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1 Corinthians 4:10-14 (New Living Translation)

 10 Our dedication to Christ makes us look like fools, but you claim to be so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are so powerful! You are honored, but we are ridiculed. 11 Even now we go hungry and thirsty, and we don’t have enough clothes to keep warm. We are often beaten and have no home. 12 We work wearily with our own hands to earn our living. We bless those who curse us. We are patient with those who abuse us. 13 We appeal gently when evil things are said about us. Yet we are treated like the world’s garbage, like everybody’s trash—right up to the present moment.

 14 I am not writing these things to shame you, but to warn you as my beloved children.

Amos 5:10-24  (NLT)

10 How you hate honest judges! How you despise people who tell the truth!

11 You trample the poor, stealing their grain through taxes and unfair rent. Therefore, though you build beautiful stone houses, you will never live in them. Though you plant lush vineyards, you will never drink wine from them.

12 For I know the vast number of your sins and the depth of your rebellions. You oppress good people by taking bribes and deprive the poor of justice in the courts.

13 So those who are smart keep their mouths shut, for it is an evil time.

14 Do what is good and run from evil so that you may live! Then the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies will be your helper, just as you have claimed.

15 Hate evil and love what is good; turn your courts into true halls of justice. Perhaps even yet the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies will have mercy on the remnant of his people.

16 Therefore, this is what the Lord, the Lord God of Heaven’s Armies, says: “There will be crying in all the public squares and mourning in every street. Call for the farmers to weep with you, and summon professional mourners to wail.

17 There will be wailing in every vineyard, for I will destroy them all,” says the Lord. Warning of Coming Judgment

18 What sorrow awaits you who say, “If only the day of the Lord were here!” You have no idea what you are wishing for. That day will bring darkness, not light.

19 In that day you will be like a man who runs from a lion— only to meet a bear. Escaping from the bear, he leans his hand against a wall in his house— and he’s bitten by a snake.

20 Yes, the day of the Lord will be dark and hopeless, without a ray of joy or hope.

21 “I hate all your show and pretense— the hypocrisy of your religious festivals and solemn assemblies.

22 I will not accept your burnt offerings and grain offerings. I won’t even notice all your choice peace offerings.

23 Away with your noisy hymns of praise! I will not listen to the music of your harps. 24 Instead, I want to see a mighty flood of justice, an endless river of righteous living.
Began June 7, 2020

Rewritten and edited 
June 10th, 2020

Tonight, I turned on my favorite Mega Church and I witnessed two Pastors sharing about current events. One was Joel Osteen and the other was John Grey. 

Could I say something that is not going to be received by all. 

"Personally, I don't like the word 'Racist,' and I believe that too many people just flaunt it, out of a personal rage or a political motive."

In fact, because of this, I personally have not been empathetic toward the Black community. 

No, I am not saying that I have been against them, but I have been guilty of ignoring them. 

For this, I offer you my apologies.

It wasn't until I witnessed the brutal and murderous slaying of George Floyd, that I was made aware of that indifference and how wrong it has been. 

What happened in that case was a total act of  "racist injustice," and I have always been against "injustice," many times to my own hurt.  

Thus, I was glad to hear Pastor Grey constantly use the term "injustice," with his conversation with Joel Osteen. 

Well...

Did you know Moses couldn't stand "injustice?"
In fact, he even killed a man over the issue, talk about a committed fellow!

Did you know that when Jeremiah saw injustice, it was as "fire in his bones," that he had to express?

Did you know that to David, it was a "cause," when he saw injustice?

Did you know that John the Baptist couldn't stand injustice and gave his life for standing against it? 

Did you know that Paul, Peter, Stephen and the early disciples hated "injustice" and died as martyrs for the "cause?"

Did you know that "injustice" is against the nature of the Father and that they crucified our Lord because he couldn't help but to manifest true  justice in his life? 

This was his nature, yet I wonder today if he would be called a "racist," because he didn't go along with all of the "liberal" platitudes that you have to embrace to be considered non racist today?

I mean, could he love a man such as Donald Trump and not be called a "Racist?" 

Think about it, we are talking here of Jesus!

Could I mention that I have experienced "Injustice," myself on numerous occasions and it is one of the cruelest emotions or events that a man can go through. 

And you see, my injustice wasn't due to the fact that my skin tone was different, but it was due because I always have taken the side of the poor or the under privileged. 

No, most all of the injustice that I have experienced has been because in obedience to God, I have always preached a different message than what has been popular in the church. 

Nevertheless, for me to preach anything less would be like"Taking a Knee" for the sake of appeasing a riotous crowd. I wouldn't and I couldn't do that. 

I thought of the Book of Daniel when I first read of these demonstrators demanding various people, corporations, authorities or the religious to "take a Knee." 

As God is my witness, I had a discussion with God that morning and I had settled the point by telling the Lord that I would never ever do that. 

It was about a week later, when I read about a black cop in Georgia, who had also had a conversation with God, and who had been prepared to give a "righteous" answer to those who expected him to bow his knee to them. 

I really wasn't surprised, however, when it was a Police Officer who was shown much more "Righteous" than many of our Church leaders have been.  

For you see, my injustice isn't the same as your injustice, but I know what a powerful emotion or event that it can have in your life.
It can make you question the goodness of God?

It can effectively inhibit or restrict your freedoms, because it hurts every time you experience it either yourself or through what you witness others going through. 

And, sometimes you just get tired of going through the same old persecutions or watching others go through them.
You wonder, "What is the point?"

"Why do I want to stand up for someone else's "injustice" when I have been experiencing it my whole life and it does no good to stand against it?"

Have you ever felt that?

No, I am just appointed by God as his representative to share what I have witnessed in my sixty six years of life, with well over forty years, of watching and witnessing the "injustice," which has gone on in the church. 

So, before you judge me, please listen to my story. 

Part two: 

I grew up in Detroit and my family was of Irish English descent. Many of my ancestors came from Ireland. Perhaps, it was during those years when they had the Potato famine?

I was told one of my great something or other became a typical Irish Police officer in New York.

Anyway, my Father's family ended up in Detroit. My Grandfather for forty or something years grew a Construction company that became one of the largest in Detroit. As I was a kid walking eight or nine blocks to school the sidewalks were plastered with the name  my family name ".......  Contracting Company." 

Well, one day my Grandfather took a contract to do the cities school sidewalks or something. For some reason though, he wasn't able to finish it and ended up bankrupt.  

I recall being in my mother's station wagon, with a couple of my brothers and our mother made the statement, as we passed a construction yard, "That's where your Grandfather lost his shirt."  

I can't remember who exactly, or perhaps we all answered in unison, "Well, let's go back and try to find it." 

Our family always had a huge laugh over that.

My Grandfather had a huge corporation, so it was quite a shock when the company bellied up. 

Three of his sons, started a new company which probably wasn't one of the smartest things to do, since all three had different temperaments. 

But, I witnessed my Father struggle with the company for decades trying to make it a success. Of the three children, my Father was the oldest, and the one most experienced in "hands on," work. 
 
Yes, my Father would work sun up to sun down pouring concrete and managing his workers. To this day, I always associate my Father with his hands, you see he worked in concrete for decades and he didn't hold back. He worked or the job wouldn't get done. 

Nevertheless, when you saw his hands there were cracks that seemed a quarter inch deep all over his palms. Or when I shook his hand, it was the roughest hand that I had ever shaken in my life. To this day, I have never met anyone with rougher hands. 

My dad was a hard worker and he got in the dirt with those who he worked with. I remember many times, if they had to pour and it was late, he was the one who had to sit and to watch the concrete, so kids wouldn't scrawl their name in the freshly poured cement.
 
He lived a rough life. Years later, after he retired from construction and worked for Detroit Diesel on an assembly line, he boasted time and again, how much he enjoyed the work and the job.

Have you ever worked on an assembly line building engines or car bodies?

I have, three different times in my life. 

I could do it for about two to three years, and then I was about ready for a Straight Jacket.
Can I say that?

Anyway, to my father, after he landed an assembly job at a Diesel factory, he spoke as if it was retirement in Fort Lauderdale, as compared to his responsibility in keeping his construction company afloat.  

He just loved to come in, punch a clock, work eight to ten hours and to be able to go home and relax. 

My Father was a good man and a hard worker.

He had a number of other excellent character traits that I feel led to share here. 

The man would not lie. Seriously, my father never told us a lie that I am aware of, and he would not have it in our house. If I were to receive an unwanted phone call and I were to yell downstairs, "Tell them I am not home," I would inevitably be sharply rebuked and told, "I do not lie for anyone or anything, get your butt down here and answer your phone call." 

That really happened to me once, and to this day it is as fresh in my mind as if it was yesterday. 

And I don't mean to downplay the seriousness of lying, but I am not talking about a debt collector or anything. I was probably around fifteen and was not saved. The call was an insignificant call, I think from one of my friends or street buddies.
 
My Father's response though, was so severe I don't think it could have been any different had I ask him to go rob a bank or something.

There were just a few things that he could not tolerate, one was lying and stealing and the other was racist behavior. And although, I hardly saw my Father growing up due to his work schedule, these were traits that he passed down to me. 

This is what our preachers ought to be doing. It really isn't that hard, you just have to let the children understand how serious a crime it is in your eyes. Then they pick up the message. 

Could it be that we have failed to preach these in both the black and white church? 

Now, I wrote all of that to say the following, "The man didn't have a racist bone in his body."

I could not express to you the many many times that my Father would share with his children the stories about how his black workers were some of the best and hardest workers that he had ever worked with. 

On reflecting of this tonight, I realized that my Father must have been very much respected by those same workers. 

You see, I have been in and out of the workforce my entire life and I can attest that my work has always been reflected in quality according to my respect for the supervisor.

Therefore, having never thought about it before tonight, I have concluded that these same workers must have truly respected my Father for his sincere and non racial heart. Otherwise, he wouldn't have bragged upon them, as he always had.
 
Yes, there was nothing that would tick my Father off more, than when he would hear someone denounce the typical black worker as "lazy."
You see, my Father hated "injustice."

During my youth, however, I became a street kid, and eventually found the Lord. At around twenty three, God audibly spoke to me and told me to move to Lansing during the Charismatic Revival that hit the campuses in the seventies. 

I was delivered from a habitual drug habit by becoming filled with the Holy Ghost and being prayed for to receive the gift of tongues. I became fascinated with the Charisma gifts of the Spirit and although I had become a part of a type of Christian commune or community, I went out investigating all other "Spirit Filled Churches."

In our community we were encouraged to attend our normal denominational churches on Sunday morning,  because we thought that the Charismatic Revival was to bring the Holy Spirit back to the Traditional Churches. 

Later we realized that the "Traditional Churches," were not jumping up and down with Joy to have the Holy Spirit come back home.
"Much like the modern Charismatic and Pentecostal churches of today," if I may interject.

So, to make a long story short, instead of me attending the Catholic Church while in community, I was out visiting any and all churches who were considered "Spirit Filled."

I learned about the "Jesus Only " churches. 

I learned about the "Black Apostolic churches."

I learned about the various "Pentecostal churches." 

I learned about the Charismatic, Word/Faith, and the communities started by Derrick Prince, Bob Mumford, Charles Simpson, Ern Baxter, and Bob Mumford. 

Later, I visited California and learned about Calvary Chapels, Vineyards, and later on, the Prophetic Churches. 

In other words, I have seen and experienced them all, you could say?

"Don't ask!"

You see, I had a gratitude toward God, and I figured that God had to be much bigger than what your local pastor tells you about.
If these guys have only been in one church their entire life, how can they know about God who manifests Himself different to many congregations, denominations or groups of believers?

This is one of the reasons why church leaders have bound the Holy Spirit unto their own little thinking. Most just "take a knee," to the latest "church fad or movement," and then become professional guardians of their "truths?"

Unfortunately for them, is that God always resides "outside the box, " not inside. 

Few can understand this though.  

I felt that I had to experience God for myself, and I had many Spiritual encounters with Jesus.
Could I share an experience or two that changed my life?

One of the most powerful Spiritual experiences that I ever encountered was in a black "Jesus Only Apostolic church."

Maybe a year earlier to this encounter, I had an experience while in personal prayer that filled me with a "Spiritual Authority," and it changed my life. 

Let me share that, before sharing my experience in an all Black church. 

When I moved up to Lansing, I still had some drug issues that I couldn't overcome. On the day of receiving my experience of the "Baptism of the Holy Spirit," I was delivered of all addictions. In our community, it was recommended that you read scripture and pray every day. On one occasion, I was praying and the devil was doing everything to quiet my Praise. 

Well, I knew that it was the devil and so I got louder. He became more aggressive in attacking my thoughts and I just knew that he was doing everything that he could to stifle me. 

Now, keep in mind that my household in the community was on a "Fraternity Row" type street. A few blocks from the campus of Michigan State University and I was living in a house rented by the community where like up ten to twelve single Christian brothers were living in at any one time? 

Directly, next door was a Sorority, however, that housed maybe twenty or thirty young women who would all take advantage of the easy roof access that an upper porch or balcony offered. On any given day, there might be ten to fifteen young women who would have their towels laid out on the roof, as they laid in their bikinis in the sun to tan.   

At the same time, I was not a student, but a street kid, living with a number of college students. A few were working on their Masters, while we also had a Doctoral candidate in residence. It was only after being in the community for about six months that I had proven my sincerity and commitment where I was finally allowed to share in a residential house with other like minded brothers. 

Again, the church recommended that we all pray and read scripture daily for like a half hour or more. I developed a habit, however, where I always prayed in tongues straight for like a half hour or more without stopping to reflect or anything else. I would just begin speaking in tongues and not quit for at least twenty minutes, a half hour or up to an hour or even longer. 

So, there I am up in the attic room around the same level of height that the sun worshippers were at and who were right next door. Well, we had designated it a Prayer room and as usual, I was just praying in my prayer language. Next, I get a sense from the Lord to pray louder, so I raise my voice a little while consistently praying in tongues. Again, I just sense that I should pray even louder, so again I raise my voice. 

Well, all of a sudden I am praying in tongues, and what manifests is what is commonly referred to in Charismatic circles, as "warring tongues." 

For those who aren't familiar, "warring tongues," are very unique.

It would be as if you were at a Horse Track and your horse was nose to nose with another horse about to cross the finish line. He was a longshot at maybe sixty to one and you realize that if he can just inch up another foot, and maintain that speed for another thirty feet, then that two dollar ticket that you bought to "win," was going to pay you a hundred and twenty dollars.

So, as this is happening there might be another two or three hundred other people holding the same ticket, and the closer that the horse gets to the finish line the louder the roar of two to three hundred people holding a two dollar ticket on , "My Own Sweet Time."
 
Well, that's sort of like "Warring Tongues," but Warring Tongues might still,be a little louder?

Well, my thoughts were on these women all sun bathing on the roof next door, that is going to freak them out, the devil told me. 

Then, the devil reminded me of some of my more carnal brothers who had different prayer experiences than mine. These are guys working on their Masters and Doctorates. 

"What in God's name are they going to think of some ex drug addict upstairs screaming at the top of his voice in an unknown tongue."
I was hit with those type thoughts.

Nonetheless, I hear the Holy Spirit though, and he says, "John, you need to pray louder." And I mean, I tried to talk some sense into God, but He was just having no part of it.

So, I did the only thing that I know to do when God talks directly to me and that was to obey Him. 

Well, I don't know how long I continued praying loud, but I am sure the girl's next door found some modesty that some never realized they had?

Anyway though, in a moment, there was a "suddenly" when an anointing fell from heaven on me.
 
My voice changed in a matter of seconds and an "authority" came over me that I had never had before. 

Later, I once heard Lester Sumrall speak of a similar experience that he received.

My voice changed. I suppose you could liken it to when a young boy hits puberty?

I hit "Puberty" in the Spirit. 

I just wish that it was as natural in the spirit, as it is in the flesh because we have a whole lot of church leaders who are ripe candidates for it.

What did my more carnal brothers think when I finally came down stairs?

No one ever said, but they recognized that something happened to my voice, something happened to my self confidence, something happened when we would later attend meetings together, share meals or have Bible Studies. 

I was no longer looked at as just some street kid or recovering drug addict, but someone who had had an encounter with God, perhaps, like Jacob. 

I was given a very special anointing that day, one of many that I have received in having encounters with Jesus.

Let me tell you of another anointing that I received.

One day, I entered a Black Apostolic Church, in Lansing Michigan and I took a seat on a back pew. 

Soon, worship started and I found myself outside of the circle. You see, when worship began these people all clapped their hands in unison, but it was different than I had ever seen before. As I tried to clap there was exactly no unison or unity. It was as if we were all out on an Ocean Cruiser, yet I was sitting in the row boat tied to the side of the cruiser. 

I recognized that what these black brothers and sisters had was a very unique anointing from God. 

You see, the Holy Spirit manifests Himself in many different ways. And when I say that they had an "Anointing to their Clap,"  I am not talking as you might see in a huge Baptist Choir. I am talking about where in this "anointed clap", were you to count the movement or numbers of claps, it would be typically done five times as fast as your typical Baptist Choir when they are at their most anointed. 

It is really even hard to imagine it, but unless you experience it or see it, you really can't comprehend it. This is how things are in the "Spirit." 

Not only was there a rhythm that in the natural, I have never seen repeated, but there was a "Sound" from the "Claps." 

It was a "sound" that was supernatural and where you realized it was ascending to heaven.

In other words, during the anointing, it was as if the heaven above the congregation was open.

I mean, once the meeting began and I watched these individuals, I realized that this congregation was clapping about five claps to my one and there was no way that I could join in. 

Well, as I stated, it was supernatural, and with my non racial attitude and understanding that we are all just spirits, I had a conversation with the Lord.
 
I told the Lord, I said, "Lord, this isn't right, we are all created equal, we are all simply children of God, we are all spirits, brothers and sisters in the Lord," and then I ask Him, I said, "Lord, why can't I join in with this powerful praise and worship?"

I can't recall exactly, but within a very short time,  minutes wise, I was clapping in the exact rhythm and Synchronized clapping of the entire congregation, and I believe that they were more astounded than I had been, having been witnessing me for the last ten to twenty minutes.
For many years after that I visited congregation after congregation of Black Apostolic Churches, Jesus Only or Pentecostal congregations of blacks. I was never asked to leave and I was highly respected. 

Many times, I would enter these congregations dressed in jeans and by the time the service was over I would be visited and personally welcomed, visited and respected by the top clergy or leaders that were preaching. In fact, through the years, I have been shown more respect in those churches than even "my own," supposedly.

Now, we are getting to the meat issues. 

I don't attend any of those churches anymore, nor have I in the last ten or fifteen years, could I tell you why?
Thank you, I will be brief. 

It is because they don't exist anymore!

Number One: What has happened is that the "church" both black and white has been hi jacked by a group of influential leaders who have transformed the church to become multi level corporations where all involved have profited from the outcome and transformation. 

Years ago, a black preacher made a statement, such as "I want to show our youth that you don't need to be a drug pusher to drive around in a Bentley."

Has this helped the culture, when we no longer preach the gospel, but instead share the importance of giving the tithe every week to your local pastor who flaunts his financial good fortune and cultivates a "Santa Claus," God, which I heard John Grey denounce tonight, as has been preached in both white and black churches? 

Or when we idolize our artists and display wealth as an overall remedy for your emptiness in life?

In other words, many Spiritual leaders have been  guilty of abandoning the preaching of the true gospel and promoting wealth as an all around cure. 

Sadly, to say, the special anointing that grew from the Black Apostolic Church culture should have gone to the children, but instead was exchanged to display the picture of a "spiritual leader" in a Bentley. 

Number Two: 

Many of these same leaders have simply just used the pulpit to denounce politicians who they have disagreed with for years, simply on the basis of their skin color or political party.

This is a common trait that has been so hypocritical that it demands immediate attention if we are truly interested in fixing our society.
And, this is where my paper ends. 

I began this paper last Sunday, but the Lord had me wait until tonight to rewrite and publish it. Nevertheless, I want to use this as a springboard in sharing my personal views on both Black and White issues. 

if you have a problem with it go and take it up with Him.

For both God and myself hate "Injustice," and "Yes," even more so than Hypocrisy! 

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