One day soon, the Kingdom of the Babe born over 2,000 years ago as foretold in Bethlehem, Israel will be the only one on earth left standing (Psalm 47; Micah 5:2-5). I joyfully explore this prophetic truth in this edited 2013 blog repost. Merry Christmas indeed for those that are waiting for Christ to come again as it is written in God’s Word of truth (Psalm 119:41-44; Hebrews 10:37-38)!
Originally Posted June 9, 2013
Flying up through the clouds “to meet the Lord in the air” is not only our first exciting experience as immortals in new spiritual bodies (1 Thessalonians 4:17, NKJV), but the event also serves to glorify us before and remove us from the world that is about to endure the full outpouring of God’s wrath brought immediately thereafter by Christ and finished at Armageddon (Revelation 6:12-17, 14:14-16, 16:12-21, 19:11-16). From our vantage point in the sky, we will watch the cataclysmic convulsions and upheaval of the earth that destroys all of its cities except Jerusalem; bringing forth new mountains where there were valleys and valleys where there are now mountains (Isaiah 40:3-5).
Then the Lord will give the command sending forth His angelic armies to battle at Armageddon thoroughly defeating the evil, immortal pretender to His world throne and Satan along with their armies (Revelation 14:17-20, 19:17-21). So, what is next? We would have no idea if it were not for the revelation of God through Israel’s prophets, our Lord Jesus Christ and His apostles written in Scripture. According to the prophet Zechariah, at the end of that first day of the Lord, Christ will stand victorious on “the Mount of Olives” in Jerusalem ready to fulfill all that has been foretold concerning His Kingdom reign and work of restoration (Zechariah 14:1-11, NKJV).
With us as His co-laborers, the curse of sin and death will be lifted from the earth and the universe which is the major reason the physical creation is waiting for the liberation of God’s eternal sons first from the same curse (Genesis 3:17; Romans 8:19-22). Then the Lord by the Word of His power will begin to restore the earth and all of creation (Isaiah 35:1-2, 49:8, 65:25). Even now, we mortals in Christ are enjoying “the firstfruits of the Spirit” as part of this future creation wide restoration (Romans 8:23, NKJV). And we shall reign with Him on the earth! The eternal sons of God will rule and have supernatural strength like the angels to enforce the Lord’s righteous program as each is assigned (2 Kings 19:35; Psalm 149:5-9; Luke 22:29-30; Revelation 2:26-27, 5:9-10).
Why does God debut His Kingdom on the destructive ashes of His wrath poured out with very few survivors? Why not destroy everything as will be eventually done and bring on the brand new eternal creation right then? The intermediary step of restoring the earth and all creation in the aftermath of God’s wrath at the Second Coming of Christ is about vindication, rewards and promises! The Lord vindicates the suffering of His saints that waited millennia for His overthrow of the earth’s wicked oppressors as well as His righteous Word and wisdom (Psalm 37:7-10; Romans 12:19; 2 Thessalonians 1:3-10).
He also rewards His saints that served Him faithfully during their mortal lives with possession of this present earth liberated from the wicked (Psalm 37:11, Matthew 5:5). Finally, the Lord’s return to and restoration of the earth is tied directly to fulfilling the divine promises made to Israel for the restoration of the nation and kingdom under the rule of the Davidic dynasty which He does as a descendant in the royal line (Matthew 1:1-2:12, 21:1-11, 27:11, 37; Luke 3:23-38). To reject that Christ returns as Israel’s long awaited King-Deliverer to keep God’s promises to restore the nation and the glory of the Davidic kingdom is to willfully reject huge portions of Scripture from Genesis to Revelation including Isaiah 11:10-16, 35:3-10, 44:21-23, 49:1-26, Zechariah 12-13, Acts 1:6-7, 3:11-21, 13:13-41, Romans 9:1-11:36, Revelation 1:7 and 7:1-8.
This is in fact, what a small group of professing Christians called amillennialists do that not only reject God yet has any literal future dealings with ethnic Israel or a reign on earth, but also the express revelation given to the apostle John that presents the time period for the reign of Christ and the saints over Israel and this current earth as “a thousand years,” (Revelation 20:4-6, NKJV). Another group called post-millennialists rejects the literal millennial reign of Christ and His saints preferring instead to believe the present churches will make the world better and the Lord will come after this. Are you kidding me? On both accounts this is what happens when men start outside of and reject God’s Word!
With application to all Scripture but in context, God’s prophetic Word, the apostle Peter writes, “knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit,” (2 Peter 1:20-21, NKJV). Since God does not intend for us to have private interpretations of His prophetic Word that confuse and divide His people (everybody with divergent interpretations cannot be right), all professing believers need to purposely stick with the interpretation the Holy Spirit will give if we start humbly in the Word, not outside of it (1 Corinthians 1:4-10; Ephesians 4:4-6).
Scripture is consistent and unequivocal; God still has plans for His people, the Jews, and our resurrection to immortal glory as eternal sons at Christ’s return are part of them (Jeremiah 3:14-18). And while according to His Word we will spend the first thousand years of our immortality reigning with Christ on this present earth restored, know that our ultimate goal is not Heaven separated from earth, but a new, eternal Heaven on a new earth God will create before our very eyes (Isaiah 65:17-19; 2 Peter 3:10-13; Revelation 21:1-22:7).
As the Lord leads this week, I continue exploring His promise rooted in Bible prophecy that “The meek shall inherit the earth,” (Psalm 37:11; Matthew 5:5, NKJV).1 The Lord Jesus not only affirmed God’s promise made through king David, He made it possible by His atoning death for our sins, burial and resurrection from the dead! All who humble themselves to repent of their sins, believe on Him and receive the Holy Spirit to be born again are the meek as well as “saints” before God (1 Corinthians 1:1-2, NKJV); enjoying all of the eternal spiritual rights, privileges and benefits of the Kingdom of Heaven now, while waiting on its full display at Christ’s Second Coming.
After having declared it “at hand” and showing its superior might, “the kingdom of heaven” and its inheritors were what the Lord Jesus sat down to teach His disciples and the multitudes about that had gathered to Him on a mountain in the Galilee region (Matthew 4:17, 23-5:1, NKJV). As I wrote previously, He taught all who are “the poor in spirit” and outside of the Kingdom were “Blessed” (happy) because entering in now, it would and does belong to them by divine bestowal (Luke 12:32)! Likewise, those “who mourn” over the world’s sins and their own were blessed because they would “be comforted” leading to the promise of inheriting the earth He affirms (Matthew 5:2-5, NKJV).
God’s comfort for sin is His forgiveness now, and eventual complete liberation and removal from its presence (Luke 24:46-47; Romans 6:1-14; 1 Corinthians 15:50-57; 2 Peter 3:10-13). But the Lord does not stop here. He teaches that the yearning among lost humanity for “righteousness” which is ultimately God’s righteousness will cause the meek to be blessed as it is fulfilled in them. Completely His disciples, He further instructs they are blessed by being “merciful,” “pure in heart,” “peacemakers” and “persecuted for righteousness’ sake” because respectively, they will “obtain mercy,” “see God,” “be called sons of God” and again, receive the Kingdom (Matthew 5:6-10, NKJV).
It should be clear at this point that the Lord’s emphasis on receiving the Kingdom is not only intertwined with what His disciples each inherit as personal blessings for following Him, but importantly too, what they inherit corporately including the promise of the earth as a possession. However, as the Lord goes on to teach, the Kingdom and its blessings will not come without suffering fueled by persecution as the prophets and His apostles also warn (Daniel 7:21-27; Matthew 5:11-12; Acts 14:19-22). Persecution is the direct result of being Christ’s disciple--preaching the Gospel and modeling His Word to an evil, hostile world of sinners (Matthew 5:13-48; Philippians 1:27-30).2
Nevertheless, the Lord taught us who follow Him as disciples to pray specifically to our Father petitioning for His Kingdom to come to earth and His will to be done here “as it is in heaven,” (Matthew 6:9-10, NKJV). So, faithful saints pray; longing, suffering and waiting for the Day of the Lord and His reversal in our favor that launches with Christ’s return, the resurrection of those that have died and translation of those still alive that remain before God pours out His full wrath upon the earth (1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11; Revelation 16:15-21).3 On that Day, we will watch the vengeance of the Lord from the sky as He takes down those and the ruler of this world that have persecuted His saints and attacked Israel (Isaiah 34:1-4, 8; 2 Thessalonians 1:3-12; Revelation 6:12-17, 19:11-20:3).
Immediately following Christ’s victory in the final war of the ages, He and the saints will take possession and control of the whole earth--in our hands as promised (Psalms 2:6-12, 37:9, 97).4 And we will reign with Him as king-priests forever (2 Timothy 2:11-13; Revelation 1:4-6, 5:8-10)! Indeed, the Kingdom rule of Christ and the saints extends beyond the earth to include all of the created universe as originally planned for man by God, but delayed by sin which Christ moved out of the way through His cross (Hebrews 2:5-13). On earth, the saints will rule in the image of Christ the King who is “King of Kings and Lord of Lords” (Romans 8:29-30; 2 Corinthians 3:18; Philippians 3:20-21; 1 John 3:2) and His likeness (Isaiah 11:2-5, 42:1-4; Malachi 2:7, 3:5; Revelation 19:16, NKJV).
Under Christ the King, the saints with their rods of iron will decisively and justly judge mortal mankind among the nations in every realm of governance He wills and angels (Psalm 149:5-9; 1 Corinthians 6:1-3; Revelation 3:26-27, 20:4-6). While Scripture makes no specific statement about how the rule of the saints will be organized in the earth and universe, there is no need to depart from what it already shows are the approved divine patterns to have a sound idea (Exodus 18:13-27; Mark 3:13-19, 10:35-40; Luke 22:28-30; Revelation 14:1-5). The Lord will take all of the hard, God alone issues to His Father, but delegate judgment to the saints to dispense from what is His already written sound, transcendent knowledge and wisdom with instantaneous guidance from Him through the Holy Spirit.
Tolerated no more ever again will be corrupt and inept governance, political strife, fear of wanton mortal violence, murder, war, theft, oppressions, abuse of women or children, family disorder, poverty or homelessness as widespread, intractable problems, injustice, discrimination based on ethnicity, race or nationality, exploitation, drug abuse, adultery, sexual immorality, abortion, lying, religious deceit, confusion or idolatry, any other standing forms of evil, incurable disease or sickness. For “knowledge of the Lord” the “King” and peace will fill “the earth” and He alone exalted “in that day,” (Isaiah 11:6-9; Zechariah 14:9; Malachi 4:1-3, NKJV). Stubborn sinners and rebel nations will visibly suffer the consequences (Isaiah 65:20; Zechariah 14:16-19). O glorious day; bring it Lord!
1 See the July 12, 2020 post, The Meek Shall Inherit The Earth, under the categories Black History and Encouragement.
2 This is the heart of every aspiring strong man and great woman of God in the image of Jesus Christ I give instruction about and to as the Lord leads 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 purchase a print copy in the Strong Man Store.
3 This scenario is biblically consistent with all of the previous ways God has done in history right down to the very small number of persons ever translated (Genesis 5:
24; 2 Kings 2:11) or moved out of the way of His cataclysmic and destructive wrath (Genesis 7:13-24; 19:15-29). There is no biblical precedent for God effecting a
mass removal of millions of people to avoid tribulation (suffering) He has allowed save Israel after many years in Egyptian bondage (Exodus 3:7-8; Deuteronomy 4:
32-35). But now, even of Israel God will deliver only a remnant as foretold (Isaiah 1:9, 10:20-23).
4 Read the December 20, 2015 re-post, Reigning With Christ On Earth, under the category, Bible Prophecy, along with the September 17, 2017 post, God’s Kingdom
Restored To Earth! followed by Christ To Restore All Things, on September 24, 2017 both under the categories Bible Prophecy and The Cause.
As the Lord leads, I write to encourage the hearts of His faithful saints in the aftermath of my posts from July 4, 2021. In particular, I remind you that all we temporarily now, and will suffer through to the end of our mortal lives or the return of our Lord Jesus Christ is worth it since we are richly rewarded by Him eternally (Romans 8:18)! Until then, you know that it is our privilege to suffer to whatever extent we do in His likeness and cause to His glory (1 Peter 4:12-16). Trust me; I already know this is easier said than done. Yet, this is God’s will for us in spite of the falsehood in much of American Christianity that makes personal dream fulfillment, health and material prosperity its focus.
What exactly are we suffering for at the end of the day as Christians? Is it not for the sake of Christ as His followers and the Kingdom of God He represents as King and Judge?1 Yes, and He does not deceive us about the cost of following Him until He returns to bring the Kingdom of God to earth declaring plainly to all: “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross (an instrument of suffering and death), and follow Me,” (Matthew 16:24; Mark 8:34; Luke 9:23, NKJV). Moreover, He soberly urges such ones to “count the cost” which is very steep in prioritizing first love for and sacrificial service to Him in His Kingdom causes (Luke 14:25-35, NKJV).2
This is just as He also lived and served His Father during His earthly sojourn; suffering the agony and humiliation of being crucified naked on a Roman cross to bring about our salvation as foretold (Psalm 22:1-18; Isaiah 53:1-9; John 3:13-17, 19:28-30). As our example in everything, He who insists we be prepared to suffer for Him and His Kingdom causes, suffered first and far greater than any of us that follow Him ever will (Matthew 10:16-33; John 15:18-25; 1 Peter 2:18-25)!3 Thus, as those redeemed for the Kingdom we suffer for its present message in the Gospel from God calling mankind to repent of sin and believe on King Jesus for salvation (Luke 24:46-48; Acts 17:30-31)!
Too, we suffer now, as He did for the Kingdom’s transcendent eternal principles, morality and ethics well articulated in the Bible (Psalm 119:89; Luke 21:33). God has given men freewill and the right to refuse the Gospel and Kingdom. Stirred by demons and hardened in heart by sin, many who reject the Gospel and Kingdom are not simply content with rejection, but feel it necessary to persecute believers among other wicked motives to justify themselves. The uncompromising stand of the faithful our God is “the only true God,” His Gospel the only means of mankind’s salvation and His Word the sole “truth” infuriates them (Isaiah 43:10-13, 44:6-8; John 3:18-21, 17:1-3, 14-17, NKJV).
Atheists, other secular unsaved, jaded unbelieving professed Christians as weak or outright false brethren and religionists along with apostates persecute the faithful around the earth with hostile mockery, scoffing, exclusion from family and community relations as well as support, destruction of personal and church properties, incarceration, physical violence and martyrdom as foretold. As also foretold, however, God will vindicate the suffering His saints have endured and our long wait in faith since the 1st century A.D. for it beginning with the destruction of counterfeit Christianity’s mother (Revelation 17:1-19:4). This is followed by Christ’s glorious return (2 Thessalonians 1:3-12)!
On that special one of a kind day, God in Christ will show the world how much He valued the faithfulness of His saints by glorifying us for all to unavoidably see. For the dead in Christ that are raised and His mortal remnant will receive from Him their immortal bodies aglow with the brilliant eternal glory of God shining from them against the backdrop of the darkened heavens as we obey His summons to join His glorious presence in the sky (Isaiah 13:9-10; Daniel 12:2-3; Zechariah 14:5b-7; Mark 13:24-27; 1 Corinthians 15:50-57; Philippians 3:20-21; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17)! For most of the unsaved on that day, our eternal glorification will be among the last things they see alive on earth.
Gentile survivors with the protected elect Jewish remnant will see our reign with Christ over this earth and universe follow our glorification and full outpour of divine wrath (Daniel 7:13-14, 21-22, 27; Revelation 7:1-8, 20:4-6). We will reign as kings and judges as with all things pertaining to the eternal Christian life, in the image of Christ!4 This is exceedingly greater than Noah and Lot’s after wrath experiences! So then, let the faith in our God of the faithful--even every aspiring strong man and great woman of God in the image of Christ--take to heart all He has promised us as vindicating victory and be comforted in “the whole counsel” of His Word (Acts 20:27, NKJV).5 This is as I wrote to you in a previous word of encouragement.6 Our suffering for Christ is not in vain (James 5:7-12).
1 Read the August 1, 2021 post, Jesus Christ King And Judge!, under the category, Instruction.
2 See the two-part post beginning August, 18, 2019, Lined Up Behind Jesus, under the category, Instruction.
3 See the two-part post beginning May 17, 2020, Persecution, Hatred And Betrayal and Persecution Of American Christians Intensifying on November 29, 2020, both under
the category, Bible Prophecy.
4 Read the July 19, 2020 post, Ruling The Earth Under Christ, under the category, Bible Prophecy.
5 As I write in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics, aspiring strong men and great women of God in the image of Christ 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.
6 See the August 16, 2020 post, To The Word Of God!, under the category, Encouragement.
As I have stated before, many professing American Christians live and their churches carry on as though Jesus--their ostensible Lord--is dead (1 Corinthians 15:12-19)! Dead men cannot lead or govern from Hades and are completely cut off from this life (Psalm 88:10-12). “But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep,” (Psalm 16:8-11; 1 Corinthians 15:20, NKJV). So, upon announcing His authority and giving charge to His disciples in all generations (the ones standing before Him would die) He declares, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age,” (Matthew 28:18-20, NKJV). As He worked with the first disciples to build His Church, so, those that are His last (Matthew 16:15-18; Mark 16:20; Acts 2:1-41, 47, 4:1-4, 5:12-14).
Christ reigns with all authority over all to include His Church from the throne of God to which He ascended (Philippians 2:6-11; Colossians 1:15-18; Hebrews 1:1-4)! About sixty years or so later He spoke to seven churches of Asia and broadly to all in every generation to follow through His last living apostle, John, with mostly rebuke and warning in what is the last book of Scripture (Revelation 1:9-3:22). Living in believers, He continues His Lordship in real time; giving among other things vision, commands, knowledge, rebuke and warning to those who will hear Him from Scripture (Romans 4:3a) and the Holy Spirit (Acts 11:27-30). As this edited 2012 repost asserts, not without consequences are any professing Christians and churches treating Jesus as dead; doing as they please.
Originally Posted August 5, 2012
A powerful truth in John 15:5 being ignored in many churches today is the Lord instructing, “…for without Me you can do nothing,” (NKJV). I say this after being in and around American churches from coast to coast since childhood where I have seen the unmistakable pattern of religious authority, human strength and works in action that are an artificial imitation of biblical Christianity. The Bible teaches Jesus is the Head over His Church and the Holy Spirit the empowering source of the activity He wills to the glory of God the Father (Ephesians 1:22-23, 3:14-21)!
Perhaps we have misunderstood; the “much fruit” that the Lord refers to in John 15:5 is in accord with His leadership (which presumes abiding in Him and Him in us) in the power of the Holy Spirit who is our Helper (NKJV). It is impossible for this fruit to be produced in the flesh. Therefore, if we kick the Lord Jesus to the curb as our “first love” (Revelation 2:4, NKJV) or in willful disobedience do our own thing in His name, we are doing nothing. This is evident in the very sad, fruitless state of so many churches today with either passive dispassionate or selfishly ambitious, tyrant pastors attempting to make a name for themselves to climb the religious corporate ladder or leave brick and mortar legacies.
There are elders and deacon boards that wickedly conspire to control pastors and churches. Church fights and splits are common along with thefts and sexual immorality. Churches with money in the bank display what they think is spiritual power when they do whatever flesh works seem right to them; offering token prayer petitions for what they intend to do anyway. Other churches steeped in tradition and manmade religion endlessly entertain themselves with annual events to raise money to do little or nothing of what the Lord wills. Is it any wonder that exercising spiritual or grace gifts--another aspect of doing things in Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit--is not taken seriously in such churches?
Spiritual gifts are supernatural abilities the triune God gives as a matter of grace to each person that believes on Christ and is indwelt by the Holy Spirit at the new birth (John 1:12-13). So basic to the Christian’s ability to function in God’s program and the Church is the Holy Spirit, one cannot even say from the heart “Jesus is Lord” except with His enablement (1 Corinthians 12:1-3, NKJV). Nothing Christians have been commissioned by Christ to do can be done without the agency of the Holy Spirit and spiritual gifts--nothing! Now, there are many gifts, callings and ministries members of the Body of Christ have and all flow from the triune God by way of the working of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:4-11).
No pastor or local church can say to any member, “you or your gifts are not needed here” since it is God who places each member in the Body as He wills by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:12-27). No pastor or church can declare as some have that certain of the New Testament gifts are no longer in play since it is the Lord who has established the purpose, function and order of spiritual gifts in the Church (1 Corinthians 12:28-30; Ephesians 4:7-11). Indeed, it is because of the faithless, flesh driven dissertations of especially the guilty religious educated elite devoid of the Spirit that the spiritual bedlam I have seen and experienced in so many churches of various ethnicities and sizes exists today.
Again, the only remedy God provides for this is revival if proud and withering men will see their wicked ways and seek Him for it in all confession, repentance and heartfelt petition before it is too late. Otherwise, the aspiring strong man of God in the image of Christ accepts his gift(s), calling and ministry as part of accepting his assigned roles from God. Specifically, he will yearn with love and zeal to serve the divine purposes as a son of God, disciple of Christ and servant through the spiritual gifts, calling and ministry he has been given by the Holy Spirit (Jeremiah 20:7-9; 1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13)! There are no exceptions; every believer has at least one spiritual gift to serve God with.1 The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
1 In 1992 a Fort Worth, Texas church first allowed me to present instruction on the Lord’s spiritual gifts out of the teaching gift I have been given. I have continued to in-
struct on this very important subject as a pastor and welcome any opportunities to do so now through our Strong Man Institute. I am also now in the process of devel-
oping Strong Man Of God resources on the topic to help Kingdom minded pastors and seeking Christians. Let me know of your interest by answering a single survey
question on the Feedback Page of our Web Site. In the meantime, as the Lord has led, I have laid a foundational introduction to the service of aspiring strong men of
God in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics. I urge every Christian reading this that seeks even a basic, biblical introduction to what serving God in the
Church is supposed to look like to get a copy of the book.
As God would have it in His prophetic Word, the triumphant possession of and reign by the saints under Christ over this present earth restored is not the end of the matter glorious as this is.1 Their reign is temporary; limited to a millennium by the continuing presence of sin in mortal man and God’s planned eternal order restoration with new cosmic and earth designs. It is sin in mortals that requires the use of a “rod of iron” in the mix of methods the Lord and the saints use to rule during the millennium (Psalm 2:6-9; Revelation 2:26-27, 12:5, 19:15, NKJV).2 Even so, God said long ago “My Spirit shall not strive with” sinful mortal “man forever,” (Genesis 6:3; Isaiah 57:15-16, NKJV).
Under the just and peaceful reign of Christ and the saints mortals will experience unparalleled blessings from God. Not the least of these blessings will be free, universal healthcare since naturally occurring mental torments, diseases and sicknesses will not be present except as permitted for punitive purposes on sinning individuals. They will not be demonically initiated because Satan and his hordes will be confined to the “bottomless pit” under the earth (Revelation 20:1-3, NKJV). The perfect health of mortals will be as God promised Israel for obedience in the Promised Land and when Christ came to them in the first century A.D. (Exodus 23:20-26; Matthew 15:29-31).
Truly, it is in critical part for Israel’s sake and the covenants God made with their fathers and especially king David that the intermediary millennium earth reign of Christ with the saints over mortal sinners takes place! David had presided over Israel as king before God at its pinnacle; ushering forth a covenant from God with him to seat a descendant on his throne as an everlasting kingdom which Christ fulfills (2 Samuel 7:8-17; Matthew 1:1; Luke 1:26-33; John 18:33-38, 19:17-22). Righteous Jews and His disciples had been waiting for the Kingdom which after His resurrection, the Lord Jesus indirectly affirmed would come in God’s timing (Luke 23:50-24:12; 36-49; Acts 1:4-11).3
Now, at His return finally, the Kingdom comes to earth and Israel! The elect remnant of mortal Israel and surviving Gentiles live long in prosperity and peace under the rule of Christ and the saints (Isaiah 65:20-25). After a millennium of no birth control, miscarriages, abortions and limited death from natural, purposeful or accidental causes, the earth is filled with humanity from all nations. All is well until in the sovereign God’s perfect timing and will, Satan and his hordes are released from their prison. They waste no time deceiving and stirring up vast numbers from the Gentile nations to rebel and amass for suicidal war against Christ, the saints and Israel (Ezekiel 38:1-17; Revelation 20:7-8).4
However, no war takes place. As soon as the legions of demons and deceived mortals are positioned around Jerusalem, “city of the great King” and royal home base of the saints (Psalm 48:1-3), the Father rains down holy fire from Heaven upon them (Revelation 20:9). It is a consuming fire like, but exceedingly greater than that which consumed Sodom and Gomorrah, Nadab and Abihu and the offering of Elijah in days of old (Genesis 19:24-25; Leviticus 10:1-3; 1 Kings 18:30-39)! For not only will this fire from God consume every single assembled rebel mortal where they stand, but the whole physical universe and earth right down to microscopic particles and invisible elements. Indeed, for this cause sinful mortals have been on notice until now (Hebrews 12:25-29; 2 Peter 3:10-12).
In the divine initiated conflagration, Satan and his kingdom of fallen angels will be thrown into the eternally burning “lake of fire,” originally “prepared” just “for” them (Matthew 25:41; Revelation 20:10, NKJV). Moments before His holy fire consumes every vestige of this present creation tainted by sin, God will transform elect Jews and noncombatants from mortal to immortal as protection and cause them to stand before the “throne” and “Judgment seat of Christ” with all raised from the dead for that purpose (Isaiah 66:22; Daniel 12:2-3; Matthew 25:31-46; John 5:24-30; 1 Corinthians 15:20-23, 50-51; 2 Corinthians 5:9-11; Revelation 20:11-13, 15). For the Lord Jesus “must reign” until every enemy of God’s Kingdom is eternally put down (1 Corinthians 15:24-28; Revelation 20:14, NKJV)!
Standing with the Lord Jesus Christ and the holy angels in the eternal spiritual environment of divine righteousness, all written in His Book of Life will witness the amazing power of God as the promised new heavens and earth are brought forth (Isaiah 65:17; 2 Peter 3:13; Revelation 21:1). There is no sun or moon and a newly designed earth is without oceans. Out of Heaven God places His built “holy city, New Jerusalem” on the earth as the apostle John was shown. Then he heard this loudly spoken: ‘“Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself (the Father) will be with them and be their God’” to the joy of His eternally reigning sons who will inherit it all (Isaiah 65:18-19, 66:24; Revelation 21:2-22:5, NKJV).5
1 This post is the final of a total of three presenting and exploring the Lord’s promise that The Meek Shall Inherit The Earth posted on July 12, 2020 under the categories,
Black History and Encouragement. It was followed by the July 19, 2020 post, Ruling The Earth Under Christ, under the category, Bible prophecy.
2 Shepherds have used a wooden rod with sheep to guide, coral or redirect the wayward back into the fold and as a weapon to repel predators from ancient times (Exo-
dus 3:1, 4:1-2). Whether understood literally or figuratively, the “rod of iron” wielded by Christ and the saints is surely intended to convey firmness in righteous gover-
nance and severity of retribution upon rebels.
3 Read the January 28, 2014 two-part post, Jesus: The Jewish Messiah, under the category, Holidays. Also, see the December 20, 2015 re-post, Reigning With Christ
On Earth and The Day Of Israel’s Comfort posted on June 12, 2016 both under the category Bible Prophecy.
4 Clearly, the Lord demonstrates His infinite knowledge, wisdom and righteousness in allowing us to see for a millennium the amazing difference for good a world without
the kingdom of darkness holding sway makes. Tragically, we also see as He foreknew how susceptible imperfect mortal mankind as sinners are to the deceiving work
of the deceiver and his demon minions upon their return from below the earth! Finally too, between the first coming and return of Christ we understand why God re-
quired fallen mortals to “be born again” so, they might receive a new nature (John 3:1-8, NKJV)!
5 To learn about aspiring strong men and great women of God in the image of Jesus Christ as eternal sons, get my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics. A
print copy or digital download of the book is available at major internet booksellers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ChristianBooks.com and Apple (digital only). You
can also purchase a print copy in the Strong Man Store. From the book as the Lord led, I also wrote a 2013 blog re-posted on June 19, 2016 you can read entitled, E-
ternal Sons Of God, under the category, Instruction.
“Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love,” (1 Corinthians 16:13-14, NKJV). The foregoing verses are among the final exhortations to the church at Corinth by the apostle Paul in a deeply sobering letter filled with instruction and correction. I pray these verses will find their mark in the heart of every professing Christian American that reads this blog and is searching for how to handle the morality shift of our nation that is retracting the welcome mat Christianity once had in a God pleasing way. To be sure, Paul’s exhortation does not sit well with our reflexive American cultural mind set to go on the offensive for our rights.
However, he is exhorting us to watch for something far superior to America in her best days; we are to watch for the glorious Second Coming and Kingdom of our Lord as He also taught (Matthew 24:42-44)! We are not to back up on Him in the face of opposition, but literally stand still in the faith--biblical Christianity as it is written! We are to be courageous and strong in the Lord while the opposition presses in on us laboring as aspiring strong men and great women of God in Christ’s image (Ephesians 6:10-20)! Finally, we are to do all of what we do in love--the love supernaturally supplied to us by the Holy Spirit--for fellow believers and those who hate us (Romans 5:5).
Presently, many professing Christians are not giving heed to the apostle Paul’s exhortation and have instead, chosen the American way of fighting--which in the right situation legally is not wrong. But what the Lord led me to write in 2013 about a business situation close to home here in Portland with many similar instances around the nation, I remain steadfast in conviction is not the right one to fight since discrimination violates God’s commandment to us and man’s law. Christians are not to show partiality or if you will, discriminate against someone’s person in making judgments (Deuteronomy 1:16-18; 1 Timothy 5:19-21). The subjects of the 2013 blog have since been penalized by the governing authorities for discrimination and others face similar consequences.
In this edited repost of that blog, I use the hurtful experiences I and most of those of my race with other racial minorities have had in being discriminated against in America as a backdrop to try in love to help my mostly white, conservative evangelical Christian brethren get this right going forward. Based on the Anglo-centric mail that I have received from some organizations, though, I see not only that this original word from the Lord through me as an ignorant black man was ignored, but it appears something sadly predictable as another part of the American way is occurring: discriminated against racial minority Christians are intended to be left to themselves.1 Seriously, racism to the end? Where’s the love? Even so, my God will thwart this evil too and prove His Word right (Acts 27:9-21).
Originally Posted March 3, 2013
I greatly empathize with the position Aaron and Melissa Klein who own the bakery, Sweet Cakes By Melissa here in the Portland area have taken not to bake a wedding cake for a same sex couple. They have taken this position out of the biblical conviction that such marriages are wrong which of course, I also share. However, I do not believe they or any other Christian owner of a business open to the public has the right to refuse service to those whose lifestyle they morally disagree.
It would be one thing if this were a church or para-church organization and an immoral person came in demanding that these entities violate the tenets of their faith to allow the individual to become a member, be hired or receive services formally declared to be for Christians only. However, this situation is about Christians that own a business offering services to the general public without any stated restrictions (until now). By their own admission the bakery owners have gay customers and have served them previously.
As a black American, the whole situation is a painful reminder of the evil system of discrimination in this nation that legally permitted businesses to refuse service to blacks based simply on the color of our skin. If service was offered, blacks were humiliated in having to go to the back or side doors to receive it. Many of the white business owners then were good church members and believed they stood on Christian values in their discriminatory conduct as taught and reinforced by their leadership.
In shame, even many nominal white Christians today in honesty would have to admit this kind of targeted discrimination was morally wrong and unbiblical. Yet, many have stood to support the cause of this couple’s right to unlawfully discriminate (with thanks to God and the perseverance of those in the Civil Rights Movement, discrimination in public commerce and accommodations is illegal now) against two gay customers just because they want to marry each other which all Christians with a biblical worldview agree is wrong.
In line with the thinking of the late Chuck Colson and others concerned that we Christians hold to our biblical worldview in every corner of our nation’s secular culture, we are to engage unbelievers and rebels against the divine order in a winsome way. If Christians are going to open businesses serving everyone in the general public, they can be winsome about it for example, by using tactful signage that affirms in a positive way their standing as Christians with a biblical worldview. Their lifestyle, demeanor and conversation should also reflect the joy of relationship with Christ.
Any customers that come in know that this business owner is devoted to Christ and the Word of God and most will respect that. The few who do not respect this and want the Christian business owner to provide their product or service to them should be served in the love and humility of Christ who taught us to love our enemies and healed the cut off ear of one of the men sent to arrest Him (Matthew 5:43-48; Luke 22:49-51). The message on a receipt for a product or service rendered can share the Gospel or for instance, read: “Served with love from the God who loves and forgives sinners!”
As I wrote back on December 16, 2012 in the Powerlessness Of Being The Minority, Pt.1, Christians are fast becoming a despised minority in America. Christian businesses which are important and strategic outposts for the Gospel do not need to incite our future persecutors by unnecessarily breaking the law through discriminating against them at this stage of things. In short, while I commend their willingness to take a stand, this is not a Rosa Parks moment for the owners of Sweet Cakes By Melissa, other Christian business owners or Christians at large. If a Christian that owns a business open to the public cannot in good conscience serve same sex couples, close it down. Similarly, if thinking of opening a business with the same conviction, do not open it!
Truly, already Christians are being discriminated against and our values rejected by our once welcoming society (Matthew 5:11-12; Luke 6:22-23). We are not to return evil for evil (Luke 6:31; Romans 12:17-21). The foretold severe persecution just for being willing to confess Christ draws near. As aspiring strong men and great women of God we will have plenty of opportunities to take a stand for Christ and I hope many will in all faithfulness and obedience (Revelation 13, 14:9-13).
1 Examine the art work, photos and primary victims displayed in a sampling of white, conservative evangelical Christian publications addressing the impact cultural change is
having on largely white evangelicals. While most assuredly I appreciate what their proclaimed intentions are, in the 21st century, to call “an oversight” the failure to in-
clude the continuing fight against discrimination by all racial minorities, but especially their brothers in Christ as a related and worthy cause is beyond incredible. Of
course, being the president of a small non-profit, I do also see the fundraising dollars and cents of this “oversight.” Nevertheless, I hope our Christian readers from all
backgrounds will consider donating to our Ministry because of the fair, balanced and truthful way in the Lord I deal with everybody’s stuff including my own!
Having just spent time giving serious thanks to God for all of His blessings this Thanksgiving, the Lord again directs my attention to the persecution being suffered by my Christian brethren among many nations. Though I do not write a lot about the ongoing persecution of Christians, I stay regularly informed and prayerful for all. The aforementioned “all” includes not just the suffering faces of those in faraway lands such as North Korea and Nigeria, but increasingly, those enduring persecution in this Western hemisphere and our own nation. Truly, growing hostility toward and persecution of Bible believing Christians in America is a reality that can no longer be dismissed as only isolated.
As a supporter of similarly named, but organizationally unrelated Open Doors USA, our Ministry regularly receives their reports on what is happening among our persecuted Christian brethren around the world.1 Not only are our brethren suffering from family and community exclusion within the nations they live, but government harassment, arrests, unfair trials, incarceration, legally sanctioned mob violence and martyrdom. When the Christian men are targeted for incarceration or murder, it leaves their families to suffer. While Communist and Islamic run nations fill the list of persecutors, nations such as Christian Eritrea, Hindu India and Buddhist Bhutan are also prominent.2
It is about to get really real for those of us that profess to be Christians in America too. Intensifying opposition to the biblical faith once on the fringe of American society is going mainstream. Moral tenets of the faith once taken for granted as absolute and bedrock to American society are not only being challenged, but cast down as no longer acceptable. These are not just tenets governing marriage and family for example, but definitions of objective truth, right and wrong, good and evil as well as justice and injustice. In the wake of this swiftly moving river of moral upheaval, Christians that would dare stand firm for the moral tenets of our faith are suffering varying degrees of persecution.
Besides the “in-your-face” government policies and litigations to remove crosses and nativity scenes as public displays of Christianity to implement falsely believed constitutionally mandated church and state separation, some Christians have suffered being demoted or fired from employment because they had Bibles at their work stations or read them on breaks. And because many secular entities have a “corporate culture” now, that does not tolerate religious expression (though, they publicly trumpet “inclusion” and “diversity” as values), being hired a Christian with a social media presence may be very difficult and once hired, witnessing Christ to co-workers is out.3
American secular colleges and universities that have historically celebrated tolerating various viewpoints as a means in the process of vigorous, but polite debate to sharpen the thinking of young minds have in too many instances today, hung out the “not welcome” sign to a biblical worldview. Biblically conservative Christian students are routinely singled out and held up to ridicule for their faith. Christian professors do not escape either.4 The secular media regularly ignores and mocks Christians that hold to a biblical worldview being quick only to report on high profile “Televangelists” and “Megachurch Pastors” whose sins come to light, while social media giants resist them.5
As I have also commented in other posts, a number of American Christians have been purposely targeted and martyred in mass shootings such as the one at Columbine High School in 1999 along with churches as occurred in Charleston, SC in 2015 and Sutherland Springs, TX in 2017.6 In agreement with all other observers here, none of what American Christians have suffered to date compares with the daily egregious and violent persecution our overseas brethren endure--yet! Praying for “the persecuted church” like it is some disconnected entity that exists only in non-exceptional, often impoverished nations of the world is about to change as persecutors intensify their efforts in America.7 And why? It is their “hour and the power of darkness,” (Luke 22:52-53, NKJV).
For this reason, beyond seeking to sensitize us to the ongoing suffering of our brethren wherever they are as a primary reason for this post, exhorting faithful American Christians to spiritually, mentally and emotionally prepare for the kind of hatred fed persecution our overseas brethren experience is an important secondary reason since our Lord has warned it is to occur in “all nations,” (Matthew 10:16-39, 24:9, NKJV).8 Now, is the time to awake from arrogance and apathy to get ready for what our Lord foretells and assures will take place. Among the equipping resources available is my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics and related group studies.9 The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
1 The organizational parent of Strong Man Ministries is Open Door Communication Ministries, Inc. I was led by the Lord to found August 12, 1985. Read some of the
stories of persecuted Christians among the many countries on the 2020 World Watch List of Open Doors USA.
2 What many of our brethren overseas “normally” suffer from their persecutors has been intensified during the Lord’s Coronavirus judgment. As we are banding together
with other Christians to help and encourage one another here at home, the Lord would have us remember our suffering persecuted brethren in those faraway lands
with tangible support as well (1 John 3:16-18).
3 Sadly, our military as a work place is no exception. Read about the case of Chaplain Curt Cizek.
4 To learn more about the experience of Christians on American campuses read the following ACLJ, Beliefnet and IsChristianityTrue articles.
5 I can attest to the heavy-handed resistance of Facebook to biblically conservative ministries such as this one among the social media giants. “Likes” to our pages by
Christians mysteriously dwindle after I write blogs or make posts on their platform that are not politically correct, tolerant etc. which the Lord has had me call them on.
They want me to believe that just making better posts and spending more money to “boost” them will remedy the situation though, such has not been the case since
they also limit the reach of the same. For the record, I do understand a to be expected number of professed Christians that formerly liked our Facebook pages are sub-
ject to “unlike” them at any time as a show of disagreement with me. I get that, but not what Facebook is doing which lately has even taken away page likes whenever
someone has liked a post! I urge Christians that have liked our pages and those of other ministries to check back periodically especially if you have not received a post
in your newsfeeds for a time and re-like the pages if necessary. Also, enlist other Christians on Facebook to like our pages after you have done so.
6 Read for example, the June 8, 2014 post, And Then There Is The War, under the category, instruction. Revisit the cited respective church shootings at the following
links Charleston, SC and Sutherland Springs, TX.
7 See the November 12, 2017 post, God’s Throwaways?, under the category, Bible Prophecy.
8 Read the two-part post beginning May 17, 2020, Persecution, Hatred And Betrayal, under the category, Bible Prophecy.
9 A print copy or digital download of the book published by the Publishing Division of Open Door Communication Ministries, Inc. with fresh editing in 2019 for greater clari-
ty and updated web addresses in the footnotes is available at major internet booksellers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ChristianBooks.com and Apple (digital only).
You can also purchase a print copy in the Strong Man Store. Too, leaders can teach, disciple and equip through The Strong Man Of God Men’s Group Study and The
Great Woman Of God Women’s Group Study also in the Strong Man Store.
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