I am pleased to inform our readers that the newest Strong Man Of God Online Rally debuted to subscribers yesterday, November 27, 2021, on this Ministry’s YouTube Channel dedicated to that purpose.1 This second 30 minute Online Rally is themed Hallelujah, Free! It blends worship celebrating God’s power to free captive souls, a testimony, powerful pre-message song and video montage depicting ways men are bound by Satan impacting them, their families and the community, message presenting the liberating Gospel of Jesus Christ and invitation to receive it. Appropriately, the message the Lord leads me to preach for the rally is entitled, Releasing The Strong Man.
Releasing The Strong Man as a title has been used by me in the cause of restoring men since 1998 through The From Slavery To Victory Education Project (FSTVEP). The project, conducted by Open Door Communication Ministries, Inc., organizational parent to this ethnically diverse Strong Man Ministries launched by it in 2005, purposely seeks to reach black American males with the Releasing The Strong Man Seminar as a means to help us overcome the adverse legacies of slavery and racism that Satan still uses to bind many up.2 As the Lord led, I continued my efforts in this Strong Man Ministries era with a 2005 five-part Commentary that also uses the title.3
The Commentary was followed by my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics4 first published in 2011 and several recent blogs addressing the ties Satan uses to bind up black and other men from all backgrounds including clergy.5 Too, I have preached messages using the Releasing The Strong Man title and Scripture it is taken from on several occasions. Now, in the purpose of this second Online Rally as the Lord Jesus leads, I do so again to introduce Him as the Strong Man of God who saves those that look to Him; setting captive men free from the ties Satan has used to bind them up (Isaiah 61:1; John 8:34-36)!
Invite someone who needs the salvation and tie breaking deliverance of Christ to watch this second Strong Man Of God Online Rally with or after you! Indeed, are you being set free in Christ yet as a professed Christian? Hallelujah, Free! renews hope in the Gospel and power of Christ to set folk free we will celebrate forever!
1 View the rally and subscribe to the channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwOtdk7KRwcQG0tOpZGI7-w.
2 See the Help For Men Page on the FSTVEP Web Site.
3 Part one of the Releasing The Strong Man Commentary can be read as the December 2005 Journal entry on the FSTVEP Web Site.
4 The book is available along with companion works The Strong Man Of God Men’s Group Study and Great Woman Of God Women’s Group Study at your favorite internet
book seller and in the Strong Man Store.
5 Read the February-March 2016 posts that begin February 14th with Ties That Bind Lead To Prison, followed by Ties That Bind Black Male Souls and the three-part, When
The Messengers Are Bound all under the category, The Cause.
As the Lord leads, I write briefly to elaborate further on His instructive illustration using the concept of a strong man to rebuke Israel’s religious leaders in their blasphemous accusation He cast out demons by Satan recorded in Matthew 12:22-30. This is the text I use in my Releasing The Strong Man message during our second Online Rally rolled out November 27th, Hallelujah, Free!1 The same incident is also presented in Mark 3:22-27 and Luke 11:14-23. The Lord arrives at His strong man illustration after making it perfectly clear the man He had just healed through casting out a demon that made him blind and mute was “by the Spirit of God” (Isaiah 61:1; Matthew 12:28, NKJV).
Very historically significant and spiritually pregnant, Luke wrote the Lord said He performed the healing “with the finger of God,” (Exodus 8:16-19; Luke 11:20, NKJV). Both expressions convey the infinitely superior power of the Kingdom of God over Satan’s kingdom on display for all to see! For as the Holy Spirit is the actualizing Agent of God’s Word that caused the universe to leap into existence out of nothing and lice from dust men practicing the occult recognized (Genesis 1:1-3; Exodus 8:19), so, Israel’s religious leaders supposedly in the know about God should have immediately been rejoicing with everyone else that He had mightily shown up in the miracle!
Religion deadened the hearts of these men as it does many today. Not being willing to acknowledge the spiritually obvious, the Lord uses the logic of the natural world in His rebuke of Israel’s religious leaders to hopefully help them see the truth. In the natural world no one can typically enter into a strong man’s house and take his goods. Strong here expresses the idea of being well equipped whether physically in body, with weapons or both to repel anyone that would tread upon the premises a man guards to take from him. The only way such a thing could happen is if the one who enters the strong man’s house is actually stronger than he is!2
Thus, if the Lord Jesus cast a demon out of the man, then, He is plainly stronger! Satan would not foolishly do this since the demon belongs to his kingdom and has bound up and occupied the man serving his kingdom purposes. Christ freed the man on this and every other occasion He cast out demons because His Kingdom is stronger! As the Lord led me to point out in the Online Rally message, Satan has bound every sinful man in some form because he though fallen, is an angel and naturally stronger than we mortals.3 But Christ being stronger than Satan is not only able to release us from his binding ties, but enable us to become the eternally strong men of God in His image God intended from the beginning who in His strength, can repel Satan’s efforts to bind us going forward!4
1 View the rally and subscribe to the channel at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o13NjNpNexg.
2 Please note the Lord is not advocating for men to be ready to pulverize or keep weapons to fend off home intruders, but only relating the natural posture of men who under-
stand their role as protectors of their families and homes. That said, the Lord’s use of the strong man in His illustration affirms this divine assigned role of men from crea-
tion as protectors of their families and homes. Men in this role imitate God who protects Heaven--no one will ever roll up into Heaven to successfully bind God, unseat Him
and plunder His House (Genesis 1:26; Isaiah 14:12-15; Revelation 12:7-9, 12, 19:11-16, 20:1-3, 7-10)!
3 Satan binds men as sinners through the ties of sin, fallen thinking, emotions, attitudes and deeds as well as the fear of death and evil desires (Proverbs 20:9; Romans 3:
9-20, 23; Galatians 5:19-21; Hebrews 2:14-15; James 1:12-15).
4 Read and take to heart Ephesians 6:10-18! Learn about becoming a strong man of God in Christ’s image in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics along with
companion works The Strong Man Of God Men’s Group Study and Great Woman Of God Women’s Group Study at your favorite internet book seller and in the
Strong Man Store.
The march to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and the end of this world as we have known it under the dominion of evil is moving just as it has been foretold in the ‘“Scripture of Truth,’” (Daniel 10:18-21, NKJV). As part of this march, I stand in awe of the sovereign God who in wisdom has given men the knowledge to develop technologically at a faster pace in the last 200 years than at any time in all of the millennia before. The telegraph to computers and cell phones, the first automobile to space flight, modern appliances and robotics; all attest to this truth in serving the divine end time purposes and proving that still--regardless of technological progress, man’s chief problem is sin since its works through him have not abated, but only intensified (Joel 2:1-11; Revelation 9:13-21).
With the merciful heart of God, we do not rejoice at the foretold troubles coming upon this world because of sin. However, Christians are not supposed to be falling apart either. Indeed, many professing Christians and their leaders are even in denial and behave as if everything is going (and should continue) as it always has. They fear the future and do not by faith “look up” (Luke 21:28, NKJV) as God intends--having given us His prophetic Word as advance knowledge--because they in disobedience love this present world and their carefully laid plans and dreams rooted in it (Luke 9:23). As I present in this edited 2013 blog repost, God has raised up this Ministry among others to call the weak to His strength as those alone that will endure to receive the promised salvation.
Originally Posted October 6, 2013
It is so very heart breaking to see people all over our nation and world coming unhinged at the slightest provocation; unglued and falling apart at the seams leading to acts of rage and violence in these times of stress. It appears that the natural self-control and fear of consequences resident in most human beings that serve as a restraint to injury to self and others is dissipating and the Bible gives us an important reason why. I do sympathize with the provocations and stresses of life in this world that can lead to the mental and emotional states of mind persons get to that cause them to become unhinged and unglued.
However, the Word of God plainly teaches that these things are so in these latter days because He is allowing mankind in the main--that has spent much of nearly the last two millennia rejecting the Gospel--to now have it their way in the face of His coming wrath (Romans 1:18-32). God (who alone has been evil’s Restrainer) is permitting lawlessness through the venting of humanity’s natural sinful impulses and the instigating, pressuring work of demons to steadily increase and eventually commonly “abound” out of control because this is the kind of kingdom men as sinners choose when they reject the righteous Kingdom of God (Matthew 24:12; 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12; 1 John 3:4, NKJV).
To add to the misery of the God haters and rebels in these latter days, the God of creation that created it for man, is causing it to convulse violently against its fallen rulers in anticipatory birth pains of its restoration in peace under the immortal sons of God (Mark 13:8; Luke 21:10-11; Romans 8:19-22)! As a result, anxious fear about what is coming upon the earth will also be added to the life stresses that are causing people to now fall apart and soon, to die from mass heart failures (Luke 21:25-26). Sadly, among such persons are many professing to be Christians.
It is in this context of the present stresses and those foretold still to come that God has called forth our strong man of God cause. We are not just about a book and brand. Jesus Christ is the Strong Man of God demonstrated by His life, death and resurrection to immortality! Men from Adam’s son, Seth, have known the strength and blessing that comes from calling “on the name of the Lord” (Genesis 4:25-26, NKJV) and the Lord Himself has commanded men to “be strong” from ancient times (Deuteronomy 31:23, NKJV).
Now, though, it is at “the ends of the ages” that calling on the name of the Lord and being strong in the strength He supplies to His faithful and obedient ones is of the utmost prophetic urgency and absolutely imperative (1 Corinthians 10:11, NKJV). For as I have written previously (in blogs and my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics) and will continue to proclaim with Scripture in the face of the world’s escalating stresses as well as hatred and persecution of Christians, only the strong in Christ will persevere to the end and eternal glory (Matthew 24:13; Mark 13:13)!1
The strength supplied to His aspiring strong men and great women of God in the image of Christ is nothing short of divine power through the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 3:14-16)! Thus, God’s strength is not a human emotion or moment of euphoria. God’s power is of the real, continuing spiritual substance of His eternal being that created and upholds the universe! And so, the great apostle writes again, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might,” the source Scripture for the slogan of Strong Man Ministries: Making Men Eternally Strong (Ephesians 6:10, NKJV)!
In His strength combined with the whole armor of God which includes the “shield of faith,” aspiring strong men and great women of God are expected to stand against all manner of adversity as well as “the wiles” and attacks of the devil and his “spiritual hosts” working through willing human agencies in these evil days just as our Lord Jesus did (John 16:32-33; Ephesians 6:11-18; 1 John 5:4-5, NKJV). Christians from a biblical perspective, then, are not supposed to become unhinged, unglued or panicked to the death during the course of what we see happening in nor defect from Christ seeking escape from suffering to the world.
We stand firm in our trust in Christ and the very real supernatural strength our God supplies to us as aspiring strong men and great women of God. We also continue to act as a moral people walking in the righteousness of Christ and to the bitter end proclaim and witness the Gospel about Him and His coming Kingdom. Unless, therefore, there is a Holy Ghost fired movement such as ours to help men and women professing to be Christians become aspiring strong men and great women of God in the image of Christ, many will perish in the swift rolling tide of increasing lawlessness, troubles, demonic activity and the violent convulsions of creation coming upon this world with divine permission. In spite of this, a “falling away” is foretold (2 Thessalonians, 2:3, NKJV).2
Nevertheless, in the meantime, if we restore many men, their families and communities for even a short season before the darkest days arrive, it has all been worth it. So, we preach the Gospel compelling men to come to Christ and in coming to Him, become strong men of God in His image (Romans 8:29)! Pastors and churches that are guilty this is your cue: get out of the way; stop resisting us in this mission clinging to your comfy lives supported by the mindset of manmade Christianity the religion in the old paradigm of God’s permitted temporary existence. Repent if you will and in this new paradigm where Christianity the religion of men in their own strength is plainly revealed to be marked out for divine destruction (Isaiah 47:8-15; Revelation 18:1-8), stand with and welcome our cause, Ministry and biblically rooted message (Acts 4:23-31; Romans 8:31-39; 2 Thessalonians 2:13-17; 3 John 5-8). The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, “Who is on the Lord's side?”
1 Purchase my book at any major internet bookseller or the Strong Man Store on our Web Site, www.thestrongmanofgod.org.
2 See the February 2, 2014 blog, The Falling Away, under the category, Bible Prophecy to learn more about this coming event.
Happy Father’s Day to all of our readers that are fathers! I originally wrote this edited Commentary before the similarly titled, “Weak Women Made Great” (posted this past Mother’s Day) in 2010 to challenge men about registering for and attending our first community offering of “The Strong Man Of God Course” (now “The Strong Man Of God Men’s Group Study”1). The cause to restore men through the Gospel of Jesus Christ and instruction in biblical manhood remains as urgent as ever on this Father’s Day. Purposeful instruction is essential because how else will men come to learn what a man is and does by God’s design without it?
Therefore, this post joins the many I have already made as the Lord has led stressing again the need and urgency of our Ministry cause to restore men. It is also another thunderous and clear call to pastors and churches to repent from whatever hindrances to fulfill your God ordained responsibility to reach and teach men as His chosen leaders beginning in the family (Matthew 4:19, 28:19-20)!
Originally Published April 2010
After conducting The Strong Man Of God Course over the last two years in some of Oregon's prisons, I have come to greatly admire many of the men that have taken it. Those that I admire come to the course with the brokenness and humility of knowing they are weak in their sins. They require no prolonged instruction to convince them that they are sinners and need everything God has to offer to help them become the men He originally designed them to be. The lack of an overwhelming sign up for the course from among so-called "free" men in the community is by contrast, a telling indicator that the many who have heard about it, still do not see their need.
Speaking in terms of weak or strong would not even be an issue if it were not for the fact that we are all sinners as direct descendants of Adam, the first man. This is the verdict of God our Creator and Judge in His Word (Romans 3:10-20, 23, 5:12-14) and the undeniable truth of our daily lives. God originally designed and created us to live before Him as men that are strong; creatures passionately devoted to pleasing Him and doing His will! But when sin came we were made weak in our ability to function as He designed. So, now, all men without God and many that profess to know Him are weak.
Yet, with a significant amount of help from the first fallen creature, the formerly "anointed cherub," Satan (Ezekiel 28:11-19; Revelation 12:9), men in sinful pride either outright deny their inner weakness or engage in mental games to evade owning up to it. In denying the truth about our weakness we become excessively hostile toward God and/or seek to excel at something that makes us great enough we think to escape condemnation. With mental games, we claim victimization or attempt to rationalize, justify, cover up by deceit, avoid or dismiss the truth about our sin driven weakness in the flesh. However, neither denial nor games provide any lasting deliverance from the truth.
Since there is no way around, over or under it, why not just confess the truth? I am weak. I am not only weak as a man before God, but as a husband, father, son of my parents and citizen of the community. Still not ready to admit it? Then be reminded you are weak if you cannot deliver yourself from your sin nature and the evil deeds that result even after adopting a religion. You are weak if you are a slave to your sinful lusts and practice sexual immorality in and outside of marriage. You are weak if you are driven by your impulses of every kind including anger and violence. You are weak if you are addicted to anything and after going into recovery, still struggle to remain free.
In The Strong Man Of God Course we introduce weak men to the Strong Man of God, Jesus Christ, who came to this earth as a second Adam for the express purpose of restoring willing men to God's original design (Matthew 18:11). We urge men to embrace not religion, but Christ in order to transition from weakness to strength as a lifelong journey. His is the strength of the Almighty God who created the heavens and the earth and gives strength to the weak that seek Him (Psalm 28:6-9)! For this very reason the apostle Paul rejoiced in his weaknesses as a man for then in the Lord, he was made strong (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).
Otherwise, know this: it is the men that humble themselves before God like many of those I have met in our prisons who find His grace, forgiveness and help, not the proud (Luke 18:9-14; 1 Peter 5:5-7). The end of weakness in pride is destruction here and now and forever (Proverbs 16:18)! Our Ministry cause to restore men is not some passing fad emphasis, but an intense, ongoing work of evangelism and biblical instruction with prophetic importance and urgency given the times and the Lord’s mandate (Malachi 4:5-6). Only restored men who properly understand their divine design, roles and responsibilities will be able to lead their families to faithfully navigate through these latter days to the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ!2
1 The Strong Man Of God Men’s Group Study is available in the Strong Man Store.
2 Men that are not Christians or that are, but there is no instruction in the church attended can be helped and taught by obtaining my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back
To Basics available at all major internet books sellers, by order at your favorite brick and mortar bookstore or in the Strong Man Store.
My heart has gone and goes out to the young black males especially that believe our people have suffered long enough and that white authority--most outwardly represented by the police--must be stood up to; respect for their black person insisted upon. Tragically, too many in history and our times have not lived to report that this posture turned out positive for him. While saying this is not to commend those that have abused their authority or devalue human dignity, nevertheless, our sons must accept all authority originates from and is granted by God with the expectation it is to be respected. He holds any of us sinful mortals wielding authority accountable (Romans 13:1-7)!
While I humbly confess to still not having mastered the ways of the Lord in this myself, my born again soul assents to them as righteous and what pleases Him. Thus, as it concerns submission to sinful mortal authority for example, as did Christ my Lord and every aspiring strong man of God in His image through history,1 it is done without regarding oneself as inferior or robbed of dignity, but honoring God who ordained authority no matter how inferior in station, ugly in attitude or behavior or unworthy in merit the authority figure(s) or is not Christ the Son of God? Even so, one can speak up calmly to evil in strength under control as Christ also exemplified (Matthew 26:47-56; John 18:1-11).2
Knowing the foregoing, I am all the more appreciative of the black aspiring strong men of God in the image of Christ from slavery that have endured great evil against themselves in conscious humble submission. This space is limited, but as the Lord has led, I am pleased to be able to post this edited 2010 Commentary to at least acknowledge, honor and hold up such men from my community as examples for all of us that must stand for Christ in the current and worsening evil days we live in. As well, I joyfully continue to fulfill the mission of this Ministry’s From Slavery To Victory Education Project in its 25th year!
Originally Published June 2010
On the nineteenth of this month black Americans will celebrate the 145th anniversary of the day Texas slaves heard about Abraham Lincoln's signing of the Emancipation Proclamation some two years earlier on January 1, 1863. For the last sixteen years in another work of our parent Ministry called The From Slavery To Victory Education Project, we have tried to inform especially black Americans of our incredible spiritual legacy created in the caldron of our suffering. The story of aspiring black American strong men of God is not the least portion of that legacy and should be an inspiration to all men, but especially our own sons.
Before just only scratching the surface of the story of aspiring black American strong men of God in the image of Jesus Christ, we must first properly link it to the larger story of all of them God has forged in this New Testament era. Indeed, Jewish men who fifty days earlier had been found huddled together in fear for their lives, stood to face the same crowds that had chanted against their Master, “Crucify Him,” (John 19:5-7, NKJV). In holy fire and languages previously unknown, on the “Day of Pentecost” they with the women present declared “the wonderful works of God” before them (Acts 2:1-13, NKJV). Then, one of the men, Peter, who had even denied three times that he knew his Lord, boldly preached His resurrection from the dead (Acts 2:14-36)!
Empowered with strength from on High, the apostles of Jesus Christ mightily proclaimed the Gospel about Him throughout the Roman Empire. They did so with a relentless passion to please God and do His will regardless of the cost. History and tradition tell us most of these men paid for their zeal with their lives! In fact, the first place to look for evidence of aspiring strong men of God throughout this New Testament era is the trail of blood left by the martyrs. While not every aspiring strong man of God since the 1st century has been a martyr, all would have suffered in some measure as part of His overarching purpose to conform them to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29; Hebrews 5:8-9, 12:1-11; 1 Peter 2:18-25).
God in His sovereignty chose to shape willing men taken from the tribes of West Africa into the image of His Son through the refining fire of slavery and bitter trials. In the New World far from their land of origin, He humbled proud black men through forced labor (Psalm 107:10-16). Those that called to Him for deliverance had their souls saved and gratefully waited in hope for Him to unshackle their bodies as it occurred first at the end of the Civil War, then finally, among Texas slaves. But their trials continued. They were severely tried through Jim Crow segregation, racially motivated discrimination and other oppressive acts of terror and murder through the mid-20th century.
At that time, in the spirit of European church reformers from centuries past, black churchmen and supporting godly women led by men like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. rose up to peacefully protest our nation's comfortable mistreatment of its black citizens. They suffered arrest, violent opposition and even martyrdom as they marched to highlight and seek relief from America's legally sanctioned oppression of blacks. The walls of oppression began to tumble one by one as the nation's conscience could no longer bear to see the morally indefensible mistreatment of its citizens due exclusively to the color of their skin and the hate filled, ugly side of violently enforcing it.
The names of the Christian black men from slavery through the Civil Rights Movement that willfully chose to suffer in order to please God and do His will while waiting on His intervention are many and not widely known. The few that are well known such as Booker T. Washington, also made peaceful assaults on the status quo by working to improve the lot of their people through education and enterprise. A great number wore "Reverend" in front of their names such as Aaron Johnson of North Carolina and John Perkins of Mississippi. Today, in sports, Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith stand out as longsuffering victors in Christ. All of these Christian black men are inspiring role models for any man that will aspire to be a strong man of God in the image of Jesus Christ!
1 To learn more about what is involved in becoming a strong man of God in the image of Jesus Christ, get a print copy or digital download of my book, The Strong Man
Of God: Back To Basics, at major internet booksellers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ChristianBooks.com and Apple (digital only). You can also get the book in
either format in the Strong Man Store.
2 The four Gospels of the New Testament clearly show that while being direct, penetrating, truthful and prophetic, the Lord Jesus never insulted, cursed angrily at or
threatened those that arrested, falsely accused, tried and carried out His crucifixion. Also, His words became fewer and expressed concern for others as He made His
way to the cross in total submission to His Father’s will (Matthew 26:36-46; Luke 23:26-43; John 19:25-27). Foretelling His disciples would face similar circumstances,
He gave instructions right down to words to speak that emulated how He handled His experience (Mark 13:11-13).
Professing Christians are caught between the vice grip of God’s judgment upon the “old time religion” along with compromised, corrupt and so-called “emerging” forms of doing church in His house and the escalating hostility of the world toward Christianity. In order to persevere, those that are faithful will need to walk in the ancient, biblical path marked out for us by the Lord, His apostles and the faithful saints that have gone before. As I witnessed in churches I have been part of over the years though, many stubbornly refuse to hear God’s appeal and warning; preferring instead to continue in their way to their detriment as did ancient Israel (Jeremiah 6:16-21).
Nevertheless, as the Lord leads out of His overflowing goodness, mercy and grace, in this edited 2012 blog repost I stress yet again the need for professing Christians to get properly equipped for the increasingly anti-Christian world we now find ourselves leading to a final nighttime of great tribulation. It will be a night that tests every soul and a last cup of suffering Christians are warned repeatedly by the Lord and His apostles we must drink in following Him (Matthew 10:32-33, 16:21-27, 20:20-23; Philippians 1:27-30).1 This is not now or then a time for belligerence, but sober embrace of the ancient way of Jesus Christ, the Strong Man of God (1 Peter 2:18-25)!
For this reason and without apology, for such a time as this before the fullness of the night should come, the Lord had me to write “The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics” from His Word and embedded in prophetic urgency. It is a book for every professing Christian man and woman not only to be affirmatively instructed in God’s purposes for man that gave rise to the reality of redemption through faith in the Gospel of the Son of Man, but to enable those who cling to Him for salvation to persevere faithfully through all of the troubles prophetically warned about to obtain it! Only God can and did inspire a book with instruction that remains germane through the foretold unfolding future of this present age to its end and into eternity. I stand amazed to be His vessel; to my God be the glory!
Originally Posted July 15, 2012
In light of the predominant decline of churches and given the fact that even many of the Western religious educated elite have labeled the times we are now in as “post-Christian,” it is imperative that individual Christians be more intentional about getting properly equipped spiritually to live in this new reality. This is a reality among Western nations including our own in which Christianity no longer holds a place of favor but increasing disdain and open hostility.
While many professing Christians in blissful disbelief want to remain optimistic that this new reality is only a temporary phenomenon, for many years the Holy Spirit has had me crying out and warning that the days of rebellion against God the Father and His Son as well as expanding hate filled persecution against His disciples are upon us (Psalm 2:1-3; Matthew 10:16-26; 24:9). As our Lord had His “night,” ours also is truly at hand (Luke 22:52-53; John 9:4, 15:18-20).
If the biblically foretold night of global hatred and persecution against followers of Christ were to suddenly fully descend on us in America at this very moment, very few (relatively speaking) would faithfully persevere to the end. Indeed, this is because implicit in the decline of churches is the lack or weakened state of a vibrant practice of biblical Christianity by the professing members.2 There is no Holy Ghost power to live in zeal for the Lord or to share their faith on mission for the Kingdom as a priority in these folk. In the night that by God’s mercy is slowly (yet steadily) descending on us, professing Christians have been given enough time to repent from spiritual apathy and compromise to freshly seek Him for personal renewal. Truly, only the strong in Christ will survive spiritually.
There is a prophetic urgency to my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics along with its sound, biblical instruction because of what I have written in the foregoing. The book does not offer helpful suggestions about how to be a man and is not filled with emotional stories and illustrations to make men think. It soberly presents the divine imperative for Christian men to aspire to become the man God designed us to be in the image of Jesus Christ and the strength He supplies through the Holy Spirit! In doing so in the short-term, we will work restoration in our families, churches and communities; long-term, we will be making the necessary preparation spiritually to faithfully persevere in the night that is falling.
I urge every man reading this--if you have not already, get a copy of The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics. Pastors, get the book for yourself and then use the Strong Man Of God Men’s Group Study to equip your men so they might equip their families. These resources are all available on our Web Site in the Strong Man Store. Finally, the so-called “persecuted church” is no longer confined to a few isolated nations. In this month of praying for persecuted believers around the globe, we that are yet able should also do what we can to feed, clothe and shelter our brothers and sisters suffering the most. Support your favorite Christian charity dedicated to this mission.
1 For more information about “the night,” get a thorough word of instruction the Lord gave me in 1987 from a broadcast entitled, The Night Is Almost Here! now
available on CD or for download in the Strong Man Store.
2 Excellent statistical data to bear this out can be gleaned from Barna Research Group at www.Barna.org and Pew research at http://www.pewforum.org.
This is the second of an edited two part 2013 blog I have reposted for Black History Month. Only God could have foreknown the timely need for this fresh exhortation (and truly the whole body of messages I have delivered from Him since 1979 as a former pastor of mine from Fort Worth, TX, Rev. Tom Franklin recently called to tell me) to professing Christian black Americans in our churches given the heightened uneasiness now in black communities across the nation over the deaths of unarmed black males. As well, there are the overabundance of other community needs the Gospel, Word and power of Jesus Christ alone expressed through the churches can meet--if they will.
Originally Posted February 10, 2013
Black churches are the place oppressed souls came for a momentary release from burdens too great to otherwise bear and carried too long from the last service. My heart is in complete empathy with the black pastors since slavery that have looked out on seats filled with beleaguered black humanity in expectant anticipation of church services that would all too briefly yet necessarily transport them to a plane of existence away from their painful troubles in this world.
Primed by the soul stirring performance of musicians and singers, the preacher’s job was to deliver a message that would cause his own and the burdened souls present to take flight! The preachers knew then as they do now that among the sea of sweaty, shouting and dancing ecstatic souls there was a number who were not saved and many more that really did not care to deepen their spiritual maturity through purposeful Christian education. Still, the born again, relative faithful few growing in grace through daily meditation on the Word of God and walking in the Spirit were in the assembly too and apparent even to their oppressors on the outside.
Truly, it was the faith, hope and perseverance of those faithful few slave and free maturing saints among my forefathers that drew out the mercies of God to enable His bringing us “a mighty long way.” For as surely as many a gospel singer today belts out, “I shoulda been dead and gon” celebrating the mercies of God to save sinners, such is also true for our African ancestors who like all other Gentiles were of no great note to the Almighty. Many Gentiles nations have been destroyed from the face of the earth or where for example, are the ancient Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians Philistines, Moabites and more recently the Aztecs and Incas?
Slavery as it turns out, is a preferable alternative to eternal death since this is the deserved end of all sinners (Ezekiel 18:4; Romans 6:23). Thus, in the humility of Daniel and Levites in the days of Nehemiah who found themselves ministering during and after the judgment of God poured out on His only chosen people, Israel, respectively, my faithful Christian forefathers understood the spiritual realities (whatever men in the flesh might speculate) surrounding the enslavement and suffering of our people as the permitted, less than deserved remedial judgment of the sovereign God upon sinners (Daniel 9:1-19; Nehemiah 9:1-37).2
These aspiring strong men and great women of God in the image of Christ waited on God’s deliverance from their suffering in His timing because He would do so out of the same mercy and grace He had already shown to spare their physical lives and souls from eternal damnation! Additionally, the record of the Lord’s dealings with Israel in the Bible including their deliverance from Egyptian bondage stood as irrefutable evidence that God could and would someday do the same for them.
Faithful Christian slaves instilled this faith and hope in their children rehearsed thousands of times in their unique spirituals and work songs and left as a legacy to descendants as well as faithful Christians the world over as a latter day witness of what biblical perseverance is all about. I confess that I am unworthy of the example of patient endurance empowered through God’s strength left by my faithful Christian slave and free forefathers that continued in the blatant evil of Jim Crow segregation, racial bigotry, discrimination, injustice and terrorism right up through the mid-20th century.
Greater than their roles as a haven and outlet for emotional release, black churches have also been the incubators of leadership not only among their ranks, but extending out into the larger community. In fact, there was a time especially immediately following slavery through the Civil Rights Movement where church and community leadership was nearly identical. Reconstruction preachers such as Hiram R. Revels who served as a United States Senator from Mississippi and later, Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. a Congressman out of New York are representative of a wide network of black clergy involved in all levels of the political arena. Most of them, however, served effectively in their local towns as social liaisons between the community and the white power structure.
It was on the historical shoulders of social activist black preachers that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood leading participating pastors and their churches to what will be known until Christ shortly returns as the pinnacle of their spiritual potency as national Civil Rights advocates during the period from 1955-1968. While King Lieutenants such as Rev. Jesse Jackson continued on nationally, Rev. Aaron Johnson of North Carolina is among preachers that made an impact in individual States.
Though it is true much religious, political and social good has come historically from black churches in all of their denominational configurations, tragically, after the “mountain top” experience of the Civil Rights Movement, there has not been a similar widespread, unified and concerted effort to refocus on their biblical mission commanded by the Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 28:18-20. If there had been such a refocus, most of our communities in cities across America would not resemble war zones with violence, murder, other forms of lawlessness and familial irresponsibility ruling the streets.
Indeed, while not perfect, born again, faithful, spiritually maturing folks do not practice willfully sinning against God! Yet, for example, most incarcerated black Americans (overflowing the nation’s prisons) will tell you he or she is a Christian and grew up in the church. So, what happened? Nearly all grew up with Christianity the religion of men in churches still locked in the “safe house” mentality and shackled by human traditions that do not major on determining authenticity or insist on purposeful Christian education leading to spiritual maturity as should have been the case with a post-Civil Rights Movement refocus. This state of affairs cannot be blamed on “the white man” since again in pride, black churches belong to blacks!3
Black communities now need the churches to fully be the Church of Jesus Christ! This means as Civil Rights activist and entertainer Harry Belafonte strongly implied in his recent appeal to black churches on a NAACP Image Awards telecast, they must step up and go beyond being a place of religious refuge, political and social activism. Authentic, spiritually maturing black American Christians in their assemblies are needed as the “church of the living God” (1 Timothy 3:14-15, NKJV) led by Jesus Christ as Lord, to stand firm on God’s Word and moral order; infused with power from on high, to liberate prospective strong men and great women of God from the chains of Satan!
Christianity the religion is utterly worthless to set these men and women truly free or get them to God as the Lord Jesus plainly taught (John 8:31-36, 14:6)! As in impassive white, so, in emotionally fervent black churches practicing Christianity the religion of men, the Lord calls the willing to repentance, revival and the strength He supplies His people to please Him and do His will (Colossians 1:9-12). Get my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics to learn more about God’s strength.4
2 Visit https://fromslaverytovictory.org/, a Web Site sponsored by Open Door Communication Ministries, Inc. to journey through a very concise, biblically accurate and
satisfying elaboration of this point in a presentation entitled, Does God Care About African Americans?
3 I stand ready to offer Christian education consulting or assistance to any interested pastor. Contact me by any of the ways listed on our Web Site Contact Page.
4 The combined work of E. Franklin Frazier, The Negro Church in America and C. Eric Lincoln, The Black Church Since Frazier published in 1974 by Schocken Books,
Inc. served as a reference source for this blog.
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