Are You Packin’

An elderly lady declared, “No one would ever carry a gun in our church!”  These words were heard by a pastor of a mid-size church in a rural community.  The pastor engaged the older lady in conversation, “There are likely several concealed handgun license holders present in the congregation and their presence [is] reassuring, should anything happen which might require a response of force.”   After a few minutes of dialog, the woman gained a new understanding, it was the very people she had worked with, gone to church with, people she knew and trusted, who have taken seriously the responsibility of carrying a firearm (Luke 22:36) for defense of self and others. (The Concealed Handgun; Volume 12, Number 1 February – March 2008 – Official Bi-Monthly Publication of the Texas Concealed Handgun Association). In recent years there have been ten shooting in churches, alongside an increase of misuse of firearms and other harmful weapons – such as knives – in public places. Shootings we hear about have occurred in all parts of the country and have little in common.  The common denominator in these shooting is this, they are happening in places were people are least likely able to defend themselves against those who desire to kill and destroy.

In an article written by Bill Titus, I read something that got me thinking about the times we are living in. His article was eye opening and it thrust my thoughts to think about of how bad things can get, and about what the Bible says about the end days (2 Timothy 3:1).  He wrote, “Nine years ago, Larry Gene Ashbrook entered the Wedgwood Baptist Church in Fort Worth, Texas and opened fire.  He carried nine loaded magazines for his weapon, emptying three before taking his own life.  Those three magazines contained enough ammunition to take the lives of four teenagers and three adults in the unarmed crowd.  A peaceful Wednesday evening church service had turned into a killing field with no warning.

A different outcome in Colorado Springs, Matthew Murray entered the New Life Church carrying three weapons and over 1,000 rounds.  When he began his attack, he was confronted by Jeanne Assam, a church volunteer.  With help from other church-goes, Ms. Assam distracted Murray and shot him, bringing his intended killing field to an end.  After being disabled by Assam’s bullets, Murray took his own life, as was his likely plan all along.  Two young women were killed and their father wounded, but had Assam not acted, how many more would have died at the hands of a man who had come prepared to kill as many people as he could?” (The Concealed Handgun – Bill Titus – Volume 12, Number 1 February-March 2008)

There are some important truths that need to be considered as one thinks on the times we live in as the issue of carrying some kind of protection arises amid controversy, such as “concealed carry” in public places, even in church.

 What Jesus Said

The Bible holds a teaching of Christ that prepares us to live in these present days.  Luke 22:36 says, “…But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one (Luke 22:36, New International Version). This passage of Scripture is found in the conversation of Jesus with His disciples during the Last Supper.  He is about to be taken from them (Luke 22:37) and He is giving them instructions so they can carry on the work of the Lord.  In Luke 9 Jesus sent the twelve disciples out saying, “Take nothing for the journey–no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra tunic.” (Luke 9:3)  However, after the Lord’s death and resurrection things were going to change.

“…But now… what He teaches the disciples then is also for us today. They would – and we today – need a “purse” (βαλάντιον balántion), a moneybag for support to live.  At this time in history ministries, businesses, and people need finances to survive. They would – and we today – need a “bag” (πήρα pé̄ra) in which to carry provisions.  Today, you need a bag to carry your provisions if you travel; a safe place to store tools, equipment, supplies, and important documents.  Additionally, they would – and we today – need a “sword” (μάχαιρα máchaira) for personal protection.  (The Bible Knowledge Commentary; A Commentary, Critical and Explanatory; The Bible Exposition Commentary; Thru the Bible Commentary)   A “sword” (μάχαιρα máchaira), originally a large knife for killing…was a curved weapon for close combat. (Analytical Lexicon of the Greek New Testament; Theological Dictionary of the New Testament; Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains) The sword in Luke 22:36 is not for a vigilante style of justice, but for provision and protection in this life. In contemporary society, a “sword” relates to owning a gun, or other similar weapon, to use for provision and protection of life.

In Luke 22:36 they were living in perilous times. Obedience to God’s counsel, to be well armed was just as important as obedience to the rest of His Word, to show their love for God and Jesus Christ. Today, if Christians want to enjoy walking in step with the Holy Spirit, they must desire to obey all of Jesus’ teachings.

What Theologians Teach

Jesus and the Apostle Paul told their disciples the world will become increasingly worse.  Christians and other responsible human beings still have the right to protect themselves.   Jesus’ instruction, if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy oneis a good one to follow.  On his teaching of Luke 22:36, Preacher/Teacher James Vernon McGee wrote, “You had better pack your suitcase and get your traveler’ checks if you are going out for the Lord today…   You had better be prepared to protect yourself and your love ones.  We are living in difficult days.  The Lord said, ‘He hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one.’ (King James Version) Why?  For protection, of course.  They were living in days that required a sword.  We need to recognize that fact also.” (Thru The Bible Commentary, Page 347, paragraph 2 and 3 Copyright 1983) Jamieson, Fausset and Brown wrote, “[you] will now need support, provision and the usual means of defense.”  We live in days that require a “sword” (a gun, or something) for protection.

The fact is the walls of religion will not stop bad men from entering an institution to dish out harm upon unarmed people.  On March 6, 2008, a terrorist entered Yeshiva (religious school) during a seminar in Jerusalem.  He opened fire on people wishing to learn more about their religious beliefs. This gunman had killed several students before Yitzhak Dadon – a student attending the seminar – responded with his weapon firing two rounds into the terrorist’s head, ending the bloodshed.  The director of the Seminary, Rabbi David Simchon, was quoted by the Israeli News Service saying, “No terrorist will succeed in stopping our faith, our values, the justice of our cause of what we teach here at Yeshiva [Seminary] (religious school).”   (Bill Titus – Publication of the Texas Concealed Handgun Association)

2nd Amendment

Our Bill of Rights, the Second Amendment states. “A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”  The Founding Fathers of the United States of America knew the Word of God, and had a reverent fear of Him.  I am convinced that God in His Sovereignty employed these men to use His truths to rightfully govern a Nation Under God.  Men who said or wrote:

  • The constitutions of most of our States assert that all power is inherent in the people… that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed; (Thomas Jefferson to John Cartwright, 1824. Memorial Edition 16:45, Lipscomb and Bergh, editors.)
  • [W]whereas, to preserve liberty, it is essential that the whole body of the people always possess arms, and be taught alike, especially when young, how to use them…” (Richard Henry Lee, The Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788.)
  • Zachariah Johnson argued that the new Constitution could never result in religious persecution or other oppression because, “[T]he people are not to be disarmed of their weapons. They are left in full possession of them.”
  • Roger Sherman, during House consideration of a militia bill (1790) said, “…It to be the privilege of every citizen, and one of his most essential rights, to bear arms, and to resist every attack upon his liberty or property, by whomsoever made. The particular states, like private citizens, have a right to be armed, and to defend, by force of arms, their rights, when invaded.”  (14 Debates in the House of Representatives, ed. Linda Grand De Pauw. (Balt., Johns Hopkins Univ. Press, 1972, 92-3.)

Others have understood the truth of needing people around us who take seriously the mandate of being able to protect themselves and others around them:

  • Robert Heinlein’s observation is “An armed society is a polite society.  Manners are good when one may have to back up his actions with his life.”
  • John R. Lott, Jr. states, “With the largest increase in gun ownership also have the largest drops in violent crimes…”  “Criminals are deterred by higher penalties.   Just as higher arrest and conviction rates deter crime, so does the risk that someone committing a crime will confront someone able to defend him or herself.  As more law-abiding citizens obtain permits there is a greater decline in violent crime rates…  Concealed handgun laws reduce violent crime for two reasons.  First, they reduce the number of attempted crimes because criminals are uncertain which potential victims can defend themselves. Second, victims who have guns are in a much better position to defend themselves.”
  • Take note of this voice from the past, “The right of self-defense is the first law of nature; …when the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any color or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the bank of destruction.” (Henry St. George Tucker, in Blackstone 1768 ‘Commentaries on Laws of England.’ Judge of the Virginia Supreme Court & U.S. Dist. Court of Virginia)

Studies Indicate

Studies indicate that “Conceal and Carry” is a good way for good people to follow the Lord’s mandate to be prepared for the times in which we live.  A new study, Crime, Deterrence, and Right-to-Carry Concealed Handguns, by John Lott, Jr.; School of Law, University of Chicago; and David Mustard, Department of Economics, University of Chicago determined that “allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons deters violent crimes and it appears to produce no increase in accidental deaths.”  The study shows:

  • American citizens use these weapons in self-defense up to two and a half million times a year; with up to 400,000 of these citizens indicating that having the means to defend themselves had saved a life.
  • The study repeats the findings of surveys, in which convicted felons indicate that they have more fear of meeting an armed citizen during the commission of their crimes, than they have of running into the police. Many avoid late-night burglaries because of the danger of getting shot by a legally-armed citizen.
  • The study also seems to point to the fact that legally armed citizens are more familiar with guns, and therefore have fewer accidents.
  • The study concludes: “Allowing citizens, without criminal records or histories of significant mental illness, to carry concealed handguns deters violent crimes and appears to produce an extremely small and statistically insignificant change in accidental deaths.”
  • For each additional year that a concealed handgun law is in effect the murder rate declines by three percent, rape by two percent, and robberies by over two percent. (John R. Lott)
  • From a separate study: “One thing the national news media will always ignore is the practice of lawful self-defense.  For example, most people are probably not aware of the fact that American citizens use a firearm to defend themselves more than 2.4 million times every year.  That is more than 6,500 times every day.  This means that, each year, firearms are used 60 times more often to protect the lives of honest citizens than to take lives.  Furthermore, of the 2.4 million self-defense cases, more than 192,000 are by women defending themselves against sexual assault.  And in less than eight percent of those occasions is a shot actually fired.  The vast majority of the time (92%), the mere presence of a firearm helps to avert a major crime from occurring.”  ( – updated November 27,2012)
  • From an article in EIN News: Us Politics Today, by Ethel C Fenig  (November 28, 2012) I came across this statement, “Gun-related violent crime in Virginia has dropped steadily over the past six years as the sale of firearms has soared to a new record, according to an analysis of state crime data with state records of gun sales.  The total number of firearms purchased in Virginia increased 73 percent from 2006 to 2011.  The total number of gun-related violent crimes fell 24 percent over that period, and when adjusted for population, gun-related offenses dropped from 79 crimes per 100,000 in 2006 to 57 in 2011.”

Personal Testimonies

Our Lord gives us clear directions, get prepared to defend ourselves.  The 2nd Amendment gives us the right to obey Jesus’ teaching.  Studies show the value of being well armed for the defense of ourselves and others.  In addition, personal testimonies bring this truth to heart.

  • 12-Year-Old Defends Herself with Gun.  This past Wednesday [10/17/2012] a young 12-year old girl in Bryan County, Oklahoma was able to protect her life when an intruder kicked in her back door and entered her house.  Frantically, she called her mother who advised her to grab their household gun, hide in the closet, and call 911.  The intruder made his way through the house, and as he was opening the door of the closet, the young girl shot him through the closet door.  The intruder left the house and the girl was found unharmed.  The police arrived and took the man into custody.” (http//www/ November 27,2012)
  • “On Sunday, December 16, 2012, two days after the CT shooting, a man went to a restaurant in San Antonio to kill his ex-girlfriend. After he shot her, most of the people in the restaurant fled next door to a theater. The gunman followed them and entered the theater so he could shoot more people. He started shooting and people in the theater started running and screaming. It’s like the Aurora, CO theater story plus a restaurant!  However, there was an off duty county deputy at the theater.  She pulled out her gun and shot the man 4 times before he had a chance to kill anyone.  This true story makes the point, ‘The best thing to stop a bad person with a gun is a good person with a gun.’” ( – Sunday, December 16, 2012)
  • LOGANVILLE, Ga. — “A woman hiding in her attic with children shot an intruder multiple times before fleeing to safety. The incident happened at a home on Henderson Ridge Lane in Loganville around 1:00 p.m. The woman was working in an upstairs office when she spotted a strange man outside a window, according to Walton County Sheriff Joe Chapman. He said she took her 9-year-old twins to a crawlspace before the man broke in using a crowbar.  ‘The perpetrator opens that door. Of course, at that time he’s staring at her, her two children and a .38 revolver,’ Chapman told Channel 2’s Kerry Kavanaugh… ‘My wife is a hero. She protected her kids. She did what she was supposed to do as responsible, prepared gun owner,’ Donnie Herman said. ‘Her life is saved, and her kids’ life is saved, and that’s all I’d like to say,’ Herman said.”  (Before Its News, January 04, 2013.)

In Closing

Simple observation reveals to us, that from the time of the Lord’s Last Supper and into present day, we live in perilous times.  It is clear; the police cannot protect everyone from evil forces, often they arrive after the fact.  It is clear; the Armed Forces cannot camp on every doorstep to protect the masses in times of disasters or civil unrest.  The fact is, in Luke 22:36, “Jesus gave us truths we desperately need to know as we live in a sin-cursed, hostile world” (Wiersbe, W.W. 1996, c1989).

Obedient Christians and responsible people strive to gain finances, work for provisions, and purchase what is needed for protection.  How much clearer can the Lord make it?  The New American Standard Bible translates Jesus’ teaching as, “And He said to them, ‘But now, whoever has a money belt is to take it along, likewise also a bag, and whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one.”  For those who believe that the English Standard Bible is the most accurate modern day translation, “He said to them, ‘But now let the one who has a money bag take it, and likewise a knapsack.  And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one.”  Eugene Peterson’s translation, “He said, ‘This is different. Get ready for trouble.  Look to what you’ll need; there are difficult times ahead.  Pawn your coat and get a sword. (The Message Bible)  Lastly, the New Living Bible gives us this insight, “’But now,’ he said ‘take your money and a traveler’s bag.  And if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one!.’”

As long as churches, schools, post offices, and government buildings are perceived as “soft-targets,” assailants who are intent on killing as many people as possible will continue to attack such places.  Now is not the time to reject the teachings of Jesus Christ and put trust in the conjecture of mankind.  Considering the six Bible translations quoted in this teaching, you should allow the Holy Spirit to prick your heart with these questions.  Do you have the proper finances?  Do have the proper provision?  Are You Packin?   

Medicine for America

Truths for the Healing of America

When the medical world takes on the battle of developing medicine for treating a medical disorder, it must consider some things.  What is actually being afflicted?  If it is heart disease, they must understand the heart, its function and its make up.  What keeps the human body healthy?  What causes the human body to become unhealthy?  What cures the disease, and how is the person going to be restored to good health?

For the sake of bringing this train of thought into today’s theme and as we think about the health of this nation, there are things that must be considered.  What is actually being afflicted?  What has caused this nation to become so spiritually unhealthy?  What is the cure for the spiritual decay of America?  What is her restoration process?

“When Solomon had finished the temple of the LORD… and had succeeded in carrying out all he had in mind to do in the temple of the LORD…, the LORD appeared to him at night and said:  ‘I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for myself as a temple for sacrifices.  When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command locusts to devour the land or send a plague among my people, if My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.  Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place.”  (2 Chronicles 7:11-15)

I would propose to you that Solomon was a great prototype for all those who desire to govern the people of God. He once said, O LORD my God… I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties.  Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number.  So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong…”  (1 Kings 3:7-9)

First step to applying medicine for America

The first step to applying medicine for America is to grasp the application of our key text.  Titus 2:14 says, “[Christ] …gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for Himself a people that are His very own, eager to do what is good.”  The King James Bible says the Lord will purify unto Himself a “peculiar people.” 

“Peculiar people” (periousios) are God’s chosen people in whom He has a special interest. The phrase can be translated as “His treasured people.” (The Complete Word Study of the Bible)

The Holy Spirit so powerfully expounds this truth in 1 Peter 2:9-10, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” 

Christians are a chosen people, called by the Name of the Lord and they have authority in Christ’s name to stand before the throne of grace and petition the Lord to bring a spiritual healing for America, but they must petition the Lord on the basis of confession and with a heart of repentance.

He rules right now over nations

Applying medicine for America begins with Christians understanding their position before God as a chosen people.  Christians who the Lord uses to apply medicine to America grasp the fact that He rules right now over nations.   Psalms 22:28 says, “for dominion belongs to the LORD and He rules over the nations.”  The King James Bibles says, “…He is the governor among nations.”   Romans 13:1 says, “…for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” (Romans 13:1

It is God’s will that all of mankind come to the knowledge of Jesus Christ. (2 Peter 3:9)   Psalms 33:12 says, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people He chose for His inheritance.”  The noun “nation” (haggoyim) is used to mean nations other than just Israel.  The application is that all nations can enjoy the blessings of God only as they allow Him to be Lord. (The Complete Word Study of the Old Testament)

Government is overseen by people.  Therefore, Christians must join together in prayer and beseech the God of heaven to raise up statesmen who have enlightenment on how to Biblically govern a nation with the motto, “In God We Trust.”

The Lord raised up faithful servants from among the Jews to govern the people of God and Christians can pray in confidence that the Lord is fully able to raise up men like Abraham Lincoln who wrote on April 30, 1863, “It is the duty of nations, as well as of men, to own their dependence upon the overruling power of God, and to recognize the sublime truth announced in the Holy Scriptures, and proven by all history, that those nations only are blessed whose God is the Lord.”

God can restore our Supreme Court system to making decisions like the one made in 1892, “Our laws and our institution must necessarily be based upon and embody the teaching of the Redeemer of mankind.  It is impossible that it should be otherwise; and in this sense and to this extent our civilization and institutions are emphatically Christian.  This is a religious people.  This is historically true.  From the discovery of this continent to the present hour, there is a single voice making affirmation.  We find everywhere a clear recognition of the same truth.  These, and many other matters which might be noticed, add a volume of unofficial utterance that this is a Christian nation.” (Justice Brewer delivered the opinion of the court on February 29, 1892)

The fact is America has enjoyed the blessedness of having statesmen who fear God from its early foundation up into the late 1950’s.  The former Chief Justice Earl Warren, addressing the annual prayer breakfast of the International Council of Christian Leadership said, “I believe no one can read the history of our country without realizing that the Good Book and the spirit of the Savior have from the beginning been our guiding geniuses.  Whether we look to the first Charter of Virginia or to the Charter of New England or to the Charter of Massachusetts Bay or to the Foundational Orders of Connecticut, the same objective is present: A Christian land governed by Christian Principles.  I believe the entire Bill of rights came into being because of the knowledge our forefathers had of the Bible and their belief in it: freedom of belief, of expression, of assembly, of petition, the dignity of the individual, the sanctity of the home, equal justice under the law, and the reservation of powers to the people.  I like to believe we are living today in the spirit of the Christian religion.” (America’s Christian History, the Untold Story, in the introduction)

What is being afflicted upon this nation

Christians can trust in God who is in full control over the government of the world to raise up people with Godly character to once again govern this nation.  However, they must understand what is being afflicted upon this nation.  Deuteronomy 28:1-2 says, If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all His commands I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth.  All these blessings will come upon you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God.”  Deuteronomy 28:15 says, “However, if you do not obey the LORD your God and do not carefully follow all His commands and decrees I am giving you today, all these curses will come upon you and overtake you.”

Daniel Webster wrote, “History is God’s providence in human affairs.”

The Book of Deuteronomy contains promises of blessings or curses.  The effectiveness of a nation is determined by God’s blessings or curses coming upon a nation’s armed forces, economic systems, families and especially whether or not that nation is called by the name of the Lord. (Deuteronomy 28)

Biblically examining the rule of kings who oversaw the nations of Judah and Israel reveals the truth, God blesses obedience and He chastens for disobedience.  Instead of hanging onto this world’s view, Christians can come to understand the Lord’s view of the reign of kings by reading the two Books of Chronicles.  2 Chronicles 17-20 reveals God’s view on the reign of Jehoshaphat.  Understanding how God worked in the life of Jehoshaphat helps us understand how the Lord wants to work in America.

Jehoshaphat ruled over Judah in Jerusalem for twenty-five years. (2 Chronicles 20:31).  The Bible says, “[Jehoshaphat] did what was right in the eyes of the Lord.” (1 Kings 22:34; 2 Chronicles 20:32)  Holy Spirit illuminated Christians will be praying for an earthly ruler of whom God will say, “He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord.”   “The Lord was with Jehoshaphat because in his early years he walked in the ways… [King] David had followed.” (2 Chronicles 17:3)   “His heart was devoted to the Lord… (2 Chronicles 17:6) “The Lord established the kingdom under his control.”  (2 Chronicles 17:5)

Christians who apply the medicine of prayer for America’s healing will ask the Lord for a leader like Jehoshaphat, “In the third year of his reign he sent… five officials out “to teach in the towns of Judah.  With them were…”  nine Levites and “the priest Elishama and Jehoram.  They taught throughout Judah, taking with them the Book of the Law of the Lord; they went around to all the towns of Judah and taught the people.” (2 Chronicles 17:7-9)   “The fear of the Lord fell on all the kingdoms of the lands surrounding Judah, so that they did not make war with Jehoshaphat… Jehoshaphat became more and more powerful; he built forts and store cities in Judah and had large supplies in the towns of Judah.” (2 Chronicles 17:10,12)

The United States of America enjoy the same blessings that God’s people did because of the Biblical conviction of her Founding Fathers.  The University of Houston, Political Science Department researched the sources our Founding Fathers used most frequently in forming our present system of government.  From the pool of nearly 15,000 documents from our founding period, the researchers selected 3,154 documents they considered most significant to our Founding Fathers.  After 10 years of investigation, the researchers determined that the Founding Fathers quoted heavily from three intellectuals.  They were Montesquieu, Blackstone, and Locke.

However, the most interesting conclusion from the research was that the Founding Fathers were even more dependent upon the Bible than they were these three intellectuals.  The Bible was quoted 4 times more than Montesquieu, 16 times more than Blackstone or Locke.  Ninety-four percent of the quotes of the Founding Fathers were based on the Word of God.  Thirty-four percent of those quotes were direct from Scripture and the remaining 60% were taken from quotes where they had used the Bible to arrive at their conclusions.  The Book quoted most often by the Founding Fathers was Deuteronomy.

The great theme of Deuteronomy is “Love and Obey.” Jesus, based His statement “If you love Me, keep my commandments” from the truths found in Deuteronomy.

The whole teaching of the Book of Deuteronomy is, “obedience is man’s response to God’s love.” (Thru the Bible)  “God so loved the world He gave His one and only Son…” (John 3:16)  Christ came willingly to die for our sins because He loves us.

God working in His absolute sovereignty molded out the design He wanted to govern this nation through our Founding Fathers, thus showing us today how we as a nation should respond to His sacrificial love.

In applying the medicine of prayer for the healing of America, Christians must ask the Lord to raise up statesman who are not ashamed of the Word of God.  So explicit was the Word of God in the lives of men in this nation’s early years, Charles Finney, the Billy Graham of the 1800’s, came to Jesus Christ by reading “Blackstone’s Commentaries on Law.”  He unashamedly used Scripture, referring to chapter and verse for every principle of law he cited.

Simple research reveals further examples on how the foundation of the United States of America was birthed from the Word of God.  For example, the Three Branches of Government came from Isaiah 33:22.  For Tax Exemption for Churches our Founding Fathers looked to Ezra 7:24.  And for the inscription on the Liberty Bell, the Speaker of the Pennsylvania Assembly asked that a portion of Leviticus 25:10 be used.

In applying the medicine of prayer for America, Christians must understand that our Founding Fathers had a reverent fear of God, great knowledge of the Word of God and they, like Jehoshaphat, wanted the people in the land to know the Word of the Lord.

Sadly, like all men, Jehoshaphat’s reign had its moments that brought severe consequences to the spiritual, social and political life of Judah.  2 Chronicles 18:1 says, “Now Jehoshaphat had great wealth and honor, and he allied himself with Ahab by marriage.”

Ahab was that king who had done more to anger the Lord than any other king had done in Israel.  His marriage to Jezebel highlighted the consistent link of Biblical narrative between idolatrous practice and immoral behavior.  Ahab’s skilful foreign policies are interpreted negatively by Biblical writers because of the severe religious consequences of mixing true worship with false worship.  His negative influence had such a drawing effect, Jehoshaphat’s son, who was married to King Ahab’s daughter, Athaliah, was drawn away from the true worship of God. Not only was Jehoshaphat’s son affected, but his grandson as well.

The Bible says this about Jehoshaphat’s son and grandson, “[They] walked in the ways of the house of Ahab and did evil in the eyes of the Lord, for [they were] related by marriage to Ahab’s family.” (1 Kings 8:18,27)    Christians who will apply the healing anointment of prayer for America fear the disaster that can come upon their children when their country enters into unholy relationships with wicked leaders, men who do not fear God.

Jehoshaphat was weak and he easily slipped into unholy alliances that compromised His relationship with God.  When he should have learned his lesson, at the end of his reign he allowed himself again to be allied with the family line of Ahab.  Instead of war it was a business deal with the wicked king of Israel, Ahaziah.  They had agreed to make a fleet of trading ships, but the Lord wrecked the ships and the deal fell through. (2 Chronicles 20:35-37)  Jehoshaphat’s alliance in war with King Ahab about cost him his life and put the nation of Judah at great risk, (2 Chronicles 18:30-32)

A Biblical examination of the reign of Jehoshaphat shows us blessings of walking in the will of God as well as the dangers of walking in the flesh and according to the ways of the world.  It is a dangerous thing to join into friendships and society that have views that are not God and Christ-centered.  Our national leaders have too often been on friendly terms with and adopted the world view of the ACLU and the PAW.  Our Biblical-Anemic preaching churches have failed to produce enough men and women who can be statesmen, people of God who are full of the Word as Ezra was.  The Bible says, “Ezra, had devoted himself to the study and observance of the law of the Lord, and to teaching its decrees and laws in Israel.” (Ezra 7:10)

Ezra was a priestly scribe who led major reform when he was sent back to Jerusalem after the Exile in Babylon. Ezra held a place of leadership probably because of his priestly lineage.  His office while under the authority of the King of Persia is unknown but we do know that he used the Word of God, fasting, and prayer to God’s work completed. (Ezra 7:10; 8:21)

I thank the Lord for every Christian statesman we have.  However, they find themselves fighting a great battle because the people of God and the people who live in a country that has a motto, “In God we Trust,” fail to spend time in God’s Word, fasting and prayer before making decisions regarding governmental affairs.  Thus, they find themselves being miss-led by politicians who are fighting over party control, rather than being governed by statesmen who have a reverent fear of God.  Instead of being influenced by the Word of God in making laws and interpreting law, we see politicians being intimidated by that unconstitutional phrase “Separation of Church and State.”  According to our key text today healing for America must start with confession and repentance on these matters.

The two Books of Chronicles reveal to us God’s view on men whom He has chosen to govern a nation.  2 Chronicles 17-20 reveals to us the blessing and chastening of God on the reign of King Jehoshaphat.

Healing for America lays in the ability of leadership to produce the fruit of repentance after being rebuked by men of God.  In 2 Chronicles 19, we read of Jehoshaphat safe return to Jerusalem after being saved by the intervention of God in a battle he was not supposed to be in. (2 Chronicles 18:31)   On his way back he is met by the prophet Jehu and is rebuked,  When Jehoshaphat king of Judah returned safely to his palace in Jerusalem, Jehu the seer… went out to meet him and said to the king, ‘Should you help the wicked and love those who hate the LORD? Because of this, the wrath of the LORD is upon you.  There is, however, some good in you, …you… have set your heart on seeking God.” (2 Chronicles 19:1-3)

Jehoshaphat was a national leader like King David, a man of God willing to produce the fruit of repentance.  After the rebuke of Eliezer and the hand of God coming against him, we read of Jehoshaphat rejecting King Ahaziah’s fresh proposal of uniting in another business venture.

In applying the medicine of prayer for American’s healing, Christians must ask the Lord to enable leaders to produce the fruit of repentance upon the  men of God who deliver the Lord’s Word and who can see the God’s chastening hand.  We need our government, schools, and families to have the heart of Jehoshaphat, produce the fruit of repentance and do what is right.

After returning home Jehoshaphat was concerned that his alliance with wicked Ahab through marriage and war may have enticed the people of Judah to engage in unholy worship of God.  Thus, he sets out a second reformation for the people of Judah.

2 Chronicles 19:4-10 says. “Jehoshaphat lived in Jerusalem, and he went out again among the people from Beersheba to the hill country of Ephraim and turned them back to the LORD, the God of their fathers.  He appointed judges in the land, in each of the fortified cities of Judah.  He told them, ‘Consider carefully what you do, because you are not judging for man but for the LORD, who is with you whenever you give a verdict.  Now let the fear of the LORD be upon you. Judge carefully, for with the LORD our God there is no injustice or partiality or bribery.’  In Jerusalem also, Jehoshaphat appointed some of the Levites, priests and heads of Israelite families to administer the law of the LORD and to settle disputes. And they lived in Jerusalem.  He gave them these orders: ‘You must serve faithfully and wholeheartedly in the fear of the LORD.  In every case that comes before you from your fellow countrymen who live in the cities–whether bloodshed or other concerns of the law, commands, decrees or ordinances–you are to warn them not to sin against the LORD; otherwise His wrath will come on you and your brothers. Do this, and you will not sin.’”

The Holy Spirit wants you to grasp that the healing of America also comes when government appoints “judges” (sapat) who have the conviction that they are judging for the Lord.  They will give an accounting of their faithfulness and of their life lived before God.  They can live under His wrath or enjoy His blessings, which will be passed down to the people they govern.  The government must allow places where the people who live in the land can worship the Lord and learn the Word of God, have opportunity to follow His commands, and live by His ordinances.  To inhibit the free exercise of the Christian faith is to sin against God and the people they govern.

Before Christians can apply the medicine of prayer for America they must understand that the governmental process is replete with politicians who think only of party control.  America needs statesmen who have the same convictions of our Founding Fathers.

Christians must understand that the only cure for the spiritual decay of their national government is to trust God to raise up statesmen who have the heart of Jehoshaphat, leaders whom God will say, “they do right in the eyes of the Lord.”  America needs leaders who respond to the Word of the Lord, whether it be a spoken blessing or rebuke. These leaders must produce the fruit of repentance, make proper changes so we can have judges who fear the Lord and make judgments for the Lord rather than for man.  Christians must pray that God would intercede, raise up preachers of the Word of God, allow places where Americans can have the opportunity to hear God’s Word and be given the opportunity to obey the commands of Christ.  Christian must pray for the restoration process of American leadership, churches, and family members.

We are blessed to have a president who prays and calls the people of America to pray.  The President and the leadership of this church are joining with the National Day of Prayer Task Force.  We are asking you to fast and pray as the Holy Spirit of Christ leads you.  The door of the sanctuary of CrossRoads Church will be open.  They have put together wonderful prayer guides, supported with Scripture so you may pray for governmental leaders, schools, communities, churches and families.

Make time to join us this Thursday, May 03, 2007  to humble yourself, confess your sins and the sins of this nation, and to pray to our loving Father who is in absolute control of the governmental affairs of this county.

The Signer’s Declaration

Truths from the Signers of the Declaration of Independence

It has been well said, “If we do not know the foundation on which the Founding Fathers laid for this nation, then we as a nation have no understanding on what we are to be today, thus we are a nation that has no clear vision for tomorrow.” (Author Unknown)  There is a lack of understanding of the Biblical truths on which the Founding Fathers of this nation laid our foundation.  That ignorance has enabled this nation’s values to drift off her course for which she was sent.  Therefore, God’s elect are to be prepared to give a testimony on how we believe God has raised up this nation, how He has blessed this country and how He will deal with us, depending on the choices we make.

There is a lot of historical facts about the belief’s of the men who laid down the foundation of this country.  This forth of July season it is good to gain an understanding of the heart of many of the men who signed The Declaration of Independence. Men who knew the Bible says “This is what the Lord says, Israel’s King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty: I am the First and the last; apart from Me there is no God.”  (Isaiah 44:6) Isaiah 45:5 says, “I am the LORD, and there is no other; apart from Me there is no God.” In regard to Jesus being king, Pilate asked our Lord if He was the King of the Jews? Jesus said, “Yes, it is as you say,” (Luke 23:3)  Many of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, had a firm conviction, there is one God and Jesus is the King of kings.  Two signers, John Adams and John Hancock on April 18, 1775 said, “We Recognize No Sovereign but God and no King but Jesus!”

On July 2, 1776, Congress voted to approve a complete separation from Great Britain.  On July 4, the early draft of the Declaration of Independence was signed.  Four days later, July 08, 1776 – members of Congress took that document and read it aloud from the steps of Independence Hall, proclaiming it to the city of Philadelphia, after which the Liberty Bell rung.  The inscription around the top of the bell, a key truth found in Leviticus 25:10 – “…proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants.”   Compared to many war torn nations, we have independence, freedom and opportunity to pursue dreams.  The turmoil in other nations, their struggles and multiple revolutions, have yet to see the stability and blessings that we have here in America, even considering this nation’s many faults.

John Adams wrote to his wife in a letter about the day America declared her independence.  He wrote, “This day will be the most memorable time in the history of America. …it will be celebrated by succeeding generations…”  Mr. Adams said, “The general principles the Fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity.”  The Founding Fathers had a reverent fear of the Lord.  A truth God still honors today. John Adams, concerning Independence Day celebrations said, “It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.” (Wall-Builders, David Barton)

The questions must be asked, Does our school systems teach these historical facts? Do are youth live by the truths laid down by the signers of The Declaration of Independence? Does our government have the same convictions as our Founding Fathers? This fourth of July, Do you live by the general principles of Christianity?


Foundational Declarations

Truths from the Signers of the Declaration of Independence 

I want to share with you a truth that I read several years ago back – I do not remember who wrote it, but it holds a truth that should not be ignored, “If we do not know the foundation on which the Founding Fathers laid for this nation, then we as a nation have no understanding on what we are to be today, thus we are a nation that has no clear vision for tomorrow.”

In regards to understanding what we are suppose to be doing today as a nation, many have no clue what is expected of us.  Just this last June, there was a week when we as Americans were suppose to be doing different things to show honor for the flag of the Unites States of America.  As a matter of fact, the Sunday before flag week, churches were to be having services that honored what the flag of the United Sates of America stands for.  I have talked with several pastors, – they all said, “I did not know that!”  As a matter of fact, this fourth of July, there are celebrations that will be giving away United State flags.  Hopefully there will be some kind of instructions given, clarifying just what our flag stands for, and hopefully it will be truths from the Founding Fathers who laid the foundation for this nation.

I would propose to you, there is a lack of understanding of the Biblical truths on which the Founding Fathers of this nation laid our foundation.  That ignorance has enabled this nation’s values to drift off her course for which she was sent.  I would propose to you that we as God’s elect are to be prepared to give a testimony on how we believe God has raised up this nation, how He has blessed this country and how He will deal with us, depending on the choices we make.  The Bible says “in season or out of season” meaning if it is popular or not, we are to “correct, rebuke, encourage — with great patience and careful instruction.”

Just what are truths that can be taught to a people who for several generations have been kept in the dark on what our founding Fathers believed?  What facts found in history can correct that false-hood presented by many – saying that most of our Founding Father’s were not Christians, nor had a reverent fear of God.

It was not until I became a Christian, that I was exposed to the facts that many of our Founding Father knew God’s Word, sought counsel from God’s Word and made laws to govern this nation based from the truths of God’s Word.  When I started writing about the vision of our Founding Fathers, I was pleasantly surprised that so many of our foundational leaders were not ashamed of Jesus Christ. Thus enabling us as a nation “to be the longest on-going Constitutional Republic in the history of the world.” (Wall builders – David Barton)

Heart Beat of the Men who Signed the Declaration of Independence

There is a lot of historical facts about the belief’s of the men who laid down the foundation of this country, there is no way it can all be expounded upon in just one message.  In order for us to grasp and retain any of it, we must look a bits at a time.  Let us consider the heart beat of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.  John Adams and John Hancock, bold signers of the Declaration of Independence on April 18, 1775 said, “We Recognize No Sovereign but God and no King but Jesus!”

The Bible says, “This is what the Lord says, Israel’s King and Redeemer, the LORD Almighty: I am the First and the last; apart from Me there is no God.”  (Isaiah 44:6) Isaiah 45:5 says, “I am the LORD, and there is no other; apart from Me there is no God.” In regard to Jesus being king, Pilate asked our Lord if He was the King of the Jews? Jesus said, “Yes, it is as you say,” (Luke 23:3)  Many of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, had a firm conviction, there is one God and Jesus is the King of kings.

…proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants.”

Not only did many of the signers of the Declaration of Independence know that there is only one God and Jesus is the King of kings, they did not presume on the grace of God, they sought His will in the decisions they made.

On July 2, 1776, Congress voted to approve a complete separation from Great Britain.  On July 4, the early draft of the Declaration of Independence was signed.  Four days later, July 08, 1776 – members of Congress took that document and read it aloud from the steps of Independence Hall, proclaiming it to the city of Philadelphia, after which the Liberty Bell rung.  The inscription around the top of the bell, a key truth found in Leviticus 25:10 – “…proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants.”   Compared to many war torn nations, we have independence, freedom and opportunity to pursue dreams.  The turmoil in other nations, their struggles and multiple revolutions, have yet to see the stability and blessings that we have here in America, even considering this nation’s many faults.

John Adams wrote to his wife in a letter about the day America declared her independence.  He wrote, “This day will be the most memorable time in the history of America. …it will be celebrated by succeeding generations…”  Mr. Adams said, “The general principles the Fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity.”  The Founding Fathers had a reverent fear of the Lord.  A truth God still honors today.

Remember the Price Paid by our Founding Fathers

The Bible says we should give honor were honor is due. (Romans 13:7) We should be honoring God by letting the Fourth of July be a reminder of the price our Founding Fathers paid for laying down the independence we enjoy.

For example:

Five signers were captured by the British as traitors and tortured before they died. Twelve had their homes ransacked and burned. Two lost their sons in the Revolutionary Army, another had two sons captured. Nine of the fifty-six signers fought and died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War. They signed and they pledge their lives, their fortunes, and their scared honor.   John Q. Adams, son of John Adams, a signer of the Declaration of Independence, wrote: “Posterity! You will never know how much it cost the present generation to preserve your freedoms. I hope you will make good use of it.”

The men who signed the Declaration of Independence, were an elect group of ministers, business men, teachers, university professors, sailors, captains, and farmers. (Wall-Builders, David Barton) These men were not crazy, trouble makers wanting to make a name for themselves, miss-use power, and get rich.  Most lost nearly everything, some lost everything they owned and lived in poverty the rest of their lives. These were soft spoken men, (in a sense) men of means, education, security, but they valued liberty more for this nation, yes liberty for the people who were to live in it. (Quotes, History – The High Cost of Signing The Declaration of Independence)  Many of the signers of the Declaration of Independence knew the whole of Scripture which says, there is “a time for war, and a time for peace.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)

Writings from signers of the Declaration of Independence

The heart breaking truth about many who live today, they have been kept in the dark, they are not hungry to seek out the truth and they are easily drawn to false-hood.  One fact Christians must understand, not everyone who signed the Declaration of Independence were Christians, many were deists and/or wavered between those two beliefs.  This does not change the fact, God has used their courage and suffering to raise up a nation that has spread God’s Word and love around the world.

The Bible says, “…The Word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart… if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:8-9)

Listen to these writings and proclamations from signers of the Declaration of Independence:

John Adams, concerning Independence Day.  In a speech he delivered in 1837, on fourth of July.  He said, “It ought to be commemorated as the day of deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty.”  In Newburyport, Massachusetts Mr. Adams asked,   “Why is it that, next to the birth of the Savior of the world your most joyous and most venerated festival returns on this [the Fourth of July]?”  His answer, “Is it not in the chain of human events, the birthday of the nation is indissolubly linked with the birthday of the Savior?  That it forms a leading event in the progress of this Gospel dispensation?  Is it not that the Declaration of Independence first organized the social compact on the foundation of the Redeemer’s mission upon earth? That it laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity?”   Mr. Adam’s heart and the heart beat of other signers of the Declaration of Independence is reflected in the last paragraph of that wonderful document “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence…”

Samuel Adams wrote, “I…recommend my soul to that Almighty Being Who gave it, and my body I commit to the dust, relying upon the merits of Jesus Christ for a pardon of all my sins.”

John Hancock wrote, “…being advanced in years and being of perfect mind and memory – thanks be given to God – therefore calling to mind the mortality of my body and knowing it is appointed for all men once to die [and face judgment] (Hebrews 9:27), I do make and ordain this my last will and testament…”

Richard Stockton wrote, “I think it proper here not only to subscribe to the entire belief of the great and leading doctrines of the Christian religion, such Being of God… that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom; that the way of life held up in the Christian system is calculated for the most complete happiness that can be enjoyed in this mortal state…”

Much has been said and written to bring question about some the men’s faith who signed the Declaration of Independence, reading their very own quotes sets right any uncertainties of their purpose for true liberty in America.

Take the Pledge Seriously

The men who signed The Declaration of Independence took their pledge seriously.  The questions must be asked – Do our youth take it seriously? Does our present government? Do we?

Dr. Benjamin Rush, the father of American Medicine and signer, recorded that day in a diary when the Declaration of Independence was first read to the House and when they were all called up, one by one to the table of the President of Congress.  The entire Congress knew to sign such a document – was like signing a death warrant.  On that day there was a great silence and gloom on that morning, the silence was broken with a kind of crude humor.  Colonel Harrison of Virginia (a very large guy) said to Mr. Elbridge Gerry (a very small man) of Massachusetts.  The crude joke – the Colonel said, “I shall have a great advantage over you, Mr. Gerry, when we are all hung for doing for what we are doing… From the size and weight of my body, I shall die in a few minutes, but from the lightness of your body you will dance in the air an hour or two before you are dead.” (Wall builders – David Barton) That crude joke brought a brief smile upon all who were there that morning, but was soon succeeded by the seriousness of what was taking place so you and I can enjoy the liberties we have today.

Years ago back I attended a fourth of July celebration, as a matter of fact I remember two occasions.  One, a preacher was speaking – reminding listeners of the Christian faith that many of our Founding Fathers had.  Most in the crowd talked among themselves, as the pastor spoke.  I was overwhelmed of the disrespect.  The second, I was setting off from the events that were taking place, waiting for the firework display to go off.  I had small children at that time – it was easier for us to just park on the hill some distance away.  I could hear a man speaking, sharing different points on how this country was blessed, because the sacrifice made by many throughout history, as the man talked I could hear the constant rumble of the crowd talking, ignoring what the man had to say, to please themselves, enjoying everything around them. I was amazed, and felt sad for the speaker, those holding the event and for the Lord.

Today, I am blessed, thinking how God is still raising up ministries that are proclaiming truth, using modern day tools, the social media, internet and radio to get the truth out, so those outside the church walls have a chance to hear.  I am very blessed to have on several occasions get on a website, Wall Builders, LLC – a website that presents America’s forgotten history.  The website’s founder is David Barton, an evangelical Christian activist and author who promotes unorthodox views about the religious basis of the United States.   It is great to make time to get on that site and read about the genuine faith of many of our Founding Fathers.  That ministry has copies and actual prints of the men who laid the foundation of this country. Men who were not ashamed of the Lord, boldly proclaimed God’s truth and made decisions from God’s truths.  Make time this forth of July to visit that website and others to learn the truths about the foundation of this United States of America.

National Prayers

Praying for Our President and America

1 Timothy 2:1-4 says, “I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone — for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.  This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.”   Pray!

Terrible times in the last days

The apostle Paul wrote the young pastor Timothy regarding the last days saying, But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days.” (2 Timothy 3:1)      If you have a child who is fighting our war on terrorism right now, defending this nation from those who hate America, the truth of this verse grips your heart.

The Apostle Paul is being led of the Holy Spirit to take the Body of Christ to the high level of intercession for those they love and for those in authority.  The truths found in this portion of Scripture guide the children of God to a very effective form of public worship, an act of worship that comes from a heart that has learned the joy of both singing the praises of God and grasping the truths of worship in spirit and truth.

The Holy Spirit moved Paul to write “I urge” (parakaleo) to indicate the urgency of the need of prayer.  This Greek word means to admonish or call someone to do something.

It is like a mother looking out and seeing her two year old out in the middle of a four lane highway.  Because her hands are full, holding a baby and packages from the store, she calls out for someone to intervene.

Dr. Ralph Earle points out that Paul is giving Timothy instructions on public worship in today’s text.  The Holy Spirit wants you to grasp this truth:  our president and our country have great needs.  Pastors are to call out for someone who has ears to hear and a heart to obey, to urgently pray.

I would propose to you that the children of God can most certainly desire and call out to the Lord for godly leaders who walk in the fear of the Lord.  The last words of King David in 2 Samuel give us this truth, The God of Israel spoke, the Rock of Israel said to me: `When one rules over men in righteousness, when he rules in the fear of God, he is like the light of morning at sunrise on a cloudless morning, like the brightness after rain that brings the grass from the earth.’” (2 Samuel 23:3-4)

Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, gave some great advice that we as Christians need to heed to, “ capable men from all the people–men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain–and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens…  If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied.”  (Exodus. 18:21,23)

Our founding fathers knew the truths in these Scriptures.  Noah Webster wrote, “When you become entitled to exercise the right of voting for public offices let it be impressed on your mind that God commands you to choose rulers men who rule in the fear of God. The preservation of a republican government depends on the faithful discharge of this duty; if the citizens neglect this duty and place unprincipled men in office the government will soon be corrupted.”  (Taken from “Pray the Vote, What to Pray For”)

Just what clear instructions does God’s Word have for us as we live in these last days?

Four keys words

The first step to becoming a pleasing prayer warrior is to grasp the truths of four keys words regarding to prayer in today’s key text.

The first word is “request” (deesis) giving us the application of presenting a special need or the intense needs of others by making the supplications with the sense of urgency.  In keeping with our theme for today, it was the intense prayers offered up to the Lord for protection of our president when he was being flown around the USA in Air Force One, while our nation was being attacked on 9/11/2001.

The second word is “prayers” (proseuche) meaning to become a house of prayer. This is literally a house of prayer with set times to pray and involved in seasons of prayer.  Compare this to a house that has everything set in place, everything being done in proper dependable order.

The third word is “intercessions” (enteuxis) and as it is used in 1 Timothy 2:1 it means praying according to God’s will (Zodhiates) and standing in the gap before God on behalf of others seeking His mercy and grace for them.  In keeping with our theme today, it’s praying that God would bring America to repentance, God would put His protective hand around our president as He did King David, and that the Lord would give him wisdom.

The fourth word is “thanksgiving” (eucharista) meaning prayers that express thankfulness to God for hearing our prayers of faith in anticipation that He is going to work out all things for His glory and purposes.


Christianity Today had a quote from Karl Barth that should cause all Christians to grasp the power that is possible in offering prayers girded in these truths, “To clasp hands in prayer is the beginning of an uprising against the disorder of the world.”

Pray particularly for those in authority

Praying with these four truths upon our hearts enables us to pray with Biblical faith.  Our key text today instructs us to pray particularly for those in authority.

Those in authority are there because God put them there.   In Daniel 2:21 we read that God “…changes times and seasons; He sets up kings and deposes them.  He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning.”  Romans 13:1 says; “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.”
The Holy Spirit had given Daniel understanding, it is the God of providence, by whom kings reign and princes decree justice.  It is the inspiration of the Almighty God that gives men understanding, He enables them to acquire knowledge and use that knowledge in a right and humble manner.  Without Him knowledge leads to pride and to a nation’s downfall.

This truth is so powerfully displayed as we take time to consider the purpose of the writings of First and Second Kings.  These two portions of Scripture record the history of kingdom rulers, some were of noble God fearing character, most misruled and expressed a willful unrepentant heart in their failure to follow God’s commandments.

Obedience is met with blessings, and disobedience with punishment and chastening.  Throughout the times of the kings and judges when God wanted to bless His people He raised up righteous leaders.  On the other hand, when God wanted to bring chastisements, He raised up a wicked leader, sometimes among His people or from another nation to take them into oppression.

The Bible shows clearly that God will deal with His people on the basis of His promise in 1 Samuel 12:18-24.  In his farewell speech, Samuel, reminds the people of God that he had set a king over them upon their request. (1 Samuel 12:1-2)  As God’s spokesman he gives this exhortation from the Lord, “For the sake of His great name the Lord will not reject His people… But be sure to fear the Lord and serve Him faithfully with all your heart, consider the great things He has done for you.” (1 Samuel 12:22,24)    God is the same today as He was in the past and He will be the same for the future when it comes to raising up and deposing leaders.  (Hebrews 13:8, Malachi 3:6)

What the Holy Spirit wants you grasp is that the Lord is the one in charge of setting up leaders for a nation.  Intercessors for this nation can be humble and pray for a president with the spiritual character of Hezekiah to govern this nation.  The Word of God holds this testimony of the great leader, Hezekiah trusted in the LORD, the God of Israel. There was no one like him among all the kings of Judah, either before him or after him.  He held fast to the LORD and did not cease to follow Him; he kept the commands the LORD had given Moses.  And the LORD was with him; he was successful in whatever he undertook….” (2 Kings 18:5-7)

Lord to lead the President

A foundational truth based on the whole of Scripture is seek the Lord in heartfelt petition for a president that is hungry for the commands of the Lord.  Christians can ask the Lord to lead their president as well.

Proverbs 21:1 says; “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD; He directs it like a watercourse wherever He pleases.”  The president’s heart is in the hand of the Lord and God is going to turn him just as He turns the course of a little babbling brook that runs down a mountainside and as He controls the rivers of the world.

In his early days of leading God’s people, Solomon expressed the heart of the leader that we should want for this nation.  The Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream and said, “Ask for whatever you want Me to give you.”  Solomon answered the Lord, “Now, O LORD my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties.  Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number.  So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong.  For who is able to govern this great people of yours?” (1 Kings 3:7-9)

In these days of major conflict we need a national leader who understands his need for God’s grace and wisdom just like President George Washington who said, “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.”  In later years, President Abraham Lincoln said, “I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go to.  My own wisdom, and that of all about me, seemed insufficient for the day.”(Taken from a sermon preached by Pastor Gerald Flurry)

There is a powerful psalm written by King David that expresses what should be in the heart of someone who desires to walk under God’s directing course. (Matthew Henry Commentary; Spurgeon; Thru the Bible Commentary)  David’s song of praise honors God’s omnipresence.  He writes, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24)

Proverbs 21 is a powerful truth that must be grasped so Christians may pray in faith that God is fully able to put in affect His perfect will, regardless of who has leadership in America.  The hearts of men are in God’s hand.  The Lord can change men’s minds and direct their affairs even in the freedom of their free will for His own purpose.

This truth is powerfully displayed in several passages of Scriptures such as Exodus 10:1-2, “Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Go to Pharaoh, for I have hardened his heart and the hearts of his officials so that I may perform these miraculous signs of mine among them that you may tell your children and grandchildren how I dealt harshly with the Egyptians and how I performed my signs among them, and that you may know that I am the LORD.’”

In Isaiah we read of God using Assyria as an instrument of wrath to bring judgment on His people for disobedience.  The Bible says, “[Assyria], the rod of My anger, in whose hand is the club of My wrath!  I send him against a godless nation, I dispatch him against a people who anger Me, to seize loot and snatch plunder and to trample them down like mud in the streets.” (Isaiah 10:5-6)

In the last verse of Isaiah 44 (verse 28) into Isaiah 45 we read of God proving His Headship and His incontestable sovereignty in working through a king to get His will done.  The Lord uses a King who has not even acknowledged Him to deliver His people from captivity and to restore them back into their own Land.  God’s Word speaks of this king very clearly, “Cyrus, he is My shepherd and will accomplish all that I please; he will say of Jerusalem, ‘Let it be rebuilt,’ and of the temple, ‘Let its foundations be laid.” (Isaiah 44:28)

Cyrus was a king who had not known or acknowledged the Lord, yet God used him in a powerful way. Listen carefully to what God says to Cyrus.  This is what the LORD says to His anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I take hold of to subdue nations before him and to strip kings of their armor, to open doors before him so that gates will not be shut: I will go before you and will level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron.  I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.  For the sake of Jacob my servant, of Israel my chosen, I summon you by name and bestow on you a title of honor, though you do not acknowledge me. I am the LORD, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God.  I will strengthen you, though you have not acknowledged Me.”  (Isaiah 45:1-5)  Most translations say, “…have not known Me.” (King James, New American Standard and NEV)

Christians have every right to pray in confidence for God to intercede for the president of the United States of America, whether he or she is a Christian or not.  God is able and will accomplish what He needs to in order for sinners to see the hand of the Lord, to repent, and to come to Christ.

There is much in the Bible about how God moved upon kings to get the work of the Lord done.  In Ezra chapter 4 we read about the opposition to the rebuilding of the temple of the Lord.  The Bible says the enemies of Judah and Benjamin hired counselors to work against those working on the temple.  The people around the Israelites frustrated their plans during the entire reign of Cyrus king of Persia and down to the reign of Darius.  (Ezra 4:1-4)   The Lord worked through King Darius to get the building of the temple going (Ezra 6) and God used King Artaxerxes to keep the building of the temple going. (Ezra 7)   It was king Artaxerxes who gave the priest Ezra everything he asked for because the hand of the Lord was upon him.  God granted him favor with the king. (Ezra 7:6)

God granted favor for Nehemiah as well as King Artaxerxes.  He was so discouraged over the condition of Jerusalem that it affected his appearance before the king.  The king told Nehemiah that he knew he was not ill and he could see his “sadness of heart.” (Nehemiah 2:2)

Nehemiah said, “I was very much afraid.”  Nehemiah told the king what lay so heavily upon his heart.  The king asked, “What do you want?”  I love what Nehemiah said, “Then I prayed unto the God of heaven.”  Then Nehemiah answered the king.  At the end of the story Nehemiah was sent to Jerusalem for 12 years to rebuild the work of God. (Nehemiah 2:1; 5:14)

This country was founded by men who for the most part had a fear for the Lord and looked to the Word of God for the foundation of making many of this nation’s laws.   However, much opposition is arising to make it hard to rebuild the foundation for which God raised up this nation.  Christians can look to the Lord to grant them favor with national leaders so they can accomplish the work of the Lord.  It does not matter how good or bad they are, whether they are a Democrat or Republican, how conservative or liberal they may be, the Lord can do a work among them for His glory and the glory of His son.

Protection of the United States

Christians can call upon a God who literally is in full control of those in leadership position.  They may look to Him for the protection of the United States of America as well.  Psalm 33:16-18 says “No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength.  A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save.  But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear Him, on those whose hope is in His unfailing love.”

The great preacher Charles Spurgeon wrote, “The strongest battalions melt like snowflakes when God is against them.”  America has been blessed with great and powerful military forces, yet Americans must understand that the Lord is not on the side of those who have the biggest war heads and largest armies.  His eyes watches out for those who look to Him as Lord and who fully understand that victory only comes from Him.

In the Book of Exodus we read of Israel’s first battle after the Lord God had brought them out of Egypt.  Exodus records the event of this great warrior who was going out to battle, commissioned by Moses and anointed by God to fight against the Amalekites who threatened the people of God.  This warrior’s name is “Joshua” meaning “Yahweh is salvation.”  Listen to this account of God’s faithful servants doing battle for their nation.  “So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill.  As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelite’s were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning.  When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up–one on one side, one on the other–so that his hands remained steady till sunset.  So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.” (Exodus 17:10-13)

Here we see how the Lord lays out the format for battling enemies of a nation with the motto, “The People of God” or “In God we Trust.”  There are those who are trained to go out and fight and there are those who are commissioned to pray.

In verse 9 we read that Moses told Joshua that he would be holding the staff of God in His hands.  This rod of God was a way of appeal to the Lord, our way of appeal today is to enter the throne of Grace in the Name of Jesus Christ.  Christians are not only to be a light upon a hill, but intercessors.

Please note how Moses hands became tired and then God raised up assistance.  Aaron and Hur were quick to give aide, thus showing us that we should not be embarrassed to ask for assistance nor should Christians be shy in giving assistance in offering up intercession to the Lord in prayer.

The Bible says that after the victory of the Lord, “Moses built an altar and called it ‘The Lord is my Banner.’” (Exodus 17:15)  Banner reflects the staff as the standard in approaching God and is a testimony of the power of God. (The Expositor Bible Commentary)  We are to approach the Lord through the altar of the heart in prayer as the testimony of seeking His power to intercede for His people.

Our nation is fighting an enemy right now and Christians should be as quick and steadfast in prayer as Moses, Aaron and Hur. We do not know what the outcome of this war will be, however, we do serve a God who is ready and able to intercede.  There are Christians who intercede in prayer on a regular basis for our president, government and armed forces.  National Day of Prayer is our opportunity to gird up those who may become tired in prayer and feel like giving up.

God whose plans will prevail

Christians can pray for their nation when they are at war knowing He can bring victory.  They can be steadfast at prayer because they serve a God whose plans will prevail.  Psalm 33:10-11 says The LORD foils the plans of the nations; He thwarts the purposes of the peoples.  But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of His heart through all generations.”

While interceding for our President and all in authority there is no need to give God His marching orders, Christians need only to pray as Christ did, Father, “…may your will be done.” (Matthew 26:42)

Holy Spirit illuminated Christians give praise to God as this psalmist did because they rest in the sovereignty of His providence in the government of the world.  The Lord overrules all the counsels of men, and contrary to their intentions makes them serviceable to His counsel in due time.

The Apostle Paul’s call is “Urgently pray.”  Christians need only to grasp the four truths to praying.  They must be willing to pray for those in authority, have faith that God has full control over the president and be diligent in joining with others to pray for our armed forces as they fight the enemy who attacked us, just as the Amalekites did the Israelite’s.

The National Day of Prayer team is asking you to assist them in prayer as Aaron and Hur assisted Moses while He fulfilled his duty in prayer as Joshua and the armies of Israel fought the battles of the Lord.

Let us pray!!!!