Woke-ism

The early church dealt with one of the major issues our nation now faces. Woke-ism is a return to tribalism which separates people based on the most shallow of outward appearances. This division has bled into the mindset of the church. I believe this to be part of the “spirit of the age” meant to divide believers by the same demonic forces which Paul addressed in his letters.

Colossians 3:10-11 “And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him: Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.

Galatians 3:28 “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

As we pause to remember the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., there is a certain irony concerning his actual message. Dr. King preached character, not characteristics. He demanded equality, not equity. He spoke of being judged by content, not by appearances. Today, Dr. King’s sermons would sound like hate-speech to a generation more enamored with globalism than with the American plight. The woke crowd want a salad bowl. Dr. King sought for a melting pot. Surely these are the last days.

The apostles faced this spirit and fought against the exclusion of a segmented church. There is no “body of Christ” if we are severed by the deeds of the past. The enemy of the church is the originator of these Endtime philosophies. The Bible declares us one in Christ! Therefore, it is incumbent upon us to resist the false notion that anyone is less-than or more-than based on culture or ethnicity. The Bible calls those who have been born again, Sons and Daughters of God. We are joint-heirs with Jesus Christ. The breakdown of family structure, marriage, and the home is at the root of this spiritual darkness. The further division of cultures is an attempt to limit the growth of the Kingdom.

Jesus came to break down the “middle wall of partition between us.”(Ephesians 2:14). That wall was the Mosaic Law which blocked the entry to the Gentile people. It was the barrier that inhibited even the most devout Jewish believer. Jesus tore it down! Why would we build any more walls to separate what Jesus came to destroy? My dream is a church of every creed and color, worshiping the One and True God of Israel in this sanctuary.

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole

…. The Tempter ….

Genesis 24:6 “And Abraham said unto him, Beware thou that thou bring not my son thither again.

Eliezer, the unsung hero barely graces the biblical writ. Eliezer was the loyal servant, administrator, and overall caretaker of Abraham’s estate. In the waning years of the patriarch’s life, the concern was that Isaac had not found a wife. To ensure that Isaac would marry rightly, Abraham sent his most trusted servant, Eliezer, to find her.

Abraham made a single yet distinct requirement: “Make sure that you do not take my son back to the place where I came from.” Under the commandment of God, a new life and a new covenant was established. The last thing Abraham wanted was for his son to be introduced to the place God brought him from.

We cannot determine Isaac’s spiritual state; whether he was vulnerable or weak. It is not for us to make such a determination about his character that was largely left out of the scripture. We do know that Abraham was not taking a chance. He was so emphatic that he repeated his command again in Genesis 24:8. Abraham said, “Even if you cannot find a wife, only do not bring my son back there!

There are some places that should never be revisited again. Some testimonies need not repeated in detail; some stories and memories should stay buried beneath the blood. The saints should take precaution. God brought us out!

The Tempter is well aware of the power of environment. His power is in the temptation made possible by exposure. In the drug culture it’s called “gateway drugs.” In crime it’s called ‘petty theft.” In relationships it’s called dating worldly people. The list includes people and places not suitable for the children of the Kingdom. We are called for a higher purpose. We are keepers of the new covenant, the Holy Ghost. We are called to be holy, set apart, and examples to a lost world. We cannot go back; not to last year or wherever God brought us from.

The next generation should never know addictions of secularism, subjectivism, humanism, greed, fleshly pleasures, sexual permissiveness, etc. You are holy nation and a royal priesthood. You’ve come to far to turn back now!

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole

Breaking Ground

Life gets busy, of this we all know. Schedules must be kept and bills must be paid. Families are often bound by school routines and other events, all of which seemed baked-in or without reprieve. Personally, I enjoy the continuity. There is a safety in consistent living. However, the problem comes when our hunger for God is swallowed up by our routines. God never fits inside of our program. He made Himself to occupy the first.

God is calling us to be something new. There are new spiritual plateaus to find; new seeds to plant; new revelations to be seen. This endeavor demands our attention to the “soil of the heart.” Hardened ground cannot accept the seed and without the seed there is no harvest. The Bible calls this the “fallow ground.” Horticulturalists have warned the farmer not to allow the ground to lay dormant or unused too long due to the difficulty of replanting. Fallow ground is the untouched life. The unplanted “field” becomes compacted so the Word finds no place.

The Holy Spirit is speaking to the Church. Hosea wrote for our understanding: Hosea 10:12 Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you.

The elements of Hosea 10:12 are critical for this year. We can make this a year of harvest, but we must break up the soil of our own heart. This is called Breaking Ground! A harvest will come if the ground is broken up and the Word finds root. The rain of righteousness will fall if the ground is prepared.

Jeremiah gave a similar instruction to Judah. He said that there are places where seeds go to die. Jeremiah 4:3 For thus saith the LORD to the men of Judah and Jerusalem, Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns.

We will Break New Ground as we order our lives according to the Bible. Our time and money will find its worth as we sow into the Kingdom. Old, fleshly ways of speaking and thinking must be broken up and torn away. The Harvest depends on the soil of our hearts and we desperately need the Harvest!

Breaking Ground is taking new territory!

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole

He came. . .

He came. . .

Perhaps in the annals of time, the two most significant words were these. What was lost in Eden found light the moment He came. We often bypass the importance of that time when The Door was opened to the world. The decay of flesh; with its carnal applications, had cast a long shadow on the earth. Our modern view, cloaked with conveniences and superficial concepts, limits our comprehension of the destruction of sin. Humanity was in a downward spiral. A silent heaven combined with a listless sacrifice became the immeasurable distance from God to man.

And yet, He came.

John spares no feelings in the matter. Jesus came to His own, but His own received Him not. It was akin to a city in famine rejecting a bounty of food: A people in drought declining the free flowing waters from a mountain spring. His own did not receive Him. They looked past Him without appeal or inquiry. All they would ever need could be found in Him, but they denied Him entry into their lives and their loss rippled through the ages.

The redeeming verse, however, followed the heartbreak of their rejection. John 1:12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

He came for you and for me. He came for as many as would receive Him. To those who welcomed Him and who would believe on Jesus’ name, to them He gave power. John 1:13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Our birth was not that of Abraham’s seed. We were not the descendants of the Covenant, but through the Name of Jesus and obedience we were born of God. Jesus called it being born again (John 3). All of it happened because He came.

The trappings of this season cannot tell the story. Christmas is paused, when God wrapped Himself in human form and became the Lamb slain to recover what was lost. The primary meaning of Christmas is not about gifts, food or family. Those things are just byproducts of our rejoicing. Christmas is the recognition of a God that loved us so much, He gave His only begotten son. He gave, when He came.

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole

The Seasons

The season is upon us, but perhaps it’s not the season you were thinking of. The Bible often offers a polar look at the principles it presents. For instance, Paul wrote about a “due season” in which a time of reaping would occur. However, in the construct of the verse, he implies a season opposite of reaping. He wrote: Galatians 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

There is a season of “well doing” which does not produce a crop. This God-inspired book presents the need to continue in times of want. It implores us to work, pray, give, fast, and serve even when there is no evidence of a harvest. The seasons of planting and waiting are always more critical than the season of reaping. The heart of the faithful is challenged when the right thing is done, but the result is not evident. Everyone desires their “due season.” Few want to discuss the one which precedes it.

Daniel prayed for three weeks without an answer. In his world, this was an uncommon occurrence. While the prayer was heard and the answer was on its way, Daniel had to rely upon the right that he had done and not the outcome. His reaction was to continue in faith regardless of the silence. To that end, the Answer belongs to the Lord. The Harvest is up to Him. He is the Giver of all Good things. James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

Seasons change, but I wonder if they are contingent upon how I treat them. It could be that the goodness of God is keeping me in my season so I can learn to rejoice in it. Trust is rarely founded in the harvest and growth is not always an upward movement. The process of Growth entails pruning or cutting back. Paul and Silas were singing at midnight, bound in a Roman jail. It may have looked like the end, but they were showing us what it means to faint not in Well Doing. The season must not limit our faith or our work. If we continue, a new season will come.

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole

Sacrifice

Perhaps one of the modern traits that separate the 21st Century church from the early church is the proliferation of what we know as a “minimized sacrifice”. The early believers understood blood sacrifice, but made the transition to personal sacrifice. Paul taught them to offer themselves as “a living sacrifice.” Many of them witnessed Jesus Christ as He hung on the Cross. These first believers lived a life congruent with that image. Theirs was not a momentary event.

When I speak of sacrifice, some think of worship on Sundays. A few equate it with returning their tithes and offerings. I’ve even heard people define their sacrifice as their apparel. None of these are sacrifice. These are requirements. When essentials are conflated with sacrifice, the latter is left undone, i.e., there is nothing given or offered. Jesus gave what He was not required to give. He did not have to die for our sins, but He willingly drank the cup of gall.

The key word in the Bible is hidden to the eye, but revealed in understanding: Nevertheless. If we break it up in three words, we can take our first step toward sacrifice. Never The Less. Always more. Always something that makes a demand on our lives.

The result of sacrifice is a myriad of things. While I cannot detail them all, it is apparent through the scripture that personal sacrifice is our connection to the Lord. David offered a sacrifice that cost him something – 2 Samuel 24:24 I will not “…offer burnt offerings unto the LORD my God of that which doth cost me nothing.

Sacrifice is bringing our best to God. It is giving what cannot be replaced or something that we cannot put in our budget; such as, time, energy, money, materials, talents, or things we cherish. Abraham brought his dream, Isaac, and laid him on the altar. Mount Moriah was witness to the measure of Abraham’s resolve to value God more than his son!

I am compelled to lead you into this realm, though I know it is an affront to our natural minds. The Holy Spirit is calling for a people who are willing to live a life of daily sacrifice. It is our connection with those who first began.

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole

… jealous God …

James wrote a disturbing scripture in his self-titled book. He implied that a person who wanders is a sinner and his soul is in danger of death. James preached that sinners need to be saved; which is rejected by the majority today. Jesus said, “He that believeth not shall be damned!” The scripture also declares: “Anyone who puts his hand to the plow and looking back is not fit for the kingdom.” “Unless you are born again of the water and the Spirit, you cannot enter the Kingdom of God.”

All of these verses and so many more declare an Exclusive doctrine. God is holy and rejects the unholy. He is just and will Judge the unrighteous according to their works. The Bible says that “every idle word” will be accounted for and judged. The scripture is filled with similar troubling statements, especially among religious people who do not believe that God would send them to everlasting punishment for what they consider “minor offenses.” How far we have come from a life of separation!

“Be certain,” the Bible says, “your sins shall find you out.” This is God’s Holy, Undefiled Word and in it He says, “God will not be mocked, for whatever you sow, you shall reap.” The scripture is without respect to the reader. This God-breathed book is without exception or division. Therefore, we adjust our lives to the Word. We must never adjust the Word to our lives. Our salvation is serious business. Being saved is always greater!

American Christians routinely live with excuses, i.e., they give themselves allowances which are against the Bible. For instance, the average church member gives 1.7% of their income instead of their tithe (10%). Prayer is regulated to words before a meal. Bible reading has been replaced with conceptual ideas filtered through relative views. Gossip, backbiting, and slander are accepted and assumed as normal conversations. Honoring “those that labor among you” is often rejected by individualism. Sacrificing is a rare practice. Clothing and gender specific attire has been dismissed as old fashion. And finally, commitment and faithful church attendance is for people who do not have busy schedules.

I rise to say, Our God is a jealous God and this Word is without excuse. He is coming back for a holy, separated people. He’s coming back for a bride without spot or wrinkle or any such thing!

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole

Thankful People

Who would have thought that one of the signs of the Endtime would be Unthankful people? It almost seems out of place among the more acceptable egregious sins of the flesh. Few would consider an unthankful spirit and adultery as signs of the times, but the Bible reveals the matter.

2 Timothy chapter three states that in the last days perilous times will come where people are “…lovers of themselves, lovers of money (greedy), boastful, proud, abusive, unholy, unforgiving, slanderous, treacherous, conceited, and without natural affection…” The “Unthankful” are right in the middle of those carnal attributes. The modern believer mostly ignores such “minimal infractions” and would never include them with these other sinful activities. The “white lie” crowd are still among the elect, i.e., they still think that sinful activities are not all the same. However, God thinks the Unthankful should be included, thus His Word has made it so.

Those who are thankful recognize God and His provision. “Thankful” ultimately leads us to the Cross of Calvary where He gave to us what we could not give to ourselves. The absence of this thought is that of humanism, thus, the unthankful disposition is the acceptance of self-sufficiency or self-reliance.

Thanksgiving may be a national holiday, but the spirit of it pertains to a lifestyle. The origin of the day is rooted in recognizing God’s goodness and not man’s ingenuity. I submit this concept as secularism moves to dismiss our need for God and employs the strength of humanity. The question that must be answered is whether we live thankful; not whether we celebrate the holiday around a family table.

Paul wrote that love keeps no record of wrongs; is not boastful or proud. Thankfulness is akin to Paul’s I Corinthians description of love. There is a prism of this word that manifests itself in our everyday life. The “Thankful” honor God for the things He has done. It does not boast in self-sufficiency or personal achievement. Thankful bestows praise upon others while removing themselves from the equation. This message must be a continual endeavor. There are no days wherein we disregard the goodness of God. It might even be said that to be Thankful is the fruit of the Body of Jesus Christ in the last days, and not just for the church at large, but also for our local body of believers. We are, and must be, a Thankful people!

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole

… the Name of the Lord

2 Kings 18:19 “The field commander said to them, “Tell Hezekiah: “’This is what the great king, the king of Assyria, says: On what are you basing this confidence of yours?”

In brief, the position of The Elect is a balance of boldness and humility. Time would not permit me to describe the aspects of these necessary Apostolic attributes. We are commanded to walk forthright while employing the meekness of the Spirit. These directives are given to us by the Lord Who is aware of our limited abilities. He is not blind to our failings, nor is He removed from the essence of our fallibilities. When He is inserted into our equation, the victory is certain and final!

The Philistines should have won the battle. The odds were in their favor, but a shepherd boy armed with the Name of the Lord, came running to the valley. What gave David courage to fight Goliath is at work in us. We are not alone when we come in the Name of the Lord: Jesus! His name is the confidence of the saints and the trembling of Hell. He is the honor of the Body and the undoing of the enemy’s plot.

The Assyrian king asked the question which demands an answer: On what are you basing your confidence? Where does your confidence come from? Here’s the answer: 1 John 5:14 “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:”

We fail when we have confidence in our ability. If we trust in external elements; governments, monies, talents, intellectualism, we will be found wanting. Our trust is in God. People bring disappointment. I have suffered this many times in my life. I trusted people and they rejected me. The ones to whom I gave the most walked away. I had to learn this lesson written by Solomon: Proverbs 25:19 “Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of joint.” It never works.

Our Faith, Trust, Confidence, and Boldness comes from the One from Whom all blessings flow. Our God is greater than any natural resource for He is the Source of all strength, might, and power. The enemy is bewildered by our advancement. “Where is all this coming from?” The answer is unknown to those who rely upon the flesh. Even Christians have fallen into this abyss of carnal endeavors. They have forgotten the scripture: James 1:17 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole

the Sabbath

Leviticus 26:34 “Then the land will enjoy its sabbath years all the time that it lies desolate and you are in the country of your enemies; then the land will rest and enjoy its sabbaths.”

Think! God warned Israel against greed. They were not to plant in the 7th year. The land was to rest in the Sabbath year, however, they disobeyed God by planting and reaping without a pause. In the end, Babylon took them captive for 70 years, thereby leaving the land empty – “the land will rest and enjoy its sabbaths.” They disobeyed and God took what belonged to Him.

Galatians 6:7 “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” Make no mistake, this law will never go away. It will not lay empty nor be ignored. For instance, returning our tithes and offerings to God keeps it away from the Devourer who will take it and more. Sowing and reaping for evil or good is a constant which no one can rebut.

The 10 Commandments are settled. There should be no dispute: “Thou shalt not kill, steal, lie, covet, etc. God said to honor father and mother: Do not take God’s name in vain.” However, when it comes to the Sabbath, which is our Sunday (Christ rose from the grave), many make compromises. Some gladly accept 9 Commandments, but ignore the Sabbath, as if God would forget His own word. Would we openly bare false witness or commit adultery in the same fashion we excuse ourselves from being together for worship? Should we follow the strict adherence to 9 and not 10? Hebrews 10:25 is a command: Do not forsake the assembling of yourselves together.

God had a message for those who disobeyed Him. God said, Leviticus 26, “I will walk contrary to you!” He said, “you will eat your weight in bread and not be satisfied.” This is the forever settled Word of God. Even Paul wrote: Romans 3:4 “God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.”

I challenge you to adjust your life to the scripture. Some things belong to the Lord!

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole