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.
I have written much about why men must be restored at this hour.1 In this post, the Lord leads me to encourage the men who have been restored to and in Christ and are aspiring to be strong men of God in His image!2 You are feeling the growing pressure of hostile rebellion from the world and compromising, professed Christians where you live, work, recreate, shop, gas up, get repairs, socialize and go to church. The Lord has two words for you and me: “stand fast” (2 Thessalonians 2:15, NKJV)! We are to stand our ground while continuing to proclaim the Gospel, witness Christ and contend for the one biblical faith passed down and entrusted to us by the Lord and His apostles!
The phrase, “stand your ground,” has become well known in these latter days thanks to the Florida law that has allowed persons carrying guns to shoot to kill those they feel are a threat of bodily harm to them. Identifying the enemy as “the devil” who leads “spiritual hosts of wickedness” in their unrelenting struggle against us as Christians, the apostle Paul commands that we “Put on the whole armor of God” that we “may be able to stand against” his “wiles” (schemes), “withstand in the evil day and having done all, to stand,” (Ephesians 6:11-13, NKJV).3 Clearly, the great apostle is concerned that we not be moved away from Christ and the faith as is evil’s intent if possible.
The wiles of the devil are many as veterans of spiritual warfare know. He does not fight fair and is extremely crafty, sneaky and deliberately patient waiting for the opportunity to spring traps long before set. For example, having helped foster and exploit manmade and counterfeit forms of biblical Christianity over many centuries, evil is now inciting hostility against them and the real thing which in the minds of the haters are one and the same.4 Nurtured by Christianity the religion of men from its inception, our secularizing nation has been backing away from it at break neck speed since the 19th century ascendancy of the sciences which ostensibly have the natural answers for everything.5
In the process, of course, the rebellion against things Christian involves that which is truly of God and biblical and has reached the point of outrageously ridiculous as it concerns gender, marriage and family. Political correctness, tolerance and moral relativism have also spawned a generation that has shifting boundaries; enabling confusion and lawlessness to proliferate. America is not apostatizing since every single person in it from the beginning until now has not been a born again Christian. But it is forcefully rejecting what was imposed on it by religionists and hoped for by Christ’s faithful. In the midst of this satanically caused matrix of evil, Christian men are commanded to stand!
We are to firmly stand our ground against the continuing onslaught of evil in God’s superior spiritual armor of truth, righteousness, the Gospel of peace with Him, all important faith and the three-fold wonder of salvation: justification, sanctification and the glory to come! We also wield the mighty weapons of God’s Word as a “sword” (Hebrews 4:12) and in accord with the situation, prayers of intercession on behalf of others and/or petition for God’s intervention (Ephesians 6:14-18, NKJV) including with reinforcements (2 Kings 6:8-17; Acts 12:1-11). On rare, Spirit directed occasions, the heavy prayer weapon of imprecation is employed against those deceived by Satan (2 Kings 6:18-23; Acts 13:4-12).
This latter weapon is used only in the rarest of situations because our warfare is not with fellow humans we seek to see saved through repentance and faith in the Gospel! This is why we are to stay alert and prayerful for each other to seize opportunities to preach the Gospel and witness Christ among the lost even while suffering their rejection and persecution; trusting God for vindication as Paul modeled (Ephesians 6:19-20). Standing our ground, we wait on the Spirit’s clear prompt (if it will come at all) before engaging in imprecatory prayer upon those that attempt to hinder others from hearing the Gospel and God’s Word. Such persons include professed Christian impostors, rebels and apostates legion among the numerous forms of manmade Christianity the religion (Acts 13:6-8).
Indeed, when Jude wrote his famous exhortation “to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” he was concerned not about the world outside as a priority, but those from it coming into the churches by stealth as impostors, rebels and manifest apostates (Jude 1-4, 12-19, NKJV). While without repentance they stand condemned (Jude 5-11), we in “holy faith,” continuing prayer “in the Holy Spirit” and “the love of God” “making a distinction,” are to care enough to attempt to reach and if at all possible, yank the impostors and rebels “out of the fire” (2 Timothy 2:24-26; Jude 20-23, NKJV). May you and I stand fast in the evil day to God’s glory (Jude 24-25)! The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
1 Read all of my posts under the Category, The Cause and my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics, available at all major internet booksellers, by order at your
favorite brick and mortar bookstore or in the Strong Man Store.
2 This encouragement is both for Christian men now and prophetically, those known to God who will read it in the fast approaching future engaged in the most intense
days of spiritual warfare since our Lord’s first century apostles. Glory to God who has gifted, called and blessed me to be used of Him in this way!
3 See the June 8, 2014 post, And Then There Is The War, under the category, Instruction and A Soldier’s Salute posted November 11, 2018 under the category, The
Cause. Also, in the Strong Man Store, purchase the four message audio series, We Are At War!
4 Read the two-part, August 2016 post, Christianity The Religion Of Men, under the category, Instruction.
5 See the September 4, 2016 post, Christianity The Religion American Style, under the category, Call To Repent.
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