Monday, May 25, 2015

WHO ARE THE 144,000?


Who Are the 144,000? Debunking Steven Anderson

Posted: May 25, 2015 in Bible DoctrineProphecy/Current EventsSteven Anderson

Dr James Ach
Steven Anderson has made several “Post Trib Moment” videos as well as a series of anti-Israel videos in support of his Armstrongism views of the relationship between the church and Israel. These videos have been responded to thoroughly at length by two other brothers, Bryan Denlinger, Post Trib Moments Exposed, and Rick Jacoby, Israel Moments Examined, so I have chosen not to address those videos, but since this issue was addressed on my Twitter account with several others wanting a reply, I wanted to offer a few short comments to refute Anderson’s “Post Trib Moment #48″ in which Anderson asserts that the 144,000 sealed servants of Revelation 7 are not future Jews.
Anderson claims that the Bible never calls the 144,000 listed in Revelation 7:4-8 “Jews” but “of the 12 tribes of the children of Israel”. Now how anyone could come up with that ridiculous conclusion is beyond me, because to make any kind of sense to the passage, you would first have to understand who the 12 tribes were, and then who the children of Israel were, and conclude that neither the 12 tribes nor the children of Israel were ever Jewish. But Anderson offers a solution to that conundrum by offering a kind of Preterist interpretation: that these 144,000 were chosen from 12 tribes that were already on earth, and not that they will be chosen from any future tribes.
Where Are the 144,000 Located?
Anderson’s first contention (which he never really fully explains the relevancy and skips over Revelation 7) is that the 144,000 can’t be Jews because they are in heaven. He never really revisits this after making the argument that they are in heaven in Revelation 14. True, they are in heaven in Revelation 14, and that proves what exactly?? The 2 witnesses end up in heaven, too, in the middle of the tribulation (This also provides one of the strongest arguments for a 7 year tribulation. The 2 witnesses ministry lasts for 3 1/2 years Revelation 11:3, and the devil’s antics do not begin UNTIL they are killed in Revelation 11:6-8, at which point, the dragon knows that he has 3 1/2 years left. Revelation 12:11-12, Revelation 13:5).
But note that the 144,000 are first SEALED ON EARTH.  1) The angels that seal them are standing on the FOUR CORNERS OF THE EARTH (Revelation 7:1) which is below heaven where God resides, and, 2) they are told not to hurt the earth until the servants are sealed (Revelation 7:3). Why would they be told not to hurt the earth if the 144,000 were sealed in heaven? Thus we see why Anderson never came back to Revelation chapter 7 to develop this point. The 144,000 are sealed on earth, and are taken with those who believe Christ during their ministry to the mountains (Revelation 12:6), and from there to heaven which is why you see them there in Revelation 14. Keep in mind that this fits the timeline of the ministry of the 2 witnesses of Revelation 11:3, Anderson’s account does not.
What About Those 10 Tribes? Where Are the Tribes?
Anderson makes an absurd argument not found in Scripture or history that the Northern tribes of Israel (all 10 of them) became Samaria, and thus lost their Jewish identity. However, race-mingling occurred all throughout the Old Testament (See Ezra 10:3 and Nehemiah 13:26-28) and yet it never caused any of the tribes to lose their identity. Oddly enough, although Anderson contends that none of the 12 tribes are mentioned after the resurrection of Christ except one, Asher (which would be Anna, Luke 2:36), he fails to mention that Asher was of the NORTHERN tribes of Israel.
Anderson argues that the Jews lost their identity because of intermingling, but he makes this argument from only the Northern tribes. Wouldn’t that argument, to be consistent, also need to include the Southern tribes as well? If the Northern tribes lost their identity because of intermingling, then how did the Southern tribes lose their identity who did NOT intermingle? Not only is Anderson’s argument inconsistent (and unbiblical), it is also erroneous in the fact that it merely made the progeny of those particular relationships half Jewish, it didn’t make the Jewish perpetrators any LESS Jewish. And keep in mind, for Anderson’s argument to be true, all of this would have had to have been accomplished at the time of Christ, because he defers to the term “Samaria” as proof of this, yet James writes to “The 12 tribes” after Christ’s resurrection (more on that below).
Moreover, one the strongest refutations against Anderson’s position is that the tribe of Levi exceeded the physical tribal boundaries. They were not part of either Northern or Southern kingdoms because they were never offered a physical inheritance (Deuteronomy 10:9, 18:1, Numbers 18:20-24), and yet they are listed with the tribes in Revelation 7. This proves beyond a doubt that the 144,000 COULD NOT HAVE BEEN Old Testament saints as Anderson erroneously contends.
Lastly on this point is Anderson’s oversight (we think deliberately) that no other tribes are mentioned other than a prophetess from Asher . However, in Romans 11, Paul tells us he is an Israelite from the tribe of Benjamin, in Philipians 3:5 he repeats this, but refers to his identity as a Hebrew of Hebrews, and in Acts 21:39 Paul calls himself a Jew. So Israelite, Hebrew, and Jew are all synonymous, and it is therefore ludicrous to think that the 12 tribes of Israel in Revelation 7 would not be 12 JEWISH tribes, and then attempt to make some unbiblical distinction between Jew and Israelite.
We also read the following from Acts 26:7 in Paul’s address to King Agrippa,
 Unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come. For which hope’s sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews.
Clearly here, the “hope to come” is a reference to a future 12 tribes. There’s a long list of Old Testament passages that are relevant to the millennial kingdom that could  be cited as well (such as the Zechariah 8:23) that prophesy God’s fulfillment of remaining promises to the NATION of Israel. See our article on “Not All Israel Are of Israel?” for irrefutable proof of Israel’s future restoration and a refutation of popular Replacement Theology arguments.
The 144,000 Are the Firstfruits OF the Lamb, Not BEFORE the Lamb
In Revelation 14:4, as Anderson correctly points out, the 144,000 are called the firstfruits of the Lamb. Here’s a common sense question, how could Christ be the firstfruits in 1 Corinthians 15:20-23 and Colossians 1:18, and the 144,000 be firstfruits that precede THE Firstfruit? The ORDER of firstfruits in the NT is ALWAYS Christ first. Thus, the 144,000 could not possibly have been Old Testament saints before Christ.
So Where Are the 12 Tribes Today?
Anderson contends that none of the 12 tribes exist today in Israel, and therefore that proves Revelation 7 isn’t about 12 Jewish tribes [See The Khazar Myth Debunked by Chris White for a short explanation about DNA evidence linking modern Jews with OT Jews] . Ironically, Anderson says he takes the Bible literally in Revelation 7, but then refuses to believe the possibility that these 12 tribes exist, and are just unknown, but will be made known in the future. By using this kind of criteria to evaluate Scripture one could argue that NONE of the events Christians consider future (including even Anderson’s pre-wrath rapture) will ever happen. For example, we could argue that there is not NOW a New World Order, yet even though Revelation 13-18 is clear that there WILL BE, using Anderson’s logic we could easily argue against it. Jews could have argued in the OT that no virgin has ever given birth to a child and therefore it will never happen. Nobody ever thought Israel would be a nation again, either.
Anderson admits that there are Jews alive today, and that our land is called Israel, and Jews live in it. Now common sense would tell you that we at least at one point in history had a tribal identity and just because Israel today does not KNOW all of the tribes due to being scattered and persecuted does not mean that the tribal identities will not be recovered/known at a future time, just as the Hebrew language was recovered. Many Africans sold into slavery were taken from tribes in Africa and today, none of them can tell you what tribe they belong to; that doesn’t mean those tribes don’t exist. Anderson can’t simply write off all of the fulfilled prophecies of the OT regarding Israel as coincidence (See our articles on Prophecies Fulfilled In Modern Israel, and Debunking Myths About Current Israel ) If all of the prophecies listed in these articles are not the actual fulfillment of prophecy, then there is yet another group of people that will be called Jews and another land yet to be called Israel (Ezekiel 37:12) that have yet to fulfill them all-TWICE.
Scripture makes it clear that this is a period called “The Time of the Gentiles” (Luke 21:24) and the setting aside of Israel –which would naturally and consequentially include their tribal identity– is temporary. Romans 11:25-26. Paul says that Israel NATIONALLY is brought back “from the dead” in Romans 11:15. Why then should we expect a temporarily dead nation to know all of their tribal identities? If we BELIEVE the Scripture, and take it literally as Anderson claims he does, then there’s no reason to believe that the tribes of Israel will not be made known WHEN THE TIME IS COME, a standard that applies to any other remaining prophecy (again, including even Anderson’s own view of a post-tribulation rapture). 
However, if Steven Anderson-to borrow an American phrase-“wants to be technical”, Revelation 7:4-8 doesn’t say that the tribes MUST BE KNOWN TO US. If it is only God that knew them, the Scripture would still prove that 12 JEWISH tribes are future regardless of whether those tribal identities are known to any of us (or them). Certainly, it would be hard to fathom how Jesus could promise His disciples that they WOULD (future) sit on 12 thrones judging the 12 tribes of Israel if those 12 tribes are never manifested. Matthew 19:28. And to create 12 tribes, you’re going to need men and women who aren’t virgins. Yet nothing in Revelation 7-14 indicates that any of the 144,000 virgins stopped to make a family while they were sealed and witnessing during the tribulation.
Furthermore, when James wrote his epistle, even though he admits that the Jewish tribes were scattered, he still referred to them as “the 12 tribes”. James 1:1. It would be silly to argue that James did not know the identity of these 12 tribes and yet still refer to them as “THE 12 tribes”.
Witnesses During the Wrath of God?
One of Anderson’s followers, “Edward”, stated that,
the 144,000 are from the tribes of Israel and are sent from heaven to win souls during the wrath of God.
There’s not one verse in Revelation that says there is any witnessing that occurs DURING the last 3 years of the tribulation but by ONE ANGEL (Revelation 14:6). Furthermore, in the last half of the tribulation any surviving saints (that did not make it to the mountains in Revelation 12:6 during the first 3 1/2, and those who convert under the angel during the latter half) will be martyred by the dragon who is given power over them (Revelation 13:5-7). There are no SEALED saints in the latter half of the tribulation. In fact, it is because those who heard their message during the first 3 1/2 years and rejected it chose their fate for the last 3 1/2 years (Revelation 14:8). Those who reject Christ during the first 3.5 years will not be written in the book of life of the Lamb, and will be given over to a reprobate mind (believe a lie, i.e., that the beast is God when he declares himself so. 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12). They are given chance after chance and continually refuse to repent (Revelation 9:20-21, Revelation 16:9-11).
However, not all of them will be killed (the meaning behind “he that endureth to the end shall be saved” in Matthew 24:13), some survive and make it to the millennial kingdom (Isaiah 65:20), but become slaves of Israel which will include the church as ruling judges (Isaiah 1:26, 1 Corinthians 6:3, your position in the kingdom will depend on your obedience in THIS time, 1 Corinthians 3:11-16) and be subject to the theocratic rule of the Lamb (Revelation 2:27, 12:5, 19:15). They have children during this time who increase in population and ultimately rebel against God after a thousand years when Satan is released from the bottomless pit (Revelation 20:7-8).
Finally, Anderson’s logic here is that God has left the church on the earth to endure the tribulation, and chosen to seal 144,000 Old Testament saints to carry the gospel, because apparently the entire church got amnesia and forgot what it was and how to preach it, or perhaps the Calvinists got left behind and since they don’t evangelize (in any meaningful sense of the word), God in His foreknowledge chose to get the job done with 144,000 OT virgins. Hard to fathom how 144,000 virgins passed through 2000 years of Jewish history unnoticed, but hey, Anderson’s sticking to his story. Perhaps one day he’ll fight another border patrol officer and get shocked back into sanity. Anderson’s argument is based on “it makes way more sense that…”, which is the exact type of reasoning he condemns from those who use this reasoning to support certain verses for a pre-tribulation rapture that are not exactly spelled out.* Anderson’s entire argument therefore rests on speculation, not anything he can support from Scripture with the same certainty that he demands from pre-tribulationists.
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*We do note Anderson says the 144,000 serve to replace the saints so that the earth is not left without witnesses, which would place the rapture of the saints MID TRIBULATION, when Anderson has devoted an entire movie arguing for a POST TRIBULATION rapture! Furthermore, the wrath of God that is poured out



Sunday, May 17, 2015

HETEROSEXUAL OR HOMOSEXUAL?


I AM NOT A HETEROSEXUAL!





Now the statement may start some immediate confusion as to what I am going to say next.  A declaration like this only seems to demand a follow up statement as to what I am.  You are absolutely correct, so here it is.

I AM a Christian! Ok.  There you have it. Huh? What's that you say?  You think I have left something wide open?  You think that I need to declare what I am?  I did.  I AM a Christian, but not a heterosexual.  Still confused?  You  are wondering what kind of                        sexual I am?  I see you are confused.  You think that I have to declare myself to be some kind of sexuality?  I get it.

Well, I am going to have to disagree with you.  For me to declare that I am heterosexual would mean that I believe there is an alternative, which I don't.  You see society builds relationships off of our sexuality, but God does not.  Society says pick your sexuality and then your mate.  Sorry, but that is putting the cart way before the horse.  Our job is not to pick our sexuality and then find our purpose.  Our job is to find our purpose and let God worry about the rest.



Homosexuality is the result of misplaced sexuality.  It is the result of man seeking to find himself rather than seeking to find God.  If we found God before we found ourselves we would never have to find ourselves because God never misplaced us. 

Man wants to define God by us.  However, God expects us to be defined by Him.  Sexuality is not the means to find ourselves.  Nor is the end that we are to be seeking.  Sexuality is the byproduct of finding God's will and purpose, which was made very clear early in the Bible in the story of creation.  God makes man for HIS purpose.  God gives man a woman as an helpmeet.  Man knows his wife in a sexual union.  End of story.

Now here is the problem.  Man wants to believe that desire dictates direction.  We want to say, "Oh, I believe this so I will go in this direction."   That is so backwards that it isn't funny, it is foolish.  Yet, it is exactly what we have done with sexuality. We allow a desire to be created and then we expect God to follow along and bless.  God becomes sub servant to man in that scenario.  We were made for His pleasure, not the other way around.



Here is the seriousness of this.  Once we have decided to allow sexuality to be the horse that pulls the cart of our direction all bets are off.  Who is then to say which sexual desires are admissible and which ones are not.  Now we will be allowed an abundance of terms to pick from. Once we pick our flavor then we decide how we are going to live our lives and dare the Bible or Bible believers get in our way.  

What ever you do, don't say you were born this way because there are at least two serious problems with that statement.  First, that means God is confused because man was made in the image of God and God is not confused about how He made us or about His image. Secondly, that can become the argument for every desire that man has.

If I was born with the desire to steal is that acceptable?  If I was born with the desire to have sex with animals does that make it not wrong?  That is silly!  You were born with a sin nature.  You are to be born again and then to present your body as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God.  What does that mean?  It means we are to be "chaste."  How can one be chaste while still submitting to sexual desire or "preferences" to lead them?  You will not find much chastity in a society that defines direction by sexual preference.



Now why do I refuse to define myself as a heterosexual?  if I define myself as one then I am acknowledging that there is an alternative label.  God did not give such labels.  In fact in the Bible homosexuality was not given the respect to be even called a name.  Instead God simply describe it as an unnatural act.  God does not allow Satan to force him to give a name to a perversion of His Divine purpose.

"And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another, men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet."  Romans 1:27

Isn't that interesting?  God does not even lower Himself to give it a name.  He merely describes it for what it is unnatural.  He refuses to give it legitimacy.  God calls it what it is, but what do we do?  We fall into the trap of accepting these labels as legit.  

One man says, "I am a red blooded, God fearing heterosexual male."   Hey bro, I have news for you.  The God fearing part negated the need for the heterosexual part.  If you are God fearing then sex is a part of the purpose God has within your marriage.

Once something is labeled, then society says I must decide what I am to do about it.  So, next society asks us not to be prejudiced against those who were "born that way."  If we don't, then they label us as "homophobes."  They say we are afraid of someone who has denied the authority of God. NOPE, not at all!  I merely refuse to add those involved to a certain sin as a legitimate demographic that I am forced to make any decision regarding.  

When I was a young boy I did not have to decide what I was sexually, but rather Whose I was spiritually.  Once that was determined chastity was assumed.  I presented my body to God and He took me from there to being married to a woman.  

The only things that came out of the closets in my youth were my clothes or baseball bats and gloves.  Today we make heroes out of men who declare their sexuality and goats out of men who declare their Saviour. Sin has been given precedence over righteousness.

Here is our decision regarding those who commit those acts described in Romans 1:27.  They are sinners who must be saved just like all other sinners who must be saved in order to go to Heaven.  Once they are saved they are to become morally chaste just like a man living in adultery or a couple living together outside of marriage.  

They have allowed a desire to define their lifestyle so they will have to go through the process that all sinners experience who have to give up a sin while God transforms them.  When a Christian comes toward Christ after salvation God purges them in order for them to be conformed to the image of Christ.  I cannot change them, but God can just like he does all who come to Christ.



I will not put a sign outside the church advertising that we are "gay friendly."  I hope everyone in town knows we are "sinner friendly."  I will not recognize them as a demographic any more than I will make the adulterers a demographic. 

An evangelical recently wrote an article on what churches need to do about the homosexual community.  It was and is lunacy!  First, stop thinking that it is our problem.  Our problem is getting sinners to trust Christ and then pointing them to a chaste lifestyle, NOT advertising that a certain segment can come and feel accepted in their sin.  We accept them as sinners in our services, but we cannot acknowledge their lifestyle as acceptable or viable.



So, the world wants to know if we are going to stop our gay bashing.  I am not a "gay basher."  I AM however a sin-hating preacher.  I will call sin by name, at least the ones that have a name, which actually this one does not, other than the Bible word "sodomy."  God simply calls it unnatural.  Perhaps we should just do what Paul did in the book of Romans and tell what the sin is without the name.  

I do not plan to damn souls to Hell by refusing to preach against sin.  If they do not understand the awfulness of sin how can they know their need for a Saviour?  I have no choice, but to call sin out.  I must!  My question is when are they going to stop their chastity bashing?


What about the man who is not born with a sexual desire for women?  Again, we have a problem because we are starting the conversation with the word "desire."  We are saying that sexual "desire" is to dictate the "direction" of our lives.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  Here is the answer to that which applies to all of us.  Find God! 

He will direct your desires, but He will never violate His law.  God will never give a man sexual desires to another man.  He will either lead you to a woman for whom you will have "desire" or He will allow you to serve Him in a life of "chastity." The Apostle Pau may or may not have had a desire for a woman, but what he did have was a "desire" to honor His God.

So, what is the point?  It is this.  I refuse to play Satan's game!  I refuse to legitimize a sin as an alternative lifestyle and then respond by acknowledging their labels.  We are losing our language and the definition of words to liberals.

YOU MAY HAVE TOO MUCH FOR GOD TO USE?

TOO MUCH FOR GOD



Judges 7:2, “And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me.”


Have you like me ever noticed the testimony of the giants of the faith? They were born in poverty, dad an alcoholic, and mom the spiritual leader, struggled in their youth, or a tragedy early in their lives. I do not know of a great man of God who has built something good for God that was born into wealth with a silver spoon in his mouth.

Get the picture! Gideon was chosen by God to lead the people of God against the Midianites. He called for a volunteer army and 32,000 men showed up and we read how God responded in Judges 7:2. God is saying, I will give you the victory and not you.

The main thing in this story is this: too many men, too much strength, too much prowess, too much ability, and God said to them you are not going to win the battle with those 32,000 men with their strength, their prowess, and their ability. God then instructed them to trim it down to 300. God is saying you have too much strength to win and you must become weak to win. God is saying I must get you where you will start depending on me again.

The truth is an army of 300 men going to war would have to depend on God. These 32,000 men did not need God, but those 300 did. The reason a lot of people are never used in roles of leadership by God is because they have too much going for them. Young people do not become too excited about your pretty face or your handsome looks because it does not impress God at all. Do not become to wrapped up with your youthful figures young ladies. It won’t help you at all in God’s work. 

After 19 children I bet Susanna Wesley did not have much of a girlish figure left. There is nothing as ugly as a female who has a pretty face and knows it. There is nothing as ugly as a handsome male and he knows it. Sometimes God has to trim a man down to size so God can give the victory and other times he chooses the base and foolish, the inadequate, and the weak in order to give the victory.

I Corinthians 1:26-29, “For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:

But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:

That no flesh should glory in his presence.”

God is saying I cannot give wisdom to those who are wise, but I can give wisdom to a foolish man. That is why we need Bible college students to be under a local church attending their services rather than attending vesper services, Shakespearean theatre, and Art Museums on campus.

Zechariah 4:6, “…Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.”
It is not by looks, nor by intellect, nor by talent, nor by genius, nor by ability, nor by heritage, nor by a deep mind, nor by personality, but by my Spirit saith the Lord. God is saying to us, “I have to do one of two things…

·      Trim down to size those who have it all so I can use them
·      Build up the base, the foolish, and the weak so I can use them

Some of you reading this book as leaders have too much going for you and some of you have nothing going for you. God wants to use both of you. How in the world will God do his work?


GOD ALLOWS US TO FAIL SOMETIMES

Why would God allow that? The reason is so that we will through ourselves at his feet and beg for God’s help when we fail without God’s help. God said, “I will bless the weak and not the strong. If you are strong you will have to become weak.” God wants to cause you to become strong with his strength. If one is weak all they have to do is yield themselves to God.

Sometimes God allows the strong to fail. I can preach a sermon around the country and feel like I just touched Heaven and then next time feel like an absolute flop. God wants you and I to empty ourselves and become a nobody, base, foolish, and weak. God wants us to trim ourselves of our own wisdom, intellect, knowledge, abilities, talent; human might, and fall down at the feet of Jesus begging for his help while baring our soul to him. God then can use that person.

32,000 men are too many God says, 20,000 is too many, 10,000 is too many, and Gideon is down to 300 with God giving the victory.  That is what God did with a Tom Malone, John R. Rice, Carl Hatch, Curtis Hutson, Lee Roberson, Jack Hyles, Kevin Wynn, Rick Martin, Hugh Pyle, and Billy Sunday. Great God…little me! That is the formula.

John the Baptist said, “He must increase and I must decrease.” Sometimes, God comes along and says you have too much going for you. Sometimes, God comes along and allows us to be born into poverty, a broken home, or a financial struggle. Why, because God wants us to see that we cannot do it without him.

God sometimes says I want to us a certain man, but he is too smart, too talented, too much of a Mr. personality, or a pretty boy type. God says I believe I could use this girl, but she is too pretty or too stuck on herself.


SOMETIMES GOD CHOOSES THE ONE WHO SINS

Why, because he is base, weak, and a nothing to the world, vulnerable and he needs God. There is no one who has sinned that God cannot use.

Jesus is at the head of the table. The twelve are sitting around the table. Our Lord said, “Someone sitting at this table is going to deny me.” Peter said, “Not me Lord! It may be John, but it will never be me. Maybe Thomas, or Philip, or James, but not me.” However, God had a Pentecost for Peter to preach and God had a local church for Peter to pastor and God had a world for Peter to reach so God said, “I’ve got to get that pharisaical attitude out of him. Peter you have too much going for you.”

God waited for Peter to fall in order to pick him back up. Peter was too much of a leader, public speaker, leader, and too talented for God to use. There is no doubt about his having too much going for him. There was no leader like Peter. God allowed him to fall so God could pick him back up so he could be used to preach on the day of Pentecost, pastor a church, and reach the known world.

God seems to never choose the obvious one or the one men would choose. God is going to choose someone whose not so smart, so talented, so strong, or so attractive. That way God will receive the glory. God is saying to the high and mighty come down from your high horse. 

God is saying to the down and out come to me trusting me and let me use you to confound the high and mighty. Hey, Mr. Pharisee come down off of your high horse. Hey, you who are down and some have counted you out rise up and trust God to use you.

Peter cussed, cursed, denied the Lord, denied his faith, denied his church, denied his brethren, and ran with the wrong crowd. Peter had too much going for him, but now he is down and out so God can finally use him.

Gideon had too much going for him with 32,000, or 20,000, or 10,000, but 300 was just right not for Gideon but just right for God.
  

SOMETIMES GOD CHOOSES TO USE THOSE WHO ARE AFFLICTED

Sometimes God chooses to use whose who fail, sin, or are living in affliction. The Apostle Paul had a thorn in the flesh. Charles Spurgeon and his dear wife had fifteen years of physical affliction yet the Christian world has never forgotten what God did with them.

Russell Anderson born in Kentucky, raised in poverty, a coal mine worker as a teen, wild youth, and yet God saved him and used him to give 35 million dollars to God’s work while making him a multi-millionaire. Jack Hyles was born in poverty, alcoholic dad, and single mother, raised in poverty, most unlikely to be called to preach in his church, and later kicked out of his own Baptist denomination. Dr. Lee Roberson for one long year he could not preach because of vocal chord problems yet he ran 10,000 in attendance while baptizing a 1,000 converts that same year. Dr. John R. Rice anointed him with oil and God gave his voice back to him.

God allowed affliction to come to Evangelist Joe Boy in his 90’s yet he had some of his greatest campaigns in his later years. Evangelist Lester Roloff had such a severe boil problem that he would have to sit in a hot tub for hours to get any relief. He became one of the greatest examples of living by faith the world has ever known.


SOMETIMES GOD CHOOSES TO USE THE UNKNOWN

God is not interested in using the most popular one he is interested in using the one no one notices much. A David working it the field caring for his dad’s sheep, a zealot like Saul of Tarsus, a fisherman like Peter, an orphan like Moses, a second man like Joshua, a woman like Deborah, a maiden like Mary, sisters like Mary and Martha, a brother by the name of Lazarus, a young captive like Joseph, a little lad with his lunch, an exile on the isle of Patmos by the name of John, or a young preacher by the name of Timothy. God is looking for the one is unknown so that he may make him known for God’s glory.











Thursday, May 14, 2015

IMPEACH YOURSELF

DENY YOURSELF



Luke 9:23, “And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.”

Leadership is multi-faced and a complex combination of personalities and passions. Followers are only as productive as the leadership with the ability to connect and not be in disconnect is a key factor. The idea is to translate Scriptural leadership principles into the followers’ life in order to produce a transformation. Leaders have an inherit problem of being so right so much of the time they begin to think they are right all the time.

The ability to provide Scriptural precepts to build upon is critical while being able to take suggestions and even correction from follower and leader alike. The communication must remain open and comfortable to both the leader and the follower. When this grows into a “co-worker” relationship and the “command” is not a “demand,” but a healthy respect for the leader then we have accomplished what God intended.

Genesis 18:19, “For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep thy way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.”

Abraham carried himself in such a manner with his relationship to the Lord that he was able to “command” not “demand” of his children and his household. They were in awe of him and thus followed him. Abraham denied himself in order to live in obedience to his Lord. Denial is the catalyst that creates this bond between leader and follower. Never forget this great truth for it is God that magnifies men in the sight of men! The question is what must man do in order to have this happen?

God has many thrones. He is called King of glory for example. Jesus is called the King Salem, King of kings, King of Israel, King of Judah, King eternal, King of the Jews, King of Zion, peace, righteousness, forever, King of old, King everlasting, King whose name is the Lord, King of Heaven, mighty King, my Lord the King, Lord and King, and everlasting King. All of these are thrones on which our Saviour seats, crowns that our Saviour wears, and all of these are scepters, which our Saviour holds.

Our Scripture says, “Let him deny himself.” Deny meaning to overthrow, dethrone, or have a military coup. Thus God is saying when a man denies himself he is stepping down from the throne of his life because he is overthrowing himself. He is impeaching himself. He is overthrowing himself. He is leading a coup against himself.

Thus, Jesus is saying if you want to follow me and lead others you must deny yourself. If you want to come after me and follow me the first thing you have to do is to deny yourself, step down off the throne of your life, impeach yourself, lead a coup against yourself, and overthrow yourself. That is the first thing a follower who leads must do.


YOUR LIFE IS A KINGDOM

Please take note of this. Your life and my life is a kingdom and that kingdom has a ruler. Something rules your kingdom. It may be a sport such as basketball, football, golf, bowling, volleyball, or tennis. God is saying lead a coup against that person or thing seating on your throne so you can follow and eventually lead. God is saying overthrow, impeach, give up your throne, or anything that is on your throne ruling your kingdom. God’s desire is for Jesus be the King on the throne of your life and allow him to rule your kingdom.

Maybe success has ruled your life and makes all of the decisions in your kingdom. Jesus is saying dethrone success, overthrow success, lead a coup against success, impeach success and have it step down off of the throne of your kingdom and permit Jesus to seat on the throne of your kingdom.

It may be position that is on the throne of your kingdom and this position is ruling your kingdom making the decisions for your kingdom. God says have position step down, abdicate, and overthrown with you leading the coupe. God is saying put the King of kings back on the throne of your kingdom.

It may be the appetite of food, sex, sleep, or some other physical appetite, but God says force appetite off of the throne of your kingdom. God says have appetite give up the throne and overthrow appetite and put Jesus back on the throne of your kingdom.

It may be making money is the ruler of your kingdom. The king of your kingdom may be money. Maybe accumulating possessions is the king of your life and possessions make all of the decisions for your kingdom. God is saying step down money and let the King of kings back on the throne of this kingdom. God is saying possessions step down and let the King of glory back on the throne of this kingdom of yours.

It may be a business is the ruler of your kingdom and it makes all of the decisions of your life. My friend it is time for a revolt! It is time to lead a coupe! It is time to overthrow the ruler. It is time to have the business step down so that Jesus can step up to his rightful place on the throne of your kingdom.

It may be academics that rules your kingdom, or music may be the one who rules, or friends, or the world that rule, but whoever or whatever it is it is time for a revolution. God is saying to his children give up the throne, overthrow the ruler, lead a coup against the ruler, and saying to whoever or whatever is ruling your kingdom to step down and let Jesus rule and reign.

Our Lord is anticipating that day when every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ the very Son of God. He is anticipates that day when he shall be crowned as King of kings and we shall sing, “All hail the power of Jesus’ name, let angels prostrate fall” and “Bring forth the royal diadem and crown him Lord of all.”

He has anticipated that day ever since they made for him a wooden throne, a walking stick for a scepter, a borrowed overcoat for a royal robe, a crown of thorns for a diadem, a mock sign over his head that said “Hail King of the Jews,” and they took the stick using it to smote him on the head acting like his subjects bowing mockingly on their knees.

Ever since that day the King of kings and Lord of lords has looked forward to that day when we shall crown him Lord of lords and King of kings and he shall reign and rule on earth for a thousand years. Jesus anticipated that day ever since he rode into Jerusalem on that donkey with multitudes spreading their garments in the way strewing branches in his path crying, “Hosanna to the Son of David blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.”

Jesus knew on what they called Palm Sunday that on that day those same tongues in a few hours would cry, “Crucify him! Free Barabbas! Crucify Jesus!” He full well knew that those who would strew branches before him throwing their garments before him on the streets of Jerusalem in just a few hours those same hands would crucify him.

He anticipated that day would come when he would seat on the throne of David, but until then he wants to seat on the throne of your kingdom. Oh yes, he will seat on the throne of David one day as ruler of the entire world, but the throne he desires most is the throne of your kingdom. Until you follow you cannot lead!

Jesus anticipate that day when Russian shall attack little Israel and the way the world events are shaping up it will not be long. He full well knows that along with Russia will come Turkey, Libya, Iran, Germany, and other countries that will join in the attack on little Israel. He also knows that America will come to the rescue of Israel. He also knows the Revived Roman Empire, the Western Confederacy, and the European Common Market will join in with America to come to defend Israel.

These will fight Russia, Turkey, Germany, Iran, Libya, and others in defense of little Israel. He full well knows that America and the Western Confederacy will win that battle. Then all of a sudden here comes reinforcements from the East with the Euphrates river drying up and from the East comes China and Japan to join Russia to fight Israel for the oil. This will be the great end-time battle of the tribulation period.

Our Lord full well knows that in that time the Western Powers will conquer the North, South, and East with the Western powers ending up as rulers. The Anti-Christ will then appear on the scene to rule with the man of sin conquering the earth.

The Anti-Christ will look toward the South and say, “I’ve conquered the South!” He will look toward the East and say, “I’ve conquered the East!” He will look toward the West and say, “I’ve conquered the West!” He will look toward the North and say, “I’ve conquered the North!” but there is one place he forgot to look … toward heaven! Up in the heavenlies there is coming someone riding on a white horse. He is called the King of kings, Lord of lords, and he shall come not with a little old nuclear bomb, or Atom bomb, but with his word he will conquer the Anti-Christ and the man of sin.

It is with his word that Jesus has done everything he has done. The stars that shine tonight were placed there by his word. The moon that shines tonight was placed there by his word. The sun that set this afternoon was placed there by his word. The oceans, the lakes, the rills, the rivers, and the waters of the world were placed there by his word.

Jesus will come back to earth and will put down the Anti-Christ! How will he do it? He will do it with his words! He will do it for out of his mouth with his words he will defeat the man of sin! My friend, if that is what will bring the ultimate and final victory then certainly his words will work for you and I Monday through Sunday?

Let it be known to the whole world that the great churches in America and around the world were not built on personality, or humor, or gimmicks, for every great Scriptural local church has been built around and on the very words of God. Our Lord knew full well that he would be crowned as King of kings and Lord of lords.

He who came on a donkey will come on a white horse. He who came to be crucified will come to be crowned. He who was on a throne of wood will come to be on the throne of David. He who was hated shall be loved. He who was rejected shall be accepted. He who was taken from us shall return to us. He who died and ascended shall descent and defeat the forces of Satan.

Hold it, even though Jesus anticipated that day and though he looks forward to that day and though he full well knows he will seat on the throne of David there is still one throne he wants to seat on now. That throne if the throne of your kingdom!

He desires to rule your kingdom, but there is one problem. That problem is Jesus refuses to overthrow the one who seats on the throne of your kingdom. He asks us to choose to abdicate. He asks us to overthrow ourselves. He asks us to hold a coup against ourselves. He asks us to dethrone ourselves. He is asking us to step down voluntarily ourselves.


JESUS WILL NOT OVERTHROW THE ONE ON YOUR THRONE

Do not miss this! Jesus will NOT overthrow the one on the throne of your kingdom. Jesus will NOT challenge the one who seats on the throne of your kingdom. Jesus refuses to lead a coup against the one sitting on the throne of your kingdom. Jesus will not call for the forces of Heaven to come and kick whoever or whatever is sitting on the throne of your kingdom.

Jesus simply asks us to “Deny ourselves!” He asks us to abdicate, dethrone, step down, overthrow, or have a coup against ourselves. “If any man will come after me let him deny himself, or dethrone himself, or overthrow himself, or step down himself, or lead a coup against himself, or revolt against himself.”

There it is! That is the secret! Let Jesus have the throne he desires more than the throne of David at this moment in time. There is no way we can lead others until we are led, not by ourselves, but by the King of kings and Lord of lords. This throne is the one we have been sitting on, ruling from, and controlling from the kingdom of our life.

Jesus anticipates the day when he will take the keys of death and unlock the grave coming out alive for evermore. Jesus anticipates his arrival back home where no longer will he walk the dusty shores of Judea, no longer will he have no place to lay his head, while foxes go to their holes and birds fly to their nests.

No longer will Jesus be a man of sorrows acquainted with grief and rejected. He looks forward to returning home. He said, “Father, restore unto me the joy which I had with thee before the world was.” Wow! What a great anticipation, but more than that he anticipates you and I stepping down off of the throne of our kingdom and having the ability to be able to seat down on the throne of the kingdom of our life.

Show me anywhere in the scriptures where it says, “Seek ye second the kingdom of God.” Show me anywhere in the Scriptures where it says, “Part to Jesus I surrender.” No sir, “All to Jesus I surrender is the theme of the Bible.” God has every right to rule in our lives and when he rules we can rule. Until then none of us are qualified to rule! However there is an obstacle and it is you and I!

Jesus anticipated the day when the prophecy of Daniel chapter 2 is fulfilled, when the dreams of that great Image of head of gold, breast and arms of silver, belly and thighs of brass, legs of iron, feet of iron and clay with each representing a kingdom of power. However, then it says there comes a stone cut out without hands that will break the legs of Iron and clay, that stone is the Rock of Ages cleft for me. The stone cut out without hands is Jesus Christ himself.

He is the one who will break in pieces the Western Power, the Northern Power, the Eastern Power, and Jesus shall reign where ere the sun does its successive journeys run. His kingdom shall spread from shore to shore till moon shall wax and wane no more. Jesus anticipates that day.  Jesus desires that day, but more than that he desires to seat on the throne of our kingdoms.

The Anti-Christ has no choice. The man of sin has no choice. The Western Powers have no choice. The Northern Powers have no choice. The Eastern Powers have no choice. Hell has no choice. Satan has no choice. The imps of Hell have no choice. Russia has no choice. Iran has no choice. Germany has no choice. Turkey has no choice. China has no choice. Japan has no choice. Libya has no choice. USA has no choice. European Common Market has no choice. Egypt has no choice. HOWEVER, YOU AND I DO!

Jesus refuses to overthrow you and I off of the throne of our kingdom. Jesus desires to rule in the lives of grade school children, junior high students, senior high students, college age, young married couples, middle age couples, old married couples, widows, widowers, divorced, bus riders, mission men, choir members, ushers, deacons, staff, teachers, staff, the pastoral staff, and the pastor. However, Jesus will not overthrow whoever or whatever is on the throne of your kingdom.

Jesus knew and anticipated the day when he would walk through the gates of pearl into the Holy City. Jesus anticipates walking through those gates of pearl upheld by the foundations of precious stones. Jesus knew full well he would walk down golden streets someday by the river of life.

He knew and anticipated that city where tears were outlawed, sorrow expelled, pain crucified, night executed, where sin has expired, sickness will become wellness, heartache will be broken, loneliness will become lonely, sadness will become sad, bereavement will bereave, poverty will become impoverished, death will die, and he will be the main attraction.

Jesus anticipates that day, but much more than that he anticipates ruling your kingdom from your throne given to him by you and not taken by him from you!

Jesus anticipates that day of the Judgment Seat of Christ where he shall give the redeemed their crowns. They will be crowns for suffering, service, soul winning, faithfulness, and loving the appearing of Jesus. He will place those crowns upon the heads of the redeemed, but we will not keep them very long for we will in unison throw them at the feet of our Saviour. The redeemed will begin to sing, “Thou art worthy, Oh Lord to receive glory and honor and power and dominion.”

However, there is something he desires more and that is that he be allowed to rule from the throne of our kingdoms. There is an obstacle! The obstacle is whoever or whatever is sitting on the throne of our kingdom currently and that is why Jesus said, “deny thyself” or “dethrone thyself,” or “overthrow thyself,” or “have a coup against thyself,” or “revolt against thyself,” or “voluntarily step down from off of your throne yourself.”

Each of us has a life, an empire, or a kingdom and Jesus desires to rule that life, empire, or kingdom. Jesus refuses to lead the coupe, the revolt, the revolution, or the dethroning. He simply waits for you and I to “deny thyself.”

When you and I say, “What’s wrong with…?” then we are still on the throne of our kingdom. When we say, “Well I just don’t see any harm in doing…!” then we are still sitting on the throne of our empire.

There are many things in our lives that are weights and not sin that hinder us. The Scripture says, “Lay aside every weight…”

In Revelation chapter 5 there is a seven-sealed book that is the deed to the earth. No man on earth, no man beneath the earth, and no man above the earth were worthy to open this seven-sealed book. Then someone said, “There stood a Lamb in the midst.” This is the same Lamb of which John the Baptist on the banks of the Jordan River pointed to and said, “Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world.” This Lamb stands up, he opens the book of the title deed, the mortgage is paid off, and the title deed is the Lamb’s again for he is worthy!

Finally the title deed is paid off, the mortgage is burned, Jesus holds in his hands the title deed, and certainly Jesus anticipates that day, but as wonderful would be if you and I would step down voluntarily, dethrone voluntarily, and deny voluntarily removing ourselves off of the throne of our kingdoms.


JESUS DESIRES THE THRONE OF OUR KINGDOM

Jesus wants the throne of our kingdom more than the throne of David. He wants to reign in our lives more than he wants to reign for a thousand years. In Revelation chapter 7 we have, “Amen and blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be unto our God for ever and ever.”

What a wonderful day that will be when the Hugh Heffner’s will have to bow and confess that Jesus is Lord, when Zondervan will have to confess the King James Bible is the only real Scripture for the English speaking people, when the new morality crowd, when the humanist, when the Kennedys, when the Clintons, when the Gores, and all the rest of the liberalist will have to bow confessing that Jesus is the Christ!

Hold it! There is something Jesus desires more than that and that is YOU! He wants to rule your life and by the way you are the only obstacle he has between him ruling the whole world and ruling your world. He wants you! Why? He wants to rule your life! Why? So you can not only follow but also lead. You will avoid self-destruction and help others to victory while being victorious yourself!