Archive for April, 2015

Standing in the Gap—It Only Takes One

April 18, 2015
Revelation 18 and the fate of America

Revelation 18 and the fate of America

[Excerpted from Revelation 18 and the fate of America, pp. 347-354, 359-361.]

Although it could be justifiably said that American Christian missionaries over the past two centuries have evangelized the world, now with America’s decline, some of the world’s Christian missionaries are being sent to America.  They are coming from such countries as Brazil, China, South Korea and elsewhere.  In 2010, while the U.S. still sent 127,000 Christian missionaries abroad, an estimated 32,400 Christian missionaries were sent to the United States from other countries.  In the history of America, millions of Christians have stood in the gap for their fellow man at home and abroad through prayer, charity, ministry and missions.  Today, while many believers in Christ still do so, more and more Christians sit idly by, content to be CINOs (Christians in Name Only) while the country they live in is going to hell in a hand basket 

The Lord is far from the wicked, but He hears the prayer of the righteous. Proverbs 15:29

The words of the prophet Isaiah, spoken on behalf of God to the Hebrew people many centuries ago, could be spoken to America today.  “I was sought by those who did not ask for Me; I was found by those who did not seek Me.  I said, ‘Here I am, here I am,’ to a nation that was not called by My name.   I have stretched out My hands all day long to a rebellious people, who walk in a way that is not good, according to their own thoughts;   a people who provoke Me to anger continually to My face;” (Isaiah 65:1-3a).

When the Hebrews were taken captive to Babylon because they had sinned against God and were once again led astray by their leaders, God raised up Ezekiel, a common man; the equivalent of a street preacher.  Through Ezekiel God spoke and illustrated what he required of His people to return to Him.  God told Ezekiel that He had “looked for someone who might rebuild the wall of righteousness that guards the land. I searched for someone to stand in the gap in the wall so I wouldn’t have to destroy the land, but I found no one” (Ezekiel 22:30; NLT).

What God was looking for was one truly faithful person who would stand up for righteousness at all costs to lead His people back to Him so that their land; their heritage, would not be destroyed.  But God lamented that He could not find one among all Israel who was willing to stand in the gap, offering resistance to evil, on behalf of the people.  God was not necessarily looking for a high priest or theologian, but a common man like Abraham who pleaded with God on behalf of Sodom, or Moses, who stood in the gap and interceded for all of Israel and led them out of slavery in Egypt.

So will I choose their delusions, and bring their fears on them; because, when I called, no one answered, when I spoke they did not hear; but they did evil before My eyes, and chose that in which I do not delight.

Isaiah 66:4

As with Sodom (Genesis 18:32), God did not desire to see the city of Jerusalem destroyed by foreign invaders.  If He could find just one righteous person in the city He would see that Jerusalem was spared.

“Run to and fro through the streets of Jerusalem;” God told Jeremiah, the prophet, “see now and know; and seek in her open places if you can find a man, if there is anyone who executes judgment, who seeks the truth, and I will pardon her.  Though they say, ‘As the Lord lives,’ surely they swear falsely.  O Lord, are not Your eyes on the truth?  You have stricken them, but they have not grieved; You have consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction.  They have made their faces harder than rock; they have refused to return. . . . I will go to the great men and speak to them, for they have known the way of the Lord, the judgment of their God.  But these have altogether broken the yoke and burst the bonds” (Jeremiah 5:1-3, 5).  God was not looking for someone to give Him lip service or a Sabbath day believer.  He was looking for someone who was totally committed to Him and Him only in righteousness and truth.

Just like the Israel of old, America has gone too far astray from God and beyond any human solutions to her overwhelming problems.  Once again, God is looking for someone to stand in the gap; someone who is sold out to Him that will faithfully intercede for America; to lead His people in repentance and revival and a wholehearted return to Him.

To whom can I give warning?  Who will listen when I speak?  Their ears are closed, and they cannot hear.  They scorn the word of the Lord.  They don’t want to listen at all.

Jeremiah 6:10 (NLT)

God gave the people of Israel many warnings through His prophets and many opportunities for them to return to Him, but they repeatedly rejected Him and His ways.  America and Americans find themselves in a similar situation today.  Over the decades, many men and women of God have repeatedly warned that the United States was on the wrong path in every corner of society.  Despite these warnings, as a country, America has repudiated God and turned away from Him.

When Israel was moving toward self-destruction, the prophet Isaiah offered this stark warning from God.  “Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near.  Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the Lord, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.  ‘For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord.  ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. . . . So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it’” (Isaiah 55:6-9, 11).

God is fair and just and He is always ready to pardon those who call upon Him and seek His face and return to Him.  The United States and its people are in desperate need of God and His intervention, whether they corporately know it or not.  But God will not intervene where He is not called upon or wanted.  For those who still follow Him and call upon Him, God’s promise to Israel long ago stands for those in America as well.  “Those from among you shall build the old waste places; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; and you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach, The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In” (Isaiah 58:12; author’s emphasis).

The Authority of the Believer and the Church.   Many might ask: Why does God not destroy the wicked and idol worshippers of today like He did in the Old Testament times?  The answer is because God has given authority over principalities and powers and wickedness in high places to Christ followers and His church (Ephesians 6:11-13; Colossians 2:15).   Jesus also told His followers that they had the power to “bind” and “loose” God’s will on earth (Matthew 16:19, 18:18).

When it became clear to the Founding Fathers and their compatriots that freedom from the oppressive, tyrannical government of England was imperative, they agreed to assemble in Philadelphia in September, 1775 at the First Continental Congress to consider their course of action.  To start the Congress, they called upon Reverend Jacob Duché, Rector of Christ Church of Philadelphia.  Rev. Duché, on behalf of those gathered, beseeched God through Jesus Christ, for His mercy and deliverance from an ungodly and unjust government.  It would be the first earnest prayer uttered in a Continental Congress, the forerunner of the U.S. Congress.

O Lord our Heavenly Father, high and mighty King of kings, and Lord of lords, who dost from thy throne behold all the dwellers on earth and reignest with power supreme and uncontrolled over all the Kingdoms, Empires and Governments; look down in mercy, we beseech Thee, on these our American States, who have fled to Thee from the rod of the oppressor and thrown themselves on Thy gracious protection, desiring to be henceforth dependent only on Thee. To Thee have they appealed for the righteousness of their cause; to Thee do they now look up for that countenance and support, which Thou alone canst give. Take them, therefore, Heavenly Father, under Thy nurturing care; give them wisdom in Council and valor in the field; defeat the malicious designs of our cruel adversaries; convince them of the unrighteousness of their Cause and if they persist in their sanguinary [bloody] purposes, of own unerring justice, sounding in their hearts, constrain them to drop the weapons of war from their unnerved hands in the day of battle!

Be Thou present, O God of wisdom, and direct the councils of this honorable assembly; enable them to settle things on the best and surest foundation. That the scene of blood may be speedily closed; that order, harmony and peace may be effectually restored, and truth and justice, religion and piety, prevail and flourish amongst the people. Preserve the health of their bodies and vigor of their minds; shower down on them and the millions they here represent, such temporal blessings as Thou seest expedient for them in this world and crown them with everlasting glory in the world to come. All this we ask in the name and through the merits of Jesus Christ, Thy Son and our Savior. Amen. 

In spite of today’s revisionist history and political correctness, the Founding Fathers depended heavily upon God, His mercy, guidance and deliverance from their enemies.  They recognized their fallibility and God’s infallibility and He miraculously delivered them from their oppression (see We the People: Birth of a Nation” by the author).  God gave His people power and that power is in prayer and faithfulness to Him and Him only. 

From childhood we have watched as everything our ancestors worked for . . . was squandered on a delusion.  Let us now lie down in shame and cover ourselves with dishonor, for we and our ancestors have sinned against the Lord our God.  From our childhood to this day we have never obeyed him.

Jeremiah 3:24-25 (NLT)

Even Benjamin Franklin, who many claim was a deist (a person who believes in God, not through supernatural revelation, but through that revealed in creation), recognized the need for God’s direct input when the newly developing nation needed it most.  On June 18, 1787, in the midst of a contentious Constitutional Convention, when the Founding Fathers were finding it difficult to come to a consensus on various constitutional issues, the venerable and aged Ben Franklin rose and addressed the president of the Convention, George Washington and those gathered. 

I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth, that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings, that “except the Lord build the House, they labor in vain that build it.” I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without His concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better, than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing governments by human wisdom and leave it to chance, war and conquest.

I therefore beg leave to move that henceforth prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven, and its blessings on our deliberations be held in this Assembly every morning before we proceed to business, and that one or more of the clergy of this city be requested to officiate in that service. 

Franklin knew that it was only through God that the differences between those gathered could be resolved.  Three months later the United States Constitution, the most supreme governing document the world has ever known, was signed into law on September 17, 1787.

Benjamin Franklin, perhaps in some eyes, the least likely to do so, chose to stand in the gap for the fledgling nation and implore God’s help.  God is always looking for a willing partner to bring forth His will for a people.  He is not necessarily looking for the strongest in faith, but the most willing and obedient.  In 2 Chronicles 16:9, it says, “For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. In this you have done foolishly; therefore from now on you shall have wars.”  God is always looking for a co-laborer to bring forth His plan and righteousness for a people who recognize their sinfulness and are willing to repent and follow Him.

America’s people who believe in God have one choice and one choice only when it comes to redeeming their lives, their family and their nation—they must turn from their wicked ways, repent and return to God.  Non-believers will scoff at this, convinced that they have the answers to America’s problems, but will only take the country further into the abyss.   “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy” (Proverbs 28:13).

America stands at the proverbial fork in the road, and once again she must choose whether to follow the heathen, Baal, or God.  But “a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom,” warned John Adams in a letter to his wife, Abigail, on July 17, 1775, “can never be restored.  Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.”

*************

The Prayer of One.   In 1857, a wave of financial panic swept over the United States—the first worldwide financial crisis brought on by a declining international economy.  As banks in America failed and railroads went bankrupt, they took thousands of business owners with them.  Unemployment shot up and thousands went hungry.  Desperate people turned to crime and society was collapsing.  One man in New York, Jeremiah Lanphier, heeded God’s call.

Lanphier was not a “hellfire and brimstone” preacher like the ones who led previous revivals in America.  He was an unassuming, quiet man who was called as a missionary to New York City by the Dutch Reformed Church.  The desire of the church was to increase its flagging membership.

Lanphier’s plan was simple: Post an invitation for others in the city to join him in prayer every Wednesday during the typical 12-1 lunch hour.  His hope was that those that were struggling—businessmen and workers—would come and spend a moment with God.  If they could not spend the whole hour, then perhaps they could spare 5 or 10 minutes.

Lanphier hatched his plan on September 23, 1857.  The first prayer meeting almost did not happen.  It was not until 12:30 that first day that the first person appeared to join him; then came five more.  Two weeks later, there were 40 men praying.   Lanphier decided to make the noontime prayer a daily occurrence.  Six months later an estimated 10,000 businessmen in New York were gathering for prayer over their lunch hour.  Within a two year period an estimated one million new converts to Christianity were added to the rolls of the churches across the country.

By 1858 the prayer movement became known as the Layman’s Prayer Revival and spread throughout the country.  Prayer meetings were being held day and night, in big cities and small towns.  They were led by businessmen, not ministers.  Before this prayer revival, thousands had become disillusioned with the church and Christianity, but now, through prayer, thousands were coming to the churches throughout America.  Lives were being transformed, crime was on the decline and the needy were being ministered to by those that had the financial means.

The Bible, of course, is full of men and women who stood in the gap and interceded on behalf of others.  Abraham, Moses, Gideon, David, Jonah, Esther and Deborah are just a few examples in the Old Testament.  In the New Testament there was Stephen who pleaded with God not to hold those who were stoning him accountable (Acts 7:60).  There was the Apostle Paul and the other disciples of Jesus, ordinary men, who were constantly interceding for others.  Then there is Jesus, the greatest intercessor of all, who is at the Father’s right hand, interceding before God on behalf of His followers (1 John 2:1).

Can Judgment be Averted?

April 18, 2015
Revelation 18 and the fate of America

Revelation 18 and the fate of America

[Excerpted from Revelation 18 and the fate of America, pp. 341-347.]

Is America the Babylon mentioned in Revelation 18?  Possibly.  One thing seems certain, the Babylon in Revelation 18 and elsewhere in Revelation is not the historic Babylon of the Old Testament or of King Nebuchadnezzar’s era.  By description, the Babylon of Revelation 18 is the epitome of a people or nation that has strayed from God and His foundational truths; rejected Him and have become prideful and arrogant, no longer needing God’s direction or input into their lives.  This Babylon represents a people whose sins are so great they seem unforgiveable and insurmountable.  They have become wealthy and have lived extravagantly and the rest of the world has depended on them for their own well being and prosperity.

The leaders of the United States, over many decades, have brought the country to the brink of destruction.  “The only sure cure for many of the ills of the modern world which men are vainly trying to remove by means of social and economic antidotes is to be found in the faith in God and loyalty to the eternal verities of religion,” stated Warren G. Harding (1865-1923), 29th President of the United States.  “The recognition of a personal God and of the individual accountability of men and women to him, for their conduct are the foundations of the highest patriotism and of those civic virtues which alone can make men and nations morally great. The human race has been getting away from its religious moorings. It needs a revival of the sincere conception of the personal relationship of God to man and man to God; a restoration of faith in the fundamentals of religion that are eternal. The world needs the assurance of faith in the Almighty, and the tranquility which comes alone of that faith. That faith in God which has made the ancient Hebrew nation great, is still needed to make nations great today.”

The story and history of America, in many ways, parallels that of ancient Israel.  As long as Israel followed God and obeyed His laws, they prospered as a people and nation.  When they chose to reject Him and follow after the dictates of their own hearts, the nation faltered and crumbled and often was overrun by their enemies.

Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse:  the blessing, if you obey the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you today;  and the curse, if you do not obey the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside from the way which I command you today, to go after other gods which you have not known. Deuteronomy 11:26-28

President Abraham Lincoln, in his speech on March 30, 1863, proclaiming a National Fast Day, spoke words that still ring true today.  “We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of Heaven. We have been preserved, these many years, in peace and prosperity,” he noted. “We have grown in numbers, wealth and power, as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace, and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us; and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success, we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us!” 

The Founders’ Wisdom and Insight.  When it comes to overturning or changing a tyrannical government the people only have four choices: a military coup that throws out the current occupants of office; a people’s revolution that forces the despotic leaders out; vote them out or a revolution of prayer and fasting.  The first two, while they can bring more immediate results, are not the American way and can result in bloodshed.   The third way takes time and could allow those in office to bring about even more public harm before their removal.  The last method, God’s preferred way, takes much patience, trust and faith in God to do what He desires to do (more about that in the next chapter).

Say to them: ‘As I live,’ says the Lord God, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die, O house of Israel?’ Ezekiel 33:11

Daniel Webster (1782-1852), author, lawyer and patriotic senator from Massachusetts, in his remarks to the U.S. Senate, June 3, 1834, said, “God grants liberty only to those who love it and are always ready to guard and defend it.”  For over two centuries American patriots have done much to fight for and defend that precious love of freedom.  The question is: Have Americans lost the will to fight for that which their forefathers were willing to spill their precious blood?

“The preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the republican model of government,” George Washington wrote for his first inaugural address on April 30, 1789, “are justly considered deeply, perhaps as finally, staked on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people.”

Two years prior to the Washington address, Thomas Jefferson, in a letter to John Adam’s wife, Abigail, on February 22, 1787 (Washington’s 55th birthday), wrote: “The spirit of resistance to government is so valuable on certain occasions, that I wish it to be always kept alive. It will often be exercised when wrong, but better so than not to be exercised at all. I like a little rebellion now and then. It is like a storm in the atmosphere.”

Although Jefferson believed wholeheartedly in constitutional law and constitutional government, he apparently also recognized the inherent weakness of man and his inability to stay the course of constitutional freedom.  He anticipated that sometime in the future the people might need to rise up once again if the people they elected strayed from constitutional authority and the will of the people.

[A] wise and frugal government . . . shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government. Thomas Jefferson, First Inaugural Address, March 4, 1801

“God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion,” Jefferson wrote on November 13, 1787, to William S. Smith, a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from New York.  “The people cannot be all, and always, well informed.  The part which is wrong will be discontented, in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions, it is lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. . . . And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance?  Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two?  The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants.  It is its natural manure.” These were strong, but closely held beliefs of the one who authored America’s Declaration of Independence.

James Madison, known as the Father of the U.S. Constitution, said before the Virginia Ratifying Convention of June 16, 1788, that, “There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.”  A few months before, Madison penned these words in Federalist No. 10 on November 23, 1787.   “[D]emocracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention; have ever been found incompatible with personal security, or the rights of property; and have, in general, been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.”

No government, any more than an individual, will long be respected without being truly respectable; nor be truly respectable, without possessing a certain portion of order and stability.  James Madison, Federalist No. 62, February 27, 1788

John Hancock (1737-1793), the first governor of Massachusetts, whose bold signature was the first to grace the Declaration of Independence, said, “Resistance to tyranny becomes the Christian and social duty [of] each individual. . . . Continue steadfast and, with a proper sense of your dependence on God, nobly defend those rights which heaven gave, and no man ought to take from us.”

General George Washington, after suffering a number of military defeats at the hands of the superior British forces in the first year of the Revolutionary War in 1777 and then enduring a bitter winter at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania with his meager force of 12,000, encouraged his men on May 2, 1778 with these words:  “While we are zealously performing the duties of good citizens and soldiers, we certainly ought not to be inattentive to the higher duties of religion.  To the distinguished character of Patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of Christian.”

In the previous year, Washington had seen his raw recruit force of 25,000 men decimated by the British.  Morale was low and his forces were weak and poorly prepared.  Yet, Washington had the foresight and fortitude to urge his men forward for the noble, patriotic cause of freedom from oppression and tyranny.

Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged.   Ronald Reagan (1911-2004), 40th President of the United States

In 1824, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, in the blaspheme case of Updegraph v. the Commonwealth, the court offered this opinion, in part, of the role of Christianity in the well-being of the country.

No free government now exists in the world, unless where Christianity is acknowledged, and is the religion of the country. . . . Christianity is part of the common law of this State. It is not proclaimed by the commanding voice of any human superior, but expressed in the calm and mild accents of customary law. Its foundations are broad, and strong, and deep; they are laid in the authority, the interest, the affections of the people. Waiving all questions of hereafter, it is the purest system of morality, the firmest auxiliary, and only stable support of all human laws. . . .

While our own free Constitution secures liberty of conscience and freedom of religious worship to all, it is not necessary to maintain that any man should have the right publicly to vilify the religion of his neighbours and of the country. These two privileges are directly opposed.

Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924), the 28th President of the United States once offered this observation. “Liberty has never come from government. Liberty has always come from the subjects of government. The history of liberty is the history of resistance.”

America’s Only Hope

April 16, 2015

So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and His glory from the rising of the sun; when the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him.

Isaiah 59:19

If America is to survive, her only hope is in the restoration of her Christian heritage and spiritual foundations.  There is no other hope; no other solution (Revelation 18 and the fate of America, page 379).

[This is perhaps the most important blog I have written.  Please take the time to read the entire post; click on the link to “A Prayer for Revolution” and view the video link from Australia and then pass this on to everyone you know (both Christian and non-Christian).]

Headline: The World’s War on Christianity—Robert J. Morgan, HuffPost 

Headline: The War on Christians—Paul Marshall, The Weekly Standard 

Headline:  Is There a War Against Christianity in America?

http://www.theconservative.info/html/war_against_christianity.html

Headline:  War on Christianity Still Alive and Well in America—David Limbaugh, Human Events

Headline:  Obama’s War on ChristiansWorldNetDaily

The headlines are endless, like no other time in American history; there is an all-out war against Christians, their beliefs and the Christian church in America, as well as throughout the world.

America is beyond human intervention.  No man, woman and group of people can turn America around and avert its plummeting into the moral and spiritual abyss ahead.  ONLY the divine intervention of Almighty God can save her.  But God will not act until His people—those who call upon His name and follow Him wholeheartedly—turn to Him, repent and turn once again to the foundation of His truth in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

America’s Founding Fathers, in grateful harmony, made a covenant with God.  It is time for America’s Christians to come before God and repent for allowing America to fall away from God.  We must repent for our own part and for the entire country.  It must start with the church and her sins of complicity and omission (Revelation 18 and the fate of America, page 379).

The Book of Esther in the Old Testament of the Bible provides an interesting insight that is of value to America, particularly to Christians and the Christian church.  I want to focus on chapter 4 in that book, but first a brief biblical background.  The period was 485-479 B.C., King Ahasuerus (aka King Xerxes) reigned over 127 provinces, ranging from India to Ethiopia in northeast Africa.  The Jews, both those still under the “captivity” and those that had returned to Jerusalem and Israel under the decree of re-patronization by King Cyrus of Persia in 536 B.C., were under the dominion of King Ahasuerus.

In chapter 3, it is written that Haman was given sole authority over all the princes of the king’s realm and that the king had ordered all his subjects to pay homage to Haman by bowing to him whenever he was present.  However, Mordecai, a Jew and cousin of Esther and her adoptive father, refused to bow down to Haman.  Haman was enraged and hatched a devious plot to convince the king that the Jews were a threat to his kingdom and therefore should be destroyed.  The king agreed, “And the letters were sent by couriers into all the king’s provinces, to destroy, to kill, and to annihilate all the Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day, on the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, which is the month of Adar, and to plunder their possessions” (Esther 3:13).

This decree, of course, caused much distress, bitter weeping and mourning among the Jews.  “When Mordecai learned all that had happened, he tore his clothes and put on sackcloth and ashes, and went out into the midst of the city. He cried out with a loud and bitter cry” (Esther 4:1).  Esther, who was now married to the king and the queen of his realm, was in a prime position to influence the king, but was forbidden to approach the king unless he called for her.  Mordecai, through a messenger, alerted Esther to the king’s decree (Esther 4:6-9).  Esther was initially reluctant to go before the king because she had no authority to do so (vs. 11).

Mordecai refused to accept Esther’s hesitation and replied:  “Do not think in your heart that you will escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews. For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this? (vss. 13-14; my emphasis).  Esther was indeed in the place that God wanted her and to do His bidding on behalf of the Jews.

Mordecai’s response pricked the heart of Esther and she replied: “Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish!” (vs. 16; my emphasis).

If I perish, I perish!  Esther was now convinced that God had called for a special purpose and that was to save her people, the Jews.

America is in crisis.  America’s Christian and moral fiber is being destroyed.  Christians and Christianity are under daily assault from atheists, gay rights people, pro choice advocates, the Whitehouse, the judicial system, Muslims, state and federal governments and a host of other attackers of righteousness.  But where is the Church?  Where are the Christian leaders and outspoken Christians?  Yes, there are some that are speaking out, but far too few to have any meaningful impact.  Virtually little has changed in the last few decades when prayer was first banned from our schools in 1962 without a whimper from the Church.

George Washington, in his first inaugural address as the first President of the United States, spoke these words of both encouragement and warning:

Since we ought to be no less persuaded that the propitious smiles of Heaven, can never be expected on a nation that disregards the eternal rules of order and right, which Heaven itself has ordained: And since the preservation of the sacred fire of liberty, and the destiny of the Republican model of Government, are justly considered as deeply, perhaps as finally staked, on the experiment entrusted to the hands of the American people (George Washington, First Inaugural Address, April 30, 1789 in We the People, Birth of a Nation, Second Edition, page 492).

April 30 is a day of significance—at least for the people of Australia if not Americans.  On that day, Australia’s National Day of Prayer and Fasting group is calling for all the nations of the world to join in seven days of prayer and fasting for the United States (April 30-May 6).

We in Australia believe it is our turn to bless the nation of America and pray for healing for the USA through prayer and fasting according to 2 Chronicles 7:14. We in Australia are grateful for the protection that America gave Australia and the nations of the free world during World War II.—Alison Jessup

It’s nice that the people of Australia appreciate America’s heritage and crisis when our own leaders and universities denigrate the country and its Christian heritage daily.

Listen to Australia’s Warwick Marsh pray for America by clicking on the YouTube video here.

“But you are a chosen generation,” the Apostle Peter wrote, “a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;” (1 Peter 2:9).  It is time for Christians in America to stop making excuses or shying away from their Christianity and the devotion and allegiance to Christ and His Gospel.  The sooner Christians take a stand for what is right, just and holy according to the truth of the Bible, the sooner America will experience healing, reconciliation and restoration to the greatest “One Nation Under God” (Revelation 18 and the fate of America, page 380).

America stands at the proverbial fork in the road, and once again she must choose whether to follow the heathen, Baal, or God.  But “a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom,” warned John Adams in a letter to his wife, Abigail, on July 17, 1775, “can never be restored.  Liberty, once lost, is lost forever” (Revelation 18 and the fate of America, page 354).

Wake from your slumber American Christians and take action.  Christian leaders in America, where are your calls for repentance and prayer and fasting for the Church in America and the healing and reconciliation and return to holy righteousness?

Arise, O Lord, do not let man prevail; let the nations be judged in Your sight. Put them in fear, O Lord, that the nations may know themselves to be but men.

Psalm 9:19-20

Link to “A Prayer for Revolution”.

Will America Survive?

April 6, 2015

(Excerpted from the Introduction to Revelation 18 and the fate of America.)

BookCoverPreview.Revelation 18.front

Will America survive?  That is the question that is becoming more frequent in the minds and on the tongues of Americans at home and abroad and also non-American observers worldwide.  Can the United States of America survive the unyielding assaults on its constitution, morals, economy, justice system and religious foundation—not only from without, but also from within its own borders?  Can America survive and regain its traditional strength and leadership when its own leaders are becoming more radical and anti-American?  America’s survival and re-establishment of its God-ordained greatness will depend on the response of the people of America in general and the Christian church in particular—not ten years from now; not in five years; not even one year from now, but NOW!

America’s Enemies Wait in Queue. Enemies of the United States are lining up and strengthening their resolve to take America down.  Islamic jihadists—who adhere to the letter of the Qur’an (the Muslim holy book)—are bent on destroying America and all that she originally stood for and they have established a significant foothold throughout the world and particularly within the borders and government of the United States of America.  While the news media casts the jihadists as a small, but irritating group of “freedom fighters”, in reality they are an estimated ten percent of the total world Muslim population, making them a formidable force of well over 100 million adherents to the violent overthrow of America and Western society.

Then there is the burgeoning political, economic and military giant, China.   Chinese businessmen, politicians and military are feasting on the hundreds of billions of dollars from Chinese-exported goods made on the cheap for largely American and western European companies and business moguls willing to sell their corporate and patriotic souls in exchange for quick riches at the expense of the economies and security of their fellow citizens at home.

All this wealth accumulated by the Chinese at the expense of the Western world has allowed the Chinese to become the economic bully and military might of the world.   Emboldened by her wealth and the overwhelming indebtedness to her by the United States and other Western nations, the Chinese are now extracting their pound of flesh from those who were foolish enough to jump in bed with her.

America’s Early 20th Century Struggles.  During the first half of the 20th century America had to battle a quintet of disasters that would test the resilience and fortitude of the country and the American people for almost 50 years.  After struggling to find its equilibrium after a brutal world war, the United States found itself engulfed in a nationwide financial collapse and the ensuing years of economic depression that followed.  The economic collapse was further exasperated by the dust bowl years of 1931-1939 in most of the farmland of the Great Plains region of the country.  This added to the already high unemployment and caused the dislocation of thousands of families seeking refuge from the ravages of nature and financial deprivation way beyond their control.

World War I (1914-1918; 1917-1918 for America).  This “Great War” or “the war to end all wars” pitted Germany and Austria-Hungary against France, Great Britain and Russia (a.k.a., the Allies).  The incident that sparked the regional European war was the assassination of the Archduke of Austria, Franz Ferdinand and his wife on June 28, 1914 by a Serbian nationalist.  A month later, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia with the support of Germany with whom they had a treaty.  Shortly thereafter Germany joined their treaty partner in the conflict.

            America’s survival and re-establishment of its God-ordained greatness will depend on the response of the    people of America in general and the Christian church in particular . . .

The war was a very bloody battle fought primarily in the field trenches of Western Europe.  It quickly became a war of attrition for both sides and by 1917 allied troops were dwindling.  While the United States saw no need to get involved at the beginning, the resolve of the country was tested on May 7, 1915 when the British luxury passenger ship, RMS Lusitania, was sunk by a German U-boat (submarine) just off the coast of Ireland.  The liner was carrying 1,959 people on board, including 159 American civilians.  In the sinking 1,198 (128 Americans) perished.  This event enraged the American public and set the stage for the United States to eventually enter the war against Germany.

However it would take another significant event before America would join the battle.  In January, 1917 the German Foreign Minister, Arthur Zimmermann, sent a coded telegram to Germany’s ambassador in Mexico.  In the telegram Zimmer- mann promised the Mexican government territory in the United States if they entered the war on Germany’s side.  The British were able to intercept the telegram, decode it and shared it with the U.S. government.  When the contents were disclosed to the American public, the thunderous outrage pushed the U.S. into declaring war on Germany on April 6, 1917.

America would mobilize over four million soldiers during the duration of their participation in the war.  Over 65 million men from numerous countries worldwide were involved in this world war at the cost of an estimated 37 million casualties—17 million dead (including 7 million civilians) and 20 million wounded.  Although the United States entered the war only 16 months before the armistice of November 11, 1918, America would lose nearly 117,000 men and almost 206,000 more wounded.

The Crash of 1929. The decade of the 1920s or “Roaring 20s” was a time of exuberant living for many, along with reckless financial dealings.  With the end of World War I Americans became confident as the industrial revolution of inventions that began at the turn of the century once again picked up steam and prosperity fueled a burgeoning stock market.  Investors, both seasoned and novice, threw caution to the wind and there seemed to be no limit to the upward movement of stocks.  Those that did not have enough money to gamble on the market or were too greedy and wanted more, borrowed “on margin”.  Brokers were more than willing to loan buyers up to 80-90 percent of the value of their stock purchase.  Buyers, believing that their stock purchase would only go up, could repay the loan when they sold at a higher price.

Even many banks ill-advisedly risked their customers’ savings in the market.  Stock speculators were flooding the market from all quarters.  Then, on March 25, 1929, the market suffered a mini-crash.  By spring, the economy was starting to fracture as steel production receded and home building and automobile sales contracted.  The stock market rebounded during the summer months with the Dow Jones Industrial Average closing at an all-time high for the period at 381.17 on September 3, 1929.  During September and into the first three weeks of October, the market bounced around with no new highs.

Then, without much warning, on October 24 (known as “Black Thursday”), stocks took a steep tumble.  Investors started unloading their stocks by the thousands.  Margin calls went out and thousands of stock holders were unable to meet their margin calls, i.e., pay back their loans.  By afternoon the panic selling had subsided and investors were encouraged when a group of bankers pooled their money and re-invested it back in the market, thus stemming the flow of losses. However, their enthusiasm was short-lived, when three trading days later, on October 29 (“Black Tuesday”), the stock market plummeted as panicked sellers ruled the day and margin calls plunged many into bankruptcy.

“The Crash” destroyed fortunes, businesses, banks and families overnight.  By early 1932, just two years afterwards, stocks were worth only 20 percent of their pre-crash value.  By mid-1932 the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit 41.22 or an 89 percent decline from its September 3, 1929 high.  The market would not recover its high until the mid-1950s or 26 years later.  By 1933, unemployment neared 30 percent and nearly half of the country’s banks had failed.

The Great Depression.  The stock market crash of ’29 ruined the hopes and dreams of millions of Americans and destroyed thousands of small businesses, corporations and financial institutions across the nation. . . .

The Dust Bowl Years (1931-1939).  As if this dual economic disaster was not enough to do the country in, a combination of poor farming practices and prolonged drought in much of the Great Plains from North Dakota south to Texas, plunged the “bread basket” of the country into a near decade-long dust storm of mega proportions. . . .

World War II (1941-1945). Before the United States had fully recovered from the devastating impact of these events, the rapid rise of German Nazism in Europe under the demonic leadership of Adolf Hitler and the surge toward world domination by the imperialist Japanese quickly drew America into another world war. . . .

Post-World War II Resilience.  After World War II America entered into an economic boom period or “Golden Age of Capitalism” that lasted into the early 1970s.  Although the National Debt to Gross National Product (GNP) ratio (now called the Gross Domestic Product or GDP) soared by the end of the war to 110 percent, by 1970 it had dropped to under 30 percent.  Now, in 2013, the National Debt/GDP ratio has reached record territory at 107 percent. . . .

The Precipitous Decline. Nonetheless, America’s ascendant post-war prosperity did not come without significant cost to its moral and spiritual fiber.  The “can-do” God-centered, patriotic spirit that carried the country through World War II and the challenging first half of the century was replaced by cocky and arrogant leadership and an evolving, but downward spiraling and rapid decline into a spiritual and moral abyss.

Although church attendance (while not a complete measure of spirituality) in America rose from 45% (around the beginning of the 20th century) to about 60% after the end of World War II, it began a steady decline.  Today, church attendance in the United States has plummeted to around 25% (or perhaps as low as 17-18% depending on the type of survey) on any given Sunday.  Although such a statistic is only a glimmer of America’s decline, it is a measuring rod of the slippery slope into godlessness that America and Americans now find themselves.

As I enter my eighth decade as a U.S. citizen and having lived under the leadership (good and bad) of 13 U.S. presidents, I am dismayed by how much the great United States of America has declined economically, morally, spiritually and in world leadership in my lifetime.

This tome is not an attempt to prophesy or predict America’s future.  It is not my desire or intention to prophesy “doom and gloom” over the United States of America or its people.  I do not wish to see any evil come upon the USA or any of its inhabitants, many of whom are family, friends, or fellow believers in Jesus Christ whom I deeply love.

However, I am deeply grieved at what I have seen transpire over my brief life on earth in America. How Americans have so rapidly fallen away from God; from justice and righteousness and how the professed church of Jesus Christ of many denominations have perverted the Gospel and fallen prey to the ways and beliefs of the world in which they live is baffling to me.

This decline, not only in faith and morals, but in all facets of life, started long before my birth, which was just after America’s entry into World War II.  But this falling away from God and His foundation of righteousness and faith has hit the slippery slopes during my lifetime and the downward spiral has accelerated at near warp speed.

I pray fervently for America’s recovery and return to God, but I cannot help but wonder: Have we gone too far? Is it too late to repent?  Have forces been set in motion that America can no longer prevent or overcome? 

America is at a Crossroads.  America is at a crossroads―a flash point―of ideologies: Old Guard Christianity vs. New Age Atheism and Nihilism.  It is hard to watch as a child of the 1940s-1950s generation and see America decline from the idyllic society of my youth to a morally debased society of greed, corruption and self-aggrandizement.

This work is meant to be a warning that America is on the verge of fulfilling biblical prophecy because of the corruption, sinfulness and arrogance of its people and its leaders in churches, communities, educational institutions and politics throughout the land.

There are some who say that America is not in the Bible as far as End Time prophecy is concerned.  Others say that it is not a factor in End Time prophecy because at the time it will no longer exist.  While others are adamant that America is, indeed, the “Babylon” of Revelation 18.  In the context of the entire book of Revelation it would appear that the term “Babylon” does not refer to either the historic Babylon of old, nor to any specific place or culture, but rather to any people that oppose God and become an evil power.

If one accepts the premise that the “Babylon” of Revelation 18 (and elsewhere) represents any society or group of people that turn away from God, then one could easily be led to believe that the current state of America fits to a tee the Babylon described in Revelation 18 of the Bible.  It is up to the United States of America, its people and its leaders―both in the Christian church and in society―whether it fulfills this prophecy.

This is meant to be a dire warning to the United States and its citizens that it is in grave danger of fulfilling this horrific prophecy of the Bible.

To whom shall I speak and give warning, that they may hear? Indeed their ear is uncircumcised, and they cannot give heed. Behold, the word of the Lord is a reproach to them; they have no delight in it. . . .

Thus says the Lord:

“Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, here the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls.  But they said, ‘We will not walk in it.’  Also, I set watchmen over you, saying, ‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’ But they said, ‘We will not listen.’. . .

Hear, O earth!  Behold, I will certainly bring calamity on this people—the fruit of their thoughts, because they have not heeded My words nor My law, but rejected it. Jeremiah 6:10, 16-17, 19

For more information on the book, Revelation 18 and the fate of America, go here.

Islamic Terror on the Move

April 1, 2015

On October 23, 2012, less than two weeks before America’s presidential election, I posted a short blog titled “Obama’s Support”.   At the end of that blog I posted this ominous warning:

If Obama is re-elected America and the world will see Islamic terrorist activity skyrocket at warp speed as they become even more emboldened by their secret admirer in the Whitehouse.  Remember, Obama is an anti-colonialist who disdains America’s past and only seeks to diminish its future and demolish its strength.

Sadly, that prediction has come true as President Obama has turned his back on Israel and other Mideast allies and has only offered a feeble attempt at stopping the advance of ISIS and other Islamic terrorists throughout the Mideast, northern Africa and elsewhere.  Let’s briefly recap what has happened in the short 17 months since his re-election.

  • ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) or ISIL (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) as Obama and his staff like to use, once a rag-tag “JV team” (as Obama referred to them), that was isolated in a small area of Syria prior to the election, has mushroomed into a formidable fighting force of (a CIA estimate) of 31,000.  However, estimates by those on the ground in the Mideast estimate that ISIS forces number closer to 200,000.  ISIS now has its tenacious terrorist tentacles in at least eight Mideast and North African countries (see map below).  They are also known to have their members or sympathizers in Europe and the United States.

Map of ISIS influence (httpwww.dailymail.co.uknewsarticle-2960463The-terrifying-rise-ISIS-Map-shows-terror-group-s-tentacles-reach-Algeria-Afghanistan.html)

Courtesy of http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2960463/The-terrifying-rise-ISIS-Map-shows-terror-group-s-tentacles-reach-Algeria-Afghanistan.html

President Obama was advised repeatedly by his military advisors at least two years ago to take out the fledgling terrorist group, but he refused.

  • Iraq, a victory handed to Obama by former president George W. Bush, has now reverted back to Islamic terrorists—notably ISIS, along with Iranian forces who are fighting against them.  Iranian forces are not there to support Iraqi forces but see it as a golden opportunity to take over their historical nemesis, Iraq.
  • Hamas, the Islamic terrorist group in the Gaza Strip on the west border of Israel, has been encouraged with Obama’s tactical and financial support of hundreds of millions of dollars (over $400 million per year), to continue to bombard Israel’s citizens with rockets and other terrorist activities daily.
  • With tacit support from Obama and his UN representatives, the UN Security Council (a joke) recently declared that Israel—not Iran or other Islamic malcontents—was the number one terror-sponsoring country and that Israel, not the boisterous human rights violating Muslim nations, was the number one violator of women’s rights.
  • Obama has thoroughly turned his back on Israel and prefers to support her enemies rather than help Israel maintain her safety and protection.
  • Thanks to Obama ignoring the terrorist fires raging through the Middle East and North Africa, other Islamic terrorist groups have now joined ISIS.  Al Qaeda, Hamas and Boka Haram (Nigeria) have all pledged their allegiance to ISIS.
  • To perhaps impress their new idols, members of Boka Haram recently beheaded 23 people in northeast Nigeria to intimidate voters in the upcoming presidential election.
  • In a shocking presidential election, Nigerians elected Muhammadu Buhari, a Muslim who believes in the radical Islamic Shari’a law that oppresses people.  If Obama had not ignored the Islamic Boka Haram and its continued growth and murderous, raping and kidnapping  rampages, perhaps Nigeria would have had a chance to turn the tide on Islamic terrorism.
  • In the past two years hundreds of thousands of Christians in the Middle East, as well as (mostly) Sunni Muslims have been slaughtered or driven from their homes.
  • Turkey, once an ally of the United States, has turned to radical Islam and stands idly by as ISIS runs amok and brings carnage to northern Iraq and Syria.
  • Yemen, once a safe haven on the Arabian Peninsula for U.S. military intelligence, has fallen into the hands of ISIS supporters, with the president of Yemen fleeing the country.
  • What few Muslim nations in the Middle East that are still our allies, have now turned against the U.S. because they cannot trust Obama or his team.
  • In the last two years the murderous acts of ISIS and other Islamic terrorists have become increasingly more violent and graphic.
  • On the home front, Obama’s FBI a little over a month ago declared that it has opened active investigations in 49 of our 50 states on the potential of ISIS cells established therein.
  • Despite all this, Obama continues to release Gitmo Islamic terrorists so they can return to the battlefield—wherever that may be.
  • And let’s not forget the current “negotiations” with the number one sponsor of Islamic terrorism, Iran, where Obama’s “negotiator”, Secretary of State John Kerry, is doing everything but rolling over and playing dead to appease Iran’s nuclear mullahs.  ANY “deal” (which may be unwritten and unverifiable) will not be in the best interest of peace-loving peoples of the earth, and certainly not for Israel and non-nuclear Arab states in the region.
  • On our southern border, again, thanks to Obama and his “open borders” policy, our border patrol (what’s left of them) have reported that hundreds of known Islamic terrorists have been crossing the border without apprehension.

For Obama and his team to continue to get away with this treasonous activity, he counts on the American people being Stupid, Stupid, Stupid.  Apparently he has pegged way too many U.S. inhabitants accurately.  Of course, it does not help that the majority of elected representatives in Congress have failed to hold him accountable for anything.

UPDATE, April 2:  Syrian Islamist group, Ahrar al-Sham, executes two Christian men in Syria for violating Islamic law.

UPDATE, April 2: Al-Shabaab, the Somali Islamic terrorist group, attacked Garissa University in Kenya, killing at least 147 and holding captive hundreds of mostly Christian students.  Al-Shabaab has attracted dozens of Somali men (mostly from Minnesota) to fight with them.

UPDATE, April 3: United Nations report revealed that over 25,000 people from 100 nations, including many Americans, have joined ISIS; up 71% from last year.

UPDATE, April 3: Yesterday, two American women that are known ISIS supporters were arrested in New York City on an attempted bombing plot.

UPDATE, April 6:  Yemen, Obama’s claimed success story of counter-terrorism, is now in utter chaos as al Qaeda re-emerges stronger than ever and taking control of western Yemen along the strait that connects the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.  This is the shipping lane where much of the oil of Saudi Arabia is shipped.  Al Qaeda is also now offering support to al Shabaab in Somalia and Kenya.

For more information on Islam and Islamic terrorism, read Islam & Christianity, A Revealing Contrast.