Tag Archives: reformation

Prayers for American Church System (7/18/2019)

Christ Church Stellarton

Photograph of Christ Anglican Church, Stellarton, NS. Taken the morning of October 28, 2005

We can learn much about the Kingdom of God and also the Church by looking at God’s first kingdom venture on earth (after the fall): Israel.

God’s desire for Israel was that the nation would have no king and no standing army. God would be the Israelites’ King and their defense. Israel was divided up into twelve parcels, one for each tribe. The leaders for each tribe would be elders, heads of families and families. Israel was set up to be a loosely governed confederation of tribes and families, unlike any other nation at the time.

In approximately 1043 BC, the elders came to Samuel the prophet and said, “Samuel, you are old. Now make for us a king to rule over us like all of the other nations.”

Samuel felt bad, but God told him, “Listen to the people. They have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should no longer reign over them.”

God warned Israel, telling them all that the kings would do to abuse their authority over Israel. Yet, the people of Israel still said, “We want a king so we are like the other nations.”

From 1043 BC with King Saul until the fall of Jerusalem under King Zedekiah in 586 BC, Israel and Judah had a government headed by a king. They were like the other nations with a hierarchal governmental system. It was a total failure.

Why?

God said it would fail and it did.

Okay, now let’s look at the American Church system.

“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:25-28)

Thousands of American believers are praying for revival, which they hope will bring a move of the Spirit to America’s churches and change our nation. Hey, if it happens, I will join my brothers and sisters in celebration.

But…I don’t believe it will happen.

Most of America’s churches resemble Israel with a hierarchal government reigning over them. The New Testament name – pastor – sounds better than king, but make no doubt about it, the American pastor is generally an overlord in charge of the membership. He’s the CEO! This type of church system has been in place since Martin Luther reformed the church in 1517. Five hundred years!

Now, many will say that God has often revived the Church in times past. And yes, He has, but He also sent some good kings to Israel and Judah until He didn’t send them anymore. Maybe the American church system is in the same season that Israel was when its hierarchal government failed.

So don’t stay with the same-o same-o attitude about traditional churches just because God has not reformed the wineskin in times past. Seek the Lord.

I believe God will totally reform the church, preparing it for the End Times.

My prayer today:

Lord, help us American believers not to be conformed to this age and its traditions, but to be transformed and changed by the entire renewal of our minds and attitudes so that we may know what is Your good and perfect will for Your Church. (Based on Romans 12:2)

Join with me to fast and pray for America’s churches.

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November 4, 2008: The Day America’s Death Warrant Was Signed (Part 1)

We American Christians have come to expect spiritual John Waynes to arrive during our nation’s worst times and rescue us from imminent disasters. This has often happened in times past when men like John Wesley, George Whitefield, Charles Finney, Billy Sunday, Billy Graham and others have called America away from the spiritual abyss.

So, is there still balm in Gilead for America?

Let’s look back at the events of the 2008 presidential election.

At the Democratic Convention in Denver (August 25 – 28, 2008), the party selected the two most radical pro-abortion candidates in the history of America as its standard bearers: Senator Barack Obama and Senator Joseph Biden. Both were Planned Parenthood poster candidates.

The Republicans countered at their convention in St. Paul, Minnesota (September 1 – 4,2008) with two pro-life candidates in Senator John McCain and Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. Governor Palin’s refusal to abort her son, Trig, a Down Syndrome baby, focused America’s eyes on the abortion issue.

Soon after the Republican convention, the polling data showed a dead even race between Obama/Biden and McCain/Palin. This was a remarkable comeback for McCain who had lagged behind Obama in the double digit percentage range for weeks.

McCain/Palin finally inched ahead going into the second week of the month.

Then, on September 15, 2008, Lehman Brothers filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection. The following day, the Federal Reserve authorized a $85 billion bailout loan to AIG. Financial news swirled out of control until the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 was enacted, which established the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).

With the bad economic news, Obama/Biden surged back into the lead and McCain/Palin wilted on the campaign trail. Obama eventually won in a landslide on election night.

Spike Lee, film director and producer, later declared, “God Himself ordained the financial crisis to happen when it did in order to propel Barack Obama to victory.”

For the last two years, Spike Lee’s words have haunted me. Were Lee’s words accurate?

There’s no doubt in my mind that the Lord could have held back the financial crisis until after the presidential election, but He didn’t. Why not? I wondered. After all, if the financial crisis had not hit, McCain could have been elected president and the Supreme Court’s balance could have been shifted to the right by now with a good chance of Roe versus Wade being overturned sometime in the near future.

When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes. For the days will come upon you when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you and surround you and hem you in on every side, and they will level you to the ground and your children within you, and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not recognize the time of your visitation. (Luke 19: 41-44)

In the midst of the hubbub and excitement on that first Palm Sunday, Jesus paused on His journey to Jerusalem at a spot on the Mount of Olives, overlooking Jerusalem and the Temple. This was the exact spot where Jews throughout history had mourned and wept over the Temple.

When Jesus stopped and wept at the overlook, the people probably hushed, anticipating a historic speech, but what they heard shocked them. The Prophet, their long awaited King David, prophesied the above words which trumpeted the death of Jerusalem and the Temple.

Why did Jesus prophesy Jerusalem’s and the Temple’s death warrant?

…because you did not recognize the day of your visitation. (Luke 19:44)

The Greek word episkope in verse 44 is translated into our English word visitation. Yet, episkope does not imply a visitor stopping by for a friendly visit. Its true meaning suggests God the Judge would visit a nation, examining the people to determine whether they would be blessed or cursed.

Yes, Jesus is the Prince of Peace, but also He is the stumbling stone and a rock of offense whereby people and nations stumble and fall to their doom. (Jesus’ prophesy was fulfilled in 70 AD when a Roman army under General Titus destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple and killed over a million Jews.)

It’s now my sincere belief that the 2008 Financial Crisis was a plumb line event the Lord sent to discover how America measured up. So, was America squarely looking up to Him and His ways or tilted off center? What did the plumb line event reveal to the Lord?

Lou Engle stated it best:

In this election, we have bowed our knee to Baal and chosen prosperity over posterity. (See full article here.)

Sad words, but true. Our nation failed the test, and like Jerusalem and the Temple on that first Palm Sunday, America’s death warrant has been signed by the Judge. It’s just a matter of time until the execution is carried out.

Sadly, in retrospect, Spike Lee’s words proved to be accurate.

(Continued in Part 2)


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