The pdf Knowledge is Power documents the methods used to corrupt nations. The online version returns to the beginning of the document after using a link, so it’s easier to use the links if you email the pdf to yourself. You need Adobe Reader to open the file, click here for a free download. The world is becoming more chaotic but do not be afraid. Remember the encouraging words of Jesus after he promised to send the Comforter (Holy Spirit). John 16:33 These things I (Jesus) have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
Jesus Christ overcame the world, but we must warn and educate others who fall prey to sophisticated propaganda. However, gaining knowledge of what’s happening in our chaotic world is secondary to the spiritual knowledge described in 2 Peter 1:2-4 2 Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord, 3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: 4 Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction. Psalm 2:10-12 Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth 11 Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. 12 Kiss the Son (Christ), lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him. Psalm 2 was written by King David. Do today’s kings and rulers heed his instruction to be wise and serve the Lord Jesus Christ? Certainly not, they mock God and conspire to corrupt and persecute the Body of Christ.
The consequences of ignoring King David’s advice are summarized in Revelation 6:15-17 15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; 16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: 17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
Check out this episode of “Prophecy in the News”. Host Gary Stearman interviews criminal investigator and former LA Deputy Sheriff Terry Cook. Terry discusses his new book “Beast Tech”, which deals with the creation of a tyrannical world system controlled by technology. Beast Tech refers to the beast that deceives the world in Revelation 13. Terry Cook doesn’t address the symbolism in Revelation, he uses his law enforcement expertise to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt”, that public and private organizations are using technology to create global tyranny. He says this world system will be “global communism”. Evidence of this is the selling off of America to China’s communist government.
The purpose of this website is to illustrate the manifestation of the beast in the world and the manner in which it operates. People will be forced to get the “mark of the beast” on their body in order to buy or sell, and all who take the mark will be condemned. Those with ears to hear, let them hear, NOW is the time to get right with God. Many Christians believe they will be caught up in the air (raptured) with Christ before the tribulation described in Revelation. The Bible clearly says the rapture of the church will occur, and there is scripture suggesting it will occur before the tribulation. But the timing of the rapture is based on speculation. What if Christians have to go through some or all of the tribulation before they’re raptured, are you spiritually prepared?
Those who believe the church will be raptured before the tribulation, need to consider the following four verses from Revelation and 1 Thessalonians. Revelation 20:4-5 4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.
The first resurrection includes Christians killed for refusing the mark of the beast, so they went through most or all of the tribulation. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Paul says the dead in Christ will rise first, this is the first resurrection mentioned in Revelation 20:4, which includes Christians who went through the tribulation. And Paul says the rapture of the church will occur immediately after the first resurrection, then we will all be caught up together to meet the Lord in the air.
If the church is not raptured before the tribulation, it doesn’t mean we are subject to the wrath of God. In many ways, the Exodus of Israel from Egypt is a type and shadow of the church rapture. Many of the plagues mentioned in Revelation occurred in Exodus, and the Israelites were spared from the plagues while the Egyptians were not. In Exodus, Egypt is a shadow of the world being judged by God in Revelation, and the Israelites are a shadow of the church during the tribulation. And the passage of Israel through the parted Red Sea is a type of rapture. In Exodus, Moses and Aaron are also a type of God’s two witnesses in Revelation 11. Like Moses and Aaron, the two witnesses will have power to bring plagues on the earth. Revelation 11:6 These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.
Noah is another example of God protecting the faithful while his judgement comes on the earth. Noah’s ark is a type of Christ, i.e., if Christians are not raptured before the tribulation, those who are in Christ will be protected just as Noah and his family were protected in the ark. The rapture may occur before the tribulation described in Revelation, but many Christian leaders are selling a pre-tribulation rapture as if it’s a proven fact. As a result of this false teaching, many Christians may unwittingly take the mark of the beast if the rapture occurs mid or post tribulation. Christians might take the mark of the beast because they believe they’ll be raptured before that event occurs. All the other posts at this website document the rise of the beast and its methods of deception.
As a Christian, it’s my duty to work for a just, moral society based on the rule of law. That’s why I created this website. But the most important knowledge is found in the Bible, and manifested in the belief that Jesus Christ is the Jewish Messiah sent by God to redeem the world. I recommend Discovering the Jewish Jesus led by Messianic Rabbi K.A. Schneider. He follows in the footsteps of the Apostle Paul who said Jews and Gentiles are one in Christ. He’s building a Christ based bridge between these two groups, which historically, have been suspicious of one another. And like Paul, Rabbi Schneider draws a clear line between legalistic Judaism and Christ’s gospel, which frees Christians from condemnation under the law while they press toward sanctification in Christ. You’ll be touched by the love of Christ coming through Rabbi Schneider. All scriptures in this post are from the King James version. Click on an individual verse for different translations.
I also recommend In Touch Ministry with Dr. Charles Stanley, who exemplifies the wisdom and integrity that makes a great Christian leader. Also, check out The Christian Worship Hour with Pastor Harold Salem. Pastor Salem is 92 years old and still doing the Lord’s work with passion that inspires viewers. Joyce Meyer demonstrates that we are more than conquerors in Christ who loves us. As a young girl, Joyce was sexually molested by her father. The pain and shame could have destroyed her life but now she has one of the largest Christian ministries in America. The Blessed Life led by Pastor Robert Morris, offers Biblical insights and discipleship that few ministries can match. Like Rabbi Schneider, the aforementioned ministries demonstrate God’s love for humanity. Psalm 82: 3,4 says “Defend the poor and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and needy. Deliver the poor and needy; Free them from the hand of the wicked.”
IS GOD JUDGING AMERICA?
Many Christian leaders say God is judging America. But no nation in history has done more to spread the gospel than America. And no nation in history has done more to bless the Jewish people and Israel. Furthermore, its a small albeit powerful minority that’s pushing God out of the public square, advocating for abortion and gay marriage, and in general, forcing a corrupt antichrist agenda on America. So why would God judge America and the tens of millions of Bible believing Christians who are under God’s grace? There’s a difference between God judging a nation and persecution by enemies opposed to the Body of Christ. America is the world’s number one target for increasingly powerful antichrist forces.
There’s a pattern emerging among those who speak curses over America by claiming God is judging our nation. Invariably, they say God is judging America and blessing Israel. And they point to abortion as the basis for God’s judgement of America. But Israel’s abortion laws are among the world’s most liberal, yet they insist God is blessing Israel. Hmmm? Also, they continually misquote Genesis12:3 saying God will bless those that bless Israel and curse those that curse Israel. But that promise was given to Abraham and his seed, which Galatians 3:29 says includes all Christians. So Christian leaders who curse America, i.e., say God is judging our nation, are also cursing Abraham’s seed. Oops!
The apostle Paul warned us about false teachers in the church: Acts 20:29-30 29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. 30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Paul said his gospel of grace was not taught to him by man, but that he received the gospel from Jesus Christ by revelation. The self righteous Judaizers who condemned Paul for not submitting to the bondage of the law, are still busy pointing their fingers in condemnation. But the gospel preached by Paul clearly teaches that God is not yet judging individuals or nations. 2 Corinthians 5:19 …God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Paul did not say God was reconciling the world to himself, except for America. When judgement comes, God will judge the whole world and there will be no doubt that judgement has come.
The conditions in America are like those described in chapters 3 and 4 of the book of Acts. At that time, Christians in Israel were not being judged by God, they were persecuted for preaching in the name of Jesus Christ. Chapter 3 begins with the apostles Peter and John healing a man at the Temple gate. Chapter 4 begins with them being arrested by Jewish chief priests and elders for preaching in the name of Jesus. Before releasing Peter and John (Acts 4:18), the chief priests commanded them not to teach in the name of Jesus.
The apostles refused to stop preaching in Christ’s name, and in Acts 4:24-27 they praised God and referenced the prophetic words of David: 24…Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that is in them: 25 Who by the mouth of thy servant David said, why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? 26 The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. 27 For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together [against Christ]. The words of David are from Psalm 2:1-2. Psalm 2 is only twelve verses long and was written 3000 years ago, yet, it effectively describes the actions of world leaders from Christ’s birth to the present day.
The apostle John said in 1 John 4:3: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. The situation in America similar to the days of Peter and John in Israel, i.e, antichrist Gentiles and Jews in Hollywood, government, and Wall Street, the three pillars of corruption, are conspiring against the Body of Christ. But they’ve gotten more clever over the past 2000 years, so now they spin their persecution of Christians as God judging America. The apostle Paul, who was Jewish, talked about Israel’s rejection of Christ in the book of Romans. Paul made it very clear in chapters 9, 10, and 11, that Christians should love Israel and unbelieving Jews. For as Christ said in John 4:22 …salvation is of the Jews.
But Paul also said in Romans 11:28, As concerning the gospel, they (unbelieving Jews) are enemies for your sakes… So beware of Christian leaders who put modern Israel on a pedestal while saying God is judging America, because as Paul said, Israel is an enemy of the gospel. Fortunately, Zechariah 12:10 says the inhabitants of Jerusalem will one day look upon Christ whom they pierced, and mourn as for a first born and only son. Then, Zechariah 13&14 says God will deliver his holy city from its enemies and all nations will come to worship God. Until that day, Americans must defend Israel’s right to exist and denounce anti-Semitism, but we must not let political correctness prevent us from telling the truth about enemies of Christ’s gospel.
I’m looking forward to the day when Christ returns as King and rules the world from Jerusalem. At that time, Israel and her people will be loved and honored by all nations. Zechariah 8:22-23 22 Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD. 23 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men out of all languages of the nations, shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew saying, we will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you. Christians should thank God for Israel and the Jewish people through whom came Jesus Christ. The Bible, except for the book of Luke, was written by Jewish people who are the apple of God’s eye. Many Christians have a condescending attitude toward the failures of Israel and Judah in the Old Testament, but I don’t believe any other people could’ve done better. So we should view the failures of God’s chosen people with mercy and empathy. But for the grace of God….
Eventually there will be a new Jerusalem. Revelation 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. Revelation 3:12 12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. 13 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches. The vision of a new Jerusalem was given to the churches, so don’t let false teachers persuade you to support Israel’s rebellion against God. We can love Israel without supporting its self destructive behavior just as we can love a family member and not support their self destructive ways.
Regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, politically correct Christians portray every action of Israel as the perfect will of God, and all Palestinian opposition to Israel as satanic. But the Bible clearly teaches that no nation is perfect, not even Israel. Revelation 11 compares Jerusalem in the last days to Sodom and Egypt, which means it is a place of depravity, deceit, and bondage. Revelation 11 describes God’s two witnesses who bring plagues upon the earth. They are eventually killed and left in the streets of Jerusalem. Revelation 11:8 And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, where also our Lord was crucified. It continues saying all nations would rejoice over the killing of God’s prophets, and Israel was not excluded from those that celebrate their death.
The prophet Isaiah also compares Jerusalem to Sodom. Isaiah 3:8-9 8 For Jerusalem is ruined, and Judah is fallen: because their tongue and their doings are against the LORD, to provoke the eyes of his glory. 9 The shew of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves. And yet, many Christian leaders support Israel’s rebellion against God and encourage others to do the same. Furthermore, it is God himself who will gather the nations against Israel, Zechariah 14:1-2 1 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. 2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.
None of the vain efforts of Israel or America can save Israel, only Jesus Christ can save Israel. Zechariah 14:3 Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. Revelation 19:13-15 13 And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
So why do many Christian leaders fight God’s plan to bring salvation to his chosen people, the nation of Israel? They fight God while supporting Israeli behavior that the Bible compares to Sodom. The apostle Paul and others warned us about false teachers (Judaizers) who would work within the church to corrupt the Body of Christ. Those who idolize Israel also say God is judging America. Hmmm? They’re reminiscent of Judaizers who said Gentile Christians would be condemned for not following Jewish law. Today’s Judaizers speak curses over America in an attempt to persecute the Body of Christ. The reality is, antichrist criminals run the US government, Wall Street, and Hollywood, and their partners, the Judaizers in the church, are using prophecy to protect the criminals.
Those who idolize Israel say America is being judged, in part, because US leaders are pressuring Israel to divide the land promised to Abraham. For example, Rabbi Jonathan Cahn says America was blessed because it supported the 1948 U.N. Resolution that created modern Israel. But then he says God’s judgement (911 and the financial crisis) is coming on America because it’s pressuring Israel to give up land for peace. This is a blatant contradiction because the U.N. partition forced Israel to give up much more land than what’s being considered in peace negotiations. This Real Clear Politics article says: “according to a December 2013 joint Israeli-Palestinian poll, 63 percent of Israelis and 53 percent of Palestinians support the idea of two separate nations, co-existing side by side.” So why would God judge America for Israel’s decision to divide the land?
Genesis 15:18 says: In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram, saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates. Click here for a map of the land God promised to Abraham. So the land promised to Abraham went from the Nile in Egypt to the Euphrates in Iraq, which makes the U.N. resolution that created Israel a radical division of the promised land. So for Rabbi Cahn’s argument to be consistent, the U.N., America, Rabbi Cahn, and all Jews that supported the 1948 resolution, should’ve been cursed by God for dividing the promised land. Furthermore, non-Jewish Christians have been grafted into the promise of Abraham. The apostle Paul said in Galatians 28,29: There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise. So if we believe the Word of God, a Palestinian Christian has just as much right to the promised land as a Jew, especially one that rejects Christ.
I’m not suggesting that American churches and society are above reproach regarding God’s judgement, but it’s important to recognize that America’s Christian heritage makes it a prime target for persecution by antichrist forces. Regarding the church, I think the “prosperity gospel” is a gospel of covetousness, which is preparing Christians to accept the mark of the beast by emphasizing materialism. Jesus said in Luke 12:15 …Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. Christians should model themselves after the apostle Paul who said in Philippians 4:11-13 …I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. 12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. 13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
The Bible clearly teaches that God wants his people to prosper spiritually, physically, and financially for the purpose of blessing others and spreading the gospel. 1 Timothy 6:17,18 17 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; 18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; But the New Testatment emphasizes spiritual blessings above all else. Matthew 13:22, Jesus says, He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. Paul goes even farther in 1 Timothy 6:5-12 …men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. 6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. 9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. 12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called…
Proverbs 30:8,9 …give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: 9 Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain. The Body of Christ in America should also follow the advice given in 2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Healing America is a top priority but saving souls is priority one. My intent is to educate people about the enemy’s methods of deception both in the church and society at large.
Christian leaders say God is judging America because “we” are for abortion, removing God from schools, the gay agenda, environmentalism a.k.a paganism, etc. But who is “we”? These issues are being pushed by a small, powerful minority. For example, liberal California voted to make gay marriage ILLEGAL. But the people’s decision was overturned by a judge. And the CEO of Goldman Sachs, arguably the most powerful investment banker in the world, is an advocate for gay marriage. America is facing a situation similar to that faced by the Israelites in Numbers 13 and 14. Israel was about to enter the promised land, but they lacked faith in God’s promise to help them drive out the pagan enemies. God regarded their fear and unbelief as rebellion against his will. As a result, they wandered in the wilderness forty years.
Forty years later, Joshua led the Israelites into the promised land. Joshua didn’t tell people to pray and hope the pagan enemies would leave the land, they believed God was with them and drove the enemies out of the land. Unfortunately, America’s Christian leaders, who refer to each other as “great men of God”, tell people to pray and hope the antichrist power brokers will go away. Christian churches must do five things: 1) Repent of unbelief 2) Pray 3) Have faith in God 4) Organize 5) Drive antichrist elements in government out of power. But the “great men of God” who say God is judging America, want us to give up without a fight. Hmmm?? I’m sure they realize faith without works is dead, i.e., praying for America is not enough, we must fight for a moral government while believing God is on our side. Romans 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
God told Isaiah that Israel’s leaders caused the people to howl and blaspheme. Isaiah 52:4-5 4 For thus saith the Lord GOD, My people went down aforetime into Egypt to sojourn there; and the Assyrian oppressed them without cause. 5 Now therefore, what have I here, saith the LORD, that my people is taken away for nought? they that rule over them make them to howl, saith the LORD; and my name continually every day is blasphemed. America’s business and political leaders commit crimes with impunity, if we do not hold them accountable, we’ll be forced to pay for their crimes. US leaders prefer Communist China’s totalitarian model, so they implement policies that prosper China while making America subordinate to a godless Communist regime.
GOD IS LOVE!
Many people, having read parts of the Old and New Testaments, perceive God as an angry judge. This misunderstanding results from a lack of knowledge regarding the full message of the Bible. God hates sin because it destroys people and is the cause of all pain and sorrow. It is sin and Satan that rob, kill and destroy, not God. Violence in the Old Testament should be viewed as the internal human struggle between the desires of our flesh and our desire to serve God. And the Old Testament enemies of Israel are also a metaphor representing the internal human struggle between good and evil, i.e., our carnal nature that is enmity toward God. Christ’s death and resurrection defeated Satan, so our old carnal nature is our greatest enemy. Likewise, Israel was and still is, its own worst enemy, which is true of all people.
James 4:1-4 1 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? 2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. 3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. 4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
The prophet Isaiah had a vision of God that was not revealed to any other prophet in the Old Testament. Isaiah 6:1-8 1 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. 2 Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. 3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the LORD of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory. 4 And the posts of the door moved at the voice of him that cried, and the house was filled with smoke.
5 Then said I, Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips: for mine eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts. 6 Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with the tongs from off the altar: 7 And he laid it upon my mouth, and said, Lo, this hath touched thy lips; and thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged. 8 Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.
Isaiah’s vision is key to understanding the merciful, loving, and holy nature of the God we serve. When standing in his presence, Isaiah was overwhelmed with the holiness of God, and painfully aware of his own sinfulness. But because Isaiah humbled himself and confessed his sin, our merciful God cleansed him and sent him to call the Israelites to repentance. The Israelites are God’s children, and God chose the nation of Israel to bring salvation to the world. Like any good father, God has rules that are designed to produce the best possible life for his children. These rules, a.k.a. laws, were given to Moses in the ten commandments. When they broke the rules, there were consequences that caused the Jews to repent and turn back to God. When God’s children obeyed the law, they were blessed more than any nation on earth.
God’s love for the Jewish people and Israel is eternal, but He does not force anyone to love Him. We have free will to obey God or suffer consequences for breaking His law. In Romans 3:20,23 Paul said: 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law, no flesh shall be justified in his (God’s) sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. 23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. So as an act of perfect love, God became flesh in Jesus Christ, fulfilled the law by living a sinless life, and died to pay for all the sins of the world. But because Israel rejected Christ, Jesus said in Matthew 23:37, O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
More than any other, the following two verses sum up God’s love for all the world: John 3:16,17 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. Some people question the love of a God who would send his son to suffer and die a horrible death. But as Jesus says in his own words, God the Father did not force him to die for the sins of world, he did it of his own free will because he loves us. John 10: 17,18 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. 18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again.
In the Gospel of John 1: 17-18, John said: For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. 18 No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him. Jesus Christ came into the world to declare and demonstrate the perfect love of God, and in John 15:10-14, Christ gave us a new commandment: If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. 11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. 12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. John 13:35, Jesus said, By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
The Book of Revelation was a letter written by John to seven Christian churches on behalf of Jesus Christ. Christ warned five of the churches to repent or suffer consequences. The church at Philadelphia, which means “brotherly love”, was not called to repent. In 1 Corinthians chapter 13, the apostle Paul says charity, i.e. love, is the greatest gift that Christians can share with the world. So in light of Paul’s statement and Christ’s command to love one another, it’s likely the church in Philadelphia was in good standing with Christ because of their love. John 14:23, Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. 1 Peter 4:8, And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity (love) shall cover the multitude of sins. Proverbs 10:12 Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.
1 John 4: 7-11,14,16,17, beautifully expresses the love that is God. 7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. 8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. 9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation (payment) for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. 16 And we have known (Christ) and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. 17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he (Christ) is, so are we in this world. Praise God! We can stand boldly on the day of judgement. Not because we are perfect and without sin, but because the blood of Jesus Christ covers our sin, and because Jesus Christ lives in us, we are the righteousness of God. God is love!
The Bible as a whole, is a love story about God and his children. And like any good parent, God chastens or disciplines his children when they go astray. Deut 8:5 Thou shalt also consider in thine heart, that, as a man chasteneth his son, so the LORD thy God chasteneth thee. Hebrews 12:7-13 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8 But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. 9 Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? 10 For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.
11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. 12 Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; 13 And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. Revelations 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. The Greek word for repent is metanoia, which means to change our mind. We must change our mind about God and who he created us to be. Then make a commitment to turn away from sin. So do not turn away from God when times are tough, submit to God and resist sin, then great shall be your reward.
But remember, Christians don’t always experience suffering because God our Father is disciplining them. In John 16:33 Jesus said we would experience tribulation: These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. And any Christian who feels discouraged should remember Paul’s words in Romans 5:1-5 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
The Christian faith is unique in the world because God became flesh in Jesus Christ, and assumed the role of a humble servant who willingly took all the sins of the world on himself. The perfect love of Christ, who washed his disciples feet and shed his blood for the forgiveness of sins, enables anyone who believes in Him to stand righteous before God. Praise and thanks to God and our Lord Jesus Christ who was crucified, buried, resurrected, and then ascended into heaven. He sits at the right hand of God and is our great high priest who, knowing all the temptations of the flesh, intercedes on our behalf with the most High God. Believe in Him, receive Him, and you will be set free.
Click here and you’ll find the Bible in hundreds of languages, both audio and text. Scholars agree that Jesus is a real historical figure because there are thousands of ancient manuscripts verifying his existence. But many don’t believe he’s the Son of God who performed miracles, died for the sins of the world, and was resurrected from the dead. Many people don’t believe in hell, which is permanent separation from God without any hope for joy, pleasure, or love. But the only way we can be condemned to hell is to refuse the pardon that’s available to everyone if they accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. Jesus said in John 14:6 …I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. Without the Way, there is no going, without the Truth, there is no knowing, without the Life, there is no living. We don’t go heaven to find Jesus, we go to Jesus to find heaven.
Even a moral person will be eternally separated from God if they do not accept salvation through Jesus Christ. There’s only one way to heaven because as Isaiah 53: 6 says: All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him (Christ) the iniquity of us all. But gives thanks to God for the good news in Hebrews 4: 14-16 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
If you’re new to the Bible, start in the Gospel of John, the fourth book of the New Testament, which is about the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. If you would rather begin with some common sense advice about living a successful life, start in Proverbs in the Old Testament. But do not be deceived, whether you believe it or not, we will all have to stand before our Creator and give an account for our life. All of us are guilty of sin and deserve condemnation, but God so loved the world he gave his only begotten Son to pay our debt of sin by shedding his blood and dying on the cross. And WHOSOEVER believes in Him shall receive an undeserved pardon and eternal life in heaven.
God wants you to know He loves you personally just as you are, so don’t turn down His unconditional pardon. Revelation 3:20 says “Behold I (Christ) stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in…” (to your heart). Do you want Jesus to forgive your sins, free you from oppression, and heal your broken heart? First, you must believe in your heart and say (Romans 10:9-10) that Jesus died for your sins and was resurrected from the dead. Then pray a short prayer confessing your sins to God and asking him to forgive you. Next, invite Jesus Christ to come into your heart and be the Lord and Savior of your life. Making Jesus the Lord of your life means changing old sinful habits that previously governed your life. This requires getting your thoughts, emotions, and actions in line with the will of God, which is expressed in the teachings of Christ.
The teachings of Christ are found in the first four books of the Bible’s New Testament. These four books, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, are called the gospels which means “good news”. After ascending into heaven, Christ personally appeared to the apostle Paul and revealed the mystery of grace. So it’s very important to read Paul’s letters, a.k.a. epistles, which are the books Romans through Philemon in the New Testament. Also, get involved in a church that teaches the Bible as the inspired Word of God. The more committed you are to following Christ, the better your life will be. Studying and applying the Bible (God’s Word) in your life will produce benefits beyond anything you can imagine. Psalms 107:20 He (God) sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.
The Apostle Paul sums it up in 2 Corinthians 5:17-21:
Verse 17 says we are a new creation in Christ. This is what Jesus meant when he said we need to be born again to enter the kingdom of heaven. So what does born again mean? 1 Corinthians 14: 45 says: And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam (Christ) was made a quickening spirit. Like Adam, we’re all born with a soul and a body, but our spirit is dead because of sin brought into the world through Adam. The soul consists of our mind, emotions, and self will. So by inviting Christ into our heart, we have his Spirit living within us, therefore we are born again of the Spirit. Paul puts it this way in Galatians 4:4-6 …God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons 6 And because ye are sons [and daughters], God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts…
1 Corinthians 15:47,49,50,53-57 further explain being born again of the Spirit. 47 The first man (Adam) is of the earth, earthy: the second man (Christ) is the Lord from heaven. 49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. 50 Now this I say brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. 53 For this corruptible (soul) must put on incorruption (Spirit), and this mortal (body) must put on immortality.
54 So when this corruptible (soul) shall have put on incorruption (Spirit), and this mortal (body) shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Those who believe Jesus Christ died for their sins and was resurrected, will one day be resurrected from the grave and given a heavenly, immortal body.
There’s some debate whether we need water baptism to be born again. This is partly due to what happened in Luke 23: 39-43. Two criminals were crucified alongside Jesus 39 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. 40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss. 42 Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. 43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise. In verse 41, the thief confessed his own sin and the innocence of Christ. Then, by calling Jesus his Lord and asking to remembered in his kingdom, the thief confessed belief in Jesus as Messiah. By saying the thief would be with him in paradise, Jesus granted him salvation without water baptism.
However, water baptism (full emersion, not sprinkling of infants) is important because it symbolizes our union with Christ in his death and resurrection. Being fully submerged in water symbolizes going to the grave with Christ and dying to the desires of our flesh. Emerging from the water symbolizes our new birth in the Spirit and resurrection with Christ. Paul sums it up in Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. 1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. Jesus said in John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
BECOMING A MATURE CHRISTIAN AND GRACE VS. WORKS
In a spiritual sense, when someone is born again, they are literally a new born baby. There are three stages of growth to becoming a mature Christian. 1) as a new born, we need to be fed God’s word and taught Christian principles. 2) As we grow, we’re able to feed ourselves, i.e, study God’s Word ourselves and apply it in our lives. 3) A mature Christian is able to teach others and lead them to Christ. So we are chosen by God for a purpose that surpasses salvation. Paul says in Romans 8:29 For whom he (God) did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. So God sent his Son to save us, and give us grace to become the image of Christ. The ongoing work of conforming to Christ’s image is expressed metaphorically, i.e., being fed God’s Word and applying it in our daily lives.
In John chapter 6, Jesus performed a miracle by feeding five thousand people with five barley loaves and two fish. The next day the crowd found Jesus, and in John 6:26-29 Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. 27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed. 28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? 29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
So the work of new Christians is to become mature believers conformed to the image of Christ. This is achieved through fellowship with mature Christians and applying God’s word in their lives. Christ explains the importance of studying God’s Word in his teaching about the bread of life. John 6:51, 54, 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. 54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. This is hard to understand until we read John 1: 1&14 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. So when we study and meditate on God’s Word, we are consuming Christ and he becomes incarnate in our body, soul and spirit.
We are called by God to conform ourselves to the image of Jesus Christ, and this requires work on our part. So is our salvation dependent on our good works? No, Paul says in Ephesians 2:8-10 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. We are saved by grace through faith, period. But, as a new creation in Christ, our purpose is to do good works. And James said in 2:20-21 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? God imputed righteousness to Abraham because of his faith, but Abraham’s faith only became real after he acted on what God told him to do. You can find this story in chapter 22 of Genesis.
So faith without works is dead, meaning, if you really repent, believe in your heart that Jesus is the risen Christ, and invite him to be Lord of your life, you will bear fruit in the form of good works. But Jesus and the apostle Paul made it clear that believing in Jesus Christ is the only way to salvation. So the only work that yields salvation is believing that Christ’s sinless life, death, burial, and resurrection, fulfilled the law and paid the price for all the sins of the world. John 6:28-29 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? 29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him (Christ) whom he hath sent. Paul said in Galatians 2:21 21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness comes by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. Dr. Charles Stanley’s explanation of “saving faith” verses “intellectual faith” is better than any other I’ve heard. Whether you’re a believer or not, please click on this link and scroll down to recent sermons, then click on search, type in May, 2014 and “In the School of Faith”. Then click on “Part 1, Saving Faith”.
But even the works of true believers will be judged by God. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 3:10-15 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. 11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man build upon this foundation [with works of] gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, or stubble; 13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the [judgement] day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. 14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15 If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
So, even if a believer’s works amount to nothing, he shall be saved. However, it’s not advisable to enter the kingdom of heaven this way because we are playing with fire. Rather, we should take the apostle Paul’s advice in Galatians 5:22-25, and let the indwelling Spirit of Christ transform our thoughts, words, and deeds. 22 …the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
But as the apostle John says in his letter to fellow Christians, we all sin. 1 John 1:7-9 …if we walk in the light, as he (God) is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. 8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 2:1-2 My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2 And he is the propitiation (payment) for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. Irregardless of our circumstances, we should praise God for his love, mercy and blessings. Continuing to praise God in difficult circumstances is very important because it keeps us in the peace of God’s presence. Psalm 22:3 says God inhabits the praises of his people.
When we stumble as Christians, it’s important to confess our sin, receive God’s forgiveness, and put the past behind us. Paul explains this in Phillipians 3:13-14 13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended [perfection]: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Phillipians 1:4-6 Always in every prayer of mine for you, making request with joy, 5 For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; 6 Being confident of this very thing, that he (God) which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:
If your faith is weak, remember what Paul said about you in 1 Corinthians 5:21 For God hath made Christ to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. Psalms 112:6-8 6 …the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance. 7 He shall not be afraid of evil tidings: his heart is fixed, trusting in the LORD. 8 His heart is established, he shall not be afraid… Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Fellowship with other Christians, study and meditate on God’s Word, and your measure of faith will be strengthened. In order to become a mature Christian bearing good fruit, Paul also emphasizes the importance of sound doctrine. Hebrews 13: 8,9 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. 9 Be not carried about with diverse and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace…
Paul’s thirteen letters, Romans through Philemon, are the standard by which doctrine was established for the Gentiles (non Jews). If you master Paul’s teachings, you will be standing firmly on the Rock of grace in Christ Jesus. Paul’s conversion was unique among the apostles. He was a Pharisee, which is the equivalent of a doctorate degree in Jewish law, and he persecuted Christians until his conversion on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-22). Chapter 15 in the book of Acts describes the dispute between Paul and the other apostles who, as a qualification for salvation, were imposing Jewish law on Gentile believers.
In Galatians 2:11-16, Paul comments on Peter’s hypocrisy regarding his behavior in the company of Gentiles verses fellow Jews. But in a letter, Peter acknowledged and supported Paul’s revelation of the gospel of grace. 2 Peter 3:15-16 …even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; 16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrestle, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
Paul himself distinguished his gospel from that of the other apostles, who struggled with the transition from the old covenant (Mosaic law), to the grace that the resurrected Christ revealed directly to Paul. He describes this in Galatians 1:11-20 11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. 12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. 13 For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: 14 And profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers
15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by his grace, 16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: 17 Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus. 18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days. 19 But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother. 20 Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not. So Paul’s doctrine, which is a revelation directly from the resurrected Christ, is the foundation upon which the church is built. Study it and be set free by God’s saving grace. Then share it with others for as James says in 5:20…he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.
In the New Testament, all references to scripture refer to parts of the Old Testament. New Christians should focus on the first four books of the New Testament (the gospels) and Paul’s epistles. But as Paul said to his protege Timothy, the Old Testament scriptures are an essential part of a mature Christian’s walk with God. 2 Timothy 3: 15-17, 15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
Acts 8:26-39 is an example of Old Testament scripture being used to lead someone to salvation. A high ranking Ethiopian was reading verses in the book of Isaiah that prophesied the death of Christ, 26 And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert. 27 And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, 28 Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias (Isaiah) the prophet. 29 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot 30 And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest? 31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.
32 The place of the scripture which he read was this, (Isaiah 53:7-8) He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth: 33 In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth. 34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man? 35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus. 36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized? 37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. 38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him. 39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.
Jesus Christ has called us to make disciples of others. Matthew 28:19-20 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Jesus wants us to make disciples who “observe all things” that he taught. Unfortunately, most American churches focus on making converts, not disciples. A convert is a new born Christian who lacks the spiritual knowledge and power to transform others in their circle of influence. The lack of discipleship training greatly weakens the ability of churches to manifest the transforming power of Christ in our communities and nation. So make a commitment to continually grow by studying God’s Word, and then make disciples of others for great shall be your reward.
DOES GOD OPPOSE “BIG GOVERNMENT”?
Most churches refrain from mixing politics with Christian teaching. Our first priority is spreading the message of salvation via the Gospel and feeding Christ’s flock, but God gave Moses the law and governments administer God’s law. So Christians have a responsibility to see that governments administer the law in a manner that is just and moral. This is particularly true in a Constitutional Republic based on the consent of its citizens. Even the apostle Paul stood up for his rights as a Roman citizen and used those rights to advance the Gospel. Christ overcame the world but we are called to witness to the lost. By holding up Christian values in the political process, Christ is raised up and God the Father can draw the lost to his Son.
Also, the gospel was instrumental in forming the principles of freedom codified in America’s founding documents. Acts 10:34 says: Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons, meaning God does not treat a king any different than a slave. Galatians 3:28 expresses a similar principle: There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. These principles of the gospel were revolutionary in the first century Roman Empire where 20% of the people were slaves and the Roman Emperor was considered a god. These principles of equality are expressed in America’s Declaration of Independence, which says all people are created equal, and the Creator endowed everyone with certain unalienable rights.
America was founded on principles of limited government, and there’s Biblical evidence supporting a limit on government’s role in people’s lives. Prior to the era of kings, the Israelites were ruled by priests and judges. Samuel was a popular and Godly judge, but when his corrupt sons came to power, the Jewish people demanded a king. God preferred the more limited form of government under priests and judges, and considered the people’s demand for a king a rejection of his rule. 1 Samuel chapter 8 tells the story, click on a verse for translations other than the King James.
8 According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even unto this day, wherewith they have forsaken me, and served other gods, so do they also unto thee.
11 And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots.
12 And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots.
The Lord’s description of a reigning king sounds very much like America’s bloated central government. And the description fits Republicans and Democrats, which in spite of their rhetorical contrasts, both govern like a greedy, power hungry, king. The Lord makes it perfectly clear, a king in the form of a strong central government is a poor substitute for limited government under the authority of God.
Two thousand years ago, Israel was a theocracy under the control of a Roman emperor. Today, America is a Constitutional Republic where the highest authority is not a human being, it’s the law, i.e., the Constitution and Bill of Rights which limit government power. John Adams said, “we are either a nation of men or a nation of laws” but it’s clear, America has become a nation ruled by wannabe kings and queens who think they are above the law. Thomas Paine said, if there were to be a king, it would have to be the rule of law, and if a day of celebration were to be set aside, then homage should be paid to the law, a crown set upon it to remind those gathered that “the law is king.” Restoring the rule of law is essential if we are to reestablish a Constitutional Republic.
The Bible says God is not a respecter of persons. The Constitution reflects this principle by providing laws for removal of corrupt officials. The framers of the Constitution codified respect for the office, not respect for persons who must earn respect. Once impeached, officials can be tried for crimes including treason. We must always pray for our leaders, but also remember that countless souls have been saved by incarceration, which many times leads to repentance and salvation. Not punishing corrupt officials allows them to accrue more crimes to pay for on judgement day. Peter says in Ephesians 4:28, Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Incarcerating bipartisan leaders who use their office to lie and steal, would be an act of love and mercy.
In Romans 13, the apostle Paul says we are to submit to rulers and their governments. However, Adolph Hitler implemented satanic laws and many German Christians complied with his evil agenda, so Christians mustdiscern between good and evil when submitting to rulers. This is demonstrated in Acts chapter 4 when the chief priests of Israel commanded the apostles not to preach in the name of Jesus Christ. Acts 4:19 But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. The apostles refused to comply with government authorities. So in chapter 5 of Acts, they were arrested again for preaching the gospel.
But an angel opened the door of the prison and told them to go back to the temple and preach, which led to another arrest. Acts 5: 27-29 27 And when they had brought them (the apostles), they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them, 28 Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us. 29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. One of God’s commandments is “thou shalt not kill”. Hitler ordered those under this authority to murder millions of Jews. Unfortunately, when it comes to war, American Christians practice the same blind obedience that led to the holocaust. Check out this post on terrorism, then ask yourself if blind obedience to US leaders conflicts with obedience to God.
God gave us the law through Moses, Christ fulfilled the law, and governments administer the law. So politics and Christian beliefs are inseparable, not in the sense of a theocracy, but in the tradition of the Declaration of Independence, i.e., all people are created equal and endowed by the Creator with certain unalienable rights. Use em or lose em. Check out the book Godonomics, which illustrates Biblical principles supporting private property rights and capitalism based on moral principles. Unfortunately, many Christians have been deceived by the left vs. right political paradigm, which is used as a smoke screen while bipartisan leaders implement godless communism in America.
Moses and the elders, which constituted Israel’s tribal government, told the people obey God’s law and not look to the left or right. Deuteronomy 28:14 And thou shalt not go aside from any of the words which I command thee this day, to the right hand, or to the left, to go after other gods to serve them. Before Moses died, he passed the leadership of Israel to Joshua, and the LORD gave him instructions in Joshua 1:7 Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest.
When Joshua was old and nearing death, he addressed the tribal government and reminded them to obey God’s law. Joshua 23: 1-3,6 1 And it came to pass a long time after that the LORD had given rest unto Israel from all their enemies round about, that Joshua waxed old and stricken in age. 2 And Joshua called for all Israel, and for their elders, and for their heads, and for their judges, and for their officers, and said unto them, I am old and stricken in age: 3 And ye have seen all that the LORD your God hath done unto all these nations because of you; for the LORD your God is he that hath fought for you. 6 Be ye therefore very courageous to keep and to do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses, that ye turn not aside there from to the right hand or to the left;
Proverbs 4: 27 Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil. The left vs. right political paradigm is a sophisticated, evil scheme to divide citizens and open the door for satanic forces to influence government and society. During the temptation of Christ, Satan stated he had authority over all the world’s kingdoms, which includes the principalities and powers that rule over America and Israel. Luke 4:5-6 5 And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. 6 And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will, I give it. The purpose of the left-right paradigm is to distract us from Christ and leave citizens with a choice between two evils, which is exactly what we have in America.
I’m grateful for attention given to the moral decay causing America’s decline. However, many Christian leaders talk as if America’s decline is inevitable. They sound like the ten spies (Numbers 13&14) that convinced the Israelites they could not drive God’s enemies out of the promised land. God regarded the Israelites fear and unbelief as rebellion against his will. As a result, God condemned the unbelievers to forty years of wandering in the wilderness and death. Is that what Christian leaders want for American Christians, i.e., die in the wilderness because we allowed our nation to be corrupted without standing up for what’s right? God did not tell Joshua to pray and hope the pagans would leave the promised land. The Lord told Joshua to combine his faith with action and drive the enemies out of the land.
Likewise, Ezra and Nehemiah didn’t pray and then sit around waiting for someone to rebuild the temple and walls of Jerusalem. Nehemiah gave up his comfortable position in the king’s palace and went back to Jerusalem to serve his God and kinsmen. Ezra also took action and helped restore God’s law in Jerusalem’s government and society while rebuilding the temple. American Christians are literally the body of Christ on earth, and as such, we must combine prayer and faith with action. We send our men and women to fight and die for freedom in foreign countries, so the least we can do is stand up for Christian values and freedom here at home. To do anything less makes a mockery of the sacrifice made by our troops and Jesus Christ. James 5:16 …The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. James 2:20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?
Furthermore, it’s a tiny minority that is pushing abortion, God out of the public square, the gay agenda, and paganism a.k.a. environmentalism. Take California for example, a majority of citizens voted to make gay marriage ILLEGAL, but a single judge overturned the will of the people. And yet, Christian leaders talk about America as if it’s Sodom and Gomorrah, which God destroyed because he could not find ten righteous men. There are millions of Bible believing Christians in America who are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. If Christians follow the examples of Joshua, Nehemiah and Ezra, we can drive antichrist elements out of America’s government. But Christian leaders must stop teaching Christians to rebel against God, i.e., pray for America and then give up without standing up for what’s right. Millions, perhaps billions of souls are at risk if we ignore our responsibility to stand up for Christian values in our government.
God told Isaiah that Israel’s leaders caused the people to howl and blaspheme. Isaiah 52:4-5 4 For thus saith the Lord GOD, My people went down aforetime into Egypt to sojourn there; and the Assyrian oppressed them without cause. 5 Now therefore, what have I here, saith the LORD, that my people is taken away for nought? they that rule over them make them to howl, saith the LORD; and my name continually every day is blasphemed. America’s business and political leaders commit crimes with impunity. If citizens do not hold them accountable, we’ll be forced to pay for their crimes. America’s leaders prefer Communist China’s totalitarian model. So they implement policies designed to prosper China and make America subordinate to a godless Communist regime. News programs on Christian television report Islamic persecution of Christians while ignoring China’s systematic torture of Christians. Pastor Bob Fu fled persecution in China and recently testified before Congress. He said persecution in China is the “worst in two decades”. Why do CBN and others ignore the threat posed by Communist China?
By the Providence of God, America is a nation ruled by the consent of its citizens. So not consenting to the corruption of America is our duty as citizens. The Body of Christ must do five things: 1) Repent of unbelief 2) Pray 3) Have faith in God 4) Organize and vote 5) Drive antichrist elements in government, out of power. Romans 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? Jesus Christ came as a servant and said the greatest in the Kingdom of God would be a servant of all. Being a servant includes public service that promotes Christian values in government. Getting Christians into office also requires millions of servants willing to donate time and money to restore moral principles in government. There are many things we can do. Educate ourselves, families, and friends. Get involved in your local school board or county government. Start a non-profit dedicated to promoting Christian values in public and private life. Use your God given creativity and never give up.
Watch this sermon titled “There is hope for America”. It’s a fourth of July special by Pastor Michael Youssef. He uses Nehemiah’s example of prayer and action as a template for the American church. Pastor Youssef’s sermon demonstrates how faithful Christians can change in America. Let’s encourage each other by sharing this kind of positive message rather than those predicting America’s inevitable decline. Dr. Charles Stanley recently preached a sermon titled “The Truth That Sets Us Free”. He focused on spiritual freedom and then introduced the CEO of the Liberty foundation, which works with top law firms to defend religious liberties. The discussion of legal attacks on religious liberties included an attempt to incarcerate school children for praying in the name of Jesus Christ. The speaker received a standing ovation for his positive message about standing up for our rights. Watch it and you’ll be inspired. Ephesians 2:10 For we are his (God’s) workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
In spite of many signs we are in the end times, now is not the time to be passive. Believing it’s futile to stand up for Christian values in government is contrary to Biblical principles. For example, in Isaiah chapter 6, the prophet hears the Lord saying 8 Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me. 9 And he said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. God told Isaiah to call the nation of Israel to repentance. But God also said the people would not listen and the land would become “utterly desolate”. So why did God send Isaiah on a mission destined to fail? The last verse in chapter six says a remnant would return to the land. And that’s why we must stand up for Christian values in America irregardless of the outcome, i.e., God willing, America can be a light to the world by lifting up Christ, but if not, we’re called to reach the remnant.
Those concerned about America’s decline often cite 2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. But praying is only part of the solution, God always requires us to act on our faith, which is demonstrated by Ezekiel 22:30 And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it… God was looking for one person to stand in the gap for Israel. We don’t need overwhelming numbers to turn America around, we need to believe in the God that created the heavens and the earth. God often uses seemingly impossible situations to demonstrate his sovereignty. Zerubbabel faced great opposition when trying to rebuild the temple, so God sent an angel to remind them who is in control. Zechariah 4: …This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.
In spite of the difficult situation facing America and the world, don’t ever forget the GOOD NEWS in Revelation 21:1-4 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. Give praise and thanks to God and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!