Wednesday, March 29, 2023

COTR Family Bible Study Series Demon Leaders



Exodus 1:9  And the king said to his people, “Look, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we.”


This is not the first time we have seen leaders of a nation moved by fear.


Communists China One-Child Policy

(Source: Wikipedia)


The term one-child policy refers to a population planning initiative in China implemented between 1980 and 2015 to curb the country's population growth by restricting many families to a single childThat initiative was part of a much broader effort to control population growth that began in 1970 and ended in 2021, a half century program that included minimum ages at marriage and childbearing, two-child limits for many couples, minimum time intervals between births, heavy surveillance, and stiff fines for non-compliance. The program had wide-ranging social, cultural, economic, and demographic effects, although the contribution of one-child restrictions to the broader program has been the subject of controversy. 

China's family planning policies began to be shaped by fears of overpopulation in the 1970s, and officials raised the age of marriage and called for fewer and more broadly spaced births. Overpopulation, in the eyes of the state officials, would hinder their agenda to boost the national economy and improve people’s standard of living. After a full decade of concerted efforts, a near universal one-child limit was imposed in 1980. It was then officially written into the constitution of the People’s Republic of China in 1982. At that time, there were already more than 1 billion people in China, and, if those trends persisted, there could be more than 1.4 billion by the end of the 20th century. As it was written in the constitution, couples have the obligation to abide by the requirements of family planning. All families were restricted to having only one child. Numerous exceptions were established over time, and by 1984 only about 35.4% of the population was subject to the original restriction of the policy. In the mid-1980s, rural parents were allowed to have a second child if the first was a daughter. It also allowed exceptions for some other groups, including ethnic minorities. In 2015, the government removed all remaining one-child limits, establishing a two-child limit. In May 2021, this was loosened to a three-child limit. In July 2021, all limits, as well as penalties for exceeding them, were removed. 

Implementation of the policy was handled at the national level primarily by the National Population and Family Planning Commission and at the provincial and local level by specialized commissions. Officials used pervasive propaganda campaigns to promote the program and encourage compliance. The strictness with which it was enforced varied by period, region, and social status. In some cases, women were forced to use contraceptionreceive abortions, and undergo sterilization. Families who violated the policy faced large fines and other penalties, such as firings and restrictions for future careers.

The population control program had wide-ranging social effects, particularly for Chinese womenPatriarchal attitudes and a cultural preference for sonsled to the abandonment of unwanted infant girls, some of whom died and others of whom were adopted abroad. Over time, this skewed the country's sex ratiotoward men and created a generation of "missing women". However, the policy also resulted in greater workforce participation by women who would otherwise have been occupied with childrearing, and some girls received greater familial investment in their education. Even following the removal of the policy, birth rates in China remain lower now than they were previous to the implementation of the policy. 

The Chinese Communist Party credits the program with contributing to the country's economic ascendancyand says that it prevented 400 million births.



(Source: Encyclopedia Britannica) 


Eugenics, the selection of desired heritable characteristics in order to improve future generations, typically in reference to humans. The term eugenicswas coined in 1883 by British explorer and natural scientist Francis Galton, who, influenced by Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection, advocated a system that would allow “the more suitable races or strains of blood a better chance of prevailing speedily over the less suitable.” Social Darwinism, the popular theory in the late 19th century that life for humans in society was ruled by “survival of the fittest,” helped advance eugenics into serious scientific study in the early 1900s. By World War I many scientific authorities and political leaders supported eugenics. However, it ultimately failed as a science in the 1930s and ’40s, when the assumptions of eugenicists became heavily criticized and the Nazis used eugenics to support the extermination of entire races.


Buck v Bell 1927


On May 2, 1927, in an 8–1 decision, the Court accepted that Buck, her mother and her daughter were "feeble-minded" and "promiscuous," and that it was in the state's interest to have her sterilized. The ruling legitimized Virginia's sterilization procedures …


Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr wrote the majority opinion:


It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind. The principle that sustains compulsory vaccination is broad enough to cover cutting the Fallopian tubes.”


Holmes concluded his argument by citing Jacobson v. Massachusetts as a precedent for the decision, stating "Three generations of imbeciles are enough."


This ruling made forced sterilization, for the good of the state, legal on a federal level as the law of the landin the United States of America. And by the way, it has not been overturned.


The original Virginia statue which the court upheld was drafted by Harry H. Laughlin. Laughlin was the superintendent of the Eugenics Record Office in the state of New York from its inception in 1910. He was an unabashed Nazi sympathizer and in 1936 he was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Heidelberg for his work on behalf of “Science of the racial cleansing.”


One of the outspoken supporters of Buck v Bell was Margaret Sanger-Harris. There has been much controversy as of late over what she actually stood for and how she advocated reaching her goals. But one thing not in dispute is that she was a proponent of Eugenics and is considered the founder of Planned Parenthood. At least up until recently.


NY Post article from July 2020 reads: Planned Parenthood is finally removing the name of Margaret Sanger, its founder, from its Manhattan clinic — ending decades of denial about her horrid, racist views.


Perhaps they have removed her name but they have not removed the planned parenthood abortion clinics which they have concentrated in the poorest inner-city minority neighborhoods of our nation, targeting those women who are the least educated and most impoverished, bombarding them with cute slogans in efforts to rally them against every other option available to have children and raise a family. In most cases by far, this still amounts to forced sterilization for what is considered best for the elite.


This is no new idea. Papers have been written and steps have been taken throughout history to reduce population growth for certain segments of a society or to completely eliminate whole people groups from the earth. Whether undesirables or enemies, it seems some leaders of nations feel the best way to stay on top is to get rid of those who could weigh you down.


How can a person be so deceived? Plainly, it’s the devil manipulating the demon-filled leaders of generation after generation, trying to destroy the family and defeat God.


Exodus 1 NKJV

15 ¶  Then the king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, of whom the name of one was Shiphrah and the name of the other Puah;

16  and he said, “When you do the duties of a midwife for the Hebrew women, and see them on the birthstools, if it is a son, then you shall kill him; but if it is a daughter, then she shall live.”

17  But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the male children alive.

18  So the king of Egypt called for the midwives and said to them, “Why have you done this thing, and saved the male children alive?”

19  And the midwives said to Pharaoh, “Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women; for they are lively and give birth before the midwives come to them.”

20  Therefore God dealt well with the midwives, and the people multiplied and grew very mighty.

21  And so it was, because the midwives feared God, that He provided households for them.

22  So Pharaoh commanded all his people, saying, “Every son who is born you shall cast into the river, and every daughter you shall save alive.”


Everything done by a demon-filled leader is motivated by fear.

• Fear I won’t be ok.
• Fear I won’t have enough.
• Fear someone else might get more than me.
• Fear I won’t be re-elected.
• Fear I might lose.
• Because they are listening to and believing what the devil says.


This is what motivates the devil and all of his minions. If he can get you to fear, he can get you to act.


Everything done by a Holy Spirit-filled leader is motivated by faith.

• Faith that it will be ok. 
• Faith that I will have enough.
• Faith that I can also help others as much as I help myself.
• Faith that I’ll be elected if it’s God’s will for me to be elected.
• Faith that I will never lose.
• Because they are listening to the Holy Spirit and believe God.


Take-Aways for leaders. Leaders of families; ball-teams; corporations; Bible studies; militaries; and nations:


1. Stop listening to and stop believing what the devilsays.
2. Start listening to the Holy Spirit and start believing God.

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Someone Has Been Praying


Luke 22 NKJV

31  And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat.

32  “But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”


How touching … how real. Three and a half years earlier Jesus had asked Peter to quit his job so he could be free to follow Jesus around and help Him. At that time Peter was a young man with a wife and an aging mother-in-law to take care of. His decision to follow Jesus was not without cost or concern.


Becoming a disciple in those days was equal to becoming not only a student but in many ways it was more like becoming a servant. You went where you were sent and did what you were told without the promise of a paycheck. The goal was to learn what your teacher knew so one day you could do what they did. (i.e. get people to follow and serve you for no promise of a paycheck hoping they can learn what you know so they can one day do what you did.)


Of course we are well aware this was and still is the plan of God. It may not be the easiest and perhaps even frowned on at times, nonetheless it is exactly what happened to me and to several successful men and women I know who are currently in the ministry.


Just two weeks ago I took a day off and drove hundreds and hundreds of miles just to see a man I have not talked to in decades so I could personally thank him for allowing me to become his disciple at a critical point in my calling. At that time, 1980/81, I had a wife and two children, and I felt it was the will of God for me to leave my job and offer my service to another minister. I served him faithfully with no promise of pay, and no pay by the way, even though it cost us everything we had. After all these years, I still believe it was a bargain. Turns out it was really the Lord.


For the forty plus years I have been in the ministry I have had many disciples God has sent to me to learn the ministry. Some of those have simply showed up and sat in our hallways or on the floor every day, some for months, some for years, waiting for the next lesson. 


Three weeks ago AJ Jackson, the man you saw leading praise and worship today, decided to do just that. I see him every day and take him along with me around the community, into planning meetings and even on walks through the buildings, teaching him and exposing him to the ministry. He keeps showing up even though I have told him there is no pay. Perhaps, like so many others, this will be the greatest investment he, or I for that matter, will ever make.


By the way … this is not my suggestion for you. Only God can write a prescription this big. If God is not willing to pay for it, you cannot afford it.

But Church is still one of the best Bible Schools on the planet.


God is interested in us learning … and God wants to use what we have already learned as well as teach us new applications. It’s the pattern of God.

• Moses spent 40 years as a member of the royal family in Egypt, and another 40 years as a shepherd of another man’s sheep in Midian.
Then Moses found himself back in Egyptdelivering God’s children from the house and the hand of Pharoah.
And then he pastored them for the next 40 years in a wilderness he knew like the back of his hand.
• Jael spent her days homemaking on the plains of Jezreel, pounding tent pegs into the ground, making blankets, and milking goats.
Then God led Sisera, the captain of the armies of God’s greatest enemy right into her hand.
She used what she learned: She gave him warm milk; covered him with a blanket; and drove a tent peg through his head and into the groundin one blow.
• David learned how to use a sling while just a young shepherd boy.
He killed the bear, the lion, and then he killed Goliath.
He became a man of war, a captain of armies, and then a king.
• Peter learned how to fish to provide for his family.
Jesus made him a fisher of men and he took care of the family of God.
• Paul went to school and studied hard and learnedhow argue, and defend the law of Moses in public setting and in court.
He used everything he learned and in it he found Christ.
Paul spent the rest of his life presenting arguments for the Gospel all the way to the governor, then to the High Priest and before the king. Finally he found himself presenting arguments in the courts of Nero, Emperor of the Roman Empire.
• Mary Magdalene, like the demon possessed man of Gadara, learned and understood what it was like to be bound by darkness.
They knew the difference when they saw the light.
Jesus cast 7 devils out of Mary, and a legion of demons out of the man in Gadara(Luke 8)
Both became evangelists, called, commissioned, and sent to go and tell theirGood News to others.


God most often uses people in the area of their expertise. Without you knowing, and without having first gained your permission, or even made you aware, the providential hand of God has been preparing you.


Through each season and over every mountain, God has helped you. Though the prince of the darkness of this world has done his best to distract you, disappoint you, disillusion you, deceive you, and destroy your life, yet here you are, today, giving your attention to God, hoping He has the answer, wondering if He knows, uncertain if He cares … yet you listen.


The Holy Spirit has never left you, even in your darkest moments. And He will not leave you now. There is a mark on your life. Someone has been praying for you and these prayers have been heard in heaven. This is why you are here; this is why your heart is being touched once again.


I wondered how God could ever use me. I was no goodand everyone except my grandmother, my mom and my siblings believed it. Even I believed it. I was wearing all the medals of a sinner. No one imagined I would change. I was headed down the same road which my fathers walked before me.


Everyone in my hometown knew my family. My dad was a nice guy but he was a drunk 30 year old with 4 children when he finally gave up and went to a church in our little community one night. At the end of the service he went forward to the altar in tears under the conviction of the Holy Spirit only to be told by the preacher that everyone knew him and knew how he was and that he had already committed too many sins to be saved and all he had to look forward to was hell. 


Sadly he was turned away from the altar that night because everyone knew what a sinner he had been. He left that church and said to himself, if God is going to send me to hell anyway, I might as well go ahead and live like hell now. And he did. For the next 16 years, critical child raising years, from the time I was 5 until my early twenties, he lived his hell and his wife and children paid for it. I wonder how different it would have been f only that preacher who turned him away would have known how much God loves sinners.


I’m here to testify that the Holy Spirit never left my dad. There were some tough-love moments and boundaries had to be set from time to time, but mymother taught us children how to pray. I know mybrother, my sisters, and my mother never stopped praying for my dad. And while they were at it, they were praying for me as well. Wouldn’t you know it … God allowed me to reap the greatest harvest even though I worked the least.


At 26 years old I was blessed to see my dad walk the aisle in church once again, and I got to baptize him in water, pray for him to receive the Holy Spirit, become his pastor, ordain him into the ministry, serve with himand my mother in the Church for years before I preached his funeral right alongside my brother, a Southern Baptist Preacher, who most of you know.


The Holy Spirit never left my father, but He stayed right with him through all of the devils attempts to destroy his life, his family, and his future. God didn’t want my dad to go to hell … God loves sinners! And so should the church.


Only the devil would tell you God doesn’t want you in His church. Only the devil would tell you God doesn’t love and won’t forgive you. That same devil will even try to convince you that you don’t love God. That’s a pack of lies. The arguments you’re having in your head are one voice arguments and the devil is the only one talking. That’s not you … you don’t believe that … it’s the devil. 


God has never left you and that’s why you’re listeningto me right now.


What am I saying? I am saying, “Today is the day.” This is your day. God loves you and He wants to forgive you of your sins, save your soul from an eternity in hell, and deliver you from the hell of this life. Someone has been praying for you! His name is Jesus!!!


Luke 22 NKJV

31  And the Lord said, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat.

32  “But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.”


Satan wanted to put Peter through the wringer and destroy him … but Jesus prayed for him. 


Jesus is praying for you today as well. He has been praying for you every day of your life, and even before. 


Not only is Jesus praying for you, but the Holy Spirit has also put you on the heart of someone who loves you. Perhaps it’s someone from your past. God does not forget the prayers of His people. 


The only question is what are you going to do right now


God needs your help. He has helped you through so much. The devil has tried to destroy you, but here you are anyway. 


Give it all to Jesus right now! Surrender your life to Him. Take Him to work with you in a new way this week. Let Him be the Lord of your home. Follow His leadership in your family time. A renewed commitment to Jesus will work. This time might just be the right time.


As well … Ask God to put someone on your heart to pray for. Then do it!