A Modern Woman's Perspective On The Kingdom of God on Earth

July 13, 2020

The Lord Is My Banner

     I'm in a contemplative mood today. And as insignificant as it may seem, I have been struggling over whether to change the name of this blog. Salvation and Survival certainly had a specific meaning when I wrote my first post on December 5, 2011. I began writing to encourage women who were fearful; to inspire them to walk in their identity in Christ; to strengthen their faith in times of dread and panic. At that time, I was focused on the confusion and calamity I saw occurring in my beloved home country, the United States, and around the world.
     We were still striving to recover from the fallout of the financial crash in 2008, along with civil unrest caused by the Occupy Wall Street movement. Our economic fortunes took another turn for the worse as the U.S. credit rating was downgraded for the first time, and unemployment soared. The world experienced the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the Arab Spring, and increased terror attacks, including the killing of 77 at a youth leadership camp in Oslo, Norway.
      I knew from my conversations with friends and family that women were feeling that their security was in jeopardy. I wanted to share ways in which they could begin preparing for "hard times", while ultimately pointing them to Jesus. I wanted to show them that their security was in Jesus and their salvation was a stalwart  anchor in the midst of the coming storm. I wanted them to know that both Salvation and Survival were possible as we watched our world careening out of our control.
     There have been times throughout the last nine years that I wasn't sure I had anything more to say, and I would ask the Lord if it was time to quit writing this blog. But you know what? This blog has never been about me expressing what I had to say; it's always been about what God wanted to say through me. And He has a lot to say that He wants imparted to those with "ears to hear". So, I keep writing. After all, it was in 2008 that a man I met [only once] made a profound impact on my life. He told me that he had a word from the Lord for me ... Be the pen, not the blank piece of paper. And I know part of my assignment in this world is to write for my Lord.
     But wanting to do it to the best of my abilities, I now find myself questioning if the title of this blog reflects the growth of my assignment. I know it sounds like a mundane consideration, but I never want to misrepresent the Lord. I have completed my task of alerting people to think about food storage, and sustainable living, and self-protection --which fulfilled the Survival purpose of this blog. And the Lord showed me that while my Salvation message should always be a priority, He wanted me to expand it to point to the Gospel of the Kingdom, which was Jesus's priority (Luke 4:43 and Matthew 24:14). Shouldn't my blog title reflect this enlargement of my assignment?
     After doing some initial research and discovering that changing the url of this site could mean that all the previous posts could be lost and anyone looking for me under the original name might not be re-directed or able to locate the new site, I felt I would just have to live with what I felt was an obscure and ambiguous title. That is, until I expressed my concern to my insightful husband.
     Mark said, first of all, it wasn't worth losing all that I've written over the last nine years, but more importantly, he felt Salvation and Survival was still applicable to the new territory we are plowing. In fact, what we face in the world today makes 2011 look like a walk in the park! A weaponized virus is affecting the entire world and has transformed this nation into something I hardly recognize. Fear is more rampant than I've seen it since 2001. The Enemy has blinded people with deception and lies, and just as Jesus said, "Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold" (Matthew 24:12). Notice that He said most, not many!
     And I'd like to address another point ... there are days when I'm writing what the Holy Spirit has put on my heart, that my soul worries my message is too often negative. By that I mean that like many of my fellow Christians, I am not expecting a worldwide revival. Instead, I see the remnant stepping into position to be able to speak into Believers who will lose heart (and even their faith!) when the AntiChrist unleashes his plans upon the unsuspecting. I try to infuse my posts with the encouragement to persevere and endure as we abide in Christ. That is what He is telling me, and it is what the Word says will happen! I identify with a good friend of mine, whose spirit hears clearly and undeniably from the Lord, that we know how the prophet Jeremiah felt. I don't want to be delivering gloom and doom, but I also cannot dismiss or misrepresent the Lord's exhortation. I write, not in defeatism, but to embolden you to walk in the power and love of Christ!
     So, Mark has helped to show me that the banner for this blog is still appropriately called Salvation and Survival -- Salvation is the entry point into the Kingdom according to John 3:5, and we will need to rely on our Kingdom citizenship; our power; and our authority for Survival during this time and the coming persecution. In fact, entering into the Kingdom of God is the only way we will survive.
     God never changes and neither has His purpose for this blog. We are in a battle, Christians! And the Lord is our banner! In ancient times, a banner was not a flag, as we consider it today, but was often a pole with a bright, shining ornament or standard on it that the warriors could focus on. We are to be valiant warriors and put on the full armor of God and serve on the battlefront! The Enemy is bringing the battle to us, whether we want it or not! But under the Lord's banner, our victory is assured. And I must tell you, that apart from it, defeat will be a certainty.
     This may be a new position for some of you, if not most of you. But, you need to understand that we are all in a new position. We are not going back to our comfortable, safe lives. Is it scary to find yourself being moved into a new position? You bet it is!  But you have two choices. You can either retreat into the false cocoon of your safe system (whether it be your national identity, your church, your family, or the recesses of your mind) and fail to get on the battlefield; OR you can accept your place in God's army, under the protection of His banner, and get in the fight to defeat Satan's kingdom of darkness and re-establish God's Kingdom on earth. Do not be afraid! Focus on His banner and we will be victorious!

Psalm 20:5-6     We will sing joyously over your victory, and in the name of our God we will set up our banners. May the Lord fulfill all your petitions.  Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed; He will answer him from His holy heaven with the saving strength of His right hand.

July 9, 2020

Covid and the The Court In Heaven

     Have you considered that we have access to the Courts of Heaven, and can ask for a judgment against this Corona virus that has this nation in bondage to spirits of Fear and Constraint? Perhaps the first question I should ask is Did you know the Courts of Heaven even exist?  Perhaps I should address that first... I would venture to guess that a majority of modern Christians would answer "No" to that question.  Yet the Jews returning to Jerusalem from their Babylonian exile knew well the teachings of the prophet Zechariah, among which was this idea of a Heavenly Court.
     In Zechariah, Chapter 3, the prophet receives a vision from a guiding angel of the High Priest, Joshua, standing before God, and Satan stands to his right, as his accuser.  The High Priest Joshua represents disobedient and sinful Israel, who has been brought to the Court of Heaven to receive what Satan thinks will be justified punishment for their sins.  (Remember: He is known as the Accuser). But that isn't what happens!  God rebukes Satan and replaces Joshua's filthy rags with the clean white robes of forgiveness.
     Then it gets even more exciting!  God counsels Joshua, telling him that if he will be faithful and walk in the ways of the Lord, he will be given greater authority to govern God's house and have charge of His earthly courts; and most importantly, Joshua will have free access to the Court in Heaven and to God's presence.  I want you to read that last comment again ... Joshua was promised privileged access into the presence of God. This isn’t a surprising promise for a High Priest, but we have the same promise: Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16). And this pandemic of Covid-19 has certainly ushered in a time of great need in our country! So let's consider how we can enter into the presence of God to ask for rulership over it!
     So here is where we start ... when we examine Scripture, there are many references to legal terms in God's relationship with men: judgment, appeals, law, contract, evidence, witnesses, indictment, jurisdiction, debt and debtors, redemption, punishment, condemn, testimony, and verdict.  Starting to get the idea? And we must always keep in mind the admonition of our Lord: Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.  The judicial system of the ancient Israelites, as well as our own court system, are modeled upon the Courts in Heaven.  Furthermore, the Courts are part of the judicial government of the Kingdom of Heaven, and guess what?  We have access to them as part of His Kingdom here on earth!
     And I want to address, for a moment, the etiquette of entering into our Father's Court. We are to be responsible about entering and maintaining the proper atmosphere of respect, order, authority, and awe. It is an honor to be received into the Father's Court and we should follow protocol. We should be prepared and ready to petition the Court and present our case. We should be dressed appropriately. We stand in respect when The Holy Judge enters the Courtroom. We sit in silence until given permission to speak. We ask for a verdict in our favor, and then we abide by what the Judge rules. So, by now, I hope you are seeing [in the spirit] as we prepare to enter the Court and ask for a judgment regarding this demonic virus.
     But before we can even think about asking for a verdict, we must take note of what the angel spoke to Joshua ... "Thus says the Lord of hosts: If you will walk in My ways and keep My charge, then you shall rule My house and have charge of My courts, and I will give you the right of access among those who are standing here." Based on that requirement, my spirit is grieved; this nation has certainly abandoned many of God's ways, and not kept His laws. And like ancient Israel, I'm sure Satan believes he has a justified argument for punishment with the Corona virus.
     Before we can even consider entering the Court of Heaven, we must repent for all the ungodly activities of this nation -- the abortion industry; sex trafficking; removing God from our schools and the public square; our greed and arrogance; and any area in which we have personally sinned.
     We must approach the Throne of God with reverence and request that we be added to the docket of the Court. We can then ask God to intervene as we seek to present our petition.  Satan believes he has a pretty good case against us; and based on the ungodly sins mentioned above, I can see why he feels justified in bringing the punishment of Corona virus against us. But I like the way the noted theologian Charles Spurgeon voices his interpretation of this scenario: "When Satan accuses, Christ pleads (our case). He does not wait till the case has gone against us and then express His regret, but He is always a very present help in time of trouble. He knows the heart of Satan, (being omniscient God), and long before Satan can accuse, He puts in the demurrer, the blessed plea on our behalf, and stays the action till He gives an answer which silences forever, [the Accuser's] every accusation." I find it interesting that the definition of the word demurrer is "[in Law], an objection that an opponent's point is irrelevant or invalid, while granting the factual basis of the point".  So, the result is that Satan [rightfully] accuses us of greed, abortion, child sex trade, abandoning God, etc. and Jesus never denies our sin, but instead acts as our Mediator. He receives our judgment and His sacrifice on our behalf makes the case against us invalid, and the case is thrown out of the Court of Heaven. We are innocent by the Blood of the Lamb!
     BUT, I also wonder if Jesus isn't waiting for us to stand up in our Power and Authority as Kingdom citizens and make use of our access to the Father's presence and present our own case! Do we want to be like Job? We know that Satan was allowed to appear before the Court of Heaven, and accuse Job before God, The Judge. But in the first 12 chapters, Job does nothing to defend himself!  He laments the attacks against him, but does nothing to defend himself --- until Chapter 13!  Finally, in this chapter he says, NOW I have prepared my case (verse 18).  So, do you think Job might have saved himself and his family a lot of harm and suffering if he had prepared his case earlier? Have we been humbled enough to repent for our national sins and suffered enough losses of our freedoms to now earnestly prepare our case before the Court? If I may, I would like to suggest the following prayer; that all the Body of Christ come together, following the protocols for appearing before our Judge, and join in presenting the following petition before the Court:

In the Name of Jesus, we ask our Savior to forgive this nation for all the ways we have been disobedient. We acknowledge our rebellion against You and ask to be cleansed by the Blood of Jesus and Your Living Water. We have sought righteousness in Your ways, and lament the actions of those who have offended You. We ask corporately, and individually, that our Savior show us any areas in which we have been ungodly so that we might repent of them before joining together to appear before Christ and entering the Holy Court of Heaven….

(IN THE SPIRIT)  Father, we come before Your throne today, in awe and reverence, asking for Your compassion and mercy, and we request that You convene a session of the Heavenly Court. 


Father, the Holy Spirit has shown us that the Adversary has been lying about this Corona Virus, and as the righteous Body of Christ, we ask that Jesus and the Holy Spirit intercede on our behalf before the Court.  As Isaiah 43:26 says, “Let us argue the matter together; state the case for [our] innocence.” So, as the Body of Christ and Kingdom citizens, we are here to state the case for our innocence; the reinstatement of our freedoms; and the release from this demonic virus called Corona. We ask for Your Light and Truth to come into this situation.

We come seeking Your intervention, God, as Judge, and ask that You hear our petition before the Court, and we request a verdict from this Heavenly Court.

Here is our petition: Father, we recognize that the Enemy is lying about Corona having such power over our bodies. We recognize the agreement of powerful men, who are in association with the Enemy to bind and control this nation. Father, we appear before You as righteous citizens of Your Kingdom on earth. And as members of the Ekklesia, we ask that You hear our argument against the deceitful lies and manipulation of the Enemy that would keep us in bondage to this virus. We appear before Your Court in our power and authority as Sons and Daughters of the King and ask for full restoration of all that has been stolen from us, including health, wealth, self-government, and freedom of choice.  

Father, we are asking the Heavenly Court to force the Adversary to reveal his lies about Corona; that it is a lowly virus, subject to the Authority of the Lion of the Tribe of Judah. It will bow at the feet of Jesus Christ! It will not keep this nation and its righteous citizens from receiving their inheritance as children of God. We will receive Your Truth as we present the Gospel of the Kingdom – we will receive all that is due us, including Salvation and the Kingdom, so that we might go forth together as a family of God – equally yoked -- in righteous battle to defeat our Enemy.  We petition the Court to bring these lies about Corona under the blood of Jesus and to establish this nation under the rule and reign of Christ.

So, Father God, as You bring the Court into session, we see the books or scrolls being opened, and as the Ancient of Days, God, we know that You see all days and can render judgment to deliver this nation from the consequences of this demonic virus.

Father, on behalf of all people of this nation, we ask that You, as Judge, review the scrolls of every earthly citizen's “Book of Life”—including past generations -- and annul covenants with Plagues and Sickness and any spirits of Pestilence that have given access to demonic powers holding them captive. And we ask that You render a verdict in their favor. Just as in the case of the widow seeking justice from the unjust judge, Father, we ask that you defend this nation and set us free from this virus so that we might worship and praise You.

So, Father, as we rest our case for justice for this nation, we bow in reverence and seek Your face, acknowledging with honor and gratitude our faith in Your vindication, and asking blessings upon this nation, every man, woman, and child.  We thank You, Father, and we will abide by the decision of You and the Court.


NOTE:  I decided to share this prayer with you after receiving a request from a Brother in Christ to show him how to go to the Court for his wife and small son, who are struggling with the symptoms of the Corona virus. My spirit recognized that it is time for us ALL to go to the Court on behalf of this nation. The Enemy has been accusing us for too long. We must present our case, or watch our beloved nation continue to suffer his attacks. Please join me in going to the Court!

Job 13:1-3     "Behold, my eye has seen all this, my ear has heard and understood it. What you know, I also know; I am not inferior to you. But I would speak to the Almighty, and I desire to argue my case with God."

July 6, 2020

Joseph and Jesus: Their Non-Canonical Connection and What Do We Do With That?

     I wanted to take a break from the chaos and events of the world for a day or so, and dive into the examination of Scripture. So, I hope you're willing to take this little journey with me. The first question you should be asking is, "Why would we consider anything non-canonical when it comes to Jesus?" Here is my answer, which may differ from yours, and that is okay. I believe that everything in the Bible is about Jesus. But I don't think that everything there is to know about Jesus is in the Bible. And I give you John 21:25 as evidence ... Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would [have to] be written. I'm not sure we could lift the immense and massive book our Bible would be if everything about Jesus was contained within its pages. Therefore, I surmise that we if we believe that God loves it when we search for His truth (Proverbs 25:2), then I am permitted to use the discernment I receive from the Holy Spirit to examine and consider if other texts align with our Holy Scripture. So, I simply ask for a few minutes of your time to consider some interesting aspects of Scripture that I have come across. 
     I am now on my third serious analysis of the Bible; this time from a Kingdom perspective. I am currently in the 37th Chapter of Genesis, which begins the saga of Joseph, the 11th son of Jacob, and the first-born of Rachel, Jacob's great love. The story of Joseph begins 3600 to 3700 years ago, in the land of Canaan, which is modern day Palestine, Syria, and Israel. We see in the Bible that Joseph was an arrogant and prideful 17-year-old when he has dreams that predict his preeminence over his older brothers, and even his father and mother. The result is that his brothers sell him into slavery, where he eventually ends up in Egypt. We are familiar with the tradition of his coat of many colors and the jealousy of his brothers that drives them to throw him into a pit, sell him, and report to their father that he has been killed by wild animals. This portion of Joseph's story is covered in a mere 36 verses in the Bible.
     But there is a non-canonical history book that sheds much more light on this segment of Joseph's life, and which has some interesting connections to words spoken by our Lord and recorded in the Bible. It is called the Book of Jasher. It is thought to have been written over 3500 years ago, and much of its writings were the basis for the Talmud and Mishna in the Jewish religion. There have been many forgeries throughout the centuries, and corrupt versions have tarnished its relevance. But many acknowledged first century historians and theologians quoted from it, and its mention in the Bible gives it credibility, in my opinion. Through careful analysis, I have chosen a book titled Ancient Book of Jasher by author Ken Johnson, a Doctor of Theology, who writes and lectures on a variety of issues related to Bible prophecy, ancient history, and the coming apostasy.
     And before anyone thinks that I am calling Jasher equal to the Bible, I assure you that I am not. I do not consider it to be inspired by God. But I do think it is a reliable history source for understanding more of what the Bible reveals to us. Couple that with the fact that the Bible, itself, references the Book of Jasher three times, and I believe God intends for us to pursue more revelation from it as long as it confirms Scripture. (NOTE: these references include Joshua 10:12-14; 2nd Samuel 1:17-18; and 2 Timothy 3:8, where the names of Jannes and Jambres are mentioned. These men were among the magicians who challenged Moses and Aaron in Pharaohs's court, and are referenced in Exodus 1:15 and 7:10-12. But they are not named. It is only in Jasher 79:27 that we find out who and why Timothy mentions them in the Bible).
     I will add one more testimony to my reasons for at least considering Jasher in my study of the Bible. The acclaimed Jewish historian Josephus, who was born shortly after Christ's crucifixion and was present during that first century when Christianity lit the world on fire, wrote this about the Book of Jasher (which was in wide use that first century)... by this book are to be understood certain records kept in some safe place on purpose, giving an account of what happened among the Hebrews from year to year, and called Jasher, or the Upright, on account of the fidelity of the annals".
     Finally, now I'm about to reveal what has fascinated me in regards to the story of Joseph and his connection to the recorded words of Jesus.... In Genesis 37:24, the Bible says, "And they (Joseph's brothers) took him and threw him into a pit. The pit was empty; there was not water in it". My spirit comprehends that this pit was a region of captivity for Joseph, and it was dry and without the Living Water of God. But Jasher reveals more to this simple sentence. Jasher 41:28 reads, "And they took him and cast him into a pit, and in the pit there was no water, but serpents and scorpions. And Joseph was afraid of the serpents and scorpions in the pit. And Joseph cried out with a loud voice, and the Lord hid the serpents and scorpions in the sides of the pit, and they did no harm unto Joseph.
    Immediately, my spirit highlights Luke 10:19, in which Jesus says to His disciples, Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. To me, this is evidence of God's sovereignty in a life. He is showing us that He has been preparing for the glory of Christ and His coming Kingdom throughout redemptive history. In Joseph's case, it is the Lord's authority that rules over the serpents and scorpions in the pit. But when Jesus is our Savior and we are filled with the Holy Spirit, we have been given His authority to rule against the power of the Enemy (serpents and scorpions) in our own personal pits and regions of captivity.
     Within that same passage, in Jasher 41:30-31, Joseph calls out to his brothers from the pit, "If I have sinned against you, are you not the sons of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob? If they saw an orphan, they had compassion over him, or one that was thirsty, they gave him water to drink, or one that was naked, they covered him with garments? And how then will you uphold your pity from your brother, for I am of your flesh and blood, and if I have sinned unto you, surely you will do this on account of my father!" Sound familiar? In Matthew 25:31-40, Jesus has just finished speaking to His disciples about the Parable of the Talents, and pronounces what the Final Judgment will entail: When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’
     Are you as amazed as I am that Jesus quotes the words of Joseph, who lived 1600-1700 years before Him? And this account was recorded in a Book written 1500 years before His crucifixion? In Matthew, Jesus is identifying the actions of a righteous man -- who is blessed by His Father -- with the same actions Joseph credits to those who are authentic sons of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob! Jesus states that those who are righteous and feed the hungry, give water to those who are thirsty (for the Living Water), welcome the stranger, and clothe the naked will inherit the Kingdom. Again, the Book of Jasher provides us with more historical information than the Book of Genesis, but it is all in the character and sovereignty of the Lord to deliver His Kingdom to those He has chosen since the foundation of the world.
     Joseph was chosen to provide and protect the nation of Israel during the 7-year famine. He went from being a prisoner in a region of captivity (Egypt; representative of Sin) to becoming a Prince within that kingdom he was sold into. Jesus delivers us from our own prisons of sin in the kingdom of darkness into our inheritance as Princes and Princesses in His Kingdom on earth. Joseph received the blessings and benefits of God's authority in the midst of his fear in the pit. As sons and daughters of the King, Jesus bestows our own authority [upon us] to battle the Enemy, where we experience no fear because we know who and whose we are.
     The Book of Jasher is not inspired. But its references in the Bible do not preclude me (or you) from gleaning deeper revelation of the magnificence of God's glory and His profound involvement in the history of the world. I am overwhelmed when I find these jewels that support Scripture and help broaden my vision of how big our God is. Does this make the Bible less relevant or somehow devalue Holy Scripture? Absolutely not! I simply believe my Father is pleased when I glorify Him by searching for more of Him. Proverbs 25:2 makes that perfectly clear ... It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out. Whether you read the Book of Jasher or not is certainly your choice. Listen to your spirit; seek the Holy Spirit's guidance, and honor His counsel. Pray that the Father will reveal His desire in the matter. And then be blessed by what you hear. And I thank you for allowing me to share a little bit of my journey in seeing how God is revealing the Kingdom throughout the entire Bible. I'm only on Genesis 37 in my third pilgrimage through Scripture. I can't wait to share more of what I discover!

Isaiah 30:21     And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.


July 3, 2020

Kingdom Ambassadors and Ministers of Reconciliation

     In yesterday's post I made the statement that I believe God will draw forth a Remnant in these days as individuals respond to the move of the Holy Spirit in their lives -- even in the midst of the chaos. Furthermore, people will be drawn to their message and souls will be won for the Kingdom. And I also asked the question, "So where can we go?" and answered it -- anywhere the Lord sends us. So, today, I want to share the testimony of Dr. Charles Karuku and his wife, Pastor Lindsey Karuku. They personify the Remnant and its willingness to obey the voice of God.  Here is their testimony:
     As Dr. Karuku was ending a 40-day fast in late May, he heard the Lord tell him that on the day of Pentecost, He would do a great thing. His wife, Pastor Lindsey, woke up that same morning of May 30th and confirmed that she had received the same message. The day their fast ended is when the riots broke out in Minneapolis over the death of George Floyd. They knew that the next day was the Day of Pentecost, and they needed to be on that ground where George Floyd died, and they needed to go and proclaim the name of Jesus Christ, bringing a message of unity. They were to start a movement of unity amidst the racial division that was so prevalent.
     When they arrived and walked the area, praying over it, buildings were still burning; there was smoke everywhere; the National Guard had been called up; and businesses were boarded up and shut down. The protests and riots were in full swing.
     But NOW, the spot where Mr. Floyd died is a memorial in his honor and has been declared sacred and holy ground; a place of true reconciliation between people of all different colors. It is a place where praise and worship exist; baptisms and healings abound; and peace is in the atmosphere. A military veteran, who had been deaf for 15 years, had his deaf ear opened instantly by God. People are being delivered, baptized in water, receiving salvation, and giving their hearts to Christ.
     Dr. Charles Karuku says the Body of Christ is coming together for the Kingdom of God; crying on each others' shoulders and bringing interracial healing and reconciliation. Over 50 ministries and churches have set aside their denominational and doctrinal differences to come together to bring the Light of Jesus Christ into the city of Minneapolis; and they so desperately need it.
     Pastor Lindsey Karuku added that it is not just churches; it is individuals who are stepping up as Ambassadors of the Kingdom of God and riding the waves of the people who have been praying and sowing seeds into this area for generations. The goal and the significance of this movement is to see racial reconciliation in this generation. Praise God that it would be so! What an amazing testimony and an illustration of what the Ekklesia should look like! I bless these two Ambassadors and pray that this movement of individuals responding to the voice of the Lord sweeps this land.
     If we hope to achieve their goal in this generation, the Body of Christ must become Kingdom Ambassadors and Ministers of Reconciliation. But can we as a society, agree on what that reconciliation should look like? Webster's Dictionary defines reconciliation as "the restoration of friendly relations; the action of making one view or belief compatible with another". Simple enough to understand, but I doubt that is going to appease the generations of prejudice, discrimination, and antagonism that exist between the races. Secular society would probably define reconciliation as the urgent need for social justice.
     But how does God define reconciliation? I would tell you that it involves more than forgiveness between the races. It takes two people to reconcile; only one to forgive. In the Old Testament, reconciliation was the covering over of sin with rituals of sacrifice, called atonement. In the New Testament, reconciliation is the restoration to the Divine favor of God when sinners repent and put their trust in the substitutionary death of Christ. Man changes -- is purged of sin -- and reconciliation removes God's displeasure towards us and our alienation from God. It purges our hostility towards each other, and it changes our enmity towards our fellow man to friendship.
     Social justice alone won't achieve the goal of racial reconciliation. We must recognize our need to be reconciled back to God before we can be reconciled to each other. So how do we get there? By doing exactly what the Karukus did ... they fasted and prayed and were obedient to do what they heard the Lord tell them. I can assure you that God is waiting for people with hearts willing to be His Ambassadors and Ministers of Reconciliation. He is looking for Believers with the compassionate and merciful heart of the Good Samaritan who tended to the wounds of the Jewish man he found robbed and beaten on the road. Although the Samaritans and the Jews despised each other, the Samaritan was deeply moved by the Jew's afflictions and cared tenderly for him, paying for him to stay at the inn and recuperate while he resumed his journey. He rose to a higher level of compassion and mercy rather than the dictates of social justice that demand equality.
     We, too, must appeal to the higher power of God who is longing to whisper to us in the middle of the night and tell us His plans for reconciliation between the human beings that He has created. This testimony coming from Minneapolis is evidence that God is in the midst of the chaos that Satan is instigating. It is evidence that He is moving among His Remnant. And it is evidence that we Christians can truly have an impact on the lost and the hurting. You won't hear this reported in the mainstream media, but I can guarantee the angels in Heaven are shouting with joy and praising the Name of the Lord! And I thank our Father in Heaven for this ray of Light in all the darkness. Hope is rising from the smoke and ashes of Minneapolis. May we reconcile with each other as we continue to be witnesses of the Kingdom and our reconciliation with God Almighty. Hallelujah!

2 Corinthians 5:19    That is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.


June 30, 2020

"Where Can We Go?"


     "Where can we go?" That's the question that Mark and I get from a lot of our Christian friends who are struggling with how to respond to the chaos and breakdown in our country. Our answer is always the same ... "There's nowhere you can move to escape what the Enemy is sowing in the hearts of men."
     These are good Christian men and women who believe in Jesus. But what does that statement really mean? I can say for sure that they're not fence-sitters -- they have clearly chosen to pursue faith in Jesus, and sincerely want to know how to respond in these desperate times. But have they truly been equipped to see beyond this natural realm into the spiritual? Are they mature enough in their faith to endure the fundamental changes that might soon take place in our homeland?
     I will tell you that there are those who are still counting on the Rapture to catapult them off the earth before things "get too bad". And when I tell them that the Bible never promises us that; only that we are not appointed to God's wrath, and His wrath comes right before the "terrible day of the Lord", which is the judgment of the earth. That interpretation is usually met with a period of prolonged silence. And I then explain that as I read the Bible it is clear to me that we will experience the Tribulation, and then I tell them why .... First, Jesus tells us in Matthew 24 that we will recognize the "birth pangs" of the coming Tribulation by the signs (wars and rumors of wars; nations against nations; kingdoms against kingdoms; famines and earthquakes); in other words, general upheaval across the globe. And then, comes the specific warning for us Christians: "Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name's sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come." There is nothing in that passage that hints we will be delivered out of those adversities.
     I then explain that, to my sorrow, I discern that there will be many Christians who "fall away" from their faith; with their love of Jesus [and their faith] growing cold because their expectations of "deliverance from the hard times" has not been met. They will falter and lose their hope and strength in the Lord, and there will need to be at least a remnant on the earth who can speak God's truth into their hearts and help them to endure and be overcomers.
     Secondly, there is still work to be done for the Kingdom during the Tribulation! There are still people being born; people who need to receive Salvation and enter into their Kingdom citizenship to battle alongside us in the Spirit until Jesus returns to wipe out the evil on the earth. God wishes no one to perish and we will still be able to have an impact on people's lives during those harrowing times.
     Then once Christians get over the shock that they might actually have to experience the Tribulation, then we have to have the talk that all their worldly goods will not be able to save them from the great trouble or suffering that is prophesied in the Book of Revelation. You see, this nation has a history and legacy of prosperity. Even our poorest citizens are richer than many in Third World countries. True, our distribution of wealth is unequal, and the span between the rich and poor is getting even wider. So, let's just agree that we in America are pretty comfortable by the world's standards.
     I often hear from Christians who, until now, have clung to the belief that the power of the United States of America would be everlasting; that it is iindestructible. But now that foundation is beginning to crumble, and they want to know how to preserve their wealth; their money, their 401(k)'s; their houses and property if "things go south", and the unimaginable happens .. the ruination of the US economy. They want to know where they can go [on earth] to maintain the lifestyle that they've worked so hard to achieve and protect. I tell them that the world as they know it will no longer exist. And then I tell them it's time to open their Bibles and read. Their answers are in that book which God gave to us to reveal His heart and His plan of redemption. If we come to that point, it's time to flip to the Book of Revelation.
     When Jesus opens the Scrolls in Heaven, it begins an unprecedented chain of events upon the earth, in which Death and Famine and Disease preside, along with earthquakes and devastation of the seas and the first heaven; and the martyrdom of the Saints during the great Tribulation. With each successive seal that is opened, and trumpet that is sounded, the battle between God and Satan for the peoples and the earth increases with intensity. I try to explain to my friends who are comfortable in their faith and their possessions, that when that time comes, they will have no concern for 401(k)s or big houses and fancy cars. It will be a matter of survival in the Lord.
     But all will not be hopeless! Those of us who are enduring for the Lord will see 144,000 of the lost sheep of Israel come to faith in Jesus Christ, their Messiah! They will resume their intended purpose: to lead all nations of the earth to faith in YHWH. Those of us who endure will hear of the testimony of God's two witnesses in Jerusalem for the last 3.5 years of the Tribulation. We will hear of the joyous celebration by God's enemies when the witnesses are killed and their bodies lay in the street for 3.5 days. But the faithful of YHWH will themselves rejoice when "the breath of life from God enters the witnesses, and they will stand up on their feet" and respond to the shout from Heaven to "Come up here!" We will pray for the 7000 souls lost in the subsequent earthquake, but praise the Lord for "the rest [who] are terrified and give glory to the God of Heaven"!
     I know that to some of you I may sound like a Doomsday sayer. I don't sound like some of the prophets of today who are speaking of a great and imminent revival that is set to sweep the globe in the near future. They predict that this unprecedented and unparalleled revival is in answer to our prayers to heal this world, and it will precede the final lawlessness of the Enemy and the Coming of the Lord. I'm sorry, but I don't see any indication anywhere in the Bible of such a tremendous and multitudinous renewal across the globe in the last days. However, I do believe that there will be huge spiritual return to God, as He draws forth His Remnant; Believers who will walk in such supernatural power and authority that they will resist the Enemy's numerous forces and stand on the earth in mighty opposition to the Man of Lawlessness and his Beast System. People will be drawn to their message and souls will be won for the Kingdom. And I praise the Lord for that!
     In the final analysis, there is one thing I know for sure ... God has not given up on America, even though we have slowly, through the last 50-60 years, seem to have given up on Him. I believe that He could decide to pour out His Spirit upon our land, and we still have time to turn this ship around. But we need to be asking different questions. Instead of, "When is the Rapture coming?", we need to be asking ourselves if we are prepared to endure and overcome what might be the darkest hour in our nation's history. Instead of asking, "Where can we go if the US economy collapses?", we need to take a measurement of our faith. Are we secure in Jesus, or do we find our security in our position and possessions? And finally, instead of looking and waiting for the fourth great awakening in America, perhaps we should invite the Spirit to breath new life into us, as individuals, and re-commit ourselves to our Lord's command to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom as a witness to our fellow man. So, where can we go? Anywhere the Lord sends us, and to the ends of the earth, if necessary.

Romans 12:12     Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

June 27, 2020

"There Is Wrath In His Anger, But Life In His Promise"

      The title for this blog post is a portion of the Septuagint translation of Psalm 30:5. The rest of the verse reads, "weeping shall tarry for the evening, but joy shall be in the morning". I sense that we are in the midst of great weeping in this nation [and the world], and it may be difficult for some to even imagine that joy could exist in the morning. After all, people's lives have been turned upside down by sickness, unemployment, separation from family and friends, and fear of an unknown future. The truth is, none of us know how long this night of mourning is going to last.
     I think a lot of people in the world can identify with David when he wrote this Psalm. I believe he perfectly describes our national psyche [before this chaos dawned] when he writes in verses 6-7, "I remember boasting, “I’ve got it made! Nothing can stop me now! I’m God’s favored one; He’s made me steady as a mountain!” But then suddenly, You hid your face from me. I was panic-stricken and became depressed." Can any of you identify?
     We, in this nation, have lived a blessed life -- yes, there have been grave injustices in our history, and we still are far from perfect! We have a lot of work to do to overcome our sins, transgression, and iniquity. But so far, this is still a land of opportunity! I agree that the Beast System is desperately trying to establish itself, and the Christians who are awake can see the handwriting on the wall. But we must also admit that we have been complacent and content in our prosperity, and comfortable in a form of faith that didn't require much of us. Too many of us thought that just calling ourselves "a Christian" was enough to get us through this life until we could go to Heaven. Any difficulties would surely be short-lived because, after all, we live in America and God loves us, right? Like David, we thought we had it made and God would keep our path steady and sure. But now, it may seem as if He's hidden His face from you, too. Suddenly, this easy, grace-filled American life doesn't seem so stable. It's as if our anchor has come unmoored.
     And all this makes me mindful of the history of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. Once a unified nation; the apple of God's eye, and His chosen [favored] people, Israel suffered much because of their sins and rebellion. After the death of King Solomon, the nation split into two kingdoms, Israel [as the northern kingdom] and Judah [the southern kingdom]. The kingdom of Israel eventually was taken captive by the conquering nation of Assyria and its people scattered across the world. The kingdom of Judah found itself caught in the midst of continuing wars between Egyptian, Assyrian, and Babylonian empires, followed by subjugation to Persian, Greek and Roman conquerors. Although the kingdom of Judah no longer exists, God's promise to Abraham that through him, "all the families of the earth will be blessed" has found its fulfillment in Yeshua, Jesus Christ, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah.
     But we cannot ignore the fact that Israel and Judah's rebellion against God was not overlooked by Him. Our God is a Holy and Righteous God; He will not tolerate continued rebellion. He shows us that over and over in the Bible, as His righteous anger falls on those who stubbornly persist in disobedience and following their own ways -- even if they are the apple of His eye. We can see by Judah's history of repeated cycles of rebellion, idolatry, and restoration, that YHWH is patient in allowing us to recognize our rebellion and to right it. But we can also discern that He is a just God, and He will not turn a blind eye to repeated offenses in which repentance is absent.
     Both the nation of Israel and Judah paid a price for their repeated rebellion. As a 2009 article titled The Experience of Israel and Judah: A Lesson For Today informs us, "Israel [the Northern kingdom] was at the height of her power under this king. The period was one of great wealth, luxury, arrogance, carnal security, oppression of the poor, moral decay, and formal worship. The moral declension and spiritual degradation of the people were appalling."  Furthermore, Judah followed in Israel's footsteps, and the article tells us they often lapsed into rebellion and idolatry; "they mocked God’s messengers, despised His words and scoffed at His prophets until the wrath of the Lord was aroused against His people and there was no remedy" (2 Chronicles 36:16).
     Sound familiar? Not every citizen of America meets those qualifiers, but we cannot ignore the social, moral and spiritual failings of this nation. We cannot say, "But I live a good life... I love God and worship Him in righteousness... surely God will not turn His back on me... we are a Christian nation!" But does the fruit of this nation bear witness to those claims? How do you think God looks upon us as a nation that consumes and exports pornography and child sex trafficking? How deep is the stain on our land of the blood of 60 million murdered babies by the abortion industry? How, in a land that is so rich and prosperous, are the poor getting poorer? How does He look upon our greed and idol worship of money, property, technology, fame, and worldly power, while rejecting the foundational principles of the Bible in our homes, businesses, and government?
     How can we expect to escape judgment, when God, in His Sovereignty, let Israel and Judah, reap the errors of their ways? What has been the excuse of the Church as we find ourselves sliding down an ever steeper hill of moral decay? It's not enough to say we were in Church every Sunday! It's not enough to say we prayed for our nation! We were to stand up and challenge each and every move of the Enemy of God as he advanced his plan to eradicate the authority and supremacy of God Almighty in the United States of America. We were supposed to rise up in our identities as true sons and daughters of our mighty God, and bear semblance to His mercy and righteousness and justice!
     Yet, here we find ourselves in a civil and moral battle with our fellow countrymen. There are plenty of prophets in the Body of Christ warning us of these things and the way we should go. Are our hearts truly prepared to take those steps? Can we wake up from our slumbering spirits and join forces in the spiritual realm to fight alongside the heavenly host to conquer the invading Anti-Christ spirit and his hordes? I can't imagine how terribly weary the angelic warriors are, waiting for us to get in the fight!
     I want to finish by saying that I know I've painted a pretty miserable picture of the state of our Union, but I'm afraid when you look at the fruit we've produced, it's starting to spoil. We don't come off looking too much different than ancient Israel and Judah. I know God is not pleased with us and we deserve His anger. But I also know that He is a God of promises, and He does not break them. Yes, we must repent -- not only ask for forgiveness of our grievous sins, but change the way we think about what our purpose and responsibilities are to His Kingdom while we are here on earth. And then we must put on that spiritual armor that we've left rusting in the corner, and get in the fight! We can bring down the strongholds of the Enemy, and we can cast down all the evil imaginations that are being used to go against the knowledge of God. If we truly trust in the Lord, then let us sink our spiritual roots deep into the soil of this nation, and nothing the Enemy brings against us can uproot us. He promises to never leave nor forsake us, and He promises to heal our land if we seek Him and turn from our wicked ways. There is hope in the Lord's promises. Do not give up now and there will be joy in the morning!

Isaiah 40:31    But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] will gain new strength and renew their power; They will lift up their wings [and rise up close to God] like eagles [rising toward the sun]; They will run and not become weary, They will walk and not grow tired.

June 24, 2020

This Is Nothing New Under The Sun ... It Has Been Already In The Ages Before Us

     Knowing that I cannot trust the media for truth in these daunting days, I have been even more diligent in searching God's Word for answers to the growing rebellion and discord in our nation. I know that what we are seeing played out on our computer and TV screens is the subversion of the worldly government by agents within that very system they claim to serve; men and women who serve their fleshly desires for money, position, and power while selling jealousy, envy, division and hatred to the masses.
     If we truly want to know the source of our disunity and division, we must look beyond the convenient identifiers of Republican vs Democrat; Black vs White; Patriot vs Traitor; Young vs Old. The truth is that this country has been attacked by an insidious Enemy who has been working under the guise of social and political revolution since the founding of this country. Call it by any of its secular names ... Freemasonry, the New World Order, Socialism, Marxism, Communism, Progressivism ... they all serve the same Master: the Anti-Christ who seeks to establish the Beast System, an end-of-the-world kingdom that controls the globe and serves his selfish desire for power.
     But Christians should be able to see that this same Enemy has been active in the world since the Garden, and again at the Tower of Babel, when men believed the lies of Nimrod, the king of Shinar, who among his many names was known as "One Who Speaks of Dark Things". So God came down and confused man's common language because His purpose for mankind was to live for HIS NAME, scattering over the earth proclaiming HIM! But what we see playing out before us is people whose love of self, power, and greed have supplanted any love for the One who created them to serve HIM.
     I am not denying that grievances are real; that sins have been committed throughout our history. But  destabilization and violence; the perpetuation of intolerance and biogotry (by everyone involved); the struggle for political and social power through civil unrest; a passive government and pulpit -- all of it plays right into the Enemy's hands.
     But, just as Solomon spoke in the Book of Ecclesiastes, "What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun... It has been already in the ages before us." The rebellion we see in the streets of America is, in reality, a rebellion against God, and is as old as time. And the Bible clearly warns us that we must be alert for such strategies ... But [in those days] false prophets arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will subtly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their shameful ways, and because of them the way of truth will be maligned. And in their greed they will exploit you with false arguments and twisted doctrine. (2 Peter 2:1-3). We could easily apply that passage to our college campuses and the twisted set of beliefs often proposed as education -- or the deceptive discourse that our politicians peddle as they try to convince us they are serving us, their constituents. 
     We must recognize that the Beast System has been given the opportunity to establish itself because we have not stood in our identity for which we were created -- as Ambassadors of the Kingdom of God on Earth. Every man, woman, and child is here on the planet to represent their Creator; to refute the lies of the one who seeks to poison their hearts and minds with false identities. Whether it is the rioters in the streets or the government officials who struggle for solutions, people and events have spiraled into a state of confused and violent turmoil.
     But what can we expect when we, the representatives of God's Kingdom, have allowed the citizens of this world's kingdom of darkness to censor God's presence? Prayer has been removed from our classrooms, and college campuses are nearly devoid of any mention of Him. The Ten Commandments have been removed from parks and courthouses. Churches have become businesses in the marketplace, tied to a secular government by their 501(c)3 charters. Christian views are heavily redacted on social media platforms. And to self-identify as a Christian is often met with fingers pointing to our hypocrisy and false righteousness.
     And, sadly, the Church has relegated its authority to secular government. I'm sure you've heard the oft-quoted excuse of Romans 13:1 ... Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist have been put in place by God. That verse has been so misunderstood, and the Enemy has been so successful in convincing Believers that we are subject to all government because it all has been put in place by God. But I submit to you a different  perception of the verse ... No one has authority [in government] except those who have been granted authority by His permission and sanction! Any other authority gained [without His sanction] does not come from Him! And if they have His sanction, then we are to be subject to that authority, which comes from Heaven.
     How will we know? By their fruit! If you are seeking the Kingdom of God, then you will recognize those who come in its authority. Governments who pass abortion laws allowing babies to be killed in the womb are not sanctioned by God. Governments who institute Welfare laws that enslave generations to their hand-outs instead of encouraging and establishing paths out of poverty are not sanctioned by Him. Governments who build and feed a nexus of military-industrial conflicts to maintain global power are not sanctioned by Him. And men who enter the halls of Government for personal greed and power are not sanctioned by Him. As Ambassadors and representatives of the government of the Kingdom of Heaven, our answer should be the same as Peter and the Apostles in Acts 5:29, "We must obey God rather than men [for we have no other choice]."
     Now we see statues commemorating our national history being defaced and destroyed -- as if that wipes out the sins of America. When we decimate [destroy or remove] our history -- flawed, or not --, how will future generations recognize when they are close to repeating it? And I am perplexed at the lack of knowledge and understanding of our history that I see in this Millennial generation! True, the Civil War was a blight upon our country's history, but we cannot ignore that it righted a wrong in our nation's moral conscience, and it is a reminder of just how fragile our foundation is. That fragility is still quite evident.
     So, as children of the Light, we must become more vocal than the children of darkness. We must speak the bigger truths of the spiritual strongholds of Power, Greed, and Deception that are behind the scenes of the protests and division. Our pulpits need to be thundering the message that Satan deflects responsibility on to others, thereby creating victims that serve his purposes. Jesus puts the responsibility right back on us... if my fellow man hates me, I am to love him. If he persecutes me, I am to pray for him. We may not be able to control everything that the Enemy throws at us, but we are responsible for how we react to it.
     So, how are we going to react to what we see in the streets of America and on Capitol Hill? We pray fervently, and we wage war in the Spiritual realms! Let the world compare our fruit with the fruit of those causing destruction. Let us take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. Do not get discouraged and don't be dismayed! We must stay strong in the Lord, no matter what comes. We may be the only image of Christ that those in darkness will ever see. The false prophets and teachers will reap what they've sown, but let us act out of unselfish concern for the lost. God is not silent and He is not absent. And the Lord expects us to endure until He comes. Let us not waver.

2 Corinthians 4:8-9     We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;

June 21, 2020

God Will Bring Order Out Of Chaos

          Our God is a god of order. He brings His discipline and authoritative direction in the midst of confusion and upheaval. The perfect picture of this is Genesis 1:1-2, In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Let's dissect these familiar verses, and see if we can get a picture that mirrors what we see coming upon this modern version of the earth.
     "Without form" is the Hebrew word tohu, and "void" is the Hebrew word bohu, giving us a picture of an earth that was a desolate wasteland; an empty ruin. "Darkness was over the land and the face of the deep" .... "darkness" is the Hebrew word chosek, defined as misery, destruction, death, sorrow, wickedness; and "deep" is the Hebrew word t'hom, meaning an abyss (as a surging mass of water").
     "And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters". Here, the word "hovering" indicates movement, as in a shaking, or a tempest [violent storm]. So, we have a picture of an earth that is existing in chaos and turmoil. The environment is one of destruction, death, and wickedness, which results in misery and sorrow. And the culmination of all this disorder is that the Spirit of God begins to shake one of the foundations of the earth: the waters.
     Obviously this is not the same earth about which the Bible says "and God saw that it was good" in verse 10. But I'm not hear to debate the question of whether something happened to a prior earth in Genesis 1:1-2, or that God re-created a new earth beginning in Genesis 1:9 that He was then able to declare "good" in verse 10. My point in dissecting the first two verses in the Bible is to show that God is able to identify when His creation is a wasteland shrouded in chaos and confusion; misery and destruction. And He is not above violently shaking it to bring it back into an orderly state that pleases Him.
     In fact, the Bible is full of references by both Old and New prophets and writers who describe just such discipline from God ... and they aren't referring to what happened in the past in Genesis 1:1-2. They are talking about a future event. The prophet Haggai says, "For thus says the Lord of hosts: Yet once more, in a little while, I will shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land (2:6)". Isaiah prophesies, "Therefore I will make the heavens tremble, and the earth will be shaken out of its place, at the wrath of the Lord of hosts in the day of His fierce anger (13:13)". Jesus, Himself, tells us in Luke 21:25-26, "And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves,  people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken." Even the Apostle Peter declares, "But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will vanish with a [mighty and thunderous] roar, and the [material] elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and the works that are on it will be burned up."
     So, we must not be like those people "in the days of Noah" who were unaware until the Flood came and swept them all away. God has promised that He will never destroy the world with a flood again, but He is not blind to what is happening upon the earth in these days. There is much deception and lies as men are being used by agents of Satan to cause disorder, chaos, and destruction. There is much misery and sorrow among the fellowship of men, and lawlessness is abiding in hearts that are devoid of the love of Christ.
     The very fact that there are numerous reports of Satanic marches in the major cities of our nation today, on this day of the summer solstice, is evidence that our Enemy is emboldened to openly display his opposition and antagonism towards our God Most High. Our Enemy believes he is closer than ever to gaining complete dominion over the earth and destroying the followers of Christ. We can see wave after wave of evil, fostered by multiple factions within the kingdom of darkness. It has the appearance of that violent storm or tempest which moved over the earth in Genesis 1:2.
     But we must not yield to his wickedness and scare tactics. Our Lord has already defeated him and we must rise up in an even greater tsunami of praise, worship, and spiritual warfare that will crush the devil's waves of evil. Pray fervently that the curtain will be pulled back on every contingent of Satan's conglomerate of evil-doers. Call down warrior angels to expose the duplicity of politicians [both Democrat and Republican; black and white] who are financially/politically benefiting from the very world systems they claim to be against. Ask our Lord to confuse the Enemy's schemes and cause confusion in his camps, just as He did in Joshua 10.
     The demonic realm rejoices over displays such as a Luciferian March for a One World Government, and the rituals and curses that accompany it. But Satan and his hordes also celebrate the chaos and destruction they have been able to convince the men and women of earth to commit on behalf of what they see as a "righteous cause". Pray that the veil that separates dark and Light will be torn by our Lord Jesus, as He reveals what's really been going on behind the scenes. Pray that the Church will rise up to be the voice and representative of Heaven, declaring that this dark kingdom of the world is coming to an end, and the Kingdom of our Lord and Savior is going to reign for ever and ever. Pray that everything that is counterfeit is exposed for the lie that it is, and that the Spirit of the Lord, the Spirits of Wisdom and Knowledge and Understanding; of Counsel and Might, and the Fear of the Lord will sweep this land, making way for the "true" One World Government ... the Government of God's Kingdom on earth.
     So, it's time we discern that God will bring order out of this chaos. He's done it before and His Word says He will do it again. Please pray that mankind rejects the lies and temptations of the Evil One before we've gone too far. The Man of Lawlessness is ready to take the stage, but God, in His Sovereignty, will determine His appearance. Father, we pray for Your protection from the shaking that we deserve! Destroy the plans of everyone whose heart is aligned with the Enemy, and may Your Holy Spirit guide us towards restoration and reconciliation. You are our Hope and Strength and Refuge!

Jeremiah 10:10     But the Lord is the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King. At His wrath the earth quakes, and the nations cannot endure His indignation.

June 18, 2020

"Why Doesn't God Fix All This?"

     We are now several months into a "new normal" centered around the existence of Covid-19, and several weeks into civil unrest as our nation struggles with how to reinvent law and order in a civilized society. At this point in time, there are new threats of a second phase of the pandemic, and our cities and streets look anything but civilized. Voices are raised in dispute and conflicting ideologies and philosophies. It's clear that change needs to happen; we can no longer turn a blind eye to injustice -- there are too many instances of bad apples spoiling the entire crop, and reform is necessary. But at the same time, violence and lawlessness will not achieve reconciliation nor reformation. It never does. So, the pressure [and panic] is beginning to build in the souls and spirits of Christians across the land, and Mark and I are hearing a lament starting to rise from the ranks ... Why doesn't God just come down and fix this? We've been praying 2 Chronicles 7:14 and He's been silent!
     This is where we always have to have the conversation about the difference between God is in control and God is in control of everything. And this is where the Church needs to do a better job of defining what God's Sovereignty really looks like. So, it's time for me to brush off a post I wrote in September 2016, and update it for the year 2020.
     At first, you may think those two statements express the same idea, but the truth about this theological doctrine is, in reality, more complex. But, let's start with this idea ... I think we can agree that, as followers of Christ, we believe that God is Sovereign and Supreme in all aspects of the Universe that He created.  But what exactly does that mean? It is my understanding that God's Sovereignty means He has the ability to exercise His will in unlimited power and ways. But does that mean He always acts or carries out His will? 
     It is also my opinion that God’s Supremacy is unrestricted, but I also believe that the Sovereignty of God means He can set parameters as He desires. In other words, ultimately God can be in complete control of all things [if He so chooses], though He may choose to let certain events happen according to limits He has established -- again, a matter of His Sovereignty.  So, I believe that God is totally independent and does as He pleases, without having to answer to us.  In fact, Psalm 115:3 says, "Our God is in the heavens. He does whatever He pleases". (As one of my favorite theologians and deliverance ministers, Dr. Charles Kraft, says, "God doesn't [have to] answer Why questions from us").  Then, it is apparent that the next question is, "What might some of those limits be that He has established for Himself?"
     First of all, here is a very important aspect of God's Nature that we need to grasp -- God cannot do anything that goes against His own character.  He can't lie; He can't be tempted by evil; He keeps every promise He makes; He can't contradict Himself; and He won't revoke what He has given or promised us... and that includes our free will -- [In other words, He doesn't pick and choose when He will offer free will. It is an absolute for everyone!] That speaks to His character trait of Immutability -- He does not change.  So that inherently means that if He has given us free will, He will not take it back, nor infringe upon it... no matter how badly He wants to change our actions or the decisions we make. He will remain Sovereign, as He extends free will to us.
     The Bible is full of Scripture and examples of man using his free will to go against the will of God... Adam and Eve chose to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil; the nation of Israel (God's favored people) chose to rebel and follow after false gods. King Ahab chose to abandon his worship of YHWH to follow after his wife, Queen Jezebel, and bow down to her pagan gods, Ba'al and Asherah, purging Israel of the prophets sent by God. Do you think any of these outcomes is what God desired, or what best served His purpose? Could God, in His Sovereignty, have made Eve reject the serpent's temptation? Or closed the hearts and minds of the Israelites to the snare of the foreign gods? Of course, He could have! But He, in His Sovereignty, chose NOT to! And don't ask WHY?!? Remember, He doesn't owe us an explanation. But if we study His character and His Word long enough we can get some clues.
     So, fast forward to this nation and its history ... Do you think God wanted to see this nation adopt the evil practice of slavery, or exhibit racism towards our fellow man? Do you think He likes seeing our prisons filling up, poor policing practices that result in ever more deaths, increasing disrespect for the "good guys" in law enforcement, or the chaos and anarchy that offer no real solutions? Could He step in and "fix it", as so many of my fellow Christians are imploring Him to do? Yes, but that would violate one of the most precious gifts He has given us... our free will to choose good over evil.
     And if He makes our choices for us, then we are nothing more than robots who have made no choice of our own to please God -- He has made every choice for us, and how does that either please or glorify Him, or represent His Magnificence? Ephesians 1:5-6 explains it better than I can: He destined us to be adopted as His children through the covenant Jesus the Anointed inaugurated in His sacrificial life. This was His pleasure and His will for us. Ultimately God is the one worthy of praise [glory] for showing us His grace; He is merciful and marvelous, freely giving us these gifts in His Beloved.
     By allowing us to make that choice for ourselves, we find worth in our own life, as well as magnifying His. You see, God always acts in the freedom of His own Sovereignty, and He wants us to act righteously in the freedom He has given us. God doesn't want to be in control of everything!  He wants a partner, not a puppet!  He made us in His image and He wants us to act like it!  He sent His Son into this evil world, and transferred His power to Jesus to establish God's Kingdom on earth. Then Jesus transferred His power to us, and here we are 2,000 years later, with scarcely an idea that we possess that power, let alone know how to use it.  It is not God's will that our nation be in the shape it is in, nor that we suffer in our lives from all the slings and arrows of the Enemy -- who, make no mistake, is roaming our land like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.
     And I want to make something clear ... God is not a victim of the circumstances we find ourselves in. No, we've done a pretty good job of making ourselves the victims of our own pride, prejudices, and power. He will not be mocked or blamed. He will never be coerced into doing something out of our anger or attempts to find fault with Him. And believe me, there are plenty of people angry at Him for what they see on their nightly news, and are crying out for Him to FIX THIS!
     But I would point you to two Scriptures that should have everyone looking in the mirror ... Proverbs 22:8 says, Those who sow injustice reap disaster, and their methods of oppression will fail. And Job 4:8 says, As I have seen, those who plow wickedness, and those who sow trouble and harm [will] harvest it. I think that just about sums up both sides of the battle lines that have been drawn.
     As Christians, we must realize that God created this world for His good pleasure in seeing His creation emulate Him. And it pleases Him when we choose justice and righteousness. But there was a wrong choice made in the Garden that introduced Evil into our world, and we now find ourselves battling an emboldened foe who is capitalizing on how mankind has chosen to use his free will. Do not blame God and lay at His feet what the Enemy has sown into hearts. Mankind has chosen its own destiny! We have been given the choice whether to obey God, or not. We have been allowed to decide if we will love our fellow man, or choose to continue to hate.
     Right now, on the streets of America, and across the globe, we are reaping the consequences of 2000 years of choices made by man's free will. Not everyone is guilty of the bad choices made, but we must come to terms with the truth that we have a spiritual Enemy who is instigating and stirring up violent sentiments and courses of action against the people of God, because He knows his time is short. The idea of fairness or Christian righteousness does not deter him; he is not afraid of us. He knows the Scriptures that say he will align with, and dominate and control, those who are in rebellion to God. So, his goal is to grow the number of the rebellious for his kingdom of darkness.
     But we speak to the devil from Genesis 50:20, saying, "As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present outcome, that many people would be kept alive [as they are this day]." Yes, the devil is deceiving those attempting to achieve chaos at all costs. Yes, God could come down here and fix it; snap His fingers and hearts would automatically be changed. But He has limited Himself in order to allow people to examine their own hearts and choose Him over the devil.
     Man was created to glorify God by intentionally choosing Him. Our goal in this time of wickedness and chaos is to take what the devil is sowing in hearts and counter it with the loving heart of Christ. It's a race to the finish line -- the Lord desires to keep names out of the Book of the Dead, and add names to the Book of Life before the Day of Reckoning. But it all centers around the choices that man makes -- whether to use that precious gift of free will to glorify the One who created us -- or to exalt ourselves and our own desires. Why doesn't God fix all this? Because the decision is ours whether to "let our light shine before men in such a way that they may see our good deeds and moral excellence, and [recognize and honor and] glorify our Father who is in heaven" -- or not.

Joshua 24:15    If it is unacceptable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve ... but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”