"Those from among you shall build the old waste places; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; and you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in." ~ Isaiah 58:12
In traveling about this region of several states, I’ve noticed the many prayer meetings that have been taking place the last three years. Many of those expressed great concern for the state of our nation and the elections of 2016. Having won most of those elections I’ve been very interested to see if the prayer meetings would continue. I’m happy to say many of them are. However, I have a great concern.
Jim Cymbala, Pastor of the Brooklyn Tabernacle, says that prayer is born out of a “felt need”. We felt our need acutely before last fall’s elections. We could see the persecution of Christians rising in this nation; we could see the degrading of our nation by previous administrations; we felt the growing socialist control over our children, especially if they were in a tax-supported school. We cried to God out of hearts which felt the need of a change that we couldn’t work. Many of us believe that God answered those desperate cries and mercifully granted us a President and many other government servants who are, at least, respectful of God, the Bible, and the name of Jesus. They honor our flag and our Constitution. Compared to what we’d had for many years, all this is so wonderful it’s easy to think the crisis has passed. But don’t be deceived!
What caused us to be in the death struggle for the life of our nation has Continue reading →
It had been extremely hot and dry. There had hardly been any rain for twelve weeks. The corn and other crops had wilted and looked to be beyond reviving. This would mean starvation come winter. There was no hope in their own ability to fix this situation. But this group had learned to trust God, their Creator, as God, their Sustainer. Thus, they called for a day of fasting and prayer to seek God’s face as to why He had withheld the rain. After genuine repentance and worship that day in 1623, the rain began to fall that very night and to their astonishment, their corn revived and produced wonderfully that summer. The Pilgrims proved, once again, that prayer to God Almighty, the Father of Jesus Christ, is the way to move things in this world!
In the midst of our current crisis, we must remember that it is not up to us, but the Lord Himself, to change our hearts and forms of government. While our part is to work with Him in what He’s doing, our praying will be what ultimately wins this battle. God stirs us to prayer, reminding us,
“…you have not because you ask not. You ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss, that you may consume it on your own desires.” (James 4:2-3)
In the first two years of our War for Independence from England, George Washington’s army had very few victories. They were out-manned, out-gunned, and out-supplied. Yet they refused to give up and clung tenaciously to the hope of liberty. And some miracles occurred in the winter and spring of 1778 which would begin to fulfill that hope.
As they had marched into Valley Forge to establish their winter camp, Washington spoke of how this was a most remarkable army. Though just volunteer farmers, they had stood up to the British army, the greatest in the world, with dogged determination. Even now, as they struggled into their winter camp, their sacrifice was evident. Many had clothes which hung in threads, exposing their naked bodies to the cold. Washington recorded how one could trace their steps by the path of blood left by many who had no shoes of any sort. That winter over 2000 of the 6000 man army would die from lack of food and exposure to the elements. Yet, they stayed. Their love of liberty meant more than any physical hardship they were experiencing.
On April 19, 1775, Pastor Jonas Clark in Lexington, Massachusetts had watched his men allow the British to fire first into their ranks, obeying the Biblical principle that only a defensive war is just. One year later Pastor Clark would boldly proclaim about this event:
“From this day will be dated the liberty of the world.”
(America’s Providential History, M. Beliles-S. McDowell, 1989, pg. 141)
What convinced him that civil liberty was being born for the world on that day? For twenty years he had been teaching his congregation the principles of civil liberty from the Bible. He believed Biblical teaching, done for decades before this day, had prepared the American people as no nation had ever been prepared for civil liberty. And indeed this day would seem to “…proclaim liberty throughout the land to all the inhabitants thereof…” (Leviticus 25:10)
The story really begins the day before as children, playing in the streets of Boston, but trained to listen, gained Continue reading →
Most people live and die without ever finding the hope that they can be what God created them to be. But you can have that hope! Jesus Christ wants to step into you and live His life through you. He wants to bring you into all He created you to be. Thousands in the first three centuries found that hope. Here’s how it happened as described in the book Why God Birthed America:
“Jesus’ followers had been together a lot during those ten days after He had returned to heaven. They had opened their hearts to each other in a way they had never done before. Somehow, reflecting on Jesus’ different appearances made it easier to bare one’s thoughts – the hopes and the fears. This opening of the heart began to work a oneness, a unity among them that made them feel as if they were a real part of the others: An actual body of believers, joined together by the same thinking, moving in the same direction.
“They had decided to come together on the Day of Pentecost; a Feast which reminded them of God’s awesome power displayed when God gave the Ten Commandments. Through the prophet Ezekiel, God had promised Continue reading →
When rulers try to rule without “the fear of God” (Exodus 18:21), they miss the very foundation of success. The worldview that denies the existence of God, as well as His right to rule us and our institutions can end only in confusion and death to liberty. That’s why in recent programs we’ve been sharing the Biblical foundations for ourselves and our nation from the book Why God Birthed America. We continue with the story of Jesus’ Resurrection:
“What Mary didn’t see in that Garden was the host of others who were there. The many believers from the past who were standing around Jesus, waiting for the most triumphant entry ever staged. They were the ‘spirits of just men made perfect.’ (Hebrews 12:22-23) Abel, Noah, Moses, David, Daniel and many, many others. They did not yet have their new bodies, like the one Jesus had. But they knew His was the certain promise that theirs would one day come. (Ephesians 1:14)
“He was leading them from Paradise (the place where they had been at rest ever since their death) into heaven. The Father in heaven had ever wanted them with Him, but something had to happen first. Since all the spirit realm operates Continue reading →
Jesus had been dead three days. Some of the women who had followed Him came to His tomb early and had found the stone door rolled away and His body gone! They had told His disciples, and Peter and John had come to the grave site and seen for themselves that His body was gone. But now the others had left and only Mary Magdalene remained. It is here we pick up the story from the book, Why God Birthed America…
“Mary did not want to leave. She stood there a few steps from the entrance to the grave, trying to sort out all that had happened. The angels had said He was alive. Jesus Himself had told them He would come back to life. But could that really be? She moved closer to the entrance. Questions were flying through her mind. Could He really be alive again?
She didn’t know how long she stood there lost in thought. But as she put her head on the doorway and wept, she was instantly blinded with light! There they were again! The two shining creatures she and the other women had seen earlier! They looked at her with compassion.
‘Woman, why are you weeping?’ they asked.
‘Because they’ve taken away my Lord and I don’t know where they’ve put Him,’ she wailed. She turned her head away, having no stamina which could Continue reading →
It has been said of Patrick, the great missionary to Ireland during the 400s, he “found Ireland all heathen and left it all Christian”. And while, no doubt, that statement is not completely true, it, no doubt, has much truth in it because Patrick was used of God powerfully in converting the Irish to Christ and helping them structure their government so that it would protect for centuries the right to share the Gospel of Christ with the next generation. Patrick’s understanding and submission to God brought tremendous power from the Holy Spirit to his life. You hear his understanding of God and this world God created and controls in what is known as Patrick’s Breastplate. Hear the power of God in it! He states:
“I arise today Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity, Through the belief in the threeness, Through the confession of the oneness Of the Creator of Creation
“I arise today Through the strength of Christ’s birth with his baptism, Through the strength of his crucifixion with his burial, Through the strength of his resurrection with his ascension, Through the strength of his descent for the Judgment Day.Continue reading →
Well known Christian leader, Kevin Swanson, tells how he once listened for three days to a “positive” Christian radio network without hearing any mention of judgment of any kind. Not even once in three days! This stripping of the Biblical teaching concerning judgment has now given us three generations that have no idea of the consequences of sin in this earth, much less in eternity. And yet the Bible is filled with references to God being judge. Notice,
“…the LORD shall judge His people…”
“…the LORD…cometh to judge the earth: He shall judge…the people with His truth.”
“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.”
2 Corinthians 5:10
“He that rejecteth Me, and receiveth not My words…the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.”
The two Judgments on which hang all eternal destinies and rewards are commonly called The “Great White Throne Judgment” revealed in Revelation 20 (verses 11-15), and “The Judgment Seat of Christ” taught in 2 Corinthians 5:10. The Great White Throne Judgment is Continue reading →
The message of judgment for sins has always been unpopular with those who want to run their own lives. It still is. But the fact remains: No matter how much we try to put off or forget judgment, it will still occur, right on schedule—both in this world and the next. Judgment for rebellion is no pleasant thought when the Judge is a just God who keeps a very detailed, specific record of every thought and every action we’ve ever known. The prophet Amos warned the northern kingdom of Israel that impending doom was near. He had cried out,
“Woe to them that are at ease in Zion…that put far away the evil day, and cause the seat of violence to come near; That lie upon beds of ivory, and stretch themselves upon their couches, and eat the lambs out of the flock…That chant to the sound of the viol, and invent to themselves instruments of music…That drink wine in bowls, and…are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph. Therefore now shall they go captive with the first that go captive…The Lord GOD hath sworn by himself…therefore will I deliver up the city with all that is therein…For, behold, the LORD …will smite the great house with breaches…for ye have turned judgment into gall…behold, I will raise up against you a nation, O house of Israel, saith the LORD the God of hosts; and they shall afflict you…”
(Amos 6: 1-14)
But Israel scoffed at Amos’ words. In spite of increasing disease and frightful storms, the nation still didn’t really think these were “the beginning of sorrows”. They thought “somebody will get a handle on this economy…someone will come up with a cure for this rampant disease.” (Sounds like our sexually transmitted diseases, like AIDS, doesn’t it?) “After all,” they said Continue reading →