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The Kindness and the Severity of God

The Line of Fire / Dr. Michael Brown
The Truth Network Radio
March 13, 2024 4:30 pm

The Kindness and the Severity of God

The Line of Fire / Dr. Michael Brown

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The following program is recorded content created by the Truth Network. The Bible speaks of both the kindness of God and the severity of God. When should we expect kindness?

When should we expect severity? It's time for The Line of Fire with your host, biblical scholar and cultural commentator, Dr. Michael Brown. Your voice for moral sanity and spiritual clarity. Call 866-34-TRUTH to get on The Line of Fire. And now, here's your host, Dr. Michael Brown. Thanks for joining us, friends, on The Line of Fire broadcast.

Today's broadcast is going to be important. I believe you'll be blessed, helped, encouraged. So go ahead, share it with a friend.

If you're watching on YouTube, give a thumbs up, click on like on Facebook and go ahead and share. So we can get this out to as many as possible. We're going to be talking about really important issues for believers individually, as well as for the body, the church as a whole. Every day, friends, we are here to infuse with faith and truth and courage. We're getting ready to send out our frontline newsletter, just putting the final touches on it.

If you're not getting it, boy, you're missing out. It's high quality. We just started it in January. It's just the third one that we've put out. We're getting great responses from the readers. So go to,, and take a moment, sign up today.

Just your name and email address will get it right out to you. Yesterday, we talked about the joint statement that a number of leaders released, I being one of them, on the situation with allegations against Mike Bickel. If you weren't able to call in, we got to a couple of calls at the end of the day.

If you weren't able to call in and want to pursue that topic with us, we'll try to take some calls a little bit later in the broadcast, as well as the subject we're going to talk about today. When is it time to show mercy? When is judgment needed? When can we expect the kindness of the Lord, and when can we expect the severity of the Lord? Because you have both pictures laid out in Scripture.

866-34-TRUTH, 866-348-7884 is the number to call. Let me read to you from Romans chapter 11. Paul is writing to Gentile believers in Rome, discussing the situation of Israel and the Jewish people. It's a major theme that he addresses in Romans, as Derek Prince has said in the past, that Israel is like the top button on a shirt, and if you don't button that right, all the other buttons will be off. Paul wanted to make sure the Romans understood the calling of Israel and what had happened with the nation rejecting the Messiah and how God's purposes still remained. And he was dealing with potential Gentile arrogance that would say, we're the new kids on the block, and God is done with the old kids.

So Paul writes this, Romans 11.17. But if some of the branches, meaning individual Israelites, individual Jews, were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others, and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree. So the olive tree would be the historic people of God, the roots, the patriarchs, the promises of the Messiah, the Messiah himself. It's a spiritual root that's nourishing this tree of the people of God, which in the past has been predominantly Jewish, with people like Rahab or Ruth then marrying in and becoming part of the people of Israel. Now the Gentiles become part of this larger people of God.

They don't become Jews, Jews don't become Gentiles, but they become part of this larger people of God. So how were they grafted in? Well, branches were broken off.

Individual Israelites, individual Jews were broken off, and the Gentiles were now grafted in. So, Paul says this, if this happened, the natural branches were broken off, you, coming from a wild olive tree, were grafted in, do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who supports the root, but the root that supports you. Then you will say branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.

That is true. They were broken off because they're unbelief, but you stand fast through faith, so do not become proud, but fear, for God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. Then note this, note then the kindness and severity of God. Severity toward those who have fallen, but God's kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness, otherwise you too will be cut off. This is a clear word that a believer can be cut off, that someone can forfeit their salvation.

Notice these words again. Notice then the kindness and the severity of God. Severity toward those who have fallen, but God's kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness, so you too will be cut off, and even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again.

For if you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree? So Paul's saying look at the kindness of God. Look at the severity of God. I also want to go over to James, Jacob, the second chapter, and read what's written there. James, Jacob in the Greek, chapter 2, beginning in verse 8. If you really fulfill the royal law according to the scripture, you shall love your neighbors yourself, you're doing well. But if you show partiality, you are committing sin, and are convicted by the law as transgressors, for whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it. For he who said, do not commit adultery, also said, do not murder.

If you do not commit adultery, but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. So speak and so act as those who are to be judged under the law of liberty, for judgment is without mercy to one who is shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment. When do we emphasize judgment? When do we emphasize mercy? When can we expect kindness?

When can we expect severity? You could well read through the Bible and see the overwhelming grace and mercy and kindness of God, how he forgives over and over and over. You can look at passages like Psalm 103 where we're told that as far as the east is from the west, so far as he removed our transgressions from us, that as high as the heavens are over the earth, so great is his mercy towards those who fear him. For he remembers our frame, he's compassionate towards us like a father and our children. He remembers our frame.

He knows that we're just dust. Or Micah 7, which asks, who is a God like you for forgiving sin and overlooking the iniquity of the remnant of his people? It even says that he delights in showing mercy and he doesn't hold on to his anger forever.

Lo hech zik la'ad apokicha fetz chesedu. So these amazing verses of the mercy and condescension and kindness of God and everything culminating in the cross where God takes all of our sins and all of our wicked deeds and all of our treachery and all of our rebellion and every sinful, ugly, wrong thing about the human race and puts it on his son's shoulders and Jesus bears away our sins on the cross. He dies in our place and when we come to him, no matter what we've done, no matter what you've done as an individual, we come to him and say, God, I'm guilty, I've sinned, I've spit in your face, I've fed the flesh, I've done my own thing, forgive me, wash me, cleanse me, give me a new start.

I believe Jesus died for me, I believe he rose from the dead, I want to serve you and live for you the rest of my days. That moment he forgives you completely, that moment he doesn't hold those past sins against you. That moment you go from unrighteous to righteous, from dead to alive, from child of Satan to child of God, from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light, boom, in that moment you're declared righteous and you're set apart as holy and you now have the opportunity to have fellowship with God and this Holy Spirit comes and dwells within you at that moment and we know how quick to forgive he is as believers when we come to him, Lord, I'm so sorry I blew it, I shouldn't have done that, I shouldn't have said that, Lord, forgive me, I make no excuses.

We receive that relational cleansing right on the spot. If we confess our sins, this is an ongoing thing, it's not talking about salvation, the Greek is very clear, it's ongoing, if we confess our sins, he's faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. The mercy of God, it's everywhere and how does John summarize who God is in 1 John 4?

God is love. At the same time, it's very easy to read the Bible and see the sternness of God as the Seraphim proclaim he is holy, holy, holy in Isaiah the sixth chapter. It's very easy to read the scriptures and see how Adam and Eve transgress and they're kicked out of the garden and the human race falls and God wipes out the whole earth and knows they only find they know are righteous and spares his family for the replenishing of the earth. We can see how the generation that came out of Egypt died in the wilderness. We can see that Moses didn't even make it into the promised land because of one violation and of course Miriam and Aaron didn't make it into the promised land because of their violations. And Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 10 and reminds us of what God did to Israel and how he smote them and judged them and said these things are examples for us that we don't do what they did.

These are examples for us upon whom the ends of the world have come and he concludes his section by saying so those who think they stand take heed lest they fall. We think back to Nadav and Avihu at the consecration of Aaron and his four sons, these being the two eldest sons, consecrated for the priesthood and Aaron and Moses have done everything as the Lord commanded, as the Lord commanded, as the Lord commanded, as the Lord commanded. And then they offer up their sacrifices, put them on the altar and fire comes from the presence of the Lord and consumes the sacrifices. The trilogy of Israel shout and fall on their faces and then the very next verse is a chapter break in English but the very next verse in Hebrew, Nadav and Avihu who have just been consecrated offer unauthorized fire, unauthorized incense. They do what God has not required and instantly they're smitten. First the fire of God consumes Aaron's sacrifices offered in obedience, then the fire of God consumes Aaron's sons acting in disobedience or you think of Uzzah as David's bringing the ark back to Jerusalem in 2 Samuel 6 and he's a Levite, he should know better but hey he's just trying to be helpful. He sees the ark and says he grabs it with his hand which he couldn't do and he dies on the spot.

You think of Ananias and Sapphira and here they violate the faith of the congregation, they lie to God, they lie to the Holy Spirit, to Peter and the other apostles and in 1 Ananias and then Sapphira they drop dead on the spot and then Paul tells the Corinthians that many of them are sick and some of them died because they partaken of the Lord's Supper unworthily. When do we expect mercy? When do we expect severity? When does mercy triumph over judgment and when is judgment necessary?

Judgment is part of God's throne. We'll sort this out right here. Is brain health important to you or someone you love? Then please take a few moments and let me present a most amazing product formulated by leading physicians from Mayo Clinic and Johns Hopkins Medical. This is Michael Ellison founder of Trivita. I watched my mother who was wonderfully gifted and such a hard worker for most of her life until her later years and then it was so sad to see the effects of neurodegeneration.

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Get on the Line of Fire by calling 866-34-TRUTH. Here again is Dr. Michael Brown. As always a shout out to our co-sponsor Trivita so appreciative for their generosity towards you as our listeners and viewers and to our ministry helping us reach so many others. You know every single day as I eat totally healthily only healthily seven days a week without exception by God's grace I found that's there's only way to do it. Once God intervened in my life and helped me transform my lifestyle I knew no playing games but there's no deviation and just about everybody we know that starts well and then messes up it's because they give themselves cheat days or splurge days or make exceptions and you know just like if you used to be an alcoholic you don't drink ever again not even a sip not even in family settings you just don't because it can open the door. So if you used to be a food addict like most of us are and I was 59 years of my life when you get free you don't play with it. So every day I make that investment in my body my mind to serve the Lord to be here for my family to be here for you and to enjoy a healthy life and then I add these these great supplements I'm just trying to do whatever I can to be the fittest I can for the glory of God for my family and for service to each of you.

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So as I have been meditating on these subjects about mercy and judgment we know that sin must be dealt with and if it's not dealt with it's worse than cancer spreading in the body sin in the spirit is worse than cancer in the physical body and sin in the church is a spiritual cancer it can destroy so so many lives and unrepentant sin among leaders and individual believers can be absolutely fatal and terribly terribly destructive we've seen that so much and so many lives can be hurt and so much reproach can come to the name of the Lord so while we receive his mercy on a daily basis we'll receive his cleansing on a daily basis even on the the most devoted holy day we ever lived we live by grace and mercy because of his spirit at work within us and because of his kindness towards us at the same time we walk in holy fear at the same time we don't play games at the same time we don't have the attitude but nothing could ever happen to me we don't have the attitude that we're above any of this we're not those who strut were those who walk with a limp and honor and humility before the Lord so to boil this down in the simplest simplest way the big big thing is the condition of the heart two major points I want to make here the big thing is the condition of the heart feel free to call with a specific question or to continue the discussion from yesterday eight six six three four eight seven eight eight four so if you humble yourself before the Lord if you get low if if you take responsibility for your own actions if you take responsibility for your sin for your shortcoming if you do it between you and God the moment he convicts you if you do it with anyone else where when they come and bring a grievance a right grievance to you God gives grace to the humble there are there can be consequences to our sins let's say for example you you worked a job with an employer and you were stealing money for that employer and and and you get confronted and you humble yourself and you ask forgiveness and you're sincere and you and you're real about it and you say hey I'm gonna pay back double of everything I took well you're probably gonna lose your job right but maybe the employer will say hey I'm not gonna put this on your record I'm not gonna give you a bad report because I can see that you're sincere when David after committing adultery bet with Bathsheba and then killing her husband Uriah and by the way David sins as grievous as they were and as much as they brought trouble for Israel in in the following history and for David in the following history there were consequences to his sin remember he was the king he could do what he wanted who knows what we would do if we were in his shoes who knows what we would do if we had the power to do what he did so yes he's judged severely he was a man after God's own heart but we still have the Psalms in the Bible and his name is mentioned over a thousand times in the Bible which means after Jesus David is mentioned the next most frequently in scripture but when David immediately responds to Nathan the prophet and says I've sinned Nathan says God's taken over your sins but there'll be consequence the baby is gonna die the baby you and Bathsheba had is gonna die but as I said yesterday remarkably the next child they have is is named Solomon but God gives him the name you deejaw Jedediah in English meaning beloved of the Lord I mean how extraordinary is that yes there were consequences to David sin but then God went out of his way to say I've now forgiven and given a new start it's it's extraordinary so his mercy is boundless beyond description David writes Psalm 51 in response to this there's a play on words in the Hebrew that he wrote it after he had come to that's just a Hebrew nuance for having sex with after he had come to Bathsheba David came to him after he came to Bathsheba that's that's the the prelude to Psalm 51 and he repents deeply it's I've often prayed Psalm 51 over my own life to find deeper words of repentance and asking God for purification and cleansing it's a beautiful Psalm it's one of the best known Psalms that David wrote it's a Psalm written in one of his worst times and after his most grievous and egregious sins if you humble yourself if you come clean if you get right there may be consequences there may be things you have to step through but you can be instantly forgiven you can be instantly cleansed that burden of guilt will be removed the junk that you live under it the cloud can disappear humble yourself get right before God and people as you need to that's one thing here's the other thing it seems to me that God's sternest words are for those who abuse his people his sternest words his harshest words of rebuke and scripture come to the leaders that defame him and hurt his people read Ezekiel 34 when you have some time Ezekiel 34 where God rebukes the shepherds of Israel rather than caring for the flock they abused the flock they took advantage of the flock they they profited it off the flock to the detriment of the flock I mean it's it is a severe rebuke as I live declares the Lord surely because my sheep have become a prey and my sheep have become food for all the wild beasts since there was no shepherd and because my shepherds have not searched for my sheep but the shepherds have fed themselves and have not fed my sheep therefore you shepherds hear the word of the Lord this is the Lord God behold I am against the shepherds and I will require my sheep at their hand and put a stop to their feeding the sheep no longer shall the shepherds feed themselves I will rescue my sheep from their mouths that they may not be food for them the harshest words that God has in scripture are for leaders who continue in willful sin at the expense of the flock who hurt and abuse the flock you know one reason that that's I've not gotten into carnal fundraising junk like that and they've always been super conscious about how funds are used I remember Leonard Ravenhill saying to me Mike every dime that comes in from every widow giving sacrificially we have to give account for before God and you know we take these things so seriously because if you enrich yourself at the expense of the flock if you perpetuate your own sin to the detriment of the flock if you actually use the sheep in sinful ways for your sinful gratification this is very serious in God's sight and deserves very very strong rebuke this is one we can expect the severity of God willful unrepentant sin in our lives especially as leaders that hurts and wounds others and defames the Lord can absolutely expect severity there those who humble themselves those who get those who get low those who truly repent those who turn from their sin and come to God running for mercy from the heart they will receive mercy we'll be right back hey friends Michael Brown here my delight to serve as your voice for moral sanity and spiritual clarity we are living in such urgent times today friends that all of us are in the line of fire there's a target on your back there's a target on my back if you simply seek to live by biblical values or just conservative moral values you could be canceled you could be cast out you could be put down you could be silenced I'm here to say friends that I am not about to be silenced and I don't believe you are either it is time for us to stand up it is time for us to say enough is enough it is time for us to push back in Jesus name not fighting the way the world fights no overcoming evil with good overcoming hatred with love overcoming the flesh with the power of the Spirit overcoming lies with truth and that's what we're here to do on the line of fire broadcast and friends it's not just a broadcast it is a movement of people around the world God's people standing up saying enough is enough and saying Lord here we are send us use us I want to urge you today to join our support team because we are on the front lines together and we are literally touching people around the world in America in the nations in Israel and together with your help we're going to amplify this voice and spread this movement around the globe so I encourage you go right now to the line of fire dot org the line of fire dot org click donate monthly support the line of fire dot org click donate monthly support when you do you become a torch bearer we immediately send you two great life-changing books we immediately give you access to many classes I've taught others have to pay to take those you get them for free exclusive video audio content a new audio message every month an insider prayer newsletter 15% discount online bookstore so much more join our support team today go to the line of fire dot org donate monthly it's the line of fire with your host dr. Michael Brown get on the line of fire by calling 866-34-TRUTH here again is dr. Michael Brown welcome back to the line of fire Michael Brown the letter to be with you 866-34-87-884 one more verse about mercy and then we'll take some calls and then let's say go to some other calls we will switch subjects to something very pertinent very important for believers today especially in America first John 1 7 is a very interesting verse it says if we walk in the light as he God is in the light we have fellowship one with another and the blood of Jesus God's son cleanses us from all sin now that leads to a question if we're walking in the life why is there sin if we're walking in the light why do we need to be cleansed well even on our best day as we walk in the light there's gonna be something wrong we didn't adequately love God or a neighbor or prayers we're not truly focused we let a wrong thought come in our mind many times we're not even aware of it but the one who walks in the light upon becoming aware immediately turns from what's wrong and proceeds to do the right thing that the moment we realize oh oh just like driving your car and you start to drive off the road that you feel the gravel on the side of the road it gets your attention or maybe you've got a setting on your car you start to strafe your landed car you feel the vibration and there's that that buzzer sound warning it's like okay it gets you back on track those who walk in the light do not walk in persistent unrepentant sin so a continual thing is happening and this is what the Greek says it's ongoing continuous as we walk in the light the blood of Jesus is continually cleansing us from sin it's just an ongoing thing we've been forgiven and cleansed once for all now as we walk in this world our feet get dirty and there's this continual cleansing even when we're haven't been we haven't been conscious we fall short here or there because our hearts set on walking in the light and pleasing the Lord and and and if we leave a little this way we're immediately course correcting and going in the right direction and that forgiveness flows so Psalm 95 quoted several times in Hebrews beginning the third chapter if you hear his voice today don't harden your heart if you hear his voice today don't harden your heart if you hear his voice today don't harden your heart humble yourself confess the sin do the difficult thing get it out don't wait to get caught we've seen over the years those who get caught are generally much slower to repent and often show remorse rather than repentance whereas those who come clean on their own have a much better chance of restoration and everyone whoever you are whatever you've done if you'll humble yourself and get low and ask God for mercy it is there judgment does come judgment must come if there was no judgment the world would go into complete and utter chaos and there must be righteous judging within the church especially among leaders but let us also conduct ourselves according to Jacob James the second chapter mercy triumphs over judgment let us do whatever we can to show mercy and grace without lowering the standards of God I hope these are helpful thoughts it's six six three four truth let's go over to Brian in Toledo Ohio welcome to the line of fire Brian are you there Brian's gone all right tell you what I'm gonna switch subjects I'm gonna switch subjects since we've got a good amount of time left have you noticed friends just about every single day that quote Christian nationalism is in the news have you noticed and the dangers of Christian nationalism and the rising extremism of Christian nationalism and Donald Trump and Christian nationalism and and and on and on and the one thing that's almost impossible to find is one simple universally accepted definition of Christian nationalism now I I dug into this a lot in my book the political seduction of the church so if you're looking for an in-depth treatment it's within my book the political seduction of the church but but what is Christian nationalism is it just a a term that's been used created by the left to scare and demonize conservative Christians who love their country conservative Christians who are good Patriots conservative Christians who say I love Jesus and I love America too conservative Christians who believe that that America was founded on Judeo-Christian principles despite us deviating from those principles that is part of our founding and to the extent that we we turn to the Lord and look to the Lord will be blessed as a nation is that what Christian nationalism is or is Christian nationalism saying that that America and the kingdom of God are one and the same is it wrapping the gospel in the American flag is it putting our trust for the transformation of America in politics rather than the gospel is it devoted to a particular candidate like Donald Trump does it support overthrowing the government does it say that January 6 didn't go far enough of what exactly is Christian nationalism is it the anti-semitic extremism of a Nick Fuentes who we've called out on the air for his extreme statements what is it actually and the problem with the term is that it means different things to different people if you say to me dr. Brownie you were Christian nationalist what depends what you mean by depends what you mean by Christian I haven't stopped being a Jew but that's another issue of me that we're followers of Jesus but what do you mean by it explain the term first just like no are they are New Apostolic Reformation oh there there is something called the New Apostolic Reformation that was relates back to Peter Wagner and those that would hold to some of those core teachings yeah that exists I was never part of it I don't affirm various aspects of it other parts of it that have been taught more broadly in the body I do affirm like Apostolic and prophetic ministry today but plenty of people affirm that they're not Potter part of the NAR but if someone says you're NAR which is constant last time I saw somebody accusing me of being NAR was yesterday all right that's how current it is and I'm sure it's today if I was searching online all right well what do you mean what is it what do you mean by what do you mean by oh we you know what we mean what do you this is just tell me and I can tell you if I agree or not you know here one website gave the six main tenets of a quote in our church three or four of them I rejected categorically one of them I reject it in part and the other I would have restated oh but I'm still not you know what it's like well you have one of those Japanese restaurants oh you made me cook Japanese food no no no you cook food well every every restaurant cooks food you have to be more specifically you cook that Asian food well you mean Chinese do you mean Thai dude there are lots of different Asian foods let's be specific if you have a pizzeria you do not have a Japanese restaurant all right if you have a seafood only restaurant you do not have a steakhouse so let's be specific with our definitions and it's interesting I will absolutely defend the things I hold to without shame without apology that's why I hold to them because I'm convinced they're biblical and they're good and they're right so you want to talk to me about being Pentecostal charismatic great you want to talk to me about gifts of the Spirit today like tongues prophecy healing great you want to talk to me about whether there are apostles or prophets today great I'm in I'm all those discussions and I'll gladly defend my beliefs but NAR what do you mean by NAR because most of what I understand NAR stands for I don't agree with don't stand for it haven't been part of it the same with Christian nationalism it's the exact same thing with Christian nationalism what do you mean by now there are plenty who have defined their terms okay there are scholars there are Christian thinkers there are journalists who have defined the terms but the problem is it's used differently by different people that's the whole issue that's the whole problem so when I say Christian nationalists to one person that's great to another person that's terrible to one person that's fair to the other person that's unfair so we knew many of us in leadership saw that's been very obvious for years coming into the 2024 election charges of Christian nationalism we're gonna be everywhere and charges of NAR related to Christian nationalism are going to be everywhere and we wanted to separate truth from fiction we wanted to separate myth from reality so because of that Dr. Joe Matera and I with input help from others but a statement that we drafted we wrote up the statement NAR and Christian nationalism NAR and Christian nationalism I'm just looking now it has let's see we had scores of senior leaders in the body that signed on to the statement the initial signers and then since then let's see additional signatures total list is it's in the hundreds let's just see 450 additional signatures so over 500 signatures total I'd encourage you to check out the website NAR NAR and Christian nationalism dot-com NAR and Christian nationalism dot-com I encourage you to check it out and what I want to do is just read some of this to you to say hey if if you're trying to get clarity so you can read the full statement download it and if you're a leader and you agree with it sign it if if you're part of a denomination part of a network of leaders send it to your fellow leaders see if they agree this way you can just say hey we agree with that statement this is what we affirm this is what we don't affirm so because there's so much confusion about this and because we want to be as loud and clear as we can and the definitions and the terms that we bring in what we say we we put this out in a statement and and here's the deal now you know what I hold to what Joe Matera holds to what all the the people who signed it hold to and you can agree or disagree now we can have a substantive interaction otherwise we're just passing each other like ships in the night so the goal is let's understand each other I'm not trying to win a battle or win a debate here this is what I believe do you agree or not this is what you believe do I agree or not let's have a discussion is this a healthy belief is it unhealthy is it biblical unhealthy unbiblical is it constructive is it destructive is this gonna help the church it's gonna help the nation's gonna hurt the church it's gonna hurt the nation let's agree on terms let's agree on specifics if you alone are the the guardian of the term and you alone can describe what it means then you take all conversation that can be constructive completely off the table because you alone can define what the term means better to say this is how I understand it or this is what I mean by it when I use this term this is what I mean when I use this expression this is what I mean I'll do the same then you could say great statement we love it or that man you're worse than I thought oh fine at least we can lay things out for a mutual understanding so this is so big in the news this is and it's gonna get crazier and crazier leading up to November 2024 so let's do our best to make ourselves clear we'll do it when we come back are you or a cherished loved one finding it harder to remember names stay focused or maintain a positive outlook on life well you're not alone I'm dr. 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everyone who signed the statement you can go to NAR NAR and and see the list of everyone who signed this and you can decide if you agree or disagree with us so in light of the controversy surrounding the terms New Apostolic Reformation NAR and Christian nationalism we are issuing the statement of clarification we affirm the importance of Ephesians 4-11 ministries for the church today and believe that such ministry functions have existed throughout church history even if not described in these exact terms we affirm that contemporary apostolic and prophetic ministries are important for the well-being and mission of the church just as evangelistic pastoral and teaching ministries are important by apostolic we are referring to visionary leaders who are missional fathering and pioneering such as church planters networkers or movement leaders often like by their focus on gospel expansion beyond one local region such leaders are identified by their function whether or not they use the term apostolic or whether or not they are pentecostal or charismatic by prophetic we're referring to church leaders who understand and declare the mind of God for specific times and seasons heaven Lord's people respond biblically such leaders are identified by their function whether or not they use the term prophetic and whether or not they are pentecostal or charismatic we reject the belief that contemporary apostles carry the same authority as did the original 12 apostles we reject the belief that contemporary prophets had the exact same function or carry the exact same authority as did Old Testament prophets we reject the belief that every church must be submitted to apostles and prophets to be in right order before the Lord we further oppose the possible abuse of ecclesial titles that manifest itself and self-proclaimed apostles and prophets claiming territorial authority over pastors in the community city or nation we reject the belief that the new that quote new revelation is essential for the life and growth of the church or that contemporary apostles or prophets are the only ones privy to such quote new revelation we affirm the full sufficiency of scripture for the health and mission of the church we affirm that the spirit of true apostles and a prophet should exemplify the attitude and lifestyle of Jesus Philippians 2 4 through 12 coming alongside other church and workplace leaders to serve them not replace them in short we deny any affiliation with what is presently characterized as NAR in many circles of both Christian and secular press we also believe that reports of an alleged conspiratorial worldwide dangerous NAR movement are highly exaggerated and misleading as for quote Christian nationalism we recognize that for some this simply refers to a healthy form of Christian patriotism of loving God and loving one's country in that sense the term is benign we also recognize that some media outlets put the worst construction our words take us out of context falsely associate us with dangerous fringe groups and unfairly malign us for those who generally want to separate fact from fiction we make these clarifying statements we recognize that America has a rich Christian heritage despite its many historic failings and that to the extent we have honored that heritage the nation has been blessed and we applaud those who encourage other Americans to pattern their lives after Christian principles that have helped bring God's favor to our nation through the generations in addition we believe that nationalism is a biblical concept in the sense of nations having defined borders and identities as mentioned by Paul in acts 17 and by Moses is Deuteronomy 32 God sets national borders and governments and authority spheres for a purpose we also believe in the positive value of respecting national borders and national authority in contrast with an international one world government at the same time we reject as unbiblical the belief that America is uniquely chosen nation similar to Old Testament Israel being the chosen nation of God although God has used the USA in various ways to bless the world with humanitarian aid and military support and although the Church of America has sent out missionaries worldwide in the New Testament Jesus as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords has a special assignment for every nation tribe kindred and tongue represented on the earth we also recognize that there is a dangerous and unhealthy form of Christian nationalism one that speaks of a potential Christian uprising against the government or hints at the use of force to advance God's kingdom we categorically and unequivocally deny any affiliation with or connection to that form of Christian nationalism because we believe that God made one human race expressed through different ethnicities and races all of which deserve dignity and respect as his image bearers we reject all ideologies and movements claiming ethnic or racial superiority we denounce calls to violent arms with armed resistance in the name of Christian nationalism or as an alleged means of advancing the cause of the gospel we reject the triumphalist top-down take over society takeover of society as part of a so-called dominion mandate also noting that we do not know of any major Christian movement that espouses such a top-down takeover mentality we reject the merging of Christian identity and national identity as if the kingdom of God and our particular nation were one and the same in contrast we believe the biblical way to influence society is by living the cruciform life in which believers lay down their lives in the service of others resulting in human flourishing for the glory of God this can include Christ-like engagement in every sphere of society and we do believe that Christians have as much right as any other group to have their voices heard in the public square and to influence society functioning as the salt of the earth in the light of the world we encourage such activities as good citizens of our various nations and as part of our sacred calling we believe that Christians should seek to make a positive impact on every aspect of society including education and media along with politics and that by acting on gospel principles whole nations can be changed we believe that Christians should be politically informed should exercise their right to vote should hold elected officials accountable and when called by God should run for political offices themselves but we see it as spiritually dangerous if and when we wrap the gospel and the American flag or any national or state flag we equate our country with the kingdom of God we confuse patriotism with spirituality we compromise our ethics to keep our party or leader in power our church or denomination or ministry becomes an appendage of a political party we put more trust in earthly methods than in spiritual methods we marry the cause of Christ to the cause of a political party or leader as if they were one and the same we become as vulgar and rude as the candidates we follow we look to the White House or any branch of government in any nation more than to God we make a human being into a political savior we equate loyalty to God which should be unconditional with loyalty to a party or political leader which should be conditional our prayers and our prophecies become politically partisan finally we conclude by contrast in the kingdom of God with extreme nationalism the kingdom of God prioritizes the advancement of the gospel extreme nationalism prioritizes the advancement of its ideology even at the expense of the gospel the kingdom of God produces loyalty to Christ above all else extreme nationalism produces loyalty to one's nation above all else the kingdom of God raises the banner of Jesus above all else extreme nationalism raises the national flag above all else the kingdom of God promotes the interests of God above the world extreme nationalism promotes the interests of one's nation above the kingdom the kingdom of God views the world through a biblical lens extreme nationalism views the world solely through a geopolitical lens the kingdom of God is dependent upon neither an earthly kingdom nor an earthly ruler but upon Jesus as the King of Kings. Extreme nationalism is dependent upon both the ideology of an earthly nation and its ruler. Followers of the Kingdom of God are passionate about a Christ-centered global awakening. Adherents of extreme nationalism are focused primarily on a political, ideological awakening. Christ-followers are primarily identified with the Kingdom of God. Extreme nationalists derive their primary identity from their nation. Christ-followers derive their primary value for being children of their Heavenly Father.

Extreme nationalists derive their primary value for being citizens of their country. May the Church put God's Kingdom and His righteousness first so that He can trust true believers who genuinely represent His heart to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Let's see, among the initial signers, Bishop Doug Beecham, General Superintendent for the International Pentecostal Holiness Church, Bishop Dr. Dale Bronner, founder and senior pastor Word of Faith Family Worship Cathedral, Dr. Mark Sharona, Church of the Living Edge, Dr. Randy Clark, founder Global Awakening, Pastor Ben Dixon, lead Pastor Northwest Church.

Just skipping through because of time. Bishop Eric Aguirre, Living Word Assembly, Pastor Lee Cummings, founder, senior pastor Radiant Church, senior overseer Radiant Network of Churches, Dr. Jan Juster, founder and director T. Kuhn, international Daniel Kalenda, president and CEO of Christ for All Nations, John Kelly International Convener, International Coalition of Apostolic Leaders, Dr. Joe Matera, myself as we co-sign this, Ward Simpson, founder CEO of God TV. Quite an assortment of leaders from different backgrounds and then about 450 plus others who signed on. So check out the statement. If it reflects your views, please sign on as a leader and circulated among others just to help get the statement out.

Having 10 million signatures or 50 doesn't make it right or wrong. It's just a matter of us saying, hey, we stand with this. If you want to know what we believe, you can go here and then let's take a hit for this. In other words, if you find this statement offensive, dangerous, well, I'll take the hit for that. I'll stand for that because I believe it's a good statement.

It's biblical and it's well-rounded. That's why we wrote it. That's why we got input on it.

That's why we posted it. If you agree with it, great. But at least you know where we stand.

On NAR, Christian nationalism, you know where we stand. Here's a statement. You can say, man, we're with you on this. We totally agree.

Or, wow, I never listened to you again. Great. As long as it's based on truth. As long as it is based on truth. Let's make ourselves plain. Let's make ourselves clear. This way we can help build up, strengthen and encourage rather than just attack each other.

Sound good? Back with you tomorrow for Thoroughly Jewish Thursday. Call me a fanatic. It's our world. They can never have it. This is how we rise up. This is how we rise up. It's our resistance. You can't resist us.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-13 21:36:18 / 2024-03-13 21:55:53 / 20

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