Just a single line of scripture details the end of Israel’s first king: 1 Chronicles 10:14 “And inquired not of the LORD:” While King Saul had every opportunity to find the Lord, his heart was divided and he did not seek after the Lord. Not only did he not pursue the missing Ark of the Covenant, but the bulk of his reign featured self-preservation and personal ambition. Maybe his position caused him to think that he was above submission to the prophet. Perhaps the scepter was too heavy in his hand: he held all the power . Whatever the cause, the end result was death and the loss the monarch.
Remember, Saul had been anointed. He was chosen and established. Yet, all of those initial elements, both coveted and precious, were not enough to overcome his independent spirit. Herein lies the fault line of those who have been called. The post-modern church saw the rise of self-sufficiency through material gain. Conveniences blanketed daily life as they made their way into the church. Real measures of sacrifice were removed as vain philosophies were propagated leading people to think that their gifts or positions removed them from submission and accountability. While our national independence is woven into the American mind, the state of spiritual autonomy has been our undoing.
Saul needed the voice of the prophet, but he rejected it. He needed to hear “thus sayeth the Lord” from an authority other than his own. He was not meant to be sovereign or self-determined. In the end, all those who join Saul will crumble. It is set in stone. The biblical account has declared it so: 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.
I offer these words for your benefit. To ignore them would only lead us into humanistic thoughts cloaked as spiritual enlightenment (which it is not). At the end of it all… we must inquire after the Lord. His book allows us to do just that. The preached Word ushers us into the same. Therefore, I write to remind you to consider the need to inquire of the Lord. Of all the voices and things we pursue, nothing rises higher than to inquire of the Lord.
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole
2 Thessalonians 2:3 “Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;”
Paul wrote prophetically concerning “the falling away” (apostasia, Gk). The translation is apostasy, meaning to stand away from or to be removed. Paul states that before the antichrist comes, believers will leave the truth. They will reject what they have been taught. This apostasia will be a marked difference in the lives of those who were once faithful.
Joel wrote about a great Endtime revival. He said that in the last days God would pour out His Spirit upon all flesh. Both of these prophecies are happening today. Africa and South America have seen great Holy Ghost revivals. Baptisms in Jesus Name are flourishing in China. The Philippines have also experienced a massive influx into the Apostolic doctrine. The Endtime Revival is happening around the world.
As world revivals are occurring, America is turning away from the Bible. The irony is seen as Christians reject biblical principles, even among Pentecostals there is a shaking. Many who once sought purity of living and biblical adherence have diluted their faith with worldly concepts and self-justification. Everything that can be shaken is being shaken. “Wedges” of all kinds are separating churches and families. Fear and politics; backbiting and position seekers… the list is long, but the result is the same. There is a falling away.
My admonition is to Keep the House… “If The House Be Lost.” Return to the teachings that have been delivered. Remove yourself from tables and conversations that wound your spirit and destroy your confidence. Keep Kingdom work in your mind; the Doctrine in your heart. Return to Philippians 4:8 “whatsoever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, are of good report …think on these things.” The only way to think on these things is to talk about these things. Kingdom words come from Kingdom thoughts. This is a law that cannot be changed.
In the end, there will only be two groups of people: Saved and lost. There will be those involved in the Endtime revival and those “standing away.” I am urging you to contend for the Faith that has been delivered. It is time.
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole
Within the famed speech by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. resides a single statement that has long been forgotten. He said that we should be judged on the content of the heart not on the outward appearance. Dr. King was speaking of character versus skin color.
However, it seems we have drifted far from this truth.
Solomon commanded us to, Proverbs 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. The Bible often speaks of the matter of the heart; integrity and purity. The prophet Samuel toiled as he considered who would be anointed the next King of Israel. Samuel would have chosen Eliab because he looked the part. David did not fit the profile. In fact, David wore the attire of a shepherd and was the youngest of eight brothers.
Samuel saw Eliab, the eldest, and deemed him fit for the throne by birth order and stature. 1 Samuel 16:7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. The heart is where we understand a person. No one is inherently good or evil by genetic code.
As millions pause to celebrate Dr. King’s life, I am concerned that they have rejected his message. Let it not be so with us. Our actions, words, and deeds matter. Jesus said that by our own words we are either condemned or justified. The Church must set the example for a superficial world. We represent a higher law and a deeper truth which is the basis of the New Birth experience found in John chapter 3. Paul said that “if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
2 Corinthians 5:17
Therefore, it is only by the Cross that we find our value. Birth order, stature, and countenance do not constitute salvation. We are chosen and set apart by the Blood of the Lamb. This is our message. The Gospel of Jesus Christ has changed our lives. We were not a people, but now we are the children of God. So if we are to be judged, let it be by the Cross of Calvary and our pursuit of Him Who died for our sins and gave us New Life!
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole
Oscar Wilde wrote, “Memory is the diary we all carry about with us.” The chorus who concur with Wilde have written the same. However, memory can be easily distorted. At times we remember what we want to be true, even though it is not. Some recall partial events from a perspective that doesn’t tell the real story. In more recent days we have seen historical revisionists. These are people who twist the annals of history to fit into their preconceived narrative or political opinion. Historians, which was once a noble profession, has become a cloudy mix of motivated activists.
This is nothing new. The Children of Israel said: Numbers 11:5-6 “We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions, and the garlic: But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna.”
The memory of the Children of Israel was a lie borne from their disgruntled spirit. They spoke of the “good life” before they followed Moses. They saw his leadership as inept and the food from Heaven unsatisfactory. Egypt was a land of torment. The people were slaves; living without freedom. And yet, after years of eating manna, they remembered things that never happened so they said, “it was better in bondage.”
If memory is the diary, then we must maintain its truth. Regardless of our struggles living for the Lord, the world is not better than the church. Lost in sin is not better than being found in the Lord. Even if the “manna” tastes the same, -same sermons and similar lessons – it will always be better than living bound by the elements of a godless society. Spiritually minded people understand the value of the church. Those who are carnally minded complain about the House of the Lord; the very place where the Word of Life is sown.
I caution you to guard your memory. While we are moving through these uncertain times, we must remember where God has brought us from. I urge you to recall the goodness of the Lord and the value of the church house for all it has brought to you. Do not rewrite the history of your past. It was not better elsewhere. It was darkness. God brought you out and He set up this place for our benefit. I’m leaning on the old song, “When I look back and see where He brought me from…”
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole