Posts Tagged ‘Bible’

If you were asked what the most critical problems facing our society today are, how would you answer? Poverty? Crime? Drug abuse? Sex Trafficking? What if I told you that most of these problems could be reduced or even eliminated? Most of these problems all stem from the same root cause: Child abuse and neglect.

Studies have shown that victims of child sexual abuse are at a higher risk for substance abuse problems, associated psychological disorders and/or mental problems. They are also at a higher risk for committing violent crimes. And yet when we hear of one of these abused children being arrested and convicted of crimes we seem to have little or no compassion for them.

According to a report released by the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics, almost half of the women and one tenth of the men in our nation’s jails and prisons say they were physically or sexually abused as a child before their imprisonment. For prisoners who had spent part of their childhoods in foster care, the rate of abuse was even higher. 44% of the male prisoners and 87% of the female prisoners who had spent the majority of their childhood in foster care or institutions reported abuse. These were foster homes that were supposed to be a safe place for them to live!

These experiences are deeply traumatizing for a child and have long-lasting and profound impacts on them. Child abuse, which includes sexual, physical, emotional and child neglect, is a major social problem in our country. In ‘Does Child Abuse Cause Crime?’ (NBER Working Paper No. 12171), authors Janet Currie and Erdal Tekin found that child maltreatment roughly doubles the probability that an individual engages in many types of crime.

This does not mean that every victim of child abuse will grow up to commit crimes or become a drug addict. It simply means that they are at a higher risk. That is why it is so important for school counselors and teachers to become familiar with the many ways in which childhood abuse and neglect issues can manifest themselves in a child. At the same time, they must realize that disclosure of child abuse does not always happen as as quickly as they would hope. Many times it may take a victim several months to reveal the abuse—sometimes years. I have known many adults who have never revealed their childhood abuse until they were over 60 years old!

The question many ask is, “Why don’t children tell someone about their abuse?” There are many reasons why a child victim of sexual abuse is not likely to tell anyone about their abuse. Often, the abusive adult will convince the child that they won’t be believed. Children frequently remain silent to protect a non-abusive parent from becoming upset. In order to keep the abuse secret, the abuser will often play on the child’s fear, embarrassment or guilt about what happened, convincing them that no one will believe them or that telling anyone will break up the family and it will be the child’s fault. 

Another reason kids don’t tell is because they may know friends who have also been abused at home and went to court. Not only did their friend not receive justice, they also ended up in foster care for a while. So they don’t tell anyone. They just try to forget about it and keep all the hurt inside—And so does their family.

Many times an abuser could be someone you’re close to or in a relationship with. Children of single mothers are especially vulnerable. The mom is so busy working to pay bills and put food on the table, (Sometimes working two or three jobs) that she may not imagine someone whom she invited into her home would have intentions of harming her children. But it has been proven that children living with only one biological parent are 33 times more likely to be sexually abused than children who live with both their biological parents.

Watch for the signs

So how can we know who to trust? We need to read the signs. Someone may be a danger to your children if they:

  • Insist on physical affection such as kissing, hugging or wrestling even when the child clearly does not want it. 
  • Insist on time alone with a child with no interruptions. 
  • Are overly interested in the sexual development of your child or teenager. 
  • Regularly offer to baby-sit children for free or take children on overnight outings alone. 
  • Buy your children expensive gifts or give them money for no apparent reason. 

Lastly, check to see if the person you’re in a relationship with is listed on the National Sex Offender Registry—Not just the local registry. Because a registered sex offender will not volunteer his or her information. And if found out, will most often tell you how they were unjustly convicted. Also be aware that many sex offenders will move away from the state they lived when they were convicted without notifying the state where they move to. Because they know that authorities will not look for them unless they commit another crime.  

We all feel shock and outrage whenever we hear of child sexual exploitation by a teacher, coach or religious instructor, but stories of a child being sexually abused by a parent, step-parent, or someone living in the same home as the child rarely receives even a blip on the local news.

Why is it so easy for us to ignore these lost children? 

Maybe because it’s easier for us to ignore the root problem than to work on a solution. To begin with, we need to work to change the court system when it comes to dealing with those convicted of child sexual abuse. When someone is convicted in court, most judges allow the perpetrators to plead guilty to a lesser charge and sentence them to probation and require them to register as a sex offender—which does nothing to protect vulnerable children.

Many still believe that the Sex Offender Registry prevents pedophiles from living near them in their in their community. This is a misconception. Nebraska is one of 22 states that don’t place any restrictions on child sex offenders. None! This means that a convicted child sex offender can visit and/or work in schools, daycares, children museums, and even live with or socialize with vulnerable children. The SOR law can only mandate that the offender register his or her required information at the sheriff’s office within the required time. (Nebraska statutes 29-4004 and 29-4006) Some judges even allow the perpetrators to have contact with their victim!

Prosecutors will tell the victim that it will be emotionally easier for them if they allow a plea deal. But what they don’t tell them is that when a case of child sexual abuse is brought before the court, the perpetrator is charged with crimes against the State, not against the victim. Then, the only option for the victim to get justice for what’s been done to them is to take it to civil court. How many 6 to 9 year old victims do you think have the knowledge and financial means to take their abuser to civil court? 

Another thing we can do is petition out legislators to change the Sex Offender Registry laws in our state to better protect our children. I have written to many state senators asking them to change the SOR law. The very few that responded told me that there was nothing they could do. It’s easy for politicians to ignore one or two people, but it’s much harder for them to ignore hundreds of people demanding the same thing.

Lastly, we can encourage survivors of child sexual abuse to speak out. Arrange for schools to allow them to tell their story and contact local news outlets and ask them to cover the event. It is a proven fact that other victims will open up when they know someone else has experienced the same thing. Child sexual abuse needs to be talked about. Remaining silent will only keep this epidemic hidden. 

“Only by dropping our well worn masks

revealing the degrading darkness of hell

can we hope to finally bask

in the life giving light outside our cell.”

By Juno Diaz, Pulitzer Prize winning author and survivor of childhood sexual abuse

Sex trafficking, drug abuse, mental health issues and criminal activity are only symptoms of the problem. We need to take care of the root of the problem. Otherwise, all the laws we pass and programs we develop will be like putting a band-aid on a broken bone. 

“…but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 19:14)

“But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matthew 18:6)

Other resources:

https://www.stopitnow.org/ohc-content/what-keeps-us-from-talking-about-sexual-abuse

https://www.smallvoices.org

https://www.d2l.org/the-issue/statistics/

https://laurenskids.org/education/curriculum/

Advertisements

I normally try to stay away from writing about political matters, but this year’s election has revealed the moral compass of many Americans. (And not in a good way)

The world has witnessed more back-biting, name-calling and violent protesting during this election season than most people can remember.

And sadly, the few candidates who showed high moral standards and common sense were passed over. And now Americans are left with a choice between an angry, insulting, narcissist, who believes that only HE can make America great again, or a woman who has a long history of lies and corruption. But it seems that the American people either have short or selective memories.

Trust is an important part of any good personal or professional relationship. This is especially true when comes to deciding who to choose for the highest office in the country. If past performance is an indicator of future actions, our country is in big trouble.

Donald Trump

Donald Trump is either really sketchy, super savvy—or a little bit of both. Trump has made millions of dollars facilitated by high-profile connections and unprecedented subsidies and tax breaks from the government. The Wall Street Journal published a report claiming that he made millions of dollars endorsing a multilevel marketing firm called ACN. The company has undergone regulatory investigations regarding pyramid scheme allegations in three countries—allegations Trump told WSJ he had never heard of.

He has also gotten into hot water recently over Trump University—now known as the Trump Entrepreneur Initiative. The seminar initiative has him embroiled in two lawsuits in New York and California for misleading people into believing it was an actual university.

Trump’s corporations have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on four separate occasions: the Trump Taj Mahal in 1991, the Trump Plaza Hotel in 1992, Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts in 2004 and Trump Entertainment Resorts in 2009. All of his bankruptcies were tied to casino and hotel properties in Atlantic City. And this is the man that we’re going to trust with our economy?

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton has repeatedly called for a crackdown on all types of trafficking of women and children across international borders. In a 1999 speech she said, “Finally, trafficking of women and children has emerged out of the shadows and into the spotlight. We must prevent it, protect the victims and prosecute the perpetrators to the full extent of the law.”

That same year Human rights investigator and whistleblower Kathryn Bolkovac tried to investigate cases of human sex trafficking in Bosnia—and lost her job. There were many cases, but they were never prosecuted. Young girls from Romania, Ukraine, Moldova and other Eastern European countries were forced into prostitution and used on the UN and military bases as sex-slaves. The cases involved the officers from many foreign countries, including the USA, Pakistan, Germany, Romania, and the Ukraine who worked with local organized criminals. The suspects were immediately removed from the mission or transferred to other missions, but most were never charged under diplomatic immunity. (You can read her story here)

But despite a presidential directive that set a zero tolerance on human trafficking, those working in the sex trade have still been operating with impunity—Some under the cover of the U.S. government!

Just last year a report from the UN Office of Internal Oversight Services indicated that “peacekeepers” working in Haiti were guilty of raping Haitian women at an alarming rate. The report also indicated that a large number of the victims were underage.

According to the report, there were 231 people in Haiti who claimed they were sexually violated by UN peacekeepers, and were forced to perform sexual acts in exchange for food and supplies that were intended as relief packages. (Read more at http://www.thesleuthjournal.com/report-hundreds-of-women-a-children-forced-into-sex-by-united-nations-peacekeepers-video/)

Sex trafficking among the elite

In 2002 Former president Bill Clinton took repeated trips on the ” Lolita Express”—the private passenger jet owned by billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. Clinton shared Epstein’s plane on at least 11 flights in 2002 and 2003—before any of the allegations against them became public—according to the pilots’ logbooks, which have surfaced in civil litigation surrounding Epstein’s crimes.

Meanwhile, Bill and Hillary Clinton have remained mum about their ties to the Palm Beach pedophile—despite evidence that shows Bill was one of the most famous and frequent passengers

Epstein pleaded guilty in 2008 in Florida to one count of soliciting underage girls for sex (and one count of adult solicitation), for which he only served just over a year in county jail. But he has reportedly settled lawsuits with more than 30 victims since 2008! The youngest alleged victim was only 12 years old at the time of her abuse! (Read more at: http://gawker.com/flight-logs-put-clinton-dershowitz-on-pedophile-billio-1681039971)

And to make matters worse, (If that’s possible) yet another victim filed a suit in New York accusing not only Epstein, but also Donald Trump—of raping her at a series of sex parties when she was only 13! Trump has denied these claims and his reps have said he barely knew Epstein—even though  Epstein had 14 private numbers for Trump and his family in his little black book.

And in spite of these disgusting reports, the American people are more outraged about some lost and leaked e-mails?

When did we lose our moral compass? 

The answer is that the two bedrocks America was founded upon and depended upon are today reviled and attacked as not being relevant to modern society—the Bible and the Constitution.

The Bible is no longer viewed as the truth a vital nation anchors its present and future aspirations upon, but is viewed as the resource of foolish and ignorant people who subscribe to a theology of bigotry and narrow-mindedness.

But if there is no God, there is no absolute truth. And if there is no absolute truth, then our decisions are based upon what feels good to us. We in effect then, contribute to the creation of chaos and disorder—because then there are no behaviors that are too wretched and evil, and nothing is unacceptable.

Consider just a few of what many claim are resources of foolish and ignorant people:

“Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6)

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. (Matthew 7:12)

“Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,’ and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” (Romans 13:8-10)

America’s moral compass is embedded in our Constitution that acknowledges that ALL men (including women and children) are created equal and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights—among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Having a moral compass means having a sense of what is right and wrong and moving toward that direction or goal. It also means that we do not idly stand by while members of our society are denied those unalienable rights by the government or other powerful groups and cliques who abuse the rights of those who cannot defend themselves.

The Constitution of the United States (and its documents) are the most influential preservers of human rights and critical in setting of limits pursuant to the reach of government. Yet today the Constitution is looked upon as an outdated creation of wealthy, old white men who are no longer relevant today.

America has replaced order and morality with chaos and selfishness. America is no longer a standard to the world that shows forth truth and constitutional justice. Instead, America has become a purveyor of lies, debauchery, betrayal and subjugation. America has lost its standing with the world because America has lost its moral and constitutional standing with its own people.

Regardless of who becomes president in November, the only way I see America returning to the morals and values of the Founding Fathers is that we repent of our wickedness and turn back to God. If not, we will become further entrenched in even more lies, debauchery, betrayal and subjugation—that eventually will lead us to cry out to God for mercy.

Either way, God wins. Maybe that’s what he planned all along.

Mike Huckabee posted on his Face Book page to join him on “A Day to Pray”, where we will ask God to grant our leaders, from the local school houses to the White House, the wisdom they need for the road ahead.

I thought this would be a good time to share a modern version of Daniel’s prayer found in the book of Daniel chapter nine, when he was in Babylon:

O Lord, you are a great and awesome God! You always fulfill your covenant and keep your promises of unfailing love to those who love you and obey your commands. But we have sinned and done wrong. We have rebelled against you and scorned your commands and regulations. We have refused to listen to your prophets, who spoke on your authority to our kings and princes and ancestors and to all the people of the land. Lord, you always seek to do what is right for us; but as you see, our faces are covered with shame. This is true of all of us; including your Church, the world leaders, the people of Israel, and those scattered near and far, wherever you have driven us because of our disloyalty to you. Oh LORD, we and our kings, our leaders, and ancestors are covered with shame because we have sinned against you. But you Lord, are merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled against you. We have not obeyed you God, nor have we followed the instructions you gave us through your servants the prophets.  All of us have disobeyed your instruction and turned away, refusing to listen to your voice. So now the solemn curses and judgments written in the Law of Moses, the servant of God, have been poured down on us because of our sin. You have kept your word and done to us and our rulers exactly as you warned. Never has there been such a disastrous time as is happening now. Every curse written against us in the Law of Moses has come true. Yet we have refused to seek mercy from you by turning from our sins and recognizing your truth. Therefore, we have brought upon ourselves the results of our sin. Oh LORD our God, you were right to do all of these things, because we did not obey you. O Lord our God, you brought lasting honor to your name by rescuing your people from Egypt in a great display of power. But we have forgotten you and sinned and are full of wickedness. In view of all your faithful mercies, Lord, please turn your furious anger away from us and help us to open our eyes and see our despair. Help us to repent and return to you. All the unbelieving nations mock your people because of our sins and the sins of our ancestors. Oh Lord our God, hear your servant’s prayer! Listen as I plead. For your own namesake Lord, smile again on your desolate people. Oh my God, lean down and listen to my prayer! I make this plea, not because we deserve your help, but because of your mercy. Oh Lord, hear and forgive. Oh Lord, listen and act! For your own namesake do not delay! Oh my God, have mercy on us and send true spiritual revival and renewal! Amen!

I want to make it clear that this is not an article designed to bash the LGBT community. Neither is it my intention to draw attention to any particular type of sin. My intention is to bring awareness of how important is to study God’s Word ourselves so that we won’t be deceived by unsound doctrines.

For too long people have been spoon fed a watered down gospel by false teachers and pastors that use their positions more as a platform for social and political rhetoric than for speaking the truth from Scripture.

The Bible has traditionally been interpreted as the source of all truth authored and inspired by God. Although most Christians condemn the actions associated with homosexuality based on their understanding on the Bible, some anonymous editors have set out to reinterpret scriptures to create a new translation — “The Queen James Bible” — that is favorable to gays and lesbians. http://www.theblaze.com/stories/queen-james-bible-now-theres-a-gay-friendly-version-of-scripture/

The editors claim that their new version is a purer take on the scriptures. Through their website they have said, “We wanted to make a book filled with the word of God that nobody could use to incorrectly condemn God’s LGBT children, and we succeeded.” The editors also stated, “We edited the Bible to prevent homophobic interpretations.

Among the verses that they changed was Genesis 19:5. Originally reading: And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, “Where are the men which came in to thee this night? Bring them out unto us, that we may know them.” And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, And said, “I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly.” Genesis 19:5-7 (KJV)

They amended it to, “And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? Bring them out unto us, that we may rape and humiliate them. Genesis 19:5 (QJV) (Page 21)

The editors explain that they understand the story of Sodom and Gomorra to be about bullying strangers. It as if they believe that Lot asked the men of Sodom not to “wickedly bully” the angel visitors. They also point out that Leviticus forbids one to have sex with a beast, and since angels are not human, Lot was merely preventing the bullies in the town from having sex with non-humans. Plus, they rationalize that because rapes such as this one are common between men in prison, they aren’t sexual acts; they are power-dominating acts. In other words, they believe that a power-dominating rape is wrong, but consensual sex is not.

First, I feel I should point out that the Hebrew word used for angel here is ‘mal’ak’ and is best translated, messenger. Contrary to popular belief, angel / messengers mentioned in scripture did not have wings. (Although often depicted that way in art) Therefore, the men of Sodom had no idea that the visitors were anything other than human.  Just because someone is raped, it does not diminish the fact that the act of sex is involved; either homosexual or heterosexual.

Another scripture the editors changed is Leviticus 18:22: Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is an abomination. (KJV) And Leviticus 20:13: If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. (KJV)

The editors believe that Leviticus is outdated as a moral code, but still picked it as their most important book to address in their edits, because they believe most anti-LGBT religious activists cite Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 as proof-positive that homosexuality is a sin, and even worse, a sin punishable by death.

The editors assert that Leviticus 18:21 refers to “lying” with pagan male prostitutes as a form of pagan idolatry and therefore fits better with the story order of Leviticus 18, and with the other offenses punishable by death within it. That’s why they changed Leviticus 18:21 and 20:13 to read as follows:

Leviticus 18:22

Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind in the temple of Molech: it is an abomination. (QJV) (Page 75)

Leviticus 20:13

If a man also lie with mankind in the temple of Molech, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them. (QJV) (Page 76)

The editors explain: “To address Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, we need to look at the path of translation. The Hebrew word “to’evah” from which abomination is translated simply means something that is “ritually unclean,” or a “taboo.” Although the Hebrew word tow`ebah translated “abomination” in the KJV can refer to a ritual sin, (eating unclean animals or worship of idols) in the context of this chapter it should be obvious that “Thou shalt not lie” refers to having sexual relations with someone of the same sex and not practicing pagan rituals. The word used for abomination here means: a disgusting thing; Of course, the editors prefer to translate the word abomination as “taboo”; possibly because it doesn’t sound quite as harsh?

The editors also changed Romans 1:26 – For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against their nature… (KJV) to:

Their women did change their natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, left of the natural use of the woman, burned in ritual lust, one toward another; (QJV) (Page 545)

The editors state that they can’t be exactly sure what Paul meant by the natural use of a woman, but they are pretty sure he wasn’t talking about lesbian sex. They further state that unnatural uses of their bodies could even have meant pagan dancing! Really?! God gave them up to vile affections that resulted in the women began dancing?!

To be honest, I’m surprised it took this long to produce such a Bible. Many view the concept of sin as archaic and outdated; something that needs to be cast aside in light of current “modern thought”. But there are some things taught in God’s word which will never become outdated. Sin is one such topic that is just as relevant today as it was thousands of years ago. But I believe the most important point that the editors of this Bible missed, and therefore deceive many; (including themselves) is that ALL unrighteousness is sin to God. (1John 5:17)

When trying to define sin, scripture provides all the information needed:

(1 John 3:4) Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.

(1Cor. 6:9) Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. (By the way, effeminate does not just mean a male who practices homosexual forms of lewdness, but people in general who are guilty of addiction to sins of the flesh.)

(Prov. 6:16-19) These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

Notice that homosexuality is not even mentioned among the seven things that God hates and yet that is the one sin that most Evangelical Christians view as the most heinous of all.

Perhaps the whole matter can be summed up in the words of James 4:17: Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do, and does not do it, to him it is sin.

I do not believe that homosexuals are condemned just because they are homosexuals. We are ALL condemned under the penalty of sin. (Rom 3:23) Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done. The only way we are justified is by faith in the redemption that is in Jesus, our Messiah. And the only way we are condemned is by rejecting that redemption. Remember:

Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil—the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of those who refuse to obey God.  All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else. But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when He raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) (Eph. 2:1-5) NLT

All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. John 6:37

My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. John 10:29

My Lord and Savior, I too, am among those whom the Father has given to you because I have come to you. And I know that you will never cast me out.

You came to save and not condemn and cast out – Not even those who reject you. So how much more will you make certain that those who believe in you, weak and feeble as we are, will be protected from the enemy’s schemes so that no one is able to pluck them out of the Father’s hand.

Listen! It’s the Savior’s voice you hear

Come to me, and do not fear

Believe my words and do not doubt

I will never cast you out

Rich or poor, beggar, thief,

Come to me and find relief

You don’t have to live in doubt

For I will never cast you out

Tonight I’ll be getting the last tracks recorded for the new CD, “Living In Babylon” with the help of some of my talented friends. The song “You Don’t Know Jack” was written with the help of my long time friend and lyricist Tom White. It was recorded with my band mates Paul Koski on lead guitar, Gordon Kruse on bass, and Thomas Hubers on percussion. Below is a rough mix that you can listen to by clicking on the title. Let me know what you think.

You Don’t Know Jack

 

“And God has appointed these in the Church: First apostles, second prophets, third teachers, and after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.” (1Corinthians 12:7-11, 28-31)

Note that the above Scripture specifies that such Spiritual gifts, if genuine, are appointed by God. In spite of the growing number of false teachers and false prophets in the church today, doesn’t this scripture passage imply that these spiritual gifts are real? Let’s look at what scripture teaches about true and false prophets:

“But the prophet who presumes to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or who speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die. And if you say in your heart, ‘How shall we know the word which the Lord has not spoken?’  When a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the thing does not happen or come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken; the prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you shall not be afraid of him.” (Deuteronomy 18:20-22)

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.” (Matthew 7:15-18)

In 1 Thessalonians 5:21 Paul says we should test all things. So we can discern the difference between true and false prophets by testing what they say with scripture.

So are there true prophets of God today? In Acts 2:17-18, the Apostle Peter quoting Joel 2:28-29 states, “And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:  And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.”

Now there is a big difference between someone who prophecies and a true prophet of God. It’s been my experience that 99% of all so called ‘prophetic ministries’ are in fact, managed and controlled by false prophets. These ravenous wolves in sheep’s clothing that the Lord warned us about are the ones who have made it difficult for God’s true prophets. Prophetic words are to be judged and should never be used to rule your life. We are held responsible to test all things. I have seen numerous people led astray by so called prophetic ministries. Many people have followed them from meeting to meeting much like worldly people follow fortune tellers.

I believe that true prophets of God exist today.

Leonard Ravenhill, Keith Green, and David Wilkerson are men that I would consider to be true prophets of God. Leonard Ravenhill was labeled a radical and considered to be legalistic by some. Keith Green was criticized by some in the Christian Music Industry for his stand on not selling his music for the sake of the gospel. David Wilkerson was mocked by the media and scorned by some Christian circles. It was only after their deaths that some began to acknowledge their godly work.

But how many of us listened to their messages? How many today would pat them on the back and tell them how much they were admired but would think to themselves, “Just don’t expect me to do what you ask!”

Leonard Ravenhill was a British Christian evangelist and author who focused on the subjects of prayer and revival. He is best known for challenging the modern church through his books and sermons. His most notable book is ‘Why Revival Tarries’ which has sold over a million copies worldwide. In the 1980s, Ravenhill moved from England to a home near Lindale, Texas, a short distance from Last Days Ministries Ranch. He regularly taught classes at LDM and was a mentor to Keith Green. David Wilkerson, Ray Comfort, Tommy Tenney, Charles Stanley, Paul Washer and many others were also influenced by him.

Leonard Ravenhill was a man sent from God and like Elijah, was sent to battle the priests of Baal on their own mountain top and to shame the careless priests at the altar! He fearlessly stood against sin in the church and pastors who watered down the gospel of Christ. And he warned people who were being led astray by them. He was not an easy companion to the complacent. He insisted on being a Christian all the time and everywhere he went. He was sick inside when he saw the children of God acting like the sons of the devil. That marked him as being hard headed and at times, legalistic. Where have men of such fiery zeal as Ravenhill gone? Click here: Leonard Ravenhill

Keith Green was also recognized as a prophetic voice, crying out to us like John the Baptist, and cutting like a two-edged sword. On one hand, his words offered hope and joy — the Lord is coming! On the other hand, they required us to change our lives. Because of his love for Jesus and for the Word of God, Keith’s zeal drew thousands to his message during his few short years of public ministry before his untimely death. His sole desire was to see men, women and young people become free from spiritual darkness, confusion, and lukewarm Christianity. Keith’s boldness unsettled the more complacent Christians, as he pressed into the life of a true disciple, sometimes risking a successful career, his reputation, and personal finances — all to discover how to overcome worldliness and sin, and the surest road to God’s heart. Because Keith spoke for God and Him alone, his was one of the clearest, truest voices of our time. Click here: Keith Green Story

David Wilkerson was probably one of our greatest prophets of the 20th century. He served as a pastor in small churches in Pennsylvania, until he saw a photograph in Life Magazine in 1958 of seven New York City teenagers charged with murder. He later wrote that as he felt the Holy Spirit move him with compassion, he was drawn to go to New York in February 1958. It was then that he began a street ministry to young drug addicts and gang members, which he continued into the 1960s. He also founded Teen Challenge, an evangelical Christian addiction recovery program, with a network of Christian social and evangelizing work centers.

He gained national recognition after he co-authored the book ‘The Cross and the Switchblade’ in 1963 with John and Elizabeth Sherrill about his street ministry. In the book, he tells of the conversion of gang member Nicky Cruz, who later became an evangelist himself and wrote the autobiographical ‘Run Baby Run’. In 1967, David Wilkerson began Youth Crusades, an evangelistic ministry aimed at middle-class youth who were restless and bored. His goal was to prevent them from becoming heavily involved with drugs, alcohol, or violence.

In 1986, while walking down 42nd Street in New York City at midnight, David Wilkerson felt God calling him to start a ministry in Times Square. There he founded and became the pastor of Times Square Church, which opened its doors in October 1987. The church first occupied rented auditoriums in Times Square and later moved to the historic Mark Hellinger Theatre, which the ministry purchased in 1989 and in which it has operated ever since.

On April 27, 2011, while driving east on US Route 175 in Texas, David collided head-on with a tractor trailer and was pronounced dead on the scene. His last blog post stated, “To those going through the valley and shadow of death, hear this word: Weeping will last through some dark, awful nights and in that darkness you will soon hear the Father whisper, I am with you. I cannot tell you why right now, but one day it will all make sense. You will see it was all part of my plan. It was no accident.”  Click here: A Call to Anguish – David Wilkerson

Ezekiel was one of God’s greatest prophets recorded in the Old Testament. He brought God’s message of impending judgment to the Israelite people held captive in Babylon. God told Ezekiel that the people would not listen to him because of their unrepentant hearts. The message of the Old Testament prophets is the same message as the prophets today. The message of repentance!

That is what Israel failed to recognize about their God. They could not bring themselves to recognize their own sin. In failing to recognize their sin, they failed to recognize the holy God that they were called to serve. And as they continued to sin, they assumed that God’s blessings would always be upon them no matter what they did because they were God’s people and  they were in the covenant of promise. Because God had blessed them in the past, they felt that they were secure, that they couldn’t be moved from the firm foundation of Zion. That false assurance was further cemented in their mind by the false prophets who came along and preached: ‘Peace, peace’, when there was no peace. And when they could no longer ignore God’s prophet they humiliated and ridiculed him. This true prophet of God called them to repent but they refused to listen and ended up paying the price.

It is no different today. For decades God has been sending his prophets to warn us of His impending judgment, but we refuse to listen to them and continue to sin and instead listen to the false prophets who preach, “Peace, peace!” when there is no peace.

In 1973 David Wilkerson received a vision regarding the future of the United States and subsequently published a book called ‘The Vision’.  Below are some excerpts from this book. Keep in mind that he received this vision in 1973!

Economic Crash Coming

“There is worldwide economic confusion just ahead. In my vision this is the clearest thing I have seen… Not only is the American dollar headed for deep trouble, but so are all other world currencies. I see total economic confusion striking Europe first and then affecting Japan, the United States, Canada and all other nations shortly thereafter.” (P13:p1-2)

Everyone Will Be Affected

“…A recession of such magnitude that it will affect the lifestyle of nearly every wage earner in America and around the world. Countries that now control huge amounts of Western currency are going to be in very deep trouble also. Arab countries will be especially hurt.” (P13: p3)

Economists Confused

“The world’s greatest economists will be at a loss to explain the confusion and an international crisis of fear will develop. *(The economics profession has been unprepared and helpless to deal with the calamity has recently come upon the world.)

False Boom

“A false economic boom will precede the recession – but it will be short lived.” (P13-14: p4)

Uncontrolled Credit Debt

“Credit debt will become nearly uncontrollable. I see, very clearly, just a few years of tremendous affluence and continued economic prosperity. Inflation, costs and wages will spiral higher and higher. ” (P14: p1-3)

Bankruptcies of Major Corporations

“I believe we are going to witness the bankruptcies of some of this nation’s major and most popular corporations. I see tremendous difficulty arising for credit corporations. There are going to be many people unable to pay off their heavy obligations to major credit card companies, causing near chaos. Thousands of small businesses will also be forced into bankruptcies.”

Government Panic

“The United States government is going to “overreact” to the confused economic developments…. I see a flurry of near-panic decisions being made by various government agencies – but these hasty efforts to shore up the economy will backfire.

Building Industry Setbacks

“The building industry is going to face many setbacks. Housing starts will level off. There is a terrible squeeze coming to the building industry.”

Social Aid Programs Will Be Cut

“Social aid programs are going to be cut back and curtailed and minority groups are going to be affected the most. These cutbacks, along with the curtailment of many government projects, will cause widespread unemployment among these groups.”

DRASTIC WEATHER & EARTHQUAKES

“The world is about to witness the beginnings of great sorrows brought about by history’s most drastic weather changes, earthquakes, floods terrible calamities – far surpassing anything ever yet witnessed.”

Outbreaks of Epidemics

“In the aftermath of famine, floods and earthquakes, mankind faces the threat of new epidemics. There will a major cholera epidemic sweeping through various underdeveloped countries. “

FLOOD OF FILTH: MORAL DECLINE

“Be warned – in the not too distant future X-rated porno movies will be show on select cable networks after midnight…  Also available will be the same triple x rated video tapes for private home use. These videotapes can be played on any TV set with an electronic attachment.”  *(Remember; this was written in 1973. This was before cable TV and VCRs became popular!)

Teenage alcoholism

“Teenage alcoholism will increase. We are going to face a critical drinking problem with teenagers between thirteen and sixteen years of age.”

For decades God has sent his prophets to warn us to repent! But we refuse. Even when we have proof that a prophet was among us, we still refuse to repent. But desiring to have our ears tickled we follow the false prophets who preach, ‘Peace, peace’ when there is no peace.  To those of you who do not believe that God brings judgment but only wants to bless, remember what Isaiah 45:7 says: “I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity. I am the Lord who does all these things.”

The hour is late! And God’s judgment on an unrepentant church is eminent! “For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?” (1 Pet. 4:17 NIV) It is time for the church to repent of its worldliness and wickedness; fall on our face before God in tears and anguish, and allow Him to fill us with His fire so that we can become a light in a darkened world.

Click here: Keith Green – Asleep In The Light (live)