Category Archives: African American

African-American, Black Culture, Commentary, Religious , Family

Arise Church Triumphant

January 11, 2018

The world was in darkness and God said “Let there be light (Gen. 1:3).” He divided the darkness from the light and gave beauty and life where the darkness once encompassed the earth. God’s intention was for that light and life to remain in control of the earth but darkness always tries to consume the light. God stands watch over the earth. (Prov. 15:3).

God, not wanting to exercise this power alone, entrusted some of His power to man. The first man, named Adam along with his wife, was given authority over the earth to rule and protect it under the sovereignty of Creator God. Unbeknown to man, there was another powerful force working in the earth named Lucifer, who adamantly opposed God’s light. Man was seduced into allowing darkness into the world and ever since has had to fight to prevent darkness from consuming mankind and the earth.

Creator God never makes a mistake and He did not take back man’s authority and rule over the earth. Even though darkness inside man allowed the earth to be diminished from its former glory, God had a cure prepared from the very beginning; and He unleashed it to help mankind regain control and again diminish the darkness.

In the Old Testament, we see that God unleashed a holy power upon specific people to fight back the darkness. They were people on whom God poured His Holy Spirit to stand in the land as His anointed prophets, protecting and restoring His rule. There were prophets over time like Elijah that did great works and who fought back powerful enemies so that the inhabitants of the earth could enjoy life. But the darkness never gave up trying to reclaim the earth by any means necessary. At its peak, where it had corrupted the earth, God did a “reset” to restore the earth back to life and beauty. Flood waters washed away the filth upon all the earth and the earth was allowed to grow anew through Noah’s family and descendants. A rainbow was placed in the sky forever as a token of God’s promise that He would never again destroy all the earth with water because of the wickedness of mankind (Gen. 9:11-13).

Before the New Testament days, we find darkness again trying to consume the earth and evil seemed to have been prevailing. There had been four hundred years of silence from God between the Old and New Testaments. People wondered if God had forsaken them and the earth. But the Omniscience God already had a plan working through time. Some people had heard and remembered the prophetic word repeated through the generations that God would one day restore His kingdom by sending a Savior and King who would forever rule in the earth. Of course, there were many that had no faith in this promise.

We have seen the witness of the coming of Christ, the King of Kings, born in the earth to restore all things. Though He no longer walks the earth in physical form, He taught mankind how to be like Him. He left a seed and a power that has the miraculous ability to restore the light of the earth. This seed is like the mustard seed that when sown and matured becomes a great tree where the fowls of the air can lodge in the branches of it (Lk. 13:19). Christ left for us the very power of the Holy Spirit that He possessed to dwell in all those that believe. We saw Him use the power of the Holy Spirit while on earth to cure illnesses, heal all sickness and raise the dead. We saw Him use the power of the Holy Spirit to deliver men from demonic possession and set them totally free (Mk. 1:32, 5). We saw Him rebuke Satan’s attack upon man and calm the raging sea (Mk. 4:39). We saw Him debate, confound unbelievers and defend the faith against power-enthralled leaders who defied the truth.

This very same power that Jesus Christ possessed, He left invested in a few believers who would be that mustard seed, maturing into the great tree where others could lodge on its branches. That tree is the powerful Christian church that possesses the very power of Christ Himself to push back the darkness and restore God’s light. Satan knows he is no match against Christ or His church; but do today’s churchgoers know it? God and Christ illustrated their power to speak the word with the miraculous following. That same power is invested in God’s people, making up the Christian church. The power to heal, deliver and raise the dead was invested in the Holy Spirit-filled people of God’s church, the body of Christ in the earth. The very joy and excitement of the first Spirit-filled believers on the day of Pentecost that caused them to run and spread the news of Christ everywhere is the very excitement that empowers the church today to do the same. They walked and moved by faith just as believers today must do. The first apostles of Jesus Christ went everywhere spreading the light, pushing back the darkness and establishing new houses of faith, full of faithful believers in Christ. They were so overwhelmed with the love of God that they even rejoiced in their sufferings (Acts 5:41). They went through their sufferings, were healed, raised up from the dead, delivered from jail and continued rejoicing in their gospel journey. They rejoiced in that they knew Christ, possessed ever-lasting life and had the eternal assurance of heaven as home.

In the darkness that we see today trying to consume the earth, that same power of the Holy Ghost that resided in Christ lives in believers to push back the darkness and restore true faith and light in the earth. That mustard seed is still in the earth growing and maturing into great trees across the landscape of the earth to do the work of the Lord. The church triumphant is the light that pushes back Satan’s darkness. The full power of Christ is invested in His church to do even more work than Christ Himself did while walking the earth in bodily form. He told us we would do greater works than He because He was returning back to the Father. Believers have the ability to do the greater works.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. Joh 14:12

Something has happened in the earth that has slowed down the progress of the Christian church in its mission to spread Jesus’ message and make true disciples of men. We know the opposition to God and Christ is the devil and we can assume that the devil is the culprit. We are seeing a powerful phenomenal in our world today that is the usurping power of the lie. We are seeing the lie perfected in people of prominence in our society; people who are able to lie with such a straight face that one is compelled to believe them. This power of the lie is evidence of the power of Satan that has risen up in the land. The boldness of these lies reveals the daring challenge that Satan is willing to bring against truth and believers. But truth is on our side. Believers must reinforce and stand up for the truth that will destroy those lies. Our enemy is a bully that will stand boldly until he is pushed back. We are compelled by Christ to first submit ourselves to God, then resist the devil and make him will flee (Jas 4:7). Christ came to bring us grace and truth and now we have the truth. Christ said: “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free (Joh 8:32). Jesus is the truth and He has already defeated the lie and the Liar. When Jesus walked the earth in a flesh body, He declared:

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

Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Mat 5:14

Satan deceived the first family with a lie and caused them to give up their high position with God. Satan is the source and father of lies. Through his lie, he caused the first heirs of God to give up their position of power and let him take leadership. Many are being deceived through the lies of the devil today and some have diluted the gospel message, weakened the saints and given power to the enemy.

For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. Jud 1:4

Satan is a thief and deceiver but he has been defeated by our Lord Jesus Christ, who reigns in heaven until Satan and every enemy is put under Christ’s feet (1Co 15:25). Our Lord was sacrificed on Calvary’s cross for the sins of men so that He could redeem back the power of God given over to Satan through the first family’s sin. He went down to hell to pay our sin penalty and He took back the keys of death and hell so men would no longer have to live in fear of either death or hell. Christ triumphed over all the power of Satan, death and hell for us. Christ has now given that triumphant power over Satan to the Church through the powerful name of Jesus Christ. Believers in Christ’s church have power over Satan, sickness, demons, fear, death and hell; but it only works through continual faith. That is where the enemy of our soul fights his greatest fight against the church: through weakening the power to believe God and His word. God’s word is the power that created the world believers stand on. That word is the power of our next breath. It is the same word that brought life to Adam at God’s command. Jesus spoke to Lazarus’ dead body and it breathed again.

And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth. And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with grave clothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go. Joh 11:43-44

As believers, we must always remember the devil is a liar and his power operates through deception. We must believe the word of the Lord. The mind is indeed the devil’s workshop where he spins lies of deception to cause believers to weaken in faith. This is the battle he brought against Eve in the garden. We must not entertain his lies. The word of God is the power that gave us the ability to believe and be born again. It is that same miraculous power that raised Lazarus from the grave. God has proven His word to us through Christ, the fullness of the Godhead bodily (Col 2:9). We must believe our God because He cannot lie and His word cannot fail.

So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Rom 10:17

After Christ’s ascension, believers became that light of the world. Christians must now stand up in truth, using that light to challenge the lies and darkness of the devil. The power of God is in those who believe in Christ’s Lordship through His miraculous birth, death and resurrection. We possess the power to push back the darkness and let God’s glorious light shine. We are the church triumphant! Jesus said:

Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Lk 10:19

He, who cannot lie, has declared:

And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Mt. 16:18

We walk in the power and victory of Jesus Christ! So the church must denounce and put off the weakness of a polluted gospel, lies of the devil, compromised ways and sin; to stand up for Christ. Christ died for the church’s washing, forgiveness, healing, restoration and empowerment. Sin brought condemnation to the soul of mankind but repentance brings Christ’s forgiveness, restoration and holy power. The purpose of the fire was to separate the wheat from the tares and destroy the chaff so the wheat could strive and shine forth. The price of redemption has already been paid by Christ. He now waits for all the church to stand in faith believing their forgiveness, receive it, and rejoice in their salvation. That salvation is power to stand against all the power of the devil and live triumphantly. We must remember that while we fight in this life we win; and if we die, we win heaven. But at all cost we must fight this battle and fight from victory, not defeat. The victory has already been won and we fight to proclaim that victory in our day. The children of God now rule with Christ. The joy of our salvation causes the light of Christ to shine brightly in the earth and all those lights shining in the earth will dispel the darkness of this hour. The end has already been written: We win! The church must shake off its lethargy and every lie to embrace Christ’s power that restores light in dark places. When light is restored, we will shout together victoriously the triumphant cry: Our God Reigns!

  Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. 2Co_2:14

 

joycerebapayneministries.com

Advertisements

Man in the Mirror

December 2017

There was a popular song in the late 70’s, re-recorded in following decades entitled: “I’m Every Woman.” It was sung by popular artists Chaka Khan, Whitney Houston and others. The song is the boast of a confident woman who feels that she has the strength of womanhood to do whatever a woman is needed to do. She is the perfect woman above others and no other is needed. She represents the best of every woman. Here are some of the lyrics:

I’m Every Woman – (Excerpt)

Whatever you want,
Whatever you need,
Anything you want done, baby,
I’ll do it naturally
‘Cause I’m every woman
It’s all in me.
It’s all in me, yeah!
I ain’t braggin’ ’cause I am the one
You just ask me, oo, it shall be done.
And don’t bother to compare,
I’ve got it.

We live in a day when a lot of us feel the same way, whether we will admit it or not. People today have the ability to buy, rent or credit whatever is needed to represent their best self. Whether their ideal of themselves is real or borrowed, they have substantiated their image as reality and you would best not dispute it.

As Americans, we have set forth an image that everyone can have success and what it should look like. Those that have not obtained the coveted level of success or perfection are frowned on as being below standard; so everyone tries to obtain above the level of that disrespect. This motivation prompts people to buy, rent, beg, borrow or steal to reach this status of life. The American dream, full of accomplishment and success, is the ideal set forth to the world as something everyone must obtain. Immigrants of other nations strive to obtain passage to America for the satisfaction of obtaining this American ideal. The American dream is set forth as the thing that will make one happy and fulfilled and everyone wants that. Those who have experienced this height of success but subsequently fell off their pedestal are discounted as unfortunate.

The American church has told people that Christianity means being happy and fulfilled. They have promoted the gospel of prosperity as the vehicle to obtain this fulfillment. Multitudes have bought into this religious system but have not obtained material success or fulfillment. They, however, will not confess that it has not worked for them as they continue to “fake it till they can make it” while using other means for immediate fulfillment.  Jesus never taught the prosperity gospel that is being practiced today by mega ministries and storefront churches. The devil is not above using some religious principles mixed in with a lie to ensnare the unwise. While the American dream could possibly include Christianity; Christianity cannot be defined as successfully obtaining the American dream. America did not even exist during Christ’s earthly ministry and Jesus’ ministry and teachings (and that of the apostles) were focused on obtaining heavenly rewards. His goal was salvation for the soul, not material wealth. He promised God would provide for the believer’s needs but taught against an evil love of money. There was no guarantee of wealth in this life even though the ability to get wealth was provided (Deu 8:18). Abraham, Job and King David were wealthy men whose true wealth was their love of God. Wealth was added to them by a faithful God, pleased with their obedience. Jesus taught:

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Mat 6:33

Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Mat 6:30

Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Mat 6:19-21

His message seems to be opposite of what the prosperity preachers are teaching. They teach get religion and then seek your material wealth through giving money to them. They teach that you are sowing seeds for future wealth but they seem to be the only ones getting wealthy, while some in the church are discouraged in the gospel because it doesn’t seem to work for them. The prosperity preachers keep waving this carrot of prosperity and teaching new strategies to hold their audience captive to their message. Wealth is not wrong but neither should it be a Christian goal. Jesus taught against this pursuit in Matthew 6:19-34 and later warned: “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul (Mar 8:36)? Wealth is not the measure of one’s worth because the greatness of Jesus was not the manifestation of material wealth (He owned it all and we are His heirs) but in the power of God.

A little that a righteous man hath is better than the riches of many wicked. Ps 37:16

The religious system of America has gone worldwide as other nations are practicing America’s religion and buying into its philosophy. The prominence of this religious system has failed to prevent the sinfulness that has taken leadership in America because of compromise. But as long as it appears to be working, it will continue to sell. The object of a good scam is always to keep up the appearance of success. The more people buy into the scam, the more popular and successful it appears. The disillusioned are disqualified as losers and inept. They just did not believe hard enough to succeed even though Jesus boasted of the potency of mustard seed faith. True religion is criticized while false religion is promoted for its profitability in the marketplace. This type of religion is satanic and far from the Christian faith Jesus taught.  Jesus taught and warned fervently about false teachers and a religious system that would arise in the last days. He warned: “…Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them (Lk 21:8).”

The efforts of those who do preach the gospel truth have barely penetrated this false gospel because the promise of the prosperity gospel is so lucrative and appealing to all. God has shown His disapproval of America’s false Christian witness though, through the repealing of blessings and the difficulties our nation has encountered by religious scandals, failing ministries, a poor economy, internal discord, threats from without, government confusion and devastation of various kinds. As long as fool’s gold is flashed, people will continue to follow the false map.

The word of God has foretold everything we are experiencing in America and of everything that happened to the once God-fearing nation of biblical Israel for their disobedience to God. God gave us the living image of God in Jesus as the perfect man following perfect faith as a guide for believers to aspire toward and imitate. Jesus did not exhibit or promote prosperity. Love was to be our motivator, not lust for material things. However, the false church has set up a false image of Christianity and the Christian that is more appealing to fleshly churchgoers. Jesus foretold:

I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. Joh 5:43

We ought to hold up Christ’s image against our lives or the walk of religious leaders to see if there is any comparison to Christ’s likeness.  If the example shows no resemblance to Christ, it is not of Christ. Christians are made from a good God and that tree bares good fruit.

America has gone way off the Christian course but does not seem to recognize it because the image that has been sold is so great and appealing to the flesh of churchgoers. The troubles in the land have failed to cause multitudes of American believers to turn from their sin and truly seek God. Professed believers and unbelievers united to seek a strong leader that would substantiate your beliefs and champion their earthly causes; and God has allowed them their petition. They sought a governmental leader over the leadership of Christ just like biblical Israel sought a king rather than God. King Saul was not in Israel’s best interest but God allowed it to show them their sin. Israel was even told in advance the evil that would come upon them as a result of selecting this king but it did not stop their desire for their will to be granted. So God gave them their fleshy leader and every event God prophesied through Prophet Samuel occurred as foretold. The people suffered and cried out under their evil leaders but the nation would not repent.

Similarly today, God has given the people the leader they cried out for. This leader was not the best God could provide but it was exactly what the people asked for by name. God has a permissive will that He grants when necessary to teach a lesson. King Saul, in God’s permissive will, brought great devastation to the people but it was necessary to show the people their error.

The “king” that America has been given, an answer to evangelical prayers, was necessary; they would have it no other way. Their king is a perfect representation of the people he represents. He is a supposed Christian, arrogant, egotistical, materialistic, self-absorbed, self-righteous, ignorant of God’s true ways and one who refuses to acknowledge sin or repent. In this leader, America has been given an image of herself that it can see and moan over every single day.

We seldom see our own sin but we can easily identify sin in another. God used this method to reveal King David’s sin. Most everyone can identify sin in America’s new leader and that is good. He has been called racist, prejudiced against foreigners and immigrants, sexual deviant, blatant liar, undisciplined, seeker of self-wealth, unteachable, narcissus, self-willed, selfish, disrespectful and disloyal. In watching and disapproving his actions, I have at times caught a glimpse of myself in him. I hated that thought but cannot deny I saw it. He is a mirror for all of us. In all of his arrogant errors, each of us will find something that is wrong in ourselves. He represents America and worst in us. Some people do not see anything wrong with him; they are in deep denial and may never see their sin even when it is directly before their eyes. Some people have been rendered blind, hardened in heart and will never turn from their sin; but they, too, have been given the same opportunity to see their own sin displayed before them. God gave the Law so everyone could see in it their sin but some still denied any wrong and boasted self- righteousness. When we compare the image shown to us to Jesus Christ, who can deny the difference between love and hate? We are without excuse as Apostle Paul taught. Undeniable evidence has been put before us and we all must admit we are sinners deserving of punishment and fall on God’s mercy with repentance for His grace. We cannot save ourselves. All God asks is that we repent of our sin and He has put the punishment of that sin on Jesus Christ, the Sacrificial Lamb of God. Who can deny the mercy of God in granting us repentance so that He can bless us?

The Word of God teaches in 1Co 11:3l-32 that we should judge ourselves so that we be not condemned with the world and certainly we should not be judged by the world but the world has judged American Christians. The ridicule and judgment is God’s. “But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world (1 Co 11:32)”. We find in Rom 2:4 that “…the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” Let’s finish this message the way we started it: with a song; and may God help us to see the changes we need to make as we pray for ourselves and others.

Man in the Mirror (Excerpt)

I’m gonna make a change, for once in my life
It’s gonna feel real good, gonna make a difference
Gonna make it right…
As I turn up the collar on my favorite winter coat
This wind is blowin’ my mind
I see the kids in the street, with not enough to eat
Who am I, to be blind? Pretending not to see their needs
A summer’s disregard, a broken bottle top
And a one man’s soul
They follow each other on the wind ya’ know
’Cause they got nowhere to go
That’s why I want you to know
I’m starting with the man in the mirror
I’m asking him to change his ways
And no message could have been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
(If you wanna make the world a better place)
Take a look at yourself, and then make a change
(Take a look at yourself, and then make a change)

In this season where we focus on giving, thankfulness, the love of God for us and New Year’s resolutions; it is a perfect time to examine ourselves to see if we are really walking in Christian faith. This season represents Jesus’ birth into a world of sin so that we could be reborn in His image, all our sin exchanged for all His righteousness. God’s perfect, tailor-made gift to us is His Son, Jesus, a perfect representation of God for us to examine, follow and reverence. If the image we see does not look like Christ then, with a tender heart, let’s ask God to help us and others to make a change.

God’s Best to You
Through Jesus Christ, God’s Son

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

There is Nothing Wrong with Christianity – There IS Something Wrong with Today’s Christian

November 2017

The religions of the world are formed based on certain beliefs, principles or idol gods; and there is no end of religions that govern people’s mindset or life. Religions bring people together in unity and establish civilizations. Religions can work for good or evil depending on the motivation on which they were founded. Of the five most popular religions of the world (Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism and Judaism), Christianity and Islam are the two most popular religions. The roots of Christianity can be traced back to the beginning of time where the founding principles were established by Creator God. The religion of Islam was established based on the visions of a human founder born long after the birth of Christ.

 

Of all the world religions, Christianity alone is founded solely on the words of Creator God and those inspired by His Holy Spirit. This God, who describes Himself as perfect in all His ways, a God of truth without iniquity (Deu 32:4); has given us a religion that is designed to bring man in line with His perfection. Christian preachers often preach, and it is true, that Christianity is the only religion with a Living God and a Savior who is not in the grave. He ever lives to intercede on behalf of those who trust in Him and He freely provides for the believer everything that pertains to life.
Since Christianity was given by a perfect God, perfect Savior, perfect Messenger of a perfect salvation; it cannot be wrong. If there are faults with the religion of Christianity, it cannot be the fault of our God. The fault has to lie within those that practice this perfect faith but who have not yet envisioned or matured to that perfection.

O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? Gal 3:1

Apostle Paul had been as avid student of the law before conversion to faith in Christ and had spent his Christian journey denouncing Jewish legalism, teaching the ways of Christ and bringing souls to the knowledge of the Savior. He was aghast that these well-taught Christians in Galatia would now turn back from a religion of faith to one of works. He scorned them for being removed from grace and accepting another religion which he explained was not really another religion but a perverted gospel. Paul marveled that the Christians had allowed themselves to be removed from the simplicity of the gospel of faith and declined to a religion of ceremony and rites. He had warned his son, Timothy,  and us this would happen in the latter days:

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 2 Ti 4:3

The nation of America has allowed itself to lose the advantage of the simplicity of the gospel of faith. It has gone on to build a religious system that God never thought or imagined for His people. Christians have gone from simple faith in Christ to a mega-religion of extravagance and theatrics. The poor, sick, orphans and widows are an offense and a bother to the business of church. The poor lost soul had better get in line or be run over. The gospel message has become so complicated that one could hire a tutor for help and still not understand it. Worst of all, some of today’s churches have gotten so big that it manage businesses and exploits the people of God for profit. Whoever thought that the simplicity of the gospel could be distorted to become such a monster!

 

Jesus did not want Christians to be ignorant of the devil’s tricks.  He taught and warned believers about religious error and false teachers. However the Christian church today seems afraid to give this warning. The true church is set up by Christ to be the head, not the tail.  The church has been given everything it needs to be victorious at this hour.  Paul loved the Galatians people so much that even in his shock, he was willing to teach them again, love them again, and birth in them again the simplicity of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Christian leaders must maintain the simplicity of the gospel to save the lost, help the poor and needy as well as watch over the souls of the people to lead them back to God when they go astray. The church must be whole in order to be a preserver in the earth.  Believers must stand fearlessly for the truth, knowing that Christ is with them.  Jesus was depending on the Christian Church to preserve the faith and the land. How do we lead American Christians back to true religion in a climate where multi-million and billions of dollars are spent publicizing a false gospel and where pride has set in with the leaders. Each Christian must seek earnestly for the truth.  Jeremiah, the prophet, prophesied this dilemma:

A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof? Jer 5:30-31

For among my people are found wicked men: they lay wait, as he that setteth snares; they set a trap, they catch men. As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: therefore they are become great, and waxen rich. They are waxen fat, they shine: yea, they overpass the deeds of the wicked: they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper; and the right of the needy do they not judge. Shall I not visit for these things? saith the LORD: shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this? Jer 5:26-29

History often repeats itself and this once-Christian nation is sinking in apostasy, like biblical Israel, while mega ministries are busy preaching day and night a gospel that has left the truth of Jesus Christ to establish their own gospel. It has happened before and it continues to happen because of the carnality of men, not because of any weakness in God, Christianity or Christ. Because so many churches have left their first love, the nation’s morals have fallen victim and this once-Christian nation is in great jeopardy. Righteousness has been overthrown for false religion and the goal of prosperity. Paul warned Timothy about the temptation for the love of money (1Ti 6:10) and that the love of money was the root of all evil. In America, everything is judged by prosperity, even the gospel, though Christians are taught the just would live by faith. Those that have lost faith in Christ are betting on a good life now in hope that there will be no God to judge them in the end. Some leaders are deceived and lead others into their deception. While Satan’s deception has led many of the religious into his anti-Christ system, there will still be those that seek diligently the truth. The apostasy of the some will not prevent the true church of the Lord Jesus Christ from prevailing. God is not mocked. The truth shall forever stand though Satan spins his lies. While some follow the broad way and miss heaven as home, God will still have His number. In the midst of the world’s corruption and political discord; the church will yet be perfected and made ready. Christ will have His bride. Jesus foretold:

And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Mat 16:18

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

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!