Saturday, August 29 2020
When I was a kid, a movie came out, in the early 50s’, it was called; “The Day the Earth Stood Still”. From what I remember a space ship landed in Washington D.C. (best of memory) and a guy and a robot came out with a message for the world. It seemed the invention of the nuclear bomb got some intergalactic police force’s attention. A stern warning was given in the usage of such armament in space. I’m thinking this movie may have been way ahead of its time. As I ponder on the ramifications of just such a scenario in our modern society, would we, as a people heed such a warning? Surely we would evaluate the evidence; consider, a space craft very unlike ours, coming from great distance (of course I speak hypothetically) with not only a message but a warning and credible evidence that they could make good on their promise of destroying planet earth. Quite a number of folks believe just such a scenario is probable, (remember SSDI) if not maybe a future reality. However from a Biblical perspective, that is not going to happen, but that opens the door to another thought; the warning part!
Has there ever existed a person that would emerge from perhaps obscurity, with a message from a higher Authority/Power proclaiming a judgment upon a nation or people? The answer to that question may surprise many folks, but a resounding yes, just such a person/s has existed. The Bible is the best source to unlock these great truths, but outside sources have also recorded such people having existed for historical record. So what is the role of just such a person; aka; the Prophet? The definition of this office of God is simply; they were a spokesman for God. And with that they often spoke; Thus saith the Lord; and speak what the Lord spoke to them. In the Book of Amos, of which he was a Prophet of God, it says; surely the Lord God will do nothing, but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the Prophets, (Amos 3:7). This a most incredible bit of truth here, wonder no more if God communicates with mankind. The role of the Prophet in the Old Testament was quite dramatic, in those days people didn’t hear from God like we do in the New Testament. There is a reason for that, it is called the Cross of Calvary, Jesus’ vicarious death opened the door wide for the child of God to come in and sup with the Lord (Revelation 3:20). There were what was referred to as “major” Prophets and “minor” Prophets in the Old Testament, all important. Moses was a Prophet, most wouldn’t have known that, Elijah was a Prophet, Daniel, Samuel, and Isaiah; quite a number. When these guys spoke you better be listening. And yes, there were Prophetess’, Huldah was one of them; (II Kings 22:14), there were far less women than men occupying that office. As we have noted, the role of the Prophet was very important to a nation in being able to hear from God. They often prophesied of coming famines, judgment, blessings and even death of a certain person, maybe even the King. Of course they would bring some stern words from the Lord from time to time about their walk with the Lord; (a Nation) or lack of, as in giving themselves over to idols and the like.
Just like there were good Prophets (of God) in the Old Testament there were false prophets. These false prophets were often times prophets of Baal, a false god. The Israelites would worship this false god with lewd rites in high places thus provoking the anger of the Lord. By the way; God dealt very harshly with false prophets. Many real Prophets of God were either imprisoned or martyred, why? Many people and nations did not always like the words given by the Prophet, they wanted to do what they wanted to do, and would not receive the Word of the Lord, thus silencing the voice was what seemed to be a simple remedy, short term anyway.
Since the Old Testament has served its purpose well, there was to be a New Testament, and what is that, but a New Covenant, yes a New Will. That is the right word; we that are alive have a New Will to abide by, procured by none other than the Lord Jesus Himself. I like to ask folks if they have found out what God has in the Will for them yet. It amazes me the number of people that have no clue what is in the Will concerning their life with God. One of the things found in the New Testament is what is referred to as the 5 fold Ministry, or five offices that are held by people that God called and anointed to fulfill these roles. The first is the Apostle, the second is the Prophet, third is the Evangelist, forth is the Pastor/Shepherd and fifth the Teacher. Please note the 2nd office is the Prophet, yes; the office still exists and is a viable office in the Church of the living God. Did you know that John the Baptist was a Prophet? Jesus when He walked among us operated in the role of a Prophet. But He was much more than that, He was actually a Prophet (then), a Priest (now) as in High Priest and soon to be a King, as in King of Kings (Revelation 19:16). There were Prophets in the 1st Century Church, and no doubt Prophets all along the way since that time. But are there any Prophets in our day and time? I don’t see any reason for there not being a Prophet; actually I have met some folks that claim to be a Prophet. If you want to know if a Prophet is of God, does what they say come to past; regularly? It is paramount that we as a people and especially those within the Church hear from God and/or Heaven. The role of the Prophet often times bridges the gap from hearing and not hearing; just make sure we are adhering.
The question was raised; is or are there any Prophets among us now? Over the years I have looked for such a person or persons to emerge. I thought I had found one some years ago, he is a very sharp Bible Scholar, known by many across the world. One day on TV I heard him say; “I am no Prophet”. With that statement he was removed from the list. Some years ago another person emerged from seemingly nowhere. I saw him on TV as he was being interviewed; man, he connected some serious dots of knowledge together. I mean stuff that no one saw; it was amazing; he brought up things about the terrorists and the World Trade Center’s attack. He even told how all the Stock Market crashes over the years were tied to ancient Biblical patterns. I was spell bound at the knowledge this guy possessed. I have heard he has a new book coming out soon; I may need to look that over some. Once again, is this guy a Prophet of God? Actually many top Christian Leaders say yes. As important as a Prophet is, there is more to the story than the office held and the person in that office.
I remember an old Pastor one time came to our Church many years ago, a very distinguished gentleman. He spoke like a man of great authority and confidence. During his sermon he said something that for all these years I have never forgot. He said during WW II the Western Union was a telegraph company, sending and receiving notes of information, mostly about the war and events of note. One of their responsibilities was to take a communiqué in person from the war office in Washington concerning a family who had just lost a loved one in battle. It was noted that when a door bell rang and they recognized who was at the door, they knew the news would not be good. I wondered if this Pastor that told the story may have firsthand knowledge of just an event, as in having been there during that time. He said most would not remember details concerning the messenger, such as the color of his wear, or even if the person was red headed or dark haired. The only thing they remembered was the message he bore. It would be indelibly imprinted on their mind until the day they died, the message that a loved one is no longer with us.
That is exactly the point that needs to be heard, it is not the messenger, as in this case, the Prophet, but the message he/she bears. And what is that message? Is it smooth words to accommodate more sin and depravity, a green light that God is OK with casting down all that is Holy with no consequences? The words a Prophets shares, is right out of the Word of God. And what is that message again? It is time to turn back, to God, to His Word, to His Commandments, turn from vanity which is nothing more than idols. It’s time to stop the murdering, the stealing, the lying, and the cheating. One TV Evangelist said recently; where is the love? Good question, where is the love thy neighbor as thyself? The words of the Prophet are often a warning, stop, you are on the wrong path, turn around, the ship you are on is not a luxury liner, it’s a Titanic. As noted in the pages of history, the Captain and certain folks in command knew there were ice bergs seen in the vicinity, slow down, take precautions, do it now. I am NO Prophet, but, this is my chance to communicate a message to any that hear and read it, God does not want to bring judgment upon anyone, but, we must heed His Message, His Word. Will we as a people try to silence the Prophets, silence the Church, is that where this is heading? True, we may silence the messenger, but you will never silence the message.
Pastor Thomas Nosworthy
Light the Way Ministries.
Special Guest Commentary
101 BODACIOUS QUOTATIONS
A ceaseless cacophony of accusations, innuendo, and intrigue have kept those in Washington and the media ever busy. Before the Coronavirus pandemic, to watch the daily news and social media, one would never know that the stock market had hit all-time highs numerous times in the last 54 months, or we’d had the lowest unemployment numbers in decades, and the lowest unemployment rate among blacks ever! President Trump also renegotiated trade deals that were fairer to America.
Then, in January 2020, our nation was rocked when the Coronavirus landed on our shores and ended our way of life as we know it. Soon there were daily press briefings from the White House and various doctors. Each day virus information was plentiful, contradictory, and confusing. People were dying. We heard that hospitals were going to be overrun with COVID cases.
The army set up hospital tents in various cities to handle the tens of thousands that were expected to land there. It didn’t happen. Hospitals were going to be inundated and unable to care for all of the sick. The army hospitals were never used – not one patient was seen in many of these. They were eventually dismantled. What happened? All non-essential surgeries and doctors’ visits were canceled. Hospitals were virtually emptied. And now? Many health care workers have been terminated or furloughed because the hospital's operating capital has vanished.
Now, thousands have died! Our elderly, who were not adequately protected in nursing homes, have had the most significant number of deaths. The actual numbers of COVID deaths cannot be relied upon because of highly questionable methodologies for assigning the cause of death. The rationale for this might be related to government funding to hospitals for each COVID case. Time will tell as we compare data from previous years for various causes of deaths to see if the other numbers are in line with past years, OR if there's been a sharp decline in other categories, and they have been pushed into the COVID category. And, suddenly, in the last several weeks, cases have begun to spike again. There is substantial debate on if it’s because many more people are getting tested. There is so much information out there – unreliable at best, that there’s no sense in discussing it at this point.
Governors in many states issued draconian lock-down orders threatening people with arrests and the closure of businesses, or cancellation of necessary licenses if they didn’t abide by these rules. Masks and gloves were donned, not in hospitals, but stores and any public places. We even saw a parent handcuffed and arrested in front of his little girl because he dared to play ball with her in an empty field. A salon owner was arrested and jailed for opening her salon to pay her bills and put food on her table. Many other Gestapo tactics, such as these, were used to keep people in line. YES, I am talking about America!
Americans have turned against one another. Some believe everything that the CDC, World Health Organization, and government say. Others believe there is a conspiracy to subjugate the people as a test to see how much they'll tolerate and for how long. It's been, in my opinion, a phenomenal success. People hate each other more than ever. Make no mistake; the various powers have observed very carefully to see how we've all responded. Unfortunately, it's been too much for many, and suicides have skyrocketed. Prescriptions for mood-altering drugs to cope with the crisis have also gone up dramatically (as if we didn't already have an opioid epidemic.)
Younger Americans seem to be suffering more than most from deep depression, isolation, and loneliness. I find this completely paradoxical since they are the generation that is so disconnected from one-on-one relationships, and so completely connected to their phones and other electronic devices. You can’t sit in the same room, or at the same table with them, without sharing their time with their hand-held devices! And yet, they are the ones suffering from their own self-created lack of meaningful relationships with others.
The mainstream media, who now chooses to cherry-pick what they report, excluding vital details, has become an op-ed machine rather than a fair and unbiased media. What was once the actual news is now a daily dose of propaganda. And fear mongering. I once believed everything I heard on the evening news! I now question absolutely everything I hear on the evening news! I have no faith in the honesty, integrity, or intentions of what is being "reported." Who exactly can we turn to for the facts and not opinions? I don't know.
Just when we were beginning to see the light, and the states were opening things back up, one rogue cop, caught in the horrendous act of murdering a black man by kneeling on his neck for almost nine minutes, captured the country’s attention. The anger and outrage at this injustice rocked every corner of our nation. But, within the black community, it ignited a firestorm of rage and anger. That moment symbolized, for many, both black and white, the brutality of a small percentage of police that has unfairly tarnished ALL police officers. To believe this of an entire segment of people is blatantly untrue and unfair.
That was the tinderbox that erupted into the scenarios we are now witnessing, hour by hour, day after day, that could be right out of the movie “Escape from New York.” Cities are burning. Businesses looted. People are being shot, and armed citizens are patrolling their neighborhoods to keep looters out and their areas safe with their weapons.
A six-block area has been taken over by anarchists. Checkpoints have been established for entering and exiting, and there are check-points to allow people in or out. They are extorting business owners, and the Mayor of Seattle seems to think it’s a “summer block party.” I guess she is not aware that a new country has been set up in a six-block area now known as CHAZ/CHOP – Capital Hill Autonomous Zone. You can’t make this stuff up!
All across our country, statues and monuments are being defaced and torn down – while those in charge sit on their hands and let the anarchists destroy America, insisting there is nothing they can do. Every day the frenzy continues as the calls for changing names of military bases, schools, colleges, sports teams, etc., escalates. It is complete insanity.
Right on cue, the media and politicians have seized upon the opportunity to stoke the coals of division and hatred. I cry for our nation and what we have allowed ourselves to become. I don't know the people seen on T.V. I don't come in contact with the level of black, or white, Americans seen on there – they don't represent those with whom I daily interact. People with thinking brains understand that these broad generalizations are not only untrue, but inherently harmful to us individually, and collectively as a nation.
Many officials of these large cities have refused to address the rioters and insist upon calling them, protesters. They seem to have limited knowledge of vocabulary for no one in their right mind would equate a protester and a rioter who burns, loots, and harms people, as the same thing. The very thing that the black community, what all communities need, are jobs and businesses. Now, thousands have seen their streets and businesses burned and destroyed, some of which will never return. Those jobs are permanently lost. Those black communities will again know the pains of hopelessness and living in burned-out hulls of their former cities.
But take hope. While all of this has happened, America's elite have raised over twenty million dollars – wait for it – not to help rebuild those cities, but to bail out the “protesters” who have destroyed those cities. Yes, this is where we are. There seems to be no help for those who work and play by the rules. No support is arriving from Hollywood elites and wealthy athletes for those people. One must question why?
I’m watching this and feeling astounded, and at times utterly hopeless. The Washington leadership (can we call it that?) is still dividing us, still trying to rush through bills that are an atrocity, and I'm thinking to myself, has pandering and appeasement ever gotten anyone anywhere?' Has that given people jobs and hope? Has that lifted them out of poverty? And, I feel, most importantly, has that increased their self-respect and self-reliance? That I can answer with a resounding NO! To deny any human being the chance to work and produce, to feel a sense of accomplishment for a job well done, is to deny a basic human need – to feel valued.
I don’t understand all of the machinations of politics (I couldn’t sleep at night if I did). I do know one thing as a person who loves their country – that we can’t, we must not give up on America. Too many people have given their lives for our America. We are in a fight for the very soul of this country. That might sound dramatic, but it is a fact. Many want to tear it apart – rebuild it into what they “envision” would be a better place. The founding fathers had a profoundly inciteful vision for the greatest country that the world has ever known. They knew history, and they sought to use their knowledge to create a more perfect union. (Where have we heard that before?)
There are days when I question everything. At moments I give up hope and want to surrender. Times when I think if that is what THEY want, then they can have it. But it is not ours to give away! We owe a debt to our country to protect it from enemies, both foreign and domestic. That is our duty as a patriotic American who is willing to speak up and stop the insanity.
I call upon my strong faith in God, knowing that whatever He has in store, He is with us. When America turned Him out of their schools, their homes, and their hearts, our decline began. That is what happens when we shrugged our shoulders and said, “Oh well, what can you do?” Or, “Live and let live.” Now you can see the left doesn’t want people to live and let live. They want to control us. There seems to be no middle ground. This indeed is something new.
I have seen the thousands of crosses marking graves of our soldiers who fought for democracy around the world and paid the ultimate sacrifice. I mourn with families who have known the pain of losing those heroes. I remind myself that I will do everything humanly possible to ensure that America is a country of citizens who deserve to live in peace and prosperity, fellowship, and understanding. Abraham Lincoln was well aware, as our country teetered on the brink of civil war, that "A house divided against itself cannot stand." (Mark 3:25)
America is equivalent to a marriage. Sometimes we see all the best she has to offer, and we're starry-eyed and optimistic. Other times, we see everything as irreconcilable and dark. Then, it's as though we would like a divorce. But saving America is worth the fight. We have a lot of work ahead of us. A great deal of understanding and healing needs to be done.
We need to commit to providing more opportunities for all. And, more of a commitment to make each person responsible for their actions. We must step up to the plate and take personal responsibility – stop pointing the finger and passing the buck. Even though it seems impossible through the lens of the current crisis, I do believe in miracles. It's going to take courage, strength, consistency, fairness, rules for all, and laws that everyone must follow - not just a few. It will also necessitate a commitment from those in Washington to come together and serve America – not themselves. I don’t believe they will do that willingly. Their strength lies in our discord!
How could I express all of these thoughts and feelings in a small book? I've always been enamored with quotations! With just a few carefully chosen words strung together like a beautiful strand of pearls, they present a profound concept. These BODACIOUS quotations have been hand-picked for an important point or reminder about freedom, honesty, politicians, government, personal duty, economics, liberty, and above all else, man's responsibility to think for himself. History has gifted us with brilliant people, whose insightful reasoning and words of wisdom have proven ageless. They deserve to be heard once again as valuable reminders to each of us.
It is my sincere hope that you will become even more bodacious in your patriotism. I hope that you will find meaningful ways to become a better, more involved citizen. I pray that this will stimulate conversation and inspire each of you to understand your unique "Power of One" and step into your new bodacious life! America is depending upon you.
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