All Quiet on God’s Holy Front

In the little book of Habakkuk, the prophet describes the stupidity of worshiping idols. Men carved idols from wood and overlaid them with precious metals. They chiseled mute stones into objects of worship. Then, those who had created the idols began speaking to these lifeless objects and worshiping them as though they could teach. The last verse of Habakkuk 2 draws a contrast with God since He is the opposite of lifeless idols. He speaks, and we listen. There are times we speak with and for God, and other times when we are to be silent before Him. Listen to Habakkuk 2:20 (NKJV):

“But the Lord is in His holy temple.

Let all the earth keep silence before Him.”


The idol makers create silent gods and speak to them, as in the case of the Baal prophets of Mt. Carmel. God, on the other hand, creates people and speaks to us. He instructs, guides, comforts, and counsels. We lift our voices in praise to Him, but when He speaks, we reverently silence our voices to hear.


Daniel Webster, on June 17, 1843, at the Bunker Hill Monument in Charleston, Massachusetts, spoke these stirring words about our forefathers’ reverence for the Bible:

The Bible came with them. And it is not to be doubted, that to free and universal reading of the Bible, in that age, men were much indebted for right views of civil liberty.

The Bible is a book of faith, and a book of doctrine, and a book of morals, and a book of religion, of special revelation from God; but it is also a book which teaches man his own individual responsibility, his own dignity, and his equality with his fellow-man.


Habakkuk observed the wickedness of his country, Judah, which confused him. We have a righteous God. Why does He allow evil? Why doesn’t He act? Sound familiar? Listen to the opening of the book, Habakkuk 1:1-4 (NKJV):

The burden which the prophet Habakkuk saw.

O Lord, how long shall I cry,

And You will not hear?

Even cry out to You, “Violence!”

And You will not save.

Why do You show me iniquity,

And cause me to see trouble?

For plundering and violence are before me;

There is strife, and contention arises.

Therefore, the law is powerless,

And justice never goes forth.

For the wicked surround the righteous;

Therefore perverse judgment proceeds.


We have stopped listening to God – by design. Marxist insurrectionists know that God is their problem in conquering America. If people follow God, they will cherish our God-given inalienable rights, such as liberty, and would be willing to fight to keep them. The Marxist solution is to remove God and rule the masses.


Our Founders knew the possibility of tyrannical rule and the means to accomplish it. Here are two quotes.

It is in the interest of tyrants to reduce the people to ignorance and vice. For they cannot live in any country where virtue and knowledge prevail. Samuel Adams


Bad men cannot make good citizens. It is impossible that a nation of infidels or idolaters should be a nation of free men. It is when a people forget God that tyrants forge their chains. A vitiated state of morals, a corrupted public conscience, is incompatible with freedom. Patrick Henry


Marxists and Marxist sympathizers began to nefariously dismantle our republic by taking God out of the classroom. Americans learned scripture and biblical principles in public school for generations. Teachers employed the New England Primer and McGuffey’s Reader to educate AND mold their students’ character.


William McGuffey was a professor and college president who published the first edition of his “McGuffey’s Eclectic Readers” in 1836. This may have been the most popular series of public school textbooks in our history. He revised the series until 1901. In the third edition preface, McGuffey wrote:

. . . From no source has the author drawn more capriciously than from the Sacred Scriptures. . . . This certainly apprehends no censure. In a Christian country, the man is to be pitied, who, at this day, can honestly object to imbuing the minds of youth with the language and spirit of the word of God.[1]


McGuffey was the product of the work of our Founders and Framers. He emphasized that America was a Christian nation and that the word of God is essential to the well-being of our students AND nation. After all, as Abraham Lincoln purportedly said:

The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next.


Our nation has fallen apart because its people have. We lost our direction when we chose to stop taking God at His word and allowed the government to usurp its authority and remove prayer and Bible from our schools. Then we dare cry, “God, don’t you see?” “Why don’t you do something?”


God’s response to us is, “Why don’t YOU do something? You let evil in. Now act to get it out.”


God sees and acts. We cannot mock God or be apathetic to Him and His word and expect to get away with it. We reap what we sow. God crushed the wickedness of Judah with the Babylonian army after repeated warnings from the prophets. The Jews went into captivity for seventy years and came out with a new resolve to destroy idolatry. Don’t you wonder what He has in store for America?


None of us wants to go through the dramatic hardships of Judah. We can avert catastrophe by silencing our distractions to hear and heed God. When we repent of our idolatry and apathy and genuinely acknowledge God, He promises to restore us (2 Chronicles 7:14). Acknowledging God means actively pursuing His will to save and direct all people.



Keep The Light of Reverent Silence Before God Burning!

[1] Cummings, Brad, and Lance Wubbels, editors. The Founders’ Bible. Newbury Park, CA, Shiloh Road Publishers, 2012, pp. 1931-1962.


God’s Amazing Grace

I am sure you have heard preachers say that mercy is not receiving the punishment we deserve, and grace is receiving the blessings we don’t deserve. This time of year, thinking about the birth of Jesus, we see both His mercy and grace.


John Newton was a former slave ship captain who died on December 21, 1807. You will remember that Newton composed the famous hymn “Amazing Grace.” Nearly all Christian people know the song because it touches on the depth of our need for and dependence upon God.


John’s mother died when he was eleven, and he went to sea with his father. Years later, Newton fell in love with Mary Catlett, and while on shore leave visiting her, he overstayed his visit and missed his ship’s departure. The British Navy pressed him into service on the HMS Harwich.


John Newton’s undisciplined behavior caused the Navy to trade him to a slave ship. Eventually, slave traders enslaved HIM on a plantation in Sierra Leon, West Africa. Newton learned what it was like to be enslaved and abused by a master. Eventually, he was rescued, yet continued in the slave trading business in an incredibly immoral lifestyle, scorning Christians with profanity that shocked sailors.


John prayed for the first time during a storm at sea that nearly sank his ship. That storm and that prayer changed his life. Someone gave him a Bible and Thomas a Kempis’ Imitation of Christ, which he read regularly. He left the slave trade and became a minister, preaching for the rest of his life against slavery.


He encouraged William Wilberforce to end slavery in England. Wilberforce eventually accomplished abolition through astute political means (If you haven’t seen it, I encourage you to watch the movie, “Amazing Grace” to see this story). Newton’s anti-slavery and pro-Christ tombstone reads, “John Newton, Clerk, once an infidel and libertine, a servant of slaves in Africa, was, by the rich mercy of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, preserved, restored, pardoned, and appointed to preach the faith he had long labored to destroy.


John Newton’s first pastorate was in Olney, England. In 1767, poet William Cowper moved to Olney, and with his help, Newton composed songs for their weekly prayer meetings. Among these songs were:

  • “Oh! for a Closer Walk with God.”
  • “God Moves in a Mysterious Way.”
  • “There is a Fountain Filled with Blood.”


We may forget that God has initiated our salvation. Yes, He wants us to seek Him in response to His seeking us. When you think about Adam and Eve in the Garden, God sought them after they sinned. When Pharaoh imprisoned Israel in Egypt, God came to them and brought them to Himself in the wilderness (Exodus 19). Jesus said in Luke 19:10 (NKJV):

10 for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”


Jesus came to earth to seek the lost. That includes all of the tax collectors and sinners we read of in the gospels. It also consists of a reprobate like John Newton. God didn’t give up on John. Through an “almost catastrophe,” God wanted to rescue him and change the essence of his life, which He did.


We live in a dark world; sometimes, we long for Christ to return and end the wickedness. Have you wondered why God has delayed sending His Son to judge us? Peter gives us the answer in 2 Peter 3:9-10 (NKJV):

 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. 


God is not willing for people to perish, but at some point, God will bring this world to an end, and some people will be lost. That means there is hope for you and me. We might not be as bad as John Newton, but all sin separates us from God, and all of us have sinned (see Romans 3:23; 6:23). God is more significant than our sins, no matter how big they may be.


Newton’s epitaph seems to indicate that he identified with the apostle Paul. Paul persecuted believers as “Saul of Tarsus.” He was zealous for God but missed the Messiah. As a result, he attacked the innocent followers of Jesus. Newton probably carried the guilt of his slave trade for the rest of his life, feeling that he, too, persecuted the innocent. Listen to Paul in Acts 22:4 (NKJV):

I persecuted this Way to the death, binding and delivering into prisons both men and women,

Jesus confronted Saul on the Damascus Road and brought Ananias to share the gospel. While Paul may have carried the memory of harming the believers, Christ forgave him. Paul referred to himself as “Chief of Sinners” in 1 Timothy 1:15. Yet look at our admiration of him today!


Jesus extended that hope to John Newton and you and me. Believe it or not, Jesus wants us in His kingdom and to work through us, broken vessels, to accomplish His purposes. We might want to abandon our walk with God and quit on God, but God won’t leave us! Philippians 1:6 (NKJV) reads:

being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;


God didn’t give up on Paul or John Newton, nor will He give up on you and me. The sweet sound of His amazing grace saves us! Remember John 1:14 (NKJV):

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.


Let’s Keep The Light of God’s Amazing Grace Burning!



Strong and Courageous (1)

Fear seems to be the emotion “du jour.” We seem to be afraid of just about everything from a virus to our government. Should we be so afraid, or is there a better way?


I want to use Joshua 1:1-9 (NKJV) as our text for this lesson. Please pay close attention to the reading.

After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, it came to pass that the Lord spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying: “Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the River Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your territory. No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you  shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”


Moses died, and God installed Joshua as the leader of the Hebrew nation. Joshua had supported Moses for forty years in their wilderness journey from Sinai. Now he is to fill the shoes of the legendary leader, Moses.


I imagine that Joshua was intimidated by God’s action. How hard would it be to follow such a leader as Moses? We often see the difficulty that a new Pastor has in following a renowned Pastor of a congregation. How much harder would this have been?


Joshua, along with the other Israelites, had relied on Moses for four decades. The nation saw Moses lose his place in the Promised Land for striking the rock instead of speaking to it as God had instructed. Now, Joshua would take the reins of leadership for the nation that had pushed Moses to the brink of insanity. What a challenge!


In the first chapter of Joshua, God tells him to be strong and courageous or of good courage four times. Three appear in the first nine verses and then in the last verse. Joshua’s fear must have been a severe issue for him. Strength and courage were the subjects for the day as Joshua would lead the nation against the powerful Canaanite nations.


People do not change that much over time. Our Founding Fathers understood the sinful nature of man. We have the desire to abuse power when we are in leadership roles. The abuse of power is why our Forefathers instituted a Constitution with built-in accountability for our political leaders. They had experienced tyranny, and they knew that unchecked political leaders could initiate tyranny again.


We are in such a mess today that fear dominates us. We feared the virus, so people ran out and took a shot with unknown side effects. Now people are fearing the long-term side effects.


You have seen fear displayed on the very faces of people. How many people are wearing masks out of fear, even though studies have proven the mask to be ineffective? Studies have shown that wearing masks is even detrimental to our health. People drive in their cars alone, wearing masks because they are afraid.


God urged Joshua to be “strong and courageous.” Leaders always impact their followers. If the shepherd is afraid, his flock will be. If the shepherd is confident, the flock will be. The sheep trust the leadership of their shepherd. Too many church leaders lead out of fear. They have forgotten 2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV):

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.


Fearful leaders typically are afraid of viruses, the government, and losing “nickels and noses” in their churches. These leaders have abdicated their responsibility of hearing from the LORD. They are taking their marching orders from the “Mainstream Media” with its fearmongering.


We know that fear magnifies fear. If the shepherds are afraid, the congregation will be as well. If a man of courage emerges, fear declines. Joshua was such a man and an excellent example for church leaders today.


When we are fearful, to whom should we turn? We should listen to the LORD, not the mainstream media. We heed the courage-filled shepherds, not the shepherds who abuse their flocks with fear. Fearful shepherds remind me of Jeremiah 23:1-4 (NKJV):

“Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture!” says the Lord. Therefore thus says the Lord God of Israel against the shepherds who feed My people: “You have scattered My flock, driven them away, and not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for the evil of your doings,” says the Lord. “But I will gather the remnant of My flock out of all countries where I have driven them, and bring them back to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. I will set up shepherds over them who will feed them; and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, nor shall they be lacking,” says the Lord.


I have heard that during the “plan-demic,” churches have lost significant numbers of members. One church has retained one-third of its membership; one-third has left to attend other churches, and a final third is missing. Who is responsible for these sheep? Why did two-thirds leave?


By contrast, other churches with courageous leaders are growing instead of declining. These leaders are “faith-full,” not fearful. They can stand against governmental overreach and tyranny to tend their flocks.


Some churches lament that some of their members have changed churches. Some of these members may be fickle and just looking for something new. Others have even crossed denominational lines to find a liberty-minded congregation in a time of tyranny and fear. Most of those who left their congregation did so out of dissatisfaction with fearful shepherds.


A good friend once told me, “You can’t steal satisfied sheep.” I think he was correct. People who are satisfied with their church leaders will not look for greener grass. The dissatisfied will look for strong leaders to help guide them.


Keep The Light of Courageous Leadership Burning!


Boston Masscre

The English Parliament imposed unjust taxation on the American colonies in 1764. The purpose of the taxes was to pay off the debts England accrued during the “Seven Years War.” Later Britain added more taxes to maintain rule over the colonies at their own expense.[1]


Parliament began levying taxes on the colonies without their consent. Here is a partial list of the unjust taxes:

  • The Sugar Act, 1764 – Increased duties on imported sugar, textiles, coffee, wines, and dyes;
  • The Currency Act, also 1764 – Prohibited the use of paper money and threatened to destabilize the colonial economy
  • The Stamp Act, 1765 – Affected all printed materials;
  • The Quartering Act 1765, 1766, and then in 1774 – Required colonists to house and feed British troops;
  • Declaratory Act, 1766 – Parliament claimed power to legislate ALL laws governing the colonies. This led to violence between the British and Americans;
  • Townsend Act, 1767 – The British imposed taxes on imports like paint, tea, lead, and glass. Following this act, Americans practiced widespread boycotts and violence.


Violence escalated on both sides. On February 22, 1770, British officials fired into a mob of Americans. They killed an eleven-year-old in the process.[2] Then on March 5, 1770, a mob harassed a group of British soldiers. The “Boston Massacre” ensued, leaving five dead and six wounded. The Boston Massacre became a rallying point for patriotic Americans.


Crispus Attucks was among the dead that day. Attucks is probably the most famous Black Patriot of our Revolution. He stood against tyranny with his white counterparts.


Joseph Warren, President of the Massachusetts Congress, stirred a crowd on the second anniversary of the Boston Massacre on March 5, 1772. He said:

If you perform your part, you must have the strongest confidence that the same Almighty Being who protected your pious and venerable forefathers, who enabled them to turn a barren wilderness into a fruitful field, who so often made bare His arm for their salvation, will still be mindful of you, their offspring. May this Almighty Being graciously preside in all our councils. May He direct us to such measures as He Himself shall approve and be pleased to bless. May our land be a land of liberty, the seat of virtue, the asylum of the oppressed, a name and a praise in the whole earth, until the last shock of time shall bury the empires of the world in one common undistinguishable ruin![3]


Two years later, on March 5, 1774, the fourth anniversary of the Boston Massacre, John Hancock commemorated the event. He stated:

Some boast of being “friends to government”: I am a friend to “righteous” government, to a government founded upon the principles of reason and justice….

I have the most animating confidence that the present noble struggle for liberty will terminate gloriously for America. And let us play the man for our GOD, and for the cities of our GOD; while we are using the means in our power, let us humbly commit our righteous cause to the great LORD of the universe, who loveth righteousness and hateth inequity.

– And having secured the approbation of our hearts, by a faithful and unwearied discharge of our duty to our country, let us joyfully leave her important concerns in the hands of HIM who raiseth up and putteth down empires and kingdoms of the world as HE pleases; and with cheerful submission to HIS sovereign will, devoutly say,

“Although the fig-tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olives shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls; yet we will rejoice in the LORD, we will joy in the GOD of our salvation”(Habakkuk 3:17-18).[4]


Americans, by nature, resist tyranny. The unjust practices of King George III and Parliament incited the fury of Americans. They peacefully protested for the most part until fired upon by the British.


Americans have not changed much over the years. Yes, we have forgotten God in too many cases, but the DNA of Liberty He placed in the nation remains. Political rallies, peaceful demonstrations, and Trucker Convoys are a few ways we express our displeasure. People do not tolerate abuse for long.


Our Founders did not advocate for violent revolution. They did not believe God would bless a war of aggression, only one of self-defense (see 2 Samuel 10:12; Nehemiah 4:13-14, 20-21, and Zechariah 9:8). John Parker told the Minute Men at Lexington, “Do not fire unless fired upon.”[5]


I hope the destruction of America by the current Marxist regime awakens the hearts of American Patriots. We don’t need BLM-style protests with violence and looting. We need Patriots who will return to God and uphold righteousness.


If we do not educate ourselves beyond the propaganda of the Main Stream Media, we will have tyranny. As “We the People,” we can have the courage and strength to bring government back to our control. Our political leaders only rule by the “consent of the governed.” Even God rules by our consent. When the people rejected God from being their King, He told Samuel:

“Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not reign over them (1 Samuel 8:7, NKJV).


There is a time to stand with God for Liberty.1 John 4:4 (NKJV) reminds us of God’s greatness. John wrote:

You are of God, little children, and have overcome them because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.


Keep The Light of Doing Our Part With God Burning!

[1] Cummings, Brad, and Lance Wubbels, editors. The Founders’ Bible. Newbury Park, CA, Shiloh Road Publishers, 2012, p. C-2.

[2] Ibid., p. 1373.

[3] Federer, William J. American Quotations. Amerisearch, 2013, p. 715.

[4] Ibid., p. 683.

[5] Cummings, Brad, and Lance Wubbels, editors. The Founders’ Bible. Newbury Park, CA, Shiloh Road Publishers, 2012, p.1769.


Our After Christmas Specials

I thought that since Christmas is over, we might consider some “After Christmas Specials.” Let’s begin with a scripture reading from Matthew 2:9-11 (NKJV):

When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy. 11 And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.


The day after Thanksgiving Day, is known as the busiest shopping day of the year. A few years ago, British psychologist David Lewis reported that shopping is hazardous to men’s health. He tested volunteers (22-79 years old) by sending them out Christmas shopping. He recorded blood pressure rates that “you’d expect to see in a fighter pilot going into combat.” According to this same test, only one in four women showed any significant signs of stress from shopping – just one of many gender differences.


Someone asked, “What would have happened if there had been Three Wise Women instead of Three Wise Men?” The answer is: They would have asked directions immediately upon commencing their trip, which would have allowed them to arrive on time; they would have helped deliver the baby, cleaned the stable, made a casserole and brought cute little outfits that baby Jesus could have worn on his trip home.


As it happened, they were wise men (not wise women) – and while we think of these men as part of the story, they were not present at the birth of Jesus. They didn’t arrive on the scene till well over a year later, possibly as much as two years after the birth.


One of the questions we have asked through the years is, “WHO were the Wise Men?” Traditionally some scholars have said that they were Pagan astronomers. In addition, we have come up with three wise men because there were three gifts for Jesus in their story. Eventually the wise men were even named.


It is more likely that these wise men were Jews from Babylon. It is likely that they were descended from those who did not return from Captivity. In fact, Babylon was the center of Jewish study for many years. The Jews have two Talmuds (commentaries on the Torah). One is the Babylonian Talmud, the other is the Jerusalem Talmud. Most Jewish scholars hold to the Babylonian Talmud as more authoritative.


One of the reasons that some scholars believe these wise men were Jews from Babylon is because they followed the scriptures to Bethlehem. Do you remember the prophecy in Micah 5:2 (NKJV)?

“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Though you are little among the thousands of Judah,
Yet out of you shall come forth to Me
The One to be Ruler in Israel,
Whose goings forth are from of old,
From everlasting.”


Even Herod went to the scriptures through the Jewish religious leaders to find the place of the birth of the Messiah in Matthew 2. He pretended to want to worship the newborn “King of the Jews.” In reality, he wanted to kill Jesus.


In addition, they followed the STAR to the house. Why was that? It was more than an astronomical phenomenon. They followed the star and, again, they followed the scriptures. Notice Numbers 24:17 (NKJV):

17 “I see Him, but not now;
I behold Him, but not near;
A Star shall come out of Jacob;
A Scepter shall rise out of Israel,
And batter the brow of Moab,
And destroy all the sons of tumult.


They brought three gifts to Jesus and His parents. First, there was gold. Gold represents wealth and royalty. We can also think about the sovereignty of God in relationship to the gold. Frankincense was the second gift. This was a special element of the incense blend to be used in the Temple worship. It represents holiness and the priesthood. Not only was Jesus God and King, He is our High Priest after the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 5:10). Third was the Myrrh. Myrrh was used in anointing and in embalming dead bodies. This gift reveals the death for which Jesus was destined. Jesus really was born to die.


It is possible that the wise men brought these gifts, not only as symbols, the gifts could have had a practical application. They may have been used to finance the family’s escape to Egypt. This is another fulfillment of Scripture. Hosea 11:1 (NKJV) reads:

“When Israel was a child, I loved him, And out of Egypt I called My son.


Wise men searched for Jesus – and found him. They gave him their best. People of our founding generations were exceedingly wise. They put their focus on Jesus and built their lives on Him. They intended to build a nation on Him and His teachings. Notice these statements:

The Founders of Yale stated on November 11, 1701:

Every student shall consider the main end of his study to wit to know God in Jesus Christ and answerably to lead a Godly, sober life.[1]


Samuel Adams

I conceive we cannot better express ourselves than by humbly supplicating the Supreme Ruler of the world…. that the confusions that are and have been among the nations may be overruled by the promoting and speedily bringing in the holy and happy period when the kingdoms of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ may be everywhere established, and the people willingly bow to the sceptre of Him who is the Prince of Peace.[2]


Have you searched for him?

You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13


If you have found him, what have you given? He is not interested in monetary gifts, He is interested in YOU. Have you presented yourself as a living sacrifice? Have you conformed to Him rather than the world as in Romans 12:1-2?


The wise men gave their best in their gifts. The best we can do is give ourselves. He gave His best, He gave Himself to and for us.


Keep The Light of Giving God Our Best Burning!

[1] William J. Federer, American Quotations 2013, p. 361.

[2] Ibid., p. 422.


My Bag of Oranges

A Simple Bag of Oranges


As we approach Christmas, I wanted to share with you some memories of this time of year. I used to buy a bag of oranges while Christmas shopping. Actually, it was not really a big deal — I could pretty much buy oranges any time I wanted. It was, however, Christmas time and I had a flashback to my youth. Every year I got an apple and an orange in my Christmas stocking, along with some assorted nuts and small toys.


The reason I used to get the fruit at Christmas time was because my parents always got apples and oranges when they were young. They grew up in a much less affluent time. Fresh fruit was a huge treat for them. So, they passed that onto us. Then I kept it going.


When my parents bought Christmas gifts for us kids, they included apples and oranges because it brought back happy memories of special treats. So, when I saw the oranges, I suddenly had a craving for the “good old days” even though, fresh fruit is prevalent and not quite the treat of long ago.


Remembering the “Good Old Days” is nothing new. Every generation seems to do it. Carly Simon closed her song, “Anticipation,” with:

These are the good old days
And stay right here, ’cause these are the good old days


Solomon knew it was foolish to wish for the “Good Old Days.” He said in Ecclesiastes 7:10 (ESV):

Say not, “Why were the former days better than these?” For it is not from wisdom that you ask this.


We look back and things seemed better. Food tasted better. Celebrations were happier. Life was simpler. But you know the reality, people are people. Every generation struggles with the same basic issues. Sometimes they are more intense than others but the issues were basically the same issues.


The good old days also stimulate our traditions. Tradition is like money, it is neutral. The “love of money” or the love of tradition over God is the problem. The “Rich Young Ruler” found out that he loved or trusted his money more than Jesus and walked away from Him (see Luke 18:18-30). BTW, Jesus let the man go. He did not compromise or change His terms of discipleship.


There is nothing really wrong with traditions until tradition becomes law and interferes with our relationship to God. Some traditions are actually encouraged by the Bible. Notice Paul’s words in 2 Thessalonians 2:15 (ESV):

So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.


In Matthew 15:3 (ESV) Jesus challenged some of the Jewish religious leaders with this question:

He answered them, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?


When we abuse tradition we can break God’s commands. Once those actions were approved by God and brought people closer to Him. Over time the tradition can become our focus rather than the purpose behind the tradition. The same tradition that brought people closer to God can lead them away from Him.


A fact we must keep in mind is found in John 14:6 (ESV):

“I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

We do not trust or focus on traditions. We focus on Jesus. Jesus gives us eternal life, not our traditions.


Do we ever look back to the “good old days” with fond memories in our churches? Do we want to recreate those things because those memories make us happy and secure? Maybe those things originally had a particular purpose. Maybe a particular style of worship gave us a sense of “peace and order out of chaos.”


One of the challenges about the church is finding successful methods in every generation without compromising the integrity or the purpose of the gospel. There are lines we do not cross. There are truths we always uphold. But we say, “times, they are a-changin’.” It may be in this day and time that we need to simplify what we do. Sometimes we complicate things too much. After all, Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30 (ESV):

28 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”


I like this quote of simplification by E.M. Bounds:

Men are God’s method. The church is looking for better methods; God is looking for better men. What the church needs today is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more and novel methods, but men who the Holy Spirit can use – men of prayer, men mighty in prayer. The Holy Spirit does not come on machinery but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men – men of prayer.


David had a group of men from Issachar who had, “understanding of the times” according to 1 Chronicles 12.32. What are the modern times teaching us? How can we find and share the good news to people who hunger for it? There is certainly a need for God to be in every corner of our lives today. We don’t have to get too fancy or complicated, it’s all about the faith of (or in) Christ that matters, according to Romans 3:22.


There is nothing wrong with buying a bag of oranges for Christmas if we choose. There is nothing wrong with many of the spiritual things we have done in the past. Our challenge is to find the means to develop a closer walk with God – even if it is not the traditional way of “we’ve always done it this way.”



Keep The Light of Freshness with God Burning!


Key to Success

Michael Jordan once said:

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games, and 26 times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot … and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. That is why I succeed.”


Most all of us want to be winners. The competitor in us hates to lose. Yet, just like with Michael Jordan, we don’t always win. In fact, the times we fail can be some of the best times for our lives as God works out all things for our good in the long run (Romans 8:28).


The apostle Paul was a winner. Yet, he too experienced the frustration of losing. After he appealed three times to the LORD to remove his “thorn in the flesh,” we read this in 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (ESV):

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.


When we always win, we learn to trust in ourselves. We trust our abilities and our own wisdom But, when we are on the losing side, we learn to trust God.


The Hebrews learned to trust God the hard way. They had been “losers” in Egypt. The Pharaoh that did not know Joseph had turned their preferential treatment into slavery. Then a loser named, Moses, came to lead them out of their slavery under the hand of God. Moses had learned the hard way, too. Yet God worked it all to their good.


The Pilgrims learned from their fiasco in Plymouth. They had attempted to make their settlement a socialistic experiment as described by some of the great ancient philosophers. However, it was a dismal failure as socialism always will be. BTW, you don’t see people breaking the laws of Venezuela to get into that country. You do see the world, including Venezuelans breeching our border, not for Socialistic control of their lives, but for freedom and free enterprise.


Pilgrim Governor William Bradford wrote in his Of Plymouth Plantation, that they failed in sharing everyone’s profits and benefits equally ‘in ye common stock,’ regardless of how hard each individual worked.[1] He said:

The failure of that experiment of communal service, which was tried for several years, and by good and honest men, proves the emptiness of the theory of Plato and other ancients, applauded by some of later times, – that the taking away of private property, and the possession of it in community, by a commonwealth, would make a state happy and flourishing; as it they were wiser than God..

He went on to describe how resentful certain groups were towards others in their colony. For instance, the younger, more capable men resented working for other men’s families without compensation. The strong resented getting the same share as the weak who were unable to work as hard. The older men thought they were being disrespected by receiving the same as the younger men. Women felt enslaved when they had to work for men other than their husbands. Socialism failed.


The colony worked on a solution. Bradford went on to explain what they did to solve the predicament:

So every family was assigned a parcel of land, according to the proportion of their number… This was very successful. It made all hands very industrious, so that much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been by any means the Governor or any other could devise, and saved him a great deal of trouble, and gave far better satisfaction. The women now went willing into the field, and took their little ones with them to plant corn, while before they would allege weakness and inability, and to have compelled them would have been thought great tyranny and oppression.


The result was a great success story for the colony. Working one’s private property made all the difference. But the Pilgrims, and then later other Americans would not have known that save for their failure. It is too bad many modern Americans don’t know our history and why Socialism cannot succeed. But, I believe, it is because of the brainwashing of our governmental education system and their removal of key points to our history.


I am sure many Americans like Bernie Sanders believe that if we embrace Socialism we will make it work. The problem is human nature is human nature. Socialism failed in the Plymouth settlement because of human nature, it has failed in every country of the world, and it WILL fail in America, too for the same reason.


You see, we cannot improve on God’s workmanship. When God orders something it is because He knows what will work because He made us to fit it. When Ananias and Sapphira lied about the sale of their property, Peter confronted Ananias in Acts 5:4 (ESV). Notice carefully to whom the property they sold belonged. He said:

While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.”


Private property is biblical. Private property is healthy. Private property is satisfying. God knew it and the Pilgrims learned it through their failures. Maybe that is also human nature and that we will learn the hard way, too.


We can learn from our own failures or we can learn from the failures of others. It would be a lot easier to just learn from the failures of others. I think that may be a concise description of wisdom.


Proverbs 12:15 (ESV):

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.


Let’s Keep The Light of Learning from Failure Burning!

[1] William J. Federer, American Quotations 2013, pp. 170-171


The Angel of Marye’s Heights

The Angel of Marye’s Heights


Matthew 14:14 (ESV)

When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.


Ephesians 4:32 (ESV)

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.


Psalm 103:13 (ESV)

As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.


On December 14, 1862 at the battle of Fredericksburg, following a night of the confederate slaughter of Union soldiers, a young Confederate soldier demonstrated a risky act of compassion. No longer able to withstand the wrenching moans of the wounded and dying Union soldiers, nineteen year old Confederate Sergeant named Richard Kirkland of the 2nd South Carolina approached Brigadier General Joseph Kershaw, CSA, for permission to go to their aid. Initially hesitant, the General finally consented. General Kershaw, however, refused to allow him to take the white flag that would ensure his safety. Despite the danger, Kirkland sprang forward over the stone wall with canteens full and ventured out between the hostile lines.


At first, the Federals fired on the young man but ceased as they soon discovered his merciful intent. Then cheers rang out from both sides as the man to become known as the “Angel of Marye’s Heights” offered water to one adversary after another. After helping those that he could, he crossed back to safety, and resumed his duties as a Confederate soldier defending his lines.


I understand that those who are wounded in battle will feel great thirst because of blood loss. Jesus experienced it on the cross when He cried out, “I thirst!” in John 19:28. I think it is safe to say that in many ways we are wounded people. The battles of life on all levels wound and scar us. So, we thirst, too.


John recorded Jesus’ conversation with the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well in John 4. Notice verse ten (ESV):

10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”


Then notice verses thirteen and fourteen:

13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”


Compassion is generally risky. When Jesus came into the world to “save sinners” he risked everything. He certainly risked his life but he also risked rejection and every kind of hostility. Yet, he willingly entered “enemy territory” to bring living water to wounded, broken people. BTW, the drinking Jesus referred to with the Samaritan woman is a continual drinking. It is not just a one-time event.


Confederate Sergeant, Richard Kirkland, not only shows selfless compassion, he also expresses a great example of loving our enemies. We are told to love our neighbors Leviticus 19:18. Sometimes this seems like a normal thing to do in life. Other times it is difficult. But look what Jesus said in Matthew 5:4348 (ESV):

43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.


Wow! It seems that Jesus always pushes us out of our comfort zones. It’s one thing to love ourselves, our families, even our neighbors, but loving our enemies is beyond comfortable. Ask Sergeant Kirkland (I wonder if he was a Bible student?). You see, Kirkland could have been killed by the Yankee rifles. He could also have been deemed a traitor by his own troops for giving aid to the enemy. Instead, he was a hero to both sides. His compassion did not stop with his friends and fellow Confederates, it extended to his enemies in blue.


What are we willing to risk to share the same compassion? It seems Americans are more divided than ever. We are divided over football teams, political parties, ideologies, and Vaccine Mandates. I have experienced anger and displeasure from people who hold different opinions than I do on topics that I hold dear. When this happens, the challenge is to love any way. That is what God does and that is the standard God holds up to us.


If we would practice what Jesus preached how much better off would we be? If Satan can divide us, he can conquer us. If he conquers us he can rule us with tyranny. But, if we stand united, at least in respect towards one another as fellow creatures of God and fellow Americans, we can fend off the divisive attacks of the evil one.


It will take a heart of compassion. Will we risk it? Sergeant Kirkland did. Of course, Jesus did. Will we?


There is a monument to Sergeant Kirkland in Virginia which reads:

At the risk of his own life, this American soldier of sublime compassion brought water to his wounded foes at Fredericksburg. The fighting men on both sides of the line called him the “Angel of Marye’s Heights.”


Jesus doesn’t have a monument in stone, He has a kingdom of people. He also has a memorial in the Last Supper. Bread represents His body. Wine represents His blood. We remember his gift of compassion in people and by the Supper.


How will we be remembered? Our challenge is to . . . .


Keep The Light of Compassion Burning!



Is America in the Bible?

Is America in the Bible? Yes and No!


Did you know there are Americans, some of whom claim to be Christians, who do not want God in America? For some reason they have turned their backs on “In God We Trust.” Instead, they choose, “In Me I Trust.” There are some arrogant people that think they are smarter than God and smarter than the Founders who established America on biblical values.


Our government schools have brainwashed generations of Americans to disengage from God and from God in America. Some believe that our Founders were secularists who, much like the French in their revolution, established our nation without an interest in God.


Yet, when you read the documents that have been preserved, our Founders and Framers were well aware of God. They believed in a biblical worldview which encompassed all aspects of life, including government. You can even read some parallel statements of the Bible and Constitution. The Declaration of Independence, our birth certificate, clearly includes God as Creator.


No, you do not read the word, “America” in the Bible. But we are there the same way that every individual is in the scriptures. As we read the accounts and the parables, we see ourselves. We see our nation.


I am not so sure that America was chosen by God in the same manner that Israel was. I do think that God worked His providence to bless those who were seeking Him when they came to America. More important than seeing America in the Bible was to see the Bible in America. That was a goal of our Founders and Framers. In fact, many of our Founding Fathers promoted the Bible and even led Bible societies.


America was not God’s “Chosen Nation” as was Israel. America was God’s “Choosing Nation.” There have been nations in the Bible who have decided to serve the Living God in a way similar to Israel. Nineveh was one, in the book of Jonah. Nebuchadnezzar led Babylon in God’s direction for a brief time in Daniel.


The United States started as a nation that honored God. Americans back then understood, far better than most Americans today that there are choices to make for our individual, family, and national lives. Notice what Moses told the new generation of Hebrews in Deuteronomy 11:29 (ESV):

And when the Lord your God brings you into the land that you are entering to take possession of it, you shall set the blessing on Mount Gerizim and the curse on Mount Ebal.


We have a choice of blessings and curses. Mount Gerizim contained the blessings of God and Ebal, the curses. A wise man would seek the blessings. Yet, through time Israel went from wise to foolish. They went from choosing to follow God to following gods; from the blessings to the curses.


We wind up with the same choice Joshua gave to the people of his day in Joshua 24:14-15 (ESV). He said:

14 “Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”


There is a choice that the Hebrews were to make. That same choice is for Americans, British, Nigerians, Chinese, Australians, et al, as well. We can choose God and His blessings or we can reject God and be cursed.


You may ask, “Why are you so into God in America when there are so many other nations in the world? Shouldn’t we be about having God in the world, not just America?” Of course we want God in every nation. Jesus said that the gospel would be preached to every nation before He returned in Matthew 24:14.


While we want God’s will to be done “on earth as it is in heaven” among all nations, we have to start somewhere. America needs to return to its foundations. We need to come back to the place where our Founders and Framers included God in every arena of life.


Notice that we once centered our public schools on God and His word. Perhaps my favorite Founder was Dr. Benjamin Rush. Not only was he a physician, he was intently interested in public education. He once said:

“Let the children…be carefully instructed in the principles and obligations of the Christian religion. This is the most essential part of education.”


Where are we today? Not only can we not study the Bible in our government-controlled schools, our children are not even allowed to pray to God. In some cases, they are not even allowed to bow their heads in silent prayer in thanks for their meal in the cafeteria. And to me, the kicker is, there are professed Christians who like it just fine. They don’t want God in our schools; they don’t want our children to be instructed of the things of God at school.


Did you know that the Eastern European Missions organization is printing Bibles for Ukrainian school districts? They are begging EEM for Bibles because they found out that when students read the Bible they become not only better students, they become better people. There are even Muslim school districts wanting the Bible for their schools.


This is not so in America. America has become like backslidden Israel and rejected God to serve the gods of the land. Ultimately that worship goes to Satan himself as he confuses and distorts the thinking of so many.


It is too bad that professed Christians in America reject God in the life of the nation. If we exclude the true God, what takes His place? It is darkness of evil rather than the light of God.


Let’s invite God back into the life of America and the lives of Americans. Let’s seek to do His will on earth as we anticipate heaven.


Let’s Keep The Light of God Burning in America!





Biblical Intentions for Government

I wonder what it must it have been like in the days of Noah. According to Genesis 6:5-8 the world was evil – everywhere. So, as you know God sent the flood to destroy the corruption and save the righteous. Then, He gave a decree in Genesis 9:5-6 (ESV):

And for your lifeblood I will require a reckoning: from every beast I will require it and from man. From his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man.

“Whoever sheds the blood of man,
    by man shall his blood be shed,
for God made man in his own image.


Some crimes require the death of the criminal. Paul even acknowledges this in Acts 25:11. It has become the responsibility of government to protect its people. This is the reason we have a military. Government is to protect the innocent and punish the evildoer. Isn’t that what Paul tells us in Romans 13:3-4 (ESV)?

For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer.


Did you notice the job of government is to bear the sword to punish evildoers? Government is not to determine good and evil, that has already been done by God. It is to protect good and punish evil. In order to do that properly, government officials must know and be good. They must do right, not wrong. That includes upholding their oaths of office.


So, in light of this, what is the role of the citizens, especially American citizens toward our government? In America, ‘We the People’ were supposed to be the government. We were to govern as a republic through our elected representatives. We use the democratic process to elect our officials, but we are not a pure democracy, we are a republic with law and representation.


It is the DUTY of the people to set government right when it goes off-course. Notice the words of the Declaration of Independence, our birth certificate

That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.


The altering of government can be through electing new representatives when the current ones fail to represent the people, provided that the elections are fair and honest. It may be, as the Declaration declares that we abolish government and start over if it becomes too corrupt.


We noted that after the flood God required the death of murderers. That is not the only crime punishable by death. Treason is as well. Noah Webster described treason in his 1828 Dictionary as:

TREASON is the highest crime of a civil nature of which a man can be guilty. . . In general, it is the offense of attempting to overthrow the government of the state to which the offender owes allegiance, or of betraying the state into the hands of a foreign power. . . . In the United States, treason is confined to the actual levying of war against the United States, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.


The Bible records treasonous activities. These include Korah against Moses; Rahab; Jeroboam against Rehoboam; and the treason uncovered by Mordecai. Treason is serious, so serious that Article III, Section 3, and Paragraph 3 of the U.S. Constitution states:

No person shall be convicted of treason, unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.

Isn’t it interesting that the Constitution demands TWO witnesses just as in Deuteronomy 17:6? I wonder where they got that idea.


I think there are some takeaways form these documents. First, we need to be reminded of the DUTY of ‘We the People’ to hold our elected officials accountable. There is no place for carelessness in this regard. Their job is to represent the people, not the interests of companies, foreign nations, or their own pockets. Second, when necessary remove incompetent officials. Our elections are the greatest means of accountability, again, provided they are free and fair; and provided that people will vote. Third, it seems that some, maybe many, maybe most of our elected leaders are bordering on or have committed treason. We have heard reports that elected officials have been selling out the nation, their state, their community, their school board, etc. for money or favors. Where is the accountability? By the rule of law, ‘We the People’ must hold elected leaders accountable.


The privileges we enjoy in the American republic come with responsibility. Government has the responsibility to be good, to do good, and to protect its citizens from evil. ‘We the People’ have the responsibility of holding our government accountable for its duty. Let’s do our duty so government will as well.


Before we close I want to encourage you to be sure to listen this Sunday, December 5 to my interview with Pastor Dan Fisher. He will discuss Romans 13 and the misunderstanding of unlimited submission to government. I know you won’t want to miss it.


Keep The Light of Accountability Burning!



Train to Reign


Revelation 11:15 (ESV)

15 Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.”


I have known some rocket scientists but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that we are living in anything but a Christian Utopia. In fact, even to the casual Christian observer, our world looks like darkness and chaos are prevailing even as we speak.


Don’t forget, there is a day coming where Jesus will subdue His enemies. He will reign over the nations. All of the chaos and confusion we see will turn into order and peace. The darkness of corruption we are witnessing will be revealed by the light and removed. The pure rule of our righteous King will remain.


Did you know that right now we are in training for future reigning?


First, we are being trained to accept the control of Christ in our lives. Oh, how we love control and hate relying on others, even Jesus. Well, Jesus is to be the “King of our hearts” and He is to “direct our steps.”


What we see in our world today is a demonstration of how really unfit we are for self-direction. Just look at the mess we make when we leave God out of the equation. Chaos, darkness, and disorder become the norm. These are not just on the national level, they are personal. How many people do you see who are “walking in darkness” right now? 1 John 2:11 (ESV) reads:

But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks in the darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.


How much hatred do you see? How much division? The enemy loves to divide people against each other so that he can conquer. He is using social platforms, political parties, religious issues, and a whole host of other venues to divide us today. If he divides he can conquer.


I have heard a lot of curious things about what is supposed to be coming. For instance, by the year 2030 we are supposed to no longer own anything; and according to the rumor mill, we will like renting everything and won’t miss ownership. There is supposed to be a new, cyber currency. According to some, there will be an attempt to depopulate the earth to 500,000,000. I have heard that scientists are trying to merge humans with AI in order for us to have eternal life. I guess they don’t want to do it the “old fashioned way” because that would entail recognizing and serving the Creator rather than the creature. I have heard that scientists are blending human and animal DNA and that the recent Wuhan virus is actually a bioweapon.


I don’t know how much of those things are true. I do wonder when God is going to stop and say, “Enough!” as He did in the days of Noah and to the towns of Sodom and Gomorrah. In the meantime we are becoming more and more aware of how much we need God. That is how much we NEED God, not just want Him.


We are learning that we are not as independent as we would like to think we are. When we look at our world of viruses and disease we realize that in so many ways we are all just hanging by a thread. We are not going to make it out of here alive. We need God! God, as the Author of Eternal Life will indeed reign, and more good news, His followers will reign with Him.

A second part of our training is for OUR reigning in the future. 2 Timothy 2:12-13 (ESV) reads:

if we endure, we will also reign with him;
if we deny him, he also will deny us;
13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful—


Originally God intended for man to reign on the earth. Adam was to be His co-regent on the earth. God gave him authority over all of it. When Adam and Eve went their own way, things changed. Darkness and chaos began to spread over the earth.


We are now learning to live on earth under God’s direction. Psalm 119:105 (ESV) tells us: Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. An amazing thing happens when we follow the word of God in our personal, family, church, and national lives. All of life becomes better and successful.


You see, our Founders and Framers understood what we have forgotten. The Bible contains the loving instructions of our God and FATHER. He shows us how to live in every situation, almost as if He knew what we needed to have good lives.


I like John Adams’ quote from his diary:

Suppose a nation in some distant region should take the Bible for their only law book and every member should regulate his conduct by the precepts there exhibited…. What a Eutopia – What a Paradise would this region be![1]


As a result of learning to follow Jesus now, we enjoy a good life here. We will also reign with Him forever. It reminds me of the story of the Minas in Luke 19. This parable was based on a true story. Take the time to read it, dream it, and do it.


Keep The Light of Training for Reigning Burning!



Silent Compliance Brings Tyrants

I am not sure the source for the quote. I heard it on an “And We Know” podcast a few days ago. It made me stop and reflect on our times. There are some people who are like the sons of Issachar in 1 Chronicles 12:32 (ESV) as they were numbered among the troops who were coming to David to turn the kingdom over to him:

32 Of Issachar, men who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do, 200 chiefs, and all their kinsmen under their command.


You see, the American church has bought into a falsehood. Most Christians in America believe that there is no place for churches to act on the civil affairs of the nation. Most think we are removed from governing the land and are only to focus on “spiritual” matters. I put spiritual in quotes because every arena in life overlaps into the next. Everything is actually spiritual.


Adolph Hitler told the clergy of Germany that he would take care of the government and they were to take care of their churches. Most very willingly agreed. There was compliance with silence and it brought tyrants.


Just look at the mess of Nazi Germany with the enormous loss of life and property as a result of Hitler’s tyranny. Jewish people by the millions died under his hand. So did anyone who did not measure up to Nazi standards, racially, ethnically, mentally, or politically.


Communist nations like Russia and China have followed a similar pattern. As a result, to flex their power and bring people under their submission, the tyrannical Communist leaders have murdered their millions. Now there is compliance with silence in fear of the tyrants.


Americans’ idea of the “separation of church and state” does not come from the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, or the Bible. It comes from a letter President Thomas Jefferson wrote to the Danbury Baptist Association. They were concerned that the United States would establish its own national church like the other nations and persecute other denominations. Jefferson let them know that would not happen.


There is indeed a wall of separation between church and state. Government is to stay out of the business of churches. That is one of the reasons churches have been given tax-exempt status. However, church members can and should be involved in the governance of our land. After all, if Christians create a vacuum of leadership by relinquishing godly responsibilities, who will fill the void? Obviously, it will be filled with the low-life and the underhanded. Welcome to 21st Century American government!


The question is always, “What can we do about it?” We have to re-engage in our responsibilities as godly citizens to regain control of the Republic. We must first be sure we are godly in our lifestyles and then proceed to be active in the proper ruling of our land.


Government was set up for our good according to Romans 13. The job of government is to protect the God-given rights of good people. It is not the government’s job to issue rights or even unconstitutional mandates to control the public.


It is too bad we have abdicated our responsibilities. Whether we have been deceived or have become lazy the Christian voice has been silenced in the public arena. We must repent and return to the leadership of God in our lives before He will rule the nation.


Once we held the truths of God to be our guidance as individuals and as a nation. On July 4, 1821, John Quincy Adams made the following statement:

“From the day of the Declaration…they (the American people) were bound by the laws of God, which they all, and by the laws of The Gospel, which they nearly all, acknowledge as the rules of their conduct.”


Tyranny only grows by compliance and silence. But, silence is not really silence. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “Not to speak is to speak.” We become complicit to tyranny when we are silent. Our silence is a vote for evil.


Tyranny must be resisted just like the devil because that is where it arises. The half-brother of Jesus reminds us in James 4:7 (KJV):

Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.


We resist tyranny when we get ourselves right with God; and when we speak truth – even in regard to government. There is power in a united “We the People” led by the Spirit of God. That means an end to tyranny and the maintenance of Liberty.


God’s not going to wave a magic wand and change the tyranny we are experiencing. Too many are sitting back, hoping for change, even praying for it. Things won’t change until we act by following God into the arenas that have fallen to the enemy. If we don’t, Compliance with silence brings tyrants.


Keep The Light of Resisting Evil Burning!


Hanukkah, Rebellion to Tyranny

Thomas Jefferson purportedly said:

 “When tyranny becomes law, rebellion becomes duty.


This is a theme that runs throughout the history of man. In general, no one wants to be enslaved to others. This includes enslavement to individuals, companies, and governments. It seems that God has placed certain emotions in us that are like His, including the desire for Liberty.


This desire is shared among all people. During what Christians often call the “Intertestamental Period” between Malachi and Matthew in the English Bible, the Jewish people fought for Liberty. As the season of Hanukkah is upon us, let’s consider its origins. It is a story, not of mere gift-giving but of defiance against tyranny and the drive for freedom.


Until a few years ago, I knew very little of Hanukkah. I only knew it was Jewish and that it lasted longer than Christmas, although both are celebrated in the same time of the year. As a kid I was envious that Jewish kids got gifts for eight days instead of just one. Here is an article that I found that explains the holiday.[1]


Hanukkah commemorates an historical event that took place in Jerusalem in the 2nd century BCE, when the Seleucid Greek Empire was the ruling power. In 168 BCE, the king Antiochus IV Epiphanes outlawed Jewish practice and defiled the Jewish Temple in the city by installing an altar to Zeus and sacrificing pigs.


A small army of Jews, known as the Maccabees, rebelled against this religious persecution. They regained control over the Temple, removed the symbols of Zeus and built a new altar so they could once again offer sacrifices in keeping with Jewish law.


According to a legend recounted in the Talmud, a miracle occurred at this time. There was only enough oil to keep the Temple’s menorah, one of its most important ritual objects, burning for one day. But the flame stayed lit for eight days, until a new supply of oil could be found – the basis for the eight-day celebration of Hanukkah.


This is an oversimplified version of the story, History is more involved. I wanted you to see some things from the story of this holiday. First, there was the element of tyranny. The Jews had been under the tyrannical control of Gentiles and the Hellenistic lifestyle was permeating their culture.


In the second place, rebellion became the order of the day. The Maccabees led an army of freedom fighters against the invaders. These fought a guerilla style of combat and won.


Third, following their victory they were able to restore and rededicate the temple. They also were able to rededicate the nation to God, at least for a time.


Hanukkah is also referred to as the Festival of Lights and the Feast of Dedication. In John 10:22-24 (ESV), we read of Jesus attending this feast:

22 At that time the Feast of Dedication took place at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the colonnade of Solomon. 24 So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.”


In John 6 Jesus fed the 5000. In John 8 He referred to Himself as the “Light of the world.” The people began connecting the dots. They asked Him if He was the Messiah of God essentially and He would answer them in His typical rabbinic style.


What is interesting to me is that Jesus often attended non-scriptural functions of the Jews. Synagogues are not in the Bible, but Jesus attended and even taught there. The Feast of Dedication or Feast of Lights was also not a scriptural holiday, but Jesus was there. Perhaps He merely wanted to be with the people. Maybe when He could, He participated in things that were not anti-scripture or opposed to the will of God.


I also think His participation says that He opposes tyranny and seeks the rededication of men to God. One of the many negatives about tyranny is that it inevitably blocks a person’s relationship with God. The tyrant always wants to take the place of God and decide who has what rights, depending on his mood swings. We see it in scripture with Daniel and his friends. We see it in history with tyrannical kings and Communist dictators.


Jesus did not lead an armed rebellion against the oppressors of His day. I think that was one of the confusing things for His cousin, John the Baptist and is why he sent word to Jesus to identify himself in Matthew 11 and Luke 7. I think John knew of the justice the Messiah was to bring but all he saw from Jesus was grace and mercy.


On the first trip to earth, Jesus came to save. The next time He comes He will bring justice, not mercy. Listen to 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10 (ESV):

“. . .when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, 10 when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed.”


We don’t conform to tyrants. We conform only to God. That faithful conformity IS rebellion to tyrants who want to replace God.


Keep The Light of True Rebellion to Tyranny Burning!



Amazing Jesus

When we take time to reflect on God and His blessings, we can be overwhelmed by His grace and goodness toward us. The famous clergyman and hymn writer, John Newton (1725-1807), wrote the text of Deuteronomy 15:15 (KJV) n an attic wall in the old parsonage at Olney, England. It reads:

“and thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondsman in the land of Egypt, and the Lord thy God redeemed thee.”


This verse reminded Newton of his own story. First, he was a slave trader and then, he found the forgiveness for his sins in Jesus. It inspired him to write an autobiographical hymn as an expression of his gratitude to the depth of God’s love and forgiveness – the hymn – “Amazing Grace!” Listen to the lyrics.


Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved.
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
‘Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
and mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’ve first begun.


Amazing Grace IS a sweet sound of salvation. As someone has pointed out, mercy is NOT receiving what we deserve; grace is receiving what we don’t. Whenever we actually stop and personally meditate on the gift of God’s grace, we are amazed. But, did you know that you can also amaze Jesus?


There are two times in the New Testament where Jesus is “amazed” in regard to the faith of certain individuals. The first of the two is in Luke 7 where Jesus encounters a request from a Roman Centurion to heal his servant.


Jesus expresses amazement at the faith of the Centurion who believed that Jesus could heal his slave even long-distance. He rewards that faith with healing and Luke 7:9 (ESV) He says:

“I tell you, not even in Israel have I found such faith.”


While Jewish elders asked Jesus questions like, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” (Matthew 21:23), this foreigner knew exactly who Jesus was. He knew Jesus had authority from the Father to command the natural world. He knew proximity was no factor. Jesus could speak disease out of existence from any distance.


The religious leaders in Israel should have recognized Jesus as the Messiah. They should have had faith in him. Instead, many opposed and rejected him. Yet, this Gentile invader believed what he had seen and heard about God and loved the nation of Israel. He also believed what he had seen and heard about Jesus. Jesus then rewarded his faith and healed his servant.


The second time people amazed Jesus regarding faith is in Mark 6. One Sabbath, Jesus and His disciples went to His hometown synagogue. There He teaches but the people doubt Him. Because of the peoples’ lack of faith, He does not perform many miracles in his hometown.


These people should have known Him. They should have known Him not only from the scriptures but also from His time He had spent with them. Yet, they doubted him to the point that he was “amazed” at their unbelief. Notice Mark 6:6 (ESV):

And he marveled because of their unbelief.


On the one hand we have a “believing unbeliever”. On the other hand, we have “unbelieving believers.” With whom do we identify more? Are we like the Jews who should have known better and practiced faith in the presence of the Messiah? Or, are we more like the Roman who exercised the level of faith he had? He could not quote great portions of the Torah. He was an outsider, yet he believed on a practical and personal level.


Would Jesus say that our faith – or that lack of faith amazes him? Even faith the size of a mustard seed can be productive when it is exercised. God has promised, believe and do.


Keep The Light of Amazement Burning!


The Pilgrims and Thanksgiving Part 2

I hope you are enjoying family and recounting the blessings of God on this Thanksgiving Day. I want to consider a little more about the Pilgrims today. I want to begin with a reading from the Geneva Bible to remind us of them. Hebrews 11:13 (GNV) reads:

All these died in faith, and received not the promises, but saw them afar off, and believed them, and received them thankfully, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.


The providential hand of God had been with the Pilgrims all along. There are several stories that, in spite of all of their troubles, God was with them. Maybe one of the most dramatic was with the Indian named, Squanto.


After the Pilgrims had landed there was an incident with the Indians. They had wanted to make contact with the Indians but kept their distance due to their apparent hostility towards the Pilgrims. Finally an Indian walked into their camp who spoke English. His name was Samoset. He did not speak English well, but he knew a little. He told them of his friend that spoke better English than he. That friend’s name was Squanto.


Squanto had been captured by the British about five to ten years before the Pilgrims had arrived. The English were there before them, kidnapping natives and selling them into slavery. That is what happened to Squanto.


He went to Spain and learned about Christianity from two Catholic friars. They gave him freedom. He then went to England where he learned English. Eventually he made his way back to Massachusetts where his tribe had been. When he got there, he found that they are all dead or gone due to a plague brought to the land by the English. He got in touch with another tribe that was close by and stayed with them.


When the Pilgrims came, he became the interpreter that they needed to be able to communicate with the Indians and work out agreements with them. Squanto became this providential placement for the people that had traveled all the way from England.


Because of Squanto, they had an abundant harvest. He taught them how to plant corn and there was a great abundance of it. In the fall of 1621, they had the first Thanksgiving celebration. Many scholars believe that the Pilgrims had met some Jewish people in Holland who taught them Jewish practices such as the Feast of Tabernacles. It may be that they patterned this Thanksgiving banquet after that Feast.


You will recall that nearly half of the Pilgrims died during the vicious winter that met them on their arrival to Massachusetts At the time of the Thanksgiving feast, there were fifty-three Pilgrims and ninety or more natives present. There were only four women to take care of nearly 150 people. Think about all the cooking in those days that would have to go on for such a party. They played many games and had various contests for recreation that day. It was a time of peace between the Indians and Pilgrims. Because of Squanto, they had opportunity in making treaties with the chief and to introduce the gospel to the natives.


I want us to take away from this the need to stay focused on God. That is what the Pilgrims did. They saw the sovereignty of God and focused on Him. They kept going, even when it was hard. As you know, it is not always comfortable, and it is not always easy to be a Christian. The Pilgrims proved that. But they stayed dedicated to God and firm on their faith and perseverance in God’s providential care for them.


The Pilgrims came to America under God’s sovereignty. They did so to advance the Christian faith. The questions I want to leave us with are, “If God is sovereign and if God put those Pilgrims in America to further the Christian faith then, why did He put us in America at this time? Why are we here? What is our purpose?” I hope it is the same purpose they had, to further the Christian faith in a country that desperately needs it.


The Pilgrims are a great story and far more in depth than I understood for many years. They are an example for us, which is what they intended to be wherever they lived. They saw themselves as “steppingstones” for future generations. They came to America to establish a colony, and spread the gospel in America. They were laying themselves down so that others could come along behind them and go a little further than they did. Their vision was generation to generation. They were just the pioneers, the ones breaking ground, for others to follow them.


The Pilgrims live on when we study their story. We can see the hand of providence and their trust in the sovereign God. We can see their perseverance and their faith in all these things.


Faith drove the Pilgrims in every aspect of life. Everything involved their faith in a sovereign God. Hebrews 11:6 (GNV) says:

“But without faith, it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God, must believe that God is, and that he is a rewarder of them that seek him.”


God is sovereign and we have faith in this sovereign God in every part of our life. It is easy to try to compartmentalize faith, but it does not stay in one category. It is in every part of life, according to scripture. This is what the Pilgrims tried to embrace.


I hope we can imitate the faith of the Pilgrims. They were tremendous people of faith. I hope that faith is in us so that we, too, will rise up to persevere and advance the Christian faith.


Keep The Light of Persevering Faith Burning!


The Pilgrims and Thanksgiving Part 1

As we approach Thanksgiving, I thought it would be fun to draw from the Pilgrims’ story and their landing at Plymouth Rock, and look at the Bible then make some applications to us. It’s been over 400 years since the Pilgrims’ arrival in Massachusetts. I have become quite enamored with the Pilgrims. I did not know much about the Pilgrims until the last few months. I had always thought of them as people wearing funny hats and shoes. They carried strange looking rifles and ate turkey with the Indians on the first Thanksgiving, which was probably in October and not November. They truly were a bold and faith-filled people! The “Pilgrim” is the concept of a stranger who is just here for a limited time, or as the song says, “I’m just a passin’ through.”


I am going to read from the Geneva Bible. That was the Bible of the Pilgrims. It was translated in the late 1500’s into English in Geneva, Switzerland. It was smuggled into England, much like how Eastern European Missions has done in some of the Communist countries over the years. Once the Geneva Bible got there, they were able to read the Bible in English in their homes.


Hebrews 11:13 (GNV) reads:

All these died in faith, and received not the promises, but saw them afar off, and believed them, and received them thankfully, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.


The Pilgrims were by no means the first to settle in the New World. A lot of people came for different reasons. Some people came for land, some came for gold, and some came for adventure. The Conquistadors, for example, came for conquest in the name of Spain and the Catholic Church. Why did these Pilgrims come to America?


They were referred to as “separatists,” in England. If you lived in England in the 17th century, you would have been required to be a member of the Church of England just because you were a citizen of England. Any other church activity would have been paramount treason. The monarch, whether it be the king or queen, oversees the Church of England, and if you did not comply with what the monarch dictated in the church, then you are in opposition of the monarch and are guilty of treason.


The Pilgrims were part of a group that were called, “Puritans,” at first. They were there to purify the Church of England. They had been reading scripture and realized there were some differences in what the Bible says about the church and what was going on in the Church of England. They started trying to fix the Church of England. When some of them realized that the church was beyond fixing, they separated themselves out from that and became, “separatists.”


They left England and went to Holland for several years, then back to England before going to America. The only country in the world that was tolerant of other religions was Holland, so they could have stayed there. In Holland they had freedom of religion, so when they came to America they came for more than just freedom of religion. So, why did they come?


When the Pilgrims anchored in the bay in Massachusetts, they found out that they were not in Virginia like they had planned. They had intended to go to Virginia and start a settlement there, but they were too far north. Now what did they do? On the Mayflower ship, the men got together and wrote the Mayflower Compact. There were Pilgrims in this meeting, as well as non-Pilgrims and non-religious people. They said we are going to settle, and we need a method of governing ourselves while we are here. So, they wrote this compact, this covenant, this agreement that all the men signed, as representatives of their families, and they were going to abide by it.


This is what I want you to see from the Mayflower Compact: “IN THE NAME OF GOD, AMEN…Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the first Colony in the northern Parts of Virginia;…” Do you see why they came? They wanted to plant a colony, but why? They wanted to advance the Christian faith. The great commission had taken hold of them.


They had been in England and were persecuted in England. They went to Holland and had freedom of religion in there, but it went further than that. They went to America, to plant a place where they could advance the gospel. They wanted to carry the message of Jesus into the New World. They were fully converted to Jesus and were all in for the gospel. Their whole life revolved around the scriptures, and the God of heaven.


An obvious application we can make today is being fully committed to God. Over and over the scriptures remind us to love God fully. When asked about the greatest commandment, Jesus quoted from Deuteronomy 6:4-5 (GNV):

Hear, O Israel, The Lord our God is Lord only, And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.


This command, given through Moses and Jesus is one of full commitment to the LORD. There is no asterisk with a footnote that says to love God when things go well. It is an all the time command because as the Pilgrims knew and we know, life is not always fun and easy. Life has many challenges and God wants us to love Him through them. The Pilgrims experienced these challenges but were committed to a greater cause, the Great Commission.


Keep The Light of Our Commitment to God Burning!


Powerful and Piercing Prayer

I want to take you down “Memory Lane” for a few minutes in this podcast. Back in 1995 Bob Russell, who was then the Preaching Minister for the Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky wrote a prayer of national repentance. He offered it at the Kentucky Governor’s Prayer Breakfast in Frankfort Kentucky. The prayer was adapted by Joe Wright and presented as the prayer to open the Kansas House of Representatives in 1996.


That prayer was also read in the Nebraska legislature. It stirred controversy everywhere it was read. Paul Harvey even reported on it. He said it was one of the most requested readings he had ever had.


That prayer of twenty-six years ago is relevant today. God’s spokesmen have been speaking but Americans haven’t been listening. Let me read that prayer today. I will also make this into a blog that you can share with your friends.


O God, we know that your Word says, “Woe to those who call evil good,” but that’s exactly what we’ve done.

We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and inverted our values.

We confess that we have ridiculed the absolute truth of your Word and called it moral pluralism.

We have worshipped other gods and called it multiculturalism and New Age spirituality.

We have committed adultery and called it an affair.

We have endorsed perversion and called it an alternative lifestyle.

We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery.

We have neglected the needy and called it frugality.

We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.

We have killed our unborn children and called it choice.

We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable.

We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self-esteem.

We have failed to execute justice speedily, as your Word commands, and called it due process.

We have failed to love our neighbor who has a different color of skin and called it maintaining racial purity.

We have abused power and called it political savvy.

We have coveted our neighbor’s possessions and called it ambition.

We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression.

We have made the Lord’s Day the biggest shopping and entertainment day of the week and called it free enterprise.

We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our parents and called it enlightenment.

Search us, O God, and know our hearts today. Try us and see if there be some wicked way in us; cleanse us of every sin and set us free. Though our sins be as scarlet, may they become white as snow. Though they be as crimson, may they be as wool.


As you can see, that prayer was short, to the point, and on target. There are things we can add to it today, like:

We have ignored standing against evil in our culture and have said, “We just preach Jesus.”

We have denounced your sovereignty through Critical Race Theory and Transgenderism.

We have rejected your authority and called it “submitting to government.”

We have traded our Liberty for security and called it wisdom.

We have chosen fear over faith and called it obligation.

We have compromised your word and called it “loving our neighbor.”

We have ignored our schools’ curricula and called it necessity.

We have avoided political responsibilities and called it trust.

We have failed to hold our leaders accountable because we have been too busy.

We have turned our church services into entertainment and called it worship.

We have worshiped our worship and called ourselves faithful.

We have been seeking your blessings and not your face and called ourselves spiritual.

We have treated your word as an option and wonder why lives are falling apart.


We are about to enter a time we call “Thanksgiving” followed closely by “Christmas.” Maybe it’s time we rethink our priorities and our relationship to God. Maybe it is time for some national repentance and resolve to:

“. . . seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,

[Don’t forget:]

and all these things will be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33, ESV)


Keep The Light of God’s Priority Burning!


A Perceptive People

Deuteronomy 13:1-5 (ESV)

“If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or wonder that he tells you comes to pass, and if he says, ‘Let us go after other gods,’ which you have not known, ‘and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams. For the Lord your God is testing you, to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear him and keep his commandments and obey his voice, and you shall serve him and hold fast to him. But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has taught rebellion against the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you out of the house of slavery, to make you leave the way in which the Lord your God commanded you to walk. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.


The Hebrew people were warned about false prophets who would lead them away to worship and serve other gods. God used such situations to test the people and see if they could discern right from wrong. Even from the Ten Commandments they should have known not to follow other gods or make idols (see Deuteronomy 5:7, 8). But the question was, “Would they obey the word of God or be deceived by a man?


America is in a similar situation. We were intended to be a Christian nation. If we go back to the foundations of the nation, you will see that the word of God was fundamental to the people in every arena of life, the individual; the family; the church; the community; the colony or state; and the nation. Today we need, not only to go back to our roots, but we need to discern “the spirits” as John said in 1 John 4:1 (ESV):

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.

This includes the politician and the preacher. It includes school teacher and the medical doctor. If people are leading us away from God, our God-given rights and responsibilities, we need to replace those people.


I am sure you are fully aware that today many in our culture are “calling evil good and good, evil” (Isaiah 5:20). It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that America has been serving the gods of this world. Some even worship Satan himself.


Did you hear about the Scott Travis Astro World concert of a few days ago? The stage was depicted as the “Gates of Hell.” Satanic activities and symbols were on display. Eight people died at the concert and one after it. Some believe that in some way the eight were a sacrifice in harmony with the eight flames of hell on the stage.


Is that true? I don’t know, but I do know there is much satanic activity happening these days. A church of Satan has sued to use aborted babies in their religious sacrifices to him. There is satanic symbolism in numerous venues in America. Most of us aren’t aware of the symbolism, but if you do the research, you will see it.


Did you know that for years “conservative” politicians have been going on an annual retreat at the Bohemian Grove in California? There are pictures of prominent Presidents and key influencers who were there. From the reports I have read and the videos I have seen of the activities, these people are not only immoral, they seem to be performing occult worship.


I won’t name the ones I have seen pictured, but one of the worship activities is called “The Cremation of Care.” It is performed at the base of a large wooden owl, which is a pagan symbol. In the ceremony a child is symbolically sacrificed to it. With all of the child trafficking we are uncovering, I wonder if it might not be symbolic.

These men, whom we have thought were genuinely interested in America and wanted what is best for America, apparently have sold out to the dark side. It seems they have systematically and intentionally been moving us away from God by their rhetoric and giving the appearance of good. They looked right, said the right things, and we elected them. All the while they are engaged in ungodly behavior.


These people have led America’s children away from Bible study and prayer in our public (or government) schools. They removed the Ten Commandments from public buildings. The problem is, we went along with them and didn’t object.


Many thought, “That’s ok, we’ll study the Bible and pray at home with our kids. Besides, we have the church to back us up and teach them to be good Christians.” However, most Christians don’t study the Bible with their kids or pray with them at home. Most churches drop the ball with our kids because they have gotten into the entertainment business instead of the disciple-making business. As a result of parental neglect and church mismanagement, well over half of our kids drop out of church when they leave home.


I have observed through Bible study and life that when we push back against evil, the adversary backs up. James 4:7 (ESV) reads:

Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

When we don’t resist him, he moves forward. He uses willing people to advance his agenda. Too often, we have been complicit to the evil by saying nothing.


As Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “Not to speak is to speak.” We’re not evil in our hearts. Nevertheless going along to get along has allowed evil to creep in and take a deep root.


God was serious in dealing with the false prophets. We should be as well. He put the responsibility of discernment on the people. They were supposed to compare the teachers to the word of God and see if they matched. Perhaps we can become more like the Jewish people in Berea:

11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. (Acts 17:11, ESV).


Keep The Light of Discernment Burning!


Light or Dark?

Isaiah 9:2 (ESV):

The people who walked in darkness
    have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
    on them has light shone.


There are about 166 verses in the Bible that deal with light. Light versus darkness then becomes a forceful theme for the followers of God. The contrast of light and darkness begins in Genesis and goes to the Revelation.


The Essenes were a sect of Jews that broke off from the Sadducees. When the Priests who were generally part of that group corrupted the temple and the temple worship, the Essenes established a new identity as the “Sons of Light.” Jesus may have been speaking of them in Luke 16:8 (ESV):

For the sons of this world are more shrewd in dealing with their own generation than the sons of light.


Some believe many of the Essenes went into the desert to fulfill Isaiah 40:3 (ESV):

A voice cries:
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord;
    make straight in the desert a highway for our God.


We know that John the Baptist was renowned for this same statement as we read in Matthew 3:1-3, Mark 1:2-5, and John 1:23. Was John one of the Essenes? Perhaps. Some even speculate that he lived at Qumran for a time.


John, in fact, prepared the way of the LORD in the wilderness. Jesus came to him to be baptized – at the Jordan River in the wilderness. It was a righteous fulfillment of prophecy and the launching of Jesus’ public ministry as recorded in Matthew 3 and Luke 3.


We know that John was not the Messiah but the witness to Him. John the apostle said it like this in John 1:7-8 (ESV):

He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.


This reminds me a bit of what Edith Wharton once said, There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it. We, along with John the Baptist, are not the Candle but more like mirrors.


I don’t know if you have been to the Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem. It is called, “Yad VaShem.” It means “A Monument and a Name.” The museum takes you through the Jewish persecution prior to and during WWII. The Avenue of the Righteous Gentiles contains rows of trees planted in honor of non-Jewish people who risked their own lives to hide Jews from the Nazis. There are trees honoring the Ten Boom family and Oscar Schindler as well as many others.


There is one haunting place in the museum. That is the Children’s Memorial dedicated to the memory of the children who were murdered by the Nazis. I think that there were around 1.5 Million. In that section you walk into a darkened room. Some memorial candles are placed in the room. Such candles are a custom of the Jews to remember the dead. The light from those few candles is reflected by hundreds of mirrors that give the impression of an infinite number. As you enter the Children’s Memorial you are gripped by the reading of the names, ages, and country of the children who were massacred by the Nazis. At the same time, the light of the candles and their reflections symbolically pierce the darkness of evil.


People who are obsessed with power to the point that they would kill innocent babies are the darkness. Where do you think those 1.5 Million babies are right now? Where do you think those Nazis are who ordered and carried out their murders? One group is with God the other isn’t. Where do you think the perpetrators of the modern holocaust of murdering innocent babies will be if they do not repent of their evil? What nation has God allowed to stand with injustice and hardness of heart against the innocent? The helpless have a special place in the heart of God.


Paul said this in Philippians 2:14-16 (ESV):

14 Do all things without grumbling or disputing, 15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.


We are in a dark world in order to make a difference to those trapped in the darkness. We are not in the light of Christ merely for our own benefit. We are here to make a difference to others by being shining examples of biblical Christianity.


Christopher Columbus once said of his voyage to the New World, Following the light of the sun, we left the Old World. Let me make a play on his words and say it like this for us:

Following the light of the S-O-N, we left our Old World.”


Light will conquer darkness, but it has to shine! Jesus has done His part. The Holy Spirit is doing His. We must do ours. As Jesus said, “let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16, ESV).


Today as we close, I just want to say let’s . . .

Keep The Light Burning!


We Are Winners!

15 I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one (John 17:15, ESV).


Some time ago I read a story about Sunday night, July 18th, 1999. It was the final game of the Americas Cup being played in Asuncion, Paraguay. Brazil was ahead of Uruguay 3 to 0 for the championship. The official time came to an end and the game went into two last minutes of compensatory time.


Everyone in the stadium from the commentators to the reserve players to the vendors to the fans knew that “Brazil won!” Everyone was on their feet dancing and singing. There were two minutes left in the game. That was not enough time to place three goals and tie the game or four goals to win.


A moment comes in a game when there are too many points and not enough time to win or to lose. The game was not over that night, but the winner had already been decided. Uruguay was still playing, but they had already lost. Brazil was still playing, but they had already won. And nothing would change it.


There is an incredible moment to still be playing the game, knowing it’s not over yet, but knowing you’ve won. You stay on the field. You do what you were sent there to do. You do it with a smile on your face and joy in your heart that comes with knowing the victory is already yours. You just have to play out the clock.


That is where we are a Christians. The game in reality is over. Jesus has won the victory for us. His resurrection proves it. We merely have to play out the clock. There will be injuries and apparent setbacks. There will be challenges and delays. There will be tears and suffering. Stay on the field and faithfully finish the game.


Paul understood this in his life. Apparently when he stood before Caesar he was condemned to die. Amoral and insensitive people would put him to death. Yet he would write in 2 Timothy 4:6-8 (ESV):

For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.


To all of us the same writer would say in Romans 8:38-39 (ESV):

38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.


There is something divinely implanted in us that desires Liberty. I believe it is part of the victory that comes with Jesus. It is the image of God. We want to be free from the addictions of sin. We want to be free from the amoral and immoral control of others. Wouldn’t it be great if we could achieve spiritual and physical freedom? And, why should we not have both?


Liberty comes with the presence of the Lord according to 2 Corinthians 3:17 (ESV), “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” That freedom or Liberty is costly. It cost Jesus His life to provide it and it costs ours to claim and preserve it.


C.S. Lewis once said:

“We are not necessarily doubting that God will do the best for us; we are wondering how painful the best will turn out to be.”

There is cost to every lasting blessing of God, including Victory and Liberty.

It is not an easy thing because the devil wants to take your Liberty. HE wants to have immoral control over your life. Right now we are seeing his control internationally. He has shut down the economy and the populations of the entire earth. He has frightened people into compliance to all manner of ungodly mandates.


Yet there are some lovers of Liberty that are fighting his tyranny. It is a hard fight but it is a worthwhile one. True Liberty will come when we hold fast to Jesus and His truth. He IS “the way, truth, and life” (John 14:6).


How do we push back tyranny when it comes?

  1. Know and use the Bible just as Jesus did when tempted by the devil in the wilderness.
  2. Pray and invite the presence of the Holy Spirit into our lives. As Paul stated, “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
  3. Educate ourselves to the realities of our day. “Question all the answers,” as one of my teachers has said. Question what you see because there are things happening we don’t. For instance, did you know:
  • Bill Gates has repeatedly stated that 7 BILLION people on earth need to die? I’m sure he doesn’t intend to be one of those, but that is the mindset of the Globalists.
  • That the estimate for abortions in America is in the neighborhood of 77 Million since 1973? We have murdered that many innocent babies! They weren’t convicted felons, they were babies!
  • Senatorial Candidate, Jackson Lahmeyer says there are three key issues facing America. These are Election Integrity; the Border Invasion; and the Rate of Inflation. What do you know about these issues?
  1. Speak up with truth. Truth does set people free and we need to share all manner of truth, biblical, medical, and scientific.
  2. Be willing to take abuses that will inevitably come to the truth-teller. Listen to 1 Peter 3:14 (ESV), “But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled,”
  3. Serve God and people, even our enemies, anyway. It is always right to faithfully serve for in the end, we win!


Keep The Light of Christ’s Victory for Us Burning!