Dan A. Rodriguez Articles and Podcasts

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May 16, 2020  

Spineless American Sheep!

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Baaaaaaaaaa! 

The other day I saw an elderly man with a head full of white hair, holding up a sign on a street corner with a picture of a group of people wearing face masks. I missed the photo op, or I would have used his image with the sign for this article. As you may have already figured out, the sign read: SPINELESS AMERICAN SHEEP! I was shocked but immediately understood his stern message. It was a glaring truth.

To set the record straight, and so you don't get wrong ideas with my comments, I was born an American citizen on the island of Puerto Rico, as were my parents, and I love my country. I am very patriotic, so I stand for the flag, say the Pledge of Allegiance, believe and agree 100% in our Constitution and Bill of Rights, pay taxes, vote for good government, support our military and vets, strongly support law enforcement, and obey the laws of the land. I obey traffic laws (though not perfectly!), societal laws (except those that violate the Scriptures), and business laws. I am all for America and not against it in any way. I am against bad government and the violation of our constitutional rights. 

I know the title of this article and the picture is rough, but if we are going to fix some things in our country, we must face the inconvenient truth that during this Covid-19 crisis people were all too willing to submit to a controlling agenda that was oppressive and enslaved many to stupid rules and regulations. Some state governors and local government officials have showed their true colors by becoming fascist dictators!

When President Trump announced steps to take to reduce the possibility of infection, he never did it as the rule of law but as strong suggestions. He gave state and local governments freedom in that regard.

Unfortunately, many state and local governments went overboard and established laws and rules that were in direct violation of the supreme law of the land which is the Constitution, and of course, the Bill of Rights.    

During this so-called pandemic, most Americans acted like sheep and submitted to massive violations of their constitutional rights.

People that lived under the oppression of the Soviet Union (USSR) and communist China have stated that what happened in America reminded them of their previous lives under communist rule. I’ve never lived in those countries, but those that were under the control of communist regimes tell us that America slipped into a dictatorship mode and totalitarianism (some calling it fascism), even if for these few months.

Most Americans acted like sheep in that they followed their local government leaders even if it meant enslavement. Did you notice the mad power grab of politicians to control everybody and everything? Did you also notice that the more controlling and totalitarian dictators are the Democrat governors and the liberal local government officials? There is nothing democratic, and NOTHING that promotes liberty among them! Liberal and liberty are not anywhere near close to each other in definition and action, and are generally at opposite ends of the spectrum. Democrat, liberal, and progressive are the new titles for a totalitarian, socialist, and communist movement that wants to destroy our American constitutional republic and convert it into communist China, North Korea, Cuba, Venezuela, or something that resembles the former USSR with a total government control over its populace!

As a side note, that is one reason I would NEVER vote for any Democrat, as well as the fact that they support mass murder (abortions until the 9th month- some even agreeing to putting the newborn to death as it comes out of the womb!), LGBT agendas, generally despise our military and law enforcement, and they support many ideas that would be damaging for our economy, churches, families, and businesses. The perverted and inhumane garbage they support is truly demon-inspired, and people that vote for them are being led by the nose into sin and death. Have you noticed the hatred and utter disdain among the majority of Democrats for God, Christianity, and anything to do with Biblical moral principles? They call that which is evil good, and that which is good evil! (Isaiah 5:20) The spirit of antichrist has found a home among their ranks. I am not saying the right wing conservatives have it all perfect, because they don't, but at least they respect our Constitution and Bill of Rights, and support many of the things we should support from a Bible perspective. But I digress, so let's get back to the sheep. 

What have these anti-American totalitarian regimes (state and local governmental officials) demanded? People were told what to do, what to wear, where they could go and not go, where to shop, and they sent our children home from school without consulting us and without any parental consent. They acted like they owned us, and we let them. We were subjected to the whims of politicians that closed our businesses and our churches. We were told how far to stand from each other, and to stop shaking hands. Local governments shut down our beaches and parks.

Again, we acted like mindless sheep that simply followed the crowd with no thought about the cost to our freedoms. We were treated like stupid sheep, and we mostly fell for it. Well at least the man with the sign I told you about, and many others have refused to buy into their socialist and dictatorial agenda.

What’s next for America when another “pandemic” shows up? Will they begin to tell us how many children we can have, what car to drive, and where to work? Will they chip us like dogs to read our body temperatures or will they make our cell phones their new weaponry to spy on us? Will they forbid churches, tell us the length they want a woman’s dress to be, and order us on what haircuts are permissible, and how to comb our hair? The North Korean regime mandates that for their populace! It is not out of the question for complete totalitarian control of government. The question is, will we simply submit to dictatorial rule and lose the freedoms guaranteed by our Constitution and Bill of Rights?

A totalitarian regime could be coming to America if we don’t take a stand NOW! Shed the spineless sheep mentality and become bold as a lion, as warriors that refuse to tolerate slavery and oppression. We need to fight for our freedoms and refuse to act like little sheep ready for the slaughter. We need to refuse the herd mentality and think for ourselves.

People have been quick to believe every grossly exaggerated news report through the perverted media outlets. All the media has done is spread fear and cause panic. Turn off their lying news! They made Covid-19 to be the mother of all viruses, and they have made it into an excuse to steal our constitutional rights.

The different yearly flu viruses plaguing our planet have killed multiplied thousands EVERY single year, yet no one puts on face masks and maintains required social distancing, and all the other irritating and economically damaging rules we have been subjected to with the Covid-19 outbreak. The CDC's own website states that in the USA: "CDC estimates that influenza has resulted in between 9 million – 45 million illnesses, between 140,000 – 810,000 hospitalizations and between 12,000 – 61,000 deaths annually since 2010." So up to 61,000 die annually for influenza- or the flu. (The CDC numbers are false and misleading according to info in note (1) below.) Where's the running for a facemask and social distancing for that yearly flu "PANDEMIC"? 

Right now, many local and state governments refuse to open up economically and socially. They want to flatten the so-called "curve" of infections and deaths. The HUGE problem is that businesses may never recoup from the damage of this shutdown if it continues. The shutdown MUST end now!    

There is the government's mad push to get a vaccine against the coronavirus in place before the end of the year. Look, it took a long time to develop HIV vaccines. It took decades to implement other vaccines. Why should we all of a sudden be rushed into receiving an injection that deposits a little bit of the disease into our bloodstream? I don't think so! Do you understand that many could die because of these vaccines?

Will they attempt to force us to be vaccinated? Personally, I don't think President Trump would allow such a thing, but Presidents have often shifted in their policies in the past.

What if the government stated that they would force everybody in America to get vaccinated? That would be a huge mistake. If any attempt is made to coerce people to be vaccinated, all hell could break loose in this country, and blood could be spilled in our streets. 

Let's not be spiritually naive. Everything is pointing to the fact that something way more sinister is attempting to manifest itself. Satan is attempting to establish a one-world government designed by him to rule the world through his antichrist. It's as if Covid-19 is a trial run to see how far local, state, and the federal governments can push the people under their control. It is a globalist demonic agenda. The response to Covid-19 proves that if the pandemic appears to be bad enough, many people will easily give up their rights and freedoms. That is a very bad precedent.

As long as the Body of Christ is here on planet earth, we are supposed to be the salt and the light of the world. I am sorry to write that most of the church showed itself during this Covid-19 shutdown to be saltless and with little light. There were a very few exceptions to that, but mostly, we were weak and lacked the preservation qualities of salt, and we're not a light that pierces the darkness. We are supposed to keep corruption at bay and refuse to allow the enemy to take over the planet as long as we are here. Most churches complied with dictatorial rule and closed their doors with not even a whimper. 

Americans of all colors and creeds acted like spineless sheep shaking and trembling because they saw a wolf. We tolerated the unthinkable in America. Wake up America! 

America! It is time to repent and come back to God, but it is also time to take a stand and fight, fight, and fight for our freedoms. America has had enough of the shutdown! Enough with the thuggery of local and state governments! Enough is enough!

NOTE:

(1) "US data on influenza deaths are false and misleading. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) acknowledges a difference between flu death and flu associated death yet uses the terms interchangeably. Additionally, there are significant statistical incompatibilities between official estimates and national vital statistics data. Compounding these problems is a marketing of fear—a CDC communications strategy in which medical experts "predict dire outcomes" during flu seasons..." See full article on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website: CDC- Influenza Deaths: Request For Correction (RFC) by Kenneth Stoller- International Hyperbaric Medical Association: https://aspe.hhs.gov/cdc-—-influenza-deaths-request-correction-rfc#.Xsl87bp8Ltc.email (accessed 5-22-20). 

 

Listen to our next podcast Repentance Part 11 and be mightily blessed!

May 12, 2020  

Faith in Christ: The Often-Watered-Down Message

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Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? —unless indeed you are disqualified. (2 Corinthians 13:5 NKJV)

What is being in the faith? Without question, it is faith in Christ Jesus. I don’t think any believer would argue with that, but just in case, here are some verses about it: Acts 3:16, 6:7, 14:22, 16:5, 26:18; Romans 3:22, 26; Galatians 3:22; Philippians 1:27, where a parallel is drawn between the gospel of Christ and the faith of the gospel; Colossians 1:4, 23, 2:5, 7, 12, and so on. First Timothy 3:13 settles it for me: “in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.”

The following portion of the Scripture tells us exactly how the faith in Christ is defined. Do you want to know what the Apostle Paul called the faith in Christ? It is clearly stated when Paul preached to Governor Felix and his wife Drusilla.

24 And after some days, when Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish, he sent for Paul and heard him concerning the faith in Christ. 25 Now as he reasoned about righteousness, self- control, and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid (became frightened, “trembled” in at least 7 translations, terrified, much alarmed) and answered, “Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you.” (Acts 24:24, 25 NET- parenthesis- my comment)

Faith in Christ was defined in this passage as a message that expounded on righteousness, self-control, and judgement to come. What? Really? Does that sound like most modern-day “gospel” messages concerning faith in Christ? That was the essence of Paul’s gospel message.

Some would say that there is no need to tell sinners they need self-control or to speak of judgment because that would not be very loving towards them, but Paul did that. Some may think that to speak to sinners about righteousness is a waste of time, or not something that will be conducive to their conversion, and that it may turn them off to the gospel. Tell that to the Apostle Paul. The text calls righteousness, self-control, and judgement to come a “faith in Christ” message. Have our gospel messages been missing some things?

Righteousness, self-control, and judgment as the definition of ministering the faith in Christ sounds almost identical to what Jesus said the Holy Spirit was sent to do.

“And He, when He comes, He will convict (expose, convict, reprove, rebuke) the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment.” (John 16:8 NKJV)

What Paul stated to Felix, and what Jesus said to His disciples, were both referring to the same thing. Paul used the term “self-control” when talking about “sin”. The connection between sin and a lack of self-control should be obvious. If you sin, it is because you did not exercise self-control. Self-control is control of your actions by the Word and by the power of the Holy Spirit. “Self” does not infer that you are by yourself or that you are alone in this matter. It infers that the action starts with you. The Holy Spirit is not your enforcer, but He is your Helper. (John 16:7) In other words, the Holy Spirit will help you to do what is right. He will not make you obey God’s Word, but He will help you to do what is right according to God’s Word.

The word convict (Gr. elegcho) in John 16:8 is translated in Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon as “reprehend severely, call to account, correct, to show one his fault.” The same word is found in 2 Timothy 4:2, 1 Tim. 5:20; Titus 1:13, 2:15; Hebrews 12:5, and in the words of Jesus in Revelation 3:19:

As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. (NKJV)

Rebuke, that is, to reprehend severely, call to account, correct, to show one his fault must come when a lack of self-control is evident. (See also elegcho in John 3:20, 1Corinthians 14:24, and Ephesians 5:11.) Sin is the result of a lack of self-control that opposes God’s Word and commandments. James 1:14-16 in the Amplified Bible clarifies the process of sin from lust or some evil desire, to conception, and to execution. 

The word elegcho in Luke 3:18, 19 is translated rebuked:

18 And in this way, with many other exhortations, John proclaimed good news to the people. 19 But when John rebuked Herod the tetrarch because of Herodias, his brother’s wife, and because of all the evil deeds that he had done.

John the Baptizer was proclaiming the “good news” or the gospel to the people, and it was not at all sugar and spice and everything nice. Go back into Luke chapter three and begin reading from verse three. You will see all the elements of rebuking, such as “reprehend severely, call to account, CORRECT, to show one his fault.” He called those practicing sin “offspring of vipers”! That was not your typical sermonette with all smiles and niceties!

7Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Therefore produce fruit that proves your repentance, and don’t begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that God can raise up children for Abraham from these stones! 9 Even now the ax is laid at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. (Luke 3:7-9 NET)

Then, to top it all off, he had the gall to call Herod the tetrarch to account because of his adulterous relationship with the wife of his brother. Verse 18 says that even with all of John’s rebuke, correction, conviction, exposing, and calling to account that it was THE GOSPEL, the proclamation of the good news!

And in this way, with many other exhortations, John proclaimed good news to the people. (Luke 3:18 NKJV)

Good news of the gospel? Does Luke chapter 3 sound like our interpretation of what can be included in a good gospel message? No, it does not! It makes one wonder if something could be missing from our gospel messages if it is only preaching about salvation, healing, and the blessings of God! Yes, there is something terribly missing if that is all the people hear out of their preacher or pastor. Sometimes, there must be rebuke, correction, conviction, exposing, and calling to account. These cannot be left out when necessary, that is, IF it is a real gospel message. John was a minister according to the meaning of a true gospel message.

Even Jesus was tough and no-nonsense often, and He was specifically anointed to announce the good news or gospel message. (Luke 4:18) Take a look at Matthew 23 where He viciously rebukes the hypocritical among the Pharisees, and slams Jerusalem for killing the prophets sent to it. Read the whole chapter. It's an eye opener.

Does the following sound like any "good news message" we know of today? Remember, Jesus said this, and it was not "sugar and spice, and everything nice." I say this because many think all Jesus taught was love and acceptance (tolerance), and He was always soft toned, and tame as a little lamb. Nothing could be further from the truth! Here are some excerpts from the fiery preacher and astonishing powerhouse known as Jesus:

"But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!... Therefore you will receive greater condemnation... Fools and blind... You make your followers twice the sons of hell that you are... “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence... For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness... " 

And, one more for the road:  "Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell?" 

Jesus was no pushover.

In Revelation chapters 2 and 3 His rebukes and calling into account were hard and often harsh. It is true He also praised the churches when they did what was right, but He held nothing back in His messages to the churches when a sharp rebuke was necessary. 

Now read in Mathew 11:20-24 and the Master's rebuke against the cities of Bethsaida, Chorazin, and Capernaum because even though great miracles were done in them, they refused to repent. He condemned Capernaum to hell (Hades)! That was good gospel preaching, but wait because there is more.

So, you want acceptance or tolerance in the words of Jesus? Here is His idea of acceptance and tolerance for those that refuse to repent and continue in their sin. Are you ready? It's a spanking for the backside!

23"And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades; for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. 24 But I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you.” (Matthew 11:23, 24 NKJV)

There's your tolerance. 

I’ll never forget one brother in the Lord, himself a minister and teacher, that told me before I stood to preach and minister, “Brother, just preach Heaven to them. Give them Heaven!” I knew something was off, but it took me some time to learn from the Lord what it was. If all you do is preach “good or inspiring verses” and uplifting and positive messages without the other we have been talking about, then we have missed Heaven’s idea of good news.

It may not seem like all of what John the Baptizer preached was good news, but that would be an assessment from a human perspective. From the Scriptural perspective, and therefore from God’s viewpoint, it was all good news because it brought conviction and correction. John’s gospel message called people to account and allowed the Father to work on their hearts so repentance would come, and real change could take place in their lives! Think about that.

Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, and he had an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation, tribe, language, and people. (Revelation 14:6 NET)

Are you ready for a shift in your thinking? It will shock all those that think “gospel” is sweetie pie and kind preaching. It will shock all those that think we should have sweetness in our gospel message because if it gets too harsh people will leave or tune out the message. 

Next is a sample of the eternal gospel, but pay close attention to the content. It covers areas not traditionally understood as a gospel message.

7 He declared in a loud voice: “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has arrived, and worship the one who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water!” 8 A second angel followed the first, declaring: “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great city! She made all the nations drink of the wine of her immoral passion.” 9 A third angel followed the first two, declaring in a loud voice: “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and takes the mark on his forehead or his hand, 10 that person will also drink of the wine of God’s anger that has been mixed undiluted in the cup of his wrath, and he will be tortured with fire and sulfur in front of the holy angels and in front of the Lamb. 11 And the smoke from their torture will go up forever and ever, and those who worship the beast and his image will have no rest day or night, along with anyone who receives the mark of his name.” 12 This requires the steadfast endurance of the saints—those who obey God’s commandments and hold to their faith in Jesus. 13 Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write this: ‘Blessed are the dead, those who die in the Lord from this moment on!’” “Yes,” says the Spirit, “so they can rest from their hard work, because their deeds will follow them.” (Revelation 14:7-13 NET)

Gospel announcement included revelation, instruction, rebuke, correction, mention of God’s anger and wrath, the lake of fire for the followers of the beast, and the hour of God’s judgment! It pointed out the immorality of those following Babylon’s example. Notice that gospel preaching includes faith in Jesus, but also mentions obedience to God’s moral commandments. It even speaks of the coming judgment where believers will be rewarded for their good works.

Wow, all that and a call to the fear of God to headline that gospel message! Does that sound anywhere near to what many believe to be the gospel message? Gospel includes a whole lot more than salvation, healing, deliverance, and the blessing of God. Gospel includes more than telling people about the plan of salvation and the Lord Jesus. 

Here is more proof of what I am writing about.

9 Realizing that law is not intended for a righteous person, but for lawless and rebellious people, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10 sexually immoral people, practicing homosexuals, kidnappers, liars, perjurers—in fact, for any who live contrary to sound teaching. 11 This accords with the glorious gospel of the blessed God that was entrusted to me. (1 Timothy 1:9-11 NET)

What? Paul says that these are in accord or agree with the glorious gospel message. That means that within the gospel message there will preaching against these sinful lifestyles and practices. Why, because at times there must be exposing of these things. There must be correction and calling to account even before the lawless, rebellious, ungodly, sinners, unholy, profane, murderers, sexually immoral, practicing homosexuals, kidnappers, liars, perjurers and for all those that live contrary to sound teaching. That means that sound teaching will teach people to live contrary to all those things mentioned or inferred. 

The references in Luke, Revelation and First Timothy reveal that the gospel includes all these elements usually not associated with “gospel preaching.” What gospel message are you listening to?

In general, many in the body of Christ have gotten away from such preaching themes. Messages have been watered down to the place they often sound like psychological hogwash and not like the Bible.

At one church I attended, they brought in some foolish person to teach that women see through pink glasses and men through blue. Could you imagine that instead of going to the Scripture, they were teaching that nonsense to couples at Church? I exited and never went back after the first few minutes of the man’s psychological talk. It was all talk with ZERO anointing! It was all an offshoot of the “women are from Venus” and “men are from Mars” psycho-babble that is really against the sound teaching of Scripture.

So many churches have moved away from real strong gospel messages, and have embraced messages of self-help, cotton-candy, sugar-coated fluff meant to “inspire” the senses instead of informing, rebuking when necessary, correcting weird and wrong ideas, exposing sin, and revealing the truth of God’s Word. Churches have often become country clubs and entertainment venues with no power from heaven, no anointing, and no conviction. Some started with an anointing, and later lost it by trying to become respectable and likeable. 

Some have gotten away from ministering to the sick through the laying on of hands (of course, dead churches don’t do that anyway), and many no longer pray in public for people to be filled with the Holy Spirit and speak in other tongues. I am speaking about so-called Spirit-filled churches or Pentecostal, Charismatic, Full-Gospel churches. Many no longer have altar calls. If they pray for people to receive Jesus, it is done without an altar call. Everybody is led in a prayer and the “saved” no longer make a public confession of their faith in Christ Jesus. Have you noticed that some churches let altar workers pray with those that stay after the service is dismissed? The pastor rarely prays for people.

Other churches, instead of teaching the saints according to God’s Word, they entertain their audience for an hour or two! Hollywood style entertainment has invaded many churches with their “broad is the way” (known as Broadway) replacing the straight and narrow way Jesus taught.

13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Matthew 7:13, 14 NKJV)

So, what did Paul preach according to the faith in Christ to Felix and Drusilla? Here it is in a nutshell.

1. Righteousness:

The main points:

* It is a gift (Romans 4:23-25, 5:17) received upon initially believing and trusting in what Jesus did and provided for us when God raised Him from the dead and we confessed Him as our Lord and Savior (Romans 10:9, 10).

*The gift can be interrupted by sin, but confessing our sins before the Lord, we can be forgiven and cleansed from all un-righteousness, restoring our relation to God. See 1 John 1:7-10, 2:1,2.

*Righteousness includes righteous living according to God’s moral commandments.

If you know that He is righteous, you know that everyone who practices righteousness is born of Him… Little children let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous… In this the children of God and the children of the devil are manifest: Whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is he who does not love his brother. (1 John 2:29, 3:7, 10 NKJV)

See also Titus 2:11, 12; and compare it with Titus 1:8, where a leader must be “righteous”. If righteousness is only a gift that has nothing to do with conduct or lifestyle (Christian character) then why bother to list it as a qualification? No, Paul taught that righteousness is also a lifestyle of doing what is right. See also 1 Timothy 6:11- “pursue righteousness, godliness” and 2 Tim. 2:22- “flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.” Even after our initial cleansing in the blood and the renewal in the Spirit that placed us in His righteousness, we must pursue righteous living as an everyday reality.

2. Self-control

Main points:

Self-control is “self-restraint, temperance, control of ones passions, desires, and sexual impulses.” It means to control yourself according to God’s word and commandments, His requirements.

You dominate your body’s unruly desires. The Holy Spirit will not do it all for you. He requires your personal and individual participation. He will empower you to have dominion over your body and rule over any passion or evil desire that would try to get you off the Word and holiness.

It is God’s armor, but we must put it on. God will not put the armor on you. (Eph. 6:10-17)

We are to put off the old man and put on the new man. (Eph. 4: 22, 24)

We cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light, and we put on the Lord Jesus (Romans 13:12-14)

The above means that every Christian has a daily responsibility. Every day we are to take up our cross and follow Him. If we do not put on Jesus today, then we are without Him during that day. If we do not put on the armor of light daily, then it never will come on you on its own. Nothing is automatic in God’s kingdom and you have responsibilities, orders, commandments, requirements, duties, and something is demanded of you daily.

Some have said, “Oh, I just couldn’t help it. I just had to do it.” Lies, Lies, Lies! That person didn’t submit to God and did not resist the devil. (James 4:7) They yielded to the unrenewed mind, conformity to the world, and the old man. They yielded to works of the flesh. Nobody made them do anything. They did it!

Examine every time you ever did something wrong. I have and I know that I yielded to sin because I flat out desired the wrong thing. I let the wrong thing get into my mind and work on my flesh, and I sinned! It was not God’s fault but my own.

An admission like that demonstrates spiritual growth when you are willing to admit or confess your faults and receive forgiveness and cleansing from the Lord. (See James 5:16. And 1 John 1:9.) That truly demonstrates humility when you admit your wrongs and come before God in repentance. (See Proverbs 28:13.) The humble are the ones that get the grace (1 Peter 5:5, 6). Examine yourself whether you are in the faith! Isn’t that our main text from 2 Corinthians 13:5?

3. Coming Judgment

Main points:

Eternal judgment in Hebrews 6:1, 2 is one of the principal teachings of Christ. Eternal judgment is both for the righteous and the wicked. There is eternal judgment and a judgment that comes on those that refuse to repent and continue to practice sin.

*Judgment on the wicked: Revelation 20:4, 12, 13, 21:7.

*The judgment seat of Christ: 2 Corinthians 5:10.

*Judging yourself so you stay out of judgment while on the earth: See 1 Corinthians 11:29, 34.

First John 1:9 is a great and powerful gift to the followers of Jesus. It is our way out of certain judgment and our way back into cleansing, forgiveness, and the unchanging righteousness of Jesus. For forgiveness and cleansing, all we have is His shed blood for us. He is the propitiation (satisfaction) for our sins (1 John 2:1, 2), and His blood cleanses us from all sin. (1 John 1:7)

We have much more to say about all this, but that is sufficient for today. Hear the podcast Repentance Part 10 and be mightily blessed!

May 4, 2020  

How did Jesus Answer the Loaded Question, “What Must I do to Inherit Eternal Life?”

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16 And someone came to Him and said, “Teacher, what [essentially] good thing shall I do to obtain eternal life [that is, eternal salvation in the Messiah’s kingdom]?”17 Jesus answered, “Why are you asking Me about what is [essentially] good? There is only One who is [essentially] good; but if you wish to enter into eternal life, keep the commandments.” 18 He said to Jesus, “Which commandments?” And Jesus answered, “YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER; YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY; YOU SHALL NOT STEAL; YOU SHALL NOT GIVE FALSE TESTIMONY; 19 HONOR YOUR FATHER AND MOTHER; and LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF” [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for others]. 20 The young man said to Him, “I have kept all these things [from my youth]; what do I still lack?” (Matthew 19:16-20 Amplified Bible or AMP)

The rich young ruler asked Jesus, “What must I do to obtain (other translations- “inherit”) eternal life.” (Matthew 19:16) Jesus taught the rich young ruler about the qualifications for obtaining eternal life. His answer is like a loaded cannon! His answer will completely confuse most people because it sounds foreign to their evangelical thinking. It sounds like Jesus was telling the rich young ruler about getting saved by good works. The entire assumption is based on a wrong premise if that is what is seen in Jesus' answer. There is nothing weird or out of place with the comments of Jesus. This was not “law or works thinking” as opposed to grace. If you believe Jesus was “under the law” and Paul was “under grace,” you have been subjected to wrong Biblical interpretation!

Firstly, we should understand that the man Jesus was speaking to, the rich young ruler, was not a Gentile. He was far from it. The rich young ruler was a Jewish man, circumcised the eighth day (as all Jewish boys were), and would have entered covenant responsibility between 12 and 13 years of age. He became responsible for covenant obedience according to the Judaism of his day. He had kept the basic commandments (moral ones) from his youth, or from his entering covenant responsibility, what historically became known later as the Bar-Mitzvah. (1)

Why did the rich young ruler ask Jesus which were the commandments He was referring to in order to obtain or inherit eternal life?

The commandments can be divided for the purposes of Christianity into the moral and judicial guidelines categories, and on the other side were those that addressed ritual activity in the Temple of God, priesthood, animal blood sacrifices, feasts and festivals, Sabbath days, food laws, and so on. For simplicity’s sake, I refer to them as the moral commandments and ceremonial or ritual commandments. That is not an artificial division to the commandments because after the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 A. D., moral and judicial commandments came to the forefront as the only ones that Jews could continue to observe. (2) All ritual or ceremonial commandments dependent on Temple and priesthood became obsolete and passed away into history.

Judaism was reinvented in the latter part of the 1st century and into the 2nd century without the Temple and priesthood services in Jerusalem. (3) Jewish leaders understood that the 613 commandments of God’s law were reduced to 369 laws when the Temple was destroyed. (4) Other Jewish sources say only 244 commandments or 40% were and are applicable! (5)

Only the moral and judicial laws and commandments were left. Feasts, festivals, and Sabbath observances were reinvented so they could be practiced without animal sacrifices. Even circumcision of a male child on the eighth day was within the framework of the mother offering a sacrifice in the Temple for her purification after childbirth. (6) That was no longer applicable without Temple, priesthood, and animal sacrifices.

Today, Jews continue to practice Sabbaths and the festivals without offering animal sacrifices. According to the apostle Paul’s teaching and the conclusions reached by the Jerusalem church council in Acts 15, Christians converted among the Gentiles were not required to keep Sabbath days, circumcision, or any of the feasts and festivals of Israel. They were required to continue to uphold and keep moral commandments and guidelines.

If you have questions along these lines, and how these historical facts affect your Christian walk today, please see my detailed 62 page PDF by using this link, “Did the Grace of God Cancel Biblical Commandments”. There are many wrong teachings floating among Christians concerning law and grace, and the difference between ritual and moral commandments, and whether we should obey moral commandments or not. Paul was emphatically clear about the subject, but the problem is many have been reading his statements without understanding the historical context. Many have interpreted some verses in ways that Paul never intended while at the same time rejecting some things he wrote about the commandments and the law of Moses. My 62-page mini-book will open your eyes with many Scripture references and a historical background, and it is free of charge!

Let me get back to the words of Jesus to the rich young ruler.

Do you mean to tell me that there could be a connection to eternal life and the follower of Jesus keeping God’s moral commandments? Some would be too quick to yell, “NO!” Yes, there is a connection, according to Jesus. Jesus taught it. What you must decide is whether you will believe the words of Jesus or not. Moral commandments are important eternally, but ONLY for those already in a covenant relationship with the Father! Commandments originated in the Father and Jesus ONLY taught what He heard from the Father in Heaven. (John 7:16)

What does the above mean for believers today? After you come to Jesus and receive God’s gift in redemption, you are expected to live a moral life, that is IF you want to hold fast to eternal life. (1 Timothy 6:12, 19) If you sin, you must confess your sin before God and receive forgiveness and cleansing from UN-righteousness. You need to get it right with God and get sin purged out of your life by the Blood of Jesus! (See 1 John 1:7-10, 2:1, 2)

For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Romans 13:9, 10 NKJV)

The love commandment at the end of the statement of Jesus in Matthew 19:19 and Paul's statement above in Romans 13:10 are not a replacement or even a rejection of the other holy moral commandments of God. Jesus nor Paul ever taught that nonsense, though many Christians teach it as the gospel truth! Paul writes that love is a SUMMARY of what it means to live a holy life before God. God’s moral commandments are holy, just, good and spiritual according to Paul in Romans 7:12 and 14. Read the text please and get your theology straight! The commandments of God were NEVER fleshly or carnal or so burdensome that nobody could keep them. That "no one could keep them" is traditional religious baloney! The rich young ruler kept the moral commandments impeccably from his youth, and he did that BEFORE he was a follower of Jesus, and BEFORE the Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost! The idea that “God’s commandments were hard to keep” was a Satan-invented lie to get Christian people to live their lives cringing against anything called a commandment and making them feel less responsible for keeping them.

The apostle John taught the exact opposite to the “no one could keep the commandments of God” ignorance, and the “they were too hard to keep” foolishness.

By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. (1 John 5:2, 3 NKJV)

“Not burdensome” means that God’s Holy guidelines (moral commandments) for living in this world were not a “heavy weight” like a mule carrying a heavy load. No mules here! Commandments are a part of our yoke in Christ, and His yoke is easy, and His burden is light! (See Matthew 11:28-30.) Notice that the love of God is that we keep (obey) His commandments. When you understand that properly, you will get the truth that John was teaching the same thing Paul wrote when he quoted some of God’s moral commandments and stated that all of God’s moral commandments were SUMMED UP in the love commandment.

Jesus said, “ ‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” (Matthew 19:18-19 NKJV)

None of those moral commandments were burdensome or “hard to keep.” That was and is true, especially for the born again and committed believer. The moral commandments are easy because we have the power of the Holy Spirit in us to live in holiness. He isn’t called the HOLY Spirit for nothing! The Father is a holy God, and Jesus is a holy Lord that empowers His followers to live holy lives before God.

When you first come to Jesus and make Him Lord of your life, He will accept you as you are, but He does not want you to stay that way. Jesus will forgive, cleanse, heal, and deliver you, but the Lord expects transformation out of us as believers. (See Romans 12:1, 2 in the Amplified Bible.)

But I declared to those in Damascus first, and then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, performing deeds consistent with repentance. (Acts 26:20 NET)

Good works (deeds) are not how we got saved but they do demonstrate repentance AFTER you receive Jesus. Performing deeds consistent with repentance” is holiness. The behavior of a Christian should be one that breathes and lives holiness. It is the will of God that we live a holy life. (See 1 Thessalonians 4:1-8.) Holiness is not bondage. Holy behavior is a prerequisite of the Christian life. We serve a holy God and a holy Lord by the power of the HOLY Spirit.

As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.” (1 Peter 1:14-16 NASB)

Once you begin to follow Jesus, there must be a change of lifestyle. It is never “come to Jesus and then sin all you want because He loves you.” Some have espoused the twisted theology that this is what love does. Did Jesus agree with the idea of “love will overlook my sins as a Christian even if I don’t repent?” Not according to Jesus.

“And you will perish, too, unless you repent of your sins and turn to God” (Luke 13:3, 5 New Living Translation).

The message of Jesus was one of repentance, turning from devilish lifestyles, and serving and loving God. Not ONE verse in the Gospels ever insinuates acceptance of sin and darkness, but a rejection of sin and evil ways.

Jesus said to the woman caught in adultery, “Go and sin no more” (John 8:11 NKJV). He said to the healed (former) blind man, “Go and sin no more so something worse does not come on you” (John 5:14 NKJV). Continuing in a sinful lifestyle is not an option for the follower of Jesus!

The words of Jesus are filled with living a holy lifestyle in obedience to God, His Word, and commandments.

What did Jesus preach and teach everywhere? Here was a huge part of it.

He (Jesus) said, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the gospel!” (Mark 1:15 New English Translation)

The Scriptural pattern of the Christian life is also found in the book of Revelation.

10 Then I heard a loud voice shouting across the heavens, “It has come at last— salvation and power and the Kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ, for the accuser of our brothers and sisters has been thrown down to earth— the one who accuses them before our God day and night. 11 And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony. And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die. 12 Therefore, rejoice, O heavens! And you who live in the heavens, rejoice! But terror will come on the earth and the sea, for the devil has come down to you in great anger, knowing that he has little time.” … 17 And the dragon was angry at the woman and declared war against the rest of her children—all who keep God’s commandments and maintain their testimony for Jesus. (Revelation 12:10-12, 17 New Living Translation)

I quoted a larger portion than verse 17 so that you would see that all who keep the commandments of God and maintain their faith in Jesus are believers in Christ Jesus that serve and obey Him. Note the two-fold description of true believers in Christ. They keep the commandments (moral commandments) of God AND maintain their faith in Jesus. It is not only keeping the commandments, and it is not having faith in Jesus alone. It is both!

Here is [encouragement for] the steadfast endurance of the saints (God’s people), those who habitually keep God’s commandments and their faith in Jesus. (Revelation 14:12 Amplified Bible or AMP)

Who are the real saints or God’s people? Are they those that have a regard for their church dogma or declaration of faith? Are the real believers those that have a mental agreement with the facts about the life and resurrection of Jesus? Are the real people of God those that made a confession of Jesus as their Lord at some point in their life but now habitually live in sin? No, a thousand times no! The real believers are those who habitually keep God’s moral commandments AND their faith in Jesus.

Jesus answered the rich young ruler, “…But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.” He (the rich young ruler) said to Him, “Which ones?” Jesus said, “‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” The rich young ruler answered Jesus that those commandments he kept from his youth, but he knew that something was missing. Watch this closely.

20 The young man said to Him, “I have kept all these things [from my youth]; what do I still lack?” 21 Jesus answered him, “If you wish to be perfect [that is, have the spiritual maturity that accompanies godly character with no moral or ethical deficiencies], go and sell what you have and give [the money] to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me [becoming My disciple, believing and trusting in Me and walking the same path of life that I walk].” 22 But when the young man heard this, he left grieving and distressed, for he owned much property and had many possessions [which he treasured more than his relationship with God]. (Matthew 19:20-22 AMP)

Do you see it? What the man lacked in his commandment keeping was obedience to God with his giving (because money or “stuff” controlled him), and becoming a true believer by following Jesus. Jesus taught him that commandment keeping was a part of the equation to eternal life, but there was more to it than that. He needed to fully commit to Jesus and follow Him unreservedly. That was the way he was going to be perfect or have the spiritual maturity that accompanied godly character with no moral or ethical deficiencies. Jesus was calling the rich young ruler to discipleship, and possibly, in his case, to apostleship. That man could have replaced Judas Iscariot as the one that handled the money for Jesus and His staff. He missed his call to become a true follower of Jesus. 

Do you see how this meshes perfectly with Revelation 12:17 and 14:12? The true follower of Jesus will obey God’s moral commandments and maintain his or her faith in Jesus. 

To believers, Christians, or followers of Jesus, Paul makes this statement:

Circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing, but what matters is keeping the commandments of God. (1 Corinthians 7:19 AMP)

He was not making that statement to the ungodly but to born-again, tongue talking Christians. After you come to Jesus and get baptized in the Holy Spirit and begin speaking and praying in tongue, the next step is transformation by becoming a doer of the Word. (See Romans 12:2, and James 1:22.) That means that holiness is now on your radar everyday, and you are a practitioner, doer, or keeper of the moral commandments of God.  

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NOTES:

(1) Although Bar-Mitzvah today is celebrated differently, we know it has ancient roots as recorded in the Talmud. Jesus was examined by the Temple priests and teachers at the age of 12. (Luke 2:41–52) “All who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers.” (Luke 2:47) Most likely, that is the oldest record of a “Bar Mitzvah” or when a child's understanding of Scripture is scrutinized and subject to rabbinical approval in order to become a part of the adult community of observant Jews. Do you understand that this in the ONLY event recorded about Jesus’ youth, and that it happened when he was 12 years old? That means that this was an especially important event in His life. Why were Joseph and Mary not there if it was so important? Could this scrutiny among the priests and teachers have started earlier, and they thought it was finished, so they left thinking Jesus was with the other children that went through the same process of scrutiny? They were surprised that Jesus extended His stay because, “He must be about His Father’s business.” He was already taking his adult covenant responsibility VERY seriously.
(2) Jews divided commandments by positive and negative ones. There were 248 “do’s, and 365 don’ts. Without Temple or priesthood, of the 248 do’s only 126 are applicable today among religious Jews. Of the 365 don’ts there were left applicable 243. See http://www.jewfaq.org/613.htm , but see article in note 5.
(3) Jewish commentaries on the history of Judaism after the destruction of the Second Temple teach it this way. As an example see: http://www.jweekly.com/article/full/1362/forgotten-hero-of-tisha-bav-enabled-judaism-to-survive-exile/ ; also look at the following: http://earlyworldhistory.blogspot.com/2012/01/yohanan-ben-zakkai.html ; https://www.jweekly.com/1995/08/04/forgotten-hero-of-tisha-b-av-enabled-judaism-to-survive-exile/ . For more information, see Jacob Neusner, A Life of Rabbi Johanan ben Zakkai (1960).
(4) Nobody knows this better than the Jews! See: https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/541686/jewish/How-Many-ofthe-Torahs-Commandments-Still-Apply.htm
(5) “Of the 613 commandments, only 411 don't require the Temple (202, or about a third, do); of these, only 369 commandments are applicable today (42 pertain to slaves, kings, nazirs, etc.); of these, only 270 apply always, regardless of circumstances (99 require special circumstances, e.g., "don’t be late in fulfilling a vow" applies only if you make a vow; likewise, parapet around roof, paying laborer on time, etc.); -of these, only 244 apply outside Israel. (26 apply only in Israel.) So, for most Jews, only 244, or 40%, of the mitzvot apply.” Quoted from the following article: https://images.shulcloud.com/618/uploads/PDFs/Divrei_Torah/150523-the-613-commandments-shavuot.pdf
(6) That would seem to be the implication of Luke 2:21-24 and Leviticus 12:1-7. Many believe there was no connection, but the context in both passages may confirm there was a covenant connection. See the following articles for additional insight: https://www.thetorah.com/article/mother-and-child-postpartum-defilement-and-circumcision ; https://www.algemeiner.com/2012/03/30/the-blood-of-menstruation-is-covenantal-blood/ . I only bring this up because if that was the case, once the Temple was destroyed in 70 A. D. (CE), the covenant rite of circumcision also lost important connections to blood sacrifice and Temple worship. After the Temple’s destruction these sacrifices in Leviticus 12:1-7 that were connected to the purification of the woman after childbirth and covenant circumcision, these could no longer be offered.

Listen to the next podcast in the series: Repentance- Part 9. It will answer many questions for you on the difference between righteousness as a gift, and righteousness as the lifestyle of the believer. There is much confusion in the area of righteousness and what the difference is between Romans 3:25, 26; 5:17 (the gift of righteousness) and what John taught in 1 John 2:29 and 3:7, 8, 10 (the righteous lifestyle- See the verses in NKJV or NET.) Don't miss it! If we are righteous in Christ, and that is supposedly an unchangeable status, why do we need to be cleansed from UNrighteousness if we sin (1 John 1:9)? Get answers in this podcast, and never be confused about the subject again. Be blessed!

April 29, 2020  

Is God Really in Control of Everything?

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Many believe that “God is in Control” is the Gospel truth. “Brother Rodriguez, that is what the Bible says!” Is it? If it is, then we are stuck with it. Maybe we should look at that idea a little closer before coming to a conclusion.

Following is a verse interpreted to uphold the theology that God ultimately controls all leaders in human government.

The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord like channels of water; he turns it wherever he wants (Proverbs 21:1 NET).

Many assume that verse means that all rulers are like puppets on a string, and God is the master puppeteer. That was never a Biblical view but one that originated in the beliefs about mythical gods and their treatment of mankind. Among these mythical gods, humans were like pawns in a game of otherworldly chess played by them. The gods set human fate according to their will. That same thinking infiltrated Christianity beginning in the second century. We could go into a lengthy discussion of how Greek pagan thought supplanted Jewish Messianic Biblical thought of the 1st century church in Jerusalem. I will spare you the details, but ideas prevalent in paganism about their mythological gods and their relationship with humanity had a deep impact on Christian Biblical interpretation as the church moved further west into pagan territory. Historically, the church to the west by the 3rd and 4th century would have been almost unrecognizable to Jesus, the apostles, and the churches that sprang up among the Jewish believers around Jerusalem and its vicinity. Anybody that has done research into the history of the church between the 1st and 4th century knows this to be true. (1)

The idea that God is like a master puppeteer or a divine chess master in control of all human actions, and that all humans must bow to His will, was a part of heathen or pagan mythology. Pagan gods could force their will upon humans at their every whim. It did not matter if their will was immoral or unrighteous. Human beings had no choice in their fate. Whatever the gods willed was to be done even by unwilling humanity.

That posited idea takes away from human beings all powers of decision and makes them automatons that are forcibly subject to the divine will. If God could do that with kings and government leaders, or any human being for that matter, why not do that with the unsaved on planet earth? Why not force everyone to receive Jesus as Savior and Lord, and mandate that everyone to go to heaven? We could start the Millennium tomorrow and get on with eternity if that were the case! That is not the case because human beings can choose their eternal destiny, and they have a choice in this life to serve or disobey God.

The right to choose

From the beginning, God gave people the right to choose, and it has never been rescinded. He commanded Adam and Eve not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and that IF they did eat of the forbidden tree, then they would die (Genesis 2:17). God gave them a choice, but they chose the wrong thing and suffered the consequences. It was not God’s plan that they chose evil, but they did, and God respected their choice. If God was sovereign as people think, as in full control of all circumstances, why not rebuke the devil and stop sin in the garden? Why not stop the many millennia of the rule of darkness that perverted His creation and brought it a devastating curse?

Many think that God created man to fail and sin. They believe that God in His sovereignty had some purpose in all this damnation and planetary misery. Really? Step back from religion and theology and hear that nonsense for what it is. “Sovereignty” and “God is in control” as taught in much of Christendom is a perverted and twisted traditional religious idea that makes God into an indiscriminate murderer and destroyer that somehow favors evils to strike mankind for some mysterious purposes. Those ideas make human beings into robotic servants subject to the “control” of the “programmer” (God).

Let us get specific.

Those that think that because of God’s sovereignty, He is control of all human actions, what then do you do with Hitler, Stalin, Mao, ISIS, and all the evil rulers, empires, and terrorist organizations that have plagued the planet? God would have to be worse than all of them if this human cesspool of evil and bondage were of His design and under His total control. The idea is so ludicrous and preposterous that only in churches will people believe that nonsense and utter stupidity. I do not have any nice words to describe the foolishness of the “God is in control of everything” crowd.

God sent Jesus. Those that trust and follow Him (believe) will be saved, and those that do not will be damned (John 3:15-18, 36; 12:48; Mark 16:16, etc.). The choice between life and death, blessing or curses, love and hatred, and obedience or disobedience has always been among men. God has never taken it away, and never will!

I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live (Deuteronomy 30:19 NKJV- See also Jeremiah 21:8 and ff., and Amos 5:14)

Who has the choice to make? God? God is in control of whether we have life or death, blessing or cursing? No, human beings must choose. What is the problem? Many want it to be God's choice, but God has left it up to us as to what we choose. He does tell us to choose life because He wants us to live, but the ultimate choice is left to us as long as we are on the earth. Granted, once you leave your body, your final fate is set. Eternal life to those that know Jesus and serve God, and eternal damnation for those that rejected the Lord and doing what was right according to His Word. (See Romans 1:16-32 through 2:1-11 for Paul's teaching on the subject.) 

And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:15 NKJV)

God does not choose for you whom you will serve? The choice is left up to YOU and ME!

I have chosen the way of truth; Your judgments I have laid before me. (Psalms 119:30 NKJV)

The Psalmist said he chose the way of truth. God did not choose it for him. 

Because they hated knowledge and did not choose the fear of the Lord. (Proverbs 1:29 NKJV)

Who makes the choice here? The person rejecting the knowledge (knowing and doing the Word) of the Lord. Choosing to fear (honor and respect) the Lord is in human hands. It is not in God's hands. It's our choice of whether we revere the Lord or not. 

Curds and honey He shall eat, that He may know to refuse the evil and choose the good. For before the Child shall know to refuse the evil and choose the good, the land that you dread will be forsaken by both her kings. (Isaiah 7:15 NKJV)

For fun, think about it. Who chose for you that you should eat corn flakes or eggs and biscuits this morning? Was it God? No, you chose what to eat. He calls upon us to fast at times, but it is our choice whether to obey or disobey His instruction. In the same way, we choose between good and evil. God desires we reject the evil and choose the good, but whether we do or not is in our hands. 

No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. (Matthew 6:24 NKJV)

Whom we will serve is in our hands. God does not make that choice for us. 

So that you can decide what is best, and thus be sincere and blameless for the day of Christ. (Philippians 1:10 NET).

You decide what is best! Yes, we follow the leading of the Lord and what His Word says to make the right choices, but no one can take away your right to choose. Even martyrs chose Jesus and refused to deny their faith regardless of the deadly end results. 

Here is one more portion of Scripture that blows wrong theology about the life and death of a believer completely out the door. 

But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what I shall choose I cannot tell. 23 For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better. 24 Nevertheless to remain in the flesh is more needful for you. 25 And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith. (Philippians 1:22-25 NKJV)

What do you think of that? Do you mean to tell me that Paul had a choice in the matter whether to die and be with the Lord or to stay in the body because the Philippians needed to get more from his ministry? Do mean to tell me we can have a choice? YES!

We can do things to extend our days upon the earth. We can also do things to cut our days short upon the earth. Anyone that has read the first three chapters of the book of Proverbs should know that. See Proverbs 1:32-33; 2:20-22; 3:1-2, 7-8, 13-18, and I dare anyone to refute the clear teaching of the Scripture! A part of God's divine protection is that we be satisfied with a long life (Psalms 91:16). Who or what do you believe? Do you believe God or the traditional idiocy of many sectors of Christendom that think all matters of life and death are in God's hands? The Scriptures above prove the massive errors believed in these areas of choice, even in the areas of life and death.  

How about this often half-quoted verse? These verses tell us one way to extend our days upon the earth.

“Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: 3 “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” (Ephesians 6:2, 3; Paul is quoting from Exodus 20:12 -NKJV)

Don't quote the first part without also quoting the second part about living long on the earth.

Here is another portion of Scripture that tells us how we can extend our life upon the earth. The apostle Peter quoted it. 

10 It is written in the psalms, If you love life and want to live a good, long time, then be careful what you say. Don’t tell lies or spread gossip or talk about improper things. 11 Walk away from the evil things in the world—just leave them behind, and do what is right, and always seek peace and pursue it. 12 For the Lord watches over the righteous, and His ears are attuned to their prayers. But His face is set against His enemies; He will punish evildoers. (1Peter 3:10-12 -The Voice translation- a quotation from Psalms 34:12-16)

Let’s get our theology straight! The ONLY way to straighten up our ideas is by looking at Scripture after Scripture like we are doing here, but there are many more that prove the point. 

Again, and for the record, it is an impossibility to trust and obey the Lord or to distrust and disobey Him unless you have a choice, a right to decide. Believing or unbelief is a human choice. God will not force “faith” (faithfulness, trust, obedience) on you any more than He will force unbelief on you.

Does God control all government leaders?

“But isn’t the obvious meaning of Proverbs 21:1 that, because of His sovereignty, He can control everyone whenever He wishes?” No, it does not mean that at all once you take into consideration Hosea 8:4 and Nehemiah 9:17 and a truckload of other verses!

They enthroned kings without my consent! They appointed princes without my approval (Hosea 8:4a NET)!

They refused to obey and did not recall your miracles that you had performed among them. Instead, they rebelled and appointed a leader to return to their bondage in Egypt (Nehemiah 9:17a NKJV).

Some kings and princes (leaders of some country) disobeyed God and refused to do what He said. Have you read the extensive list of kings that disobeyed God in the Old Testament? Most of the kings of Israel and Judah disobeyed and rebelled against the Lord. Most of these rebellious kings usually died off quickly and were replaced by another that would do worse.

There is no way to read First and Second Chronicles and be oblivious to the fact that most kings did not have their hearts in the hand of the Lord. If God could have turned any of the hearts of these kings whenever He wanted, why didn’t He turn any of the hearts of the evil kings?

Obviously, something is wrong with the way we have understood Proverbs 21:1 and many other verses that would seem at first glance to imply that “God is in control” of all human affairs and events. If God is completely in control of human events, then how do we account for the death and destruction flooding this planet over millennia? How can we say God is in control of everything with a straight face and see the evil at work on this planet? Is God in control when women are raped, children are sold into slavery, young women are forced to be sex slaves, and Islamic terrorist organizations murder, rape, maim, behead, and knife to death men, women, and children? Only idiotic, ignoramus, anti-Biblical, religious, traditional BUNK could blind a person to believe that God is in control of all that bad stuff. He is not!

I know I am repeating myself, and maybe belaboring the point though using different words, but this subject of sovereignty and “God’s control” are too important to give a lightweight answer.

In the sense that God’s prophetic words concerning our planet will happen, yes, He is in control of that! The promised return of Jesus to rule and reign on the earth will occur no matter what anybody decides or chooses against it. The Book of Revelation will happen regardless of who is in government and who is not! Some events will transpire no matter what anybody believes or does because God said it, and His Word will accomplish what He wants (Isaiah 55:11). He is sovereign and in control where these events are concerned, but He is not ruling over the human will when people decide to disobey and rebel against Him and follow the devil. As far as humanity and their right to choose, God is not in control of their wrong choices or their corrupt activities.

Jesus said that the thief is the one that comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). To believe that evil comes because God is in control means that you believe that God is the thief! Yes, God does allow a lot of evil stuff because many human beings have rejected Him, embraced the darkness and false religions, and they are in Satan’s territory as the “destroyer.” People choose darkness, and they reap destruction and death. The wages of sin are still death (Romans 6:23). When people choose evil and disobedience against God and His holy commandments, He turns them over to their enemies. As one example among many, read Judges 2:7-23. This truth is taught excessively in the Bible from cover to cover!

There were kings and princes ordained by people that were never in God’s plan. They were NOT God's will! People voted them in” without God approval.

We have some kings in Scripture that lived during a time in history where God had His Word on the line concerning His people. Sometimes God put a “decision” in their hearts to do something in line with His will and they obeyed. Other times, judgment came against some of them until they obeyed. He can do that whenever necessary!

One prominent example was Nebuchadnezzar. He disobeyed the Lord and was severely judged to wander the earth for seven years with the mind of an animal. When He recognized God and was willing to obey Him, the kingdom was restored to him, and he was reinstated as King of Babylon.

Nebuchadnezzar was a part of a greater plan that had to do with God’s people. Because of their sin, God turned over the nation of Israel to Nebuchadnezzar. (See the book of Jeremiah.) He took thousands into captivity, and they were to remain in that land for a minimum of seventy years. The prophet Jeremiah spoke the Word of the Lord concerning Nebuchadnezzar, Babylon, and the exile of the sons of Israel. There was a divine Word in place, and events had to line up to fulfill the Word of the Lord. Nebuchadnezzar was a key player in these developments.

Pharaoh continued to oppose the Word of the Lord that Moses proclaimed concerning the release of Israel from Egyptian bondage. He hardened his heart and God agreed, in turn, allowing the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart. Through ten judgments, Pharaoh complied with the Word of the Lord. Again, a Word was spoken to Abraham and his descendants, and it was necessary for the Lord to bring it to pass (Genesis 15:13, 14).

There are occasions like those, but those are not the usual succession of events in the earth. Kings and all government leaders have a choice to make whether they will serve the Lord, and whether they will be a force for good or evil.

If Proverbs 21:1 were taken to refer to kings in the same predicament as Pharaoh and Nebuchadnezzar, I could agree on one level. However, this verse makes no mention of supernatural events changing the heart of a king. Supernatural events could be what are necessary to turn the heart and force a leader to obey the Lord. Did it happen often? No. It seems to have been relegated to special events surrounding the deliverance of His people. Other than at those times, nothing happened except the decisions of the inividual, either for good or for evil. 

When the Lord started showing me that the Scripture had much to say on this subject of good or evil human government, this verse in Proverbs 21:1 stared back into my face. At face value, one could hardly help giving it the standard interpretation of “God makes kings obey His will whether they want to or not because God is in control of their hearts.” Something was wrong with that interpretation when I compared this verse with other verses on the same subject. Thank God that the entrance of His Word brings LIGHT. (Psalms 119:130 NKJV) Stick to the Word and light will come regardless of how ignorant (simple) we are. 

The king in Proverbs 21:1

First, who is the king in Proverbs 21:1? If we can get that question answered, then we can start to unravel this verse in our thinking. Was Solomon speaking of a specific king, or was his statement a reference to all world leaders? People want to make this verse applicable to all kings, presidents, and prime ministers. I believe that is a mistake.

Who was this king mentioned by Solomon? I am convinced Solomon was speaking of himself as the king whose heart was in the hand of the Lord. Solomon gave his heart over to the Lord as a young man. He asked God to give him a wise and discerning heart so he could judge the people of Israel in righteousness. God granted his request in a powerful way.

“Therefore, give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?” The speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing. Then God said to him: “…see, I have given you a wise and understanding heart, so that there has not been anyone like you before you, nor shall any like you arise after you” (See 1 Kings 3:9-12 NKJV abbreviated).

Solomon’s heart was in the hand of the Lord as the channels of water because he submitted his heart to the Lord and received a wise and discerning heart from Him.

The phrase “heart in the hand of the Lord” speaks of someone who submits his or her life to God to do His will and carry out His plan. Though Solomon deviated from the Lord later in life, for many years, he served the Lord and did His will. Solomon’s heart (life) was in the hands of the Lord, and God could lead him as He wanted.

Often Proverbs gives us “stand-alone” pithy sayings that were spoken in the wisdom of God. Other times we see a few verses discussing the same subject before the subject matter changes. Sometimes certain subjects are grouped together. Proverbs 21:1 has been pulled from its context. It is not referring to a wicked king’s heart as being in the hands of the Lord. This verse speaks of a righteous king as the one whose heart in the hand of the Lord.

Let me give you a few verses before and after Proverbs 21:1 to put it in context.

Proverbs Chapter 20
- A king who sits on the throne of judgment scatters all evil with his eyes. V.8
- A wise king sifts out the wicked and brings the threshing wheel over them. V. 26
- The spirit of a man is the lamp of the Lord, Searching all the inner depths of his heart. V. 27
- Mercy and truth preserve the king, and by lovingkindness he upholds his throne. The glory of young men is their strength, and the splendor of old men is their gray head. Blows that hurt cleanse away evil, as do stripes the inner depths of the heart. V. 28-30

Proverbs Chapter 21
- The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord, like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes. V.1
- Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the hearts. V.2
- To do righteousness and justice is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice. V.3

Again, Solomon's subject king in Proverbs 21:1 is a righteous king. Only a righteous king can have his heart in the hand of the Lord.

Unrighteous kings had hearts that were far from the Lord. The exceptions to that are kings that did not know God, but they were willing to obey the Lord in whatever He wanted for His people. Good examples are Cyrus and Artaxerxes (Ezra 1 and Nehemiah 2).

Look at some of these references in connection with the preceding statements: Ezra 6:22, 1 Kings 11:2-9, 15:3, 2 Kings 10:31, see 2 Chron. 6:38, 12:14, 15:12-15, 19:9, 26:16, 32:25, 26, 34:27, 31, 36:13.

NOTES:

(1) If you want a book that explores these truths in much more detail with references for further study, I suggest  you read the book by Marvin Wilson: Our Father Abraham: Jewish Roots of the Christian Faith. You can get it from christianbook.com  and other booksellers. If you want to delve even deeper in historical truth, get the scholarly and classic study published originally in 1960, Hebrew Thought Compared With Greek, by Thorlief Boman. It is very informative at 208 pages plus the bibliography, but I warn you, drink coffee before you read it, or you may snooze. Maybe it was just me when I read it for my university studies back many moons ago. Get it on Amazon

I trust that this article has helped you understand a controversial subject. Be blessed in your study of the Word with me in the following podcast: Repentance Part 8!

April 24, 2020  

Why We should NEVER AGAIN Allow Our Churches to be Shut Down! It’s More Than a Constitutional Thing!

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First Amendment to the United States Constitution:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

The First Amendment guarantees freedoms concerning religion, forbids Congress from restricting an individual’s religious practices, and gives citizens the right to assemble peaceably.

We have constitutional rights! We should not ever be forced to shut down our churches according to the 1st Amendment. We caved too easily during the Coronavirus shut down. We should have taken a stand as a handful of pastors did and refused to close our doors.

There are HUGE spiritual reasons we should resist, reject, and stubbornly refuse to allow our churches to ever be shut down again! What has happened is no one else’s fault but the churches. I am also a member of the church, the body of Christ, and I was a pastor for 17 years. So, I am not speaking and writing as someone that cannot relate.

Yes, our constitutional rights to assemble and freedom of religious practice have been terribly violated over the last few weeks, but few did little to stop it. It was as if the churches were like children following the piper to their own demise. They were shut down with hardly a peep. Frankly, it was and is very disturbing to think that in America we allowed public violation of our rights as though we were communist China or North Korea! We did little or nothing to revolt against the tyranny of many local governments.

Some take the stand that this was a national emergency, and all but essential businesses were left open during the shutdown. Do you mean to tell me the churches that minister spiritual and eternal truth from the Word of God that lives and abides forever, that they are less “essential” than the gas station and the local grocery? Are you kidding me? If there is ever an essential that should stay open to help and minister to people, it should be the church of the eternal God! There may be some worthless churches out there that probably should be shut down, but there are many others that bring people to the Lord Jesus, worship God, minister to the sick, preach and teach God’s Word, and provide other vitally important services like feeding the hungry, giving out emergency help and supplies, having baby dedications, weddings, and funerals. Most cannot be done via streaming video! Churches were always meant to minister up close and personal, not just over the impersonal internet!

A pastor in Scripture is the same as a shepherd or an elder. In spiritual terms using a natural analogy, a pastor ministers to people, and they are called the flock of God. (See Acts 20:28; Ephesians 4:12-14; 1 Peter 5:2.) I bring this up as necessary to understand the 34th chapter of Ezekiel. That chapter tells us what pastors or shepherds should be doing to minister to the flock, though many were not doing it in Israel. In the same way, many are not ministering to the flock as they should. Many so-called churches are far from providing these essential services to their flocks.

‘Thus says the Lord GOD to the shepherds… The weak you have not strengthened, nor have you healed those who were sick, nor bound up the broken, nor brought back what was driven away, nor sought what was lost; but with force and cruelty you have ruled them. So they were scattered because there was no shepherd; and they became food for all the beasts of the field when they were scattered. My sheep wandered through all the mountains, and on every high hill; yes, My flock was scattered over the whole face of the earth, and no one was seeking or searching for them.” (Ezekiel 34:2-6 NKJV)

Feeding the flocks, strengthening the weak, healing the sick (including those infected by any pandemic), binding up the broken (including those brought to worry and deep stress because of a pandemic), bringing back that driven away, and seeking the lost are done through personal ministry in churches or meetings where people gather. Weekly services can be digitally recorded and presented via streaming, but the ministry to the people is done in person. Seeking and searching for the flock is done in person! Search and rescue can only be done in person. People in an accident or a tragedy where their life hangs in the balance cannot be fully helped over the net. You may transmit some helpful information over the internet or via cell communications with them, but the life-saving help happens when the EMT arrives on the scene, or medical evac helicopter takes the injured away to the hospital where doctors and surgeons can work on them in person.

We know this, but it seems like in our digital age we have taken personal ministry for granted. If anything, the shutdown brought this back into focus for us. We began to see the necessity and preciousness of our right to assemble as churches and ministries. I don’t know about you, and I believe you may feel the same way, I yearn for the church we attend as a family to reopen. I miss the gathering of the saints, and I will never take it for granted again. I repent for sometimes taking the gathering together of the people of God for granted. As ministers and pastors, we should also realize what an honor and a privilege it is to minister to people personally, and we should NEVER minimize it again. Never!

Why should we never allow our churches to be shut down again? Let’s think about it. Following are things that you cannot do or obey from the Word by livestreaming over the internet:

Laying on of Hands for Healing

Jesus laid hands on the sick for healing, and He commanded His followers to do the same.

“They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” (Mark 16:18 NKJV)

Laying hands on the sick for healing was and is a part of ministry of the church. Jesus and the apostles did it, and so do many in our day. Laying on of hands cannot be done over the internet. I don’t care how many times you tell the viewers to lay their hand on the TV screen as you pray, it can never take the place of a physical hand being laid on a physical head or body.

And begged Him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter lies at the point of death. Come and lay Your hands on her, that she may be healed, and she will live.” (Mark 5:23 NKJV)

When the sun was setting, all those who had any that were sick with various diseases brought them to Him; and He laid His hands on every one of them and healed them. (Luke 4:40 NKJV)

And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. (Luke 13:13 NKJV)

And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s Porch. (Acts 5:12 NKJV)

Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul. (Acts 19:11 NKJV)

Laying hands on workers and during ordination to ministry in the church.

Here again, we cannot follow the Biblical pattern of laying hands to separate unto service or ordain ministers over streaming service! We are to lay hands during these occasions, and we are to do it publicly. We are to lay our physical hands on physical heads, not digital ones. (See Acts 6:6, 13:3; 1 Timothy 5:22, 2 Tim. 1:6 as examples.)

Laying hands on people to receive the Holy Spirit and tongues.

This has been the usual way (though not the only way) for people to be baptized in the Holy Spirit and speak with other tongues.

Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. However, when Simon saw that the [Holy] Spirit was imparted through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he brought money and offered it to them… Acts 8:17, 18 AMP

And Ananias (a disciple and not an apostle) went his way and entered the house; and laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you came, has sent me that you may receive your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 9:17 NKJV)

And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. (Acts 19:6 NKJV)

With teachings about purifying, the laying on of hands, the resurrection from the dead, and eternal judgment and punishment. [These are all matters of which you should have been fully aware long, long ago.] (Hebrews 6:2 AMP)

Laying on of hands was never a side issue but a principal doctrine of Jesus Christ. We are never to put this under a bushel but let the light shine as we lay hands on people for these different things. One more thing you cannot do virtually is to lay on of hands to impart a spiritual gift or bless the people. (2 Timothy 1:6)

What am I saying to you? For weeks during this ungodly shutdown in America, the devil has managed to be the thief he has always been. He robbed us of ministering to people in these ways. Let’s get back to business, and never allow the devil to shut us down again.

More reasons why we should never again allow our churches to be shut down:

How about anointing with oil?

How can you anoint someone with oil via the internet? You cannot do it. Again, it is anointing with physical oil on physical heads!

And you shall take the anointing oil, pour it on his head, and anoint him. Exodus 29:7

Yep, it is physical olive oil on physical heads! No virtual olive oil or digital heads are there!

It shall come to pass in that day That his burden will be taken away from your shoulder, And his yoke from your neck, And the yoke will be destroyed because of the anointing oil. (Isaiah 10:27 NKJV)

And they cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick, and healed them. (Mark 6:13 NKJV)

Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. (James 5:14, 15 NKJV)

None of that can be done via video conference or through streaming! I am speaking to Holy Spirit baptized, tongue-talking churches that have shut down because of either fear, being overly protective of the flock, or because of abusive local government shutting down our churches. Satan used this Coronavirus to shut down ministry to the people. Yes, there is a certain amount we can do today via technology, but it is not PERSONAL ministry, and we are missing out on results seen through the above work of the ministry and of believers in general.

How about getting together as a church?

Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. (Hebrews 10:25 NKJV)

29 Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, 30 by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness. (Acts 4:29, 30 NKJV)

42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers… 46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, 47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. (Acts 2:42, 46,47 NKJV)

The church was assembling to pray, hear the Word, fellowship, and break bread (the Lord’s Supper or Communion- See also 1 Corinthians 11:20-30) and it was all to be done as they gathered in a physical place. You cannot have a communion service at home over the internet and expect it to have the same effect as it does in person. The communion service was never designed to be done long distance, but up close and personal.

In this terrible shutdown, I am sad to say that the churches have neglected their duty of personally ministering to the people. Church, it is time to repent and get back to our spiritual business and do the Word without fear or falling for world’s intimidation. The church has shown itself to be very weak and with no power to stand up to government abuse.

I know there are churches in other parts of the world being severely persecuted, put in prison, and even martyred for their faith. They live under totalitarian and demonic governments that hate Christians and all they represent. That is not yet our experience in America, but it could go that route if we don't take a stand now. We need to reject all ideas of socialism and the control of government. We have to take a stand now on our constitutional rights as what we are, a constitutional republic. We have to vote for government that will uphold the Constitution without compromise so we can live in an America that protects our religious liberty.

Frankly, pandemics are going to happen again, the government will attempt to shut us down again, BUT we better not bow or we will get burned badly. The shutdown has demonstrated to our enemies and THE enemy that the church in America is weak, and can be pushed into disobedience and defiance of the Scripture. Put a little bit a pressure on them and they cave. 

The world and churches are being prepared by the enemy to receive a one-world government and one religious order under the antichrist. The spirit of antichrist and the man of lawlessness or sin is preparing the stage for his assault on the planet. The only thing that has stood in his way in the past was the church of the living God. (Revelation 13; 2 Thessalonians 2) The church in the West has shown that it will allow the boot of oppression to be placed on its neck, and needs to repent and get back on track in the Name of Jesus. Repent! We need to step it up and take a stand based on what Jesus said about the gates of hell (hades) not prevailing against the church. (Matthew 16:18) Instead of the being the overcoming church we showed ourselves as the overcome! That must change immediately and for good until the return of the Lord!

We saw all over the world the words of Jesus coming to pass.

You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives, and friends; and they will put some of you to death. And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. (Luke 21:16, 17 NKJV)

Some fellow ministers, pastors, and the saints have been betrayed by their brothers, friends, and even relatives in the Lord just like Judas betrayed Jesus.

Tampa Bay pastor Rodney Howard-Browne (RHB) was arrested a few weeks ago. He was charged because he refused to close the church doors and continued to hold services. He was one of the few in our country that took a stand. Hillsborough County authorities issued an arrest warrant against the pastor with misdemeanor charges of unlawful assembly and violation of a public health emergency order. To say I was disgusted by this is VERY mild. I felt like cursing the ground that Sheriff and the state Attorney walked on. I was not alone. Some did. Pastor RHB forgave them graciously, but that does not mean they will not be held accountable before the law for violating the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Others took the arrest warrant for misdemeanors too far and sent death threats to pastor RHB, the River Church, and its staff.

The Sheriff and state Attorney held a press conference to announce the charges. It was like living in the twilight zone in a parallel universe where evil and oppressive government reigned in America! I pinched myself and woke up to the reality that it is happening right here in the land of the brave and home of the free!

The same hypocritical and deceptive Sheriff that had RHB arrested released at least 164 convicts from prison. Hypocrisy is a mild description for this “public servant.” What was he thinking when he released criminals into the general population, but then arrested a man of God with a proven track record of blessing the community? That violates the public trust. Hopefully, that Sheriff will be permanently removed from office.

Amazingly, two pastors from “the First Church of the walking dead” (because they certainly couldn’t be from the church of the LIVING God) stood next to the Sheriff of Hillsborough County to make the public announcement of the warrant for the arrest of Rodney Howard Browne!

I would hate to be in those pastor’s shoes. IF they ever get the chance to stand before Jesus on that day (I say “IF” because I don’t know if they are born-again believers) they will have to do some serious explaining as to why they did such an evil thing. I wonder if the Lord will say to them, “Well done you good and faithful servant.” I do not think so. They may hear something else, and it will get very ugly quickly when the Lord says, “Depart from me you workers lawlessness!” Jesus would never agree to speaking evil and accusing falsely one of his own anointed ministers.

Frankly, those pastors who agreed with the accuser of the brethren (Satan) need to repent, and they should be quick about it.

The official announcement by the Hillsborough county government was a direct violation of the U. S. Constitution. They did this under the guise of a “public health emergency order.” Since when did the founding fathers of America add a provision to the Constitution that suspends our religious rights when it is a public health emergency! Where did our civil liberties go to in all this? They were thrown out the door and flushed down the toilet.

It reminded me of a silly old song. It's funny to hear it. Do you remember it?

On top of spaghetti all covered with cheese,
I lost my poor meatball when somebody sneezed.
It rolled off the table, and on to the floor,
and the last time I saw it, it rolled out the door.
It rolled to the garden and under a bush,
and the last time I saw it, it was nothing but mush.

Somebody sneezed and another coughed, the world went crazy and freaked out, and our civil rights according to the Constitution went to mush! Christian people’s rights were violated and trounced as they were brought under government control as though we were living in the former USSR, or modern-day communist China, North Korea, Venezuela, or Cuba!

Hillsborough County and other local government officials around the country have given priority to grocery and liquor stores, gas stations, convenience stores, but they have oppressed the church! Officials have threatened with arrest and closed gun shops, small businesses, and churches because they were violating orders to stay at home, and they refused the close their stores and public services. News have reported on this repeatedly.

Chicago’s mayor and police chief warned that people would be arrested if they ventured outside to exercise. Other local government ordered face masks in public or face arrest and fines. One woman was arrested in Ohio because she dared take her children to a public park. I fully understand the frustration. I have triplets at home and everything has been made more difficult without parks, beaches, and other public facilities being available. Can you imagine such a thing? Mandatory curfews, banning meetings of more than ten people, releasing 1700 inmates into the streets of Los Angeles (PURE and unmitigated madness), gun stores ordered to close (violating our Second Amendment rights), government offices refusing to issue concealed carry licenses, and the list goes on. Did you read or see the news report about a birthday party for a one-year-old being forcefully shut down by police for having more than ten people?

The list is massive of our civil liberties being violated all over the country!

We must take a stand against government officials in their insane and unconstitutional power grab and their ungodly demand that churches shut their doors! We must do it NOW!

Time is ticking.

Be mightily blessed with the podcast Repentance Part 7!

April 22, 2020  

The Misinterpretation that has Led Many Churches to Obey Government Instead of the Scriptures!

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“They have set up kings, but not by Me (the Lord): they have made princes, and I knew it not” (Hosea 8:4a NASB).

The idea that all government officials are always in authority because God put them there is contrary to what the Lord spoke to the prophet Hosea. Some leaders were put in power by people outside the will and plan of God, and not by His direction or authority. The prophet Hosea recorded what God said about it, something that literally goes against traditional interpretations of Romans 13.

Most commentators believe Romans 13 teaches that all government leaders and institutions are ordained of God, or else they would not be in authority because all authority is from God. I disagree with most commentators on this subject, but I did not reach my conclusions out of thin air. One must ignore many other Scriptures that oppose the idea that God authorizes all leaders. The truth is that God anoints some to lead, but that does not include ALL. The biggest mistake has been to isolate Romans 13 without looking at numerous other Scriptures that can lead to right interpretation on governmental authority.

Most Christian circles have accepted Paul’s teaching as a blanket statement about all government and officials. Paul carefully outlines the subject by including some necessary limitations.

Let’s read Paul’s statement objectively:

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except by Godʼs appointment, and the authorities that exist have been instituted by God. So the person who resists such authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will incur judgment. (Romans 13:1, 2 NET)

Notice the following statements in these verses, and let’s unravel it some:

1. Authority… by God’s appointment.
2. Authorities… instituted by God.
3. Resists such authority. (That is, those appointed and instituted by God.)
4. Resists the ordinance of God. (When God appoints and institutes an authority, to resist that kind of authority is to resist the ordinance of God!)

Paul was teaching about government officials that God puts into places of authority by His appointment. Read that the previous statement slowly and purposely to get it. I did not come up with that on my own. I believe that Lord gave me this truth from the phrases I excerpted from the verses, and the explanations given in parenthesis. I believe these clearly highlight the fact that Paul was referring to those leaders in government that were a force for good.

Paul was not referring to government alone as a separate entity from the ruler. He was not referring to evil individuals that sit in government offices that want to bend the rules and slant them for evil purposes. If a government official is a force for good, then God had something to do with their ordination or appointment. We should respect them and obey them. We should submit to that kind of authority. Paul is correcting and rebuking those that rebel against good authorities ordained and appointed by God.

Look at the verses that follow. Paul qualifies whom he was referring to.

For rulers are not a cause of fear for good behavior, but for evil. Do you want to have no fear of authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same; for it is a minister of God to you for good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid; for it does not bear the sword for nothing; for it is a minister of God, an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil (Romans 13:3, 4 NASB).

What kind of rulers were these? What was the criteria?

• Rulers that cause fear for those practicing evil behavior.
• Rulers that are ministers (servants) of God for doing what is good.
• Rulers that are ministers (servants) of God to bring wrathful vengeance by the sword on those that practice evil.

How could we have missed the qualifications Paul gives for government officials?

Paul’s lead-in to this entire subject of government officials ordained to praise the good and destroy evil was Romans 12:21, the last verse of the previous chapter. The chapter division between chapters twelve and thirteen was arbitrarily injected into Paul’s consecutive train of thought. This last verse (12:21) qualifies our subject matter in chapter thirteen.

Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good (Romans 12:21 NASB).

Paul was speaking about government officials that take a stand for good and overcome evil with it. Paul was not telling us to submit to evil rulers that want to impose their ungodly way of life on the people under their rule. He was telling us to obey and respect those God ordained into a position of government authority because they are doing what they are doing to reward the good and punish the evildoer.

That means that if some ruler, like Obama and his administration did (and state government officials), told us to make same-sex marriage themed cakes to honor the homosexual lifestyle, that we should do that? Absolutely not! Why? That governmental leader and his administration were in opposition to the Word of God. We do not obey that contrary to Scripture and carry out Satan’s wishes!

I’ll bring it home in a minute, because the church has disobeyed God and His Word in order to obey government. 

To maintain order in the land, certain speed limits are placed to control the speed of vehicles on different roads. Should we obey that? Yes, because they do not violate the Scripture but are put in place to protect the populace.

What about paying taxes? Who loves to pay taxes? Probably none of us. Should we do it? Yes, it does not violate Scripture, and we are told to do it by Jesus and Paul. (Matthew 22:17-21; Romans 13:7)

I am pointing out that there are many parts of law and order we must comply with, BUT there are some parts we should never obey because they violate the Word of God. (Acts 4:19, 5:21) We should be law-abiding citizens and honor leaders in government, but we must NEVER compromise the Scripture. (See 1 Peter 2:13-17.) Get that straight once and for all!

If the government forbids the preaching of the gospel, and orders us to shut our doors, should we obey? Absolutely not! If they commanded us to stop making altar calls, casting out demons, and praying for the sick, should we obey? What about if they tell us it is forbidden to have church services? Again, we must not obey IF we are believers and followers of Jesus! We have the great commission and the example of the Church in the book of Acts. That is our authority. Religious or governmental leaders do not have greater authority than the Scripture. We will do the Word regardless of their rules and regulations to the contrary. (See Matthew 16:15-19; Matthew 28:16-20; Acts chapters 2 through 5.)

The apostles were brought in and made to appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest. 28 “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,” he said. “Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.” 29 Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings! (Acts 5:27-29 NIV)

(Dan’s NOTE: This article was originally written and published in 2012 but has gone through a few corrections of grammar or sentence structure. It can still use work but here it is. The message has remained unchanged. It was published under the title, “Does God ordain all Human Government.” Was this prophetic? You judge it. How many churches disobeyed the Word by shutting their doors when ordered by local government to do so during the Coronavirus pandemic?)

Having the qualifications as presented by Paul

How many of our government officials in America can qualify based on Paul’s criteria above? There are not many. How many American government officials sit in opposition to God’s moral commandments and what He calls as good? How many have rejected God’s standards for marriage, sex, human life, child rearing, money, education, and business? How many oppose prayer, Bible teaching, and Christianity? How many are pushing to remove all mention of God and Jesus from the government, schools, monuments, and everywhere they can spread their evil influence?

What about people in government that are not a force for good but are evil rulers or governors? What about government officials placed by popular vote that support laws and agendas that favor evil in society? We desperately need them voted out and replaced by good government and godly people.

WOE TO those [judges] who issue unrighteous decrees, and to the magistrates who keep causing unjust and oppressive decisions to be recorded (Isaiah 10:1 Amplified Bible).

The prophet Isaiah pronounced a woe on judges because they opposed God and His commandments. Were they placed in a position of authority with God’s approval and blessing? Hosea teaches that this is not always the case. There are some kings and princes (including judges, governors, mayors, etc.) that God did not appoint or approve. They are usurpers of authority that God neither knew nor anointed for office.

Just because someone wins the presidency or becomes prime minister by popular vote does not mean that God set them into a place of authority. Just because someone wins a Senate seat or governorship (or some local government official) does not mean that God set him or her there. The same can be said for all government appointees everywhere. Again, my foundation for stating this is Hosea 8:4, but there is much more evidence in the Scripture.

A divided kingdom cannot stand

What happens when a kingdom is divided by enforcing some righteous laws, but it then establishes and promotes evil laws that clearly violate God's commandments? Do you know? What did Jesus say about this?

If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom will not be able to stand (Mark 3:24 NET).

What happens to a divided kingdom? It cannot stand and will eventually be judged. It will be given over to two opposing governments. Do you need an example?

As for peres- your kingdom is divided and given over to the Medes and Persians (Daniel 5:28 NET).

A divided kingdom that doesn't get its act together will eventually get split apart. There must be some form of agreement between the parties, because a divided kingdom will fall or be destroyed, and at times, it can be split into separate countries. World history gives us numerous examples.

Can two walk together unless they are agreed? (Amos 3:3 KJV)

I know that this is an appalling thought for our great nation of America. Right now, America is, basically, split down the middle between those that love God or His moral principles, and those that hate anything related to God. I trust that America comes to repentance and this nation turns back to God and the Lord Jesus.

Let me show you by another prophetic example what we are seeing, and what we could witness in the future in America unless there is drastic spiritual change and renewal.

I am not being pessimistic, and I am far from being a doomsday proponent. America can turn around, and I believe 2016 started bringing some godly changes into leadership and our government, though it is certainly not perfect. It never will be perfect until Jesus comes to rule and reign!

What if we fail to vote in leaders that care about Christianity and God’s idea of morality? What if things continue with bad leaders and evil judges? What could happen if America does not repent and come back to God? Here is the terrible truth:

In that you were seeing feet and toes a partly of wet clay and partly of iron, so this will be a divided kingdom. Some of the strength of iron will be in it, for you saw iron mixed with wet clay. In that the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, the latter stages of this kingdom will be partly strong and partly fragile. And in that you saw iron mixed with wet clay, so people will be mixed with one another without adhering to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay. In the days of those kings the God of heaven will raise up an everlasting kingdom that will not be destroyed and a kingdom that will not be left to another people. It will break in pieces and bring about the demise of all these kingdoms. But it will stand forever… (Daniel 2:41-44 NET)

I am using this for prophetic instruction. I understand the implications of this text for Babylon, Assyria, Medes-Persians, and ancient Rome with its historic division into the Eastern and Western Roman empires. I believe we can gain prophetic insight into how God sees things because He is always the same. He never changes.

Right now, our country is divided. It is partly strong because of righteousness, and partly fragile because of sin. Everybody can see it today. It is not something mysterious “revelation.” You don’t need prophetic insight to get it. America today is like iron and wet clay that can never mix. The people of God are in a mixed society of righteousness and sinfulness, and one cannot agree with the other (see 2 Corinthians 6:14-17). They are opposed to each other along strict lines of division, and if it continues that way, the nation cannot stand or endure in its present state.

I am praying (as many thousands of others are) that the country continues to lean towards righteousness and away from immorality, if not, our country will be in BIG trouble.

In the case of Daniel's vision, he begins to see the kingdom of God that cannot be destroyed because it is eternal. It is the only eternal kingdom. All others are temporary and will fail eventually. Babylon, Assyria, Medes-Persians, Greece, and Rome were all destroyed. God's kingdom breaks in pieces the other (ungodly) kingdoms and brings about their demise. That is why we must have a spiritual awakening in America.

Read this closely because I am approaching this prophetically.

God's people are praying and trusting God for revival, repentance, and godly change in the land. It’s happening slowly but surely from sea to shining sea. God's kingdom is a force in our nation that will bring about judgment. America gets with the program, coming to repentance, and serving the Lord, or it could be broken into pieces. It's unavoidable prophetically and scripturally.

I vote for America getting with the program, coming to repentance, serving the Lord. How about you? That is what I am praying for, and I trust that you are too!

Once again, let me remind you that God said:

“They have set up kings, but not by Me (the Lord): they have made princes, and I knew it not” (Hosea 8:4a NASB).

Without a question, we have seen that God only appoints good leaders. Men have elected corrupt leaders, and God had nothing to do with it. My statements are correct but too sweeping because it gets much more complicated than that on certain occasions. Sometimes God will do very unusual things to get a task done. He may use very unlikely people. You will see what I mean.

There have been many demon-inspired and evil rulers throughout history.

Take for example Caligula, Genghis Kahn, Henry VIII, Ivan IV (the Terrible), Maximilien Robespierre, Joseph Stalin, Hitler, Mao Zedong, Pol Pot (of Khmer Rouge infamy), etc. Did God ordain them to stand in their positions of authority? Did they have divine, God-given authority, or was their authority coming from demonic power?

To all these evil rulers we have to add the terrorist organizations that have taken over cities and countries, such as, Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL), Boko Haram (Islamic State’s West Africa Province), Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, and many others. Did God put those evil organizations in power and ordain them to kill, steal, and destroy (see John 10:10)? Of course not! Many, because they take Paul’s words in Romans 13:1-7 as a blanket statement, would not know how to answer my question.

Spiritual battles in the unseen realm

The book of Daniel chapter ten shows us a spiritual battle in the unseen realm. There were spiritual forces (the prince and kings of Persia) aligned against God’s angelic messenger that came to bring the answer to Daniel’s prayer. These demonic forces opposed the heavenly messenger for twenty-one days. Michael the archangel came to help the angelic messenger fight and open the way so he could reach Daniel. After the divine messenger had finished delivering his message, he was going to return to combat the spirit princes and kings of Persia, and then another demonic “prince” was coming, the wicked spirit, and prince of Greece.

There are authorities, powers, and wicked spirits in high places arrayed against God’s people and His plans on earth (Ephesians 6:12). These demon forces work to set up Satan’s kingdom on the earth. They stand behind the evil governments, rulers, and people on our planet.

Believers have authority in the Name of Jesus over the wiles of the devil as they submit to God (Mark 16:17, James 4:7). As the Lord leads, and by His power, we can exercise influence against these wicked spirits in high places (Ephesians 6:10-18). We do not have authority over every situation on the planet, or over other people, but as the Holy Spirit leads us in prayer, we can have a powerful impact over demonic activity. There are many things to say here about this, and I address it later in this article.

In the end, at the coming of the Lord Jesus to rule and reign upon the earth, the people of God win it all. NOBODY will resist His rule and reign for a thousand years! He will rule with a rod of iron, and He will be King of kings. It will not be a democracy, but all will serve and obey Him willingly for a thousand years. For the interim, there are demonic influences in the earth that stand behind certain people, governments, and rulers. Believe it because it is true whether we like it or not!

The ultimate “government official” that will have demonic power behind him will be what many have called the antichrist! Paul called him the man of lawlessness whose coming will be “in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish” (2 Thessalonians 2:3-10).

Deception, wickedness, false signs and wonders, with full Satanic backing, will earmark the government of the man of sin. It will be evil government to the maximum degree! We have the first fruits of this antichrist spirit already operating in many of the politicians governing the world today, and some are right here in America! As far as the world is concerned, the worst is yet to come for them!

Here is another point on this subject of rulers that complicates matters further.

Some rulers began with an anointing and ordination of God.

They started good and right but messed up their rule through rebellion and the practice of sin.

Some examples in Scripture are Kings Saul and Solomon.

Saul lost his anointing and rule over Israel when he disobeyed and rebelled against the Lord. He went so far as to persecute God’s next choice for king, the sheepherder David. Saul ended up following soothsayers, committed suicide, and did not repent.

Solomon was anointed to be king after his father David died. He was, possibly, the richest and wisest king to ever live. In old age, Solomon allowed foreign wives to turn away his heart from the Lord and to idolatry. He came to a sad end and evidently died in sin because there is no record of his repentance.

These leaders started right before the Lord, with a special anointing on their lives but ended up wrongly. (See Ezekiel 18:24, 26.) It’s not how you start your race that counts at the end of your life. How you finish at the end of your life is what counts before the Lord! (See Ezekiel 18:19-31.)

Why is “how you finish at the end of your life is what counts before the Lord” so hard for many to believe? Not only was this taught in Ezekiel 18:19-31, but Jesus taught this same truth in the Gospels. I am aware of how tragic that can be, especially if there was a family member or friend that left this life unrepentant. I have lost some former friends that departed this life after refusing repentance and some even denying Jesus. I’ve known some preachers like that. It is an extremely harsh and painful truth, but a very real one. It is inescapable. Read it from the lips of Jesus.

Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name? ’And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness (Matthew 7:21-23).

Do we know anybody in the ministry of Jesus that started out right with an anointing to heal the sick and cast out demons, and later abandoned the Lord and even was a traitor against Him? Yes, and his name was Judas Iscariot! Judas began with the commission given to the twelve disciples (later called apostles) to go in the authority and power of Jesus to do miraculous works. (Matthew 10:1-4)

Initially, Judas sat at the feet of Jesus and followed Him. Judas became a part of the “inner circle” of disciples and was a recipient of a glorious ministry. Judas was among the disciples that received a powerful anointing to go and represent Jesus. He went with supernatural power to heal every sickness and disease and cast out demons just as the other 11 did. Judas Iscariot was one of them, but he betrayed the Master, committed suicide, and died in his sin.

Judas Iscariot was a classic example of starting out in righteousness, but ending in lawlessness or unrighteousness, as we see in the words of the prophet Ezekiel (18:19-31) and the Lord Jesus (Matthew 7:21-23). Judas will be among those that use the excuse of past supernatural exploits they did for the Lord, but the Lord will reject them because when they died they were rejecting Him. They will be dismissed from His presence because they were practicing lawlessness up until the moment they died. That is the wrong way to be caught dead!

Another type of leader is the one called upon by people to lead them back to bondage.

That happens in the political realm as well as in the religious realm. We could give you many modern examples, but I am sure you can come up with some on your own.

They refused to obey, and they were not mindful of Your wonders that You did among them. But they hardened their necks, and in their rebellion, they appointed a leader to return to their bondage (Nehemiah 9:17 NKJV).

Government officials that God calls and ordains to serve in office:

Kings like David, Josiah, Hezekiah, and others were examples of anointed leaders in Israel. They were by no means perfect, but they were humble and would repent of their sin (as did David in the Bathsheba incident), and these (and some others) did their best to follow the Lord.

Oddballs in Bible history

Nebuchadnezzar found out that God would ordain people for leadership in government, sometimes to everybody’s surprise (Daniel 4:17). Sometimes, they were the most unlikely candidates. Judgment came to Nebuchadnezzar for refusing to do what God ordained. For seven years, he ran around like a wild goat, completely out of his mind. After he had repented for his pride and refusal to obey, he was restored to a sound mind and recognized the God of heaven and His rule over the realm of mankind.

There are certain occasions when the hammer of divine judgment falls because God has given His Word. His must fulfill His promises to His people, via one way or another. Sometimes, when God’s Word is on the line, severe punishments, great miracles, or adverse judgments happen when people refuse to comply. The Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar found out through a very harsh judgment!

Pharaoh found out in the book of Exodus that terror comes upon those who want to restrain God’s promised outcome! When God gives His Word, He will have His way, and nothing will be able to stop Him.

Cyrus received a special anointing from the Lord to help the people of Israel, and he did not even know God (Isaiah 45:1-5). Cyrus was an oddball! That goes against all conventional understanding of the anointing, but God can do as He pleases, if He does not violate His principles and laws.

God’s sovereignty

That last phrase is very controversial for those that believe God can do as He always pleases, and no matter what because He is sovereign, and nothing can withstand His will. I strongly disagree in the sense that God cannot violate His own Word!

God’s real power as a “sovereign” or ruler is not the usual definition of “sovereignty”! Let us settle this issue of sovereignty in our minds. To many the word sovereignty means that your will is immaterial because when it’s God will, it will be done no matter what. Let’s go to the Word to answer that VERY wrong assumption on God’s sovereignty.

God’s sovereign will is that not one human being perish and go to a devil’s hell (2 Peter 3:9, Matthew 25:41). How many have died and gone to hell because they refused to line up with God’s will? How many have perished because they refused God’s gift in His Son? (See John 3:16.) God wants to save all men (1 Timothy 2:4), but those that refuse to repent will perish! (Luke 13:3, 5)

Daily, people disobey God’s plan and will upon the earth. Many are disobedient and do not cooperate with the Lord. That means that God is not “sovereign” as people think. God is not controlling everything. If He was, then He would make everybody receive salvation right now and we would enter the millennial reign before nightfall.

Yet, some things are non-negotiable. God will have His “sovereign” way in some matters. Some things, like the coming of the Lord to rule and reign upon the earth will happen. Nothing will stop it. The book of Revelation declares many end-time events that will be unstoppable. That is “sovereignty,” but we must qualify this further.

God is not sovereign like the mythical gods of Rome or Greece that could do anything they wanted to do, even if it was immoral or evil. The heathen gods could commit adultery, fornication, murder, treachery, and lie, steal, covet, etc. Regardless of what these “gods” said, they could twist their words at will because they were sovereign and in control of all human actions and activities. People were like puppets on a string or chess pieces on a playing board.

Our God is not like that! Never believe that He is!

Firstly, our God gave us the right to choose between life and death, blessing and cursing (Deuteronomy 30:19, 20). We get to choose whom we will serve and obey (Joshua 24:14, 15). We get to choose between two masters. Either we will choose to serve, love, and be devoted to the Lord Jesus, or we will serve, love, and be devoted to mammon (Matthew 6:24). To believe or disobey the gospel means that we have a choice (Romans 10:9-16).

Secondly, Jehovah God cannot violate the Word that has come out of His mouth. He will never violate His moral commandments, judgments, or ordinances. If He did renege on His Word and did as He pleased in violation of it, then it would make Him a liar like men. The truth is this:

• God is not a man that He should tell a lie (Numbers 23:19).
• It is impossible for God to lie (Hebrews 6:18).
• Nothing can nullify the faithfulness of God (Romans 3:3).
• His Word of promise will never return to Him without accomplishing His desired result (Isaiah 55:10).
• Not one of His promises have ever failed (Joshua 23:14, 1Kings 8:56). That is why we can always trust Him!

God’s sovereignty cannot include the unscriptural idea that He can violate His Word or promises. He will not fulfill His plan by violating His principles. Get that straight!

Recap

Here is a summary of the five scenarios concerning rulers in Scripture.

1. Ungodly rulers put in place by people without God’s approval. (Hosea 8:4, Neh. 9:17)
2. Rulers that through murder, war, conquest, or by some other way usurped a seat of authority. Examples are Absalom, Tibni, Athaliah, man of lawlessness-sin-antichrist.
3. Godly rulers operating with God’s authority called and anointed to carry out His will and plan. Examples are David, Josiah, Hezekiah, and others.
4. Rulers that received the anointing to rule but messed it up through rebellion, sin, idolatry, etc. as did Saul, Solomon, and other kings of Judah and Israel.
5. People anointed to rule for a special task ordained by God even though they are not technically followers of God and did not even know Him. Nebuchadnezzar, Cyrus, Hiram (2 Chron. 2:3).

All these facts prove that Romans 13:1-7 has been grossly misinterpreted for centuries. We need to see rulers in government according to all the Scriptures on the subject and not attempt an isolated interpretation. 

I pray this teaching sets you free from the lies of the enemy! Not all government is good, and not all government agrees with the Scripture. We MUST obey God and take a stand against government WHEN (and only when) they want to impose something contrary to Scripture on us. At all other times, we should obey rulers. That is the bottom line to all this, but now you are armed Scripturally to take a stand.

Church it is time to repent! Let the Repentance Revolution Begin! Be blessed with the following podcast- Repentance Part 6!

April 14, 2020  

American Repentance Revolution

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It is time for an American Repentance Revolution!

Repentance is a prerequisite of the Christian life. Jesus commanded repentance from the churches in Revelation 2 and 3. Look at the verses.

Therefore, remember from what high state you have fallen and repent! Do the deeds you did at the first; if not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place—that is, if you do not repent (2:5) Therefore, repent! If not, I will come against you quickly and make war against those people with the sword of my mouth (2:16) I have given her time to repent, but she is not willing to repent of her sexual immorality. Look! I am throwing her onto a bed of violent illness, and those who commit adultery with her into terrible suffering, unless they repent of her deeds (2:21, 22) … Therefore, remember what you received and heard, and obey it, and repent. If you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will never know at what hour I will come against you (3:3) … All those I love, I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent! (3:19) (Revelation 2:5, 16, 21, 22, 3:3, 19 NET)

Jesus brought up repentance eight times when dealing with five of the seven churches! None of these churches were told to repent as a suggestion. Jesus demanded repentance! He has never changed! (Hebrews 13:8)

Paul clearly required Christians to repent of their sins. He taught that to the Church at Corinth.

I shed tears over those who keep sinning without repenting of their impurity, sexual immorality, and perversion. (2 Corinthians 12:21- The Passion Translation)

9 Now I rejoice, not because you were made sad, but because you were made sad to the point of repentance. For you were made sad as God intended, so that you were not harmed in any way by us. 10 For sadness as intended by God produces a repentance that leads to salvation, leaving no regret, but worldly sadness brings about death. (2 Cor. 7:9, 10 NET)

A true Christian will feel sad if they sin, ask God for forgiveness, and receive cleansing from unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

Repentance is a glorious gift from God. Peter stated in Acts 5:32, “to GIVE repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.” (See also 2 Timothy 2:25.) To GIVE repentance means God will always give it to you IF you want it. It should be highly valued and precious because it is God’s mighty gift. You can't know Jesus without repentance, and we would be on a sure course for hell without it!  

Sometimes people lose their opportunities to repent because they harden their hearts by continually refusing to repent. What happens to them? Those that harden themselves against the gift of repentance will be like Pharaoh that refused to repent and hardened himself (Exodus 8:15, 32), and then God obliged by removing the ability to repent. The Scripture records it when it says that God “hardened his (Pharaoh’s) heart” (Ex. 11:10). God agreed with Pharaoh’s hardening his own heart, and the time for repentance came to an end. A hard heart is a consistently unrepentant heart. It is a heart full of pride. Once a person insists on being unrepentant, the track is set for their destruction.

God gave Jezebel and her followers time to repent, but they refused. They hardened their hearts against the Lord. Finally, the time for repentance was over, they were cast into a bed of violent illness. They were turned over to their enemies for destruction. (Rev. 2:20-23 NET)

God will always give people a time to repent, but once that time is over, people are turned over to their enemies. The wicked city of Nineveh got 40 days to repent after the announcement of impending doom was delivered by the prophet Jonah. They did repent and the destruction planned for the city was cancelled!

Sodom and Gomorrah may have had the time to repent while Lot was living there. The Scripture says that Lot’s righteous soul was grieved by all the lawlessness and wickedness in those cities. (2 Peter 2:6-8 NET) He may have been warning them to repent of their wickedness, but they refused and even got worse. When the two angels came to get Lot and his family out of those wicked cities, the men of the city wanted to have sex with the angels! Finally, the chapter on those cities was closed, and fire and brimstone came down from the sky and destroyed both cities. (See Genesis 19:1-29.)

How much time does America have left?

America seems to be rushing at break-neck speed to that point in time where God finally says to a country, “Your time for repentance as a nation is over, and you will be turned over to your enemies for destruction.” How can we know that to be true? Is it in the Scripture? Let's remember what God spoke to Jeremiah about how He sees and judges a nation. 

7 There are times, …when I threaten to uproot, tear down, and destroy a nation or kingdom. 8 But if that nation I threatened stops doing wrong, I will cancel the destruction I intended to do to it. 9 And there are times when I promise to build up and establish a nation or kingdom. 10 But if that nation does what displeases me and does not obey me, then I will cancel the good I promised to do to it. 11 …The LORD says, ‘I am preparing to bring disaster on you! I am making plans to punish you. So, every one of you, stop the evil things you have been doing. Correct the way you have been living and do what is right.’ 12 But they just keep saying, ‘We do not care what you say! We will do whatever we want to do! We will continue to behave wickedly and stubbornly!’” (Jeremiah 18:7-12 NET)

Do you think God sees our nation differently? Are we an exception to all other nations because we are America? No, God is always righteous in His judgment. God deals with ALL nations as spoken to Jeremiah, and that includes our beloved America. We are not exempt from His goodness, but neither are we exempt from His judgement. It depends on our nation and its overall behavior. Righteous behavior gets good things from God. Practicing evil ways will eventually bring disaster. Could the above verses be any clearer? I don't think so. As my dear Puerto Rican dad Israel used to say, "¡Mas claro no canta un gallo!" That means, in my loose translation, a rooster doesn't give a clearer 'cockle-doodle-doo' in the morning! 

How much time does America have left until it enters that uproot, tear down, and destruction phase? I don't know, but we could be seeing the beginning of these stages right now. Many are praying for a reprieve and for mercy upon America. Yes Lord, have mercy on America! Give us a little more time! There are millions of believers in this nation, and their prayers can make a difference, but there are also millions of unbelievers reveling in their wicked ways. They flaunt their unrepentant hearts relentlessly, and they are a huge problem! They hate God, Christians, the Bible, and Bible-centered morality. Truthfully, and without sugarcoating it, it’s starting to smell (spiritually) more and more like smoke. As you know, usually where there is smoke, there is fire. I am speaking about judgement. A divided kingdom cannot stand, and America is divided more now than it has ever been. (Mark 3:24)

For now, I believe repentance is still abundant in America, but time for national repentance is running out. Don't kid yourself into thinking we have many years left for America to repent. We don't. My God, I hope we wake up as a nation and as the church! We are living in the time the possibility of great disaster for America, UNLESS a massive repentance revolution takes place. It must happen or America could be done as a nation. Let the repentance revolution begin! 

Folks, these are sobering and striking thoughts. I never had any personal desire to write them, but I feel like Jeremiah because they are not just my thoughts.

His word was in my heart like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, And I could not. (Jeremiah 20:9 NKJV)

I trust that this warning enters many hearts and stirs us up so much that we drop to our knees in prayer and repentance. Also, I pray that MANY come to repentance in America so this mess can be turned around before it's too late.

We should not be shocked at plagues coming upon the earth. Covid-19 is one of many that have already plagued the USA. Recently, the 2017-2018 flu season killed between 60 and 80 thousand in the USA alone! I wonder why the government didn’t freak out then and shut everything down. Frankly, this shutdown of EVERYTHING makes little sense except that something else is lurking in the shadows. In the USA, in 2009 almost 12 thousand died from H1N1 virus, and again, the federal and local governments didn’t shut down anything. What is going on here? Totalitarianism, authoritarianism, or just, flat-out communism? Is this a trial run for something much worse on the horizon of time? Could this be a precursor to the control and one-world government of the future antichrist? We, the church, by the power of the Holy Spirit are what is standing between the antichrist (man of sin or lawlessness) and his drive to establish a one world government that opposes God and all righteousness. (See 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12; Revelation 13:1-18.)

In America, because of our godly founding fathers, we have a Constitution and Bill of Rights that guarantees certain freedoms. We are not communist China, or some other country ruled by totalitarianism! Watch this shutdown VERY closely. We cannot not allow our rights and liberties to be suppressed and infringed! It’s time to reopen our churches! It’s time to reopen the economy! It's time to reopen our businesses! It’s time to resist on many levels local government’s oppressive measures that infringe on our rights. 

I remind you of the prophetic message of Jesus about our days.

And there will be signs in the sun and moon and stars; and upon the earth [there will be] distress (trouble and anguish) of nations in bewilderment and perplexity [without resources, left wanting, embarrassed, in doubt, not knowing which way to turn] at the roaring (the echo) of the tossing of the sea, men swooning away or expiring with fear and dread and apprehension and expectation of the things that are coming on the world; for the [very] powers of the heavens will be shaken and caused to totter. And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with great (transcendent and overwhelming) power and [all His kingly] glory (majesty and splendor). (Luke 21:25-28 Amplified Bible)

You can see this coming to pass all over the planet. Jesus was prophesying about the condition of the world without God, His protection, or His power and anointing. Followers of Jesus are to lift their heads because their redemption is drawing near! Jesus is coming!

In the last of the last days PLAGUES will come. Jesus said they would.

There will be great earthquakes, and famines and plagues in various places, and there will be terrifying sights and great signs from heaven. (Luke 21:11 NET)

There will be an increase until the coming of the Lord to rule and reign upon the earth, but I warn you. The world will get progressively worse, and it will be very easy to slide into their panic, especially if you feed on their fears. We need to resist fear and take a stand against the MSM attempt to strike fear and panic in the hearts of people.

Those that refuse the Lord Jesus will blaspheme God and REFUSE to REPENT of their wickedness. Some of that has already popped up its ugly head during the Covid-19 pandemic. What will happen in the future? It will get progressively worse for the unbelievers. The world without Christ that has no faith in God for protection will be without His help and without hope.

The rest of humanity, who had not been killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, so that they did not stop worshiping demons and idols made of gold, silver, bronze, stone, and wood—idols that cannot see or hear or walk about. Furthermore, they did not repent of their murders, of their magic spells, of their sexual immorality, or of their stealing. (Revelation 9:20, 21 NET)

People were scorched by the terrible heat, yet they blasphemed the name of God, who has ruling authority over these plagues, and they would not repent and give him glory… They blasphemed the God of heaven because of their sufferings and because of their sores, but nevertheless they still refused to repent of their deeds. (Revelation 16:9, 11 NET)

What are we to do in a plague?

When I close up the sky so that it doesn’t rain, or command locusts to devour the land’s vegetation, or send a plague among my people, if my people, who belong to me, humble themselves, pray, seek to please me, and repudiate their sinful practices, then I will respond from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:13, 14 NET)

That’s what we do or should do in a plague! We humble ourselves, pray, seek to please God, we repudiate sinful practices (turn away from wickedness, or repent from sinful practices). We receive help from Heaven, forgiveness of sin, and healing for our land, or should I say, healing for our neck of the woods. We have divine help and healing to keep us healthy and strong in the middle of any plague! Glory to God!

Why is repentance so important to God? God does not want anyone to perish or die and go to a devil’s hell. He desires that all be saved and come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9 NET)

“And you will perish, too, unless you repent of your sins and turn to God” (Luke 13:3, 5-New Living Translation).

Jesus taught repentance, turning away from devilish lifestyles, and serving and loving God. Yet, to hear some fools in Hollywood, among pop-singers, or even some politicians, they insist that Jesus taught “coexistence” with idolatrous and perverse religions and ideologies, and love and acceptance of people’s perverted lifestyles. No, He did not! He preached repentance! Jesus did not preach and teach us to accept murderous, adulterous, fornicating, lying, cheating, stealing, homosexual, transvestite, and lesbian lifestyles. No way!

He (Jesus) said, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the gospel!” (Mark 1:15 New English Translation)

That’s what He taught! To repent is not "acceptance" of evil or "coexistence" with devil-inspired lifestyles. Repentance means to turn away from your sins, change from the sinful way you think and act, stop your wrong ways, change your heart and lives by being against sin and for God, and even to turn to God from your sins. Those are all definitions given in other New Testament translations. The Amplified Bible tells us that to repent means to “change your inner self—your old way of thinking, regret past sins, live your life in a way that proves repentance; seek God’s purpose for your life, accept and follow Jesus the Messiah.”

Repent, and each one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. (Acts 2:38 NET)

Repentance is the door into God’s great gift of forgiveness of sins, the Holy Spirit, and even immersion (baptism) in the name of Jesus the anointed One. Repentance opens the spiritual door into an immersion of the Holy Spirit into Christ unavailable any other way. Physical baptism (immersion into water) is the outward symbol of that reality.

…Repent and turn to God, performing deeds consistent with repentance. (Acts 26:20 NET)

After we repent and turn to God, we are required to perform good deeds (works) that are consistent with our repentance. One can't repent, turn to God, and then go back to the world and loose living and think there will be no consequences. A Christian that refuses to repent and does not want to quit living an immoral lifestyle will be disqualified because they are not in the faith. (2 Corinthians 13:5) We study this in today’s podcast. Don’t miss it.

It is time for an American Repentance Revolution! A radical repentance revolution must shake the church! Be blessed! 

April 9, 2020  

A Warning from Jesus to Wake Up

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Jesus warned and commanded the churches in Revelation 2 and 3. He praised their strengths but held nothing back when telling them to wake up and repent.

“Wake up then, and strengthen what remains that was about to die, because I have not found your deeds complete in the sight of my God. Therefore, remember what you received and heard, and obey it, and repent. If you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will never know at what hour I will come against you” (Revelation 3:2-3 NET).

To wake up means that you get strength in the Lord, that you remember what you received and heard through His Word, you obey it or act on it, and REPENT if your actions are contrary to God and His Word. That is the Wake-Up call. Jesus warned us that if a church doesn’t wake up that He will come as a thief in the night. They won’t know what hit them. It won’t be pretty. I didn’t say that first, Jesus did!

America! It’s Time to Wake Up! Church! It’s Time to Wake Up!

“All those I love, I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest (zealous) and repent.” (Revelation 3:19 NET)

The reason Jesus rebuked and disciplined these churches (Christians) in Revelation chapters two and three was because some were practicing evil things. “All those I love” will get rebuked and disciplined when necessary. Do you mean to tell me that LOVE will rebuke and discipline at times? Jesus loved believers so much that He exposed their sins for all the world to see through rebuke, discipline, and by commanding them to repent.

Repentance was not a suggestion then, and it is not a suggestion now. Love includes discipline, rebuke, and repentance. Get that straight in your thinking. The message of “Jesus loves you” has been watered down so much that if Jesus rebuked or disciplined most folks, they would think it was verbal abuse and completely devoid of love.

Here is a message you will not hear often from pulpits in America:

“Jesus loves you so much that He will rebuke, discipline, and command you to repent?” (My very good paraphrase of Revelation 3:19.)

How much of that do you hear or read on social media or on church websites? How many times have you heard that from the pulpits of the land? If Jesus rebukes and disciplines all those He loves, what is happening with all those that have not heard a rebuke and have not been disciplined by Him through their loving pastors or other loving spiritual people? They are missing out on a very real aspect of the love of Jesus Christ for His church.

This message of repentance is extremely important in the love of Christ. Pastors, ministers, and preachers should love their flock by giving them warnings, and even rebuking them when necessary. Why should we be diligent to rebuke when necessary, to discipline, and lead people to repentance? Let me say it in the words of the apostle who wrote Hebrews (whom I believe was Paul):

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.” If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate (KJV and others translated “illegitimate” as “bastards”) and not sons. (Hebrews 12:5-8 New King James Version NKJV)

Isn’t that sweet that most modern translations soften the blow by translating “illegitimate” instead of using the harsher word “bastards”? The meaning is the same, but nobody takes kindly to being called a bastard! Illegitimate children were traditionally called bastards, and in the Hebrew language they were called “mamzer”. If somebody called you a mamzer, they were probably looking for a fight! It was an insult to be called a mamzer – bastard just like it is today. The use of bastards in our text was meant to shock the reader, and certainly not sugarcoat anything.

What did the verses above say? If we are not partakers of the Lord’s correction and discipline as children (chastening being the older English word), rebuke, and even scourging (serious spanking that starts in the spirit and only continues to be physical after people consistently refuse to repent), then we would be BASTARDS.

Many churches preach sweet stuff that’s like cotton candy fluff. It’s all puffy marshmallow Christianity. No preaching and teaching are done of the solid meat or food of the Word meant to produce growth. (See Hebrews 5:12-14 in the AMP.) Even the milk of the Word produces some growth, but those churches concentrate on mush that is not fit for spiritual or human consumption! (1 Peter 2:1, 2) If fluffy cotton candy was all you ate in the natural world, you would get very sick and eventually drop dead. Could you imagine what is happening spiritually in some churches that only preach cotton candy and marshmallow Christianity? They are developing bastard children, and not real sons and daughters received by the Father. Is that something I came up with, or did Paul teach that in his epistles? We saw it in Hebrews, but where else do we see that expressed? 

Do not be unequally bound together with unbelievers [do not make mismatched alliances with them, inconsistent with your faith]. For what partnership can righteousness have with lawlessness? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony can there be between Christ and Belial (Satan)? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said: “I WILL DWELL AMONG THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE. “So COME OUT FROM AMONG UNBELIEVERS AND BE SEPARATE,” says the Lord, “AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN; And I will graciously receive you and welcome you [with favor], And I will be a Father to you, And you will be My sons and daughters,” Says the Lord Almighty. (2 Corinthians 6:14-18 Amplified Bible- AMP)

That entire portion of Scripture speaks to what I am writing to you about. God is interested in developing believers into sons and daughters of God that will take a stand against being bound to an alliance with unbelievers, partnering with lawlessness, fellowshipping with darkness, and agreeing with Satan! He is actively looking for believers that reject unbelieving ways and all idols! God is looking for those that will live separated from the junk of the world and refuse to touch the unclean trash heap of the world, the flesh, and the devil!

Do not love the world [of sin that opposes God and His precepts], nor the things that are in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the lust and sensual craving of the flesh and the lust and longing of the eyes and the boastful pride of life [pretentious confidence in one’s resources or in the stability of earthly things]—these do not come from the Father, but are from the world. The world is passing away, and with it its lusts [the shameful pursuits and ungodly longings]; but the one who does the will of God and carries out His purposes lives forever. (1 John 2:15-17 AMP)

The Father is looking to receive graciously into power and anointing sons and daughters and not bastard children that want to do whatever the world does and whatever the devil wants, but that will only seek to do the will of the Father.

The above is why Hebrews goes on to teach that discipline, rebuke, and even some serious spanking are completely necessary for spiritual growth into sons and daughters of God that want to be used by Him to shake their world.

Moreover, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us, and we submitted and respected them [for training us]; shall we not much more willingly submit to the Father of spirits, and live [by learning from His discipline]? For our earthly fathers disciplined us for only a short time as seemed best to them; but He disciplines us for our good, so that we may share His holiness. For the time being no discipline brings joy, but seems sad and painful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness [right standing with God and a lifestyle and attitude that seeks conformity to God’s will and purpose]. (Hebrew 12:9-11 Amplified)

Others preach the Word concerning salvation, blessing, healing, deliverance, or some variation of it, without bringing correction and rebuke when necessary. That is not right and missing a very important part of ministry to the people. Part of ministering and preaching God’s word is discipline and rebuke (2 Timothy 4:2).

Some say they are preaching only “encouraging” or messages of “hope” to their congregations. Somebody said to me once to preach "heaven" to the people. Sorry to burst your bubble, but that is not enough. “Hope” preaching without this necessary element of discipline, spiritual spanking, warnings, and repentance is deficient and needs an “iron” supplement in the Spirit, because it is an anemic message. Jesus will rebuke and discipline you because He loves you, therefore, be zealous and repent! (Revelation 3:19) That is tough love, but it is necessary.

God help us learn that sometimes the love of Christ will demand rebuke, correction, spanking (that could get very physical when there is a refusal to repent), and heart-felt repentance that is demonstrated in real actions that are accord with repentance! (See Acts 26:20 AMP.)

What should be our response? Say it and believe it, “Jesus loves me, so I receive His rebuke and discipline.” The rejection of that makes a person a real dumb-dumb. I am being nice about it. Proverbs cuts through the chase.

Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof (1) is stupid. (Proverbs 12:1 NET)

Jesus loves me, this I know, so I love discipline and true knowledge because I do not want to be like those that hate reproof and get stuck on stupid! As my Puerto Rico born, but staunchly American dad used to say about right here in old KJV English, “How readest thou?”

Wait a minute. What is “knowledge” according to the Scripture? Is “knowledge” profound revelation, revelation knowledge, penetrating insight, or deep understanding? Though those may be a part of it, knowledge refers to knowing God AND serving Him. Those that have knowledge of God forsake idolatry, immorality, and all that violates God’s moral commandments. Read the first six chapters of Proverbs to see that clearly taught. The Hebrew language always understood “knowledge of God”, not as revelation or understanding alone, but as living for Him according to His Word-commandments. In other words, you know Him when you obey Him. Those that disobey Him and follow the world’s ways and practices don’t know Him, even though they call themselves Christians.

The Apostle John taught that truth.

Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked. (1 John 2:3-6 NKJV)

THAT should be clear enough!

In these podcasts, we focus on national repentance, but there are truths here applicable to our personal lives. National repentance will not happen without individual repentance.

Though the USA is seeing better days under Trump than under the perverted and ungodly-to-the-max Obama administration, there is a long way to go. Under Obama, we saw the exaltation of homosexuality (LGBT and all its demonic offspring like same-sex marriage), the continued and increasing murder of unborn children (abortion), the embracing of false religion (Islam), and the condemnation and demonization of Christianity and Christians. We see in America a great divide between believers and unbelievers, and a strong distinction appearing and solidifying between the world and its sinful ways and those that love God, His Word, and His son Jesus. This divided kingdom business is a recipe for disaster (Matthew 12:25), but one that that can be mitigated, and even turned around through individual repentance and a call to national repentance. (Remember what we saw in the previous articles and podcasts according to 2 Chronicles 7:13, 14, Jeremiah 18:7-12, and Nineveh in Jonah 3.) These are crucial to America’s survival, so our country can once again becomes ONE NATION UNDER GOD, and it begins to truly thrive. 

What are we up against?

The mainstream media has become a vehicle for heathenism. They have become proponents of all that is contrary to God and His Word. They target Christianity and Christians and attempt to make them look foolish and bigoted. Sadly, on many fronts they have succeeded in their endeavor to make Christianity looks like something to be despised and rejected. They are the main false prophets of our day just like Jeremiah faced in his day. Make no mistake about it, they are on their way to their own destruction. They are like the false prophets that Jeremiah prophesied about that would be dead before long. Their fake news outlets are falling apart even now. 

Social media sites have followed the MSM example and are doing everything they can do to stop the spread of Christian thought, morality, and teaching. They have wholeheartedly embraced demon-inspired people and activities that are morally reprehensible. They are in line with the false prophets. Additionally, there are the horrifyingly false prophetic voices coming from most Hollywood actors and actresses, acclaimed singers, and other foolish people in entertainment and sports that are trying to tell the world how to live according to their ungodliness. Well, if you want to go to a devil’s hell, then follow their advice and live according to their perverted ways. If you want to go to Heaven, then receive God’s gift in Jesus and live for the Lord EVERY day! (John 3:16) 

So, what do we do as Christians? Do we bow down to the world, the devil, and to his false prophets? Do we cower and surrender? NO way! We continue teaching, preaching, and ministering under the anointing of the Holy Spirit. People’s eternal destinies depend on our never giving up. We don’t quit, and we don’t compromise the Word. We don’t water down the gospel of repentance and forgiveness. We preach and declare uncompromisingly as Jesus did, “Repent and believe the gospel”, and “repent or perish!” That is the true wake-up call of Jesus to the churches today.

Wake up church! Wake up America!

Get more in Part 4 podcast about repentance. Be mightily and overwhelmingly blessed!

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NOTES:

(1) Brown, Driver, Briggs: correction, rebuke, chiding, chastisement, etc. See Strong’s H8433b for definition of this word “reproof.”

April 8, 2020  

Why Must We Repent? Why Does the Bible Command it?

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“I (Jesus) tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish." (Luke 13:3, 5 NKJV)

That should be clear enough! If anybody wants to avoid perishing, as in dying and going to a devil’s hell, then Jesus taught that repentance is, absolutely, necessary. Make no mistake about it!

What does it mean to repent? Here are the main points with Scripture references:

Repentance means you humble yourself, acknowledge your sin, confess it, and turn away from it. 1 Kings 8:47; Proverbs 28:13 (1John 1:7-11, 2:1-2); Isaiah 30:15; Acts 3:19, 8:22; 2 Corinthians 7:9-10; 2 Peter 3:9
Repentance means you turn to the Lord with your whole heart and are ready to be obedient to His Word and moral commandments. Nehemiah 1:9; Ezekiel 18:1-32, Malachi 3:7; Matthew 4:17
Repentance means you have turned from evil and have decided to be faithful and loyal to God and the Lord Jesus. Deuteronomy 4:30 (to return to the Lord is to repent- Acts 3:19; Jeremiah 3:11-25); Isaiah 5:7; Zechariah 1:3-6; Jeremiah 3:11-25, 4:1; 24:7; Revelation 2:5, 16, 21, 22, 3:3.
When you repent, it involves a change of heart and mind and a change in your behavior. Joel 2:12, 13; Matthew 3:8; Acts 26:20- In our day, after the sacrifice of Jesus for us, now we must confess His Lordship over us and believe that God raised Jesus from the dead for our justification. THEN, we must live for God to stay in that justification. If we sin, we must confess our sins so that the Blood shed for us cleanses us and we are forgiven for unrighteousness. (1 John 1:7-2:1) Also, check out these Scriptures from the New English Translation (NET) version: 1Peter 2:24; Romans 3:25, 26, 4:25, 10:9, 10, and many others.
Repentance is discerning the difference between good and evil and choosing what God calls good! Jeremiah 15:19; Ezekiel 18:1-32

The way some preach about Jesus, you would be led to believe that it is unnecessary for the believer to repent. Not only is that idea a massive error in Biblical interpretation, it is also a bold lie of the enemy. It is one of the greatest deceptions propagated in the world today.

Jesus, the Head of the Church, commanded Christian people to repent in Revelation chapters 2 and 3. It is so clear in the Bible that Christian people would need the devil’s ‘help’ to misunderstand it. When Jesus brought correction and rebuke to the churches in Revelation chapters two and three, we see Him call to repentance five of the seven churches! Christians are REQUIRED to repent if they sin.

“But I have this against you: You have departed from your first love! Therefore, remember from what high state you have fallen and repent! Do the deeds you did at the first; if not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place - that is, if you do not repent” (Revelation 2:4-5 NET).

Could Jesus hold something against a Christian? “I have this against you” does not sound like kiss and cuddle time. Many believe that Jesus is an eternal sweetie-pie-in-the-sky type Lord. Jesus is compassionate and kind beyond our wildest dreams, but He is tough and severe when the need arises. Remember Him turning over the tables of the moneychangers and chasing them out with a whip? Remember when He called some of the religious leaders of His day, brood of vipers, white-washed sepulchers (tombs, mausoleums) full of dead men’s bones, and that they were of their father the devil? That is tough and severe.

What did Jesus have against the Ephesians church? They left their first love! They were at a high place in Christ but had fallen. At first, they were full of zeal for the things of God, but now, they were cooling off. Their witness for the Lord was weak compared to how they were in Acts 19:1-20, and according to Paul's farewell speech in 20:17-35.

What was the first step to their restoration? They were to "remember" from where they had fallen. They were to not hide but to acknowledge their fallen state. Then they were to repent and change! [1]

The Ephesians needed to go back and do the first deeds or works they were doing. What were they? They needed to again:

• Lead people to the Lord and the Holy Spirit's empowerment.
• Teach and preach God's Word and showing the difference between good and evil.
• Start casting out demons and healing the sick.
• Separate themselves from the godless practices of those around them.
• Repent for growing lax in their relationship with the Lord.

“But I have a few things against you: You have some people there who follow the teaching of Balaam, who instructed Balak to put a stumbling block before the people of Israel so they would eat food sacrificed to idols and commit sexual immorality. In the same way, there are also some among you who follow the teaching of the Nicolaitans. Therefore, repent! If not, I will come against you quickly and make war against those people with the sword of my mouth” (Revelation 2:14-16 NET).

What did Jesus have against the church at Pergamum? They allowed people to teach and practice idolatry and sexual immorality. They were allowing the Nicolaitan's [2] teaching of "sin with impunity or no consequences."

Does the above sound familiar? If it doesn’t, then maybe you have been isolated in Antarctica or the North Pole, or some deserted island. Have you had your head stuck in the sand in the Sahara Desert? That could be the only way you have not heard about the so-called (hyper, pseudo, crazy, false) “grace” movement that espouses impunity from the consequences of sin without repentance or confession of sins. The men and women espousing these “grace” errors are in the same tradition of deception as the Nicolaitans. Don't be fooled by false grace preachers and teachers. The Lord is against all that continue down that path and commands them to repent or face war with the sword of the Lord's mouth!

“I know your deeds (works): your love, faith, service, and steadfast endurance. In fact, your more recent deeds are greater than your earlier ones. But I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, and by her teaching deceives my servants to commit sexual immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols. I have given her time to repent, but she is not willing to repent of her sexual immorality. Look! I am throwing her onto a bed of violent illness,[3] and those who commit adultery with her into terrible suffering, unless they repent of her deeds. Furthermore, I will strike her followers with a deadly disease, and then all the churches will know that I am the one who searches minds and hearts. I will repay each one of you what your deeds (works) deserve” (Revelation 2:19-23 NET).

How much preaching have you heard concerning these churches in Revelation 2 and 3? Today, few ministers read these verses publicly. We need these warnings and instructions even more now. Lawlessness has infiltrated numerous churches like a deadly virus. Revelation two and three almost reads like a modern snapshot of the ungodliness being yielded to in some churches. It was truly prophetic of all the strange and evil things happening worldwide in some churches.

Should we sound a warning to churches and ministers today? Should we be more vigilant today about the condition of our lives as ministers and the state of the flock the Lord has put in our charge? [4]

It's time for churches clean out the old yeast of sinful behaviors so that we may be a new batch of dough without yeast (1 Cor. 5:1-7). It is time to cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of body and spirit accomplishing holiness in the fear of the Lord (2 Cor. 7:1)! It is time to hate even the garment polluted by the flesh (Jude 1:23)!

Do you want to know about something that is the will of God for every Christian everywhere? Are you interested in something that is the will of God without doubt or question?

For this is Godʼs will: that you become holy, that you keep away from sexual immorality, that each of you know how to possess his own body in holiness and honor, not in lustful passion like the Gentiles who do not know God. In this matter no one should violate the rights of his brother or take advantage of him, because the Lord is the avenger in all these cases, as we also told you earlier and warned you solemnly. For God did not call us to impurity but in holiness. Consequently, the one who rejects this is not rejecting human authority but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you. (1 Thessalonians 4:3-8 NET)

Staying out of impurity and living a holy life is God’s will! God did not call us to practice the impurity of the heathens in their immoral and lustful lifestyles! God called us to holiness! Those rejecting this truth, know that you are not rejecting human authority but God’s divine authority and warning.

Church, it is time to repent!! America, it’s time to repent!

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NOTES:

[1] See also Proverbs 28:13, 13, 1John 1:8-10, Psalms 32:5.

[2] See NET Bible note on Revelation 2:6 concerning the Nicolaitans.

[3] Note that Jezebel and her followers would be thrown or given over to “violent illness.” When people continue in disobedience and doing evil against the Lord and His people, they will be turned over to their enemies, and sometimes that enemy is violent illness. You see this in Egypt with the ten plagues, and all over the book of Judges. In that book, Israel would follow the path of wickedness until finally it would anger God, and they would be turned over to their enemies for slavery and finally destruction. Those left, would suffer terribly under bondage until they would cry out to God and repent. Then God would send them a deliverer to bring them deliverance from their enemies. Then, they would live for the Lord for a short time in peace, UNTIL they would start to disobey and rebel against the Word of God. Then it would happen all over again. It happened repeatedly. In the New Testament, we have the vivid words from the mouth of Jesus in Rev. 2 and 3, but also from Paul in the case of the man that committed adultery and incest with his father’s wife in 1 Corinthians 5:1-10. In that man’s case, we are told that he was turned over to Satan for the destruction of his flesh (body). In 2 Corinthians 7 we see that repentance finally came from the man and the church, and the man was delivered and restored.

[4] See 2 Corinthians 13:5, 1 Cor. 11:28-33, 1 Pet. 5:2-5, Prov. 27:23, Ezekiel 34- the entire chapter.

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Hear more in the podcast below and then spread the Word of repentance and faith in this message. Make the message your own and deliver it to the church and America. Repentance and Jesus are the ONLY hope for America. THAT is all that matters. Take the message and run with it! I am groaning for people to be delivered, saved, healed, and made whole. America needs healing now! This is too important to keep hidden under a bushel. These pertinent truths need to be spread from sea to shining sea! Many lives depend on it.

 

April 6, 2020  

America’s Time to Repent and Pray is Now

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Many say, “All hands on deck” when they want everybody involved and responsive. For our purposes, I’ll say, “All EARS on deck!” Jesus said what follows as He finished preaching and teaching on the great parable of the sower.

“Pay attention to what you hear. By your own standard of measurement [that is, to the extent that you study spiritual truth and apply godly wisdom] it will be measured to you [and you will be given even greater ability to respond]—and more will be given to you besides.” (Mark 4:24 AMP)

If the disciples would pay close attention to what they heard, then God would show them more. That is my prayer for you right now. May you listen closely and may more be given to you from the Lord.

Following is a warning from God for ALL nations. It includes the United States of America. It was not a warning only for Israel and Jerusalem. Notice that it is God speaking, so, “ALL EARS ON DECK!”

7There are times, … when I (God) threaten to uproot, tear down, and destroy a nation or kingdom. 8 But if that nation I threatened stops doing wrong, I will cancel the destruction I intended to do to it. 9 And there are times when I promise to build up and establish a nation or kingdom. 10 But if that nation does what displeases me and does not obey me, then I will cancel the good I promised to do to it. 11 So now, … The LORD says, ‘I am preparing to bring disaster on you! I am making plans to punish you. So, every one of you, stop the evil things you have been doing. Correct the way you have been living and do what is right. 12 But they just keep saying, ‘We do not care what you say! We will do whatever we want to do! We will continue to behave wickedly and stubbornly! (Jeremiah 18:7-12 NET)

America’s founding fathers wanted to build a country that was “one nation under God.” America has swerved from that original intent. So many Americans no longer serve God, and many others have a deep hatred of anything Christian that upholds a Bible based morality. 

Many scorn God’s holy moral guidelines in Scripture that call for marriage to be between one biological male and one biological female, and the Biblical call for holiness in body and spirit. The false prophets on mainstream media, in Hollywood, sports, false teachers in schools and colleges, these have spread their poison of moral looseness and depravity. Many think fornications, having multiple sexual partners, adulterous relationships, homosexuality, violence, murder of the unborn (abortions), cursing and “cussing,” and much worse are just “who we are” as a society. No, it is what society has become because they heeded the false prophets and have refused to listen to God and His Word. (See Jeremiah 5:31, 14:14; Lamentations 2:14; Matthew 7:15, 24:11, 24; 2 Peter 2:1.)

We see the moral looseness (lawlessness) portrayed by self-righteous Hollywood in most of its movies. They are not, and never have been the moral compass for this nation. To the contrary, most of Hollywood is a cesspool of wickedness and rebellion towards God, but they are not alone. We see the depravity displayed during Spring break, carnivals, concerts, parties… and the list could go on for a very long time. It looks hopeless, but is it?

Is liberty tolerating such things, and is it a sign of progressive thinking? No, it is a sign of decay and, finally, death. The wages of sin are still death. (Romans 6:23) Real liberty is serving God according to His Word and living in a country (America) that has bestowed rights on each citizen according to its Constitution and Amendments. Don’t believe the lies of the revisionist left that denies the clear truth of the deeply religious nature and beliefs of the founding fathers of our country. Our Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Declaration of Independence came from the minds and hearts of, almost unanimously, committed believers. (1)

Where is America as a nation right now? Are we humbling ourselves, praying, and repudiating (repenting of) our evil ways as a nation, or are we stubbornly falling into the “I don’t care what God or the Bible says about it” attitude of lawlessness?

11b So, every one of you, stop the evil things you have been doing. Correct the way you have been living and do what is right. 12 But they just keep saying, "We do not care what you say! We will do whatever we want to do! We will continue to behave wickedly and stubbornly!" (Jeremiah 18:11b, 12 NET)

The last two sentences of what God said about it really speaks to America and many countries of the world. Many don’t care about what God says. They want to keep doing their wickedness with impunity. Many want to continue to behave wickedly and stubbornly, and they flaunt it all over TV, in movies, over the internet, and on social media!

Is it possible to change what is happening in America? Let’s see a Bible example of a nation that changed.

Nineveh was a wicked city, possibly, the most wicked city in its day. God threatened it with total annihilation. Jonah was sent to preach repentance to the city. Fortunately for them, they heeded the word of the Lord and repented in sackcloth and ashes.

4Jonah began to enter the city by going one day’s walk, announcing, “At the end of forty days, Nineveh will be overthrown! 5 The people of Nineveh believed in God, and they declared a fast and put on sackcloth, from the greatest to the least of them. 6 When the news reached the king of Nineveh, he got up from his throne, took off his royal robe, put on sackcloth, and sat on ashes. 7 He issued a proclamation and said, “In Nineveh, by the decree of the king and his nobles: No human or animal, cattle or sheep, is to taste anything; they must not eat and they must not drink water. 8 Every person and animal must put on sackcloth and must cry earnestly to God, and everyone must turn from their evil way of living and from the violence that they do. 9 Who knows? Perhaps God might be willing to change his mind and relent and turn from his fierce anger so that we might not die.” 10 When God saw THEIR actions—that they turned from their evil way of living.—God relented concerning the judgment he had threatened them with and did not destroy them. (Jonah 3:4-10 NET)

They put into practice exactly what the Lord God told Jeremiah! What happened? God cancelled the judgment he had threatened them with! Notice, that it came to head in Nineveh when the leader (king) of the nation PUBLICLY called for fasting, prayer, and turning away from wickedness and violence. God heard and saw from heaven their actions as they turned away from their evil living, and He stopped the destruction planned for them. (See also 2 Chronicles 7:13, 14.)

That is a Word for America!

On March 6, 1798, President Adams called for a national day of fasting and prayer for the country could "call to mind our numerous offenses against the most high God, confess them before Him with the sincerest penitence, implore his pardoning mercy, through the Great Mediator and Redeemer, for our past transgression, and that through the grace of His Holy Spirit, we may be disposed and enabled to yield a more suitable obedience. . ." (2)

It is time for governmental leaders, at the White House, in Congress and the House, and also from pulpits and the congregations, to call for national repentance, prayer, and fasting so that destruction can be stopped by the hand of Almighty God. Repentance started among the populace in Nineveh, but when the leader (king) stood up and called for national fasting, prayer, and repentance was when things were taken to another level. Then, and only then, God saw THEIR actions. It wasn’t the people alone, and it wasn’t the leader alone. The leader and the people repented, and God saw it and responded.

May our leaders declare it for America again. May our country come back to God and the Lord Jesus. May a national repentance revolution take place. Amen!

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Notes: 

(1) The leftist revisionists are attempting to rewrite history by denying the deeply religious nature of the founding fathers of our country. Don’t be deceived! See David Barton’s book, Original Intent, and study chapter 6, “The Religious Nature of the Founding Fathers”, chapter 17, “Religion and Morality: The Indispensable Support”, and chapter 18, Returning to Original Intent. The whole book is VERY informative, but I am emphasizing those three chapters for our present article. This book is available through Barton’s organization, wallbuilders.com. What is surprising are the powerful Christian quotes (with original source references) from the signers of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

(2) See references for this declaration and a copy of the original publication in a local newspaper at the time at https://wallbuilders.com/proclamation-humiliation-fasting-prayer-1798/

Hear more about this subject on the accompanying anointed podcast message. Be mightily and overwhelmingly blessed!

 

April 3, 2020  

Four Things that will change EVERYTHING for America Right Now

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Yours truly is by no means a doom and gloom preacher, but I do have some Scriptural truth for you right now that will change your perspective on what is going on spiritually. R U READY 4 This?

Though God did not send the Coronavirus (or any other virus for that matter), COVID-19 has come to America because of an immense open door to the enemy. Sin and the anti-God and anti-Bible stand of a large part of America have set the country up for plagues. Wait please and don’t turn this off. Read this closely and look at the verses below.

Any way you slice and dice it, COVID-19 is here because of darkness in the land. It is not here because of faith, repentance. and prayer, but it is here because of a lack of them! Only repentance, faith, and prayer will stop the encroachment of this unseen enemy in the land. Anti-malaria drugs and social distancing will help, but repentance opens the door for God to move and bring the destruction to a standstill. Not only that, repentance will bring healing to the land. This is a truth many ignore in Scripture, and yet it is all over the Bible in both Testaments. The majority in this country must again cry out to God, repent, and pray for restoration and healing to come. Am I just barking out some form of a doom and gloom message, or is this a clear message in Scripture that needs to be emphasized and taught right now all over America? Read the Scriptures below and you tell me if I am far off, or if this can’t get any clearer.

13 When I (God) close up the sky so that it doesn’t rain, or command locusts to devour the land’s vegetation, or send a plague among my people, 14 if my people, who belong to me, humble themselves, pray, seek to please me, and repudiate their sinful practices, then I will respond from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:13, 14 NET)

The way God sends a plague is by withdrawing His protection after He utters a judgment. That is another message, but God is not the One who directly "sends" sickness or disease. Trust me, I have a lot of Scripture references on that subject, but it is not one we want to study here. Satan is the author of sickness and disease, and the devil is always looking for those he can devour. (1 Peter 5:8) He can be resisted and overcome in the Name of Jesus by anyone that takes a stand against him. Where there exists an opportunity for him, he will take it and set up camp if he is allowed to do so. (Ephesians 4:27) Don’t let him do it! Don't put up with him for a second!

On a national level, things can get very bad when the majority in the nation seek after evil and not holiness before the Lord. At those times, your faith can still work for you and yours, but the land will eventually suffer very bad consequences.

Did you see that in the Scriptures I just quoted above?  Mostly you hear 2 Chronicles 7:14, but verse 13 is rarely quoted. What should people do when a plague comes? Should they curse God and their leaders? Should they continue in their God-hating activities of sin and darkness? Should they allow tyrannical local governments to shut down our churches? NO! They need to (1) humble themselves, (2) pray, (3) seek to please God, (4) repudiate their sinful practices, and THEN God will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and HEAL their land!

I think the clarity of this instruction is monumental at this time. It must be acted upon.

Church, it is time to repent! America, it’s time to repent! It is time to humble ourselves, pray, seek to please the Lord, repudiate any sinful practices so the Lord will respond from heaven, forgive our sins, and heal our land.

Hear more on this subject in the podcast and then spread the message. We must have a repentance revolution in America!

March 21, 2020  

What is YOUR response to Covid-19? Faith or Fear?

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(ARTICLE NOTES WERE CORRECTED)

I read it all over in the many e-mails I received from large retailers and small businesses all over the country. They are focused ONLY on the natural solutions to a pandemic: sanitize, wash your hands, and maintain social distancing. Most use the phrase “Our Response to the Coronavirus” or something to that effect. That is all good for the world, and there is something smart about washing your hands. It’s called common sense. I call it using the brain God gave you, but NEVER at expense of your faith in God and His Word.

Yes, wash your hands and your body. No need to stink. Keep your distance. OK, that is good. I am not denying it. Do your part. Stay out of crowds or groups of more than ten. Nothing wrong with that, but there is something VERY wrong when a believer yields to fear and panic.

The fear and panic around the world have become THE epidemic. It is greater than the disease! Many are drowning in fear, and if the world gets swallowed up by it, that should not surprise us. Jesus said they would as the time of our final Redemption draws near.

We have redemption NOW from the curse and sickness and disease, among MANY other things. (Galatians 3:13, Deuteronomy 28:14-68, Matthew 8:17, Isaiah 53:4, 5, 1 Peter 2:24). It is all thanks to Jesus and His awesome sacrifice for us! He paid the ultimate price for our redemption, but it will not be completed for the followers of Jesus until the resurrection and the world to come. That will be when He will reign on earth for one thousand years and in the new heavens and earth forever and ever. Have you ever read the back of the book? Revelation 20 and 21 is glorious! That is our future!

Here is what Jesus said about the times we live in now:

25 And there will be signs in the sun and moon and stars; and upon the earth [there will be] distress (trouble and anguish) of nations in bewilderment and perplexity [without resources, left wanting, embarrassed, in doubt, not knowing which way to turn] at the roaring (the echo) of the tossing of the sea, 26 Men swooning away or expiring with fear and dread and apprehension and expectation of the things that are coming on the world; for the [very] powers of the heavens will be shaken and caused to totter. 27 And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with great (transcendent and overwhelming) power and [all His kingly] glory (majesty and splendor). 28 Now when these things begin to occur, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption (deliverance) is drawing near. (Luke 21:25-28 Amplified)

Look at the above Scripture reference from the words of Jesus. He is describing the condition of humanity as it is today. There have been many signs in the sun, moon and stars we could talk about, things that only in our time could be known. Everything from the moon landings and exploration to solar flares, and things learned about the universe, galaxies, stars, and exoplanets are only possible today because of Hubble, Kepler, TESS, and many others in the last few decades. None of this was possible in other centuries. It has only started to happen in the latter part of the 20th century. It is the beginning of the fulfillment of this mighty prophetic word from the lips of Jesus.

Something was going to accompany all this discovery. The nations would be in distress, bewilderment, perplexity, without resources, left wanting, embarrassed, in doubt, not knowing which way to turn. Boy, if that doesn’t describe what we are seeing today just with the coronavirus pandemic. The world is going berserk! Their fear and faithless response are everywhere. They don’t know where to turn for help. They have emptied stores of its provisions. They have stockpiled food, and even toilet paper! Wow, what does that tell you about their state of mind? It is no higher than the toilet! They must be full of, well, you know. No need to get vulgar here, but it should be obvious. Satan has them toilet-minded!   

I heard Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne say last week that every one of America's gods have fallen. That is so true! They trusted in Hollywood, and it fell. They trusted in money, and chaos ensued. They trusted in their God-hating leaders and they are fallen. They trusted in their ability and it fell short. They trusted in their sports heroes and they shut down. That is where the world without God is, but that is NOT where we are supposed to be because we are the church of the LIVING GOD!

The world without God, His Word, or His protection is “swooning away or expiring with fear and dread and apprehension and expectation of the things that are coming on the world; for the [very] powers of the heavens will be shaken and caused to totter.”

It is not going to get better for the world. It will progressively get worse and worse. They are in a downward spiral that is out of control. As it gets worse for them, the Church should always remember what comes next.

And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with great (transcendent and overwhelming) power and [all His kingly] glory (majesty and splendor).

Jesus is coming and nobody and nothing can stop that event. That is the reason to tell people about the Great Redeemer and soon coming King Jesus. Every knee will bow to Him, and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord. (Philippians 2:9-10) It’s going to happen! The day is upon us.

In the meantime, what should we do? Should we wallow around in fear, sickness, and lack like the world? No, a thousand times, NO! It is our time to shine! It is our time to lead people out of darkness and into His marvelous light. Our time is NOW!

Where should we take a stand, especially when faced with a pandemic? Do you know where you need to hang your faith and trust? Do you know what Scripture to take a stand on every day?

First take a stand on our Redemption from the curse of sickness because Jesus became the curse for us (Galatians 3:13).

Then, take a stand on Psalms 91. It is the STANDARD we should be proclaiming boldly because God said it, and it is impossible for Him to lie (Titus 1:2; Numbers 23:19; Hebrews 6:18). The problem is NEVER God. The problem is getting people to trust Him unreservedly and without doubt according to His holy Word. Here it is.

Psalms 91- NET Bible with Full notes following the text

As for you, the one who lives[a] in the shelter of the Most High,[b]
and resides in the protective shadow[c] of the Sovereign One[d]—
2 I say this about the LORD, my shelter and my stronghold,
my God in whom I trust—
3 he will certainly rescue you from the snare of the hunter[e]
and from the destructive plague.
4 He will shelter you[f] with his wings;[g]
you will find safety under his wings.
His faithfulness is like a shield or a protective wall.[h]
5 You need not fear the terrors of the night,[i]
the arrow that flies by day,
6 the plague that stalks in the darkness,
or the disease that ravages at noon.[j]
7 Though a thousand may fall beside you,
and a multitude on your right side,
it[k] will not reach you.
8 Certainly you will see it with your very own eyes—
you will see the wicked paid back.[l]
9 For you have taken refuge in the LORD,
my shelter, the Most High.
10 No harm will overtake[m] you;
no illness[n] will come near your home.[o]
11 For he will order his angels[p]
to protect you in all you do.[q]
12 They will lift you up in their hands,
so you will not slip and fall on a stone.[r]
13 You will subdue[s] a lion and a snake;[t]
you will trample underfoot a young lion and a serpent.
14 The LORD says,[u]
“Because he is devoted to me, I will deliver him;
I will protect him[v] because he is loyal to me.[w]
15 When he calls out to me, I will answer him.
I will be with him when he is in trouble;
I will rescue him and bring him honor.
16 I will satisfy him with long life,[x]
and will let him see my salvation.”

NET Footnotes:
Psalm 91:1- In this psalm an individual (perhaps a priest) addresses one who has sought shelter in the Lord and assures him that God will protect him from danger (vv. 1-13). In vv. 14-16 God himself promises to keep his loyal follower safe.
a. Psalm 91:1 tn Heb “[O] one who lives.”
b. Psalm 91:1 sn The divine title “Most High” (עֶלְיוֹן ʿelyon) pictures God as the exalted ruler of the universe who vindicates the innocent and judges the wicked. See especially Pss 7:17; 9:2; 18:13; 21:7; 47:2.
c. Psalm 91:1 sn The Lord is compared here to a bird who protects its young under the shadow of its wings (see v. 4).
d. Psalm 91:1 sn The divine name used here is “Shaddai” (שַׁדַּי, shadday; see also Ps 68:14). Shaddai (or El Shaddai) is the Sovereign God of the world who grants life/blesses and kills/judges. In Genesis he blesses the patriarchs with fertility and promises numerous descendants. Outside Genesis he both blesses/protects and takes away life/happiness. (Dan’s NOTE: I disagree with this note from NET. John 10:10 and MANY other verses tells us it is the thief that steals, kills, and destroys. It’s the devil because God is not a thief or a murderer! So, sovereign should not be in the sense of “God is in control of all evil on the planet” because that is wrong thinking and believing, but He is sovereign in the sense of THE King or Ruler by right of creation. Much happens on this planet that is neither His will or way. There is much deception in the Church on this “sovereignty” issue.)
e. Psalm 91:3 tn The word refers specifically to a fowler (or hunter of birds).
f. Psalm 91:4 tn Heb “put a cover over you” (see Ps 5:11).
g. Psalm 91:4 tc The Hebrew text has the singular, but the plural should be read. The final י (yod) of the suffix, which indicates the plural, has dropped off by haplography (note the yod at the beginning of the next word).
h. Psalm 91:4 tn Traditionally the Hebrew term סֹחֵרָה (sokherah), which occurs only here in the OT, has been understood to refer to a buckler or small shield (see BDB 695 s.v.). But HALOT 750 s.v., on the basis of evidence from the cognate languages, proposes the meaning “wall.”
i. Psalm 91:5 tn This probably alludes to a sneak attack by enemies in the darkness of night (see Song 3:8).
j. Psalm 91:6 sn As in Deut 32:23-24, vv. 5-6 closely associate military attack and deadly disease. Perhaps the latter alludes to one of the effects of siege warfare on the population of an entrapped city, which was especially vulnerable to the outbreak of epidemics.
k. Psalm 91:7 tn Apparently the deadly disease mentioned in v. 6b is the understood subject here.
l. Psalm 91:8 tn Heb “retribution on the wicked.”
m. Psalm 91:10 tn Or “confront.”
n. Psalm 91:10 tn For this sense of the Hebrew term נגע see Ps 38:11.
o. Psalm 91:10 tn Heb “your tent.”
p. Psalm 91:11 tn Heb “for his angels he will command concerning you.”
q. Psalm 91:11 tn Heb “in all your ways.”
r. Psalm 91:12 tn Heb “so your foot will not strike a stone.”
s. Psalm 91:13 tn Heb “walk upon.”
t. Psalm 91:13 tn Or perhaps “cobra” (see Ps 58:4).
u. Psalm 91:14 tn The words “the Lord says” are supplied in the translation to clarify that the words which follow are the Lord’s oracle of assurance.
v. Psalm 91:14 tn Or “make him secure” (Heb “set him on high”).
w. Psalm 91:14 tn Heb “because he knows my name” (see Ps 9:10).
x. Psalm 91:16 tn Heb “length of days.”
_____________

Put Psalms 91 in your heart and MOUTH every day and whenever the enemy tempts you to believe or say something contrary to it. Make this your “go to” Scripture of protection and mighty deliverance. Get it in you and put it on your family and on yourself daily. Talk it. Share it. Be it. Trust in His protection and give Him thanks for His mighty angels surrounding your loved ones and yourself. Believe NO illness can hang around you. Believe it will not come near your house. Believe you and yours have LONG LIFE and see His salvation-deliverance. It makes no difference if you are 1 or 120, or anywhere inbetween. I say this especially to the older population over 65. The world says you are more vulnerable, but your trust is in God, and His Word is for you and to you regardless of your age. His healing power is yours if you'll believe and receive it even when a 1,000 may fall at your side or 10,000 (NKJV) at your right hand! Take a hold of these truths like a pit bull does a bone! Be determined and be faithful and loyal to the Lord. He will NEVER let you down! Rest here and cast down those lying and false imaginations that are contrary to these truths. (2 Cor. 10:4, 5) Psalms 91 is a mighty weapon! Watch what happens to your faith and trust in the Lord as you take your unmovable stand on these verses. It will soar to greater and greater heights in Jesus’ Name!

Be blessed! Be protected in Jesus’ Name!

March 20, 2020  

Out of Hell and Back Into the Land of the Living: The Story of our Great Redemption #35

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God has fulfilled this for us their children, in that He has raised up Jesus. As it is also written in the second Psalm: ‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.’ And that He raised Him from the dead, no more to return to corruption… (Acts 13:33, 34a NKJV)

The TODAY mentioned here by Paul in the quotation of Psalms 2:7 is VERY important because it places a timeframe for the “today” of Jesus when He answered the thief that was crucified next to Him. The TODAY had to do with when Jesus was raised from the dead. Not only that, but twice the fact is revealed here that the phrase “I have begotten you” was a direct reference to Jesus being raised from the dead and NOT to when He was born of Mary in Bethlehem.

What we are seeing is so extraordinary and powerful! Jesus spoke the Word from the cross and all the way into His stay for three days and nights in hell! The Word of God and the power of the Father got Him out, defeated hell, raised up out of that realm of death, and brought Him back into the land of the living. He then picked up His body from the tomb and raised it to immortality and came out of that tomb VICTORIOUS!

Let this WOW you! Listen to this podcast for much more on this mighty subject. Be blessed! 

____________________________  

If you have not done so, please listen to and study the previous podcasts to get a clearer understanding of this life-changing teaching. That way you get it in context. 

Download the free book that was the basis for most of this study, “The Story of our Great Redemption: Beyond Human Imagination!” That's the link to get the free 194-page book. I've published five different versions on this subject since 1977. The latest 2013 version in Spanish, Tres Días y Tres Noches en el Corazón de la Tierra” is 290 pages long. Obviously, the Lord taught me a few more things from His Word. That is the most complete version I have published. In its pages are many of the extra things I brought out in these podcasts that were not in previous versions. Get the free "Tres Días..." PDF here. Glory to God!

March 11, 2020  

What Jesus Said in Hell That Got Him Raised From Among The Dead: The Story of our Great Redemption #34

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YESHUA is of Yehovah! (Jonah 2:9b based on the Hebrew and NKJV) 

Jesus ended His stay in hades for our sins for three days and nights, and He spoke His deliverance as in Jonah 2. Our authority for stating that is based on the teaching of Jesus. 

For just as Jonah was in the belly of the huge fish for three days and three nights, so the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights. (Matthew 12:40 NET)

That final phrase of Jonah 2:9 was also the declaration of Jesus because the Father had forsaken Him on the cross and in hades. Do you remember that Jesus said on the cross, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken me"? Yet, in hades, Jesus declared that the Father was taking Him back into His presence. Talk about a faith that wouldn't let go of deliverance, even from midst of the hell of flame and torment! This podcast will either curl or straighten your hair in a hurry! It's powerful stuff. Again, we delve into the Hebrew and Greek behind these texts and show you how all this refers to the mighty sacrifice of Jesus. So, you are going to get important background info, mighty inspiration, and a Divine, Holy Spirit, discharge that will be a help and blessing to you. 

Be mightily and extraordinarily blessed! May you never be the same again!

____________________________ 

If you have not done so, please listen to and study the previous podcasts to get a clearer understanding of this life-changing teaching. That way you get it in context. 

Download the free book that was the basis for most of this study, “The Story of our Great Redemption: Beyond Human Imagination!” That's the link to get the free 194-page book. I've published five different versions on this subject since 1977. The latest 2013 version in Spanish, Tres Días y Tres Noches en el Corazón de la Tierra” is 290 pages long. Obviously, the Lord taught me a few more things from His Word. That is the most complete version I have published. In its pages are many of the extra things I brought out in these podcasts that were not in previous versions. Get the free "Tres Días..." PDF here. Glory to God!

February 26, 2020  

Prophetic Word About Jesus’ Sacrifice- Jonah 2 and Connection to Ephesians 4:8-9: The Story of Our Great Redemption #33

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This podcast will connect MANY things for you. Jesus, Peter, Paul, and Jonah agreed on this message clearly. If you still harbor any doubts about the sacrifice of Jesus in hell for us, this podcast is sure to blast them out and pulverize them forever! I kid you not! Doubts die here and true life from God is birthed in you through this mighty message today. Much of this I never shared before I recorded this podcast. It is fresh manna from Heaven sure to fire you up. 

Be mightily and overwhelmingly blessed!

____________________________ 

If you have not done so, please listen to and study the previous podcasts to get a clearer understanding of this life-changing teaching. That way you get it in context. 

Download the free book that was the basis for most of this study, “The Story of our Great Redemption: Beyond Human Imagination!” That's the link to get the free 194-page book. I've published five different versions on this subject since 1977. The latest 2013 version in Spanish, Tres Días y Tres Noches en el Corazón de la Tierra” is 290 pages long. Obviously, the Lord taught me a few more things from His Word. That is the most complete version I have published. In its pages are many of the extra things I brought out in these podcasts that were not in previous versions. Get the free "Tres Días..." PDF here. Glory to God!

February 15, 2020  

Jesus Prayed From Hades to be back in the presence of God- Jonah 2- The Story of Our Great Redemption #32

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Just like Jonah prayed to be delivered from the hell he was into, Jesus prayed for the Father to deliver Him from hades. As Jonah prayed to be delivered from the deepest pit, so Jesus prayed for deliverance from hell. Jonah chapter 2 continues to unfold this mighty truth that is getting ready to explode on the scene. 

For just as Jonah was in the belly of the huge fish for three days and three nights, so the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights. (Matthew 12:40 NET) 

That was the sign that Jesus gave to this evil generation, but unfortunately, few preachers preach about it. How will hear without a preacher? (Romans 10:14-17)

An evil and adulterous generation asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. (Matthew 12:39 NET)

That is the sign that must be preached to this evil and adulterous generation so they will repent and believe in Him that was raised from the dead, both spiritually and physically. 

Be extraordinarily blessed today! 

If you have not done so, please listen to and study the previous podcasts to get a clearer understanding of this life-changing teaching. That way you get it in context. 

Download the free book that was the basis for most of this study, “The Story of our Great Redemption: Beyond Human Imagination!” That's the link to get the free 194-page book. I've published five different versions on this subject since 1977. The latest 2013 version in Spanish, Tres Días y Tres Noches en el Corazón de la Tierra” is 290 pages long. Obviously, the Lord taught me a few more things from His Word. That is the most complete version I have published. In its pages are many of the extra things I brought out in these podcasts that were not in previous versions. Get the free "Tres Días..." PDF here. Glory to God!

February 10, 2020  

Powerfully Prophetic Jonah Chapter 2- The Story of Our Great Redemption #31

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I don't have the words to describe the magnificent prophetic utterance about the sacrifice of Jesus as found in Jonah 2. I will let it speak for itself. It is rich and glorious. Over the next few podcasts, including this one, you will see what I mean. As one preacher put it: "If this doesn't shake your tree, then nothing will because you are dead!" I trust these next few podcasts will shake you up for His glory! Be mightily and extraordinarily blessed!

If you have not done so, please study the previous podcasts to get a clearer understanding of this life-changing teaching. That way you get it in context. 

Download the free book that was the basis for most of this study, “The Story of our Great Redemption: Beyond Human Imagination!” That's the link to get the free 194-page book. I've published five different versions on this subject since 1977. The latest 2013 version in Spanish, Tres Días y Tres Noches en el Corazón de la Tierra” is 290 pages long. Obviously, the Lord taught me a few more things from His Word. That is the most complete version I have published. In its pages are many of the extra things I brought out in these podcasts that were not in previous versions. Get the free "Tres Días..." PDF here. Glory to God!

January 22, 2020  

The Messianic Jonah Chapter 2- The Story of Our Great Redemption #30

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Jesus prophesied and clarified that Jonah's experience in the belly of the great fish had similarities to what was going to happen to Him in the heart of the earth. 

For just as Jonah was in the belly of the huge fish for three days and three nights, so the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights. (Mastthew 12:40 NET)

The heart of the earth was none other than the center of the earth, the supposed location of hades. Jonah 2 tells us some things Jonah did in the belly of that great fish. Jonah was conscious, in torments, and he prayed for deliverance from the belly of the great fish. Note that the belly of the great fish was not the grave just like hades was not the grave. That alone should clear up all the foolishness some believe when they say that hades, like sheol (in Hebrew), only meant the grave. The belly of the great fish was no more the physical tomb for Jonah than the heart of the earth was for Jesus. 

Want more? Listen in and be blessed with this podcast.

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If you have not done so, please study the previous podcasts to get a clearer understanding of this life-changing teaching. That way you get it in context. 

Download the free book that was the basis for most of this study, “The Story of our Great Redemption: Beyond Human Imagination!” That's the link to get the free 194-page book. I've published five different versions on this subject since 1977. The latest 2013 version in Spanish, Tres Días y Tres Noches en el Corazón de la Tierra” is 290 pages long. Obviously, the Lord taught me a few more things from His Word. That is the most complete version I have published. In its pages are many of the extra things I brought out in these podcasts that were not in previous versions. Get the free "Tres Días..." PDF here. Glory to God!

January 15, 2020  

Messianic Psalms 18- Part 2- The Story of Our Great Redemption #29

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The more you hear and see in Psalms 18, the more you realize this Psalm could ONLY be speaking of Jesus in hades. It reveals how the Father got Jesus out of hades by a heavenly “special forces” rescue mission that shook eternity. The Father brought His Son out from among the place of the dead with all its demon hordes (hades). Psalms 18 is a revelation of the initial phase of the resurrection, the side where the power of God got Jesus out from the realm of the dead. We are talking about the spiritual resurrection that happened BEFORE the physical resurrection from the tomb. 

Study with us and don’t quit. It gets better and more powerful as we move next into Jonah 2. Glory to God! Listen to the podcast and be mightily blessed!

________________

If you have not done so, please study the previous podcasts to get a clearer understanding of this life-changing teaching. That way you get it in context. 

Download the free book that was the basis for most of this study, “The Story of our Great Redemption: Beyond Human Imagination!” That's the link to get the free 194-page book. I've published five different versions on this subject since 1977. The latest 2013 version in Spanish, Tres Días y Tres Noches en el Corazón de la Tierra” is 290 pages long. Obviously, the Lord taught me a few more things from His Word. That is the most complete version I have published. In its pages are many of the extra things I brought out in these podcasts that were not in previous versions. Get the free "Tres Días..." PDF here. Glory to God!

January 11, 2020  

Messianic Psalms 18- Part 1- The Story of Our Great Redemption #28

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Wow! Wait for it...

The magnificent Psalms 18, and what the Father did when He raised Jesus out of hades and from the tomb, will rock your world to its very foundations! As I have pointed out, Psalms 18 is looked at as a Psalm of deliverance of David that had nothing to do with Jesus. He spoke as a prophet often in the Psalms about the sacrifice of Jesus, both physical and spiritual. When you begin to connect the dots, you begin to see how pregnant the Psalms are with this revelation.

Jesus said this after His resurrection:

When I was with you before, I told you everything written about me by Moses and the prophets and in the Psalms must all come true. (Luke 24:44 NLT)

Have you seen lists that contain hundreds of places in the Hebrew Scripture that referred to Jesus? Do you think we have learned all the references and have no further need to learn more in the writings of Moses, the prophets, and the Psalms? It would be very high-minded or prideful to think we already know it all. Even if we could quote the whole Bible from memory, we do not know it all.

The apostle Paul stated that all we know now is partial and incomplete, and that in the world to come (Heaven) we will finally know just as God knows. (1 Corinthians 13:12 NLT) I think that for a very long time we will walk around Heaven and our mouths will be full of "ooh’s" and "ah’s". We will go from one revelation to another in awe! We will finally realize how little we knew, and how much we really misunderstood.

I certainly don't claim to know everything, or even a lot. The more I study, the more I must bow my head in humility and recognize how little I know. I have been graced by the Lord to learn some additional things about the sacrifice of Jesus, things that are truly revolutionary. I give Him all the glory for it. You are the real beneficiary of whatever He shows me. I get the privilege of writing and preaching about it for YOUR benefit.

Psalms 18 is one of those Psalms that is eye-popping and will grab your heart and imagination. The same will happen to you when we begin to study Jonah in relation to the sacrifice of Jesus. The podcast below is part one of a two-part presentation on Psalms 18. Get ready for it!

Be mightily blessed!
________________

If you have not done so, please study the previous podcasts to get a clearer understanding of this life-changing teaching. That way you get it in context. 

Download the free book that was the basis for most of this study, “The Story of our Great Redemption: Beyond Human Imagination!” That's the link to get the free 194-page book. I've published five different versions on this subject since 1977. The latest 2013 version in Spanish, Tres Días y Tres Noches en el Corazón de la Tierra” is 290 pages long. Obviously, the Lord taught me a few more things from His Word. That is the most complete version I have published. In its pages are many of the extra things I brought out in these podcasts that were not in previous versions. Get the free "Tres Días..." PDF here. Glory to God!

January 8, 2020  

Messianic Psalms 88- Part 2- The Story of Our Great Redemption #27 and a Mighty Testimony

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We finish our short study of the Messianic Psalms 88. Don't miss this powerful Word. Be blessed! 

NEW Testimony, and I mean this just happened!!!

This past Sunday afternoon I (Dan) seriously hurt my neck. (January 5, 2020) When I did, I heard the loud crack of a neck bone on the left side, about half-way down the neck. It was not a little crack like you get when a chiropractor manipulates your neck or when you crack your knuckles. It was a crack like I heard when I broke my foot in the mid 90's. It was scary loud, and I said to myself, "Oh no!" I knew it was VERY bad! Instantly an excruciating pain shot through my neck, head, and shoulder. It got so bad, that my neck became stiff and unmovable within minutes. I had never felt such horrible pain, and I have had some whoppers in my life. I put all kinds of goop on my neck and took a variety of pain relievers to ease the pain, but NOTHING worked. The side of my neck began to swell up, and I could barely touch it because of the pain. If I pressed my skin softly, the pain would shoot through my body like a hot knife.

I believe in healing and miracles. I believe that Jesus took our sickness and carried our diseases so we can be healed. (Matthew 8:17; 1 Peter 2:24) I am aware to some degree of what Jesus suffered for us. You have been reading about it for months now. Jesus is my Savior AND my Healer! He is my deliverer, and He is a miracle worker, the same yesterday, today, and forever! (Hebrews 13:8) I trust Him for my health and have for a long time.

The severity of the situation was so overwhelming, that I found myself gasping for deliverance. I prayed and asked the Lord, "What do I need to do about this?" I was willing to go to the emergency room if I needed it. I have no qualms about getting medical treatment if needed. I would rather get a miracle and a healing, but if my faith is not to the place of receiving, then I would rather get medical help and live another day to preach His Word. That is a whole lot better than refuse medical treatment and die early because I was presumptuous and prideful. Some people fail in faith because they are not in a place to receive. Jesus told the woman that had the issue of blood, "Your faith has healed you." (Mark 5:34) There are other examples where Jesus commended the faith of the individual and its place in receiving their miracle. Look at the blind man in Mark 10:52.

Well, mama didn't raise no fool in faith. It’s bad English, but I know that if my faith is weak, I need to get off my blessed assurance and get it built up! The only way to do that is to get the Word in you about healing and put that Word in your mouth. I have not always been perfect in my faith on the Covenant, and sometimes I have been stronger in faith than at other times. Do you know what I mean? As I said, I asked the Lord, "What do I need to do about this?" I humbled myself. If I had to, I would head to the emergency room. The Lord spoke to my heart, "You need to take a stand." I knew what that meant. It was fighting time. Sometimes you must fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on God's life, and make a good confession before witnesses. (1 Timothy 6:12) By the way, my wife and our triplets are witnesses of these events.

I prayed and asked the Lord for a healing and a miracle. Then, I believed that I received them at that moment based on the Word (Matthew 8:17 and 1 Peter 2:24), regardless of the excruciating pain I was feeling. Numerous times tears filled my eyes because of the pain. I looked unto Jesus through the pain and tears, the author and finisher of my faith. (Hebrews 12:2) I looked to the One that suffered in my place and received my healing when I prayed, though I could not yet see it or feel it. I was acting on Mark 11:23- 24. I took my stand and drew a line in the sand.

The devil began his attack. Anytime you take a stand of faith, mark it down that your faith will be tested. (James 1:2, 3) He came immediately to attempt to steal the Word I had chosen to stand on for my healing and miracle. (Mathew 13:19, Mark 4:15) The fiery darts were coming in a barrage one after the other. Only the shield of faith was going to quench them. (Ephesians 6:16)

“You will never preach again! You will never be a father to your triplet boys! You will fail miserably and have to go to the hospital! They will have to operate on your fractured neck, and it will never be the same. Your wife will also have to quit her work to take care of you, and none of your plans will come to pass! You will get fat and out of shape because you will never be able to exercise again! You will be crippled for life. Your life is over” … and on and on it went getting more and more oppressive and negative the longer it went on.

What do you do in the middle of a fight? Do you give up and quit? You had better not do that or it will be all over. Immediately, I went to work on the devil.

“Devil! You are a liar! Get out of here in Jesus’ Name. Jesus took my sicknesses and carried my diseases, and by His stripes I was healed. I believed I received my healing and my miracle when I prayed. I have my healing now in Jesus’ Name. I have my miracle now in Jesus’ Name.”

I got so loud and obnoxious against the devil that they may have heard me down the street!

I continued:

“Thank you, Lord, for my miracle. Thank you, Lord, for my healing! I am healed because YOU said I was healed through what you did. I have it now. I have life and that more abundantly (John 10:10), the life of Jesus is made manifest in my mortal flesh (2 Corinthians 4:10, 11), and the Lord satisfies me with a long and strong life (Psalms 91:16). I refuse to be weak or sick. The Lord is the strength of my life (Psalms 27:1), and I say that I am strong in the Lord right now. (Joel 3:10, Ephesians 6:10) I speak to you neck and I command you to be healed in the Name of Jesus. You have a miracle. Pain, I command you to be removed from my body in the Name of Jesus!" (Mark 11:23)

I got strong and I got loud at times. The Lord was helping me. I knew it even though there was no change in my body, and it felt like it was getting worse. Sunday night I barely slept, if any at all. The pain continued to increase and by the morning I was desperate. One thing I have learned is to never let your enemy see you sweat. I refused to quit, and I refused to give in. I again reinforced my faith and took my stand against all the negative trash the devil was bombarding my mind with.

Monday morning, I said to myself: “Healed people don’t stay in bed and writhe in pain. Regardless of what I feel, I am going to act on healing. I am going to act in faith. I am stepping out and doing something to act on the Word that I have believed.”

Dear brethren (including the sisters), I did this as an act of faith, but I did this in defiance to the devil’s lies and the horrible symptoms in my body. Logic screamed to run to the emergency room, but I already knew from the Lord I had to take a stand. I was in such severe pain I could hardly get into my pick-up truck, and could barely see my back and side mirrors. You may think it was reckless of me, but I had a witness from the Lord a take a step beyond all reason. I decided to go to a storage unit I had with about 40+ heavy boxes (40-50 lbs. each) and piled them into the back of the truck in the middle of throbbing and excruciating pain. By the time I got back home, I could hardly focus my eyes, but I acted again and took all the boxes out of the truck. Yeow!

I am telling my part in receiving a miracle. Miracles always require an act. To get money from a fish’s mouth, Peter had to go fishing. To get the axe head that flew off the handle and fell into a river, the prophet threw a branch in the water and the axe head floated to the top! To split the Red Sea Moses had to stand and raise His staff until all the children of Israel crossed over on dry land. When the Egyptian army attempted to cross after them through the Red Sea, Moses lowered his hands and the water destroyed the army. When they needed water in the middle of a drought the prophet instructed the people to dig their diches and water would fill them. When they ran out of wine at the wedding feast of Cana, Jesus commanded them to fill water pots to the brim and serve it to the guests, the water was miraculously turned into the best wine! With 5 loaves and 2 fishes Jesus fed thousands after He prayed and commanded them to be given to the people. The loaves and fishes multiplied, everybody was fed to the full, and there were leftovers! You get the picture. A miracle requires an action led by the Holy Spirt. Glory to God! I received what I had to do to activate my miracle, and I went for it with everything I had in me. The woman with the issue of blood came through the crowd of people because she said, “If I touch the hem of His garment, I will be made whole.” She did it in her weakened state, and when she touched the Master, healing power flowed out of Him (and she didn’t even ask for permission) and healed her. She got it on her own faith in Jesus! Wow! Remember that faith without actions by itself is stone cold dead and it will never work. It is only the faith that is acted upon that will come to pass. Often it is a combination of saying and doing as the woman with the issue of blood. She said and she did, power flowed, and it happened! (See James 2:19-26 in the Amplified or some other translations besides the KJV.)

Here’s the clincher. After I acted on my faith in obedience to what I believed I received from the Lord to do, I got desperately worse. By nightfall, I again reaffirmed my faith often that I have my healing and I have my miracle in Jesus’ Name. Again, I barely slept. The excruciating pain kept me up most of the night. I was lying down, face up, as my mouth and heart continued thanking the Lord for my healing and my miracle. At four thirty A. M., one of the triplets woke up and asked for water. My wife got up and took care of it, and again I reaffirmed my faith. Through the blinding pain and as tears poured down my face, I said, “Lord you are my healer. Lord you are the miracle worker. I have my healing and I have my miracle.” Then the Lord said so softly and lovingly in my heart, “Son rest now. I've got this.” I rested as He said. I believed what He said to my heart. He had this.

Oh, the joy that flooded my soul! I woke up out of deep sleep at 6 am Tuesday morning. I slowly raised my head off the pillow with the assistance of my arms, and then it hit me! The pain and the swelling were totally and completely gone! The miracle and the healing came to pass! Between the time I laid my head down just after 4:30 A. M. and 6 A. M. it happened!!!! I checked myself and was amazed at the work of the Lord in my body! Oh, and then I began to cry like a baby out of a deep place in my heart of gratitude and thanksgiving! I overflowed with joy and gratitude! I am so grateful to the Lord for His mighty healing and miracle in my life!

I immediately informed my wife and we both cried for joy. It was so sweet to know that my Savior and Healer lives and that He is still the miracle worker today! I bragged on what Jesus did for me to my triplet boys and they were also overwhelmed with God’s goodness! What a miracle! So wonderful and true!                

What a Miracle!

So wonderful and true

He saved my life

And He brought me through

 

So kind and good

The Miracle worker is He

I received from Him as I should

The Healer for all to see

 

If you suffer in pain now

Why do you fret?

We have a Healer God

So, don’t you sweat!

 

For your miracle today

Take your stand and pray

Lay hold by faith in Jesus’ Name

And you will never be the same

I trust you receive this testimony and this Word today. I am no poet, but this poem came up out of my spirit as I finished writing. It’s is from the Lord for you. Even if my delivery is not perfect, get the message!

I pray for you now in Jesus’s Name that you receive a mighty miracle and healing from God! May your life reflect God’s mercies and goodness! May you be a living testimony in Jesus’ Name!

One more thing I must tell you. The Lord let me know that this was a huge breakthrough for my family and me. Things I had been believing God for a long time just broke through. I was suddenly placed in a wide place, an open space through a great and big open door. It was a closed door in the spirit world that just got kicked open widely! 

I pray your healing and miracle become the same for you. May you have a magnificent breakthrough and may you be ushered through a wide open door in Jesus' Name!

Be greatly, gloriously, and mightily blessed!