God’s Word & The Issues

ByBishop Jim Lowe

Judges over you are vitally important!

On November 8, 2016 the people of Jefferson County will not only be voting for a President but, of equal importance, voting for persons who will be sitting as judges ruling over their relationships with other people in the community. This is an important position that may affect you more directly than the office of President.

One of the greatest prophets in Israel’s time was Samuel. However, he made the mistake of making appointments of judges according to his heart and not the will of God. This caused the nation of Israel great concern. The Bible says

(NKJV) 1 Sa 8:3 But his sons did not walk in his ways; they turned aside after dishonest gain, took bribes, and perverted justice.

This is also a problem today if we do not elect honest people: Men and women who have a respect for Almighty God. This is a most difficult thing to do when you do not know the people you are voting for.  All of the candidates are qualified but not all of them respect the God of the Bible. Remember, the letter of the Law can kill. It is the Spirit that matter!

The Gatekeepers Association  is making this forum available to you so that you may come out and see for yourself who these people are who want to make judgments regarding your life. Some are better than the others. You must determine for yourself who you think is best. The Bible further says:

(NKJV) Dt 16:18 “You shall appoint judges and officers in all your gates, which the Lord your God gives you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with just judgment. 19 You shall not pervert justice; you shall not show partiality, nor take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the righteous. 20 You shall follow what is altogether just, that you may live and inherit the land which the Lord your God is giving you.

The Gatekeepers Association will publish for you the assessment of the consensus of the pastors and leaders in its organization. We will present our opinions of the candidates on a scale of 1 to 5 with five being high and one being low.   We will rate each candidate based upon our combined discernment of each candidate to not only make judgments according to the law but also with a reverence to Almighty God. We will rate them according to each pastors discernment of their respect to the wisdom, virtue and commandments of God. We hope that this will help you give prayerful consideration as to whom you should vote for.

Don’t make the mistake of ignoring this important responsibility. Judges have the power to help make or destroy your life. Be careful in your decisions!

ByGatekeepers Association

We are headed for a fall!

Slide1-3-e1463772725696Edward Gibbon in his classic The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire gives some basic reasons for the fall of Rome: (1) undermining of the sanctity of the home; (2) the rapid increase in divorce; (3) the development of huge armaments and the neglect of the enemy within; (4) the moral degeneracy of the whole society — sexual perversion and homosexuality; and (5) the declension of religious vitality, with formalism supplanting faith and impotence replacing power.

This is a clear picture of USA today. 2 Samuel 8:15 says “So David reigned over all Israel. And David administered justice and equity to all his people.”

We need church back in office where it should be, or we are in trouble! We cannot sit and do nothing saints.
Time for the Church to Arise!
Pastor Michael Edwards

ByGatekeepers Association

Do Christians need to be involved in government?

arogers-819x1024God ordained three institutions: the home, the church, and the government. It is inconceivable to me that God would ordain government and then tell His people to stay out of it any more than He would ordain the family and then tell us not to get involved.

We need to pray that God will raise up righteous leaders. When people tell us to stay out of politics, they are usually reacting to one extreme or the other. We need to be clear about what government can and cannot do.

Government cannot make people righteous. Only God can do that. Our job is not to try and change society through government, but to change people with the Gospel so they can influence the government. Our nation needs more righteous people to get   involved in government.

Source Website

ByGatekeepers Association

Silence? For Real!!?? You Gotta Be Kidding!!!

silence1Did you know the word “nice” used to mean foolish or stupid? Ironically, people started using it as a way to describe someone as “pleasant” or “decent,” unaware of its original meaning, and over time, “nice” completely lost its original meaning.

The phrase “separation of church and state” is the same way. It meant something to America’s founding fathers, but over time, it took on a new meaning. Today, the phrase means that if something is related to the state, then discussion of religion is forbidden.

History
What did the phrase “separation of church and state” originally mean in the Constitution? Let’s look at a few insights.
The first thing to note is that the phrase doesn’t occur anywhere in the Constitution. It is a phrase that people have inaccurately invented in an attempt to explain the First Amendment:“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”
In its original context, this passage meant that the U.S. would not have an official “state Church” like England.

The English government officially supported the Church of England, using taxes to support Anglicanism. The founding fathers, who promoted the Revolutionary War, did not want the same kind of church.
This is the extent of this passage from the First Amendment. There is nowhere in the Constitution that forbids individuals from mixing faith and politics or from sharing their faith in a state-related function or location.
Also, the following facts show that, historically, no one interpreted the First Amendment to exclude religion from the political sphere:
* The U.S. Congress used to hold Christian worship services at the Capitol on Sundays.
* The Supreme Court Building was used to house church services on Sundays.
* Twelve of the original 14 states required religious tests for those seeking public office.
* After the Civil War, the First Congregational Church of Washington used the House of Representatives as a worship building.
* In 1863, the U.S. Senate requested that Abraham Lincoln designate an official day of national prayer and humility.
* In 1944, Franklin D. Roosevelt (as well as many presidents before him) went on the radio and prayed nationally for our troops and our nation.
* When the First Amendment was implemented in 1791, it was intended to only limit the natural (federal) government and not the state government.
We have seriously misunderstood what “separation of church and state” means. To the founding fathers, the First Amendment existed to keep the state out of the church, not the church out of the state.

Application
There are two applications here for Christians today:
First, we as believers should use our rights and our freedom of religion to promote what is righteous. We are not allowed to be silenced in the public sphere by the government. We should use our rights to stand up, not only for our faith but also against issues such as abortion and the restriction of religious liberty.

Second, we must understand that good interpretation matters, whether we are interpreting the Bible, the Constitution or any other document. If we interpret someone’s words in a way that wouldn’t make sense to the original audience, we have developed an incorrect interpretation.
May we seek to be good students of interpretation, good students of history and good students of the rights we have as believers in our country.

So my question is simply this, “Where in all this did SILENCE and SEPARATION become SYNONYMOUS?”

And the answer is…..IT DIDN’T!
I’m Mike McClure & I approve this message.

ByGatekeepers Association

Repentance: The First Word of the Gospel

Worship, love and spirituality

Worship, love and spirituality

Rev. Richard Owen Roberts

Rev. Richard Owen Roberts has spent a lifetime studying Scripture and the history of revival in America and elsewhere. Like an Old Testament prophet, his words cut through our pretenses and expose our real condition. Speaking of sin, righteousness and judgment, Roberts expresses hope for America. Who else could have written Repentance: The First Word of the Gospel?

Repentance is required of entire nations! Just as the corporate sin of every entity [family, church, community, business, etc.] demands corporate repentance, so national sin demands national repentance. The national sins of which I speak are the gross sins that defile the whole land, making the nation guilty before God. They are the sins that result in the loss of at least some of God’s sovereign mercies and in the display of at least some of His righteous judgments. Several things must be said concerning these sins.

First, they are, as stated, national sins – sins that defile the whole land. The general population is corrupted by them. This was true in Sodom, where God could not find even ten righteous people. This was often true of Israel. Isaiah described a particular time saying,

“The whole head is sick, and the whole heart is faint. From the sole of the foot even to the head there is nothing sound in it, only bruises, welts, and raw wounds, not pressed out or bandaged, nor softened with oil. Your land is desolate… Unless the LORD of hosts had left us a few survivors, we would be like Sodom, we would be like Gomorrah” (Isaiah 1:5-7, 9).

Second, they are by their very nature sins that, if left in place, are not only grossly evil but also corrupting. They contaminate everything around them. Jesus warned against the leaven of the Pharisees. We often find that one bad piece of fruit spoils many around it. Any sin, left in place, will corrupt things around it.

Third, the leaders of the people are themselves sufficiently contaminated by sin that they make no serious effort to suppress it. Indeed, at a time when national repentance is urgently needed, it is not uncommon for leaders to alter long-standing laws to accommodate gross iniquities, rather than to repent themselves and to call others to do the same. We have seen this happen in recent years when our politicians have changed long-standing laws affecting abortion, usury, homosexuality, fornication, and adultery. At such a time, it is also common for leaders to grow lax in enforcing the laws that remain, sometimes because they themselves selves are guilty of gross violations.

Fourth, the nature of the sins themselves, and the degree to which they are happily entertained by both leaders and the masses of the people, may profoundly affect the churches. Rather than the churches altering the world for good, the world will alter the church for evil. The nominally religious are readily drawn into the web of iniquity, and eventually it is only with considerable difficulty that the church can be distinguished from the world.

Fifth, the prevalence of sin is so great that some of the remnant of faithful believers who remain are gripped by a spirit of pessimism and do little more than sit quietly by, hoping for an end-time deliverance.

Sixth, sin so profoundly impacts the nation that the few servants of God who speak out against it seem to have the ear of but a handful. They are generally treated, even by religious people, as foolish and unprofessional extremists.

Seventh, man’s extremity is still God’s opportunity. At the very moment when sin appears to have fully triumphed, the Lord may gift the nation with repentance and faith. It is wise and necessary to observe that nations are rarely ever destroyed before they have first been clearly warned of their sins and of the pending judgment of God, and second, have rebelliously refused to repent. As dark as the present hour appears, it is both refreshing and encouraging to realize that the voices of the true prophets of the living God have not yet been raised to such a level that the nations have heard the word of the Lord and have deliberately refused to repent. Thus far, most of the voices that have been heard have sounded a very uncertain note. No wonder national repentance has not occurred. The English-speaking speaking world, in particular, desperately needs to hear the clarion call to national repentance. Until it does, there is hope even for the Western world (Richard Owen Roberts, Repentance: The First Word of the Gospel, pp. 283-292; 2002).

 

ByGatekeepers Association

What Bible Are You Reading?

class-bibleThe Word “Church” is the Word “Ecclesia” and this is a “Political” word! “Godliness exalts a nation…” Proverbs 14:34
“Without wise leadership, a nation is in trouble, but with good counselors there is safety.” Proverbs 11:14

If Christians stand for Truth, Justice they cannot but help, become involved in politics.

In the Old Testament we see; Daniel and Joseph Serving God in the office of Presidency.

In the New Testament we have Sergius Paulus, the Roman proconsul (Governor of Rome) , who was converted to Christianity and remind in office.

Jesus said we were to be salt and light in the world, the yeast in the dough of society. We are to exercise Kingdom Influence for the benefit of all,

When people say that the Bible and politics don’t mix, I ask them which Bible they are reading.

ByGatekeepers Association

Nehemiah: An Awakened Advocate for His People

Picture1 By Jody Trautwein

Imagine this…you find yourself on foreign soil against your will forcibly made to serve the governmental leadership in place when you suddenly receive an alarming report from a family member about your hometown. Here is the report, “Those who survived the enemy’s invasion and were not taken captive are in great distress and trouble. The walls are broken down. The gates are burned with fire. It’s real bad!” So you hear the news and your heart breaks. It’s worse because you are a two-month journey away. You desperately desire to be there and yet you have no control over whether or not you can even go.

The biblical “wall-rebuilder”, Nehemiah, found himself in just such a predicament in 445 BC. He was a cupbearer in the Persian court of King Artaxerxes I at the capital city of Susa, which lay 150 miles east of the Tigris River in what is now modern Iran. Nehemiah, whose name means “comforted by God” ironically found himself anything but comforted as he heard just how disturbed his hometown family and friends were. The treacherous condition of his city revealed the truth of his heart. Now he faced a question, what would he do with the information he just received?

As men and women of God, we hear bad news frequently, especially concerning the condition of our communities. The question is, what will we do about it? Some may already be fully engaged in fulfilling your God-given destiny as it relates to preaching the gospel and making disciples of all nations. Others, like Nehemiah, may find yourself serving faithfully in the position you currently hold, but you know deep down you were created for more. What are we waiting on? Perhaps, like Nehemiah, you are waiting on the voice of Hanani to ring in your ears and rouse your spirit to action!

As existing Gatekeepers for our families, churches and communities, we have accepted Revivalist Charles Finney’s challenge that “The Pulpit is Responsible” and are functioning to the best of our abilities in that Nehemiah type rebuilding mindset and role. Might it also be added that we too should be like Hanani, the family member who gave Nehemiah the report that AWAKENED his heart for ADVOCACY. Yes, our current wall-building efforts are significant, but I believe our pressing duty to call forth NEW Nehemiahs is equally critical. Will we be the voice of a brother to our other brothers and sisters in Christ releasing a clarion call to action encouraging them to practically be the light in the darkened political halls and chambers of our executive, legislative and judicial branches of government?

Further, some would say that Christians have no biblical precedence for and thus, no business attempting to “lobby” or influence the actions of our legislators for or against certain laws on behalf of the citizenry. On the contrary, a closer look at Nehemiah’s Holy Spirit led strategy reveals, after four prayerful months from his moment with Hanani, he went directly to the Persian King “lobbying”, or advocating for his brothers and sisters in his hometown of Jerusalem, Israel. Unfortunately, in our current political climate, the term “lobbying” has become synonymous with special interest groups spending large sums of money to sway legislators to create laws that benefit only the organizations that are paying the lobbyists and funneling huge campaign contributions to elected officials. This, of course, opens the doors for corruption. However, an “advocate” is someone who simply speaks, pleads or writes in support of a person or a cause. Therefore, that is the term preferred in this article. 1 John 2:1 shows us that “if we sin, Jesus Christ is our ADVOCATE with the Father.” If Jesus the Advocate lives within us, then it is this writer’s opinion that not only can we advocate for causes, but we MUST BE HIS AWAKENED ADVOCATES who speak, plead and write on behalf of issues concerning true righteousness and justice!

Nehemiah asked for and received permission to leave his current position, a protective detail of soldiers to escort him through potentially hostile territory, and provisions of materials needed for the rebuilding efforts. Guess what? He got everything he asked for because he dared to believe His God enough to do what seemed impossible in man’s eyes. Yes, it seems impossible to be able to make a positive impact in political processes right now, but that begs a question for you? Will you believe and plead for His cause and His people in this hour?

Nehemiah’s moment with Hanani awakened him to help lead a movement that would transform a city, his home city. Has your moment come? If so, then keep building, Nehemiah, and be a resounding Hanani while you build! If your moment has not come, then consider this writing as your wake-up call and get to work on your part of the wall. Your hurting city is waiting on you to receive your catalytic moment and spark a movement that could help transform corrupt systems into Kingdom of God principled systems that facilitate genuine “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness!” The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute in Birmingham, Alabama clearly reveals through a quote on its walls, “The power of an idea whose time has come!” Your time has come. Your voice will be heard. Your hands will complete the work. You are God’s Awakened Advocate!

ByGatekeepers Association

Whose Side Are You On?

 

maxresdefaultIn my opinion our country is more divided now than any time in our history.  Jesus said, “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.” (Matt. 12:2).  The Apostle Paul wrote, “Now I plead with you brethren…that there be no divisions among you but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and the same judgment. For it has been declared to me…that there are contentions among you… Is Christ divided?”( ICor. 1:10-13) And in Gal. 5:13-15, “…through love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!”

The ancient Sages of Israel taught: “R. Johanan b. Torta said, Why was the first Temple destroyed? Because of idolatry, unchastity, and murder. But in the days of the second Temple, they were earnest about the Torah, and careful about tithes. Why then did the destruction come? Because they loved money, and hated one another. So learn that the hate of man for his fellow man is a sore sin before God, and weighs as heavily as idolatry, and unchastitiy and murder.” (T. Men. Xiii,22 / TJ Yoma1).

Jesus did not affiliate with a political party but rather said, “My kingdom is not of this world.” (John 18:36)  He did not affiliate with a religious party. Although his teachings align more closely with the Pharisees, he was not a Pharisee, nor a Sadducee nor an Essene and especially not a Zealot. The closest of any group that Jesus could be identified with were the Hasidim, who were Sages who were very pious and known to be miracle workers, who stressed doing the will of God above all things, who were known to be teachers of the people, who were not attracted to wealth and who were independent and not an organized group and who sought the truth of God and the doing of His will.

All too often today I hear people say they can only vote democrat or republican or some third party. The world is as corrupt today as anytime in history. I really don’t see good options in the political arena. There is a lot of talk but not much action. There is a lot of hate speech but not much concern for the true wellbeing of the people. Politicians espouse the Scriptures or the Name of God to win our votes but all too seldom actually live out God’s will in their daily lives and policies.  And all too many who declare that they are Christians join in the hateful rhetoric all the while never realizing that the right wing and the left wing belong to the same bird.

Our country and our world are filled with so much hate and division. This abomination will bring about our desolation.  I am troubled that so many Christians tenaciously hold to one party or another regardless of their platforms and whether they agree with the teachings of Jesus. I truly don’t see the answer to our world’s problems in the political arena. It is possible that all that we are seeing is the working out of the end of days. As scripture says, “…in the last days perilous times will come. For men will be lovers of themselves, loves of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away.” (II Tim. 3:1-5)  “ Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart for the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons.” (ITim. 4:1) I think we should ask ourselves are we on the LORD’s side or a political party’s side. Are we on the side of Love or Hate? If we are ‘born again” we are no longer Male nor Female, Jew nor Gentile, Black nor White, Yellow nor Red but we are all one in Christ.(Gal.3:28) All I see in the political arena is hate, division and discord and I see the people of God being drawn into this division and hatred because they don’t adequately know the word of God.

The LORD will return one day, “and the LORD shall be King over all the earth. In that day it shall be – The LORD is one and His name one.” (Zech.14:9) On that day, “Not everyone who says to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name? And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.”(Matt. 7:21-23) To know in Hebrew means to be intimate with. Are we intimate with Jesus? Are we doing His Fathers will? Or are we “giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons?” All the while thinking we are doing his will.

I want to be on the side of the LORD. I don’t care to be a democrat nor a republican, a Baptist nor a Methodist nor any other sect or party that we can name. I want to be a real Christian. I want to be on His side. Whose side are you on?

By: Clifton H. Payne, Jr

ByGatekeepers Association

The Church Must Stand! Or God Will Judge This Nation

Charles_g_finneyThe church must take right ground in regard to politics. Do not suppose, now, that I am going to preach a political sermon, or that I wish to have you join and get up a Christian party in politics. No, I do not believe in that. But the time has come that Christians must vote for honest men, and take consistent ground in politics, or the Lord will curse them. They must be honest men themselves, and instead of voting for a man because he belongs to their party, Bank or Anti-Bank, Jackson, or Anti-Jackson, they must find out whether he is honest and upright, and fit to be trusted. They must let the world see that the church will uphold no man in office, who is known to be a knave, or an adulterer, or a Sabbath-breaker, or a gambler. Such is the spread of intelligence and the facility of communication in our country, that every man can know for whom he gives his vote. And if he will give his vote only for honest men, the country will be obliged to have upright rulers. All parties will be compelled to put up honest men as candidates. Christians have been exceedingly guilty in this matter. But the time has come when they must act differently, or God will curse the nation, and withdraw his spirit. As on the subject of slavery and temperance, so on this subject, the church must act right or the country will be ruined. God cannot sustain this free and blessed country, which we love and pray for, unless the church will take right ground. Politics are a part of religion in such a country as this, and Christians must do their duty to the country as a part of their duty to God. It seems sometimes as if the foundations of the nation were becoming rotten, and Christians seem to act as if they thought God did not see what they do in politics. But I tell you, he does see it, and he will bless or curse this nation, according to the course they take.

Finney, C. G. (1835). Lectures on revivals of religion (pp. 274–275). New York: Leavitt, Lord & Co.

ByGatekeepers Association

Frederick Douglass – The need for God in government

Frederick_Douglass_c1860sProverbs 14:34

“Righteousness exalts a nation but sin is a reproach to any people.”

“I have one great political idea … That idea is an old one. It is widely and generally assented to; nevertheless, it is very generally trampled upon and disregarded. The best expression of it, I have found in the Bible. It is in substance, “Righteousness exalteth a nation; sin is a reproach to any people” [Proverbs 14:34]. This constitutes my politics – the negative and positive of my politics, and the whole of my politics … I feel it my duty to do all in my power to infuse this idea into the public mind, that it may speedily be recognized and practiced upon by our people.”

Frederick Douglass, “The Frederick Douglass Papers,” John Blassingame, editor (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1982), Vol. 2, p. 397, from a speech delivered at Ithaca, New York, October 14th, 1852.