Category Archives: USA

THE GLORY OF AMERICA

July 4, 2020

Where Is Glory Due?

Every entity has an opportunity to bring glory to its creator. Great paintings are put on display for all to admire the work of its creator, the painter.  Birds chirp and sing glory to the One who provides them with food, life and purpose.  Every great work brings glory to its maker.

When we look at history and the people of nations, past and present, we see that in their glorious stages, they too gave glory.  In its greatest hour; the Greek honored Zeus.  The Romans at the height of their empire gave honor to Caesar.  Some European nations honored their kings with praise as gods.  The Germans honored Hitler.  In its greatest hour of wealth, power and dominance in the earth, who has America honored?  After reaching great wealth, power and esteem from around the world, America selected an American representative of wealth and pride in the person of Donald Trump as its president, who is representative and a culmination of America’s religious belief in a prosperity gospel and where wealth and white superiority is held up as the golden standard for the nation.   We see in his attitude toward history and culture an ideology of “whiteness” that typifies the attitude of the nation’s majority class who finds glory in themselves and their accomplishments.  Their greed, selfishness, prejudices and pride drive them to seek a superiority that mirrors that of Germany’s Hitler and his egotistical reign. Their blind drive prevents them from realizing their identical pattern of the evil of the past.  Men without God’s approval and glory seek to bring glory to themselves because their failure to recognize, honor and give glory to God leaves them naked.

Learning Reverence

The bible says train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it (Pro 22:6).  It declares: “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame” (Pro 29:15).    If we did a search of the worst world leaders and the chaos they caused, we would find things went wrong in their childhood.  People without good parenting lack balance and respect for authority.  Few, if any, of us have had a perfect childhood but it would take a terribly demented childhood or mind to become a brutal, murdering monster seeking to destroy multitudes like the actions of Stalin, Idi Amin, Hitler, Saddam Hussein, Lenin and others. 

What has happened to America that the nation has become before the whole world a wild, untrained degenerate?  The nation started out in religious discipline, respect for God, naming Him in founding documents, on dollar bills and offering Him prayer in gatherings.  How has it come to the place where its people now believe that they, themselves, are gods; like the Romans and Greeks?  What happened to the humility of its people?  There was always a wild strand running through the nation from the Wild West with its carousing, saloons, bank robberies, gambling and public spitting; but there was always a law and enforcement to bring them back into check. A bounty would be offered to bring the outlaws down and society would shun the lawless.  However, today people want to invest in the outlaws and get in on the looting of others.

The wild, Wild West was tamed in part by women in society who stood up against their husband’s bad manners in saloons, with liquor and their omission from the vote.  Traveling ministers worked the circuit to bring moral values to the west that needed literacy and moral guidance.  All of American society grew more cultural and shame came to the lawless. In America’s more recent history it became popular again to be the rabble-rouser, a Burt Reynold’s “Smokey and the Bandit,” James Dean’s “Rebel Without a Cause,” Clint Eastwood’s “Dirty Harry” or today’s  “Oceans” crowd.  Ministers today are silenced by the donation plate and fail to rein in lawlessness. The ministers, themselves, have taken a center stage now and seek their own glory rather than bringing all due glory to the God they purport to represent.  Society and ministry that used to stop the degradation of society in America’s past have now turned its resources to the pursuit of wealth at the expense of morality.

Practice of Reverence

What happens when the lawful no longer wants to invest in bringing down the lawless?  We get Trumped!  Every family has its wild card, a drunken idiot, greedy scoundrel, or rebel rouser that brings shame to the whole family.  Honorable families refuse to be defined by such persons and will condemn the person or refuse fellowship with the rebel.  Yet we see in every nation and through the ages persons who managed to overthrow all familiar boundaries to rise to power and abuse multitudes.  Only the outcry of the oppressed rising to the surface and piercing the conscience of a leader or the masses has been able to deliver a captive population. The righteous whether a single person or a group must always challenge evil’s attempt to silence what’s right.  America has honored the rights of the individual to make his or her voice known. No other nation has given the individual such privileges to criticize leadership and America would do an injustice to its founding creed to oppose that right.

Ungodly leaders will always try to overthrow good as long as there is something to gain and a people willing to be silenced. The oppressors of every nation and ethnicity have proven that they will stop at nothing and no amount of cruelty to glorify themselves in power and riches.  If America, with its divided power and freedom granted to the people, cannot stand against ruthless oppression; it is doubtful that any people could.  It may indeed take a village to raise a child but it also takes a village to overthrow a tyrant.  America is made up of a union of states but it also takes the union of its people to keep fighting for its freedom. If the majority keeps silent against wicked governance, then its liberty will be lost like that of so many other nations.

Has America forgotten its former stance?

America the Beautiful

Oh, beautiful for spacious skies,

For amber waves of grain,

For purple mountain majesties

Above the fruited plain!

America! America!

God shed his grace on thee,

And crown thy good with brotherhood

From sea to shining sea.

The God that America has sworn allegiance to and vowed to love has reason to be disappointed of what the nation has become:

And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. Mar 12:30  

Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.  Rev 2:4 

The God to whom America has sworn its love and devotion has also taught us how He wants to be honored.  Scriptures teach that God is a jealous God and will cause false gods to bow down before Him.  Yet America that used to believe those words is now defying His guidance for its own self-glory but the position of God is well documented:

A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name? Mal 1:6 

For the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof.  1Co10:26 

The fate of Jezebel and Ahab attest to the fact that the highest leaders in the land have not power to prevail against the Creator of the world.  The prophecy had already been spoken that their fate was to be devoured by dogs and the prophecy came to pass.  From the least to the greatest, we all owe our respect to God and He alone deserves the glory for all He has done for the nation of America.  A nation that honors God receives His favor but those that dishonor Him receive His dishonor.  America’s strength has always been in honoring the God that has blessed her.  May America remember her God!

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

America Cannot Define “Equal”

May 7, 2020

Vulnerability of Empires

A popular phrase of past generations was: “The sun never sets on the empire”. It was used to describe the greatness of the British Empire and also described a few other past kingdoms. The phrase once included Great Britain’s possession of America, but today America is known as the greatest nation in the world. Some people have described America as an idea that birthed a nation, an idea of freedom and justice for all. America is thought to be a nation where anyone can come and find success. It is a wonderful concept that has inspired many foreigners to relocate to the nation.

A national news report recently described a very contrasting picture when a foreigner who frequently visits commented on America’s internal struggles and stated his nation and others pity America. Great nations come and great nations go. There have been many nations that believed no one would ever surpass their power or authority. Decline seldom occurs overnight but its withering away is best seen from without. History records many great nations throughout the ages that fell from within because of pride and corruption. Most people have heard of the greatness of the Roman Empire, Ancient Greece Culture, or of Timbuktu in Africa around the 15th-16thth century, famous for its gold, salt, learning, and cultural centers that were a wonder in its day.  They all eventually went into decline and serve as lessons for nations that follow.  Of course, one has only to turn on the news to hear of current struggles in Great Britain and Brexit.

The 13 British colonies that formed America won independence from Great Britain through the American Revolutionary War (1775), a victory that started the present “greatest nation on earth”. The idea of free people, free to choose their own destiny and religion apart from a king was a novel idea. America has survived many internal and external struggles but has remained a beacon of hope for many nations and people who seek the liberty it exudes.

The Dirty Little Secret

The dirty little secret that America kept in the closet is that it does not really want freedom for everyone. There was a type of elitism in the nation at its beginning that never left. If one was to look carefully at the pictures of the original negotiations for the Declaration of Independence and the forming of the Constitution of the United States one thing might become apparent: all the participants were of one race and one gender. The signers and negotiators were all white and men. It would have been unconscionable at that time to include in those negotiations women, let alone black people. The coming of other immigrants later such as the Irish was despised. Immigrants from all over Europe and the world came to settle in America but white Americans of European descent had particular disparagement for immigrants from Japan, China, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Asia, etc. Black people fall into a whole different level of prejudice because of being brought to America in chains for slave labor. The noble speeches written in the founding documents regarding God, freedom, equality, and justice for all were the thoughts of European white men seeking a place to live out their idea of freedom that never fathomed women or African slaves as their equal.

The American Civil War (1861-1865) did not, unfortunately, settle the issue of white hatred against the rights of black people in America. Neither did black uprisings, demonstrations or civil rights laws persuade white men to willingly allow blacks into the inner sanctum of American society as equals. The election of the first black president did not signify the end of black prejudice as some had hoped. The women’s rights marches and the progressive movement of white and black women into politics in 2018 seemed to have done more to ignite the inner rage of American white men than subdue it. To be fair black men and other races also deny equality of women with them, so some issues are inherent in the male ego.

The Problem of Arrogance and Elitism

The arrogance and elitism of American white men have long roots that reach all the way back through the pride shown in the likes of Julius Caesar, Napoleon Bonaparte, some European Kings, and up to today’s American President. From the error of Adam in the Garden of Eden to the madness of Adolf Hitler (whose ideas were inspired by American racism) to the lawlessness of America today, we have seen the pride of men blossom out of control. And yet with all the history and its consequences behind us, men today still do not seem to comprehend the flaw of male pride or the God who subdues it. The arrogance of men defies submission to Divine authority greater than him but yet, as present American politics proves, men willingly submit under male leadership they consider unreasonable or weaker than them when it promotes male dominance. The bible that predates all the men aforementioned clearly states that: “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall (Pro 16:18). Just as Lucifer continues his attempts to disprove God’s sovereignty, so man continues his attempts to prove his superior power. The Lord who has already defeated Satan laughs at man’s attempts (Pro 1:26). God spoke His conclusion on the matter of pride before the campaigns of Caesar, Napoleon, Hitler, tyrant European Kings or Trump. Yet each man dared to believe he was different or would have different results. Men keep challenging the Lordship of God and God keeps overthrowing man’s arrogance because he refuses to stay in proper alignment.

Greatness has been granted to men who recognize first the greatness of God, walk in humility, and practice respect for others. God gives us a biblical history of great men, their power and successes as well as their failures for the purpose of our learning and to prevent the futility of experiencing the same falls others suffered. It is the fool that does not learn from history, but God gives us examples of right and wrong ways and then advises us to choose the right way. What could be clearer? God has shown men what authority looks like in Himself. He has revealed Himself as a warrior in battle, tender and compassionate, willing to listen and make an agreement with subordinates, willing to show meekness and vulnerability in the flesh, kindness and patience with children, having a readiness to defend the weak, knowledgeable and wise in decisions, equal with counterparts, a good provider, husbandman and Father. Out of all the characteristics God has revealed as examples of leadership and authority, many men have only learned ruthlessness toward others and greed for more power. Those are the characteristics we see in American male leadership today and that is the reason why America is failing as a leader.

America has prospered while mistreating people because of race, gender, nationality, and economic status but the only learned lesson appears to be: do it again and with greater zeal. White hatred of other ethnicities and the abuse of their children show that America’s arrogance and elitism continues to the present. Regardless of the lessons from other nations who oppressed the vulnerable for wealth; the elite of America think: why not. Regardless of the past repercussions of oppression and slavery, the lessons learned seem to be: do it again. Regardless of the ultimate overthrow of many arrogant tyrants of the past, American elitists see only the wealth and power yet to be won. News reporting and public rebuke along with protests appear to be the only hindrance that prevents the repeat of past atrocities. Poor leadership ruins people from the top because leaders set the pattern that people follow. Past economic downfalls resulting from misuse and abuse seem to have taught this elite generation nothing. Everything that has a beginning also has an end, and the end of good things always seems to come too soon. A bible story tells of a man who had too much grain to store that he decided to pull down his barn and build a bigger one. God saw and despised his pride so much that He declared: “Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? (Lk 12:20)” The lessons God teaches us through the bible and history are to keep us from being greedy fools, but America’s fatal flaw seems to be greed for more wealth (“For the love of money is the root of all evil…,” 1Ti 6:10). The fact that other nations are expressing pity rather than admiration for America reveals a nation in decline from greatness and becoming a fool.

The arrogance of America is not a new practice but the same as other nations led to ruin and downfall. When decline starts, inertia makes it difficult to stop. The culture of America is derived from a history of aristocracy and nations who suffered decline from similar issues. The best of kingdoms who impoverished and enslaved people were subject to destruction from internal and external forces because God stands against oppression. King Solomon taught us about the futility of seeking pleasures that lead one’s heart astray: “Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied (Pro 27:20)”. The lust for money and power brings its own downfall because its thirst  cannot be quenched.

Equality Defined

The words “equal” and “equality” denote a sharing or dividing with others the comparable opportunities and privileges of life that are freely provided by the Heavenly Father. If God “…maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust (Mt 5:45)” who is a man to make a distinction. God does not withhold His bounty because of race, nationality, or gender. The scriptures states:

But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. Act 10:35

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. Gal 3:28

It is clear from scripture that every nation and person who accepts God and does right is acceptable as an heir of God. It is man’s greed and prejudice that goes against God’s will to provide equally for all His children and it is God who pulls down a man and his systems that perverts God’s plan for equality. The gospel reveals protection for the poor and vulnerable through human leaders but when they fail, God brings His own justice.

He shall break in pieces mighty men without number, and set others in their stead. Because they turned back from him, and would not consider any of his ways: …So that they cause the cry of the poor to come unto him, and he heareth the cry of the afflicted. Job 34:24. 27-28

At his day thou shalt give him his hire, neither shall the sun go down upon it; for he is poor, and setteth his heart upon it: lest he cry against thee unto the LORD, and it be sin unto thee. Deu 24:15

The cry of the oppressed and the abuse of a wife are also attended by God:

And did not he make one? Yet had he the residue of the spirit. And wherefore one? That he might seek a godly seed. Therefore take heed to your spirit, and let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth. Mal 2:15

Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered. 1Pe 3:7

The submission of a woman to her husband is backed up by the strength of God when a man uses his power to abuse her. The scriptures above reveal that misbehavior of any man in authority against the vulnerable should be judged by man’s authority but if not, God will in due time administer His judgment. When men insist on ruling this nation alone, they carry the responsibility alone for its failure. God originally gave authority over the earth to both male and female and that authority has been restored in Christ Jesus, but even Christian men refute it. Nations deteriorate when God has to come in to judge leadership who dishonor Him by manifesting a wrong image of authority that brings no glory to God, the Father. If America cannot learn and walk out its promise of equality and justice for all men under God as promised, then the nation makes void its purpose for existing because that was its primary distinction from other nations.

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

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Pro 1:7

The Law Still Stands

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I 
am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till
heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass
from the law, till all be fulfilled. Mat 5:17-18

February 14, 2020

It has been a while and it seems that people have forgotten about a little boat called the Ark or its builder named Noah.  It has been a while and the stories of Moses and the Lawgiver are seldom recited.  It has been a while and people seem to have forgotten.  There was a city called Sodom and there was another city called Gomorrah but where are they today?  There was Someone who walked in the garden and talked with man.  He was an Instructor; One of wisdom, kindness, and compassion.  He gave man rule over the bounty of the earth and was a source for knowledge and endless wisdom that man could draw from.  Do people remember Him?  There are great stories that are told, some are dreams, some are fables drawn from someone’s imagination but then there are stories of old handed down from one generation to another to preserve a history and a people.

All the scenarios  mentioned can be found in a book, a best seller written by Father God, Creator of the whole world.  He is the Writer of the book and the stories above.  After giving man the lease for planet earth God simply expected in return love, obedience and respect from man.  The chaos we find in our world today is evidence that man has forgotten the most important lesson: to love and honor God.  Man was warned not to make idols of any man or entity, lest God’s wrath turn against man.  Creator God was and is the One who first instructed man with great wisdom and told man, no warned man, to never forget God or these stories that supply lessons of wisdom for eternity.

It was not long after man’s original instructions that he went astray but he had an excellent instructor who led him back to the right path.  How soon we forget!  Where are the ancestors who used to counsel their children and warn the youth?  Is the book of stories still guiding man or are men writing their own stories and fables for entertainment?  Does anyone remember anymore the way it used to be? 

This discourse started out asking if anyone remembered the story of Noah and his Ark because when people remembered there was a fear of its reoccurrence.  There was a godly fear of doing wrong.  We now live in a time of unjust laws and privilege for the wealthy and it becomes almost a moot point to talk about the Law, which is reserved only as restraint for the poor.

When one hears the story of Noah and the Ark it brings to remembrance that there is a God who gave man instructions and laws to follow and who will ultimately bring the penalty of His Law upon our entire world.  When we remember that judgment and destruction have fallen before on this entire world because of the disobedience of mankind, it should straighten all of our backs and put a godly fear in our hearts.  The absence of judgment has brought contempt for the Law; and, in America, justice delayed is considered justice denied because of demand for speedy trials.  With God, justice delayed is not justice denied.  Noah built the boat and preached for 120 years about a storm that was to come and a rain that no one had ever seen.  Because no one had ever heard of rain, they laughed at Noah’s story, his boat and his preaching.  Much time had passed since Noah first started telling his story so people forgot, but then came the rain.  It rained and it rained until the flood washed away all signs of the laughter and only eight people were spared.  The story had been true and the warning real.

It is interesting to read in scripture that the Lord repented of some judgments He rendered or thought to render (Ex. 32:14; 2 Sa 24;16; Jer 26:19; Jon 3:10), nevertheless, the Lord has given us a promise that the next worldwide destruction would be by the even more devastating and destructive instrument of fire.  Those that remember or consider this promise have cause to chasten their own conduct.  When the verbal instructions from the Master could no longer guide man, He wrote out guidelines called the Ten Commandments to instruct mankind in the right way.  First and most important of those Laws was the instruction for man to remember and not forget his God: “…thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might (Deu 6:5).” 

The second part of the Law dealt with love for his fellow man.  God told Moses to put the book of the Law into the Ark of the Covenant.  The Law was God’s precious words on how man could please his God.  God was holding man accountable for his actions while he lived in the earth and gave a promise of judgment at the end of life for his eternal destination.  He was by no means allowing any man to escape punishment for evil under the old covenant or under the new covenant of grace.  Some punishment is dispensed by the Lord in ways that we cannot reckon while man lives in the earth but eternal punishment still awaits man after death. 

I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:… 2Sa 7:14 

And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment… Heb 9:27 

God is just in His rewarding of punishment for evil and blessing for good.  The Law was God’s word, a symbol of truth and justice backed up with His power.  The words that God speak have within them the ability to bring about its performance.

So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. Isa 55:11 

The book of John gives us a clearer understanding of what the word of God is:

 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  Joh 1:1

John makes it clear that God who spoke the word embodies the word that He speaks which  reveals that the word can no more be destroyed than God can.  Now if God’s word is eternal and established law then there is no possibility of getting rid of God’s law.

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.  For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Mat 5:17 -18

Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.  Luk 21:33 

Jesus said he did not condemn His accusers but the words that He spoke did.

And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.  He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. Joh 12:47-:48 

New Testament saints are not under the law’s penalty because Jesus fulfilled the Law’s demand to punish believers for breaking the Law.  Unbelievers are not delivered, however, from the Law’s penalty. 

Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,  For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine…1Ti 1:9-10 

He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.  And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. Joh 3:18-19

The law is not evil but good; the intent of the law was to bring men to consciousness of their sin and need for God.  Jesus explained that those who have not received Him and His deliverance from the penalty of sin are still under the condemnation of the Law.  The Law is still intact for the lawless and unbeliever and God still enacts and levies the wages of death as the penalty for sin.

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

The civil law in America is based on the tenets of the Ten Commandments that have been adjusted for modern practices but it is still part of the moral law God gave to Israel.  The New Testament commandments to love God and love his neighbor as himself encompasses all of the Ten Commandments into the two commandments Jesus gave to His disciples.  The New Commandments can be summed up as love; and every sin is a failure to love.  God fully expects us to fulfill His commandments and it is possible through the power of our Savior.  Christ’s  blood atones for our past sins and provides power to live for Christ.  Though there are people in positions of power to enforce the domestic and civil laws of the land, ultimately God oversees every authority and will judge every disobedience.  “…behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out (Num 32:23)”. 

We have seen in history, men of great power and authority who ruled in terror over and did great harm to multitudes of people but they were all eventually brought down in defeat or turned over to punishment of man and God.  Even though obedience to civil law or God’s Law is not recognized everywhere; God, as the Caretaker of this world, rules over every providence to bring all things under His submission.  Some people may believe that God is sleeping, taking vacation or stopped caring, but He determines the duration of  evil’s reign.  God has a purpose even in the disasters that happen.  Everything has a teachable moment.  He may seem to linger long with some transgressions, but we are assured every knee will bow and tongue confess to His Lordship.  While He tolerates or judge the wicked, He equally protects the righteous.  We have assurance that Christ watches over His church and our job is to keep our eyes turned toward the Lord.  The birth of the Son of God into the earth centuries after the prophecy is evidence that God keeps His promises.  He is stable and unmovable even when our world is shaking.

But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.  The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 2Pe 3:8-9

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

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And The Government Shall Be Upon His Shoulder

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. Isa 9:6-7 

The Greater Carries the Lesser

The title and scripture above signifies someone with great power who carries something smaller than Himself.  It seem curious that the scripture starts out talking about a child who does this but it continues the description of a prince, a counselor, the mighty God,  and the everlasting Father which makes more sense to  us.  The mighty is able to carry the lesser and the matured Savior taught us the principle of the strong caring for the weak. 

The title suggests that there is a strong one who carries the government upon his shoulders.  That may be something of an enigma for this generation and in America, where government seems supreme. The scripture signifies that it is God who is supporting and upholding the government but America no longer thinks of God that way.  The nation of America and others declare the greatness of America and how powerful she is with strength above any other nations.  America’s weapons are so great that other nations fear its power of destruction.  America has excelled in knowledge, inventions and wealth above many nations.  We sing and boast of the greatness of America and yet there is someone greater than America who carries her.

It is not that America has a god but rather that God has America.  God who inspired and established this nation through the inspiration, knowledge and strength of various people from its beginning, is still the One who hold the reins that keeps the nation from falling apart. The nation is made up of people of various faiths but it was faith in the One True God and His Son, Jesus that guided the building and sustaining of this nation.  It is so that “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance (Ps 33:12).”

People from various nations of the world have come to America to investigate and enjoy the greatness that is America and they have brought their own cultures with them.  But if their practices and ideologies ever overtake the faith that is the foundation of this nation, it will cease to be great.  Those that are descendants of the founders of the nation, who believed in an unseen God, must carry on the faith and traditions of a faithful people who loved a faithful God.  Modernization must never concede to the disruption of the true foundation upon which we all stand or we will all fail.

Loving parents always warn their children of potential dangers ahead to keep them safe and this they have learned from God, the Father, who has done this for his children:

Know therefore that the LORD thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations Deu 7:9  …

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 4:9 

Take heed unto yourselves, lest ye forget the covenant of the LORD your God, which he made with you, and make you a graven image, or the likeness of any thing, which the LORD thy God hath forbidden thee. Deu 4:23

Loving parents also build barriers of love and protection of which their children are to live within the confines. They know that danger lurks without those confines and God knows the dangers that await us outside the barriers he has built for us.  Children will test the barriers set for them as we have often done as a people and nation; but discipline, if not danger, awaits the disobedient that breach those barriers.

It is a comfort to be carried by someone stronger than you and it is a comfort for a nation to know that there is a God big enough to carry us and all our concerns and needs.  God, the Father, foresaw all that the nation of America would encounter and require and He prepared a course of protection and provision for it as longs as it walks in obedience.  Just like children who reach an age where they want to rebel so does God’s people from time to time.  It is unwise to “kick against the pricks” as Jesus told Saul, the Pharisee that later became Apostle Paul. God taught us through Prophet Samuel that obedience is better than sacrifice.  Though God does forgive and restore, it is better not to test his restraints. God is carrying the nation of America on His shoulder through the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ and our nation should never forget the sacrifice of our Lord or the sacrifice of those who died for our right to enjoy it. 

Christmas A Symbol of Love

The Christmas season is a time when the focus is on giving of gifts to loved ones. It is a time when we celebrate the love of the Father who gave us His only begotten Son to be born into a world of sin. We celebrate the birth of the baby and marvel at the story but we should also remember at this time the cross that he was born to die on to save us.  It is His love shown for us that has generated a love that we share with others.  That is the love Christ expects us to share year round with our neighbors as proof that He still lives because he is loving people through us.

Christ is big enough to love us and everyone around us and the more love He pours in us, the more love we have to share with others.  Love is not selfish. Love grows as we share it and it returns back to us in one form or another.  People often refuse to give because they do not want to lose what they have; but love is something that we can give and never run out because God replenishes shared love. 

The fact that Christ carries this nation upon his shoulders means that He is supplying our needs so that we can help captivate the whole world with the love He has given us.  We should be exporting the love he has given us so that he can pour on us more to give.  The fact that he carries us is proof that we need not worry about running out of anything as long as we choose to walk in obedience and keep him as our God and foundation.

This is a time of love and sharing and it is a time to remember that God is the source of love.  He sacrificed for us to prove His love and we should strive every day to imitate and be more like him.  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 (Jo 3:16). 

If we stop and focus on the true meaning of the season, it should help us to realign with the Father’s plan for us.  He planned for us to experience his love and then to share that love with others; and we can do it because He is carrying us.

Merry Christmas!

For additional information and reading go to: joycerebapayneministries.com

Leadership by Bully

September 2019

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

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

God Always Wanted His People Led through Love

Not only is God love but His leadership over us is in love.  Tough love is sometimes dispensed because of disobedience in children but it is still love nevertheless.  Everything in the Garden of Eden was pronounced good and God, Himself, was Lord and Master over His children while they enjoyed the provision and comfort of the Garden.  They had guidelines, choices and direct contact with their Creator.  What else could they have desired?  They picked their food from the trees without concern, had no threat from any animal in the garden, enjoyed perfect climate and fellowship with each other and God.  They were employed where they had appropriate skills and their work was appreciated and rewarded accordingly.  There was no sickness, no house payment and the crime rate was nonexistent.

Sin Brought Corrupt Men as Leaders

When Adam and Eve were obedient they had loving leadership but their disobedience to God put them under an evil taskmaster.  Accordingly, we are dealing with the same consequence today.  God had instructed Adam and Eve not to eat the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil because doing so would cause them to die.  They could eat of any other tree in the Garden.  They had choice.  When they decided to do that which was forbidden their whole world changed for the worst.  They were kicked out of the comfort of their home, lost fellowship with God and had to work in hardship and danger for their food, home and protection.  Instead of Creator God ruling over them with love, help and protection; now they had an evil overlord named Satan who constantly challenged their faith and corrupted every aspect of their world.

We have had extreme violence in the land at times because of the voice man chooses to listen to.  The mercy of God continuously rises up good leadership over people to suit His purpose or because someone cried out for His help.  When godly people do not take charge through God’s power, evil forces by the devil’s influence can take over any place to ravage our communities and cause murder, rape, plunder to terrorize people.  There is a common expression “Let the buyer beware”.  Unfortunately our daily lives consist of buying transactions from when we receive our morning donuts to the job we do, to the home we live in and the government where we submit.  We often get services, rights or goods from some entity that is greater than we and that entity has already worked out the terms for their greater benefit and advantage over the recipient.  That is how they prevail and prosper.  From businesses to churches to government that were established to provide equitable services for citizens, we now see them holding the recipient of their services at their mercy.

In this year of 2019, we see a federal government organized and stacked with overlords who answer to leadership for personal gain of the leader and those aligned with him.  Leadership has flipped from protection as Moses outlined it into an authoritarian overlord demanding his bounty like Caesar.  What we must realize is that Moses’ guidelines are patterned after a caring God, while Caesar and such overlords are patterned after the liar and thief we call Satan.  The difference is the power of a giver and the power of a taker; and our experiences and sense of well being should send off alarms as to which we are experiencing. Are we winning or losing is another measure to distinguish which lord we are under.

Jesus Came to Restore God’s Leadership

From the obedience of Abraham to Moses to David; God raised up leaders to restore justice and peace in the land.  Under the law given by Moses, man had a way of knowing what was good or evil and the consequence of his sin.  The law did not make man better but man was aware again that he had choices and the consequence of those choices.  The law was also given to rule people’s actions and to correct or remove the disobedient from harming the innocence.  God has always made a place of rest for those that walked in his obedience and gave protection from evil overlords.  The Old Testaments prophets were ministers of God intervening between good and evil.  When laws failed to make our communities peaceful God initiated another way to restore man through a new heart that would be made from love. Jesus’ coming as the Messiah was prophesied in the Old Testament through prophets in the millenniums before it actually occurred and it gave hope to people for relief from oppression.

In both the Old and New Testaments, God provided a way that leaders could be selected from among the people to rule or administer to the people under God’s loving care.  They were to be leaders who honored God first of all and then who displayed truth and honestly before the people.  We saw this type of leadership in King David whom God reigned over with loving guidance and help to rule God’s people with justice and protection.  Even though David committed sin as king, he repented and returned to God who meted out his punishment, but did not abandon him.  David was declared to be a man after God’s own heart because he loved God and confessed his sin when confronted. That is also what God expects of us.  God prefers leadership that is wise, honest, walking in integrity and who would model righteousness before the people they lead.  Leaders should inspire the people under their authority to imitate them.  For a number of years biblical Israel had good leaders like Moses who led them in the right way even when they wanted to defect and follow wrong ways.  God depended on his leaders to keep the people on track so they could enjoy the blessings God had for them.  Moses was a good leader though not perfect.  He led the Israelites from Egypt, delivered to them God’s Law and brought them to the entrance of the Promise Land where he died and was replaced by Joshua.

We Have Choice Again for Whom to Serve and Appoint As Leaders

Jesus was the best model for good leadership and He appointed good leaders to follow Him.  We see Peter and the church elders again stating that leaders should be: “…of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom.”  This first century commandment was part of the doctrine of European rule where they fought off Muslim attempts to destroy Christian rule.  Christianity and its principles were the standard for European rule over nations, even when they did not obey them, and that guidance has lasted from the Crusades to the present.  Even when wicked authoritarian kings took office, they still claimed Christianity.  King James authorized the English printing of the bible to make it accessible to English speaking commoners.  The guidance of Christian principles and laws were available for all the people and they still remained in place in Europe when the pilgrims brought those principles to America where they are reflected in our three branches of government and Christian faith.   America has a host of Christian churches from where appropriate candidates can be pulled for sincere and compassionate government service to its people.

Bully Leadership – Our Present Situation is Based on Our Choice

The coming of Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on the cross for us puts us back in a place similar to that of Adam and Eve.  God is willing to protect, provide for and fellowship with His children again if we choose Him as our God.  If we make no choice at all or choose wrong, the devil will be the overlord over us and our world.  What we are experiencing today is a result of our choices.  We choose who lords over us.  Where we make no choice for God, the devil will lord over people.  The devil is evil and he is a bully.  We can see his spirit in people who lord over people with cruelty and hatred.  Corrosion of Christian values in American churches and its people have brought us all the way to where we are today…being ruled by bullies as church overlords, government overlords and corporate overlords.  They tell us what we had better do or else!  Having well established systems in our nation, it has facilitated leaders who exploit them for personal wealth; and many people do not realize it was their choice through their chosen leader.

Systems that were set up to provide services to and for the American people have now switched over to bully demands.  Our government exploits Americans through unfair taxation laws and corrupt leaders in churches and businesses that operate for their highest profit rather than for any advantage of the people.  We have a lack of leaders of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom today.  Americans are being exploited on every side and God said “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 5:31)?  From unhealthy foods and medicines full of unsafe chemical fillers to exorbitant prices of housing and fraudulent financial services, American citizens are paying through the nose to businesses that are not being blocked by our legislators because many of them are receiving their part of the bounty through kickbacks.  When we look at the mandate given to us by God through scripture and then we look at where we are now, our decline cannot be denied.  The problem is though whether or not we will use wisdom to return from our rapid decline to safer grounds or will we go into full decline like so many other nations before us.

What was once being done silently or incognito in past years are now being conducted out in the open with pride and boldness because Satan is receiving his glory.  Leaders are now demanding their profit without shame.  God said through Jeremiah:  “Shall I not visit for these things? saith the LORD: shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this” (Jer 5:29)?  We have legal bullies who have free rein to continue because proper authority has been cast aside for profit.  How did we get here?  Lobbyists created rendezvous between business and government where coalitions were being made to profit all involved.  Unfortunately, a seduction ensued for the devotion of church leaders who felt left out of the wealth.  Once they were on board, the people were easily silenced by their leaders.  We got here because from the Christians to businesses to government, responsible people stop blowing the whistle on sin and corruption.  They were told to “be a team player” and everybody thought to speak up was treacherous to the group, never mind the treachery to God.  Leaders in churches, government and businesses went unchecked in power for too long.  Even though God told the people to select righteous leaders to rule over them, celebrity leaders had already sprinkled stardust in the eyes of the people.  Honestly and integrity was substituted for glitter and fanfare.  America learned to put star power above God’s power.  It became established tradition in our churches as Christians learned to hear and follow those religious leaders who came with fame and demands for high monetary benefits…”bring me a thousand…$500 line up over here.”  Exaltation of fleshly leaders turned the tide of respect from anointed leaders to those that tickled our fancy.  Hear the prophecy from millenniums ago:

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; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 2Ti 4:3-4

Our preachers were to be stewards over these words and had a responsibility to keep the people in remembrance of what God said but they too pursued their lusts for monetary gains and fame like their worldly idols.  Once the church compromised, there was no framework in place to keep other institutions honest.  It was the churches that originally called America to righteousness from slavery, saloons, whorehouses, many past gambling holes, public lewdness and other kinds of lawlessness.  If you take away those original preachers who steered America in the right direction, we would have been destroyed a long time ago through corruption, lawlessness or civil unrest. God was at every point trying to remind our nation of His first instruction.

I will get me unto the great men, and will speak unto them; for they have known the way of the LORD, and the judgment of their God: but these have altogether broken the yoke, and burst the bonds.  Jer 5:5

I have sent also unto you all my servants the prophets, rising up early and sending them, saying, Return ye now every man from his evil way, and amend your doings, and go not after other gods to serve them, and ye shall dwell in the land which I have given to you and to your fathers: but ye have not inclined your ear, nor hearkened unto me.  Jer 35:15

When Aaron gave in to the temptation to make the people an idol god to serve, they were wholly corrupted and set for God’s destruction until their Moses returned and pleaded for God to spare them.  It is God who raised up Himself a prophet for the people to provide a place of mercy for them in times of evil.  But when a people will not hear that prophet, what hope could possibly be left.  Jonah was the last hope to prevent Nineveh’s destruction.

When we see bullies leading us freely, we should all know that we are all in eminent peril.  God is not the God of bullies.  Bullies are an evil force ruling and leading us to oppression and destruction.  Satan is the supreme bully and he sets up people like himself to lead people into hardship and destruction.  That bully spirit is referred to as goats or wolves among sheep in the bible and God curses and denounces that spirit.

And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.  Mt 25:32-33

Mine anger was kindled against the shepherds, and I punished the goats: for the LORD of hosts hath visited his flock the house of Judah, and hath made them as his goodly horse in the battle. Zec 10:3

Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my sabbaths, and I am profaned among them. Her princes in the midst thereof are like wolves ravening the prey, to shed blood, and to destroy souls, to get dishonest gain.  Ezek 22:26-27

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Mt 7:15

People have always had some kind of god that they wanted to serve. When Israel did not want to serve the True God, King Ahab and Queen Jezebel were happy to rule them and lead them in service to idol gods. Only Elijah’s service to God saved the people.  Elijah was instructed to cut off idol worship so their leaders had to be destroyed.  Not one was to remain in place to again pollute the people.

We Can Still Make the Right Choice 

Once I made the decision for Christ and received His Holy Spirit I wondered why I was still dealing with that bully spirit wrecking my life.  I searched God’s word to find out where I was missing what God promised.  God began to show me little by little where the devil was eating my lunch.  The devil was still lording over areas in my life through personal decisions I had made. I had to learn what wrong decisions I had made and cancel Satan’s permit.  Lot chose to live in a notorious city called Sodom.   His choice was based on selfishness toward his uncle, Abraham.  The consequences he and his family experienced were based on his wrong decision.  Children do experience the consequences of their parent’s deed.  God reveals in the New Testament that we should consult Him in every decision.  We should preference our words with “if it be the will of the Lord.”  God’s deliverance defeats evil spirits and overlords who have taken illegal places of authority in their lives.  Children of God have a right to be free and enjoy their liberty in Christ but the devil is a thief, using evil overlords of rob God’s people of their rights and privileges. Jesus told us so:  “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly (Jo 10:10).”

What is new in our time of Christian faith is a God who will partner with any believer to cleanse his house and life of Satan’s intrusions.  Overlords lurk everywhere to oppress the believer but God has promised to the believer life and that more abundantly.  Our nation can overthrow Satan’s rule through evil and wicked men if we have faith in God and work with Him. God is a very present help in a time of trouble but we must call upon Him and work with Him.  Our leaders should fight against overlords in our communities, state and nation; but if they will not, Christ has invested the power for  an individual to run a thousand and for two to run ten thousand.  Let’s utilize the power of Christ in unity to kick the bullies out!

Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.  1 Jn 4:4

We Hold These Truths…

August 2019

Pursuit of Power

The intrigue of mankind has caused it to make many great discoveries in the earth but among the greatest is that of the atom that has promoted use for both good and evil.   Still a mystery to some is the question of what great power created the atom.  Surely a greater power than the atom must have created it.  Search for such power has driven men to far shores, extraordinary and dangerous efforts seeking a way to harness such power for advantage over other men.  Explorers have dived into the unknown and gone to the ends of the earth to find out how things work.  They seek an elusive power that is above them and that they have no ability to control.   Men throughout history have sought and claimed the power of an unknown god while some have dared to take on divinity for themselves.  Search for power has driven some men mad as they have sought to manipulate power for personal advantage.  Great power still beacons man because he knows he has a potential for greatness.  But greatness without discipline is very destructive as has been proven through the power of the atom.

Exposure of Illicit Power

The news media in America is reporting at this hour on abusive power by men who have position, influence and wealth above average and who use it to engage in illegal and lascivious acts against the most vulnerable in our society. These men are discovering too that their undisciplined desires have the ability to disrupt their position of power.  And while they should be held accountable for their actions; their position, wealth and power provides them a shield and means of escape from being held accountable to those they consider beneath their status.   Their attempt of a god-like cover of their actions assumes that there is no God watching and measuring their deeds. The media has unveiled for us the illicit sexual exploitation by the hierarchy of the Catholic, Pentecostal, Evangelical, and Mormon churches.  From the Bernie Madoff and Enron financial debacles to those of present day business leaders, we have seen business leaders corrupt with power and wealth exceed the boundaries of decency and morality.  American government leaders are being exposed daily for corrupt use of government power for personal advancement.  Men of corrupt minds have not only been found to cause unwilling women to submit to their undisciplined sexual desires but the Jeffrey Epstein prosecution reveals that they have gone on to organize hidden groups of the rich and famous where they cause innocent children to submit their deprave desires.  Corruption is so pervasive until these leaders are establishing their own exploits as normal while casting off the guardrails of integrity and truth on which the nation set as its standard.  World history is replete with stories of great military, religious and civil leaders who ruled the world and yet it all tumbled down through abuse of power.  Biblical Moses warned tribes of Israel that if they disobeyed God their sins would find them out (Nu. 32:23).  In the New Testament, Matthew tells us that when one is cleansed of evil but goes back into sin, the repercussions of evil reaped is seven times worse than before(Mt. 12:45).  America is seeing a depravity in leadership because God is exposing it and because America is now imitating the type of sinful autocrats who ruled over peasants in Europe.  America should be moving forward, not backward.  The accumulation of wealth in business, religion and government has caused callousness toward everyday citizens who have little recourse against tyrannical rule, reminisce of European rule over peasants.

Foundation of American Power

The colonists to America and their forefathers had seen tyrannical abuse played out in their lives and were sick of the oppression of overlords who pillaged the poor to fuel their extravagance.  They sought a better life in the New World away from the ruthless power of European kings and kingdoms.  They realized that absolute power corrupts absolutely.  Like most things, power can be used for good or evil.  Some European religious believers had caught a glimpse of true greatness in their encounter with God and were willing to pursue it at all cost. (Ps. 119:2 Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart.)  They risked their lives to pursue something greater than the corrupt power of their nation.  They imagined a life where God reigned and where a liberty and freedom they had never experienced could be enjoyed.  While enlightened with this pursuit, they penned these words:

IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America

 “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 United States of America was established with very noble ideas derived from scriptural convictions and oppressive European experiences.  They had seen the ability of even Christian governments ruled by totalitarian leaders corrupt the very best of intentions by greed.  They, therefore, thought to bind themselves to an agreement where citizens could rise up in protest, denounce and remove corrupt leaders.   It must have been beyond their imagination to foresee a time where a free people would strive to return to the sick society they had fled.  The sorrow of our nation of America is that having found the comfort of this nation, few men will peril their lives like the original colonists who risked life and limb to resist corruption and pursue righteousness at all costs.  Americans believe they have an inherited right to a life of ease, freedom and wealth because their forefathers fought for it, yet Christianity and the law both make us aware of those who would subvert the rights and privileges of others for their own benefits.

Corrupt Power

While men of power in the nation use their position, wealth and authority to overwhelm the rights of everyday citizens, it is true that both the American legal system and Christianity grant liberties to the individual citizen to protest solo or with others and remove corrupt leaders.  The legal system authorizes it and the bible compels it.  The only question that remains is whether or not Americans still have the will to fight against evil.  It appears the seeking of gold has corrupted even the most disciplined mind.  America above every other nation has the tools necessary to insist on truth and integrity in its government, church and business communities; and we must not allow men of power to suppress that right.  God will stand with us if we stand with Him.  Our nation has the witness of corruption in other nations, people and times throughout history as a lesson to avoid the same destructive path.  No other nation has had the opportunity, liberty and knowledge that Americans possess to maintain its freedom as a people.

With a wealth of advantages, Americans have, nevertheless, slipped back into the worse sins of their European predecessors.  That is why the Europeans can look on America with such disdain, because there is no excuse for falling into the same sins.  Britain had already fought wars for the right to be Christian, welcomed ethnic groups and had denounced slavery.  Their great sin was aristocracy, maintaining wealth and privilege for only the few, is the current snare of American elites.

There has always been a temptation and problem of strong and powerful leaders abusing the most vulnerable but the American establishment of democracy for the exercise true liberty and faith in Christ was supposed to change that.  God allowed European peasants to catch a vision of Him, liberty, and a place of freedom but it has quickly been returned to the mire of the past oppression.  Without discipline, a close relationship and adherence to the Lord, freedom turns into lasciviousness.  We saw it displayed at the foot of the Mount Sinai when Moses went up to commune with God.  As soon as Moses was gone, the children began to play and choose other gods.  And now that America has chosen to push God to the background, to serve money and pleasure rather than God, the leaders have decided to give the people a new god and rules like Aaron did for the children of Israel.  But God, who is in covenant with the people of America through signed declarations and prayers, will have the last word.  God directed Prophet Elijah to denounce the false god called Baal who the people had set up as their new god (1Ki 18).  In a test of truth, God was proven All-powerful and all the false prophets were humiliated and killed.  Baal was an ancient god of the biblical Canaanites.  This false god was thought to be a god of fertility and the people offered gifts to Baal to prosper in areas of lack. They did animal and human sacrifice to prosper rather than depending on God for their supply.  Much like today, people are sinning and choosing to serve other gods because they want things God has not yet given them.  The Israelites would choose a false god or gods to satisfy their greed for things and even Christians today are choosing a god of wealth and material things over the Lord of Lords and King of Kings.  The name of this new god is called prosperity; new name, same god.  The new Aarons have set up gods to please the people’s lust.  It’s an old story with a familiar ending.  A lot of lives were lost before the people of Israel returned to the True God.  Christ has come so that every individual can be a child of God and inherit the wealth of Father God, their King (Jo. 3:16).  We can expect God to pull down the foundation of lies in America that has tried to take the place of truth and we can expect God to pull down the false god of money that America has become ensnared with.   God has not changed His First Commandment that we should have no other God but Him or bow down to worship other gods.  How long will it take and how many lives will be lost before America returns to her God?

Encouragement to Stay the Course

It is important for America to remember:

For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.  If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? Heb 12:6-7 (KJV)

It is our lust for things God has not yet given us that tempts us to exceed the boundaries of God’s provision but if we obey and wait on the Lord’s timing we can have His favor and those things too.  May God’s mercy and compassion remain with our nation until we willingly return to His grace!

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

THE LEADERSHIP LIE

May 2019

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

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

Changing Standards

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

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

Quality of Leadership

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

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

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

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

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

Christ’s Impact on Leadership

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Major Change in Spiritual Leadership

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

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

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

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

New Leadership Makes the Difference

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

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

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

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

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

LEARNING THE LESSON

March 2019

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

Chasing After “Shiny Things”

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

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

Choosing Wisely

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Inner-Struggle of Nation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Correcting the Path

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

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

ONE LORD, ONE FAITH, ONE BAPTISM: FOR TRUE UNITY

February 2019

God Reveals Himself

The plan of God to restore mankind back to righteousness is presented through preaching the good news of the gospel.   Jesus Christ both brought this message and was the embodiment of the good news from the Father.  His instruction to his disciples was to disseminate the gospel message throughout the world to bring all people back into unity in God.  Jesus is still teaching His disciples to follow and preach the gospel today; however, some preachers distort His message for their own purposes.  The bible boldly declares there is “One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Eph 4:5-6).  Everything outside of that truth is a lie spun by the devil, the father of lies.

In the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy, Moses revealed to the church in the wilderness their God:  “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:  And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might” (Deu. 6:4-5).  God revealed Himself to Abraham and foretold that Abraham would guide his descendants in the fear of God (Gen. 18:19).  God loved and established David as king over His people because David reverenced God with love and worship with all his might (2 Sam. 6:14).  Zechariah prophesied: “And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one” (Zec. 14:9).  Old Testament prophets knew of this one-God truth and Jesus’ ministry confirmed it: “And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment” (Mar 12:29-30).  Apostle Paul declared the truth of God to the Jews and Gentiles: “But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him” (1Co 8:6).  Paul taught a message of church unity upon seeing the division in the Corinthian church:

Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.  For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.  Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? 1Co 1:10-13 

Throughout the bible, God declared and revealed Himself through prophets, teachers and nature to those who would hear. Jesus entrusted His message to disciples that would declare it to the world.  His trusted inner circle of followers and disciples received the message and started the first Christian church with this central truth. Even though the same message is written in the scriptures for all to read, it has somehow been distorted and a new message has been written that people are trying to follow.  Not only is God rising up ministers to declare His true message, but some ministers are rising up their own ministers to teach their distorted message.

Union through the Message

Our Christian faith is based on the truth of one God and we are baptized into the body of Christ.  That truth, that faith and that baptism leads us all into the one body of Christ that makes us the family of God.  Everything outside of it is of the world and rooted in the devil’s lie, but Christ is still the door which all people are brought into the unity as the body of believers.

The church, as it is known in America and some other nations, have done an extraordinary job of confusing the people.  Many who would serve God are being delivered a distorted message about the Christian faith.  Leaders, who could not be trusted like Abraham or David, have discipled a group of believers with a false gospel that have brought confusion to the church.  The bible teaches that the devil is the author of confusion and not God (I Cor. 14:33).  The voice of some teachers have invalidated the voice of bible scripture and therein lies the problem.

My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their restingplace. Jer 50:6 

Paul taught:

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! (Rom 10:13-15)

God has sent His preachers with the true message; and Satan, as an imitator of God, has sent his false messengers to contaminate the true message of God.  The mistake of some seekers of God is their failure to compare the written word of God to the message of their preachers to see if it is truth.

And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.  Act 17:10-11

God has warned the believer of false teachers and commanded them to study the word for themselves.  There is amazing access to the scripture everywhere in America through libraries, bookstores, braille texts, radio, tracts, CD’s, computers, television and through church and outreach ministries.   Anyone crying out to God can expect a response from God so there is no excuse for ignorance of God in America.  With all the truth that God has given us through prophets, Jesus, preachers, the bible, and the Holy Spirit; the church and the gospel message have still been led astray by false teachings.  It is disheartening to watch some of the things taught by preachers, from snake handling to the “name and claim it” message.  We never saw Abraham, David, Peter or Paul teach some of the things that are being emphasized in churches today.  Paul was not trying to test God’s power when he was bitten by a snake.  He was going about the business of his ministry when a viper tried to abort the mission.   Neither did Abraham, David, Peter or Paul serve God to heap on themselves material things like the televangelists do today.  The early disciples were empowered with God’s ability because of their obedient service to God and their obedience brought the blessings of God into their lives without defrauding the people.  Though Abraham was abundantly blessed, we never saw him pursuing the things.  He refused the spoils of war offered him by Melchizedek, the priest of God. Elijah’s servant Gehazi was cursed with leprosy because of greed in seeking reward for ministry work. The most profound teacher of scripture, Apostle Paul taught more about aligning our lives with the will of God than on exercising faith for things. Jesus actually taught that we should seek God and take no thought about the things of life:

Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?  (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Mat 6:25, 32, 33

Paul emphasized the Deuteronomy Chapter 28 teaching about obedience reaping good things and disobedience reaping evil.  He also taught about a people “Who changed the truth of God into a lie and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator…” (Rom. 1:25).  Man’s religion consists of his idea of serving God but it does not mean it is God’s way.  James taught in the New Testament that “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world (Jas. 1:27).  James emphasized love and service to God while loving his neighbor as evidence of pure religion.  The racial hatred, division and community corruption we see in our world today is evidence of a false religion, false worship and false god.  Pure religion will result in love of God and man, where peace and harmony exists in the community and the needs of people are met.

Many of our churches are teaching a “Me” gospel where one seeks to satisfy self with all he desires while preachers illustrate a model of greed that is never satisfied regardless of the multiple houses, cars or planes acquired.  A church focused on things causes disunity because greed repeals while giving draws and promotes love and unity.  Churches are failing to deal with the moral issues of our community while busy reaping material things for self-glory.  The self-sacrificing service and Christian surrender of Acts Chapter Two is visibly missing.

Christ taught the church to be at the forefront and gave warnings of danger and strategies of the enemy.  Here is an Old Testament example of a warning pertinent in today’s society: “Curse not the king, no not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter” (Ecc. 10:20).  That wisdom given to the children of God gave forewarning of days like these where one’s words are carried by electronic devices from the bedchamber to the public arena to be used by an enemy.  Imagine if some of our exposed leaders had heeded that biblical warning!  When the church is caught up in pursuing money, it puts itself in a place of temptation where the enemy lies in wait.  This temptation by Satan for money was one of the first lessons Jesus revealed to us in scripture.  When the church craves money just like the world then the world loses its moral teacher.  With little or no moral guidance, money temptations have led some of our leaders astray from within and without the borders.

The Church’s Responsibility to Unite

At the core of the problems facing America as a nation is a church failing to do its job.  It was given one job and that was to imitate Christ and make disciples.  If you think, “Impossible!” then consider these questions.  To whom did Jesus:

  • Make heir of His power and authority on earth? (Luk 9:1)
  • Give power to declare the message of salvation and loosen captives? (Mar 16:15-16, 18)
  • Assign power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy? (Luk 10:19)
  • Declare that nothing would be impossible to them that believe? (Mat 17:20)

Jesus did not come to Jerusalem to blame the sick people for being sick. He came amazed at finding no doctors to heal them.  If the doctor has no knowledge to operate, he has no business being called a surgeon or going into the operating room.  When Jesus came to Jerusalem there were plenty of surgeons with no power to heal and he called them out for their inability.  God described the religious leaders as: “…dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber” (Isa 56:10).  Jesus called Jerusalem’s religious leaders: hypocrites, vipers and serpents.  Marveling over the lack of watchmen or ministers to help the people, Jesus began to heal, deliver and set free those in bondage.

Among my early writings online was an article inquiring of pastors: “How Much Are You Like the Lord?”  That is the assignment of Christ’s ministers: to be like Him.  People looking for Christ should find His ministers doing the healing and delivering that Christ demonstrated.  The healed will then return home witnessing that God still heals and glorifying Jesus, that he is still alive!  Where is that witness to bring glory to God and why are people asking if God is dead?  Jesus called out the Charlatans that deceived the people for filthy lucre who left them broken, hurt and disappointed.  He came to heal the people but he rebuked the leaders who did not know Him or His Father.  God had already prophesied this through Jeremiah: “Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD” (Jer 23:2).  God is requiring a change from the head down because leaders should lead the people in the right way.  That is why God is exposing American false leaders at all levels that have defrauded His people and led them astray.  He is challenging us to look higher than men to Christ.  True leaders are those that know God; they have His power, authority and knowledge to represent Him to the people.  King David was a blessing to the people of his kingdom because of his love for God.  Believers should be able to recognize the difference between true and false leaders: a King Saul compared to King David.  Jesus taught us about a separating of the sheep from the goats. Neither God nor Jesus ever commanded that people had to believe and follow all leaders.  They taught the difference so believers would not be deceived.  Peter taught: “We ought better to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).  Jesus taught:

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:  And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. Joh 10:27-28 

And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.  And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. Joh 10:4-5

True Christian ministry starts with one who has known the Father and His Son through an encounter or intimacy like that experienced by Abraham, Moses, David or Paul and one who goes on to disciple family and the world for the love of God.  “And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” Rom 10:15).

Christians have one Lord who is Christ; one faith which is the finished work of Christ on the cross and they are united in the one body of Christ.  Christ’s kingdom and church in the earth prevents the rule of the evil one in the earth.   Satan cannot possibly head a true Christian body and certainly cannot come near without sounding bells and whistles; Christ will always rise up His trumpets and trumpeters.  Satan can, however, rise to the head of a false church without any alarms going off because it is his.  Organizations or groups where evil rises to rule as head are void of Christ, even if they once recognized Christ.  True believers will not follow a false lord but will flee from him as Christ taught.  Those religious people who pursue money are actually pursuing a false god, not Christ.    Christ commanded His disciples to follow Him, not things. Jesus Christ is Lord over the Christian church, but Satan lords over many false religions.  The devil has led people astray in church, organizations and government where he lords and is preparing to one day manifest himself as their leader.  Where some people may believe they are too entrenched in certain unions to deny the devil that has them bound, freedom starts by denouncing Satan and professing Jesus Christ as Lord.  Jesus taught the sinner that he must be born again (Joh. 3:7) and He came into the world to save those that were hopelessly lost and enslaved to the devil.  They can be “born again” into the family of God when they receive Christ as Lord. Through faith they become baptized into a new family:  the body of Christ.

The true gospel has the power to put us on the path to becoming one with the body of Christ.  It is the responsibility of Christ‘s ministers to help believers come into full maturity ready to carry out their own Christian witness.  What we have seen too often is Christ giving liberty and then some “churches” bringing people back into bondage to their church rules and guilt. Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty.  Church rules do not have the ability to unite the body across lines of physical division, but Christ’s power can.   Strong church leaders can lead people into a unity with Christ or to a false god through ignorance and people must know who is lord over their religious fellowship.  Christ has come to set all men free and give us the Holy Spirit who brings union with the body of Christ as one people and one family.  It starts with confession of sin and receiving Christ’s salvation.  Liberty and maturity in Christ leads us into a united body of believers across gender, race, cultural and physical lines.  This is the unity America was destined to display for the nations.  Christ’s prayer to the Father before His crucifixion was that believers would become one as He and the Father are one.  We become one through recognizing and walking in: One Lord, one faith, one baptism that unites believers in the one body of Christ.

By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. (Joh 13:35)

 

 

When the Curtain is Drawn Back

January 2019

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:    But thou, LORD, art most high for evermore.  For, lo, thine enemies, O LORD, for, lo, thine enemies shall perish; all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered. . . . Ps. 92:7-9

We are taught stories at a young age that reveal the mysteries of life to guide us from youth, if we retain them.  Such a lesson is the story of the big bad wolf that came to blow down the houses of the three little pigs.  He blew down the house of straw and the one made of sticks because they were weak in structure.  When the wolf came to blow down the house of bricks, it was too strong and withstood his attack. This lesson teaches us to build strong houses or lives that can withstand the storms of life.  Important lessons can be learned from simple childhood stories.

Several more complicated lessons can be learned from the lengthy story of the Wizard of Oz.  Who could forget the end of the story?  The long, tedious journey of Dorothy and her friends brought them before a menacing wizard that made them shake in their boots.  When Dorothy’s dog pulled back the curtain, a shocking sight was revealed to them.  The menacing voice behind the curtain was really a small, weak old man using a magnified voice to create fear in those who heard him. He was revealed as a fraud and imitator. Things can seem menacing or impenetrable but that may just be the curtain.  The wolf is not always so smart and the evil curtain is not always as invincible as it appears.

The scripture written above reveals a truth about the end of a menacing enemy.  First appearances may seem foreboding and impenetrable but it does not mean it will withstand the force of time or pressure.  Scriptures in Psalms and Proverbs give us the wisdom of age-old problems.  They reveal our most earnest needs in life and our fear at the challenges of an enemy.  God reveals in Psalms and Proverbs that He both supplies what we need and conquers our fear.  The lessons of our youth, which brought us hope, often need to be repeated to our more mature self because of the many times we have failed the test and the challenges to our faith.

The innocence of the Garden of Eden gave way to the evil that was waiting behind the curtain when disobedience was accomplished.  We have had to deal with that evil throughout life as it has risen and fallen.  When it rises to an overwhelming force where it looks like it will destroy us, there is an invisible force behind another curtain that causes it to subside because the Overseer behind this curtain is neither timid nor powerless to help us.  Childhood stories gave us hope that evil could be overcome but the terrorizing fear in adulthood may not always withstand the fear with youthful hope.  Amazingly, God has told believers that they must come to Him as little children (Mt. 18:3); yet adults often choose to internalize their fear that unconquered will cause tumors, heart disease, cancer, strokes as well as many phobias and other diseases resulting from fear.

Ancient Israel had an experience with a curtain that had hidden behind it the means of their deliverance and instruction.  As long as they obeyed, God kept them safe.  In the midst of their camp in the wilderness, they built a place of worship called the tabernacle that was surrounded by curtains.  They stepped within the borders of the curtains to interact with their God.  They brought an offering behind the curtains from their bounty in penitence for sin  and found God’s mercy extended toward them.  Once a year, God extended an opportunity to meet with Him for a fresh start.  The high priest would go behind the curtain into the holy of holies to meet with God on behalf of the people.  If he was a clean representative of the people, he would meet with God and receive favor and the removal of the sin from Israel.  If he had not properly prepared himself to meet with God and was unclean, he would die behind the curtain and the rope attached to his leg would be used by the people to pull him out from behind the curtain where the glory and presence of God abode.  The nature of God was always that He was good but the people and the priests received the consequences of their actions.  This practice left a lot to be desired and God had in mind a better way that was to come down through the ages of time in Jesus Christ, the perfect sacrifice and perfect priest.

When Jesus came into the earth, Divinity was wrapped in a curtain of human flesh.  God was extending mercy to all mankind.  Jesus walked the earth for 33 years, repudiating sin and rebuking evil.  His mission was to overcome evil with good.  Evil seemed to have won when the evil one provoked man to pierce the flesh of the Holy One on a cruel cross until Jesus died.  What seemed to have been the end was only a new beginning though. When darkness pierced the curtain (the flesh of Jesus’ body), it rend the veil between man and God that released the Holy Spirit.  The darkness of sin met with the mercy of God revealed in the Holy Spirit that dwelt behind the curtain in the tabernacle. The barrier between God and man was removed so man could approach his God for himself without the intermediary of a high priest. Sin and the devil had lost and man and the Holy Spirit had won by the power of God.

Jesus paid the price for the removal of sin and evil. The Holy Spirit abides with us today in an intimacy that neither the tabernacle nor the flesh of Jesus could.  The tabernacle was limited to a particular place and time as was Jesus when He walked the earth.  But today the Holy Spirit can be everywhere at the same time and available to whomever needs Him.  The Holy Spirit is also a curtain now that hides the saints of God from the evil that is without. We know that the devil is an imitator of God, so he hides his workers behind a curtain too.  The source of evil is often veiled and it can be difficult to discern where it is coming from or what hand has dealt the fatal blow.  It can often hit us from various directions until it seems overwhelming.  No amount of darkness though is hidden from the All-Seeing Eyes of God who watches over the earth and His children.

When those that possesses the Holy Spirit of God commune behind the veil with the Father about the evil in the earth, God rolls back the curtain of darkness to expose the evil with His light.  We no longer have to wait on the high priest of the tabernacle or the once-a-year intervention.  God’s power is immediately available to all His children.  Satan, who manipulates people and operates in darkness, is revealed when the curtain of darkness is pulled back by the light of Christ Jesus.  Behind that curtain is a weak and defeated enemy who has already succumbed to the power of Christ’s resurrection.  The truth that Satan is already defeated is a truth he wanted kept a secret but it is one destroys the fear of his lies.

The three little pigs need not fear the big bad wolf anymore because they dwell in a house strong enough to withstand the wolf’s attack.  One version of the story has the wolf trying to sneak in the house by the chimney and ending up in a pot of scalding water on the fireplace that provides a wealth for the three little pigs when they sell his hide.  The menacing wizard behind the curtain was powerless as is the devil against the child of God. Jesus came veiled in a body of flesh and blood to destroy the devil that had the power of death and Jesus delivered believers from a lifetime in the fear of death.

The wolf has brought a breath of fear against the nation of America and the wisdom of God has allowed some houses of straw or sticks to fall.  There were houses built on false teachings; lust of money, sex and self-fulfillment that fell when exposed to the light.  America’s nature of infidelity was revealed when God pulled back the curtain of false religion and exposed false doctrine, fraud, idolatry and sexual immorality in the pulpit and priesthood.  He pulled back the curtain of government and exposed racism, discrimination, fraud, organized crime, hatred, sexual immorality, lies, national disloyalty, ignorance and pride.  He pulled back the curtain of business and exposed fraud, theft, sexual immorality, greed and treachery.  God has allowed America to see that it has poor leadership in homes, schools, government, businesses and its churches  Their weaknesses came because of failing to acknowledge and uphold the power of God in their leadership.  God did not expose these weaknesses for America’s defeat but rather for America’s repentance.  Even though these weaknesses could cause the nation to fall, it is God who determines whether it stands or falls.  His decision depends on the nation’s decision on repentance and turn from sin.  A drowning man must make the decision between fighting for life and giving up to die.  The fight for America depends on giving up the fight against God and dying to sin so there can be a rebirth.  The unethical nature of America is no better than the nations to whom it once stood as a shining light on a hill or beacon.

Righteousness exalteth a nation but sin is a reproach to any people. Prov. 11:34

God reveals man’s sin in the open when he fails to heed the various warnings sent to him to repent. At every church communion, God asks that believers examine themselves and determine if they are suitable to commune with God behind the veil.  God both allows and helps His children to discover their own sin so as to repent and be delivered from that which can cause death.  It is the love of God that reveals our sin to us.  Every Israelite that came to the tabernacle with an offering for sin was acknowledging to the priest that he was a sinner deserving death but was requesting mercy instead. The priest accepting the offering was supposed to be sanctified for the purpose of receiving the offering for sin and standing as an intermediary between God and man even though no human has ever been worthy for this task.  Judgment was temporarily prevented by this system of repentance and forgiveness of sin.  The resurrection of Christ from the dead for our sin has replaced the Israelite system with the new system of Christ’s own blood offered once for the sin of every believer.

Today Christ requires man to confess sin in intimacy with Him through prayer and in some cases to another believer to receive forgiveness.  Christ will reveal our sin to us in the privacy of our prayer in communion with Him when our heart is tender enough to hear.  Those that resist this option will have the opportunity to be told their sin by another person or circumstance.  Strong resistance against confession of sin brings more sternness from God to make one aware of sin and allow opportunity for repentance.  This is the mercy of God.  Prophets may be sent to a people refusing to heed God’s warnings.  They stand as an intermediary between man and the judgment in the Old and New Testaments.  God has always shown mercy toward mankind to get them to return to Him before destruction.  Noah preached for 120 years before the destruction by flood that wiped out the whole earth.  God loves the creation He has made and He said it all was good after making it.  Romans Chapter One tells us that even the wicked on which wrath will fall have had God revealed to them through nature itself testifying of God and that they are without excuse.  God is willing to reveal Himself to all that seek Him in sincerity and forgive all sin through Jesus Christ’s blood shed on the cross.

The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 2 Pe 3:9 

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.  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. Jo. 3:16-17

God has allowed the curtain to be pulled back to reveal the sin of our nation, leaders and people so that we can receive the forgiveness made available to us through the ripping of the tabernacle veil to reveal Jesus Christ as Savior of the world, where we can find mercy in our time of need.  If the veil of our heart has been rend to reveal our personal need, then God has allowed us opportunity to humble ourselves in His presence to receive His mercy and grace.