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Synopsis of Slaves of Christ
We’re about to slice a piece of the bread of life, the word of God. And today’s slice comes from Genesis 49:14-15: “Issachar is a strong donkey, lying down between the sheepfolds. When he saw that a resting place was good and that the land was pleasant, he bowed his shoulder to bear burdens, and became a slave at forced labor.”
And so, the title of today’s message is…. Slaves of Christ.
My friends, if we are going to be the salt and light we are called to be, we must understand and be engaged in the times. This is seen in the prophecy that Jacob gave over Issachar as recorded “he bowed his shoulder to bear burdens, and became a slave at forced labor.”
I was led into a period in which I received lots of communication of prophetic revelation, and gave myself to being their mouthpiece; one of my most favorite things. I love it, because it is exciting to be involved in even some of the most interesting things of God’s plans. In fact, my second most favored verse of the Bible is: 1Timothy 1:12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry.”
Then the Lord said I had to focus on some of the crises that were threatening our continued existence as a republic. I dislike politics more than just about anything. Our government leaders and employees should be some of the finest servants, but instead self-interest and self-promotion dominates the lives of all but a few.
A couple of months ago Rick Joyner, a today prophet of God, for whom I have great admiration and trust , was having lunch with Franklin Graham, Reinhard Bonnke, and other friends. In their conversation Franklin summed up the elections pretty well. He said
“If Obama wins we go off the cliff, and if Romney wins we go off the cliff, but just a little more slowly. No one man, or one administration, can fix the mess we’re now in. Our government is dysfunctional almost from top to bottom with the exception of the military. I do think Romney’s election would represent grace and more time, but only God can save us. The good thing is God can do it easily, and in a day if He so chooses. Our only answer is to turn back to Him as a nation. We absolutely should vote, but regardless of who is elected, we must have another Great Awakening in America.”
It seems, also, that J.R.R. Tolkien may have had it right in how he saw the times unfolding when he said, “The proliferation of evil is now overwhelming the whole world, and not many are left who will fight for good, but God can still unravel all of the power of the evil one with just a couple of hobbits if He so chooses. We have to fight for right regardless of the odds or how dark it gets. The courage that was upon Daniel’s three friends is needed. They declared that they knew their God could deliver them, but even if He chose not to, they would not bow down to a false god. It is better to die fighting for what is right than to live as slaves and cowards.”
Regardless of what happens to any nation or kingdom on this earth, Jesus is coming back, and His kingdom will be established over the whole earth. The gospel of His kingdom will soon be preached throughout the earth to prepare for Him. That is the best news the world will ever hear, and there is an army being prepared for this. Since you are here now, you are called to be a part of it.
In January 2001, President George W. Bush closed his Inaugural Address with a quote from Virginia statesman John Page, a longtime member of the Virginia House of Delegates, by relating that Page wrote the following to his close friend, Thomas Jefferson: “I’m highly pleased with your Declaration. God preserve the United States – We know the Race is not to the swift nor the Battle to the strong – Do you now think an Angel rides in the whirlwind (and) directs this Storm?”
The Battle, Page wrote of, was the battle for freedom and the war with Great Britain. He was asking, “Do you believe God is with us?” President Bush said, “This work continues. This story goes on. And an Angel still rides in the Whirlwind and directs this storm…” Little did George W. Bush know that just eight months later he would face 9-11, and the first foreign assault on American soil since Pearl Harbor. Little did he know that four years later, he would face Hurricane Katrina and three years later, the onslaught of the worst financial crisis the nation has faced since the Great Depression.
During the American Revolution, a praying Continental Congress called the shots and a praying General George Washington led the ill-equipped and outnumbered Continental Army to victory over the greatest military force in the world. But we are in a different day. Back then, Americans, even those who had not experienced the new birth, held to a biblical view of morality, and our founders had a profound respect for the God of the Bible, recognizing Him as the author of human liberty. They established a Christian republic, openly acknowledged by all, until the 20th Century. The pastors and churchmen of that period saw civic involvement as a sacred duty. The British deplored and feared the Black-Robed Regiment as these men of God were called.
But over the past several decades, the American ship has veered far off course. Christians have allowed prayer and Bible reading to be removed from our public schools, the Ten Commandments to be removed from our public buildings, laws passed giving unlimited rights to divorce, the Constitution reinterpreted to allow for the killing of unborn children, the redefinition of marriage in six states, and the distribution of abortifacient drugs to all women at taxpayer expense. Then, our President declares America no longer to be a Christian nation and is implementing a socialistic economic vision for America, including socialized medicine. Moreover, he has snubbed our close ally, Israel, while appeasing the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist factions in the Middle East. Because God’s blessing is tied to our nation’s support for Israel, many believe this may be the last straw.
Lets see Gen 12:3 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: 2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: 3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.”
We are at a defining moment in our nation. Leading up to our 2012 Presidential Election, we faced the nation’s worst economic troubles in decades, uproar in the Middle East involving the U.S. And another devastating natural disaster, the latest in a growing pattern of severe, destructive weather. Face the Facts USA reports: More costly weather events, more often. If you think we’re in an age of more severe weather, you’re right. The annual number of billion-dollar disasters in the United States – earthquakes, floods, fires, hurricanes (whirlwinds) and more – has tripled since the 1980s, from two to about six per year. And 2011 was a barn-burner, with 14 separate $1 billion-plus weather events. Losses from U.S. natural disasters in 2011 topped $60 billion.
Longtime revivalist, historian and author, Rev. Richard O. Roberts, wrote: “There will be found a large number of sermons that were preached at the Fast Days and Solemn Assemblies which were frequently called and earnestly attended by American believers prior to the general decline of true Christianity which characterizes twentieth-century America. Our Fathers believed God was offended by sin. They were deeply troubled both by the existence of personal sin in their own lives and by the presence of un-confessed corporate sins in the churches and in the nation. They regarded natural calamities as manifestations of the displeasure of God Almighty against sin and allowed such events as earthquakes, fires, volcanoes, epidemics, floods, and droughts to prompt them to special seeking of God’s face in fasting, prayer, and corporate repentance. They also sought the Lord in Solemn Assemblies in connection with wars, murders, rapes, etc., believing such outbursts of wickedness to be directly related to the general decline of moral and spiritual life in the churches”
Jesus made it clear that calamities such as we are witnessing in the northeast (whirlwinds) are not the result of the sins of the victims, but warn all of us to “repent or perish.”
Luke 13:1-5 “About this time Jesus was informed that Pilate had murdered some people from Galilee as they were sacrificing at the Temple in Jerusalem. 2 Christ asked… “Do you think those Galileans were worse sinners than other people from Galilee? Is that why they suffered? 3 Not at all! And you will also perish unless you turn from your evil ways and turn to God. 4 And what about the eighteen men who died when the Tower of Siloam fell on them? Were they the worst sinners in Jerusalem? 5 No, and I tell you again that unless you repent, you will also perish.”
What did Christ say….“unless you repent, you will also perish
Let’s examine the whirlwind in Jeremiah 23:19 “Look! The LORD’s anger bursts out like a storm, a whirlwindthat swirls down on the heads of the wicked. 20 The anger of the LORD will not diminish until it has finished all his plans. In the days to come, you will understand all this very clearly.”
So, what does it mean for the Church to be involved in politics? We know that the world is already damaged by the effects of the fall in the Garden of Eden. We should expect sin. We should expect some politicians to accept graft, and some officials to accept bribes. We should expect some executives to sell out their companies and its shareholders and customers for personal gain. We should expect drunk driving, drug pushing, cartels, sexual assaults, and stock market manipulation and even terrorism. Now…. expecting sin does not mean accepting it, much less ignoring it. It should not shock us that governments, armies and corporation waste money. It should not shock us that schools, hospitals, and charities wastes people’s time and talents and the earth’s resources. After all, Genesis chapter 3 tells us that work will be harder to do than it should be, and that “thorns and thistles” are everywhere.
Many Christians, both liberal and conservative tend to see the world in stark polarities of good and evil. But the field is mixed and is a dark fact. We must, then, reckon with not only with what is bad out there, but what is bad in here…. that is, in our individual selves and in our most sacred institutions. We must simply expect some leaders, in State, in commerce, the professions, and also the Church, to be tempted by power, money and fame.
Back to today’s message. Remember, that God is not discouraged by the evil in us and our world. He is sad about it, angry at it, and grieved by it; but God is not discouraged. He works away at it, knowing that His labor is certain to produce fruit. And he has called each of us to do the same.
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