Palm Sunday is certainly different though, not unusual this year as pestilence goes. The world is under siege by a new strain of microscopic viral elements that is sickening and killing human beings by the thousands across the earth. Right out of a science fiction movie scientists are scrambling to find a remedy and governments to quell panic and effect policies such as social distancing that are hoped will slow the spread of the Coronavirus or Covid-19. Meanwhile, the unsaved “where’s God in a crisis” crowd spew their blasphemy and closely related scoffing professed Christians deny He has anything do with much less to say in the midst of it. Really?
Each year for nearly 2,000 years we Christians have commemorated Palm Sunday as the one and only full on public assertion by Jesus of Nazareth to be Israel’s Messiah. He did so not with words, but the actions of fulfilling the prophet Zechariah’s prophecy of how He as the Messiah would one day enter Jerusalem--“Lowly and riding on a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey,” (Zechariah 9:9; Matthew 21:1-11, NKJV). Later in the same week He as the Messiah would be arrested, tried and condemned to death by crucifixion fulfilling yet other prophecies of His action to save His people from their sins. God resurrected Him on the third day after certifying His successful mission (Psalm 22)!
From just the foregoing it is clear God speaks with not just words, but actions past and present as Scripture attests (Psalm 19:1-6; Romans 1:18-23). He is speaking to all the earth right now for those that will give heed! However, as the prophet Isaiah some 700 years prior cried out, “Who has believed our report” in response to Israel and the world’s unbelief at what God accomplished in His Son, Jesus Christ, to save all from sin and eternal death (Isaiah 53, NKJV), so, today, many even among professing Christianity refuse to hear Him speaking not just in the current Coronavirus, but the many foretold latter day calamities occurring in the world (Luke 21:9-11; Revelation 6:1-7).
So, what is God saying? The Coronavirus is a major magnitude “shot across the bow” to the world that God has turned a corner on His forbearance with mankind. As the Lord led me to write in social media posts that began March 15, 2020 blowing the trumpet of warning He gave me in 1986 (Ezekiel 33:1-9; Amos 3:6-8), He foretold “such things as we are experiencing in our world today would occur and uptick in the rhythms of a pregnant woman’s birth pains as Christ’s return nears (Matthew 24:3-8).” “Gracious, merciful and ‘longsuffering,’ God has given mankind nearly two millennia to get saved by Him through the Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-4; 2 Peter 3:9, NKJV).”
“Time is about up!” “God has presently humbled the world with microscopic organisms, but worse is coming not because He hates and wants to destroy mankind, but to cause stubborn rebels that refuse to repent to look up and recognize Him as He to whom all must give an account as sinners (Isaiah 45:22-24)!” For He in love “commands all men everywhere to repent” to be saved from His coming set day to judge the world for sin (Acts 17:30-31, NKJV). This is why no God called preacher (Romans 10:14-15) should be refraining from preaching the Gospel or Christian witnessing Christ (Acts 1:8) during this Coronvirus outbreak or any calamity while comforting and helping the affected.1
Because of rampant disobedience to even the most basic commands and instructions of the biblical faith along with overflowing falsehood and apostasy, Christians and their churches are being spoken to by God too!2 Professed Christian pastors and teachers where guilty are called to repent from their own agenda, messaging and false teaching building followings, legacies and church empires.3 With many cancellations and churches not able to meet for services, God in remedial judgment has called a timeout and is making this a time for us to consider our practice of the biblical faith as stewards4 and what the Church is truly about under Christ as Lord; repenting as needed!
In a March 17th social media post I wrote, “Churchmen, this time of righteous social distancing required by governments is also God’s merciful advance look at what not being able to go to church looks like. Will you be instructing your household from the Bible and leading them in worship as God expects or has your exclusive dependence on the local church to do this for you made you clueless about how to do this as the Lord led me to write would be the case for many if there is no church to go to?”5 If not, you need to repent from your dereliction at home and co-dependence on the local church. Likewise I wrote, “Church leaders you know you are guilty and need to repent to whatever extent you have caused men and women to depend more on you and ‘the church’ than on the Lord!”
Moreover, “the world as we have known it is never going to be the same again after this Coronavirus episode. Will you be leading the church you serve to return to what in too many cases is sin in disobedience as it regards not teaching men to lead in their house or allowing them to do so in God’s or will you repent as you ought setting an example (1 Timothy 2:8-3:13; 1 Peter 5:1-4)?” As the Lord Jesus showed, God from the beginning of His Kingdom cause in the Gospel has been reaching and restoring men as His crucial assigned leaders (Matthew 4:17-22); a fact I write about in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics.6 There is much to repent from! The issue is will you hypocritically go into these holy days beginning today refusing His gracious chance to do so?
(There will not be a post on Resurrection Sunday. I will be taking it off to do as I do annually to celebrate the triumphant resurrection of my Lord and His grace to save a wretch like me on the same occasion in 1977--some 1,944 years later! Lord willing, my next post will be on April 19, 2020.)
1 Some falsely teach contrary to Scripture God is not behind this or any other calamity and only seek to comfort and help. See the January 3, 2016 post, The Never
Changing God and Now Is The Day Of Salvation posted December 4, 2016 both under the category, Call To Repent. Preachers, read also my January 10, 2016 post,
God’s Appointed Preacher, under the category, Instruction.
2 Take your pick of the many posts the Lord has had me to make under the category, Call To Repent, looking for reasons rooted in sin and disobedience He is calling
professed Christians and their churches to repentance!
3 Pastor, reflect deeply on the September 27, 2015 post, Empire Building On God’s Program, under the category, Call To Repent. You have no biblical mandate or ex-
cuse to build an empire; only your ego and selfish ambition drive you as those of old (1 Samuel 15:10-12; Daniel 4:28-30; Acts 20:28-30) and God has humbled you.
4 Read my recent two-part post, Torn Between Two Masters that began on March 15, 2020 under the category, Call To Repent.
5 Read the two-part post beginning January 5, 2020 Revelation’s Seven Churches In Time, under the category, Bible Prophecy. Also, the Lord led me to write a free one
sheet resource, Men Leading Family Worship At Home. It is intended to help willing Christian men step up to lead worship in their house during this Coronavirus pan-
demic and going forward as part of their regular spiritual leadership responsibility in the home in addition to leading the family out to participate in a local church when
that option is available. Get this free resource now in the Strong Man Store!
6 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 in the Strong Man Store.
The challenges professing Western Christianity has of maintaining any kind of relevancy and authoritative standing as “ambassadors for Christ” in the world are rooted not so much in the strength of its secular and religious messengers in opposition, but our failure to stay consistently on biblical point in Word and deed with our own message! While it is true Christians are not perfect or become so on this side of glory, we have, in spite of this, been commissioned by our Lord to represent His glorious resurrected reality, the truths and power of His Word in our lives and deeds as His ambassadors (Luke 24:44-49; John 13:34-35; Acts 2; 2 Corinthians 5:17-21, NKJV).
Alas, though, in these latter days professing Western Christianity is willfully fractured many thousands of ways with equal numbers of voices speaking outside of the Word while at the same time claiming adherence to it; confusing many within and especially without that are watching and listening as they are continually summoned to join in (1 Corinthians 1:10-13, 14:33). No less of an issue in this madness by way of example, is divorce. While some professed Christian leaders as solace attempt to tout that the divorce rate among Christians is far less than what it is among those of the world, the Lord’s standard of zero beyond the two instances He allows means He is not pleased!1
The divergent permissions guilty pastors, elders and other leaders are giving to allow divorce beyond what the Lord does is a shameful spiritual and social disaster! Some, as Rev. Pat Robertson did on his 700 Club television show in 2011, honestly seek to help folk in painful struggles. But this does not alter the truth that the Lord’s instructions are being disobeyed. This edited 2011 repost is presented not to put Rev. Robertson in a bad light, but to call us all who genuinely care in the Body of Christ to sober up and consider what we are doing even for compassion’s sake when we go against and lower God’s standards and very importantly, how the watching world really processes it.
Once again, unless we delight in being hypocrites, the Lord reminds us as Christians we have no rebuke for the world from His Word on any topic much less divorce if we ourselves are actively guilty of the same and without His allowed just cause (Romans 2:1-3). To his credit, I recently heard Rev. Robertson give counsel affirming the biblical worldview that the marriage vow is for life.
Originally Posted September 18, 2011
I have admired Rev. Pat Robertson, Founder of the Christian Broadcasting Network and host of its 700 Club for over thirty years. I have all of the empathy in the world for him in the times he has mis-spoken, interpreted or applied Scripture outside of biblical orthodoxy. The Lord knows I do not believe I know it all either, but have as my unbreakable guiding principle to stick unequivocally with the plain teaching of the Bible even when it does not seem fair or right to my sinful flesh or popular. This is where I believe my elder and brother in the faith went wrong this past week in offering his opinion on marriage to a person with Alzheimer’s as I watched the program.
Shamefully, only because the secular news outlets monitor Rev. Robertson’s 700 Club show watching for him to say something they can seize upon to hold him up to ridicule, did they pick up on his suggestion to a viewer question that divorce would be acceptable in the case of one married to a spouse suffering with Alzheimer’s because, technically, that spouse may as well be dead. My brother is wrong, of course, to give a permission the Lord does not! As I write to men in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics,2 the Lord’s design of marriage is until death as we commonly understand it as the total cessation of body life (Matthew 19:4-6; Romans 7:1-3; 1 Corinthians 7:39).
Traditional Christian marital vows are based on the Judeo-Christian teaching of the Bible that physical death is the only God ordained separation of a husband and wife. Divorce and desertion as separating factors are accounted for as accommodation to human sin, not perfect divine will (Matthew 19:7-9; 1 Corinthians 7:10-16). Dementia and other debilitating issues of the mind were present in the first century too (Matthew 4:23-24), but were not taught by the Lord Jesus or His apostles as reasons to divorce.3 Therefore, in God’s program there is no instance of technical death or anything else other than what He has permitted that gives a Christian release from his marital vows.
Sickening to me was the hypocrisy of the secular media that actually found a reason tied exclusively to emotion and sentimentality to support lifelong marriage and gloat over the mistaken preacher. It is a lesson for every aspiring strong man and great woman of God that we are to stick with God’s script, the Bible and “lean not on” our “own understanding” even attempting to be sympathetic as our dear brother was obviously seeking to do with the husband whose wife suffered with Alzheimer’s (Proverbs 3:5, NKJV). The better, biblical answer would have been to counsel the man to honor his marital vows and seek strength from the Lord to bear up under this admittedly excruciating trial (Philippians 4:13).
1 See the March 24, 2019 post, Restoring Marriage As God Designed, under the category, The Cause.
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 I have heard most if not all of the reasons professed Christians like persons of the world want to divorce in these latter days and they differ little from those of history
in which God has witnessed it all. Yet, He does not grant divorce except as narrowly allowed in His Word because He hates it (Malachi 2:13-16)! God is not cruel,
but we even as professed Christians can be very selfish and wicked--both men and women; willing to break the marital covenant vows and denigrate marriage
originating from God to have our way. This is also what is so spiritually disgusting from the Lord’s perspective about the way many churches and Christian entities
treat almost any divorce as an unfortunate event that a doting God wills to help them overcome by remarriage, rather than as a painful tragedy of immense propor-
tions in which an offended God will help heal only the injured party in obedience to His Word; forgive with repentance the offender, but allow the natural conse-
quences to unfold on both parties involved to head them off from repeating the same errors again that led to divorce in the first place--if they will give heed. The Bi-
ble's God will never let divorce be “no consequence!”
The holy days of Passover, Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday have come and gone now, and the Coronavirus pestilence has continued to take its toll in human suffering and death across the earth as many in the medical community feared. The frantic hunt for a remedy continues also though, it has actually been available from the outset. However, the world in sinful pride and obstinacy does not want to seriously consider it. Like it or not this is due in some measure to especially professed Western Christians not being willing to implement the remedy themselves and credibly proclaim it to the world or in follow up to my April 5, 2020 post, did anybody repent as called upon by God?1
Since the Coronavirus is not His ordained end for mankind, let the scientists keep working for a cure and vaccine that God in grace and mercy may grant them to finally obtain though, this pestilence will remain with others to follow. That said, I understand why the unsaved wicked have an aversion to repentance from sin having once been among them. But I confess to continuing amazement that this is the case among professed Christians to whom at the Lord’s command since 1986, I have been blowing the trumpet of warning He gave me and sounding His call to repentance (Ezekiel 33:1-9)! Professed Christians have ostensibly only gained entry into Christ through repentance and faith.
Supposedly, the Gospel was to them as it should have been the joyous announcement that God is willing to forgive all of the past transgressions, sins and iniquities of fallen sinners that repent and believe in the atoning death, burial and resurrection of His Son, Jesus Christ. Those that did so were supposedly brought to new birth and eternal life by the Holy Spirit as He indwelt them and reconciled to God in New Covenant relationship (Acts 2:36-39; Romans 1:16-17, 3:21-26, 5:6-11, 8:1-6). Knowing salvation’s cost and our Holy Father’s eternal hostility to sin, supposedly they were regularly confessing and repenting from it to avoid breaking fellowship (Romans 6; 1 John 1:5-2:2).
Alas, though, in the likeness of my ministry predecessors I have been blowing the trumpet in futility to a professed people of God that refuse to hear! From the leaders to the people the many are open rebels against the will, way and Word of God as was ancient Judah right up to and during His judgment that sent them to Babylon in 586 B.C. Indeed, as with Judah in those days so, the wickedly bold in the churches today answer God’s call to repentance with ‘“What have I done,’” (Jeremiah 8:4-7, NKJV)? Consequently, the prophet Ezekiel was commissioned and sent to Judah labeled a “rebellious nation” and “house” as captives in Babylon (Jeremiah 10:17-18; Ezekiel 1:28-2:5, NKJV)!
I learned to read the old fashioned way using simple books with simple phrases like, “See spot run.” The accompanying picture helped me understand what I was reading. Now, God has made the commandments of His Word plain enough as written for the simplest minds and hearts to understand (2 Corinthians 1:12-14). He has also given us the Holy Spirit as our Teacher to make things even plainer (John 14:15-26, 16:12-15; 1 John 2:26-27). Thus, when Christ, for example, commands with supporting doctrine through His apostle that women are not to stand in usurpation “to teach or have authority over a man,” it is plain enough to understand as “See spot run” (1 Timothy 2:11-15, NKJV)!
But like the rebels of ancient Judah, after a century of incremental disobedience many in the churches today have fully cast off what the Word of God says about women teaching and taking authority over adult men; attempting with the world to re-define sin and sign God’s name to it in the process (Psalm 2:1-3).2 They also insist the teaching of Christ’s handpicked apostle was parochial, wrongheaded and uninspired personal thinking not proper for a more enlightened time.3 Instead, what they think, feel and believe has taken priority.4 As a result, they do not answer God’s call to repent because in their eyes and that of the god they have invented in idolatry, they have not sinned!
As He spoke to Israel’s tribes, God would know what else can He do and what He did to you that you spurn His love and great salvation (Hosea 6:4-6; Micah 6:1-5)? In His Coronavirus judgment where you cannot go to church (Isaiah 1:10-14; Amos 5:21-24), you cajole and hope speaking to God of His love and mercy. You also fast and make prolonged public prayers for the pestilence to end and revival. But the Lord does not hear you because there is no soul deep repentance or turning from sin (Isaiah 1:15, 59:1-8) like king David (Psalm 51:1-17) and when we first came to Him (Acts 19:18-19; 2 Corinthians 7:10-11).5 There will be no revival except among those individual Christians that have met with God and thoroughly repented from their sins (Isaiah 1:16-19)!6
Evidence of His reviving work is men restored in the Body of Christ as the whole of God’s Word instructs.7 Without complete soul deep repentance and Holy Spirit fired revival that comes to individual believers and sweeps widely across Western Christianity, expect more severe judgment for all the world to see as befell Jonah who also rebelled against God (Isaiah 1:20; Ezekiel 33:10-11; Jonah 1:1-16). Afterward, those restored in revival will be wholly obedient to the Lord as was Jonah after his time in “the fish’s belly,” (Jonah 1:17-2:10, NKJV). Too, the world’s resistance to repent as ancient Nineveh once did at the preaching of Jonah will be briefly, but fruitfully overcome (Jonah 3).8 The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
1 The post is entitled, God Is Speaking, under the category, Call To Repent.
2 See the November 9, 2014 post, Re-defining Sin, under the category, Call To Repent. Not doing what the Word as it is written says is willful disobedience; hypocrisy
and self-delusion if one also claims to love the Lord (1 John 5:3).
3 This is all biblically refuted by me as the Lord leads in the second Appendix of my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics. Get a print copy or digital down-
load 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 in the
Strong Man Store.
4 Read the May 31, 2015 post, What Does God’s Word Say?, under the category, Instruction. It culminates a month of posts in which the Lord led me to take on the ar-
guments of “I think (which includes the popular, but unbiblical construction of personal theologies and truth statements), I feel and I believe.” It does not matter what
you or I think, feel or believe about God and His Word no matter how educated. Only what God’s Word objectively and honestly interpreted and applied actually says
matters (Proverbs 3:5)! This is a point the Lord also led me to stress in posts directed to the religious educated elite within Christendom. See the October 18, 2015
post, Pursuing Credentials And Authority and the two-part, Religious Educated Elite Wiser Than God? beginning October 25, 2015 all under the category, Call To Re-
5 See the August 31, 2014 post, Soul Deep Repentance, under the category, Call To Repent.
6 Read The Sham Cry For Revival under the category, Call To Repent, posted on August 17, 2014. Spiritual revival from God is not a public event though it may take
place in such a setting. It is the aftermath of soul deep repentance in the individual hearts of believers that have totally forsaken their rebellion and turned back to God!
Guilty women, for example, would renounce their transgressions and iniquities involved in serving the worldly feminist cause; voluntarily walking away from pastorates,
leading worship and all positions where they take authority over and teach adult men in the churches and related entities. Guilty male pastors would completely re-
nounce their pride, ego and selfish ambitions that have led to phony, entertainment rooted so-called worship with lights and smoke to attract a crowd not to God, but
7 This is in accord with the three-part post the Lord gave me that began on January 8, 2017, In God’s Revival Men Are Restored, under the category, The Cause.
8 Read the six-part post that begins July 30, 2017, Restoring Men In the Two Minute Drill, under the category, The Cause.
While the Lord Jesus most assuredly initially speaks to the seven messengers and the corporate assemblies of Asia they lead, He concludes every message speaking to the individuals that make them up. The proof of this beyond His repeated use of the phrase “He who has an ear...” in Revelation 2-3 I have already referenced is another like it: “To him” or “He who overcomes.” The Lord unmistakably addresses Himself to any individual within the particular church He is speaking to that will give heed to His words. This is not unusual since His Church is made up of individuals that have believed on Him as “the Christ, the Son of the living God,” (Matthew 16:13-18, NKJV)!
Nevertheless, an elementary truth Christ knows, but many religionists especially fail to grasp is that not everyone assembled together in a local church is truly a born again believer in Him (John 3:1-8). There are “false brethren,” “impostors” and de facto apostates in many ostensibly “Christian” churches that even hold titles of authority (Galatians 2:1-5; 2 Timothy 3:13; Titus 1:10-16, NKJV). This is due to a number of reasons to include the lowered, unbiblical standards of membership many have tied to the practice of Christianity as a religious invention of men and the purposeful infiltration of Satan’s emissaries (2 Corinthians 11:10-15; Jude 3-4). Thus, a local church anywhere on the planet is not necessarily the Church in miniature!5
As a consequence, membership in a local church is not tantamount to membership in the Church of Jesus Christ either. So-called “opening the doors of the church” to invite non-members “to join” without ascertaining their actual spiritual status or presenting the biblical Gospel (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) with the requirement to repent and believe it is traditional in many religion bound Protestant churches desperate to fill empty pews.6 However, it is not membership with benefits as in a worldly social club affiliation that the writer of Hebrews advocates in his exhortation, “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together,” (Hebrews 10:24-25, NKJV).7
His advocacy is for the regular gathering together of the Lord’s faithful as individuals to Him in any number and kind of settings to include jails and homes (Acts 1:12-14, 2:40-47, 12:1-12, 16:23-25; Romans 16:5). The well intended and wicked religionists that have made membership, regular attendance and participation in local, corporate brick and mortar churches alone the standard and core of the Christian experience rather than relationship with Christ and the New Testament understanding of assembling together as His Church have set the unknowing, biblically illiterate and weak among them up for spiritual disaster in these latter days. Truly, what will these folk do when they can’t “go to church” anymore as is the case for our persecuted brethren in many places?
The Lord Jesus also speaks to the individuals that make up the seven churches of Asia because His standards of Church membership and discipleship are high. This is the second part of His prophetic warning. Contrary to popular manmade Christianity, people are not just going to get into Heaven and receive immortal glory “any old how.” Repeatedly the Lord declares it is “him” or “he that overcomes.” The two churches of Asia He commends in full are composed of saints that have endured persecution driven “tribulation,” “poverty,” “prison” and testing; persevering as our Lord “Faithful and True” to the death in faithfulness (Revelation 2:8-11, 3:7-14, NKJV). These faithful saints keep His “works until the end,” (Revelation 2:26, NKJV).8
That the end for persevering faithful saints on earth includes going through “the great tribulation” is bound up in the unfolding prophetic content the apostle John is to write concerning “the things which will take place after this;” that is, prophetic reality contemporary with the seven churches of Asia, but also beyond them (Revelation 1:19, NKJV). Revelation 5:1-10 shows Christ as the “Root of David” and “the Lamb” along with “the saints” and His Church to that moment already in Heaven (NKJV). In the overview prophetic sweep of earth activity up to Christ’s Second Coming embodied in the seals of Revelation 6, the fifth seal (vs. 9-11) makes clear martyrdom in suffering among His saints on earth will be God’s permitted norm--something they are prepared for (Romans 8:31-39).
Revelation 7:9-17 indisputably shows individual saints from “all nations, tribes, peoples and tongues” “come out of the great tribulation” which along with what God does in the heavens and upon the earth, involves all manner of suffering and martyrdom in the all out war finally prosecuted against us by the Antichrist (think Hitler’s “final solution”) as other parts of Bible prophecy and Revelation corroborates (Daniel 7:15-25, 8:15-25; Matthew 24:9-22; Revelation 12:7-13:18, 14:6-13, NKJV). God will also permit the Antichrist to destroy brick and mortar church buildings as is already occurring in many places amidst all of his destructive acts; eliciting a cry from Heaven for God’s people to exit she that is “The Mother Of Harlots” and owns treasured property (Revelation 17:1-18:8, NKJV).
Nevertheless, at the end of the three and a half years of the great tribulation and before the full outpour of God’s wrath, as He promised, the Lord will suddenly appear in clouds of glory. With His thunderous shout, the commanding voice of an archangel and blast of God’s trumpet, the Lord will gather all of His saints to Himself in the sky. The dead in Christ will be raised first and take flight to Him, while the remnant of faithful saints still alive will bypass death, be translated and follow after them (Matthew 24:29-31; Mark 13:24-27; 1 Corinthians 15:50-57; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:11; 2 Thessalonians 1:3-12; Revelation 14:14-16, 16:15, 19:6-16)! The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
5 It is the universal Church made up of His faithful followers that Christ builds “and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18, NKJV) not every
single local church calling itself Christian (2 Timothy 2:19-21).
6 When unbelievers “join” they are by default impostors, false brethren, devils and tools of Satan as are willful or de facto apostates whether they realize it or not. Is
it any wonder the inevitable historic real life carnal church drama created is making for great film and television drama in these latter days while simultaneously
bringing shame to Christ?
7 Temporal membership in a local brick and mortar church certainly does have its benefits, but they do not exceed the greater benefits of membership in the univer-
sal Church of Jesus Christ! As a result, the value of membership in a local church apart from authentic relationship with Christ and membership in His Church is
exalted well beyond its value and over sold. Moreover, churches that use joining as a test of loyalty to them especially when they are unfaithfully sinning against
Christ are hypocritical and wicked (Matthew 23:15)! Even so, a local brick and mortar church that faithfully preaches the biblical Gospel for salvation, teaches and
diligently strives to model obedience to God’s Word as it is written, equips the saints for and facilitates them in biblical ministry and mission as a priority is well
pleasing to the Lord and useful in His Kingdom causes during the time that is left to operate openly. See the July 23, 2017 post, Churchmen In The Two Minute
Drill, under the category, The Cause. Also read the timely essay, What Hath The Church Fathers To Do With Your Local Church by Stephen Presley, in the Fall
2019 edition of Southwestern News, P. 54-57, to see that even in scholarly circles there is an appreciation of the consequential increase in hostility of Western cul-
tures including our own toward Christianity and discussion of the right response among the churches.
8 Such is every aspiring strong man and great woman of God I write and instruct about from God’s Word in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics. If
you want to learn the foundational biblical expectations of Christ for His followers and be equipped to faithfully live them out to the end, get a print copy or digital
download of my 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. If you would like a foretaste of what is taught in the book, read my two-part 2019 post that begins August 18, Lined Up Be-
hind Jesus, under the category, Instruction.
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.
With this edited 2013 Commentary, I launch the New Year by connecting back into the one just ended to wrap up the Lord’s charge to pastors for now, while also speaking to men in the pews. Of my saddest experiences serving the Lord in local churches over the years has been the countless times I have witnessed professed Christian men fail to accept calls to leadership; instead, letting our sisters (some sensing the inappropriateness of this; others like Eve caring nothing about divine order) take them. Worse, naturally, has been seeing men be purposely overlooked for leadership in favor of women by pastors for any number of reasons to include rewarding faithfulness to them, not God.
Originally Published January 2013
A pastor friend recently suggested that perhaps a reason many women are more visible in church leadership roles today is because they are eager to step up while the men lay back. In a complicated mix of sound reasons including rank rebellion against God's Word, no doubt, my friend is right. Indeed, as the Lord has led, I have spent the last two Commentaries speaking to pastors and Ministry leaders about our stuff.1 But make no mistake about it; the men in the pews are the objects of God's concern too. Surely, our God is not pleased that professed Christian men are refusing to step up and take hold of leadership responsibilities in the home and local church.
In support of faithful pastors everywhere and the righteousness, instruction and truth of God’s Word, I am challenging the professed Christian men reading this who are guilty to repent from every self-permitted reason in disobedience for not stepping up to lead as God has called you. For our Creator made the divine intent very plain from the beginning in Word and deed that men are purposely chosen to lead among equals (Genesis 1:26-28, 2:7-3:21; 1 Timothy 2:13). To refuse to lead as God has ordained is sin as seen in how the Lord spoke to Adam at his fall and because it is the creature rejecting his Creator’s will to His face (Genesis 3:17a; Isaiah 29:16, 45:9-10)!
While it is evident women are also eager and ready to lead, God has elected men to do so in this present age beginning in the home. After this, men are to lead at every level of human social organization and exclusively of those who approach to minister to God in leading public worship (Genesis 8:20; Exodus 28:1; 1 Chronicles 23:13; 1 Corinthians 14:26-40; 1 Timothy 2:11-14; Hebrews 5:1-6).2 Why God has done this is bound up first in His sovereign will that none of us creatures has any standing to challenge (Romans 9:20). As well, He has done this because the leadership of men is tied to the eternal destiny of man as the highest creature of God and ruler over all the works of His hands (Hebrews 2:5-13).
No secular or religious authority on earth has the right to change God's election of men to lead. Therefore, those that have undertaken to do so have put themselves on a collision course with the already simmering wrath of God. Pastors and elders, this means every one of you also no matter how much you call yourself after the rebellion of this world system "setting things right in equality and fairness." As I write in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics, you have no authority to ignore or change God's Word.3 You must obey it as supposedly you are teaching others to do or like all of the disobedient, suffer the consequences too (Isaiah 24:1-6; Jeremiah 25:30-38; Romans 2:5-11).
I fully feel your pain as it concerns the tug and pull of the hostile world culture surrounding us that is constantly calling into question the will, way and Word of our God. They may say His Word is outdated, but you, man of God and faith, shepherd under Christ of His flock are to stand faithful. Or did you not know from the beginning that you were called to war and the rank of a captain in God's army at that (2 Corinthians 10:3-6; Ephesians 4:7-16, 6:10-20; 2 Timothy 2:3-4)? Certainly, you are not ashamed of Christ and our peculiarity as the people of God are you (Mark 8:34-38)? Therefore, you capitulate and surrender ground to the enemy every time you pass over a man reluctant to lead and instead call on the eager woman causing both to sin (Matthew 18:6-9).
As for the professed Christian men in the pews, do not wait, but hasten to your pastor and elders seeking assignments of leadership responsibility; being willing to train appropriately as preparation.4 No more laying back in fear like the men in Deborah's day when it was time for war; step up boldly to read Scripture or pray (Judges 4:4-10). A pastor should be overwhelmed with the ardent response of men aflame, ready to serve for Christ! Woe to him if he does not call upon or permit such ones to serve that seek to obey God in motive and gifting (1 Corinthians 12:18-21; 2 Corinthians 5:9-11). Also men, no more passive labor in the Gospel cause of Christ, but diligent effort to witness and win souls because the Holy Ghost empowers your own (John 20:19-23; Acts 1:8, 2)!
Your experience then, sir, should be like that of Job's reflection of his own in Job 29 before his trials. In the grace and strength God supplies to your life, you are blessed above all of the unsaved. In your irrefutable standing as a godly leader, you are respected in the public square and looked well upon by the less fortunate whose cause you have served. As a man of royal command possessing God's wisdom, your counsel is sought and your words are waited for. Such men aspire to be strong men of God in the image of Christ (Matthew 4:23-25)! Oh, that this were so! The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
1 Refers to the December 3, 2017 post, Pastors And Developing Men, under the category, The Cause originally published as a November 2012 Commentary and the
September 27, 2015 post, Empire Building On God’s Program, under the category, Call To Repent originally published as a December 2012 Commentary. For the
point being made, the December 2017 blog reposts directed to pastors, Developing Men: The Equality Trap and Pastors As Developing Christian Men both under the
category, The Cause, are also now included in this reference.
2 Read the three part January 2015 blog series, Worshipping God Without God and the post that follows it, Final Considerations On Worshipping God all under the cate-
gory, Call To Repent.
3 The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics is available through all major internet booksellers, by order from your favorite brick and mortar bookstore and in the
4 This statement is made with the presumption that Kingdom activity and ministry is involved. Frankly, I do not blame men for not being interested in leading some of the
self-serving, non-Kingdom related programs and activities the churches of manmade religion come up with.
Is it just me or does anyone else also see the glaring inconsistency of teaching me I am the head of my house by God’s design and purposeful will, but when I come to His house, the God who made me the head changes everything? Like a bizarre, mind bending movie where things are familiar, but out of place and nothing is as it should be, so, the growing number of churches today with women as pastors, worship leaders and authority figures over adult men in what is supposed to be the God of the Bible’s “household,” “family” and “house;” His Father the Lord Jesus taught us in Him to also address as “Father,” (Matthew 6:9; Ephesians 2:19-22, 3:14-15; Hebrews 3:1-6, NKJV)!
There has been a change made in the churches led by pastors that are responsible true enough, but the ever consistent and immutable God has not authorized it as He leads me to make absolutely clear in a very important second Appendix of my book. This change to allow women to speak into the whole church assembly and be deployed into positions of authority over men is exclusively the action of sinful flesh in defiance of Scripture! It has come about from the same demonically deceitful instruction that has also allowed those that pervert God’s sexual design to pastor, lead worship and ministries in what is supposed to be God’s house.
After millennia, to now--at the end of this age--fully set aside men and God’s order of mankind in His house is wickedly brazen; showing no fear of God whatsoever in sinning with such a high hand. You surpass even the people and leaders of ancient Israel who also corrupted themselves in spiritual harlotry, disrespected God’s house, profaned His great name and caused His enemies to blaspheme (Ezekiel 16:23-30; Malachi 1:6-2:16; Romans 2:24; James 4:17). For those who question by what authority I have stood to say such things in crying out against this ongoing rebellion in God’s house, I will ask you an even more important and eternally troubling question.
By what authority have you stood to usurp Jesus Christ, God’s appointed Head of the Church, to dishonor men and change the divine order of mankind in His house as antichrists (Daniel 7:25; Matthew 28:18; Ephesians 1:22-23; Colossians 1:15-18)? At the Lord’s command and in the power of the Holy Spirit, I have taken my stand to wage war on and pull down strongholds of deceit in all of the arguments raised up against “the knowledge of God” embodied in the whole counsel of His Word on men and the order of mankind in His house; “bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” in His cause to restore men and declaring His judgment on the unrepentant (2 Corinthians 10:3-6, NKJV)!6
For while the world culture may be in rebellion against the will, way and Word of God, such should not be the case among us who have been set apart as His and are His house (1 Peter 2:4-5)! We were saved from out of the world culture not to live to or honor it above God any longer, but as “His own special people” to exalt Him and proclaim His praises with supporting godly deeds (1 Peter 2:9-12, NKJV). So, the world culture may be celebrating with guilty professed Christians in their break with ancient, biblical orthodoxy on men and the divine order of mankind in yet another display of the foretold “falling away,” but the Head of His house is not pleased (2 Thessalonians 2:3, NKJV)!
Let me be very clear from the prophetic Word of God to the professed Christian following after world culture and the unbeliever listening in. The corrupt egalitarian, anything goes world as a tower of Babel you seek to build will not come to fruition without contest from God in severe judgments (Genesis 11:1-9; Revelation 8:1-11:19) or long stand before it is destroyed in wrath by Christ (Isaiah 2:10-22, 13:9-13; Revelation 6:12-17, 16)!7 He now, graciously calls unbelievers to repentance and faith in the Gospel to be saved from His coming wrath; repentance leading to revival among those in sin as professed Christians so they may not be condemned with the world, but rather vigorously preach the Gospel especially to men as the Lord modeled so they might be completely restored.
The faithful pastor should not fret or fear your obedience has been in vain and the wicked in and outside of God’s house are getting away with anything (Malachi 2:17, 3:13-4:3). Those that profess to be Christians and continue to refuse God’s offer of forgiveness through repentance from all disobedience including rebellion against His order of mankind will be caught in the intensifying judgment He has begun in His house and that will be more evident in 2017--beware rebel women in positions of unbiblical authority (Revelation 2:20-23)! It has begun in His house so the world may see God is just and fear; for this assures their destruction without repentance to follow (1 Peter 4:17-18). All who die in their sins also face the judgment seat of Christ in terror (2 Corinthians 5:9-11)!
Now, therefore, woe to the pastors that oppress and marginalize the men you shepherd! You will give an account of every soul harmed by your disobedience. If the Lord commands Israel’s faithful to keep the “Law of Moses” and to look for Him to send Elijah before “the great and dreadful day of the Lord” to restore men and their children, how is it that you have failed to grasp you are to keep His Word and labor to make ready a people prepared for His coming through restoring men and their children also (Malachi 4:4-6, Luke 12:42-48, NKJV)? Does not the judgment of Adam, Aaron, Solomon, Jeroboam, Ahab, Asa and the Pharisees frighten you at all (Genesis 3:17b-19; Exodus 32:25-35; 1 Kings 11:9-13, 13:33-14:11, 21:17-26; 2 Chronicles 16:11-14; Matthew 23:25-24:2)? The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, “Who is on the Lord's side?”
6 I have addressed most of the more popular arguments of the rebellion in all of my May 2015 blogs.
7 The tragedy of inequality among mankind does not originate with God’s creation of men and women for when all was created, He declared His work ‘“very good,’”
(Genesis 1:31, NKJV)! After this, the next greatest statement of human equality came from the lips of the first man when he raved about the woman made from
him in perfect correspondence to him in every way (Genesis 2:23). Human inequality originates with sin and all of the evil ways it corrupts the human heart (Mark 7:
17-23)! This being true, how can the noble cause to eliminate sin invented human gender and racial inequality, for example, be lumped together with that of over-
turning the decree of God that only sex inside of male and female marriage is righteous? Therefore, until my final breath as a Christian black American male. I will be
offended by the sexually immoral person’s evil and false claim that rejecting his sin is equivalent to rejecting me as a man of color by the purposeful design of God! Read
my May 8-15, 2016 blogs.
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