Many major cities around the world have become engulfed in protests and riots allegedly related to the recent death of a man named George Floyd in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Floyd was in police custody, handcuffed, and on the ground. A law enforcement officer was kneeling with his knee on Floyd’s neck. Floyd died and the officers involved have been charged.
The violence and destruction caused by the rioters betray their stated objective of protesting alleged police brutality. Why is this betrayal of their stated purpose of honoring the memory of Floyd? It is a betrayal for the simple reason that honoring someone does not occur by violently attacking innocent people, by destroying the businesses of innocent people, by causing untold millions of dollars in damage in numerous cities that the local citizenry is responsible to pay to repair.
The plain truth is this: anti-American people and organizations have seized the opportunity to advance their terrorism and attempted political and economic coup. Members of the terrorist organization Antifa who participated in these riots, looting, and violence toward innocent people, should be hunted down, arrested, tried, and if found guilty, serve prison sentences for their crimes.
Law-abiding citizens should be outraged toward the politicians who have given political cover to Antifa and other terrorist groups, effectively allowing them to thrive without challenge from law enforcement or local citizens who identify Antifa as a threat to the common good of their communities.
One thing that I can say about the current events in America is that the anti-American organizations and anti-American politicians, many of whom serve as elected officials at several levels of government, have overplayed their hand. They have egregiously miscalculated the mood and temper of the American people, and in doing so have exposed themselves and their agenda to a watchful nation.
Many Americans who try to live their lives in simple and quiet ways are being awakened to the threat to their liberty and freedom that rioters, the politicians that embrace them, and the celebrities who loudly call for more violence, pose to their unassuming lives. I believe a silent majority is being awakened to ungodliness run amok. This is, in my opinion, a very good thing.
It will take a vocal group of people fed up with the anti-God, anti-American, anti-freedom, and anti-liberty rhetoric to rise up and demand change. Barrack Obama did his dirty deed of bringing his version of change to American. What Americans have found out too late, is that Obama’s change was of the Luciferian Marxist variety.
This is a timely study today for the reason that there is one thing that will change forever the trajectory America is on. That one thing is changed hearts that advance violence, changed hearts of politicians, changed hearts of soccer moms, changed hearts of millennials, who are inheriting a world of chaos unless one significant change happens.
That one change is the receiving of Jesus Christ for the salvation of souls. There is no lasting political answer to the rising violence and anti-American rhetoric of wicked people unless enough Americans commit themselves to be fully engaged in managing a return to solid political ground, based on solid biblical ground.
Some people will hear that and say, “Oh no, we must maintain separation of church and state.” My response is that unless the Lord Jesus Christ is listened to unless our political relationships are based on the laws of nature and nature’s God, we will not remain a republic much longer.
There is blood in the water and the sharks are circling, waiting for the kill strike. Christians of all people must understand the dilemma we find our nation in today. I remind all those who think, “Well, none of this affects me,” that you are in serious error. As goes the nation so goes the church.
Have we not seen repeatedly all across the world that when governments become ruthless toward their citizens, when governments adopt communism as their style of interacting with citizens, that the first thing to begin to disappear if the right of churches to freely assemble? It is happening right now across America. The Supreme Court just recently refused to hear an appeal from California churches to stop Governor Newsome’s overreach. In that 5-4 decision, Chief Justice Roberts once again sided with the liberal block on the court.
It is the sole responsibility of the Supreme Court to address unconstitutional acts by state governments and other matters of law but instead, the Supreme Court chooses to ignore clear violations of Constitutional law. It is apparent that the Supreme Court would rather spend their time pandering to anti-American and unconstitutional nonsense. Obamacare is one such travesty. Another example is their determination that the Constitution provides for sodomy and by the same reasoning, same-sex unions on par with marriage.
By the way, any decision of the Supreme Court is not the law of the land. The legislature makes law, not the courts. But Congress refuses to do their job of telling the Supreme Court that nothing changes the laws of America based on their decisions.
Why do I bring these things to your attention? I do so to introduce the truth that unless the church rises to the challenges we now face, true Christianity will be driven underground. That means that only the apostate churches will visibly remain.
One example of an apostate church is the Episcopal Church. One of their prominent bishops is a lesbian woman. Other examples include most of the sects of Presbyterianism and Lutheranism. The United Methodist Church is on the precipice of dividing into two separate divisions over the issue of homosexuality.
If that sounds alarmist then you do not know world history. The church is underground in every Muslim dominated nation today and is underground in every communist nation today. If the God-haters in America are able to continue their onslaught of evil the true church of Jesus Christ will be underground in the next decade or so.
There are many questions that need to be asked and answered. What must the church do now? How must the church respond to the “new normal” that governments are now talking about? We also must ask what this new normal incorporates, what are the things governments are considering trying to force upon us.
Here is one thing that the church must do regardless of what the government tries to do – we must continue and even become more focused on magnifying the name of Jesus in every way and in every opportunity. We must become very public in our worship and by that I mean ministries.
Christians should take every chance as if it might be their last chance to share God’s love with people through testimony and service. That is one thing that is absolutely essential we begin to do immediately if we hope to turn the tide of darkness washing over America. We must celebrate God and we must warn of the coming judgment upon all who refuse to receive Christ by faith for the salvation of their souls.
Our praise for God and who He is must be proclaimed by every Christian in every situation, in every circumstance, in every opportunity for the entire creation to hear. Sounds like a tall order doesn’t it?
This is exactly what the psalmist is doing in Chapter 148:1. He is calling all of creation to give praise to God and he starts in a place most of us never give much thought to when it comes to praising God – the heavens.
The heavens and the heights are the same things. Have you ever considered that the heavens give praise to God? In this sense, the psalmist is speaking about the supernatural realm the place of residence of God, angels, and demons.
Some modern people have a difficult time understanding that the supernatural realm exists. That has been one negative result of the rise of empiricism and the scientific method of inquiry. If something can’t be seen, touched, or subjected to experimentation then it cannot exist according to modernists.
We know this is nonsense. Science is not the end all be all of all things and it certainly does not contain all knowledge. The very things science attempts to reject are the things that offer the most plausible explanation for what we experience in life. As Francis Schaeffer used to say, God is there and He is not silent.
God has given testimony of Himself in the creation. The heavens are a testimony to His existence. Psalm 19:1-4 informs us of this.
1The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. 2 Day to day pours forth speech, And night to night reveals knowledge. 3 There is no speech, nor are there words; Their voice is not heard. 4 Their line has gone out through all the earth, And their utterances to the end of the world. In them He has placed a tent for the sun,
Likewise, we read this in Psalm 8:1: “O LORD, our LORD, how majestic is Your name in all the earth, Who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens!
We know that the heavens give testimony of God’s existence and God has placed it within man’s own conscience to know that He is the Creator. We find both of those truths in Romans 1:18-20.
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and
unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it
evident to them.
20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and
divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
The Bible speaks of three heavens. Genesis 1:1 tells us that God created the heavens (plural) and the earth. Genesis 2:1 repeats that God created the heavens (plural) and the earth.
The apostle Paul writing to the Corinthians said this in 2 Corinthians 12:2: “I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a man was caught up to the third heaven.”
The first heaven is the atmosphere, which most people call the sky. We can see a long way up in the first heaven. We see birds flying and even jet airliners flying at over 30,000 feet high.
This heaven is spoken of many times in the Bible. Deuteronomy 11:17 says in part: “He will shut up the heavens so that there will be no rain and the ground will not yield its fruit; and you will perish quickly from the good land which the Lord is giving you.” This was speaking of course to the Israelites about God’s expectations of obedience to His commands.
In the book of Acts, we read about Paul and Barnabas in the city of Lystra. There Paul was preaching Jesus and a man who was lame was healed. The people began to shout that the gods had come down to be like men and they attempted to offer sacrifices of oxen to both Paul whom they believed to be Hermes and Barnabas whom they believed to be Zeus. Here’s what we read in Acts 14:14-17.
14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their robes and
rushed out into the crowd, crying out 15 and saying, “Men, why are you doing these things? We are also men of the same nature as you, and preach the gospel to you that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them. 16 In the generations gone by He permitted all the nations to go their own ways; 17 and yet He did not leave Himself without witness, in that He did good and gave you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.”
The second heaven is where the moon, stars, and planets reside. The Bible speaks of this heaven frequently as well. Every mention of the planets is speaking of the second heaven.
The third heaven is the dwelling place of God. 1 Kings 8:30 speaks of this heaven as the dwelling place of God. This dwelling place of God is sometimes referred to as the “heaven of heavens” or “the highest heavens.” We find this phrase in the following verses:
Behold, to the Lord your God belong heaven and the highest heavens, the earth and all that is in it. Deuteronomy 10:14
But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain You, how much less this house which I have built! 1 Kings 8:27
But who is able to build a house for Him, for the heavens and the highest heavens cannot contain Him? So who am I, that I should build a house for Him, except to burn incense before Him? 2 Chronicles 2:6
Here in verse 1, the psalmist invites all three heavens, all of creation to praise God. In verse 2 he seems to be focused on the third heaven. The third heaven is where God dwells, where His throne is, and where the angels and heavenly host exist.
We know from many passages of Scripture that the angels do indeed praise God for His goodness and holiness. Perhaps the most well-known passage is from the book of Revelation. Here is what we read in Revelation 4.
1After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first
voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, “Come up
here, and I will show you what must take place after these things.” 2 Immediately I was
in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and One sitting on the
throne. 3 And He who was sitting was like a jasper stone and a sardius in appearance;
and there was a rainbow around the throne, like an emerald in appearance. 4 Around
the throne were twenty-four thrones; and upon the thrones I saw twenty-four elders
sitting, clothed in white garments, and golden crowns on their heads. 5 Out from the
throne come flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder. And there were
seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God; 6
and before the throne there was something like a sea of glass, like crystal; and in the
center and around the throne, four living creatures full of eyes in front and behind. 7
The first creature was like a lion, and the second creature like a calf, and the third
creature had a face like that of a man, and the fourth creature was like a flying eagle. 8
And the four living creatures, each one of them having six wings, are full of eyes
around and within; and day and night they do not cease to say, “Holy, holy, holy is the
Lord God, the Almighty, who was and who is and who is to come." 9 And when the
living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the throne, to Him
who lives forever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders will fall down before Him who sits on the throne, and will worship Him who lives forever and ever, and will
cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 11 “Worthy are You, our Lord and our God,
to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your
will they existed, and were created.”
Isaiah 6:1-7 is another well-known passage describing the third heaven where the angels give glory to God.
1In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted,
with the train of His robe filling the temple. 2 Seraphim stood above Him, each having
six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two
he flew. 3 And one called out to another and said, “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of
hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory.”
4 And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out,
while the temple was filling with smoke. 5 Then I said, “Woe is me, for I am ruined!
Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I live among a people of unclean lips; For my
eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.”
6 Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal in his hand, which he had
taken from the altar with tongs. 7 He touched my mouth with it and said, “Behold, this
has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away and your sin is forgiven.”
I will continue this examination in Part 2 of The Timeless Truths of the Word of God.
You may support The Transforming Word Ministry by sending your gifts to:
Dr. Mike Spaulding PO Box 3007 Lima, OH 45807