Billie's Letter on Capital Punishment
Billie’s message this month is actually an old news note from 1999. She was very grieved in heart and spirit as she wrote then, and the feelings come through clearly. She had lost someone very dear to her and found it hard to understand the ignorance of the so called “Christian society” who faithfully obey one Old Testament law, but they leave the rest undone.
IN LOVING MEMORY OF: John Duvall, my brother in Christ, who was executed by lethal injection at 12:06 A.M., December 17, 1998, and who entered into Heaven at 12:15 A.M., where he will “ever be with the Lord.” I have ministered to John for about 10 or 11 years, and he was ready to go, having made his peace with God through his faith in the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ as having cleansed him, and having made him whole. The papers gave gruesome accounts of his actions which took him to Death Row at McAlester, Oklahoma, but that is THEIR report. God’s report is, “Welcome Home, Dubey.” And I believe God’s report.
I sent Dubey’s goodbye letter to many of you, as a tribute to his faithfulness to God’s loving mercy and his assurance that as the executioners administered the injections, an angel would escort him to heaven and he would be one of the first to meet us when we get there. There was nothing phony about his confession. The public can despise his memory, but God’s Love covered him, and he is now “absent from the body, present with the Lord.” May all of us have that same courage and confidence, too, and have that “blessed hope,” and one day we will see Dubey again.
Many of you have asked my opinion concerning “capital punishment.” Well, here it is: According to God’s eternal Word, capital punishment is murder, and those who commit the act will one day answer to God for sin or murder. I have heard Christian pastors, evangelists, and so called prophets who claim the Word of God justify the death penalty. They don’t know the Word or else they have copped out and don’t want to face the irate public who insist that those who commit murder “get what they deserve.”
The Body of Christ (The Church) could never agree with the death penalty and the execution of a human being. We are to love those who hate us, pray for those who despitefully use us, and pray for our enemies. . . This is the very Word of God. When we refuse to do that, we cannot KNOW THE God whose Word confirms these commandments. We do not live by the Old Testament Law. The Church is a “heavenly Body, our citizenship is in Heaven,” and God help those who stand by and agree to kill a man because he has killed. Because God gave me grace in my beginning days never to worship money and it’s power, I have been able to see through the façade of those evangelists in authority today. I am not at all welcome in their assemblies.
But the Bible confirms that the Body of Christ will never be accepted by the world, and the only way we could possibly “belong” is to compromise God’s truths. So those who are faithful in these last dark days before the Rapture will be a “despised little group of people” who stand in the gap for those who SHOULD be sounding the alarm that the end could be near.
As far as I am concerned, the Church itself is in shambles. I don’t care how many thousands attend weekly services. And I don’t care how far the Gospel of Jesus Christ reaches out through satellites and radio. The Church is like that church described in the book of Revelation, Chapter 3. It is the Church’s final state of apostasy, and it is here, today, in 1999.
The Holy Spirit is speaking to this church and he says, “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot; I would thou wert cold or hot. So then, because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing, and knowest not that thou are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked. I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of they nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with salve, that thou mayest see, as many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous, there, and REPENT.” Revelation 3:14-19
How much more plainly can God speak to the Church today? The other night I was lonely and had been unable to go anywhere because of the fall I had three weeks ago. I so much wanted to have some fellowship with believers, so I turned to one of the religious stations on TV. It was New Year’s Eve, and what did I see? The Church building was decorated with balloons, like the world, and the music was nothing close to the songs that convey the holiness of our God. There was screaming (supposedly “in the Holy Ghost”) and dancing, and had I not known that this was a religious gathering, I would have thought I’d tuned in to God knows what. And I was not comforted.
Attitudes also express the surety of such a Church as described above. Who does REALLY love? Who gives “to those who cannot give back?” Who presents God’s Word without charge? Whoever leaves “mainstream Christianity” and joins the ranks of those despised people who refuse to compromise God’s Word, even at the cost sometimes of their lives? Who really turns their back on the world system? Why does the Body of Christ employ every method of commercial advertising in its presentation of the Word of God? This type of compromise is called “pragmatism,” which means that these Christians say that “the end justifies the means.”
The end NEVER justifies the means. If that were so, God would never, in His righteous judgment, have left the Temple and permitted the Babylonians and Assyrians to carry Israel and Judah into captivity. God MUST have obedient servants during the dark days when His judgment is hanging heavy upon the land.
I look at all the things that go on in the Name of Christ, and I don’t agree with them. God doesn’t agree with them, for His Word tells us never to compromise with the world system in order to get ahead. In fact, God’s Word says that we would compass land and sea to gain converts, and they would become twofold more children of the devil than us. Does anyone ever LOOK at His Word and think what this means?
God has never left Himself without a prophet, not in any age, and He will not leave us without one now. I go back to the words of those who “lost their lives for His sake” in order to gain insight into His dealing with us, and I cannot find a prophet who did not suffer for His sake. It was the prophet Jeremiah who gave up everything in order to warn God’s people that judgment was coming and that captivity was certain. He was often ridiculed, plotted against, and forbidden by God even to have a wife because of his message. Once he was lowered down into a cesspool up to his armpits, and finally taken out before he died.
The prophet Ezekiel had to stand by and watch God’s people taken captive. He was among the Jewish exiles carried to Babylon between the first and final deportation of Judah and he was a captive for 25 years. Yet he was always faithful to the very words spoken from God’s mouth to be conveyed to the people. And while he was quite alone “the heavens opened” and the revelations came.
The Williams Student Commentary mentions the fact that “the heavens are opened, and this is one of the compensations accompanying rejection with Christ. Ezekiel was a type of the rejected Messiah. It was when Stephen was being stoned that he saw the heavens opened; it was during his lonely banishment on Patmos that John enjoyed a similar vision; and it was from his Roman dungeon that Paul wrote to the Ephesians about their being seated in the heavenly places. The captive slaves by the river Chebar were pitied by their proud brethren in Jerusalem because they were shut away from the Temple and its services. But where WAS THE GOD OF GLORY? Not in His Temple, which He had forsaken, but among the despised captives in Babylonia.
So there is a great reward to those within the Church who refuse to compromise, who become “captive slaves to the Love of Christ.” The heavens are opened to us, and we see Eternity in all of its Glory. And we are never again reluctant to speak the very Word of God in its entirety, without falsifying it in order to seek public approval.
I thank God for John Duvall, and his testimony. While the public smacks its lips at his demise, those of us who are that “little company of despised believers” clap our hands with JOY and praise a God who, in Love, sent His only Begotten Son to become SIN and pay for it in full with His precious Blood, so that John Duvall would stand righteous before the Throne and hear God’s Word, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”
May his precious life be a blessing to those of us left behind.
- Billie Marie Zal
By Billie Marie Zal
The forest is quiet with the winter nothingness of sounds. Trees stand bare against the sky. Once in awhile a muted birdsong caresses a breeze. The pond lies still and green beneath a cover of algae. And I rejoice!
The God who made this forest, and birdsong, and trees that can sing, and green water, also made me.
I am reminded of the Word, “Who is man that thou are mindful of him?” And who am I? A little creature in a huge swirl of creation, living out endless days and waiting for what? For SOMETHING!
If only I could tell. But can I tell? Where was I when my Father measured out the heavens and set the stars in place? Or when He held the waters in the hollow of His hand, and set limits to the ocean’s boundaries, that they might go so far and no farther?
Or where was I when He made the wildflowers, and the creatures that live in the snowy Arctic, as well as in the fiery jungles of Africa?
I was nowhere. But I was somewhere. I was in the heart and the mind of God. I was planned, and with one breath He drew me out of many waters and gave me entrance into a world that has all but forsaken Him.
For this I praise Him! And so I will stand in the gap and make up the hedge. Are there others? Probably, I do not know. But it is worth it all even now, in the midst of trouble. It is worth it all when I see one bright star hanging over our mountain on a dark, wintry night, and when the pines murmur as the winds roar through. It is worth it all when I look into the yellow eyes of my wolf and sense that yes, he is himself, even though he lives far away from all that he deserves: a great forest to run in, ponds to splash in, and the thrill of the hunt and kill. He will ALWAYS be a wolf.
I can learn from him. I was created to be holy, righteous, kind, loving, and filled with joy. Unlike my wolf, who acts from instinct, I act from choice of will. I choose. And this makes me unlike any other creature on earth, save other humans.
This, then, is the glory of God: TO CHOOSE TO OBEY. And now I know who I am.
Prayer Requests for March, 2010
For Valeri Bzeih, Dearborn, Michigan, and for her husband, Safi Bzeih, who is at Forest City, Arkansas. This is Safi’s first time in prison.
For Willie Scott at Pine Bluff, Arkansas, for his health. Also, Willie comes up for clemency later this year.
For our neighbor & friend, Colleen Brock, for continued strength and health.
For Willie Davis at Menard, Illinois, who just won his case in the appeals court (answered prayer), that he will be able to go home soon.
For Lucy Miron in Romania, who ministers to Gypsy children there.
For Willie Clark, Iowa Park, Texas, that he’ll be transferred closer to Houston to be near his family.
For Clay Huff’s attorney, Della Hayes, who is suffering a neurological disorder that renders her immobile at times. Clay is at Angola, Louisiana.
For Michael Small’s son, Derek, that he will come back to the Church. Michael is at Menard, Illinois.
For Earl Oswalt, Hodgen, Oklahoma, that he will learn to forgive and let go; and also that he will be transferred nearer to his family soon.
For Dennis Martin at Lexington, Oklahoma, who may be having heart surgery soon.
For Robin Harris, Cushing, Oklahoma, for whatever healing his body needs.
For Anthony Grayson, Comstock, New York, that God will send someone to help with his appeal.
For Sister Ann & all the Carmelite Nuns in Little Rock. Sister Ann recently had knee surgery and her recovery has been very painful.
For Frank Williams, Jr., Death Row, Grady, Arkansas, who is preparing an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
For Freddie Lee Lott, Galesburg, Illinois, for his health and that he stays “cancer free.”
For our friend, Sandra Beckcom, Prairie Grove, Arkansas, for strength and healing as she continues to battle cancer.
For Roger Best, Holdenville, Oklahoma, that he will become more disciplined in his prayer life.
For Willie Harper, Joliet, Illinois, that he stays “cancer free.”
For Robert Heffernan, Grady, Arkansas, for his health, and that the Arkansas Supreme Court will order DNA testing in his case.
For Ed Ewing, Visalia, California, who is 88 years old and in bad health.
For William McAllister, Danville, Illinois, for an early release.
For William Holland, Menard, Illinois, who is awaiting a decision from the Illinois Supreme Court. William also asks for prayer for his friend, Sister Rosie, Maryknoll, New York, who is having eye surgery later this year.
For Pastor Scott & her ministry (The University Network) in Los Angeles.
For Margaret’s eyes to be healed.
For all of us at Wingspread.
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