Contending for the faith | Making Disciples | Equipping the Saints for Ministry

 by Jeannette Haley

      Thanks to the economic crisis, the American “sleeping giant” suddenly woke up. The one thing that will make people angrier than a wet hornet is having a handful of slick-talking politicians get away with stealing their money on a grand scale. In fact, this final theft helped tip the fragile “house of financial cards” that has been building up over the years since the Great Depression in the 30’s, leaving a pile of economic chaos and disaster that may never be overcome.

       It’s rather amazing to watch what most people’s priorities are in this country. Obviously the economy is at the top of the list. While this may be understandable because, after all, the economy affects every single one of us, is it really what our first priority should be? If you are a Bible-believing Christian, you surely know the answer to that question. Jesus said: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment” Matthew 22:37, 38. Not, “You shall love your money, and all it can buy, above all else.” He also told the people, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon” Matthew 6:24. In Matthew 6:19-21 we read: “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

       Clearly, Jesus was talking about the condition of the heart. In this day and age, I think that most people (including the sleeping, worldly church) have become either so conditioned by the philosophy of the world, or burdened by the world, or caught up with the world, that they dismiss the fact that God knows every thought we think, every word we speak, and every deed we do. He most definitely knows our heart condition which involves where our priorities and faith truly lay. And, where our heart is determines which kingdom we belong to.

       Concerning the Christian and treasures in heaven, William MacDonald, in his excellent book, “True Discipleship,” wrote “The only way we can lay up our treasures in heaven is to put them into something that is going to heaven. When a Christian sees that his material possessions can be used in the salvation of precious souls, he loses his love for ‘things.’ Luxury, wealth and material splendor turn sour in his stomach. He longs to see the mammon of unrighteousness converted by divine alchemy into worshippers of the Lamb forever and ever. He is captivated by the possibility of doing a work in human lives that will bring eternal glory to God and eternal blessing to the people themselves. The manner in which we deal with material things, the extent to which we grasp them, is a test of our character. Earthly treasures are not true riches; their value is finite and temporal. Spiritual treasures are true riches; their value cannot be measured and will never end. Unless a man is dependable in his handling of material things, he cannot expect God to trust him with spiritual prosperity in this life or treasures in heaven.” He went on to conclude, “There cannot be divided allegiance. A disciple cannot live for two worlds. A steward either loves God or loves mammon. If he loves mammon, he hates God.” The question is what does your stewardship reveal about your character?

       The Bible teaches us that there are two unseen kingdoms—the kingdom of light, ruled by God, and the kingdom of darkness, ruled by Satan. Revelation 16:10 tells us: “And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain.” [Emphasis added.]  The Apostle Paul, when referring to spiritual darkness, called Satan “the god of this world” who has “blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them” 2 Corinthians 4:4. Jesus, the light of the world, when referring to His kingdom, told Pilate: “My kingdom is not of this world. . .” John 18:36a.

       In response to His disciples’ question concerning the end of the age, “Tell us, when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” Jesus replied: “Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.” (Matthew 24:3b-8.)

        Jesus’ response to His disciples began with a warning concerning deception. Can any of us honestly declare that at any time in the past two-thousand years world-wide deception has been greater than it is today? Granted there have always been counterfeit churches, cults and belief systems, for Satan has, since his fall, had his kingdom of darkness in place, but today deception, or falling away from the true faith once delivered to the saints, is global in scale. We need to take note of Isaiah 25:7 which explains that there is a “covering cast over all people, and [a] vail . . . spread over all nations.” Jesus will destroy this evil covering and veil when He returns to set up His kingdom. “And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations” vs. 7. I might add, if you are wondering how multitudes of people can be so utterly blind to Obama’s socialist agenda (as I succinctly put it, “so stupid”) then these verses in Isaiah certainly explain that! It’s rather chilling, don’t you think?

       We most certainly hear of wars daily, thanks to modern technology, and the news media. It can be frightening, unnerving, and depressing, yet if we know Jesus, we hear His comforting words to not be troubled. Why? Because no matter how devastating it gets, He has it all under control. If we are in Him, and He is in us, then nothing can destroy us, for if we physically die, our spirit goes on to be with the Lord, but, woe to those who have shunned God’s provision of eternal life through His Son, and who have failed to deny self, pick up their cross, and follow Him.

       Jesus then talked about whole nations coming against one another, which we can see, and in the same breath He also said that kingdom would rise against kingdom. While there may be earthly kingdoms rising against one another, I believe that Jesus is referring mainly to spiritual kingdoms—the kingdom of light and the kingdom of darkness. There is a great distinction between darkness and light, just as there is between matured wheat and grown tares. There comes a time when the harvest must be brought in just as surely as there comes a time when the two spiritual kingdoms will become increasingly distinct from one another.

       As Jesus continued to explain to His disciples end-time events, one of the things that stands out are the extreme attitudes of hatred that people shall exhibit against those who are of the kingdom of light. People who dwell in darkness despise those who are in the light. Jesus declared, in John 3:19-21: “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.” We read in Matthew 24:9 that the children of the kingdom of God shall be afflicted, killed, and hated by all nations for His name’s sake. We read that during this dark time, many shall be offended, betraying one another, hating one another. There will also be many false prophets deceiving many. Then Jesus said: “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold” vs. 12. Notice Jesus’ repeated usage of the word “many.”

       Keeping all of this in mind, it would appear that this year, because of the upcoming presidential election, there has been an unprecedented, shocking and blatant exhibition of outright hatred, and even seething contempt, against those (such as Governor Sarah Palin) who are working to uphold, and maintain, our traditional American heritage, which is based upon Christian beliefs and values, whether the atheists, and mockers of God and His Word, want to believe it or not. Facts are facts. It’s as if the lid has blown off of the cauldron of evil and darkness, while a giant spotlight has been switched on, exposing the heinous corruption that, up to this point, has been carefully tucked away and hidden from the general publics’ view. When one stops to consider what the major components are that make up the conflicting ideologies, it becomes increasingly clear that we are witnessing a major battle between the two invisible kingdoms. One can almost hear the clashing of swords.

       Let’s examine just a few of the major battle fronts, beginning with truth. As we have seen, Jesus said that those who love, respond to, act upon, believe in and live by the truth come to the light. Light and truth go hand in hand. You cannot have one without the other. Jesus declared that those who worship God must worship Him in “spirit and in truth” (John 4:24); that the truth shall make us free (John 8:32); that He is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6); that the Comforter is the “spirit of truth” (John 15:26); that we are sanctified through God’s truth and that God’s Word is truth (John 17:17) and those who are of the truth hear His voice (John 18:37).

       What we are witnessing today is an incredible all-out attack against the truth of the kingdom of light by the lies, hypocrisy, deception, wickedness and outright hatred of the kingdom of darkness. As we witness the superficial covering of so-called “decency” slipping from the contorted countenances of those in the public eye who, through jealousy and hatred, despise all that is true, upright and pure, we can’t help but wonder if others are as alarmed at the demonic manifestations as we are. The battle lines are being drawn in sharp relief between truth and deception. And, while some bemoan the fact that America is more divided than united, those of us who belong to the kingdom of light know that truth is a sword that divides. We know that there can be no agreement between light and darkness, truth and lies, good and evil, any more than there can be agreement between God and Satan.

       Another battle front between the children of light and the children of darkness is the issue of abortion. I am not going to beat around the bush on this hotly debated issue, but go straight to the bottom line. Any attempt to abort a baby, from conception to birth, is murder. Allowing a poor little helpless infant who manages to survive an abortion to suffer and die is murder. Trying to dehumanize a baby by calling him or her a “fetus” is simply a wicked attempt to sanitize murder and camouflage hatred for the miracle of life that God has created. The lame excuse for killing a baby because of the “health of the mother” is generally a copout to salvage the mother’s “lifestyle.” It is wrong, it is wicked, it is contrary to all that is natural, normal and right, and it is anathema and a stench to our holy God. Almost every other living creature in this world loves and protects their young, even by giving their own life to ensure the survival of their offspring, except human beings. We are, as a nation, guilty of the shedding of innocent blood. When God pours out His wrath upon this unspeakable evil, we will have no right to utter one whimper of complaint. No, not one!

       Some may argue, “What about in the case of rape, or knowing the baby is deformed, blah, blah, blah?” Don’t you think that God knows all about of that? Where in Scripture are there any exceptions to “Thou shalt not kill [murder]?” Don’t you think that God can take what Satan has meant for evil, or what may be the result of sin and wickedness because we live in a fallen world, and turn it out for good if we trust Him? Where does God give us the right to decide who lives and who dies because we, having no faith, somehow justify that one evil cancels out another? Have we been so indoctrinated and brainwashed by those who love death rather than life, and who are the enemies of God, that we can no longer think straight according to the Word of God? God says: “But he that sinneth against me wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death” Proverbs 8:36.

       Now, here is a word of hope to those of you who have had an abortion, or who have been involved in an abortion, and who are suffering the spiritual and emotional consequences. And, believe me, there are always spiritual, emotional and mental consequences. If you truly do not want to dwell in the kingdom of darkness, you need to know that God wants to restore you into fellowship with Him. He wants you to confess what this terrible thing has done to His heart, and your heart. He knows that you have betrayed yourself. He is calling you to total repentance. He is waiting for you to come clean of this decision that has brought such devastation in so many ways. Jesus suffered and died for all of our sins, including the sin of murder. You need to give the child a name so as to give him or her an identity. Then you need to mourn for his or her life, followed by placing the little child into the hands of Jesus, and ask for His forgiveness. Tell Him, “Jesus, I am so sorry—so very, very sorry! Please forgive me of this terrible sin!” Then, receive His forgiveness, and, in the words of our Savior, “go, and sin no more.”

       Gianna Jessen, the bright, young abortion survivor who travels and speaks out against abortion, concludes in her testimony: “I am happy to be alive. I almost died. Every day I thank God for life. I do not consider myself a by-product of conception, a clump of tissue, or any other of the titles given to a child in the womb. I do not consider any person conceived to be any of those things. I have met other survivors of abortion. They are all thankful for life. Only a few months ago I met another saline abortion survivor. Her name is Sarah. She is two years old. Sarah also has cerebral palsy, but her diagnosis is not good. She is blind and has severe seizures. The abortionist, besides injecting the mother with saline, also injects the baby victims. Sarah was injected in the head. I saw the place on her head where this was done. When I speak, I speak not only for myself, but for the other survivors, like Sarah, and also for those who cannot yet speak …           “Today, a baby is a baby when convenient. It is tissue or otherwise when the time is not right. A baby is a baby when miscarriage takes place at two, three, four months. A baby is called a tissue or clumps of cells when an abortion takes place at two, three, four months. Why is that? I see no difference. What are you seeing? Many close their eyes…

       “The best thing I can show you to defend life is my life. It has been a great gift. Killing is not the answer to any question or situation. Show me how it is the answer.

       “There is a quote which is etched into the high ceilings of one of our state’s capitol buildings. The quote says, ‘Whatever is morally wrong, is not politically correct.’ Abortion is morally wrong. Our country is shedding the blood of the innocent. America is killing its future.

       “All life is valuable. All life is a gift from our Creator. We must receive and cherish the gifts we are given. We must honor the right to life.”

       Another dividing line between the kingdom of light and the kingdom of darkness is the issue of what defines marriage. Let’s face it; if you believe God’s definition of marriage, then you believe that it is the union of one man and one woman. End of story. However, those who disagree with God on such things as purity, abstaining from fornication, fleeing youthful lusts, despising perversion, and living an upright and moral life, fight for their so-called “right” to redefine the meaning of holy matrimony. Despising and ignoring Scriptures such as Romans 1, and Leviticus 18:22-30; 20:13, homosexuals continue to unabashedly parade their gross perversion and defilement before the eyes if the world. God and truth, however, never change. Therefore, homosexuality is an abomination to God, and always has been and will be until all such iniquity, or moral deviation, is terminated forever by Him in the new heaven and the new earth.

       Opposing ideologies coming to the forefront in this historical election can also be seen in the battle between the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of light. All philosophies, beliefs, religions, or agendas that reject the God of the Bible, Creator of heaven and earth, and that likewise reject and mock His Word, His moral Law, His judgment on sin, His salvation through Jesus Christ His Son, Jesus Christ, God Incarnate, are part of the kingdom of darkness. This includes philosophies that “tickle the ears” of the unenlightened such as humanism and socialistic agendas, such as “distributing the wealth.” Those in the kingdom of light know that all such ideologies originate from the prince of the power of the air (Satan) and not from God, for in order to implement these burdensome beliefs, all people become slaves to the state, or government. Personal freedom of thought, speech and belief is controlled by harsh taskmasters. Socialism destroys the very fiber of a free nation, and rips the heart out of people, leaving them defeated, depressed and despondent. I fear that whole generations of our youth have been indoctrinated and brainwashed into this godless philosophy through our lower and higher educational systems. They are the unwitting fodder of another Nazi regime unless God has mercy upon this nation and delivers us for the sake of Israel, and His elect in America.

       As we see Satan’s kingdom rising against God’s kingdom, may we be reminded of God’s promise to those whose names are written in the Book of Life: “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any  more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death” Revelation 21:4-8.

       My hope and prayer for you is that you are, without a doubt, a part of the kingdom of light. Then, together, and very soon, we shall enter into the joy of our Lord, forever and ever.