“In the same hour the fingers of a man’s hand appeared and wrote opposite the lampstand on the plaster of the wall of the king’s palace; and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote. Then the king’s countenance changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his hips were loosened and his knees knocked against each other” (Daniel 5:5, 6).
On January 22, 2013, the States of Refuge campaign was in full swing. The saints of God pressed in upon the last remaining death camp in Mississippi. All of them trusting that soon and very soon Mississippi will make history, the first abortion free state in America.
Right after our event, the health department visited the Jackson’s Women’s Health Organization to inform them that they were not in compliance with the law. To add insult to injury, they also informed them of another stipulation. If they are to remain open and continue their grisly trade, they must expand their parking lot. It is too small and in violation of the law. For all intents and purposes, they will be shut down soon. They cannot fulfill the first law, which requires the abortionists to have admitting privileges at the Jackson hospitals and they do not have the real estate to expand their parking lot. Prayerfully, one state down and four to go as the States of Refuge campaign marches on.
I borrowed the title of my message from a classic novel written by Charles Dicksons. The story centers on an orphan boy named Pip. He is the protagonist of the novel. And then there is the villain, the escaped convict, Abel Magwitch. It is a graphic book, full of extreme imagery, poverty, crime, prison ships, and fights to the death. And though a gritty novel, it demonstrates the ultimate triumph of good over evil.
In this, Mr. Dickens is in agreement with the Bible. Romans 16:20 declares, “And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.” It is this blessed assurance that perhaps inspired the Apostle Paul to address the church’s responsibility when it comes to the proliferation of evil. He stated in Romans 12:21, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” How many still believe this is possible today? Unfortunately, there are many in the modern day American churches who do not think so. If you are one, I pray this message would increase your faith and inspire “Great Expectations.”
In this encouragement, however, I’m not for one second suggesting that our nation is not in deep trouble. God is judging our nation and we may be entering a difficult and tumultuous time that will severely try the souls of men. But I also think according to Matthew 4:15, 16, “The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned.”
We are entering a great epoch of time. January 22, 2013, ushers in the 40 year anniversary of Roe vs. Wade. I’ve written in times past how the approach of the 40 year anniversary gave birth to the States of Refuge vision. Knowing the time was drawing near, we sought the Lord to grant us a vision that would begin to liberate America from the bloodguiltness polluting our land and invoking His wrath.
As we sought the Lord, we were careful not to exchange His truth for political strategy. Our desire was to stand foursquare upon His Word and never be ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ for it still remains the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16). In the Bible, however, there were times when the Lord intervened and granted divine strategies to help His people to defeat their enemies and set them free from the threat of conquest. This is what we were seeking and the Lord in his great mercy granted us the States of Refuge campaign.
Biblically, the number 40 speaks of a time of testing, probation, and judgment. The example of the Moses generation giving way to the Joshua generation covers 40 years. At the end of that period, God arose and began to act on the behalf of His people to fulfill His promises. He called upon Joshua and the people to consecrate themselves in the wilderness, for He was getting ready to lead them to possess the Promise Land. Can we dare to believe in our day that God might arise in this dark hour as our national sins have led us the last forty years into a dark wilderness of national decline?
Wait, before you answer, on January 21, Obama was inaugurated for his second term. I remember the incredible state of mourning I felt when Clinton was reelected for the second time. Obama is Clinton on steroids and yet for some strange reason I did not despair. In fact, a “Great Expectation” arose in my spirit. I believe the Lord spoke to my spirit and said, “Now see what I do!”
There is no doubt Obama’s reelection is a serious matter. It gives us an ex-ray into the collective mindset of our beleaguered nation. A majority of Americans conscientiously voted for more abortion, more homosexuality, and more socialism. As a consequence, America voted for more judgment from heaven. A nation can survive wicked, foolish leaders, but can it survive a wicked, foolish people who empower them?
Well, America has made its proposals, but it is God who disposes. In other words, man makes his plans, but God directs our steps. It is this Biblical principle that has caused hope to arise in my heart.
Isaiah 60:1-3, reveals in the midst of great darkness that God arises with great glory and light upon His people. Just like a master jeweler, in the Bible and throughout history, God uses a black backdrop to highlight his precious jewels. Without a doubt, God’s greatest treasures have been forged through the furnace of affliction.
EXAMPLES FROM HISTORY
When Christ came to establish His Kingdom, the church was subject to both civil and religious tyranny. The sign that Jesus had risen to the Father’s right hand expecting henceforth His enemies become his footstool, was the defeat of God’s enemies and the rescue of his people. The religious tyranny ended when Israel was judged in 70 AD. Later on the civil tyranny ended as the mighty Roman Empire fell. Who were the people with the faith and worldview that arose to restore civilization, it was our Christian forebears, that’s who!
The New Testament and the historic creeds of the church were birthed in times of darkness, blasphemy, heresies, and persecution. The great bishop Athanasius played a huge role in canonizing the New Testament and penning an historical creed that clarified the doctrine of the Trinity and the deity of Christ. Some were saying Christ was a special spirit, while others were saying he was a special man. Athanasius stepped in the middle of the theological wars and declared, Jesus is “God, of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds; and man, of the substance of His mother, born in the world. Perfect God and perfect Man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting. Equal to the Father, as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Father, as touching His Manhood. Who, although He is God and Man, yet He is not two, but one Christ.”
What were the conditions of the church and nations before the Reformation? They were in a pitiful state of corruption, tyranny, error, and lustful indulgences. Once again, those who sat in darkness and the shadow of death saw a great light as the life of God returned to the church. As a result, a new birth of freedom spread like wild fire, which eventually established the most blessed nation on the face of the earth, the United States of America.
Right before God raised up John Wesley and George Whitfield, England was in a deplorable state. The Church, according to Bishop Berkley had collapsed “to a degree that was never before known in any Christian country.” The moral life of Christians plummeted into a moral cesspool as a corrupt church closed the Scriptures. The civil government flaunted levity, practiced vice, and exploited the slave trade. A huge curse came upon England’s economic and political life as corruption spread like a cancer.
The slave trade inspired brutal treatment against the workers in mines, factories, and mills. The death rate amongst children was astronomical. In London, between 1730 and 1750, three out of every four children of all classes of people died before their 5th birthday. New born babies were abandoned to the streets and left to die. This age was known as the “Gin Age.” It led to horrible child abuse. Obviously, death, darkness, and despair stalked the land. In the midst of this, God raised up 2 anointed preachers, John Wesley and George Whitfield, and used them to not only transform England, but also America.
There is an old adage, “It is always darkest before the dawn.” Though not true scientifically, the darkest point of night is midnight, we share this saying to encourage people through hard times.
When all hope is lost and calamity never seems to end, it’s encouraging to believe that even during the worst of times, we can have hope. It can be a very powerful blessing to help us take another step, live another day, with the hope that those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death light will dawn once again. No doubt, the backdrop of darkness is here in America. May the Lord arise and shine forth His light to lead our people out of the brutal darkness seeking our demise back to the marvelous light of His Kingdom. “It is time for You to act, O LORD, For they have regarded Your law as void” (Psalm 119:126). Amen!
TOP TEN ISSUES CHRISTIANS MUST ADDRESS
1. Repentance: The Church must repent and bring forth fruits worthy of repentance. Our refusal to embrace the ministries of salt and light has contributed greatly to the moral decay and corruption of American society. The Church of Jesus Christ needs to inform the moral conscience of our nation by recovery her prophetic voice.
2. Reformation (return to form): It has been close to 500 years since the Church has held up what we believe, think, and practice to the light of Scripture. Much of our worldview and subsequent behavior has been framed more by the American culture, rather than the Word of God.
3. Worldview: Too many Christians in America have a worldview framed by their family, their ethnicity, their educational system, or political party. This must be corrected. The Word of God must be the grid to discern the burning issues of the day.
4. End Times Teaching: Theological escapism has led America to cultural corruption. Darwinism corrupted science and law and Dispensationalism made it theologically acceptable (no need to polish brass on sinking ship or rearrange furniture in a burning house). This has led to the thinking that the more evil the world becomes, the better off Christians are since our redemption draws nigh.
5. Pietism: The Church must abandon pietism that believes God, His Son, and His laws have no place in governance or public policy. The secularists believe that all that matters is matter, while the pietist believes all that matters is spiritual. In contrast, the Bible teaches Jesus Christ became flesh, which translates, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”
6. Exclusivity of Christianity: The Church must reject the pressure of inclusion. Christianity is an exclusive religion. One of the reasons the world hates us is that Jesus Christ makes exclusive claims (John 14:6, John 10:1). Too many churchmen have bowed to the “God is too big to fit in anyone’s religion” mentality of this age.
7. Word of Faith: The Church must temper the Word of Faith movement. The health, wealth and prosperity “gospel” has the tendency to turn the Gospel of the Kingdom into the American Gospel Enterprise. Many of the Word of Faith proponents mistakenly equate the will of God solely with blessings and prosperity; because of this, they will not sacrifice or risk anything to advance the cause of Christ in the world. If they are not careful, the Word of Faith Movement untempered by the whole counsel of God can become nothing more than Christianized humanism.
8. Seeker Emergent Church: The so-called “emerging church” is the stepchild of postmodernism. Our Christian young are being captured by the Spirit of the age that assumes it is arrogance to proclaim absolute truth in an era that embraces relativism. They are either leaving the Christian faith altogether or distorting the faith to conform to their postmodern peers.
9. Suffering: The Church must willingly choose suffering and bear the reproach of identifying with Christ in a dark world filled with sin and demons (Hebrews 11:24-26). A cross-less Christianity, is a powerless Christianity. We must get over the suffering and death issues to be more effective in our witness to this poor-fallen world.
10. Engage the Culture at the Exposed Areas: The Church must deal with the primary issues of our day—abortion (child sacrifice and the shedding of innocent blood) and parading our sin like Sodom (homosexuality). These are the dangerous roots that produce the perilous fruits savaging our nation, the rise of Islam, tyranny, and unjust laws etc.
IN KING JESUS’ SERVICE,
Rusty, Kendra, and the Thomas Nation
P.O. Box 3126, Waco, TX 76707
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Website: www.elijahmin.com, www.operationsaveamerica.org, www.statesofrefuge.org