A Glitch – Part 6

When 9/11 happened, people became afraid of the unknown. The US began circling the wagons. And people went back to church to find answers. It filled the churches for about 3 months. The US took the fight to the enemy. The Glitch was coming in stronger. People began to see the US as their savior. The churches began to empty as fast as they were filled.  What is unfortunate is that 9/11 was just the opening volley. There has been a major disaster every year in the world since 9/11. If it isn’t a flood, it’s a fire. If it wasn’t a fire, it was tornados. Or it was hurricanes. Or it was a volcano or a Japanese nuclear plant exploding. After hurricane Katrina, I heard a few preachers saying that it was the hand of God. And I heard the religious community saying that it wasn’t God. You see those few preachers knew the truth. The others were just deceived. Let alone there were man-made disasters. I am speaking of our past national government. I have never seen any administration try to pull down this government as fast as these people. And the shame of it is that God put them into place because of us, because nobody is listening to God. It isn’t over yet. What is God going to have to do to get your attention? How would you like to become refugees like the Syrians? Did you know that the number 6 is the number of man? We have discussed the Glitch – the recurring error. The 1st one was the love of money is the root of all evil. The 2nd was replacing God with man. The 3rd was refusing to listen to God when He is speaking to us. Despite what you think the only answer to any problem that man has is God Himself. This is the reason we were made to fellowship with God Himself.

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A Glitch – Part 5

Saddam Hussein had overrun Kuwait. And he was threaten Saudi Arabia. America had to get involved in the conflict. President Bush formed a coalition of nations, both monetarily and militarily. It took two years but the Iraqi army was defeated. The 1990s became the decade of outreach. This new church had grown up. It was now time to put your money where your mouth is. Missionaries from every denomination was sent to every country in the world. The feeding programs were massive. The outreach was so great that African countries were sending missionaries to America. The work of God was endless. The glitch was growing. The fervor of the 1980’s was beginning to wane. People were getting dissatisfied with denominations. Independent churches began to rise up and met the need of the people. And these independent churches were Pentecostal with the Holy Ghost. But violence in this country was growing experientially. All because of no respect for life. This all came about because of the Roe vs. Wade decision of the US Supreme Court in 1973 which allow abortions. As it was in the 1st century, Christianity came under attack. Christians were being attacked by demonic agendas. People began to wonder away from the Church. Until something horrible happened. The century had turn and a new president was elected. In his first term as a peace time president, he became a war time president. 9/11 happened. I’ll finish the story tomorrow.

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A Glitch – Part 4

The 1980’s was a time of study. People were learning who they were in Christ and about who God really is. Many things happened in the world. The hostages were taken in Tehran, Iran. They were held for a year. When Ronald Reagan was elected president, he put a grip hold on the government of Iran. They released the hostages. There was a renewal in America. People were believing that America could great again. Several major events happened in America. After the hostages were released, President Reagan was shot after 70 days in office. Thank God he wasn’t killed. He recovered. In 1983 an event occur that change the world. The US Congress passed HR 535, the Year of the Bible. And the president signed it into law. For the 1st time in 2000 years, a nation honored God. What happened next was amazing. The GNP rose to a rate higher than in the past 20 years, including the Vietnam War years. Churches were filled to capacity. God was honored and we received the benefits for it. We became a wealthy nation again. Then a scandal broke out in Washington, Iran/Contra. This was about the government secret plans to fund the Contra Indians in Guatemala to fight Sandinista Junta government in Nicaragua. It was a CIA operation to sell captured arms to fund the Contras. The glitch began to come in for money and power. That recurring error showed its ugly head again. Many people weren’t affected, but church attendance suffered. What happen next was the Gulf War and a new president. But God was beginning to mobilize his army throughout the world. I continue the story tomorrow.

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A Glitch – Part 3

I have been tracking the activities of mankind for a while. I began to see a correlation between what was happening in Israel and the Christian Church. You would think that they aren’t related but they are. Pentecostalism wasn’t worldwide for hundreds of years. People became Christians but the power in the Church wasn’t there. Pentecostalism did break out in the 20th century in America in the Azuza Street Revival. But it wasn’t worldwide. During the 6 Day war in Israel, the Israelites re-captured Jerusalem in 1967. Then began a spontaneous Revival from God Himself. People were being baptized in the Holy Spirit with tongues of fires upon their heads. Just as it was in the 1st century with the Apostles in Jerusalem. The power of God came down from heaven to mankind. It went worldwide within a few years. In every denomination in the world was touched by God. Even denominations that don’t believe in the baptism of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues received it. God didn’t leave out anyone. If you ask God for it, it happened in your life. The 1970’s became the decade of Great Revivals. Churches went up everywhere. People were coming to the Lord. Lives were being changed. This is where I came in. it was an exciting time. The presence of God was everywhere. People were excited and joyful. Even as the 70’s came to a close, the Church world was changing. If the Church was to be affective in our world they had to learn of God. So bible schools began to open all over the world. It was time to go to God’s school and learn. Even the Apostle Paul had to go back to school. For 14 years God taught him on the back side of the desert before he began his ministry. I’ll continue the story tomorrow.

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A Glitch – Part 2

In the 1st century, Ephesus was one of the largest cities of the times. Most people from every nation came to trade there. Anyone who had a mind for business made money. There were wealthy people in Ephesus. One reason that the Romans wanted to be there. They garrisoned the city and protect them for anyone attacking the city. It was almost like Rome itself. You could get anything you wanted. This is also why the Christian Church was based out of Ephesus. The Jewish people had revolted against Rome and their government was oppressive. So the Church moved to Ephesus. There still was a Church in Jerusalem, but it was very hard to function. The 1st bishop of Ephesus was the Apostle John, brother of James, son of Zebedee. The Church in its beginning was great. They were powerful and effective. They had a large percentage of the population in the Church. The Church was wealthy also. It had money to do the work God called them to. They had the main Church and 6 satellite Churches. The seven churches in Asia where Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamos, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea. This is where the glitch comes in. Somewhere in the middle of all this wonderful prosperity, the Church began to change. The focus became money and not God. They began to leave God out of the lives. They were too busy pursuing money. They lost a lot of their power. Once that went they lost their effectiveness. Persecution rose to a height that the people were killing Christians. In 90 AD, the city of Ephesus arrested John and put him on the Isle of Patmos to die. But God had other plans for John. There he wrote the Book of Revelation. It only took 40 years for the most powerful Christian Church to fail. You can read for yourself the story in the bible, the books of Ephesians and in Revelations. 40 years, in 1 generation there came a glitch in human history. And unfortunately it is a recurring error that happens throughout the history of mankind. For the love of money is the root of all evil. Not long after that the headquarters for the Christian Church moved to Alexandria, Egypt.

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A Glitch – A Recurring Error

For many years I have watched mankind as a whole. Looking at what people do consistently. Life as we know it is pretty regular. We go after the 3 basics, food, shelter and clothing. It seems that our lives are mundane or even boring. Unless something interrupts our daily lives. 200 t0 300 years ago, it would be a wagon train coming into town or a ship sailing into harbor. If you lived by the sea. Columbus watched the ships sail in and out of Genoa, Italy and discovered that the earth was round. A 100 years ago, it would be a circus that came to town or God forbid a war breaking out somewhere. Life would go along until something exciting came along. Some people like the routine of life. It makes them feel safe and secure. While others like the adventure and excitement of the unknown. But I have noticed a recurring cycle or error in the lives of mankind. The cycle is about 40 years. It is generally referred to as a generation. In that cycle is a glitch, a recurring error in every generation. I first discovered this glitch in a story over 2000 years ago. It is the story of Ephesus in Asia Minor. As the Roman army spread across the world, they would conquer countries. But if the city surrendered to them they wouldn’t destroy it. The Romans would collect a tribute and leave a garrison in the city. Ephesus was one of these cities. It was an important port city and very wealthy. When the Romans came, they brought their technology with them. Ephesus became a thoroughly modern city. They had features that we have today. Such as paved roads, running water, sewers, and even air conditioning. They had street lamps to light the main roads. They also had a large population. The city was over 100,000 people. The need for agricultural products was very great. The farming was very intense. The land around Ephesus was farmed so intently that there was a great amount of erosion. And all the run off went into the harbor. The harbor silted so badly that the city of Ephesus is now 10 miles from the sea. Their prosperity didn’t help them to survive for more than 60 years. I’ll finish the story tomorrow.

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On the Edge of the Brink

Did you ever stand on the edge of a cliff to look down into the valley? It is called the brink. There are many beautiful views in the Great Smokey Mountains. I took a boat ride down the Pigeon River. It had was a class 3-4 whitewater rapid river. 2 of my sons and I rode the river. It was exciting. In the middle of August, the river was 65 degrees. It was cold. We just had to jump in and ride the river. I fell in the river and had an extremely hard time getting back to the boat. But I will do it again. I came to the brink and drove into it. During the 60’s, political activism was encourage for everyone to be involved in the shaping our country. Many pastors thought that this was a way to keep the influential power of the Church. It worked for a time because the general thought was that we are a Christian nation. Churches were involved in political campaigns. Many Christians won. More people were interested in programs than the Gospels. It was and is a popular way to run a church. It isn’t the first time this has happened. It happened in the 1st century with the new Christian church. Ephesus was the center of Christianity in the 1st century. It was a free Roman city. It was very wealthy and modern. It had paved roads, running water, sewers, street lamps and air conditioning. The agricultural was so extensive. They had to keep planting crops just to keep up with the demand. It caused erosion and silted the harbor. Ephesus is still there, but it is a city 10 miles from the sea. The Christians became obsessed with making money that they literally lost their way. They came to the brink. You can read the story in Ephesians and Revelations. In 40 years, Ephesus went from the most powerful Christian church, to a church on the brink of failure. And guess what it has happened again. Look around and see what is left of the Church in America. Jesus was very specific about this. He told them to return to their first love or He would remove their light from them.

 

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Forgiveness

To err is human and to forgive is divine. It is a quote from Alexander Pope in the 18th century England. He understood how important forgiveness is in one’s life. Knowing that we can be forgiven lifts such a great burden off of our lives. I understand this all too well. I thought I was going to die because in I was in such need of forgiveness in my life. When it came there was such a relief. It felt like I floated home. I have seen people crushed by the weight of their lives. Sometimes they just get into a death spiral and can’t get out. Not receiving forgiveness is a death spiral. So where do you go to get forgiveness? Jesus forgave a person’s sin and the religious leaders objected. Saying only God has the authority to forgive sin. They were right only God can forgive sin. And this is why God wants us to be like Him and forgive. Jesus said how can you say that you love God who you can’t see. And hate your brother who you can see. If we want to be like God, then we need to forgive. The disciples asked Jesus how often do we forgive someone who has sinned against us. They said 7 times. Jesus said 70 x 7.  Jesus came to this earth for several very important reasons. The 1st and foremost was to die for the forgiveness of our sins. Then He came to show us how we can live just as God said. He is our example of what life is about. Forgiveness is part and parcel to our living. It is to be given and to be received in our lives.

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The Finality of Time

It is a word in our vocabulary that we use constantly. Most people don’t even pay attention to time. There is even a song by the Rolling Stones called “time is on my side”. There are clocks, sundials and also put a stick in the ground that will tell time. But what is it? Why do we have it? time is given by God to measure hours, days, months, years and seasons. Most people act like they have all the time in the world. Despite, the time that the world has, we on the other hand have a limited amount. The world also has a limited amount of time, but it is greater than ours. Since, the great biblical flood, man has only lived from 40 to 60 years. Even, with the advent of medicine, no one really lives passed 100 years. Before the flood, man lived up to 900 years. So, what affects time so much? The answer is simple. Sin is the major influence on time. Man is dead in sin, spiritually speaking. But, it will catch up to your physical body, sooner or later. The only place to relieve this problem is to go to God and ask for forgiveness. Then allow Jesus to come into your heart and renew you. Time was given by God and is control by Him. He will forgive you, if you just ask.

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Goals

I have always been goal oriented. I have worked since I was 13 years old. In college I worked 40 hours a week and took 12 hours of classes. It worked for me until a girlfriend and a fraternity came along. Then it all went sideways. Then came the military for 6 years. I wish I had taken the advantages offered me in the military. When I didn’t have a job or a goal, I felt lost. It was like the world had stopped for me. I was 28 years old when I took on the biggest challenge of my life. It is strange because I am a quiet person. If I don’t know you I usually don’t speak very much. When I took on the biggest challenge I had to become an extravert. I had to learn to speak well and convince people I was sincere. I would have rather not opened my mouth. I have learned that words have power. They can create or destroy. So I began to speak and people responded to me. I have always had a saying, say what you mean and mean what you say. So I did and I saw results that I never had before. There was a young man I knew. He sat on a fence post most of the time. He wouldn’t commit himself to anything. I told him a story one day. I said, what would you say about a person who saw his neighbor’s house on fire and said nothing. He knew that his neighbor was in the house. You would say that person was no good. Then I turned and pointed my finger at him and said, your house is on fire and you are dying. I told him that Jesus died to set him free. God has offered a promise that is good only for your lifetime. He is there waiting for you. And all you have to do is ask.

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