The Full 3/3rds of the Gospel (Colossians 1:26-29)

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Colossians 1:27-29 27 To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. 29 To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.

In the passage above we see that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is a 3-fold message. Each part is essential to bring about godly sorrow, which works repentance, leading to salvation (II Corinthians 7:10).

As I read this passage, while walking to work the other day, verse 28 drew my attention. Especially where it declares, “Him we preach, warning every man…”. I believe that “warning every man” may be the most missing third of the gospel message.

Most of our evangelism, in our day, can be distilled down to the generic refrain of “God loves you, and proved this by dying for your sins. Say this prayer, be forgiving, and get to a good church”. Although, there is truth in this line of preaching, it is dumbed down, as not to be offensive, or appear judgmental.

When we minister in this fashion, we forget that the Gospel is an offense to men, apart from Christ, and that will never change. It is not until men have a profound sense of the fear of the LORD, that they will begin to see a need for the Gospel, because the fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge (Proverbs 1:7).

Before we explore what we are warning men from and encouraging them to receive in the message of the Gospel, let us first handle “Him we preach”.

WE PREACH HIM

Paul’s primary message was to preach Christ and Him crucified. Now in preaching Him, we must proclaim who He is and always will be, why He was begotten, and how we receive that which Jesus Christ secured for us.

From our passage we understand that in preaching Christ we are preaching the mystery, which was hidden in the ages before Christ, but is now revealed in those He has saved… us! That mystery is Christ came to do a work, whereby we were not only able to be in His presence, but ultimately that the Messiah would live in and through us; which is Christ in us the hope of glory.

In preaching Him, it is important to proclaim His eternal nature as the word of God, who became flesh (John 1:1-5, 14) and how (Psalm 2:7; Isaiah 7:14, 9:1-7). It is important to share that the Christ is the Son of God, equal to God, who for love, laid aside His prerogative as God (for a time), to express His glory, unless instructed to by the Holy Spirit.

Philippians 2:5-11 5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

In revealing how He came, we must reveal why He came. This is where we must expressly proclaim the sinfulness of man and the penalty for unforgiven sin (Romans 3:20-23, 6:23). In revealing why He came, we then are blessed to share the beauty of how Christ dealt with sin, through His cross (the Atonement) and His resurrection.

Isaiah 53:5-6 5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

The Lord Jesus Christ accomplished this by becoming our substitutionary atonement, as the Father made Christ who knew no sin, to be our sin, that we could become righteous in Him (II Corinthians 5:21). Our sin, we literally placed into His body, as He went to and hung to death on the cross.

In addition, we understand that our sin was contained in a list of charges, or an indictment that was against us, and demanded justice against us, on God’s behalf. Colossians 2:14-15 declare that God took this handwriting of charges against us, out of the way, nailing it to the cross, yet there was no paper with ink written charges on the cross. Therefore, we understand the Gospel of Christ, to mean Christ Himself, was our indictment nailed to the tree, as our sin was written into His body through torture.

This is the love of God on display for the undeserving.

Romans 5:8-11 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. 10 For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.

To receive this grace, we must repent of our sin and life apart from God. This means we must turn from it, forsaking all to follow Christ (Luke 9:23-26, 63, 14:33). In addition, as an act of repentance, we then walk in faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ, which is the faith that saves us.

This combination of repentance and faith in Christ, is also sorely lacking as the church presents the Gospel in Western Christianity. Observe Paul’s message to the Ephesian elders about what he preached and taught them to preach in Acts 20:21-22 “how I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house, 21 testifying to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ”.

We must always understand that necessity of both repentance and faith, understanding that repentance is much more than confessing sin, it is renouncing it and walking away from it.

2 Corinthians 7:10 10 For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.

Interestingly, we find that God is not willing that any would perish, but all would come to repentance (II Peter 3:9). How interesting that the word does not say “that all would be saved”, but “… that all would come to repentance”. This is because without repentance, there is no ability to walk in faith, being that the person has not left their old life behind. Therefore, without repentance, there is no forgiveness, or reconciliation.

Paul’s call to the Athenians to understand this reality, leads to the second part of the Gospel, the warning.

Acts 17:30-31 30 Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, 31 because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”

WARNING EVERY MAN WHAT AWAITS THE UNREPENTANT

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In this section we will investigate the least preached third of the Gospel, “warning every man”. What is it we are warning them of? Well, simply put, everlasting judgement. I grow tired of religious idiots, who mock “hell-fire and brimstone preachers”. To these mockers and scoffers, Christ Himself would be relegated to the dung pile of irrelevance, because He preached more on the reality of eternal judgement for the unrepentant, than He did on the eternal reward of those who walk in faith.

Consider the passage most often taken out of context in the entire New Testament.

John 3:16 6 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

This is a wonderful passage, for sure, but it was spoken in the midst of a massive warning to the Pharisee Nicodemus.

John 3:17-20 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.18He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.

We must remember that the word “belief” in the Greek was not one of mental assent only to a body of truth, but to assent to the truth to the degree that you change your life accordingly. This cannot be understated, because “unbelief”, as defined in Hebrews 3:6-14, is to declare I believe or assent to the truth about God, yet deny that assent or confession with my choices. This is seen in the example of Israel in that passage.

In fact, in returning to the end of John 3 we have John the Baptist, “warning every man” in verse 36 “He who believes in the Son, has everlasting life; and he who does not believe on the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on Him”. This wrath of God is referred to as everlasting condemnation in John 5:28-29.

The Lord Jesus Christ refers to the judgment on those who refuse to repent and express faith towards Him, as everlasting outer darkness in Matthew 8:12, which deals with the relational distance between the lost and God, who is Light and salvation. This is reiterated in II Thessalonians 1:9, where  the word of God declares “These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power”.

In the same epistle, only a few lines earlier, we see that Christ will take “vengeance” on those not obeying the Gospel “in flaming fire”. This fits the most revealed characteristic concerning the judgment to come, which is relational, but also a literal place away from God forever in torment.

Revelation 20:14-15 This is the second death. 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

We see this reality of judgment, which is the basis of our “warning every man” in several other New Testament passages, which include but are not limited to Matthew 5:27-30, 25:41 and Revelation 14:11.

The love of God without the justice of God, in His wrath, upon those who are unrepentant, is not love at all. If we are not saved from something terrible, by Christ’s atonement on our behalf, then why care about salvation?

Truth be told, we Christians need to accept that much of our evangelism to “warn every man” to the degree that they begin to fear the LORD, so that they will gladly repent.  Remember that the fear of the LORD is wisdom.

WHAT WE ARE SAVED FOR AND TO

Lastly, we must preach that we are saved to something everlasting, and it is not to live independent from God, in an eternal state of bliss. You may find this a silly thing to say, but we have made everlasting life about our own mansion on a hilltop so much, we miss that eternity begins the moment we are forgiven, and our hope of being with Christ, is our only hope in this life.

In the first place, we preach “as many as receive Him”, so He gave them the right to become the children of God, to those who believe in His name. This is our wonderful blessing now and forever.

1 John 3:1-3 1 Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him. 2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. 3 And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

In the first place, we find that we are saved to be children of God right now. This implies that our Father is always with us to lead, guide, empower with provision, and correct when needed (Romans 8:14-17; Hebrews 12:5-12).

Secondly, we are also saved to be transformed now for “everyone who has this hope in him, purifies Himself, just as He is pure”. The hope is the blessed Hope, the great and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, when we shall see Him as He is (Titus 2:14). It is this hope which compels us to live godly and be sanctified in Christ (II Peter 3:11-12), because those in Christ are supernaturally transformed and transforming new creations (II Corinthians 5:17).

Thirdly, we find that we are called to an eternal state that is even more awesome than we can imagine “and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is”. This does not mean we will become infinite creatures, but glorified by His power, with a new physical, spiritual life.

1 Corinthians 15:50-53 50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

Our hope is not in all these wonderful blessings but to see the Christ face to face, the one who gave us the escape from judgment—the one who calls us to repentance and faith to avoid the wrath of God—the one who guarantees our eternity with Him.

Let us preach all three parts of the Gospel, without shame and in great boldness of faith!

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Only the Lamb of God is Worth! (Revelation 5)

Below is a video copy of a message I just shared from Revelation Chapter 5, concerning how he Lord Jesus Christ, alone, is worthy to pull the curtain back on the revelation. Click below to view.

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The MAJESTY OF GOD and Our Response (Revelation 4)

Dear friends I have been preaching through the Book of Revelation, focusing on the elements that usually are overlooked, in our pursuit to prove our end times timelines. The message below is from Revelation 4, where John sees the throne of God, in all of God’s Majesty. In this message we discuss the Awesome eternal character and glory of God, and how we are to response as His children. Click to watch.

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War will Lead a Supposed Peace Maker!

I am very hesitant to make prophetic declarations. The word declares we “know in part and prophesy in part”. This ought to cause any godly person to be very hesitant in making declarations, unless they know for sure it is the LORD, giving the prophesy.

In the last couple of years, supposed “prophets” have wrongly predicted the end of covid-19, president Trump’s re-election and retaking of the presidency after the election was over and he did not win. As is always the case, those with supposed “prophetic anointing” have prophesied the greatest wealth transfer into Christian wallets and ministries in history, only to look foolish, as the wealth of almost every nation’s citizenry is shrinking, as inflation transfers wealth to only evil elites running the world system.

This is why I am hesitant to declare that the messages I give are direct foretelling of future events, which is part of the thrust of prophecy. The other thrust of prophecy is forthtelling, or to speak the word of God rightly divided, for the purpose of edification, admonition, and correction. The latter is what I have dedicated my life to for the purpose of glorifying Christ. What I will share today is a combination of both.

I believe we are most likely living in the last several years of the earth’s history. My understanding of the times and events of history, within the last 100 years, has convinced me that we may be living within the last ten years of the world, which will culminate with Christ’s visible personal return to earth, at the battle of Armageddon. I do believe the rapture will proceed Christ’s return at Armageddon, prior to the wrath of God being poured out on an unrepentant world.

That being said, there are few things left before the revelation of Antichrist, and it feels as if we have hit a particular lull in the further movement towards the last seven years of the world as we know it. It is for this reason, while studying God’s word prayerfully, I asked the LORD, “What is next Father?”.

In all honesty, we have wars, rumors of war, famines, and the prospect for large scale famine and food shortages–we have experienced pestilence and the disease of it with Covid-19 and the rise of monkey pox–natural disasters are abounding–and Christians are hated world over, as persecution is increasing everywhere.

In answer to my question in prayer, the Lord has revealed a brutal war against Israel is coming soon. This will be the next event, which will eventually lead to the rise of Antichrist. To be sure, he is alive on earth. The totalitarian mandates and lockdowns concerning covid-19 through the United Nations World Health Organization, as well as the World Economic Forum’s pursuit of the U.N Agenda 2030 mandate to reduce the world population to 1 billion or less, reveals the one world government is in place.

Scripturally, speaking, the Antichrist needs a war against Israel, potentially with Muslim nations, to play peace maker. This we find in the prophecy of Daniel.

Daniel 9:25-27 “Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times. “And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; and the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, and till the end of the war desolations are determined. Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate.”

This remarkable passage is remarkable in its accuracy. We first read that from the time of Artaxerxes 2nd decree in Ezra to rebuild Jerusalem, until Messiah would come to atone for sin would be 69 weeks (seven weeks + sixty-two weeks). However, the weeks represent periods of seven years, not seven days. This in total is 483 years. From the time of Artaxerxes decree, until Christ was cut off in His death, was exactly 483. This leaves one more period of seven years, the last seven years in earth’s history to be fulfilled.

Daniel gives us a significant sign of the beginning of the last seven years in this passage, a covenant (treaty) between Israel and Antichrist for seven years; one Antichrist will break 3 and a half years into the covenant. No doubt this covenant will negotiate the building of the third temple, for it is there Antichrist will break the treaty by becoming the abomination of desolation.

2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

The latter portion of Daniel reveals that Antichrist’s rise is filled with intrigue, deception, and war, which requires a master negotiator. Revelation 13 reiterates this point.

Revelation 13:1-7 ​ Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast. So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months (3 and half years). Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them.

Interestingly, we find in chapter 12 that Israel is assailed before Antichrist’s rise to power and would be destroyed, but that the world hides her from destruction. It is in this environment of war against Israel, that a covenant will be struck.

Today I discovered that three anti-Israeli nations leaders met in Iran: Russian, Iran and remarkably Turkey. This is a most interesting development. It would appear that Russia may want relief from NATO nations hindering their annexation of Ukraine. A war against Israel from a NATO nation (Turkey) and Iran, would certainly do this.

Be prepared, brethren, the war against Israel is coming soon and it will further expand failing economies, pestilence, blackouts, and totalitarian control in every nation. God is our refuge and Provider. Let us be faithful and stay close to Christ. Our time to shine in this dark and perverse generation is upon us.

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The Oozing Hypocrisy of Orange, Red, White, Brown and Blue (The sad case of Deshaun Watson)

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As the lunacy of the NFL football season is fast approaching, much of the American sports media have been guessing, speculating, and prophesying, concerning the career of a 26 year old quarterback named Deshaun Watson. Watson is a college national champion from his days playing for the Crimson tigers and a promising professional prospect, at arguably the most important position on the field.

After being drafted with the number 12 pick in the 2017 NFL draft, by the Huston Texans, he went on to be one of the most productive players at his position in his first three years. Coming into his fourth season, Watson no longer wanted to play with the Texans. This was made known early in the offseason, in an attempt to force a trade. The Texans would not give in, nor would he.

Then, in late winter, allegations came to light about Deshaun Watson’s extracurricular activity of seeking over one hundred massages, outside of the teams facility and with women, who were for the large part not even massotherapists. In fact, the largest portion of 66 women contacted were Instagram influencers or model types, Watson found on the internet and asked to give him a massage. Only recently it was revealed that the Huston Texans knew about Watson’s prolific proclivity for massages, as they provided him with a non-disclosure agreement to give to the women who accepted his invitation.

The player’s massage habit and the sexual nature many of them went in became public knowledge, as 24 of the women were organized into a class action lawsuit. Watson decided to sit out the 2021 season to deal with his issues, and/or in an attempt to further harm the Texans, whom behaved as if they had no clue.

After a grand jury was impaneled in two cities to seek an indictment for criminal charges, which found no evidence for an indictment, Watson was clear of criminal wrong doing. At this point a bidding war took off to find a trade for Watson to another team. He signed a fully guaranteed $230,000,000 contract, with the foolish Cleveland Browns.

Watson has settled 22 of the civil case allegations and is now seeing if the NFL will suspend him for any amount of time, as his case has gone through a disciplinary proceeding, which was collectively bargained. The sports media world, daily all over this country speculates about this issue, even Christians, who ought not to care about sports team fandom, but the souls of those who live in the midst of the oozing hypocrisy of sports, especial the red, white and blue of the NFL shield (also colors of the Houston Texans, the orange and brown of the Cleveland browns, and the many faces of sports media and fandom.

Let’s handle the some truth about this situation.

Deshaun Watson has an addiction, that addiction is not against the law. I realize this may seem a cold legal position, it is, but that is lost on the media which reports about this situation and calls for him to be suspended for life or have none at all. Truth told, this case ought to be decided on legal precedent and the process outlined in the NFL collective bargaining agreement, not wokeness or emotion.

That said, Watson needs to be in a treatment facility for his out-of-control lust. Sadly, many have enabled him, even in the church. He sports several tattoo’s revealing scripture and professes to being a Christian. This has been known since his college days, where he was coached by a professing Christian, who must have known about Watson’s fixation with being rubbed down, with a potential for a happy ending. In addition, Watson, who has admitted to having consensual sex with some of the women, declares, “I never disrespected women.” He needs some real solid biblical counseling and deliverance from sex addiction.

What can we conclude? That there has always been a wink wink attitude towards this young man concerning his sinful proclivities and yes by Christians who should have known better. This rank hypocrisy, is sown throughout the lives of young black men in our country, who are lauded, praised and used, quite frankly to score touchdowns, because there is a payoff for all involved.

Deshaun Watson: Houston Texans beat Miami Dolphins behind QB's 5 TDs

That said, Watson’s sexual massage issues had to be leaked by the Texans, who were originally protecting Deshaun Watson’s addictive issues with a non-disclosure agreement, while he played for them. They leaked this information because he no longer wanted to play for them and sought to apply pressure to cause a turn around in Watson’s thinking. Again, this is the oozing hypocrisy of American sports. The team has many on site and traveling professional massotherapists, yet gave the young man a legal non-disclosure for him to seek “massage” on his own. At first they denied they knew, now we know otherwise.

It is for this purpose, after no criminal charges were filed, that Tony Buzzbee, the attorney bringing the class action suit on behalf of the women, added the Texans to the legal suit. Buzzbee now threatens litigation against the Texans, to increase the settlement money, being that the amount from Watson will be smaller than first thought.

The Texans owners will not be found guilty of criminal or civil liability either, but they will buckle and pay out settlement money as well, in an effort to avoid a larger public relations disaster. What oozing red, white and blue hypocrisy.

Deshaun Watson has first Browns press conference

Deshaun Watson’s current team, the Cleveland Browns, are also oozing with hypocrisy. During Watson’s introductory press conference, the team declared they thoroughly vetted the quarterback, and were comfortable with him. This after insulting their former quarterback in a leaked report, where sources were quoted as declaring the team wanted a mature quarterback. OK then, they wanted a more mature quarterback and signed one, who still faces at least 4 civil cases and has a flaming sex addiction, that has been plastered all over the country.

The national media oozes hypocrisy hourly. With great incredulity, men and women in sports media have cried out to suspend him for a year and some forever, in their “woke” rage. Former players in the sports news space have been in this hypocritical lot, knowing full well that sexual deviancy runs rampant in their sport, and when they played they ignored it in others, so long as they would play.

These media types are either ignorant of how the legal system works (both criminal, civil and through collective bargaining occurs), or simply lying in an effort to appear WOKE.

If Watson is suspended at all, he has a civil case against the NFL for hindrance of employment, because there is nothing in the conduct policy which governs or mitigates if a massage or potentially hundreds go too far, when the women signed non-disclosure agreements before said activity. That sounds icky, and it is, because it indicates a prior knowledge in the women, that Watson may want more than a massage; but it is most likely true.

Some do care in sports media and seek to give the other side, the truth side, but are few and far between. The majority of the narrative is driven by bloviating sports pundits who are as morally duplicitous and empty as Deshaun Watson. He and they exist in a society in America that is the same.

Therefore, the NFL must be careful.

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This is where we see the hypocrisy of the NFL, red, white and blue. The league has leaked they are seeking and indefinite suspension, for behavior that is not criminal, even though it is troubling at best and at worst reveals a man controlled by lust. When NFL owner Robert Kraft was caught at a massage parlor, known for prostitution, he was not sanctioned at all. In addition, we must recognize the desire of the NFL to appear “WOKE”. This league drives the LGBTQ narrative in the face of its fans, sucks up to Black Lives Matters Marxists, and now is swimming in the “ME TOO” movement.

Here is the truth. NFL teams, especially the hapless Cleveland Browns, would put Satan himself in a uniform if they thought he could win, and then sell him as the savior of their city. It is the nature and immorality of sports in America, with all its oozing hypocrisy.

Lastly, this situation exists because of the unreasonably high value Americans place on a young man’s unimportant contribution in a sport.  Teams, fans, and media use men like Deshaun Watson to make money and in the emptiness and drudgery of their lives, give them something to cheer about. It should be no wonder that players like Deshaun Watson continue complete that cycle, looking for someone to serve them, and do what he desires. His entire life is transactional, rather than relational. Just like the fan experience, which kicks last year’s best players to the curb if they do not deliver.

If this article leaves you feeling, well, icky, good. Hopefully it is a catalyst for us to leave behind the fandom of our immature youth, recognizing the sleezy means of manipulation in sports and how it is masterfully used by the devil, to intoxicate millions, including millions of Christians.

Perhaps we will begin to see our own hypocrisy, in how beholden we are to sports teams, which are not godly endeavors, at all, but full expressions of the sensual nature of the world system and everything in it.

(1 John 2:15-17)Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever. 

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Cautiously Optimistic with a HEAVY Dose of Reality (Life after Roe vs. Wade)

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While watching a video clip of a female news pundit, concerning the recent United States Supreme Court decision to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe vs. Wade precedent (making abortion legal in all 50 states), I marveled at how ignorant the woman’s rhetoric was. She declared, in error, more than a few times that abortion was a constitutional right and that the new ruling was a ban on abortion. She also blamed the decision on Christians. The video was on a British News site, which only made the female pundit’s bloviating worse.

It is amazing how ignorant Americans are, concerning how our government works. Just the other day on the Late Show with Steven Colbert, Wanda Sikes, a gay pro-choice woman, mused with Colbert how the overturning of Roe vs. Wade reveals that democracy is dead. Colbert, the show’s host foolishly agreed.

How could these two supposedly informed individuals say such things with a straight face? Roe vs. Wade took 50 years to correct, by a democratic process, where several judges were appointed by a sitting president (Bush I, Clinton, Bush II, Obama and Trump)—appointments which need be confirmed by a duly elected congress.

In addition to these procedures, there needed to be a legal challenge to the precedent (Roe Vs. Wade) for a hearing before the Supreme Court, from a state or states.

The Supreme Court could not consider overturning Roe vs. Wade unless it had a meritorious constitutional challenge.

On the other hand, it is not only the politically liberal population that knows little about how the United States government is to operate constitutionally. Much of the United States population, including many of its Christians, are ignorant of how their government works and what the overturning of Roe vs. Wade means.

To aid us in understanding what this decision means for the nation and more specifically for Christians in the United States, I will attempt to unpack the pertinent issues concerning the overturning of the 1973 Roe vs. Wade legal precedent.

#1 GOD IS THE GOD OF LIFE AND ABORTION IS ABOMINABLE TO HIM

Much of the controversy surrounding the pro-life and prochoice debate, from a cultural perspective, focuses on the question of when life begins. For those in the pro-life camp, this argument has been made more difficult than need be, because of pat answers and much biblical ignorance surrounding the topic. Let’s deal with this question first.

We rejoice for God is the author of life and through procreation, He places His image into every soul. Science has proven this Biblical truth and the timing of it is not a mystery, but a scientific and biblical fact.

In a 2019 article, concerning a survey on when life begin, reported that 96% of over 5,500 biochemists declared life begins as conception (When Life Begins Article) This is in what they refer to as the “phosphorus flash”.

As observed by electron microscope, the “phosphorus flash” occurs seconds after the sperm enters the female ovum. Almost immediately after the sperm disappears into the ovum, there is a “phosphorus flash” of light, easily visible. This flash of light is the moment these scientists declare life begins. The Bible agrees and does so specifically.

Let us remember that Christ “is the brightness of the glory of God and the express image of His person” (Hebrew 1:3). The phrase “express image” means Christ is “the die that casts an image into something.

We have products around us daily that are “die cast”, such as toys, household products and cars, where a piece of material goes into a press and when cycled, the die in the press, impresses an image into the material. Christ, who “is the express image” of the person of God, is the “die” casting God’s image into each human, yet He is the also “brightness of the glory of God”, as well. This speaks to the timing or moment of this casting.

Let us look at another passage of scripture for clarity.

 John 1:1-9 ​1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. 4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. 6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe. 8 He was not that Light but was sent to bear witness of that Light. 9 That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.

In this passage we can link Christ, the “Light of the world”, and His being the “brightness of God’s glory”, with the timing of the beginning of life at conception. We see in verse John 1:9 where Christ is the “Light that lights every man coming into the world”.

How and when does this happen? At conception, when we see what the scientists refer to as the “phosphorus flash”. This miracle is not chemical, but when the “express image of His person” or Christ as the “die” casts the image of God into every person ever born.

God is the author of every life and scripture refers to His knowledge of every person ever procreated. Scripture has multiple passage concerning God’s intimate operation in the procreation of all human lives. Here are a few.

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Psalms 139:13-16 13 For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. 14I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. 15 My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. 16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.

Jeremiah 1:4-5 4 Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying: 5“Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you; Before you were born, I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”

Psalm 29:9 declares it is the voice of the Lord (the Living Word of God, the Christ) that makes the deer to give birth; how much more important to God is every human life?

Despite these truths, some Christians treat the blessing of children as an inconvenience or even their own decision, as to when and how many children they will have. It would seem “Be fruitful and multiple and fill the earth” does not apply to them, or that God’s purpose in procreation, that husbands and wives have many godly offspring for His kingdom, has been lost on them (Malachi 2:15).

Christians minimize their position on abortion, by not understanding how intimately God is involved with the conception of every child.

Abortion is an abomination to God.

Recall that in the Old Testament it was a reproach for women to be barren and that it is God that opens and closes the womb. He is the Author of Life and the decider of when a man or person is appointed to die. This is why murder itself is heinous to the LORD and the murder of the unborn particularly abominable to God. Let us consider the truth, that God demanded death to any man who injured a woman with child causing the child to die in the womb (Exodus 21:21-28). And let us consider the abominations of the Canaanite gods, including the sacrificing of preborn children to their false deities.

#2 THIS DECISION IS A VICTORY, SORT OF

It is true that the Supreme Court’s decision is a moment of celebration for those who hold to God’s will and plan. We ought to be cautiously optimistic but need a heavy dose of reality to understand the decision’s ramifications. First among them is to understand the reversal of Roe vs. Wade was not made based on Biblical principles or concepts.

The 1973 decision was overturned because it made abortion legal in all states and created mechanism for them to be federally funded by all American taxpayers (Christian and non-Christian), which is a violation of other constitutional protections. The original precedent was an egregious over-reach of constitutional power.

The reason for this is that medical and morality issues (such as LGBT or even medical marijuana) were never addressed in the constitution or our bill of rights. Some Christians scoff at that notion, declaring the first Amendment’s “Congress shall make no law establishing a religion” an amendment of moral issue; believing its language is a protection of Christianity.

The 1st amendment is not a protection for Christianity alone, but a protection for individual citizens to believe whatever they want to believe and practice that belief, as they see fit. In essence, the first amendment protects the right of U.S. citizens to be religious or irreligious, morally inclined or not, a Christian or a Mason, a Satanist or a Mormon.

Therefore, we must understand that Roe vs. Wade was not overturned for moral principles or even the truth of when life begins.

The decision rendered recently corrected the judicial activism of the 1973 decision, based on sound constitutional legal principals. We Christians need to understand and hold to that reality, because embellishing the decision to be founded on more than its constitutional basis, invites unnecessary fire against the church

Many, opponents of God want to blame the overturning of Roe vs. Wade on Christianity, yet if there was no constitutional framework in law, there would not have been a reversal. Many Americans including the female news reported, and the two celebrities mentioned above, being ignorant of how our federal and state governments operate and interact, seek to demonize Christians.

Politicians, in turn, use our ignorance of how our governance operates, to rattle people in the media to make aspersions against Christians, who devoutly hold to the call of God’s word. They do so, even though many Americans, when confronted with whether it is right to kill an unborn child, would answer “NO, it is not right, but I am uncomfortable with telling a rape victim they cannot”.

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Because that sentiment is widespread, and a little more than squishy, the decision was rendered based on sound legal principles. In any case it was a victory, but a small one to be sure.

After the fall of Roe v. Wade, 26 states will either restrict or prohibit abortion in some way shape or form, but in the 24 states where abortion is allowed, it will most likely expand to levels and allowance not previously attempted, because now there will be little means of imposing federal restrictions by congress or court. Therefore, there will be few if any challenges to state abortion statutes in either the pro-life or pro-choice states. America is divided over abortion, has been for a long time, and will continue to be so, regardless of this decision.

As a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, I am blessed to live where I can live that belief and propagate the pro-life position. Yet those who do not can believe what they desire and oppose my belief. That is their constitutional right and although I may disagree with my fellow citizens perspectives, our Lord Jesus Christ commands me to love my neighbor—and so, I will do as Jesus commands (Matthew 5:44-48). We must keep this in mind in dealing with the explosive nature of this issue.

THIS DECISION DOES NOT NEGATE THE JUDGMENT TO COME

Despite the joy over the striking down of Roe vs. Wade, we Christians need to understand, that it does not end abortion in America, nor does it negate the coming judgment for the murder of over 60,000,000 unborn children, conceived with the image of God upon them, stamped by the Living word; Jesus the Messiah.

Consider Israel. Even though they had times of national repentance, when they fell away from Yahweh, there was still a price to pay, a judgment due commensurate to their sin against God. It was the price paid, often in calamity of tragic proportions that led Israel to turn back to God. This is born out in scripture.

How often have Christians in America quoted II Chronicles 7:14-15, in calling for revival…

2 Chronicles 7:14-15 14 if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 15 Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place.

Yet ignore the context that these verses exist in. Consider the previous verse.

2 Chronicles 7:12-13 12 Then the LORD appeared to Solomon by night and said to him: “I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for Myself as a house of sacrifice. 13 When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people,

In fact, the context goes even further back than the previous verses. Consider reading II Chronicles 5 through II Chronicles 7:14. Why would the Lord shut up the heavens, or send pestilence? Because His people sinned great sins.

My friends, there will be judgment, of this you can be sure. Our God is just and the unthinkable amount of bloodshed from those slaughtered in the name of convenience, political and monetary gain, and Satan’s will, WILL BE AVENGED BY ALMIGHTY GOD.

In my next blog, we will explore what national repentance can do for a nation of bloodshed.

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When VILENESS is Exalted (Psalm 12:8)

Revelation 18 – Alas, Babylon! The Great City has Fallen! | Northwest  Church Bible Blog

(Psalms 12:8) The wicked prowl on every side, when vileness is exalted among the sons of men.

Reading this verse from Psalm 12 is more than a little unsettling, even in a psalm that for the most part is very encouraging. As we understand the psalms to be used in the praise of God, verse eight would appear to be an extremely sour note, one that without proper context would cause despair rather than hope and confidence in God.

For Christians in America, this is very painfully true and more real, with each passing day.

The wicked prowl on every side” reminds us of the reality of Satan and his kingdom of darkness bent on destroying those who would follow the Lord Jesus Christ. We are warned in I Peter 5:8 to be sober and vigilant for our adversary the Devil, as a roaring lion, walks about seeking to devour the fallen, isolated, and exposed Christian.

In Psalm 17 we get a clear picture of how the wicked, those who are of the world, prowl on every side in the psalmist’s plea for protection.

(Psalms 17:8-12) 8 Keep me as the apple of Your eye; hide me under the shadow of Your wings, 9 from the wicked who oppress me, from my deadly enemies who surround me. 10 They have closed their fat hearts; with their mouths they speak proudly. 11 They have now surrounded us in our steps; they have set their eyes, crouching down to the earth, 12 as a lion is eager to tear his prey, and like a young lion lurking in secret places.

Many a Christian will declare, we can avert this if we just get congress back or the presidency, but if we are living in the last days, which most agree on, then the prowlers will increase. This is the reality of living in the culmination of human history. Being hated by all nations, means being hated, even in America.

For people of faith in Christ, there have been numerous things sold as good public policy to expose those contrary to the new world global agenda. There is no hiding the light, because with purposefully created food shortages, gas prices, and inflation, those who will not bow to the new ways, will be shut out of provision.

It is the desire of the nation’s to throw off God’s ways, will and conviction, as they war against the LORD and His Messiah (Psalm 2). In this war, they will cancel, persecute, and kill at will, as prowling lions. This is especially true when “vileness is exalted in the sons of men”.

Let me ask the question. What nation on earth is the genesis of the most vileness in the world today? It is the United States of America. Let us examine this briefly.

What free nation murders more children through abortion yearly? The United States at 1,000,000 per year. The only nation with more per year is China, where they perform abortions forcibly on woman.

What is the only nation in history that has had its government applaud, protect and promote the abomination of homosexual marriage and LGBT rights? The United States of America.

What nation has doubled children with “gender dysphoria” or those who believe themselves to be transgendered, in one year? The United States of America.

What nation for that matter has elevated the perversions of the LBGTQ community to a daily media barrage of its people, with the pressure of both parties of politics. The United States.

What nation has influenced the world with more pornographic smut, useless time-wasting inventions and lifestyle pursuit that is wholly selfish? The United States.

What nation has made the businessmen of other nations rich beyond anything imagined? The United States of America.

What nation still directs world policy by its acquiescence to the United Nations and is thereby the singularly most influential nation on earth? The United States. Consider some scripture considering these truths and the sign of the times being fulfilled.

(Revelation 18:1-3)1 After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illuminated with his glory. 2 And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird! 3 For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication (sexual immorality including lesbianism, sodomy, pornography), the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury.” 4 And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. 5 For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. 6 Render to her just as she rendered to you and repay her double according to her works; in the cup which she has mixed, mix double for her. 7 In the measure that she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, in the same measure give her torment and sorrow; for she says in her heart, ‘I sit as queen, and am no widow, and will not see sorrow.’ 8 Therefore her plagues will come in one daydeath and mourning and famine. And she will be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges her.

Reading the rest of Revelation 18 will reveal the wealth, power and industry of Babylon and how America fits the narrative perfectly. Consider another passage of scripture concerning a similar nation to the United States and its disposition.

(Ezekiel 16:48-52) 48 “As I live,” says the Lord GOD, “neither your sister Sodom nor her daughters have done as you and your daughters have done. 49 Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. 50 And they were haughty and committed abomination before Me; therefore I took them away as I saw fit.51

The United States of America has become perfect  in its exaltation of vileness, therefore the wicked prowl on every side, but this is not to cause us despair.

In the first place, as Christians, we are not to be those who are concerned with saving our own bacon. The Holy Spirit in us, calls us to a sense of divine justice and desire to see the end of vileness and abomination. Just as Christians in communist countries are to stand opposed and pray for the end of the evil of their nations (even if it means judgment adversely affects their ability to live and thrive), so are we. Does not the blood of 70 million butchered babies cry out for justice in our hearts? Does not promotion of LGBTQ perversion through politics, sports, entertainment, and education, with its destruction of our youth, cause our hearts to cry out for God’s justice?

We Christians need to stop praying for a return to the days of self-righteous moral veneer, so we can go back to sleep waiting for the rapture; as we live a life that seems like a permanent vacation to 95% of our brethren around the world. WE need to stop holding on to this life and learn to live is Christ (with prowlers all around if we are worth our salt in the faith department) and to die and be with Jesus is far better (Philippians 1:1-21).

Secondly, let us remember that Psalm 12 is a Psalm of God’s grace, provision and protection, when all hell breaks loose against us.

Psalms 12:1-21 Help, LORD, for the godly man ceases! For the faithful disappear from among the sons of men. 2 They speak idly everyone with his neighbor; With flattering lips and a double heart they speak.

We certainly see the truth in these two verses, which line up with Jesus’ question in Luke 18:8Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?”. Psalm 12:1-2 certainly fits the narrative concerning the perilous times and character of man on earth, in the last days written of in I Timothy 3:1-9. But let us remember that God does answer prayers according to His will.

Psalms 12:3-5 3 May the LORD cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaks proud things, 4 Who have said, “With our tongue we will prevail; Our lips are our own; Who is lord over us?” 5 “For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, Now I will arise,” says the LORD; “I will set him in the safety for which he yearns.”

Will God cut off the flattering lips and the tongue that speaks proud things, such as mentioned in verse 4? Yes, He will! He will arise against the oppression of the poor in spirit (those who receive Christ) and for the sighing of the needy—He will set us in the safety we yearn for.

How do we know?

(Psalms 2:1-6) And the people plot a vain thing? 2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, 3 “Let us break Their bonds in pieces And cast away Their cords from us.” 4 He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The Lord shall hold them in derision. 5 Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, And distress them in His deep displeasure: 6 “Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion.”

When will this take place? When Christ returns personally and visibly.

(Psalms 2:7-12) 7 “I will declare the decree: The LORD has said to Me, You are My Son, Today I have begotten You. 8 Ask of Me, and I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession. 9 You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter’s vessel.'” 10 Now therefore, be wise, O kings; Be instructed, you judges of the earth. 11 Serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling. 12 Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.

The problem of us Christians in the world today is the same human problem Christians 2000 years ago had to deal with. We need to remember that our reward is with Christ, in eternity, rather than believing our faith is to give us a prosperous, protected and peace life now. Read Acts chapter 1 and find that the disciples were looking for something that was still off in the distance.

So here is the punchline: regardless of those prowling on every side—regardless of the exaltation of vileness around us, God is still our Father—Jesus Christ is still with us—He will hear our prayers and answer them—He will empower us with love and grace to live faithfully in the coming trouble—and the wicked and the vile will get their just desserts.

God is just, we can count on that. It is important to remember the word of God in the tribulation of the times, which gives us strength to overcome, by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony, because we love Him more than our own lives.

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The Trouble Needed to Live in our REFUGE

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Psalms 9:9-14 9The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, A refuge in times of trouble. 10And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You. 11Sing praises to the LORD, who dwells in Zion! Declare His deeds among the people. 12When He avenges blood, He remembers them; He does not forget the cry of the humble. 13 Have mercy on me, O LORD! Consider my trouble from those who hate me, You who lift me up from the gates of death, 14That I may tell of all Your praise In the gates of the daughter of Zion. I will rejoice in Your salvation.

This passage from Psalm 9, is filled with illumination concerning the character of the LORD. It is absolutely astounding in its revelation!

We find that the Lord is our refuge—does not forsake those who trust Him—does not forget the cry of the humble—and lifts those who trust Him from the gates of death. Therefore, those who trust Him ought to sing praise to Him and declare His praise in the church of Jesus Christ.

Much of this revealed character should be (at least) academically and biblically familiar to us. Being overly familiar with these concepts of His character, can hinder us living the truth out practically. Therefore, is essential we understand how His being our refuge matters in the ups and downs of everyday life. Therefore, we must understand the context, in which Psalm 9:9-14 were written. 

Many have sung songs about God being a refuge or strong tower, without knowing how to gain safety from Him. Most have quoted or thought about Jesus declaring to us, He will never leave us or forsake us, without knowing when that really matter most. More than a few have memorized that God is near the afflicted and humbled soul, but fail to gain any comfort from this truth, because of a slanted idea of what it means to be saved. The context of our passage demands a deeper understanding of His revealed character, than the thin veneer of the modern church. 

THE CONTEXT IS TROUBLE

The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, A refuge in times of trouble

Before we explore specific circumstances concerning the context, it is important to understand the general seed bed of experiencing God as our refuge grows in. The general seed bed is trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble.

The word for “trouble” in verse 9 means adversity, anguish, distress, and tribulation. We can agree that these are not necessarily things we desire to rush into. In addition, the word “oppressed” is a little more specific. This reveals that the seed bed of trouble is personal tribulation along the lines of being crushed, afflicted, or oppressed.

In considering this revelation, it is important to remember that the trouble is not the general trouble of man, as is stated in Job 5:17Man is born for trouble as sparks fly upward”. The seed bed of trouble, in which we experience the LORD as our refuge (revealed in Psalm 9:9-14), is specifically calibrated to target with trouble, those who follow the Lord Jesus Christ. Concerning this understand that to be oppressed means having an oppressor. It is true that Satan is at the core of these troubles, but he does this in a particular way.

Psalms 9:15-17 15 The nations have sunk down in the pit which they made; In the net which they hid, their own foot is caught. 16 The LORD is known by the judgment He executes; The wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. 17The wicked shall be turned into hell,
And all the nations that forget God.

In this portion of Psalm 9 we see how Satan troubles the saints, through oppression… The nations and the wicked people of those nations.

As we draw nearer to the consummation of human history, when the sign of the Son of man appears in the heavens and all the tribes of the earth will mourn, there are only two types of people on earth. There are those who are followers of Christ (including those who have yet to but will repent and walk in faith following Christ) and those who do not.

In the second category they fit in to the nations and the wicked of those nations; from Babel until the end of time they will become more hostile against God’s children in Jesus Christ.

Psalms 2:1-31 Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing? 2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against His Anointed (Christ and His people), saying, “Let us break Their bonds in pieces and cast away Their cords from us.”

This is the gnostic inversion, where Satan makes himself and the fallen angels into the heroes of humanity, as they fight against the LORD and His Christ. In this fight, we see more specifics of the seed bed of our understanding God’s as our refuge Psalm 9:9-14.

  1. The nations and peoples of the world attempt to isolate us, and to separate us from God’s people and from the reality of His being with us.

Psalms 9:10 10 And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, LORD, have not forsaken those who seek You.

  1. We are troubled with a strategic plan to trip us into falling away from our faith and keep us captives as prisoners of war.

Psalms 9:15-16 15 The nations have sunk down in the pit which they made; In the net which they hid, their own foot is caught. 16 The LORD is known by the judgment He executes; The wicked is snared in the work of his own hands.

  1. We are troubled as the nations of wicked people will seek to kill us and our faith from the earth.

Psalms 9:12 12 When He avenges blood, He remembers them; He does not forget the cry of the humble.

  4. We are troubled as they seek to cut us off from economy, leading to poverty.

Psalms 9:17-18 17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God. 18For the needy shall not always be forgotten; The expectation of the poor shall not perish forever.

If you were to study the words of Christ concerning the circumstances of His return, all of what is listed above are present, with the addition revelation that Christians are hated by all nations. This context is tough, and it is TROUBLE, but alas let us consider the God who is not just with us in the trouble but is our refuge!

The LORD also will be a refuge for the oppressed, A refuge in times of trouble

The Hebrews word for refuge” means “secure height” and although the often-used English word of stronghold, or high tower may communicate something to us, the truth is so much richer than those idioms.

In considering God being our “refuge” our “secure height” we must begin by considering Psalm 91:1 “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High, shall abide in the shadow of the Almighty, I will say of the Lord He is my refuge, and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust”.

The phrase secret place ought to be familiar to the Christian. This would be our place of prayer, or where we meet with Abba Father, to seek His will and the provision we need to walk in that will. This secret place is not designed to be confined to a prayer closet or a favorite recliner, but to be wherever we are at, when we remember that God is with us to lead, empower and protect.

Proverbs 3:5-6 5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

This is the significantly under practiced virtue of the practice of His presence. Many Christians read the word and have a time of prayer in private, but the secret place of the Highest, where He is our Refuge, knows know limit of geography or time of schedule. We were not made to have a devotional time and then live as if He has forsaken us to handle life on our own, but “as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the children of GodRomans 8:14.

Therefore, His being our Refuge is so glorious because He travels with us. Therefore, whether before a firing squad for our faith—or prison for the same—or being accused in court of not being a fit citizen, for the purpose of practicing our faith—or having lost a loved one because they love the world more than Jesus Christ; we can gain peace, power and protection from our Refuge.

He is our “Secure Height”, but that does not mean the missiles and arrows hit stone, they still hit us, but He is Himself absorbs the blows, enabling us to stand in faith. Concerning this, He does travel with us, but we also travel with and in our “Refuge” in a powerful and personal way.

Ephesians 1:18-23 18 the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power 20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come. 22 And He put all things under His feet and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, 23 which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

Here we see that Christ, the Living Word and Creator (John 1:1-5), is in the Highest most secure height, and so are we!

Ephesians 2:4-7 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

Christ Himself is indeed our Refuge, our Secure Height. To lay hold of His glorious presence in this way, we must develop the practice of acknowledging Him in trouble, rather than panicking—or attempting to protect ourselves—or looking to figure a way our of the trouble we are in. It is our knowing and living in Him our Refuge, which releases the power of Christ in us the hope of glory.

This release has a two-fold purpose. In the first place, it shames the wicked peoples of the nations, who are attempting to silence God. Secondly, it is the Light of the world in us, that those who have not yet come to Christ need; as well as the example of Christ’s resurrection life our fellow Christians need.

Let us learn to run to our Refuge and we will overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony, as the world sees we love our Lord Jesus more than our own lives.

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Where Have All the (Godly) Men Gone?

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“Where have all the good men gone
And where are all the gods?
Where’s the streetwise Hercules to fight the rising odds?
Isn’t there a white knight upon a fiery steed?
Late at night I toss
And I turn
And I dream of what I need.

I need a hero. I’m holding out for a hero ’til the end of the night. He’s gotta be strong, And he’s gotta be fast, and he’s gotta be fresh from the fight”

Where have all the good men gone? This question was asked in the lyrics from the 1984 song “I Need a Hero” from singer Bonnie Tyler.

Yes, as little as 38 years ago, a woman was singing about the need for a hero; a hero that was a good man. Oh, how times have changed.

Where have all the good men gone? Quite simply they have been canceled. Period, plain and simple.

I realize that from a Christian perspective, “good” is not salvific and that good to God is much higher in virtue than the viewpoint of the world concerning men. The point is the world desires to emasculate and effeminize men from being what God has created them to be naturally and spiritually. This is a grievous state to be in, for sure, because men who are being convinced that being honorable, virtuous, sober, leaderlike, protective, and provision minded for family and community, is somehow wrong. Men convinced of this will never seek good or the place from where all good comes. This is a real problem for the world today, and especially for the church.

Where have all the godly men gone?

The prophet Micah has an answer from what he saw in his generation.

(Micah 7:2 KJV) The good man is perished out of the earth: and there is none upright among men: they all lie in wait for blood; they hunt every man his brother with a net.

 (Micah 7:2 NKJV) The faithful man has perished from the earth, and there is no one upright among men. They all lie in wait for blood; Every man hunts his brother with a net.

 (Micah 7:2 NASB) The godly man has perished from the land, and there is no upright person among men. All of them lie in wait for bloodshed; Each of them hunts the other with a net.

I have included three different translations to give a full view of what it means to be godly. In the first place,godly” does mean to be a good person, meaning not good in the way that “good” is salvific, but that it is supernaturally produced and a consistent product of the indwelling Spirit of God. Secondly, to be “godly” means one is “faithful”, which implies the godly are not only hearers of the word of God, but doers of the word; and that their character portrays the attributes of Christ. In simple form, this reveals the godly man.

Now in Micah’s day, the “godly” man had all but become extinct in Israel. Religious men were either totally selfish in their pursuits and used religion to gain power and more of what they wanted, or men were disinterested in the call of God. This general trend began long prior to the prophet Micah’s time and the prophet Isaiah revealed the ungodly religious environment that permeated Jewish faith.

(Isaiah 3:12 NKJV) As for My people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O My people! Those who lead you cause you to err and destroy the way of your paths.”

This was also a huge problem in the day of the prophet Jeremiah.

(Jeremiah 44:15-19 NKJV) 15 Then all the men who knew that their wives had burned incense to other gods, with all the women who stood by, a great multitude, and all the people who dwelt in the land of Egypt, in Pathros, answered Jeremiah, saying: 16As for the word that you have spoken to us in the name of the LORD, we will not listen to you! 17 But we will certainly do whatever has gone out of our own mouth, to burn incense to the queen of heaven and pour out drink offerings to her, as we have done, we and our fathers, our kings and our princes, in the cities of Judah and in the streets of Jerusalem. For then we had plenty of food, were well-off, and saw no trouble. 18 But since we stopped burning incense to the queen of heaven and pouring out drink offerings to her, we have lacked everything and have been consumed by the sword and by famine.” 19 The women also said, “And when we burned incense to the queen of heaven and poured out drink offerings to her, did we make cakes for her, to worship her, and pour out drink offerings to her without our husbands’ permission?

Make no mistake, the idea of godly men being few in the majority and soft, was also a problem throughout church story. Consider the warning to the church of Thyatira in Revelation 2:18-29.

(Revelation 2:20 NKJV) 20 Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols.

In my biblically informed opinion, the above passage of scripture is one of the strongest reasons for godly men to be disappearing from the church, in our time. In the Church of Thyatira, the angel (messenger) of that church, who would have been its presiding elder or bishop, was aware of the false teaching and the false teacher, who was corrupting the church. The problem is nothing was being done. In fact, Jezebel was part of the pastoral team.

This is why she was about to be cast on a sick bed, rather than killed, because she was improperly given authority to spread false teaching and practice. This was a failure of godly leadership, who were afraid of the consequences of acting in discipline, in good faith. Therefore, her sickness was to remind them of the plight of those who disobey God.

In the American church, it is 1000 percent worse. Almost every denomination seeks to break the proverbial glass ceiling and be the first to eradicate biblical gender roles in the church. This is very dangerous, when the New Testament clearly teaches well defined roles for both men and women.

There is a dearth of women teaching in the modern church, but that dearth of teaching is specifically defined.

(Titus 2:1-5 NKJV) ​1 But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine: 2 that the older men be sober, reverent, temperate, sound in faith, in love, in patience; 3 the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things— 4 that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.

In my pastoral experience I have seen marriages which are terribly unbiblical and out of step with the word of God. In every location, I have asked women if they had been personally discipled in the above passage of scripture, by example and teaching from a godly older woman. Those who had been are in the extreme minority.

Herein lies the problem. Even suggesting this can get me cancelled inside of the church, inside my own denominational setting, because of the rise of egalitarian views (improperly and unbiblically equalizing the sexes by explaining away gender roles in the church), but also because godly men are afraid to stand up and speak the truth in love.

When women are not called to live the call of godly womanhood, it does place a strain on men who desire to be godly. That said, I believe there is still another more pressing reason for the loss of godly men in the church of Jesus Christ in America…

To be a godly man means the complete death of oneself. This is very difficult indeed. Note, I did not say impossible, but it will cost a man everything he was apart from Christ, and everything he desires for himself in this life.

(Psalms 4:3-8 NKJV) 3 But know that the LORD has set apart for Himself him who is godly; The LORD will hear when I call to Him. 4 Be angry, and do not sin. Meditate within your heart on your bed and be still. Selah 5 Offer the sacrifices of righteousness and put your trust in the LORD.6 There are many who say, “Who will show us any good?” LORD, lift the light of Your countenance upon us. 7 You have put gladness in my heart, more than in the season that their grain and wine increased. 8 I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; For You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.

 In the first place, being a godly man is difficult because it means God has set us apart for His purposes alone. This means the LORD desires us to be involved and engaged in His plan and will, not our own plan and will (Proverbs 3:5-7; Romans 8:14). The idea of being “set apart” deals with us as sacred vessels, such as those in the Jewish temple, used only for God’s purpose and in His service. When not in use, the vessels were to be cleaned and waiting further use, not off being used for other purposes.

(1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 NKJV) 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5 not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God.

Secondly, a godly man must realign his heart with the heart of God, that His anger would be a godly expression of faith, rather than a reflection of his own selfish desires expressed in the wrath of man (James 1:19-20).

For a godly man to do this, he must seek to rest in Christ alone, as He mediates on the word both day and night, even when he is lying down on his bed. This is the third reason it is costly to be a godly man. Anxiety over the desire to fix uncomfortable situations may be a manly thing to do, but the godly man seeks to expel anxiety, by aligning his desires with that of mind of Christ. This takes a commitment to the renewing of our mind (Romans 12:1-2), which implies the godly man is seeking to hide the word of God in his heart 24 hours a day (Psalm 1 and 119:9-12).

 A fourth reason for the difficulty in being a godly man, is his need to renounce and reject the desire for a pity party, when things do not go well for him. Psalm 4:6 declares “There are many who say, “Who will show us any good?” LORD, lift up the light of Your countenance upon us. 7 You have put gladness in my heart, more than in the season that their grain and wine increased”.

In this passage we see the godly man rejecting the pattern of the ungodly to declare in trial, that no one, including God, will show them any good. The godly man remembers the goodness of God and holds to that testimony, as a means of spiritual buoyancy. The godly man must strive to rejoice that every trial is a means of Abba’s loving chastisement. (I Peter 1:6-7).

 (Hebrews 12:1-6 NKJV) ​1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. 4 You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. 5 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; 6 For whom the LORD loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.”

As the godly man remembers the Lord Jesus Christ and fights to keep looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, He lifts the godly man’s countenance, which leads to our last reason being a godly man is costly and rare in our day.

“For you alone, O LORD, make me to dwell in safety” (Psalm 4:8). The godly man understands that it is God who is present with him and makes a man at peace, whether they are in a prison cell—before a firing squad—during abundance or in the throes of abject poverty—being abased and humiliated or abounding in favor. The godly man must reject the desire to improve his station in life, for the circumstances of his life, whether good or bad are seen as ordained or allowed by God for His purposes, because the godly man’s life is not his own. The godly man belongs to Christ, as His purchased possession (Acts 20:28; I Corinthians 6:19-20).

I admit that in my desire to be a godly man, I have failed at times and failed miserably, but that has not diminished the desire to be what brings the Lord Jesus Christ glory and shows the world what He can do in those He has purchased.

Men, we are called to be godly.

Yes, that will mean persecution and tribulation (II Timothy 3:12), but that is one way we can experience the peace of God, being exactly what we were redeemed to be; sober, godly, righteous, in the midst of this perverse generation.

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The Spirit of False Teaching: JEZEBEL (Revelation 2:18-29) Brother David Wilkerson

Please listen to this message from David Wilkerson, from 25 years ago. This will encourage any godly minister who has been batted around for preaching the doctrine of Christ alone.

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