Category Archives: African American

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

America – Ready To Be Judged!

October 2018

Whether Americans believe there is a Creator or not does not really matter to the existence of an All-Knowing, All-Powerful Creator God, who reigns in heaven and who is the Maker of all things and final judge of us all. What we know about the Creator is much like what we know about parental authority:  they were before us, they make all the rules and will render the final decision of our behavior to us.  The wisdom of King Solomon of the bible (Son of King David, a man after God’s own heart) told us: To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted… (Ec. 3:1-2).”

We all are familiar with the cycle of life that includes birth pains, birth, maturity and death.  Solomon identified many seasons and cycles within life but mostly, he expressed the beginning and the end of all things.  It is important to know that everything under the sun that has  beginning also has a predetermined end.   Solomon went on to declare, “I said in mine heart, God shall judge the righteous and the wicked: for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work (Ec. 3:17).”  King Solomon’s wisdom, which was a gift from God, explored the purposes of all things and concluded that it is all vanity in the end. The man who had the highest position in the land and more wealth than all men, paused to consider those that were without any.

“So I returned, and considered all the oppressions that are done under the sun: and behold the tears of such as were oppressed, and they had no comforter; and on the side of their oppressors there was power; but they had no comforter.  Wherefore I praised the dead which are already dead more than the living which are yet alive (Ec. 4:1-2).”

After examining the power of the mighty and the lack of power for the oppressed, he determined that death was better than life.  During his lifetime he had opportunity and wisdom above any man to evaluate every aspect of life and he came to a conclusion:

For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities: but fear thou God. If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgment and justice in a province, marvel not at the matter: for he that is higher than the highest regardeth; and there be higher than they. Ec. 5:7-8

Surely oppression maketh a wise man mad; and a gift destroyeth the heart. Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof: and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. Ec. 7:7-8

It behooves us all to take wisdom from someone who has had the best of wealth and wisdom and reap his lessons because few, if any, of us will ever gain his abundance  of wealth nor ever gain his wisdom.  How does Solomon sum up his exploration of life?  Here are some excerpts:

All things have I seen in the days of my vanity: there is a just man that perisheth in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man that prolongeth his life in his wickedness. Ec. 7:15

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.  For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil. Ec. 12:13-14

We see in this book of wisdom that God gave to the highest position of His chosen people the best of wealth and ability to consider all matters pertaining to life and then allowed him to relay it to all mankind in this book.  Even King Solomon, who had the ability to understand life, had to live it out and be judged for his actions in the end.  But wisdom’s road map is revealed by God for all to follow.  He shows us the right path and advises us to take it.  The lesson is that despite the highest abilities and greatest wealth that we all strive for; our work, soul and intents will be judged by God at a set time.

We know of America’s birth, the providence it experienced to be set aside for pursuit of life and liberty under God and all the declarations made to God by the founding fathers upon its inception: “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”  It is those declarations made to God by men that America will be judged by God to determine if it has complied with those vows.  Vows are very important to God:  “Better is it that thou shouldest not vow, than that thou shouldest vow and not pay (Ec. 5:5).”  The declaration of unalienable rights for all men to enjoy life and liberty  within American borders in devotion to God are promises America swore to uphold and is what America will be judged for.  The nation made those vows and the whole world heard them, some of whom have sought to follow America’s example or crossed waters to enjoy them who will also sit in judgment against her treachery to those vows.  America’s actions against other nations and the immigrant prove that she has lost her way!

Creator God set out a plan and put it before His chosen people that He would bless the faithful with riches and wealth and America has received riches and wealth.  He also promised that the wicked would experience deterioration and horrible punishment before final destruction.  America is now somewhere in the process between punishment and final destruction.  The mercy and compassion of God cannot be overlooked.  Even in a sentence of destruction, God gives man time to consider his ways and change his mind. God actually fights for us and with us for preservation, not willing that any should perish.  Apostles Paul and John taught us about the loving forgiveness of God through Jesus Christ. The Book of Revelations, written more then two millenniums ago, reveal that the final judgment does not come without instruction, warnings, deliberations and then punishment poured out in sequential waves.  We are very familiar with the judgment of our courts but less aware of God’s judgment.  The judgments of our courts can be purchased and wrangled by wealthy men, but God cares for none of that.

At this hour where many have come to the rightful conclusion that the soul of America is being tried, there is still time to consider the nation’s sins and turn around.  “…What doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God (Mi 6:8)?  We saw that Old Testament prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Amos were sent by God to warn and declare the punishment of nations.  Prophet Jeremiah was ordered by God to pronounce judgment against Judah, Israel, and the gentiles, Philistines, Moab, Ammonites and Babylon.  But before the heathen nations were to be destroyed, God first reasoned with and judged the people of promise.

The word that came to Jeremiah concerning all the Jews which dwell in the land of Egypt, which dwell at Migdol, and at Tahpanhes, and at Noph, and in the country of Pathros, saying,   Thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Ye have seen all the evil that I have brought upon Jerusalem, and upon all the cities of Judah; and, behold, this day they are a desolation, and no man dwelleth therein,  Because of their wickedness which they have committed to provoke me to anger, in that they went to burn incense, and to serve other gods, whom they knew not, neither they, ye, nor your fathers.  Howbeit I sent unto you all my servants the prophets, rising early and sending them, saying, Oh, do not this abominable thing that I hate.  But they hearkened not, nor inclined their ear to turn from their wickedness, to burn no incense unto other gods.  Wherefore my fury and mine anger was poured forth, and was kindled in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem; and they are wasted and desolate, as at this day. Jer 44:1-6

Jeremiah prophesied and grieved over his own people when he saw them fall into desolation as God promised for their disobedience.  All of these things that transpired thousands of years ago is well-known history for America who was established from the reigns and lineage of many kings but set free from bondage to follow God with her whole heart.  How has this nation fallen into the same sin when there was so much knowledge and teaching about this past?  It is because the wicked nature of mankind is unchanged even though many leaders call themselves “Christians.” Christianity has risen to the forefront in the world, where it is no longer considered weak and inconsequential and even been recognized by the White House and its presidents, where it originally found sovereignty in America.  However, it has been soften and diluted until it now oppresses the poor, immigrant, widows and children.  Some profess hatred for the foreigner, fatherless, and prisoners.  Some ranks of it call out some sin as being more hideous than others, contrary to the teachings of Christ.  They profess God while disobeying God and declaring others must obey the letter of the law they teach, much like the Old Testament Pharisees and Sadducees who Jesus declared were hypocrites.

Jesus was upset with the ungodly Jewish leaders and denounced them.  It was a just system corrupted and perverted to favor greedy rulers, who failed to guide society into justice and morality.   They had perverted God’s way and deceived the people.  Jesus rebuked these leaders in Mt 23:13 for not wanting to enter into heaven nor allowing others to do so.  He went on to accuse religious leaders for devouring the poor and widows while establishing their own self-glory.  The Jewish leaders had uncontested control over the people in governing, benevolence and spiritual matters.  They led corruption in all aspects of righteous living for the purpose of self-gratification.  For all these sins and more which did not follow God or the founding fathers, God sits in judgment to declare His verdict upon a disobedient nation.

As America has sat in judgment over nations and people, now she must stand or fall before her “Judge”.  America has long been ruled by affluent old white men “white fisted” with power that have chosen to devalue the disadvantaged that God has valued and scorned the weak, women, children, the poor, immigrants and widows.  In America, the affluent, with or without Christianity, have made a pact to stand in power against the underclass and devour them for their resources.  This is the same power of the nations judged by God before America was formed and it is the same force that Jesus came to defend the poor and disadvantaged against.  In all this, God allows America time to repent and turn around before final judgment. He appeals to the highest and least that someone might intercede for a nation gone wrong.

We see individual people and organizations pleading for America’s soul and to be relieved of its leaders’ hardened hearts.  Some white women and weak Christians who were complicit now also cry in outrage.  The conundrum we face is that leaders are appointed over people according to their nature or simplified: people get the leaders they deserve.  This dilemma reveals the requirement for the whole nation to repent.  As the people contend for the heart of leaders to change, they must also repent and change.  We saw in the story of biblical Nineveh (Jon 3:3), the whole nation repented of sin and was spared.  Daniel prayed for his people but he, too, had to confess sin.  This problem involves all of us because all of us are party to its ways and will suffer the consequences of America’s sin.  Judgment is imminent unless we turn around.  Now that God has pulled the cover off of America’s long hidden sins of genocide, slavery, abortion, prostitution, rape, greed, corruption, authority abuse in religion and government, religious idolatry or apostasy, pride, racial hatred, treachery, aristocracy, gender bias, lies, etc., and exposed it to all American citizens and placed them before the cameras of the nation and world; none can claim ignorance and must all repent and turn to Christ for salvation and deliverance.  “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved (Jo 3:17).”   I pray that the nation of America will see her sin, as we all must do, and receive the conviction of sin that God grants to those that would repent in their season.  May God save America!

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INEQUALITIES AND IMBALANCES

May 2018

With a focus on the purpose of Pentecost, it is important for us to remember that Jesus Christ came to set the captive free. He did not come to give us another religion or purpose for social gathering.  Those people who were hopelessly in bondage to oppressors were now going to have an opportunity for freedom through accepting Christ as their Savior.  Powerful men of stature had used their power to bring the average man into bondage to their authority through debt, illicit transactions or coercion.   Neither did Jesus come to make void all of those illegal agreements.  Prisoners and criminals did not get released immediately from jail when Jesus came to Jerusalem.  Some believers that actually were free went to jail for the sake of Christ.  Jesus made it known to the people that His kingdom was not to this world.  Yet Jesus did come to do something important about the bondage of people.

Jesus came to Jerusalem when men, women and children could be enslaved to others because of debt and they were brought into captivity by an oppressive conquering army.  He came for the purpose of  liberating the hearts and minds of all people from captivity to the evil one who causes fear and oppression.  People motivated by greed for money were bringing others under their power in many illegal ways.  Citizens and the religious were unable to deliver themselves from the oppressive and illegal practices of the strong.  To liberate these people, a stronger power had to come on the scene and Jesus brought the power of heaven and Father God against the devil and his followers.  The rein of wickedness was to be broken by the all-powerful rule of God.  The wicked were to learn that there was a power greater than theirs.

Diminishing Christian values

America was established as a nation under God and it promoted righteous laws governing the people after being delivered from the tyrannical aristocratic rule of European monarchs and a corrupt and oppressive religious system.  Christian values and expressions of liberty were prominent in the making of America’s laws because of the oppression experienced in their previous homelands.  So the righteous rein of God and deliverance from oppression were powerful considerations in setting up fair laws that declared all men equal under God with a right to personal liberties.  God’s law had provisions for the release of debtors from servitude after seven years and the restoration of property.  As long as Christian values prevail in a nation, righteousness prevails and the force of law protects citizen rights.

With today’s diminishing Christian values and putting away of the Ten Commandments as a guide for correct behavior in the nation, corrupt opinions are establishing unfair laws that aim at again oppressing people.  Much like the people who were under the monarchical rule in European nations, America is experiencing similar times where oppression and corruption are prevailing against the average citizen and there is again a need for true Christian values to stand up against injustice.  The once-Christian nation is now giving authority to a new god, where wealth and elite status prevails as power supreme.  European-style aristocracy which worked secretly underground is now arising to control the once Christian, democratic, free nation. Where church leaders fail to hold up the standard of righteousness, God’s authority is weakened and wickedness replaces it with coercion and fear.  Godly religious leaders were expected hold on to and progress the mantel of righteousness that they inherited from their forerunners.  They, however, became relaxed and comfortable in a land of  ease and allowed the enemy to get the upper hand.  But God is still expecting His Spirit-filled believers to make a difference in their spear of influence and reclaim righteousness wherever possible in the land.  Pentecost brought the power of God in earth to believers to stand against all forms of evil through faith in the preached word, prayer and the believer’s intervention.  The small band of early Christian followers made an eternal difference in the known world.  They upheld a Christian standard in difficult times and were a challenge to unjust laws.  Previous believers established systems that their heirs are merely asked to uphold and maintain.  Every believer will have to answer to God for his or her own role and responsibility in holding up the gospel light.

Preferential Treatment to Those of Power

Inequalities and imbalances prevail in the land when gender, social status and wealth are preferred and granted power at the expense of others.  These practices have been know to progress into iniquity that causes the oppressed to cry out to God because the powerful will not alleviate their pain or show mercy.  While the powerful increase their gain through corrupt and evil practices, the poor sinks into greater poverty with little hope of recovery.  The cries of the oppressed are always heard by God on High Who is the Defender of the poor and afflicted: Job 34:28 “So that they cause the cry of the poor to come unto him, and he heareth the cry of the afflicted. “  God hates unjust balances and we can expect His intervention when the wicked of the land seem to prevail.

Eze 45:9-10  Thus saith the Lord GOD; Let it suffice you, O princes of Israel: remove violence and spoil, and execute judgment and justice, take away your exactions from my people, saith the Lord GOD.  Ye shall have just balances, and a just ephah, and a just bath. 

Psa 12:5  For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the LORD; I will set him in safety from him that puffeth at him.

Lev 19:35-36  Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment, in meteyard, in weight, or in measure.   Just balances, just weights, a just ephah, and a just hin, shall ye have: I am the LORD your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt. 

The Overthrow of Wicked Power

We have seen recently on the world stage notable men who have been overthrown or exposed for their insatiable appetites that consumed the weak.  Many have been amazed at these exposures without considering that it is the Hand of God that pulls down the mighty to spare the defenseless.  Those in authority have the means and advantage to conceal their misdeeds and maintain their estate but there is a God Who is higher than the most powerful men on earth, who sees what is done in the dark and has the ability to pull down powerful curtains, move mountains of oppression and unleash burdens of captivity.  When God decides to move and show His power, no man can withstand it.  He moves by His  sovereign power to cleanse the earth and release yokes of bondage.

The bible remarkably records for our learning the overthrow of many powerful leaders and tyrants.  Foremost of these examples is the Egyptian pharaoh who oppressed the poor Israelites that put their trust in the God of heaven.  They went through generation after generation of abuse but God did arise eventually to miraculously deliver them.  Because God is an unseen Entity and can seem slow to respond in some situations, some people tend to believe that He does not exist, does not care or will not respond.  They count the long-suffering and merciful nature of God as indifference or inability.  Holy scripture tells us that God is not willing that any person should perish but is long suffering for the benefit of man’s repentance.  He sends warnings to provoke mankind to repent of sin before releasing His wrath.  Divine warnings are being given today through notable incidents that are brought to national and international attention.  God is showing us gross sin and arrogance at the top levels so that we do not put our trust in man that will ultimately fail us.  We marvel at the things that are breaking out in the land but does it merely cause outrage or does it cause personal repentance as we remember God promised consequences for individual and national sin.  In what are we placing our hope?  Devastations are causing some to declare that God must surely be coming soon while others are merely enjoying their liberties!  One prophet wrote:

It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. Lam 3:22

A Long-Suffering God

The long-suffering nature of God can cause the wicked to operate in assumption that there is no force capable of preventing their greedy pursuits.  This very nature of arrogance promotes the wrath of God to come even the sooner.  Prophecy tells us that times will continue as normal and men will be unsuspecting until Jesus comes:

But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.  But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.  For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,  And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Mat 24:36-39 

The 23rd Psalm reveals the nature of God as a “Good Shepherd caring for the needs of His sheep.  Other scripture refer to Him sending rain on the just and unjust equally and being a caretaker of the birds of the air and the flower of the field.  God is known to be a loving and compassionate God but He also takes vengeance on wickedness to protect His inheritance in the land.  God will eventually judge the wicked for their offense against His word.  He is a just God when He blesses the righteous and when He brings wrath against the wicked.  Warnings that come to the believer and unbeliever gives mankind time to consider the consequences of their actions before wrath comes.  Arrogance and pride discounts even those warnings.  The long suffering and patience of God often causes the wicked to ignore God’s presence and power.  We are living in such days when wickedness is having free rein to do what it wants seemingly without repercussions.  These are the days that await the intervention and judgment of God to show up in defense of the weak because He is their Lord.  It is God who restores balance to the land and exercises His rule over all mankind.  Because God hates imbalance and unjust weighs, we can expect His intervention into the wickedness we see in the land.  But do we still have the ability to recognize when God is moving?  Evil ways have become so dominant that they are now being called normal and acceptable in our society.  Believers must make sure they are found doing the will of God when He comes rather than being caught in agreement with the wicked that are to be punished.  Remember Lot!

The long suffering of God in the preaching of Noah before the flood was intended to bring mankind into repentance but only eight people heard, believed and were saved from destruction. Too many of God’s ministers are failing to sound the alarm so we see God speaking through other medians of news reports, social media, unbelievers, the weather, economy, politics and challenging our own hearts to make a change.  God is showing His hand in the earth but many cannot distinguish the source of the power or know the reason because they do not know God’s word.  People heard and responded to John the Baptist’s plea for repentance and preparation for the coming King but in today’s society people hear and continue doing their sinful deeds because their ears are dull of hearing or hearts are hardened.

Care for the Weak

God is concerned about the needs of the poor, women, children,  immigrants, imprisoned, persecuted, widows and orphans. Because men are given authority over their home and lead in so many authoritative positions, they will have to answer for their use of authority, whether it is just or abusive.  They are given authority to defend the weak, not oppress them for personal gain or pleasure.  They are to represent the good shepherd practices revealed by the Father, who is to be their example.  They will have to answer for those that come under their authority:  Col 4:1  “Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven.”

The overarching darkness and chaos of the earth caused God to create daylight and establish order in the earth before He made the first humans.  Shall the chaos of today’s earth escape God’s attention?  Jesus was sent to earth as an intercessor between God and mankind.  The love of God was so great for all mankind that He made a way of escape from sin and destruction through the atoning death of His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.  The price has been paid for the sin of every man, woman and child that will accept the sacrificial punishment placed upon Jesus Christ as payment for our sin.  Believing Christ delivers one from the wrath to come upon a wicked earth.  The love of God reaches out to every soul to say come into the ark of safety and receive His cleansing love.  The prophets of old declared that even in the last hour, God’s hand still would be out stretched for mankind to repent and come into the ark of safety.  God is the great equalizer and He will give balance to our life and bring it into conformity to His will. We are totally set free from bondage and captivity through our relationship with Him.  God is too good to let evil prevail and His righteousness demands justice.  It is a loving God that teaches us His ways and allows each of us the opportunity to willingly choose whom we will serve and how we want our life to be rewarded. Joshua declared: “…but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

Resurrection Sunday: The Mercy of God

April 1, 2018

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 eyes of the Lord are always upon the earth because He made the earth and cares for it.  What about man? God made man and says every soul is His. So imagine God looking at the earth in its present corrupt state and how He must feel in seeing everything He made for His glory and left in the hands of man as caretaker.  If you are thinking anger, you are wrong.   Before the foundations of the earth God had redemption in mind (Ep 1:4) for His creation.  Looking through the portals of time God knew what man would do and set out plans for a solution.  He even looks at you and me in a perfected state like He saw fearful Gideon and called him: “thou mighty man of valour.”

What is it about a parent that looks at a child and knows it has done wrong and still sees his own image in that child and shows compassion toward it.  Before the foundation of the earth God knew.  He saw man sin again and again and yet had devised a way out for him.  He sent preachers like Noah, prophets like Elijah and servants like David to show His everlasting love for mankind. When none of these could restore His people to righteousness, God was still not through.  Determined to save His lost ones, God decided He would send His final and best to save His creation.

God, Himself, decided He would pay the cost of man’s redemption. He would pay the price to redeem lost man.  We are told that His word became flesh and we came to know of the man named Jesus who would save His own.  We read that Jesus went to the cross and was willing to suffer, bleed and die an undeserved death for our sins.

God had asked Abraham for the life of his only son, sacrificed by his own hands. As difficult as that would be for any human to do, Abraham was willing to kill Isaac in obedience to his God.  But God must have thought how can I let this one that I love suffer such hurt and so much pain.  He chose that He would endure that suffering and gave Abraham instead a ram to offer as a substitute sacrifice.

Unwilling to let Abraham sacrifice his own son; God, Himself, endured that pain as His only begotten Son made the supreme sacrifice on the cross for the sins of the whole world.  “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).  That scripture may have become too familiar for some people and lost its meaning because of its familiarity.  But just imagine if it was you asked to kill your only child.  Regardless of how or why it was done; it would bring unbearable pain. God’s love spared Abraham that suffering and He endured it Himself.  God did it for all of us.

Neither Abraham nor his son could pay the price of the world’s sin because they were sinners too.  Just like you and me, he had no sinless life or blood to offer for redemption.  Jesus shed His sinless blood to make a pure sacrifice that was acceptable to God as atonement for the sins of the world.

Sacrifice and offering thou didst not desire; mine ears hast thou opened: burnt offering and sin offering hast thou not required.  Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me,  I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart. Ps 40:6-8

Not only does God command us to love but He has illustrated perfect love in His willingness to sacrifice Christ for a world full of sinners who were undeserving.  “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (Jo 15:13).  Now that He has paid the penalty for our sin, Christ only asks that we take His life and power to live in righteousness.  It is ours for the asking.

In this sacrifice is a valuable lesson for us: a lesson of sacrificial love.  If we only quote the scripture or celebrate the Easter holiday without meditating on what God did in Christ, we miss the whole purpose of Christ’s great sacrifice for us.  Not only that but we also miss the opportunity to help fulfill the work of Christ to restore mankind back to God.  Love is the weapon that defeated Satan at the cross and love is the weapon that defeats him in our lives as well.  When we look at the world and wonder where God is, remember that Christ died so that the Spirit of God could live in us.  It is now our job to dispel the darkness and bring God on the scene by letting Christ’s light shine through us.

Happy Resurrection Sunday!

Right or Wrong, Good or Evil?

Have your ever heard the expression: “It’s a gray area”? It means that something is difficult to define within a category or rule. That may indeed be the case when referring to colors neither purely blue nor green; neither black nor white, etc. But when it comes to truth, there is no gray area. One plus one still equals two, not 2.25 or 2.5, just two. Some things are universally accepted truth, an exact science. A matter is either true or not. If it is not true, then it is false. Some things have no gray area. If you are connecting a car battery, it makes a difference whether the post is positive or negative.

Things used to be simpler, more direct or specific. But today we have what are called gray areas: a person may not want to be considered male or female. In simpler days, this was not a gray area; either you were or were not. Ethical codes have changed too. In this new culture, some things are said to be neither right nor wrong; they are either politically right or politically wrong. It is a cultural expression; but does it change the true essence of right and wrong?

In America, we have gone from political correctness to political corruption. Political correctness put us on a sliding scale that slid progressively into what was obviously wrong without consequence or complaint. The conscience had become silenced to speaking out about things that were controversial and put into a numbness that fell into a deep sleep about speaking up at all. People that once practiced doing right were told they were wrong or inconsequential so they stopped speaking up. That, of course, made more room to fill up the void with what was actually wrong until it became the norm or status quo.

In American politics, the two political parties of democrats and republicans, liberals or conservatives, the left or right, were based on the political view of issues. The Republican Party, party of Lincoln, the “Right,” the party that sided against slavery in the south during the Civil War to set blacks free; had always been seen as the “moral” party or religious right. However, the Republican Party of today fights against the rights of blacks, immigrants and the poor; positions that oppose biblical guidelines. The Democrats now have a more supportive position for blacks, immigrants and the poor. The  political party positions are still evolving and it can be difficult to decide which party to support. Children born within the last several decades cannot depend on parents, church or the law to be the final authority on right or wrong because core values have changed substantially.

We have arrived at an alternate reality where what used to be wrong is now right and what was right is now wrong. There is no longer a general standard for judging anyone anymore because the foundation of our laws was founded on the moral value system derived from the Ten Commandments and Christian faith. With the rejection of the Ten Commandments and the bible as guides, there is no way to measure wrong or right; and anything and everything is rated by public opinion.

We live in an alternate reality now where things are spewed in the wrong direction and there is no way to turn it around based on its present trajectory. The bible tells of a time when every man did what was right in his own eyes (Jdg 17:6). “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD pondereth the hearts (Pro 21:2). Fortunately there are still some people around who are old enough to remember when things were normal and are bold enough to speak out. Those of us left from prior generations know the results of the present course because we have seen it before. Some of us are old enough to remember or have heard about the Stalin and Hitlers of former generations that were determined to have things their way. We know they got started by silencing the objections of those that knew better. We saw that regardless of how determined and powerful they were in their day, they were overthrown by a greater force than they. They failed to figure in that there is a “Right” that never changes and that will always overthrow the wrong in the end.

Many of today’s strong voices are discounting the power of a Righteous God, Who is still in control. Like some old folks who stand back in silence and watch for the change because they have seen it before; there is a God that watches and waits for His time to speak. He waits to see if anyone will stand up against wrong before He intervenes. Time is witness that He will eventually speak to all those that defy Him and their names too will be recorded in history books along with the Stalins and Hitlers of the past who fell to the righteous power of God. The “all-powerful” Pharaoh of Egypt, who declared that he was a god, had to bow his knee to the True God of heaven, who brought down Pharaoh’s kingdom.

In times of moral quietness, when people are afraid to speak up for what is right; there is a boldness that comes to the wicked that causes them to believe they can do anything and get away with it. There is little resistance to their assumption of power. They project evil and command others to follow. The land seems overtaken by the wicked with little hope of help. The people mourn and feel hopeless. It seems as if the wicked will prevail and overthrow every ounce of good. But there is a word that God has sown in the earth.

When the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish; it is that they shall be destroyed for ever: Psa 92:7

There is another word that God speaks to those that mourn at the wickedness in the earth while they wait on Him.

Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Psa 37:1-2
For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth. Psa 37:9

When it seems wickedness has taken over; it is just a sign of God allowing the wicked time to seal its own fate. Even wicked men are given time to see themselves and repent. God is merciful even to the Sauls (Paul) of the earth who may not realize how wicked they are. Sometimes people cannot determine if a person is good or evil because good and evil deeds are intertwined. Some people may have thought Hitler had pure motives at first but his wickedness eventually blossomed almost too late to save onlookers.

God never changes His concept of right and wrong. When we choose to learn His ways and walk in truth, we will not be confused by the masquerade of wickedness. There is a discerning of good and evil that God gives to His children and they are taught to examine the fruit of a tree to judge what type tree it is from.

Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. Mat 7:17

People today seeing evil fruit are calling the tree good. They are foolish and do not know the word of God. We do not have to be deceived at this hour because the Word of God teaches us to discern good from evil and right from wrong. The foolish may fall into deception but the wise will know the truth.

And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.  Dan 11:32

Black History Month – February 2018

Black History Month – February 2018

The Cradle of Civilization

Black History Month is a celebration of the history and accomplishments of black people in America, a people descendant from Africans brought to America as a free labor force.  But to trace the history of these people back to only slavery or even to Africa does a disservice both to history and these people.   It is a tragedy that even in modern days the true history of black people in America is still hidden.  Descendants of African slaves now have the liberty and responsibility to promote their own history for future generations.

People from the continent of Africa were taken by force from their homeland and brought to America in chains in the year of 1619 to serve as a free workforce for white settlers in America. The biggest tragedy is not that they were stolen from their homeland or that they were forced to provide free labor and treated horribly.  I believe the biggest tragedy was the fact that the African slaves were stripped of their identity of name, family, language, traditions and native land.  They were forbidden by their slave masters to ever speak of these identifying traits under threat of punishment or death.  Many African Americans still today do not know their rich heritage.  The African people survived the cruelty of slavery and new generations were birthed in America without their ancestral identity.  Destruction of African heritage is why Black History Month is so important.  Lost identity stripes one of origin, destiny and purpose while leaving a terrible void in life.  The celebration of black history is an opportunity to recount the deleted history to our people and more important to provide for the children a stabilizing force of family identity, purpose and destiny for those lost without it.

 

As I mentioned above and the title suggests, there is much more to the story of black people then is commonly brought out in black history month.  The title, “Cradle of Civilization” is a reference to where mankind started its existence.  The continent of Africa is where the slaves were stolen from and the region where mankind originated.  This, too, is a fact that has been long hidden from the black population but that should be brought to the forefront for the healing and restoration of the souls of black people and the world.

Africa, sometimes called the Motherland, is the place where biblical history takes place and where today’s archaeologists, anthropologists have traced the earliest evidence of humankind.  From clay jars and skeletons to caves and discovery of ancient texts, the early history of the world’s people have been found and pieced together for a more accurate accounting of man’s origin.  The transition of people through lands, wars and through rising and falling civilizations has caused history to be a puzzle to modern populations.  Even though the stories have changed, the evidence continues to reveal the truth.  Bible references to African territories and scientific evidence proves the origin of the bible characters and fore parents of African American people. Just as interesting are the many nations and cultures that are derived from African people.

 

We do neither history nor religious faith any justice when we fail to disclose that bible characters were dark skinned people who found faith in the true God and started a religion that has circled the globe and is the foundation of multitudes of nations.  The very Christ that Christians around the world have expressed faith in was raised up in and around Africa. The lands popularly called Middle East or Israel are part of the African continent, the second largest of the seven continents of the world.  The Suez Canal waters separate Africa from what is now called the Middle East and is a man-made channel created for ease of travel through the massive land by water.  The dividing of Israel from Africa by this waterway has caused people to claim it is in the continent of Asia, rather than Africa. Illustrated below are early and current maps of the region which show land changes and division over the years.  The politics of nations have influenced and distorted history and territorial borders but truth is important.  Researching old maps will reveal that Israel was originally part of the African continent.  These facts are important because the history of African people is of necessity to the identity and cultural esteem of African American people who descended from African slaves, who were brought to America and stripped of their identity.  It is important because these people who were made to feel subservient can now know who they really are and rise up to fulfill their destiny.  Jesus came for the purpose of delivering all mankind from bondage and spiritual darkness. Black children must know of the great intellectual contributions Africa made to the world and the great learning centers such as the pre-colonial center of ancient Timbuktu.  The great knowledge of Africa was stolen by the invading armies from Greece and Rome and that knowledge evolved into the knowledge of the present day western world.  Struggling black students of today’s educational system must be told that this is their intellectual heritage.  They must not be allowed to believe that they are second class citizens who came from slaves that were classified as only 3/5 human.  Knowing their true heritage can elevate a deflated self-esteem derived from generations of degradation by a dominant society.

Biblical accuracy of scriptures must be restored for blacks who have been sold a bill of goods by white religion and educational systems.  The casting of an all-white bible is a lie told by the devil to rob black people of their ability to ascend from the bondage they have suffered far too long.  The truth hidden or denied will never bring our society to racial reconciliation.  Winston Churchill is quoted as saying, “History is written by the victors;” and it is true today because those that hold the reins of power over black people are distorting and changing history to their advantage.  Blacks must now take the truth and excel to their God-given destiny. Past black heroes such as Frederick Douglas, Langston Hughes and others have both spoken and written the truth of black history for their descendants but we must make sure these great works are read in the formative years by black children.  It is up to black educators, ministers, entrepreneurs and political leaders of our society to make sure these lessons are not lost to the black community.  We must remember that those who forget their history are destined to repeat it.

For the purpose of a progressive future for all, the truth must survive and prevail.  Booker T. Washington said, “You can’t hold a man down without staying down with him.”    It is in the best interest of all Americans to let the history of black people survive in our society.  The bible teaches knowing truth can make us free but the truth must be obtained and utilized to break the yokes of bondage.  Blacks must use every instrument available to promote our freedom as a people.  Black History Month is just one month of the year where we try to bring to the forefront of our society that which should be commonly known, accepted and celebrated throughout the whole year.  God has given blacks liberty in Jesus Christ, knowledge and opportunity to break every yoke and reclaim our rightful place in Him and we must not be fearful to use everything He has given to proclaim and sustain our liberty.

 

 

 

 

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

 

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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!