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Sunday, December 30, 2012

God's Sovereignty

by John W. Ritenbaugh
Edited for Re-post by Bishop O.W. Prince

Romans 13:1-7

(1) Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. (2) Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. (3) For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. (4) For he is God's minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God's minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil. (5) Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience' sake. (6) For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God's ministers attending continually to this very thing. (7) Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.

Once we understand God's sovereignty over the nations, it is not difficult to understand where Paul bases his instructions in these verses. Thus we can understand why Moses so quickly and surely considers the actions of Korah and his group as rebellion against God rather than merely against himself (Numbers 16). When Israel rejects Samuel as judge over them because they want a king, God reveals to the prophet that the people are really rejecting the rule of God Himself (I Samuel 8:7). It does not matter whether a Christian considers his nation's government to be unlawful. What matters is whether God permits it. If He permits it, this One, who is aware of even sparrows falling, has allowed it or has directly brought it to pass because of the purpose He is working out. That is all that matters. God is ruling His creation, and this is what we are here to learn and trust.

Jesus lived His entire life under an unlawful civil government. The Roman government ruled over Judea as a result of military conquest. Moreover, at times even the ecclesiastical government was not in the proper hands because corrupt Roman officials discovered that just-as-corrupt Jews were willing to pay bribes to "buy" the high priesthood. But the Scriptures repeatedly show Jesus subject to them, though He called both, especially the ecclesiastical one, into account. Matthew 17:24-27 is a clear example:

When they had come to Capernaum, those who received the temple tax came to Peter and said, "Does your Teacher not pay the temple tax?" He said, "Yes." And when he had come into the house, Jesus anticipated him, saying, "What do you think, Simon? From whom do the kings of the earth take customs or taxes, from their sons or from strangers?" Peter said to Him, "From strangers." Jesus said to him, "Then the sons are free. Nevertheless, lest we offend them, go to the sea, cast in a hook, and take the fish that comes up first. And when you have opened its mouth, you will find a piece of money; take that and give it to them for Me and you."

The Temple tax was one-half shekel per year for every Jew over 20. Since Jesus Christ was Lord and Owner of the Temple, He and His "children" should have been free of taxation. Jesus orders Peter to pay it anyway for both of them to avoid a bitter and offensive debate on the merits of His claim. By doing this, Jesus sets the right example looking by faith beyond a legal technicality to the True Ruler, the Father. God likely brought this episode to pass for our instruction.

Perhaps a brief statement of Solomonic wisdom will summarize Christian understanding of God's sovereignty over the governments of men: "There is no wisdom or understanding or counsel against the LORD. The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but deliverance is of the LORD " (Proverbs 21:30-31). His meaning becomes clearer in other translations. The Living Bible renders it, "No one, regardless of how shrewd or well-advised he is, can stand against the Lord. Go ahead and prepare for the conflict, but victory comes from God." The Revised English Bible translates it as, "Face to face with the Lord, wisdom, understanding, counsel avail nothing. A horse may be made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the Lord."

It may seem a remote possibility, even strange, that we would fight against the Lord, yet because human nature remains in us, we do. The apostle Paul complains in Romans 7:14-23 that what he did not want to do he did anyway because a law of enmity against God worked within him. Proverbs 21:30-31 tells us that human wisdom, insight, and counsel must be in conformity with God's will to be successful. God's children must understand His sovereignty over everything and conduct their lives knowing that nothing avails against God and nothing without Him.

The Most High is sovereign over all kingdoms on earth and gives them to anyone he wishes. (Daniel 4:25)

To rebel against leadership and power is to rebellion against the sovereignty of God. For it is The Most High God who assigns position and power to whomever He desires to accomplish His will. ~ owp

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Sign of Jesus' Return



In Matthew 24:7-8, Jesus Christ foretold signs that would mark the time leading up to His return: "For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places …"


We have certainly seen devastating earthquakes in recent years. The December 2004 earthquake off Indonesia was the most powerful in decades, unleashing a massive tsunami that took some 300,000 lives. Less than a year later, an earthquake in southern Asia killed another 30,000.

 
In Matthew 24:7, the Greek word translated "earthquakes" is seismos, from which we derive such English words as "seismology," referring to the study of earthquakes. Strong's Lexicon defines it as "a commotion, i.e. (of the air) a gale, (of the ground) an earthquake—earthquake, tempest" (Strong's No. 4578).
 

So seismos has a broader meaning than just the earth shaking. Matthew 8 records how a violent storm overtook Jesus and His disciples on the Sea of Galilee, threatening to capsize their boat and drown them—until Jesus miraculously calmed the winds and waves.
 

The word used in verse 24 for this powerful storm is seismos, here translated "tempest." So we see that seismos can also refer to violent storms and isn't limited strictly to earthquakes. When Jesus foretold "famines, pestilences and earthquakes in various places," His words encompass natural disasters that include earthquakes, but can also apply to hurricanes, tornadoes and other such deadly storms.


As we saw with Hurricane Katrina, these storms can be enormously destructive. Katrina took more than 1,200 lives and caused an estimated $200 billion in damage, not counting the economic hit from losses to shipping, oil and gas production, fishing and agriculture. New Orleans, devastated by the storm, will not fully recover for decades— if ever.


A hurricane like Katrina, which reached category 5 strength before weakening, can produce winds greater than 155 miles an hour and push ahead of it a wall of water 18 feet or higher, doing major damage to virtually anything in its path.


Are such natural disasters increasing as Jesus foretold? I would say “YES!”


Scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology and the National Center for Atmospheric Research have concluded that there has been "a sharp increase during the past 35 years in the number of category 4 and 5 tropical cyclones.” These are the category of storms that cause most damage on landfall. Research shows that those rated category 4 and 5 have increased by 80 percent from the 1970s to the present decade.

 
Now we are being threatened by hurricane Sandy. Forecasters warn that this hurricane will likely collide with a cold front from the West – creating a never before seen phenomenon called a hybrid "superstorm." This is not a typical storm. It could very well be historic in nature and in scope and in magnitude because of the widespread anticipated power outages, flooding and potential major wind damage," It has the power and potential to reach up to 800 miles inland and is expected to impact the east coast of the United States as early as Monday, October 29, 2012.


This should certainly make us sit up and take notice. Later in Jesus Christ's same prophecy, as recorded in Luke 21:25-28, He says: "And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth …”


"Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near."


This hopeful Word is directed at those of us who are truly saved and who have been persecuted for the sake of Christ (Matthew 24:9).

The sad truth is that many souls are blind as to what is directly in front of them. They refuse to see the signs or accept God’s Word of warning regarding His return.

 
Matthew 24:12 expressly tells us that “Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold.” And 1 Timothy 4:1 confirms this prophecy for “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.”


There are demonic forces in the earth leading men away from God’s truth and teaching doctrines that are contrary God’s ordained plan of salvation through Christ Jesus. And those who have been deceived have also been blinded to the truth whereas they cannot see the need for repentance, water baptism in the Name of Jesus Christ and being filled with the Holy Ghost. They are under a strong delusion whereby they believe that they are saved without obeying God’s instruction on how to be saved - they are following the doctrines of Demons.

 
I implore you my brothers and Sisters, with all of my hearts, to “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”
 
Repent before it is too late.

I say again, REPENT!!!

Friday, October 26, 2012

“Jim Crow Ain't Dead”


“Jim Crow Ain't Dead”


The Truth Has A Way of Coming Out Sooner or Later. 

I think most informed folks know the Truth.  There is over 200 years of evidence to substantiate the fears of the disenfranchised.  We are justifiably fearful and distrusting of the clandestine motives of those who are opposed to contributing their fair share to alleviate poverty and the deficit while blaming us for our own disenfranchisement and impoverished condition.

They have made their motives very clear.  Check the record.  They stated at the onset that their number one objective was to get President Obama out of office - not to end the war in Iraq and Afghanistan or pass a new national health care plan or raise minimum wages or create good paying jobs for middle class families or punish those responsible for 911. 

No!  Their objective is clear and precise.  And we have over 200 years of horrific social injustice, judicial disparity and unresolved racially motivated deaths and acts of terrorism to show that they are serious. And to insure that their plans work, they have enacted a series of obviously racially motivated voting polices to prohibit what they believe to have been an anomaly - the election of a Black Man to the Presidency of the United States of America. 

It is unspoken but has long been believed by a significant number of Americans that the office of the President of the United States of America was reserved for white males only.

I am only saying what everyone knows is true but don’t have the guts to say.

We cannot be unified as a nation until we are first unified as human beings with inalienable human rights, social, financial and educational equality and a mutual respect for each other. 

I have always said that before we can move forward, we need to address the ills of the past, expose the evils of racism and bigotry to the light of truth, make restitution and apologies, restore what was taken or destroyed i.e. Repent!  Without genuine repentance there can never be genuine unity.

History shows that America has sought to make reparations to every nation and people that it ever bombed or invaded.  It has rebuilt cities and nations but it has failed to make adequate reparations to those of its own soil, whose, forefathers, were denied humanity, justice, equality and dignity along with being denied the right to provide, protect, guide direct, nurture, care, educate and shelter their families. These crimes against nature and humanity have generational ramifications and consequences that are just now being realized in our society. 

They preach about taking responsibility and being accountable but when the spotlight is on them, they want to forget the past and cloud the issues with menial concerns instead of looking at the true cause of the problem and taking responsibility of the criminal and inhuman treatment of some of its citizens.

I could say more about this but what is the use?  I suspect that one of their pawns will eventually twist this into something inappropriate and ugly.  And that is their right.  Why should they change now?  Many have never been able to face or hear the truth about themselves and/or some of their foreparents or how some of their wealth was built upon the backs and lives of slaves or what they counted as three fifth of a human being.  I know that this assessment doesn't apply to everyone.  However, since the elements of racism have doubled their efforts to maintain its strangle hold on American culture and political power, it is only fitting that we quadruple our efforts at awareness. 

Every since President Obama was elected to the Office of Presidency, more degrading racial epithets have been used advertised, publicized, posted, broadcasted and promoted by racial terrorists since the Civil Rights movement of the 60’s.

History has a way of repeating itself and we are seeing it repeat right now.  Jim Crow isn't dead it just changed its name to “Voter I.D.   The Grand Wizard isn’t dead.  He just exchanged his robe for a tailored suit.

Beware!

You can still tell a tree by the fruit it bears.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Presidential Debate


During the presidential debate, a lie has been put forth as a truth which stated that gas prices rose from under $2 per gallon to above 4 dollars per gallon under the Obama Administration.

This is actually a flat out lie.

Gas prices originally rose to beyond $4.00 per gallon (four Dollars) under President Bush’s administration. Check your facts and your history. When Bush took office the average gas price in America was $1:46 per gallon. By President Bush’s second term in office gas prices were nearing $5.00 per gallon in some places in America.

 

Let there be no mistake. There is a significant segment of Americans who are still in shock over the election of an African American as President of the United States.  From the beginning of his administration, they have voiced that their number one objective is to remove President Obama from office.  This has been and still is their main focus irrespective of all other national and social concerns and even at the expense of the truth.  

This clandestine community of covert terrorists only considers themselves Americans and when they speak of American citizens they are not speaking about people of African origin or Hispanics or Asians or any race outside of the Caucasian persuasion.

When they say “Our Children” they are not speaking about all children in America but only about those of specific Caucasoid persuasion.

Learn the racist code of communication and deception or be destined to repeat the horrors of former discriminatory policies and selective clandestine oppression.

They don’t wear hoods anymore nor do they call themselves the KKK.  Some are now governors of States, Multimillionaire CEOs of industries and they go by many different names such as the Tea Party, Sons of the Confederacy and the Council of Conservative Citizens. 

They are not concerned about what is best for all Americans.  That are only concerned about what is best for their America.  God forbid that we ever return to their America.

Pray for the peace of America.  Pray for the righteousness of God to prevail. 

Last but not least, consider this…

“… The Most High is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone he wishes.” ~ Daniel 4:25

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Here Is The Truth



Everybody who doesn’t support President Obama is not a racist.  They just forgot about the mess that was left for him to clean up.  Don't make this about race.  It is about the truth and some people can not handle the truth.


Sunday, August 19, 2012

"The Sound of Life"



Click the above picture to open file.

For a transcript of the Message entitled "The Sound of Life" you may send a stamped self-addressed envelope to O.W. Prince Ministries, P.O. Box 3253, Sumter, SC 29151.
Please consider sending a freewill offering of any size to help this ministry.  Checks and/or money orders may be made out to The Church of Jesus Christ or O.W. Prince Ministries.
 Every little bit helps.
 Thanks!


Saturday, August 4, 2012

FaceBook - Blessing or Curse?


FaceBook can be a blessing and a curse.

I believe that it was Thomas Aquinas who said, "Nothing is intrinsically good or evil, but its manner of usage may make it so.

FaceBook can be a wonderful place to network with others of like minds and similar interests; to reconnect with old acquaintances; to make new friends; to share and to learn.

FaceBook can also be a treacherous place of disgusting behavior; of vulgarity, profanity, indecency, immorality, irreverence and deceit.  Many false personalities claiming to be someone or something that they are not have infiltrated countless FaceBook walls and pages.

It has never been more important than now that we know who it is that we are befriending on our FaceBook walls or in our FaceBook groups.  Every pretty face may not be a pretty person and everything that looks like a saint ain’t.

Be careful and ask questions of those whom you do not know who are requesting to friend you on FaceBook.  Get Referrals from mutual friends.  Make sure that names fit faces.  If a prospective FaceBook friend refuses to display his or her image to you, you may want to consider denying them access to your wall.  If they can see you why can’t you see them?

You owe it to yourself to be safe online.  You owe it to your FaceBook friends, your subscribers and your family to protect your shared information from interlopers, gossips and clandestine individuals.

We all know that it is impossible to absolutely be secure on a social network. However, that is no excuse to be careless.

Let us help keep one another safe.

~Bishop~
www.owprince.wordpress.com/

Saturday, July 28, 2012

I am Grateful for My Mother

Greetings in the most precious name of the Father and of our Lord Jesus Christ and of the Blessed Holy Spirit:

I Thank Father God in The Name of Jesus Christ for the things that He has done and continues to do.  All Praise Glory and Honor belongs to Him.  Thank you Father for allowing me the privilege of seeing my mother’s 80th birthday and helping her to celebrate it in a way that she deserves and will always remember.

 I would like to thank The Honorable Mayor Joseph T. McElveen, Jr. and the City of Sumter for their most kind and generous support of my mother’s 80th birthday celebration, acknowledging her with a Resolution that proclaimed July 26, 2012 as “Lucile Winn. Prince Day,” -- also awarding her with the Key to the City and a city pin. I would also like to thank City Councilman Robert Galiano for stopping by to wish Mother Prince Happy Birthday and thanking her for the many years of service in our schools.  I would also like to thank Ms. Linda Hammett, City Clerk, who so graciously and thoroughly assisted me.

Special thanks also go to Minister Cynthia Johnson and Minister Yvonne Nelson for the beautiful decorations, balloons and table ornaments that helped to set and create the atmosphere of celebration.  Special thanks go to Mrs. Gloria Carolina who took it upon herself to supply the lovely party favors and mementos.

Enormous thanks go to Mrs. Teigue and the staff of the Sumter/Lee Adult Education Center who attended in large numbers and recognized mom with a Proclamation of their own along with heartfelt sentiments and a very special gift.

Loving thanks and heartfelt gratitude go to our church family – Bishop Jeffery Johnson and Faith Deliverance Temple -- who didn’t think it robbery to come in large numbers and share in the celebration at Red Lobster and present Mother Prince with a surprisingly delicious arrangement and generous tokens of cards and letters of love.

Thanks go to my sister, Deirdre and nephew Tony for their melodious presentation.

A former 2nd  and 3rd grade student of mom’s, Mrs. Calandra Brunson Witherspoon, visited from Columbia and spoke of her admiration and love of Mother Prince.

A mutual graduate of Morris College and a friend of over 50 plus years, Mrs. Lou Emma Crayton (Homebound), sent a very moving letter of admiration and love to Mother Prince highlighting her Christian character and loving personality that perseveres through the hardships of life and lights the path of everyone around her. 

I am eternally grateful for The Item Newspaper sending Mr. Rob Cotttingham to photograph the celebration and interview mom.  I am equally grateful for WLTX TV-News 19 for sending Mr. Erick Ferris to video the event and interview mom for their station’s broadcast.

I am eternally grateful for all the contributions of all those who volunteered and helped to make this occasion so very successful and eternally memorable.  I am especially grateful for Rev. Dr. Lewis Walker Jr. of Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church, Mr. Ernest Session of Allstate Insurance Company and Mr. L. Harvin Bullock, Sumter County Coroner for assisting me in sponsoring this occasion. 

Last but certainly not least, I thank my daughter Melody for helping me with her grandmother and for keeping the secretes that made this occasion a surprise and a success.

To God be the Glory for the things that he has done.  Thank you all!  Amen!








 
 
Click below to watch on YouTube
 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Dead at 24


I usually don’t say much with regards to politics and law enforcement. I highly regard those who are sworn to serve and protect—placing their lives on the line everyday for citizens like you and me.   However, recent events involving Devin Taylor’s death (a person that I didn’t know) have caused me to ask questions about the rights of unarmed citizens and the judgment and statute of the law with regards to protecting those rights.

These questions in no way reflect upon the character of the deceased nor do they presume upon the character of the officer involved in the shooting.  Both the officer and the family of the deceased need our prayers.

The following questions are intended to raise awareness and invoke thought about ways to avoid the taking of a human life.

  • Does being legally intoxicated and belligerent justify the use of deadly force when the person that is intoxicated is unarmed?
  • Does fear for one’s safety justify the use of deadly force against an unarmed man?
  • Wouldn’t it be reasonable for a law enforcement officer to disable the stopped vehicle of a suspected drunk driver (taking the keys and locking the car doors or blowing out the wheels) as opposed to using deadly force against an unarmed person whose address and identity are known?
  • Could better physical and self-defense training in debilitating a resistant suspect help to avoid the use of deadly force?  
These are just a few initial questions that were generated by the seemingly avoidable death of such a young man.
Regardless of any past behavior issues (although nonviolent), it is hard to accept the notion that a person’s life means so little that restraint, patience and wisdom could not have found a better way to resolve the situation.

I wasn’t there and neither were you. But Devin’s not here to tell his side of the story. All we can do is try to comfort his family, pray for the officer involved and learn that there are choices we make in life that shouldn’t cost us our life, as well as there are some choices in life that you can never take back.

Link to video below
http://www.live5news.com/story/19027097/police-investigating-shooting-involving-trooper?autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=7505208

Monday, July 16, 2012

How Committed Are You?

Would you give up pursuing your own happiness (sexual, financial, material and career ambitions) for the sake of the Gospel of Jesus Christ?

Don’t lie! Many of you would like to think that you could give up your own ambitions for the sake of God but the truth of the matter is that your spirit may be willing but the flesh is weak.

You may think that this question is unfair but it is intended to make us examine our commitment to God and His Word.

Many, upon self-examination, are disqualified to respond to the question. We are disqualified whenever we insist upon practicing our religion rather than keeping God’s commandments. We are disqualified whenever we practice the pursuit of sexual fulfillment outside of the boundaries of holy matrimony. We are disqualified whenever we practice the pursuit of our own financial wellbeing at the expense of others. We are disqualified whenever we practice ignoring the needs of others when it is in our power to give assistance. We are disqualified whenever we have too much wealth while someone else has too little and we refuse to share.

The Bible Challenges and Instruct us to imitate Christ’s unselfish humility.

In the book of Philippians 2:1-8 we find Paul giving apostolic instructions to the church a Philippi to “have the mind of Christ. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. But rather, in humility, value others above yourselves. Imitate Christ by looking to the interests of others.” This is the challenge of every Christian.

Regardless of the countless millions who profess Jesus Christ as Lord and savior, not many are committed to imitating Jesus Christ’s selfless humility.

How committed are you?
REPENT!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

What does the Bible say about men with long hair? / Does God have a standard for His men?

1 Corinthians 11:14-15

14 Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him, 15 but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory?



In this passage of scripture, Paul does not mean “nature” in the sense of “the natural world” or “Mother Nature.”  Obviously, Paul cannot mean that since in the world of animals all males do not have short hair and all females do not have long hair.  All we need to do is to look at the male lion, a common biblical animal, with a bushy mane and female lion with no mane at all.  Moreover, there is evidence that for first-century men to have long hair was considered a sign of effeminacy [characteristics of being a woman] and perhaps even homosexuality—something that Paul in Romans 1 considers contrary to nature.  When Paul says by “nature” he means how naturally it was for folks of his culture to associate long hair with femininity and short hair with masculinity.  Cross-gender behavior was not uncommon in the first century.

Paul claims that the long hair of a woman “is her glory.”  The way Paul is using the word “glory” in this text refers to the beauty of women’s long hair.  Paul understood, as most of us do, that Long hair can make a woman look attractive and beautiful and is identified as one of her important feminine qualities.  This fact is even true today.  All we need do is look at the attention and the money that women invest in their hair.

However, men who want to take on the feminine qualities of a woman, whether by wearing long hair, long braids or ornamented hair decorations are to be naturally considered effeminate, thus discredited as a man [shameful].

When it is so important for a male to have long dreadlocks or stylishly long hair hanging on his shoulder or down his back as if he where a female, he is taking on the characteristic of a female and thus has dishonored himself as a male.

Regardless of the cultural, social or personal reasons for a man wearing long hair, it is not a trait that the apostles approve of for born-again men.

As for whether this practice will condemn you to hell, I cannot say.  But is it that important to you that you would risk your eternal soul on a hair style?

The question that we should all ask ourselves is, “Do I want to meet the standards of God’s holiness or the stylish trends of the world?”

Do you have a heart for God or a heart for the things of the World?

REPENT!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

"No One Should Be Shocked"

ephesians5_11No one should be shocked by what is posted on social network sites. Verbal vulgarities, pictorial nudity, allusions to sexual acts of perversion and immorality are common on today’s social networks. That is one reason so many religious groups have campaigned against them.

Nevertheless, it raises concern when so-called-Children of God are the ones who are posting these obscene materials. It makes one wonder about the integrity and sincerity of their salvation (Ephesians 5:3).

Many say that they are children of God and follow His Commands but their behavior nullifies their profession of faith.

Christians who are preoccupied with sexuality and sensuality have chosen their god and have denied the One True God—Jesus Christ. (Ezekiel 5:11, 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, Romans 8:5-8)

Being a Christian is not a 9 to 5 job. You don’t get to take time off from being holy no more than God gets to take time off from being God. It is a lifetime experience. It is who we are as God’s Children; if indeed we are His children. (Romans 8:9)

Stop fronting and be who you are.

If you belong to God, Act like it. If you belong to Satan, never mind. This message really was not for you anyway.
2012  owpPSE CookinecutterBishop

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

THERE IS ONLY...


(Edited from Al Shannon’s Post in “Biblical Proof”)

Christians only have ONE authority, and that is Jesus Christ. He has the right to order and command. He said: All authority was given to him both in heaven and in earth. (Matt. 28:18).

God has the right to tell us what to do by virtue of the fact that he created us and not we ourselves. (Ps 100:3) When man tries to become his own authority, then he is acting according to the same evil desires with which Satan tempted Eve. Eve rejected God’s authority when she entertained a second opinion. When we seek ways to circumvent God’s laws we are committing the same sin Eve committed.

Authority Needed In Life

Authority is necessary in all aspects of life. Without it, there can only be anarchy and chaos. Without authority in the home, children will never learn the discipline needed to function in civilized society. Without authority in school, no one will receive a proper education. Businesses can’t exist without someone in charge because eventually no one will be productive. Without moral authority in governments, people will turn to wickedness like abortion, homosexuality, and adultery. Authority is needed everywhere. This is something that most people freely recognize. Someone has to be able to call the shots, and say the buck stops here.

Authority Needed in Religion

The need for authority is especially seen in the religious world. The existence of hundreds of denominations reveal this. The many divisions that exist, even among God’s people, testify of the need for authority. Divisions and denominations exist because people, at sometime, did not listen, and submit to the authority of God. Instead, they became their own authority, and acted in lawlessness.

“In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” Judges 21:25

The nature of man requires authority. Man can’t even direct his own steps. (Jer. 10:23). Some deny that we need authority for all that we say, and do. When people act or teach something without God’s authority, then they must look to one of two things: (1) Themselves or (2) Others. Yet, the Bible condemns looking to men as the source of authority (Jer. 10:23; Col. 2:20-22; Matt. 15:7-9; Rom. 12:3; 1 Cor. 4:6). Without God’s authority, we only have man’s worthless opinion, which changes like the wind, shifting to and fro.

“That we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,
but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head — Christ — from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” Eph 4:14-16

Humanism teaches us that we do not need God to tell us what to do. However, if one person can appeal to himself or another man for authority, then why can’t another person do the same? Who is to say who is right or wrong? When men contradict each other, how will the issues and questions be settled? Where else can we appeal? Without God, confusion and every evil thing will exist in society. Only division and evil will result. There is no way for us to be united based on the authority of man. Only God’s Word can unite us, and keep us united with the same mind and judgment. 1 Cor 1:10

Sadly, some are insisting that the pleas for authority are legalistic, and unnecessary. “The church must change with the times,” they say. Actually, all who believe and espouse such nonsense are not rejecting us, but rejecting Christ’s authority, and His Word. (Matt. 28:18; Jn. 12:48).

“And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.” 1 Sam 8:7

A standard of right and wrong is essential to mankind. Our Standard must be the inspired Word of God (2 Timothy 3:16-17, Romans 10:14-16). Without the inspired Word of God, we can’t know God’s will. This is why it is vital for us to seek for a genuine Holy Spirit filled, God sent man-of-God who is appointed by God to teach and preach out of the revelation of Holy Spirit and not out of religion’s pre-translated text. “If anyone speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God” (1 Pet. 4:11).

Mock it if you want, reject it if you will, but only God’s Word comes with the Spirit and power of God.

“And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.” (1 Cor 2:4-5)

Nadab and Abihu Rejected God’s Authority

Many examples given to us in the Old Testament testify to the need for acting with authority (Rom. 15:4). Nadab and Abihu were condemned to death because they acted in the silence of God. (Lev. 10:1-3). They used a strange fire which the Lord “had not commanded them”. Perhaps they thought that they did not need authority. Many strange fires burn on the Alter of Christianity today that God did not authorize. Unless they repent, they too shall perish.

Jesus’ Authority

The Pharisees questioned Jesus authority, and asked Jesus about his teaching and works: “By what authority are you doing these things? And who gave you this authority?” Jesus didn’t say, “I don’t need any authority. You’re just being a legalistic!” Jesus ultimately refused to answer them because they refused to admit that John the Baptist preached with God’s Authority. This also reveals that authority only has two sources: God or man. (Matt. 21:23-27)

Jesus came with the power to heal the sick, raise the dead, and forgive sins. Even they knew that no one could do such without God’s authority and power to do so. Yet, they said, this man has a devil which gives him such authority. (Mt 12:23-28)

Jesus eventually told them that he received his authority, and power from His heavenly Father. But rejected this and crucified our Lord between two thieves. When we reject God’s Word and it’s authority, we are rejecting Christ. (Jn 12:48)

Apostles Authority

All Christians are to follow the Apostles’ doctrine which is One with the doctrine of Christ. (Acts 2:42; 1 Cor 11:1) The apostles likewise taught the need for acting with authority from God. We are to the endeavor for unity (Eph. 4:16; 1 Cor. 1:10). The only way for unity to be maintained is through respect for God’s authority. We must all follow the same standard and abide by it (Phil. 3:16). True disciples of Jesus Christ abide in his word (Jn. 8:31,32). We must remain within the confines of the revealed Word of God (1 Cor. 4:6). To go beyond the teachings of Christ and His Apostles is a total disrespect for The Lord and will bring destruction on whomever seeks to change God’s law. (2 John 9, Rev. 22:18-19).

Conclusion: The Church is to be subject to Christ who is the head in everything (Eph.5:23,24). Without question, the Scriptures teach us the need for acting with authority in all that we do and teach. Let us never complain at God’s commands. Let us not mock God’s preached and revealed Word. Instead, let us bring honor, and glory to God by our full submission to his will. Let us remember we are the created and not the creator. (Ps 100:3) Let us always remember: Christ is the “author and finisher of our Faith and the author of eternal salvation to all who obey him” (Heb. 5:9; Heb 12:2). Let us never forget, God always has the Last Word.  His Word is everlasting and waiting to Judge us all. (John 12:48)

“4 There is one body and one Spirit. In the same way you were called to share one hope. 5 There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over everything, through everything, and in everything.” (Ephesians 4:4-6)

ONE AUTHORITY!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

“Shepherds are Warrior not Wimps”

Almost every shepherd we see illustrated in books. Magazines, posters and on the internet is depicted as a feminine looking man with long hair and a scarf draped over his head with a little lamb on his shoulder. This is the image that Satan has promoted throughout the centuries. This is the image that we have had etched into our psyche which has led to the feminization of the preacher and the emasculating of the office of Pastor.

Now let’s listen to David as he tells King Saul about the heart and character of a shepherd:

“Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, 35 I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.” 37 Moreover David said, “The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” (1 Samuel 17:34-37)

This doesn’t sound like a wimpy little man with a sad little sheep on his shoulder. This sound like the heart of a warrior who knows in whom he has believed.

God thought so highly of the warrior mentality and caring character of the shepherd that he sent his son to us as the ultimate example of a shepherd—one who would fight death, hell and grave to save His sheep (John 10:11).

When David wanted to express the highest level of trust and assurance that anyone could have in another, He wrote:

“The Lord is my shepherd” (Palms 23)

Being a Pastor is not for the weak minded, silly, insecure, indecisive, wimpy little boy that needs his wife to speak for him or his denomination to tell him what to preach.

It is for real men—warriors who are willing to stand and fight to the death for the sake of the Gospel of Christ and His sheep.

"Life Hurts but God Heals!"

"Truth"

Monday, June 18, 2012

"I am Your Pastor"

2012  owpPSE Cookie resizedI would like to be your friend and make you happy all of the time. But I can’t. I am your Pastor.

I would like to fellowship with you—engage in worldly pleasures and naughty deeds. But I can’t. I am your Pastor.

I would love to yield to your wants and desires—fulfilling your dreams. But I can’t. I am your Pastor.

I would love to tell you what you want to hear but I must tell you the Truth. I am your Pastor.

My life doesn’t belong to me and I can never truly belong to you. I am your Pastor.

You cannot give me my job description or set the parameters of my authority. I am your Pastor.

You didn’t call me or ordain me—from my mother’s womb I was chosen. I am your Pastor.

The Words I speak are not my own but belong to Him who sent me. It’s not personal. I am your Pastor.

Loved yet hated. Despised but needed. Killed yet lives. Emptied but filled. Poor yet rich. Naked but clothed. Loving yet unloved. I am your Pastor.

Think About It!
Bishop O.W. Prince
Author

[Reference: John 15:18, Romans 10:14-17, 2 Timothy 4:2-3, 1 Corinthians 6:20, Titus 2:1-15, Ephesians 5:11]

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons license.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

“Do God’s Children Need A Revival?”

2012  owpPSE Cookie resized Where in the Holy Scriptures does Jesus or his apostles establish the practice of “revivals” or “religious revival services?” The answer is “nowhere.” Nowhere does Jesus or his apostles establish the practice of revivals in the original Christian church of the first century. As a matter of fact, the word “revival” doesn’t appear anywhere in the original language of the Bible. The nearest equivalents are “revive” (quicken) and “reviving,” but these may be applied to individual awakening and are not synonymous with, what is traditionally known as, “religious revival service.”

Religious revivals and the word “revival” descend from religious traditions absent of scriptural and apostolic authority and divine approval.

I realize that this is strong language and challenges most of our beliefs and religious practices. However, it is not my intention to be hurtful or confrontational but to edify the body of Christ as inspired and instructed by the Holy Spirit of God.

One may easily borrow from the earthly and scientific disciplines of etymology, philosophy, sociology and theology to explain the term “revival” and substantiate the practice of religious revival services. However, the fact would still remain that revivals, as we have come to know them, are not a part of the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ.

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For a Christian to accept the notion of or participate in the religious practice of “revival services” is for them to believe that a Christian can be dead spiritually and be brought back to life. This is contrary to everything that Jesus taught us about the ever-living Spirit of God and the born-again believer (John 11:26,John 6:47, Romans 8)

The word “revive” is made up of two parts: “re” meaning “again” and “vive” meaning to “live.” Thus, “revive” means “to live again, to be brought back to life, health or vitality.” Although this concept sounds good it lacks the authority of Holy Scripture and it contradicts the teaching of Christ and His apostles.

Neither Jesus nor his apostles ever advocated for revivals or accepted the notion that once you were born of the water and of the Spirit that the Spirit would die and need reviving. No! It is the Spirit of God that makes us alive (Romans 8:11). If indeed we have the Spirit of Christ, we are constantly revived (2 Cor. 4:16). Only those who are a part of the counterfeit church of Satan or those who have been deceived by religious traditions would dare think that God’s Holy Spirit needs reviving.

As members of the Body of Christ, we are instructed to build one another up and keep each other encouraged (Hebrews 3:13, 1 Thessalonians 5:11, 1 Corinthians 12:20-27). We were not instructed to do this through some religious service but on a daily basis. It is The Way of LIFE.

1 Thessalonians511

However, in our contemporary Christian churches, especially in the predominately black southern churches (where my experience mostly lies), the word “revival” has become synonymous with fund-raising services.

In the name of “revival services,” most churches are just raising money. They choose the revivalist that can draw the largest crowd in the hope of raising the most money. There is little or no concern for the truthfulness of the revivalist’s message or the integrity of his salvation. The main concern is raising money.

In the name of “revival services,” many churches have membership drives whereby their goal is to see how many souls that they can get to join their religious institution. They just want to increase the number of potential paying members in the hope of increasing revenues. It is a calculated business strategy and promotional venture.

In the name of “revival services,” some Pastors exchange pulpits with each other and in essence exchange monies with each other so as to increase their own exposure, popularity and wealth.

In the name of “revival services,” many churches put on a religious production with various performers including preachers, comedians, singers, choirs, musicians and other talents that may or may not be true agents of God. Their goal is to create a festive atmosphere of joy and vibrancy whereby one may feel saved without actually being transformed. And in exchange for this false sense of salvation, the collection plate becomes the collection basket and the Alter becomes the place where people toss their monies in response to the performance much like a minstrel show.

I have yet to go to a revival service where money was not a significant part of the service. And I have never seen anyone revived at a revival service. I have seen them deceived. I have seen them lied to. I have seen them motivated to an emotional frenzy. I have seen them robbed of their money but I have never seen a spiritually dead person brought back to live simply by attending a revival service. Some may have gone through the motions of reanimation but I assure you that they did not experience genuine salvation.

“You Cannot Revive That Which Was Never Alive.”
revival_logo 666

Not all so-called revivals have clandestine agendas. Some churches are sincerely trying to reach lost souls with the message of Jesus Christ. Some churches and some evangelist are adamant about teaching and preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. Some are devout followers of Christ and teach the importance of genuine repentance, water baptism in the name of Jesus Christ and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. However, such churches should not call their services “revivals.” If they must have a distinction they should be but called “evangelical services.” They are evangelical at heart; attempting to fulfill the ministry of the kingdom of God and not their own surreptitious ambitions, denominational policies, theological beliefs or financial agendas (2 Timothy 4:1-5). They have given themselves fully to the ministry of eternal Life (John 14:6).

The Word of God says, “Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teachingdo the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.”
Obey The Word!
REPENT!