“Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. I’m Sam Waters along with Roland Panna here at the Badger News Forum. Welcome to this special Saturday night program that has everyone wondering what is on the mind of President Gary Forest as he brings his message from Camp David, Maryland.
“Well, Roland, this is an unusual night. The President late last night requested 30 minutes of prime time to deliver yet another parting address to the American people. He already said goodbye formally this week at the White House. What’s your take on all this?”
The man opening the program at 9 Eastern time was the lead commentator and co-anchor for this renowned station. He was a short, dark haired, round faced, quick talking charmer. He was a charismatic figure in the classic sense of the word. His faith ran to New Age Hinduism, and he was a big fanatic of Gandhi, the Indian Hindu leader murdered in 1948 and who loved the teachings of Jesus. Sam was as pagan as they come, and he loved arguing on and off the air with his co-anchor and foil, Roland Panna.
Roland was the exact opposite of Sam. Tall, blond, long faced, slow and deliberate in speech, he had been a fixture on this show for 3 years running. Roland and his whole family attended Grace Worship Center, a 12,000 member mega-church in the local suburbs. Roland was a fanatic of the bestselling author Mo Memes, and John Osborn, another mega-church pastor type who filled the Christian TV airwaves with his teaching several times daily.
Roland carefully responded.
“Sam, no one is sure at all what’s on the President’s mind. The only thing we know is that Marine One picked up First Lady Linda Forest around dinner tonight and flew her back alone to the White House. That indeed, was very unusual. The President has never made a prime time message without her at his side.
“And…and…,” Roland was at a loss for words, also unusual for him.
“And, what, Roland?” inquired Sam with a tilt of his head.
“And…it was reported she had been crying. A lot….”
Sam tried to hide a smile. “Alright…let’s turn to the room where the President will deliver his message to the American people in just a minute.”
The large monitor in the News Forum room suddenly lit up with the image of President Forest. Odd, thought Roland. He looks different in his casual shirt, with the fireplace burning in the background. But something else was different. Something quite different. He couldn’t put his finger on it.
But Sam could. He detected it instantly in the President’s demeanor. He was very subdued, looked tired, but there was a…a…sort of…of, what shall we call it, a sort of joy in his face. Yes, that’s it. A look of joy. Sam has never ever seen anything like this in the last 8 years of this hard driving, my-way-or-the-highway Commander in Chief.
But he dismissed it as a sign of relief that this most unpopular President was finally winging his way out of Washington DC and into the lucrative post Presidential deals that would make him even more wealthy.
“My fellow Americans,” President Forest began, “I come to you tonight to make an apology and to ask you for your forgiveness. Please let me explain.”
Roland sat up straighter and quickly looked at Sam. Sam acknowledged his glance and they both fixed their gaze back to the monitor. The President had both of their attention. What was he up to?
“A few weeks ago, a key and widely respected member of our staff, Karen, approached me in the hallway on my way to the Oval Office. She softly requested my presence for 15 minutes over lunch with two Christian men she knew well. I have always trusted her judgment implicitly. These men, Jordan and Mike, had arrived at the White House and had been ushered in to a general waiting area awaiting my reply.”
Where is this going, muttered Sam. Roland was very uneasy about the whole thing. It was about to get a whole lot more uneasy for him….
“Something inside my heart said I must meet these two men, and I did over a lunch that turned into 2 hours, not 15 minutes.
“They courageously proclaimed the true gospel of Jesus to me in a way I had never heard it before. They gently but boldly showed me how my behavior and attitude had been extremely sinful. The Holy Spirit of Jesus allowed my heart to be pierced in only a way I can describe as miraculous.
“I’m a changed man. Changed. I thought I knew God, but I was wrong. My life proved I was so lost. So lost. I’m sold out to Jesus now. The cross and His blood have truly washed me clean.”
The President’s new found joy spread over his face as he pressed on. He nervously glanced over to Jordan and Mike who were off camera but close by in the wings. Karen was also present to provide much needed spiritual support in this time of trial.
“I’m so sorry for my actions and I publicly apologize to the American people, the people of the world, to Christians everywhere, and to my Savior and Lord, Jesus.”
Roland was in shock. Sam leaned forward and shook his head in disbelief.
Present Forest slid over in front of him what looked like a brand new Bible. Roland recognized it in a flash. It appeared to give the President great comfort as he placed his hands over the cover.
“Oh, yes. I’ve upheld the sacredness of the unborn and of marriage. And some other moral issues too. I’m at least proud of that. But, oh….all the things I’ve ignored. All the words of Jesus and the Holy Bible I’ve ignored. All the people I’ve pushed away. All the enemies I’ve made…instead of loving them. All the money I’ve made…instead of helping others. All the special interests I’ve catered to. All the excuses I’ve made for mistakes. I’m so embarrassed.”
His voice became very soft. Then silent. Then he began to quietly weep as tears flowed freely down both cheeks. But swiftly, he regained his composure and wiped his eyes somewhat dry with his shirt sleeves. His nose still sniveled.
Sam was now riveted to the screen.
“I’m not going to make any more excuses, but I’ll spend the rest of my life making things right and really serving others. As Chuck Colson once said on a tape I have, I was the kind of guy who was more like Adolf Hitler than Jesus Christ.”
Roland felt sick to his stomach. When is this nightmare going to end, Lord? Can you make this guy shut up and stop these lies? My God, America is a great nation and the world needs us to get things right. This is so embarrassing.
“Here’s what I’m going to do to make amends,” declared President Forest.
“First, I apologize to the people of the sovereign nation of Surem for invading your country on false pretenses, a lie. And to the 2-3 million displaced souls that had to flee their own country for their lives as a result. And, also to the 600,000 Christians believers who had relative peace before the invasion but then were persecuted by other native religions, and then forced to flee for their lives. I’m so sorry. Please forgive my part in all this.
“As soon as I relocate from Washington, I’m going to dedicate much of my time and finances to ministry work in the country of Surem, and with the displaced persons of that country, especially the Christians. Also in the African country of Usfree were thousands have been killed in genocide on my watch, especially the Christians at the hands of radical Muslims.
“Second, I’m going to do the same for the people of America that still need help after the disastrous hurricane that struck the state of Alabama years ago on my watch. Our administration response was pitiful, especially toward those who were lowly in status and really needed our help. There’s much to do to comfort those who lost loved ones and all their worldly possessions. Again, I’m so sorry. Please forgive my part in all this.
“Third, I’m selling the large home we recently bought and liquidating our main investments. I’m hoping to purchase a small modest home in an average community of working class people in the south. We also want to help the poor and those so much more in need than the average American.
“My new home church family has many ties to local and international needs for those who need something to eat, and to lend a helping hand to start a micro business to feed their family.
“Lastly…,” the President’s voice quaked as he seemed to lose his composure as if spiritually attacked in the heavens. Believers everywhere were now joining Jordan, Mike and Karen to lift him up to the throne for this last part. The spiritually attuned knew a great struggle was underway.
Soon, the power of prayer rose to God’s gracious compassion, and this victory was all but assured. The President could now finish.
“So, my fellow Americans and my dear brethren in Christ, I now desire with all my heart to be a doer of the WHOLE word not just a hearer only as the holy scriptures tell us. I really need all your prayers…starting right now, please.”
President Forest shifted nervously in his seat, and he looked to his left over at Jordan and Mike. It was obvious that something of monumental proportion was about to take place…Could it be that even more history was in the making?
He seemed to be gathering up the last of the available courage. The man once again looked down at the new Bible sitting in front of him. He turned a few pages, fixed his eyes on a passage. Then slowly, deliberately his gaze rose up to the waiting camera. He thought of his wife, and the disrespectful, contentious anger she displayed toward him this very morning because of his final decision revealed to her.
“Jesus proclaimed on many occasions that we should ‘take courage.’ Oh, God, that’s what I need now and….” His voice trailed off, and he visibly bit his lower lip. His voice was now quivering as he took up the charge of the real God.
“The Holy Spirit has instructed me to obey all the Words of Jesus and prove my love for Him once and for all. He said if I love Him, I will obey, and He and the Father will come and abide with me. If I obey…if I obey…”
Again, President Forest, now a true believer and obeyer of Christ, stole another glance over to the two saints on his left. They both looked at each other for a moment and turned their faces back to their new friend. They individually shook their heads up and down, nodding their approval with smiles.
It was exactly what the President needed just then. He could now feel his heart was being filled to the maximum with the Holy Spirit. The promised courage had arrived in full measure. God’s holy angels assigned to the President for this occasion were successful in keeping away the evil demons who sought to stop this man. It was time…
The President visibly drew a deep breath and continued. “Jesus would never be elected as President. Moreover, he would never serve as the American President by compromising the Words of His Father. And if I truly follow Him as He commands, neither can I.
“Can you imagine His campaign platform for President: swearing allegiance to the Father God only and not defending America, loving your enemies and not competing with them let alone killing them, selling your possessions to help the poor, associating with and serving the downtrodden, rebuking fleshy religious leaders at great personal peril, to name but a few?”
Jordan was begging and beseeching the throne of God to continue keeping all evil spiritual forces at bay to allow his new brother Gary to finish his course here, to fight the good fight…to the end.
In response to those holy prayers, the Ancient of Days power now flowed through the President in a remarkable way as his voice began to take on an even greater strength and resolve.
The air seemed to be thick with anticipation. What came next almost no one expected.
“This Holy Spirit has told me that I must resign as President immediately. And I’m going to do that as the visual proof of my new obedient love for my Savior Jesus.”
The Badger Network commentators appeared frozen in time. Both Roland, the Christian, and Sam, the American New Age Hindu, slowly turned from the TV monitor and stoically looked at each other in total shock.
Roland’s mouth was wide open, enough to drive a good size SUV through. My God, he fumed, it’s only three days until the inauguration of the new President. What’s the big deal about waiting until then to begin doing all these foolish things?
It appeared at first glance that Sam’s face was beginning to offer a slight smile. Well, I’ll be…he thought. Is someone finally going to really do what Jesus said?
The only sound on the set was the noise of a pen dropping to the desk where Roland sat, as he earlier was nervously rolling it between the fingers of his hands as the President was giving his testimony. The pen then continued its journey as it rolled off the desk and clanged to the studio floor.
But no one noticed, as every eye was glued to the face of President Forest on the screen to see what came next…
“Many of you, especially the American Christians who are tuned in, may be asking yourselves why I don’t just wait the few days until the new President is installed to begin my new life. This is the same question the First Lady demanded of me this morning.
“My simple humble response is that the Holy Spirit of Jesus wants me to obey…NOW. There’s not a day to lose after all these years. And this is the way He desires me to walk with Him. It brings the Father pleasure. This is His world. I’m but a servant, a clay pot in the Potter’s hand. Do I tell Him what to do?
“I’ve even gone on record and said that we were killing people for America and doing God’s will. What a fool I’ve been! What arrogance I’ve displayed! Who am I to delay my response to God’s loving request? I live for Him, the King of Kings, not for America. I love my family too but I live for Him first and foremost, not my wife and children.”
Unbelievable, Roland thought. Who does he think he is, anyway? This is so embarrassing for the church. What are the unsaved going to think about this false Jesus that the President is speaking of? What kind of love is this? From the devil! Who will defend America against the terrorists, and its enemies?
“The prophet Samuel declared truth to King Saul upon his feigned obedience that had disastrous consequences for the Jewish people. And I declare to you Christians who like me are following your own carnal desires and rationalizing that it pleases God. It doesn’t. To obey is better than sacrifice. Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft. Witchcraft.”
The President closed his eyes, dropped his head slightly as his hand slowly covered his face and said quietly, “Oh, God help us.” It was only a moment, but seemed like an hour for those watching closely.
He turned back to the audience. “Stop your sin…repent, and live, as I have done.”
Every eye was still riveted to the TV screen. Hearts were pounding in many chests as history still unfolded.
“To those of you believers in Jesus who think it’s your God ordained right to take up arms and kill your enemies, I admonish you to carefully ask the Spirit to give you a fresh view of Romans 12-13. God puts in the Governments, even Nero who killed Christians by the boatload. Even Hitler.
More truth flowed easily from brother Gary as the Spirit continued. “That passage is written to free us up for true Kingdom work. We don’t obey God by disobeying His word. American Christian leaders who are preaching that error and fueling up the wars of old men so young men can die for their demonic patriotic zeal need to repent and follow Jesus. Just repent and obey.”
The silence was deafening now. True kingdom believers knew the spiritual transaction was a miracle. Never before did he hear these words from any President, let alone President Gary Forest.
“I’ve played so many games with Him over the years I wonder if I was ever saved. I probably wasn’t. The fruit certainly was missing in my life. And to tell the truth, it was only when my dear friend and sister Karen introduced me to these two men who had the guts to admonish me were my eyes finally opened.”
The overcoming victorious triumph was just about complete. Just another step…the angels were cheering in heaven. The great cloud of witnesses were praising the Father. Jesus was beaming. The glory was spreading!
“I’ll instruct Vice President Wicker that he’s to be sworn in right after my message here as acting President until this coming Tuesday when President-elect Suran will take his vows as our new President.
Another bold evangelist was being birthed. The President again stunned the listeners.
“It goes without saying, of course, that today I’ll proclaim the true gospel of Jesus Christ to them both individually. This will include all the gospel requirements of counting the cost before they make a decision. Like taking up their bloody cross, their method of death to the old man, and becoming a new creation in Jesus. To go and sin no more. To war against the flesh by way of the Spirit. To expect tremendous persecution, malice, rejection, especially from their own family and most of the so-called church of Jesus Christ that masquerades in His name.
“And if the Vice President and President elect also repent and believe, they too would have no choice then to follow my example and resign to pursue what Jesus would do. Actually, what He did. It’s all there for us to follow. As the apostle Paul said, “Follow me as I follow Christ.”
The viewers could tell the President was almost done.
“My intent is to harm no one, but to solely please my Master. A man’s enemies will be that of his own household. Pray for my wife, Linda, who is taking this particularly hard. And my children are struggling. But my face is set like flint, just like Jesus when He made His final journey to Jerusalem for His Crucifixion and glorious resurrection.
“Pray for me, my family, the lost, the world, and America. I’ll be available for questions after a few days. But for now, I need some time alone. I trust you’ll understand and honor my request. And my decision is final.
“May Jesus bless you all. God loves each and every one of you for eternity.
“Thank you, my fellow Americans, and my fellow Christians, and good night.”
Sam muttered almost aloud, “Well, I’ll be dammmm…” He caught himself and stopped in reverence. He looked at the ground, not knowing if he should say anything at all or just drink in this moment. But his viewers beckoned….
“Well, ladies and gentlemen,” declared Sam, as the lead commentator, “there you have it. History of gigantic proportions. We’ll be back in a minute with some summary commentary and a wrap up.” A long awaited commercial message followed.
There was a bit more stumbling conversation after the commercial from the two commentators as they both tried to make sense out of what they had just witnessed. Roland was uncharacteristically quiet, and fumbled for just about every word. Sam did most of the talking in a jovial sort of way. They signed off the air within 15 minutes.
After the network sign off and a bit of debriefing, the men’s job was over…for the moment. But they knew their lives had changed forever. Perhaps each in a different way.
And all because one woman of Jesus named Karen and two men of Jesus named Jordan and Mike listened to the prompting of the Holy Spirit and courageously obeyed. And another man placed sovereignly and strategically in the course of history as President decided to love God with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to prove it.
Sam then stood up, and spoke a last time to Roland. “Hey buddy, this is history tonight. And your Jesus is really something else. I…I…I never dreamed I’d live to see a day like this. I’m going to go home…probably dust off my old Bible, get a transcript of this message, and see if what he was saying is all in this Bible of yours. Can you help me to find the places where all this stuff is located if I can’t find it?”
Sam was dead serious. Roland sat silently, and never responded to this plea for help.
Excitedly, Sam followed with another response. “I want to find out how I can meet those two guys the President mentioned. I might even ask this God of yours to reveal Himself to me. I mean, if He loves me too as the President said, maybe there’s room in His kingdom for someone even like me.
“I mean, if Jesus is more holy than Gandhi and if there’s people who really follow Jesus…I mean really follow Him…” His voice trailed off in apparent wonder, as he again shook his head.
The broadening smile on his face spoke of hope, a new and renewed hope.
Roland just starred back at him, still in shock and denial. What was there to say when your cherished American theology has just crumbled in the face of true Truth, the real face of Jesus?
Roland, the quintessential American Christian was now very angry at the President as he began working through the 5 stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. Jesus prayed to the Father through intercession that Roland would repent and accept all the commands of the King of glory. Roland’s eternal destiny hung in the balance.
Roland was still visibly upset even to Sam and the whole TV crew, for everything he once denied about the words of Jesus was back on the table. At least for the moment.
Of course, unbeknownst to him at the time of his immense anger, the danger was to be filled with an infinite capacity for self-delusionment and self-rationalization. And to blow off all the glorious history that was just made. And to practice the old Pharisee tactic: take the argument to the man, ignore the proclaimed truth and just discredit the messenger. If you can’t kill him, discredit, ignore, and just start a new church down the street. Or better yet, he’ll just slink away in embarrassment. That will solve the problem, right?
Satan is so clever, and so many are not aware of his schemes. So many key leaders are filled with the sin of being irreconcilable. Roland didn’t read the Word anymore. He just listened to Christian TV and radio, sang songs in Sunday church, and read the verse or two that the lead pastor threw up on the screen. He had no clue if even the message was right, for the context was never taught. How could he?
But the Holy Spirit was faithful, and once more boldly stepped into Roland’s heart with the verse he’s read many many years ago from 2 Timothy 3:2-5:
“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.”
The only people we’re to avoid, he remembered distantly, are those who claim Christ but shame His name in disobedience. Wow. Sort of like casting your truth pearls in front of pigs. Or giving what is holy to the scavenger dogs. Yech. Roland didn’t like those verses. They weren’t nice. How could they be the love of Jesus? How could Jesus or anyone else say such things?
The peculiar saints in his mega-church fellowship who had mysteriously shown up a year ago had been preaching these very things there and at his home group. And this courageous saint, his wife, and 3 children, had all been maliciously maligned, persecuted, and all but put out of their own “synagogue” due to “another gospel.”
Roland was under tremendous conviction, the likes of which he could never remember. What do I do now, he fumed? And what will my wife and church family think of this despicable act of the President?
Roland’s thoughts were interrupted by Sam’s renewed conversation.
“If this is real, and it now seems to be, I’d be a fool to not find out what this Jesus is all about.”
The broad smile on Sam’s face was in full bloom. “I mean…I can’t believe it. President Forest, the arrogant tough guy who was always right, that made enemies at the drop of a hat, that almost no one likes…giving it all up for this Jesus…amazing…just amazing…see you later, Roland. I’ve got my babe waiting for me at home.”
And with that, Sam, the once resolute New Age Hindu, turned around, picked up his suit coat he had shed a while before, shook his head a last time in disbelief, walked out through the door of Studio 3, down the hallway, and into the cold winter night air.
Something big was in the wind with his life, he just knew it was. And with a final deep breath of anticipation, his step had a new spring, as his car ducked out through the parking garage, flew into the interstate, and headed for home.
He could hardly wait to get home to snuggle in and talk with his live-in girlfriend to get her take on all this. He felt the old twinge for sex with his girl friend, but in a strange new way, this spiritual quest was even more exciting. Well, he thought, Roland was always talking to me about fornication, but I was always talking to him about his defending his old buddy, President Forest. But everything is changed.
Man, the Christians must be really irritated, he chuckled to himself as the car’s MP3 player switched to the next Bruce Springsteen song. After defending this joker all these years, he finally comes clean. You know, after this confession and total change of heart, I think I’d like to finally meet him. I do admire his guts, mused Sam.
And so did millions of other pagans across the nation of America. And around the world. They were befuddled at the apparent contradiction this night of the previous eight years of claims and stone walling. In the course of 20 minutes with one message, countless human souls were eternal affected with the true gospel of Jesus.
Over time, many would be welcomed into the kingdom, and would later rejoice with brother Gary Forest at the King’s banquet table. As they would then all relive the grace of God, His Majestic Glory, and the favor that allowed the true saints to love God by obeying Him in all respects.
And the Word of God, the Sword of the Spirit, echoes resoundingly down the canyons of recorded time, once again proclaiming it’s truth, conviction, and comfort for us who have ears to hear:
“For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?”
“In the same way, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”
“But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.”
Every grace today, beloved….
Your friend and brother in fighting the good fight,
Saints, we’re one day closer to Home, and Him! Love Him wholeheartedly!
MONDAY MANNA: A few minutes to help equip Jesus’ soldiers for another week in the SPIRITUAL WAR; By Marc White, Director, Walk Worthy, Central Florida, USA
“(God) rained down manna upon them to eat, And gave them food from heaven.” Psalm 78:24; Monday Manna, Copyright, a Walk Worthy ministry; permission granted to repost in full.
The Vision of Walk Worthy (Walk Worthy Vision: 6 minutes) is to be preaching and discipling the whole Gospel and purpose of God worldwide so that His body will walk in all purity and holiness, and bring Him pleasure in all respects. www.walkworthy.org
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The writers and speakers we quote may preach certain doctrines in their ministries and/or live lifestyles that we disagree with mildly or wholeheartedly. However, something of eternal value from them has been delivered to us by the Holy Spirit. And in that leading, we pass it on to you for your edification!
Feel free to write and proclaim your leadings in the Spirit in an honorable fashion. May our Father richly bless you with His grace, through Jesus Christ our Lord, in order to walk worthy of His name.