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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What was out Lord Jesus doing between His death and Resurrection, on the third day?

After out Lord Jesus Christ died on the cross, was laid in the tomb and the entrance was sealed, what was He doing? This is no insignificant question. Click below to find out what God’s word declares and be encourage with what it means for us.

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Did God Bring About the Creation of the Airplanes? (The “prince of the power of the air” Part I)

A couple of months ago I saw a YouTube video produced by a young man named Colin Miller, concerning false teacher Kenneth Copeland.  Colin has a widely viewed YouTube channel with some good content, despite approaching most issues from an entirely Reformed/Calvinistic perspective. That said, there are times, where his approach to a topic is misguided. The video concerning Kenneth Copeland and a scenario Colin presents to Copeland’s status as a false teacher is one of them.

This is not to say that the young man is incorrect concerning the character of Copeland’s life or teaching. Let me be clear, Kenneth Copeland is a dangerous false teacher. He is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, and a man who fleeces of the flock of God. Where I took issue with Miller’s presentation was how he defined God, based on one of Copeland’s outlandish statements.

In the video (click here to see it) we see Kenneth Copeland tell of how God gave him his own plane to do his ministry. As Copeland relates the story, as he was on site to take possession of the plane, two Christian men working approached him asking him if that was the new airplane. They said “think of that… the Lord’s airplane”. In response Copeland said “No! I dedicated it to Him, but it’s mine!”

In response to Copeland’s statement, Colin Miller declared that the false teacher rejected God’s authority based on the fact that the plane was made from materials that God created and was designed by men, only when God in His providence, ordained it to be made. Miller declares the young men rightly said it was God’s airplane, because everything we see has been graciously given by God.

Colin’s characterization reveals an error in his thinking directly related to his Reformed/Calvinistic background that implies God is responsible for all inventions good or bad, which reveals a common error in many Christian’s minds (reformed or otherwise). Does God own the airplane, because by He responsible for their creation?

In the first place, I appreciate Colin Miller attempting to call out false teachers, especially men like Copeland. The problem is that his reasoning is wrong and actually can lead to the impugning of the character of God. On a side note, the plane belongs to Copeland, because he fleeced his flock to get it through coercion and false teaching. Additionally, the plane will burn on the day of the Lord, when all that is not of God is burned up (II Peter 3:8-13).

That said, let’s dive into the idea Miller presents: Because the materials to make the airplane come from the creation of God, He is the owner of airplanes, having providentially ordained them in the mind of men. Make no mistake, this reasoning makes God the creator, by proxy, of airplanes.

This comes from a false theological position concerning the sovereignty of God, from Calvinism, that makes God even the author of evil. This was not Miller’s desire, but it is what his reasoning assumes. 

By Colin Miller’s reasoning, not only are airplanes God’s ordained creation, so are televisions, radio’s, computers, and the internet. One might say, “Yeah so what? Those can be good things.” Well ok, but what of condoms? Does not the rubber come from something which is a creation of God? Surely they do, but condoms only have one purposes, to allow sexual immorality without consequence. 

Or what of  the pharmaceutical drug BIKTARVY? What is that you ask? Well, it is a drug specifically made for those who have HIV AIDS, for the purpose of them being able to have sexually immoral sex, with less risk of passing on their disease. Remember that the overwhelming majority of those who contract HIV AIDS are homosexual males. Do not the ingredients for this drug come from the earth that God created? Yes, they do. Does that mean that God providentially ordained it to be created in the mind of men, so they can continue to pursue an abominable behavior?

Or what of those who created the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which kicked off an arms race which continues till this day (with immeasurable levels of devastation)? And for the one who would say it saved millions of lives, I get it, but remember, God loves all life, even those who are His enemies. Where did the creators of such destructive devices get their materials? From the earth that God created. Where did they get the design for something so efficient in taking life made in the image of God?

We could do the same with radio, T.V., computers, and the internet, because the damage caused through these devices being used, far outweighs any benefit, exponentially. Did God providentially ordain these inventions as well? I am going to say, “NO!”

Let us now consider a more appropriate understanding of these creations. Let us consider planes, trains, automobiles, radio, T.V.. and computers (internet). Do not all these inventions make the world smaller, bring humanity closer, break down language barriers, making it easier for humans to unite? Sure enough. Am I saying a person is sinning to use them? No, but that does not change the reality that the ideas were not from God.

Why would God, specifically ordain the creation of things that are contrary to what He did at Babel for the purpose of keeping humanity from unifying?

Genesis 11:1-8 (NKJV) Now the whole earth had one language and one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there. Then they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They had brick for stone, and they had asphalt for mortar. And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. And the LORD said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city.

Interestingly, they gathered together at Babel, at the direction of Nimrod (a type of antichrist), in defiance of God’s command after the flood “to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” (Genesis 9). Do we not live in times where the inventions of man are approaching a place where “nothing that they purpose to do will be withheld from them?” Yes! This is how we know we are living in the days before Christ’s return.

Daniel 12:1-4 (NKJV) “At that time Michael shall stand up, the great prince who stands watch over the sons of your people; And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation, even to that time. And at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone who is found written in the book. And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever. “But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”

Wow! The LORD ends the prophecy of Daniel with end times events prophesied by our Lord Himself, but then states in the time of the end men “will run to and fro and knowledge will be greatly increased.”

I do not know any biblical scholars who believe verse 4 to mean that is something good. In our day men run all over the world and knowledge is greatly increased.

Back in the early 2000’s I heard an illustration analogous to the increase of knowledge in the last 100 years. They took all the accumulated knowledge from the beginning of written history and calculated it into a measurement. They used the Empire State Building’s height, 1454 feet, to represent that accumulation of knowledge all the way to 1900. Then they calculated the increase of knowledge from 1900 to the present day (back in early 2000’s) to be the height of Mt. Everest, which is 29,035 feet.

The difference between the first 6000 years of history as compared to the last 100 years of history is 19 times greater than that previous 6000. 

Should we attribute this to God or perhaps the inventions of man, who pervert the creation of God? Remember that the New Testament does speak of knowledge falsely so called.

1 Timothy 6:20-21 (NKJV) O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledgeby professing it some have strayed concerning the faith. Grace be with you. Amen.

Interestingly, we see all kinds of men with “great minds” purporting “knowledge” (another translation is science) which contradicts God as the Creator. In their pursuit the use martials from God’s creation, to produce devices that give us a sense of independence from God, and personal sovereignty. The only problem is we become slaves to these material things.

1 Timothy 6:3-5 (NKJV) If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself.

Romans 1:28-32 (NKJV) And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

Although all these things happen under the sovereignty of Almighty God, we can clearly see that men are evil and do invent evil things, based on their disposition and the purpose for which these things are created. It is important to remember that anything not directly created by God, will burn in the Day of the LORD (II Peter 3:8-13).

That being said, it is important to consider where the idea for these things may have originated, for the purpose of understanding the apostacy of the last days.

Earlier, in regard to the tower of Babel I asked a question, let me ask it once more. Why would God create things that push humanity into a unity that is in rebellion against Himself? The simple answer is He would not. Let me also ask again, do we not live in times where the inventions of man are approaching a place where “nothing that they purpose to do will be withheld from them“? Yes! 

If not God’s providential ordinance, from where do many of these inventions come from? Let’s consider a possible influence and sinister foundation for more than a few. Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626).

Bacon was a British statesman rising to the position of Lord Chancellor. He was also a known occultist who was clandestinely involved in Rosicrucianism: a mystic combination of Judaism and Gnosticism. This false religion denies the deity of Christ.

Bacon was also connected to Freemasonry and is credited by many as the most important power behind the British colonization of North America; being foundational in the first colonies in Virginia.

Thomas Jefferson, a Virginian, cited Sir Francis Bacon (Rosicrucianism), Sir Isaac Newton (Freemasonry), and Sir John Lock (Rosicrucianism/Freemasonry) as the most important influences of the American Revolution. Jefferson, George Washington, Thomas Paine, and Ben Franklin were devotees of Bacon’ and his Novel called “New Atlantis“, published in 1626.

The book was written in Novel form and is recognized as Bacon’s vision for the nation that would rise out of the colonization of North America. Manly P. Hall preeminent scholar of Freemasonry, cites “New Atlantis” as the foundation prophecy for the new world order of Freemasonry, which he details in his work, “The Secret Destiny of America”, published in 1944.

Why is “New Atlantis” germane to our discussion? Because in this novel, Bacon prophesies a country with flying machines transporting hundreds through the sky, skyscraping buildings housing millions, and weapons of mass destruction, capable of killing millions in one event. All this from a man who was ensconced in the occult, or hidden knowledge, and connected with societies that are Luciferian. An all over 390 years ago

Consider for a moment the words of American scientist, and leader of the effort to create the atom bombs used on Japan, when he saw the first test at Los Alamos. On the day, Robert Oppenheimer quoted the Bhagavad-Gita, which is the satanic scripture of the Hindi religion, “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.”

Let me preface my next remarks. I am not saying that every invention in the last 122 years is of the devil. What I am saying is that we need to be very careful about assigning responsibility to God, when He, although Almighty in His Sovereignty, allows humanity to choose to obey Him, be led by Him or to go their own way. That said, many inventions of the last 122 years are not good for humanity, even if they are thought to be.

Is it possible that the kingdom of darkness, through men of corrupt minds, is bringing about inventions perceived as good, for the purpose of being used by the “prince of the power of the air” to blind the world to Christ?

Next time we will dig a bit deeper into this question. You’ll be surprised how close the enemy has gotten even to those called in Christ.

Ephesians 2:1-3 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.

God's Sovereignty vs Man Will - Creation Studies Institute

 

 

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TWO WORDS that do not FIT TOGETHER: “hybrid” and “church”

Below is a link to a video blog I published today, April 1, 2022. I assure you this is not an April Fool’s joke, but a serious examination on an emerging ministry methodology and mindset, which may damage the church of Jesus Christ further.  Please click below to watch.

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When I come… will there be FAITH? Part II

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(Luke 18:6-8 NKJV) ​6 Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. 7 And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? 8 I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” 

In my last article we discussed how perseverant prayer is inexorably tied to faith in the very last days. The passage above are Christ’s concluding comments on a parable He told, for the purpose of communicating that men ought always to pray and not lose heart. The parable reveals the persistence of this widow to move an unjust judge to action, when he did not fear God or man. The unjust judge gave her justice, for the widow wore him out.

It is in this context our Lord Jesus Christ speaks thusly in concluding the parable. His summation reveals…

  1. God will certainly answer us swiftly, but we must grasp that our understanding of time, cannot inform what we assume is a swift answer to God. This is because He is eternal and is not constrained by time (II Peter 3:8-11).
  2. Therefore, we must concentrate on praying persistently and in faith. This means holding to His exceeding and precious promises, regardless of how long it takes, or how difficult the circumstances are.
  3. Because of our Lord’s non rhetorical question “When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth“, we must regard the possibility of losing heart, leaving off persistent prayer, and therefore our faith being little or nonexistent at His return.

As stated in the last blog, our problem with persistent faith, is that we face difficulties, which sneer at our belief in God’s promises. We also live in a fast-food world, where we have been trained, especially in the prosperity heresy, that faith means instantaneous answers to all prayer.

Thankfully, these errors and Christian cultural overlay are debunked by the parable we have been discussing. That being said, it does not mean we will automatically overcome our impatience, which can lead to unbelief, where we say we trust and believe God, but live looking for answers outside of waiting on the Lord to answer us speedily.

How do we persevere that when Christ returns, He finds faith in us? By acknowledging we are prone to impatience and disappointment.

LOSING HEART AND MISSING FAITH IS REAL RISK

(Luke 18:1) Then He spoke this parable that men ought always to pray and not to lose heart”.

For Christians, Jesus’ question ought to unsettle us, especially when we consider I John 5:14-16, where we read…

“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him”.

One would assume we have reason to always rejoice, being this passage is a guarantee, but the reality is that despair is often around the corner quickly, when our petition appears to be delayed. We can mitigate this despair by reminding ourselves that our timing does not line up with His time frame, but the reality is we need to go to the Lord in prayer again in the despair, asking again, not that He needs to be reminded, for He does not. We need to be reminded in our impatience that He is faithful to answer.

Let us be honest, our human nature is prone toward losing heart. The scriptures speak to this reality, and not as if it makes us bad people.

(Proverbs 13:12 NKJV) Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.

(Psalms 27:13-14 NKJV) I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait on the LORD; be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD!

I think you will agree, sometimes it feels as if we are being kept from the tree of life, as we wait on God. The key to perseverant faith is to hold to His promise, rejoicing each time we go to Him to ask, seek and knock; no matter how long it takes in our time.

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We must be careful, because we want to be faithful, but faith is not like little orphan Annie where she sings “When I’m stuck with a day that’s grey and lonely, I just stick out my chin and grin and say… the sun will come out tomorrow”. Sometimes the sun does not shine on us. Despite this reality, we must remember that the Sun of Righteousness has risen, with healing in His wings.

The reason for Jesus question in Luke 18, is that we face a very real antichrist system already. This system has been in place for a very long time and had grown in influence with each passing year. The authoritarianism of the Covid-19 years had advanced this system and its components, as never before seen. in addition to this, the word of God reveals that part of the antichrist doctrine and system is to cause the saints to lose heart.

(Daniel 7:25 NKJV) He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand For a time and times and half a time.

(Revelation 13:5-7 NKJV) And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. 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

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We are in the precursor to the time described above, but regardless we are called to connect repeatedly in persistence and perseverance faith. When Jesus asks, “When the Son of Man comes again, will He find faith on earth?” This is not a rhetorical question, but one of real inquiry.

In order to avoid losing heart, we must learn to be content in any situation knowing He is with us and will supply our need through the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19). In order to avoid losing heart, our prayers must be shot at the center of the target, His will.

In order to avoid losing heart, we must work to holding fast to the word of life in the midst of this crooked and perverse generation.

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When I come… will there be FAITH?

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(Luke 18:1-8 NKJV) ​1 Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, 2 saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. 3 Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ 4 And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, 5 yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.'” 6 Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. 7 And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? 8 I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” 

We live in extraordinary times. Daily we see the world heading towards the fulfillment of the words of Jesus the Christ, from the Gospels all the way to revelation, concerning the events and happenings preceding His visible return to this earth, where He gathers His church to be with Him and puts down the wicked of the world at Armageddon.

We understand that those events contain wars and rumors of wars, pestilence, earthquakes all over the world, and famine. We understand that the oceans will roar, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken, and men’s hearts will fail them for fear. We understand that Christians will be hated by all nations. Regardless of where one stands concerning the timing of the rapture, we can generally agree with the difficulties of the times we live in. It is for this reason Jesus spoke the parable of the widow and the unjust judge.

In addition to these realities, the Lord Jesus Christ also understands the nature of the weakness of our flesh—the powers at work against us and the difficulty we experience in continuing in faith, when the going gets more than untenable.  It is for this reason Jesus spoke the parable of the widow and the unjust judge.

As stated previously, our Lord understand the difficulty we face when it appears all hope is lost, and our only apparent options will pummel us with pain and loss. He understands from personal experience, as Hebrews 4:15-16 reveals “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weakness, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need”.

Verse 1 reveals our Lord Jesus spoke this prayer that men ought always to pray and never lose heart. It is noteworthy that pray is not defined as hearing from or speaking to God, interceding or supplicating for others, or crying out for personal provision. I believe His intent includes all of the above, but even more that we would never lose heart to seek the Lord and engage with His presence in relational discourse, by faith.

Given the nature of the hour we live in and the purpose for Jesus speaking this parable, it is very important that we seek to answer the question posed by our Lord in verse 8 “Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?In seeking to answer this question as a means of working out our salvation in fear and trembling, we will learn a few things.

We will learn that the unjust judge communicates something about the character of God, and that the widow communicates something lacking in us. We will consider the very real risk of losing endurance in our faith, in these last days of growing apostacy. Hopefully we will be grounded further in perseverant and importunate and faithful praying. May we all consider the contents of this teaching as if our faith and relationship to God depended on laying hold of the purpose of the parable, because it does.

THE UNJUST JUDGE AND THE WIDOW

In this parable the widow petitions the judge to get justice for her. It appears the widow has a lawful case, but the judge refuses to do what is according to the law. Eventually he does rule in her favor, not because of right motives, nor because he feared the eventual righteous judgment of God, for his improper discharge of authority. He finally moved because the woman kept coming to him over and over and over again, face to face. He was sick of her and knew she would never quit coming. She was persistent, to the point of annoyance.

On a side note, we ought to regard the disposition of the judge, for we who have been so blessed by God, should not need to be pounded with conviction by the Holy Spirit, or the sight of great need over and again, to be moved with compassion. It is easy for us to become calloused to the needs of others and justify inaction, because of the enormity of so many needs or that some appear to work the system. Regard the word of God.

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(Proverbs 3:27-28 NKJV) 27 Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do so. 28 Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come back, and tomorrow I will give it,” When you have it with you.

(James 4:17 NKJV) 17Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.

(1 John 3:17 NKJV) 17But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him?

ABOUT GOD’S CHARACTER

In verse 6 our Lord calls us to “Hear what the unjust judge says”. This is a challenge to us to compare the unjust judge and His need for continual pressure, to our benevolent Father, who requires no such pounding plea. Because we are in Christ, we simply go to Him in faith and ask according to His will, knowing we will receive an answer (I John 5:14-26). This reveals the wonderful character of God to those who are His children, through the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Another comparison used by the Lord Jesus Christ is that of natural fathers in comparison to the Perfect Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

(Luke 11:9-13 NKJV)9 “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 11 If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” 

God’s character is faithful and…

“And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? 8 I tell you that He will avenge them speedily.”

Concerning His avenging us speedily, it simply means He will answer us with great speed, without hesitation. This ought to cause us great rejoicing, but alas there is a problem, especially when we enter times of great trial. Our problem is that God’s “speedily”, is not our “speedily”.

Our “speedily” needs to be adjusted, because we often think that it is according to our time, but remember God is eternal, He has no clock (II Peter 3:8-11).

(2 Peter 3:8-12 NKJV)8 But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 9 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. 11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? 

The passage above was written to deal with the seemingly long passage of time, between Christ’s ascension into heaven and His promise to return. In that day, as our day, scoffers were mocking and suggesting that Christians had missed the Day of the Lord’s return. Into this context we find “that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day”. 

This was not stated to define God’s clock, but to remind us that His eternality is beyond our grasp. To our Father, the death of His Son was as it was only two days ago. The atonement, in Christ’s cross and resurrection are enteral truths that are eternal actions; as the Lord Jesus Christ is the Lamb slain before the foundation of the world (I Peter 1:17-25). It is for this reason that the cross of Christ will continue to save until He comes, whether it is in 5 minutes, 5 years, 10 years or 50.

So, we see that God Himself is faithful, but because of our finite nature, where time is all we have ever known, we must learn the character of the persistent widow, for losing heart is a real risk. Especially given the times we are in.

Remember that she went persistently, every day to the unjust judge. Perhaps she thought is was to remind him of his responsibility. We know with our God this is not the case. He needs no reminder of His exceedingly great and precious promises. The reason for our persistence is more about us reminding ourselves of God’s faithfulness, in what we see as extended delays.

We can become weary and lose heart in these times. The widow would have as well, had it not been for her persistent, consistent and enduring petition. Once more, we exercise persistent fervent prayer, to remind ourselves that God is with us—He is faithful—and His answer is coming speedily. We are persistent to hold to His will when we become weary and lose heart.

In our next post we will consider the context of some well-known passages of scripture, as we seek to mitigate the risk of losing heart in our call to pray always.

The Coming Son of Man

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