Bible Faith Fellowship: Substance Over Form

United People of Faith

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Barry Johnson

United People of Faith United People of Faith

Date 2012-11-25
Series State of Faith in the New America
Sub-series  
Document (PDF) BFF-20121125-UnitedPeopleOfFaith.pdf
[ Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 ]

Call to Worship

2 Chronicles 7:14-15, “If My people who are called according to My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. Now, My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place.”

Message

This is the third message in a mini-series about the state of faith in the United States of America and in the World. All of these messages have centered around the American General Election 2012. Today, we consider who we are, The United People of Faith, and our task to lead the New New America and the World as we find it today, to lead it to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and to lead it through conviction, repentance, and discipleship, by the Word of God, and by the living epistles of our lives, our lives lived individually and together in Christ Jesus!

The first of these messages, November 11, 2012, described the New American Electorate, the resulting New America, and gave spiritual encouragement to live in joy, peace and contentment, in this New America that has rejected Jehovah God and His Son, Jesus Christ. The second of these messages, November 18, 2012, described the state of Christian faith in this New America, 2012, and its fall from the lofty ideals of the Pilgrims on the Mayflower to establish a government in the New America (now the Old America) in which Christians,, by vote, controlled the government for the purpose of allowing Christians of different and diverse denominations, sects, and doctrines to live together in freedom to worship Jesus Christ without government dictate as to the form of the church or the details of Christian doctrines. These Pilgrims’ principles, radical for that time, remain radical today and have become even more radical since the 2012 American General Election on November 6, 2012. In the New America of today, the New American Electorate has finished putting the knife to the throat of Christians, and is putting the sword to the neck of Christians. How and why can, or must, I say this? After all, is it not true that the average American voter in the New American Electorate is a meek and mild, non-violent, non-aggressive, sort of person, right? Well, here is how and why I say this: The New American Electorate has, in the American General Election of 2012, embraced the politics of secular religion, and have, out of a sense of both ignorant and foolish tolerance, embraced a form of religious freedom that is destined to place the knife and sword of Islam at the throat and neck of American Christians, all under the delusion that Islam will peacefully coexist in the same degree of religious tolerance as the Pilgrims understood for differing Christian doctrines. Unless the people of faith in Islam abandon that faith, through conversion to Christianity, or even to atheism, then the followers of Islam will not, under their Koran, be allowed by their leaders to tolerate American Christians, and American Jews, even in America. The knife and sword of Islam will be brought forth, first, with subtlety, and then with increasing boldness and violence, even in America, not just to quell the public exercise of Christian religious freedom, but, more importantly, to quell the quiet, personal, closet-experiences of Christians. In the New America of today, the New American Electorate has embraced the termination, the end game, for the religious freedom – for Christians – on which the Mayflower Compact was based, and on which the Declaration of Independence ushered us into deliverance from the tyranny of governmental mandates for the legally-acceptable form of Christian religion.

Now, in this New America, the New American Electorate has decided that it is time for the entire Christian religion, at least for the uncompromising and uncompromised true Church, to be mandated out of America’s intrinsic, organic Christian life and character. Yes, a new day has dawned in America. Our country still sees itself as the land of the free, but our freedoms to be Christians, to be free without intimidation and limitation by governmental or personal dictates, have now been ended. That which was conceived with progressivism at the end of the 1800’s, and which gestated in secular humanism in the twenties and forward, has given birth to an unsustainable environment for Christians in America, and therefore, in the world. There is no longer a safe haven for Christians, not even in America. In granting Islam the same freedoms of religion for Christians on which the Old New America was founded by Jesus Christ, through Richard Warren and the other men and women of the Mayflower, the New New America has set the stage for the end of freedom of religion for Christians in the New New America and around the globe. The vision I have with co-existing with Islam in America is that our country is bent on turning crocodiles into citizens, with free reign to travel in our communities, our streets, our yards, our neighborhoods, our homes – destroying our freedoms and killing us in the name of their freedom!

Yet, yes, in this New New America, we have in Christ a foundation, no matter what our New American Electorate chooses to do, on which we can still live in joy, peace and contentment, no matter what the circumstances are, and what they will be as they change over time. Yes, we have a foundation, a Rock, in Jesus Christ, upon which we are empowered to live in thanksgiving, every day, no matter the circumstances.

All of this brings us to this day, November 25, 2012. For this day, our Lord, in the Spirit+, has given me a vision of encouragement, and some words of clarification, to share with you.

Here is the vision: All over this New New America, and in many, many places and countries elsewhere around the earth, people of faith are uniting and many do not even clearly see, understand and know it. The Holy Spirit+ in this vision, showed me

  1. The legions of faithful Christians in their daily lives, engaging themselves, by choice either individually or through the church, in ministering the Christ of Matthew 25 to the hungry, the thirsty, the homeless, the cold and naked, the sick and the imprisoned, and in ministering the pure religion of James 1:27 to the orphans and widows in their trouble, all the while keeping themselves sanctified, set apart, and unspotted from the world.
  2. The innumerable, faithful Christian fathers and mothers teaching their children and the children of many neighbors -- by example and by the sharing of the Word of God, and by prayer, and by the laying on of hands – teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
  3. The countless, faithful Christian musicians following the lead of the Holy Spirit+ in music selection, practice, in leading services in homes, in congregational settings, in larger venues all across the world.
  4. The surging, bold pastors and evangelists all around the world, seeking first the kingdom of God, seeking the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit+, seeking to speak the truth boldly and in love.
  5. The Holy Spirit+ showed me the coming together, the confluence of these four streams of people – the faithful Christians, the faithful Christian parents, the faithful Christian music leaders, the faithful Christian pastors and evangelists – into a mighty river of faith, powerful and true.

Then, I asked the Holy Spirit the question of what does all this mean, and this is the answer I got: That the America of the Christian faith of our forefathers may be gone for now, but the Christian faith is still here! We may no longer as Christians be united together as the people of the United States of America; we may in fact now have been reduced to the mere United States of Shame. But, neverthess, the Holy Spirit+ says, there is still a United People of Faith, united in faith in Jesus Christ. That is who the people are in that mighty river I saw in this vision. Our strength together is mighty and powerful and true. But more than our mere strength together, our union is as Christians, bonded together in the love of Christ, bonded together in the mercy of God, bonded together in the service of Jesus Christ, bonded together in the knowledge that we can do all things through Christ who strengthened us, bonded together in the perseverance, character and hope, all born of our troubles and tribulations, that does not disappoint, because, Romans 5: 6, “For when we were still without strength, in due time, Christ died for the ungodly.”

The Holy Spirit+ has given me this vision because He wants us not to wimp out since the American protection of the free exercise of Christian religion is being stamped out in America. The Holy Spirit+ has given me this vision to encourage you and me, and others. This is a vision to rally our hearts and minds into decisive actions to be the people, in this generation, whom God created, purposed and called us to be. We are now the standard bearers of the Light of Christ, Matthew 5:14-16, we are, together in our various places in this community, in America, and in the world united as a great spiritual river, for this purpose: we, in this great stream, this great river, “are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men that they will see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”

God has, through the Holy Spirit, shown me this vision of life in the world of the New New America in the context of my study of the judgment of God falling on Israel and Judah in the collapse of faith in those earthly kingdoms after the death of Solomon in 931 B.C. These earthly kingdoms rejected Jehovah God, lived in societies and families and under kingships all based on various forms of idolatry, witchcraft and rebellion to Jehovah God. After some centuries of this, and centuries of warnings from the prophets, God removed His hand of protection from His chosen people, and the lands He gave them, and His judgment was delivered upon the peoples. Today, we will not go deeply in detail into that history, but we need a few salient facts and a timeline. First judgment fell on the northern tribes, the ten who had banded together to form Israel, as they were conquered by the Assyrians, culminating in 722 B.C., about 190 years after the death of King Solomon. Even that demonstration did not get the attention of the southern tribes in Judah/Jerusalem: they continued in their sin, corporately and individually, and then judgment fell on Judah in about 597 B.C. (Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C.), with the Bablyonian captivity for 70 years, all some 125 years after it fell on Israel. God gave Judah a second chance to humble itself before Him, to confess her sins, and to turn from her wicked ways. Judah rejected the opportunity. God knew they would. He judged.

These two hands of judgment were dealt differently: the Israelites were for the most part displaced, intermarried and never allowed to return to their homelands in the Promised Land. Captives from other tribes and kingdoms that had been conquered by the Assyrians were transplanted into Israel’s lands and intermarried, and so the ten tribes of Israel have been lost ever since.

In the Babylonian captivity of Judah, Jeremiah was continuing to sound the prophetic warnings, to no avail. We know, however, that there were men and women of faith in Judah – there was Jeremiah, and Ezekiel, and Daniel, and his fire-fighter buddies, at least. And there were almost undoubtedly some men and women of faith in Israel when the Assyrians came. I believe that there were many in both Israel and Judah, but there were not enough to change the spiritual substance of the two kingdoms. Nevertheless, God swept the faithful and the unfaithful of the kingdoms of Judah and Israel all into the same captivities of His judgment.

The first lesson here is that we, the faithful, in that river of faithful ones, we in the United People of Faith, have every reason to expect that, if and when God chooses to unleash His judgment on the United States of America, the judgment will directly affect the faithful and the unfaithful in pretty much the same ways. If there is captivity, we the faithful will also go into it. If there is subjugation in and of our people, we the faithful will also be subjugated, and probably even more so persecuted because of our faith.

The second lesson here is to look at a verse in Jeremiah, Jeremiah 29:11 and its true context. This verse is often misunderstood by prosperity gospelers who take it out of context: Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” That is great: peace, no evil, a future and a hope! But look at the context: Most of the people of Judah have been taken in captivity by Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, to serve him for the seventy years prophesied in Jeremiah 25:11 and 29:10, and the judgment itself prophesied in Isaiah 8:6-9; Jeremiah 20:4-5; Jeremiah 32:28-32; and in 2 Chronicles 7:19-22. These people who went into this captivity included Daniel and his buddies, and also included, Ezekiel 1:1, the prophet Ezekiel. The second lesson is in this context: that even though being Christians in America does not give us a free pass, if and when God’s judgment falls on America, we have reason to hope that He will still call us, Romans 12:1, to use our bodies in His reasonable service.

The third lesson here is that we, the United People of Faith, need to sound the alarm, to run along the walls of our country, to warn our fellow American citizens, and we also need quietly to lead them to Christ and to a sound foundation of how history, government, economics, religious freedom and Christianity should work together, for the glory of God!

A word of warning and caution to America: We are in danger of really getting run aground in that place described in Judges 2:13-15, referring to the children of Israel, “They forsook the Lord and served Baal and the Ashtoreths. And the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel. So, He delivered them into the hands of the plunderers who despoiled them; and He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, so that they could no longer stand before their enemies. Wherever they went out, the hand of the Lord was against them for calamity, as the Lord has said, and as the Lord had sworn to them. And they were greatly distressed.”

So, get ready and be ready!

The encouragement that the Lord has given me is that He has, in fact, raised up His true church, and He has done so for just such a time as this. We are here, today, with our measures of faith, individually, stirred up just as He has purposed, that when He orders our steps that we would trust Him and obey His orders, His commandments.

We need to stay united in the faith, 1 Corinthians 12:12-27, “For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body – whether Jew or Greeks, whether slaves or free – and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. For in fact the body is not one member but many. If the foot should say, ‘Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body,’ is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear should say, ‘Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body,’ is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole body were hearing, where would be the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He pleased. And if they were all one member, where would the body be? But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the foot, ‘I have no need of you.’ No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our un-presentable parts have greater modesty, but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it, or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.”

We are wrong if we do not see, hear, smell, taste, touch, think or feel that God has provided us the resources to be His people, His chosen people, in our generation, to be on the cutting edge-spirit, the knife and the sword, of our generation, and of what He is doing in our generation. In the strength of Jesus Christ, and in our membership together – each a part – of the body of Jesus Christ, we can be and do all the things that God has purposed and called us to be and do. We can, indeed, be the United People of Faith, and we can lead the New New America and the World as we light up the hills with the Light of the World, Jesus Christ! Don’t walk out of here and leave the message drifting around in this room like so much dust. Take this message with you, and when the Holy Spirit calls you to action, including the Ephesians 6:13 standing in the armor of God, after you have done all you can do in the evil day, take this message with you, and bear up with one another’s troubles, share the strength and hope of service and unity in Jesus Christ. By being The United People of Faith, glorify God in who you are and in what you do!

God bless you and amen+++