America, Stop, Look, Listen

stop look listenLuke 11: MSG
17  Jesus knew what they were thinking and said, “Any country in civil war for very long is wasted. A constantly squabbling family falls to pieces.

It is just after 2 a.m. and I had to get up out of bed and sit down at my laptop.

I grew up in Windsor, Ontario just across the Detroit river from Detroit.  

It was either 1967 or 1968 and I was just a young child, maybe six or seven years old.  Old enough though to vividly recalling a scene that I saw coming from Detroit, Michigan.  Smoke rising from vehicles that had been set on fire.  I can recall hearing people mention that the Canada/USA border was closed.

I was much too young to understand why these events were taking place. As an adult now I know it was during the unrest during the civil race riots.

Now I am writing this article because of what I am seeing and hearing of events that are taking place across the country of America.  America, you have been there before many times.

Discrimination against one group because of ethnic, religion, race, or color is an ugly monster, a monster that must be put down in the strongest form.

In the mid 1800’s it was the immigrants from Ireland coming to America because of the potato famine taking place in Ireland. So America discriminated against the Irish for basically the same prejudice seen in America 2017.  They are taking our jobs, they are taking over our country.  Do these statements sound familiar?

In the late 1800’s early 1900’s the movie industry was starting to flourish.  Everyone was talking about this new breakthrough technology.

Discrimination once again is raising it’s ugly head, this time it is not the Irish, but, people of Jewish ancestry.

Some immigrants decided to truly build an industry and also a landmark Hollywood.  These immigrants though changed their name because of the blight of antisemitism.  Yes, the founders of the large movie studios were Jewish.

ANTISEMITISM IN HISTORY: RACIAL ANTISEMITISM, 1875–1945

https://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10007171

With the development during the last quarter of the nineteenth century of technological progress and scientific knowledge, especially about human biology, psychology, genetics, and evolution, some intellectuals and politicians developed a racist perception of Jews. This perception developed within a broader racist view of the world based on notions of “inequality” of “races” and the alleged “superiority” of the “white race” over other “races.”

Belief in the superiority of the “white race” was both inspired and reinforced by the contact of European colonist-conquerors with native populations in the Americas, Asia, and Africa, and buttressed as pseudo-science by a perversion of evolutionary theory known as “social Darwinism.” “Social Darwinism” postulated that human beings were not one species, but divided into several different “races” that were biologically driven to struggle against one another for living space to ensure their survival. Only those “races” with superior qualities could win this eternal struggle which was carried out by force and warfare. Social Darwinism has always been the product of bogus science: to this day, despite a century and a half of efforts by racists to find it, there is no biological science to support social Darwinist theory.

These new “antisemites,” as they called themselves, drew upon older stereotypes to maintain that the Jews behaved the way they did—and would not change—because of innate racial qualities inherited from the dawn of time. Drawing as well upon the pseudoscience of racial eugenics, they argued that the Jews spread their so-called pernicious influence to weaken nations in Central Europe not only by political, economic, and media methods, but also literally by “polluting” so-called pure Aryan blood by intermarriage and sexual relations with non-Jews. They argued that Jewish “racial intermixing,” by “contaminating” and weakening the host nations, served as part of a conscious Jewish plan for world domination.

There is an ugly part of humans that when they don’t understand a culture, race, and even a certain faith they decide to go to the darkest part of their soul, discrimination.  

There however is a disinfectant for discrimination, it is called understanding, and learning.  As someone once said, before you judge me, walk a mile in my shoes!

For the last several days as I watch on the news the events that are happening in the USA I keep waiting to hear from the leaders of the Body of Christ.  As one news anchor likes to say, “crickets”.

I never experienced any type of racism until I moved out on my own as I traveled through Canada and the USA.

A preacher friend of mine from Buffalo, New York told me what it was like as an African-American growing up during the years before integration.  He told me as an African-American walking by shops and restaurants seeing signs that read, “whites only”.  How when African-Americans travelling around America were not allowed to stay over night in most hotels and motels.  So, before setting out on any trip they would pack large lunches and drinks, and also arrange to stay over night at a friends house.

So, America, you have been here before. Irish, Jewish, African-Americans, now people of the Muslim faith.

Hostile countries against America must be watching as the USA nation tears itself apart from within in it’s own borders and jumping with glee.

Russia, North Korea, and others may not have to launch one missile or fire one rifle against America because America is divided by racial hatred, bigotry,..etc.

Luke 11: MSG
17  Jesus knew what they were thinking and said, “Any country in civil war for very long is wasted. A constantly squabbling family falls to pieces.

However, God has already provided a remedy.

2 Chronicles 7:1 MSG
14  and my people, my God-defined people, respond by humbling themselves, praying, seeking my presence, and turning their backs on their wicked lives, I’ll be there ready for you: I’ll listen from heaven, forgive their sins, and restore their land to health.

So, it is with a heavy heart that I write this article and raise the standard, “stop, look, and listen”. 

America there is still time to turn your face once again towards God!

 

 

 

 

 

The Next Great War

Revelation 12: MSG
7  War broke out in Heaven. Michael and his Angels fought the Dragon. The Dragon and his Angels fought back,
8  but were no match for Michael. They were cleared out of Heaven, not a sign of them left.
9  The great Dragon—ancient Serpent, the one called Devil and Satan, the one who led the whole earth astray—thrown out, and all his Angels thrown out with him, thrown down to earth.
10  Then I heard a strong voice out of Heaven saying, Salvation and power are established! Kingdom of our God, authority of his Messiah! The Accuser of our brothers and sisters thrown out, who accused them day and night before God.

The topic of war has been in the news headlines recently.  War is something no one wants.  Yet, countries build up their military in case war is inevitable.  Also, the buildup is a way to signal to other countries and leaders how strong they are.

Events leading up to a war vary from one country taking control over another, to an internal war between tribes and cultures within a country.  Ther latter is usually called a civil war.

In the twentieth century there were two major world wars.  The second seeing the first nuclear bombs dropped on two different countries.

I grew up in a time commonly called the “cold war”.  Basically a buildup of military might between America and the former USSR.  Both are nuclear powers and the world feared that if tensions were to reach a boiling point there could be the launch of another nuclear weapon.

However, this article is not about war on earth but, a war that is looming on the horizon between heaven and hell.  The war will happen at the end of the great tribulation and it will be the culmination of a battle between God and Satan.

This war began in heaven which saw Lucifer thrown out of heaven.

Isaiah 14: MSG
12  What a comedown this, O Babylon! Daystar! Son of Dawn! Flat on your face in the underworld mud, you, famous for flattening nations!
13  You said to yourself, “I’ll climb to heaven. I’ll set my throne over the stars of God. I’ll run the assembly of angels that meets on sacred Mount Zaphon.
14  I’ll climb to the top of the clouds. I’ll take over as King of the Universe!”
15  But you didn’t make it, did you? Instead of climbing up, you came down— Down with the underground dead, down to the abyss of the Pit.

It was pride that caused Lucifer to rebel and become greater than God.

Proverbs 16: MSG
18  First pride, then the crash— the bigger the ego, the harder the fall.

I feel this fall of grace happened long before God created heaven and earth.  It was Lucifer who twisted God’s word to cause Eve to take of the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

Genesis 2: MSG
17  except from the Tree-of-Knowledge-of-Good-and-Evil. Don’t eat from it. The moment you eat from that tree, you’re dead.”

We know throughout the Scriptures that God hates rebellion and will cut down the rebellious.

Look at what God told King Saul about Saul’s rebellious nature.

1 Samuel 15: MSG
23  Not doing what GOD tells you is far worse than fooling around in the occult. Getting self-important around GOD is far worse than making deals with your dead ancestors. Because you said No to GOD’s command, he says No to your kingship.

In an earlier article I spoke about how Satan can come and leave the throne room of God. This is still true because he has not been bound in chains and throne into hell by God.

We see him boldy approach Christ in the wilderness trying to tempt Christ to rebel against the heavenly father.  Christ gave us the example of how to treat temptation, that is resist the devil.

James 4: MSG
7  So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper.

If you are a child of God you are not exempt from temptation.  There is a war being waged for your soul.

The final war will be a war like no other.  It will make the battle of Armegeddon look like a battle of toy soldiers.

Satan and alll his hellish army will be bound for one thousand years and there will be peace on earth at last.  Until then the Body of Christ needs to be viligant and always on guard ready to resist the devil.

The devil knows he cannot seduce most of God’s children with the big things, but he can subtly lead them astray with small insignifant things.

God’s Word tells us it is the little foxes that spoil the vine.

Song of Solomon 2: KJV
15  Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.

Temptation comes in many forms, visual, mentally, and hearing.  That is why Paul wrote and gave us a warning to take on the full armour of God.

God’s people need to faithful to the end if we are going to rule and reign with him after the final great war.

 

 

When Insanity Reigns

Matthew 24:  MSG
3  Later as he was sitting on Mount Olives, his disciples approached and asked him, “Tell us, when are these things going to happen? What will be the sign of your coming, that the time’s up?”
4  Jesus said, “Watch out for doomsday deceivers.
5  Many leaders are going to show up with forged identities, claiming, ‘I am Christ, the Messiah.’ They will deceive a lot of people.
6  When reports come in of wars and rumored wars, keep your head and don’t panic. This is routine history; this is no sign of the end.
7  Nation will fight nation and ruler fight ruler, over and over. Famines and earthquakes will occur in various places.
8  This is nothing compared to what is coming.
9  “They are going to throw you to the wolves and kill you, everyone hating you because you carry my name.
10  And then, going from bad to worse, it will be dog-eat-dog, everyone at each other’s throat, everyone hating each other.
11  “In the confusion, lying preachers will come forward and deceive a lot of people.
12  For many others, the overwhelming spread of evil will do them in—nothing left of their love but a mound of ashes.
13  “Staying with it—that’s what God requires. Stay with it to the end. You won’t be sorry, and you’ll be saved.
14  All during this time, the good news—the Message of the kingdom—will be preached all over the world, a witness staked out in every country. And then the end will come.

We are now living in troubling times.  Dark clouds that once were far away are now directly over the land.  

God’s word gave us the warning of things to come far in advance.  It is no longer a question of if it will happen, but when will it happen.

I do not believe in date setting, but I can tell the season we are in.

Bible prophecy was fulfilled when Israel became a nation it would seem overnight.

Isaiah 66:8 MSG
8  Has anyone ever heard of such a thing? Has anyone seen anything like this? A country born in a day? A nation born in a flash? But Zion was barely in labor when she had her babies!

The nation of  Israel is the fig tree Christ spoke about and we were told that when it blossoms that will start a time clock.

Matthew 24:  MSG
32  “Take a lesson from the fig tree. From the moment you notice its buds form, the merest hint of green, you know summer’s just around the corner.
33  So it is with you: When you see all these things, you’ll know he’s at the door.
34  Don’t take this lightly. I’m not just saying this for some future generation, but for all of you. This age continues until all these things take place.
35  Sky and earth will wear out; my words won’t wear out.

Once again let me state that in my opinion I find no scripture that I can tell relates to the nation of America.  So the only conclusion that I can come to is that something must have to happen for America to lose it’s standing in the world.

If history tells us the one lesson that needs to be spoken out loud in these troubling days is the pitfall of pride.  God hates pride.  Every nation that has lifted itself up in pride has been brought down, taken captive by another nation and king.

Proverbs 16: MSG
18  First pride, then the crash— the bigger the ego, the harder the fall.

As the leader of a nation goes, so goes the nation.

A nation may not  be destroyed not by another nation but implode from within.  Brother against brother, father against his son. 

What is happening within the borders of America is pure insanity.  

I have stayed away on commenting the current state of affairs in the United States, but I feel compelled that what is happening can only lead to no good.

This did not happen overnight, but has been developing over many decades.  Courts told to remove the very foundation that laws of the land were birthed from to be removed.  That being the ten commandments.

Then a false gospel started to take root that brought the congregations within America to focus on money instead of Christ.  Anything that draws our focus away from God is a false idol. 

Exodus 20: MSG
1  GOD spoke all these words:
2  I am GOD, your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of a life of slavery.
3  No other gods, only me.
4  No carved gods of any size, shape, or form of anything whatever, whether of things that fly or walk or swim.
5  Don’t bow down to them and don’t serve them because I am GOD, your God, and I’m a most jealous God, punishing the children for any sins their parents pass on to them to the third, and yes, even to the fourth generation of those who hate me.

There have been times in my life where as I would watch from the sidelines on things that were being expounded from the pulpits across America caused a indignation rise within my being.

Everything that I was raised to believe has been turned on it’s head in the world.  

It’s now okay to hate a fellow being based on his skin color, or for what he believes in his faith.  Yes, I may not agree with their belief, but I have no right to hate another fellow person.

This is a generation that totally only cares about themselves.  There seems to be no empathy  for our fellow man.  It is every man for himself.  This is a complete contradiction that Christ taught in the gospels.

Back in the early nineties I moved to the city of Toronto.  It was a total culture shock to my system.  As I would go downtown I would see those who were homeless, hungry, and cold, but to those passing by it would seem those people were invisible.

At first every time someone would approach me for some type of help I would try to give them something.  After living there for some time I found myself doing like every other citizen of Toronto turning a blind eye to those in need.

Galatians 2: MSG
6  As for those who were considered important in the church, their reputation doesn’t concern me. God isn’t impressed with mere appearances, and neither am I. And of course these leaders were able to add nothing to the message I had been preaching.
7  It was soon evident that God had entrusted me with the same message to the non-Jews as Peter had been preaching to the Jews.
9  Recognizing that my calling had been given by God, James, Peter, and John—the pillars of the church—shook hands with me and Barnabas, assigning us to a ministry to the non-Jews, while they continued to be responsible for reaching out to the Jews.
10  The only additional thing they asked was that we remember the poor, and I was already eager to do that.

Notice what the leaders of the early church asked of the Apostle Paul in verse ten, that is to “remember the poor”.

Somehow, somewhere we have strayed from that basic concept of being our brothers keeper.

If nations are to survive it will take a major change and turn and ridding themselves of pride.  America might just be on the road that will take it over the cliff.  A nation where it would seem insanity reigns.

The leaders of the body of Christ need to go back to basics, turn from the idol of money and bring back the message of the cross.  Quit preaching money and bring back the altar where people can have their burdens lifted.

Let’s bring back the scriptural teaching of praying for each other that we would be healed.  It is still hard for me to accept that there is no mid week prayer service in our evangelical congregations.

The other day I passed by a “evangelical” church and on it’s property had a billboard for an upcoming event for the youth.  The event was labelled “learn how to dance camp”.  Our youth do not need to be taught how to dance outside of the church, but like myself, learned how to dance before the Lord in the church.

Yes, to some I would be called radical.

There are times when I question myself that maybe it is me who is out on some far off land.  Then I shake myself and realize that in this given time I am living in a land where insanity reigns.

 

 

 

 

God’s True Welfare System

Malachi 3:10 MSG
Bring your full tithe to the Temple treasury so there will be ample provisions in my Temple. Test me in this and see if I don’t open up heaven itself to you and pour out blessings beyond your wildest dreams.

When people in the pew hear their pastor quote the above verse they automatically think money.  This verse is more than that, it is what we would call a “safety net”.  God ordained a “welfare system” that was provided by His own people.

I realize however that today’s society is far removed from those days.  Not many people own live stock, and farming is now owned by big corporations not the families in the community.  Yet, the plan God has laid out will still work in societies today.

God always provided for his children from the garden of Eden all the way through the early church.  

He made a way for the children of Israel through Joseph. Joseph was sold into slavery into Egypt.  God began to work and soon Joseph was brought into pharaoh’s palace.  The pharaoh had a dream and did not understand the meaning of it.  Word got back to the pharaoh that there was one that could tell him the meaning of that dream.  Joseph stood before pharaoh and was told the dream.  Joseph asked for one night so that God could interpret the dream.  Joseph came back and told pharaoh that he saw seven lean cattle and seven fat ones.  The meaning was this, that Egypt was to store up wheat during the seven plentiful years so that there would be plenty for the coming seven famine years.

Word began to spread throughout the land and into Israel that there was food in Egypt.  Among those that heard this was Joseph’s very own father and brothers.  They make the long journey to Egypt to seek refuge from the famine throughout the rest of the land.  They stood before Joseph but did not recognize him, though Joseph knew his father and brothers.  Joseph made himself known to his family and granted them refuge.  The people of God were taken care of because Joseph was given wisdom from God about what to do during the time of plenty.  This is just one example of God’s true welfare system.

God gave wisdom the the children of Israel about how they should tithe.  They were to give one tenth of their blessing. One out ten from their livestock, one bushel from ten of their wheat, etc.,

Now this bounty was not for the priests of the tabernacle alone.  It was to be used to feed all the Israelite’s.  

God even gave wisdom to the leaders of how they were to farm their land.  They were to rotate their crops and on the seventh year they were to leave it rest.  This still works to this day but big business demands otherwise.  So the land becomes depleted of all the nutrients needed to bring forth a bountiful crop.  The result ends in famine with the land resembling a dust field.

Yes, God’s way are perfect.

The psalmist wrote:

Psalms 37:25 MSG
25  I once was young, now I’m a graybeard— not once have I seen an abandoned believer, or his kids out roaming the streets.

Now go forward to the very early days of the church.  They were to sell all and bring it all together so that all of God’s people would be taken care of.

God’s people are told to remember the poor, but, we are living in selfish generation only looking to satisfy our own wants and needs.

Galatians 2:  MSG
7  It was soon evident that God had entrusted me with the same message to the non-Jews as Peter had been preaching to the Jews.
9  Recognizing that my calling had been given by God, James, Peter, and John—the pillars of the church—shook hands with me and Barnabas, assigning us to a ministry to the non-Jews, while they continued to be responsible for reaching out to the Jews.
10  The only additional thing they asked was that we remember the poor, and I was already eager to do that.

When I was a pastor I set up within the congregation a pantry so that we could be of assistance when others came upon hard times.

If the body of Christ is to stand during the coming storms it must return to the precepts of God’s true welfare system.  The body of Christ is to be God’s hand extended.

Mark 14: MSG
7  You will have the poor with you every day for the rest of your lives. Whenever you feel like it, you can do something for them. Not so with me.

One of the last things Christ taught His disciples was this:

Matthew 25: KJV
35  For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36  Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
37  Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
38  When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
39  Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
40  And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

So you can see that yes God created the social safety net.  Mankind borrowed the idea from God.

This is God’s true welfare system.