THE UPWARD CALL
Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet;
but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,
I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God
IN CHRIST JESUS.
(Philippians 3.13-14 NASB)
by – Stuart H. Pouliot
January 27, 2017
I have purposely stayed clear of much political commentary of late because it is far more important to focus on the
only answer to humanity, and that is the Person of our Lord Jesus. The kingdoms (nations) of men rise and fall at
the behest of God, and no one is in authority apart from the hand of God. I cringed when I heard a well-known
evangelist recently state that God showed up for the November 2016 election and heard the many prayers of His
people to elect Trump. Really? Did God not show up for all the previous elections, as well? Recollection says that
there was a great prayer effort by God's people against Obama's second term. Did God not show up for that? Did
He not hear the prayers of His people? Do so-called Christian leaders (the establishment) ever step back a bit to see
if what they are saying or preaching is even logical, let alone biblical?
As I listened to President Trump (sounds strange) give his inauguration speech, I had two reactions.
First, I was stunned at how this man stood against the establishment, which seldom, if ever, likes to be challenged.
Rather the establishment, whether in the realm of government, business, or religion, protects itself at all cost. But
Trump took no prisoners and laid open every politician and past president that sat behind him listening. I said to
myself: "This guy just insulted everyone on the platform, essentially telling them they sold out the American people
for their special interests, to bolster the establishment at the expense of 'We the people.'"
As an aside, the one former president that sat there listening that has truly manifested the love and peace of God
after leaving office is Jimmy Carter. He may not have been the best of presidents, but he has exceeded all of them
in his example that is best described as the Christ-life.
Of course, the media was beside itself over Trump's speech. One commentator was quoted as stating that you do
not say that sort of thing in an inauguration speech. The expectation was that he would "play nice," build bridges
with his detractors (i.e., haters), and offer the inane platitudes presidents usually give at such a time. "Don't speak
the truth or what you are actually thinking, play nice as 60 or so congressional Democrats boycott your inauguration,
many challenge your legitimacy, some are planning for your impeachment, and former Republican presidents
openly state they did not vote for you." The hypocrisy is astounding. Only the Lord knows how this is going to play
out over the next four years, but it surely is an amazing start and may not bode well for smooth sailing.
To be clear, I am not making Trump into some sort of great saint or deliverer of the American people. I have made
the point in previous issues that he is not our deliverer; Christ is! Time will tell where his place in history will reside.
Without a doubt, he is a rough stone, but the Lord is good at polishing stones into His likeness. Some think he is a
Cyrus or a Darius, and the prayers offered for him at the inauguration included him having the wisdom of Solomon.
I am not so sure we want a Solomon. Solomon's kingdom did not end so well, as the king in his old age sought after
the gods of his wives. I would prefer to see Trump with some of the character of Jehoshaphat who followed the
example of David and sought the God of his father. When a great multitude (over a million) gathered at Engedi to
come against Judah and Jerusalem, Jehoshaphat sought the Lord and proclaimed a fast (see 2 Chronicles 20.1-25).
In other words, he called the people to join him in seeking the Lord as he acknowledged that God is the ruler over
all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in Your hand so that no one can stand against You . God
heard their cry and humility and declared: "Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the
battle is not yours but God's. Stand and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf."
Reaction to the Inauguration Speech
I have held for some time that, as a nation, we are heading for what I call an Engedi moment , and we will need a
Jehoshaphat leader in that hour. Given the late hour of our age, our Engedi might be the darkest hour that is surely
coming, but in that hour, seeing the salvation of the Lord will be seeing Jesus, the One who is Salvation. When He
shows up, all enemies will be brought to naught. I have written five issues on Engedi. Here are the links:
We Need An "Engedi Moment": http://www.kingdomandglory.com/tuc/tuc542.pdf
Engedi Speaks of Spiritual Leadership: http://www.kingdomandglory.com/tuc/tuc543.pdf
Engedi Demands a Trusting & Seeking Heart: http://www.kingdomandglory.com/tuc/tuc544.pdf
In Crisis, Remember Engedi: http://www.kingdomandglory.com/tuc/tuc545.pdf
Engedi Signifies Life: http://www.kingdomandglory.com/tuc/tuc546.pdf
I know this totally contradicts the above, but we need to be open that perhaps God simply wants a Trump who is
unique in his own way and not likened to others in scriptural history. Perhaps, God is going to do a new thing. After
all, God, through His Son, is making all things new. Since we are at the end of the age, we might see something
entirely different unfold as we near the arrival of the Kingdom of Christ. We need to be open to what the Spirit of
Christ is saying in these last days and not be persuaded by the many deceptive voices or even remain locked in our
own thinking and the thinking coming forth from many of the institutional pulpits that speak forth "another gospel"
as they coerce money from the people. In the days ahead, we need to be alert to greater prosperity and advances
in technology that will become idolatry to many people, including God's people. Paul has left us a warning.
But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money,
boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious
gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure
rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; avoid such
men as these. (2 Timothy 3.1-5 NASB)
Now for the second reaction. With his inauguration speech, in some measure, as Trump stood squarely against the
establishment, he sounded a bit like Jesus. It could be likened to Jesus overturning the tables of the money changers
(Matthew 21.12). To be abundantly clear, Trump does not display the character of Christ in much that he says,
especially his lack of humility, so I am not making that comparison. However, Trump sounded somewhat like Jesus
as Jesus openly exposed the heart of the religious leaders of that day much like Trump did to the political leaders
of our day. The issue in both days was/is how the people were/are treated by their leaders.
"But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for
you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. " … "Woe to you, scribes and
Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of
the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. "You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel! "Woe
to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are
full of robbery and self-indulgence. "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed
tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness.
So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness." (see
Matthew 23:13, 23-25, 27-28)
By the way, the religious leaders of our day are not exempt from Jesus' exhortation any more than our political
leaders are. Only the Lord knows how much hypocrisy there is in both realms.
I believe God has put the establishment in all spheres of the kingdom of men on notice. Great change is coming that
will overturn the tables of the establishment, even the public church that has sought to better itself and its interests
at the expense and detriment of the people.
President Trump undoubtedly will play a part in the change that is coming, but God is putting all on notice that a
new king is soon to arrive who will establish a new kingdom on earth. The name of this King is Jesus! And, His
kingdom is the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ .