Category Archives: Religion

THE LEADERSHIP LIE

May 2019

I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.  Ps. 32:8 

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. Ps. 23:1-2

Changing Standards

This may be a challenging message to some because it could stretch the spiritual boundaries of some readers’ thinking while providing exposure to greater liberty in Christ.

The nation of America has devalued some important foundations that used to hold its people within the borders of reason, morality and decency.  Without these strong borders, people are freely crossing over normal lines of restraint and few can rein them in without being accused of phobias or narrow-mindedness.  Americans are so accustomed to concepts of inclusion and the comfort of being “part of the team,” until it has become unacceptable to call out an associate or team member for error.  A spirit of tolerance is deemed as a better approach:  We are all “okay.”  This is our current fallacy that is leading to destructive practices that have descended to new “norms.”  Where did we get this from?  When did the lines between right and wrong, good and evil become so unimportant or invisible?  When purebred animals are mated with a mixed-breed, we call them “mutts” because the value is lost and mutts cannot reproduce a purebred pedigree.  “Mutt” is a term of disdain and has no value in discussion of purebreds.  We can become just like that…without much value or worth because we have become contaminated with something considered filthy or disdained.  This can be a delicate subject and may appear to imply disfavor of people some would not call proper or whole; but Christ loves all kinds of people even when He rejects improper conduct.

Quality of Leadership

Leaders ought to lead followers in the right path because of their familiarity with the goals and standards necessary to reach the destination and they should possess above average skills. Moses had the blueprint to the tabernacle and guidance from God to lead the people from the wilderness to Canaan Land.  The Israelites followed Moses’ guidance from God because they saw evidence of God leading him.  When Moses began to follow his own mind and disobeyed God’s guidance, he was set down and new leadership replaced him.  God is still doing that today, but people are so accustomed to following the flesh of man even when divine guidance is gone. Believers should seek to follow the God in man revealed by the Holy Spirit, not his flesh.

Leaders ought to lead in the right way.  They are not right because they lead; but because they lead, they ought to do what’s right.  The bible painstakingly reveal in the books of Kings and the chronicles, the reign and result of good and bad kings.  God set up good kings and pulled down bad ones, often turning bad ones over to their enemies for punishment.  God grew weary of Israel’s bad leaders and decided to send us the perfect leader: Jesus Christ. The best possible leader and model has already come and shown the right way with empowerment to obtain levels of perfection.  Christ could not remain among us in fleshly form nor was that His mission.  He came to introduce a change that would improve our lives and world.  He corrected our wrong course and brought deliverance from the penalty of sin and entrapment to Satan.  He taught, empowered and established us on a better path for life in righteousness. 

Many see church as the path Christ gave and have submitted themselves to a lifetime of church guidance.  But is that what Jesus planned for the believer?  Isaiah 61 tells us the Messiah would come to bind us the broken hearted, proclaim liberty to the captives, opening prisons to the bound, proclaim the day of vengeance, comfort mourners, and to give joy and praise instead of mourning and heaviness.  Jesus came at a time when there was already the God-ordained temple with religious leadership consisting of high priests, local priests, Pharisees, Sadducees and scribes knowledgeable in the word of God and who stood as leaders and teachers over the Israelites.  With this vast knowledgeable religious leadership available, why was it necessary to bring in a new leader or change for God’s people?  It was because these leaders had become self-absorbed and corrupt leaders who abused God’s people and His law.  Prophet Isaiah records God’s summation of this problem:

His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber.  Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter.  Come ye, say they, I will fetch wine, and we will fill ourselves with strong drink; and to morrow shall be as this day, and much more abundant. Isa 56:10-12 

Wickedness in God’s leaders required Jesus to come as Deliverer.  At Christ’s coming, the Israelites needed deliverance from the bondage of Roman oppression and from the Jewish religious leaders working as accomplices to Rome and to their own religious heavy-handedness.  Jesus observed the wickedness of men as individuals and leaders and instituted a new system to set both free. Religious leaders were no longer to be the burden carriers for the people but rather a veil of love covering and instructing the believer. 

Christ’s Impact on Leadership

If Jesus was to come in the flesh today, the same type of bondage would be found in our nation.  Government bondage is not from foreigners but from our own people through unjust laws.  The universal and eternal story of Jesus Christ and His entry into Jerusalem can reveal a lot about our world when we take the time to explore it.  Jesus was sent to bring change, restore and atone for the morality of his day and ours.  His entry was the pivotal moment to change everything at a time when things were at their worst.  We are at a similar moment in the nation of America.  America has had the best opportunity with wealth, knowledge and liberty to provide its entire people the benefits of a good life but rather leaders pressed for more power, wealth and privilege for the elites.  Here are some of the markers of both times.

  • God’s people existed in bondage to oppressive government but Jesus brought liberty.
  • Ungodly government and idol gods.
  • Religious leaders in allegiance with the oppressive government hid truth.
  • Religious leaders conspired with oppressors for position and money and betrayed their own people.
  • The people of God toiled under abuse, extortion, ignorance, and poverty while their leaders were enjoying the benefits of wealth.
  • The people were at a pivotal moment to change everything and establish a new kingdom.
  • Opportunity to choose between two competing kingdoms (Christ or Satan) for eternal destiny.
  • Disciples of Christ were sealed and given a place in His eternal kingdom.

Leadership is still heavy-handed in churches and binds people to legalities for fellowship and experience with God.  People are burdened by both government and church without enjoying the liberties Jesus came to bring.  One of the devastations of today’s religion is that some people do not realize they are in bondage to a religion called Christianity.  The Jewish people at Christ’s coming were in bondage to Judaism because of corrupt religious leaders who ruled them.  John the Baptist released his pastoral authority over followers and directed them to the liberty of Christ.  Pastors today either do not know or refuse to release members into the liberty of Christ. They keep believers in a state of striving to obtain some mystical, unknown church goal.  Christ revealed their inability to lead anyone where they themselves had never gone. 

But I know him: for I am from him, and he hath sent me. Joh 7:29 

Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying. Joh 8:55 

Christ came to flip the script!  Now every man can know God for himself and escape the false requirements of leaders.  The veil has been ripped from top to bottom, the formalities have ended, and the tabernacle has been changed from a building to a body that is part of the Divine. Bondage has been broken and liberty has come.

And they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. Heb 8:11 

Christ told Matthew and Andrew: “Follow me.”  John the Baptist’s disciples left John’s teaching and followed Christ.  But what if John had forbade them to follow Christ’s lead?  Many leaders are doing just that and people remain in bondage after learning of Christ. Christ admonished every believer to read the word for self and the truth would make them free.  Within every believer and especially Spirit-empowered believers is the power to change the world.  They are like “LEGO” bricks:  full of potential as singles but when united with others, they can become anything.  Christ came to give us the potential to do miracles as individuals and greater miracles in unity, but false leadership can squash that potential. Believers can be hindered under fleshly leadership rather than set free to mature and follow Christ into their destiny. 

While visiting a church, the pastor was heard telling the spirit-filled congregation:  “Before you make a major decision, come and talk to me.”  I was appalled at such a demand.  Wise counsel is always good but Christ never instructed believers to be led by the mind of their pastor or for the pastor to make the personal decisions of believers, crippling them to dependence on him.  Christ taught:

And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Joh 16:23 

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Mat 7:7-8 

But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. 1Jn 2:27 

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. Joh 16:13

Major Change in Spiritual Leadership

Christ taught believers to pray and seek God in the name of Jesus and follow the directions of the Holy Spirit, who would lead them into all truth.  Following Christ allowed the believer to ask any question, go anywhere, and be led by Christ into limitless experiences and maturity.  Christ came to take the cuffs off the believer so he could fellowship and work for Christ in the earth.  The weakness and wickedness of fleshly leaders led God to break the believer from spiritual and mental bondage to man that kept them impoverished and ignorant.  Even though authorities still rule over groups of people for compliance to laws and to keep order, Jesus set the mind and spirit of man free to follow Jesus, the righteous leader, into his God-ordained destiny and well being.  Man is no longer crippled in spiritual or mental bondage to any man and Christ’s power can liberate any other bondage or constraint.  There are many people bound by church or government where they could be freed through Christ’s power.  The bondage of mankind to the fleshly leadership of man has led many to submit their entire being over to another person.  This was never the will of God.  This type of bondage makes one vulnerable to Satan’s captivity if he subdues the leader.  Christ taught that once the strong man is bound then his whole house could also be spoiled. Satan’s entrance and control through a weakened defense can destroy whole groups that may be submitted to one leader. Christ came to release believers from that kind of bondage.  The power of man is limitless when he follows Christ.

God revealed in Old and New Testaments the wickedness in some leaders over multitudes of people.  Men have long enslaved other men like themselves for material gain.  One of the horrible realizations of slavery of Africans was that many of their own tribal leaders sold them into slavery to white Europeans for material gain.  Spiritual, mental and physical bondage of men can still be sold to oppressors by leaders without the group’s knowledge, but Christ came to give man a way of escape.  When the individual has a personal relationship with Christ, he always has a functioning alert system.

The reality of our current political dilemma in America has been the question:  Is the American President an asset of Russia?  Is it possible that a people who are willing to put away their God for financial wealth can be sold to an enemy?  The unrepented corruption of America is returning upon her head.  Our nation has long believed national superiority would last and outmaneuver other nations but it seems America’s highest office holder may have betrayed her to her worst enemy whom he calls friend.  God is showing America through her current trauma that we are not to give lordship to our fleshly leaders or put our confidence in any man.  God’s commandment to Israel was that they should have no other God and yet they made many gods, as has America.  One of America’s false gods is money, even though God forbade covetousness and the apostles taught the love of money is the root of all evil (1 Tim. 6:10).  America’s love of money has matured and reaped a crop of trouble but each believer can still find personal salvation in Christ.

Israel was led from false gods to the true God but then turned back to idols and chose Caesar over the Savior.  Americans must understand their imitation of this flaw when they choose fleshly leaders over the leadership of Christ.  This choice offends our Sovereign God.  The grace of God has given each individual the right to be delivered from the group’s error of idolatry by personally accepting and following Christ.  Christ came to bring truth that God is the believer’s leader; and the believer who submits to His Lordship is set free.

New Leadership Makes the Difference

To be clear, all our church guidance and biblical history were intended to bring erroneous children back to God, the Father.  We are not saved to become bound to a fleshly leader, nation or idol.  Christ unites believers to Himself in a new family.  Our churches were never supposed to bring us under submission to an oppressive nation or leader. Failure to submit and adore our Sovereign God will not be tolerated by God.  Religious leaders should lead followers to Christ and He will direct us to the Father, who longs to love and protect us. 

As was said at the beginning, this is a challenging message and it is not written to everyone.  It is written to those that truly love the Lord. There is a deception going on to deceive multitudes and only the righteous will prevail.  When an oppressive power takes authority over a people, its presence will be revealed through the fruit produced in the people. God’s people show forth His love and truth while Satan’s people cannot contain their evil ways through lying or hatred.

America is set up as a republic where the people’s voice is spoken through representatives from local to federal offices.  Americans are accustomed to submitting to higher authority.  Our representatives have often sought out the moral council of ministers they value during times of crucial indecision.  Governments were established originally from moral religious leaders honoring God and His commandments and this truth was the standard it operated from.  Our national government has bound the hands and voices of many churches through restrictive tax laws.  We, nevertheless, see our government which should be an extension of God’s authority at times invoking the favor of God’s while adopting unrighteous positions.  If truth is forsaken by the government leaders, it does not annihilate God’s leadership and truth, which is higher.  When government decides to uphold a lie, truth still stands and God will judge the nations.  Salvation of the individual’s soul is a personal decision.

The leadership lie is that the believer cannot do anything without his religious leader. The truth is that Jesus is leader and Lord over the believer.  Jesus came to pull down the barrier between man and God. The believer is lifted above religious leaders to God, Himself.  Each believer has access to God, His power and truth. It is no longer solely the duty of religious leaders to enforce truth. Christ has basically deputizes every believer in His service with power and truth. We are individually empowered and responsible to God to stand in His service where He has assigned us.  God will stand in us to provide strength to uphold the standard where He has placed us.  And when we all stand together in our place for truth as a bulwark against evil, the devil or evildoers that stand against us will fall.  One mystery about America is that the God over the nation through Christ will empower any individual, like Gideon, that stands up for truth to restore and preserve righteousness.  History reveals many singular individuals who endangered their personal lives and freedom to help establish and protect America as a nation under God.  We saw individuals like Patrick Henry (“Give me liberty, or give me death!”) stand up alone and declare truth in critical times in early America.  They had an underlying faith, patriotism and indignation against unrighteousness.  Righteous change does not come easily and not without sacrifice.  Christ taught us to make sacrifices for good. Christ empowers any individual believer to stand boldly during crisis with the power of God to bring change.  Politeness is an instrument of compromise, not a weapon of war; and we must know when we are at war.  Heroes are born out of times of crisis and their stand is never easy.  That is the strength that made America and it is the strength that can save America.

. . .and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Mat 28:20 

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GOD ASKS US TO JUDGE OURSELVES BEFORE HIS JUDGMENT FALLS

April 2019

For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged.  But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.  1Co 11:3132 

Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?  1Co 6:2 

In Old Testament scripture, the God of Moses sent commandments to the Children of Israel to follow, where sin and disobedience would be judged with death.  The dire consequence of sin is cleared shown in the story of the rebellion of Korah (Nu. 16:32-33), who defied Moses’ authority and dropped alive with his accomplices into the open pit of hell.  In the recording of the prophetic service of prophets like Moses and Abraham, we see often an appeal to God of leniency for the people and God’s openness to appeal for mercy.  The book of Isaiah shows God’s decision to send an eternal intercessor to man for extension of leniency and Jesus’ ministry established the terms of that leniency.  Unfortunately, many New Testament believers have decided the mercy of God through Jesus Christ allows them to practice sin and receive no retribution for breaking God’s commandments.  They have believed the love of God revealed through Jesus makes God too loving to destroy man. However, God never did away with the punishment of His law against sin; He only allowed exceptions permitted through faith in Christ (Mat 5:17).  Those not found in faith through Christ are also not covered under the grace of Christ (John 3:18) and are still subject to the wrath and punishment of God’s anger (Rom. 1:18) against sin.  One of the failures of Christian ministry is neglecting to help churchgoers understand which group they are in.  One is not under the mercy of God through Christ merely by going to church.  One can be near food and still starve to death. Church is merely a vehicle to get one to the place of salvation. We must each individually take Christ’s hand for guidance.

Knowing that God will deal with sin in people of the world and the church, it is important to know how God deals with people in both environments.  That takes us back to the scenario of Israel’s relationship with God.  Sin will either receive the mercy of God through an obedient intercessor, as in Abraham’s intercession for Lot or Christ’s intercession for believers; or one will experience God’s wrath for disobedience like Korah (Nu. 16:32-33) and Paul’s reference in Rom. 1:18.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousnessRom 1:18 

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Rom 6:23 

Since we know through this discussion and scriptures that God will deal with all sin, it is imperative that we know where we fall on God’s scale of justice.  Americans seem convinced that they cannot come under the kind of wrath that the Children of Israel experienced time and time again for disobedience.  When we realize that our sin is either covered or not, we are able to determine where we fall in our susceptibility to judgment of sin.

   …Blessed are they whose iniquities [sins] are forgiven, and whose sins are covered… Rom 4:7 

There have been many intercessory prayers that add cover to America from the prayer of Solomon that appealed for all believers to Jesus’ prayer for His followers, and that of Christian believers and leaders who have prayed a blessing over this nation.  But there comes a time when all the evil of a people or their descendants excel any appeasement of intercessors as God recounted in the Old Testament.

Therefore pray not thou for this people, neither lift up a cry or prayer for them: for I will not hear them in the time that they cry unto me for their trouble. Jer 11:14 

Son of man, when the land sinneth against me by trespassing grievously, then will I stretch out mine hand upon it, and will break the staff of the bread thereof, and will send famine upon it, and will cut off man and beast from it:  Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord GOD. Eze 14:13-14


The grace and mercy we receive under Jesus Christ provides intercession and forgiveness when sincere repentance comes through faith in Christ. As mentioned earlier, this exception from the wrath of God is revealed in the ministry of Jesus Christ. Church leaders and believers are instructed to pray in intercession for one another and those in authority (I Tim. 2:1-2) while reaching the lost with the message of reconciliation.  When the church and worldly government become corrupt, we find ourselves in the position Jeremiah confronted.  Let’s read what God had to say to Israel when no just man stood in opposition to the evil of the land and let’s read it as if it was written directly to America.  “[ ]” added to show references to America.

Jer 4:1-4(KJV) – If thou wilt return, O Israel [America], saith the LORD, return unto me: and if thou wilt put away thine abominations out of my sight, then shalt thou not [be] remove[d].  And thou shalt swear [say], The LORD liveth, in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness; and the nations shall bless themselves in him, and in him shall they glory.  For thus saith the LORD to the men of Judah and Jerusalem [America], Break up [destroy] your fallow ground (evil), and sow not among thorns [stop sinning].  Circumcise yourselves to [obey] the LORD, and take away the foreskins of your heart [repent], ye men of Judah and inhabitants [America]: lest my fury come forth like fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings. 

Disaster from the North

Jer 4:5-11  Declare and say, Blow ye the trumpet in the land [ announce  throughout America]: cry, gather together, and say, Assemble yourselves, and let us go throughout the land.   Set up the standard of righteousness [re-establish the righteous way]: retire, stay not [do not rest]: for I will bring evil from the north, and a great destruction.  The lion [the enemy is coming] is come up from his thicket, and the destroyer from the nations is on his way; he is gone forth from his place to make thy land desolate[coming to destroy]; and thy cities shall be laid waste, without an inhabitant.  For this gird you with sackcloth [so repent], lament [sorrow] and howl [cry]: for the fierce anger of the LORD is not turned back from us. And it shall come to pass at that day, saith the LORD, that the heart of the king [president] shall perish [faint], and the heart of the princes [government officials]; and the priests [ministers] shall be astonished, and the prophets shall wonder.  Then said I Ah, Lord GOD! surely thou hast greatly deceived this people [the church] and America, saying, Ye shall have peace; whereas the sword [your wrath] reacheth unto the soul.  At that time shall it be said to this people [to churchgoers and all America], A dry wind of the high places [wrath from God] in the wilderness toward the daughter of my people [toward America], not to fan, nor to cleanse,  Even a full wind from those places shall come unto me: now also will I give sentence against them [God’s sentence against America].  Behold, he shall come up as clouds, and his chariots [warefare] shall be as a whirlwind: his horses [weapons] are swifter than eagles. Woe unto us! for we are spoiled.  O Jerusalem [America], wash thine heart from wickedness [repent], that thou mayest be saved. How long shall thy vain thoughts [evilness] lodge within thee?  For a voice declareth from Dan [the forefathers spoke], and publisheth affliction[they warned] from mount Ephraim[the Commandments].  Make ye mention to the nations [tell the nations]; behold, publish against Jerusalem [cry against America], that watchers [prosecutors] come from a far country, and give out their voice against the cities of Jerusalem [America].  As keepers of a field [as divine guardians], are they against her [America] round about; because she [America] hath been rebellious against me [God], saith the LORD.  Thy way and thy doings [America’s evil ways] have procured [brought] these things [evil] unto thee [against America]; this is thy wickedness[reward, punishment], because it is bitter, because it reacheth unto thine heart. 

Anguish over Judah’s Desolation {Prophet’s Remorse]

Jer 4:19-31  My bowels, my bowels! I am pained at my very heart; my heart maketh a noise in me; I cannot hold my peace, because thou hast heard, O my soul, the sound of the trumpet, the alarm of war.  Destruction upon destruction is cried; for the whole land is spoiled: suddenly are my tents spoiled, and my curtains in a moment.  How long shall I see the standard, and hear the sound of the trumpet?  For my people is foolish, they have not known me [God; they are sottish (stupid) children, and they have none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge.  …  Jer 4:27  For thus hath the LORD said, The whole land shall be desolate (empty); yet will I not make a full end.  For this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above be black: because I have spoken it, I have purposed it, and will not repent, neither will I turn back from it.  The whole city (nation) shall flee for the noise of the horsemen and bowmen (war); they shall go into thickets, and climb up upon the rocks: every city shall be forsaken, and not a man dwell therein.  And when thou art spoiled [when punished], what wilt thou do? Though thou clothest thyself with crimson [though still symbols of wealth], though thou deckest thee with ornaments of gold though thou rentest thy face with painting [makeup], in vain shalt thou make thyself fair [attractive]; thy lovers [your friends] will despise thee, they will seek thy life.  For I have heard a voice as of a woman in travail, and the anguish as of her that bringeth forth her first child, the voice of the daughter of Zion [prophet foresaw the end], that bewaileth herself [America], that spreadeth her hands, saying, Woe is me now! for my soul is wearied because of murderers [sorrow at the end].

There is an evil in the land and there are few that will stand up for right.  Yet God can only be appeased through righteous intercession for an evil land as we saw in Jonah’s intercession for Nineveh whereby they repented.  Even though God said that the intercession of Noah, Daniel, and Job could not deliver some wicked people that He determined to destroy; Jesus is a better intercessor than Noah, Daniel or Job. Father God has chosen to hear Jesus’ intercession for us.  The righteous church should represent Christ’s voice in the world, but many churches have compromised with the world for worldly profit and some are immature.  In our day, believers are required to do more than just pray; we must repent and make change.  This is where we have an opportunity through our faith, prayers and democratic process to appeal to our nation for change.  Jesus authorized the true church to judge sin in the land and bring about change but when the church is corrupt, and unless the people stand up; God himself will judge all sin. 

Paul taught in 1Co 11:31-32 how we could avoid the consequences announced in Jeremiah 4.  Paul said we have the ability and commission to judge ourselves and prevent God’s judgment.  We, as individuals, are to judge our own lives during Christian communion even as we pray for our church fellowship.  As the righteous church, we are to judge our own Christian body first for sin and then we are granted authority to judge the land as Christ’s representative.  Many Christian churches have become corrupt because they failed to judge members or leader’s sin. So how is it that the church has fallen so short that the world has judged the church and found it corrupt and inept to decide the issues of the world?  How can God be pleased with this state of affairs?  It is important for America to know that God’s grace first allows us to be judged by those close to us that love us before He next brings our enemy in to judge us with His wrath, still with a hope for signs of repentance.  If America does not allow the worldly justice of its lawmakers to determine and judge the sin of corruption at the highest levels of our society then God will permit outside authorities, who do not love us, to judge us.  The mercy of God is at the final stage before turning our nation over to our enemies without to punish the evil deeds inside our nation.  Remember that He said, in some circumstances, not even Noah, Daniel or Abraham could intercede for some evil.  So we must, while we still can, judge ourselves and allow our just representatives to judge the wrong before we are turned over to our enemies in God’s destruction because God will not allow America’s sin to further corrupt the world and defame His name.  Judgment of the world always begins with those that claim to know the Creator and His ways.  This former Christian nation must be judged for turning on God.

I will get me unto the great men, and will speak unto them; for they have known the way of the LORD, and the judgment of their God: but these have altogether broken the yoke, and burst the bonds [corrupt leaders].  Wherefore a lion out of the forest shall slay them, and a wolf of the evenings shall spoil them, a leopard shall watch over their cities: every one that goeth out thence shall be torn in pieces: because their transgressions are many, and their backslidings are increased [enemies allowed to punish us].  How shall I pardon thee for this? thy children have forsaken me, and sworn by them that are no gods when I had fed them to the full, they then committed adultery, and assembled themselves by troops in the harlots’ houses [even the youth are spoiled by their wealth and enjoy worshiping false gods].  They were as fed horses in the morning: every one neighed after his neighbour’s wife.  Shall I not visit for these things? saith the LORD: and shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this? Jer 5:5-9 

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.  He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. Joh 3:17-18 

God has shown us the evil of our nation and we have to judge the evil.  When Israel had evil in the camp everyone had to choose a stone and come out into the courtyard before the criminal and throw a stone at the evildoer until dead to put evil out of the camp.  Sounds cruel but evil could not be tolerated or allowed to contaminate and destroy the whole camp.  Righteousness had to rise up against evil and defeat it.  In the New Testament we are still required to put evil to death.  However, for those that accept Christ, God has put Jesus to death in our place. All our sin was rolled onto Christ, judged by authority, sentenced to death and punished on the cross until it was destroyed.  New life could only begin for us after the crucifixion.

America has sinned and corruption and evil runs throughout its body.  Sins of greed, lust, extortion, murder, treachery, pedophilia, pornography, abortion, adultery, lying, apostasy, false religions, political corruption, abuse, sexual dysfunction, rape, unjust laws, discrimination, prejudice, false leaders, witchcraft, false gods, and hatred are found in our nation and must be put to death.  Some have in error called our President a type of biblical Cyrus but rather he, as head of the nation, is symbolic of all that is evil in the body of our nation and his presidency represents the wicked heart of our nation.  Isaiah (1:5) announced “the whole head is sick…” All unlawfulness found and proven guilty in him should be judged and sentenced because it represents the guilt of our nation and our ability to still call sin as sin. Only after our judgment for sin and death can we be born again. Sounds cruel but evil cannot rein over the righteous.  It’s not political; it is law. Grace comes after the law is fulfilled.

No one wants to be the one who throws the first stone.  No one wants to be the one with the hammer or the nail nor the hand that holds it.  Few want to be the lawmaker, lawyer or judge but we all have to play the role God has given us.  Righteousness must always stand against sin, but it was God who sentenced Christ to the cross for sin so we could live.  We all died in Christ. Christ was guilty with our sin even though He was not a sinner.  He bore the guilt and it had to be punished for us to live.  Evil had to be judged.  God’s judgment told through Prophet Ezekiel was to spare only those that angels identified as crying out against the evil corruption of the land.  Every Christian has to acknowledge their sinfulness and that it was nailed to Christ’s cross. We must confess sin because it is our path to righteousness. Only God had the resurrection power to raise up Christ again and only God has the power to raise up America again.

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Rom 5:8 



Why America is in Confusion?

March 2019

The nation of America had a good start and great opportunities to be the first nation to have a truly free people.  The blueprint was fair and just for all people but Americans strayed from the blueprint. The blueprint established freedom, justice and equality for all citizens.  The blueprint was based on the bible that America no longer wants to follow.  The blueprint put forth the standards of Jesus Christ, who illustrated and set up a plan for us to share love with every person regardless of gender, race, culture or past mistakes.  God, as Creator, upholds His own standard of love and truth and He cares for every individual made in His image.

The Europeans who came to America were from a people who fought religious wars, resisted aristocracy and religious authoritarianism and evolved into a people of liberty.  These immigrants escaped European rule and won freedom to practice a new liberty where they followed the bible and their own conscious without the heavy hand of government or church.  With this new freedom, they chose to put themselves under the rule of God and be guided by the values learned from scripture to provide equal opportunity and justice for all citizens.

After Christian evangelism hit Europe and persuaded its citizen of the cruelty of slavery and abolished it (1833); the colonists to America, nevertheless, used scriptures to justify enslavement and used the bible and African slaves to build the new society brick by brick.  European Christian evangelists came to evangelize America against slavery but it took the Civil War (1865) to finally deliver Africans from American slavery.  After abolition of slavery in 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln, American legislators and hate mongers found new ways to enslave blacks through laws, taxes, social practices, clan activity, miseducation, and religious deception.  The Civil Rights Act of 1964 granted blacks’ freedom from discriminatory legal practices but the same racist practices still continue to the day enhanced by voter suppression and gerrymandering to diminish black empowerment. Various ethnic American citizens have suffered injustice by white Americans and have had their complaints settled by court suits or financial reparations while white America refuses to atone for their most egregious sin: cruelty and stolen labor from African slaves who built this nation.

White Americans, descendants of those delivered from European religious and governmental bondage, refuse to recognize their hypocritical reverse treatment toward black people captured and enslaved for profit.  The nation that promised to give every citizen the right to pursue liberty and justice under an oath to God has lied to God and non-white citizens. Their Sunday ceremonial worship and praise cannot alleviate this error.  The long journeys of European explorers and exploiters who travelled distant lands and did mental search of divinity have settled on the opinion of past researchers:  that they are the supreme beings of the universe.   White American citizens, legislators, judges and ministers still justify their discriminatory practices toward black American citizens and make no apology or effort to fulfill their covenant promise to the God that allowed them possession of this land.  In the mist of religious, political, social and economic turmoil; American whites cannot figure out what is wrong.  One news panelist trying to uphold old standards recently said in disappointment, “No one is coming to help us.”  How sad!  Someone already came and they crucified Him! 

The nation of American was set up on Christian values and prayers but now refuses to conform to the requirements of the God of the bible or His revealed Son, Jesus Christ.  Their Christian journey seems to have hit a snag and reverted back to the ways of their European forefathers, before they repented of slavery.  This original sin has tainted the religious faith of white Christians. Many of these “Christians” have made a mockery of the word “Christian” in their practice of Christianity because Christianity is based on love of neighbor as one loves himself; and a practice of racial supremacy by white America reveals proof of hatred against neighbors who do not look like them.  How can they represent Christ, who is love, and finish their Christian journey while hating those He died for?  Has Christ given them an exception from the love clause?  Their faith is found to be fraudulent and their covenant void. Their “god” who lords over hatred is trying to force the nation to serve him and those he has appointed as his leader, cabinet, and false ministers to carry out his plan of false leadership and religion, imitating Christ and His church.  Christ taught much about the last day’s deception using a false church of which true believers should beware. 

For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Mat 24:24 

False Christs want us to believe that everything is okay with the church and we are all in line with the Lord but racial hatred and superiority rants expose this lie.   Christ came and exposed a hypocritical church and false leaders.  He pulled the cover off hypocrisy and exposed their evil in order to protect true believers.

Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.  Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. Joh 8:42-44

America, who fought a civil war over racial prejudice, is now fighting a spiritual war based on the lie of racial superiority and is willing to bow to the father of lies to prevail in power. White America needs to remember that it was a non-church attending 16th U.S. President during the Civil War who settled the debate but, nevertheless, surmised that maybe both sides claiming to be doing the will of God were in error. They must have been because the debate continues.  Is God satisfied with the continuing debate?  Americans must individually choose to stand for truth and reject the liar and his lies.  Changing gods or denouncing the True God and His ways mean warfare and we are experiencing the turmoil of this change.  Even the devil wants a peaceful entrance into power and he uses deception and subtlety until he is ready to reveal himself in authority. God prevents this evil unveiling while His people remain in the earth.  The reason the public is confused about determining the right from wrong path is the interference of evil oversight.  The evil one is a chameleon, changing to suit the occasion.  God withdraws His hand when His guidance is refused and evil’s influence is strengthened. Compromise of truth eases us more and more into the way of error.  Jesus has declared though that “I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Mt. 16:18) so the real church will hold the line by the power of the Holy Ghost until Jesus says it is enough. The masquerading of evil as light must not deceive the church.  Every individual has free will to choose what god to serve, but the True God will judge every decision at His throne.  The best thing the nation can do is to choose wisely by rejecting the god of confusion while upholding truth by serving the True God of Creation, Jehovah God.

For more discussion on this subject, read my book:  Christianity and Ethnicity:  Is Christ Concerned About Race? ISBN: 9781387188253; (https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/christianity-and-ethnicity-joyce-reba-payne/1127151207

Posted to website: joycerebapayneministries.com – March 25, 2019

LEARNING THE LESSON

March 2019

While our memories are fresh we should pause as Americans to see what we have learned from our recent political discourse.  But you say, “It is not over yet!”  The ordeal might not be over but the lesson is apparent and ready to be learned.  It is amazing that with the multitudes of professions, spiritual intuition and educational knowledge available in our nation; it was the American media that saved the day.  They called out lies that the politicians, church and government would not.  They were a little slow calling a lie a lie but they finally got there.  Their reluctance in calling false statements as lies was probably due to their professional relationship with morality, whose guidelines for truth is rooted in biblical scriptures.  America has had its debate with truth and truth was tossed out on its ear in favor of public opinion.  Truth does exist, however, even though few public leaders want to validate the importance of truth derived from religious faith as the standard and foundation of our society.  Religious wars were fought and settled in nations before America was established as a God-honoring nation.  America must re-establish this baseline truth. We cannot re-fight religious wars within our borders.  Some things, like math, are universally accepted truths across nations and so must be the truth about God, which America had the most liberty to expound across the world.  Has America come to an epiphany about God and yet reverted back to pagan discourse?  Has the church failed at practicing what it has preached?

Chasing After “Shiny Things”

The media unearthed a truth that revealed people were running around in circles. “Shiny things” was a phrase that was repeated over and over by one media outlet who discovered the enemy was hiding the truth by causing the public to chase after “shining things.”  Little children love shiny things and will chase after them and amuse themselves in play with them all day long.  They can easily be distracted by shiny things.  The media found that they were being pulled off topic and off the scent of their journalistic search by shiny things introduced to lead them astray.  They caught on to the game, called it out and decided to stop allowing these traps to ruin their efforts in exposing real problems.  Would to God we all would learn this lesson and stop running after “shiny things.”

The real question is how we ever got into the mess our political system has fallen into.  It’s appropriate to consider: America loves shiny things!  We love the flashy, the bigness, the loudest, the richest and the most visible things.  We love our stars!  If there is a selection to be made, we want the “most-est” of the bunch.  We are Americans and we want nothing less than the best! So we chase after shiny things because they stand out and must represent the best.  We were groomed to seek after movie stars, celebrity preachers and greatness in leaders. Everything shiny is not the best!  Sometimes it’s just greased up.

Choosing Wisely

What am I talking about?  We, as Americans, must learn from our present situation, while the experience is still fresh in our minds, how to make proper decisions from a wide selection of options.  New elections are on the way!  We will have an opportunity to do it again and leaders can and have been proven to lead the masses astray with smoke, mirrors and flashes of light.  Did we learn the lesson?  If we have not learned the lesson, we are bound to repeat it.  I dare say some are reporting, we are already repeating our previous bad history.  The best leader is not always the best looking, tallest, wealthiest, most smooth-talking, charismatic, renowned person we can find.  Abraham Lincoln is believed to have been one of our best presidents yet his success as the 16th President of the United States was not based on popular criteria.

The best source for guidance in selecting true leadership is found in the Word of God.  If we refuse this sound guidance, we will continue to have more of what we are already seeing.  The devil does not need new tricks; the old ones work just fine.  Church instruction was supposed to teach us how to make right choices.  Our first great leaders were chosen by God and He gave mankind guidelines for selecting good leaders.  Here is some biblical instruction:

Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. Act 6:3

 Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tensEx. 18:21 

 And all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had judged; and they feared the king: for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him, to do judgment. 1Ki 3:28

For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. Pro 2:6 

The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility. Pro 15:33 

I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. Deu 18:18 

The scriptures above reveal God’s guidance for selection of a leader:

  • One from among us (someone we know and his ways)
  • One of honest report, fears God, Spirit-filled,
  • One who has judgment, wisdom, truth
  • And one who hates covetousness.

Inner-Struggle of Nation

Our nation started out as a God-fearing nation but now mostly choose to disavow God and shun His ways in favor of worldly leadership.  We have compromised our values for the sake of getting along.  The fact that none of us are perfect should not disqualify the guidebook that identifies our shortcomings.  We can see clearly where that has gotten us and we can look back at the list above and realize there is a lack of virtuous traits in our present leadership.  We should not settle for lest of men because we cannot find a perfect human.  We also should not look to man as God, which is idolatry or demagoguery (Suggested audio/video on demagoguery: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9IaGHbyWf7c.  This is the right time to look back over the last several years to see how far we have gone from God’s original instructions that the founders valued and we should each determine why we find ourselves in this present state.   Some would say we are doing that.  Unfortunately and as previously explained, the expertise of the media cannot produce repentance, which is God granted.  When America chose to refuse the Christian standard, it also refused godly leadership. Without God’s guidance and Christian values, we no longer have a standard on which to judge righteousness or the proper course for the nation.  When biblical Israel became corrupt both leaders and the people were in darkness.

For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. 2Co 10:12

Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him. Pro 26:12 

The very definition of right and wrong has been publicly challenged and debated with vigor while the “Judge” over the debate has been muzzled.  We can continue on the wrong course and become worse and worse or we can stop now, acknowledge we went off course, check the guide book to see our error and be corrected.  It is time to seriously evaluate our experience and extract the lesson.  Without a vision the people will perish (Pro 29:18) and the vision of our nation was God’s direction for the nation.

A list of  worldly characteristics to judge the best candidates are usually: strong vision for the nation; ability to put the times in historical perspective; effective communicator; courage to make unpopular decisions; crisis management skills; character and skills (www.ushistory.org/gov).  Careful evaluation reveals the list was derived from biblical examples but it purposely leaves out God’s Spirit as the source of guidance.  We cannot use God’s wisdom while failing to acknowledge Him as the source and expect to be successful.  Kings, prophets and wise men have acknowledged God as the source of their abilities, whereas modern intellectuals show shame. The very nature of God and His commandments refuse to be ignored and demands recognition for who He is.  If we fail to acknowledge Him, He has vowed to deny us.  We are seeing the results of this denial without realizing the cause as forsaking God.  The nation that denies God subsequently goes into decline before experiencing bondage or destruction.

Many mainline Christian churches surely failed us when they showed a stubbornness toward accepting the spiritual gifts God sent to empower the church at the Azusa Street revival, resisted cross-race fellowship that led spiritually-hungry believers to enticement by celebrity preachers who beguiled seekers with false gifts, false doctrine, pursuit of wealth, abandonment of righteous standards in lieu of worldly fellowship and surrender to political leadership without God.

The first appointed leader over the children of Israel was a man led by God, named Moses.  Moses was given the authority to assign public leaders over the Israelites for service as priests, discipline, judge, worship leaders and social care.  All of these positions are part of our present society that we call community, church and government for the people and they are all derived from the original Lawmaker and Sovereign God, who set up foundation standards for the lives of His people and society.  Where we varied from that direction is the point where we went astray. We cannot allow arrogance due to our wealth, modernization, or intellect to cause us to deny the God who made us. The founders (well-versed in law, science and theology) acknowledged God and established, to the best of their abilities, the pattern they thought their descendants would follow and improve on any shortsightedness.  Rather than improve on what the founders did, America has flipped the script and gone all the way backward, ready to return to authoritarianism, monarchy, church dominance, over-taxation and class-rule.

Correcting the Path

It would be ideal to assume that America has learned the lesson from recent and still on-going errors, but there is still that fascination for stars.  We love our stars!  We want a star in the pulpit and as head of our government. Did we learn nothing from King James I of England, who considered his rule divine and unanswerable to men? Fascination with stars assumes that someone else is better than we, whereas Jesus came to disprove that theory and reveal great potential and the Creator’s power in each of us.  We must learn to look for signs of God’s selection of a leader in those who possess maturity, wisdom, integrity, humility, fear of God, honesty and a servant-spirit.  Those are godly characteristics that protect us from charlatans like those being charged in today’s news cycles. Christian ministers were supposed to teach us to resist looking for the glory of man but rather to give glory to Christ. Many instead taught us to glorify them and look for god in man.  The uniqueness of America is a God who gave a Savior and Lord in human flesh whom we as Americans are free to know, follow and emulate

It is so easy to chase after “shiny things” like children.  We must be more studious in our undertaking for leaders because what we do will affect our destiny, the next generation and the world watching us.  We should not miss the purpose of our faith which was to show forth Christ in all that we say and do.  If our present spiritual, political, and community leaders have failed us; we must not give up on the right path but rather return to the original guide book and pattern.  Once we can see the pattern and have the right model, we can pick up where they left off and continue on course, like Joshua.  No leader is to be set up higher than or instead of Christ. Misguided leadership does not have to be the end. God gave us Jesus walking an earthly path as our example to follow and He warned us of making gods of men.  We all have within us the same potential for greatness because we are all made in the image of the Creator.  We have not yet reached our highest national potential and we can still reject the trap of the enemy.  We have a long way to go still if we straighten out our course and reject tyranny. The enemy of our nation, his plan and false way has been fully exposed in plain sight in a time of weakness but we can still denounce the evil choice.  God has given us mercy at the crossroad of grace and destruction so we should learn the lesson and make the right choice. Let’s choose to reject the wrong path and press toward a better future!

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!

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!