Category Archives: Communities

WE, THE PEOPLE

July 15, 2018

The words, “We, the people” have been so common to the American people until they seem to have lost the true meaning.  It was a unique idea that was formed in the minds of the settlers in the New World who framed of the Declaration of Independence.  It was a concept that was new and full of hope for a people that desired to be free.  After having lived entirely under monarchs, tyrants and aristocratic governance, the people desired their freedom as individuals.  They formed a new government in America that would permit the voice of the people as a determining factor in their governance.  It would protect the people from ever being oppressed again by the will of monarchs and tyrants.  It was an excellent concept, one that they committed themselves to under the authority and help of All Mighty God in whom they believed and trusted to help them to keep their vow.

Historic Reference

“We, the people,” is an expression in the preamble of the Constitution of the United States of America that helped establish the purposes and guiding principles of a people that would be self governing in a democratic society.  The thoughts and laws set out in the document were to guide the people as they sought to form a “more perfect union”.  The document written by forefathers set forth guidelines to show present and future citizens the reasons why it was necessary to abolish European rule over a people fed up with unjust self-willed rulers or monarchs in governing their every day existence.  They resolved to be a free people who could make their own decisions about religion and daily life.  The new nation has had times of progress and recession as it has continued to move forward among other nations who envied its success.

America in Decline

Freedom for expression, financial growth, and religion has run its full course in America until it has overrun the boundaries of decency and common sense.  Where the founders had intended that common sense, law and religion would be boundaries to contain the will of the people from running amuck, they might not have foreseen a people set free from tyranny desiring to return to such bondage.  Nevertheless, America is set on a course to return to monarchical rule because she has refused common sense, law and true religion to bind her to the original intent to the founders:

“We hold these truths to be self evident, 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….”

The greed and prejudice of men led them to oppress people in the European nations from which Americans descended.  Bondage and oppression are still evident in nations around the world and is also evident in American governance.  America who has fought against bondage and oppression in nations across the world now has its own struggle with internal and external bondage where some persons are led by greed and set on the rule by a few. The boundary lines of common sense, law and religion have not restrained the pressure of a few to oppress the many for their personal desires.  Stone by stone the foundations and boundaries of America have been weaken in plain sight until people convinced it is for their own good have been willing to relinquish control of their lives and submit to someone they believe is stronger and wiser than they- -a monarch.

Watching and waiting in the borders has always been the “Restrainer” of unjust and wicked men, Who waits to be called upon to restore the boundaries, laws and righteous concepts for people.  The “One” Who led this people to understand they had a right to be free and flourish, Who has made Himself known to this people and Whom they purport to worship and celebrate; waits to be invited back into partnership for just control over the nation.  The “Creator” acknowledged in America’s infancy seem no longer desired in its mature and prosperous state, while leaders are busy forming their own ways to lead the nation forward.  Along with the warnings of America’s founders, past presidents, and spokespersons were the warnings of the Creator.

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

For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for?  And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day? Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons; Deu 4:7-9

And it shall be, if thou do at all forget the LORD thy God, and walk after other gods, and serve them, and worship them, I testify against you this day that ye shall surely perish.  As the nations which the LORD destroyeth before your face, so shall ye perish; because ye would not be obedient unto the voice of the LORD your God. Deu 8:19-20

Warning Given to the First President of America

“‘Son of the Republic,’ said the same mysterious voice as before, ‘look and learn.’  At that moment I beheld a dark, shadowy being, like an angel, standing, or rather floating, in the hollow air, between Europe and America. Dipping water out of the ocean in the hollow of each hand, he sprinkled some upon America with his right hand while with his left hand he cast some on Europe. Immediately a cloud raised from these countries and joined in mid-ocean. For a while it remained stationary, and then moved slowly westward, until it enveloped America in its murky folds. Sharp flashes of lightning gleamed through it at intervals, and I heard the smothered groans and cries of the American people…`Son of the Republic, what you have seen is thus interpreted: Three great perils will come upon the Republic. The most fearful is the third, but in this greatest conflict the whole world united shall not prevail against her. Let every child of the Republic learn to live for his God, his land and the Union.”  Wesley Bradshaw, National Review, Vol. 4, No. 12, December 1880.

America is the only nation where the people have had total liberty to worship God and His Son, Christ, in biblical truth. Christianity was not forced on the American people by any monarch or dictator.  The people who came to America chose to serve the True God and He has blessed the nation of America above any other.  The bible has been a guidebook providing wisdom and instruction from God for the American people but the people have recently voted to cast off its guidance and their God.  The words of the “Creator” still apply to this people.

When thou shalt beget children, and children’s children, and ye shall have remained long in the land, and shall corrupt yourselves, and make a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, and shall do evil in the sight of the LORD thy God, to provoke him to anger: I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that ye shall soon utterly perish from off the land whereunto ye go over Jordan to possess it; ye shall not prolong your days upon it, but shall utterly be destroyed. Deu 4:25-26

Even though the boundaries of common sense and law failed to contain this people from falling into this destructive scenario surely the religious boundaries would not fail!  With the superfluity of religious knowledge and freedom to access biblical guidance, America has speedily headed into the prophesied danger.  As in the days of biblical Israel’s decline, it was not for lack of knowledge but rather because of an arrogant spirit in disobedience to God.  Unlike in the days of biblical Israel though, the words of God are available for every American to hear, read and consider.  The abundance of Christian ministers, rather than advance this knowledge to churchgoers, has in many cases closed their ears to truth through misguidance.  Every believer, however, is responsible for reading the word and knowing their God by the Spirit, Word and deed.

Just as individual citizens have risen up through public marches and rallies to raise their voices against America’s unjust laws and behavior; God expects His children to reject false leadership.  Jesus decried the unjust religious leaders in their cities and spoke the truth to those in captivity.  He warned His followers against wicked civic and religious leaders who would try to lead the people astray from God’s word.

Then in the audience of all the people he said unto his disciples, Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts; Which devour widows’ houses, and for a shew make long prayers: the same shall receive greater damnation. Luk 20:45-47

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 

Worldly Prophets

American news reporters and newscasts have been very vocal in declaring the unjust behavior of laypersons and clergy, citizens and politicians, congress and president.  They have in many cases stood in a role played by the prophets in the Old Testament, while the Christian church has compromised truth for wealth and settled in the background. The media doe not have the authority of God to serve as the moral voice of God to the people like the Old Testament prophets.  After reporting the sin, they have no power to bring healing or resolution.  The New Testaments give authority to the church as God’s moral guidance and authority for the layperson, clergy, citizens and political leaders.  These leaders are to seek guidance,  healing and forgiveness through the church.  Every level of authority originally established under the law of God through Moses was established as ministries to the people and were responsible to God for just behavior or were subject to His discipline and punishment.  While the founders and early leaders of America had a profound understanding of the bible and its guidance, unlike today’s civic and political leaders; the clergy has always been a source of moral guidance for those with specialties in other areas such as law, business and politics.  There was a time when these professionals revered church guidance.

In America, the authority of worldly leaders has surpassed the authority of the church because the church has relinquished it authority in lieu of tax benefits and for fear of persecution, which is evidence of our relationship with Christ. The bible apostles rejoiced when they suffered for Christ.  The church has become silent as moral authority in America so the government has run amuck without moral restraint.  There is no moral standard to call them on the carpet for their behavior and silence has been bought and sold for personal advantage.  The true church with power and authority needs to take authority in this wicked generation.  The evangelical guidance that has taken forefront for the president has compromised the word of God  and  given credence to racism, oppression of the poor and immigrant, church submission to the worldly, privileges for the rich, and pursuit of wealth over the knowledge of God (all contrary to the principles of Christ).   These evangelicals give the image of moral guidance for the U.S. president while it is instead seeking an advantage for it religious piracy through the gospel and promoting wealth for self and others.  The greatest threat they present is to the real church willing to follow their guidance.  Our nation has been successful in making a mockery of both democracy and Christianity. The reality is that the principles of both systems compel its citizens to stand up against evil and throw off false leaders.  The people of both systems have been led to believe that they do not have this power because they have failed to become knowledgeable of their rights as citizens and have been deceived by false religious leaders to believe that scriptures require them to submit to disobedience leaders.  Christ gave very strong warnings against false leaders.  God, who ordained the church and righteous government, never intended that people would submit to oppression and bondage without a fight.  Christ taught and illustrated how to overcome Satan’s devices and provided tools for Christians to stand up for the  liberty He purchased for all people. Though Christ purchased our liberty, He also stated that the blind leading the blind would cause both to fall into the ditch.

The present reality of the statement “We, the People” is the power of people to rise up and take back their liberty by the authority given through man’s government and the government of God. America was founded on a strong foundation of faith in God with prayers and covenants made on its behalf.  The authority is still there backed up by a righteous God but it is up to us what we do with it.  Individuals in our society are free to take a stand for what is right.  We do, of course, have to turn from sin and back to God in order to prevail.  Christ has provided salvation for each individual and God will hold us individually responsible for our obedience and response to Christ’s sacrifice for us.

And the LORD said unto him, Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof. And to the others he said in mine hearing, Go ye after him through the city, and smite: let not your eye spare, neither have ye pity:  Slay utterly old and young, both maids, and little children, and women: but come not near any man upon whom is the mark; and begin at my sanctuary. Then they began at the ancient men which were before the house. And he said unto them, Defile the house, and fill the courts with the slain: go ye forth. And they went forth, and slew in the city.  And it came to pass, while they were slaying them, and I was left, that I fell upon my face, and cried, and said, Ah Lord GOD! wilt thou destroy all the residue of Israel in thy pouring out of thy fury upon Jerusalem? Then said he unto me, The iniquity of the house of Israel and Judah is exceeding great, and the land is full of blood, and the city full of perverseness: for they say, The LORD hath forsaken the earth, and the LORD seethe not.  And as for me also, mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity, but I will recompense their way upon their head.  And, behold, the man clothed with linen, which had the inkhorn by his side, reported the matter, saying, I have done as thou hast commanded me. Eze 9:4-11

1Jn 1:9  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Gal 5:1

If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. Joh 8:36

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INEQUALITIES AND IMBALANCES

May 2018

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

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

Diminishing Christian values

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

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

Preferential Treatment to Those of Power

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

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

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

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

The Overthrow of Wicked Power

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

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

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

A Long-Suffering God

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

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

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

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

Care for the Weak

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

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

Resurrection Sunday: The Mercy of God

April 1, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

Unwilling to let Abraham sacrifice his own son; God, Himself, endured that pain as His only begotten Son made the supreme sacrifice on the cross for the sins of the whole world.  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life”(Joh 3:16).  That scripture may have become too familiar for some people and lost its meaning because of its familiarity.  But just imagine if it was you asked to kill your only child.  Regardless of how or why it was done; it would bring unbearable pain. God’s love spared Abraham that suffering and He endured it Himself.  God did it for all of us.

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

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

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

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

Happy Resurrection Sunday!

Right or Wrong, Good or Evil?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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