Preemptive Forgiveness

Romans 5:8 “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Paul’s writing cannot be overstated as the most pivotal point in human history. Sin separated us from God. All death, disease, and human conflict was a result of sin. David said that we were shaped and made in sin. The scripture states that “all have sinned and fallen short.” None of us even knew our wretched condition. Nevertheless, Paul wrote, “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” It means that before we were aware of the debt we owed, Jesus was paying the price. What a miracle! What a gift!

Not only did Jesus forgive us on Calvary, but He commanded us to forgive one another. His eternal pattern was set, as Romans 5 so aptly declares. I call it “Preemptive Forgiveness.” The Bible teaches us that unless and until we forgive our brother, our Heavenly Father cannot forgive us. Matthew 6:14-15 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

There is no vagueness in the scripture. It is plain: Forgive and you will be forgiven. Without the same and you will retain your sin. However, there is another measure that is tied to the above text. We must forgive one another even before we are asked: Preemptive Forgiveness. Real Christians forgive at the moment of the offense. Not when they are sought after by the offender. Real Christians immediately recall what Jesus did for them and they measure the offense against them by the pain of the Cross suffered on their behalf.

Preemptive forgiveness is an attitude, not just an action. It is a lifestyle predicated by the work done on Calvary. He suffered and died before we knew Him; before we understood how far we were from God. Offenses will come. Denial, rejection, abuse, misuse, and more are sure to find us in this life. However, Jesus forgave us and restored us and we are to follow suit.

I’m not looking for religious people who tout doctrines, sacrifice, or scriptural insight over Mercy. Jesus said that He desires Mercy more than sacrifice. All those other aspects are good, but they are built upon the foundation of Mercy and Forgiveness. We cannot reject the scripture or take things out of context to justify ourselves. I’m preaching here a little: Just because the Bible does not work in your favor does not mean that you can ignore it. We are here because He forgave us of our sins. We are commissioned to forgive every offense in this life – even preemptively.

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole

Religious, but not Spiritual

It seems odd that these two things can be mutually exclusive. I’ve often wondered about the evolution of such a thing: To be ritualistic, but have no relationship. Yet, this tragedy has become prevalent in these modern times.

Religion should help us think beyond ourselves. It is designed to move us toward action. James wrote of it’s true purpose: James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

The first portion has become a regular aspect of the church. We do care for the fatherless. We are active in comforting and caring for the widows. However, it’s the latter portion of the scripture that many ignore. We are to keep ourselves unspotted from the world. Real religion is spiritual! It is a spiritual endeavor that causes us to refrain from evil; run from sexual perversions; flee fornication; remove ourselves from vain conversation and much more. We are to be spiritual!

I ask:

• When did we think that we could stop praying and still make it to Heaven? Is prayer just for people who need something from God?
• Who decided that minimal church attendance was sufficient?
• Did someone white-out Hebrews 10:25?
• Has tithing become a last century teaching or is Malachi 3 true?
• Is withholding tithes and offerings still stealing from God?
• When did Christians conclude that God wasn’t concerned with their musical choices? Or when did we buy into the lie that watching perverted movies and scenes would not stain our minds?
• Can we consume Hollywood and stay pure?
• It’s okay to gossip, talk about other people, and spread hurtful information? Is it no longer an abomination to God to verbally attack people?
• When did the Bible become obsolete and the scripture become silent when it comes to submission and obedience?
• Did our American citizenship remove us from spiritual authority?
• Should we just erase Hebrews 13:17 “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.”?
• Who has the rule over you? Who is your spiritual umbrella? Who told you that receiving the Holy Ghost negated your spiritual authority?
(Jeremiah 3:15, 2 Timothy 4:2, Acts 20:28, Ephesians 4:11-14)?

I ask because these matters are serious and critical. It is not enough to be “Religious” and still be spotted. We must seek to be spiritual, which comes through Prayer, Fasting, Sacrifice, and a daily diet of the Word.

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole

King of Israel

Noted by Marvin Olasky, Paris has three chefs for every one lawyer while Washington D.C. has 15 lawyers for every one chef. Our capital also has 10 economists for every one clergy. There are also more chefs than ministers. If you can’t see it, then let me brief you on the matter: The fading figure is the ministry and the church. I suppose the point is reflective in Judges 17:6 In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.

The king of Israel was part and parcel of the nation’s leadership. Along with a prophet and a priest, the king organized the armies and defended the land against paganism. However, there came a day when spiritually appointed authority was disbanded and every person “did that which was right” in their own eyes.

While our nation hurls towards a $21 trillion debt, America is lauding gender fluidity; censorship; abortion; gay and lesbian advancements and I’ve only scratched the surface of the debauchery. What we need is a return to the scripture: 2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

I almost feel apprehensive to reference the above text because it has been so overused and under-practiced. However, it is the only way to regain our direction and purpose. When we place ourselves, and our church, in the context of these things it can be somewhat bewildering as to what, if anything, we can do. Nevertheless, take heart. We are the people of the Most High God. We lead by exampling the scripture in our everyday lives. If I’m reading the Bible correctly, 2 Chronicles begins by addressing people called by His name.

Suddenly the accusation of “Jesus only” people is working in our favor, “called by my name.” We are people of the Name. To that end, we must humble ourselves and pray. Seeking His face becomes an ongoing process, not a single event or a scheduled program. We are commanded to turn from our own wicked ways, which simply means anything that is contrary to the Spirit.

Then…then comes the promise. God will hear from heaven. Heaven is His throne. Earth is His footstool. Heaven is limitless. In response to our actions, God will forgive sin. The result of forgiven sin is a healed land. The land, our city, state, and nation may very well rest on the response of the Church to the scripture.

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole

“the Evil day”

Ephesians 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

The church of Ephesus was given a powerful admonition to take on the whole armor of God and be strong in the Lord. Paul lists a plethora of items relating to the Spiritual fight, as we will discover. However, the most perplexing words in the narrative speak of the time in which we will need these spiritual weapons. He wrote that we will need them “in the evil day.”

I ask, When is the evil day? What time, era, or environment denotes such a day? I suppose that it could be the day of great tribulation when the world unites around the antichrist. It could be when wars and rumors of wars abound; earthquakes rattle the foundations of the world; and sin is normalized. (If so, then we are living in that day this very moment.)

I submit that the most common “evil day” occurs when we are personally attacked and the enemy of our spirit has waged a war against our faith and mind. This is the time when we “wrestle” with truth, doubt, courage, and consistency. It’s an evil day when the devil plants seeds of unbelief in our thoughts so that we question the veracity of God’s love and kindness.

Whatever day constitutes “the evil day” the fact remains for us to be armed with the elements in Paul’s sermon.

• The Belt of Truth: holding the other pieces together through honesty, integrity, and commitment.

• The Breastplate of Righteousness that protects the heart. The scripture says to “guard the heart.” “Keep thy heart with all diligence” Proverbs 4:23.

• Shoes advancing the Gospel; stamping out darkness and spreading the message of Acts 2:38.

• The Shield of Faith quenching and deflecting the arrows of doubt and skepticism.

• The Helmet of Salvation protecting our thoughts and providing peace in the midst of trouble so that false doctrines and vain philosophies cannot cause confusion.

• And finally, the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. The Sword being unique in that it is the only item of Offense. Jesus used it against Satan in the Wilderness. Jesus said, “It is written…”

I encourage you to Stand Fast and put on the Whole Armor of God against that evil day.

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole

Money …


Malachi 3:10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

It is interesting that Jesus put money in the category of a master. In fact, Jesus said that a person can only serve one of two masters: God or money. He did not say God or the world; God or Lucifer. Jesus said that the opposing master is money. If you lean toward statistics, then consider that 16 of 38 parables deal with handling money or possessions. One of ten verses in the Gospels (288 in all) speak directly with the subject of money. In the entire Bible, about 500 verses speak of prayer; less than 500 deal with faith; but over 2,000 verses talk of money and possessions.

I understand the damage religious charlatans have made concerning giving, but we must not withhold tithing, offerings, or sacrifices because they misused the subject. Solomon wrote, Proverbs 3:9 Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: Abraham gave his tithes before the Law of Moses was written. All of Israel gave tithes and offerings, then made a sacrifice to the Lord. Jesus followed this teaching in Matthew 23:23 scolding the Pharisees because they gave their tithe, but did not obey other parts of the Lord. He said, “you should have done both.”

A tithe is based on your Firstfruits. The first 10% of your income belongs to the Lord. God said to bring our Firstfuit into the storehouse. The early church understood the “storehouse” to mean the place where spiritual food is offered. Offerings are above the tithe. Afterward came sacrifice. This is what happened in Acts 5 when people made pledges and brought their sacrifice to Peter. They knew that a sacrifice is something that we give that is not in our budget. A sacrifice is something that you give up without expectation of a return.

Tithing, offerings, and sacrifices, however, have fallen on hard times. Once again, the statistics say that most church-goers give about 2.3% of their income in total. The reasons vary, but in general they believe that if the church is doing well then they don’t feel obligated. Thus, they give according to the need, not according to the Bible’s command.

I offer this to you today because it is the Bible. I do not write because New Life is hurting for finances. I write because you and I cannot afford to miss Heaven over money. How foolish it is to neglect the scripture? We are obligated to the Word and we must follow! Therefore, I admonish you not to neglect giving tithes, offerings, and a sacrifice.

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole


In the dark hours of prayer among the olive trees, Jesus roused His disciples and said, “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Jesus knew that their battle, even His own, would be between the human will and the Father’s Will. After His own all night prayer meeting struggling with the sacrifice that lay ahead, Jesus Himself said, “Nevertheless, thy Will be done.” It was and is Flesh versus Spirit: Humanity opposing Divinity. It’s a tug-of-war; pulling and grappling for position.

The word “flesh” doesn’t resonate with our generation. It is an odd term, perhaps old in nature. Greater still, the concept of fleshly desires is just as foreign. Modern vernacular does not include these terms. However, the human will is full of lust and pride. Flesh is everything that opposes the Holy Spirit and no one is exempt from this battle. Consider Paul’s powerful life and ministry. Yet, Paul wrote: 1 Corinthians 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

Our spirits want to do right, but our flesh is waging a war. There is a war raging inside of our members. Romans 7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. We are in the fight of our lives and it is greater than this forum can explain. Maybe this is why the Lord instituted the structure of worship and a sacrificial offering. Both are spiritual tools that put the flesh under subjection.

I have discovered that a scattered, unfocused, and undisciplined life is a haven for the flesh. Seeing that God is a God of order, the opposite can be said of humanity. God instituted feasts and festivals for the Jewish people to give them an order to their year. These were to remind the people of their past and of God’s goodness. They worshipped and made sacrifices to the Lord. Even the Sabbath was to provide structure on a weekly basis. It has been said that while the Jews kept the Sabbath, in reality, the Sabbath kept them.

I submit that Sunday worship is the pivot point of defeating the flesh. I submit that as we keep our Sunday, it will keep us. We are giving rise to the Spirit with worship and sacrifice. We have come to offer Praise and say, “Thy Will be done in my life.”

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole


Only the Gospel of John records the miracle of Lazarus. Luke will speak of a different Lazarus who is described as a poor man begging for food. John, however, writes of a resurrected Lazarus as he declares the Lord’s deity. John said that Jesus was the Word in flesh, the Light that lights every man. He said that Jesus made everything that was ever made.

It was John that gave us Mary and Martha’s dying brother Lazarus. Jesus will arrive four days late to find a sealed tomb and a family in mourning. We are probably familiar with this biblical narrative, but I wish to expose a not so well known portion of scripture. In fact, few even take the time to discover the other part of Lazarus’ story after he rose from the dead.

John 12:9-11 Much people of the Jews therefore knew that he was there: and they came not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead. But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death; Because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus.

Lazarus was a problem for the chief priests. His mere presence; breathing, living body was a major issue. They hated Lazarus because he validated the preaching of Jesus Christ. They hated Jesus because He was taking their followers. Jesus was talking about a new Kingdom and a new covenant. His parables mesmerized the people and His teaching captivated their hearts. Jesus understood the Law and He brought it to life among the people. He came to set the captive free.

The chief priests tried to stop Him and would have defamed Him had it not been for a living Lazarus. Dead Men Walking always pose a problem for the Unbeliever. You can mock the Bible; call it “old fashion” or not relevant, but you can’t dismiss the miracle. Lazarus needed to die by the hands of the unbeliever because he boosted the prominence of the Lord’s Gospel and posed a threat to their kingdom.

You see, the enemy has a kingdom also and the greatest threats to his kingdom are the walking miracles among us. People can deny speaking in other tongues, but they can’t deny the blind being able to see. They can deny holiness and righteous living, but they have a difficult time belittling cancer healed and the deaf talking and the lame walking. I’m praying for those “Undeniables” this year.

Because for that reason, verse 11, many will come to hear the saving message of Acts 2:38.

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole

Private Places

Genesis is a noun that literally means origin. It means creation or to create. The Old English expression was used in the sense of “form out of nothing.” When God created the worlds, He spoke them into existence; literally out of nothing. We are made in His image and in His likeness, which implies that we too have the power to create. We do so when we speak. The spoken word is powerful. The spoken word is the covering of blessing and the proclamation of promise. However, it is also the wedge that divides and destroys.

There is nothing more powerful than the tongue. James 3:8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.

Solomon wrote these profound truths:
Proverbs 23:6-8
“Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats: For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee. The morsel which thou hast eaten shalt thou vomit up, and lose thy sweet words.”

Solomon was talking about a relationship in conversation. He was not referring to actual food. Consider verse 6, “his dainty meats.” If you consume the conversation of the bitter man and eat his “meats”, you will lose your “sweet words.” Vain and bitter conversations are poison to the heart and mind. The things we hear have great bearing on the condition of our heart. When James submitted that the tongue can be full of deadly poison, he was referring to a process of time. Over time, vain conversations infect the spirit. Paul wrote, 1 Corinthians 15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.

What we say really does matter. Of course, some erroneously believe that they can say whatever they want as long as it is in the privacy of their own homes. However, God addressed that matter when He said, Deuteronomy 1:27 And ye murmured in your tents, and said, Because the LORD hated us, he hath brought us forth out of the land of Egypt, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us.

There are no private places apart from God. All commentaries matter. Jesus said, Matthew 12:36-37 “…every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.”

Finally, though I have not exhausted this most pivotal subject,

Proverbs 4:23 – 26
“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee. Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.”

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole

King of King

The Civil Rights Movement was and is an important part of the fabric of America. By all accounts, it’s premise is based on the Bible’s own declarations of love, brotherhood, and unity. Paul was clear when he wrote, Romans 12:5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. The body of Jesus Christ has no divisions or segregations.

While we pause to give honor to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we know that there were many others who suffered and stood strong in the face of racism and segregation. Leaders, known and unknown, sought for equality and acceptance. Even still, Dr. King rose above the rest and paid the ultimate sacrifice to preach his message.

It is important that we know that Dr. King was a preacher because modernism and some humanists would like us to think differently. I present this fact, because I believe that Dr. King was good as The King made him to be. His passion, voice, sound, and conviction rose from the depths afforded to him by the King of all Kings. The times in which he lived needed more than just a public speaker. They needed a voice that echoed the Throne of God. Maybe Dr. King would have been revered and admired without the call that lay beneath him. Maybe he would have still been a notable figure in society and history. I believe it was the King of Glory that ushered him into the realm of authority, to speak to the nation and to generations to come. I submit to you, The King of King.

The Psalmist asked,
Psalms 24:8 – 10 Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting
doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory.

John identified him when he saw Him:
Revelation 19:12 – 13 His eyes were as a flame of fire – on his head were many crowns… And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is
called The Word of God.
Revelation 19:15 – 16 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword…And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole

Prayer and Fasting

Isaiah 58 “Is not this the fast that I have chosen?”

God’s message through Isaiah about fasting is often lost in the absence of context. So to be true to the larger picture, God used fasting as a means to change the hearts of His people. He had chosen this time, but their day of fasting had not altered their behavior. In context, the poor remained hungry; fighting and arguing were still prevalent; and the less fortunate were being mishandled. God desired a fast in order to subdue greed and pride. He was looking for a change in their actions, but ultimately they went through the motions without allowing the sacrifice to do its intended work. God said, “Is this fast only for a day? No change of spirit? No humility; no heart?” They fasted, but still exploited their workers. They fasted, but were still bitter towards one another. It was ritual without relationship. Isaiah wrote that the fast was to break chains and tear down strongholds, but the routine had become ceremonial and ultimately lost its purpose.

Fasting is not just about giving up food. It is certainly not a weight-loss program. Fasting is about crucifying the most natural desires of the flesh. It’s about an introspective look into the recesses of the heart and mind to change the disposition of the person who makes the sacrifice.

I submit that worship, giving, and prayer can become a ritual. Any repeated action can develop into a function of the body. Just because someone declares that they go to church every Sunday, does not mean that they have a heart for sacrifice. Without the heart, singing is nothing more than a function and prayer only a recital. God desires for our hearts to be changed and our actions to follow in like manner. Chains must be broken and anointing must flow.

Therefore, in this time of prayer and fasting, I submit that we seek for a change of heart. It is imperative that we use the time wisely and consider the condition of our lives. David said it this way…

Psalms 139:23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole