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

Showing posts with label National Sovereignty. Show all posts
Showing posts with label National Sovereignty. Show all posts

August 16, 2022

"Christian Nationalism": What Does God Say?

The night before He was crucified, Jesus prayed for His followers. In His conversation with the Father, He lamented that the world hated them because they were not of the world anymore than He was. He asked that we be protected from the Evil one, set apart by His Truth. And so, we Christians who seek both His Spirit and Truth, have found that our position in the world is not easily or readily accepted, or understood. The world tries to classify us or categorize us by any number of different and rigid standards; pigeonhole us if you will -- and usually in opposition to whatever the current cultural ideology that is prevalent. And before you know it, the world has determined they know what our beliefs are and proclaims that there is a new Christian "movement".

I feel compelled to comment on the latest extremist label we've all been assigned to, which is "Christian Nationalism". What exactly is that? If you ask 10 different opinion-makers, you will get 10 different answers ... everything from Christianity.com who defines it as "fully devoted followers of Jesus Christ", to the Encyclopedia Britannica's definition of "the Christian whose devotion and loyalty to the nation-state surpasses other individual or group interests", to The Atlantic opinion editor who labeled Christian Nationalists as "religious radicals". In other words, if we are a Christian, love this country, and believe we are better when we follow God's principles, we stand in danger of being labeled extremist. So, not knowing any Believer who identified as a Nationalist, I was curious to see if there was actually an organization for proclaimed Christian Nationalists. Sure enough, there was!

ChristianNationalism.com is the official media outlet of the Christian National Alliance and gives their mission statement as follows: "We believe in the principle of America First and advocate the Three C’s: Christianity, Culture and Capitalism." The ten tenets of their Alliance are founded on various social, political, religious, and cultural beliefs. In fact, the Alliance openly states that a Christian Nationalist "adheres to a political platform that advocates for Christian principles in government and law." This of course naturally leads to the argument of "Separation of Church and State". It also leads to the consistently controversial Romans 13:1-2 minefield ... Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. Naturally, there's a lot of room for disparity and misunderstanding in what exactly a Christian Nationalist is.

I find that whenever there is a new adjective or descriptive phrase that the culture bandies about, there's lots of room for distortion and confusion. I mean, there will be factions within the so-called "movement" that don't even agree on what they stand for, let alone those on the outside that want to throw shade to discredit the movement with their sneering expressions of contempt or disgust. And what do you get? Division, discord, lies, and alienation ... just what Satan delights in!

So how should we Christians approach this ideology? Is it Biblical? Would Jesus approve or support Christian Nationalism? I will be honest and tell you that considering the state of our nation today, I was concerned that the passion with which I've seen Christians pursuing political answers to our national problems would outweigh what I clearly see as spiritual issues. I really had to step back and see what God had to say about nations in His Word. Was nation-building part of His plan? I found a fascinating article on tomorrowsworld.org that made me pause and seriously deliberate these questions in light of our own situation. Let me share what I discovered for your own contemplation ...

First of all, I knew that the Gospel of the Kingdom of God that Jesus brought with Him was all about what a moral and righteous government looked like. I knew He was bringing a new system of lawfulness and fraternity to a world deeply in need of a new way to govern itself. And I fully understood that God knew what He was doing when He chose Abraham to be a part of His world governing plan: I’ll make you a great nation and bless you ... All the families of the Earth will be blessed through you. So, it looks like God is in favor of nations, per se. 

Then God got down to business with building the nation of Israel when He ordained Moses to bring them out of slavery in Egypt. He fully intended them to be the role model for other nations to follow. And this is what He instructed Moses to tell them: I’m teaching you the rules and regulations that God commanded me, so that you may live by them in the land you are entering to take up ownership. Keep them. Practice them. You’ll become wise and understanding. When people hear and see what’s going on, they’ll say, “What a great nation! So wise, so understanding! We’ve never seen anything like it” (Deuteronomy 4:5-6).

After establishing a model of government, what was God's next step in building the nation of Israel? He put them on a solid religious footing with correct religious beliefs [taking them out of the idol worship of their 400 years in Egypt] and establishing foundational values for the new nation. These laws would make them stand out from the other nations of the world, and the laws were free to be used by any other developing nation. God next trained and instructed good Godly leaders for the nation of Israel. As the article points out, "God told Moses to staff his government with "able men, such as [those who] fear God; men of truth, hating covetousness" (Exodus 18:21). God indicated that He would choose the king, that foreigners were not to lead the nation of Israel and that a leader should not use his office to enrich himself (Deuteronomy 17:14–20)." How far have we strayed from that principle?

This advice would lead to God's standards and keys to good government; not today's criteria by which we choose our political leaders: popularity, voter appeal, good television presence, excellence in repartee and skill at fundraising. So we must ask this question: How far have we strayed from God's principles, and where does Christian Nationalism stand on this issue? Are Nationalists concerned with how candidates for national office fare according to God's standards, or the current criteria for office-holders?

The next step in God's process of Nation building was to establish a model for education. God's instructions always emphasized the parents' role in teaching children the fundamental truths and values of God... to grow in wisdom, to gain knowledge of how to serve others, and to develop the mind and character of God. Unless Christian Nationalism endorses a change from the current education system that gives more power to educational leaders than to parents, and unless they propose a return to a Biblical foundation of learning versus modern political philosophies and systems of government, then "America First" will never re-establish our greatness or prosperity. 

So, now we come down to the crux of our dilemma regarding "Christian Nationalism". It clearly means different things to different people. To the writer of The Atlantic op-ed, even Catholic rosary beads have become a symbol of radical Christian Nationalism. He writes, "Just as the AR-15 rifle has become a sacred object for Christian nationalists in general, the rosary has acquired a militaristic meaning for radical-traditional (or ‘rad trad’) Catholics ...
On this extremist fringe, rosary beads have been woven into a conspiratorial politics and absolutist gun culture. These armed radical traditionalists have taken up a spiritual notion that the rosary can be a weapon in the fight against evil and turned it into something dangerously literal." Really?!?! Spiritual warfare through prayer is a spiritual weapon that God authorizes to defeat Satan and his demons. It is hardly comparable to a weapon of metal made by man.

On the other end of the spectrum, to the Christian National Alliance, political power is at the center of their "God and Country" philosophy. They seem to believe that the solutions to our national problems lie in rebuilding our national structure according to strict and rigid religious and government philosophies. But, I always have to ask myself if this is what Jesus preached. Taken too far, we can easily see the Pharisees and how they used religion and political power to limit the freedom of people to see God. I agree that this nation has deteriorated into a dysfunctional system of crime, violence, greed, sexual perversion, lawlessness, and selfish ambition. And yes, we need to return to Biblical principles, but Jesus never taught us that we could build Godly nations through our human efforts. We would always need to be willing to hear from Him, the Father, and Holy Spirit, and act on their instruction.

In fact, He tells us that conditions in the world will grow worse and "nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom", until Jesus, Himself, will have to intervene to prevent us from destroying each other and ourselves. Jesus will restore this earth to the dominion of God and establish God's Kingdom on earth, "as it is in Heaven'. It is Jesus who will take over the government of the earth and appoint qualified saints to positions of authority and leadership in civil and religious roles. It is Jesus and His saints that will institute true nation building and only then will the nations of the world come into alignment with His righteous religion, righteous government, and righteous education.

I don't like attaching labels or movements to Christians. Through right relationship with Him, and acting in our callings and appointments, we should be able to walk in unity to see His holy and righteous government instituted. I honor and revere the Christians in our national history who stood for their beliefs and hopes that this nation would adhere to God's Biblical tenets of nation building. And I would like nothing more than to see Godly men rise to the challenge of making this country fit the role model God outlined for us in the Bible. To be honest, I'm not sure we can achieve it at the rate we're going. Remember, it was God who built the nation of Israel, and they were only as successful as the men who walked in obedience to His plan. BUT THIS I KNOW! There is a day soon to come, when the government of this world will rest on the shoulders of our Lord, and all nations will walk in peace, comfort, and joy. Nations and families will be rebuilt; wars will be no more; and the environment will be restored. The Prince of Peace will reign and the glory and the honor of the Lord will be on full display! That's the future I believe in! 

#ChristianNationalism #BiblicalTruth #GodsPlansForTheNations #ChristianMovements

Isaiah 14:26-27   This is the plan determined for the whole world; this is the hand stretched out over all nations. For the Lord Almighty has purposed, and who can thwart him? His hand is stretched out, and who can turn it back?


November 4, 2021

Ten Years Later: Why The Purpose Has Not Changed!

It's hard for me to believe, but it has been ten years since my spirit heard a prompting from the Lord to begin this blog. Over 2,220,000 people have read 2,303 posts since I began this journey with the Holy Spirit. I know that is small potatoes compared to the "big boys", but for this average American woman, who just wanted to speak to people [like me] who were concerned about the state of our nation, I am still amazed that people might be interested in what I have to say. 

And actually you need to know it hasn't all come from me. From the beginning, the purpose of this blog was to show women [and eventually men would find their way to this site, too] that they weren't alone in their fears and doubts about the direction in which we saw our country headed. So, I wrote about whatever the Holy Spirit prompted me to say -- I researched timely topics, discerned red flags that indicated our foundation was shifting, and heard the importance of taking a good hard look at the condition of our faith.

The one thing I knew for certain was this: no matter what current event, issue, or concern I was writing about, I wanted to always point people back to the Word of God, so each post ended with a verse from the Bible that would cause people to meditate on the message I was trying to convey and find God there. I knew people were searching for answers to the changing undercurrent in our lives, and I knew God was the key to encouraging them, emboldening them, and turning their uncertainties into knowledge and action in their lives. I wanted to make people think outside their "normalcy bias" and see our world from God's perspective, not just our human desires and self-gratification. And as I look back on where the Holy Spirit has taken me, it's not surprising to see a pattern develop throughout these posts that I believe foreshadowed where we find ourselves today.

From the beginning, I wanted people to understand the importance of our history -- the history of our nation, our families, and our faith -- because if this nation was to survive beyond the average age of most empires (250 years), then we must safeguard these important elements of our history, lest they erode and be replaced by another system that changed our national identity. Americans, by definition, are liberty-loving, independent, industrious; living self-determined lives where the poor can become wealthy, there is no limit to what the uneducated are allowed to learn, and men and women have the freedom to go as far in society as their hard work can take them. I remember one of the first times my husband and I were part of an exhibition where artisans from across the country set up their booths to sell their creations. On the last day of the event, when everyone was tearing down booths, and packing up trailers to leave, I was overwhelmed with all the commerce I saw before me, and thought, "This really is the land of opportunity! Anyone can start a business and make of it what he will! No one has to be under the thumb of a tyrannical government limiting our freedom of choice. America is the greatest nation on earth!"

I still believe that. And even in the most uncertain of times, I trusted that the basic freedoms promised in our Constitution would stand -- the freedom to worship as we pleased; the freedom to petition the government; the freedom of expressing our individual views, and the freedom to peacefully gather to protest a discerned injustice. But the Holy Spirit kept prompting me with subjects that needed addressing. I was concerned that the fabric of our identity was coming unraveled. It wasn't hard to see spiritual forces aligning to undermine the unique freedoms that are our American legacy and inheritance. Programs like Agenda 21 and Common Core, and terms like "global initiative" and "transgender" began to creep into our lexicon, and before long it seemed as if the average, everyday American was rocked back on his heels. Over the last ten years, it has appeared [to me] that American citizens were in a state of confusion and unable to function against what seemed like strange and unfamiliar ideologies. Surely, we would regain our balance and everything would return to normal, right?

That's when the Holy Spirit ramped up His promptings. He made it clear to me that America was in danger of forgetting who she was. God was still willing to be faithful to His covenant established at the outset of this nation, but we, the American people, needed to remain faithful to Him and the principles on which we were founded. We needed to decide who we wanted to be, and until we could establish that identity, the spiritual rulers, authorities, and powers of His Enemy would continue to weaken the heart of who we were meant to be. That included us both as a nation, and as individuals. Americans needed to reclaim their faith from the godless entities that had stolen our identity. We needed to shake off the bonds of those who would enslave the nation, demolishing our national sovereignty and destroying the reason we were born for such a time as this. We needed to grow our faith by grasping the understanding of the purpose of our Salvation: to enter and establish the Kingdom of God on earth.

I will admit that there have been times of deep discouragement, but I have never given up hope. These last two years of the pandemic have deeply tried the soul of America. There has been much confusion, deception, and death -- the hallmarks of an Enemy that seeks to steal, kill and destroy. But I see a remnant of my Christian brethren awakening to the greater truths of their faith and transitioning into living a transformed life under the jurisdiction of God's Kingdom. I am seeing my fellow citizens awakening from a long slumber of denial and pulling the dirty veil off their eyes to see the condition of our education system and how it has constructed a long, slow campaign of deceptive curriculum to try to fundamentally change who this nation is meant to be. I am not naive enough to think we are perfect, or that there are changes are still to be made, but I know that the Godly foundation of this nation needs to remain intact. The family needs to remain intact, just as God designed it. And parents are not to be silenced when it comes to how their children are raised. 

There's a breath of fresh air circulating over our nation. The Holy Spirit is blowing across the land. But we must not be deceived. God's Enemy has enjoyed too much success to give up easily. And we must continue to grow in our understanding of the greater spiritual agenda, and take our place in God's plan to redeem our nation and our lives. It is for this purpose that I am still writing, ten years later. And I pray that the Holy Spirit still finds me worthy to receive His promptings, and can use me to encourage everyone who finds their way to this blog. I am humbled and privileged to write for my Lord, and I promise that I will always write with the purpose of glorifying Him to my best abilities.

Psalm 115:1       Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Your Name [we] give glory, for the sake of Your steadfast love and Your faithfulness!


January 6, 2021

Kingdoms In Collision: Putting Our National Crisis In Perspective


I would hope that all Americans understand the gravity of our national state of affairs. And I'm not strictly talking from a political or social position. Yes, the values of America seem to be separating along opposing philosophies and tenets, and are in stark contrast with each other. But we must look beyond political ideology, race and social issues, and even our disputes over different economic systems. 

The tearing apart of our country is a pre-planned, well-designed plot that is several millenia old. We are focused on today, January 6th, 2021 and also January 20th, to define the future of the United States of America. And most certainly, as far as it pertains to our individual lives, and our chances of retaining the original blueprint of the thirteen colonies and the republic, these dates are crucial. 

But Americans of faith must recognize that this is a clash of kingdoms... the kingdom of God on earth versus the kingdom of Satan. Please understand that the Kingdom of God in Heaven is everlasting! There is nothing that God's enemy, Lucifer, can do to overthrow the eternal dominion of God, the Creator of the Universe. But ever since man began establishing human kingdoms in the world, there have been battles for world dominion, and kingdoms have risen and fallen. Earthly kings and emperors vie for world control and are only too willing to partner with earth's god of darkness/evil to receive his power. 

Lucifer, whose arrogance cost him his place in Heaven, now operates as Satan in the earth, and promises world power to those who will vow their allegiance to him in exchange for their own portion of wealth and domination. Throughout history, those kingdoms and kings have traded their souls to get a piece of this promised power. Those kingdoms and kings have come and gone... the Pharaohs of Egypt, Kings Shalmaneser V and Sargon II of Assyria; King Nebuchadnezzer of Babylon; King Cyrus of Persia; Alexander the Great of Greece; Julius Caesar of Rome; Genghis Khan of Mongolia; Josef Stalin of Russia; Adolph Hitler of Germany; Mao Zedeng and Deng Xiaoping of China; and many more in between. Satan has been building a willing coalition throughout history to help him wrest final control over the earth. And the Bible tells us that one day soon he will unleash a religious-political dictator upon the earth in opposition to all that God has planned for the return of His Son, Jesus Christ.

This leader will become the earth's superpower and will demand allegiance from the earth's peoples and nations. This superpower will seek to change God's moral and sovereign laws and set up his own counterfeit system of commandments and statutes. But it is God's faithful people who refuse to give him allegiance and are willing to suffer persecution unto death rather than submit or surrender to Evil. They will not abandon God's Truth for human traditions and values. They will not abandon the authority of God's Word for the idea that human experience and rational thinking provide the only source of knowledge and a moral code to live by. They will not abandon the freedom that God offers for the bondage that Satan demands. They fundamentally know in their soul and spirit that all power on earth and in Heaven belongs to God, the Creator.

So, as in many other times throughout history, we find ourselves on a collision course between God's kingdom and the kingdoms of the earth, controlled by Satan. But this time there is a difference. As citizens of both the Kingdom of God on earth and the United States of America, we have the unique experience of living in true freedom .... our nation is historically exceptional in having secured the rights of individuals as primary over the collective rights of its citizens; and our freedom in Christ has freed us from the bondage and penalty of sin, as well as the freedom to become all we've been created to be and do for our Savior and His Kingdom.

And now we find ourselves at a crucial crossroads. Do we have the faith and the fortitude to serve our God, the rightful ruler of all the earth's kingdoms? Is there strength and power in our prayers to stand with Him against those who would seek to place an illegal counterfeit in the seat of power in our nation? Are we willing to approach God in His Divine Sanctuary and surrender everything to Him to see His purpose for this nation survive? 

There is a drumbeat that every American of faith answers to. It is the drumbeat of freedom that echoes the heartbeat of God and inspires us to reach for our calling and destiny. We freely repent of the grievous and rebellious sins of this nation, believing in the grace of our God to redeem us and transform us once again into a nation that reflects Him and His original concept of man partnering with God to reflect His dominion over the earth. These next days and weeks will reveal if we are to receive His mercy or His final judgment upon our beloved country. 

Please join me in praying, Father, we give thanks to You for allowing us to live in this great land! We praise You for giving us the opportunity to enjoy the freedoms that the rest of the world longs for. And, Father, we ask Your forgiveness for squandering those freedoms and for not protecting Your ways and Your commandments. And now, in our day of trouble, we seek you, Lord! The pillars You established in our land are cracking and our nation totters. We pray, O Lord, keep our pillars steady and secure!

We declare Your Greatness and Your Sovereignty in the matters of our nation! Your ways are holy, O God! Forget not, Your remnant, who cry out for Your Might and Your Compassion to be stirred up for us. Break down the walls of our enemies and restore us to be "one nation under God" once again! Look down from Heaven and see the millions who call upon Your Name in repentance and in hope. Let the nations exclaim, "America is their God and look how He avenges the faithful!"

Revive us and show us Your favor; withdraw Your righteous wrath which we deserve. Speak peace and Your steadfast love into our land. Watch us glorify Your Name in the midst of our struggles. Turn back to us, Father, and give us Your strength to stand for the covenant established with You long ago. We are called by Your Name, and we commit our lives, our faith, and our future to You. Search our hearts and see our dedication to You and Your kingdom. See that we hold fast to You and know Your Name -- answer us, Lord; be with us; rescue and save us. We ask all this in the Mighty and Precious Name of our Deliverer, Yeshua ha Mashiach! AMEN!

Psalm 97:10    O you who love the LORD; hate evil! He preserves the lives of His saints; He delivers them from the hand of the wicked. 

December 17, 2020

From Fruitless Faith to Miraculous Manifestations

During 2020, I've done a lot of thinking and praying about the future of our nation. For many people, it has been difficult to be a witness to the division and the disparity among our fellow Americans. And it has been troublesome to see the loss of hope and peace in the lives of so many. It has been a battle for Christians to stay focused on fighting in the spirit when they see so much defeat in the physical world. Our younger generation is fearful that the "American Dream" is going to be gone before they have a chance to experience it, while our older generation mourns the loss of their "golden years". We tell ourselves that this can't be happening; that this is not what America is all about; and surely the Lord will deliver us from this assault upon our Christian nation.

The truth is that we are not the first prosperous nation in the history of the world [who has built an empire for itself] to then find itself sliding into decline and destruction. I discovered a 2010 article, titled The Decline and Fall of the American Empire, written by Alfred W. McCoy, an American historian and educator who specializes in the history of the Philippines, foreign policy of the United States, European colonization of Southeast Asia, illegal drug trade, and Central Intelligence Agency covert operations. 

Mr. McCoy knows whereof he writes, and this particular article was so prophetic in nature, I wanted to share its premise with you. Here is some of what Mr. McCoy wrote: "Despite the aura of omnipotence most empires project, a look at their history should remind us that they are fragile organisms. So delicate is their ecology of power that, when things start to go truly bad, empires regularly unravel with unholy speed: just a year for Portugal, two years for the Soviet Union, eight years for France, 11 years for the Ottomans, 17 years for Great Britain, and, in all likelihood, 22 years for the United States, counting from the crucial year 2003. Future historians are likely to identify the Bush administration’s rash invasion of Iraq in that year as the start of America’s downfall. However, instead of the bloodshed that marked the end of so many past empires, with cities burning and civilians slaughtered, this twenty-first century imperial collapse could come relatively quietly through the invisible tendrils of economic collapse or cyberwarfare."

I won't go any further into Mr. McCoy's prognostications for the future of America, because to be frank, it's predictions are dismal and disheartening. He saw it coming 10 years ago, and it appears to be unraveling before our eyes. Instead, I would rather address what Jesus has to say about how our faith could be the key to avoiding our inevitable decline. You will find His advice in Matthew 21:18-22. In this passage, Jesus happens upon a fig tree by the wayside. Scripture says He went to it and found nothing on it but only leaves. And He said to it, May no fruit ever come from you again! And the fig tree withered at once. 

It was common knowledge in Jesus's time that if you saw leaves on a fig tree, you could expect fruit, unless the tree was barren. The evidence of leaves tells us that the fig tree should have been bearing fruit. As the Creator of the fig tree, Jesus expected it to be producing fruit. And as its Creator, He was justified in condemning it and cursing it to never bear fruit again. This was not only a declaration against the fig tree, but also against the Jews, who had become spiritually barren before the Lord. Just as the tree should have been bearing fruit, so should the people be bearing fruit for the Kingdom of God. The tree had the form of a fig tree, but not the reality -- it bore no figs! So it was with the Jews. They had the form of religion, but not the reality of faith. They knew the right words to say, but their hearts were far from God and they bore no fruit for Him.

The disciples are astounded! How could the tree wither so quickly and at once? But instead of answering that question, Jesus points them to the matter of their faith. He tells them if they have faith, and do not doubt, they will not only be able to do what He did to the fig tree, but they could tell a mountain to be moved and thrown into the sea, and it would happen. You see, they did not remember that God had once given man dominion over the earth and everything on it, in it, and under it, and that Adam and Eve had surrendered it to Satan. But now Jesus was there to reclaim it and restore it to His creation called man. They were to rule His creation according to His governing principles and to rule in His absence. In essence, He was telling them that if they had true faith, they could pray and receive the mind and thoughts of God [to do to the fig tree what Jesus did, as well as tell the mountain to move, and it would]. That means they were to have no doubt that by praying and submitting to God's will, they would hear His desires and receive the means [and the power] to achieve it. And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.

So, I ask you ... do you have that kind of faith? Or do you doubt? Do you believe that when Jesus came to earth He took back the dominion of the earth from Satan and handed it over to us? Because it's going to take that kind of faith to overcome the predicament we find ourselves in today! I believe that like the fig tree, for a long time we Americans -- and that includes Christians -- have practiced a fruitless faith. We have portrayed the form of a righteous nation and a religious people, but we have not borne the fruit of true faith. We have not believed in our power and authority to represent God's Kingdom government in our nation. So, we have stood by and watched as fig trees full of leaves grew among us, and did not demand that they bear fruit or be cut down. We did not have the faith to believe that we could have the mind of God and do anything about it. Even when we discerned our Enemy's plan to destroy us, I'm not sure we even believed our faith could guarantee us a victory.

But true faith knows how to win because it is borne in the mind of God and transferred to us when we pray. True faith has never lost a battle, because we discern God's strategy to defeat the devil and we follow that plan in obedience. Moses and the nation of Israel faced the Red Sea with the Egyptian army at their back. David, on the run, defeated Saul's plan to defeat him and take his life. Daniel faced a pride of lions in their den and didn't back down. And they were all able to be victorious in their battles because they walked in true faith and believed that their prayers could manifest the divine purpose of God. 

It now appears to the world that our precious nation is on the precipice of defeat. Many of you may feel it looks hopeless. But don't listen to the lies of the devil that tell us we can't overcome these obstacles. Our faith is more than just a formula to get what we want. It must become active in believing that we are who Jesus says we are ... citizens of Heaven placed here in this place and this time to manifest God's divine purpose for this nation. Our God is the same God that divided the Red Sea; the same God that delivered David from the long arm of Saul; and the same God that rescued Daniel from the jaws of the lions. He is the same God who won our infant nation's victory against the British Empire and who is returning the Jews to the Holy Land. And in all these examples, victory was won through persistent prayers of faith -- faith in God alone to see His sovereign will be done. That kind of faith is not limited to history. It is real and it is possible for us today. That kind of faith will fight for you because it is in divine relationship with God. Let us overcome our faith-killing doubt and pray sincerely, fervently, and persistently as we await the miraculous manifestations of deliverance that I truly believe is God's will for our nation!

1 John 5:14-15     This is the [remarkable degree of] confidence which we [as believers are entitled to] have before Him: that if we ask anything according to His will, [that is, consistent with His plan and purpose] He hears us. And if we know [for a fact, as indeed we do] that He hears and listens to us in whatever we ask, we [also] know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that we have [granted to us] the requests which we have asked from Him. 

December 2, 2020

A Nation Divided -- Part Two

In the last post, I began my argument that we should take a good hard look at the dissolution of the ancient Kingdom of Israel for clues as to how a nation in covenant with God can find itself falling into apostasy and ruin. I see a lot of similarities between modern America and Solomon's kingdom of Israel. In this post, I will conclude my theory and then pray for our nation.

     When we last left Solomon, he was nearing the time of his death and we had a pretty good picture of all the ways that he had enriched himself at the expense of his citizens. And we mustn't forget that Solomon defied God's command [in Deuteronomy 17:17] to refrain from marrying foreign wives. And he didn't just dabble in his rebellion, he flaunted it! The Bible tells us in 1 Kings 11:1, Now king Solomon [defiantly] loved many foreign women along with the daughter of Pharaoh: Moabite, Ammonite, Edomite, Sidonian, and Hittite women. The Lord became angry because Solomon began following the foreign gods of these wives, so God declared, "Because you have done this and have not kept My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded you, I will certainly tear the kingdom away from you and give it to your servant.". That became reality when Jeroboam, a member of the northern tribe of Ephraim met Ahijah, the prophet, on the road from Jerusalem and it was revealed to him that God would grant him favor, "[taking] the kingdom out of his (Solomon's) son’s hand and give it to you: ten tribes".

     The prophet, Ahijah, effectively rendered God's divine judgment against Solomon for worshiping other gods and idols. These sins amounted to apostasy against God. So, when Solomon dies, and Rehoboam takes the throne, he has the opportunity to bring unity, reconciliation, and relief to the heavy burden of taxation placed on the people of the kingdom. When the people approached him for this relief, instead of listening to the elders who understood that granting relief from heavy taxation would result in a prosperous and happy citizenry, Rehoboam listened to his spoiled contemporaries who had grown up as recipients of the unfair and unequal taxation. They weren't about to advise the king to do anything that would decrease the riches they, too, were accumulating. This situation was in accordance with what was spoken to Jeroboam, so that God might fulfill His word spoken of by the prophet Ahijah.

     I don't think it's too hard to see that our own government machine, and the politicians that benefit from their position in that machine, resemble Solomon, Rehoboam, and his counselors. To their way of thinking, taxing the populace is more preferential to sacrificing the monetary rewards of the offices they hold. Add increased taxes on top of an ever-expanding gap between the rich and the middle class and the poor, and you have an unhappy citizenry, just as Rehoboam inherited upon his father's death. 

     And let's not forget the military/industrial complex, which like Solomon's war machine of armies, horses, and chariots must be maintained and the machine constantly fed. Then there's the situation of wedding yourself to nations whose goal is to infiltrate and conquer. Sound familiar? And Satan is working in the midst of all of this, pulling the nations away from their original covenant and purpose. Greed, power, and self-enrichment soon develops into an appetite for more of the same, and serving God becomes a distant thought.   

     And that's what happened to the peoples of the kingdom of Israel. The people of the northern tribes aligned themselves with Jeroboam, who had been a great military leader during Solomon's reign, and they made him king. When Rehoboam heard of this rebellion, he prepared to go fight against King Jeroboam and his forces. But again, God used a holy prophet (Shemaiah) to speak to Rehoboam, the king of Judah, who said, “Tell Rehoboam the son of Solomon, king of Judah, and all the house (fighting men) of Judah and Benjamin and the rest of the people, ‘Thus says the Lord, “You shall not go up and fight against your brothers, the sons of Israel. Let every man return to his house, for this thing has come about from Me.”

     Can you see that God may be doing the same thing with this nation? No one can doubt the acute division between the people of our nation. We've nearly reached a boiling point. But does God desire that this happen; or is He also calling us to "return to our homes" and resist fighting our fellow citizens because He is trying to call our attention to the ways in which we've deserted Him? Will we acknowledge our apostasy, or will we continue in rebellion?

     Oh, Lord, let us learn from the rebelliousness that continued in the House of David! Do not let us be like King Jeroboam, of the northern kingdom of Israel, who doubted God's promise to him, and feared that if his constituents continued to go to Jerusalem to offer sacrifices at Solomon's Temple, their hearts would return to his son, Rehoboam, the king of Judah. So Jeroboam made two calves of gold for the people to worship, just as they had in the wilderness. Not only did he rebel against God's command to worship only Him, he appointed men as priests who were not from the tribe of Levi; he worshiped at "high places" and altars not sanctified to God; and held a feast, sacrificing to these golden calves at unholy altars, counterfeiting the holy Feast of Tabernacles, which was commanded by God.

     The idol worship and apostasy against the Lord continued under the reign of King Jeroboam until "this thing (idol worship) became the sin of the house of Jeroboam to blot it out and eliminate it from the face of the earth" (1 Kings 13:34). The ten tribes of the northern kingdom of Israel would go into captivity by means of the invading armies of Assyria. The people would be carried to the nations of the world, most of them losing their identities as the chosen people of God. The nation of Judah didn't fare any better. They would also go to Babylon in captivity. But God knows who they all are, and one day they will return to their homeland (as they are beginning to do) in time for Jesus's return as their Messiah.

     I've given you all this history for a reason -- are you able to see the downfall of the ancient kingdom of Israel; a division that would result in two nations, both of which eventually find themselves in open rebellion to God and thrust into captivity to invading armies? Perhaps that rebellion is the ultimate cause of all nations that become lost to history. Will it become part of our history? We can certainly see the similarities with where we've been and where we are headed... a nation that came into existence because men fled religious oppression, and as God's people, felt called to America as their Promised Land. 

     But increased prosperity and power in the world comes with a price. And our citizens are burdened with heavy [and inequitable] taxation. Our leaders have forgotten the promises of God and the purpose this nation was established. They have listened to bad counsel and lost sight of the needs of the people, while enriching themselves. They have gotten into bed with foreign governments, and have abandoned their obligations to their own people. Like Solomon, they have developed comprehensive and costly programs that result in a depleted treasury and mounting debt that is heaped on the backs of the citizenry. Solomon had multiple palaces built for himself; our politicians own multiple homes. The similarities are glaring!

     And the biggest renunciation of the One who set the boundaries of this nation according to His plans that we honor and uphold His Kingdom on earth, is this abomination ... In order to set aside their rebelliousness against the God who founded this nation (yes, go back and read Part One's citation of Deuteronomy 32:6-9), our law-makers remove Him from His position of authority in our government, our schools, and our way of life. The apostasy is as apparent as it was in the days of Solomon. And, if we are not deliberate in restoring it, our path is due to mimic the downfall of the kingdom of Israel.

     Our nation is already divided, and millions of people have been led astray. They worship idols of self,  destruction, and death. It's apparent in our policies of abortion, the handling of Covid protocols for the elderly, and in the growing influence of ideologies such as socialism and communism. Our status as a nation upholding the principles of God is in dire jeopardy of being lost. Invading armies are watching us closely to see if we will be able to survive as a unified and strong nation.

     And, yes, I hear the voices of today's "prophets"... some declaring that "revival is on its way" and "Jesus will deliver us from this chaos" ... while others warn that our sins are catching up with us, and our God is a righteous God who will not tolerate the evil of aborted babies, nor honor our free will choices to remove Him from all that is at the heart of this nation. So, what do you think? Will we follow in the footsteps of the kingdom of Israel? Or do we still have time (and the will) to return to being a God-fearing nation who can forgive our brothers and sisters for the evil we've done to each other, and restore our hearts and spirits as a Godly nation? Are we still entitled to the inheritance that God gave us when this nation was founded, as it is stated in Deuteronomy 32? And are we able to look in the mirror and see ourselves in the Light of Jesus? Do we have Leaders who are still clean in heart, mind, and spirit to lead us out of this darkness and division? I pray that we can look at the lessons of Solomon and the divided nations of Israel and Judah.

     One thing is crystal clear: God does not tolerate the transfer of the honor and worship that is due Him to any other being or object [or philosophy or ideology]. And He has no problem, in His Sovereignty, of disciplining a nation by sending it into captivity -- or even removing it altogether. Do I think America could play a part in transforming the world into the Kingdom of God? YES! But not as long as we ignore the commandments of our Holy God. And that goes for our government, our citizenry, and our churches. We all have to take some responsibility for where we find ourselves. I just pray that we recognize our sins before it is too late, and that we come together in true and authentic unity, harmony, and solidarity. We are on the edge of either divine restoration or diabolical destruction. Now is the time to get in the game if we are going to save our nation! 

     So, it is only fitting that I ask you to join me in the following prayer that is inspired by Asher Intrator, who leads a Messianic ministry in Israel. He has been leading a group in prayer for America, and I ask that we come together in agreement with them as they pray for us: We feel led to come together to stand as one family with the United States of America. We cannot let go of what God has gripped us with -- America was birthed out of covenant with the Lord. She has justice and righteousness engraved in her foundations. While our hearts are at rest, as we trust in Him, we take our place as His ambassadors on earth, declaring that the kingdoms of the world will become the Kingdom of God. Despite any earthly differences, we want to rise higher, pray for this godly nation, and declare that the Lord's purposes and dreams [for America] will be fulfilled. Who can stop the Lord Almighty and His family? So, we come together to stand with America as a representation of His heavenly government. 

     And all God's children said, "AMEN"!  


Acts 17:26-27   And He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their lands and territories.  This was so that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grasp for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.

November 29, 2020

A Nation Divided: Are We Like The Kingdom of Israel? -- Part 1

A Nation Divided ... that is how the media pundits describe us these days. And I will agree that there are some major differences in ideologies, political positions, and societal standards among our citizenry. Neither is this the first time that our nation has come to this crossroads. It's been 160 years since the United States faced a split like this one, and it cost us dearly. I pray we can take a step back before we find ourselves at the edge of that cliff again. And we are not the first nation in the history of the world to find its internal conflict resulting in a fractured people.

And this got me to thinking how God regards nations. I am no theologian, but I am a seeker after God's heart on a myriad of topics, and this is one of them. I won't bore you with my line of reasoning, but I will tell you where my thoughts have culminated. Interestingly, they align with the beginning of the Bible and again, at the end. So let's take a look at the beginning ... The Word makes it clear in Deuteronomy, Chapter 32, that God gave the nations their inheritance, and separated them, setting the boundaries of the peoples (verse 8). This chapter also makes it clear that God established Israel as a nation and chose them as His portion among the nations (verses 6-9). All this happened after Nimrod encouraged the people to rebel against God and they attempted to overthrow Heaven. So God separated them, giving them different languages, and assigning them to different governing gods. 

And before you think I am theologically incorrect, I would refer you to Psalm 82, where God is standing in the Divine Assembly, and judging among the gods. In this powerful psalm, God is dressing down the lesser gods (whom He created and assigned to the nations) for not treating the peoples of the nations righteously or justly. The misunderstanding of this Psalm, combined with the mistranslation in Deuteronomy 32:8 that God set the boundaries "according to the sons of Israel", has led to centuries of confusion about God as the Most High God among the universe's multitude of lesser gods. You see, "sons of Israel" was originally written as sons of God in the Dead Sea Scrolls, and angels of God in the Septuagint. Our modern translations, which render the verse as sons of Israel, were written beginning in 1611 (and later), while the Dead Sea Scrolls were written in 150 B.C. and the Septuagint between 330 and 350 A.D., giving their translations precedence; at least to my way of thinking. So, I believe that this clearly shows us that nations were not only created by God, but how they came to be governed by the heavenly authorities established over them, and why all this is important to God. [NOTE: I could write an entire series of blogs on this concept, but for this discussion, I simply wanted to establish how God regards the nations].

So, let's take a look now at what is revealed about nations at the end of the Bible. In Revelation 21, the Apostle John is given a vision of the New Heaven and Earth, and the New Jerusalem, where the glory of God has illumined it; and the Lamb, Jesus Christ, is its lamp and light. The Bible says in verse 24, "The nations [the redeemed people from the earth] will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring into it their glory". And in Revelation 22:1-2, John is shown a river of the Water of Life, beside which is growing the renewed Tree of Life, whose leaves "were for the healing of the nations". This makes it obvious [to me] that God desires nations to be filled with redeemed servants of God, and that He has established a new Tree of Life by which nations will be healed and restored. 

So, what are we to take away from these disclosures in the Word of God? Should we pray for our nation to receive healing and restoration? Or are we doomed to follow the path of the ancient kingdom of Israel, who became a divided nation and ultimately went into physical and spiritual captivity? Can we learn from the mistakes that led to the northern nation of Israel and the southern nation of Judah; and can we see any similarities between their history and how ours is playing out? Let's consider a few things and then decide how we should pray for reconciliation in our land...

If you know your Bible history, then you are aware that the ancient kingdom of Israel became divided shortly after the death of King Solomon. It would be easy for us to surmise that his son, Rehoboam, failed at preserving the kingdom that his grandfather, David, had established, and that his father, Solomon, had expanded. But a closer look shows that Solomon actually set the eventual division of Israel into motion. An excellent publication by Liberty University faculty member, Wayne Brindle, educated me on all the issues that led to the dissolution of the kingdom of Israel. And I will endeavor to present a condensed argument that our own nation is in serious jeopardy of making the same mistakes. [You can download the presentation in its entirety by clicking here].  

The immediate image of the Kingdom of Israel under Solomon's reign is that it was idyllic - a time of peace and prosperity. He built a Temple to God that was beyond compare. It is described in the Bible as having walls that were lined with cedar, on which were carved figures of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers, which were overlaid with gold (1 Kings 6:29-30). Chains of gold further marked it off from the Holy of Holies. The floor of the Temple was of fir overlaid with gold. You get the picture, right? 

His accomplishments were known around the world, and he was sought after for his wealth of wisdom. Even the Queen of Sheba traveled for a state visit with King Solomon. He forged alliances with powerful nations and spent lots of money on fortifying the cities of his growing empire. And that required a standing army, with thousands of horses and horsemen -- all of which required enormous amounts of food and provisions. He developed comprehensive programs and built not only the glorious Temple of gold, but his own palace and other magnificent structures that befitted his status. All this at the expense of the twelve tribes of Israel, who made up the citizenry. So, how did he finance all these expenditures? The primary source was taxation, of course! 

But it seems that Solomon played favorites; the taxation was not spread evenly among the different tribes. In fact, if you read 1 Kings, Chapter 4, you will get an idea of how much it would cost to support Solomon's lifestyle. You will also discover that every tribe but Judah is called upon to foot the bill. Solomon was a member of that tribe and apparently he was not a proponent of economic equality. And his partiality towards the region of Judah found him taxing the northern regions of the kingdom more in order to build defenses for the southern part of the kingdom, where Judah existed. For all his wisdom and resourcefulness, [upon his death in 931 B.C.], he left his son, Rehoboam, with a diminished treasury and a "ripe for revolt" constituency in the northern part of the kingdom. Sound familiar? In the next post we will take a look at how this plays out for the troubled kingdom, and how the effects of Solomon's apostasy against the Lord results in judgment. Are we due for a similar fate?

Proverbs 29:2    When the righteous increase, the people rejoice, but when the wicked rule, the people groan.


November 11, 2016

Valley of Decision: Don't Let The Father Of Lies Steal or Destroy Our Nation

     How sad, that on this Veteran's Day, we are seeing such acrimony and malice being exhibited post-election.  It is estimated that over 1.1 million Americans have died in service to this country since its inception.  I hate to think that the memory of that monumental sacrifice is diminished in the wake of unrealized election results.  I can recognize that one-half of the nation is disappointed at the outcome, but I truly am grieved at the excessive and unreasonable responses -- everything from abusive language and insults, to the calls for violence, destruction, and revolution.  And believe me, if the election had turned out the other way, I would feel the same if I saw such rancor and resentment.
     For those of us who have prayed for peace, reconciliation, and a return to moral absolutes and true liberty, I think we are a little aghast at the venom and poison being spewed.  But what else should we expect?  If President-Elect Trump is to be a genuine instrument of God, then isn't it likely that the Enemy is putting his own game plan into motion?  And let's be honest, we know that Romans 13 tells us that all those in authority have been granted their position by the permission and sanction of God.  Whether Donald Trump holds office as an indicator of God's Judgment or Restoration remains to be seen.  We can be hopeful -- and should be -- at this point, but there are lots of decisions to be made in the coming days that will set our nation on its future course.
     I can't help but compare this tenuous time to what it must have been like when Abraham Lincoln took office and the nation, like now, was so divided in its political character and complexion.  President-Elect Lincoln took a cautious approach in the days leading up to his inauguration, being careful to offer an olive branch to his former opponents, while making it clear that he would take a firm stance on preserving the nation.  And, just as now, he found it necessary to remind the citizens of America that we share a common heritage.
     In the closing remarks of his Inaugural Address, President Lincoln said, “In your hand, my fellow countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The government will not assail you. You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors. You have no oath in Heaven to destroy the government, while I shall have the most solemn one to preserve, protect, and defend it… We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearthstone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”
     How appropriate for each of us ... to decide if we are willing to let our differences tear us apart; or if we can find a way to come together for the common good.  How we make that very important decision will have tremendous consequences for this nation.  Because it is clear to me that we have allowed ourselves to be indoctrinated and lied to, while we remanded our civic duties to a federal government who only looked out for themselves.
    I happen to believe that God established this nation.  The Bible tells us, "From one man He made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands" (Acts 17:26).  We were appointed to this nation at this time, and there is a purpose for both our lives and our country.   As a Believer, I happen to think our purpose is to glorify God.  Unfortunately, too many have listened to the Father of Lies and their purpose in life has become to exalt, elevate, and enhance themselves.  They listened to the Devil whisper lies of entitlement and privilege, so that they have forgotten that it is God "who gives to all [people] life and breath and all things".  Instead, they now believe that it is the Federal Government who provides all things, and they bow down at the altar of the man (or woman) who promises the most.
     I would caution all who are reading this blog today to be careful about falling into this trap.  Whether you are cheering at the prospect of a President Trump, or are devastated over "what might have been" with a President Clinton, we must not put our hope and trust in a clay vessel.  Yes, we must reside as citizens of the United States until we are called to our heavenly home, and it is reasonable to want a prosperous and free life.  But our first responsibility, as Christians, is to be a part of establishing the Kingdom of God on earth.  And there is no place for hatred or division or exploitation or alienation in that Holy government.
     REMEMBER:  the Devil comes to steal, kill, and destroy.  Don't let him steal the brotherhood you share with your fellow man.  Don't let him kill the Spirit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and faithfulness that resides in your heart.  And don't let him destroy your testimony of the Word!  As President Lincoln solemnly swore, We must not be enemies!  Let's recognize our true Enemy and do not allow him to devour us!
     We have been down that road before in this nation, and it has caused a grievous and grave wound upon our land.  So, please pray for our nation and our leaders; it is time for us to come together and heal.  The next two months until Inauguration Day will be a time of momentous decisions.  Let us remain steadfast in our purpose of reconciliation and resolution, and not make the same mistakes the nation made prior to Lincoln's Presidency .... Six weeks later, the Confederates fired on Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina, and the Civil War began.  May God have mercy on our nation!

And thank you to all the Veterans who have done their part to preserve this great nation... I am especially proud of my father, my uncle, my cousin, and my nephew.  I am grateful each of you answered the call!

Acts 17:30    "Therefore God overlooked and disregarded the former ages of ignorance; but now He commands all people everywhere to repent [that is, to change their old way of thinking, to regret their past sins, and to seek God’s purpose for their lives]..."

February 3, 2016

I Warned You!

     There are times that things I see seem so clear and transparent, yet I have doubts that anyone ever reads what I write, or if they do, it is too difficult to take seriously.  Yet I know that I am not the only one who has been sounding the alarm.  Others have written of the covert efforts of the Muslim Brotherhood to infiltrate our country -- from the highest echelons of government, to our corporate board rooms, and our children's classrooms.
     In June, 2013 I wrote a detailed blog post about the clandestine endeavors surrounding the Brotherhood's endeavors to wage "a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within."  The idea of a Global Caliphate was new and, frankly, most people in the West sneered at the notion.
     Now, nearly two-and-a-half years later, we are focused on the beheadings and exterminations of Christians in the Middle East; the exponential growth in rapes of European women by Muslim immigrants; and the growing threat of terrorist plots on our own soil.  But while we are zeroing in on these atrocities, there has been a more subtle jihad being committed in the heartland.
     In 2013, I warned you about the Cosmos Foundation, a charter school operator founded a decade ago by a group of professors and businessmen from Turkey. The group, currently using the name Harmony Schools, has become the biggest charter operation in the state of Texas, promising American parents that they could increase their children's comprehension in math and the sciences.  What concerned me was the fact that the Cosmos Foundation had also forged ongoing relationships with a close-knit network of businesses and organizations run by Turkish immigrants. Some of those founders, as well as school operators, and many of their business suppliers, were followers of a man named Fethullah Gülen.
     Since I wrote that article, it has become apparent that Turkey has regressed from a secular democracy into an Islamic state, and Imam Fethullah Gülen and his Gülen Movement (GM) had an enormous influence in setting the increasingly Islamist agenda in Turkey.  In fact, in Turkey, 75 % of the nation’s two million preparatory school students are enrolled in Gülen institutions. In America, GM runs the largest charter school network in the nation.  In 2013, I asked the following question:  When you connect the dots, don't you think all this information is worthy of our scrutiny and our concern?  And in light of the connections between GM and the political campaign of a certain candidate for the President of the United States, I still stand by that astute question.

     And apparently, so does Ariel Cohen, a writer for The Blaze.  Mr. Cohen has written an excellent article, in which he points out that the myriad of organizations affiliated with the Gülen movement include banks, newspapers, universities, charities, research institutes, and the largest network of private Muslim schools in the world. The school curriculum is not "overtly" Islamist, and claims to focus on science, technology, engineering and math (also known as STEM).  Cohen alleges that the Gülen-affiliated net business worth exceeds $25 billion, and together, they receive approximately $150 million a year in U.S. tax breaks and subsidies -- all leading to an unhealthy mix of politics, education, and religion that is infecting our nation.
     Mr. Cohen is so bold as to suggest that the Gülen organization "appears to be busy buying, using and abusing political power.... The web reaches up to the corridors of the U.S. Congress and down to local schools from Texas to Tahoe. According to a USA TODAY investigation, over 200 trips for congressmen and congressional staff have been sponsored by Gülenist entities".
     And here is something that should concern us all ... According to the Clinton Foundation website, Recep Ozkan, former president of the Gülen-connected Turkish Cultural Center, contributed between $500,000 and $1 million. Unsurprisingly, former President Bill Clinton has appeared at Gülen movement events and praised the founder’s contributions to world peace and inter-religious understanding.
     But these "Turkish operatives" are not tied to just one party.  Both Democratic Representative Henry Cuellar of Texas, and Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte have been reported to be recipients of Gülen organizational donations (although Senator Ayotte returned funds, once she discovered their origin).  Currently, the FBI is engaged in a massive probe of Gülenist activities in this country. However, the investigation is limited to the Gülen-linked schools.
     But there is some hope ... It is the task of law enforcement to protect our politics, our country, and most importantly our children, from illicit external influences. Therefore, as the FBI investigates the network, it can also look into the political donations by the members of the movement.  I hope they do so.
     It is apparent in his home country of Turkey that Imam Gülen has an agenda ... to infiltrate all the business centers, re-educate the children, and obtain State power, and a warrant for his arrest has been issued.  Does it not seem plausible that he and his followers are trying to institute the same paradigm here in the U.S.?  We need to pray that the FBI will be allowed to conduct a thorough investigate; that Congress will weed out this invasive and subversive enemy of American sovereignty; and that God will shine His light upon the organization's false motives.  I know we have ignored this enemy for far too long, but I have faith that God can destroy their plans.

Job 5:12-13     "He frustrates the devices of the crafty, so that their hands cannot perform their enterprise or anything of [lasting] worth.  He catches the [so-called] wise in their own trickiness, and the counsel of the schemers is brought to a quick end."

June 6, 2015

Lessons Of Old Still Apply

     Once again, it has dawned on me as I begin to write my post for today, that my original concept for starting this blog has evolved slightly in its trajectory.  Oh, I'm still all about the "salvation" part of Salvation and Survival; that has not changed.  To be specific, it is still my goal to be upfront and bold in proclaiming the need for redemption by all men and women; to point out that we need a Savior from our sinful natures, and He is available to us through the person of Jesus Christ and his crucifixion and resurrection.  I haven't changed my direction in that arena at all.
    But it's the "survival" part of my focus that has seen a metamorphosis.  I'm still all about discussing ways to make ourselves ready or able to do or deal with changes that are coming to our lives.  But I think my view is changing from surviving circumstances that pertain specifically to this time in my nation's history, to surviving a phenomenon that has occurred throughout the history of all nations. Let me see if I can explain...
     First of all, let me tell you that as I am diligently making my way through reading my Bible -- this time with the clear intent of having it unveiled by the Holy Spirit -- I am forever being surprised at how often what happened to the ancient nation of Israel applies to us today.  Talk about learning lessons about surviving!  There is no better example of continuing to exist through difficult circumstances than ancient Israel, nor a more appropriate reminder of keeping our guard up.  Survival is all about maintaining our vigilance and caution, while refusing to leave ourselves vulnerable to attack.  One such lesson was presented to me in the Fourth chapter of the Book of Ezra.
     Let me catch you up on the historic facts ... the nation of Judah is involved with rebuilding the Temple after 70 long years of captivity in Babylon (due to their failure to remain true to the covenant with their God).  The Babylonian Empire had been defeated by the Medo-Persian Empire, and the Persian king Cyrus had issued a decree to let the Jews return to Jerusalem to rebuild Solomon's Temple, which had been destroyed during the Babylonian conquest of Judah.
     The previous chapters of Ezra give us an account of the priests and people who returned to complete the restoration of the Temple, and their spiritual preparation for the task.  Work continues and the Temple foundation is completed.  But throughout the years of the reign of King Cyrus, until the reign of Persian King Darius, there is continued opposition to the idea of a restored Judah and Temple.  In various forms of duplicity and deception, enemy nations approach the leaders of Judah and offer their help; in essence, saying, "Let us help you build; we seek the same ends you do, and can even accept your God as ours."
     For awhile, Zerubbabel, (who had been given the office of governor of the Persian Province of Judah, and who was the grandson of Jehoiachin, one of the last kings of Judah) was able to keep Judah autonomous and independent of foreign influences.  He declined their offers to permeate their cultures into the Jewish heritage, and was successful in completing the work God had ordained for them alone.
     But, the Bible tells us that, in time, "the people of the (other) lands weakened (tried to discourage) the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in the building.  They hired counsellors against them, to frustrate their purpose...".
     This mimics exactly what we are seeing in our own nation today.  Enemies of our country have entered our most sacred institutions and are counseling against the foundation of how this country was built.  We were led to believe that they honored and respected our unique status and our ways, when in reality, they wish to transform it and destroy it; establishing a new form of governance.
     Now substitute the Church and Christianity for the Nation.  Enemies of God and Christians enter into our Church buildings, saying they wish to worship with us; to seek after our God.  But, in reality, they are involved with witchcraft, or false gods, or believe in the ultimate weakening of the true faith, ecumenicalism; and their desire is to establish a stronghold in order to destroy the Church.
     It is an age-old concept; one that the Greeks personified in their use of the Trojan horse... it is any trick or strategy that causes a target to allow a foe into a securely protected bastion or space.  The difference is that Zerubbabel resisted them.  The leaders of our nation and churches have not been so mindful of the danger and difficulties that ensue from such compromise.  Once again I have learned that the Bible is not only an amazing story of salvation, but its lessons on survival are valid for all time.

Proverbs 10:9     Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out.

May 6, 2015

"It's About Being An American!"

     Believe me, I am not one to repost videos or remarks from Facebook.  But today is the exception.  If you have been reading my blog since its inception, then you know that I have been fortunate enough to train under Travis Haley, a veteran Force Reconnaissance Marine.  I have written about the ways in which he has made me a better person, as well as a better shooter.  I respect his military service, his creativity, his innovativeness, and his code of honor, morals and behavior.
     So, it was with a good bit of interest that I noticed he posted a "selfie" video, so to speak, on his Facebook page, titled "Don't Ask Me Again! Make A Difference."  As soon as I clicked on the video I knew it was not coming from his professional side.  This one was personal!
     He had received a Facebook message asking him his opinion on what our "course of action" should be regarding the incidents in Baltimore and around the country; on racism, to be exact.  The ridiculous charge by the messenger was that men like Travis could "grab their guns and go there, make a huge difference, and stop this."  To say that Travis was taken aback, is putting it mildly.  Anyone who knows him could gauge his reaction by the steely glare into the camera and the set of his jaw.  His response?  "You're ignorant, and a racist a--hole for asking those kinds of questions and making those kinds of statements."
     His anger stemmed from the fact that the person who contacted him insinuated that as a celebrated American soldier, who had fought Evil and terrorists who were trying to take away our freedoms, he would be the perfect candidate to put a stop to what was happening in Baltimore.  But Travis's response was unequivocal ... "These are Americans; we are ALL Americans at the end of the day.  If you are a legal citizen of America, whether you are black, white; whether you are Hispanic, Asian ... it doesn't matter what your race or culture or ethnic background is.  If you are here legally, you are an American citizen."
     As you listen to him explain his theory about anyone who would dare to suggest that it is the role of the military to stop citizen protests, you know where he is coming from.  Those who try to use race or "the color card" to divide, do so to destroy us as fellow Americans.  He pointed out that this tactic clouds the more important point that "American" should be the description by which we all identify ourselves.  As he says, "American ... that's a pretty important word!"  That is what he and his fellow Marines (of all colors and ethnic backgrounds) have fought for.  He charges that Race and Racism is wrongfully becoming the priority -- the focal point -- rather than who we are ... Americans!
     He's tired of people asking him what his stance is on Baltimore, or Ferguson, or the like.  Instead, he challenges us all to stop focusing on the distraction of racism, and to "be significant; get some substance in your life and make a difference."  Basically, he is drawing attention to the fact that every social media site and news outlet is making racism the predominant story!  We should not buy into that narrative!
     As Travis concludes, he points out that we are not born racist; we learn racism.  Instead of waking up each day and embracing this negative persona; drinking the "racist koolaid", so to speak, we should get some substance in our lives, stop making racism the primary issue of your existence, and stop making excuses.
     Believe me, his statement was a bit more colorful than I have expressed here today, but I think you get the drift.  Racism is being used to divide and conquer this country, and we need to do our part to stop the tide and eliminate it from our consciousness and vocabulary.  Our lives should stand for something more important than something so worthless and divisive as racism.
     As a Christian, I couldn't agree more!  And as much as I respect and honor Travis Haley and his bold statement on this issue, there is another man whom I try to model my life after, and His words are even more courageous and indomitable.  He saw us all as only one race ... the human race.  And He made us all in the same image; in the likeness of Him and God, the Father.
     In the end, this human race has been plagued with racism, prejudice and antagonism for thousands of years.  But we don't have to accept that!  We can repent of our discrimination and forgive those who discriminate against us.  Above all else, we can love and respect each other, just as He loves each one of us.  At the end of the day, as Travis said, it really is all about who we are as people; and as my Savior commanded us, we should be kind and compassionate to each other; forgiving each other.  We were made to be better than this, and we can be better than we are!

Ephesians 2:14    "For He Himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in His flesh the dividing wall of hostility."

October 18, 2014

America ... Who Have We Become?

     I wake up each morning wondering if I will still recognize my country.  It is sometimes overwhelming to read and hear what has happened overnight.  One day it is that Pastors in Houston, Texas are being threatened with subpoenas to turn over their sermons; auspiciously to probe for political content -- which by the way, is a clear violation of Freedom of Speech.
     The next morning, I read that Jerusalem Online is reporting that during a TV interview in France, our President remarked that since 1.5% of the entire U.S. population is Muslim (and which accounts for only 0.3% of the world's Muslim population), we should now be considered "one of the biggest Muslim nations."  Other than a smattering of alternative media sites, this surprising declaration is all but ignored.
     On other days, I try to wrap my head around why we would quarantine whole families, and shut down schools, because someone took a flight on a plane that an Ebola patient had previously flown on -- yet do nothing to stop flights from Ground Zero in West Africa, where the disease is originating and raging.
     Here in Texas, we hear daily of the mounting kidnappings, deaths, and cartel invasions along our southern border with Mexico; yet, we are excoriated for calling for border closures.  We Americans used to feel safe and secure in this country; that we could trust our elected representatives to put America first.  Now, we are more worried about protecting "fledgling democracies in West Africa"; illegal immigrants who are "only seeking political asylum"; and everything and everybody who opposes Judeo-Christian values.
     I just wonder how heart-broken Billy Graham must have been to say that, "America is just as wicked as Sodom and Gomorrah."  At 95 years of age, Reverend Graham has seen the ebb and flow of America's fortunes. He knows, better than most, that this nation is being swept along on a flood of immorality, greed, and pride.  He would be justified, at his age, in giving up on us -- we used to be the light of the world; now that beacon is covered in the filth of corruption and depravity.
The right of freedom being a gift
from God, it is not in the power
of man to alienate this gift and 
voluntarily become a slave.

--Samuel Adams
    Yet, Dr. Graham reminds us that this nation was founded by men who believed in prayer, and the Power that established this nation can resurrect it, if we will return to Him and pray for forgiveness.  He firmly believes that this downward tide of history can be "turned by prayer".  Where are the other leaders of this nation, like him?  "Leader" doesn't have to mean powerful men in government, or famous televangelists; it can be anyone who is willing to step up and show the way towards a better future for this country.  Each one of us can play that part!  Have we become a nation so lazy and disconnected that we've lost our way?  We are on the verge of letting our inheritance slip away, and no one is aware of it!
     Will future generations wonder why we were ever called "Sweet Land of Liberty"?  Will your grandchildren and great-grandchildren ever experience the individual freedoms that we were born with?  Lest we forget, no other nation in the history of the world allowed their citizens to make choices independent of a ruler/governing class.  We Americans have enjoyed rights not held by citizens down through the ages.  We have the right to say what we want (as long as it doesn't harm another), to worship as we choose, to assemble in peaceful protest, to live where we want, and to work at whatever craft we desire -- all privileges that we take for granted.  And, because of our complacency, these rights and individual freedoms are eroding.  Our descendants may scarcely recognize them.
     Our Founders believed that our freedom as a Sovereign Nation rested on our Individual Freedoms as citizens.  They are wholly dependent on each other.  The soul purpose of the "fundamental changes" that, we as a nation have accepted, were to revise and revamp who we are as a country and a people.  And that goal has almost been reached.  All of our political posturing and social arguments will not turn this ship; the tide is too strong.
     So, the question becomes ... will we follow Dr. Graham's advice and turn to prayer?  Because, I can promise you that this is the only hope we have.  It is too late to return to our origins by the ballot box, social protest, or democratic overhaul; it is incontrovertible that we have wasted the legacy of our forefathers.  But there is one thing we need to understand ... God established this nation, and through His Sovereignty, He can allow it to be destroyed.  However, that judgment can be stayed -- if we will humble ourselves, seek His Face ... and pray!  

Psalm 33:12   "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!"