Undergroundchurch Blog

Preparing the Church for the future

Posts Tagged ‘plan of God’

The Source of Our Dilemma

Posted by undergroundchurch on October 22, 2010


“Original Sin”, some call it “Ancestral¬†Sin“, is a more pervasive dilemma to our current state than we might even fathom.

Original Sin, as understood for this article, is the sin seed that is passed on to every human because of the original sin committed by Adam in the Garden.

Original Sin effects us today because there are multiple components to it…

Original Sin is about Love

The point of God planting a tree in the middle of the Garden then telling Adam not to eat from it was not to tempt Adam, but to see if Adam would choose to love God or love himself.  When Adam sinned, it separated him and us from the direct connection with God.  Remember that God walked with Adam in the garden, something God has not been able to do since Adam sinned.

The most powerful words God ever utters in the Bible are the ones He says right after he says the word, “Now” as in¬†Revelation¬†21:3

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God.

This event takes place after everything is made new. ¬†God is looking forward to the day when He can once again “walk with man in the garden” as it were.

It is all about Love because God reached out to us when we couldn’t reach out to him. (c.f. John 3:16, Romans 5:8)

Original Sin is about Penalty

We are still paying the price for the sin Adam committed that fateful day.

Penalty of Death

  • God told Adam, “In the day you eat of it you will surely die” (Genesis 2:16,17)
  • All have sinned, and the wages of that sin is still death (Romans 3:23, 6:23)

Every time someone dies, we are reminded of Adam’s original sin. If Adam’s sin only applied to him, we wouldn’t have death, sickness and sin in the world today.

Penalty of Pain in Childbirth

Every time a woman gives birth naturally, she is paying a price for Eve because she listened to the serpent and not her husband. (See Accountability and Original Sin below)

Other creatures in God’s kingdom don’t go through the pain of birth that humans do; ever heard a dog or cat scream like a human?

Penalty of Snakes

Part of the curse is the form of the snake, which crawls on its belly.  Each time I see one, I am reminded of the curse. (Genesis 3)

Penalty of Thorns and Thistles

Ever been scratched by a thorn? Or have to pull a weed out of the garden? Thank Adam.

Penalty of Gardening

Yep, gardening is a result of the curse.  Makes you wonder how it was before Adam sinned. (Genesis 3) God was going to provide all our food.

Original Sin is about Accountability

Genesis 3 tells us what went down.

Eve ate of the tree first; Adam, who was with her, but didn’t speak up during the entire event, ate it once she gave it to him.

However, you have to go back a chapter to see the setup. ¬†You see…

  1. Adam was created first
  2. God then planted the tree in the Garden.
  3. God tells Adam that if he eats from it, he will die.
  4. Later, God creates the woman from the man’s side.

In chapter 3, we see the man and woman at the tree, she is telling the talking serpent (which should have been a clue) that if they ate from it OR TOUCHED IT they would die.

How did she know about eating it, and where did she get the extra restriction?

We have here the first case of legalism in the Bible, which always adds to God’s word. ¬†God said Adam would die if he ate it; Eve added (probably because Adam told her) that if they touched it, they would die. She ate it first (eyes were not open), and then Adam ate it (eyes were opened to their nakedness after this).

SPECIAL NOTE: The extra rule didn’t help them abide by the command God gave them. (Legalism doesn’t help you be a better Christian.)

The problem in the story is that God told Adam the rule, and Adam told his wife the rules, but Adam did not defend God’s word, nor his wife as she was talking to the serpent.

It was not her fault, it was Adam’s!

Had Eve eaten, and Adam not, there would be no sin today because she was not responsible to God. Adam should have been the one talking to the serpent and saying something like, “Get thee behind me Satan!” He was her covering, and he failed her.

Accountability and the Original Sin Seed

The Original Sin seed does not pass through the woman, it passes through the man because of accountability. ¬†Adam was accountable to God, Eve was accountable to Adam (God never told Eve the rules, that was Adam’s job).

Jesus could only be born as a human, not because Mary was “immaculately conceived”, but because she was a woman and there was no man involved in conceiving Jesus.

The promise was to Eve that the savior would come…

And I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your seed and hers;
he will crush your head,
and you will strike his heel.” – Genesis 3:15

Men and woman are equal in every way relationally with God except one, accountability. Eve was cursed because she was deceived, and did not listening to her husband, but we have sin in the world because the man of the house refused to be the man of the house. (c.f. 1 Timothy 2:14)

Original Sin is about Redemption

Paul states that through one man, Adam, sin and death entered the world (Romans 5:12-21). It is through one man with no Original Sin seed connection through man to Adam that sin is broken ¬†and we can live. Our only hope is in the “Son of God” who became the “Son of Man” without losing his claim as “Son of God”.

His Father is God, born of a woman, which allows him to be fully man and fully God and gives us hope that the power of sin and death is broken for those that receive the gift of life. This only comes through the power of the death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

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Predestination: How it Works

Posted by undergroundchurch on November 16, 2009


Predestination – a fancy word for God deciding things before they happen.

There are some that believe that God has gone so far in predestination to already determine who will be saved and who will not be saved.  I take some issue with this because that defeats the purpose of Love.  (See the first article)

There are only a couple Scriptures (2 Thessalonian 2:13; Romans 8:29) people use to support the teaching that God predetermines who will be saved, but I think they are simply reading too much into it.  The actions of Jesus were enough for all to be saved.  Anyone who wants to receive the gift of salvation can (Revelation 22:17).  According to the 2 Thessalonians passage, we are simply all chosen, the Spirit of God does the work of Christ in us after we accept the offer of being chosen by believing in the Truth.

So the message is that salvation is available to all – period.

Remember the old TV series, Mission Impossible? Ethan Hawk would receive ¬†a tape, “Your mission, should you choose to accept it…” ¬†Ethan was chosen for the mission, but it was up to Ethan to receive that calling. ¬†In the same way, the message has been left in your hands, God has chosen you for a mission… ¬†should you choose to accept it, your life will never be the same again.

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Love is Tough!

Posted by undergroundchurch on October 25, 2009


In our Sunday school class today, the teacher, asked a question with no answer given – “Why is it so hard to do right and so easy to sin?”

Paul asked the same question (Romans 7:7-25) and posed this thought:

So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me.

First thing to understand… sin is fun!

If it weren’t appealing, nobody would sin. ¬†Try tempting me with brussel sprouts. ¬†Now try tempting me with a chocolate chip cookie. ¬†Your success in tempting me lies in direct proportion to the pleasure I get from said temptation.

Second thing to understand… sin is natural.

You do not need to teach children how to do bad things.

If you say, “stop!”

They go.

If you tell them, “Don’t touch!”

They touch.  You get the point.

You need to teach them how to do good, and they learn very slowly usually complaining all along the way.  Our selfish nature drives our sin nature and causes us to constantly desire to do what we should not do.

Third thing to understand… obeying God costs you everything.

I know that you don’t want to hear that. ¬†But I can’t take credit for it. ¬†Jesus said,

“If anyone would come after me, he must¬†deny himself and take up his¬†cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23)

Doing the right thing means that you probably won’t be “pleasing yourself”, at least, you won’t be gratifying your “sinful nature”

As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath. РEphesians 2:1-3

God told Adam, “Don’t eat from that tree.” ¬†The devil told him, “God doesn’t love you, he is holding back the truth.” ¬†Adam made a choice to satisfy his flesh. ¬†Doing right would have meant that he would have had to trust that God knew what was best and that he, Adam, didn’t need to know everything.

All of this is both the blessing and curse of Love.  You must be given a choice not to love in order to show love.  And we show God love by obeying Him. Even the angels had this opportunity.

When Lucifer tried to take over heaven, he took 1/3 of the angels with him in his deception.  Two-thirds chose to trust God, the rest thought he was holding out on them.

Final thing you need to understand… You can trust God!

Yes, at times it seems that he is holding out on you, and to be honest, He might be.  But I can guarantee one thing,  if He is holding out, it is for your good, not your harm.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.¬†¬†Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.¬†You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.¬†I will be found by you,” declares the LORD. (Jeremiah 29:11-14a)

The key to it all is to…

“Trust the Lord with all your heart and not to lean on your own understanding. ¬†Acknowledge him in all your ways and he will direct your path!” (Proverbs 3:5,6)

It’s a battle to do right, but it is definitely worth it in the end.

Posted in Faith, Hope and Love | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

The Power of a Geneology

Posted by undergroundchurch on October 9, 2009


This is the most amazing Bible study of which I ever had the privilege to be part. ¬†I can’t take credit for its discovery, (That would be Chuck Misler), but I love to use this to open people’s eyes to the true power of the Word of God.

The genealogy we are going to look at is found in Genesis 5.  It takes up the whole chapter Рso I will abbreviate it here. The list of names and their meaning are below:

  • Adam – “man”
  • Seth – “appointed”
  • Enosh – “mortal”
  • Kenan -“having”
  • Mahalalel – “sorrow” “God”
  • Jared – “shall descend”
  • Enoch – “dedicated” “anointed”
  • Methuselah – “his death shall bring”
  • Lamech – “the lowly”
  • Noah – “Comfort”

If you take these names and read them out in order as a sentence in English, here’s what you get…

“Man appointed mortal and having sorrow but God shall descend anointed; his death shall bring the lowly comfort.”

Read that again….

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is embedded in the very genealogy of Scripture.  God breathed every word in this book.  There is a reason for every letter and word used.  The power of the word of God oozes with the good news of our savior no matter how deep you look and no matter where you look Рeven in a genealogy!

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Some Thoughts on the End Times – Part 1

Posted by undergroundchurch on October 1, 2009


I might as well do what everybody else seems to do and give a quick thought [teaching] on the End Times.

However, you probably won’t find this quite is comfortable sounding as the Sunday morning version.

Most End Time teaching basically follow this format.

  • The End Comes
  • The Church is Raptured
  • All chaos errupts
  • Jesus comes with all the believers and reigns a 1000 years
  • Final judgement
  • Everyone designated for Hell go there, those designated for Heaven, go there

I may have left out some detail, but you get the gist.

The biggest problem I personally have with this format is that

  1. It isn’t exactly a healthy and accurate assessement and
  2. It gives a false sense that the Church is not going to experience trouble

I call this Sunday morning approach the “Escapist Syndrome

Basically, the Book of Revelation is approached as a letter for those who are left behind. ¬†What I find strange about that is that a large portion of the church teaching that I hear around the nation is on a subject that, according to the syndrome, doesn’t even apply to them.

2¬†Thessalonian¬†2:3 and 1 Timothy 4:1 along with other scriptures,¬†speak of a “falling away” in the last days. This has to be about believers, because non-believers can’t fall away by definition. I have always thought that apathy would be the culprit, which may still be the case. ¬†But I fear that there is going to be another unintended consequence to current teaching that will cause many to flee the faith.

There is a phobia, I believe, in pulpits to talk about bad things. ¬†Blessings and prosperity, God’s best for your life, God loves you, all have their place, but we are¬†inundated¬†by an unhealthy amount of rose petal teaching. Even roses, though, have thorns, and the teachings of Jesus, Paul, James, and John do a much better job painting reality and have a much more balanced approach to understanding the end times than we American Christians pocesses.

The Right Balance

Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.” –¬†Mark 4:16 and 17

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;¬†we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.¬†For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,¬†neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,¬†neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:35-40

Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other,¬†11and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.¬†Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold,¬†but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.” – Matthew 24:9-13

Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they¬†persecuted me, they will¬†persecute you also. – John 15:20

And I could go on and on.

I think that church leaders fear that if the truth of persecution, the reality of hard times, and the fate of being hated as Jesus was hated were preached from a pulpit, they wouldn’t fill the chairs on a Sunday morning, but I think that the greater disservice is not telling followers of Christ the truth. ¬†Tough times are coming! The church in America will be one day like the church in China and North Korea having to hide their $10,000 signs and abandon the $20 million buildings. ¬†It is only a matter of time.

But in it all, no matter what happens, Jesus prepared us for this inevitable outcome.  All the prayer in the world, though it may delay it, will not stop it because it is part of the Plan of God.

I will end this part with what I consider to be the problem facing the future church because of the methodology of church teaching today.

The falling away will most likely come from Christians who have¬†succumbed¬†to the escapism syndrome and when the persecution in American and other “free nations” comes, they will ask the question,

Why? Why didn’t you tell me? ¬†Why did you get my hopes up? ¬†Why didn’t you prepare me?”

And they simply won’t have the strength to stand up under the pressure because they will feel betrayed and misled. ¬†They will think that Jesus is not ever coming back because they never thought they’d be thrown into a prison in America just because they gathered with like believers. ¬†The concerns of their world will outweigh their perceived need for a savior.

They thought is was all about prosperity and glory, but will find that the reality of the coming of the Son of Man will be like the birth of a child.  It will be painful while the child prepares to arrive, but the joy for those that endure to the end will be like holding that little baby in the arms.  All the pain in the birthing process will quickly fade in the joy of a new life with Christ forever.

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Undeniable Truth Number 3

Posted by undergroundchurch on September 20, 2009


God Loves You.

Three simple words, yet they embody every bit of hope, peace and joy any human can possibly imagine. I look at these words and think three things.

  1. God loves despite my background, condition or situation.
  2. God loves us first. We can’t claim that distinction.
  3. Why would God love us?

Perhaps the greatest mystery in the universe is not its origin (that one is solved); it is why God would willingly create people that he knew ahead of time would reject him? ¬†Why didn’t He just create us to love Him? ¬†Wouldn’t that make the whole ¬†snake-in-the-garden-tempting-Adam-and-Eve thing a futile effort?

I have said this many times before, but it bears repeating until somebody hears it.

Love is not real love unless the one loving offers the option not to love.

God proved His love first by giving us a choice. ¬†Yes, He knew we would choose wrong, but that didn’t make Him grieve less for us when we failed to love Him in return. ¬†Yes, He knew we would fail to return His love, but that didn’t stop Him from making a plan to rescue us before we even failed. (cf. 2 Timothy 1:9 and Revelation 13:8)

God then proved that love once again that while we were wretched, vile, disgusting sinners, Jesus Christ took our place in death, that if anyone should receive that gift from God, they would be saved from eternal death and would be able to show their love to God.  (John 3:16; Romans 5:8)

God’s love is undeniable. ¬†So if you are still denying His love in your life… Stop it! Receive it! aAnd learn what real love is all about.

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    The Power of the Blood

    Posted by undergroundchurch on September 12, 2009


    I was asked the question, “Is it within our power to ‘plead the Blood of Jesus’?” ¬†Since I know that many people practice this, in the spirit of truth, I wanted to tackle it; therefore, here is the answer I believe the Bible gives.

    The blood of Jesus has one expressed Biblical purpose – to bring you life through salvation by bringing you near to God.

    In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace¬†8that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. (Ephesians 1:7,8)

    But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ. (Ephesians 2:13)

    Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his¬†blood, you have no life in you. (John 6:53)

    There is a concluding thought to this in Revelation where the saints, that’s us, overcome the enemy by two things – the blood of the Lamb and word of our testimony. ¬†(Revelation 12:11)

    The power of this is two-fold.  First, the Blood of Jesus set up the ability for anyone to overcome the hold that death and Satan has on them.  That is, salvation is available to them because of the shed blood of Jesus.

    For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness from sin (Hebrews 9:22)

    Second, the testimony is your confession of Christ, which is your part in the salvation experience. ¬†When you confess Jesus Christ as Lord of your life, you are expressing the testimony or witness that Jesus is your Lord. ¬†That’s why confession is so important. ¬†Just as a side note: Many people pray “sinners prayers” when they get saved. ¬†This is not necessary and again is not in the Bible. ¬†You need to “confess that Jesus Christ is Lord” (Romans 10:9 and 10). ¬†That is your testimonial expression that will overcome the enemy in the end.

    The Blood Jesus shed is extremely powerful; it redeems you from the seed of sin that you were born with, but that is really where the power ends. ¬†There are other means, other gifts, powers and responsibilities given to the believer to deal with other things in your and other’s lives. ¬†But to the extent that you “plead the blood of Jesus over someone’s life” or “plead the blood of Jesus over a situation“, that is a misuse of the authority, and not as effective as simply praying in earnest for that person or situation.

    We’ll look a little deeper into the power you do and don’t have in another post.

    Posted in Quick Thoughts | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

    Prayer the Nehemiah Way – Part 8 of 8

    Posted by undergroundchurch on September 8, 2009


    See Part 7

    Here we are at the final prayer of Nehemiah, and it is truly the final prayer recorded.

    Remember me with favor, O my God – Nehemiah 13:31

    Once again, we look at the motives of Nehemiah. ¬†This seems like a selfish prayer at first glance, but it is the first time he actually prays simply for himself, and given his job performance, I’d say it’s about time.

    This is the last verse in the book, and he has fought a hard fight; he has finished strong; he has run his race. ¬†He has poured his heart and soul into the restoration of Jerusalem and now he prays to God, “Remember me”.

    I don’t want this statement to be misconstrued, but you can unselfishly ask for blessing when your lifestyle isn’t built on being blessed; however, if you live for blessing, you might want to look hard at your motives.

    Nehemiah sacrified. David sacrificed. Moses sacrificed. ¬†Many in the scriptures gave all they had in their journey with God. ¬†When they spoke of being blessed by God, their hearts were already in the mindset of serving God without self-interest. ¬†The mission was all about God’s plan. ¬†There is no shame in asking for blessing, especially when your life is devoted to the cause of God.

    God loves to bless, but He is not frivolous about it either. ¬†He doesn’t just aimlessly toss about blessings. ¬†Blessings have a positive short-term effect, but if the one being blessed is not grounded properly in Christ, then the blessing will dry up and the one being blessed will not grow, but become dependent on receiving blessings in order to maintain their spiritual walk.

    Blessing from God is always good, but if we are ill equiped to handle the blessing, then we can become prideful, selfsh, greedy, and simply unchanged.  Blessings actually have very little imact on our spiritual outcome.

    I have often wondered why so many believers have so many struggles, so many heart aches, and so much pain. ¬†I know this doesn’t preach well (as they might say), but it might be that the only way God can get us to the point of talking with him is when we are afflicted.

    You know that I’m right; you just are having a hard time admitting it. ¬†When is it tougher to get on your face before God in humility, when things are going great or when things are terrible? ¬†The Bible tells us plainly that Suffering produced Perseverance and Perseverance produces Character and Character produces Hope! (Romans 5:3-5) ¬†The path to hope begins with the fundamental understanding of suffering.

    Paul understood this all too well. ¬†In fact, he is the only person I know that was called by Jesus with these words, “I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.” (Acts 9:16) Tell the truth, would you become a Christian if Jesus said that to you?

    Paul understood, as Nehemiah understood, because he said, “I want to know Jesus in the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his suffering”.

    If you don’t hear anything I say, hear this, “You will never know Jesus fully until you know him in his suffering.”

    Christianity is not meant to be pretty, it is a battle Рa bloody battle that started with the battle wounds Jesus bore on the Cross.  We struggle and fight everyday, and we win battles everyday, and that is the point.  In winning a battle, we grow.  We struggle and train hard for this race.  We fall down, but we get back up.  We fight knowing that we will be the victors in the end.  It is the actual struggle that God uses to make us stronger.  Deliverance out of struggle never made any Christian stronger.

    Too many preach a message of Christianity that gives the listener enough head knowledge to be dangerous, especially to themselves, but they aren’t taught that the Christian walk is not a cake walk. For when they find that the battle gets hot, they struggle and fail because they weren’t told ahead of time that while Jesus may have promised roses, he also promised thorns on those very roses.

    Don’t be afraid of the struggle; dive right in. ¬†Know that your successful journey gives you every right and privilege to pray as many have prayed in the past, “Remember me with favor, O God!”

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    Prayer the Nehemiah Way, Part 7 of 8

    Posted by undergroundchurch on September 5, 2009


    Part 6

    The last two prayers Nehemiah prays speak to our motives. Motives have to be the most important point of reference for any prayer.

    When you pray ask yourself, “Why am I praying? Am I praying for personal gain? ¬†Do I spend the majority of my prayer time praying for me? ¬†Do I pray mostly for others? ¬†Do I spend most of my time simply worshipping God?

    Prayer is at its core, a conversation. ¬†If you dominate the conversation, then you aren’t getting all you should be getting out of the relationship. So don’t just make it about you.

    Remember them, O my God, because they defiled the priestly office and the covenant of the priesthood and of the Levites. – Nehemiah 13:29

    There were a lot of reasons Nehemiah could have given God to take care of his enemies. ¬†He could have told God to remember how they treated him and the people; he could have told them about the time Sanballat ridiculed and verbally abused him, but he didn’t. Nehemiah focused his prayer on God’s work, not his own.

    Nothing in Nehemiah’s prayer showed any essence of “revenge”; it only showed, “God, they are coming against you, take care of them accordingly.”

    It was about the plan of God, not his own suffering or retribution. ¬†Nehemiah knew that if he wanted a prayer answered, he should pray the will of God and not his own. ¬†What was his motive in this prayer? ¬†It’s all about God!

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    What’s a Believer to do about our Political Situation?

    Posted by undergroundchurch on August 29, 2009


    Intro:

    This article is a bit longer than normal, and certainly more political than most of the ones I publish, but I felt such an urgency to write it that it kept me up half the night.  I finally succumbed to the drive to write and woke up at 5 AM on a Saturday morning to put it all down… That in itself should tell you something.

    The UnderGroundChurch Pupose:

    The purpose of the UnderGroundChurch is to prepare the church and anyone seeking God for the days ahead which include new methods of doing church in an increasingly hostile environment and understanding the environment from prophetic angle so that as things occur in our American society, we can take hope that no matter what actually happens in America, two things are always true:

    1)      America, as great as she once was and to some degree still is, is not the center of God’s plan.

    2)      God has a plan that will unfold.  It will be messy, and that is by design.  It is not to be feared if you are a believer, but to be embraced as a time of refining, rebuilding, reorganizing and revival in the church. 

    The Dream:

    Last night, I dreamt of a changing world.  It was such a powerful dream that I still remember every detail of it, which for me is extremely rare.  The following is that dream.

    My family and I just installed a pool at the house (that’s the good part, hope that it comes true someday). As we are swimming in the rather frigid waters, I was talking of creating a solar heater system to make the water somewhat bearable.  As we were conversing, two rocket ship like objects blasted out of the earth about a mile away in town.  They looked almost alien in their appearance with technologies that couldn’t be manmade.

    They landed on the town, sprouted four legs each and began a journey that lead them straight toward us.  As they walked along, their powerful pace and frightening appearance cause everyone around to pause in fear.  I looked to the street where some military vehicles pulled up.  I was set back by their inactivity; I mean, they are the military here to protect us, so why weren’t they shooting it or something?

    I walked over to them after the craft stepped over our house, and as I approached, I saw them waving green flags that had a camouflage pattern.  This certainly intrigued me, so I asked them what they were doing. Their answer literally woke me from my slumber.

    The soldier there told me that everyone would be issued three flags.  As the robot like crafts passed by, you were to wave the flag that represented your support for our government.  The first flag was the one the soldiers were waving.  It represented support for the current government.  The camouflaged nature of the flag meant that your support didn’t necessarily mean you agreed with everything, but that you wouldn’t do anything about it even if you didn’t agree; therefore, your support was implied, and you were safe.

    The second flag was white with some symbols I didn’t recognize in a circle in the middle.  The white flag told the alien looking craft that you were a believer, and that you wanted to practice your faith.  You were committing to practice your faith in so far as you didn’t speak against the current system of government, and that you weren’t going to make any waves.  You were just going to be spiritually minded and not concerned with the political or social environment around you.

    The final flag was red. This represented you as a rebel to the ways of the government and that you opposed the direction the government was taking and that you were willing to fight for freedom.

    In the absence of waving a flag, the default interpretation of your intention was that you were a ‚Äúred flag waver‚ÄĚ.¬† A red flag waver was the enemy and would be captured or killed on site to preserve the new American way of life.

    Waking Thoughts:

    As I awoke, I reviewed the dream and was reminded of a speech almost a half-century ago in 1961 that Ronald Reagan gave about the threat that lay before the American people.  This speech, which I was reminded of recently and which I have posted below, coupled with the changing times made me think of the challenge before the believer.  Do we get involved?  If so, how involved do we get?

    “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves money from the public treasure. From that moment on the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most money from the public treasury, with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy followed by a dictatorship.

    The average age of the world’s great civilizations has been two hundred years. These nations have progressed through the following sequence:

    • from bondage to spiritual faith
    • from spiritual faith to great courage
    • from courage to liberty
    • from liberty to abundance
    • from abundance to selfishness
    • from selfishness to complacency
    • from complacency to apathy
    • from apathy to dependency
    • from dependency back to bondage.

    ‚ÄĒunknown

    The Constitution was given as a framework of the nation for two reasons:

    1)      To limit the powers of the federal government, giving governmental powers not specifically granted in the Constitution to the state governments (see the unenforced 10th Ammendment)

    2)¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† To protect the citizenry of this great nation for a government that, by design, seeks to grow its power, intrude in people‚Äôs lives, oppress its people and in the end, control everything ‚Äď thus ending our republic (See the first 10 Amendments, a.k.a. the Bill of Rights)

    The Bill of Rights aren’t freedoms granted by the government for us, they are our protection measures given to protect us from an out of control government.  Over the past 50 years, those rights have been diluted by ideologies foreign to the framer’s original intent.  The Constitution is no longer a framework, but an obstacle.  Freedom is no longer a right by default, it is a privilege given to a few.

    What is Our Precedent?

    Again, I ask, ‚ÄúSo what is the believer to do?‚Ä̬† Is there Biblical precedent to do anything? Is their historical precedent to do anything?

    Biblically speaking, there is a precedent.  Nations don’t just popup out of thin air, they are made.  God made a nation called Israel with rules, laws and ceremonies to govern their activities.  It wasn’t just a gathering of people to worship him; it was a nation under God to be governed by the will of God.

    In the New Testament, there is not much political precedent to ‚Äúrebuild‚ÄĚ government, but rather an underground approach to change the hearts and mind of the leaders.¬† God wasn‚Äôt building a church-state, but a people whose hearts were bent toward him.

    Paul actually sacrificed his freedom, rights and dignity for the chance to change the heart of Caesar.  He willingly was led captive to Rome so that in the hopes of real change, he might show the leader of the world the love and power of a humble Messiah; any governmental change would have been a byproduct of that change in the heart of Caesar.

    Two hundred and thirty-three years ago, a group of God fearing, Bible believing men made a choice to break from a tyrannical king to create a new nation with the hope of freedom.  It cost many, many lives to establish that new nation, and many more to keep it, but in the end, it became one nation, under God which impacted the world in ways never before seen.

    What makes the founding of this nation unique is that never before was a nation created by the people for the people.  It was designed specifically to allow for the people to drive the growth of the nation.  It was not the intention of the framers to take on power over people but to empower the people.  Freedom was granted to the people and only the people could choose to give it away.

    What next?

    This is a tough question to answer.¬† At what point does out nation cross that line where the vote no longer works, where freedom is gone, where society is lost to government control, where the ‚ÄúAmerican dream‚ÄĚ for a brighter future gives way to an ‚ÄúAmerican memory‚ÄĚ of what once was?

    A day may come when the people’s voices are no longer heard and a rebellion foreseen as possible by the framers of our nation actually manifests. That day I believe is sure to come as long as a thirst for freedom still exists in our nation.

    This is a possible outcome, but is not necessary if we can take action while our voice is not silenced.  We are believers first, but as believers in America, we are obligate to work hard to set a tone for America. 

    In setting that tone, we must always understand that you can‚Äôt legislate morality, virtue and character.¬† You can‚Äôt ‚Äúmake‚ÄĚ people believe in God; you can‚Äôt force your opinions on others.¬† Unfortunately, the government is not bent that way and because they are men and women given power, they can be corrupted and lose sight of why they are there in the first place‚Ķ to defend freedom.

    We must fight for the hearts and minds of the American people.  That is our first call.  You don’t legislate change, but you can inspire people.  If the last campaign taught us anything, it taught us the power of inspiration. 

    The Political Tone:

    President Obama won the election without telling anybody what he actually believed, how he was actually going to do anything, without any opposition, without any leadership or governing experience, without any executive or military experience.¬† He won with one word, ‚Äúchange‚ÄĚ, which in itself doesn‚Äôt say anything.¬† However, the word spoke to people because they wanted something different, and they didn‚Äôt really care what it was as long as it wasn‚Äôt the status quo.¬† They were voting against the current circumstances, not for the direction that has been set in the past 8 months.

    He has set a tone in our government not seen in this country in 50 years.  The tone is one that has been tried for over 100 years and has failed every time it is implemented.  But what it speaks to is the destruction of our political infrastructure, our freedom and our way of life.

    Both the Democratic and Republican parties do not exist today.  The Democrats have been taken over by the minority extremists in their party that seek to undermine the whole point of our Constitutional government. The party of JFK, fiscally conservative, socially balanced and defenders of national freedom, has given way to liberal extremism, apologizing to the world for being a leading nation that stands up for absolute truth in the face of relativistic ideology.

    The Republican Party has lost its voice, its power and its conservative roots.  The party of Lincoln and Reagan is now leaderless, and the leaders that try to step up are either spineless or shut down by pseudo leaders and the media.

    Real Change:

    The only political change you can believe in is change back to the system that actually works and not an experiment that has repeatedly failed.  There is a swell of opposition to the current direction of our nation because of legitimate fears that our freedom, our way of life and our history will become a memory. 

    As believers in Jesus, we can capture this wave of change and fight to win the hearts and minds of the people, not just for political reasons, but for eternal reasons. 

    ‚ÄúBy our apathy, by our acquiescence, and by our ignorance, the church of Jesus Christ has consigned itself to irrelevance and impotence in the ongoing struggle for the soul of America.‚ÄĚ‚ÄĒAlexis De Toqueville

    People are circumstantially driven.¬† The feelings are based largely on their environment.¬† Fear is a powerful weapon that is used quite extensively from both the left and right.¬† Quotes like, ‚ÄúIf we don‚Äôt pass this legislation now‚Ķ‚Ä̬† can create a sense of desperation where there really doesn‚Äôt need to be panic.¬†

    Believers are not to drive people with fear.  We use the opposite force, FAITH!  Fear and faith are both of the same substance, but have vastly different results. Fear is the belief that it’s all bad; faith is the belief that it’s all good. 

    Our Choice Matters

    We can cry a rally call for conservative values, Constitutional ways, American spirit, and  Godly principles, but we must do so with a heart of God.  We must stand on truth, not fear.  We must do everything for people, not for selfish interest or power.  We don’t do it to legislate morality and virtue but to facilitate an atmosphere where people have a choice.

    The best and worst part of freedom is that we have a choice to make choices.  This is the essence of Love.  Love only exists when the choice not to love exists.  If I have no choice but to love, then I am not truly loving. 

    God gave Adam that choice in the garden, and Adam chose not to love.  That choice still exists for each one of us today, and God still waits for our answer. 

    So always remember that whether we win or lose, we fight the good fight of faith and that if we don’t operate in love, we are nothing and our message means nothing.

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