Judgment begins and when it begins it may not end for quite some time!
“For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?” 1 Peter 4:17
There are way too many people inside and outside of the church who see judgment as only punitive. Judgment certainly can be punitive but more times than not it represents a judicial decision that reveals divine purpose. Whether punitive or not when God issues His judgments they are always redemptive in nature and purpose.
Judgment has always been a part of keeping the church, and society in general, pure. The reason is simple, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God”, and “Pursue . . . and holiness, without which no one will see God.” God wants every person to see Him, so they can find Him, so they can encounter Him, so they can discover who He truly is.
In April 1980 when I was 23 years old I surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Therefore I cannot speak to what transpired before that magnanimous life changing decision concerning the process of purging that is to lead to purity. In the early 1980’s we began to witness the unveiling of impurity in the church. In fact, the TV ministry [PTL Club], and the minister [Jim Baaker] who influenced me to surrender to the Lord from what was talked about on several of their morning television shows was embroiled in a sex scandal himself.
Most of the revelations in the 1980’s had to do with Protestant, Pentecostal and or Charismatic impropriety, and then after that a deluge began to develop over the rampant sexual abuse within the Catholic Church.
Now, fast forward to today and the latest religious organization to be sucked into the sewer of sexual impropriety is the Jehovah Witness’. “Jehovah’s Witnesses who allegedly suffered child abuse accused denominational leaders of telling them not to report abuse, saying it ‘would bring reproach on Jehovah.'” [From an article on http://www.dailycaller.com 11/20/17]
Reproach on Jehovah? Think of the damage that is done when children are told not to tell when they are abused because the God [god for the JW’s] they serve and trust would be negatively affected if they were to come clean. That certainly adds insult to their injury.
The problem is most of the exposure of the church has been done by the secular world [people outside the church]. Why the church doesn’t police its own purity is bewildering to me. It really shouldn’t be a surprise because the early church in Corinth refused to clean out the corruption of sexual sin, so this problem has persisted for two thousand years.
1 Corinthians 5
“1 It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of such a kind as does not exist even among the Gentiles, that someone has his father’s wife. 2 You have become arrogant and have not mourned instead, so that the one who had done this deed would be removed from your midst. . . . 9 I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; 10 I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. 11 But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? 13 But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.”
Paul, as the apostolic founder and father of the church in the city of Corinth was appalled at how the leaders and members in Corinth were not dealing with the devilish behavior of one of its members. Paul’s unwavering wisdom maintains the standard the Savior of the Body laid out when He was setting the foundational teaching for the citizens of His kingdom. Paul went so far as to turn the man over to Satan to destroy his flesh [carnal, sinful nature and behavior] so that he might possibly be saved [forgiven, delivered and healed]. This is divine justice at its finest on display. The destruction of all that brings destruction in our lives for the purpose of us finding all that God has in store for our lives. What a deal that is!
“I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” [1 Corinthians 5:5]
I want to remind you this was a member of the church Paul did this to. Paul took to task the leaders and members for not making purity in their community a priority. Either this erring “so-called brother” was a faux Christian or Paul is clearly communicating unrepentant sinful behavior endangers our connection to Christ the Head of the Body resulting in dis-membering, or disqualification of our membership.
The same can be said of the way the church, and more specifically the Catholic Church has handled sexual predatory behavior. Reassigning pastors or priests to other churches [parishes] only enables them to prey on unknowing innocent parishoners.
Whatever happened to:
5 For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them; 8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light 9 (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), 10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; 12 for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. 14 For this reason it says, ‘Awake, sleeper, And arise from the dead, And Christ will shine on you.'”
Who is the “sleeper” Paul is talking about in verse fourteen? Some say it is those who are living in darkness while others say it is those who are not maintaining the culture of Light. Either way, God wants the atmosphere around His people to replicate the atmosphere around Him.
Paul is once again dealing with unholy behavior within the community of those who are called by God holy. “Sons of disobedience” are those within the church who live their lives replicating the behavior of the father of sin, the devil. Paul goes on to say, “Let no one deceive you.” This is fatherly love being lavished on the ones being deceived. Paul is saying you cannot live in darkness and the light at the same time. Believing you can is deception.
One advantage the early church had over the church of today is there was only one church per city or region. Today there are hundreds if not thousands in a relatively small geographical area. What happens many times when someone is “discovered” to be living like a sinner while claiming to be a saint and are confronted, they “hear from God” and leave the community they claimed as their spiritual family and find an unsuspecting one to infect with their faithlessness.
Now that at least forty years of recent judgment has been uncovering corruption in God’s church it is now moving onto the other mountains [high places] of influence that make up society’s standard bearers.
Media, politics, military, arts, sports, law enforcement, business, family and the education mountains are undergoing what the church has been facing for at least a generation. Forty years is the time of testing in Scripture, and now that the church is approaching the end of her forty year time of testing the rest of the world and its systems can expect to undergo its own season of soul searching. This is not to say the church is now exempt from continued judgment. Hopefully, we in the church will pick up the mantle of maturity and deal with this problem “in house.”
What we see happening in the world right now is nothing short of a spiritual showdown where the God who sees everything is uncovering the darkness the prince of darkness has kept in the shadows of the unholy. “There is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known” [Matthew 10:26; Luke 12:2].
Those who do not like President Donald Trump might not like what I am about to say but I will say it anyway. In the year since he was Constitutionally elected as our forty fifth president our superficial society is opening up and hidden horrors as coming into the light. The sewers in our society are no longer seeping. Now they are hemorrhaging.
I am convinced Donald Trump, with all of his personality quirks, weaknesses and past moral failures, possesses a fire that has been building in him for about as long as the house of God has been being exposed [1980’s – present]. Do your own research of his interviews that he did as far back as the 80’s, and see how he has been consistent in his open expression of love for this country and what he believes the solutions are that will bring us back to prominence on the planet God owns and loves. America, will all of her flaws, is still anointed by God to be a world leader for good.
It is interesting to me that since Donald Trump was elected our forty fifth president all sorts of sordid secret stuff is surfacing up from the sewer. And it is really interesting because his enemies sought to take him out with something he said years ago and with fake salacious smut. Many who were horrified at his crass conversation about “what certain women want” are now embroiled directly or indirectly in their own corrupt behavior. Hypocrisy on all levels are being highlighted right now.
In just over twelve months people in high places in academia, media, arts, politics and other areas of the social fabric of our society are being exposed for the hypocrisy they hid in plain sight. Now it is just in plain sight! And it is not pretty.
And the continued exposure is not the kind of exposure they desire, or are used to receiving!
“There is pleasure in sin for a season” is one reason people sin. “Be sure your sin will find you out” should be reason enough for all of us to constantly take personal inventory of what is hidden in our heads and hearts and should cause us to do due diligence in digging it up and doing away with it.
In my Book, Welcome To The Wilderness I write this as it pertains to Gomer. Gomer was a women looking for love in all of the wrong places.
Chapter 3, Page 63
“Now, what are the uninhabited areas of our lives that are uninhabitable?
That describes much of Gomer’s life. She was a mess. We don’t know why she was a mess. We don’t know why she could not be satisfied in relationships. We do not know what drove her to prostitution.
What we do know is God sent salvation to fix all of her problems!
All of us have areas in our lives that are uninhabitable. Each of us have stuff, baggage that we carry around with us, that God cannot bless. It may be ugly sin or it may be lies we believe, or places we refuse to look at, or just life in general that gets in His way.
The beauty of salvation is that those areas do not scare it. Salvation thrives in the junk rooms of people’s lives.
So God brought Gomer into those areas of her life in the wilderness.
Salvation never enters those areas to join them. Salvation enters in to reform, or transform them.
Salvation gives new life to old things that are dead.”
The fire Donald Trump possesses trumps the sanctimonious secretism of the social elite.
Isaiah chapter 45 clearly speaks of a leader God chose [anointed] for a special work that would be the precursor of a spiritual awakening in the land. Isaiah spoke concerning a man who wasn’t from the established Jewish order of leadership. God chose this man in spite of the established leadership community.
This man was named Cyrus. Cyrus means one who possesses the fire. This fire fueled his passion to find and fulfill his purpose. It drove him to heights of leadership excellence. Cyrus was the leader of Persia and Persia means pure or splendid. This man who was not considered pure or splendid by the establishment had been being established by God who does not look at the outward appearances of men like men do. God looks for what men possess that other men cannot see or refuse to see.
In spite of what you think of Donald Trump he possesses a purity and splendor that God chose to use and is using. In some ways Donald Trump is like king David. David certainly had serious lapses of judgment but God said David “was a man after My heart, who would do all My will.”
Donal Trump’s business acumen and vision enables him to see things way in advance and we might say God has graced him with a prophetic ability to see past the obvious into what is necessary.
President Trump, like Cyrus, is anointed for very specific goals. To accomplish these goals certain things must be uncovered, exposed and removed. One of the things that stands out about Cyrus is how Isaiah reports that God took Cyrus by the right hand. The right side represents authority and hand represents possession, or what we have responsibility for. In order for God to take Cyrus by the right hand God would have had to have been on his right side. This means God not only provided Cyrus His authority by being on Cyrus’ right side but he acknowledged what Cyprus possessed and anointed that for His purposes, even though Cyrus did not come from His “people.”
It appears Cyrus had a reputation as a kind, gentle and merciful conquerer. During an excavation of ancient Babylon in 1978 a cylinder was discovered containing a charter written by Cyrus. This charter promised to treat all the inhabitants of Babylon and the other kingdoms he conquered with respect. He swore that he would allow all inhabitants of his empire to practice their own religious and social customs without persecution. Cyrus also promised to punish anyone who acted cruelly to the religious and social minorities of his kingdom. Cyrus forbade the seizure of farmer’s lands and properties and made slavery of any kind illegal. Cyrus’ commitment to fair and equitable treatment of his people is exemplary by modern standards and was unique during his time period. [http://study.com/academy/lesson/cyrus-the-great-facts-accomplishments-quiz.html]
Maybe this is why God chose him to release the Jews to rebuild in the land they had been banned from.
Again, Donald Trump has many obvious flaws. We might want to be gracious because most of us have many flaws too. In being kind maybe we could agree his life is complicated. Is your life complicated with complications? What if your words were recorded and revealed to the world? Would they eliminate you from public service or ministry?
Donald Trump also has a reputation of doing extraordinary acts of kindness. He also has a great reputation with many of his past and present employees in his real estate empire.
Judgment begins, and when it begins it may not end for quite some time!
Let’s look at what Cyrus was anointed to do and view them in light of what Donald Trump is doing in our day.
- Subdue [conquer] nations – Now, when we think of subdue and conquer we think of destroying and or reshaping what is conquered after the image of the conquering country. That is not what Cyrus was anointed to do [I remind you of that cylinder found in 1878] and that is not what President Trump is doing. Other administrations wanted to remake conquered lands in the image of the USA. President Trump is not like the other Presidents who have failed miserably at nation building and who unleashed untold misery in the lands that have been conquered. Donald Trump believes in the sovereignty of individual nations and the national pride of those nation’s citizens. Again, this sounds like Cyrus.
- Loose loins – Loins are the reproductive areas of our body. It is where production originates. The reproductive and creative ability resident in the organs and systems of the people are to be loosed [make wide open and set free]. Donald Trump is not forcing other nations to be molded into the image of our Constitutional Republic. He encourages the people to find their best selves and strive for excellence in their personal pursuits.
- Of kings – The royals, or leaders in various spheres of influence and their advisors. In other words, Cyrus was, and President Trump is, anointed to expose the God-given abilities inherent in the leaders of other lands that will cause tremendous transformation with the societies they lead.
- To open doors – This is the same word Hebrew word used for “loose”. This can be seen in light of the promise that God will open doors no man can shut [Revelation 3:8]. I believe this is the main reason why all the attacks against President Trump have failed and will continue to fail because man did not create Donald Trump, no man anointed Donald Trump, and no man opened doors for Donald Trump. Also, these doors that God opens is for the purpose of gaining access to the movers and shakers [the leaders] in the lands where the doors open.
- So that gates will not be shut – Again, what God opens man cannot shut. Gates are access and egress points into a city, state, region or nation. There are natural and spiritual gateways into people and places. Ancient gates are now being opened.
- I will go before you and make the rough places smooth – This speaks to how President Trump is received and honored in the different nations where he has traveled. Apparently other nations’ leaders see leadership in President Trump.
- I will shatter the doors of bronze and cut through their iron bars – Bronze and iron speak to the resistance to change and those who are presenting the resistance, among other things. One has to choose not to see all of the positive change that has happened in the first year of President Trump’s administration. Have we arrived? No. But we are way farther down the road to recovery than we have in at least 10-12 years. The tide is turning toward transformation!
- Treasures of darkness – Speaks of things in people and the people themselves that have been hidden from sight. Scripture tells us “we [Christians] have this treasure in earthen vessels.” Treasure begins in the womb and President Trump is being called the most pro-life President in our history. Protecting the unborn will release a blessing on our land that has the potential to stay the slaughter that is so prevalent in our streets. Also, this speaks of the gifts, talents, and abilities inherent inside of people that has not had an opportunity to be revealed and released. We are on the cusp of historic discoveries and demonstrations. WINNING IS FUN!
- Hidden wealth in secret places – A nation’s wealth is not necessarily in the material possession. Jesus said, “A man’s life does not consist in what he possesses.” Rather, a nation’s wealth is her people. People no one has heard of before will begin to come out of secret places and be recognized for their great exploits.
All of this was done so that Cyrus [and Donald Trump] would know the Lord like he never knew was possible. Donald Trump is growing in the grace and knowledge of God Almighty. Has he arrived? No! Neither have you or I arrived! So we, like Donald Trump, must keep moving closer to the heart of God who loves us with all of His heart.
Isaiah prophesied it was for God’s people’s sake that God called Cyrus and gave him a place of honor. He said that was in spite of the fact Cyrus did not know God when He called and anointed him. Donald Trump has made protecting Christians worldwide a priority. Not even George W. Bush, a “born again Christian” did that. In fact, it is without question W’s policies in the middle east unleashed hell on Christians throughout the region. That hell was exacerbated under #44.
Also, now in America Christian leaders are no longer afraid of speaking into the political arena because the Johnson Act has been neutered, and we can thank President Trump for that, not #43!
God is on the move again! God is on the rise again! I believe it is because God is being honored at the highest level of our government again!
Let us pray that the Sun of Righteousness, who rose with healing in His wings, will release His healing virtue throughout our land. God is revealing His judgments and the world is in for another renassaince. Only this time it will come with spiritual revival and reformation that will result in a transformation that does not destroy the ancient foundations. That failed and is being overturned. Now foundations are being restored and new foundations are being laid.
So, let the real building begin!
That is what happens when judgment begins!
Dr. Kevin M. Drury, DMin