This Memorial Day I want to remember the sixty-six Tuskegee Airmen1 that died in battle during World War II and the remainder of that unique group of black Americans who have their rightful place among “The Greatest Generation” dying each passing year. I originally wrote this post for Black History Month as the Lord led. However, in His continuing leadership, I make this edited repost now, not only appropriately for Memorial Day, but also to acknowledge the reality of these black American men--many of whom were professing Christians--that lived not as victims, but victors as Open Door Communication Ministries, Inc. prepares to celebrate the 25th Year Anniversary of its “From Slavery To Victory Education Project”2 on Juneteenth this year.
Originally Posted February 5, 2012
February is Black History Month in America. While I concur wholeheartedly with those that contend the important history of black Americans and their contributions ought to be taught as an integral part of American History, the fact is, our nation’s educational system still has a way to go to make this a reality. Until then, it is good to continue with the educational aim of black educator Carter G. Woodson when he established a Black History observance in the third decade of the last century.
Woodson wanted blacks who were intentionally excluded from the history books produced by whites, to be able to celebrate the significant historical contributions of members of their own race and feel good about themselves. Today, we want all Americans to feel good about the historical contributions of blacks to the building of the nation. To this end, I am pleased to recommend that all Americans see the movie, Red Tails, produced by George Lucas of Star Wars fame.
The film is based on the true story of the Tuskegee Airmen--an all black fighter pilot squadron out of the famed Tuskegee Institute of Alabama that greatly contributed to the success of Allied air efforts in World War II. Positioned in Italy, in the film plot the squadron’s pilots are frustrated with the lack of opportunity to engage in air battles because racism in the Military has branded them inferior and incapable. Anxious to demonstrate their air prowess while racially belittled by white counterparts in segregated camps, the men are soon given their opportunity and the results are the stuff of legend.
Red Tails is an important look at the ugly reality of racial discrimination and segregation in American History. This is a reality that though not as overt as it once was, is still covertly practiced even in America’s churches and a reason “the race card” still has power. The well produced movie is also an examination of the purposeful and noble choice the Tuskegee Airmen made to courageously fight the enemies of and die for the nation that oppressed them like enemies. Many of these men were (are) Christians and profile the heart of the aspiring strong man of God in the image of Jesus Christ I write about in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics.3 They shine as over comers rather than victims (1 John 5:4-5).
I do want to acknowledge my daughter, Roberta Kelley, for getting her dad involved with a “Living History Day” project under the direction of then history teacher Ken Buckles at Milwaukie High School in Milwaukie, Oregon back in 1998-99. On that occasion, we hosted one of the Tuskegee Airmen, Ed German and a later comrade, Bill Holloway who were in town for the school event. We had a great time learning about their experiences. I commend Mr. Buckles (who is white) for wanting his primarily white students to know American History as it really is: the story of a nation comprised of people from every race that have all made important contributions to its historical achievements.
1 National World War II Museum history of the Tuskegee Airmen. For more information about the Tuskegee Airmen see also http://tuskegeeairmen.org/.
2 The From Slavery To Victory Education Project uniquely presents a biblical worldview of the facts of black history to glorify God and promote healing, hope and help
for black Americans grappling with our experience.
3 My book is available at all major internet booksellers, by order at your favorite brick and mortar bookstore or in the Strong Man Store.
Faithfully proclaiming the Gospel and witnessing Christ as written in the Bible (Luke 24:44-47; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4), all faithful Christian men boldly labor to restore other men beginning in their own families and wherever the Holy Spirit leads (Acts 8:1-5).3 Anxiety about this is reduced by remembering the mission is simply to proclaim what we know from the Word and our own experience with Christ if given the opportunity, not to convert folk! Our work is finished upon rejection and we move on (Luke 10:1-16). When a man does come to Jesus, while local churches still exist he should be taken or directed to one for baptism and sound instruction in the faith and biblical manhood.
Woe to any pastor that does anything other than encourage and begin to teach and personally mentor newly restored men in the faith and biblical manhood or delegate this to another faithful man right away! Given the deteriorating times, if a newly restored man has no pastor or biblically sound church that can be found from one in a house to a larger, brick and mortar building, then the man who led him to Christ should take responsibility to give some instruction and at least baptize him if possible (Acts 8:26-40). Otherwise, the newly restored man should be told to earnestly seek the Lord for a maturing Christian man to teach and mentor him in the faith and biblical manhood (Acts 9:1-19).
Satan’s intense offensive drive in these final two minutes of the game will eventually become widely violent in America, the West and globally well before his Antichrist arrives on the scene (Matthew 24:9). His objective is to hatefully eliminate Christians from the earth as impediments and destroy as many Jews with much of the rest of humanity as possible before certain defeat by Christ at His return! In the meantime, laboring faithfully in the Lord’s Kingdom cause, work and warfare to restore men and standing firm in the faith will require all that God has designed and equipped restored men as aspiring strong men of God in the image of Jesus Christ to be!
Truly, in the thick of our two minute drill, all restored men in Christ must seriously honor His instruction as I write in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics and follow His example (Matthew 16:24-25).4 For as a Son, He made pleasing the Father in Selfless devotion and doing His will the core ambition of His earthly life (Psalm 40:7-8). As a Disciple of His Father, the Lord Jesus absorbed and gave Himself over fully in obedience to His instruction as well as trusted Him for help (Isaiah 50:4-9). With a Servant’s heart, Christ endured the scorn of those who rejected and gave Him over to violence and death in order to pay for our sins (Isaiah 52:13-53:12).
In my book, I also point out how the result of Christ’s uniquely Personal work and warfare in God’s Kingdom cause brought salvation and restoration to the world! Commissioned by Him, our work and warfare in the Kingdom cause is to ensure fellow humanity beginning with men as a first priority hears the Good News of Christ’s triumph on our behalf (Romans 10:14-15)! Then, only after this do we baptize and teach those that repent and believe. So, as faithful sons of the Father, disciples of Christ and servants to God and humanity we press with selfless ambition to carry out our mission; willing even to suffer and die in it because with Christ’s heart, humanity is precious to us.
From the earliest times, men have fought and died in wars for all manner of purposes. It is in the hearts of men to face death for even ignoble causes they believe in. How can we not believe in the noblest of causes; that of God’s Kingdom cause, work and warfare in this present age to save and restore, since we who are saved and restored are grateful beneficiaries? There is also the not so small matter of seeking the greatness of God’s promised rewards for laboring to the point of physical death in His Kingdom cause, work and warfare beginning with the resurrection to immortal glory Christ already has (Matthew 5:10-12, 16:25-27; Romans 8:12-18; 1 Timothy 6:11-16; 2 Timothy 4:6-8; James 1:12)! Of course, in all of this I speak biblically and not as a passive religionist.
As a result, in biblical Christianity character matters! Through much adversity, God builds Christ’s character in restored men aspiring to be strong men of God in His image as eternal identity and in order to work, war and make our defensive stand for the Kingdom to His glory on this mortal side of endless life. Again, I go into more detail in my book. However, in this space, know, for example, Christ’s holy character including zeal, courage, strength, humility, obedience and tested faith of which He is “the Author and Finisher,” is fully demonstrated in His life and ministry (John 2:13-22, 18:1-11; Philippians 2:5-8; Hebrews 5:5-9; 12:1-2, NKJV). God also equips us with the Holy Spirit’s strength and power along with the battle proven armor of Christ (Ephesians 6:10-20)!5
3 Our faithful sisters work cooperatively with their Christian husbands to reach their children. Then, their priority is female family members and other women. Obviously,
having been led to Christ by a woman, I am not teaching a woman can never share the Gospel with or witness to a man (John 4:27-30, 39). I give only God’s general
rule of priority. However, as it concerns mixed gender group instruction in the faith and one on one mentoring of biblical man or womanhood, the Bible gives God’s
ancient, unmistakable instruction (1 Timothy 2:11-14; Titus 2:1-5). The fact I am compelled to make any clarifying statements at all shows the devastating negative
impact the rebellious feminist worldview has had on the psyche of many professing Christians (who are made to feel in a biblical worldview such as I teach, women are
overlooked in God’s program--what a lie from Satan!) and how far from God’s Word they are. O, my faithful sisters, you have your full part in all that pertains to the bib-
lical faith, service, tribulations and glories to come in Christ!
4 You can learn details about my book on its dedicated page at the strong man of God Web site.
5 Learn more about men and causes in the five message CD Series, I AM A Man as well as the war strategy and armor of God by way of my four message Series, We
Are At War! available in the Strong Man Store.
For Mary, the mother of her now, deceased Son, the hour was very distant and disconnected from the joyful events surrounding His birth as “Savior...Christ the Lord” attended to by angels (Luke 1:26-56, 2:1-20, NKJV) and infancy when Gentile religious men from the East amidst the stars of light He created followed “His (unique) star” to visit the family and worship Him (Genesis 1:3-5, 14-19; Matthew 1:18-2:2, NKJV). This is the condensed time period we Christians celebrate as Christmas! Mary’s soul was pierced just as Simeon had prophesied to her on the occasion of her baby Boy’s presentation and circumcision at the Temple in Jerusalem in accord with the Law (Luke 2:21-35).
The rest of that terrible day through the Sabbath Mary and all of those who knew Jesus of Nazareth mourned for Him in great bewilderment at the tragedy that had befallen Him; He who was and should have been according to the prophecies of Scripture and Him, their light of hope (Numbers 24:10-19; Isaiah 9:1-7; John 12:42-50)! But He was gone, the glory of His light apparently overcome by the darkness. Why had God forsaken His own Son? The darkness of ignorance and despair was equally deep. Determined to give their Teacher’s body a more thorough preparation, the women disciples who had been watching everything came to the tomb on the third day after His burial.
The four Gospels vary in their details about what happened next with the women.3 According to Luke, to their astonishment “they found the stone rolled away from the tomb” and after going in, “did not find the body of the Lord Jesus.” Stunned and confused about what they were seeing, suddenly two angels in male form appeared to and asked them the question of this mortal age: ‘“Why do you seek the living among the dead?’” They followed their question with an equally amazing declaration: ‘“He is not here, but is risen!’” The angels then charged the women to remember the words of Christ foretelling His resurrection and they did (Luke 9:18-22, 24:1-8, NKJV).
All of the Gospels agree the women went to go tell the Lord’s eleven disciples what they had seen and been told by angels and the risen Lord Himself; their devotion richly rewarded with the distinction of being the first to see Him alive from the dead. Coming to the men as they still “mourned and wept,” their first reaction was not to believe. Peter and John however, on second impulse leapt to their feet and ran to the empty tomb to see for themselves (Matthew 28:7-10; Mark 16:7-11; Luke 24:9-12; John 20:1-18, NKJV). Meantime, the Lord appeared to two dejected male disciples not of the eleven traveling from Jerusalem who were kept from initially recognizing Him (Luke 24:13-16).4
After inquiring about their conversation concerning His suffering, crucifixion, lost hope He was Israel’s Redeemer and news from the women, the risen Lord rebuked their slowness to believe all of what it was written the prophets spoke. Then, “beginning at Moses and all the prophets, He expounded to them” everything about Himself and what had just happened as He later did the eleven who He also restored (Mark 16:12-13; Luke 24:17-47; John 21:1-19, NKJV).5 Witnesses of all that was fulfilled, the Lord commissioned the eleven to go tell it after being empowered by the Holy Spirit then, ascended to Heaven (Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:14-20; Luke 24:48-53; John 20:19-23; Acts 1:4-11).
Having added Matthias to their number to replace Judas (Acts 1:12-26), the twelve apostles and those gathered with them waited for the Holy Spirit to arrive. He came ten days after the Lord’s ascension on the Jewish Day of Pentecost and mightily filled everyone in the room where they were assembled causing them to praise God in human languages they had not previously learned; Peter stepping up to give biblical explanation of what was taking place and to preach the Gospel (Acts 2:1-39). On that day the Church of Jesus Christ was born with the apostles overseeing her (Acts 2:40-47). As for Peter and the other apostles, I write about the miraculous transformation the Holy Spirit wrought in them and wills for us in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics.6
With the Lord’s instruction and help they still fled, hid or escaped harm from persecution to live to boldly testify and preach another day and never denied Him or abandoned the faith--James being the first one martyred in His cause (Matthew 10:23; Acts 4:1-31, 5:12-42, 8:1-3, 12:1-19). It is Peter that teaches us to submit to unjust suffering trusting ourselves to God following the example of Christ he witnessed (1 Peter 2:18-25, 3:13-17); a teaching corruptly used by professed Christian American slave owners to compel the submission of my forefathers to their wretched institution of slavery and its evil abuses.7 In step with the apostle Paul, Peter also informs us the Lord’s light of hope never stopped shining at His death, but illuminated Hades (Acts 2:27; Ephesians 4:7-10; 1 Peter 3:18-22).
Therefore, let us in the darkness of these latter days be encouraged as we look to Christ our example and ever shining light of hope (Hebrews 6:9-20; 1 Peter 1:3-5)! As He taught, we are not only blessed to suffer for His cause in the Gospel and God’s Kingdom (Matthew 5:10-12), but filled with His light we are also “the light of the world” exposing the darkness as faithful witnesses (Matthew 5:14-16; Ephesians 5:8-14, NKJV). Suffering as He, we are glorified with Him having also overcome the darkness (Romans 8:14-25, 31-39)! Departing this life, we live and our light continues to shine in Heaven (Revelation 7:9-17)! And just as Christ fulfilled the prophecies of His first coming, so with His star portending it, His return with us (Matthew 24:29-31; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11; Jude 14-15).8
(This was my final post for 2020. Lord willing, my next post will appear Sunday evening, January 3, 2021. Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year filled with all the light of hope our risen, living Savior, Jesus Christ the Son of God imparts to the faithful among our readers waiting for Him!)
3 Detail variances do not discredit the whole resurrection account, but actually add authenticity to it since to this very hour witnesses of the same event will provide de-
tails that differ. One angel of the Lord or two does not change the fact the women found the tomb of Jesus empty as all four Gospels report!
4 In the same supernatural way these disciples were kept from recognizing the Lord, the twelve and all were kept from fully understanding what He was specifically
telling them about the suffering and death He would endure followed by His resurrection (Luke 9:43-45, 18:31-34). Hence, not understanding Christ was in part di-
vinely imposed to keep them from getting in the way as even beforehand, Peter shows he would have done (Matthew 16:21-23).
5 No doubt among the prophets, the Lord did not omit Isaiah 53! Also, please take note of the Lord’s straightforward, objective interpretation and application of God’s
Word as it is written. If He, the living Word as our example in everything handles the Bible this way, then, ought we not to do the same (John 1:1; 2 Timothy 2:15)?
6 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
clarity and updated web addresses in the footnotes is available at major internet booksellers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ChristianBooks.com and Apple (digi-
tal 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.
7 Folk of the same mind contrary to what Christ taught, commanded Peter on the day of His arrest and Peter’s teaching tied to this footnote also codified the right of
citizens to keep weapons and use them to violently defend themselves against perceived hostiles in the nation’s Constitution (Matthew 5:38-48, 15:1-9, 26:51-52).
The faithful in the Holy Spirit obey God’s Word before that of men even if it involves rights granted (Joshua 24:15; Matthew 6:24; Acts 4:19, 5:29)! Thus, obeying and
imitating Christ in major part, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led mostly professed Christian black Americans in the Holy Spirit to practice non-violent resistance with their
persecutors during his portion of the black Civil Rights Movement and won the day by the grace of God and to His glory! As Christ declared to Peter, they will die by
manmade weapons that take them up to violently resist the darkness. Surely, God will not honor any professed Christian that defies this teaching either. Too, God’s
judgment will bring an end to the practice of corrupting and setting aside His Word to further one’s own ends that has now, mushroomed out of control within profess-
ing Christianity (1 Peter 4:12-19)!
8 As I write in The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics, Christ’s suffering brought about salvation for the world and great reward to Him; our suffering is a tangible wit-
ness of the power of God’s salvation and Kingdom to the world and brings eternal blessing and reward to us too (Romans 1:16; 1 Corinthians 4:20)!
I concluded the June 3, 2018 two-part post, Feminism’s Entry Into The Churches warning as I have soberly and repeatedly over the last several years especially that a dramatic intensification of God’s judgment upon His house in America was imminent. Having used me in accord with 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 to biblically demolish feminism as one of many strongholds of deceit in His house, this day the Lord has me declaring the time for His intensified judgment in punishing the unrepentant disobedient individually and collectively has come (2 Corinthians 10:6)! He does so in total consistency with His judgment of ancient Israel for their rebellion against Him also.
It is absurd to the extreme for professed Christians and those that lead them that are guilty to assert what God did in judgments upon willfully disobedient Israel is of no concern for them today since Christians have a different and more intimate relationship with Him. However, the apostle Paul specifically directs Christians to examine and be warned by what happened to Israel “as examples,” (1 Corinthians 10:1-11, NKJV). Why would he do this if in fact, what happened between God and Israel has no serious implications for Christians? As history and present-day reality prove, professed Christians in the sinful flesh and denial are exactly like the Israelites of old (Jeremiah 2:35, 5:12-13)!
This idea that from God’s perspective the relational bond with Christians is thicker than with ancient Israel is false. Just casually reading through the Old Testament it quickly becomes apparent God saw Himself as a Husband and Father to Israel as in The Book Of Jeremiah where from the first seven chapters the Lord has caused me to anchor this discourse. God loves Israel and will yet completely fulfill His promise of the nation’s restoration after severe judgment for sin over millennia ends (Jeremiah 2:1-3, 3:4, 14-20). If you are a Christian you have been saved and brought near to God by grace through faith in Israel’s Messiah, the Lord Jesus (Romans 9:1-5; Ephesians 2:11-22).
And yes, we are born again and marked out by the Holy Spirit as belonging to God according to His New Covenant with Israel first after they broke the old one (John 1:12-13, 3:1-8; 2 Corinthians 1:21-22; Hebrews 8:7-13). But as many willfully refuse to accept, our new life, relationship with God and promise of eternally dwelling with Him is conditioned on continuing faith in (trust, confidence and reliance upon) Him and demonstrated by love motivated obedience to the end the same as Israel of old (Matthew 24:13; John 14:15-24; Romans 11:11-22; Hebrews 3:7-19). As Israel is the manifest example, ‘“The Lord will judge His people,’” (Hebrews 6:4-8, 10:26-31, 35-39, 11:6, NKJV).
As He had done from the Exodus in sending prophets to His rebel people, so, God called Jeremiah before conception in his mother’s womb to bear what turned out to be His final call to repentance and warning of impending judgment for disobedience and apostasy to Judah (Jeremiah 1, 7:21-26). Later, the prophet Ezekiel--a contemporary taken to Babylon in the first wave of captives, also brought God’s message to His rebellious people there (Ezekiel 1:28-3:11). Similarly, in these latter days I have been gifted and called a watchman/prophet to the Lord’s churches in accord with Ezekiel 33:1-9 and have consciously served as such since 1986; warning the Lord’s sword was drawing near.
Now--in what should be to no one’s surprise, the sword of the Lord in judgment upon His house in disobedience and apostasy has fully arrived in America. His charges are spiritually exactly the same as He brought against ancient Israel. Though outwardly many professed Christians claim to know and love Jesus, their hearts are engrossed with the idols of this world to include fellow, fallen human beings and self, success, material things, wealth, power--moving far away from the Lord and changing “their Glory for what does not profit,” (Jeremiah 2:4-13, NKJV). Brazenly, they sin and commit iniquity embracing this world’s ways such as feminism taught by demons and sexual immorality. Claiming innocence in deceit, they are unwilling to “receive correction,” (Jeremiah 2:14-3:5, 5:1-9, 7:27-28, NKJV).
However, the Lord is a witness against the unrepentant who will be punished! For besides sounding the trumpet of warning for His approaching sword, all of the Lord’s true prophets cry out against the sins of His people He has seen.1 But as ancient Judah would not give heed except superficially nor learn from sister Israel’s experience, neither have guilty professed American Christians given heed or learned from all Israel; insulated in falsely crafted doctrines of security (Jeremiah 3:6-13, 21-4:4, 5:20-31, 6:16-17, 7:1-11)! Though these doctrines of ‘“peace’” come from some well meaning teachers, they are still false! Otherwise, the teachers are false just like Judah’s false prophets proven wrong by God’s judgment that fell as foretold (Jeremiah 4:5-31, 5:10-19, 6:1-15, 18-30, 7:12-20, 29-34; 2 Peter 2, NKJV).
Too, as in ancient Israel, the prophets of ‘“peace’” today outnumber those of judgment in truth. But He comforts us that are true as He did Jeremiah (Jeremiah 14:10-16, NKJV). Thus, His judgment will be as the storm the Lord Jesus describes in Luke 6:46-49. Testing by way of severe persecution that tries every professed Christian soul to reveal faith and love in the faithful2 or impostors and rebels that fall away along with the withdrawal of the almost universal protection from calamity church and parachurch property graciously enjoyed has come as foretold (Matthew 24:9-28; 2 Thessalonians 1:3-2:4; 1 Peter 1:3-9, 4:12-19; Revelation 17:16-18:8).3 Hear His word to me the morning of May 31, 2018: “I will burn away the chaff in the fire of judgment until only a remnant is left ready to receive the Lord!”
1 All of my posts under the category, Call To Repent, are a starting point for how the Lord has used me to cry out against the sins of His people in love, grace, mercy and
with sober exhortation to repent to avert punishment!
2 The earlier reference to Ezekiel as among the first captives taken to Babylon should encourage faithful Christians--every aspiring strong man and great woman of God
in the image of Christ--now facing God’s intensified judgment upon His house. For with Ezekiel was also Daniel who though both were impacted by the adversities of
God’s judgment upon all Judah, they were still used mightily by Him and brought forth two of the Bible’s most significant prophetic books! So, let us be as they and all
of the faithful saints used of God in history to witness Christ and stand true to Him until He comes (Daniel 11:32-35; 1 Corinthians 16:13-14).
3 See among other posts The Falling Away, February 2, 2014, The Man Of Sin, February 23, 2014, The Prayers Of The Saints parts 1 and 2, March 16-23, 2014 and
Babylon Is Falling, August 23, 2015, all under the category, Bible Prophecy. Also, read Praise For The Lord God Almighty!, September 13, 2015 under the category,
Glory To God! and Willful And De Facto Apostates, March 20, 2016 under the category, The Faith.
Shortly after the greatest of all revivals commences, while earth’s inhabitants are going about their noisy routines, Heaven briefly goes quiet from its normally thunderous worshipful activities. As reported by the apostle John, the solemn silence in Heaven is a prelude to the divine warning judgments about to be unleashed on earth that lead finally to wrath. This time has come urged by the prayers of all the saints in both locales that are fragrant to God. In dramatic fashion, seven trumpets are given to seven angels that blown in Heaven, signal God’s actions to take place and countdown His coming Day of the Lord on the earth (Psalm 34:15, 119:126, 141:1-2; Revelation 6:9-11, 8:1-4).
The angel that had ministered the prayers of His saints before God, now, fills his censer with fire and throws it to the earth. Suddenly, there is a global wonder in the sky of loud noises, booming thunder, fierce lightning and a quake that rattles the entire planet at once! In an instant, God’s response to the prayers of His saints who have waited millennia for Him to act occurs and creates the fitting fear and alarm among humanity very clear “acts of God” should elicit (Revelation 8:5). Quickly recovering from the suddenness of this terrifying event and emboldened all the more, the faithful ratchet up their Kingdom work and warfare and stiffen their resolve to stand on the Lord’s side!
The seven angels prepare to blow (Revelation 8:6). The question of whether there is a God for all but the most cynical in denial is answered after the first four angels sound their trumpets of judgment (Revelation 8:7-12)! These “third” judgments fully demonstrate God’s control over nature and the cosmos as well as His ability to destroy all when and should He desire.9 Thus, as with the plagues upon Egypt, God’s first four judgments are meant to awaken unsaved mankind and their rulers to His superior reality. After graciously giving the unsaved an opportunity to repent and believe the Gospel to be saved (Ezekiel 33:11; 2 Peter 3:9), timeout on the field ends.
With the atmosphere still filled with smoke and the stench of death from decaying sea life, many will be those including non-remnant Jews and professed Christian religionists that willfully harden their hearts against the Gospel like Pharaoh who was not impressed with God’s display of power and resisted Him (Exodus 5:1-2).10 So, in support of His two-fold elect God will repeat another thing He did in Egypt: make a distinction between His people with the mark of the Holy Spirit and those without Him in the first of three woes an angel has warned about (Revelation 8:13). The game resumes with the first and goal attempt by Satan’s team to run its favorite persecution play against God’s faithful and Jews when immediately the fifth trumpet sounds.
Confusion ensues and the play is stopped dead in the backfield as God’s judgment summons Satan to release demonically controlled creatures that painfully sting only those without the mark of the Holy Spirit for five months; members of his own team of deceived mortals (Exodus 8:20-24; Revelation 9:1-12)!11 The pain is so great the unsaved want to die, but cannot do so. The temporary nature of this judgment and woe once more shows God’s grace and willingness to save. Though the faithful continue laboring to restore men, the results are negligible because instead of being humbled by their pain, the unsaved persist in their sins. The sixth trumpet sounds (Revelation 9:13-15).
Knowing plainly who God’s faithful are, Satan’s team is about to blast up the middle on its second and goal murderous play to steam roll into the end zone when reinforcements foretold from ancient times suddenly take the field (Joel 2:1-11; Revelation 9:16-19). The play is turned back by God’s army with a major loss of yards as one third of unsaved mankind then on earth is killed and eternally condemned! Humiliated, nevertheless, the now fully heart hardened remainder of unsaved mankind defiantly refuse to repent from their sins (Revelation 9:20-21). However, they are weary of God’s judgments and are reluctantly ready to concede to another of His demands through the Jews.
In echo of His demand of Pharaoh by way of Moses, God declares to the world rulers of the day as spoken to me and through the passionate insistence of Jews, “Let My people go worship Me at the Temple built on Zion’s hill for that purpose,” (Exodus 8:25-32)! God then calls His second timeout to allow the necessary details of His demand to unfold. Those details include the successful negotiation efforts of the still mortal Antichrist that result in Daniel’s seventieth week and the Temple worship covenant (Daniel 9:24-27). John is told by an angel there will be no more delays in the days just before the seventh trumpet sounds (Revelation 10-11:2). The game resumes with Satan carrying out a third and goal persecution screen pass play intended to harm the Jews in particular.
However, two men suddenly appear in the defense; God’s foretold two witnesses His faithful and worldwide Jewry recognize in the familiar plagues they freely bring on the earth to validate their prophetic utterances, glorify God and take out enemy blockers coming against them and Israel. They serve the first half of the seven year Temple worship covenant (Malachi 4:4-6; Revelation 11:3-6). During this period, Satan has trouble in Heaven too since the holy angels have made war against and defeat him and the heavenly hosts of his team; casting them to the earth. In “great wrath,” he presses the screen pass play that is stopped short of the original line of scrimmage by another divine miracle reprise from the days of Moses (Numbers 16:23-33; Revelation 12:1-16, NKJV).
9 I have referenced the judgment of Revelation 8:12 in a number of blogs over the years mostly noting the chaos it will cause when for His two-fold elect’s sake as
foretold, God shortens the end time days (Matthew 24:22; Mark 13:20) by making a day sixteen instead of the twenty-four hours humanity has known from
creation. Read the July 27, 2014 blog, God Of Order under the category, Instruction, to learn that while this judgment is a blessing to God’s two-fold elect and
all mankind because mortal life will be preserved, in the immediate face of its jarring suddenness, the world is thrown into debilitating fear, stress-filled be-
wilderment and disorder (Luke 21:25-26).
10 God’s 144,000 elect Jewish remnant will not accept the Gospel either because their repentance and complete conversion by His will awaits Christ’s Second Com-
ing (Zechariah 12:10-13:1) lest they lose their mortality required for their promised experience of David’s kingdom restored (Jeremiah 23:5-6). However, they will
not be hostile to the Gospel or its messengers who they understand like them, enjoy the Holy Spirit! By the way, this all being true, the teaching that the 144,000
are Gospel evangelists cannot be equally true.
11 The world’s love of fictional horror and hideous monsters to scare themselves is surely behind this judgment too which in perfect and real divine justice, painfully
terrifies the unsaved!
The call to spiritual unity the Lord led me to make in a recent post was to and is only possible among His followers genuinely repentant and revived by the Holy Spirit in the paradigm shift created by His Coronavirus judgment.1 This should not be shocking since authentic, Spirit-filled believers are strictly who the apostle Paul is speaking to when he issues his unity call to the church at Ephesus (Ephesians 4:1-6). It is also important to understand now, as the Lord’s Coronavirus judgment has ushered in another clear reality of the paradigm shift spawned with it: the launch of His days of separation not completed until after His Kingdom reign in this present earth and mortal age end.
The love of God in us and for each other that fosters unity is Christ’s standing “commandment” and instruction of His apostles to all disciples that would make up His Body, the Church (John 13:34-35, 15:9-12; Romans 5:5; 1 Thessalonians 4:9; 1 Peter 1:22, 4:8; 1 John 4:8-11, NKJV). The Lord Jesus is direct in declaring real love for Him is displayed in obedience to His commandments--agreed with or not; disobedience from Adam being why He had to come (John 1:29, 14:15, 19-24)! Likewise, the apostle John pulls no punches about the Lord’s standing commandment that His disciples love each other; describing those that refuse as still “in darkness,” (1 John 2:7-11, NKJV).
John goes on to mark the presence or absence of love for one’s Christian brother and practiced “righteousness” as a point of “manifest” separation between the “children of God and the children of the devil.” This separation was first made in the world by wicked Cain when he murdered his righteous brother, Abel, and continues to this hour. John further describes a professed Christian that does not love, but hates his brother as abiding “in death” and being “a murderer” (Genesis 4:3-8; 1 John 3:10-15, NKJV). He also calls the professed Christian man who claims to love God, but “hates his brother,” “a liar” (1 John 4:20-21, NKJV).2
There is then, a very real separation between the children of God and those of Satan in the world and within professing Christianity! We understand why this is so in the world since Christians are called out of it to follow Christ (John 15:19; Galatians 6:14; James 4:4; 1 John 2:15-17). While we remain in the world physically, we are no longer of it spiritually, morally or ethically (John 17:9-19; Romans 12:1-2)! Indeed, this world--enemy territory--is hostile to Christ, His Kingdom and us in Him (Ephesians 6:12; 1 John 5:18-20). We supposedly understand this too, and the fact we are destined by God to be separated from the wicked of this world forever (Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43, 47-50)!
However, why until now, has God allowed His children and the children of Satan as religionist impostors, rebels and apostates to co-exist in the churches or has He? From the beginning Christ and His apostles warned and taught about separating out and barring from among the churches those that would not stop sinning against a brother or obey right (sound) doctrine (Matthew 18:15-20; Romans 16:17-20; 2 Thessalonians 3:14-15; Titus 3:9-10; 2 John 7-11). And while it is true “certain men crept in unnoticed,” the apostles with the Lord fatally judged even some sinning believers as an example to all (Acts 5:1-11; 1 Corinthians 5:1-8, 11:23-32; Jude 4, NKJV).
Historically after the apostles, the church fathers stood against many false teachers through the 4th century using excommunication and public repudiation. At the end of the 4th until the 19th century Christianity the religion of men manifested prominently among Roman Catholics with others and Protestants that followed, wrongly and wickedly took it into their own hands to put to death those that were heretics in their eyes to include true saints and prophets of God sent to call them to repentance (Revelation 17:1-6)!3 Today though, like the church at Corinth fearfully slow to deal with a man in sexual immorality so, many churches all manner of sin that sanction it too (1 Corinthians 5:9-13). They do this to fill empty seats, give support to and serve their manmade religious purposes.
Church discipline of any kind in this 21st century epoch of tolerance is virtually non-existent in all but the most conservative (not necessarily biblically so) of churches. The result is much carnality, corruption, wickedness, turmoil, acrimony and falsehood from false prophets, brethren, teachers and churches (Matthew 24:11; 2 Timothy 3:1-9, 13; 2 Peter 2:1-3; Revelation 18:1-3) influenced by unchecked demonic deceit as foretold (1 Timothy 4:1-5). Now, the Lord during His Coronavirus judgment has served notice to all professed Christians emptied out of their buildings that He has come to the end of His forbearance with the status quo. With judgment, His days of separation are underway within professing Christianity; the Lord, separating out His faithful from the wicked!
1 See the April 26, 2020 post, There Is Only One..., under the category, Instruction.
2 Here is where the glaring inconsistency of being a professed Christian and racially bigoted is so striking! John calls such a person what he or she really is since God
who is love and has commanded Christians to love one another is not at all behind ethnic or racial prejudice. So, you cannot be both a Christian and a bigot! This
means the evident hardened, institutionalized racial bigotry extant in professing American Christianity is not ordained of God or His Word, but a counterfeit Christianity
of manmade invention. See my most recent February 2, 2020 post on racism, Ethnically Diverse Mankind Is Of God and on February 3, 2019, Christianity In Black
And White both under the category, Black History.
3 Read the Wikipedia and Encyclopedia Britannica for articles on Christian heresy for more details.
Continuing to reflect on the importance of faithful Christians anchoring God’s Word in our hearts as the Lord led me to begin to instruct about in the two-part post beginning August 18, 2019, Lined Up Behind Jesus and followed up by last week’s, Loving The Word Of Truth, both under the category, Instruction, I am thoroughly sobered to consider how over the top foolish it truly is to neglect God’s Word at this late hour. Not only is the Word of truth instruction, comfort, hope and life among other things to us that study and practice it, but also through its many uniquely God provided prophecies of these and days still to come, it is light illuminating the times and future.1
At any hour it is foolish to neglect God’s Word! But it is to be especially lacking in discernment, intimate knowledge and the fear of God to do so now for whatever reasons. Indeed, the faithful Christian’s ability to spiritually develop, be fruitful, avoid being deceived or falling away in these latter days depends on knowing God and His Word! Peter, one of the eyewitness apostles of Christ, wrote to first century Christians in his second New Testament letter: “Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.” He goes on to stress how important such knowledge is to God’s end that they (and we) share in “the divine nature,” (2 Peter 1:1-4, NKJV).
Furthermore, Peter’s instruction to “add to” what they were gaining for eternal benefit from the knowledge of God and Christ (to include more knowledge), leads to his sober warning about the consequences of failing to do this (2 Peter 1:5-11, NKJV). Already surrounded by devouring wolves of falsehood, Peter is reminding Christians then living in what he and other New Testament writers quoting the Old called “the last days” (Genesis 49:1; 2 Timothy 3:1; 2 Peter 3:3, NKJV) of “the present truth” (and us too, clearly in the latter of such days nearly 2,000 years later). As well, he wanted to leave them what would be a written reminder we by God’s grace have (2 Peter 1:12-15, NKJV).2
Peter adds his reminder of the present truth not composed of “cunningly devised fables,” but the eyewitness experience of he and other apostles with both Christ’s “majesty” and the Father’s glorious voice from Heaven to the already preserved “prophetic word” of God that fulfilled in what they had seen and heard, “confirmed” its accuracy. This being so, the apostle insists his readers “do well to heed” the prophetic Word “as a light that shines in a dark place” giving illuminating understanding of God’s will and workings concerning Christ to their unknowing hearts until all is fulfilled; knowing by faith how Bible prophecy has come about from God (2 Peter 1:16-21, NKJV).
Plainly from the foregoing taught by the apostle Peter, God wants Christians to have not only a grasp of the propositional truths of His Word, but at least a working general knowledge and understanding of Bible prophecy particularly as it relates to Christ (Luke 24:25-27, 44-48). God is going somewhere with His Word of truth and Christ is it! For this reason, church pastors that shun teaching or even discussing Bible prophecy as part of instructing God’s people are sinning against Him and hurting them.3 This is especially disastrous in these darkening latter days since the light of prophecy Peter speaks of shining in our hearts is a surpassingly great help to our persevering faith.
Truly, it is near impossible to avoid ever saying anything about prophecy since all propositional biblical truth coalesces with and is properly fulfilled in God’s prophetic Word!4 As with the historical and narrative forms of Scripture, God’s prophetic Word when encountered is to be objectively read, interpreted and understood as the One who gave it leads!5 Yes, men over the centuries have given a stunning array of interpretations to the many symbols and symbolic expressions of Bible prophecy.6 But the objective, straightforward approach led to the Jews, for example, expecting the coming of the Lord Jesus at a certain time from Daniel’s prophetic writings (Daniel 9:20-25). Also, their religious leaders even in unbelief spoke of where He would be born from Micah 5:2 (Matthew 2:1-6).
Moreover, the Lord Jesus certainly had Daniel’s prophecy in mind when He warned of events that would transpire after His departure and into a final end time period. As Daniel foretold and the Lord gave more specific details, launched by Caesar Nero and finished by Vespasian, Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed in A.D. 70. The Jewish people were scattered in the overflowing display of Roman military might. “The war” ultimately between God and Satan would continue and “wrath” follow the Jews wherever they went until the end (Daniel 9:26; Matthew 24:1-2, 6-7a; Luke 21:20-24, NKJV). Back in the land since 1948, God prepares Israel for the events of the final week of seventy prophetic weeks He gave Daniel by the angel, Gabriel, counting down to His end (Daniel 9:27).
It is at the midpoint of this final week kept from coming by God until He is ready that the Lord Jesus makes direct reference to Daniel’s prophecy in Daniel 9:27. He warns any that understand the prophecy and live in Israel at the time the “abomination of desolation” in the Temple (this clearly asserts a Jewish Temple is to be built--Ezekiel 40-43:12; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-8) is fulfilled to “flee” because “great tribulation” follows (Matthew 24:15-21, NKJV). Please note in this brief, but powerful example how the ancients and the Lord Jesus Himself not only took Bible prophecy seriously, but also objectively read and literally understood it. It is imperative that we do the same in these latter days so that we will walk in the light of knowledge and not the darkness of ignorance.7 The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
1 Read the May 5, 2019 post, Out Of Step With The Times?, under the category, Bible Prophecy.
2 Not only does Peter know he’s going to die (no rapture for him), but how, because the Lord told him in advance (John 21:18-19). Interestingly, both Peter in the pas-
sage cited (vs. 13-14) and Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:1-4 describe their mortal bodies as a tent, that is, a temporary dwelling. Something that is temporary is not meant
to be permanent as Paul makes clear in 2 Corinthians 5:1 when he speaks of “our earthly house, this tent” being “destroyed,” but receiving “a building from God” which
is permanent by virtue of being “eternal” (NKJV). As different as a tent is in form and quality from a building, so, after the metamorphosis to immortality, our bodies
Paul also writes about in 1 Corinthians 15:49-53.
3 See the April 30, 2017 post, God, His Prophets and Word, under the category, Glory To God!
4 A perfect example of this is the declaration by Moses, “The Lord will judge His people,” (Deuteronomy 32:36a, NKJV). Not only had Israel been issued this truth pro-
positionally, but heard it repeatedly as warnings in prophecies and experienced it in fulfillment. For this reason, the apostles and other New Testament writers also
prophetically warn professed Christians the propositional truth God judges His people has not changed (1 Corinthians 10:1-11; Hebrews 10:26-31; 1 Peter 4:17-18).
5 How could we not be humble enough to recognize that since “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God,” so, prophecy as part of it is best interpreted with the guid-
ance of Him who gave it as Peter would surely agree (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter 1:21, NKJV)?
6 The safest ground to stand on for interpreting prophetic symbols in the Bible is to use another of the sound principles of interpretation: Scripture interprets Scripture.
Typically, a symbol in the Bible is interpreted at first use or thereafter and used consistently throughout. Download the free document, Seven Principles Of Bible Inter-
pretation, in the Strong Man Store.
7 Every aspiring strong man and great woman of God in the image of Christ is challenged in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics to operate in the knowl-
edge of God’s prophetic Word. Get a print copy or digital download of the book at major internet booksellers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ChristianBooks.com
and Apple (digital only). You can also get a print copy of the book in the Strong Man Store.
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