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

…12 pieces …

The chaos of Israel’s divided kingdom was revealed the day the prophet Ahijah took a new garment and ripped it into 12 pieces (1 Kings 11:30). Ten tribes to the north and two for the south. It was the end of Solomon’s reign and the beginning of a downward spiral that would never recover. Even still God spoke a word of consequence that exists today. 1 Kings 11:36 I will give one tribe to his son so that David my servant may always have a lamp before me in Jerusalem, the city where I chose to put my Name.

Jerusalem is the city where God put His Name. There is no other place on earth that houses such power; no other physical location where His Name is promised to be found. Jerusalem is the city of the Name!

Though the people turned away from God’s Law, He preserved the city for the sake of His servant. 1 Kings 11:32 But he shall have one tribe for my servant David’s sake, and for Jerusalem’s sake, the city which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel.”

The fact is this: Washington D.C. is not the center of the world. Consider the ease of becoming consumed with national news. Cable television, Youtube, Facebook, and other media outlets must sell a story, whether true or not. The American church is often drawn into such things. We tend to think of our nation as the pivot point of the world. Yet the world time clock and the prophetic forecast does not revolve around America. At best we are to be worshipers of the Name and are privileged to be givers to the cause of the Gospel. Jerusalem is the focus of the prophetic age.

Reading articles and “staying up on the news” might be beneficial (that may be debatable). However, knowing the Signs of the Times demands a clear view of the Middle East. It is arrogant to think that God’s final call hinges on our American progress or revival.

Our task is to provide a place of worship where His name can be praised. Our desire is to live a holy, separate life as unto the Lord. The mission is to reach our city with the Gospel found in Acts 2:38. Our objective is to construct a House of Worship for the body to grow.

We are people of The NAME: Jesus! We pray in His Name. We marry and bury in His Name. We baptize in His Name. We carry His Name on our lives which is the honor of the saints.

And in that final day, John offers us this promise: Revelation 22:3-4 And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him: And they shall see his face; and His name shall be in their foreheads.

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole

Tetrapod

Perhaps a macro view of the water’s edge might offer some insight into the importance of Father’s Day. After years of erosion and deposition, the core of engineers has devised a way to both retain the shoreline and build new necessary piers. The most efficient method comes from the creation of concrete barriers called tetrapods. These oddly shaped pods placed in strategic rows are the most effective form of defense against the crashing waves. We should note that nothing can stop all the waves. The oceans have no equal. However, there is a way to break up those violent waves and here is where the tetrapod comes into play.

Without running the risk of oversimplification, it should be said that a base with small rocks and a host of other factors go into the creation of these fortified barriers. In all, these combined elements have saved smaller coastline communities and boardwalks all over the world.

True fatherhood functions in the exact same way. Doubt, disappointments, cultural influences, and a host of other things cause “erosion.” Worldliness results in the loss of innocence and purity. Yet a true father is the buffer who stands in defense and protects against those inevitable moments of trouble. We cannot stop it all, but we can provide a covering.

Fatherhood is not just a position, but a calling that is so desperately needed in our day. We need to feel the strong hand of a father upon us; a guiding voice to lead us. People of all ages need to know that someone is standing as a defense against the enemy of our soul. The church needs men to take on the function of fatherhood, both spiritual and emotionally. Our world is missing this vital role. The enemy of the body of Christ would diminish our men and destroy the position of the father. Society’s great demise is that so many homes are absent of that most critical role; no protection, guidance, or covering.

I pray that we do more than just honor our biological fathers on this day. We must recognize and promote the blessing of having godly men standing in the way and making up the hedge, as recorded in the scripture. Our families, homes, and church will reap the benefit both in the present and for years to come if this critical role is found.

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole

… living this Holy life …

Perhaps Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe do not strike a cord in our memory. These cities hosted numerous miracles occurring via Paul, Barnabas, Luke, and the apostles. Yet, in each place the miraculous signs were not greeted with joy by all who witnessed them. The unbelieving Jews of the synagogue, the Pharisees, and men of the mystics were angry with the healings that took place. In each of these places, the Bible says that the disciples “escaped” from being stoned. Can you imagine? Doing good resulted in death threats insomuch that they had to run for their lives.

Jesus found Himself at these same crossroads of jealousy and religious preservation. The Pharisees hated His miracle power. They called Him Beelzebub or a sinner. They even claimed that He performed the wonders through the power of the devil. The business men of Gadarea in Mark chapter 5 asked Jesus to leave their city even though He had delivered the possessed man from a legion of demons. The very maniac who made their lives miserable was sitting, clothed, and in his right mind, but the cost of his healing outweighed their desire for the presence of the Healer.

If the response of the crowd dictated our Gospel message, we might never preach again. If we were hoping for acceptance by the world’s standards, we would never engage in this spiritual journey. I caution you, do not think that you will be received just because you love the Lord. Don’t buy into that false nothing that doing good or helping people escape a life of addiction or turmoil will garnish the approval of carnally minded people. Darkness does not want the Light to invade its space. If the disciples based their prayers and preaching on the affirmation of the crowd, nothing would have been done.

It might even be said that opposition itself is positive proof that you are on the right track. While I would not prescribe that filter in every situation, it is true that the godly steps we take will find resistance from the devil and the world. This might have always been true, and yet, I am confident in this: From here on out, living this Holy life; teaching the scriptural plan of salvation; and taking a stand for Biblical Truth will come at a cost. We will not be accepted.

Ultimately, our response to this call of God upon our lives reflects the answer that Peter and John gave when they had to give an account for the healing of the lame man. Acts 4:19 But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye.

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole

“I will build my church”

Matthew 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

When Jesus spoke these words to Peter there was no doubt as to both ownership and eventuality of the coming Church. Jesus was going to build His Church and He was the Rock. While Peter played a role in preaching the first sermon on the Day of Pentecost, the Church belonged to the Lord.

Throughout the coming days, Peter would struggle with the preordained death of Jesus Christ. He had no comprehension of the significance of the Cross until Jesus rose from the grave. The birth of the Church, however, was not contingent upon Peter’s understanding. He was but an instrument in the Hands of the Master.

If time has taught us anything, it has shown us that the Church belongs to the Lord and that we are privileged to be a part of it. The Lord would love to use us for His glory, as He so desired with the Jews in the days of the apostles. However, when the Jewish people rejected Jesus, a new door opened in the house of a Gentile. And why? Because God will have a Church. There will be a Church. With or without us, He has proclaimed that upon the Rock, “I will build my church.”

To think the Kingdom rests on any one person is the height of human arrogance. God will use us if we are obedient, but if not, He will find someone. The troubling thought here is that some believe the church cannot survive without their talents, money, or presence.

Jesus refuted that notion when He said, “if these do not praise me, the rocks will cry out.” He will have praise and there will be a church. His Church is not contingent on my ability, talent, or attendance. He will have a church. He is not waiting on me to join; rather, I am thankful to be a part.

At best, we are the grafted in branch. The parable of Jesus clearly indicated that if the invited guest will not attend, He will find someone to sit at His table. There will be a Church.

I write about The Ordained, Unshakable, Unmovable, Predestined Church of the Most High God. The Church that I speak of is greater than a finite geographical location. It has spanned the ages of time and it shall be the Bride of Christ at the close of this dispensation.

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole

Speak

It happened in a nondescript field somewhere just beyond Juno Beach. With more than 150,000 troops landing on the Normandy coastline, it would have been easy to miss a few men here and there. Soldiers stumbled over their fallen brothers as they made their way into the occupied zone. One foot at a time, they took back control from the entrenched Germans. Soldiers made their way into the open fields to fight the occupied forces. A few of them, barely past their 19th birthday, breathed their last breath as they were caught in a sudden crossfire. They fought briefly, but they fought. The liberation of the world was said to rest on that overcast day of June 6th. It was the principal aim of the Allied forces, but it came at the greatest costs. Freedom always comes with a cost.

We are living in the blessing of a “post” era. While our educational institutions routinely abandon historical facts, it should be noted that the sacrifices of our military men and women have allowed us the freedom we enjoy. Every protest, sit-in, and march is made possible by those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. The irony of kneeling or burning the Flag is protected by construct of the Flag itself. Free speech, which is under attack, has been afforded to us, not by Congress or convention, but by those who fought and died.

It should be noted that fighting for ourselves is very different than defending the freedom of another. Personal prayer and intercession follow suit. It is far easier to seek for our own need. In like fashion, protecting the homeland and defending another is rarely seen in the same way. The greater challenge is to stand up for people who are unable to stand up for themselves. We pause today to honor those who gave themselves for the cause of humanity, not just for the homeland.

For those who denounce such burden, perhaps we should consider the words of Martin Niemöller. Though born in Germany, Niemöller challenged the actions of his own country. He eventually emerged as a critic of Hitler which resulted in living out his life in a prison camp.

He said: “First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionists. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me.”

That field beyond Juno’s beach may be silent today, but those who died there still speak. The echo can be heard if we seek to hear.

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole

… come in the wait …

The Construct of Impulsivity may seem like a lofty word, but the reality of it is quite basic. Behavioral science has spent years researching impulsive natures in regards to motor functions and rash responses. The advertisement/product world has relied upon this research in the study of consumer spending habits. In a broader view, emotional decisions are being made everyday in relationships, jobs, and church affiliation that often lead to regret. Marriages are taking place with almost no forethought. Large purchases are made without considering the ongoing cost. Movements are taking place with the promise of something better, many of which never materialize. The impulsive nature of mankind has been an affliction since the beginning.

Our problem is that we spend too little time inquiring of the Lord. Constraint is not a popular subject and prayerful consideration is a lost art. Many listen to friends’ advice, but never hear the Voice of the Lord. They rely upon their need instead of God’s direction. To seek God seems like a foreign subject to the modern believer. I grieve to think of how many times such choices are made: Tables filled with sympathetic counsel while prayer rooms remain empty.

Jehoshaphat showcased the need for a Word from the Lord. He could have joined the battle with his well-equipped army, but he knew that human ability could never supplant spiritual counsel. His question was profound: 1 Kings 22:7 “Is there not here a prophet of the LORD besides, that we might inquire of him?”

The nation of Israel had already established the need for the Voice of God. 1 Samuel 9:9 Beforetime in Israel, when a man went to inquire of God, thus he spake, Come, and let us go to the seer: for he that is now called a Prophet…” Even David, when he pondered the highest priorities of life, sought to inquire in the Lord’s temple (Psalms 27:4). He said, “One thing have I desired…”

The answers that come from God do not always come in a single moment of time. Sometimes they come in the wait. Sometimes they come in the seeking. Instead of our impulsive natures ruling our lives, we should be seeking the Voice of God which comes through contemplation, prayer, and time. Life decisions should never be made without prayer and fasting.

And for those who do pray, let it be known that prayer is not a one way street. We speak and then we wait for God to answer. Prayer is not a tool to get what we want. Rather it is a petition to be offered and then an open-ended offering for God to reply when He so chooses, any way He chooses. I submit the Scripture as the benchmark for our lives:

Luke 21:19 In your patience possess ye your souls.

Pastor Jeffrey Harpole