Line of Demarcation

When Joshua took that final step across the Jordan River, it was more than just the crossing of a dry riverbed. It was the closing of a chapter in Israel’s history. The moment he put his feet on the other side, something changed in the mindset of this new generation of Israelites. Land and inheritances were before them; battles loomed large as the enemy awaited. The promise was about to unfold and the Lord was going to make His name great.

Jordan’s crossing was a realization a of new day; a watershed moment in all of their lives. In fact, it was at this point they could accurately say, “we’ve come too far to turn back now.” Prior to the Jordan, the children of Israel reminisced about the land of Egypt. They remembered things that never took place. They made statements about returning to their place of bondage, “…at least we had bread.” However, crossing the Jordan erased those words and the people who made them. Joshua had led them into a new era and Egypt was further away than ever before.

There comes a time when you cross a line of demarcation wherein you are closer to the finish than you are to the beginning. Paul wrote it like this: Romans 13:11 “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.”

We have experienced too many miracles to doubt the power of the Lord. We have seen too many wonders to question the work of His Spirit. We have witnessed His love and mercy too much to doubt His heart. Simply put, God has been too good for too long when we did not deserve it for us to change our minds. Surely we have passed the point of no return!

Jesus offers this reply to all those who have been called to the Kingdom: Luke 9:62 “And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

The Kingdom is the primary and His Great Commission is our purpose. We have crossed the Jordan of our lives; found His name to be the only name (Acts 4:12); and have been born again of the water and the Spirit (John 3:1-8). We are closer than ever which makes it incumbent upon us to move forward with a greater commitment and a deeper consecration. We are the people of God and we’ve come too far to turn back now!

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole

All by the Blood!

In another time, ministers spontaneously called people out of the audience to sing or testify. The result was often an impromptu response. I have been called to the microphone without any foreknowledge of what I would say. I have been asked to preach in several places where I was just visiting. Thankfully I had a Bible and a thought, but this has never been my preference.

One individual told me that if they were called on unexpectedly, they would sing about the Blood. They said, “my fall back is ‘Blood songs.’” Something about their reply disturbed me. I wondered if we now consider the subject as a last resort topic; a fill-in-the-blank measure. Maybe to some it has become trite or worn out. Or perhaps the subject is more easily understood by the congregation; I cannot tell. While I will not determine the motive, my spirit remains unsettled.

I submit that the Blood of Jesus; whether in song or sermon, should be our first subject and not our “ace-in-the-hole.” The scripture does not present His sacrifice as an afterthought, but The Foundation for our redemption. It is found at the beginning and the ending of our salvation.

Hebrews 10:19 “Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus.” In the Old Testament, the high priest entered the Holy Place alone, but the Blood of the Lamb of God gave us confidence to enter ourselves. The high priest represented the people, but the Blood gave us the Mediator who makes intercession for us.

  • We are overcomers by the Blood. Revelation 12:11
  • The Blood heals our body and mind. Isaiah 53:5
  • The Blood is the atonement for our sins. Leviticus 17:11
  • The Blood brings us peace. Colossians 1:20
  • We are justified by the Blood. Romans 3:24-25, Romans 5:9
  • We are redeemed by the Blood. I Peter 1:18-19
  • The Blood cleanses our conscience. Hebrews 10:22
  • Our debt has been paid by the Blood. Hebrews 9:28

His Blood is not my song in reserve! It is the heartbeat of my life. His Blood is not waiting for a moment of despair. It is my access before The Most High God. His Blood is not a tool
designed to make me look good or a device to move the crowd. It is the deliverance from my past; help in my present; and the hope of my future!

It’s all by the Blood!

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole

Holy

2 Peter 3:10-11 “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,”

For many years biblical principles have been under assault. Holy lifestyles, modest attire, and a host of disciplines have been in dispute. Most denominations once embraced holiness, but they have long since abandoned those distinctions in appearance. Until the mid-1900’s almost all churches taught against alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, and other substances they considered “fleshly.”

However, as the years went by arguments ensued and pulpits shifted their teaching. At the same time, a new wave of secularism moved into the church. Though they may be unrelated, the fact remains that few have retained any outward standard of gender separation. The wave of technologies made it possible for people to speak without reprisal. Thus, social media platforms removed restraint. Today word filters are rarely employed.

Regarding the American Dream, ambition has taken preeminence as believers seek their careers first. Status, money, and self-interests have smothered prayer, fasting, and servanthood. These facts are only the beginning of a diluted church which once believed in Heaven and Hell. Eternity used to be on our mind and it made us consider how we lived.

Peter wrote: “It’s all gong to melt with fervent heat.” “seeing this is true, how separate and godly should you live?” The Bible speaks of that day: 1 Peter 4:18 “And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?”

After all that has been taught, there will be a portion which will be lost. They will run to the church and find it empty. They will cry with bitter tears, but it will be too late. The parable of the 10 virgins has already foretold of that moment. Those who argued about what is necessary will be left behind. People who forsook faithful attendance; failed to return their tithes and offerings; who gossiped, lived immodest lifestyles and pursued money will find themselves holding on to their positions and things, but will miss the rapture. It’s all going to pass away.

The only question left is this: “What manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness?”

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole

Liberty

The first biblical account of liberty is found in Leviticus 25:10 “Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you; each one of you is to return to his family property and each to his own clan.”

The Year of Jubilee embodied the return of property and ownership. It was God’s thought of restoration for all those who were bound by the troubles and misappropriation of life. In the 50th year, payments from the past were settled and a rightful return was delivered. God’s people were never meant to stay bound. While the Children of Israel were granted this gift at the end of an era, I like what the psalmist said, Psalms 119:45 “And I will walk at liberty: for I seek thy precepts. To be set free is to search for God’s principles. Liberty is a constant pursuit which must be kept and protected at all times.”

While America celebrates her independence from England, the task of retaining our liberty is far from over. Our freedom to worship without constraint is our God-given right. Our voices of praise; the echoing and exampling of a holy lifestyle; and speaking the Word of God is our duty. America began in pursuit of religious freedom and we must not forsake what cost so much. Our Faith must be kept in view. Our beliefs must be spoken and pronounced. For we know that our freedoms are only as good as our resolve to defend them.

The scripture speaks of a day when evil is celebrated and righteous living is scorned. This is the day. Yet the Church stands as the last line of defense to proclaim the Goodness of the Lord. Now is the time for the Blood-bought, Holy Ghost filled people to rise up to resist the bondage of an immoral society. We are people of the Name of Jesus and it is incumbent upon us to proclaim freedom from the burden of sin. We are ambassadors of the Liberty found in the Spirit and we walk in the Light as He is in the Light.

Galatians 5:1 “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.”

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole