During all of my service to God, I have sought to be humble, transparent and honest about my own weaknesses in the faith while as He gave leadership and power, I proclaimed and taught His Word uncompromised. I have never represented myself as having arrived at perfection. However, like the apostle Paul as an aspiring strong man of God in the image of Christ, I have considered all worldly attainments garbage (including the favorable opinions of men) and “press” zealously toward God’s goal (Philippians 3:7-16, NKJV)! When I fail, I get back up again in confession, repentance, the forgiveness and strength my God supplies and grow as a result!
Faithful Christians that are almost always eager Bible students understand the times we are living in and what lies ahead if not in specific detail, generally. This is because they do not read into Bible prophecy to concoct theories, spiritualize, or reject it, but reverence the Source enough to allow His illumination and instruction (Mark 13:23; 2 Peter 1:19-21). They also understand and accept it as it is written along with all other objectively understood portions of the Bible. Finally, unlike some theologians of history such as Augustine that rendered allegorical what he could not understand, the faithful realize some Bible prophecy would not be opened up by God until now (Daniel 12:4, 8-10)!
Those professed Christians that are selling themselves out to rebellion against God’s program with the world in unbelief do not know what time it is.1 The Lord Jesus and His apostles repeatedly make it clear however, that the faithful--every aspiring strong man and great woman of God as I write in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics--must live fully by faith in Him; enduring to the end to obtain the promised salvation (Matthew 10:16-39, 24:13; Romans 1:16-17, 8:18-25; Hebrews 3:5-19).2 The Lord led me to write this edited 2012 Commentary to encourage aspiring strong men of God to remain faithful as Bible prophecy is fulfilled before our very eyes.
Originally Published April 2012
I stand amazed at our God who has made us both observers of and participants in the times such as are now unfolding. For unknown to the wicked and apparently even many professing Christians, the times we are living in were foretold millennia ago by the prophets of God in the Bible's Old Testament as well as Jesus Christ and His apostles in the New. This is all to the glory of God who reveals the end from the beginning and events long before they occur (Isaiah 44:6-8, 45:20-22, 46:5-10, 48:3-5)! God, the eternally living God who spoke time into existence (Genesis 1:3-5, 14-19) and fulfills His Word at the right time is resolutely ratcheting up this world's troubles (Matthew 24:6-7).
Not since the global flood of Noah's day had the world experienced a paradigm shift of such magnitude as the incarnation of the Son of God in the Person of Jesus of Nazareth, now over 2,000 years ago. Planned from eternity (1 Peter 1:20), preliminarily announced by God in Eden on the day Adam sinned (Genesis 3:15) and fleshed out over time in revelation to His prophets, Jesus came to “save His people from their sins,” (Matthew 1:21, NKJV). In God’s perfect moment, at the right time He arrived to fulfill His mission as the apostle Paul later affirms (Romans 5:6). Interestingly, unlike the flood of Noah’s day, the world did not know He had come except those God revealed Him to.
For thirty years He grew up quietly in the ways of His people--a carpenter’s Son. After this, He engaged in a three and one half-year ministry of preaching, teaching and mighty miracles that authenticated His identity as God’s Anointed One. Then, before the eyes of His disciples, He was arrested and crucified. They did not understand that to save them from their sins, Jesus had to die in their place by divine decree (Romans 5:7-9). They buried Him the same day He died, but on the third day after, He showed Himself to His disciples alive from the dead and explained to them from prophecy all that had happened to Him in fulfillment (Luke 24:1-45).
The Lord then revealed to His still startled disciples that they were witnesses of all that had happened to Him. They would now take on the important responsibility to proclaim what they had seen and heard as well as the resulting good news to the nations in the power of God (Luke 24:46-49)! After leading them out to the appointed spot, the Lord ascended into Heaven with the promise He would be with them (and us) to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20b; Luke 24:50-53). The mission has continued through Christ's disciples in every generation since to this hour and will continue until the last soul known to God is saved; for He has a number in mind (Romans 4:13-18, 11:25-36).
Echoing his Lord, the apostle Peter in his first and second recorded sermons told Jewish hearers that what they had been witnessing in word, power and events concerning Jesus of Nazareth to that time had been foretold by their prophets (Acts 2:14-32, 3:18-24). They were living in a divinely ordained time of prophetic fulfillment with still more to come. It is for this reason that as led by the Lord I assert we have continued all of these years since in a time of prophetic fulfillment and therefore, remain in what should be properly understood as "God's times." This being true, those who walk by faith in His Son and obedience to God have never been out of step with or behind "the times!"
From the first appearance of Christ and His successful mission, “the times” have been “God’s times” in which He is presiding over His eternal plans and superintending His longsuffering work through the faithful to preach the Gospel to all the nations. God’s longsuffering has been of His unrelenting desire in love to save (Matthew 24:14; 2 Peter 3:1-9). While by His providence, men have advanced technologically during the last 20 centuries and exponentially so in the last two, they have made no self-generated improvement spiritually or morally. Indeed, lawlessness has been increasing, love decreasing and evil men grow worse as foretold (Matthew 24:12; 2 Timothy 3:13).
Confirming prophetic fulfillment shows us closer to the end of this present age than we imagined and the next great paradigm shift in God's program: the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ! In step with "God's times," we that love Him see that we are descending like an airplane into the foretold period of severe turbulence our Lord describes as an intensifying "beginning of sorrows” or “birth pains" to include global persecution caused tribulation (Matthew 24:8-9, 15-22, NKJV). However, it leads to a safe landing in His presence (Revelation 7:9-17). Every aspiring strong man of God will be very glad he did not sell the Lord out to be in step with the world's times (Mark 8:34-38). The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
1 Read the April 28, 2019 post, God’s Program Matters!, 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.
By the declaration of God ancient Judah was a called nation that refused to obey the Lord after hundreds of years of His longsuffering appeals through His prophets and remedial judgments. So put out with disobedient Judah was the Lord that as the time of His wrath approached, He forbid Jeremiah the prophet to intercede with Him on their behalf (Jeremiah 7:16-28). Without repentance, divine disgust with the corruptions, compromises and defiant disobedience of many professing Christians, their leaders and churches are bringing them to a similar moment in history; a moment in which religious devotion--no matter how impassioned--and activities are clearly seen as no substitute for obedience (Zechariah 7). Yet, the Church will stand obedient to God’s glorious end in Christ! Consider carefully this fourth repost the Lord gave me from my 2013 blog series on obedience.
Originally Posted August 18, 2013
“Are you teaching that all pastors and church leaders that willfully disobey the clear commands of God and corrupt His Word are weak Christians?” If they are Christians at all and do so without repentance, yes, since aspiring strong men and great women of God in the image of Christ are characterized by steadfast obedience in pleasing God out of love. As is typical historically, this is also a reason neither I nor my book are welcome in assemblies led by such persons. They are sinning against the Lord and will not have someone come in to confirm that fact by teaching God’s Word in truth.
They scoff at and are cynical toward anyone that teaches the way of love motivated obedience in Christ because they have corrupted themselves. And while they may even have large congregations and all of the outward display of worldly admired success, they are failing before God and in grave danger of sudden judgment as all others that willfully sin without repentance. The end does not justify the means especially when the end is big churches with the attending worldly admired success and the means is refusing to obey any part of God’s Word (Matthew 4:8-10, 16:24-27)!
It is amazing how these proud leaders attempt to escape guilt by accusing those who cry out against their sin as “not being smarter than everybody else” that outnumbers them. This is true as it concerns mortal men (2 Chronicles 18:1-13). However, praise God for His omniscience and infinite wisdom (2 Chronicles 18:14-34)! Indeed, for the times of tribulation He foretold through His prophets, Christ and His apostles are rapidly descending on this world (Isaiah 51:17-23; Jeremiah 25:29-33; Mark 13:3-13; 2 Timothy 3:1-5).
God is clear in His Word that these times leading to even great tribulation are testing and exposing the true character of every heart in and outside of the churches (Mark 13:14-23; 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12; Revelation 3:7-10). Therefore, all of the leaders and people among the selectively and partially obedient as well as willfully disobedient who also shout down the message of those sent by God to turn their hearts back to Him as “gloom and doom,” face the humiliating full exposure of their spiritual weakness and the counterfeit nature of Christianity the religion in the churches going forward. For the times of tribulation are also the beginning of the final judgment God brings upon His own house (Proverbs 16:5, 18; 1 Peter 4:17-18).
Truly, only the strong in the strength God supplies His faithful and steadfastly obedient ones will persevere through the times of tribulation ahead to salvation and eternal glory (2 Thessalonians 2:13-17)! It is for this reason that like an air bomber flying through persistent flak to reach its target, I also press faithfully in Christ through the opposition of faithless and disobedient professing Christians and their leaders to deliver His unchanging call to repentance and faithful discipleship rooted in the strong man of God message (Luke 9:57-62, 14:25-35).
With the heart of Christ my heart is deeply grieved over the foretold disgraceful carnage and spiritual damage done to this hour (and yet to be done) to His cause on earth by the many churches filled with disobedient and weak leaders and members in compromise that practice manmade Christianity the religion. Nevertheless, I am joyfully encouraged that Scripture also foretells the victory of Christ’s Church (Matthew 16:18). This is the eternally enduring house being built by God in Christ for His indwelling who also serve as priests under Christ that through the Spirit offer up spiritual sacrifices of steadfast obedience and service through times of tribulation (Romans 12:1-2; Hebrews 3:4-6, 10:19-25; 1 Peter 2:1-10, 3:13-17).
Such persons make up the universal assembly of Christians, the true Church on earth; aspiring strong men and great women of God that faithfully, accurately and honorably represent Christ in their obedience to the death; to the last ones standing triumphantly as a tiny remnant at His glorious appearing (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17; 2 Thessalonians 1:3-12; Revelation 12:10-11). This Church is not confined to buildings made with human hands that can be destroyed as has occurred in history (though we have assembled together locally in such structures since the 1st century--see, for example, Acts 1:12-14, 2:1-2, 44-47 and Romans 16:3-5) and will be the case in the time of the Antichrist with divine permission as judgment on Christianity the religion’s houses of confusion (Revelation 14:8, 17:1-18:24). This is the only Church that will be left standing after the divine judgments upon the whole world that are leading to wrath and the complete destruction of the evil kingdom that now governs it at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ with the Kingdom of God (Revelation 19:4-6)!
Forty years ago today I would have been in the second of seven days the Lord commanded me with specific and detailed instructions to fast without eating or drinking in complete devotion to Him.1 I write in gratitude to glorify the Lord for my experiences with Him those seven days that are still vivid and impacted my life and ministry in profound and lasting ways. Though yet a babe needing to grow spiritually (as are many reading this I also hope to urge on), I was never to be the same again (Galatians 2:20)!2 The command to be totally given over to the Lord came at a critical period in my life and twenty-two months from the time my spiritual journey began on Easter Sunday 1977.3
After my new birth, while I still had a robust interest in living the get high, party and sexually promiscuous lifestyle I had been accustomed to, it had begun to wane in satisfaction (1 Peter 4:1-3). I was becoming more interested in the things of God; occasionally reading a now, well worn New American Standard Bible I was given and a Parachurch ministry magazine that came out of nowhere I would later learn was unbiblical. In the spring of 1978 I had been fired from a department store job for impropriety and was struggling as a student at Howard University. I was not able to focus because my life seemed meaningless and empty; I had lost all sense of purpose and was depressed.
At summer’s end I was about to lose my apartment. So, with two school buddies, I made plans to move into and split the rent at a Takoma Park, MD high-rise that October. Still struggling with school though, I withdrew from classes in late September. I was working in a record shop part-time. In near desperation for change, later in the fall I asked a woman I had met in a club to direct me to the church she attended. My irregular attendance at the Mt. Zion Baptist Church in D.C. after that felt right, but I was still not at the point of total commitment to the God who was tugging at my heart. I ended the year and spent the first nine weeks of 1979 unemployed after being let go from my job.
I had enrolled in spring semester classes, but school still held no compelling interest for me and I went only sporadically. At my lowest, I attended church fairly regular now, reading my Bible more and praying for guidance and help. When I heard the voice of the Lord in my heart again for the first time since that Easter Sunday encounter, He commanded that I fast to Him for seven full days; eating no food or drinking anything. I was to totally withdraw from the world as I was living in it to include not sitting among my friends the first three days and give the Lord my complete, undivided attention in Bible study, reflection on the Word, prayer, listening to Him and my one Gospel tape.4
While I had some fear of the unknown concerning fasting as He commanded, the Lord’s accompanying instructions were reassuring and very importantly, faith building as was my entire experience. For I now understand with all else He had in mind for me5 from midnight Friday morning, February 16, 1979 through midnight Friday morning, the 23rd, my Lord was calling me to surrender all to Him; to die to self and sin for the first time in a major way on this unique occasion leading to what would eventually become in spirit “daily” as I matured in Him (Romans 6:1-14; 1 Corinthians 15:31; 2 Corinthians 4:11, NKJV).6 Indeed, the smell of death radiated from my body and breath (Job 19:17).7
With the intent to read through it all, my Bible study starting from Genesis 1:1 was very instructive. Though I did not finish before the end of the fast, when I did so later in the year, it turns out the fast was the launch pad for the many times I would read through God’s Word over the forty years since. The Lord showed up in my times of reflection not only to illuminate what I had studied, but to acquaint me with His Person--He is love, joy, peace…and power! Oh, the power of God who displayed it in my body such that I never thirsted or hungered (Isaiah 55:1-3; Matthew 4:4); who also stirred me to look closer and see that each flake truly was different as the snow fell gently on my 10th floor window (Job 38:22-38; Mark 4:35-41). I was in awe, but He was not finished yet!
The Almighty God, Creator of the heavens and the earth also brought me outside after the snow stopped the next day and commanded me to look directly into the sun. I hesitated because I had been taught never to do this due to the harm it would cause my eyes. But the Lord directed me to trust Him. So, I peered into the sun and the Lord said to me “Do you see the glory of the sun I created? My glory is greater” (Psalm 136:1-9; Isaiah 40:25-26; Acts 26:12-15)! No harm came to my eyes that day or since. Obeying His directions, I ended my fast with an amazingly good sip of water followed later that morning with juice and fruit. I did not eat a heavier meal until the second day after. Weak in body, but my soul on fire, I rejoiced mightily in church that Sunday and was later baptized!
During the week, the Lord had one more glorious experience for me. As I was driving along in D.C., I looked over to my right and saw a cemetery. Before I could focus good, all at once overflowing joy filled me followed immediately by uncontrollable tears as I understood in that instant the graveyard held no fear for me because in Christ, I overcome even death (Job 19:23-27; John 11:23-27)! I could hardly see through my tears as I drove on thanking and praising God for His great salvation and what was taking place in me as a result of the seven days with Him. The Lord gave the guidance and help I sought. He led me to withdraw from Howard and provided a part-time job at a grocery store so I could pay bills and save to move back home to Seaside, CA that May for what He had planned next. I gave away most of my worldly possessions and when May came, hit the road.
1 I am writing in the Holy Spirit’s illuminating spiritual hindsight about things I did not understand in those days. So, I now understand, for example, fasting in Scripture is
a spiritual discipline involving the subduing of the body in its natural desire for life sustaining food as an act of self-emptying humility before God. Many of the Bible’s
heavyweights fasted for this reason (Nehemiah 1:1-4; Luke 2:36-38) especially related to repentance (Daniel 9:1-19). The Lord Jesus fasted from food to God while
being tempted by the devil (Luke 4:1-2). The ancients also fasted in times of distress and grief such as when mourning those who died. This latter reason gives rise to
seven days being found in Scripture as one of the various number of days to fast (1 Samuel 31:11-13). Seven is a number God uses to signify completion (Genesis 2:
1-3). Fasting without food and drink is the ultimate self-emptying humility before and giving over of oneself to God which Moses did for forty days and nights on the
mountain and the Lord Jesus fully actualized on the cross (Deuteronomy 9:9; Luke 22:19, 41-42, 23:46).
2 Scripture references are added throughout this post I did not know back then as another beneficial aspect to me and the reader of the Holy Spirit’s illuminating spiritual
hindsight and confirmation of things taking place in my fast experiences.
3 This post is an elaboration on one part of my personal testimony found in fullest outline in the midst of a 5-part Journal article entitled, Releasing The Strong Man, be-
ginning in Part IV on the From Slavery To Victory Education Project Web Site.
4 My friends later told me I drove them crazy playing the 1978 Walter Hawkins, Love Alive II Album and especially the song, Be Grateful, over and over again (patched
and moved to a new shell, I still have and listen to it). They did not know that in that song in particular, the Lord was ministering His healing and deliverance from the
darkness of my despair with every tear I shed; hope in Him for better days ahead. Thank you, Jesus!
5 To learn more about other things the Lord was doing with me during my seven day fast read the October 2, 2016 post, Gifted With A Prophet’s Heart, and Pastors As
Developing Christian Men posted on December 17, 2017 both under the category, Call To Repent. See also Serving God From The Heart, posted April 23, 2017 un-
der the category, Glory To God!
6 Yes, I mean exactly as the great hymn, I Surrender All declares and Denise Williams soulfully delivers in her cover of it on her 1994 Greatest Gospel Hits Album. By
the way, among the many great songs on that same album, Ms. Williams also sings one of my standing songs of life devotion and service to the Lord, My Soul Desire.
7 Do not attempt to fast as I was commanded unless you are in fact commanded by the Lord who is able to and does supernaturally sustain the body deprived of its
necessary nourishment. The Lord never commanded me to fast without food and drink for seven days again, but once for three days and several times for one day.
All other extended fasts the Lord commanded me were without food only; the longest being forty days. There was no fast in drawing near to God that I did not have to
come face to face with, confess and repent from biblically defined sins (1 John 1:5-10).
Alert readers of my March 2, 2014 blog, The Testing Of Our Faith under the category, Instruction found me susceptible as all other Christians not only to the sin of unbelief, but also offering fear driven prayer to God that seeks His ratification of my solutions over what His might be. I should have known better by now--no doubt one of the reasons the Lord allowed me to go through the painful consequences. My youth in Christ is filled with those kinds of prayers that were not all treated with severity in the failed aftermath. Our God is a Father with no equal; a perfect balance of patience, wisdom and mercy as well as firmness and severity as needed with His sons. All praises be to Him!
Today too, the biblical picture of following Jesus from His own teaching and example as well as that of His apostles flies in the face of teaching from many pulpits that narcissistically and falsely make Christianity all about the follower! Yes, Christ suffered, died and rose again to save me, but not so I can go off selfishly to do my own thing and only receive from Him what is in my narrow self-interest. No longer preaching the Gospel of Christ, repentance from sin and faith in Him to be saved and become His disciples, many to their destruction preach this other gospel of narcissism to attract the attention, attendance and affections of followers for themselves (Galatians 1:6-10, NKJV).
Here is God’s reality check for the preachers and professed Christians of these self-absorbed and materialistic latter days: it is not about you! It is about Jesus Christ crucified, buried, risen, ascended and returning soon! Lining up behind Christ as our Savior and Lord through faith, He still expects us to follow His example in everything (John 13:12-17; 1 Peter 2:21-25). This being so, love of Christ who died for our sins is to be our deepest layer of motivation after faith and thanksgiving for following Him. And just as He modeled, we are to also be willing to go where He sends us, speak and do what He commands, forsake all, suffer and die for Him if required (Matthew 10:16-39).3
Moreover, in accord with His Father’s will, the Lord was quite intentional about giving us an exemplary display of His nature, character and demeanor we are to exhibit. Indeed, there are four distinctive characteristics of Christ His followers as aspiring strong men and great women of God in His image are to commonly exhibit I write about in my book. Like Him, we accept the roles God assigns, obey God to the death,4 rely on God for everything and trust God for vindication. Even the most casual reading of the four Gospels plainly show Christ walked out these characteristics in His life and service as a Disciple of His Father.
In His role as “the Lamb of God” in particular, He powerfully displayed all four characteristics at once! Again, moved by love for God and us He accepted this role, obeyed His Father’s will to the death, relied on Him to care for His soul in death and trusted that God would vindicate His sacrifice as He did first by raising Him from the dead to immortal glory (Isaiah 50:5-9; John 1:29; Acts 2:22-36, NKJV)! Sinful human love is incapable of reproducing Christ’s required example. No doubt, for this reason and anticipating the coming of the Holy Spirit to help, the Lord queries Peter who had denied he knew Him three times: “do you love Me,” (John 21:15-17; Romans 5:5-8, NKJV)?
The Lord’s demand to be the highest recipient of our love is not just a means to secure our sold out devotion, but also to help us keep our priorities straight with a Kingdom perspective and avoid becoming distracted and divided in heart, unfaithful, unwilling to suffer for His cause and coldly religious (Luke 9:57-62, 12:35-48; 2 Timothy 4:9-10; Revelation 2:1-7).5 Not following the Lord in sold out love and devotion causes a man to develop blind spots in his life that Satan comes by stealth and exploits to seduce him into various sins. For example, greater love for a wife or other family member can lead a man to disobey the Lord’s commanded will or allow them to take liberties that do so.
As well, absent the motive of love for Christ first it is easy to give oneself permission to mistreat others or be dishonest. If the man in these examples is in church leadership, Satan’s end game of scandal and profaning the name of Jesus in the wider world will be exponentially realized. Church history is replete with instances of such failed professed Christians to this hour many of whom for whatever all of the secondary reasons besides being impostors, fall away from Christ as foretold because they quench the Holy Spirit their source of love for Him (Matthew 24:10; 1 Thessalonians 5:19, NKJV). Only sold out love first for and faith in Christ will overcome Satan and cause a man to stand faithful and true to Him to the end (John 14:15; 1 John 5:3-5; Revelation 12:11).
Finally, if we will really line up behind Christ, it must be in accord with His written Word, interpreted and applied not as we wish, but as it is objectively understood! This is critical since God has allowed these foretold times of “testing” to be seductively filled with the purposeful deceit and falsehood of demons leading to the Antichrist as a final exam (Deuteronomy 13:1-4; 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12; 1 Timothy 4:1; Revelation 3:7-11, 13:1-18, NKJV). God’s Word as it is written must be fully anchored in our hearts, loved and obeyed in order not to be deceived (Psalm 119:11, 97). Otherwise, God warns of the eternal consequence of failing His final exam--a likely prospect for the many rebel professed Christians now deceived in so many ways (Jeremiah 12:5-6; Revelation 14:9-13, 22:11).
(I will be enjoying a Labor Day rest on September 1st. The Lord willing, look for my next post on Sunday evening, September 8th. Have a great Labor Day!)
3 If a man is not willing to do these things, then, as Christ warned he cannot be His disciple since he will not line himself up behind Him in the full commitment He requires
(John 12:25-26; Galatians 2:20) or follow His example as He wills (Philippians 2:5-8, 3:7-14).
4 I urge readers who have not to read and those that have to re-read the July 14-28, 2019 posts to honestly evaluate the objections you have to what is written in light of
just these first two distinctive characteristics of Christ God wants also displayed in us. If you are a professed Christian male or female refusing to accept the roles, rank
and responsibilities God has assigned and are in fact a disobedient to the Word rebel doing Christianity your own way, are you really a biblically defined disciple of Je-
sus Christ (Matthew 7:21-23; Luke 6:46; Hebrews 3:7-19)?
5 A Kingdom perspective pays attention to the will of Christ the King contained in the written Word and views all of life through that prism; staying also prophetically aware
and alert. Read the October 19, 2014 post, Sons Of The Kingdom under the category, Instruction and Out Of Step With The Times?, posted on May 5, 2019 under the
category, Bible Prophecy.
As the Lord led, I wrote this edited 2010 Commentary in commemoration of serving Him in this Ministry He led me to found. In that mindset, I post it now to praise the God who saved and called me to His service through what have been many adverse circumstances since 1985 and to serve as yet another witness against the success mongers that have falsely made compromise of God’s Word a necessity of Christian service. I joyfully fear God and in it have led this Ministry to stand for the restoration of men to the ordained roles of headship He designed for them in this mortal age; the glorious destiny that belongs to all Christians who will let God conform them to the image of Christ!
Originally Published August 2010
In our success mad world that always judges it based on numbers, size and favorable outcomes, many of the Bible's most important figures would be deemed failures. Yet, time has proven their calling and service to God--where they many times stood alone against the tide of their day--was truly very successful as it concerned faithfully doing His will. Reflecting on the 25th anniversary since I was blessed by God to found Open Door Communication Ministries, Inc. August 12, 1985, I have faced the fact a later to be seen faithfulness as success may be my own spiritual legacy as also the majority of aspiring strong men of God in the image of Jesus Christ!1
Since the success model of the world has also firmly established itself in most of our churches and para-church ministries today, numbers, size and favorable outcomes determine whether a man or his ministry are successful. As a pastor, folk constantly want to know, "how large is your church" as if this one factor can really determine success or if God is involved. Many certified false teachers have followers in the millions. With Open Door Communication Ministries, Inc. the question is "what is your income?" In fairness, we report numbers small and large from events we sponsor in our monthly newsletter. But we give God the glory because His work is the point!
The God of the Bible does not often set numerical goals especially for work to be done with a prophetic emphasis. The question, “how many support your cause” asked in their times would have surely made the responses of men like Noah, Lot, Elijah, Jeremiah, the Lord Jesus and His apostle, Paul, failures in the eyes of their inquirer. Noah was called of God to build an ark for what turned out to be just for his family of eight out of millions of human beings. God gave this cause to Noah after announcing He would destroy the world with a flood. Yet, Noah preached righteousness while he worked a lengthy time building the ark, but none sought refuge until too late (Genesis 7:11-23; 2 Peter 2:4-5).
Righteous Lot lived in a wicked city like many in our nation today in which he had continually appealed for their restraint from evil. God sent angels to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah sparing only Lot, his wife and daughters for his sake. But even his wife perished after disobeying the command not to look back (Genesis 19:12-26; 2 Peter 2:6-8). Elijah the prophet stood alone to face down 450 false prophets of Baal and though he prevailed by the Lord, he felt abandoned by the people of Israel because they feared wicked Jezebel who had put a death sentence upon him (1 Kings 18:20-19:10).
The prophet Jeremiah warned of God's coming judgment and called the people of Judah to repentance for over 40 years. He was beaten, imprisoned, kept in stocks, dropped down wells and opposed by priests, false prophets and most of the kings. He stood virtually alone until the end when the judgment God had been warning of through him came (2 Chronicles 36:15-21; Jeremiah 40:1-6). After having the multitudes of Israel follow Him and enjoy His instruction and ministry of power, the Lord Jesus stood alone against His accusers and in His cause that led Him to the cross (Luke 23:33-49). Later, Paul, His apostle knew a similar experience (2 Timothy 4:9-16).
Thus, limited numbers and standing alone against the crowd typically in rebellion and apostasy is not new for God’s faithful. Indeed, every professed Christian man must decide if he needs a crowd or will he stand alone if necessary to do God's will? I made my choice 25 years ago and suffer the consequences. This Ministry is still small and I have never had a salary.2 I am scoffed at and ridiculed because I refuse to corrupt God's Word for the sake of success. Even so, the Gospel is preached, lives are being changed and souls are being warned! Like all of the Bible’s aspiring strong men of God, I have stood at times and will stand alone to faithfully do His will to the end (Ezekiel 33:1-9). The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
1 As a result, my sole focus is on finishing well (pleasing to God--2 Corinthians 5:9) and to let legacy take care of itself! Learn more about the aspiring strong man of God
in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics. It is available at all major internet booksellers, by order at your favorite brick and mortar bookstore or in the
Strong Man Store.
2 With all praise and thanksgiving to God, this changed in 2014 with the sale of property the Ministry received. I am trusting the Lord for what follows the exhaustion of
this diminishing provision and invite any faithful Christians looking for men of biblical truth and faithfulness to support to consider me through this Ministry. Contact the
Ministry for more information.
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