“REPENT, RESET, REALIGN”
BISHOP DR. C. EVERTON THOMAS, OD
SUNDAY APRIL 05, 2020
A WORD FOR THE NATION
My Question: "GOD what are YOU saying to the church through this coronavirus pandemic?"
GOD’s RESPONSE: “RESET”
GOD’s further revelation of what we need to do, both as a church and as a nation:
“Because of who you are, MY people, because I have called you and sanctified you … to whom much is given much is required.”
HE said, “Yes, the world has its own responsibility, the world will have to do what it needs to do; governments will have to do what they need to do. But, as the church goes, so go the world. That’s why I made you the salt of the earth and the light of the world. MY people, you have turned away to your own ways, you are walking after your own lusts.”
And, HE brought the seven deadly sins to my memory. The sins of:
Lust – We wallow in the lust of the flesh. HE said, “MY church, you are wallowing in the lust of the eyes. You are wallowing in the pride of life and the stench has reached MY nostrils.”
HE said, “Gluttony, has become such a normal thing for you, MY people. The amount of food you waste and throw away could feed the hungry ten times over; but gluttony has become a way of life.”
Greed, HE said, is something the church has become absorbed with. And, greed will cause you to do things you shouldn’t do, to acquire things you want.
GOD said to remind this church that slothfulness is not to be named among HIS people. As a church, we have become slothful and our true purpose and our true call, our true mission in this world…goes away and other things take priority and precedence.
GOD says, “MY people, come back to me.”
He says, “Wrath,” as one of the seven deadly sins, “is even perpetuated in the church. And, men and women of GOD who should know better are not doing better, but are perpetrating wrath and wrathful thinking and ideas.”
GOD says, “Envy should never be named among you.” And as people of GOD, we are so envious…envious of one another…envious of those who have been blessed, not recognising that your time is coming…and these are sins that block the move of GOD…and these are sins that stop the move of GOD.
And, GOD said, “I am going to get your attention with this plague.”
The final of the seven deadly sins – Pride. Oh my GOD… As a people of GOD we have become so proud, we walk in pride. GOD says, “Enough is enough. It’s time to fall on your face repent, reset, realign.”
Thus saith the LORD.
GOD has spoken, let the church say, “Amen!”
THE SERMON – Part I
And so, as I continued hearing what GOD was saying to the church, Psalm 33 was brought to my mind and especially verses 14 & 15…let’s go from verse 13…
Psalm 33:13 - 14
13 The Lord looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men.
14 From the place of his habitation he looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth.
I thought to myself, when I was preparing for the word today, how that on August 03, 2019, I was selected to bring the word at the National Independence Service marking 57 years of Jamaica’s independence as a sovereign state. In my message to the nation, with the Prime Minister and other government officials present, I used as the title for my message, “Freedom to be Free”. Implicit in that was, if you were paying attention, is that we may be free from foreign domination but we still are not necessarily free. We have been made free, but it’s to be free. We have been freed from something; now we must be free to something.
I tried to make it very clear because independence gave us freedom to actually become free…really free.
And, so today in my message that the LORD gave me for the nation on ‘RESET’, I wish to use parts of that independence message as a reminder of what GOD said.
While the central theme of Psalm 33 is praise, it uncovers GOD’s sovereignty in this praise. But, HIS divine sovereignty and providence is what we are focusing on today, as far as what GOD is saying.
As an island, Jamaica, with its independence forever ingrained in our thoughts, we understand GOD’s providence in dealing with the evil among us and how that GOD has repeatedly, in spite of the evil among us, HE has again and again overlooked the evil in us and worked through our deeds. But, there comes a time, beloved, when GOD says, ‘enough is enough’.
13 The Lord looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of [Jamaica].
I am focusing on Jamaica right now…GOD has prophets/preachers all over the world. My assignment now is to Jamaica and this is a message for the nation.
So, when GOD helicopters over Jamaica, HE has to see, in principle, what we see. So, HE sees the white sands of Negril… HE sees the brown sands of Ochi; HE sees the light grey sands of all the bays, HE sees the deep dark grey sands of Morant Bay… HE sees the dirt of St. Catherine and, yes, HE sees the clay of St. Elizabeth. He sees the igneous rocks all over this island … Have you ever flown over, especially from Montego Bay into Kingston, at a low altitude and seen all those rocks – the igneous rock, the metamorphic rocks, the sedimentary rocks? God sees the marl at Sufferers’ Heights…
But inside that circle of a panoramic view are the hearts of Jamaicans … JLP and PNP... And I speak to the nation today because GOD can never be pleased when I have to hate you because you subscribe to a different political party…when you have to kill because someone does not subscribe to the party that you subscribe to. And all of this is going up in the nostrils of GOD.
GOD said, I made you as brothers, I made you as sisters. Who gave you the right to take somebody’s life? GOD looks at this…HE looks from HIS holy habitation and HE sees what’s going on.
Jamaicans to the second degree because we first hold allegiance to the flag and for which it stands. So when we sing: “Eternal Father bless our land, Guard us with thy mighty hand” … what we are saying as a people, as an undivided people, ‘out of many, one’, but it has become anything but united.
If you are watching in other parts of the world, this is true of your country too, but I am assigned to Jamaica. You can apply as you see fit.
We hold allegiance to the flag and for what the colours stand. From the place of HIS habitation the psalmist says, HE looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth, of Jamaica.
I say to Jamaica today, we have gone off track. We are not living as a united people. We live like enemies of one another. We kill and maim… We destroy… We tear down one another’s character and we destroy people’s credibility.
GOD cannot be pleased with this. GOD is not pleased with this. As a people, GOD gave us a mandate. GOD gave us a pattern… HE put Adam and Eve in the Garden and HE said, “Be fruitful, multiply, replenish and subdue; take dominion.” (Genesis 1:28)
GOD placed us here to build up economies and develop our nations that the people of the world would be successful. But, instead, sin crept in and we have become prey to the enemy. Now, we have sown to the wind and we are reaping the whirlwind (Hosea 8:7).
Our Eyes are on YOU
The coronavirus … I don’t think GOD put it on us, but GOD is using it to get our attention. If you have not turned your eyes upon HIM yet like Jehoshaphat when an invading army was about to destroy them when they were (the army) was much greater than they were as children of Israel. Jehoshaphat said, “LORD, we have no might against this army, but, O GOD, our eyes are on YOU.” (2 Chronicles 20:12).
“GOD, we have no might against this COVID-19. We can’t stop it. The scientists don’t even know where to begin; but our eyes are on YOU! Help us, GOD! Have mercy GOD! Mercy!”
And yet, I hear GOD saying, “Yes, you need mercy, but you need a lot more than mercy. You need justice among yourselves. You need honesty among yourselves. You need truthfulness among yourselves. You need peace among yourselves.”
So, GOD is speaking to us. GOD is speaking to HIS church. GOD is speaking to world leaders…kings and presidents, prime ministers and rulers are hiding, sanitising. Listen, this thing is not just for the ordinary man. Everybody has to be sanitising. Everybody has to be careful. My GOD, there is nobody exempt!
Because it’s no respecter of persons; neither is GOD. And, GOD is calling us back to a place…GOD is calling us back to order. So the psalmist says “order my steps in YOUR word” (Psalm 119:133), dear LORD. We need to be ordered by GOD.
But HE said, “to whom much is given much is required” (Luke 12:48). And, so HE is getting the attention of saints and sinners alike. But, it is the church that is the preserving agent in this world. It is the church of the living GOD that GOD is depending on to be the example and to show what needs to be done.
Seven Mountains of Influence
So, my brothers and sisters I say to you today, if the church is going to strategically and effectively pray for Jamaica… and remember I am just focusing on Jamaica, others are focusing on where they are. I lived in the United States for several years and GOD sent me back to Jamaica because my assignment is for Jamaica. GOD’s calling on my life is for Jamaica.
I speak to Jamaica, today. I speak to the governor-general, the prime minister, the leader of the opposition … I speak to the church, I speak to businesses, I speak to every sector of this nation … I say
If the church is going to be the salt and the light, we must pray for the seven mountains of influence in Jamaica. What are the seven mountains? I will get to that later.
2 Chronicles 7:14
If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
Who? MY people? Wicked ways? That’s what GOD said…
Listen to me my fellow Jamaicans, Jamaica is by far and no stretch of the imagination, a wealthy nation in terms of cash wealth…oh, yet… let me add ‘yet’ because I believe that GOD is up to something. And in the same way we are not cash rich, but we are wealthy in terms of influence… People talk about Jamaican food all over the world. People talk about Jamaican music all over the world. People talk about Jamaican athletes all over the world. We are not the wealthiest but we are one of the most influential nations around the world, right down to our ability to freely propagate the gospel of JESUS CHRIST. Thank GOD there is nobody trying to lock down church.
Believers who don’t have the understanding of what’s going on … ‘hush’. The governments around the world and in Jamaica … the government is not trying to suppress religion and our right to worship … The government is exercising wisdom in minimising congregating…
Because even in Isaiah 26:20-21 … when GOD was about to pour out HIS wrath, He told HIS people come on my children, get into your houses, close your doors behind you, hide yourself away because GOD is about to pour out HIS wrath.
Hush! If you don’t understand… “Where is the faith of the church?!”; “Where is the power of the church?! Hush!
Hide yourself and protect yourself from the wrath of COVID-19. Nero couldn’t stop the church. Those that fought against the church could not stop it, and coronavirus will not stop the church! Coronavirus will go!
Next year this time, we will look back at it like we look back at H1N1 and like we look back at the swine flu, but the church of the living GOD will stand. Protect yourself so you can be here to be a part of what GOD is about to do. I sense revival like never before… I sense revival! GOD is getting ready to send the greatest revival this world has ever seen.
So as citizens of this great nation and believers in JESUS CHRIST, we are called by GOD to humble ourselves and pray. The enemy has attacked our nations and culture from every direction…we don’t even know where to start. But, can I share with you what these seven mountains of culture are? … And how we, as an informed church, like the sons of Issachar who had an understanding of their time knew how to pray, knew how to seek GOD… we must know how to seek GOD. Because the more righteous people at the top of each of these seven mountains, the more righteousness will reign in our country.
Benjamin Rush said, “Nothing can be politically right that is morally wrong.”
We’ve heard so much of the phrase recently of ‘social distancing, but there is another phrase we have heard for the last ten (10) years – “You have to be politically correct”. Nothing can be politically correct, sir, if it’s morally wrong. Yes, that’s right!
There’s a lot morally wrong in these seven mountains of influence… That’s why we, the Christians, are needed in this hour. GOD has placed us here for such a time as this. I tell you… You could not be born in 1901. You could not be born in 1567. You know why? Because GOD knew HE needed somebody like you to deal with the times in which we live. You are here on purpose…you are not a misfit…you are not a mistake…You are here on purpose.
So when you pray for the seven mountains of influence … and godly leaders rise up to the top of these mountains, then we are attacking the enemy’s plan in that particular realm and taking back the dominion that GOD intended to establish in the earth.
So when HE said, have dominion … be fruitful, multiply, replenish, subdue and have dominion, take dominion … HE meant in the earth. He meant over these mountains. So what are these mountains, you ask?
To be most effective when you pray for the seven mountains of influence you can target specific areas where change is needed the most. So that’s why in our prayer meetings we go into groups and one will pray for ‘Government’, and one will pray for ‘Media’ and one will pray for ‘Arts and Entertainment’…Oh I’m giving you the seven already – that’s the first three…
I Timothy 2:1-3; KJV
1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;
2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.
3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;
1 Timothy 2:1-3 says that we are to pray or intercede and give thanks for kings and for all people in authority. This is GOD’s command to every believer, today. Pray for kings. Pray for presidents. Pray for prime ministers. You may not subscribe to their policies and their views but pray for them. And sometimes we have the kinds of governments we have because of the prayers we don’t pray. Oh yes…
If you’re not praying for prime minister, if you’re not praying for your president … I’m not saying if you support his views. No, I’m just saying pray for them, especially if you don’t support their views … you can’t change their views; but, my GOD, the heart of the king is in the hand of GOD (Proverbs 21:1). And when the church prays, GOD can shift and make a paradigm shift in the heart of a king, in the heart of presidents.
Every believer should pray for all people in authority whether you agree with them or not. So while praying for those who are already in authority, we must also pray for more godly men and women to rise up in their place. I said we must pray for godly men and women to rise up in their place! I am not praying for those who are there to lose their work.
But I am saying, if they won’t fulfil the will of GOD; pray that GOD will replace them. Because HE said that when you pray, pray and say, thy kingdom come in government. Oh yes, that’s what HE said…Thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven, YOUR will be done… So let us pray for godly men and women to rise up in government – local government, the national government, in King’s House, Jamaica House, Gordon House, every house… Pray for righteous men and women to be raised up in governments.
The second mountain of influence on culture is that of ‘Media’. Whether we like it or not, the media is so powerful that it influences the culture, it shapes the mind-set of our young and even the old. People say ‘oh, not necessarily, Bishop, they’re just giving information’.
Let me tell you something… You can say something long enough, although it is not facts, although it’s not truth, but because it’s repeated over and over, it becomes accepted as truth.
So we have to pray that this main source of information to the nation, the media, that they who have the power to sway viewpoints…we have to pray that GOD will raise up godly men and women in media. The devices used are often cunning and many lack integrity.
So with that in mind, we have to pray… I’m talking about praying…I’m talking about the church of the living GOD praying for these seven mountains of culture. Media, the second one, pray that GOD will raise up godly media houses.
There are over 26 radio stations in Jamaica…don’t hold me to that, it could be over 30 by now… You’re saying, “Twenty-six (26), Bishop?” Yes! Check the [national] All Media Survey.
How many of them are really Christian? How many of them are really releasing what GOD wants released to influence the minds of the nation? Well, pray that GOD will raise up business women and men who will not just want to set up a hardware but will seek to set up a radio station, a television station, internet station; media houses that can propagate the truth of the word of GOD.
With that in mind, we pray that media will be truth-bearers and that those men and women who are currently in media will be truth-bearers….and contributors to unity. Pray that they will build up rather than tear down; then rebuke the enemy from his work within the media and tear down the foundations [the enemy’s] with spiritual authority.
Arts and Entertainment
The third mountain of influence is Arts and Entertainment.
GOD has gifted us. Everybody that has an artistic gift is gifted by GOD. The devil has never created anything. What the devil does – he looks for what GOD has created and perverts it so he can get glory instead of the glory going to GOD. But it is GOD who gives all gifts. All good gifts around us are sent from heaven above. It is GOD who gifted you, sir. It is GOD who gifted you, ma’am.
Appeal to Vybz Kartel
I am going ahead of myself because I’ll get back to this later, but I’ve got to say this right here and now…
Recently, we saw, I think it was just Friday or Thursday, we saw in our national news in Jamaica, the outcome of the appeal of Vybz Kartel’s case.
I love the brother…I know his mother, I know the family, not very well, but I know them and I love them all. But, my GOD, can you imagine? Can you imagine if that young man who bears so much influence over the minds of so many hundreds of thousands…can you imagine if he was on the side of CHRIST? Oh, you can say what you wanna say, I declare today, I don’t know if he’s watching. I don’t know if you’ll hear this Vybz, but …You are great…you are talented…you are arguably the best talent ever in entertainment this nation has ever seen, but you are just under wrong management. You need to come under the management of JESUS CHRIST. And I say that with all humility and love. Don’t take it out of context. Don’t misunderstand me. GOD wants to use you. HE gifted you so you can be an influence in a positive way on the minds of the young people.
But arts and entertainment the world over … Notice the greats, and many of them came right out of the church. That even is the foundation for my argument that we gifted by GOD. Their parents are still in church, but they went secular because there was more money. The devil is a liar! I speak to gospel producers and gospel singers and musicians … Don’t sell out for a morsel of bread! Don’t give up what GOD has given you just so you can make some more money. Stay in the house of GOD! Stay planted in the ship and GOD will make a way for you…YES!
Somebody said, “Working for JESUS, the pay may not be great, but the retirement benefits are just out of this world!” Glory! Hallelujah!
Godly People & Messages in Arts and Entertainment
So we are praying for GOD to raise up godly men and women in this mountain of arts and entertainment, which includes television, movies, video games, magazines and books… Most of these means of entertainment find their way into the Jamaican homes and into the homes of families around the world. And, we’ve got to understand that GOD wants to raise up godly men and women in these areas.
So we find that through these means of entertainment messages about marriage and sex and family and politics are sent to every watching eye and listening ear. What is their aim? To change Jamaicans’ view of what is and what is not acceptable in mainstream society. But the devil is a liar! We take a stand today. And, we declare that through arts and entertainment the messages that go forth will be positive messages about the good news of the gospel of JESUS CHRIST! Can somebody say Amen?!
Because sadly, the messages that have been coming through arts and entertainment and these outlets are negative and ungodly. Look at sex, for example. Sex is a beautiful thing. But GOD created it to be enjoyed within the context of marriage. HE said, “Marriage is honourable and the bed is undefiled…” (Hebrews 13:4). Anything you do sexually is undefiled as long as it comes after marriage and as long as it’s in agreement with your spouse.
But the devil has taken sex and perverted it; and the people of Jamaica exalt it, to where even on Easter Sunday, the most sacred day on the Christian calendar, a few years ago, we had an event of gyrating and almost nude walking down the streets. Thank GOD, they shifted it one week later. But, my GOD, I’m not against you doing what you want to do, because every man is free to choose his own destiny. Bu there is no partiality in this judgement. And when the word of GOD goes forth, you’ve got to love or like it or leave it, but the word of GOD stands forever!
The fourth mountain of influence is Business.
Business is powerful in our culture…because business generates money – millions and billions. The free market system is one that is given to us by GOD. Yes, GOD gave us the free market enterprise. That’s why HE gave one five talents (Matthew 25:14-30). HE gave one, two; and HE gave one, one.
The one that got five, he went and invested and he made five more. The one that got two, he went and invested and he got two more… A hundred per cent return on the investment…five plus five, that’s a hundred per cent; two plus two, a hundred per cent.
But, the one who got one, he went and dug a hole and hid it in the ground, and had all kinds of bad things to say about his Lord. And, he was blaming GOD. And GOD said, you slothful, you wicked servant… If you knew that I sow where I didn’t … and I was all of this, you should have at least put my money out to usury. Put it in the bank and get the little one and a half per cent. It would have been better than you coming back with a mouthful of lies.
So, GOD gave us all a free market enterprise. You have nobody to blame if you are not successful. If you tried and failed, that’s not a reason to not try again. The successful men in business try a hundred times, sometimes, before they succeed…a thousand times…
Try again, I say to those of you that are watching, try again! GOD has you now on lock-down so you can think and regurgitate and... Dust off your business plan, sir. Dust off your business plan, woman. Come on, get ready, because on the other side of COVID-19, there is going to be a revival, not only spiritually but business-wise…economically. Get ready for the greatest shift that is coming to this world! Opportunities are opening for you, sir!
But, business is a strong mountain of influence and culture in our world and in the nations. So we pray that GOD will raise up godly business men who will not open businesses just to build personal wealth. But they will go and they will be CEOs… that they will be among those who will have the greatest influence. Let the godly rise to the top of each industry! Let godly men rise up…
Pray, Church, Pray
Pray, church, pray, that GOD will raise up godly men and women whose businesses can finance the godly musicians; whose businesses can finance the evangelism of the church as they go into the world.
That’s what GOD wants us to do. Why doesn’t GOD do that all by HIMSELF? GOD has given the enemy, Satan … he has power over the earth. Because he is the prince of the power of the air, and GOD, being a just GOD, will not come and just kick Satan out of the way. He is the prince of the power of the air…the air – air waves, music, media, arts and entertainment…Satan has influence. And, because GOD is a just GOD, HE is not going to just remove Satan out of the way.
But when you pray…when you pray…when the church of the living GOD prays, something shifts in the heavenly. You give GOD permission to do something on your behalf. Prayer is earth’s permission for GOD’s intervention. When the church prays, GOD has a right to come down and shift some things around. When the church prays, GOD has a right to step in and have HIS way. When the church prays, GOD has a right to raise up godly men and women in positions of power, in positions of influence. When the church prays, GOD will respond.
Have a little talk with JESUS
Tell HIM all about your troubles
HE will hear your faintest cry
HE will answer by and by
When you feel a little prayer wheel turning
Then you know that the fire is burning
Have a little talk with JESUS makes it right
Come on, church! We’ve got to pray on to the LORD. Cry out Zion, with a loud voice.
Repent, Reset and Realign
But, before we do that, we’ve got to RESET. Oh, GOD brought me right back, there. You can’t just walk over and step over the mess.
Let me ask you a question: If you went home one evening from work and, for some reason, the door wasn’t properly closed, the breeze blew it open. When you walked in the house you found a pig…a pig in your living room. What would you do? Would you just say? “What a lovely pig!” … “What a good looking pig!’ NO! But most of you, truth be told, most of you would run for your life. You would run to get your husband…run to get a man, run to get somebody, and say “come, come come…” because you would be scared stiff. But, you would not be comfortable.
No, you could not be comfortable. You could not be comfortable with a pig in your powder room?!! We do not entertain pigs in our parlours. No!
And GOD says, for too long we, the church … and I haven’t even touched government yet, apart from praying that GOD will raise up godly men in government… next week, GOD willing…part two
But GOD is say, we cannot go on this way. Start to RESET.
But before we RESET, we have to REPENT and then REALIGN. I don’t remember giving the topic for this message…It’s “REPENT, RESET, REALIGN”.
I checked out the word ‘realign’, and of course, the base word there is alignment, to align…
What is an alignment? When you take your vehicle to the alignment stand, what you are saying is, to the man, ‘my tyres need to be aligned’. What does that mean? It means your wheels, the angles of your wheels need to be adjusted back to the manufacturer’s specifications.
Our wheels are out of alignment.
Church of the living GOD, we have been rolling on wheels out of alignment. And, you know what happens when that stays too long? Your tyre wears bad…one side eats off before the other side; the other side is still brand new.
Realignment … adjusting the angles of the wheels back to the manufacturer’s specifications…it starts with repentance.
It’s time to repent. I hear GOD saying, “Repent! Repent MY People.”
Like David, say, “Have mercy on me O GOD, I need a RESET, back to the factory setting; a MASTER reset…Erase all of the data from my hard drive. My mind has information that has been corrupted by data from a virus. HOLY GHOST, Anti-virus, I need YOU now!”