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Infernal Infighting

The pagan gods of the ancient world did not humbly submit after the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Instead, they’ve continued in their rebellion. Maybe they figure they’ve got nothing to lose. Like Inanna in the Epic of Gilgamesh, who tried to destroy Uruk because she’d been rejected by the hero of the tale, they’re willing to destroy everything rather than let the Messiah return to establish His throne over a world restored to its intended glory.

But they’re also arrogant enough to think they can win. The entities conspiring against God are playing multidimensional chess. We humans are playing checkers, so I won’t pretend to have all of the answers. This book will only cover one of the most significant aspects of the rebellion, a front opened by the small-g gods after they realized they’d been outplayed.

Their first response to the Resurrection was to inspire the Roman government and Jewish religious authorities to try to crush the growing body of believers. By the fourth century AD, when it was clear that Christianity was not going away, the Fallen tried a different tactic. The empire of the storm-god first legalized the faith with Constantine’s Edict of Milan in AD 313. Then in 380, Christianity became the official state religion when Theodosius issued the Edict of Thessalonica. Once the Church became a path to wealth and political power, there was no shortage of men and women who chose the clergy as a career—but it wasn’t because they were interested in saving sinners from the fires of hell.

Making Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire was a brilliant move. Corruption in the Church persists to this day and it infects all denominations. But that has only weakened the body of believers, not killed it; as of this writing, the followers of Jesus Christ still outnumber all other religions on the earth.

But the Enemy employed another stratagem, one that’s exploited the Church’s weakness and the dilution of the gospel since the Renaissance and Enlightenment. Let’s begin by tracking the activity of the pagan gods in the years after the Resurrection.

Looking at the ebb and flow of history from high above the page, as it were, we can sometimes see patterns that are hidden when we zoom in too close, sort of like trying to make out an image in an old newspaper by looking at it under a microscope. All we see are blobs of ink—the pixels, to use a more modern reference. The picture only comes into focus when you look at it from farther away.

In the same way, trying to see into the spirit realm is a good way to drive yourself crazy. We aren’t designed to do that, and God has warned us not to try. But we can make out some of the shapes and patterns, the actions of the principalities and powers, if we step back and look at how history has progressed through the ages.

A rough outline of the spiritual history of the ancient Near East shows that there were at least two transfers of power in the pantheon. First, a primordial god of heaven was overthrown by his son, who was considered “the” god between about 3000 and 2000 BC.

Around the time that the Amorites emerged as the dominant people group in the Near East, “the” god was replaced as king of the pantheon by the storm-god—except in Akkad and Sumer, where the city-god of Babylon, Marduk, occupied that place of honor.

However, the personal god of the founding dynasty of Babylon was the moon-god. As we noted earlier, some scholars now believe that the Sumerian god Amurru was actually an epithet of the lunar deity, “god of the Amurru (Amorite) land.” A text only translated within the last ten years reveals that the moon-god, Sîn, was believed to preside over the Mesopotamian divine council at least some of the time. 

The nations led by these various deities fought with one another throughout the period of history covered by the Bible. Beginning around 1800 BC, the time of Abraham and Isaac, Marduk and his followers ruled Babylonia and Sumer, while Baal worshipers dominated western Mesopotamia (Canaan), followers of the sun-god controlled most of Egypt, and the moon-god was the chief deity of the nomadic tribes of the steppe and deserts of Syria and Arabia.

The fall of the Neo-Babylonian Empire to the Medes and Persians in 539 BC was probably another rebuke of the moon-god by Yahweh, who revealed to the prophet Isaiah, about a hundred and fifty years earlier, His plan to use Cyrus to return the Jewish exiles to Jerusalem.

Oddly, if scholars are correct about the Persian god Ahura Mazda, this replaced one empire subject to Marduk with another that worshiped the same god under a different name.

So, was Marduk/Ahura Mazda the “prince of Persia” who fought against the angelic messenger who came to the prophet Daniel? It’s impossible to know, and wondering about the prince’s identity leads to other questions we can’t answer. For example, did the prince of Persia resist the angel because he didn’t want Cyrus to free the Jews of Babylon?

These questions can only be answered with speculation. It’s curious that Marduk doesn’t fit the pattern of succession among the gods. Across the ancient Near East, and even as far away as Scandinavia and India, the storm-god rose to the top of the pantheon, but at Babylon, a city-god about whom we know nothing prior to that city’s rise to power, claimed the throne of the gods. We can only ask, “Why?”

Is it possible that the rise of the Zoroastrian religion in Persia, which emerged just before the Medes and Persians conquered the lands of the Bible as far west as Greece, was part of a civil war among the rebel angels? Given that the moon-god, Sîn/Yarikh, was the patron deity of the founders of Babylon (and of most Amorites in the days of Abraham), then maybe Marduk was a figurehead who was head of the infernal council in name only. There isn’t a single event in the Bible that appears to be specifically directed at Marduk, except maybe the reference to the size of Og’s bed.

Continuing with our speculation, the rise of the Persian Empire and its devotion to Ahura Mazda, possibly another aspect of Marduk, may have been that entity’s play to go solo by rebelling against the rebels. Of course, God used it for His purposes, to free His people from Babylon and humble the moon-god (Belshazzar’s feast was held for the fall akitu festival for Sîn).

But Marduk’s shot at glory didn’t last long; within two centuries, people of the storm-god, first Greek and then Roman, pushed the Persian Empire back to Mesopotamia. And with the rise of Islam in the seventh century AD, Zoroastrianism faded into the background. Today, it’s estimated that there are fewer than three million Zoroastrians in the world; in the 1990s, the Guiness Book of World Records began labeling Zoroastrianism as the “major religion nearest extinction.”

There are hints in pagan texts of other rifts between the Fallen. Two letters to the king of Mari from the ambassador of Yamkhad, a powerful kingdom based at Aleppo, mention the delivery of the clubs used by the storm-god “with which the deity boasts to have struck his enemy, the sea” to the temple of “the” god, Dagan, in the city of Terqa.

Scholars don’t know exactly what the letters mean, but there are two probable messages: First, they implied that Mari was subordinate to Yamkhad, just as Dagan (El, Enlil, etc.) had been replaced at the top of the pantheon by the storm-god, Adad (Baal). Second, in a backhanded way, it claims a victory for Adad/Baal that had been credited to Marduk.

Thus says Adad.… I brought you back to the throne of your father, I brought you back. The weapons with which I fought the Sea [Têmtum] I gave to you. With the oil of my bitter victory I anointed you, and no one before you could stand. My one word hear!

Têmtum is the Akkadian word for Tiamat, the chaos dragon defeated by Marduk in the Enuma Elish. Now, this may be political posturing, sort of like saying, “Our gods are better than your gods, nyaah nyaah nyaah,” but it may have been inspired in the spirit realm as members of the infernal council plotted and schemed against one another.

Another example of this comes from the western Amorite kingdom of Ugarit in a myth about a drunken feast at the house of the creator-god El.

Yarikh [the moon-god] arched his back like a d[o]g;

he gathered up crumbs beneath the tables.

(Any) god who recognized him

threw him meat from the joint.

But (any god) who did not recognize him

hit him with a stick beneath the table.

At the call of Athtart [Astarte/Ishtar] and Anat [the Canaanite war-goddess] he approached.

Athtart threw him a haunch,

and Anat a shoulder of meat.

The porter of El’s house shouted:

“Look!

Why have you thrown a haunch to the dog,

(why) to the cur have you thrown a shoulder?”

This is a great example of a text that drives scholars crazy. The meaning is unclear; it could refer to ritual drinking to reach an altered state of consciousness, or it could simply be a long and convoluted cure for a hangover. Either way, the moon-god, bearing his Amorite name, Yarikh, is depicted as a dog, and canines were not man’s best friend in the ancient Near East. This text comes from the final years of Ugarit in the thirteenth century BC. That was the time of the judges in Israel, after the conquest—in other words, after the moon-god had been humiliated at the Wilderness of Sîn, Mount Sinai, Jericho, and the Valley of Aijalon.

Does this text reflect a demotion in the infernal council? The moon-god was at or near the top of the pantheon in Mesopotamia until Joshua led the Israelites across the Jordan. After the Long Day, the moon-god faded into the background until his devotee Nabonidus took the crown of Babylon nearly a thousand years later.

Then the Medes and Persians destroyed Babylon as an independent kingdom, and a couple of centuries later, the Greeks and Romans came. Quick, now: How many myths about the Greco-Roman moon-goddess, Selene/Luna, do you know? Probably not many, if any. In the pantheon of Greece and Rome, the moon-deity was strictly supporting cast, a back-bencher.

Again, this is speculation, an attempt to discern the history of the unseen realm from evidence in the natural. We have limited ability to see into the spirit world, but it fits recorded history. Before Christ, the Fallen fought amongst themselves as well as with God. After the Resurrection, it appears that they put aside some of their mutual distrust.

We’ll explore that in more depth in future columns.

From Bad Moon Rising: Islam, Armageddon, and the Most Diabolical Double-cross in
History by Derek P. Gilbert

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America’s Great Awakening- “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God!”

The following article was written by Steve Strang in 1975 for the first edition of Charisma Magazine. It is a brief history of the American Great Awakening in the 1700″s and a summary of what some say was the most powerful message ever preached in America. (We will let you decide that for yourself) Our great country is in a great time of turmoil and struggle but some of us still trust our Almighty God can save souls, change lives, give hope and mend broken hearts. Read this tremendous article and be inspired and just maybe share it with a friend who needs to know the truth.

By Steve Strang-Fifty years before a Lexington minuteman fired the shot heard around the world, another revolution began that shook the American colonies.

It was a spiritual revolution which historians call the Great Awakening. It was marked by waves of religious enthusiasm as preachers like George Whitefield traveled the seacoast from Maine to Georgia, preaching that sinners should repent.

American history’s most famous sermon—”Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”—was preached in 1741 by Jonathon Edwards at the height of the great revival.

History records that sinners repented by the hundreds. Taverns closed as whole towns repented. Often people were so moved by conviction they trembled and shrieked and fell to the ground moaning and begging God to forgive their sins.

Edwards writes about a young woman in his congregation who was so convicted of sin she declared that “it was pleasant to think of lying in the dust all the days of her life, mourning for sin.”

The preaching about turning from sin and the importance of salvation over the rituals of the state church in places like Massachusetts, was important in the light of history.

The result of the revival, which continued strong for 15 years and the effect of which continued for many more years, was to establish early in American life the importance of a man serving God as his conscience, not the state, dictated.

Thousands of newly converted people were forced by their churches to leave because their new convictions about the importance of salvation often threatened the existing ecclesiastical power structure. This fostered the growth of new churches like the Methodists and toppled any hope of one denomination becoming dominant and becoming the American state church.

Some historians consider the Great Awakening a major turning point in American history, yet it is frequently overlooked. While the national remembers its 200th anniversary this year and next, the Christian community can be inspired by remembering one of the greatest revivals on this continent.

The Great Awakening, besides being a major spiritual renewal, did much to foster a feeling of independence in the colonies and helped wipe out the class structure brought to the New World from Europe.

It also fostered education and several major universities like Dartmouth, Princeton and Brown, had their genesis in the revival. In addition, it stimulated missionary work among the Indians and slaves.

Historian Monroe Stearns wrote: “The Great Awakening’s essential purpose was to fulfill the royal law of love—to cause men to serve not themselves but one another and to join in an effort to improve society. The vision it revealed of the social good led to a challenge of the rulers of colonial society in America and into the discussion and activity that produced the movement for independence.

The Great Awakening has been, however, relegated to relatively minor role by most historians who view it as only emotional hysteria that they say has characterized revivals throughout our history.

The truth is, however, that despite emotionalism that characterized some of the Great Awakening from 1720 to 1760, it was the first great move of God on this continent and was the first of many revivals that have come to America since then.

To understand the importance of the revival and its impact on America, it’s important to understand the religious and social structure of the day.

Many of the early immigrants to America came because of religious oppression in Europe.

The French Huguenots were the first Protestants to flee to America. In 1562, more than half a century before the Pilgrims arrived at Plymouth Rock, a small group of Huguenots arrived in Florida in present day Jacksonville, hoping to escape the massacres of Charles IX of France. But within months, their settlement was destroyed by an agent of Philip II of Spain. Not one Huguenot survived.

In 1620, the English Separatists among them soon headed for Rhode Island with Roger Williams looking for religious freedom the Puritans did not give them.

The Pilgrims were followed in 1656 by the early Quakers who, being unwelcomed in New England, settled in New Jersey, then in 17682 in Pennsylvania.

By the early 1700’s, group after group of other Protestants seeking freedom from European intolerance began to arrive.

Of course, not every new settler in the new world came for religious liberty. Many came for economic and political opportunities not available to them in Europe. But many of the immigrants did come to worship God as they saw fit.

This desire for religious liberty and their deep faith in God was all that strengthened many of these early colonists to brave the perils of the American wilderness.

But after a few decades the original closeness to God that drove the early settlers to seek religious freedom was replaced by the coldness and rituals of the churches the settlers established.

This is what Theodorus Frelinghuysen found in 1720 when he was sent by the Dutch Reformed Church in the Netherlands to minister to Dutch settlers in New Jersey.

Frelinghuysen was a member of the Pietists who believed the power of the Holy Spirit could only be felt because it worked on the heart, not the brain. They put no emphasis on complicated church doctrines, but on having a “change of heart,” and becoming one with God.

Frelinghuysen preached that in order to be a member of the church and take communion, one must be born again. He caused quite a stir among the young and the poor who readily responded to his message.

The established, more prosperous members at first resisted, then began to become converted. Within five years his congregations had so increased and so many people had become converted, other ministers began inviting Frelinghuysen to preach at their churches, hoping for similar results.

Frelinghuysen greatly inspired a Presbyterian minister, Gilbert Tennent, and worked with him, breaking down denominational walls.

While Tennent and Frelinghuysen were preaching in New Jersey, Jonathon Edwards was causing a stir in New England with his sermons.

When he became minister in 1729 of the church of Northhampton, Mass., he found a generation of New Englanders who had grown up in spiritual confusion and who didn’t know how to be saved.

In addition, the churches of that area were controlled by the wealthy merchant class—the same people who controlled the government and who oppressed the people.

The Puritan Church had for many years preached salvation, but as the merchants began to seize control, more liberal ministers began to say salvation was not necessary for church membership.

Edwards resisted this trend, and preached faith in Christ was necessary for salvation. He began to see results.

In 1734, after five years at the church, he reported “a concern about the great things of religion began…to prevail abundantly in the town, till old and young, and from the highest to the lowest…Scarcely a person has been exempt, and the Spirit of God went on his saving influences…in a truly wonderful and astonishing manner.”

Word of the revival spread up and down the Connecticut River valley and by May, 1735, 25 towns had experienced similar awakenings.

The revival subsided until 1739 when a 24-year-old minister from England named George Whitefield began to preach in the New York area.

Whitefield had come to America in 1738 to establish an orphanage in Georgia.

Whitefield was such a magnificent speaker that many people came to hear him merely because of his speaking and acting ability.

He frequently preached on streets or in open fields.

Benjamin Franklin, who heard him in Philadelphia, estimated that Whitefield’s voice was so powerful 30,000 people could hear him at once, because he repeated key sentences four times—once in each direction.

Whitefield was so eloquent at raising money for his orphanage, that Franklin wrote he left his purse home on purpose when he went to hear him. Still, he had in his pocket several pieces of copper, several silver dollars and five pieces of gold.

“As he proceeded,” Franklin wrote, “I began to soften and concluded to give him the copper. Another stroke of his oratory made me ashamed of that, and determined me to give him the silver; and he finished so admirably, that I emptied my pocket wholly into the collection dish, gold and all.”

The Great Awakening was not without its problems, however.

Often when people felt convicted of their sins, they thrashed about on the floor, moaning and shrieking. Emotionalism was so widespread that it turned off many who had not been touched in their hearts with the Gospel message.

Rev. Jonathan Parsons of Lyme, Conn. wrote that some converts acted as if “the joints of their limbs were loosed and their knees smote one another…Several stout ones fell as though a cannon had been discharged and a ball had made its way through their hearts.”

One lady, Sarah Sparhawk, of Marlboro, Mass., was “like one deprived of her reason” and “was brought home (from church) by some young men. She often lay there crying out, screaming and striving much in her fits for an hour or two.”

Trances, visions, and something called “the jerks” became commonplace.

The opposers of the revival were led by Charles Chauncy, pastor of the old First Church in Boston. He objected to the “preaching of terror” and the “bodily effects.” He attacked the whole movement as a dangerous explosion of emotion.

Edwards saw the extremes of the revival, but still considered the Awakening a “surprising work of God,” and stedfastly defended it. He said the excesses of emotion were “enthusiastic delusions” or “impressions upon the imagination.”

He thought, however, that to oppose the revival as some ministers did, was evil. The “prevailing prejudice against religious affections at this day, in this land” was caused by none other than Satan, Edwards wrote.

He warned the critics of the revival that “for persons to despise and cry down all religious affections, is the way to shut all religion out of their own hearts, and to make thorough work in ruining their own souls.”

There were other great preachers in the revival. John Wesley, father of Methodism, was one. He preached in Georgia a number of years, and had an impact on the life of George Whitefield. But mostly Wesley’s influence was limited to England where a similar revival was taking place.

Samuel Davies, a Presbyterian, spread the revival to Virginia in 1748 where he had to get a license from the governor to preach.

The Anglican clergy opposed this non-Anglican in Virginia and took him to court saying he had no right to preach. The issue went to London in 1753 for a verdict and Davies won in 1755. It set a precedent for religious freedom in the colonies.

As the Great Awakening began to subside people like Davies continued to spread it until the 1750’s.

The Awakening had a long-run effect on education, social and moral structure of America for many years. But its main impact—and this should never be forgotten—was spiritual.

Men’s lives were changed when they encountered a personal faith in Jesus Christ. Despite the emotionalism that accompanied the movement, many new converts were made, and these converts had a different way of living.

Jonathon Parsons wrote of the new converts that “bitterness and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil-speaking seemed to be put away from them, with all malice…Rough and haughty minds became peaceful, gentle, and easy to be entreated… Their faith worked on love, and discovered itself in acts of piety towards God, charity and righteousness toward men and sobriety toward themselves.

That’s what true revival is all about.


Editor’s Note: The following are sidebars that appeared in the original edition of this article.

John Wesley

The founder of the Methodist Church, John Wesley, was a methodical man. While at Oxford University, he scheduled his intellectual activity by the clock-meditating perhaps from 11 a.m. to noon on the Calvinist doctrine of predestination and from noon to 1 p.m. on the doctrine of free grace. He and other students, including George Whitefield (below) worshiped together in what some students ridiculed by calling “Holy Clubs” or “Methodists.”

Early in his ministry, Wesley was sent to minister to the convicts sent to Georgia colony. He traveled throughout the colonies and England a total of 200,000 miles—by his own estimate—traveling by foot, by horseback and carriage to preach an estimated 40,000 sermons in his 87 years.

His brother, Charles, during his lifetime wrote about 6,500 hymns, many of which we sing today, like “Love Divine, All Love Excelling” and “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing.” When a man once said he wished he had a thousand tongues to sing the praises of Jesus, Charles wrote “O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing!”

Another time, when a bird fell onto his window while being chased by a hawk, Charles wrote the most famous of his songs, “Jesus, Lover of My Soul, Let Me to Thy Bosom Fly.”

George Whitefield

The Great Awakening’s most rousing speaker, George Whitefield, is said to have been able to stir crowds just with the way he said “Mesopotamia.” The great English actor, David Garrick said, “I would give a hundred guineas if I could say ‘Oh! Like Mr. Whitefield.”

In Boston, such a revival swept the town while Whitefield was there that the Rev. John Webb wrote that “the very face of the town seemed to be altered” and that the taverns were as empty as the churches were full, for “about a year and a half after Mr. Whitefield left us.”

In one sermon, Whitefield is said to have cried, “Father Abraham, whom have you in heaven? Any Episcopalians? No? Any Presbyterians? No? Have you any Independents or Seceders? No? Have you any Methodists? No, no, no? Whom have you there?”

“We don’t know those names here. All who are here are Christians.” Whitefield would quote the answer from heave. Then, he would add: “Oh, is this the case? Then God help us, God help us all, to forget party names, and to become Christians in deed and in truth.”

Jonathon Edwards

Historians record that Jonathon Edwards was a small, frail man who preached in a quiet monotone, without gestures. He was also one of the greatest intellectuals American society has produced.

Edwards pastored in Northampton, Mass., when the Great Awakening broke out. Like other preachers during this period, he began traveling to nearby churches. The reason – there were so few converted ministers that those who were saved were in great demand as the revival spread.

It was on the road that Edwards preached a sermon that historians say is the most famous in American history – “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” It is said he preached it as a last-minute substitute for another preacher at Enfield, Conn., on July 8, 1741.

Historian Monroe Stearns credits Edward’s sermon with ending the superstitions of the Middle Ages and initiating the concept that man is responsible for his own happiness through coming to God.

The sermon had a great impact the day it was preached. The congregation shrieked and groaned and cried out “Oh, what shall I do to be saved.” It got so bad, Edwards stopped his sermon to ask the people to be more quiet.

The 76,000-word sermon is still studied by seminary and Bible college students. An excerpt follows:

“Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”

Deuteronomy 32:35

-Their foot shall slide in due time.-

In this verse is threatened the vengeance of God on the wicked unbelieving Israelites, who were God’s visible people, and who lived under the means of grace; but who, notwithstanding all God’s wonderful works towards them, remained (as verse 28)voice of counsel, having no understanding in them. The expression I have chosen for my text, “Their foot shall slide in due time,” seems to imply the following things, relating to the punishment and destruction to which these wicked Israelites were exposed.

  1. That they were always exposed to destruction; as one that stands or walks in slippery places is always exposed to a fall. This is implied in the manner of their destruction coming upon them, being represented by their foot sliding.
  2. It implies, that they were always exposed to sudden unexpected destruction. As he that walks in slippery places is every moment liable to fall, he cannot foresee one moment whether he shall stand or fall the next; and when he does fall, he falls at once without warning.
  3. Another thing implied is, that they are liable to fall of themselves, without being thrown down by the hand of another; as he that stands or walks on slippery ground needs nothing but his own weight to throw him down.
  4. That the reason why they are not fallen already, and do not fall now, is only that God’s appointed time is not come. For it is said, that when that due time, or appointed time comes, their foot shall slide.

Application

The use of this awful subject may be for awakening unconverted persons in this congregation. This that you have heard is the case of every one of you that are out of Christ. That world of misery, that lake of burning brimstone, is extended abroad under you. There is the dreadful pit of the glowing flames of the wrath of God; there is hell’s wide gaping mouth open; and you have nothing to stand upon, nor anything to take hold of; there is nothing between you and hell but the air; it is only the power and mere pleasure of God that holds you up.

Your wickedness makes you as it were heavy as lead, and to tend downwards with great weight and pressure towards hell; and if God should let you go, you would immediately sink and swiftly descend and plunge into the bottomless gulf, and your healthy constitution, and your own care and prudence, and best contrivance, and all your righteousness, would have no more influence to uphold you and keep you out of hell, than a spider’s web would have to stop a falling rock.

Were it not for the sovereign pleasure of God, the earth would not bear you one moment, for you are a burden to it. The creation groans with you; the creature is made subject to the bondage of your corruption, not willingly.

The sun does not willingly yield her increase to satisfy your lusts, nor is it willing a stage for your wickedness to be acted upon. The air does not willingly serve you for breathe to maintain the flame of life in your vitals, while you spend your life in the service of God’s enemies.

The God that holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked. This wrath towards you burns like fire. He looks upon you as worthy of nothing else, but to be cast into the fire. He is of purer eyes than to bear to have you in his sight. You are 10,000 times more abominable in his eyes, than the most hateful venomous serpent is in ours.

There is no other reason to be given why you have not gone to hell, since you have sat here in the house of God, provoking his pure eyes by your sinful, wicked manner of attending his solemn worship. Yea, there is nothing else that is to be given as a reason why you do not this very moment drop down into hell…but that God’s hand has held you up.

God seems now to be hastily gathering in his elect in all parts of the land; and probably the greater part of adult persons that ever shall be saved, will be brought in now in a little time, and that it will be as it was on the great out-pouring of the Spirit upon the Jews in the apostle’ days; the election will obtain, and the rest will be blinded.

Therefore, let everyone that is out of Christ, now awake and fly from the wrath to come. The wrath of Almighty God is not undoubtedly hanging over a great part of this congregation. Let everyone fly out of Sodom. “Haste and escape for your lives, look not behind you, escape to the mountain, lest you be consumed.”

My Notes: Our historic past is undeniable. It is what brought our young colonists together to form a united group later to be called the “United States of America”. The fiery messages that warned of a burning hell is seldom heard today because of the grace and love message that is what we love to hear. I am thankful that we serve a God of love and forgiveness, however remember those who reject Him are sadly lost as Jonathan Edwards preached. Our prayer is that you trust in Jesus Christ as your Redeemer and Savior.
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Jerusalem: Home Sweet Home

(Psalm 132:13-14) For the Lord has chosen Jerusalem; He has desired it for His home. “This is My resting place forever,” He said. “I will live here, for this is the home I desired.

God chose and selected Jerusalem to be His home forever. Every city, state and nation belong to God and He picked Jerusalem over every other city on earth. Jerusalem is the place He wants to rest and relax for all of eternity. He desires and yearns to make Jerusalem home sweet home.

(Jeremiah 3:17) In that day Jerusalem will be known as ‘The Throne of the Lord.’ All nations will come there to honor the Lord.

In the End Times the Lord will rule from Jerusalem. In the past the capital of God’s Kingdom was in Jerusalem, and it will still be there in the End Times.

(Jeremiah 1:14 NIV) ‘I am very jealous for Jerusalem and Zion.”

(Jeremiah 1:14 GNT) “I have a deep love and concern for Jerusalem, my holy city.”

(Jeremiah 1:14 CEV) “I, the Lord All-Powerful, am very protective of Jerusalem.”

God is very jealous for Jerusalem. He has a deep love and concern for His home that He will always protect and defend it.

(Zechariah 1:14 NASB) “I am exceedingly jealous for Jerusalem and Zion.”

(Zechariah 1:14 NLT) My love for Jerusalem and Mount Zion is passionate and strong.

God’s love for Jerusalem is passionate, obsessive and even fanatical.

(Zechariah 2:8 NASB) he who touches you, touches the apple of His eye.

(Zechariah 2:8 GNT) Anyone who strikes you strikes what is most precious to Me.

(Zechariah 2:8 TLV) he who harms you sticks his finger in Jehovah’s eye!

(Zechariah 2:8 CEV) Zion is as precious to the Lord as are his eyes. Whatever you do to Zion, you do to him.

This verse is fairly well known, but I’ve never completely understood what it really means so I was so. grateful to read it in some paraphrases. When people strike Jerusalem, there are striking what is most precious to God. It’s like they are sticking their finger in God’s eye. Whenever we do something to Jerusalem, it’s like we’re doing it to God Himself. God cannot separate Himself from Jerusalem.

(Zechariah 8:22 NASB) So many peoples and mighty nations will come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem and to entreat the favor of the Lord.’

When people want to find the Lord, they will go to Jerusalem to meet with Him. They will go to Jerusalem because it is God’s eternal home; it’s where He lives!

If God feels this way about Jerusalem, shouldn’t we? If we feel this way, and we want to see God, there’s no place like home (to look for Him and spend time with Him). I want to encourage you to visit God in His home. But I also realize that most people will not be able to go there. In light of this, I’ve created a presentation, “The Treasures of Jerusalem” so I can bring some of the treasures of Jerusalem to you. You don’t need a plane ticket or hotel reservations. My Messianic Jewish teaching tour of Jerusalem lasts one hour. Contact me to find out more, or to schedule a date for me to share the Treasures of Jerusalem in your town, temple or church.

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How Exactly did America Break its Two Century Old Covenant with God?

Over fifty years ago this country, in the persons of eight Supreme Court justices, told God to leave our public schools.  Jesus said “bring the children to me” (Mk. 10:14, Luke 16:18) and these men said “No, the government will have them for itself and You can get out.”  God, His divine Majesty grievously offended, withdrew and now three generations of young Americans have spent roughly 30 hours a week for twelve years of their lives in a place where there is no truth, because the Truth has left.  There are subjects useful to the state, but almost nothing about character or morals.  The result of this is evident in our streets and the manifest corruption of virtually every aspect of American popular culture.

 

In 1960 Madalyn Murray O’Hair, founder of American Atheists, sued the Baltimore Public School System for requiring students to read from the Bible and to recite the Lord’s Prayer at school exercises. In a case titled Murray v. Curlett, she argued that such a requirement violated the First Amendment of the US Constitution in that it had the effect of establishing a religion.  Prior to this in 1955,  a man named Steven Engel, who was a founding member of the New York Civil Liberties Union, sued the New York Board of Regents for composing (but not requiring) a prayer to be said in its schools.   Ultimately the case was referred to the US Supreme Court and in 1962 in Engel v. Vitale, the court ruled 8-1 that recitation of prayer in public schools shall be unlawful, the first time God was ever ordered out of a government institution in the United States.

 

This obscenity against God’s majesty was repeated when O’Hair’s case was combined with others in Abington v. Schempp and on June 7, 1963 the Supreme Court decided, by the same 8-1 majority, that the corporate reading of the Bible and recitation of the Lord’s Prayer shall be unlawful in public schools as well.

Ruling to order God out in both cases were Chief Justice Earl Warren, John Harlan, William Brennan (all appointed by Pres. Dwight Eisenhower – R),  Hugo Black, William Douglas (both appt. Franklin Roosevelt – D), Tom Clark (appt. Harry Truman – D), Byron White and Arthur Goldberg (both appt. John Kennedy – D).  The sole dissenting voice was Potter Stewart, appointed by Eisenhower.

 

Since these two blasphemous decisions, America has experienced one tragedy after another over the succeeding years.  Just five months after the second decision, John F. Kennedy was assassinated; in 1964 the Beatles came to America with sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll; in the early 1960’s also Feminism, the institutionalized hatred of men, spread in the United States; in 1968 The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated; in 1969 with the Stonewall Riots the homosexual movement became a nationwide demand for equal rights; on January 22, 1973 in Roe v. Wade the US Supreme Court, by a vote of 7-2,  legalized abortion in all 50 states, leading to the murder, so far, of about 60 million unborn children; two months later, on March 29, 1973 the United States withdrew in defeat from South Viet Nam; in 1981 the AIDS epidemic began; in 1987 the world came within ½ hour of total financial collapse; in 1993 the World Trade Center was bombed and on September 11, 2001 it was brought down.

 

Since then this nation has seen people in authority demanding the end of the rule of law that says a person accused of crime is deemed innocent until proven by due process to be guilty; these same people argue that any speech that is offensive to someone or some group should not be allowed, and the ones making the argument further assert that they should be the ones deciding what is offensive.  Powerful forces are calling for the end of the Electoral College enshrined in our US Constitution, and they have begun an end run around it by a movement called the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact which allows state legislatures to ignore that state’s voters and appoint electors in accord with the country’s national popular vote.  So far 14 states and the District of Columbia have signed on to this proposal, and are pledged to enact it once enough states have signed on to control 270 electoral votes.  Once that happens, the Electoral College will for all intents and purposes, be gone in all but name.  The existing signatories control 189 electoral votes already, because they include large states like California, New York, Illinois and New Jersey which by themselves have 118 votes.  It is hard to argue that this is not a direct attack on our founding law of the land.

 

Mass killings have become more numerous and with more casualties.  Most of the colleges in this country have virtually banned free speech, in that anyone who utters an opinion disliked by what amounts to a social media mob can be readily expelled, lose grade point average or, if an employee, fired for daring to express an opinion or even state a fact that makes the mob feel bad.  But it is all one-sided.  The mob can say anything it likes about those it despises and will receive no consequences;  the Scripture is relevant here: “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.” (Eccl 8:11)

 

Crony capitalism has indeed created a vast gulf between the rich and the poor, and the middle class is fast disappearing.  The rich have protection, the poor have entitlements and the middle class bears the burden of both.  Again Scripture becomes as relevant as today’s news – “For the love of money is the root of all evil…”  1 Tim 6:10)  A billionaire who is willing to work his employees to exhaustion, seek to insure a large supply of low-skilled labor so as to keep wages down, and claim that he cares about the poor is a perfect example of this.  Such a person loves money, and perhaps only money.

 

The institution of matrimony has become so perverted that it is a direct slap in God’s face.  An activist US Supreme Court has again done its work.  Most egregiously, strong forces in this culture say that there are not the two genders that God created, but many, and people can be whatever gender they like and will make them feel good.  Moreover, society must accept these aberrations and anyone who objects is un-American.

 

There are other things as well, too numerous to mention.  But it seems clear that since our formal rejection of God, the name of this country is no longer “America the Beautiful” but “Ichabod.”  John Adams, our second president, said this: “We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution is designed only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” In modern America, the man proves himself a prophet a million times a day.

 

Until there is a massive outpouring of repentance on the part of a sizable portion of the American Christian population over these and other affronts to God’s majesty, it is likely there will be more to come.

 

Continued – – –

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Sons of the Titans!

Scholar Amar Annus has linked the name Sheth/Seth, found in the prophecy of Balaam
recorded in Numbers 24:17, to an infamous Amorite tribe well known in the ancient
Near East, the Suteans.
He notes that the Egyptian term for the Suteans, Šwtw, a form of the Akkadian Shutu,
appears in one of the Execration Texts from the nineteenth or eighteenth centuries B.C.,
about the time of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
The Ruler of Shutu, Ayyabum, and all the retainers who are with him; the Ruler
of Shutu, Kushar, and all the retainers who are with him; the Ruler of Shutu,
Zabulanu, and all the retainers who are with him. 1

Man Praying Sunset

The Execration Texts were like ancient Egyptian voodoo dolls. The names of enemies
were inscribed on pottery, which were ritually cursed and then smashed. In a nutshell,
“Sheth,” “Shutu,” and “Sutean” are the same name processed through different
languages and types of writing. 2   Other Egyptian texts place the Shutu/Sheth in the
central and northern Transjordan, which, significantly, includes Bashan—Rephaim
territory. 3
Other fascinating tidbits from the Execration Texts: The Shutu leaders were listed just
after the “Rulers of Iy-‘anaq”—the Anakim tribes that Joshua and the Israelites would
fight for control of Canaan about four hundred years later. Also, the Shutu leader named
Ayyabum bears the same name as the biblical Job. Now, this was probably not the Job
of the Old Testament, but the Egyptian curse does locate him in the Transjordan, the
same general area that was home to the long-suffering Job 4   and exactly where the Bible
places the Rephaim tribes. And because you’ve read your Old Testament, you’ve
noticed that the other Shutu leader, Zabulanu, has a name that Jacob would later give
to one of his sons, Zebulon.
Here’s the key link: Annus points to an Akkadian lexical list (that’s like an ancient clay
tablet version of Google Translate) that specifically equates ti-id-nu and su-tu-u—Tidanu
and Sutean. 5   Citing Michael Heltzer’s 1981 book The Suteans, Annus continues:
In Ugaritic literature Suteans are mentioned in the epic of Aqhatu, where the
antagonist of the mt rpi Dnil [“man of the Rephaim, Daniel”] is a nomadic Ytpn,
mhr št—“warrior of the Sutû, Sutean warrior.” …In the epic of Keret Suteans are
mentioned as dtn, spelled also as ddn, and it “must be understood as the
Di/Tidânu tribe, a part of common Amorite stock. It is even likely that this term
was used in Mesopotamia at the end of the 3rd millennium to designate tribes
later known as Suteans.” 6
Highlight that! The Ugaritic Epic of Keret links the Amorite Sutean tribe, the Egyptian
Shutu and the biblical sons of Sheth, with the Ditanu—the Titans!
Here’s one more bit of historical evidence for your consideration: The Shutu are also
identified in later Egyptian texts as the Shasu, 7   probably as language and pronunciation
changed over the centuries. About two hundred years after the Exodus, Ramesses II
(“the Great”) fought an epic battle against the Hittites at Qadesh, a city on the Orontes
River near the modern border between Syria and Lebanon. According to the Egyptian
2 Ibid.
3 Amar Annus, “Are There Greek Rephaim? On the Etymology of Greek Meropes and Titanes.”
Ugarit-Forschungen 31 (1999), p. 18.
4 Most Bible commentaries place the land of Uz in the Transjordan, usually near Edom.
5 Annus, op. cit.
6 Michael Heltzer & Shoshana Arbeli-Raveh, The Suteans (Naples: Istituto Universitario
Orientale, 1981). Cited in Annus, op. cit., p. 19.
7 “Biblical Archaeology: Evidence of the Exodus from Egypt.” Institute for Biblical and Scientific
Studies. https://www.bibleandscience.com/archaeology/exodus.htm, retrieved 3/3/18.

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Repentance on Behalf of our Nation

There is only one remedy for covenant-breaking; that is – repentance.  The offended party must be entreated to forgive the breach, to restore the good relationship that existed before the offense was given, to set aside what forms of retribution the offense must bring forth in the absence of heartfelt contrition.  Without repentance, contrition, humility, shame, and abject beseeching of the offended party to again honor the covenant, there can be no healing.

A tribe that broke covenant with a neighboring one could expect swift retribution from them – usually in the form of that tribe coming against the offenders and slaughtering every one of them, with particular attention to their chief.  The offended parties prevailed because, in a way, notwithstanding the violence of their acts, they had justice on their side and they somehow knew that they would prevail and they made war in the strength of that knowledge.

It is the same with God.  Hear the thunder of His Word – “In flaming fire taking vengeance upon them that know not God, and obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his power.” (2 Thess 1:8).  This is the ultimate violence, yet God commands it because those who come before Him in their sins have rejected the New Covenant that is in Christ.

Repentance on behalf of our nation must be on a scale commensurate with the offense.  Scholars and archaeologists have estimated that there were at least 10,000 residents of the cities Sodom and Gomorrah.  God sought 10 righteous people out of that group and could not find them.  The result is recorded in Genesis 19:24-28.  All 10,000 or more perished for the lack of 10 who were faithful to God.  For a nation of 325 million such as ours, the same scale would call for no less than 325,000 Christians in this country to repent for our covenant-breaking and the tsunami of sin and depravity that have followed.  The strong suggestion of Scripture is that unless at least that many faithful Christians can be found who will take this critical step – to set aside a season of prayer, fasting, and weeping before the Lord for our arrogance and wickedness as a nation – His justice may demand that He do to us as he did to Sodom.

But to repent with knowledge and understanding, we as Americans must take to heart the event that caused us to break God’s Covenant. What could we as a people have done to cause such a catastrophic breach?  How, after all the nearly 200 years of blessing that a loving God had showered upon us, could we pour contempt upon His Name and by extension upon His Person?  If we cannot understand this, then we cannot repent as God would have us do if we are to be saved as a nation and again be what we once were, “a shining city on a hill.”

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What happened to America Part II

The United States of America made a Covenant with God, only the second nation in history to do so.  The first was ancient Israel, when the son of King David, Solomon, reputed by many to be the wisest man who ever lived, built the First Temple in Jerusalem in roughly the year 1008 B.C. and publicly dedicated it with a prayer recorded in the Bible in I Kings chapter 8, and again in II Chronicles 6:13 to 7:9.  In it, he caused the people to realize that they had responsibilities to God that they were commanded to carry out if they expected God’s favor to be upon them.  For many years they did, to the best of their ability, and they were blessed.  And then they broke it, and at length were carried away captive into Babylon.

God judges people individually, but He judges nations by the character of their leaders.  As Dr. D. James Kennedy said some years ago, “Ungodly leaders make ungodly decisions, and discourage a conscience toward God.”  Individuals receive grace only because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, on the cross; nations receive grace in accordance with the conduct of their leaders and by extension, the conduct of the people they lead.  The United States had the first government in history that gave the common people permission to choose for themselves their leaders.  As we have seen, those choices have had history-changing consequences.

How does a nation break its Covenant with God?  The people of the United States kept it for almost two hundred years. How could a people so blessed by God suddenly decide to break the Covenant that was the source of their blessing?  What did they think could be gained by such a foolish act?  Did they know that they were doing such a deliberate and catastrophic deed?  The hard thing about law is that ignorance is no excuse.  God’s law is the same, it is in fact the source of man’s good laws; the bad ones men come up with themselves.  What those who broke the Covenant knew is irrelevant.  The fact that they broke it is the only thing that matters to God.

The concept of covenant is as old as man’s time on earth.  When two unfriendly tribes mutually decided to stop killing each other, the chiefs would slaughter a significant number of valuable animals, cut them in half and spread the bloody remains apart to create what was called “the walk of blood.”  The chiefs would then walk together through this path between the pieces pronouncing curses upon themselves and their children should they break the terms of the covenant.  This walk was repeated over and over again. They could hear each other and the more horrible and violent the curses each chief spoke against himself, his family, and his tribe – the more serious the other party listening would believe the covenant to be.  A covenant with God is as serious as anything on earth gets.

How did we break a covenant almost as old as the United States Constitution itself?

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What happened to America Part I

Having just commemorated Memorial Day in which we honor our military service members who have died in combat throughout our history as a nation, we are coming upon two additional extraordinary days that are worth our attention and devotion.  In just a few days, our country will celebrate in a special way the lives of those who dared everything 75 years ago when American, British and Canadian military forces stormed the beaches of Normandy to free Europe from the iron boot of National Socialism – the Nazis.

Roughly one month after this, we will celebrate the Fourth of July, remembering the day in 1776 when Americans declared themselves free of the tyranny that had become British rule of the colonies.  The Declaration of Independence is still cherished by most Americans as one of our key founding documents.  Over one million Americans have died in combat, both to make that declaration a reality and to preserve the United States of America.

How does a nation produce such men, willing to give up everything in life for a cause, in many cases for those living in other nations who are oppressed by forces that they alone cannot withstand?  To learn this, we must remember something which few Americans know and fewer care about.  We must remember the Covenant that the first national government of the United States made with God.

On April 30, 1789, the members of the United States federal government met together for the first time in St. Paul’s Cathedral in New York City to dedicate the newly formed nation under the just-ratified U.S. Constitution to God.  George Washington was not elected president – he was acclaimed.  Nobody would even think of running against him.  The new House of Representatives and Senate along with the Supreme Court declared in unison that this nation would be governed by God and the people would worship Him in the affairs of state and in their own lives.  No record of what was said exists – the occasion was too solemn for anyone to take notes.  But the event was known to all.

Within 50 years of making that Covenant with God, the United States of America was the envy of the world.  In commerce, in war, in the peace and tranquility of the lives of her citizens, The United States was unique.  The French writer Alexis de Tocqueville came here in the 1830’s and marveled at what he saw and heard.  He wrote a book called “Democracy in America” cataloguing those wonders, and gave God a significant place in his understanding of why this country above all others on the earth at the time was so blessed.

We made a Covenant with God.  We were blessed.  And then we broke it.

(to be continued)

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24/365 International Prayer Network

Welcome to our Worldwide Prayer Network. This network spans the globe where Ministers, Ministries, Individuals and Congregations are joining in unity to pray for the “Body of Christ” to work together in the spirit of love, harmony and purpose. It is our prayer that this network will pray every hour of every day until Jesus returns.

We invite you and your ministry/church to commit to one specific hour per week to pray and join in this final international prayer gathering of the saints. This is a life commitment that you will pray each and every week for only one hour. There are 168 hours each week and we are expecting every hour to have many leaders and churches praying during each one and every one. Below are a few of the prayer points that we are praying. The list will continue to grow and change over time.

Please sign-up to join the network

Suggested and needed areas for prayer. Leaders are encouraged to select and edit as led by “Holy Spirit”!

  • Pastors will work together in their community to save the lost and make disciples
  • For all Christian Churches and pastors in their community regardless of their race or denomination
  • Pastors will establish relationships of love and trust between themselves
  • Local churches and Pastors will stop criticizing one another and start loving one another
  • Leaders of the denominations to work together with purpose to reach every community for Christ
  • Pastors to have a Kingdom attitude and heart
  • Pastors marriages and families to be strong, healthy and holy. To be examples of Christ.
  • Pastors to pray with their spouse every day
  • That strong Pastors will step forward to establish “Champion Tables” as leaders in every community
  • The Body of Christ, the Church, to become passionate about praying and will develop the discipline to pray each day with intensity and intentionally
  • That Pastors “Fast and Pray” with accountability and encouragement to one another with confidentiality
  • That anyone who calls themselves a Christian will serve and honor God with their life, words, actions, thoughts, attitudes and above all “love”
  • Our National leaders will turn to Jesus and become committed Christians
  • All Presidents, Prime Ministers and Heads of State will use the Bible as the standard for governing
  • That our Governmental leaders will call for fasts and prayers to be held at their governmental headquarters
  • For Pastors to be called to every country’s capital to pray in unity repenting and worshiping Jesus
  • That Christians will vote where and when allowed for candidates who are committed Christians
  • For Israel and their people to accept Jesus as their Messiah and Savior
  • For All Pro Pastors International and The Pastors Prayer Center to fulfill it’s Mission and Vision
  • For provision to come into this ministry so that there is more than enough to reach the entire world with this mission and for the gospel of Jesus Christ to be shared to all people
  • That the 24/365 Prayer Network will have pastors and leaders sign-up quickly and honestly to faithfully pray
  • That our hearts will have forgiveness for one another for years of racial and cultural division and criticism
  • For a great move of the Holy Spirit to move through the land with a great demonstration of power
  • For all Christian Married couples to pray together every day showing compassion for each other before God
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“For Messiah, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.”

Where in the Bible are these verses found? They are found in 1 Corinthians 5:7-8. Since I spend a lot of time speaking in Christian churches this has become my favorite passage about Passover.

Paul is not writing to the Jewish believers of Yeshua who are living in Jerusalem. He is writing to Corinthians; non-Jewish, gentile Christians. He identifies Messiah as our Passover Lamb. Since Paul identifies Yeshua as the Passover Lamb, he must have a reason for doing this. The more you study the Passover lamb, the more you’ll learn about what Yeshua did for you.

Paul also tells us that we’re not to be leavened with malice and wickedness, but we need to the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. During Passover God tells us to remove leaven from our homes, and to eat unleavened bread (which is also known as matzah). Since Paul discusses unleavened bread and contrasts it with leavened bread, he must have something he wants to teach us. Why does Paul want us to be like unleavened bread, and not like leavened bread? What does removing leaven from our homes have to do with this? What can we learn from Passover?

Finally, Paul goes so far as to tell gentile, non-Jewish Christians that they are to “keep (or celebrate) the Festival (of Passover).” Why does Paul tell Christian to celebrate Passover? I am certain if you take the time to study the Passover lamb, and the purpose of removing leaven, you will clearly see why you need to celebrate Passover.

In God’s Word Christians are told to celebrate Passover. But I believe you have freedom in how you celebrate Passover. You can choose to embrace as much or little of the modern ritual of how to celebrate Passover. Throughout history Jewish people have created ways of remembering and teaching what God did for our ancestors. This is where our freedom comes in. We can choose to embrace the modern customs if we desire. But we are also free to teach it any way that helps us remember that God will do the same for us today.

I am spending the month of April traveling to churches and ministries in Tampa Bay to help Christians celebrate Passover. If you live in Tampa Bay, go to my events calendar on my Rabbi Ron Speaks Facebook Page or click on this link to see where I’ll be. https://www.facebook.com/pg/RabbiRonSpeaks/events/

If you would like me to visit your group and help you celebrate Messiah our Passover Lamb, contact me. I’d love to speak with you and show you how you can (spiritually) profit from Passover.

 

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“A 15-minute Vision checkup”

Ask your core leaders these seven questions. If they answer no or show hesitation you are overdue for a vision checkup.

If your core leaders show any doubt rest assured the team members on the outer edge don’t have a clue. It’s the “outer-edge” team members that have the initial and most frequent contact with those you serve or are trying to reach.

1. IMAGINABLE: Does our vision convey a compelling picture of our future?
2. DESIRABLE: Does our vision appeal and grab the attention of at least two generations?
3. FEASIBLE: Is our vision built on reasonable, stretchable and achievable goals?
4. FOCUSED: Does our vision guide and dominate our decision making process?
5. FLEXIBLE: Does our vision allow for individual creativity and changing conditions?
6. COMMUNICABLE: Can all of our core leaders “Tell our story” and describe our vision in 100 words or less?
7. EXECUTABLE: Is our strategy (action plan) well-conceived, understood and embraced by all team members?

You get the best results when your team members feel they can be brutally honest, especially with their leader. Great leaders keep drilling down until they discover what every team member really thinks, not just what they think the leader wants to hear.

Until you have that degree of openness and honesty by everyone on the team you have not taped into the full potential of your team. Until you ask your team for just a little more than they think they can give, you won’t get all they can give. That takes commitment, trust and honest answers to these seven questions.

When’s the last time you and your team had a vision checkup? Poor attitudes, low energy and lack of engagement may indicate its time.

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Pastors Sharpen Pastors and Prayer is the Sword!

Pastors we need each other and our families need us to be strong.

Watch this short video and be encouraged!