This week we are commemorating the 50th anniversary of a great historic moment. Delivered from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, Dr. Martin Luther King’s prolific speech, “I Have a Dream,” is certainly worthy of attention. I clearly remember hearing Dr. King’s message on television while in Louisiana for a citywide crusade and knew it would have a profound impact our nation for years to come. He was a truly great orator who emphasized peaceful protests, the importance of character, and Christ’s example.
From the early days of our ministry through today, both Billy Graham and I have boldly stood against discrimination, segregation, and unethical treatment of minorities. My entire 50-year ministry, I have placed strong emphasis on the importance of dealing seriously with the racial divide so prevalent throughout America.
The issues we face today are equally important and the only way to overcome them requires the supernatural power and wisdom of God. Unfortunately, that spiritual connection is being short-circuited.
I have been working prayerfully and diligently to encourage and inspire God’s dream to be fulfilled. I long to see the prayer and dream of Jesus fulfilled. God wants a faith-filled family living in supernatural harmony of heart, standing on an unshakable foundation of truth, and revealing the nature of our heavenly Father to a world groping in darkness.
Following God’s prompt, I am in the process of helping bring together a spiritual, kingdom-minded leadership council to offer the wisdom that comes from God through His Word to our national leaders, church leaders, the Christian community, and the general population. One truly anointed individual who has joined his heart and hands with me and other key leaders is Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, the president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, leading more than 40,000 Hispanic churches in America. I’m encouraged by his Godly oversight.
Here is his dream, which he shared this week and encouraged others to publish.
I HAVE A DREAM
by Rev. Samuel Rodriguez
I have a dream.
I have a dream that this generation will recognize the image of God in every human being, in and out of the womb, without exception.
I have a dream.
I have a dream that Christ followers will stop hiding at the bottom of the threshing floor and emerge as mighty heroes of righteousness and justice.
I have a dream.
I have a dream that as Christians we will be known not by what we oppose or attempt to impose but rather by what we propose; eternal life through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
I have a dream.
I have a dream that the children of the cross realize that today’s complacency is tomorrow’s captivity, that moral stagnation leads to spiritual atrophy and that there is no such animal as comfortable Christianity.
I have a dream. I have a dream that children will not be aborted, marriages will thrive and religious liberty will prevail for generations to come.
I have a dream.
I have a dream that truth will never be sacrificed on the altar of expediency, that love will overcome hate, and the prophetic will silence the pathetic.
I have a dream.
I have a dream that this generation will reconcile Billy Graham’s message with Dr. King’s march, sanctification with service and conviction with compassion.
I have a dream that one day we primarily see ourselves not as black, white, brown or yellow, Hispanic, charismatic or automatic, but first and foremost as children of the living God.
I share this dream with Sammy, and we both share God the Father’s dream. Feel free to share his words and this commentary with others.
Americans and national leaders are unable to make wise decisions because too many within our population and the highest offices in the country, including Congress and the courts, fail to acknowledge God. The results limit the blessings of God as the prophets’ warnings come true in our day. Isaiah made it clear that if there is not individual repentance leading to a national refocus and resetting of our compass to true north, we will witness catastrophic consequences.
Since Sammy is calling for the “prophetic, not the pathetic,” let me re-emphasize what perhaps the greatest prophet, Isaiah, shared concerning God’s plan for His people and the result of not following it. After reading my comments, I suggest you read the entire fifth chapter of Isaiah carefully.
God begins by describing His intentions for His beloved, His chosen family, His vineyard. He prepared it, planted the choicest vines, prepared a wine vat and expected His vineyard to produce the best grapes, but it produced worthless ones. He said He had done all He could to protect it and give it every opportunity to be fruitful. God has done this for believers today through Jesus, His sacrificial death and glorious resurrection, and the presence of His Holy Spirit to live in us.
When we do not bear fruit, God said the hedge will be broken down and the ground will be trampled, just as Jesus said “salt that loses its effect will be trampled underfoot.” Isaiah prophesied briars and thorns will grow, choking out the fruitfulness and potential productivity, and the rain clouds will be closed. In other words, the economy will be devastated. There will be no productivity, no possible prosperity, no jobs, an increasing sense of desperation and lack. Houses will become desolate. Even great, fine ones will have no occupants. Hard work will yield little increase. People will party all day and night, “refusing to pay attention to the deeds of the Lord or consider the work of His hands. They will go into exile because they lack knowledge of God and truth.”
Isaiah continues, “The grave is licking its lips in anticipation, opening its mouth wide. The great and the lowly and all the drunken mob will be swallowed up. Humanity will be destroyed, and people brought down; even the arrogant will lower their eyes in humiliation” (v. 14, NLT).
The prophet boldly warned, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good, evil; who substitute darkness for light, and light for darkness; who substitute bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter. Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight.”
That “woe” is a warning of the judgment to come and the consequences of godless choices and actions. When any person, group, nation, or its leaders leave God out, they are incapable of consistently making wise, discerning decisions. America’s leadership is not likely to make the right decision concerning Syria and other issues facing us in the Middle East. The solution begins with: “Cease to do evil and begin to do good.” It is certainly right for Americans to be deeply concerned about the murder of innocent people and precious children with chemical weapons in Syria. Is there not good reason to seriously question how many elected to the highest offices in the land express concern for the innocent in Syria while openly approving and defending the continual slaughter of the innocent unborn in the womb? Is this not blatant hypocrisy? In the 59th chapter, Isaiah proclaimed, “It is sin that has separated us from God.” He emphasized, “feet run to do evil and hasten to shed innocent blood.” God, forgive us!
We all battle the enemy of life, experience personal defeat from time to time, and miss the mark. So desperate is our own battle that we must lean on one another and be willing to share our hearts, concerns, and struggles with other members of the family of faith. We must feel secure and safe within the hedge of that protective, redemptive love. No matter what our struggle is, or how often we may be personally defeated, we must continue to battle. We must never try to justify our failures, sin, disobedience, or disregard God’s truth by changing His Word into a lie! This is what many Americans have done, to their own demise. One reason is because the family of God has failed to be fruitful. We’re not winning hearts and minds to Christ. We’re not seeing people transformed by the power we claim is in us. We have given too much of our own lives and land to the father of lies, the deceiver, and destroyer.
It’s time to wake up, stand up, become fruitful, and lead our nation back into the shelter and shadow of the Almighty, beginning with the church. We can see not only the dream of Samuel Rodriguez fulfilled—but God’s dream, as well. That is my dream. I pray it’s yours.
I salute you James and Betty for all the love you have been showing to the Developing Countries and especially to the African countries which are even hit highest by Bad Governance bringing about instability for development and thus being mean to the poor to an extend of denying them the essential commodity of Clean Drinking Water!!!!!You do the Noble thing by drilling boreholes for the Communities to have clean drinking Water.
Your cry like that of John the Baptist in the Wilderness and like All the Prophets of the Bible sent to the children of Israel to warn them of Gods wrath and CALL for repentance! is well noticed and the only thing that America needs is seriously COUNTING their blessings then see how even some of the bad things they have done is affecting some right now developing Countries. Imagine all the bad movies and Phonograph done in the America end up out in those developing countries and the Children and Youth copy that straight, same with drugs and bad influence in many aspects. Cry more James, Cry more!! By the way God hears and one day, the Americans will be convicted, regret and repent then lead the way for change for these lost people in the developing Countries. Dig more Boreholes, help whoever you can, buy the shoes to those ragged feet of those Children! just dont look back just move on ahead, a few will join you and support you on the same and God has all this in record.
When I hear how you were born, brought up, and now you do this for mankind I cry many tears! If only alot of people would have such compassion and we could have a great change. I believe Acts of good, kindness and Mercy can draw people to knowing God their Heavenly Father, Jesus their Redeemer and Holy Spirit their Teacher, Guide and Light and slowly, step by step alot of people would then be changed to persue the Love that is lacking.
I am sure Jesus is healing you day by day from the death of your daughter it is now long time but I am sure memories of her bring Pain to you people at times. Only Jesus can heal us all the pain we get here as we journey on this planet.
I have A DREAM too that one day Africa will be Liberated from Self Damage and that Love of Power and Money will be turned to be Power and Money to help their already impoverished communities, thus a better Society that leads to better Nations.
Keep well, and just continue doing that GOOD you are doing.
On April 3, 1968— the day before he was assassinated, Dr. Martin Luther King delivered a speech in support of the striking sanitation workers at Mason Temple in Memphis, TN. At the close of King’s message, he made this proclamation: “Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t matter with me now because I’ve been to the mountain top. And I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the promise land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promise land. And I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything. I’m not fearing any man. Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”
No one but Dr. King knew if he was aware that his days upon this earth were finished. The content of his proclamation seems to reflect that either the Lord had revealed to him his time was near or the very inspiration Dr. King was experiencing at that moment spoke for itself. Nevertheless, by approximately 6 PM the next day, while leaning over the railing of his motel balcony, King was fatally shot. The promise land he was speaking of and the freedom he so boldly pointed too was not to be an earthbound reality, but Dr. King’s Creator stepped back and permitted his valiant soldier to gain entrance to the heavenly promise land as he stepped into the glory of the coming of the Lord for his servant.
This earthly kingdom, the United States of America is not a promise land. This nation will never usher in the heavenly freedom and liberty spoken of in the sacred scriptures. Jesus said emphatically, “My kingdom is not of this world.” The promise of a “promise land” is found in Acts 1 where being assembled together with them, Jesus commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, you have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but you will be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.
When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, will you at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said to them, it is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father has put in his own power. But you will receive power, after the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and you will be witnesses to me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth (including America).
The only source of freedom and liberty is the promise of the Holy Spirit upon those who seek for a city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God. This nation has become a bottomless pit, drunk under the spirit of Babylon the great and become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies. Hollywood, politics, and religious denominations are the hold of every demon power and perversion. The nations of the world are drunk with the abominations of the Hollywood influence and the political and religious deceptions of anti-christ teachings and ideologies.
And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that you be not partakers of her sins, and that you receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven and God has remembered her iniquities. Reward her even as she rewarded you, and double unto her double according to her works: in the cup which she has filled, fill to her double. How much she has glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she says in her heart, I sit as a queen, and am no widow, and will see no sorrow. Therefore will her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she will be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judges her. Here the word of the Lord over this nation. There will be a mighty blast and from the east unto the west, this nation will be reduced to ashes. The mouth of the Lord has spoken it.
Once again, at the “Let Freedom Ring” ceremony to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington on Aug. 28, 2013, at the Lincoln Memorial, President Obama ended his speech with these words: And that’s the lesson of our past, that’s the promise of tomorrow, that in the face of impossible odds, people who love their country can change it. And when millions of Americans of every race and every region, every faith and every station can join together in a spirit of brotherhood, then those mountains will be made low, and those rough places will be made plain, and those crooked places, they straighten out towards grace, and we will vindicate the faith of those who sacrificed so much and live up to the true meaning of our creed as one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
The President spoke of a “promise of tomorrow, that in the face of impossible odds, people who love their country can change it.” He then begin to quote from Luke 3 where John the Baptist was prophesying of the “mountains will be made low, and those rough places will be made plain, and those crooked places, they straighten out towards grace (and he continued) and we will vindicate the faith of those who sacrificed so much and live up to the true meaning of our creed as one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. The President attempted to take a revelation from scripture and fit it into a political context and bless a nation which has been cursed by God. The spirit of Elijah, which rested upon John the Baptist, actually gave this warning and prophecy:
As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Every valley will be filled, and every mountain and hill will be brought low; and the crooked will be made straight, and the rough ways will be made smooth; and all flesh will see the salvation of God. Then he said to the multitude that came to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who has warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, we have Abraham to our father: for I say to you, God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. And now also the axe is laid to the root of the trees: every tree which does not bring forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Within a short while, all flesh saw the salvation of God, Jesus Christ, when he stepped into the Jordan River and was baptized by the prophet John. The prophet cried out for the entire world to hear, in every generation, “Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” From that day until the present, the ministry of Jesus Christ has been bringing every proud and lofty spirit down by exposing its hypocrisy and self-righteousness, the crooked places of religious and political deception are exposed by the word of his revelation, and the rough ways of spiritual oppression imposed by sinful leaders are made smooth by his message of repentance.
In all due respect to Dr. King and the President, the promise land of Jesus Christ and the words of John the Baptist were not civil rights speeches or a political appeal to unite Americans under the hypocritical banner of one nation under God. These words are the revelation of Jesus Christ, from the heart of God, to an evil and adulterous generation who both repents and unites under his word and righteousness, or they will perish. Here the word of the Lord America; Heavens and earth will pass away, but the word of the Lord will stand. No earthly man’s dream will bring liberty and freedom to any nation or any individual. The promise of freedom can only be found in Jesus Christ who said “I am the way, the truth, and the life…and you will know the truth (speaking of him, the word of revelation) and the truth will set you free.
In 30 A.D. Jesus returned from 40 days in the wilderness in the power of the Spirit to Galilee. And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. And there was delivered to him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written, The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
This revelation is the only vision that will work. This revelation is the only word of promise. This revelation is the only word of vindication. Every individual and every leader will either recognize that grace and truth can only come by repentance and a hunger and thirst for the righteousness of God or they will continue to walk the broad path to destruction. The Holy Scriptures stand completely unveiled by the revelation of Jesus Christ so that no nation will be without excuse. Satan has so blinded the people and their leaders until they have reached the place of thinking that Satan either does not exist or he is on vacation someplace. Wake up you that slumber and sleep and stagger as a drunken man. The racism, hatred, confusion, divisiveness, religious and political deception, the wars and rumors of wars, and the famines and pestilence are the work of Satan in the earth. He comes as a thief to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. Satan is real people. He is in America with his fallen angels and is working through religion and politics to deceive the nations and enslave them and their citizens under the blindness and bondage of the mark of the beast, which is the unbelief of God’s revelation. The Constitution cannot save this nation. The Republicans, Democrats or the Tea Party cannot hold back the winds of God’s anger. Political efforts cannot dispel the clouds of judgment over this nation and the world. The one and only power which is holding back the full release of God’s wrath on America is the prophecy of Peter the Apostle.
Knowing this first, that there will come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, where is the promise of his coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.
But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But, the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
Seeing then that all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought we to be in all holy conversation and godliness. Not looking for a political speech to manifest an earthly dream, but looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire will be dissolved, and the elements will melt with fervent heat. Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwells righteousness.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
Thanks for you post today. God is judging America now for all the things that America has allowed through out these past years. But we can pray and ask God to turn America around and that it would seek God’s face and ask for forgiveness for allowing the things that have been allowed through the last 50 years or so. love DG <
You stated–The issues we face today are equally important and the only way to overcome them requires the supernatural power and wisdom of God. Unfortunately, that spiritual connection is being short-circuited.
You are oh so right James. But I wonder if you will listen when I tell you that the short-circuit is coming from within. The problem is hidden in plain sight within the trusted tenets the churches guard with their eternal life, literally. I have been hearing the same plea from many church leaders and I have been prayerfully encouraging those same leaders to seriously start testing every doctrine, even those believed to be trustworthy. But they toss me off as some religious kook or heretic who does not know what she is talking about. Unfortunately, those leaders have people screening their mail and messages who do not know how to test everything by the Bible. They are taught to test by the doctrines of the tenets the church or organization thrives on and by which eternal life is at risk. The walls of Jericho stand strong against the truth. Who is willing to march around it and blow the horn of warning and truth that will crumble it? James, are you willing to listen or stay in a dream? You have my e-mail address.
I love reading your column every week. You always have such powerful things to say.