral in morality and politics of the nation.

Where the nation started out proclaiming itself to be “One Nation under God” and seeking God through congressional and public prayer for guidance, it has now decided to throw off trust in God in favor of the personal guidance of a leader and his or her individual beliefs.  Whereas God taught us to have no other God before Him and expected the nation to evolve into a place where it realized the need for every person to have integrity and God’s personal guidance through Christ, the nation has instead decided consolidate its voice behind the head and heart of one person without any proof of a relationship with God. God rightly prophesied today’s dilemma:

“And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them” 1Sa 8:7

God went on to advise Samuel to tell the people what kind of leader they would have because of asking for a human monarchical leader or king.  God, who promised to reign over them as Lord and supply all their needs with love and kindness, was rejected for a trust in man and his governmental rule over them.  We have seen a lean toward human monarchical rule in our churches for years as one-person-leadership has become the rule rather than the multi-level, multi-leader style leadership established by Christ (Eph 4:11).  Even God reigns through a three-person agreement of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  We have seen the advantages and disadvantages of man’s rule as president and politicians as they have led us according to their values.  We have the advantage of knowing what kind of government we can expect from the candidates of our choice for president and lower political offices through their political statements and reports through the media.

American has come full circle by rejecting God and the best example thus far for civilian rule under God’s authority.  This nation has become more like the nations it was formed from rather than the nation it set out to be. The warnings of the forefathers have been ignored and the failed example of past nations has not deterred our people from following the same path. There is always an opportunity and hope of turn around from a destructive path; but regardless of what happens from this point forward, we all can know that we cast our vote and made our choice.

 

Why America Must Go Through the Fire

July 2016

There are many people coming from professional, religious, political and social backgrounds who predict trouble ahead for the nation of America and that it is destined to be devastating. Some have dared say that America is being judged for past and present sins against God. Our nation has rejected the title of “Christian Nation” and has chosen to throw off all supreme guidance by God. The religious community is in disarray, decline and confusion over what to do because of its failure to stay in alignment with God. No one seems to dispute that trouble is ahead and some are assuming the reigns of power to plot an overcoming path according to their own values.

Is God in Control? If So, Who Then Can Divert His Ultimate Plan for the Nation?

There is no doubt that the nation of America was founded by men of faith who sought to be free from the tyranny of a domineering church and government that prohibited man’s personal liberty to follow God and conscience. The personal writings of the framers of the Mayflower Compact, Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America testify of their faith in God as Creator. Christopher Columbus, a discoverer of America, and George Washington, general and first president of America, were men of faith. Devoted leaders of many Christian religions entered the land and dedicated it to God. The name of God and Christ was called upon by men such as General George Washington during distress in war and by many others since who saw miracles wrought by God on behalf of the nation. Washington was known to have received a divine visitation and prophesy for the new nation.

Not only is God sovereign and in control; but we, as Americans, made a covenant and promise to Him to walk in obedience to His word and submit to His will. When we were weak and humble in infancy, we declared our allegiance to God in public gatherings, on our monuments, public buildings and money. Now in our strength and prosperity, we have dared to tell God how things are done.

If Americans Made an Oath To God and He Accepted It, Who Then Can Break That Bond?

The bible is our guidebook for obedience with God. The bible is written in such a manner that it tells us of our creation as humans, God’s purpose for us, our journey with Him, and the end of all things. There is no point in our lives as individuals or nation where we cannot find direction or solace in the scriptures. We are always counseled to call upon God in times of need. If we walk contrary to God, the path of our demise is also written in the pages of the bible. We are given two paths: to walk with God and live or walk in disobedience and die. Blood covenants, like ours sealed with the blood of Jesus, are only broken by the death of one of the parties; and God, of course, cannot die. God’s will for us is to live in obedience and prosper. America has seen great prosperity through many difficulties and trials because she continued to pursue God. However, now our great leaders do not want to continue the practice of pledging our allegiance to God. Great wealth and prosperity often leads one to a spirit of pride and arrogance against God and that spirit has taken forefront in the leadership of America.

How Will God Respond to America’s Rebellion?

The answer to that question is also written in the pages of the bible. America is not the first nation to start out in faith and turn its back on God. Other deteriorating and some long destroyed or forgotten nations have followed this path. World history and the bible show clearly the path ahead if our nation continues its present path of defying the God that made it great.

I am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled? Lk 12:49

The uniqueness of America is its origin and foundation rooted in faith in God and Jesus Christ. No other nation has had this unique experience of being formed and led by God, except the nation of Israel. Therefore, the story of Israel is a lesson that America can examine and see its claim to the protection of God, its punishment for disobedience and its destiny.

How Does God Respond to Broken Covenant?

God declared He was married to Israel but also called her a backsliding whore when she went into disobedience and prostituted herself with other gods. We see in scriptures the sufferings of Israel as she rebelled again and again while pledging allegiance to false gods. We see in scripture and history the sufferings of the Jewish people even to this day. Yet the wisdom of American leaders has led the nation down this same path.

The difference between biblical Israel and America is Jesus Christ. America as a nation from its beginning acknowledged Jesus Christ as Savior. That is something Israel never did, even to this day. Accepting Jesus Christ as Savior puts one on the mercy and grace side of God and He counts the suffering of Jesus Christ as payment for disobedience when we repent. That is the different path that Christians follow through Jesus Christ to reach God, the Father. God walks with us every step on our path if we follow His directions. Even our disobedience is a part of that path. Jesus said He learned obedience through the things He suffered, though He was never disobedient to the Father. We all fall into sin’s temptations from time to time but we also have an opportunity to learn from those mistakes. Disobedience does not automatically bring destruction if one repents through the mercy of God in Christ.

The Old Testament described how things dedicated to God had to be first purified. Animal sacrifices were burnt in the fire as a dedication to God. Anything God accepts must be purified from its evil state. Jesus is our pure sacrifice today so that we can be dedicated to God but there is still a purification process that we, as Christians, must go through as well. When we sin, we must come back to God through repentance and confession of sin and God works out the cleaning process in us. People can be cleansed of sin with little suffering through the mercy and grace of God. But disobedience and rebellion requires that God take us through a delivering process where through suffering we relinquish the rebellious spirit of sin embedded in the soul. It can be a very painful process to be cleansed this way and it is not God’s preference for His children. Stubbornness and rebellion took Israel into much suffering and is still a source of much pain today to those who still do not acknowledge Jesus as Savior. If our nation continues to take the path of stubbornness and rebellion, it too will see much suffering and pain.

Where many are prophesying the destruction of the nation of America as God’s judgment, God has no desire to destroy America. God loves America as His own inheritance. He has accepted our covenant with Him and will not renege of His pledge to us. God’s will is for America to learn obedience in its maturity and return to His bosom. This can happen through confession of sin and returning to obedience or by going through the fire. The fire will be extremely hot and painful as it burns up the chaff but cleanses and preserves the wheat. No one but God is able to see the depth of our sin. The cleansing fire will burn up idol worship as it did in Israel. It will be set to burn up our pride, prejudice, covetousness, sexual immorality, religious traditions, self dependence, rebellion, selfishness and hypocrisy.

Behold, I will send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before me: and the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in: behold, he shall come, saith the Lord of hosts. But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. Mal 3:1-4 (KJV)

Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, O nation not desired; Before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the LORD come upon you, before the day of the LORD’S anger come upon you. Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD’S anger. Zep 2:1-3

John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire: Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable. Lk 3:16-17

The nation of America has shown great wisdom and strength through the years as it has led and advised other nations in right paths. But today it is being thought of as a fool who cannot even handle trivial matters. While other nations are reverencing God, America is shunning the God that made it great. The pride of Jerusalem’s leaders would not allow them to escape the demise of their nation. Shall the great leader now lead others to destruction as well, as they follow in example? Many on the sidelines have a clearer vision of this nation’s journey to destruction and are choosing not to follow such as erroneous path.

Where God is looking for America to remain as an example for others to follow in Christian obedience; if it continues its present path, it could see the same fate of biblical Israel. Old Testament Israel was destroyed as a nation and its people scattered around the world to suffer pain and humiliation for generations. God broke its pride in a devastating way. There is no need to repeat the stories of Israel’s humiliation; they are known worldwide. Their story stands as a testimony and witness of God’s word. Others should heed this example and choose the right path instead. The nation of America can follow the same path and be a second witness of a nation shunning her God and suffering for disobedience; or she can choose the right path and show others the way to God’s best through serving Jesus Christ. God has long declared and laid out His plan for both the blessing and destruction of nations.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Pro 1:7

 And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth: Deu 28:1

 But it shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes which I command thee this day; that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee: Deu 28:15

 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? Mic 6:8

 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. Mat 22:37 -40

Twelve spies went into Canaan Land but only two saw the hope for the future and lived to enjoy it. Millions left out of Egypt was only two went into the Promised Land. The right road is often lonely and less traveled but it is still the right path to take. Many of America’s leaders and its people are taking the broad road on the wrong path but wisdom advised us to search out this path that others have taken to destruction and choose yet another path: to life.

Our national leaders are making choices for the nation but salvation, blessings and protection are individually provided to followers of Christ. We must each decide for ourselves what is right and who to follow for our own soul salvation. Christ died for this nation of believers but He claims us individually as we remain true to the faith. So there is yet good news for the believer in the midst of great trouble:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.   Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:   That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. 1Pe 1:3-9  

America has fought world wars and many men have died on the battlefield to preserve the right for citizens to make their individual moral or political choices. Personal liberty in the nation and in Christ allows one to examine the facts and make right choices for self. While the freedom remains, we should uphold that which is right and pray for political leaders, fellow citizens and Christian believers who may have been deceived and failed to discern truth from the lie. God is still with and for us because He has claimed this nation for Himself!

And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. Joh 6:39

 Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward. 2Jn 1:8

 MAY GOD BLESS AMERICA!

 

RESURRECTION CELEBRATION

The Easter season that we celebrate as a holiday was not intended to be a celebration once a year as we do today. The true meaning of the season is resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ; and it is a celebration that was to be realized every single day as a triumph of light over darkness. Darkness had invaded the earth and the Heavenly Father sent His Son, Jesus, into the earth to expel the darkness so that His children could again enjoy fellowship with God, their Father. It was to be the beginning of light coming back into the earth and a triumph of light’s power over darkness throughout the generations. Only light can expel the darkness. God empowered His children with enough power and knowledge through fellowship with Him to hold back the power of darkness. But they would only have this power as long as they held on the light, which comes from God.

As the evil one tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden, he is still determined to make men doubt God’s purpose in His rule over them and draw men into his darkness. The temptation comes in suggesting to man that those things withheld and denied to man by God are more important and exciting than they are. The darkness of death is what God was withholding and denying man and what the evil one offered. “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death (Pro 16:25, KJV).” Everything is revealed in the light and darkness cannot dwell there. The Heavenly Father freely gives His children knowledge and shared participation in all good things and the temptation of Satan is all a lie to entice man away from God.

If mankind would stay with God in the light of His love, provision and power; there would not be a need of anything else, just as there was nothing missing in the Garden. There is total fulfillment in God. As man looks for fulfillment in other places, he is drawn further into the darkness of Satan’s temptation.

We see our world today being pulled into the darkness by rejecting God’s way and accepting Satan’s enticements. That brings further darkness unless man rejects the way of darkness and return to God’s light. God created the light and dispelled darkness which had taken over the earth. The earth was in state of confusion, emptiness and a deep darkness (Gen 1:2) until God created light and brought the beauty of flowers, water brooks, sunny skies, singing birds and everything joyful and pleasant. Mankind is working vigorously through Satan’s temptations to take earth back into that past state of darkness by destruction of the earth’s beauty, corruption of mankind and threats of nuclear devastation.

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. Joh 10:10

And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. Joh 3:19

God is still actively working in mankind and the universe to restore the beauty that was originally formed in the earth. Mankind is God’s helper in that process and Jesus has secured the way to restore man and the earth through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross.

I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. Joh 12:46

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. Joh14:6

Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. Rom 8:21

Easter Sunday is more than just a time to put on our Sunday best and rejoice for one day; it is a time to realize that the Resurrected Son has brought resurrection power back to the earth to restore that which was lost to darkness. It is a celebration of man’s opportunity to be reborn.

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Joh 3:3

Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. Joh 3:7

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Joh 3:16

The tempter and temptations are still here but so is the choice to return to the light of God’s love. Every day we have the opportunity to come closer to the light of the Father through the blood of Jesus Christ, our Lord.

 

Happy Resurrection Celebration

MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY – LEST WE FORGET!

That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean ye by these stones? Then ye shall answer them…these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children…for ever. Jos 4:6-7

January 15, 2016

Our nation will pause this weekend to reminisce on the life of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Many people that are living today were alive during his life and at his death, so the memory of events before and after is still fresh in our minds.  We know the importance of the things he did and what they represent for the black population of America.  But like in the book of Joshua, where God indicated that some of the miracles would be forgotten and later generations would not appreciate the past, it is important that we set up memorials to bring to remembrance those past events for generations to come.

Happy Martin Luther King’s Day to all those that have cause to rejoice over the victories won and the  battles fought for black people to realize equal rights in a country where their fore parents bore the hardship of slavery.  Blacks deserve an opportunity to rejoice after all the pain and suffering of the past.  But more important than rejoicing is the need to reflect on the lessons learned.

In the bible story above Joshua was instructed by God to set up stones to remind the people of the miracle of crossing the Jordan.  It was not just for a memorial about crossing the Jordan.  Along with remembering the miracles of that time, God wanted the children of Israel to reflect back on what God had done for them.  The miracles did not happen as a fluke of luck that came their way, but the Israelites had a God that cared for them and who helped them every step of the way.  God was not finished with His people after they crossed the Jordan, but He needed to help them learn how to prevail in the future.  They needed to know that they would not prevail by happenstance or mere determination on their part.  They had to learn that their help came from the Hand of God.  So along with the story of the crossing of the Jordan, the storyteller was to point out that it was God who led and helped them.

Lest we forget, we must have our memorials in the black community as well.  In telling our stories of victories from slave time to the present day, we must not forget to tell children that it was God who helped us.  While we remember the importance of the life of Dr. King and celebrate his life and work, we must realize that none of it was possible without God.  Dr. King was not just a civil rights leader, but he was a man of God who saw the need to rise up and do the works of Christ.

We could miss the lesson of his life and think that equal civil rights alone is the answer to the black dilemma in America.  We could miss the point of this history lesson and think that protesting the political system is the answer.  We could even miss the lesson by waiting on our next “Dr. King.”  Near the end of his life, Dr. King did sum up his life’s purpose for us in his Drum Major sermon.  He just wanted to be remembered as someone who “tried to love someone.”  He reviewed the humility of Christ as He served and told us to seek greatness through service and love.  Because he set out to bring new freedoms to black people and did accomplish it, we must evaluate his life and extract the message from it.  God knew the heart of man and that they had a tendency to lose the message or lessons learned so he made special provisions for the Israelites to set up the memorial with special instructions for the time of celebration or reminiscing.  In the times to come and when the descendant’s children would ask: “How came these stones hither?” then the parents would relay the miracles that God had done for their people.   God was preparing Himself posterity in the people.  He did not want the destiny of the people to be lost to their forgetfulness.

Lest we forget, we must not just celebrate the man and his life, but we must relay the message of his life.  It was not just that he believed in something better for himself and his family and pursued that dream; but it was that this man had a faith in God, imitated the life of Christ and sought to bring change while he continued to believe and work toward the dream.  If we pursue the dream and forget the God that gave it, then we might as well not celebrate Martin Luther King’s Day.  We could all go to Disney World instead and admire the fantasies that came from Walt Disney’s mind.

We must know and remember that there is a God that has a purpose for His people and that He has a destiny for black people in America.  We must know that God has no step children but that we are all (black, white, brown, yellow, red) the same in His sight.  We must know that we all, as people or believers, have a right to the blessings of God if we trust in Christ.  And finally, we must know that we as black people do not have to be subservient all our lives to the dominance of a white majority in America or anywhere else, but that God promotes the righteous and brings down the foundations of the unrighteous.  Dr. King showed us that it is possible to rise up and be better and do better in America.  It is up to us to move forward with progress from the possibility to the reality.  If we pursue the results and forget the way he showed us, we will have missed the lesson of his life.

God never told any people that the way to full rights and blessings was through petitioning a governmental authority.  Moses told Pharaoh what God demanded.  The Israelites had a right to be free and it was time for Pharaoh to let them go.  It was not a request but a demand from the Sovereign God coming to see about His people.  If we continue to believe and petition the Supreme God instead of a secular government, we, too, in America can see a time when: “… all God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, ‘Free at last, Free at last, Great God a mighty, We are free at last.’  While remembering ML King, let’s not forget the KING OF KINGS!

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.  And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. Lk 4:18-21

HAPPY MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY!