Of the greatest sins manifested among many church leaders today is the arrogance to believe that they can somehow improve upon and expedite God’s program for making and teaching disciples of Jesus Christ! Though ancient now, the methods Christ and His apostles empowered by the Holy Spirit used to make disciples (preaching the Gospel) and teach them to obey God’s whole Word were effective (Mark 1:9-20, 3:13-19, 4:10-12, 33-34, 8:27-38; John 20:19-23; Acts 2:1-16, 36-47). Even so, 100% of the people who heard their preaching and teaching did not accept it (John 6:60-71; Acts 4:1-4). Our problem is we want that 100% even if it means doing stuff in the flesh to get them!
The Lord’s approach and example to teaching men as disciples was Self-denying, labor intensive and time consuming. But these are the inescapable realities of spiritual fathering our Lord embraced as well as called, equipped and charged His disciples turned apostles to also do. Church pastors are imperative in the work (John 21:15-17)! Having been a pastor and mentor of boys and men I fully understand the demands especially of time spiritual fathering make on one’s life. However, this is why a pastor equips those he spiritually fathers to do as he does. If he is too busy to do what the Lord has commanded as his priority, then he is too busy! As the Lord leads me to point out in this edited 2013 Commentary, men are being hurt because of disobedience to His commands.
Originally Published September 2013
While our Ministry celebrates every brave incarcerated man that steps out before our Strong Man Of God Rally assemblies to publically pray to receive Christ or rededicate to Him, it saddens me personally to see the great numbers that rededicate. Most of these rededications are men that were Christians before their incarceration for a second or third time. It is certainly true Christians that commit crimes must take personal responsibility for their actions. However, after talking to many of these men it becomes clear that they are not getting the one on one mentoring of a “spiritual father” needed to deepen their walk with Christ in the churches they are members of as I did not early on.1
To be sure, the failure to make committed followers of Christ is a wide spread problem in the churches. Spiritual infancy dominates today in a Western church culture that is more concerned with the numbers than whether members are maturing in Christ. This lack of emphasis on the slow process of making disciples as our Lord commanded is hurting men the most since they are God’s chosen leaders in the home and churches. Many sit and the relative few that serve largely do so as babes in Christ with no intentional plan to disciple them. Once a month meetings and the annual golf tournament are not enough to turn baby Christian men into fiery, maturing disciples of Christ!
As I write in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics, teaching his family is a responsibility God assigns every man.2 As the head of the house, a man teaches his wife and children. As a father, he teaches all of the children, but with a special duty to mentor and guide his sons into manhood; his wife, their daughters into womanhood. Beyond their families, aspiring strong men of God in the image of Christ imitate Him in taking newborn Christian men under their wing to spiritually father them into maturity. We know this process is slow because our Lord spent more than three years of intensive time with His twelve disciples, then the rest of the lives of those who became faithful apostles (Matthew 4:18-22; John 14:18, 16:12-15).
In the Lord’s “Great Commission,” He commands His disciples to make, baptize and teach new disciples from all of the nations (Matthew 28:19-20). As it concerns teaching, veteran disciples are to teach the new “to observe all things that” Christ had commanded them (vs. 20, NKJV). Teaching what Christ “the Author and Finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2, NKJV) commanded entails more than just important doctrines, but also all of the thinking, attitudes and behaviors of Christ-likeness we are also to possess in pleasing God the Father as He did (Philippians 2:5). To this end, the apostle Paul also instructed his spiritual sons to teach and pass on what they had learned to men who would do the same with other men also (2 Timothy 2:1-2; Titus 1:1-9, 2:1-5).
To their shame, not only do many pastors and churches not encourage spiritual fathering or mothering in their ranks today, but too many have no formal discipleship instruction at all much less for newborn Christians in the pews who need the “pure milk of the Word” not the philosophical musings of men (1 Peter 2:1-3, NKJV).3 And for the churches that pride themselves on offering lofty sectarian seminary level courses such as Systematic Theology as sufficient to fulfill Christ’s command to teach especially babes, repent! You are causing them to gag and choke in confusion on what is not even biblically organic, but sinful humanly processed and genetically altered meat (1 Corinthians 3:1-2; 2 Timothy 2:14-16, 3:14-17).
Shame too on you guilty pastors that look down on my work in the prisons as though it were inconsequential when Christ your Judge is recording for Judgment Day how many of the Christians I find there that are members of your churches (Romans 14:10-13; 2 Corinthians 5:9-11)! We salute all of our fellow workers in the prisons filling in what lacks in the churches. To the pastors that need help setting up a discipleship plan for new believers or want to know more about teaching biblical manhood to and spiritually fathering men contact this Ministry.4 The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
1 Read Part 1 of the August 21, 2016 post, Christianity The Religion Of Men, under the category, instruction. I lament the early lack of spiritual fathering that potentially
could have saved me from many painful failures and shortened the inordinate length of my infancy in Christ in the opening of this post and also that of the October 2,
2016 post, Gifted With A Prophet’s Heart, under the category, Call To Repent.
2 The book is available at all major internet booksellers, by order at your favorite brick and mortar bookstore or in the Strong Man Store.
3 See the September 25, 2016 post, A Leadership Caused Failure and Pastors As Developing Christian Men posted on December 17, 2017 both under the category,
Call To Repent.
4 Get contact information for Strong Man Ministries and learn about for example, the Strong Man Of God Men’s Group Study as an important help in making disciples of
men and teaching them biblical manhood on our Web Site.
“But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea,” (Matthew 18:6, NKJV, emphasis mine). In the event some arrogant person thought I was only giving an opinion in the warning of my last blog that God will hold “whoever” accountable for hurting any soul that has believed on Christ with a heretical doctrine, Matthew 18:6 (with 7) is among many in Scripture to give similar warning. Do you not fear God? The churches are not commanded to destroy heretics, but God surely will! Therefore, no so-called “theologian,” pastor or teacher has any authorization from Christ to invent and disseminate any other doctrines but His!
Originally Posted August 12, 2012
As a follow up to the just concluded three part formerly published Commentary series, “Raised To Immortal Glory” and especially part three, the Lord has led me to repost this edited June 2013 blog that originally posted in the same month as the series. All are now in this same blog category, God’s Creatures. This repost seeks to extract more details from Scripture about the glorious, immortal spiritual bodies God is to provide His eternal sons after the likeness of Christ’s.
Originally Posted June 2, 2013
The bodies of the dead in Christ are raised up and those of the living remnant are transformed in less than the blink of an eye at His coming according to 1 Corinthians 15:51-52. The form and function of their bodies will be like Christ’s own glorious, immortal spiritual body which is equipped for God’s purposes through the endless ages of eternity (Philippians 3:20-21)! And while John in His epistle is clear we on this side of glory will not have a precise picture of what we as glorified immortals will look like until Christ is revealed, he too assures us that we will be like Him (1 John 3:2).
Based on the revelation of the glorified Christ John later saw (Revelation 1:10-17), there are some similarities between the natural body we now have and the glorified spiritual body in the masculine likeness of Christ we will receive at the resurrection. There will also be some tremendous qualitative differences with a few new (to us) features included! With all praises to our God, we do not have to guess or fill in the blanks with a lot of wacky speculation about the immortal spiritual bodies He has prepared for His eternal sons; what He wants known now is in His Word! My mission is to only briefly examine what God’s Word says about our future glorious, immortal spiritual bodies to inspire our further study, reflection, excitement and praise to God!
Scripture gives three sources of knowledge about the future immortal spiritual bodies of the eternal sons of God: our present natural bodies, Christ and the angels. From our natural bodies and Christ’s glorified likeness seen by John, we understand that along with a head featuring hair, a chest, arms, hands, legs and feet, the general frame and form characteristic of the natural human body are to be preserved as will ethnicity (Revelation 21:22-26) in our spiritual bodies. Also, we will retain the five senses of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching with all of the corresponding body parts to include teeth. Raised in His immortal spiritual body that had not yet been glorified, our Lord interacted with His disciples normally using the senses.
He used His and invited His disciples to use their senses and associated natural body parts in His company (Luke 24:36-43; John 20:24-29). In a third post-resurrection meeting with His disciples recorded in John 21:1-14, notice in verse 9 how smell would have played a role in the experience of everyone present including the Lord who cooked breakfast. Indeed, the prophets and the Lord speak of eating and drinking as a fixture in the Kingdom of God (Isaiah 25:6; Luke 22:14-18, 28-30). Of the fruit eaten will be that of the “tree of life,” (Revelation 2:7, NKJV). Now, consider how superior your sensory abilities and experiences will be in perfect spiritual bodies where every sense and body part functions perfectly!
It was our Lord that taught in the resurrection to immortal glory the sons of God will be “equal to the angels,” (Luke 20:34-36, NKJ). In likeness to the eternal existence of God’s spirit creatures, angels, the sons of God will never again marry, procreate or die. Unlike in their previous natural, mortal bodies, there will be no more hormones or bodily features that arouse sexual desire leading to proper sex or that which in sin leads to evil seduction, promiscuity or perversions (Hebrews 13:4). However, this will not be the end to pleasure. By divine design, in immortal spiritual bodies with form and functions fitted to a new, eternal creation, the righteous in Christ will experience new kinds of pleasure in the presence of our holy God forever (Psalm 16:11, 36:7-9; 2 Corinthians 5:16-17)!
As with the holy angels too, the new spiritual bodies of God’s sons will be indestructible as well as impervious to physical pain, sickness, disease and calamity (Revelation 21:4). Like our Lord and angels, the sons of God will be able to appear and disappear (Judges 13:1-14; Luke 24:28-31). We will also be able to fly without wings (Psalm 104:1-3; Isaiah 60:8; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17) as well as travel back and forth between the spiritual and physical dimensions (Judges 13:15-21; Acts 1:9-11; Revelation 11:11-12). We will travel between two dimensions only until the day our God makes the two dimensions, one (2 Peter 3:10-13; Revelation 21:1-3)!
The Lord Jesus instructs it is the divine intent that the Holy Spirit should be with the sons of God forever (John 14:16-17)! For faithful Christians, then, the same Holy Spirit who has been our Companion in this life will be with us when these natural bodies die and forever! At the moment of death, whatever have been limits to the Holy Spirit’s display of the eternal divine life and power in the inner man of our mortal experience (Ephesians 3:14-16; Hebrews 6:4-5) are removed. We will henceforth enjoy the overflowing outpour of His life into us up through our embodiment into immortal spiritual bodies and evermore (John 3:34, 6:63, 7:37-39, 10:10; Revelation 21:6, 22:1)!
We will also have direct access, be perfectly attuned to, enjoy and express the inexhaustible riches of God’s knowledge and wisdom. And as we had to be equipped by the Holy Spirit with enabling power in spiritual gifts on this side of glory to do God’s will, in the day of our immortal glory we will also be outfitted by Him with supernatural abilities to carry out the purposes, assignments and work of God for eternity (Ephesians 3:20-21)! Too, well beyond the limitations of the mortal body in sin, doubt and fear, we will routinely do things like walk on water as Peter did and as our Lord showed, exercise the power of God to move mountains in accord with His purposes (Matthew 14:22-33; Mark 11:20-24).
Finally, because of the indwelling presence of God in us, like our Lord the glory of God will shine out from our immortal spiritual bodies as His eternal sons and with even new names, we shall reign with Christ forever (Daniel 12:2-3; Matthew 13:43; 2 Timothy 2:10-13; Revelation 2:17, 3:12-13, 21-22, 21:5, 22:3-5)! The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
It has been very hard serving incarcerated Christian men here in the Northwest and not being able to spiritually father the sons I make among them beyond prison walls. Also, a frustration and regret is not being able to offer or direct releasing Christian inmates to much in the way of Christian run transitional housing and resources. As it concerns spiritually fathering the many men as sons I have served on lockdown, up until the present moment the Lord has commanded me to direct those that release to the churches and pastors they find (supposedly led by Him) to pick up where I left off as I have written is their responsibility1 in an attempt to build cooperation and avoid any conflict.2
Cooperating with willing churches when it is possible is important to this Ministry because the men are able to see a unity of Kingdom purpose and experience a consistency of biblical teaching they need to help them stay on track after prison. So sadly, there are not many churches I can enthusiastically recommend and of course, keeping it real, some released Christian men do not wish to continue growing in them. Nevertheless, for the incarcerated Christian men that would benefit from Bible teaching, Kingdom focused churches when they release, I wrote this edited 2013 Commentary to challenge these churches to step up to do more for them by way of intentional transitional ministry.
Originally Published July 2013
Concern for the eternal souls of men initially took our Ministry into the prisons to preach the uncompromised Gospel of Jesus Christ and bring strong man of God instruction that many might be saved and taught especially from among the black American community.3 Over the years, however, we have painfully discovered that there is a shameful lack of transitional help from the Christian community and churches many of our incarcerated brethren from all hues must cope with upon release. While there are a number of excellent ministries laboring to turn this around, relatively few churches are interested in this admittedly at times messy and risky business.
I write to remind us all that our Lord’s messianic mandate which every real Christian also shares is not only “to proclaim liberty to the captives and the opening of the prison to those who are bound,” but also to minister to Him by ministering to “the least of these” He calls “My brethren,” (Isaiah 61:1; Matthew 25:31-40, NKJV). Now, I know that some of the incarcerated brethren of Jesus are guilty of some serious and even repulsive crimes. They were guilty before God and man. In the case of our God, they have received forgiveness upon their heartfelt confession and repentance (Psalm 51:1-17; 1 John 1:9-2:2) and endure His punishment through man by way of prison.
Nevertheless, if God--who is the ultimate Judge--sees fit to release men who have served their punishment back into society (Psalm 146:7c), it becomes necessary particularly for the Body of Christ to do all that we can to help our brothers (and sisters) make a smooth transition. This does not mean that the churches replace the important role family and the larger community has in doing their respective parts. However, we in Christ have a unique role as spiritual family that embraces our brother in love and helps meet his basic spiritual and tangible needs until he is able to get on his feet to support himself. Churches are equipped by God for such a ministry as this (Acts 2:38-47).
Now, all of the reasons most churches do not want to get involved with jail, prison and transitional ministry readymade for them by the Lord, only He knows. Apparently, though, He is not accepting those reasons since many others in the work besides this Ministry continues here in the Northwest and nationally to appeal to churches on behalf of incarcerated Christians. Our Ministry still envisions one day bringing willing Portland, Oregon area churches together to raise up an ongoing transitional work that includes a residence for temporary housing after release, services, continuing basic Christian instruction, mentoring and accountability groups.4
We have the collective means to make transitional help available to our Christian brothers that are incarcerated. The issue is will our pastors led by God concerned for the incarcerated give visionary leadership to their congregations to get behind His will? When the Lord in His Word repeatedly stresses His heart for those in prison, Holy Spirit led believers cannot just ignore this. We cannot ignore or escape the fact either that before meeting Christ we were all imprisoned by sin until He set us free! How can we so easily forget or do we actually believe the lie that we are somehow better than those incarcerated?
I tell you the truth from history, present reality and God’s prophetic Word; American Christians are just a relatively short time from experiencing mass incarcerations for the faith! Arrest and imprisonment for the faith as persecution is prominent in the New Testament and to this hour around the earth! It continues until the Lord returns (Mark 13:9-13, 14:43-46; Acts 5:12-18, 16:16-24; Revelation 2:8-11, 13:1-10).5 Shouldn’t we begin to show a little more empathy for the incarcerated and especially those that are Christians now, since many of our number will one day be among them (Hebrews 13:3)? The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
1 Read the March 3, 2019 post, The Need For Spiritual Fathering, under the category, The Cause.
2 While a man may have many godly men instruct and speak wisdom into his life, after his own father or seasoned Christian man that led him to Christ, a local church
pastor or his equipped and trusted designee ought to be among the very few authoritative spiritual fathers he has in Christ (1 Corinthians 4:14-17).
3 This Ministry has been conducting its evangelistic outreach, Strong Man Of God Rally since 2009 and through its Strong Man Institute, what became the published
2014 Strong Man Of God Men’s Group Study since 2008 in Northwest prisons. Also, the Ministry is carrying out its Books To USA Prisons Project to place copies
of The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics in federal and state prison libraries chaplains maintain for inmates in all fifty states.
4 Visit the About Us Page on our Web Site.
5 I write about the reality of Christian suffering for the faith and the need to gear up for it as aspiring strong men and great women of God in the image of Jesus Christ
in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics. It is available at all major internet booksellers, by order at your favorite brick and mortar bookstore or in the
Strong Man Store. Additionally, I h ave written many blogs discussing this prophetic reality; most recently, Standing In The Evil Day, posted on November 25, 2018,
under the category, Encouragement.
Entailing as it does such a magnitude of responsibility from God, it is amazing to me looking back over membership in churches since 1977 that so little instructional importance was attached to parenting and fathering in particular. New member orientations if any, instead, focused on introducing church leaders, beliefs, responsibilities, programs, activities and service opportunities. Intensive training and equipping if any, offered in depth Bible study topics and in a few churches, deep theological education. All of this was done in the quickest possible time frame lest the relative few participants became even fewer!1 This has been devastating to Christian men and their families.
Fathering like God is not natural to sinful mortal men as I have painfully discovered in my own journey during these latter days. Sadly today, it is not widely seen enough either to be emulated or purposely taught among professed Christians and their churches as I opened this post lamenting. Being a father with all it involves as God the Father exemplifies in His Word and intends for human fathers to imitate is a life skill that is supposed to be intentionally passed on by them to their sons through precept and example as I write in The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics.2 However, with so many sons without their fathers doing this on purpose, fallen human models of fathering prevail.
Fallen human models of fathering run the gambit of sin driven conduct. These models are learned from having watched one’s own father (with the family or not) or someone else’s; taking in as well, those portrayed in all forms of media and the streets.3 The fallen human models include, but are not limited to the absent, willfully neglectful, verbally and physically abusive, self-centered, grumpy, harsh, stern, intimidating, controlling, overly disciplinary (which is where I was as I write about in my book), not disciplinary enough or at all, spoiler, pushover, briber, pleaser etc. Though no fallen father is nor can be perfect before God, those that do better father more like Him.
Such fathers may have had not only good instruction, but examples from their own fathers. As maturing Christians, they may have also come to appreciate that childrearing is a sacred and fearful responsibility from God one needs His help with and why in His infinite wisdom He confined procreation to a man and woman committed to each other in holy marriage as the best arrangement for it. However they came to it, these men consider the business of fathering an important and serious undertaking. They understand initiating the existence of a new human being is only the beginning of an incredible experience that must be purposely planned for, embraced and carried out.
Indeed, this is the example of God the Father in the Bible. From eternity He purposely planned and prepared for the creation of man (Genesis 1:1-26, 2:4-6). Then, He embraced and carried out initiating man’s existence from the dust (Genesis 2:7). After this, He led, taught His will, provided for and gave environmental protection first to Adam and then, his wife taken out of him (Genesis 2:8-25). At the end of God the Father’s creative work, Scripture summarizes it, His marching orders and instruction to the first man and woman as well as presents His appraisal of the momentous occasion (Genesis 1:27-31). Nothing about the foregoing is done haphazardly or at a distance.
Furthermore, when the first couple sinned, God the Father brought His promised consequence and then some, while also clearly demonstrating His continuing love for them (Genesis 3). He purposely displays and teaches His model of Fathering throughout all of the rest of Scripture so that certainly, we that profess to know Him are without excuse for our ignorance. Yet, four years into being a Christian and church attendance, I entered into marriage and a blended family ignorant. For nearly another ten years I struggled to walk out God's Fathering learned from the Bible with no church instruction until finally, my then, pastor, began a purposeful teaching on the family out of Scripture.4
At the same time, my pastor introduced us men to the Promise Keepers men’s movement. Heightened in interest by my need, as a Christian radio announcer and avid listener, I also started paying attention to the instructive counsel about what a father is and does coming from national programs such as Focus On The Family and those produced locally out of Dallas, TX. Slowly, with my own intentional Bible study on the issues of manhood, marriage and family, the veil of ignorance began to lift; change and growth in my fathering through the help and power of the Holy Spirit to overcome sin and sinful flesh fed character flaws, attitudes and behavior that continues to this day!5
Even so, though well intended and better than no man and fatherhood church instruction at all in the early 1990s, the growing popular teaching clearly was not fully biblical as I was learning since for example, while God’s order of mankind electing men as leaders was acknowledged, it was not being practiced in the many of churches of American Christianity.6 Biblically conservative churches of every hue that will be true to “the whole counsel of God” must repent as I did from departure from it in any teaching of man and fatherhood and their example; dereliction to intentionally present it as the apostle Paul modeled (Acts 20:25-27; Ephesians 6:4, NKJV).7 Worse off than I was in ignorance, 21st century males coming to Christ absolutely need this instruction in a confused culture now, hostile to it!
1 Though I write here primarily of churches I did not also serve as pastor, in full transparency I acknowledge coming up short of and not doing more to reach the instructional
mark I write about when I was a pastor.
2 The book is published by Open Door Communication Ministries, Inc. and available in print or digital formats at major internet booksellers. You can also purchase a print
copy along with its companion, The Strong Man Of God Men’s Group Study for in-person or virtual use in the Strong Man Store.
3 Physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually present or absent, biological fathers teach our sons and daughters whether we purposely intend to or not. Writing in my book
and other places, it is the standing and force of authority God has given to and designed men with that is the source and cause of this. Read especially my June 21, 2015
part one post, Mama’s boys, under the category, Black History.
4 Very importantly, with church instruction also came a sense of accountability, empathy and group support.
5 Without making excuses for myself or any professed Christian not an active rebel (writing the following only to clarify the biblically taught reality of the marathon journey we
are on), Christians are not fully formed at new spiritual birth anymore than a physically newborn human being. Christian fathers as redeemed sinners develop and grow over
time (some slower than others) into this role as all of our other roles through the often painful process of uncovering and being convicted by God about sinful thinking, atti-
tudes and conduct in putting “off the old” and putting “on the new man,” (Ephesians 4:17-32, NKJV). We struggle with sin aroused by the Law within and righteousness and
must have our minds renewed putting on the new man as a conscious and deliberate decision every moment to walk in the Spirit our Helper (John 14:15-18; Romans 7:12-
8:13; Galatians 5:16-25).
6 See the three-part post beginning January 8, 2017, In God’s Revival Men Are Restored, under the category, The Cause.
7 Read the September 20, 2020 post, What Will It Profit A Man?, under the category, The Cause.
This edited 2013 Commentary originally published in the print version of this Ministry’s Strong Man Of God Newsletter, was written to incarcerated men throughout Northwest prisons as a first audience. However, in the aftermath of my February 17, 2019 testimony elaboration, “Surrendering All To Jesus,” under the category, Glory To God!, this Commentary has been edited to speak to the man in the pew. From my testimony you see I do know something about being a weak and defeated babe in Christ! I also know all about being one maturing that must daily confess and repent from sin. These truths do not invalidate God’s will that His sons mature in the faith or this exhortation to you!
God has a solution to spiritual immaturity and stagnation--daily die to self and sin and be filled by the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:17-24, 5:18)! From the Holy Spirit will come the fire and power to serve God and His purposes. Living this way is why over forty years later I am still on fire for the Lord and refuse to allow spiritually deadbeat Christians and deceitfully sin hardened religionists to turn me around! It is also why in obedience to the Lord and empathy I do not cease prodding professed Christian men to get with God’s program. And you do not have to wait on church leadership to help you (this is the Lord’s perfect will, but so many now, are shamefully disobedient-Matthew 28:19-20).
Originally Published October 2013
In a shocking display of divine authority and holy offense, the Lord Jesus Christ cleared the Temple grounds at Jerusalem of all doing business there (John 2:13-16). His disciples were caught off guard and stood there in amazement at the physically aggressive and loud display of their up to this point, lowly and mild mannered Teacher. “Then His disciples remembered that it was written, ‘Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up,”’ (Psalm 69:9a; John 2:17, NKJV). Zeal for God and the things of God is a character trait of Jesus Christ, the Strong Man of God and supposedly His disciples! As a general rule, all men are passionate about things that are important to them.
Alicia Keys may have been speaking of an otherwise lonely woman perpetrating an exciting life in her song, This Girl Is On Fire, but this man is on fire as should be all other truly born again Christian men through the fiery indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit (Jeremiah 20:9; Joel 2:28-29; Acts 2:1-4; Revelation 4:5)! Yet, why do I in my zeal for the Lord among pastors and professed Christian men seem to be a freak of Christianity; strange and weird since the Lord’s fire supposedly blazes in all of us?1 Indeed, Holy Ghost fired zeal for the Lord who saved a wretch like me, made me His son and gave my life purpose through putting me into His service burns intensely in and drives me!
It is never far from my memory what a stinker I once was as an unsaved sinner nor is there a day that I fail to see just how very far yet my journey to perfection in Christ is. Still, with a heart like the apostle Paul who I hold up in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics, as a most excellent example of zeal for the Lord (1 Corinthians 15:8-10),2 this man too has been on fire for the Lord since fully surrendering to Him in February of 1979 amid seven days of fasting to this moment!3 The great apostle humbly considered himself to be “chief” among and as a result the “first” that the Lord in “mercy” would “save” and put on display as a “pattern” of His “longsuffering” toward “sinners,” (1 Timothy 1:12-17, NKJV). To God’s glory, many including me have come after Paul!
Paul is also an example of persevering, difficult service to God. Thanks to the many impostors and willfully disobedient men and women of manmade Christianity the religion, I have tasted something of the suffering that comes with a zeal filled, sold out devotion to serving the purposes of God on earth in this present age (2 Corinthians 4; 2 Timothy 3:10-12).4 In that service through a previous Commentary, the Lord led me to strongly rebuke pastors and churches for their lack of spiritually fathering Christian men.5 But now, speaking also to the Christian man in the pew, you are not off of the hook; it is high time for you to get your zeal on for Jesus and press into maturity anyhow!
God will surely deal with those pastors and churches that dropped the ball with you if He has not already. However, you must understand that their failures (or anyone else’s for that matter) do not entitle you to fall back into the flesh and your old ways of handling your business so that you end up incarcerated for example, and bringing shame on the Lord’s name. You need to press hard into Christ, the Strong Man of God; the way of zeal and holy fire to live on purpose in dependence on Him, obeying and pleasing Him in everything (Philippians 2:5-8, 3:1-16)! Your spiritually impotent life and that of many of our professed Christian brothers in and outside of prisons prove that neither you nor they have diligently done this! Is Christ not important to you?
Therefore, repent of your half-hearted commitment and obedience to Christ that retards your spiritual growth into maturity. For while I have been blessed to have had many godly men speak timely words into my life and one spiritual father, Rev. Percy N. Manuel, Sr., who has gone on to glory for seven out of thirty-six years of my journey, God has been my Father, Christ Jesus my Teacher and the Holy Spirit my Companion par excellence continually (Psalm 119:97-104; John 14:15-26, 16:12-15)! If you have no spiritual father or mentor, God alone is more than adequate to raise you up as a faithful son, disciple and servant that is on fire for Him--if you are willing (1 Timothy 4:12-16).
1 Read the October 2, 2016 post, Gifted With A Prophet’s Heart, under the category, Call To Repent.
2 The book is available at all major internet booksellers, by order at your favorite brick and mortar bookstore or in the Strong Man Store. In it I not only write about zeal
as Christian character, but also why many professed Christian men lack it in not aspiring to be strong men of God in the image of Christ!
3 Read the post cited in the introductory paragraph.
4 See the July 22, 2018 post, Religion No Substitute For The Holy Spirit!, under the category, Glory To God! Also, The Peril Of Religious Men posted December 9,
2018, under the category, Instruction.
5 See the March 3, 2019 post, The Need For Spiritual Fathering, under the category The Cause.
In the Lord’s Revelation to the churches written down by His apostle John, reference is made to a curious feminine character, “The Mother Of Harlots,” (Revelation 17:5, NKJV). While the Lord has already had me specifically disclose and discuss what is also called “Mystery: Babylon The Great,”1 in this post He leads me to explain the reason this prophetic enigma is not only described as a harlot, but the mother of them. Plainly, this harlot and her daughters have such significance to Christianity as a future development that warning was merited among and beyond the original seven churches of Asia the Lord’s Revelation is first sent to I wrote about earlier this month.2
What is a harlot? Encarta Dictionary and most other dictionaries will say a harlot is the same as a prostitute which is typically a woman (but historically has also included men) paid to provide sex or related acts. Interestingly, Encarta further defines a prostitute in noun form as one “who degrades talent for money;” using “a skill or ability in a way that is considered unworthy, usually for financial gain.” As a transitive verb, to prostitute is to “misuse something for gain” or offer somebody or oneself for sexual or others favors “in exchange for money.” The Bible uses harlot in these ancient, commonly defined ways (Genesis 38:11-18; 1 Corinthians 6:16), but also applies the term spiritually.
Spiritually, God warns Israel in the aftermath of His first two of Ten Commandments and the gold calf affair not to act toward the heathen nations and their gods as one to be serviced by or be to them a harlot (Exodus 20:1-6, 32:1-6, 34:10-17). Israel was also never to incorporate the use of ritual harlots in their worship practices (Deuteronomy 23:17-18). For Israel to invent and/or bow down to worship any so-called god, was not only considered disobedience by God, but also unfaithfulness in spiritual adultery. Israel, however, did not listen and repeatedly played the spiritual harlot as God charged through her prophets (Isaiah 1:21-23; Jeremiah 3:1-10; Ezekiel 16:1-34; Hosea 6:4-11).
In the same way it would be adultery if a married man’s wife prostituted herself, so, Israel married to God spiritually committed adultery against Him--a reality God had Hosea the prophet live out as a true to life demonstration (Jeremiah 3:14; Hosea 1:1-3, 3:1-3). God confronted Israel with her sin and labeled her persistent spiritual adultery “harlotry;” pronouncing her captive to “the spirit of harlotry” (Hosea 2:2-5, 4:11-19). The Lord’s use of “the spirit of harlotry” is not just a descriptive figure for Israel’s continual spiritual adultery, but identifies the very real demon behind it as well since the first unfaithful creature to God was Satan (Ezekiel 28:14-18; John 8:44; Ephesians 2:1-3, 6:12)!
Obviously, to become unfaithful to God, one has to first be close to Him in some way. Satan was once close to God as a trusted chief cherub who rebelled. Israel spiritually was chosen by Him to be His “special treasure above all people” (Exodus 19:5-6). As already stated, their intimacy of relationship in human terms is spoken of as marriage with God as Israel’s Husband; family with God as Father and Israel as sons. And so it remains as Christ returns to fulfill God’s announcement through the prophets to restore the remnant of Israel and relationship with Him after judging them for their unfaithfulness and apostasy (Ezekiel 16:35-43; Hosea 1:4-2:1, 2:6-23, 3:4-5, 4:1-10, 5-6:3).
No other people ever enjoyed the status of the Jews with God until individual Gentiles were saved by grace through faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and like them, brought into His New Covenant; giving rise to the Church He builds (Romans 1:16-17, 9:1-5, 11:1-36; Ephesians 2:11-22). But as the spirit of religion has always deceitfully done cooperating with the spirit of harlotry, corruptions of and departures from God’s Word with ties to pagan practices (such as mother-son cult worship) were introduced to and took hold among many churches.3 By the end of the second century A.D., a great act of harlotry also occurred when priests and a related liturgy of Communion were formalized.4
By the fifth century, this new form of Christianity foreign to the New Testament had become entrenched among the churches of the Western and Eastern Roman Empire, the Middle East and North Africa. The church at Rome soon after exalted herself above all others and became dominant as a mother to them and certainly all that would later come into being as rebel offshoots during the Protestant Reformation. She was Christ’s self-appointed bride and queen on earth. When Rome fell, she took up its place in the world; elevating her head priest to represent her in ruling over kings and engaging in all manner of political intrigue, social engineering and wars of conquest that gained much property and wealth for her as a global empire; murdering saints and prophets along the way.5
As with the mother harlot, so, her daughters; the Lord calls all in the grip of spiritual harlotry to repent! Without repentance, spiritual harlotry leads only to apostasy and judgment as with Israel (Hosea 6:4-7:4a, 8:1-14).6 While in her own eyes “The Mother Of Harlots” sits an untouchable queen favored by her ostensible Husband, He has already exposed her harlotry in His Revelation and announced her end before she came to be (Revelation 14:8, 16:19, 17:1-19:4). Time is nearly up. Therefore, let every guilty professed Christian take heed to the Lord’s warning among “the churches” and repent for He is soon to appear for His faithful and true Bride (Ephesians 5:25-32; Revelation 22:12-17, NKJV). The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
1 Read the August 23, 2015 post, Babylon Is Falling, under the category, Bible Prophecy.
2 See the two-part post, Revelation’s Seven Churches In Time, beginning January 5, 2020 under the category, Bible Prophecy.
3 Read the January 18, 2015 post, Worshipping God Without God, Pt. 3, under the category, Call To Repent and the two-part post beginning August 21, 2016, Chris-
tianity The Religion Of Men, under the category, Instruction.
4 Read the Encyclopedia Britannica article on the origin of priests in Christianity. It does not matter what form or act of disobedience used in Satan’s scheme to se-
duce God’s people into harlotry, the end is the same: destruction by God! Indeed, take for example, the Nicolaitans Christ spoke of in His Revelation. While it
may be that the Lord was expressing hatred for “the deeds of the Nicolaitans” in Revelation 2:6 as the sins listed in vs.14, these sins were not actually “the doctrine
of Balaam” as the influencing source of the Nicolaitan’s “doctrine,” (vs.15, NKJV). The doctrine Balaam taught Balak was “to put a stumbling block” (vs.14, NKJV)
before Israel through seducing them to commit those sins against God who would be forced to destroy His people in judgment (Numbers 25, 31:14-16). This is a
strategy Satan has repeatedly employed from Eden (Genesis 2:16-17, 3:1-6). Compelling is the translation of Nicolaitans from the Greek by scholars as “people
conquerors.” Men as a formal, ruling class of priests with a supporting hierarchy in the churches is nowhere taught in the New Testament and is a corrupt, hereti-
cal mimicking of Judaism’s priesthood from the law Paul, the apostle to us Gentiles, would have surely condemned (Galatians 2:1-5, 3:1-14)! An eternal spiritual
priesthood of all believers serving God and each other is taught in the New Testament (Mark 10:35-45; 1 Peter 2:4-10; Revelation 1:4-6). With historic idolatry and
rampant sexual immorality mixed in, the manmade Christian priesthood as with all other religious inventions of men has proven to be disastrous to professing
Christianity and conquered many.
5 Saints and prophets were persecuted and murdered at the hands of those professing to represent Jesus Christ as His church after not being willing to back down
from standing up to and crying out against the corruptions they saw and endured. Foxe’s Book of Martyrs tells many of their stories.
6 Read the June 10, 2018 post, God’s Judgment Upon His House, under the category, Bible Prophecy and God’s Creatures.
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