God can and does use whoever He wants to but never in corruption of His already written Word! A donkey spoke in service to the divine purpose of the occasion not because God intended that going forward, dumb animals should now be preachers to men (Numbers 22:21-35). Likewise, Mary Magdalene who was at the tomb of Jesus because of her deep devotion to her Deliverer stood outside weeping because it was empty. She encountered the risen Lord and was commanded to go repeat a message to His disciples not because He was giving her a new ministry or authority over them, but simply because she was there to go to them as she had done earlier (John 20:1-18)!
Arguments from experience attempting to justify the corruption of and disobedience to God’s already written instruction in His Word abound among professing Christians today. From sensational Charismatic claims to of course, the exaltation of females to positions of authority over men in many churches, experiences have played more of a role in bringing these about than the objective truth of God’s Word. This has occurred in spite of our Lord’s foretold royal character and instruction we are supposed to live out in following Him (Isaiah 11:3-5; John 7:21-24). Also, the motives are legion and include pastors that bow to the idol of success by every worldly means.
The Lord’s apparent slowness to righteously judge has deceived many into believing He is fine and even complicit with them doing whatever works to fulfill their selfish ambitions instead of what is actually in accord with His will, way and Word. However, such persons have confused the Lord’s forbearance with His permission as they will soon learn (Psalm 50:16-21). Truly, we have come to the time of God’s severe judgment among the churches because His forbearance is drawing to its close (1 Peter 4:17-18). His judgment will break the demonically controlled stranglehold arguments from experience alone has on a large segment of professing Christianity as I warn in today’s blog.
Originally Published May 2011
Tied directly to emotional arguments are those from experience that are made to justify willful disobedience to God's Word. To hear some professing Christians and preachers discuss or refrain from discussing the matter, personal experience has not only been elevated to a sacred status higher than God's Word itself, but it is forbidden to be questioned. As a result, just about anything goes today in many churches because people are able to say, "I think, I feel, I believe God…" to have their way in either direct defiance of or by clearly corrupting Scripture. Such is how, in part, female leadership over men in American churches has come to be routine over the past 100 years.
God declares, ‘“The just shall live by his faith,”’ (Habakkuk 2:4b, NKJV) not feelings and experiences. Always, the object of our faith is the Lord who is holy, never changes and acts consistently with His already written Word! Human emotions cannot be trusted because they are easily influenced by sin in us and manipulated by Satan from without. For the same reasons, we cannot put unquestioned stock in experiences. In fact, because of sin’s deceitfulness, we put no confidence in the flesh even related to religious stuff understanding that by pride and evil desires, we can and do invent experiences that support our cause to have it our way (Philippians 3:3; Colossians 2:18).
We are commanded by the Lord through the apostle Paul, "Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil," (1 Thessalonians 5:19-22, NKJV, emphasis mine). For those that trust their feelings and experiences supposedly inspired by the Spirit, there should be no issues about us weaker ones testing these by what He has already inspired in the written Word! In obedience to Paul's instruction, we would hold on to that which is good (consistent). However, we would abstain from (reject) every form of evil. All that leads to the disobedience of God's already written Word is evil!
“On any given Sunday there are 13 million more adult women than men in America’s churches,” an I’m The Man Conference promotional Web page proclaimed.1 With great pronouncements from God but in defiance of Scripture, male pastors have been ordaining women to take authority over men in and to lead churches as pastors. Aside from caving to the feminine power represented in their numbers and the worldly emotional argument about equality in the churches, many feel led to support this movement of disobedience arguing from experience. They assert that they cannot deny those whom God has obviously given the ability to preach and lead the opportunity to do so.
As it concerns biblically defined preaching, it should be no surprise that God would equip women to preach because according to the purpose of spiritual gifts, none of us can do anything in the Body of Christ without being gifted (1 Corinthians 12:1-11). As it is written, however, “God is not the author of confusion (disorder) but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints,” (1 Corinthians 14:33, NKJV). One of the reasons we are in confusion and conflict on this in the churches is because we have made preaching a matter of cultural style, emotion, ego, pride, fleshy show and entertainment rather than what it is--a demonstration of the Spirit and His power (1 Corinthians 2:4)!
This demonstration of the Spirit and His power is not only of ability, but in giving honor and glad submission to all of God’s Word including its instruction that a gifted woman does not stand to speak, teach, preach or take authority over men in His churches (1 Corinthians 14:34-40; 1 Timothy 2:11-14). Women in prisons, for example, are in dire need of gifted women to proclaim to them the “unsearchable riches of Christ” in the Gospel! But there is no glory there; the prize in the flesh is to be admired by men. God gives His strong men and great women spiritual gifts and expects that we will honor His fixed family order in our homes, His assembly and beyond in exercising them.
To their peril, far too many male pastors and women have ignored the fact the church on earth and in Heaven is not an invention of sinful flesh. It is the construction of Jesus Christ, Son of the living God who maintains His Headship over it (Matthew 16:16-18; Ephesians 1:22; Colossians 1:15-18). Church government, protocols and programs do not spring from emotions and experiences that contradict His Word, but Jesus is Lord! Therefore, according to His already written Word, without repentance severe judgment is the indisputable experience of the guilty (Revelation 2:18-23). The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, “Who is on the Lord’s side?”
A blessed Mother’s Day to all of my sisters in Christ. It is a shame that I had to pause and struggle a bit before prayerfully deciding how to express my heartfelt Mother’s Day salute. In these days of confusion we now live in, mothers are being invented in all manner of peculiar ways including by way of men who transform themselves into women and become mothers to children in their care. This state of affairs is supported by any number of emotionally charged arguments that defy the will and instruction of humanity’s Creator contained in the Bible; the God and Book not a few in many churches believe are no longer relevant as they serve the god born of their narcissism: self!
Rebels may not want to honor God or His Word, but that does not dismiss them from existence. According to the Word of God, females were designed and created by God to naturally conceive, carry in their wombs, birth, nourish and nurture children who are the next generation of mankind. In so doing, a female indispensably helps to continue human existence on the earth as part of a team with the male, her head and bearer of the seed that initiates their children’s lives (Genesis 1:27-28, 2:18-25). After the original couple’s fall, God’s program remained in place (Genesis 3:20) albeit with many unforeseen consequences that reach right down into the confusion of our day.
Emotional arguments can be very appealing and strong, but also very wrong as plainly demonstrated by Eve when she led herself and her husband to disobey God (Genesis 3:6-11)! Many male pastors have felt very strongly that women equally gifted as men should serve as God has only assigned men. But they have sinned against the Lord and served as His judge by casting aside the Word of instruction in making women pastors, leaders and teachers over men in His house using emotional arguments; saying for example, “God can use who He wants to.” This is true. However, learn in today’s blog why this emotional argument and all others fail before the God of order!
Originally Published April 2011
Beyond the childish arguments lifted up against God's faithful prophets in order to muzzle them (Isaiah 30:8-11; Amos 2:11-12; Micah 2:6), there are the many rebel arguments lifted up against His Word that are rooted purely in emotion. As the Scripture foretells about these evil days, truth and reason have been exiled to a bygone era (Acts 26:24-25; 2 Timothy 4:3-4). Many have gone after the world and left Christ, the living Word (2 Timothy 4:10; 1 John 1:1-3; Revelation 2:4-5)! The Strong Man of God is written with the subtitle, Back To Basics because within its pages men and the churches are called back to the foundational biblical truths which declare God’s program for man.
The Bible as the Word of God is of the most basic and foundational truths that all born again Christians should hold in common. Yet, how many times I have heard professing Christians rebut sound doctrine with the emotional line, “The Bible was written by men.” They miss the flaw in their argument that if it is a reasoned assertion fallen men writing the Bible dismiss the doctrine being rebutted, it also destroys all of Christianity since the faith is built on the Bible. And so it goes; a desire to disobey a certain portion of God’s Word leads to flesh driven emotional arguments that seek to justify it. This is an approach that is straight out of the world controlled by Satan.
In its forceful move away from objective Judeo-Christian truth and morality, our society more and more offers its own truth and morality based on the emotional arguments of what works for the individuals involved. Here are a few examples. Two people should be able to marry based on love regardless of gender. A person should be able to die (commit suicide) with dignity. A woman's rights over her body trump those of her unborn child (spelled tissue). And of course, directly related to my book and the instruction from God's Word that men as husbands are to head their families, this is now not fair and equal treatment of women since they are capable of leading also.
As a Christian Black American, it is offensive to hear the emotional argument that since women are an oppressed minority like blacks, society must eradicate all perceived forms of inequality for them including the bondage of being the kind of wife the Bible describes. The argument has also been expanded to include those that have willfully chosen sexually deviant lifestyles. As it concerns women, we sinful men surely have messed up to whatever extent women have been unfairly and unequally treated by us in disobedience to God’s Word. I apologize for this in my book. However, by no means do the sins of men justify the all out rebellion now underway against God and His Word.
In the book, I hold firmly to and stand on the testimony of Scripture that it is in fact, God breathed and penned by fallen men made holy He chose and empowered for the task (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:21). As such, I also in truth and reason point up the right God has as mankind's Creator to set the ground rules for our existence. Every argument lifted up against His program then (no matter how emotional) is of rebellion and sin. For it is written, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” (Genesis 1:1, NKJV). And again, “Then God said, ‘Let Us make man…,’” (Genesis 1:26, NKJV). You and I are creatures with a Maker over us (Revelation 4:11)!
The same Creator that gave the universe, galaxies, solar systems and earth order, also gave it to the apex of His creation, man. Man as male and female in marriage is God's orderly program for them to fulfill His purposes in this age. Man the male as the head of his family--even after falling in sin--is so by divine will, design and order (Genesis 3:16b). If the fixed order of day and night that God has established were to be disrupted, chaos on earth would ensue. So it is now with human rebellion against His fixed order of the family. As a consequence in part, God will soon give those who clamor for disorder fully what they desire (Revelation 8:12). The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, “Who is on the Lord’s side?”
Scripture is consistent in declaring the divine hostility toward the corrupt thinking of men in their many concocted philosophies that take them away from the simple deductions that lead to God who is the Fountainhead of truth. Nevertheless, the same Scripture anticipates such behavior from rank sinners who in the face of empirical bread crumbs as vast and luminous as the universe still willfully refuse to acknowledge their Creator. What pains the heart of God above the foolish heart of the unbeliever, is for those that profess to know, love and serve Him to reject His will, way and Word through leaning on their own understanding or if you will, philosophies (Proverbs 3:5).
For years professing Christian men that have not wanted to be made to feel inferior by their secular counterparts have sought to raise the level of academic acceptance of Christianity as their discipline and credentials through personal philosophical musings they call theology. While a number have intended good to the Body of Christ, the result today is a mass of confusion and division no serious Bible student can honestly believe was commissioned by God. When the ancient standard of interpreting and applying God’s Word as it has already been written (Mark 12:18-34) is abandoned in the cause of tolerance, nobody can be wrong and everyone is potentially right or so these self-made wise folk wrongly allow. They are deceived (Jeremiah 8:8-9)!
From professing Christianity’s spiritual morass has come the scripturally unconscionable Christian racist, narcissist, chauvinist, feminist, abortionist, sexual immoralist etc. As has very often been the case throughout the epoch of God’s grace and my own experience, the faithful must grasp why a certain consequence of this is that among our worst persecutors are and will be professing Christians as disobedient religionists and impostors following philosophical arguments that contrary to Scripture, condone their evil conduct (John 16:1-4; 2 Timothy 3:12-13). As I warn in this final blog of the 2011 Commentary Series, sinful human philosophies are not part of Christ’s narrow way nor are they a hedge against the approaching severe, but just judgment of God among American churches!
Originally Published June 2011
The churches of Jesus Christ have no business whatsoever being divided into philosophical camps. As the apostle Paul pointed out in his rebuke of the first century church at Corinth, division among professing Christians is a sure indicator of carnality (1 Corinthians 1:10-13, 3:1-4). Yet, nearly 2,000 years later in a world of 33,000 religions, churches are divided into over 3,000 denominations and sects.1 Even within those denominations and sects there is division and philosophical squabbling over issues of doctrine that are plainly settled in Scripture. This state of affairs is not the will of Christ who desires unity and peace within His Body (John 17:20-23; Ephesians 4:1-6).
Human philosophy is all about what sinful men think. No matter how logical or ordered those thoughts, the philosophies of sinful man always come up short. Why? Because when he begins to think he does so in the prideful assumption he has superior knowledge and wisdom (1 Corinthians 3:18-20). As it concerns the topic of a Creator, for example, sinful men have looked at the undeniable evidence in the creation (including within themselves) and decided there is not one. Instead, they have made fools of themselves suppressing the truth with lies such as “The Theory of Evolution” and certified their Creator’s just wrath against them (Romans 1:18-22).
As a created being, man must begin to seek an ordered understanding about existence from the One that gave him existence, God Almighty (Genesis 1:26, 2:7). Truly, men are fools who would rather be proud descendants of monkeys (a derogatory accusation once heaped upon my slave forefathers to justify their enslavement prior to the coming of the “enlightened” thinking of evolution) than creatures from earth’s dust uniquely made in the glorious image of the living God! All born again Christians are supposed to be united on the side of the Lord and His Word that He created us. His Church is not a worldly classroom where contrary views with Scripture are tolerated.
All born again Christians are also supposed be one in our understanding of God's creation of man as male and female in this present age. Their roles and responsibilities are not a matter of clearly flawed evolutionary development as the world philosophizes, but the purposeful and perfectly ordered assignment of an omniscient Creator (Genesis 1:27-28). Evolution needs tweaking by its creatures today because it made them unequal. God--who shows no partiality--from the beginning created man one and assigned him to imitate divine Headship over a equal counterpart separated out from him (Genesis 2:18-24, 3:20; 1 Corinthians 11:3; Ephesians 5:22-24; 1 Timothy 2:12-15).
Thousands of worldly religions and philosophies boil down to the reasoning of sinful men versus the declarations of a holy Creator made in His Word. In the churches, nearly all philosophical divisions can be traced to a willful break with the plain teaching of Scripture. Amazingly, God addresses even this latter day maelstrom of confusion and warns twice through Solomon--a man endued with His wisdom: "There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death," (Proverbs 14:12, 16:25, NKJV). Common sense dictates everybody cannot be right. This is why our Lord Jesus also warns about carefully considering which of only two philosophical ways we will choose.
In Matthew 7:13, the Lord Jesus urges His hearers to "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it," (NKJV). Apparently, God is not as "open minded" as philosophers, false prophets and corrupt teachers would have us believe. There is a right way in Christ and it is found in the narrow way of obedience to God's Word, not the many speculative offerings of sinful human philosophy in and outside of the churches (Colossians 2:1-10). The narrow gate and way of Christ alone leads to eternal life and sadly, He says relatively speaking, "there are few that find it," (Matthew 7:14; Luke 13:22-30).
The days are coming and even now are close at hand in America when it will not matter what denomination or sect of Christianity professed believers belong to. Anti-Christians will equally hate and violently persecute all calling themselves Christians (Matthew 24:9-13). Therefore, we ought to quickly repent of our philosophical argument fed divisions or else shamefully, days shortly ahead will force us to do so. Then it will be seen who really is on the narrow and difficult way to life. Aspiring strong men and great women of God who live to please Him and do His will to the death on His side will be prominent among those in that narrow way (Revelation 12:7-11). The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
1 I mistakenly transposed the number of world religions with denominations when I took their figures from my original source. I am now completely blown away to see that
Christian denominations estimated at 33,000 would outnumber the total number of religions in the world estimated by David Barrett in his 2001 World Christian
Encyclopedia to be 10,000--see https://theway21stcentury.wordpress.com/2012/11/23/how-many-christian-denominations-worldwide/. However, while those doing the
estimating concede it is nearly impossible to get an accurate count, incredibly, their estimates only get worse going forward with the Center for the Study of Global
Christianity at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary estimating that the number of Christian denominations by mid-2014 had climbed to 45,000 and are projected to
reach 55,000 by 2025 (see the sub link under “The Estimates,” Center for the Study of Global Christianity at the Web Site cited in the link provided above). This is a great
end time evil.
Carried along by the Holy Spirit in the spiritual momentum created by what He had led me to write concerning taking the Lord’s side, in this and the next three blogs I stand flat footed in Him to defend against four types of anticipated arguments. The defense against anticipated arguments in the previously published commentaries that have given rise to these blogs also served back then to highlight the biblical worldview of human existence and social organization in this present age I teach in the Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics that was about to be published on June 15, 2011. What I said then is true now because I only repeat what the eternal Word of God says (1 Peter 1:22-25)!
I remain steadfast against every worldly argument lifted up against the biblical worldview of the Lord’s side beginning with the childish argument that I am mad at or hate women. As the apostle Paul queried the Galatians, so, I every professing Christian hatefully angry with me for proclaiming God’s unambiguous Word to you: “Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth,” (Galatians 4:16, NKJV)? In spite of the fact the world is going its rebellious way to foretold destruction, I preach the Gospel so that even now any might be saved that believe. I also call to repentance and exhort to “faith and patience” those “who have fled for refuge” to Christ lest through sharing in the world’s rebellion, they receive its consequences (Hebrews 6:4-20; Jude 20-25, NKJV).
To that latter end, I make the following current statement here in order not to alter the content of the original commentary. It is a corruption of the divinely inspired narrative presented by the New Testament Gospel writers showing the Lord Jesus purposely selecting His twelve male apostles producers Mark Burnett and Roma Downey advance (among many) in their film “Son Of God” and now the television mini-series, “AD: The Bible Continues” that elevates Mary Magdalene into the role of what can only be described as a “thirteenth apostle” due to the character’s overblown involvement and influence with them. This is a clear and unnecessary feminist insertion that contradicts not only the biblical narrative, but the Jewish historical context. Sinners may permit such agenda driven creative license, but not God (Deuteronomy 4:1-2; Proverbs 30:5-6; Revelation 22:18-19).
Originally Published March 2011
It was my great joy to write two chapters teaching on the great woman of God in our soon to be released book, The Strong Man of God: Back To Basics. I did not write thinking about how to balance a book written primarily to men so as not to appear chauvinist or to mask a heart filled with hatred for women. But I wrote as the Lord led to help male and female readers appreciate all the more the awesome greatness of our Creator that purposely designed the great woman to be the perfect counterpart to the strong man of God in this present age (Genesis 2:18-23).
False accusations of male chauvinism and misogyny come just because I have dared to take an uncompromising stand on the Bible’s clear instruction on women and their roles in the home and churches. To harshly and loudly accuse me of these ungodly attitudes is supposed to back me down in shame enough to leave things alone as so many men in and out of the churches have done. However, I cannot help but speak the truth in love and do so at times with great zeal since the living God who called me empowers His messenger to deliver His message (Ezekiel 2-3:11; Ephesians 4:11-16)!
Accusing me of declaring God's Word as it is written out of chauvinism or misogyny reminds me of the childish arguments my children presented me even through their teen years in persistent attempts to have their way. Never mind the righteousness of my stand on their requests, I was still accused of being unfair, insensitive and a few other choice things my ears were not meant to hear. Declaring God's Word as it is written means that He would not tolerate my being a male chauvinist, an attitude of arrogant pride and sin (Proverbs 16:18-19). He also made the woman comparable to the man. Taken out of him, she is equal in person to the man in every way.
I could not hate women or anybody else because Christians are commanded to love foe and brother (Matthew 5:43-48; John 13:34-35). I do not hate women but love God and seek to obey His Word as it is written. This is as it should be for every aspiring strong man of God in the image of Christ. Truly, the Lord Jesus did more than any man in the history of the world to restore God’s original design for how men are to treat women with protective care (Exodus 22:22-24; Luke 7:11-15, 13:10-16; John 19:26-27). Yet, He felt no compulsion to select a female apostle to demonstrate a commitment to equality. No one in his or her right mind today condemns the Lord as a misogynist.
God is revealed to us in Scripture as Father, Son and Holy Spirit; three distinct Persons fully and equally the One, true God. Each Person has His role and responsibilities within the divine unity and is equally God! No complaints are registered anywhere in the Bible by any Person of the triune God about this eternal arrangement. Modeled after the divine unity, God has made no change in the design of human male and female roles in marital unity for this age because they are perfect (Genesis 1:26a). While worldly minded contemporary Christians contend that God's design of male and female roles presented in His Word is flawed due to male headship, it is really the humans called to operate in those roles that are flawed through sin.
Outside of sinful humanity's inability to live out male and female roles as God designed, there is the deceiving and destroying work of our mutual enemy, Satan. He deceitfully stirs humanity to question God's Word (Genesis 3:1) rather than look at ourselves as the real problem. Instead of attempting to shout down God's faithful messengers with childish arguments, professing Christian feminists and their male supporters in the churches should recall this truth. Historically, God sends His faithful prophets to warn and call His people to repentance just before He is about to judge them (2 Chronicles 36:15-21; Matthew 23:29-39; 1 Corinthians 13:11)! The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
In the post, Kings And Judges With Christ, under the category, Encouragement, on August 8, 2021, I wrote to encourage God’s faithful about the glorious vindication and victory our God gives us after suffering in the cause of Christ and the Kingdom. This vindication and victory comes at the forced end of three and one half years of what the Lord Jesus describes as “great tribulation” the saints will endure with only a tiny remnant surviving. They will see Christ’s return with mortal eyes before being “changed” and joining the greater number of resurrected saints en route to Him in the sky (Matthew 24:15-22, 29-31; 1 Corinthians 15:50-57; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, NKJV).
To “bypass death”--one of the common mortal human experiences of living on earth--as the Lord had me mention in another place, is a prospect of magnitude beyond incredible!1 Biblically conservative teachers of God’s Word all well know, believe and teach His consequential judgment of death for Adam’s disobedience presented in Genesis 2:15-17 and set in motion as his and his progeny’s experience in perpetuity the day he actually sinned (Genesis 3:6-11, 17-19, 4:8, 5:5). Death has been so routinely the normative experience of mankind since, it is a byword for certainty and inevitability. Even the Son of God, Jesus Christ, died--not for any sins of His, but ours!
Indeed, the Lord took on a mortal body and permanently became one of us as the Son of Man, to die in our place and make atonement for our sins (Isaiah 53; John 10:14-18; Romans 3:9-26; Hebrews 2:14-17, 9:22-28). And though the Lord was resurrected from the dead on the third day after and is “alive forevermore” (Revelation 1:18, NKJV) still, He died! The Bible records only two exceptions to the rule mortal humans die. Enoch and Elijah bypassed death millennia apart by God’s sovereign will and actions (Genesis 5:21-24; 2 Kings 2:9-11). These men had in common a single minded devotion to God. So then, a mortal bypassing the experience of death is extremely rare!
Yet clearly, bypassing death is exactly what the apostle Paul sets forth as revelation from Christ he is to convey as a reality for those among the saints “who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord,” (1 Corinthians 15:51; 1 Thessalonians 4:15, NKJV). Rather than death, these remnant saints are instantaneously transformed from mortal to glorious immortal and “caught up together” with those resurrected “in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air,” (1 Thessalonians 4:17, NKJV). The bypass of death here is plainly the experience of those saints who remain alive through great tribulation until that “day of the Lord” and His wrath arrives (1 Thessalonians 5:1-11, NKJV).2
As I wrote in a August 9th Facebook post promoting the August 8th blog, “God has ordained that His saints should suffer in the cause of Christ and the Kingdom in part as a matter of His “righteous judgment” to “be counted worthy of” it and the glories that follow (2 Thessalonians 1:3-5, NKJV). This “is also totally consistent with His eternal spiritual principle: “…before honor is humility,” (Proverbs 15:33, 18:12; 1 Peter 1:3-12, 5:5-11, NKJV)” as I wrote too. Seeing the revealed weakness and falling away to date of many professed American Christians during God’s Coronavirus judgment, it is evident many do not possess a mindset to suffer anything for Christ and the Kingdom.3
This, of course, is the other reason the Lord in wisdom allows His professed people to go through various trials and finally, the great tribulation to demonstrate our faith, love and faithfulness in all perseverance; naturally separating out from our midst those that are not really His or sold out to Him!4 The perseverance of the saints is not a foregone conclusion as some teach. The Bible allows for real Christians to fall away in unbelief (Matthew 24:10; Hebrews 3:7-19). Perseverance is the God expected and helped outcome of a real Christian’s displayed faith, love (shown by obedience) and faithfulness through the most severe trials and tribulation to the end (Mark 13:13; Romans 5:1-5; 2 Corinthians 1:20-24; Hebrews 6:11-12, 10:32-39; 1 Peter 1:5-9; Revelation 12:7-13:18, 14:9-13).
Therefore, bypassing death is not the experience of billions of professed Christians in an “any moment” secret mass event that removes them from tribulation as is popularly depicted by many conservative evangelical Christians in what is called “the rapture.” But consistent with its biblical rarity, the bypass of death is for a remnant of faithful saints. Their faith, love and faithfulness in all perseverance enduring the greatest hardships and persecution against the saints of God in human history will be rewarded with the honor of bypassing death and being made immortal wherever they stand at the Second Coming of Christ!5 Whether they are conscious of it or not, these will all be of those we are teaching to be aspiring strong men and great women of God in the image of Christ!6
1 See the two-part post that begins January 5, 2020, Revelation’s Seven Churches In Time, under the category, Bible Prophecy.
2 Included among these preserved from death remnant saints are Jewish Christians who have suffered as a group historically longer than any other Christians! Read the two-
part post beginning February 16, 2020, Christ’s Message To His Faithful, under the categories, Bible Prophecy and Encouragement along with the one that follows on March
1, 2020, Offended By The Truth? It is under the category Call To Repent for very serious reasons tied to the February post.
3 In the January 5, 2020 blog already cited, the Lord enabled me to foresee the negative consequences that have occurred because professed Christians were not able to “go
to church.” Once again, the never should have been day of soft pedaling the Gospel to build big churches and pastor egos is over! Sincere repentance fed revival remains
the only solution for helping willing professed Christians prepare for so many even more severe trials and tribulation than the Coronavirus pandemic that are on the way.
Read also the March 29, 2020 post, Standing In Christ’s Strength, under the category, Encouragement.
4 See the two-part post starting June 7, 2020, Days Of Separation, under the category, Bible Prophecy.
5 Read the two-part post, The Prayers Of The Saints, under the category, Bible Prophecy that starts on March 16, 2014. Also, read my 2017 multi-part purposeful work to dis-
till what is coming and motivate professed Christian men to get in the game entitled, Restoring Men In Two Minute Drill, beginning on July 30th under the categories Bible
Prophecy and The Cause. Sadly, many of these men do not possess the heart of Lot for God much less Enoch or Elijah (2 Peter 2:7-8).
6 The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics is my flagship instructional resource for teaching aspiring strong men and great women of God in the image of Christ who are the
Lord’s faithful! The book and companion Strong Man Of God Men’s Group Study and Great Woman Of God Women’s Group Study are available at your favorite internet
book seller and in the Strong Man Store.
I had hit a brick wall in early 1986 attempting to write what was supposed to be a spiritual interpretation of the first of several planned black historical fact segments for a radio program this Ministry was airing and abandoned the effort titled, From Slavery To Victory: One Man’s Journey. As I wrote in a 1995 Op-ed distributed nationally by Religion News Service, “I retreated to determined prayer and Bible study.” I asked God why and as I learned, the sovereign God who is a Participant in and trustworthy Witness of human affairs, really will give wisdom and understanding to His people that but ask (Psalm 33:10-15; Proverbs 2:1-9; Luke 11:9-13; 1 Corinthians 2:6-16; James 1:5)!
In my child-like faith over the next seven years, little by little the Lord not only gave me an understanding of the major facts of black history from a biblical worldview, but also led me back to pen and paper to write then finally, produce the just under one hour From Slavery To Victory: One Man’s Journey Radio Special.4 In the docu-drama, the Lord uses me as He did Ezekiel, the exemplary prototype of my gifting and ministry, to communicate through narration, dramatic sound effects and music the major facts and biblically grounded understanding of the historic black American experience along with a prophetic warning against rejecting it (Ezekiel 4-5, 33:1-9).
The Word of God that undergirds the Lord’s instruction and my understanding of His involvement in the history of black Americans is so obviously strewn about the entire Bible the question begged to be asked, so I asked, “Why don’t we all see it?” Tragically, it is because the vast majority of black Americans to include many professed Christians have chosen--some out of fresh wounds--to be victims and see our experience entirely from that perspective. However, Psalm 107 is one of the many Bible passages that clearly show God behind the deliverances of suffering men brought about by natural circumstances and calamities that befall them as judgment from Him.
The Psalmist urges men delivered out of both natural situations of distress and those brought about through divine judgment to “give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and for His wonderful works to the children of men,” (Psalm 107:8, 15, 21, 31, NKJV). Among the natural distresses in Psalm 107 are homeless folk faint in wilderness wandering (vs.4-9), mariners facing the challenges of an angry sea (vs. 23-32) and the hungry from parched land (vs. 35-38). God’s works of judgment are seen upon men in shackles (vs. 10-16), stubborn transgressors near death (vs. 17-22), the wicked in a fruitful land made barren (vs. 33-34) and in His contempt on oppressive rulers (vs. 39-41).5
Surely, black Americans that will be honest see our historical experience in Psalm 107:10-16! The reason the men pictured in this passage are sitting “in darkness” “and the shadow of death, bound in affliction and irons” is “because they rebelled against the words of God and despised the counsel of the Most High,” (vs. 10-11, NKJV). But someone will ask, “when did West Africans receive the ‘words of God’ to rebel against them prior to the arrival of the Europeans in the 14th century AD?” Did they not begin to hear the “words of God” in warnings passed down to them from our forefather, Ham, son of Noah, in the day of wrath through the global flood (Genesis 6:9-13, 9:1-19, 10:6-20)?
Did not the Good News of Jesus Christ crucified, buried and risen to save men from our sins travel naturally throughout all of the ancient trading caravans and intentionally by way of His apostles and disciples of that first century AD (Mark 15:21; Acts 2:1-16, 8:1-8, 26-40)? The apostle Paul also preached that neither prior to that time nor after has God left “Himself without witness,” (Acts 14:8-18, NKJV). He later boldly asserts, however, that wrath is again upon men who “are without excuse” because they willfully refuse to give heed to all of the various ways God has testified to them over the centuries to this hour (Romans 1:18-32, NKJV). The West African arrival of European missionaries to preach a largely rejected Gospel was the last chance for our forefathers (Psalm 107:12).
The From Slavery To Victory: One Man’s Journey Radio Special that first aired in the Dallas, TX, radio market during Black History Month 1993, became the flagship program piece in the full on FSTVEP launched Juneteenth 1994 to widely proclaim the biblical worldview of the black American experience as of God not only in the judgment of bondage, but freedom (Psalm 107:13-16)! For truly, rather than painful bondage, the Lord would have been within His sovereign right to destroy us, but instead, in His mercy and (plainly with hope) plans for us, spared our people!6 The redeemed of the Lord; the righteous in wisdom “see” and “rejoice” over “these things” understood (Psalm 107:42-43, NKJV). Failure to see from “God’s eye view” has brought forth disastrous consequences to many.7
4 I am eternally grateful to the then Vice President of the Southern Baptist Radio and Television Commission in Fort Worth, TX, Ed Malone, and the team of producers
under him that gave guidance and technical assistance to me in producing the Radio Special.
5 Let all that would oppress and afflict others be fully warned! Or, what was the American Civil War but divine contempt for the Southern oppression and affliction of my
slave forefathers; worldwide condemnation of the brutally violent reaction to the peaceful, nonviolent protests of slave descendants nearly a hundred years later still
seeking complete, unimpeded and tangible freedom from a professed Christian nation?
6 Click through The Journey on the FSTVEP Web Site for a more thorough presentation of the biblical worldview of the black American experience. Also, read the
February 26-March 19, 2017 four-part series, God Of Restoration And Judgment, under multiple categories.
7 In spite of the consequences of rejecting a biblical worldview of our experience by many to date, there is still hope and help the FSTVEP offers for the willing to pur-
posely include our men who are God’s chosen leaders beginning in the home. The strong man of God cause to restore men and my book, The Strong Man Of God:
Back To Basics have their origin in the FSTVEP. The book is available at all major internet booksellers, by order at your favorite brick and mortar bookstore or in the
Strong Man Store.
As a matter of final reflection on being a Christian forty years, I want to glorify God for my many positive experiences as a member of the Body of Christ on earth! For the sake of brevity in this blog format, I will confine myself to the company of the saints, biblical multiculturalism and music as areas of experience in the Body of Christ that have greatly contributed to the joy of my forty year journey thus far. Though I have written much about how religionists and spiritually immature believers weak in willful sin have brought me grief, I rejoice that occasionally in the journey, I have been truly blessed with being in the company of authentic and faithful saints.
These faithful saints were to me exactly what the Bible teaches: filled with faith and the love of God, obedient and true to His Word, unselfish, ready to give, encourage, edify or help, thoughtful, kind, considerate and eager to serve (John 13:34-35; Romans 5:5, 12:9-21, 13:8-10; 1 Corinthians 13:4-6; 2 Thessalonians 1:1-3). They have been an oasis of refreshment to me at strategic moments in my journey; appearing by divine providence at times like a man making his way across the desert who has seen mirages of water and finally comes upon its reality after many days. They shall remain nameless (lest any should be unnecessarily offended), but precious to me--bless them, Lord!
While I have left these saints nameless, I joyfully declare they are from both genders, different ethnicities, races, tribes, languages and cultures! The experience of this reality has been especially enriching for me due to understanding and fully appreciating God’s global, Kingdom cause in the Gospel of His Son, Jesus Christ, as I wrote about recently in the four-part blog, God Of Restoration And Judgment under the category, The Cause with three others! What an absolutely amazing experience to meet a brother or sister in Christ from a place on the other side of the world who as a sinner, has come to Christ in repentance and faith and loves Him with a passion just like me.
As I wrote in another blog, I was prepared for this biblical form of multiculturalism growing up in Seaside on the Monterey Peninsula of California.1 While racism was extant, the forcibly integrated school system was such that many different ethnicities, races, languages and cultures were brought together. From this experience, I learned to appreciate and navigate among those that were from different ethnicities, races and cultures. What a joy to do this when the opportunities have come in the Body of Christ! However, the operative word here is “when” since a major share of grief in my journey has come from among racially bigoted professed Christians.
To this hour, a number of white Southern Baptist pastors here in the Northwest remain cold toward me for insisting that racism no longer be tolerated among their ranks. I made personal appeals, addressed meetings and wrote about how tolerating racism was unbecoming of those professing such high regard for Christ and the Gospel. Even in this 21st century as a continuing link to the days of America’s secular and church sanctioned practice of racism, my word as a black pastor still carried less weight than that of a white one. This led, for example, in one sad case to having others also receive my correspondence sent to an official so my words would be accurately known.
I agree with anyone that would say this sort of thing should not be among professed Christian brothers. However, until racism is dealt with as the sin it is and truly no longer tolerated in the Body of Christ, such actions will continue to be taken by blacks and other minorities that love our white brothers enough not to allow the guilty to reflexively force us into a less than equal place. Instead of being embittered toward me, such men should have godly sorrow and be deeply repentant realizing that a brother in their midst felt compelled to take extraordinary measures to be heard accurately in the multicultural Body of Christ charged to represent Him (Matthew 23:8; 1 John 3:10-15)!
Another important way I sought as the Lord led to build a bridge of multicultural love among Southern Baptist brothers was through an event called “Praisefest.” Out of what is supposed to be our common love for the Lord, we brought worship teams from churches of various cultural groups together to praise Him through the universal language of music. I never heard anything negative about those sweet times in the Lord which is good. Indeed, some of my most joyful experiences of the Body of Christ as His purposeful, multicultural construction have been marvelously through music! Being an appreciator of all kinds of music came from my departed mother as well as through school days experiences in choirs, bands and later in college and seminary, a radio disc jockey (DJ).
From the European Reformation and church hymns that followed along with the spirituals and work songs of my Christian slave forefathers to Black and Southern Gospel and Contemporary Christian Music my soul has been fully blessed “through it all” (the title of an André Crouch classic) by the multicultural music of the saints. As a DJ in Dallas/Fort Worth, how my spirit soared executing multicultural music sets that ministered to listeners and me! I feel so sorry for professed Christians that have never gone beyond their culturally preferred music to enjoy that of brethren from another culture.2 Thank You, Lord, for the foretaste of eternity with You I have enjoyed thus far, in the multicultural company, love and music of Your Body (Ephesians 5:18-20; Colossians 3:12-17)!
1 Read the December 6, 2015 blog, Celebrating God’s Racial Diversity Initiative, Call To Repent.
2 While I fully understand the worldly idea behind radio music formatting, what a lost opportunity to build a bridge of brotherhood in the Body of Christ and give a multicultural
witness Christian music stations have missed following this model that essentially mimics segregated Sunday morning church services. I am available on a professional
consulting basis to assist any Christian music programmer that would like to do a better job of offering a culturally diverse music mix.
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