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April 2017 Prophetic Observer

For printable version, click here.


In light of April being Anniversary Month for Southwest Radio Church, we are reprinting an article by past president Noah W. Hutchings, originally publlished in August 2012.


Christian Cleansing of America

by Noah Hutchings

Bible with chains around itWe read in 2 Corinthians 3:17, " … where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." World history covering the past two thousand years will prove without exception that where Christian faith in Jesus Christ is preached and accepted by the citizenry, freedom always follows: freedom of worship; freedom of speech; freedom of commerce and labor; freedom of the family unit from fear. To again enslave a nation in the course of brutal dictators, the Gospel of Jesus Christ as proclaimed by the voice of Christians with the support of the church must be silenced. Before men and women of any nation are forced to accept a totalitarian dictatorship, they must turn from God before accepting a godless dictatorship. There must be a "cleansing" of that nation of any truth about God or the Bible. Karl Marx, the godfather of communism, boasted that he would throw his glove in the face of God and stroll through the world a creator.

In Russia, children were asked to pray to God for a cookie. When they lifted their heads, there was no cookie. Then they were told to pray to Stalin for a cookie. While their heads were bowed, the teacher would place a cookie on their desks. They were trained at an early age to look to government rather than God for help.

In Russia from 1918 to 1989, the only religious authority recognized was the Russian Orthodox Church, which was in league with the Communist Party. Churches were closed, all Bibles were confiscated and burned, approximately 80 million people were killed, and countless others were imprisoned and tortured. The anti-Christian cleansing process in Russia made possible the cruelest, most inhuman political system ever known.

When the Iron Curtain finally parted in 1989, I personally led Bible tours to Russia each year with Dr. Robert Lindsted. The thirst for God's Word was almost unbelievable. We tied up hundreds of towns with Russians coming by the millions to get a Bible.

In 1975 Chou En-lai convinced Mao that in order for his communist programs to succeed, he would first have to cleanse China of all capitalists and religionists. This began one of the most horrible waves of murder and terror ever known. It was called the "Cultural Revolution." The remaining churches were burned, and thousands of Chinese clergy were starved to death in labor communes. The total number killed by the Red Guard in the ten-year period from 1965 to 1975 has been estimated at 100 million. After Mao's death in 1976, the bloody Cultural Revolution subsided, and after the trial of the "Gang of Four," a few state controlled churches began to open. I was at the first service of the Moen church in Shanghai after the Cultural Revolution. Later, joining with Dr. Lindsted and others, we smuggled millions of Bibles into China and non-government approved churches, called Underground Churches, began to spread through China. My booklet, known as The Happiness Story, which I wrote in 1980, continues to be published in Hong Kong and remains the chief outreach item used by the Underground Church today. It is estimated the number of Christians in the Underground Church in China exceeds 40 million.

However, it should be noted that before anti-God, inhuman dictatorship could be imposed on China and Russia, a period of so-called Christian cleansing had to occur. A similar period of Christian cleansing is now taking place in the United States.

It is well known that school activities and textbooks are now rigidly monitored and policed by anti-Christian government officials and departments to delete any reference to God or our Christian heritage. Scripture references and devotionals that were once welcomed in schools are now forbidden. Christians at one time could rent school buildings or other government facilities for Christian activities, and that is now forbidden. Any scripture texts on school buildings, government sites, or open road signs are now forbidden.

Sodomy was the sin that destroyed Sodom, but now sodomy (homosexuality) is no longer considered a sin. Sodomites are welcomed into our armed services and same-sex marriages are now accepted as a legal relationship by our president and many states. Several denominations, like the Presbyterian Church, no longer consider sodomy a sin and are welcoming homosexuals into their pulpits.

Just a few of the headlines across my desk recently:

 

  • Majority Say Homosexuality Morally Acceptable
  • Churches in Kansas Mandated to Allow Same Sex Marriages
  • Marriage Arrangement Company Fined $7,000 for Refusing to Arrange Same-Sex Marriage
  • Kids Fare Worse in Same-Sex Households
  • Churches Refusing to Marry Same-Sex Couples May Lose 501(c)3 Status
  • More Servicemen Report Sodomy Assaults
  • National Debt Increases by $5 Trillion
  • Dr. Reports Indicate 130,000 Senior Citizens a Year Killed by State Health Services

 

The passage of the Obama Healthcare Act will force every citizens to look to the government for healthcare. More and more Christians will look to Washington for help in time of need than praying to God for help. Already, millions are looking to Washington for Social Security payments, food stamps, Aid to Dependent Children, food and housing subsidies, local earmarks, dozens of other grants for education, and dozens more for other needs and projects. Now they must look to Washington for healthcare. In the future, if you do not do what the government dictates, you may not get healthcare.

Now, even memorials that have any reference to God or the Bible, including war memorials, along highways or prominent places are being dismantled. The political propaganda mindset was that the less the citizenry looked to God for help, the more they would look to the government.

I believed that the Christians in this nation would rise up in righteous anger, or the pastors would unite in protest, but neither has happened. Most now fear what the government may do, instead of what God may do.

Where the Spirit of God is, there is liberty. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.


Praying with hands on a BibleThe Prayer of Abiding

by Larry Spargimino

Certain businesses, restaurants, hotels and resorts usually give customers, on their departure, a questionnaire:

  • Were you satisfied with the service?
  • The facilities?
  • Would you recommend this establishment to someone else?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being fully satisfied, what kind of grade would you give us?

If God did the same thing with you, and asked you to rate your walk with Christ, and your level of satisfaction with the Christian life, what kind of a rating would you give? How about your prayer life? Have you been getting the kind of answers that you want?

God has given some amazing promises in His Word. Have we not claimed them? Do we not believe them?

Just as Jesus multiplied the loaves to feed five thousand men, plus women and children (Matt. 14:21), He also intensifies life. Jesus promised to give us life "more abundantly" (John 10:10)—not just surviving, but thriving. Jesus promised that if we come to Him and drink, out of our innermost beings will flow rivers of living water (John 7:38). We will be like a refreshing spring to those around us. Especially wonderful are the words of John 14:12-13: "Verily, verily I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son."

With passages like this, our faith is often taxed beyond measure. It's like some of the bridges that are on dirt roads. They seem too flimsy to hold up under the load of even a small truck. In the same way, our faith often seems too flimsy to hold up under the weight of the promises associated with the Name of Jesus. "And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do." We stumble at that because it looks like Jesus is putting Himself on a leash—and handing us the leash!

Think of the implications of this if Jesus really meant what He said. Any sickness can be healed. Any demon can be cast out. Any friend or relative can be saved. But are there any strings attached?

The hyper-Calvinist would say the string is God's eternal decree. The ultra-dispensationalist would say Jesus' words were meant for someone else. The sacramentalist would say, "That's a promise for the apostles and their legitimate successors."

Yes, there are conditions. John 14:13 says: "And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son." And in verse 15 Jesus says: "If ye love me, keep my commandments."

He Is Here and He Is Not Hiding

Do you need help in understanding all of this? Where are we going? What is God teaching us? It is at this point that we realize we are on the verge of even greater understanding—and God wants to give it: "He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself ["show myself," "make my presence known"] to him" (John 14:21). This showing is a revealing, a disclosing, an uncovering. A lot of people think God is hidden, and He is hidden to those of little faith, or no faith at all. But that is not fixed and unchanging. God does not want to remain hidden.

God wants to show Himself. He wants to reveal Himself. I like to think of "revelation" as an adventure word. When something that is secret is revealed, we see, and understand, what we never saw and understood before.

The last book of the Bible is the Book of Revelation (the Apocalypse)—aka "The Adventure Book." Verse 1 opens with: "The Revelation of Jesus Christ … unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass."

God's revelation opens the eyes of our understanding. Matthew 11 tells us that when God reveals things to infants, the infants become wiser than the wise, the prudent, and the learned. In verse 25 and following we read: "At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed [apokalupsis] them unto babes. … All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal [apokalupsis] him."

Biblical Christianity—the supernatural, Holy Spirit-filled kind that we find in the New Testament church—is a religion of revelation and manifestation. What's revealed is secret, and would remain secret if God had not revealed it. It's only for those in the inner circle, those who love and obey Jesus (John 14:21).

When you are really close to someone, that person will tell you things that they would normally not tell others. There are some things that you could put in a book, or sing in a song to a crowd, but there are other things that are not public.

God has secrets, too, but He also promises to reveal those secrets to His friends. Psalm 25:14 says: God has secrets, too, but He also promises to reveal those secrets to His friends." Psalm 25:14 says: "The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will show them his covenant."

The Name That Gets a Hearing

In our Lord's intensive and detailed teaching about the Holy Spirit, the Divine Paraclete, Jesus makes mention of His name several times: "Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name" (John 14:13); "ye shall ask the Father in my name" (16:23); "ye have asked nothing in my name" (16:24).

Imagine that I know an official who is in a position of authority in government. We are very good friends: hike together, bike together, and attend Bible study together. Now, if I call the switchboard at the capital, and ask to speak to this individual, the operator at the switchboard will say something like: "Senator So-and-So does not take direct calls. But you can send his office an e-mail …"

But then if I say, "Ma'am, tell the senator that Larry Spargimino is on the line and needs to talk to him," she will put me on hold, and shortly I will hear the senator's voice. It's my name that got me to the senator. Whether we are approaching God's throne in prayer, or assaulting the strongholds of hell, we must come in the name of Jesus.

The Bible reminds us that Christians are ambassadors. Ambassadors serve someone, whether it is the ambassador from Iran, or the ambassador from the United States, these individuals are ambassadors because they know the interests and purposes of their countries. As ambassadors of the Lord Jesus Christ, we represent the interests and purposes of Jesus Christ. "In the name of Jesus" means we are representing the interests and purposes of Jesus.

When a police officer says to someone, "Stop in the name of the law!" he means "I have the force of law behind my command." This is not a friendly chat. A big issue is at stake. And the officer certainly does not mean "Stop in the name of the law because I am going to ask you for a bribe."

Can you imagine if an officer wanted a bribe and telling someone: "Give me a bribe of $200 in the name of the law"? Using the words "in the name of the law" does not automatically give the officer a legal basis for collecting a bribe. When the officer says " …in the name of the law," that command presupposes that he is acting within the confines of the law, and is not prompted by personal whim.

When we use Jesus' name in prayer we are not obligating Him to support our own personal whims and desires. Rather, we are saying that we are already in accord with what He wants. We are saying something that we are authorized to say. Jesus puts it this way: "If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you" (John 15:7). Here is a prayer promise we can lay hold on. It is guaranteed to work. It is rooted in God and His work in our hearts. It's similar to Psalm 37:4: "Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart."

A Promise Of Rescue

Because believers "keep falling out of the boat," our wonderful Lord is in a continual pattern of rescue. It is the constant pattern of the Lord's activity.

In John 8:51 Jesus promised: "Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death."

The Jews were terribly offended by that, so they countered by saying: "Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest, If a man keep my saying, he shall never taste of death" (vs. 52).

Since the beginning, and on into the present hour, Christians have died. The martyrs have died. The saints have died. Christian men and women have died. Did Jesus make a completely erroneous statement?

The word "see," the word that Jesus used, is an important word. It means to experience the power of something, as in John 3:3 where Jesus said, "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." You have to be born again to experience the power of the kingdom. Faith in Jesus is not believing that we will never physically die. It is believing that we will never see death—we will never experience its power. For those who live by every word that comes from the mouth of God, the final outcome of each struggle is not death, but life in abundance.

The prayer of abiding brings us through storms of uncertainty to an ocean of calm and peace. It produces results far beyond what we could ever "ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us" (Eph. 3:20). Abide in Jesus and let His Words abide in you—and thus the adventure begins.