On this day marking the sanctity of human life beginning in the womb and eve of the nation’s holiday remembering slain Civil Rights leader and martyr for Jesus, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I am challenged afresh about doing God’s will. Dr. King made it clear this was his life aim in what would be his final sermon before being assassinated. He said, “I just want to do God’s will.”1 This conviction does not originate with Dr. King, of course, but is pleasantly consistent with my own heart and multitudes of persons that have through time enjoyed relationship with the living God and His Son, Jesus Christ, who preeminently expressed and carried it out (John 6:38, 17:4).
Pleasing God and doing His will is the heart of the Lord Jesus and what makes Him the Strong Man of God (John 8:29)! From eternity it was known what the will of God would entail for the Lord: a cross (John 3:13-16, 12:27, 32-33). In His perfect Humanity He, even He struggled with this part of God’s will for Him and prevailed through Self-denial (Matthew 26:36-46). The Lord unambiguously charged all that would be His followers to line up behind Him in self-denial to live on purpose to please God and do His will too (Mark 8:31-38).2 This has been the heart of aspiring strong men and great women of God in His image to the point of martyrdom beginning with Stephen (Acts 7:51-60)!3
What is God’s will for Christians since despite the corrupt laxity of Christianity as manmade religion, doing His will remains a biblical requirement (Matthew 7:21)? Continuously Spirit-filled (Ephesians 5:15-18), faithful followers of Christ understand God’s priority will for them after salvation is to cultivate relationship with Him through a growing faith and love even through much tribulation (Romans 5:1-5; Ephesians 3:14-21). His will linked to this is our character development and spiritual growth (2 Timothy 2:15; Hebrews 2:1-4, 5:12-14, 12:3-11; 2 Peter 1:1-11). We are to also fulfill our assigned familial roles while loving and serving fellow saints (Colossians 3:18-21; 1 Peter 4:7-11).
Finally too, we are to be engaged in the mission Christ has commanded (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:8). In light of the two-part post, Revelation’s Seven Churches In Time, beginning January 5, 2020 under the category, Bible Prophecy, we know with certainty God’s will is for us to continue faithfully doing all of the foregoing. These together are the “works” of Christ we are to diligently keep to whatever end He has permitted for us (Revelation 2:26, NKJV). By His grace and in His strength, I daily press to do God’s will to include my assignment through this Ministry to restore men in the Kingdom cause of the Gospel, revival and the strong man of God among the willing.
Indeed, it is absolutely imperative that men be restored at this late hour because individually they are equipped to walk in the four distinctive characteristics of Christ as aspiring strong men of God in His image. In accepting the roles God has assigned, being willing to obey His will and Word to the death, relying on and trusting in Him for vindication they stand in the evil day. Very importantly too, in their roles as husbands and fathers they appropriately lead their families to stand as persecution and God’s judgments in the earth intensify and going to corporate brick and mortar churches are increasingly not an option.4 Resisting the Lord through me in this cause and work is evidence of your need for repentance, salvation or revival! Otherwise, stand with me in it!5
1 The statement was made in the I’ve Been To The Mountain Top portion of his sermon on April 3, 1968 at the Bishop Charles Mason Temple Church Of God In Christ,
Memphis, TN, while in town to support the city’s striking sanitation workers.
2 Read my two-part 2019 post that begins August 18, Lined Up Behind Jesus, under the category, Instruction.
3 I write and instruct about aspiring strong men and great women of God in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics. Get a print copy or digital download of
the book at major internet booksellers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ChristianBooks.com and Apple (digital only). You can also get a print copy in the
Strong Man Store.
4 Read the July 30-Sept 3, 2017 six-part series Restoring Men In The Two Minute Drill, under the category, Bible Prophecy to get a sense of the urgent need to restore
5 Contribute to my salary support in the work at https://fundrazr.com/salarycampaign1. Give either to my support or the ongoing work of the Ministry or both at
While the Lord Jesus most assuredly initially speaks to the seven messengers and the corporate assemblies of Asia they lead, He concludes every message speaking to the individuals that make them up. The proof of this beyond His repeated use of the phrase “He who has an ear...” in Revelation 2-3 I have already referenced is another like it: “To him” or “He who overcomes.” The Lord unmistakably addresses Himself to any individual within the particular church He is speaking to that will give heed to His words. This is not unusual since His Church is made up of individuals that have believed on Him as “the Christ, the Son of the living God,” (Matthew 16:13-18, NKJV)!
Nevertheless, an elementary truth Christ knows, but many religionists especially fail to grasp is that not everyone assembled together in a local church is truly a born again believer in Him (John 3:1-8). There are “false brethren,” “impostors” and de facto apostates in many ostensibly “Christian” churches that even hold titles of authority (Galatians 2:1-5; 2 Timothy 3:13; Titus 1:10-16, NKJV). This is due to a number of reasons to include the lowered, unbiblical standards of membership many have tied to the practice of Christianity as a religious invention of men and the purposeful infiltration of Satan’s emissaries (2 Corinthians 11:10-15; Jude 3-4). Thus, a local church anywhere on the planet is not necessarily the Church in miniature!5
As a consequence, membership in a local church is not tantamount to membership in the Church of Jesus Christ either. So-called “opening the doors of the church” to invite non-members “to join” without ascertaining their actual spiritual status or presenting the biblical Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) with the requirement to repent and believe it is traditional in many religion bound Protestant churches desperate to fill empty pews.6 However, it is not membership with benefits as in a worldly social club affiliation that the writer of Hebrews advocates in his exhortation, “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together,” (Hebrews 10:24-25, NKJV).7
His advocacy is for the regular gathering together of the Lord’s faithful as individuals to Him in any number and kind of settings to include jails and homes (Acts 1:12-14, 2:40-47, 12:1-12, 16:23-25; Romans 16:5). The well intended and wicked religionists that have made membership, regular attendance and participation in local, corporate brick and mortar churches alone the standard and core of the Christian experience rather than relationship with Christ and the New Testament understanding of assembling together as His Church have set the unknowing, biblically illiterate and weak among them up for spiritual disaster in these latter days. Truly, what will these folk do when they can’t “go to church” anymore as is the case for our persecuted brethren in many places?
The Lord Jesus also speaks to the individuals that make up the seven churches of Asia because His standards of Church membership and discipleship are high. This is the second part of His prophetic warning. Contrary to popular manmade Christianity, people are not just going to get into Heaven and receive immortal glory “any old how.” Repeatedly the Lord declares it is “him” or “he that overcomes.” The two churches of Asia He commends in full are composed of saints that have endured persecution driven “tribulation,” “poverty,” “prison” and testing; persevering as our Lord “Faithful and True” to the death in faithfulness (Revelation 2:8-11, 3:7-14, NKJV). These faithful saints keep His “works until the end,” (Revelation 2:26, NKJV).8
That the end for persevering faithful saints on earth includes going through “the great tribulation” is bound up in the unfolding prophetic content the apostle John is to write concerning “the things which will take place after this;” that is, prophetic reality contemporary with the seven churches of Asia, but also beyond them (Revelation 1:19, NKJV). Revelation 5:1-10 shows Christ as the “Root of David” and “the Lamb” along with “the saints” and His Church to that moment already in Heaven (NKJV). In the overview prophetic sweep of earth activity up to Christ’s Second Coming embodied in the seals of Revelation 6, the fifth seal (vs. 9-11) makes clear martyrdom in suffering among His saints on earth will be God’s permitted norm--something they are prepared for (Romans 8:31-39).
Revelation 7:9-17 indisputably shows individual saints from “all nations, tribes, peoples and tongues” “come out of the great tribulation” which along with what God does in the heavens and upon the earth, involves all manner of suffering and martyrdom in the all out war finally prosecuted against us by the Antichrist (think Hitler’s “final solution”) as other parts of Bible prophecy and Revelation corroborates (Daniel 7:15-25, 8:15-25; Matthew 24:9-22; Revelation 12:7-13:18, 14:6-13, NKJV). God will also permit the Antichrist to destroy brick and mortar church buildings as is already occurring in many places amidst all of his destructive acts; eliciting a cry from Heaven for God’s people to exit she that is “The Mother Of Harlots” and owns treasured property (Revelation 17:1-18:8, NKJV).
Nevertheless, at the end of the three and a half years of the great tribulation and before the full outpour of God’s wrath, as He promised, the Lord will suddenly appear in clouds of glory. With His thunderous shout, the commanding voice of an archangel and blast of God’s trumpet, the Lord will gather all of His saints to Himself in the sky. The dead in Christ will be raised first and take flight to Him, while the remnant of faithful saints still alive will bypass death, be translated and follow after them (Matthew 24:29-31; Mark 13:24-27; 1 Corinthians 15:50-57; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11; 2 Thessalonians 1:3-12; Revelation 14:14-16, 16:15, 19:6-16)! The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
5 It is the universal Church made up of His faithful followers that Christ builds “and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18, NKJV) not every
single local church calling itself Christian (2 Timothy 2:19-21).
6 When unbelievers “join” they are by default impostors, false brethren, devils and tools of Satan as are willful or de facto apostates whether they realize it or not. Is
it any wonder the inevitable historic real life carnal church drama created is making for great film and television drama in these latter days while simultaneously
bringing shame to Christ?
7 Temporal membership in a local brick and mortar church certainly does have its benefits, but they do not exceed the greater benefits of membership in the univer-
sal Church of Jesus Christ! As a result, the value of membership in a local church apart from authentic relationship with Christ and membership in His Church is
exalted well beyond its value and over sold. Moreover, churches that use joining as a test of loyalty to them especially when they are unfaithfully sinning against
Christ are hypocritical and wicked (Matthew 23:15)! Even so, a local brick and mortar church that faithfully preaches the biblical Gospel for salvation, teaches and
diligently strives to model obedience to God’s Word as it is written, equips the saints for and facilitates them in biblical ministry and mission as a priority is well
pleasing to the Lord and useful in His Kingdom causes during the time that is left to operate openly. See the July 23, 2017 post, Churchmen In The Two Minute
Drill, under the category, The Cause. Also read the timely essay, What Hath The Church Fathers To Do With Your Local Church by Stephen Presley, in the Fall
2019 edition of Southwestern News, P. 54-57, to see that even in scholarly circles there is an appreciation of the consequential increase in hostility of Western cul-
tures including our own toward Christianity and discussion of the right response among the churches.
8 Such is every aspiring strong man and great woman of God I write and instruct about from God’s Word in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics. If
you want to learn the foundational biblical expectations of Christ for His followers and be equipped to faithfully live them out to the end, get a print copy or digital
download of my book at major internet booksellers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ChristianBooks.com and Apple (digital only). You can also get a print copy
of the book in the Strong Man Store. If you would like a foretaste of what is taught in the book, read my two-part 2019 post that begins August 18, Lined Up Be-
hind Jesus, under the category, Instruction.
Strong Man Of God Resources
Get Your Copy Of The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics
Your purchase supports restoring men, families and communities through Strong Man Ministries!
Purchase It Now