The Spirit of Liberty

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The Spirit of Liberty

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The Minutemen of old responded swiftly to defend liberty. In our age of spiritual crisis are you responding to God's call?

Transcript

This is the famous Minuteman Statue in Concord, Massachusetts. It stands on the site near the Old North Bridge made famous during the opening hours of the American Revolution. In April 1775 militia from the area gathered to fight off a raid by the British army. Known as the minutemen, these soldiers stood on guard - ready at a moment's notice to defend liberty.

The battle here and in neighboring Lexington contained the famous "shot heard round the world," and it ignited the American Revolution against Great Britain. We went to New England to learn a lesson.

We must be vigilant. We must watch. We must be ready to respond to God and we must be on guard spiritually. Stay tuned to Beyond Today as we examine "The Spirit of Liberty."

[Announcer] Join our host, Darris McNeely on Beyond Today!

[Darris] There are moments and events that forever change a people. Such a moment and such an event occurred here in the early morning hours of an April day in 1775 in two places in Massachusetts, the neighboring towns of Lexington and Concord.

An army marched, a militia gathered and shots were fired. Death came to these calm and peaceful villages. It is a story told in poem and prose. History tells the story this way.

The colonists were tipped that British General Gage was sending troops to Concord. A warning needed to be sounded. Among those chosen to sound an alarm was a silversmith named Paul Revere.

The British had two objectives: First, to find and arrest two of the leaders of the growing insurrection who were hiding here in Lexington. Their targets: John Hancock and Sam Adams.
Second: They wanted to seize a supply of arms and munitions in the village of Concord, just a short distance beyond Lexington.

The American patriots needed to know how the British would attack. Were they coming by land or by sea? Revere used a method, later immortalized in a poem by Longfellow. Revere had a friend who would hang a lantern in the steeple of Christ Church - one if by land, and two if by sea.
It is immortalized in a poem:
"And I on the opposite shore [shall] be,
"Ready to ride and spread the alarm
"Through every Middlesex village and farm,
"For the country folk to be up and to arm."

Paul Revere and two other riders set out to warn the villagers of the advancing British soldiers. It worked. Along the way, the British soldiers heard ringing church bells calling the patriots to arms.

The British arrived in Lexington in the pre-dawn hours and were met by 77 militiamen drawn in order on the village green. Led by Captain John Parker, the men were told: "Stand your ground. Don't fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here."

Now what can we learn from what has become a very famous battle? What's important for you to understand? Consider this. There are lessons to learn from history that teach us greater spiritual lessons of God, the Bible and the great destiny God plans and He guides.

I think one key lesson is this: When you see the hand of God in your life, it is time to respond to that warning and to that call.

What was a minuteman? He was a volunteer soldier who was expected to respond at a moment's notice when an alarm was sounded. They were farmers and craftsmen. They were the working people of small New England villages who were sworn to defend their way of life. These New Englanders, and their fellow colonists up and down America's east coast, were caught up upon the winds of change. The American colonies were at a tipping point in a rapidly unraveling relationship with King George III and Great Britain.

History shows there was a larger current moving here. God's plan for the nations and the tribes of mankind was turning to a new chapter. Ancient promises were about to be fulfilled. These people here in Lexington, these troops were part of a larger, biblical story.

America was more than a nation appearing on the world scene - more than an experiment in democracy. America was a promise waiting to happen.

As we look back over the last 200 years, the United States has been a decent, honest, generous and self-sacrificing nation. The mission performed in history by the United States has followed a pattern laid down in Genesis 49 where the descendants of the patriarch Joseph were prophesied to become a rich and prosperous people whose influence stretches throughout the modern world.

When you look at modern history of our day, there are no other nations - other than England and America - that could fit this description.

Scripture shows us that America was prophesied to become a great single nation while Great Britain was foretold to become a grouping, or a commonwealth, of many nations. These two nations hold a common destiny that has benefitted many races and many tribes. They became two highly prosperous vines that spread their leaves and fruit throughout the world. These decent, noble, self-sacrificing peoples have become a positive difference in the past 300 years.

The quarrel that led to revolution and the war eventually melted away. The animosity of these early days at Lexington and Concord eventually gave way to a special relationship of cooperation and brotherhood, based on a shared language and culture. That special relationship continues to this day.

The separation, begun here, had to occur one way or the other. Once it did, each nation, America and Great Britain, were then free to pursue their God-ordained destinies.

Our modern world directly connects with Bible prophecy. Those prophecies impact each of us no matter where in the world we live.

Looking at history, we can see what America has become and the good it has done in the world. America has led the English-speaking nations to make a difference among the peoples of all the world.

But unfortunately today, we see America in a changing world. It is entering a new chapter, and it's not so complimentary. Once again, prophesied events are moving across the globe and we can see the role of America and the English-speaking peoples changing. Long ago Great Britain ceased being a true commonwealth. Today, Britain's role in world affairs is becoming marginalized.

Likewise the role of the United States in recent years has been less effective in shaping the key events and trends in the Middle East. In Europe its advice and influence is ineffective. The economic slump of recent years has created a crisis of confidence in the United States dollar and in America itself. America's self-confidence has taken a beating. The United States can no longer influence other nations as it has in the past.

A different world is waiting to emerge. A world much different than the one we now know. It will be a world set for the crisis at the close of this age. Your world, no matter which country you call home, will be affected by these gathering storms of change on the horizon.

The question is, will you be prepared and ready to survive these changes? The big question is will you spiritually survive this coming period of great change?

Can we respond, like these minutemen of old, who rode down a road like this, to a calling in time of alarm and crisis? Can we detect God's calling to a personal destiny greater than any you can imagine?

Now, as a time of alarm builds throughout the world, God is sending a message, a summons to a greater spiritual battle, against greater spiritual forces greater than any human army can muster. The question becomes, will we respond? Can you hear the words of the militia captain? "Let it begin here."

There are many lessons from the minutemen to discuss. These men and women who responded at a critical moment changed history. God's challenge to change our life and respond to the call of the Kingdom of God is just as important to us. The Kingdom of God is your destiny. To believe the gospel of the Kingdom starts your journey on the road to eternal life.

Our free booklet, The Road to Eternal Life, takes you through your Bible to show God's calling can change your life for today and beyond. It is one thing to study the examples of the minutemen or other heroes from world history - people who made a difference. It's another matter to hear a call of warning and change your life and your mind in advance of the coming Kingdom of God.

Read this booklet and begin to understand the steps you must take to reach your destiny. In North America, you can receive this free booklet by calling: 1-888-886-8632. That's 1-888-886-8632 or go online to BeyondToday.tv.

If you live outside of North America, please request your free booklet by going to the website or to write us a letter at the address on your screen. It's also available for download to your iPad, Kindle or your Nook. As always, all of our publications are provided free as an educational service.

Paul Revere's ride on that April 1775 night provides us a natural illustration of a similar story in the Bible. It comes from one of the major prophets, Ezekiel. In Ezekiel 33 we have the figure of a man set as a watchman to warn his fellow citizens to make changes in their lives, to take a stand and "let it begin here" with them. It's a summons to repentance and a new life. Let's read it.

"Son of man, speak to the children of your people, and say to them: 'When I bring the sword upon a land, and the people of the land take a man from their territory and make him their watchman, when he sees the sword coming upon the land, if he blows the trumpet and warns the people...'" (Ezekiel 33:2-3 Ezekiel 33:2-3 [2] Son of man, speak to the children of your people, and say to them, When I bring the sword on a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman: [3] If when he sees the sword come on the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people;
American King James Version×
).

A time of imminent danger is described here. God never does anything without first sending a message of warning. Noah warned of the impending flood. Sodom and Gomorrah were warned. Ancient Israel was warned many times by the prophets of God. God warns His people, and the nations have opportunity to respond to the crisis and to prepare.

Paul Revere saw a sword coming upon his village. He sounded an alarm and the minutemen responded.

Consider this: Are you hearing a message now of a coming danger? Can you respond and make the changes in your life that will prepare you for a coming time of trouble?

Today the coming "sword" is no less dangerous. But perhaps there is a subtlety that keeps us from responding and taking a stand.

You see our world faces a battle for truth and righteousness in an age ruled by malignant, unseen, spiritual powers.

In Ephesians Paul writes, "we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places" (Ephesians 6:12 Ephesians 6:12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
American King James Version×
).

Ever wonder why you feel at ends with your life at times? You can't make a breakthrough with some problems that really weigh you down.

You look at a world with so much diversity that the complications are impossible to accept. War and strife. Disease and suffering. Moral and ethical confusion that rips apart society. Unspeakable random acts of evil leave us bewildered and asking is this really God's world?

This world is locked in a war of spiritual deception and it's not what it seems. That's why the message of God's Kingdom is hard to hear. But it does come through this Beyond Today program - but to be honest it's a crowded and cluttered media market. Many voices are competing for your attention. It is hard to cut through the clutter and discern what is true from false.

You may well ask, how do I know what you say is true? There are other religious programs and they all sound similar.

Well you need to ask carefully and listen and then check what we say with the Bible. Listen to what we say then look at this world to see if it makes sense and gives you understanding. What we say here on Beyond Today helps you understand this world from a biblical perspective. We are proclaiming the coming Kingdom of God. Understanding this and making life changes will make a positive difference in your life - today.

Your action on what you hear from this program, and all of our media, all of it ties directly to the warning message God said a watchman would give.

Notice again in Ezekiel 33: "Then whoever hears the sound of the trumpet and does not take warning, if the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be on his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, but did not take warning; his blood shall be upon himself" (verse 4-5).

God says those who do not take action on the message of a watchman will suffer consequences. Had the villagers in Lexington and Concord not listened to the warning of Paul Revere, they would have been caught unaware, and it would have been a different story.

Today, you have opportunity to understand in advance what's coming. You have opportunity to apply the knowledge and the way of the Kingdom of God today in advance of its arrival. And it will make all the difference in your life. That's why God says, "...he who takes warning will save his life" (Ezekiel 33:5 Ezekiel 33:5He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be on him. But he that takes warning shall deliver his soul.
American King James Version×
).

Your life can be transformed by God as you yield and respond to Him. This then, becomes your moment's notice.

You know there is another reason why we take our role seriously here on Beyond Today. It's because God lays a heavy responsibility on His ministry to sound a warning message of alarm - kind of like Paul Revere did.

"But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, and the people are not warned, and the sword comes and takes [away] any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at the watchman's hand" (Ezekiel 33:6 Ezekiel 33:6But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand.
American King James Version×
).

God takes His message so seriously that even those who carry it must do it faithfully - even when it's hard and dangerous.

Speaking today about sin and calling people to change and turn to God is not a popular message. It's often as if no one even listens. But you do need to listen to this. We deliver a message that God wants you to hear. Life offers us so many distractions and diversions that make it difficult for a serious message to get through. And if it does, then who wants to do the hard thing and change their life to obey God?

Yet, we go on - through the night, as it were - bringing the message about the coming of the Kingdom of God, a world beyond today. And is a message that can transform your life - giving you answers to the big questions of life. The questions such as: Why were you born? Is there a God? What is His purpose for you and for this world? And can you know this God?

All of these questions have answers. And when you discover what those answers are, you can then make life work in positive directions.

Getting to those answers is made easier when you have a study tool. That's why our free magazine, The Good News, is available to help you navigate the serious issues and questions of life. The gospel of the Kingdom of God is what Jesus Christ came to announce. That gospel announcement forms a foundation of knowledge for your life today.

Our free magazine, The Good News, comes with articles in every issue that explains how you can understand and begin to live a life beyond today based on the teaching of God's Kingdom. Every issue contains articles on Christian living, biblical teaching and prophecy.

You can receive a free subscription by calling the toll free number on your screen. In North America, call toll free: 1-888-886-8632. Again, 1-888-886-8632. In other locations you can order off of our website at BeyondToday.tv or you can send us a letter to the address that's on your screen.

The Good News will help you put our changing world into perspective - examining world events in light of the Bible. Get your free subscription today.

If Paul Revere's ride was like that of a spiritual watchman - sounding a message of warning - then what should we focus on today?

Christ told His disciples in Mark 13 to watch and to be vigilant when it comes to the signs of the time of the end.

Let's take a look at a few of these critical areas we are continually watching on Beyond Today.

What should you be watching today? What exactly is there to be alarmed about in today's world? There are many trends and events to watch in our world that show us Bible prophecy is true and coming to pass.

On this program we are always watching the rapidly changing events in the Middle East. Egypt is a prime example of an Arab nation going through the biggest changes in its modern history. The longstanding regime of Hosni Mubarak came to an abrupt end after the riots of early 2011. After months of negotiations, maneuvering and finally elections, a member of a strict Islamist movement was elected President. To have a member of the formerly banned fundamentalist group, the Muslim Brotherhood, come to power would have been unthinkable.

This is critical to watch because Egypt is the largest Arab state with the region's largest standing army.

Syria is another Arab nation threatened with change. The dictatorship that has ruled the country for decades has been under attack and could fall at any time. Syria lies next to Iraq, which lies next to Iran. Iraq has gone through significant upheaval since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. Iran is building a nuclear weapon that threatens to change further the balance of power within the region. When it finally builds a fully operational bomb, other Arab states will feel they need a nuclear weapon to protect their interests.

Throw in the complications of Islamic sectarianism, the different factions within the Islamic religion between Shiites and Sunnis and you have a very unstable mix of religious and tribal interests that keeps peace from holding. Frankly, it is a region that has been at war for hundreds of years and greater conflict lies ahead.

Where will all of this lead?

The end result will be the emergence of a power called the King of the South in Daniel's book of prophecy. You can read about it in chapter 11. It will provoke another power called the King of the North to invade the region.

We are also watching the shift of influence and the power of the English-speaking nations of America and Great Britain. More than a decade of war, terrorism and economic decline have set other world powers on notice that a vacuum is being created.

Look closely at our world. You see a large economic crisis has been unfolding for several years. To date no lasting solutions have been produced. Europe, America and Asia are being impacted. The Arab states of the Middle East are going through upheaval. Islamic fundamentalism is emerging as a power - flexing its muscles to influence the region.

Frankly, a hinge of history is swinging. A door is closing on the time of the English-speaking peoples and a new period of world history looms on the horizon and the nations of Europe are preparing to fill the gap being left by America and Britain! When it appears, in its fullness it will be a far different world than any we can imagine.

Bible prophecy has much to say about the modern nations of America and England. Understanding the trends occurring in these nations helps to place a mark in the unfolding story Christ identified as the end of the age.

The United States and Britain are nations blessed by God with strength, prestige and influence. But they are slowly sinking into a waiting judgment from God. This is because of failure to heed God's Word. What we're watching today was foretold long ago in prophecy.

These and many other world events bear watching and understanding.

It is what we do on Beyond Today.

Freedom and liberty. Patriotism and country. Walking around places like Lexington and Concord, it stirs thoughts that inspire and motivate. More than 200 years ago, colonists in these towns were stirred to action for those truths of life they held most dear.

What motivates you today? These men and women were motivated to devote their lives to see a new nation come into existence. They answered a call to a human idea of liberty and freedom and created a nation.

Jesus Christ came announcing a new world to come - the Kingdom of God. The story is told in Mark 1: "Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came [into] Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, 'The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe the gospel'" (Mark 1:14-15 Mark 1:14-15 [14] Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, [15] And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent you, and believe the gospel.
American King James Version×
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Christ's call is to repent and believe the gospel. What does it mean to repent and to believe?

It means to change the way you think. The gospel you see is an announcement about the coming Kingdom of God - a new Kingdom that will replace all of the kingdoms of this world.

Christ came with such a strong and compelling call that it shook His world to its core. It moved many to believe. It challenged the accepted teaching of the Jews and the Romans. It led both to His death and the founding of a new faith. The truth of the coming Kingdom of God is still being proclaimed in all of the world - and you are hearing it now. And the challenge is to get a mind that fits that coming Kingdom.

Believing the gospel requires a response - that you act on what you come to know and change how you live.

Christ's gospel of the Kingdom is the key to a new and better life for you today. You can respond to the call to change and to repent and this can make all the difference.

Believing the gospel and claiming its promise today requires that we act. Belief is a living faith shown by action. You believe God's Word, His instruction, the Bible. You believe what it says. You believe that its words will come to pass. That the Kingdom will come to this earth at Christ's second coming. You understand that you need to start now down God's road to eternal life!

When Christ establishes His Kingdom, it will change everything! All nations of this world will come under God's benevolent rule.

But even before it comes to earth, the values and the teachings of the Kingdom of God can change your life. It can make all the difference today between a life without purpose and hope, to one firmly fixed on the potential destiny God holds for every one of us.

The challenge is to respond and to act when the knowledge comes to you. It's your choice.

Had the colonists of New England not acted when the opportunity came then the United States would never have survived as we see it today. But they did respond and God's plan moved forward and overall the world has benefitted from the results.

This is the essence of our message. God puts challenges in front of people at points in life and offers a chance to choose for life.

The entire creation is waiting to benefit from the fruit of the coming Kingdom of God. It is the answer and solution to the continual cycle of problems that will never go away. Generations come and go and we do not experience a lasting peace among nations. Suffering and evil continue to grind at the human race. Human solutions of government, religion and philosophy have not created the conditions described in the Bible about the Kingdom of God. And they won't.

Imagine a world based on God's way of love for God and love for man. That's the world to come beyond today - and you can begin to experience it now, in your life. God calls us to a better response for a better country and future. The question is will you respond? It's your choice.

Remember our free offers today. Our free booklet The Road to Eternal Life and your free subscription to The Good News magazine. So call: 1-888-886-8632.

1-888-886-8632 or go online and order both of our publications, or you can even read them online: The Road to Eternal Life and The Good News magazine - both online at BeyondToday.tv. Or send us your request by mail at the address on your screen below.

There are times that offer an opportunity to respond to events and knowledge that can change your life. This is such a time. This is your moment's notice. You can't ignore it or put it on hold.

Face the fact that change is coming to your world and to your life. The Kingdom of God is drawing near.

You can choose today the life of the Kingdom and it will change the course of your history.

What will you do?

We'll be right back for a final word after this.

[Narrator] Two men ran through the streets of the city each trying to be the first to discover if it was so. They turned the last corner and arrived at the tomb. They both stopped. One leaned over and looked into the space and noticed a neatly folded pile of linen cloths. He was astounded and backed away not believing what he saw.
Jesus was not there. He had risen from the dead. All things had changed.

Christ came to earth with a central message of the Kingdom of God. What is the Kingdom of God? Most have never heard or understood what Jesus actually taught on this subject. The United Church of God is hosting free seminars held simultaneously around the world.

That Kingdom is coming to earth - that was the message of Jesus Christ. It's not a Kingdom that's off up there in heaven but it's a Kingdom that Christ is going to establish right here on this earth.

[Narrator] Go to KOGSeminars.org for details to find one near you. Kingdom of God Bible Seminars - giving the message of hope for tomorrow, beginning today.

Sign up to attend a seminar in your city. Thanks for joining us as we think about life beyond today. Let's keep praying, "Thy Kingdom Come" and let's look beyond today. For Beyond Today, I'm Darris McNeely.

[Announcer] For the free literature offered on today's program, go online to BeyondToday.tv. Please join us again next week on Beyond Today!