Category Archives: Christians

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!

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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

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!

Thanksgiving to Jesus

Worthy of all Praise
Thanksgiving to Jesus

November 2017

Thanksgiving to God for all He has done for us. For making it down through a year of challenges, we owe God all the praise. God gives us all good things to enjoy and expects us to give Him the praise for providing it to us. God gave us Jesus so we could have a right to receive the inheritance that rightfully belonged to Jesus but was willed to us for accepting the sacrifice of God’s Son. He loves to provide good things to us and freely invites believers to: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you (Mat 7:7).” He just asks us to remember that He provided it and give Him praise.

This holiday was originally set up to remember with thankfulness the survival of the early settlers of America during very difficult times. They survived some dangerous years while establishing a new country; and we have come into enjoyment and privilege because of their efforts. The early colonists remembered their thankfulness with annual Harvest Feasts, now recognized as Thanksgiving Day. Every phase of the present country was built on the backs of the forerunners who laid the foundation. America’s tradition celebrates those who fled oppression to enjoy their God-given unalienable right to liberty of conscience and service to the True God without the infringement of oppressive government.

At times of memorial celebrations, we should always revisit the original purpose of the forerunners whose foundations we build on and make sure we are moving forward with that purpose. They wanted freedom of life and worship of God. While we are revisiting their original purpose and examining our work to move forward in the nation, God asks us to remember that He was the originator of it all and give Him His due thanks.

But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day. Deu 8:18

As Americans celebrate and remember God with thankfulness, He is pleased with our remembrance and allows us to continue enjoying His goodness.

Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance. Ps 33:12

 
Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them; Ec 12:1

Thanks be to God for all His goodness!

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. Ps 100:4

Happy Thanksgiving Day!

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

November 2017

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Re-post from 2013: The Restrained Nature of Men

October 23, 2017

You may have followed the on-going discussions of sexual harassment in the news and wondered at the overwhelming flood of occurrences and wondered if they are really true.  You also may have read the headline article like I did from today’s “The Hill.” If you have not read it, please scan it and then read my re-post below written in October 2013 as a response .

In state capitols, women see rampant sexual harassment

http://click1.news.thehill.com/ViewMessage.do?m=pdyhhlqy&r=bgjjzfjj&s=scplwzjfpbbgzgbcmppllpjhbjbddkpfzsh&q=1508760000&a=view

The Unrestrained Nature of Man

The Unrestrained Nature of Man

by Joyce Reba Payne

October 15, 2013

History records that men unrestrained by civilization, proper leadership and rules are a very dangerous force as demonstrated by some armies who have ravaged villages and cities in certain cultures around the world. This is not a pleasant realization but it is proven through past and current events. For this reason God has established civilized societies with laws to give men leadership, legal authority over groups of people and wives. All of these components in a man’s life help to restrain his natural instincts to satisfy himself at any cost. Given the opportunity though, men will throw off these restraints and still try to satisfy their natural instincts to the full.

Men in Government

In our nation recently, we have seen examples of men in politics and business determined that they can have it all: as much as they want, whenever they want and where they want. We have seen men with the reins of wealth and power who tried to force themselves and their will upon our nation without restraint. Who was supposed to restrain them? The answer is you and me! We are a nation governed by the people that put the average man or woman in charge of these leaders to check their power and restrain their natural instincts to have their own way. And when we do not speak up, power can go astray and unchecked. That is when anarchy can take over. One voice standing up against a tank might get run over but it will still cause people to consider that maybe something is wrong or worth the fight.

Nations like the past Rome or Greek empires, and others more recent, were formed because of the brute strength of some conquerors. Those empires were also overthrown because of the unrestrained power of men on the inside of the walls while a greater power of men from outside invaded them during their chaos. This is a history lesson we all should know too well.

Men in Society

In civilized society where men have wives, the female counterpart is often a voice of reason and restraint to bring man back into remembrance of more acceptable behavior. May God help us if the wives of strong men keep silent! Equal balances for society are women in leadership positions that help restrain or give a voice to sounder methods. May God help us if women leaders become silent or as bad as unrestrained men! God made the nature of women different for a reason. Women are usually more domiciled than men. Women care about domestic life: homes, children, well being of others and the development of society. But most men by nature will try to prevent women from sharing power for that very reason: so they can have unrestrained power to do what they want, when they want. Thank God for Jesus, who as perfect man, honored his mother, accepted women co-laborers and established a new system that would allow women to have an equal role in society and in the church. Jesus knew that men needed women to help restrain the natural instinct of men to satisfy self.

Men in the Faith

The Holy Ghost said through Paul, “For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel (1Co 4:15).” In many churches, we have given one man control of the church family. Those possessing the Holy Ghost should already be subdued under the power of the Holy Spirit’s guidance to lead them in righteous ways. But those men that do not have the Holy Ghost or proper knowledge from God as their guide and restraint are more apt to use their natural guidance as they lead the church to submit to their authority. We have seen many examples of what can happen when male church leaders are not restrained by the Holy Ghost: they have consumed finances unlawfully, sexually abused women or men and established their own laws to satisfy their personal desires. For this reason God empowered and authorized church leaders that He called apostles and prophets who would receive holy guidance in establishing and correcting His church. However, not all men have a relationship with God or are restrained by the Holy Ghost. Some male leaders in church and society have reasoned together to give consent to authenticate without protest what God has not authorized.

Apostle Paul had an authority given by God to guide establishment of the church. Paul defended his authority when questioned and dealt with the behavior of a confused and immature church. He reminded the church that he was as a father to them and then gave instruction for correction.

For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? 1Co 3:3

For though ye have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel. 1Co 4:15

Paul did not say he was king, Caesar or Emperor, but “father.” Paul had legitimate authority as demonstrated by his spiritual gifting and power to guide the church. A real father ordained by God will guide and protect his family because of his love for them. Paul was a single man that possessed maturity, strength, discipline and love toward the churches under his authority as he imitated the Lord. Paul was willing to suffer personally for the well being of these churches. Men led by the Holy Spirit possess strength for protection, nurturing and loving the church family like their Heavenly Father and as demonstrated by Jesus Christ in earthly ministry. This bible example has been established for men in our generation to be the best possible men as husband, father, brother, businessman, preacher, justice, or politician. It is not enough to be classified as a man but men must come up to a higher level of being righteous, mature and responsible men, who qualify to be husbands, fathers and leaders in society. Where men have not submitted themselves to the restraint of the Holy Ghost, we need even more the restraint of laws, protests from the people and the intervention of wives to check the natural instinct of men that are prone to demanding satisfaction of personal desires.

Current Events in American Politics

We have seen the natural instinct of men portrayed in our nation’s capitol recently. Unrestrained men, both politicians and businessmen, insisted they would have their way even after a law they disfavored was upheld and validated. They were not satisfied with the established process to protest the new law; but they purposed to use brute strength to overthrow it. These efforts bypassed the restraint of civil rule, the Holy Spirit, leadership control and evidently any restraint of their wives and the people. These leaders also threw off the examples of their forefathers who established these guidelines for government rule. The Republican Party insisted that they would have their way regardless of all the restraints that should have persuaded them their desire was denied. Whether the new Health Care law be morally right or wrong, it has been examined and confirmed as the law of the land. This political party refused to accept the rule of man’s law that had been confirmed and God’s law that required all men to submit to authority. They had gone beyond the restraint of the law into lawlessness because they stepped outside the American law which provided for legitimate methods of protest that had been exercised and lost. And the guidance of God’s law counsels “….in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established” (Mt 18:16).

 America’s History Lessons

Unlike many other nations around the world, America said that it would be guided by spiritual laws, natural laws, the people and God. America is unique in this commitment. Many other nations are run by emperors, tyrants or group rule without God.  America uniquely decided to allow God to rule over her leaders and people with respect for the laws of God and man. However, this decision is ineffective without the will of the people to insist that the Holy Spirit, the laws of God and man and yes, even wives still be used to restrain the natural instincts of men to force their way upon the multitudes. When all of these restraints have failed, righteous indignation or the move of the Holy Spirit in citizens must arise. If all else fails, God will arise and set things aright. But He has given us the help we need through the Holy Spirit, laws of the land, relationships and the righteous church to resolve our differences. When man has used his power to override all of these as is the case in America today, righteous indignation and the move of the Holy Spirit in people must arise to denounce and quash anarchy. Someone dared to say that maybe we needed the power of the armed forces to settle the pending issue! If America becomes lawless, God will use some means of force for restraint because God is still the Sovereign Power in the earth whether America wants to acknowledge it or not.

Where Do We Go From Here?

How often will we allow ourselves to come to the edge of the cliff or the anarchy we have seen in other nations before we come to our senses? We have merely to look at some of our neighboring nations to see where we are headed: nations that have denied morality and God to establish self rule. Once a people refuse to go forward with God, they automatically begin to go backward or into decline. Will we allow monarchical rule, ravaging of women and children, financial collapse, mob rule, or overthrow from enemies without? America is beginning to get a clearer picture of what happens when a nation decides that she no longer needs God. Sane minds should dictate that we restore proper leadership in our homes, churches and government while we can. Husbands do need their wives for proper balance. Churches do need the guidance of the Holy Spirit and proper leadership authority, including the voices of women to balance the power of men. Government cannot run properly in our nation without allowing the voices of women, the voting public and the church to call it into balance, lest it become as other nations that ravage the people. While we have tried to be a world leader and restrain the behavior of other nations, we have displayed the type of brute strength and immaturity that should cause us to be ashamed. Such an internal crisis should give us the motivation we need to bring about proper change before anarchy does occur. Righteousness should arise in our people to demand that the right choices be made. The present disaster in our homes, churches and politics is our wake up call. But will we wake up?▉

What are your thoughts on this subject?

The Unrestrained Nature of Man

October 15, 2013

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