Welcome to the November blog. I trust you will be encouraged as you read.
The Change We Didn’t Need
It was change we did not need.
I write this as the final votes are being tallied and it is fairly clear who the next president of the United States will be. He has just made his victory speech. The people have spoken—“Give us a king/rock star/rhetorician/messiah!”
The scene is a little like another that took place over 3,000 years ago, recorded for posterity, including us. The story unfolds in I Samuel 8:4-9. Samuel doubtless wept as the chorus rose to a crescendo: “We want a king…like all the nations!” cried the Israelites. He knew they were asking for a thousand heartaches. However, God told Samuel to go ahead and give them what they wanted but warn them of the consequences. Samuel gave them a list of the dire circumstances to come, requiring ten verses (verses 9-18). All were ignored. The prophets chronicled their severe judgments over the next 1,000 years.
Now I know that America is neither Israel nor the church. But in my October blog, I joined with many other Christian ministers and laymen in warning of the consequences of an Obama administration in America. A couple of responders shamed me for it, but as election day drew nearer I became more convinced than ever that a huge mistake of the magnitude of the Israelites’ miscalculation in I Samuel 8 was being made. It was incumbent on Evangelicals, particularly Apostolics, to speak out. Conservative political pundits and pastors all over America were alarmed as the future of our nation began to take shape. We shuddered to think about it. However, the majority of the electorate failed to heed the warnings and we may well see a very different America in the future. Many fear an Obama administration will remove the heart of the professing church in America, subtly of course, laproscopically. Administration hacks might even refer to Acts 2:44,45 to justify their edicts.
It is difficult not to think about some parallels in our own movement at this time. Many pastors warned of the consequences of Resolution 4, which was passed at the 2007 General Conference. A majority, although very slight, chose to ignore those warnings. We are now witnessing the initial consequences. I have to say that those who spoke in the closed ministers’ session in the recent 2008 General Conference in Greensboro did a fabulous job in projecting our traditional positions on doctrine and holiness. A rousing applause said, “We are Pentecostals and we approve this message!” However, many heads were shaking as the ministers left the assembly hall—“Why wasn’t this done before the vote in Tampa?”
For two years prior to that vote, the chorus kept rising, “We need change!” The word kept cropping up in our publications and in our conferences. We got it, but it was change we didn’t need. Likewise, for the past year and a half, we have heard little else but change from the President-elect. Now we have him and we will get it, along with the consequences.
Perhaps all of this angst is for naught. Maybe he will forget his promises and take another path. May we hope, and may we pray.
Top 10 Predictions Regardless of Who Won the Election
1. The Bible will still have all the answers.
2. Prayer will still work.
3. The Holy Spirit will still move.
4. God will still inhabit the praises of His people.
5. There will still be God-anointed preaching.
6. There will still be singing of praise to God.
7. God will still pour out blessings upon His people.
8. There will still be room at the Cross.
9. Jesus will still love you.
10. Jesus will still save the lost if they turn to Him.
We don’t need a crystal ball to make those predictions. ISN’T IT GREAT TO KNOW WHO IS STILL IN ULTIMATE CONTROL?!
A scene at City Hall in San Francisco
“Good morning. We want to apply for a marriage license.”
“Tim and Jim Jones.”
“Jones? Are you related? I see a resemblance.”
“Yes, we’re brothers.”
“Brothers? You can’t get married.”
“Why not? Aren’t you giving marriage licenses to same gender couples?”
“Yes, thousands. But we haven’t had any siblings apply. That’s incest!”
“Incest? No, we are not gay.”
“Not gay? Then why do you want to get married?”
“For the financial benefits, of course. And we do love each other. Besides, we don’t have any other prospects.”
“But we’re issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples who’ve been denied equal protection under the law. If you are not gay, you can get married to a woman.”
“Wait a minute. A gay man has the same right to marry a woman as I have. But just because I’m straight doesn’t mean I want to marry a woman. I want to marry Jim.”
“And I want to marry Tim, Are you going to discriminate against us just because we are not gay?”
“All right, all right. I’ll give you your license. Next.”
“Hi. We are here to get married.”
“John Smith, Jane James, Robert Green, and June Johnson.”
“Who wants to marry whom?”
“We all want to marry each other.”
“But there are four of you!”
“That’s right. You see, we’re all bisexual. I love Jane and Robert, Jane loves me and June, June loves Robert and Jane, and Robert loves June and me. All of us getting married together is the only way that we can freely express our sexual preferences in a marital relationship.”
“But we’ve only been granting licenses to gay and lesbian couples.”
“So you’re discriminating against bisexuals!”
“No, it’s just that, well, the traditional idea of marriage is that it’s just for couples.”
“Since when are you standing on tradition?”
“Well, I mean, you have to draw the line somewhere.”
“Who says? There’s no logical reason to limit marriage to couples. The more the better. Besides, we demand our rights! The mayor says the constitution guarantees equal protection under the law. Give us a marriage license!”
“All right, all right. Next.”
“Hello, I’d like a marriage license.”
“In what names?”
“And the other man?”
“That’s all. I want to marry myself.”
“Marry yourself? What do you mean?”
“Well, my psychiatrist says I have a split personality, so I want to marry the two together, then I can file a joint income tax return.”
“That does it! I quit!!” (You should have done that two years ago! -jre)
Does evil exist?
As Bible-believing Christians, we know it exists. It not only exists, it is being marketed by professionals on Wall Street, by politicians in Washington, by book and magazine publishers, by movie and TV producers and personalities, and but the pushers of drugs and alcohol not far from your front door. The problem is, they are marketing it in such a way that few can resist it. Only if we are aware of how evil finds pathways into our lives will be able to limit its influence in our own lives.
One book, other than the Bible, stands out as accomplishing that objective. David Kupelian is the author and the title is The Marketing of Evil. It’s been one of America’s most talked about books for more than two years, but now it is lighting a fire in the one place the author considers most important—the nation’s churches.
From small-town churches and prayer groups to some of America’s largest congregations, Christian leaders and laymen are buying the book, sometimes by the case.
Launched in August 2005 and now in its eighth printing, The Marketing of Evil subtitled, “How Radicals, Elitists, and Pseudo-Experts Sell Us Corruption Disguised as Freedom,” has been widely acclaimed for exposing the various ways evil works in modern America. Documenting the brilliant marketing techniques that are commonly employed to “package, perfume and gift-wrap” destructive behaviors and beliefs to make them look good, Kupelian even includes a major chapter on why Christians have become so vulnerable to these “wolves,” these “marketers of evil. Many leading ministers, rabbis, churches and religious organizations are sharing it with their flocks, and, in many cases, saying they’ve been profoundly impacted by it.
“The book jolted me awake just as surely as someone bursting in my bedroom and shouting, ‘Your house is on fire!’” said Pastor Claude T. Stauffer of Calvary Chapel of Hope in Long Island, N.Y.
A member of his congregation approached him, Stauffer recalls, and “told me that as a pastor I needed to read that book. He was serious—so serious in fact that he said the Lord put it on his heart to purchase enough of the books to give one to every person in our church.” Stauffer read it carefully from cover to cover.
“The book and its message took hold of me in a profound way,” the New York pastor said later. “When the books were offered to the congregation they eagerly received them. In a few days we ran out of books and had to place a second order. People are reading the book and sharing it with others. The Lord is using that book to open eyes and hearts.”
This is vital information to immunize you, your loved ones, your church and your friends to the carnival mirror distortions employed by those who market evil to America—and to equip you to counteract the lies with the truth. (Adapted from reviews at http://www.worldnetdaily.com)
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Place your order early for books as gifts this season!
I’ll keep my freedom, my guns, and my money. You can keep “THE CHANGE.”
– Anonymous, yet it speaks for many of us, albeit a little too late.
The will of God never takes you to where the grace of God will not protect you.
We don’t change the message; the message changes us.
The best mathematical equation I have ever seen:
1 cross + 3 nails = 4 given.
Have a great November!
Jerry and Roffie Ensey