In the midst of 21st century America’s mostly secular, sentimental and commercial celebration of Christmas, faithful Christians continue to labor diligently to rightly exalt Jesus Christ as the central focus. However, even many professing Christians seem to only sentimentally zero in on Christ as “the Babe born at Bethlehem” and not on why. Truly, the birth of Jesus Christ means nothing without the why and I am so glad in this contentious age, God Himself supplied the answer to that question so arrogant and proud men would not have this as a matter of debate with all else. God has also made His answer to why Christ was born so simple and easy to receive a child can understand it!
In the only two birth narratives in the New Testament, Matthew and Luke record angelically made statements that announce from God the name, title and description of the central mission His Son born to the virgin, Mary, would have. Declaring His name and title (Christ) in his narrative, Matthew relays how Mary’s husband by engagement, Joseph, was told by an angel in a dream to name Her soon to be born Son, ‘“Jesus’” which those conversant in the Hebrew language translate literally in shortened form as “Savior.” Joseph obediently did this at His birth. Then the angel tells Joseph why the name, Jesus: ‘“for He will save His people from their sins,’” (Matthew 1:18-25, NKJV).
In Luke’s account too, an angel announces God’s good news for all humanity this time to shepherds in a field. They are told, ‘“For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord,’” (Luke 2:11, NKJV). As is consistent with God and man from the beginning, names given express something about the function and mission of a person, place or thing. Jesus, Savior is so because His central mission was to save His people (those that would look to Him starting from among the lowliest of Jews and the Gentiles) from their sins. He is titled “Christ” which means “Anointed One” because He is exclusively chosen by God to His work (Isaiah 49:1-7, 61:1-3).
Saving willing mankind from our sins was the first priority mission of the Lord Jesus Christ when He was born into this world over 2,000 years ago. And while He was no doubt a cute, baby Boy sentimentally speaking, His mission is what should occupy the heart of every person professing to be His follower at Christmas. Indeed, He grew up to accomplish His mission on a Roman cross by dying thereon for the sins of all mankind--the innocent One in the place of the guilty all--to bring salvation to the world (Isaiah 53:1-9)! This is the deepest source of the Father and His Son’s joy and ours too who are saved by faith in Jesus Christ as the angel foretold (Isaiah 53:10-12; Luke 2:10)!
The tragic shame of these latter days is how lightly sin is taken by many willfully sinning and falling away from Jesus and the true Gospel that still profess to believe on and love Him (John 14:21-24; 1 Corinthians 16:22; Galatians 1:1-10). Truly, all disobedience and whatever offends the holy, just and righteous God is sin as it is plainly written in His Word (Genesis 2:16-17, 3:6-11, 17-19; Exodus 19:10-20:17; Romans 14:23b; 1 John 1:1-6). That same Word declares that God does not change--what was sin in His sight yesterday, is today and will be so forever (Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8)! Yet, many professing Christian Americans have pet sins they willfully practice and refuse to relinquish in sincere confession and repentance so that God might forgive them (1 John 1:7-2:6).
Among the willful and continuously practiced pet sins many professing Christian Americans cling to falsely believing God in grace is okay with because He has not yet brought on them the judgment they deserve (Romans 6:1-2) is racism which I wrote about in the December 11, 2016 blog. Another major pet sin is pride that is routine among pastors and other church leaders as if Scripture gives no serious warning about it (Proverbs 16:18-19). Others include unforgiveness with petty vindictiveness and retaliation, idolatry in all covetousness of money, things and selfish ambitions, sexual immorality and heresies that are big among the religious educated elite and pastors who simply invent corrupt theologies at will to justify such sins as oppressing and marginalizing men.
Cue the anger here since I must think I am perfect. Nope, just confessed up and forgiven as well as yielded to the Spirit’s renewing work daily in fear of God (Romans 12:1-2)! No professed Christian who will please God clings to sin as a pet since Christ our Savior died to save us from sin completely--its penalty, power, pollution and ultimately, its presence (Romans 6:3-23)! This is why God consistently, sternly warns the righteous made so through faith in the Old and New Testaments who may become deceived of demons and hardened by sin, unless they do repent from their sins carried out in unbelief, they will die in them and be judged by their deeds (Ezekiel 33:12-20; Romans 2:1-11; 1 Timothy 4:1-5; Hebrews 3, 6:1-8, 10:26-39). God will not be mocked (Galatians 6:7-8)!
This Christmas, therefore, I urge every guilty professing Christian reading this to repent now, so that in God’s gracious forgiveness made possible through Jesus Christ, you may have the real joy of the season along with salvation’s many blessings into the New Year and beyond (Matthew 5:1-12)! The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, “Who is on the Lord's side?”
(So that I too may give full attention to celebrating Christ’s coming as Savior to save us from our sins at Christmas and enjoy my family into the New Year, the Lord has granted that this should be my final blog for 2016. The Lord saying the same, my next new blog will appear on January 8, 2017.)
As the Lord, my Boss, has directed, this will be my final post of 2019. Lord willing, my next post will be on January 5, 2020. Thank God for the greatest gift ever given (John 3:16-21; 2 Corinthians 9:15)! Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year to all that are in Jesus Christ!
I never tire of hearing the Peanuts character, Linus, give the whole group the true meaning of Christmas by quoting Luke 2:8-14.1 Bottom line: Christ was born at 4-6 B.C. Bethlehem, Israel in fulfillment of God’s prophetic Word to save every Jew first and Gentile thereafter from our sins who would believe on Him (Isaiah 49:1-6, 52:13-53; Matthew 1:21; Luke 1:30-31; Acts 3:11-26; Romans 1:16-17)! Savior-Jesus; a savior is what all of mankind living in this spiritually cold, empty, dark, dead world filled with all manner of evil and increasing lawlessness is looking for at this hour. Thank God, He has already provided His own Son to be the world’s Savior so that we, who have believed in Him, live in the warmth of divine life, fullness of love, joy, peace, light and hope in Him (Ephesians 2:1-7)!
As a divinely called preacher of His “glad tidings” (Romans 10:14-15, NKJV), I also never tire of reminding scoffers in and outside of the churches that the delay in Christ’s return is tied first to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and His promised punitive dealings with their descendants according to the flesh, the Jews. For a set time they are under judgment for their sins; not the least of which is rejecting their Anointed Savior-King, Jesus, at His first coming (Hosea 3, 5:8-6:3; Luke 19:41-44, 21:20-24). During this same period in God’s grace and mercy to save, He has given all men that will time to respond to the Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) and how glad I am for this since if Christ had come while I was still in my sins, I would have been lost forever (2 Peter 3:1-9).
Thank you, Lord, for saving me from my sins--their guilt, shame and consequences which include the righteous experience of Your coming wrath and condemnation to Hell!
1 Watch the never to be out of date, A Charlie Brown Christmas to hear Linus’ recital; a television classic written and created in 1965 by the now departed, Charles Schulz,
who was unashamedly a Christian.
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.
I testified in a another blog it took me twenty-two months after becoming a Christian to come to the place of full surrender to the Lord. After seven days of fasting without food or drink, intensive Bible study, prayer and meditation the Lord commanded and conducted me in, I came forth from that death of the old Robert Kelley, a new man alive with blazing zeal for Him!1 Besides the Spirit’s joyful fire burning like an inferno in the deepest recesses of my inner man, that zeal was driven by thanksgiving to the Lord for saving me, seeing His awesome power displayed in my life and coming to understand the shared victory I have with Him over death!
Too, as I wrote in the blog referenced earlier, while I did not know then that the Lord was also giving me an initial introduction to the gifting, calling and ministry He had for me, I knew that motivationally, I wanted, was eager and ready to serve Him in some way! Imagine my surprise when in the churches, few shared my zeal for the same Jesus they declared saved them too! In fact, to this day I remain dumbfounded (with righteous indignation also, now, knowing the dulling role manmade religion plays in the matter) at how casual and lackluster yet, ready to be exploitive for their own purposes many professed Christians are of those that are newborn in Christ!
How could folk that claim to be reading the same Bible as me miss the roll call of souls that served God zealously out of a heart of faith, love and gratitude reaching all the way back to Abel (Genesis 4:1-8; Hebrews 11:4; 1 John 3:10-12)? Even formerly avowed idol worshippers and pagans demonically possessed encountering the power of the living God emerged from the experience in fullness of lasting gratitude and wanting to faithfully serve Him from the heart (2 Kings 5:1-19; Mark 5:1-20)! Not dull hearted, ho hum religionists fill the pages of Scripture as those that please God and who He uses mightily, but those on fire for Him and His causes!
Learning about such men as Moses the prophet, David the king, Ezra the priest and Paul the apostle of Christ caused me to understand that my zeal to serve God from the heart was the norm of His expectation, not the exception as religionists would have us believe. Over my forty years such folk have repeatedly charged me with being “too serious.” Is being too serious about God even possible considering how serious we as sinners are about our sins? Indeed, I continue to marvel that God has been able to do anything worthwhile with me given the thoroughly flawed character I possessed to include all of the common issues of fallen men such as pride and selfish ambitions.
Not that I have now arrived at perfection. However, perfect Father that God is, He in love has patiently instructed, rebuked and chastened me in my development as a son, disciple and servant.2 Over forty years of His discipline He has redirected my focus, for example, from seeking in pride and selfish ambition to be successful. Truly, all of the former kings of Israel had achievements, but God was not impressed. Always with God, it is honoring Him with faith, love, obedience and faithfulness. So, He focused me on being faithful out of a heart to please Him whether religious church folk applaud or not (Numbers 12:1-8; 1 Samuel 13:14, 16:6-13; Ezra 7:8-10; 1 Timothy 1:12-17)!
For this reason too, though Satan has tried through many so-called successful Christian leaders in my journey, I have not yet sold God out for the sake of some great attainment or desire to build a monument to myself issuing forth from pride and selfish ambition (oh, that younger preachers are reading this). Nor by the Lord’s grace have I obeyed some pastor’s corruption of His Word for personal benefit. I have, though, predictably suffered hate and ostracism among other things for this (1 Kings 22:1-38). The Lord Jesus--who is the ultimate example of faithfulness--has also taught me that obedience to Him and His Word has a far greater reward and is more fulfilling than pleasing and being popular with men (Luke 6:22-23, 26; John 12:42-43; Hebrews 3:1-6).
Ezra’s devoted heart to God was such that when it was told him that many including spiritual leaders among the captives returned from Babylon were again brazenly violating God’s law by marrying pagan women from the surrounding lands, in grief he not only tore his clothes, but plucked out chunks of hair from his head and beard. In astonishment, he spent the rest of the day fasting without food or drink and by the evening sacrifice, was found crying out to God in confession and repentance for his people (Ezra 9). The Lord has made me to know such a heart as His own with regard to the spiritual condition of the many professed American Christians, pastors and churches in rebellion against Him.
I have been perceived as weak and ridiculed for weeping publically over God’s people in sin. But the assembly wept and confessed their sins with Ezra that day; mingling their warm tears with the cold rain they stood outside in which most of the guilty repented during the following days (Ezra 10). I would that all professing to be Christians that are guilty come to or regain a zeal to serve Him from the heart through sincere confession and repentance from the sin that has hardened their hearts to God! Without a faithful heart in these latter days, escape from satanic enticement to unfaithfulness and snares of destruction God is allowing to test every heart, will not come easy (Hebrews 3:7-19). Thank You, Lord, for forty years of Your loving discipline and heart makeover!
1 Read the October 2, 2016 blog, Gifted With A Prophet’s Heart, under the category, Call To Repent.
2 Learn more about how God restores us as sons, disciples and servants in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics on sale as an E-Book in two formats now
through June 20th for 40% off in the Strong Man Store at our redesigned, new look Web Site, www.thestrongmanofGod.org!
As the 25th Year Anniversary of The From Slavery To Victory Education Project (FSTVEP) conducted by the organizational parent of Strong Man Ministries, Open Door Communication Ministries, Inc. (both of which I have been blessed to lead) draws near on Juneteenth this year, I am filled with excitement and gratitude to God.1 I write this post as the Lord leads in obedience to the instruction of the ancient Psalm writer He commissioned to exhort “the redeemed” above all to give thanks to Him for His goodness (Psalm 107:1-3, NKJV)! As well, with that Psalmist’s heart, to express the spiritual “what for” of the FSTVEP to the children of men among fellow black Americans.
Talk about amazing confluences. I write this realizing that it will be fifty years ago this upcoming September that I was asked by my no longer standing Fremont Junior High School, Seaside, CA, English teacher, Mr. Earle Rosenberg, to write a column reporting on our flag football teams. I have not stopped writing since and am overjoyed to have done so in the Lord’s cause for nearly forty of those years! As it turns out, 1969 was also another of a long string of great years for Rhythm and Blues or if you will, Soul Music. On September 23rd that year, the Temptations released their Temptations Puzzle People on Motown’s Gordy label with a number of impressive songs.
One of those songs composed by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong was entitled, Message From A Black Man. Arriving as it did just over a year after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the bold and yet reasoned lyrics of the song directed to white America were delivered deftly by the singing of the Temps as well as the catchy, forceful rhythms of the band. Bold were such lines as, “Yes, my skin is black, but that’s no reason to hold me back…I have wants and desires just like you. So, move on the side ‘cause I’m comin’ through. No matter how hard you try, you can’t stop me now.” Call to action words for a thirteen year old who had been angrily watching the revolution on TV.
Even today, it is hard to honestly refute the logic in the lines, “Black is a color just like white. Tell me: how can a color determine whether you’re wrong or right?” Whitfield and Strong wrote and the Temptations delivered Message From A Black Man as decent “every black man” who were still coming out of the shell shocked silence of intimidation caused demoralization to firmly, yet, peacefully stand up to their oppressive and abusive intimidators. This is not unlike women today who are applauded for standing up to their abusers. While the message from a black man was certainly cathartic and necessary at that moment in 1969, it needed to also be given biblical feet and built on.
I carried the raw message throughout the rest of my secondary education and the first two years of college; leading out as a Black Student Union President giving speeches, helping to organize events, engaging white authorities, publishing materials and writing editorials. At Monterey Peninsula College (MPC) I also began to take the many newly rolled out Black Studies Courses offered and did well because of my intense interest. A desire to attend historic Howard University in 1976 was fueled by my interest in all things black. But as I have testified in other places,2 my passion for pursuing an education began to lose steam as I lost my way at Howard--itself a serious reality check.3
Coming to Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord who redeemed me from a life that had become empty, without purpose and meaning began to change me as a person to include my thinking and worldview after full surrender to Him. Now, for example, nobody could ultimately stop me from being who God created me to be and doing what God wanted me to do with Him working on my behalf (Romans 8:28-39; Philippians 4:13). Moreover, being black skinned in the human skin color spectrum was not a curse or something contemptible, but a blessing because God made me this way (Acts 17:26). Indeed, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” by God (Psalm 139:14, NKJV)!
After receiving the Lord’s call to serve Him in broadcasting in August 1979, I returned to school at MPC that spring, then San Jose State University in San Jose, CA in fall 1980. There, I celebrated God as the inspirational, sustaining hand among black Christians in a radio documentary on the history of Black Gospel Music I wrote and produced. Inevitably, though, even after seminary studies I was stuck attempting to understand why the black American experience beginning with slavery was so in the first place. I had all of the major facts of our historical experience, but of themselves, they brought no satisfying appreciation for why. Instead, as is the case for so many black Americans, the painful facts of our history alone brought nothing but hopeless futility, grief and anger.
1 Too, I am grateful to the 1993-94 Ministry Board of Directors, Rev. Ira Gay, Jr., Rev. Richard Young (with the Lord), Rev. Ron Oliver and Mrs. Linda Beard that gave
unanimous approval for the project and the 2018-19 Directors, Messrs. Alvin Johnson, Richard Anderson and Philip Lovings who also in one accord approved this
year’s anniversary celebration. Not to be left out is my wife, Mary, and our three daughters Sherie, Roberta and Patricia at home at the time as youth and having to
bear with my very involved work on the project. You can learn more about the FSTVEP along with its flagship national Radio Special and now Webcast, From Sla-
very To Victory: One Man’s Journey, to be rolled out Juneteenth 2019 on its newly revamped Web Site, https://fromslaverytovictory.org.
2 For my most recent sharing on this aspect of my testimony, read the February 17, 2019 post, Surrendering All To Jesus, under the category, Glory To God!
3 Howard brought me face to face for the first time with the full mix of socio-economic classes, their divergent political thought and corresponding worldviews in what I
soberly learned was truly not a monolithic black community. Among other sobering realities, I especially had my conscience awakened to the contradictions inherit in
my chosen field of Marketing and the black struggle after spending an afternoon giving away free, addictive and destructive cigarette samples in Southeast DC--its
most economically challenged section. I also had to face my own hypocrisy in personally contributing not to the uplift of my community as I loudly called for, but its
destruction through abusing drugs and alcohol, sexual promiscuity, mistreatment of our women in that lifestyle and practical abandonment of two children I had
As the Lord led, I ended the August 4, 2019 post, Man No Freak Accident, under the category, Biblical Worldview, speaking of God’s eternal destiny for man. God’s originally planned eternal destiny for man is now for faithful followers of Jesus Christ and glorious beyond human words! Even so, we are given glimpses of man’s astounding eternal destiny in Christ through words He and His apostles spoke that were written down in Holy Scripture. These Scriptures were meant for us to understand through the illuminating agency of the Holy Spirit sent into the world for that very purpose among other of His responsibilities (John 16:12-15; 1 Corinthians 2:6-16).
Truly, man is not only a creature, but God’s highest creation as the only of His creatures expressly made in the divine image and likeness! Let’s get it said right here as Scripture does that this amazing truth applies equally to man as male and female as God designed each respectively to function in serving His purposes in this present mortal age (Genesis 1:26-28, 5:1-2).1 Just because God did not initially speak of man’s eternal destiny as immortals, does not mean this was not His plan from the beginning; a plan postponed by God only after man’s fall as foreknown by Him since Christ as Savior was already set to come (Genesis 3:22-24; 2 Timothy 1:8-11)!
As I wrote in another place, the first stage of human existence is mortal.2 However, the second, last and ultimate end of mortal man is immortality whether as condemned rebels forever with fallen angels in Hell or redeemed by grace through faith in the Gospel of and standing with Christ in eternal glory (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43, 25:31-46)! Those that stand with Christ fulfill with Him the spiritual end of God’s creation of man which is to be eternal sons to rule over all of His created works including angels (1 Corinthians 6:3; Hebrews 2:5-13).3 The creation of man from the dust in mortal, natural bodies begins with the original man, Adam (Genesis 2:7).
In a context explaining to the church at Corinth how essential the possibility of resurrection from the dead is and the reality of Christ’s (1 Corinthians 15:1-34), the apostle Paul presents the means of it and why it is necessary beginning with mortal Adam (1 Corinthians 15:35-58). Explaining the means of resurrection, Paul unapologetically points to God in power and wisdom! In accord with His mighty power and eternal plans prepared in advance, Paul teaches God makes the second, immortal stage of man possible by overcoming death through resurrection and metamorphosis as is commonly seen, for example, in the planting of a grain seed (1 Corinthians 15:35-44).
Adam introduced death to himself and “the world” in the instant of his disobedience to God as he had been warned would occur (Genesis 2:16-17, 3:6-11, 17-19; Romans 5:12, NKJV). Death has reigned from Adam--the first and federal head of mankind as well as “a type of Him who was to come” as Deliverer--through sin ever since even during the centuries without law from God (Genesis 3:15; Romans 5:13-14, NKJV). However, in God’s “grace” and perfect timing He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, from Heaven to earth “born of a woman” and “under the law” with the free gift of salvation, eternal life and “adoption as sons” through faith in Him (Romans 5:15-21; Galatians 4:4-6, NKJV)!4
Summarizing the apostle Paul’s teaching from 1 Corinthians 15:45-49, the first Adam is of the earth and was brought to life by God from its dust. Like him, all mankind is of the earth too, bears Adam’s fallen creature image and shares in his experience of death. But Jesus Christ the second and last Adam is from Heaven having eternally been God, the Son and Word of God (John 1:1-5, 14-18). Though in His incarnation a body was “prepared for” Him, He always “Am”; ready to give eternal life to all who believe on Him (Luke 1:26-35; John 8:51-58; Hebrews 10:5-7, NKJV)! Those who line up behind Christ as their Head by faith are made spiritual sons of Heaven and live forever bearing His glorious immortal image as planned before time by God (Romans 8:29-30).
Still limited by their earthbound thinking, many professed Christians refuse to believe God will do anything different with our bodies at the resurrection to immortality other than what we have now in form and function as male and female after the first Adam. However, Paul teaches that while these natural, mortal “flesh and blood” bodies do come first, they “cannot inherit the kingdom of God” and a metamorphosis is required (1 Corinthians 15:50-53, NKJV)!5 Because Christ’s former mortal body has already undergone the metamorphosis to immortality, Paul writes we no longer “know Him” after “the flesh” and are to already be enjoying in Him the “new” things He now enjoys to be fully revealed to and in us at His coming (2 Corinthians 5:16-17; Philippians 3:20-21; 1 John 3:2, NKJV).6
1 As I write in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics, although the female version of man bears the image and likeness of God as creature glory after the
man, Adam, that glory nevertheless, is fully the glory of the divine image and likeness (1 Corinthians 11:7)! You can get a print copy of the book on sale in the
2 See the July 3, 2016 post, Man As God Designed Him, under the category, God’s Creatures.
3 See the June 19, 2016 post, Eternal Sons Of God, under the category, Instruction.
4 Read the three-part post beginning January 29, 2017, Jesus, Son Of Man, under the category, The Cause.
5 Read the two-part post beginning May 18, 21014, The Body Beautiful, under the category, God’s Creatures.
6 Read the three-part post beginning July 10, 2016, Raised To Immortal Glory, and the July 31, 2016 post, The Immortal Bodies Of God’s Eternal Sons, all under the
category, God’s Creatures.
From the beginning until now, God’s faithful have been a persecuted minority (Genesis 4:1-10; 1 John 3:10-15). Our time in America has come and God wants us to remember in Jesus the stuff we are made of through Him (2 Timothy 3:12)! We may be powerless as a minority today to reverse the decline of our nation or effect the repentance of falling away Christians as foretold, but in our endurance to the end we will receive power from Christ to reign with Him on this earth when He returns with the Kingdom as sweet vindication of our suffering. Be encouraged about the future of the faithful today in this edited blog repost that appeared on the last day of 2012.
Originally Posted December 31, 2012
The final deliverance of God’s elect Jews and faithful saints will begin with the Kingdom of Heaven’s declaration of war on Satan and his kingdom. Holy angels faithful to God in their superior numbers and might will engage and prevail against the devil and his angels in heavenly places. The victory of the holy angels will be so thorough and final Satan and his angels will be evicted permanently from their heretofore dwelling in heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12; Revelation 12:7-9). This means there will be no residence any longer for them in the second heaven which is all of outer space beyond earth’s atmosphere or access to the third heaven, the abode of God (Acts 7:54-56; 2 Corinthians 12:1-4).
This moment is a mixed bag for faithful saints. On the one hand it is good news since it means we are yet another step closer to the fulfillment of Satan’s announced judgment, realizing our hope of eternal salvation and the reign of Christ (Revelation 12:10). On the other hand, it is bad news in the near term because the devil and his demonic armies have just lost the war of the ages and are confined to earth with only a very short time (three and one half years) before they are imprisoned in Hades after which a thousand years later, they are finally forever condemned to the lake of fire (Revelation 20:1-3, 7-10).
These fallen creatures are not very happy campers at all and in fact, while the heavens are urged to rejoice over the devil’s defeat by the holy angels and eviction from their environs, all of the inhabitants of the earth including elect Jews and faithful saints are warned to prepare for grief since “the devil has come down to you, having great wrath,” (Daniel 12:1; Revelation 12:12). This is the major part of the “great tribulation” many Christians miss. It is not God’s wrath that is at the core of that brief most evil of evil times, it is Satan’s wrath and he wastes no time venting it against the human objects of it he hates the most: Jews and Christians (Revelation 12:13-17).
God will supernaturally protect His elect number of Jews during this period (Revelation 7:1-8; 12:6, 14), while faithful saints are expected to overcome the devil’s onslaught of deception, works of power and violent persecution (described as war) through patient endurance involving trust in the blood of Christ, their testimony and being willing to suffer death (understanding themselves as “sheep for the slaughter”) in remaining loyal to the Lord (Revelation 7:9-17, 12:11). These are the aspiring strong men and great women of God in the image of Christ my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics, prepares the willing to become!
The “great tribulation” is the final intense evil period of these latter days and the last gasps of existence for Satan’s kingdom when he reigns openly through his resurrected and immortal man patterned on Antiochus Epiphanes of old (Daniel 9:27, 11:36-45, 12:7; Mark 13:14-23; Revelation 13). In its aftermath are the most violent, painful transitory birth contractions of the approaching Day of God’s eternal Kingdom brought by our returning Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ (Mark 13:24-27). He will lead and be a strong support for the elect, remnant Jews who have been waiting for Him without realizing it in the final battle for Jerusalem (Micah 5:3-5; Zechariah 12, 14:1-15; Revelation 16:12-14, 16, 19:11-21).
He comes to fulfill the ancient promises of God and save the people of His ethnic heritage, even Jacob (Jeremiah 30-33; Romans 11:25-36) and the yet living faithful remnant saints who are transformed alive after those that have died are resurrected (1 Corinthians 15:50-53; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18). Faithful saints from all time that have been the righteous minority in Christ will be powerless no more or ever again (Philippians 1:27-28; 2 Thessalonians 1:3-10)! Finally, the oppressions of the oppressor will cease and the new immortal, righteous majority will rule a world of real peace, justice and equity for all (Psalm 37:11; Isaiah 11:1-10; 51:12-13; Micah 4:1-5; Revelation 5:8-10). Let God fill you fresh with joy, peace and hope by these truths and the power of the Holy Spirit in believing to the end (Romans 15:8-13, 16:20).
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