Walk in Truth, Not Waves of Guilt of Good Intention.

Image may contain: fireOnce more, the citizens of the United States and its law enforcement officers are berated for being party to systematic racial injustice, because of the heinous murder of a black man in police custody. This shaming is a travesty. Plain and simple.

Before I am accused of not caring, or worse, I will declare the obvious… four police officers killed or were complicit in the death of George Floyd, who was arrested for passing a counterfeit 20-dollar bill. The officer who deliver the death knee should be charged with 1st degree murder, in my opinion. The others with 2nd or 3rd degree murder, unless it can be proved their actions were premeditated. In that case they should all stand trial for 1st degree murder.

That being said, the ridiculous shaming of a nations citizens and its police forces, behind the guise of “Black Lives Matters”, is premeditated and a ruse for nefarious leaders (both white and black) to seize power and advance their radical political agenda. Please consider some facts.

“Black Lives Matter” declares it cares about black lives. Why do they not care about the Federal Security officer David Underwood, who was an African American community leader, shot and by “protesters” Friday night. Officer Underwood was targeted because he was in uniform and serving in his duty. Not much reporting about his black life mattering; or the other officers protecting protesters and business owners property (of all skin tones), who were shot, stabbed, beaten, hit with rocks, bottles and other means, in these riots.

“Black Lives Matters” declare they care about black lives, let me ask this simple question. Why are they not protesting the hundreds of thousands of precious black babies (living viable humans connived in God’s image), killed yearly for convenience, profit; and by the way for the purpose of eradicating the black community?

Simply doing a little research reveals that Planned Parenthood’s (the largest provider of abortions in the world) founder, Margret Sanger, was a despicable person (honored by the KKK) who’s plan was to clear America of less desirable population.

Yes, abortion, by Planned Parenthood is for the purpose of reducing the black population, by making sex about pleasure (wide distribution of contraception) and offering to kill the precious next generations of African Americans, for the sake of convenience and and profiteering.

If this sounds disgusting to you, it is, but “Black Lives Matter” never says anything about the systematic killing of precious black children. Nor do many white and BLACK politicians, who say nothing about the murdered black lives of precious babies, but also openly support and take money from the evil Planned Parenthood abortionist lobbyists.

Shifting gear slightly let us handle the claim of the disproportionate number of black men slain by police. Since 2017 to 2020, more whites have died in fatal police shootings than anyone racial category. The next numerous racial category is blacks, but white deaths exceed the black total in three of those years.

Admittedly, the numbers are disproportionate given that black men are only 6% of the U.S. population. Yet consider that the rate at which black men commit violent crimes (those which up the ante in police pursuit and tactics), approaches 50% yearly (higher than any other racial category, while their population is 6%). This should indicate, not a systemic race issue on the part of police, but a reality that black men are more likely to encounter police in violent arrest situations.

This does not explain away George Floyd’s death, which was nothing other than premeditated murder. Was his death racially motivated, I don’t think anyone can actually say, until hearing from the murderer himself. Should he declare it racially motivated, that still does not reveal anything systematic, but a shameless bigot and killer.

I realize some will assume wrongly I have no context for this discussion. but perhaps listening to a brother in Christ who is black will help you to understand. I encourage you when you are finished reading to watch David J. Harris Jr. at the bottom of this post. In his video, he boldly proclaims that even economic indicators on why black men commit more crime are largely invalid given his own life’s testimony.

The point to what I have written is to plead with Christians leaders to pray for personal discernment, before you jump on board with the zeitgeist of this age; which is to focus on made up incendiary events, in order to drive masses of people away from the truth. We don’t need more discussions or reconciliation events in shaming one portion of the populace into falsely accepting blame.

Here is the truth… RACISM Exists! Here is another truth… Racism will exist until Christ returns, in the hearts of those who do not know Him. Christ shed blood, in his death and empowered in His redeemed, by the resurrection is the only antidote to racism.

For those truly in Christ, racially motivated actions are deactivated, by the Holy Spirit as we live in the peace of god, rather than fear of what one can take or is blocking we have (This is true for Christians regardless of skin color). For us the middle wall of separation has been torn down, and there is not black or white or any other nationality or race, but a multitude of one race, purchased with His blood (Ephesians 2).

Therefore, rather than dialogue this to death, leaders ought to be out sharing the gospel, calling sinners to reality of what the cross communicates…

God is holy, our sin reveals we are not–the cross reveals the judgment our sin deserves (eternal death) and His free gift of grace for those who repent and follow him in faith. Until the racist, murderer, sexually immoral, profane or garden variety sinner, can be changed at heart level, there is no hope for them or the nations they live in (Sorry this is the Biblical narrative in the end times). They must experience godly sorrow, that their sin is against God alone.

This sorrow is the only thing that leads to real change, or what the Bible deems repentance, l which is not only a change in mind, but a commitment to change behavior, as the Holy Spirit empowers (II Corinthians 7:10).

Marching and kneeling may make us feel good, like we are doing something positive, but Jesus told His followers our purpose in the marching is not to change society of the better, by force of law or cultural waves of good intention (as nice as they may appear to be). Our marching orders are to “GO… and make disciples of Christ” (Matthew 28:18-20). This cannot happen until the sinner is brought into contact with truth of the cross of Christ. It is His power to raise the dead making them new creations, which ends racism and every other sin in hearts.

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BEYOND THE INK AND PAGE (part 1)

All Scripture Is God Breathed – Growing As DisciplesGrowing As ...There are times, as we prayerfully interact with the word of God, where we are taken beyond the ink an page it is written on. We are thankful that all scripture is given by inspiration of God (God-breathed) and is profitable doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work (II Timothy 3:15-17).

We understand, in its simplest characterization, inspiration means holy men of God (set apart for God’s purpose alone), spoke and wrote as they were moved by the Holy Spirit (II Peter 1:20-21). In the original writings of the prophets, and apostles, His God breathed word is inerrant (meaning without error) and infallible (unable to lead one astray).

The word of God, in its infallibility, extends to us through painstakingly accurate manuscripts into reliable translations. As we affirm  is the word of God was penned by men writing as moved by His Holy Spirit (and under His direct superintendency; so His word must be understood as the Holy Spirit illuminates what we hear and read. This essentially is what our Lord Jesus declares is one of the varied characteristics of the ministry of the Holy Spirit to us.

John 14:26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

Or similarly in I Corinthians 2:14…

1 Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

Why is this understanding so important? Because often times, well-meaning Christians and flock-fleecing false teachers and false prophets (and there are a slew of them today), not only blow by practical considerations such as context, historicity and even grammar, but force, their special “anointed” understanding on a passage. When this takes place everybody loses.

Why am I rambling on about this? Because at times, especially dealing with Old Testament passages, we miss God’s intended purpose being bored, or insensitive to it’s place in comforting the saints or insensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading.

Let us understand God has a purpose to those who first receive His word, and a purpose of communicating something to those of us in the N.T. period. In this illumination, we see many Old Testament people, religious functions and events, as models or types of what is to come. For context sake, consider Noah and the ark. I Peter 3:18-22 reveals Noah’s ark as a type of Christ, something that points to what men must do to avoid God’s wrath forever: Forsake the world, get into the Ark, Christ is the only place of protection from God’s wrath.

When handled appropriately, as discussed above, we are called to a more intimate, intrusive, and practical need for our walk with Christ. In these moments, when the Holy Spirit is taking us beyond the dried ink upon the page, we truly see the height, width, and depth of His intention for us. These moments can be truly remarkable.

Consider Jesus’ teaching in Matthew five concerning murder, adultery, and how we treat our enemies. When dealing with murder, our Lord reveals undue anger and character assassination, to be as egregious as the physical act of killing. When dealing with adultery, we are given understanding that thinking about unlawful sex, in lust, is committing the act. Finally, we come to understand that God leaves no justification for hatred of enemies, but we are to treat them as neighbors loving them unselfishly in tangible ways.

Jesus taking His listeners beyond the ink and page (concerning the commandments), into the depth of His purpose for His commands. This is the deep dive, we need the Holy Spirit to navigate; Let’s admit to stay at the surface rather than connect with Him at the foundation, is to undermine His purpose in our redemption.

This is part of the problem with modern Christianity. Like the Titanic, we steam along and see the iceberg ahead, being complacent to have a modified moral behavior, we stare at the surface. Judging by what is seen, we believe we have time and room to take evasive measures, when necessary. Until… BAM!

We are sinking. We missed the largest volume of the iceberg below the surface. This became apparent to me this past week while reading in Exodus 30.

Admittedly, Exodus can be a challenging read for western Christians, beyond the first 22 chapters. In the first half we read the exciting account of YHWH delivering Israel from Egypt—the move through the wilderness—we read of Moses receiving the Ten Commandments and the golden calf. Then, a lot of stuff related to Jewish tabernacle religion and worship… SNORE!

It is true that dealing with O.T. passages concerning the finer points of Jewish religious procedure and decoration can be difficult. But it is God’s word, and therefore it is important we prayerfully experience the truth in the words and what lies above and beneath. Even in passages on Jewish religion, the LORD, working through types and shadows, is revealing powerful truth concerning His character—and powerful and profound truth about our relationship to Christ. Let us look at Exodus 30:17-22.

Exodus 30:17-21 (NKJV) Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: “You shall also make a laver of bronze, with its base also of bronze, for washing. You shall put it between the tabernacle of meeting and the altar. And you shall put water in it, for Aaron and his sons shall wash their hands and their feet in water from it. When they go into the tabernacle of meeting, or when they come near the altar to minister, to burn an offering made by fire to the LORD, they shall wash with water, lest they die. So they shall wash their hands and their feet, lest they die. And it shall be a statute forever to them—to him and his descendants throughout their generations.”

From our passage, it is important to understand some context. The alter was where the sacrificial animals would be offered as burnt offerings. This was an important aspect of atonement for sin, which was not only the shedding of the blood, but the sacrificial animal being completely consumed (being burned), in the service of God, for the purpose of atonement. The alter and what took place on it, prefigures our calling in Christ as individuals to be a “living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to the Lord which is our responsible service” (Romans 12:1). A little later we will look into this calling.

The tabernacle of meeting was the structure where the priest would enter to encounter the presence of God and offer blood upon the mercy seat in the Holiest Place. Of course, the temple of meeting had other elements included, such as the golden lamp-stand burning with seven branches (a type representing the 7 fold character of the Holy Spirit, burning always, with continually flowing oil)—the table of the bread of His presence (man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word from the mouth of God)—the alter of incense (for the purpose of pointing to the time when with boldness we can appear before His throne to obtain mercy and grace in time of need)—and finally the veil and behind it the Ark of the Covenant, with the mercy seat on its top (where the blood of atonement was placed). Everyone of these elements reveals something about the Messiah to come.

While I read the passage, two questions came to mind. “Why the stipulation to wash, when going between the tabernacle of meeting and the alter? Why was it so important, that death would come should the priests not obey the command? The answer to that question will be handled in part two of this teaching in a few days.

Until then, let me encourage you to practice a new prayer and attitude before approaching the word of God.

“Abba Father, you know all things and I do not. Enable me to understand your word. I ask you for wisdom. Bless me to understand what I hear from your word, that I may walk in it by faith. Teach me understand the life and times of those who were first to hear your word, and illuminate the beauty of  hearing Your voice in what is written, that I may not impose my preconceived ideas upon your revelation. Bless me indeed to rejoice in the intimacy I can share with Christ, the Living Word, as He speaks when I experience the the word of God written on the page.

In Jesus name.

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Threat Against the Gathering of the Saints in Chicago!

PLEASE PRAYERFULLY CONSIDER: Below is a chilling report out of Chicago. What is being threatened happens regularly in China and other persecutive regimes world-wide. To think it is threatened in America to many is unthinkable.

The Corona virus as a plague, was ordained/allowed by God to humble and push the nation’s toward the final one world order, which precedes Christ’s return; and finally for the purpose of preparing us for world-wide persecution that we may endure till His return to gather us to Himself (II Chronicles 7:12-15; Revelation 11-19; Ephesians 5:13-18)

Let us pray for our brethren in Chicago to gather, to pray and to love their enemies when harassed, attacked or arrested (Matthew 5:43-48). Let us pray, the Lord would give a little more time, in mercy, to call the backslider back to Himself. Let us prepare, to endure (Matthew 24:13) that we may receive the crown of life (James 1:12), given to be to those who overcome the the blood of the Lamb, the word of their testimony and not seeking to save their own lives even if it means death (Revelation 12:11). To live is Christ to die is gain (Philippians 1:21). Below is the text of the article concerning the threats against the Church, from Chicago’s mayor.

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“BREAKING – RED ALERT: One day after President Trump declared Churches “essential,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is now threatening to “DESTROY WITHOUT PROCESS, OR JUDICIAL ACTION” Churches that hold services tomorrow!

In a letter delivered to Pastors today from her Department of Public Health, Mayor Heavy Hand warns the Churches:

“This Notice to Abate is being served upon you as the leader of your congregation. Given the heightened risk of spread of COVID19 in gatherings of 10 of more, you are hereby ordered to abate immediately. You are prohibited from having any in-person gatherings contrary to the Executive Order. You are required to cancel all gatherings contrary to the law. If you continue to host gatherings in violation of the Executive Order, the City of Chicago will take ALL NECESSARY MEASURES to abate the nuisance.” (all capital emphases supplied by me)

The letter ends with this chilling THREAT in the very last sentence:

“Any future gatherings conducted contrary to the Order will be considered a failure to abate and the City will take steps necessary to abate, INCLUDING SUMMARY ABATEMENT.”

In a case called City of Kankakee v. New York Cent. R. Co., 387 Ill. 109 (1944), the Illinois Supreme Court has defined “Summary Abatement” under common law as follows:

“Summary abatement would mean TO PUT DOWN OR DESTROY WITHOUT PROCESS. This means the inspector can, upon his own judgment, cause the alleged nuisance to stop on his own authority and effect A DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY AT HIS DISCRETION.”

Therefore, when Mayor Heavy Hand threatens that she will take “all necessary measures,” including “summary abatement,” she is threatening to take whatever action she wants, up to and including the destruction of the Churches, without any due process or judicial proceeding.

It is hard for me to believe I am writing these words in the Land of the Free. We have alerted the Department of Justice. And, we now have a clear reason to petition the Supreme Court of the United States immediately to intervene.

The Churches will NOT be intimidated. Services WILL proceed as scheduled tomorrow. They appreciate your prayers, and we do too.

 

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KEEP CALM! DO NOT FRET!

downloadBeloved of God in Christ, DO NOT FRET because of evil doers (Psalm 37:1-6).

Recently, a rising anguish is pressing the minds and hearts of many of the faithful, concerning the responses and potential responses to the Covid-19 corona virus. This anguish is not without merit, as we understand the times we live in and their relationship to soon return of our King the Lord Jesus Christ.

Although most of my readers believe in the rapture of the church (as do I), it is no longer enough to believe that the church will be raptured, on flowery beds of ease, before we suffer anything of significance. Awareness of the persecuted church, whom our God loves as much as us Christians in America, has demolished the false idea, that “we will not suffer”. Scripture itself declares suffering for the testimony of Christ, is not an option we choose, but a guarantee from the Master Himself, to Christians in any age.

John 15:18-21 (NKJV) “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.

Even in the inspired word of God through Paul, we see this truth…

Philippians 1:29-30 (NKJV) For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, having the same conflict which you saw in me and now hear is in me.

2 Timothy 3:12 (NKJV) Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.

With this truth in view, it is more than understandable that Christians in America are beginning to consider the potential suffering we will face due to legislation and government orders associated with the corona virus. Let’s be honest, even in a pre-tribulation view of the rapture, we must agree that prior to His glorious in-gathering of the saints, there is persecution against the saints around the world.

Matthew 24:9-10 (NKJV) Then they will deliver you up to tribulation (means persecution) and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.

Defining persecution does not mean only death for refusing to renouncing Christ, but also legal avenues of restricting the faith, with varying and increasing degrees of pressure. Consider sister Vera, who lives in a central Asian country and taught the Russian language at a state-run university. Vera was dismissed from her position for not recanting her faith in Christ, because they do not allow church members to teach. She now is trying to raise and provide for her children after being out of work for six months.

Persecution can take many uncomfortable and threatening forms. It is for this reason, I am writing, because contrary to what many Christian leaders have said, persecution has begun in America, with the corona virus response. Has it been terrible? No, not Yet! But the “not yet”, will most likely will become a “very soon the heat will be turned up”! This is a guarantee.

Rather than debate why, I desire this writing to be an encouragement to endure with joy for the sake of Christ, no matter what lies ahead.

One of the anguish producing decisions to being pushed through proper the congress is H.R. 6666.

In the first place, this bill does not allow the government to enter your home and force you to be tested or remove you if you refuse to be tested. I have read the bill and nothing in the language suggests this. The bill also does not say anything about vaccines, either voluntary or mandated. The bill does empower the Secretary of Health and human Services to award grants for eligible entities to become mobile testing sites, for the purpose of carrying out covid-19 tests in homes of participating residents.

For instance, this past week in Ohio letters were supposed to go out to 1200 randomly selected families as an invitation for antibody testing. Each letter contains a phone number to be called, in order to opt out of the random testing.

The bill itself, is seemingly innocuous, except for the seriously sinister numeric code it carries. Why all the hubbub?

Because the bill is seemingly innocuous and we have already seen state governments, with little or no constitutional authority destroy people’s lively hoods and restrict the free exercise of their religion. Let us therefore consider, for the sake of argument, mandatory vaccines will eventually be imposed. Does this rise to the level of the mark of the beast and if not, is it OK to get one?

In the first place, let me inform you that getting any vaccine is a risky proposition. No vaccine has ever eradicated any disease and with the vaccine there is risk of infection, because you are being injected with a dead virus.

Secondly, with all the flu vaccine being administered yearly, there are still hundreds of thousands of deaths from the flu, because vaccines are hit or miss.

Thirdly, it is important to remember that vaccines need to be synthesized and delivered in some formerly alive organism’s tissue. This is can be animal, but often is human.

Barbarically, with two vaccines administered to children, the dead virus is synthesized in the remains of an aborted children from 1960’s. These are the vaccines for chicken pox and hepatitis-A (VERIVAX and HAVRIX). If that is not disturbing enough, last week an bioethicist, in England, sounded the alarm that a possible corona virus close to being tested in England, had been synthesized in the remains of an aborted child from the 1970’s (As reported in the Christian Post; link below). (https://www.christianpost.com/news/bioethicists-warn-against-potential-covid-19-vaccines-using-cells-from-aborted-babies.html?fbclid=IwAR2HNliU05OHIRQfwwyw8-q2y42sCR0dIOajsci3xuEqWivMY0rg1gbi3Rg)

The point is, if you are a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, you ought to prayerfully consider whether you ought to receive any vaccine; for your life is not your own you were bought with a price.

Considering the circumstances surrounding covid-19; is it plausible that the governments of the world would mandate their citizens to be vaccinated against their will? Could it be that the introduction of nano technology in said vaccine and introduction of a chip, tattoo or mark may be the mark of the beast?

Instead of answering those questions let us consider some biblical truths which apply in any age.

In the first place, remember that the spirit of Antichrist has been around long before our day.

1 John 4:1-3 (NKJV) Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.

With that in mind let us examine the passage referring to the mark of the beast I Revelation 13…

Revelation 13:14-18 (NKJV) And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived. He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed. He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.

It is important to understand from the passage above the power of free will, given by God to man. Those who are killed, in the above passage, are those who would not bow to worship the beast. Meaning they had a choice. They could have sought to save their lives for a time and lost their soul or chose to lose their life for the sake of Christ and hence gain Christ and his kingdom.

The mark of the beast also comes with a choice. Whatever that mark is, (and I agree the technology exists and looks like it may be implemented in some way soon) a person may choose to receive it, in order to eat and gain provision; or refuse it for Christ’s sake and have no food and provision.

Now I did not use this passage to rain on anyone’s rapture parade. I have friends in Christ who run the gamut of pre-tribulational rapture, mid-tribulational and even pre-wrath rapture and all of them love the Lord and in my opinion with be with Jesus and me, when the roll is called up yonder. I do believe that the events of suffering against His church to come will change the “we will not suffer” crowd emphasis on escaping suffering and personal ease as a blessing. We must prepare for difficulty in order to endure.

Through out history, the church has come under unspeakable torture on Christ’s behalf. The great cloud of witnesses before us have been crucified, beheaded, drawn an quartered, disembowel, shot, speared, bow and arrowed, tortured, burned at the stake, broken on the rack, skinned alive, placed in solitary confinement for years, buried alive, been made to watch their family murdered in front of them, had to watch other Christians murdered in front of them, been starved to death, lost livelihood and had to trust God alone.

Do we Christians in America believe we are, in some way, more blessed or elite than they, for some reason clearly not articulated in God’s word? The answer is a thousand times no! We will have our day as well and as the spirit of Antichrist was in operation in the times of apostles (and before), there will be hindrance, restrictions, threats and yes loss associated with our choice to follow Christ.

Is it possible that an unconstitutional order of mandatory vaccine come to the citizenry of America, with the caveat, that should we refuse we will not be able to work or meet as the church is commanded, or obtain food or provision? You better believe it!

Always remember you will still have a choice and as bad as the choice may be (from a temporary standpoint), it is still His gift of choice to us. How do we decide, if it is not the mark of the beast?

Luke 9:23-25 (NKJV) Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?

Trust that our God and Father will maintain our right to choose Christ over any Antichrist world system program. We choose Him and bear the consequence of that choice. The reward is more glorious and blessed than anything suffered in this life.

So, don’t fret and be careful not to freak over every YOU TUBE video. There is a lot of truth to be heard, but there are some half-truths that half-cock undiscerning Christians. When we shoot half-cocked, we only diminish our Savior’s glory.

Psalms 37:1-4, 8-10 (NKJV) ​ Do not fret because of evildoers, Nor be envious of the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, And wither as the green herb. Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. 

… Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. Cease from anger and forsake wrath; Do not fret—it only causes harm. For evildoers shall be cut off; But those who wait on the LORD, They shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while and the wicked shall be no more; Indeed, you will look carefully for his place, But it shall be no more. But the meek shall inherit the earth, And shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.

(If you have not seen my last video message from John 9 click here to watch Religious or Right! Which one are you?)

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Religious or Right! Which one are You?

Below is a video message from the Gospel of John Chapter 9, concerning Jesus healing of the man born blind. In it we examine the difference between religiosity and those who are truly right with God through Jesus Christ.

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Christian, arm yourselves with the mind of Christ!

A message calling us to live with Christ as our model in the increasingly difficult circumstances around all of us. Be blessed in Jesus Christ. Leave a comment-Brother Michael.

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The Nature, Motivation and True Power of God Approved Prayer and Fasting #2

Below is Part 2 of the Video Blog Concerning God’s way of prayer and fasting. Below the video is link to part #1.

Part #1

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The Nature, Motivation and True Power of God Approved Prayer and Fasting

Below is a link to a new video blog message exploring God’s chose way of prayer and fasting. The result are supernatural and so essential to the church recovering it’s purpose and power in our generation-Brother Michael

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Praying Away Pestilence?

Click the video below and remember my message notes are below the video.

Over the last three weeks, where the world has for the most part ceased normal activity (based on the fear of the Covid-19 [SARS-II] pandemic), many American Christians have been praying for God to eradicate the corona virus—some have suggested the binding of the evil of the enemy (Satan), as this death blow to millions must be coming from the enemy of humanity. Recently, a pastor proclaimed in a service that had they shut this virus down “in the Spirit” and proclaimed its negation.

It is not my desire to mock, such sincere efforts, even if they are not founded in truth. In addition, some are using this virus to continuing fleece the flock, with oily hands and anointed prayer cloths, that are as useless in protecting anyone from this virus. Despite these flock fleecing false prophets, there are many sincere Christian leaders, as well as secular leaders, who believe eradicating this disease will restore America’s economy and way of life.

As sincere as this belief may be, it is also short sighted especially for followers of Christ, who understand that all nations are a drop in the bucket to the Lord Jesus Christ, even these United States. Considering this biblical truth, we must understand that Covid-19 fits into the biblical definition of pestilence. Therefore, the corona virus fits into Jesus prophetic message of the time of His return in Matthew 24 (as well as Luke 21:19), especially the section we understand as the time of the beginning of the sorrows.

(Matthew 24:4-14) And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.

You’ll note with me that all the uncomfortable events take place during what is referred to by Jesus as “the beginning of the sorrows. Interestingly, Jesus did not pull this phrase from the thin air but was referring by metaphor to the circumstances surrounding the birth of a child. The “beginning of sorrows” refers to the process of contractions, before the child hits the birth canal, which is referred too, in Jesus time, as “the tribulation”.

The first contractions are not too difficult (as my wife attests), a tightening in the abdomen and pelvic regions. These cramp-like contractions alert the woman that labor (the sorrows) has begun. As the birth event progresses, the contractions come more frequently and consistently, as well with an increasing intensity and pain. This is the beginning of the sorrows. At some point the contractions come only minutes apart and with greater intensity and pain, which is the ending of sorrows… still not “the tribulation”. The “beginning of the sorrows” and ending of sorrows, put the baby in correct position to bring him down the birth canal (the tribulation), for arrival.

In like fashion, the beginning of the sorrows, is a time of events which occur more frequently and with greater intensity, to position the church and the world for Christ’s glorious appearing.

It is for this reason, we must ask if it is prudent or even biblical for us to pray that God would take away any of the discomfort of these events, because the church is a part of this the time period of the beginning of the sorrows. Should we pray that God eradicate persecution? Not if it is contrary to His plan, and it is not, as persecution like any trial refines and strengthens our faith and even works out for our good (Romans 8:28; I Peter 1:6-7). Should we pray for wars and nations to end fighting? Not if we are praying according to His will in the end times, unless we are asking for His return sooner than later.

So what should we be praying concerning this virus? Could God have a purpose for it? Is it possible this virus is not devil originated, but God ordained or allowed? In the first place let’s ask the question, where do viruses come from and do they have a purpose?

THE CREATION AND CORRUPTION OF LIFE

God alone creates life and he did in 6 days and on the seventh day He rested, not because of tiredness, but to behold all He had made that was good. Viruses are living organisms, like bacteria and therefore God created them, and they were good as much as humanity or any other part of the created order was good. In that knowledge let us understand that our bodies have viruses, bacteria and yeast in them; they are there for our benefit and balance our digestive and immune systems as well as other important body functions.

What was it that made good things go bad? The simple answer is the fall of man. We understand that not only was the ground cursed, as a result of Adam’s sin, but that his sin against God brought the curse upon all of creation. This is seen clearly in Romans 5:12Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned—“. This truth can also be seen in in I Corinthians 15:21-22.

The curse did not only extend to humanity but brought the corruption of all creation so that as we approach Christ’s return and the revelation of His followers in glory, the whole of creation is groaning and travailing under the weight of the curse.

Romans 8:18-23 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.

Translation: the earthquakes are more earth shaking—the wars in humanity are more violent—the lovelessness of man grows more immeasurably chilling—the hate of men against God grows to persecuting all Christians world over—and pestilence comes faster and more furious.

This virus, corrupted from what is good, is pestilence, and there is a purpose. Let’s look a little further.

PESTILENCE AND GOD’S PURPOSE IN IT

When looking into the etymology of the word pestilence in Matthew 24:8, we understand that the Greek word refers to disease or an uprising of pests against humanity and the product of that uprising. Consider the Black Death which by some estimates killed as many as 200 million (by some estimates) during four years from 1347 to 1351. This “Bubonic Plague” was spread by fleas which transferred from rodents to humans. Here we see how an invasion of rodents carrying infected fleas not native to Europe brought about a bacterial illness such as has not been yet equaled in the world.

Pestilence can also be locusts which destroy crops or other naturally occurring things, like viruses, which reek havoc in illness and death upon humanity. When looking into the occurrence of pestilence in the O.T. Psalm 91 particularly verses 3 and 6 are helpful in giving us an understanding of the Hebrew idea of the word. The phrase “perilous pestilence” means to snatch up quickly or coming upon quickly or without warning, as a plague or murrain (cattle disease) or illness like disease.

Interestingly in reference to “murrain” this was a disease carried by ticks upon the cattle of the early Israelite’s. This is seen in our modern understanding of lime disease, which infects 300,000 Americans per year. We understand pestilence to be a disease or invasion pest, which uproots our food systems, affects our health adversely, without much warning, breaking up the relative peace and safety we live in—where hundreds of thousands if not millions or more are affected. This title certainly applies to Covid-19.

So why not seek to pray it away? God certainly would want us to do so? Or would He. Could God have allowed this pestilence or even ordained it? The answer to that question can be found in the O.T. and New Testament.

  • (Genesis 12:17) God strikes Pharaoh’s house with great plagues (strokes and leprosy), for Pharaoh taking Abraham’s wife into his harem.
  • (Genesis 20:18) The LORD strikes Abimelech’s household with a plague of barrenness of children, for Abimelech taking Sarah into his harem.
  • (Exodus 15:25-26) The LORD declares Israel protected from the diseases (plagues and pestilence) He brought on Egypt, if the Jewish nation obeys Him without question.
  • (Numbers 11:33) Because Israel complained about their provision in manna from heaven, not only does He bring quail up to their knee’s, in His anger He also struck His people with a very great plague—which looked like sores with bruising and stripes (they looked painfully chastised).
  • (Numbers 12:9) Although not a plague, God does strike Moses prideful and insubordinate sister with leprosy.
  • (Numbers 16:31-35) In Korah’s rebellion all the families associated with this man, as well as 250 others, were snuffed out in the ground opening and fire coming from the LORD.
  • (Numbers 21:6) The LORD sent fiery serpents to bite the rebellious Israelites; killing many. We see God’s purpose in His use of pestilence for His people Israel… To cause them to repent, for the purpose of purifying their devotion to Him.
  • (Exodus) The ten plagues, sent by God, killing millions of pagans, for the purpose of defeating false god’s and humbling a prideful nation.
  • (II Samuel 24:1-17) Because of David’s sin of number the people, where he trusted in the arm of the flesh rather than the LORD, vs. 15 says God sent a plague on the people where 70, 000 died.
  • (Deuteronomy 28) The LORD prophesies what will happen to His people if they do not obey the voice of the Lord. He says they will be cursed wherever they go, in their food production, health, and livestock (vs. 16-19). In verse 20-32 the LORD declares if they would not obey Him they would experience confusion as individuals and a nation, plagues on livestock, consumption (or tuberculosis), fever, arthritis, blight on crops, a lack of rain for crops, no crops, lose wars they should win. They would be smitten with boils, tumors, scabs, the itch, find no healing, suffer mental illness and madness, physical blindness, have society overrun by sexual immorality, be plagued by socialism (where kings steal their provision and land), find themselves in slavery.

(Deuteronomy 28:58-62) “If you do not carefully observe all the words of this law that are written in this book, that you may fear this glorious and awesome name, THE LORD YOUR GOD, then the LORD will bring upon you and your descendants extraordinary plagues—great and prolonged plagues—and serious and prolonged sicknesses. Moreover, He will bring back on you all the diseases of Egypt, of which you were afraid, and they shall cling to you. Also every sickness and every plague, which is not written in this Book of the Law, will the LORD bring upon you until you are destroyed. You shall be left few in number, whereas you were as the stars of heaven in multitude, because you would not obey the voice of the LORD your God.

In the O.T. we clearly see that God brings pestilence and disease, to HUMBLE NATIONS AND TRY His own people. This is not different in the N.T.

Many in the church want to forget Acts 5:1-11 or Revelation Chapters 2 and 3 where the Lord Jesus Himself, promises disease, calamity and expulsion from the kingdom of God, upon unrepentant Christians.

With this in view. Let us not pray away the virus, but…

  1. Make sure you are obeying the LORD and being filled with His Holy Spirit. This is the only true antidote to effects of sin, sickness and death. As He promises (Exodus 15:26; Psalm 103:1-5; Isaiah 53:5; Psalm 91)
  2. Pray for Christian in America to grow up into the reality that the difficulty economically and socially, is for the purpose of pulling us away from the world. Don’t long for the freedom of yesterday, but the holiness of Christ which guarantees we see Him forever (Hebrews 12:14:15).
  3. Pray that this virus and the death associated the virus is for the purpose of humbling the people of America to seek God through repentance and faith. National revival does not look like a party, but the funeral of the independent self seeking that keeps people from Christ (II Corinthians 7:10).
  4. Pray for national leaders to repent over the abominations of immorality in America and atrocious and barbarous murder of millions of preborn children, not that we would avoid judgment as a nation (which is already ordained), but that in mercy, many would come to faith, before judgment falls.
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ESSENTIAL OR NON-ESSENTIAL?

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While driving my wife home from an “essential” doctor’s appointment, and traveling back into to Fostoria on Route 12, we passed the very packed Fostoria Country Club.

If you’ll regard the picture below, you’ll understand that I counted multiple golf carts; in fact, four parked bumper to bumper and lining the cart path parallel to Rt. 12. By my estimation, there were at least 20 golfers, many of whom were not applying “social distancing” or wearing masks to protect others.

Before all my golfing friends, begin to cry foul, I am not ratting on these folks, but asking, is the need to golf more essential, than the need for churches meeting together, albeit with appropriate precautions? The answer, PRACTICALLY, CONSTITUTIONALLY, and BIBLICALLY IS… NO! Golfing is not more “essential” than the Church gathering, for those who follow Christ.

Last week, the governor of the State of Ohio, upped the ante on a “Stay at home policy”, which by the way exempts church services; although not weddings and funerals, which carry the restriction of 10 or less people in attendance. In my estimation, liming the number of congregants together at a time is as common sensical as using Clorox wipes to clean and is even more conducive to the biblical pattern of fellowship.But last week, Ohio’s governor, who professes to be a Christian (I have not reason to doubt that profession), made statements that were not only in error, from a Christian perspective, but also potentially make being a faithful follower of Christ more difficult in the future (and I am not complaining of the difficulty of being a Christian).

Governor DeWine stated…

“any pastor who brings people together in close proximity, a large group of people, is making a huge mistake. “

“They’re endangering themselves, their family, and total strangers,”

Truth told, they may or may not be endangering themselves or others. His statements presupposed that one or more are infected with the virus. He simply does not have actionable intelligence concerning that. His statements are assumption.

DeWine further stated…

“It is not a Christian thing to do, it is not in the Judaeo-Christian tradition to hurt people, and I’m sure no one intends to do that. But by bringing people together you are risking their health, your health and total strangers’ health. This is just a huge mistake.”

His comments are of the straw man ilk.

1) Gathering together face to face is a Christian requirement; as well as Jewish requirement.

2) Any person regardless of the religious affiliation, who provides a service to the public, unless they are a sociopath, does not intend to hurt people. Consider a restaurant or grocer who receives produce tainted with E-coli bacterium, which leads to an outbreak. Have they intended to cause harm? E-coli outbreaks are frequent and nasty, should all restaurants shut down in an outbreak?

3) Look at the society we live in with mass shootings and violence everywhere. Being out in public is a risk for anyone, who goes out at any time.

Governor DeWine, in his sincerity to protect others (I am assuming), has turned to shaming churches, who have a mandate from God to continuing meeting together (and the internet is not God’s idea for that). This shaming despite a cornerstone constitutional foundation for them to meet as they believe necessary.

The First Amendment declares that a religion’s right to practice its faith, without government intrusion is inviolable. Mr. DeWine knows this, so rather than moxie up and declare martial law, suspending habeas corpus (which he can do legally), he chosen to judge thousands of Ohioans who hold Christ’s inviolable command to gather together, as not practicing Christianity correctly.

Why didn’t he just declare martial law? My hope is that it has nothing to do with the November elections. To be clear, I have appreciated much of what Governor DeWine has fought and stood for in his political career, but his words crossed a line last week. In an age and among a population that is post Christian, suggesting that Christians practicing their faith (by gathering) is harmful to others, is a recipe for disaster.

Sadly, many in the church in Ohio, before any order was given decided to cut fellowship. Many others have succumbed to fear, not of getting the virus or of death (for the most part), but of losing its image in the community.

Let me encourage you to get alone and search the scriptures… get alone and seek the leading of God’s Holy Spirit, for what is essential in His eyes.I am 100% for pragmatic and measured protocols for protection, but there does come a time where the church, in every age, must “obey God rather than man”. This is not done in belligerence, but humility.

When obeying Jesus Christ brings us into conflict with governing authorities, we do not fight back with weapons, but humility and love for our enemies as they take away the benefit of civil rights. This has been the pattern of the faithful since Pentecost and will be till He comes.

Remember Jesus words “If the world hates you, you know that it hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world the world would love its own, yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, the world hates you”. (John 15:18-19).

Remember dear saints, risk of health, livelihood, freedom and loss of life are part of the normal life of a sincere Christian (Philippians 1:29; II Timothy 3:12)

Let’s pray for Governor DeWine, that he will lead our state to seek God, in repentance for mercy from this pestilence, which has yet to happen. Pray for Him to truly have God’s heart and wisdom rather than data and opinions which change hour to hour if not minute by minute.

Pray for every Christian leader to stop listening to the wisdom of the world, with its echo chambers, fear and glad-handing, that they may ask Almighty God to lay hold of their hearts, to truly lead His redeemed children as we ought to.

And this Resurrection week, consider the importance Jesus placed on fellowship in those who are members of the body of Christ (I John 1:7-9). He suffered the shedding of His blood, filling the wounds of His passion, with our infirmities and sickness (Isaiah 53:4-5; I Thessalonians 5:23; I Peter 21-25).

Having considered His atoning sacrifice and victory over death, let Him lead you to celebrate His resurrection, with others. Be careful, proactive and guarded as you apply the common sense, rules applied to churches; but celebrate His resurrection as He desires… as the Church Triumphant, filled with faith, joy and power. This is what the lost world need understand concerning our faith in the Risen Christ.

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