Has The Church Got The Devil On The Run? No Way!!!

     The TV set is on. The program begins, and colored lights sweep across the stage. “Smoke,” every hue of the rainbow, begins to rise. Suddenly the star of the show steps forward, gyrating to the rock music.
     Is this a night club scene? No! It is called a rock concert for born again believers - “contemporary Christian music.”
     Not necessarily. This display of Biblical ignorance would not be brought up, except for the alarm bell that is beginning to ring. Soon, at midnight perhaps, the trump shall sound and we will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air. Our vile bodies (not yet glorified) will be changed to immortal bodies in the twinkling of an eye (which is said by scientists to be one - one millionth of a second), and then we shall “ever be with the Lord.”
     But before we stand in the presence of our God to receive our rewards, we must “all appear before the judgment seat of Christ.” Here those works and deeds done by us after we were born again will be tried as by fire, to “see of what sort they were.” If the HEART attitude was not holy - if the Holy Spirit did not rule within us, then our works shall be burned. Some will lose everything and be saved, “so as by fire.”
     There is no need to be caught napping. Although there is much Christian activity going on, and much world outreach, evangelists, teachers, and preachers who God has given to the Body of Christ (the Church) are going off on a tangent. The main theme of each revival is, “We are going to win the world for Christ.”
     Jesus Christ doesn’t want the WORLD. He wants the heart of each believer to belong to Him. The world belongs to satan who is called “the prince of the world” and it will belong to him until the final battle when the Kingdom of God is set up on earth for one thousand years.
     Those who have been born of God are “hidden with Christ in GOD” and we are not an “earthly people.” We are a heavenly people, that is the crux of Paul’s Gospel. If we forget this vital truth, we set our affection on things below, and not above. And satan has won again!
     The world system is in itself “anti-Christ.” Everything about it: the political arena, instiutions, everything is of the world. That is why when we are born “from above” we lose our interest in the old life and begin anew. We have our example in the Lord Jesus. He merely “went about doing good.” He did not sound a trumpet before Him, announcing that He was the Deliverer. He leaves that to us, to find Him by seeking HIM with all of our hearts. He never “fought the system.” He never entered into the political arena, or brought up lawsuits to defend Himself and His disciples. And when the Mystery of the Church (a heavenly people on earth with their Head, the Lord Jesus in Heaven), was given to the Apostle Paul he continued in the way that Jesus walked. If you study your Bible you will see that he refused to fight back. And Paul suffered much on behalf of Christ.
     And Jesus Christ never made fun of sin. Yet the average minister today is good at making fun of sinners. One, in particular, has a personal grudge against homosexuals. I am always grieved in my spirit when he pours out his obvious hatred for this kind of sin. God’s Word declares what sin is in Romans 1: 28-32. But as the man preaches with his jowls shaking from excessive banqueting, I am inclined to believe that the sin of gluttony is equally repulsive to the holiness of our God.
     Jesus told us to go out into the world, and preach the Gospel. He did not say “Win it.” Because human nature being what it is, we are competitive and we hate to lose. When the chips are down, we will compromise if we are dead set on winning.
     And compromise is prevalent in our Church today. The message of the Cross ruined any chance that Jesus had of winning the Kingdom which He came to save and to rule. Had He compromised, He would never have exposed the sin of the religious men who believed they were perfect. But He did. Listen to His language when He spoke to them (Matthew 23: 27): “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees and hypocrites! For you are like whited sepulchers, which indeed appear beautiful outward but are within, full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.”
     And now - perhaps just before He comes again, He is reaching out to those in leadership positions, exposing their corruption and giving them the chance to get ready for His coming!
     But Jesus walked among men - good men and bad men, sinners and would-be saints. He loved them all equally, even those to whom He spoke harsh words. Facing the Truth is our one chance of being set free from sin’s bondage. And Christ IS Truth.
     I often think of how He must have felt, living in a world where sin prevails when He had come down from a Glory which we cannot imagine. He had to see the hungry, the sick, the poor, and the destitute. And He did not heal all of the world at that time; he did not feed all the hungry, or take away their poverty. That was not His purpose.
     His one purpose was to “seek and to save that which was lost.” And because He never swerved from that purpose, He went to Calvary.
     That is what we need to know: We are not put here to get into the political issues of our day, or argue doctrine, or go to court over whether we have prayer in schools. When I was in high school we had prayer every day at assembly. We didn’t pay any attention. Mr. Whitmore, the superintendent, would drone on and on, and we would giggle and the boys would throw spit balls. Prayer didn’t make any difference. Not in school. It is the home where a child is to learn right from wrong, and the submission to authority that gives us the ability to survive in society. The schools are not going to do it for our children.
     There must be a “separateness” about us, as there was with our Lord. He wanted nothing from men. And He received nothing. His disciples slept when He needed them most and ran away and denied Him when he was taken to be killed. Being flesh and blood, He longed for someone to “watch with Him” as He drank that awful cup. He had needs, as we do. But He refused to be swayed by anyone. He could have spoken one word, and those who came to crucify Him would have perished. He could have with a thought destroyed the world. But He came, “that we might have LIFE and that we might have it more abundantly.” Such a life as His never draws the crowds. It costs us everything to live it. “Few there be who find it.”
     As this age comes to a close, as Jesus said it would, the Church needs to re-evaluate her principles. I am amazed and very much grieved at the attitude of those Christians who believe in “capital punishment.” And most of them do. It is not “popular” to oppose it.
     If the Church truly believes that “an eye for an eye” is the reason for capital punishment, then why don’t the parents of rebellious sons take them out to a cliff and help stone them to death? That was the penalty under the Law for a rebellious son! And the parents were commanded to pick up the first stone! Or, why doesn’t the average Christian who believes in capital punishment believe that if a thief is caught, he should have his hand cut off? That, too, is commanded by the Law in the Old Testament.
     Either because of gross ignorance of God’s Word, or a grudge against “criminals,” the average Christian chooses to overlook the Beatitudes where Jesus Himself tells us “if your enemy strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other,” “bless them that curse you,” “pray for them who despitefully use you.” If we truly want to be made into the image of Christ, He wil give us these graces. He would never tell us to do something if we could not do it!
     So the devil is not on the run. He has gotten the Body of Christ involved in everything except the crux of God’s message: the message of the Cross. I recently heard an old time preacher whose favorite expression was “We are going to stomp that old devil” and “that old devil is having a heart attack!” And satan laughs.
     He isn’t worried about camp meetings and conferences on the Holy Spirit and tours to the Holy Land. He knows that in some of these happenings there is much self gratification. But he IS worried when a little group of believers, here and there, begin to worship God in spirit and in truth. He worries when they give if there is no return, if they sing praises to God in the worst of circumstances. When the coffers are empty and the bills are due; when their first thought upon awakening is God Almighty and His wondrous salvation; and when their lives reflect the image of the very Son of God who came and bought them with His own precious blood, and defeated hell and death; that’s when satan gets worried.
     He is a powerful being. Created the highest of the angels, it was his eagerness to usurp God’s Throne that caused his downfall and he and one third of the angel hosts were cast out of the highest Heavens. He has unbelievable power. How else could he have wrought such havoc on this earth?
     I know him well. I have been railed against by his chiefest agents - emissaries sent to destroy my life. I have heard him speak through these demonic entities, and believe me, I do not take him lightly, or poke fun at him. Even Michael, the Arch Angel, did not disrespect him when they disputed about the body of Moses. Instead of taking it upon himself to rebuke satan, he said, “The Lord rebuke thee.” Once, in eons past, satan had been his superior. He owns this world today and he knows that one day he will have to give it up. But not yet. We need to get serious and stand on the only ground where he cannot touch us. That ground is the Cross, the burial, the resurrection and the ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ. We can stand against him, but will we? It is costly.
     Those of you in prison have a real opportunity to stand. You know him well. . . He promised you power and he put you in chains and behind bars. Your prayers will reach the highest heavens if you make yourself ready for Jesus’ Coming. The Church is blind; but you are not. PRAY!!! And God bless you.
     From the May, 2000 Wingspread (Vol. XXXIV No. V)
     Also from the the May, 2000 News Notes, Billie wrote:
     We’ve received many new brothers in the past two or three months, and we are always thankful that they have heard of us and write to us. We are not a “pen pal” organization; it’s okay to have pen pals, but our one objective is to introduce to all of you the love of God the Father who longs for every individual to be born again, through the sacrificial blood of His Son, Jesus Christ.
     We don’t “preach at you.” God did not call me to be a preacher; the only thing He ever asked of me was to love Him with all of my heart, soul, strength and mind, AND my neighbor as myself. It’s easy to love Him, and I often wonder how anyone can ignore Him and refuse His love. But to love our neighbor as ourselves - that is a tall order. And Jesus meant it. He never spoke anything that He did not mean, and He makes it possible for us to love others like that if we want to. We are so self centered, even in the so called religious society, that unless there is a big meal to go along with the conference or the meetings, or the services, people don’t want to get into it. There has to be fun, fun, fun, for the entire family. And God never said that this is so.
     Anyhow, it is our prayer that through this ministry of love, you might actually get to know God, to see His glory, and to make a turn around in your life, no matter what, for His sake alone.

A poem sent in by one of our prisoners:
Who Moved the Stone
      When I can brush away the snow
     And see a crocus bloom,
     It’s tiny head an inch above
     It’s icy, rock-hewn tomb,
     I wonder as the cynics sneer
     “Who moved the stone away?”
     In questioning the miracle
     Of that first Easter Day
     I’m not a learned scholar;
     My name boasts no degree,
     But as to “who had moved the stone”
     Seems very clear to me.
     The power that frees the crocus
     To see it stand alone,
     Must find it very simple
     To “move away a stone.”
      By Winifred Brand
Prayer Requests for April, 2005
     For Tommy Hayes’ sister, that she will walk again; and pray for everyone at the Robertson Unit.
     For Daniel Honeywell, for his continued faith and for his family to start faithing.
     For Frank Williams, Jr., Death Row, Arkansas, that his blood pressure will come down.
     For Anthony Johnson, Danville, Illinois, that he will find help and assistance when released.
     For Harvey Davis and his friend, Thelda Frazier.
     For Willie Clark, who is at Abilene, Texas, that he will be transferred closer to Houston.
     For Tyrone Anderson, also at Abilene, for his heart.
     For Ronnie Chaney, and his family, for their safety.
     For Ronald Peason, McAlester, Oklahoma, that he will get into school.
     For Timothy Haynes’ Aunt Roberta who just lost her youngest son; and for Timothy, and for everyone at the Cimmarron Correctional Facility, as they are forced to go without tobacco.
     For ALL PRISONERS Everywhere where tobacco has been taken away.
     For Cantrell Watts’ Father who is recovering from knee surgery, and for his Mother, for relaxation and peace of mind.
     For Shawn McFall’s Father and Step Mother.
     For Ted Ricks at OSP, that he will get his property and job back when released from D. U.
     For Don and Marg Price, of Fayetteville, who recently lost their son.
     For Robert Heffernan Tucker, Arkansas, for an attorney and for good results with his DNA testing.
     For Karen Griffin and her husband, Robert, for Karen’s medical parole, her health, and for her and Robert to be out and together again.
     For my Mother’s sister, Aunt Billie, for her health, and for my Uncle John’s heart condition.
     For Lee Buckhorn, Tahlequah, Oklahoma, for God to restore her physical strength.
     For Richard Taylor’s (Boley, Ok) boss’ wife, for healing of her cancer.
     For Joe Gomez at Lexington, Oklahoma, that he will get a job soon.
     For Sister Ann and the nuns at Carmel in Little Rock.
     For Calvin Huddleston who just lost his sister.
     For Ms. Scott, for the strength and energy she needs to continue Dr. Scott’s ministry.
     For Tyrone Anderson’s blood pressure.
     For Marcos Zavala at the Montford Unit, Lubbock, Texas.
     For all of us at Wingspread. _____________________________________________________
     A note of thanks to our brothers in prison who last week tithed MORE than all you people on the outside put together. It is encouraging to me, to all of us here, and has kept me going during these hectic days of late. There are many of you, and you know who you are, and most importantly I am certain as certain can be that God notices. It was and is a HUGE sacrifice for you guys. I know. And there are many of you. Your response to our situation was more than I had ever expected. God bless YOU ALL! Rodney


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