Tag Archives: United States

National Revival

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

This oft-repeated verse offers a tenuous hope for American Evangelicals that, if we only put its tenets into practice, God will keep His end of the deal and heal the trouble in our land. However, as I have asserted in the past[1], this verse is taken out of context and misapplied. If Israel’s history can teach us anything, it is that God has His limits when He will no longer hear the pleas for a nation.[2]

Recent history teaches us that, in regard to God, Americans are a fickle people. Following one disaster after another, America has turned to God in repentance only to return to its vomit[3] as soon as things get better. We find ourselves in a mess again. The Wuhan Bug paralyzed our nation with fear. Everywhere you look you find masked people avoiding contact with one another. You can even see masked people driving cars or walking outdoors. Fear over COVID-19 has shut church doors for fear of retribution by authorities and also for fear of spreading the virus.[4]

Unrestrained rioting in the streets of many of our major cities adds to the fear of many Americans, and everyone can see that our country is in serious trouble. Consequently, many evangelical leaders call on American Christians to pray for revival in our nation (again). They sincerely believe the promise that “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much” (James 5:16), and we can reverse the course our nation. Without getting into differences of eschatological views, many of these believe that through the hard work of prayer, Christians will turn the world around and usher in the millennial reign of Christ.

The prophet Jeremiah encountered a similar optimist in Hananiah.[5] God had already told Jeremiah that Judah would go into Babylonian captivity, and to demonstrate by way of an object lesson, God instructed Jeremiah to carry around a heavy ox yoke to illustrate the bondage into which Judah was going. However, Hananiah painted a different picture, “Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, saying, I have broken the yoke of the king of Babylon” (Jeremiah 28:2), and he took the yoke off of Jeremiah and broke it to demonstrate what God would do. But that was not God’s plan, and Judah soon came under the yoke of Babylon for 70 years. Hananiah, the false optimistic prophet, did not live out the year for speaking falsely in the name of the Lord.

I am not a prophet, at least not like those through whom God spoke in the Bible. But I do study the Word, and I try to see the world through the lens of Scripture. In Scripture, God’s “chosen” people were punished for their disobedience and their idolatry – which involved sexual perversion and infanticide in their worship. If God so dealt with “His” chosen nation what makes us think that we will fare better just because we pray? Not every person in Judah was corrupt. Take for example Daniel, Hananiah (not the false prophet), Mishael, and Azariah;[6] they went into Babylonian captivity and they maintained their devotion to God. Surely there were others, but that did not stop God from punishing the “nation” of Judah for their sin. Nor will He save our nation at this point for our national sins even though “His people” pray.

Consider the downward spiral of sin described in Romans 1:18-32 and compare that to our nation. Our nation holds truth in unrighteousness. Our nation denies God and promotes the idea that all things came into existence by natural causes, and though they cannot prove their ideas, they invent “just so” stories and present them as facts. We profess ourselves to be wise, but indeed we are fools and only deceive ourselves. Rather than worship the Creator, we worship the creation and in our own feebleness attempt desperate measures to protect the planet (The Green New Deal).  As a consequence of our denial of God, He has turned over our nation to perverse lusts “to dishonour their own bodies between themselves” (v. 24). Think about the various ways we disfigure our bodies through tattoos, body piercings, the unnatural coloring of hair, other types of mutilations, homosexual perversions of all kinds, etc. God has turned over our nation to the “vile affections” of homosexuality – women with women, men with men, and even the sexual perversion of children. God has given over our people to “reprobate minds” so that they are incapable of reasonable thought. Simply consider the irrational reasoning they offer in support of some of their crazy ideas about climate change, about abortion, about the benefits of socialism, etc. Does it seem that the world has lost its collective mind? It has because God has allowed it as punishment for our sin.

Look at how Paul’s description perfectly fits America today. “Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication [any sex outside the bonds of marriage], wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenant-breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them” (Romans 1:29-32, emphasis mine). Does that not fit America today?

Do you know what God told Jeremiah about praying for the people of his day? God said, “Don’t pray for these people.”[7] Their grace period had expired. I fear America’s grace period has also expired, and God is saying, “Don’t pray for these people.” The train is hurtling downhill fast and the brakes are out. Our Lord’s return gets closer by the day. Every new fire ignited by lawless rioters brings us closer. Every murder that takes place closes the gap. Every baby that is aborted draws the noose tighter. Jesus is the only fix to this broken world.

Still, we pray. We are instructed to pray for our leaders[8] that we might live “peaceable” lives, but that does not necessarily equate to praying for the salvation of a too-far-gone nation. I could be wrong, but as I have searched the New Testament, I do not find any admonition to pray for the nation, the leaders yes, but not the nation. I would like to see a national revival, but I sincerely doubt that it will happen. Our national track record in that regard testifies to the improbability of that happening. Still, my baby brother and I will join thousands of others on the Mall in Washington DC on September 26 for a Franklin Graham sponsored prayer march on the nation’s capital.[9] We will march from the Lincoln Memorial, past the Washington Monument and on to the steps of the Capitol. We will march, and we will pray as we go. If the direction of the nation is to change, our leaders need to change either physically or spiritually.

National revival is improbable, but not impossible. Who knows! Our Lord may delay His coming, but His judgment is not only for our nation but for the whole world. The entire world needs repentance. If only our nation repents, it may not stop the judgment that is coming upon the whole world. In any rate, it would be great if our nation experienced a national revival. We can pray.

Notes:


[1]  “If My People” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2016/08/21/if-my-people/

[2]  “When God Won’t Hear” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2016/07/17/when-god-wont-hear/

[3]  2 Peter 2:22

[4]  “Fear Not” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2020/08/16/fear-not/

[5]  Jeremiah 28

[6]  Daniel 1:6

[7]  Jeremiah 7:16; 11:14; 14:11

[8]  1 Timothy 2:1-2

[9]  Washington Prayer March 2020 – https://prayermarch2020.com/

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Filed under Apologetics, Bible, Christianity, Current Events, End Times, Evangelism, Religion, Second Coming of Christ, Theology

What If?

I the LORD have spoken it: it shall come to pass, and I will do it; I will not go back, neither will I spare, neither will I repent; according to thy ways, and according to thy doings, shall they judge thee, saith the Lord GOD. (Ezekiel 24:14)

Have you noticed how the world seems to be coming apart at the seams? Of course, COVID-19 leads the headlines followed closely by the riots taking place all over the nation.  The United States is not alone in this regard. The pandemic and lawlessness circles the globe while economies threaten to collapse worldwide. America’s enemies continue to build up their war machines at the neglect of their own people. The world appears ready for war if something does not happen soon to ease the tension.

Because of the focus on our own problems, we fail to see what is taking place in the Middle East where biblical prophecy focuses. Tiny Israel emerges from obscurity to become the eighth strongest military force in the world.[1] They turned a worthless barren land into one of the most fertile and productive in the world.[2] Israel takes water from the Mediterranean Sea and turns it into water suitable for drinking and watering crops.[3] Israel can even draw water out of thin air![4] Israel’s technology often surpasses even that of the United States.[5] Twenty centuries ago, the Roman Empire crushed this little nation and scattered the Jewish people all over the world. Miraculously, the people maintained their identity, their customs, and their language throughout the centuries and returned to their land of origin to begin anew, just as foretold in the pages of Scripture.

Those same prophecies foretell of the coming of the Messiah that will rule with a “rod of iron.”[6] However, the Prophet Daniel foretold that Messiah would come and that He would be “cut off.”[7] Jesus fulfilled this prophecy by His death on the cross, but the prophecies also foretold that He would rise again.[8] The Jews missed their Messiah because they awaited one that would come as an earthly king, throw off the shackles of Roman bondage, and make Israel a nation that would rule the world as predicted by the prophets. They did not look for a Messiah to come and sacrifice His own body for their sins, much less the sins of the world. They were not wrong to expect a reigning king Messiah; they just missed that it was needful for him to die.[9]

The Old Testament has over 300 prophecies about Jesus. Jesus fulfilled every one concerning His first coming. The odds of one man, Jesus, fulfilling just 8 of those prophecies is an unimaginable 1 in 1017, but Jesus fulfilled all of them.[10] The Old Testament contains more prophecies about His second coming than it does about His first coming. Jesus Himself promised that He would return. He said, “… I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (John 14:2-3). When He ascended into heaven, as the disciples watched Him disappear into the clouds, two angels appeared to them and asked, “…Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11).

Jesus talked about future world conditions prior to His return.[11] We see many of those predictions taking shape even now. This is just “the beginning of sorrows.”[12] The skeptics will point out that we have always had wars, pestilences, famines, earthquakes, etc. These are nothing new. However, the convergence of all these dire predictions taking place simultaneously is “unprecedented.”[13] Combined with the reemergence of the nation of Israel, these events have greater significance today. Even my lost backdoor neighbor recognizes the trouble in our world and assesses the condition of our nation as “Godless.” To say that this man is “rough around the edges” puts it mildly, so for him to make a statement like that tells me that it is not just me that sees this. The conditions seem ripe for our Lord’s return, first for His church at the Rapture, and then as He returns to reign as King the way the Jews expected Him the first time.

But, what if we have it all wrong? What if Jesus is not coming soon? What if Jesus will not come at all? Jesus said about the Tribulation, which follows the Rapture of the Church, “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened” (Matthew 24:22). This conditional prediction forecasts the extinction of all life on earth.

The way I see the world headed, that prediction is highly likely. I am not alone in this assessment. There is an ideology carved in stone that proposes reducing world population down to 500-million[14] among other crazy socialist ideals. These proposals raise the question, “Who decides who lives and who dies?” They want to “guide reproduction wisely – improving fitness and diversity,” and they want to “unite humanity with a living new language.” i.e. they want to bring humanity back to Babel.[15]

Another way they want to improve and “evolve” humanity is with the hybridization of humans with machines – artificial intelligence (AI).[16] However, what eludes these geniuses is the fact that their creations would no longer be human. Others propose improving human DNA through various methods of genetic modification.[17] [18] [19] [20] I heard someone say that altering human DNA by only one percent makes that individual non-human; they become something else. Jesus took on human DNA to save humans. What if genetically modified humans are no longer human? Can they be saved?

What if Jesus delays His return just 50 or 60 years? In what condition will He find the human race? What if Jesus does not come at all? What will become of the human race? Will we destroy ourselves through rampant violence? Will we “evolve” ourselves into human/machine hybrids – cyborgs? That is not the brave new world of which I want to be part.

What if Jesus delays His coming or does not come at all? All the prophecies in the Bible about His second coming are all future and not yet realized. So, how can we know for sure? Well, since we cannot reckon the future, we can always look to the past for validation. The biblical record predicting the first coming of Christ is 100% accurate. The biblical record of coming end-time events is proving accurate thus far: Israel is a nation, everything needed for the third Temple is ready, prophecies for Israel in the end-times are being fulfilled, the staging for the Gog-Magog invasion of Israel[21] is falling into place, the moral decline and violence of the end-times world is on the increase. If Jesus’ first coming was predicted with 100% accuracy, and many of the end-times prophecies are already fulfilled and being fulfilled, the only thing that remains is for Jesus to come and take His Bride, the Church, out of this world, and the rest of the prophecies will also come to pass. There are no signs to predict the Rapture of the Church. It will come suddenly at any moment. However, being that signs for the end continue to increase, we can be sure that the Rapture is imminent.[22] But, what if Jesus does not return or delays? Jesus said, “And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened” (Matthew 24:22). Jesus will not allow His creation to destroy itself.

Reader, what if Jesus comes and you are not ready? You can take care of that today. Read my article on “Securing Eternal Life.”

Notes:


[1]  Ezekiel 37:1-14

[2]  Isaiah 27:6; 35:1-2

[3]  “Israel Proves the Desalination Era Is Here” – https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/israel-proves-the-desalination-era-is-here/

[4]  “Extracting water from air, Israeli firm looks to quench global thirst” – https://www.timesofisrael.com/extracting-water-from-air-israeli-firm-looks-to-quench-global-thirst/

[5]  “List of Israeli Inventions And Discoveries” – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Israeli_inventions_and_discoveries

[6]  Psalm 2:9; Revelation 2:27; 12:5; 19:15

[7]  Daniel 9:26

[8]  Psalm 16:10; Acts 2:27-32

[9]  Isaiah 53

[10]  “APPLYING THE SCIENCE OF PROBABILITY TO THE SCRIPTURES” – https://christinprophecy.org/articles/applying-the-science-of-probability-to-the-scriptures/

[11]  Matthew 24; Mark 13; Luke 21

[12]  Matthew 24:8

[13]  “Unprecedented” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2020/04/19/unprecedented/

[14]  “The Georgia Guidestones Mystery” – https://thesecrettruthabout.com/the-georgia-guidestones-mystery/

[15]  Genesis 11:1-9

[16]  “What is Transhumanism” – https://whatistranshumanism.org/

[17]  “Human Genetic Modification” – https://www.geneticsandsociety.org/topics/human-genetic-modification

[18]  “Genetically Modified Humans? How Genome Editing Works” https://www.livescience.com/50599-gene-editing-human-embryos.html

[19]  “When Humans Become Cyborgs | DAVOS 2020” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrNaaz1isEQ

[20]  “AI: THE PLAN TO INVADE HUMANITY” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hzg7Rw-mX4k

[21]  Ezekiel 38-39

[22]  “Imminent” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2020/01/12/imminent/

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Filed under Apologetics, Christianity, Current Events, End Times, Gospel, Random Musings, Religion, Salvation, Science, Second Coming of Christ, Theology

Fear Not!

For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee. (Isaiah 41:13)

In all my threescore and ten years I have not seen the kind of fear that grips our nation today. I grew up during the Cuban Missile Crisis and remember duck-and-cover drills in school, but I do not remember experiencing fear over it. To me, they were no different than fire drills and I thought it was fun to take a break from schoolwork.

Further along, I remember the Civil Rights marches and the Vietnam War protests, but they were far removed and affected me little. Soon the war called my number and I joined the Navy to do my part, but there was no fear in that either; I was just doing my duty as an American.

Our nation has gone through a lot in my lifetime, but never have I experienced the kind of fear that seems to permeate every pore of our society these days. First, the Wuhan Bug attacked, and we were frightened into sheltering in our homes and told not to come out unless absolutely necessary and then only when fully masked and with a good supply of hand sanitizer. So dreaded was the pandemic that churches shut their doors, as mandated by governing authorities, for fear of spreading the virus and of suffering repercussions at the hands of the authorities. Imagine Christians being jailed for practicing their faith! Unheard of! (Tongue firmly implanted in cheek!)

On top of all that, violent riots are breaking out in large cities all over the nation, and the authorities in those cities purposefully allow the riots to continue unabated while threatening churches and church leaders if they open the doors. The reprobate leaders in those cities want to comply with rioters’ demands to defund the police, but turn a deaf ear to Christians wanting to go back to church. Law-abiding citizens fear for their own safety because of the rampant violence taking place and the fear that they cannot count on police protection. Gun sales are up as citizens arm up to defend themselves from the lawless ones.

I completely understand why fear grips non-Christians. This life is all they have. Their only hope is what this life can give them, and they want to get as much out of this life as they can because there is nothing else. The Wuhan Bug and the lawlessness in the streets threaten the only life they know. Their world has been turned upside down, and it now comes down to survival of the fittest, the law of the jungle. That is a scary thing!

What I do not understand is Christians buying into the fear. Part of the reason, I believe, is that our churches have acquiesced to unlawful edicts[1] rather than obeying God’s directive to assemble.[2] I heard a sermon illustration once about the need for Christians to gather regularly. The preacher described a blazing bonfire with many logs piled high on it. But if you pull out one single log and set it off by itself, it quickly goes out and grows cold. That applies to a Christian that does not participate in regular church services with fellow believers. When Christians meet, we encourage one another. We share our needs and our praises with one another. We pray for one another and encourage one another. We lift our voices to God in praise together. That does not happen when the doors of the churches are closed. Yes, we can listen to our own pastors, pastors of other congregations, and any number of great Bible teachers on the internet, but that does not take the place of face-to-face fellowship. As a result, we lose courage and become fearful just like the rest of the world. Don’t you know? That is exactly how Satan likes it. As long as our churches remain closed, Satan is happy.

Why should a Christian succumb to fear? God has not given us a spirit of fear![3] Jesus said, “And I say unto you my friends, Be not afraid of them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, Fear him” (Luke 12:4-5, emphasis mine). So what if COVID-19 kills you! If you are a Christian, what does that mean for you? Or, are you so tied to the world and the things of this world that you would rather forgo heaven just to hang on to your stuff a little longer? Maybe heaven is not your home after all.

The first time God uttered the phrase “fear not” in the Bible, He said it to Abraham “saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward” (Genesis 15:1, emphasis mine).  As our “shield” God protects us from incoming missiles, even the Coronavirus. Do we believe that or not? A friend and fellow blogger commented on an article I shared recently.[4] She told me that her church opened its doors,[5] but soon thereafter, three of their congregation died from the virus and four were hospitalized and several in the church staff were infected. I do not know, but I suspect that her church has an aging congregation that is high-risk to begin with, and the fact that those in her congregation were infected does not necessarily mean that they caught it at church. Maybe they were, and maybe they weren’t. We all live in a fallen world, and therefore we are vulnerable to the maladies thereof. Another factor that must be considered is that this sampling is a minuscule part of the overall population of the United States and not representative of the entire populous. Numbers from the CDC indicate that deaths from the Wuhan Virus are extremely low, less than one percent.[6] Those that die from it have, in one way or another, already compromised immune systems. The median age of death from the virus for those over 59 years of age is 78 years old. Coincidently, the average lifespan in America is 78 years. This is not to minimize the value of every human life. Every life is precious to God, but the saints especially. Most of the saints I know would rather be “absent from the body and present with the Lord.”[7]

The second time God uses the phrase “fear not” is to Hagar after she and Ishmael were banished from Abraham’s camp.[8] God assures Hagar that He heard Ishmael’s prayer and He provided for her water in the desert. If God can hear the prayer of one without the camp, how much more will He not listen to the prayers of His own and provide for their needs? If we pray for God’s protection over our congregations, do we not believe that He will protect and provide for us?

On another occasion “Moses said unto the people, Fear not: for God is come to prove you, and that his fear may be before your faces, that ye sin not” (Exodus 20:20, emphasis mine). Could COVID-19 not be a test for the churches of God to “prove” them to see if they “fear” Him enough to obey Him rather than lawless men?

After Israel came into the Promised Land before they had kings, God said to them, “And I said unto you, I am the LORD your God; fear not the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but ye have not obeyed my voice” (Judges 6:10, emphasis mine). The “gods” of the Amorites were not imaginary; they were real demonic spirits that were worshipped by the Amorites. The problem with Israel was not the Amorite gods; it was their disobedience to God whom they should have feared. The Coronavirus is real, but we should not be in fear of the virus; we should fear God and obey Him rather than men.

Later on, Israel – the Northern Kingdom – found itself threatened by Syria, but the Prophet Elisha warned the king of Israel about the threat. When the Syrian king learned of the source of the “leaks,” he surrounded Elisha’s house to kill him. Elisha’s servant feared for their lives when he saw they were surrounded, but Elisha was unafraid. “And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them” (2 Kings 6:16, emphasis mine). Elisha prayed that his servant’s eyes be opened and when God answered, the servant saw a greater army of angels surrounding the Syrian army. Is this just a fanciful story or does God still command an innumerable host of angels ready to protect His churches? Why are we fearful?

Must I go on? “Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you” (Isaiah 35:4, emphasis mine). Jesus Himself said, “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28, emphasis mine). It is long past time for churches to stand up to unlawful decrees, reopen the doors, and obey God rather than men.

Reader, if you are fearful in these days, you can find your security in God. Trust Jesus to save your soul and keep you safe in His arms. Read my page on “Securing Eternal Life.”

Notes:


[1]  “Higher Powers” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2020/07/19/higher-powers/

[2]  Hebrews 10:25

[3]  2 Timothy 1:7

[4]  “Churches Aren’t Avoiding Death By Keeping Doors Closed. They’re Ensuring It

[5]  Read her comment here: https://erniecarrasco.com/2020/08/13/churches-arent-avoiding-death-by-keeping-doors-closed-theyre-ensuring-it/

[6]  Watch this report by Steve Deace on the BlazeTV (may require subscription): https://www.blazetv.com/watch/channel/series/series/5qrRSBLHHW7g-steve-deace-show/episode/43-ruvwuy6vllw9-overtime-a-coronavirus-quiz-81220?t=0

[7]  2 Corinthians 5:8

[8]  Genesis 21:17

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Filed under Apologetics, Christianity, Current Events, Heaven, Satan, Theology

Higher Powers

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. (Romans 13:1)

The Wuhan Pandemic proves the willingness of Americans to voluntarily subject themselves to the “higher powers” without question or objection. At least that holds true for those of the population who generally comply with mandates issued by the powers that be.  Compliance comes without challenge to the legitimacy or legality of the edict.

Nowhere is that more apparent than in the Christian community. Ever since the government issued the “shelter-in-place” rules to halt the spread of the COVID-19 virus, churches have shut the doors to their facilities, ignoring the biblical mandate not to forsake the assembling together.[1] In so doing, they also ignore another biblical principle that we, the Church, are to obey God rather than men.[2]

In defense of these biblical infractions, church leaders cite Romans 13:1-7.  Writing from Corinth, Paul pens a letter to the young church in Rome expressing his desire to visit them on his way to Spain.[3] Paul’s “meaty” letter to the Romans contains much “heavy” doctrine as well as practical application of that doctrine to the Christian life. In this section, Paul gives instructions on how Christians should relate to governing authorities.

Paul wrote his letter to the Roman Church sometime around 57-58 A.D. Nero reigned as emperor of the Roman Empire.[4] History records that Nero initiated the “Great Fire of Rome” in 64 A.D.[5] in order to make room for one of his public works projects. In order to deflect the liability from himself, he cast the blame on Christians subjecting them to harsh persecution. It is said that he raised Christians on stakes and set them on fire to light the streets of Rome. It is this emperor to whom Paul exhorted the Roman Church to submit “For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil” (Romans 13:4). “He is a minister of God to thee for good”? He is “a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil”? Was Paul really talking about Nero? Indeed he was.

Christians should submit to the governing authorities because, according to God’s Word through Paul, “the powers that be are ordained of God” (Romans 13:1).  The Greek word translated “ordained” is tassō and it carries the idea of putting things in order; to station in place; to arrange; to appoint. I picture it as God arranging chess pieces on a chessboard. The Bible clearly affirms that it is God who sets up or takes down earthly kings. He does it to accomplish His higher purpose. “The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: he turneth it whithersoever he will” (Proverbs 21:1).

Even though Nero used Christians as human torches, this was an isolated case. Systemic persecution of Christians did not exist at the time of Paul’s writing to the church at Rome. Isolated cases of persecution cropped up from time to time, but it was far from rampant. The primitive church in Jerusalem suffered the brunt of early persecution at the hands of the Jews, but except for Stephan[6] and James,[7] there is no biblical record of Christians being killed for their faith. The Jews beat Peter and threw him in prison, but an angelic jailbreaker let him out.[8] Early Christians did suffer individual and isolated cases of persecution, but it was mostly in the form of ostracism. In fact, the Bible records that “the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch” (Acts 11:26). The moniker, Christian, was given as a term of derision, not as a compliment. That was mostly the extent of persecution in the early church. We, in America, suffer that kind of persecution today and it appears to be growing worse.

The kind of persecution portrayed in epic movies – Christians fed to lions, burned at the stake, dragged to death behind chariots, etc. – did not take place until much later. “Officially sanctioned Roman persecution was most intense during the reigns of Marcus Aurelius (161–180), Decius (249–251), Diocletian (284–305) and Galerius (305–311).”[9] For the most part, the Romans practiced “freedom of religion,” as long as people gave verbal assent to Caesar as lord. Declaring “Jesus is Lord” could get Christians into trouble, if such a declaration fell on the wrong ears; but I am sure Christians were safe as long as they watched their words.

My point in all of this is to show that Paul gave the church at Rome good advice in keeping the law and submitting to the authorities. Indeed, Paul took advantage of Roman law on more than one occasion.[10] Likewise, as Americans, while America remains, we must submit to our authorities and make use of the system of laws provided by the United States Constitution.

The greatest difference existing between the Roman Empire and the United States of America is the rule of man versus the rule of law. Our framers understood that fallen man cannot rule righteously and must be constrained by something (or someone) greater. Our founders understood that our freedoms come from God alone, and not from human government. We are free because God made us individually free, not because some benevolent human government bestows freedom upon us. Government only takes away freedom. Therefore, the framers of the Constitution, our Law of the Land, very simply designed a form of government of laws, gleaned mostly from the Bible and divided amongst three co-equal branches of government – the Legislative to write laws, the Executive to enforce the laws, and the Judicial to ensure that the laws written by the Legislative branch and approved by the Executive branch were in keeping with the Constitution. Further, the original Constitution included only ten amendments called the Bill of Rights that protected individual citizens from governmental abuses. The design of the Constitution purposefully complicated the process of legislation to prevent our “fallen” leaders from creating abusive laws willy-nilly.  The main intent of government was to “establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.”[11]

Our authority is the Constitution of the United States, not our President, not Congress, nor the Supreme Court, and certainly not the unelected officials which pass thousands of laws and regulations unbeknownst to the rest of us. The first of the Bill of Rights ensures for us the freedom of (not from) religion, the freedom of speech and of the press, and the freedom to peaceably assemble. Specifically, freedom of religion guarantees that “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion[12] [i.e., we cannot have a “national” religion, Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist, etc.] or prohibiting the free exercise thereof [i.e. we are free to practice our faith in any way or in any place we want to].”[13] The freedom to peaceably assemble[14] also applies to our freedom of religion because that is what we, as Christians, do on the Lord’s Day, assemble peaceably.

Now, the Wuhan Bug[15] invaded our borders, and our governmental leaders locked down our nation effectively imprisoning all Americans in their homes “for their own protection,”[16] of course. If they intended to “insure domestic tranquility” they failed miserably. If they intended to “provide for the common defense” they failed at that too. Consider all the rioting and the calls to defund the police. Law-abiding citizens are left defenseless.[17] If they intended to “promote the general welfare,” they failed again. Consider all the jobs lost, businesses closed, and lives disrupted. We are “encouraged” to stay home and not to come out unless it is absolutely necessary, and then we must wear masks to cover our mouths and noses and keep away from other people. I could go on, but I will not belabor the point.

These draconian measures have effectively neutered the First Amendment. We are not allowed to peaceably assemble in our houses of worship, and we are, therefore, prohibited from freely exercising our religion. It was not many years ago that Christians were being discouraged from practicing their religion in public, as in school, at work, or on government property. We were encouraged to confine the exercise of our religion to our houses of worship. Now we cannot even go there.

I do not believe Paul would encourage us to obey unlawful orders. As noted above, Paul lived under the law of man, Nero. We, supposedly, live under the rule of LAW, not of man. Paul without hesitation exercised his legal rights as a Roman citizen under Roman law when his freedoms were violated. Comparing Roman law and American Constitutional law is comparing apples and oranges. We are not obligated to obey edicts prescribed by unelected officials, CDC, HHS, NIH, WHO, etc. They are not legitimate lawgivers, so any edicts put out by these organizations are unsupported by our Constitution – unless We the People voluntarily subject ourselves to them.

No intelligent person denies that COVID-19 poses a potentially fatal threat. However, the infection to death ratio is extremely small. Furthermore, those at high risk of death from this virus are those who are physically compromised – the elderly, the immunocompromised, those with respiratory illnesses, etc. Healthy individuals who are infected either exhibit no symptoms, or they experience symptoms akin to a severe case of flu.

The Wuhan Bug does not warrant the measures taken to combat it. What these measures do accomplish is to provide a large-scale test platform for population control. After all, these measures are “for our own good.” Our government is only trying to protect its citizens. Do not be deceived! The higher powers are testing the waters for greater restrictions to come. These are just the first fruits of tyranny. Sadly, our churches are unwittingly paving the way.

I am one lonely voice. If I could influence anyone, I would encourage church leaders to engage in civil disobedience.  “We ought to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29). I know pastors are concerned about their congregations and do not want to be responsible for anyone getting infected or dying from the bug. I get that. However, we can meet together without masks, without social distancing, and without prohibitions against personal contact – shaking hands, hugging, etc. First of all, trust God that He will place His protective hand on the congregation. Second, encourage and trust people to exercise common sense. If someone suspects they have been infected they should stay home. If anyone has traveled out of the country or to a “hot spot” they should stay at home. If anyone feels a little “under the weather” they should stay at home. Third, provide plenty of hand sanitizing stations. Fourth, make an extra effort to keep the building clean and disinfected. If the higher powers protest, they do not have a Constitutional leg to stand on. You may have to fight it, but Paul gave us the example.

In the battle for American independence, it was the churches and the pastors that led the charge. It is high time the modern church exhibited the same kind of courage!

 Notes:


[1]  Hebrews 10:25

[2]  Acts 5:29

[3]  Romans 1:13; 15:22-24

[4]  “Nero” – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nero

[5]  “Great Fire of Rome” – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Fire_of_Rome

[6]  Acts 7:54-60

[7]  Acts 12:2

[8]  Acts 12:3-19

[9]  “Persecution of Christians in the Roman Empire” – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persecution_of_Christians_in_the_Roman_Empire

[10]  Acts16:35-40; 22:25;25:11

[11]  Preamble to The Constitution of the United States of America

[12]  By “religion” the founders had in mind Western religions which at that time included all Christian denominations and the Jewish religion. Eastern or pagan religions did not even occur to them.

[13]  The First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States

[14]  “The Right to Assemble” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2020/06/14/the-right-to-assemble/

[15]  “Wuhan Bug” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2020/03/15/wuhan-bug/

[16]  “Unprecedented” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2020/04/19/unprecedented/

[17]  “Living in Fear” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2020/06/28/living-in-fear/

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Living in Fear

If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them: Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place; And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear. (Deuteronomy 21:18-21)

Fear not! I have not counted for myself, but I understand that phrase, or some form of that phrase, appears 365 times in the Bible, one time for every day of the year. Yet it seems that these days fear dominates almost every area of our lives.

Beginning with the fear incited by federal health bureaucrats and the “fake news” media over the Wuhan Bug, a.k.a. COVID-19,[1] people fear leaving their homes without their self-poisoning surgical masks and plenty of immune-system-defeating hand sanitizer. This fear of the invisible predator has effectively imprisoned normal, healthy people, closed down churches[2], and heavily restricted or shut down businesses that rely on human traffic (not “trafficking”). Even the U.S. Navy fears the virus so much that it has effectively imprisoned all sailors.[3] President Trump recently spoke to graduating cadets at Annapolis who were all masked and properly social-distanced.[4]

It seems, however, that the Wuhan Bug discriminates among those it will infect. Apparently, Black Lives Matter (BLM) anarchists possess immunity against the virus. They wear masks only to hide their faces, and they do not practice social-distancing because it hinders mob vandalism. BLM and their support organization, ANTIFA, harbor no fear of the Wuhan Bug nor do they fear civil authority. In fact, it appears that the authorities fear the rioters more. While the police have “riot gear,” guns, bullets, tear gas and armored military vehicles, they hesitate to employ them for fear that they might be called “racists.” They have been rendered helpless by a word!

The local governments in charge of these police departments deserve the blame for this cowardice. They shackle those who “serve and protect” rendering law enforcement ineffective. Worse yet, many are beginning to yield to the rioters’ demands to defund the police departments. Meanwhile, law-abiding citizens are abandoned to fend for themselves while at the same time, leftists leaders push to violate the Second Amendment and disarm law-abiding citizens so that they are totally without protection.

So, now we also have a visible predator to fear. We can vanquish this one with little trouble and a little common sense. BLM is not about combating racism. There is no systemic racism in the United States. Any racism that exists, exists only in the minds of the propaganda spewing media and those leftists running the government (local, state, and federal) that feed propaganda to the media for public consumption. BLM is a Marxist organization[5] with the objective of destroying the American system of government and capitalism. Black lives do not matter to BLM; power does! BLM goes one step beyond socialism to communism. Neither the leaders of the movement nor the fools that follow them know the history of either socialism or communism. They have swallowed the utopian lie fed to them by their indoctrinators that such systems offer equality for all (except for those that are “more equal”). They believe in open borders, one-world order, and no law enforcement. Ironically, the “CHOP” experiment in Seattle, WA comes complete with borders and its own form of “law” enforcement. I heard somewhere, but I cannot confirm, that in its short existence, CHOP already finds defectors and those who would like to escape and cannot. Utopia only exists in the mind!

The solution to this problem is simple. Declare BLM, like ANTIFA, a domestic terrorist organization. When the rioters form, bring in well-armed police and military and use deadly force against these “enemy combatants.” By embracing Marxism, BLM betrays and rejects the Constitution of the United States thereby renouncing their rights under American law. They are enemies of the state.

These thugs are cowards. All they need is to see some of their comrades fall in a pool of blood, and they will quickly rethink their allegiance.  Look again at the passage from Deuteronomy quoted above. In the Mosaic Law, if parents had a rebellious son who would not obey and submit to his parents’ authority, the parents could bring him before the elders of the town and they would stone him to death. That sounds harsh to our sensitive, politically correct ears, but God’s reasoning for such harsh punishment was “so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear” (Deuteronomy 21:21). Do you know why BLM and ANTIFA have no fear of authority? It is because they have not seen one of their own put to death for their rebellion. Instead, it is our leaders who respond in fear and allow this anarchy to continue, and as a result, the rest of us have to live in fear of what these vandals will do next. Perhaps we will be the ones caught by a mob beating on our cars trying to drag us out to pummel us because we have been judged as “privileged.”

Of course, these riots are not unique to the United States. This is taking place all over the world. We just do not see it because the fake news tries to distract us to focus our attention only what is taking place here and only from the perspective of their camera lenses.

There is another source of fear for those who hold conservative values. According to some sources, it appears that our President, Donald Trump, stands a strong chance of losing the 2020 election, and we will get stuck with Joe Biden and whoever ends up as his running mate. That is a very scary thought. If that happens, there are Demonrat bills already waiting in the wings that will severely injure our First and Second Amendments. Who knows what other tyrannical legislation they will foist on us when all the stops are removed! On the other hand, if Trump is reelected and considering how his first election ignited their fury, imagine how they will react when he wins a second term. Either way, the next four years will not be pretty.

I am exhorted by many conservative groups to participate in the legislative process. Get involved. Write to your Congressman and Senators. Write to the President. Get involved in local and state politics. I do. I have always participated and will continue to do so as long as we have the privilege. However, I am no Polly Anna. I can read the writing on the wall. This country is already lost, and if not, it soon will be. Soon, we will be faced with two options: submit or fight. I know what is in my mind. I have lived my threescore and ten years in freedom. I will not submit to tyranny, but every person will have to make that choice for themselves.

Do you know what I fear? I know that Jesus will return for His Bride very soon. I can almost see the angel puckering his lips to blow that last trumpet, and we will be out of here. I do not want to miss that experience and the sensation of instant metamorphosis in the “twinkling of an eye.” My fear is that I will die before that event. On the brighter side, death will only mean that I will rise first. “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first” (1 Thessalonians 4:16, emphasis mine). Either way, I look forward to being with my Savior for eternity.

We are living in fearsome times, but if we have placed our trust in Jesus, we should not live in fear. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7). Take courage. Our Lord is coming soon!

Reader, if you are living in fear and are insecure about the future, please read my page on “Securing Eternal Life.”

Notes:


[1]  “Wuhan Bug” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2020/03/15/wuhan-bug/

[2]  “The Right to Assemble” – https://erniecarrasco.com/2020/06/14/the-right-to-assemble/

[3]  “The US Navy Officially Becomes a Prison for Sailors” – https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/06/us-navy-officially-becomes-prison-sailors/

[4]  “Trump tells West Point graduates America’s institutions endure against ‘passions and prejudices of the moment’” – https://www.foxnews.com/politics/trump-west-point-graduates-america

[5]  “Black Lives Matter co-founder describes herself as ‘trained Marxist’ – https://nypost.com/2020/06/25/blm-co-founder-describes-herself-as-trained-marxist/

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