Sin Problem

October 26, 2020

Day 693 of incarceration

A week from tomorrow [November 3, 2020] are elections in the United States, including for president.  Yet unfortunately, the root cause of all the problems within the nation seems to have been completely ignored.  The problems of the world or this nation will not be solved by electing one party over another unless this issue is proclaimed from the rooftops.  The fact of the matter is we have a moral problem. We have a sin problem.  And we have rebelled against God.

General Douglas MacArthur said in a speech back in 1951 the following:

“In this day of gathering storms, as the moral deterioration of political power spreads its growing infection, it is essential that every spiritual force be mobilized to defend and preserve the religious base upon which this nation was founded.  For it is that base which has been the motivating impulse to our moral and national growth.  History fails to record a single precedent in which nations subject to moral decay have not passed into political and economic decline.  There has been either a spiritual reawakening to overcome the moral lapse, or a progressive deterioration leading to ultimate national disaster.”

Today, our president is once again campaigning with the same “make America great again” rhetoric.  Yet he addresses every aspect of becoming a great nation again while seemingly ignoring this moral fabric, which underlines our decline.  No longer does our nation have a fear of Almighty God, which was the real reason God blessed America and made it into a great nation in the first place.  Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once said,

“If we are to go forward, we must go back and rediscover these precious values — that all reality hinges on moral foundations and that all reality as spiritual control.”

Should the church, the President, and both of our major political parties continue to ignore and avoid this fact, the United States of America will ultimately disintegrate — perhaps very soon and suddenly.  A great spiritual battle is going on for our nation, yet even those who seemingly are on the correct side of the battle fail to recognize it as such.  Unless our leaders identify the root of our problems as moral failings, we are likely doomed to oblivion.  It matters not if Donald Trump or Joe Biden is elected president; we are still headed toward the same cliff.  One is merely taking us there faster than the other.

William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, said in 1900,

“I consider that the chief dangers which confront the coming century will be religion without the Holy Ghost, Christianity without regeneration, politics without God, and heaven without hell.”

This is just as true in the 21st century as it was in the 20th century.  Only it seems in great part our nation has already fallen over the precipice.

It is so easy to get caught up in the “make America great again” political efforts, but that will fail unless President Trump and our nation’s leaders, and most importantly, our church leaders, recognize this as the spiritual battle that it is, and call this nation to repentance.

For those of us as part of the remnant, we must too repent on behalf of ourselves and the sins of our nation.  The devil and his demonic influence now have infested so many parts of our society with his deception and lies.  Jesus said some of these demons do not come out but through fasting and prayer.  I therefore encourage you to do two things:

First, fast and pray for revival in this nation, that the strongholds of Satan will be cast down.

Second, contact President Trump, your senators, and your representative and tell them America will never be great again unless they address the spiritual condition of our nation, that without a moral underpinning and fear of Almighty God we are doomed to failure like has happened to every great society in history that has abandoned its moral fiber.

May God bring revival once again in America!

Philip Zodhiates  18649-084

FCI Ashland

P.O. Box 6001

Ashland, KY  41105

Updates and BD card shower

UPDATES

1.  The civil case against Philip Zodhiates, et al, by Janet Jenkins is moving forward. Because of this, Philip is in need of more support for his attorneys fees. He is still in prison, and thus not able to raise funds on his own.

2.  Philip has asked for prayers that he might be released from prison in the next two weeks!

3.  Praise!  Kathie and their son, William, were able to visit Philip on Monday, October 19 for 65 minutes with proper COVID-19 restrictions in place. Visitation at the prison had stopped since February. Kathie said, “Wearing the mask was  very hard . . . much harder than you think. It was like sucking water back into my lungs and my chest has hurt ever since . . . It was awesome to see him. “

Philip continues to receive mail from prayer partners and supporters – he received 3 today. Thank you for your faithfulness to our modern day “Paul!”

Support Philip now:

https://419fund.com/donations/philip/

Kathie’s birthday is November 7, let’s shower her with birthday cards!

Mrs. Kathie Zodhiates

P.O. Box 1842

Waynesboro, VA 22980

Day 642

September 5, 2020
Saturday, Day 642

I’m being blessed by reading Randy Alcorn’s monumental book, If God is Good: Faith in the Midst of Suffering and Evil. In it he explains why the extra-biblical term, total depravity, is not the best description of man’s spiritual condition before God.

Yes, we are all sinners, that much is true. But the fact of the matter is there is nothing we can do to earn God‘s merit or favor (see Isaiah 64: 6; Romans 7:15; 8:8; Hebrews 11:6 ).

Alcorn says, “total depravity seems to imply that without Christ, no one can ever do anything remotely good. It even appears to suggest that we always do as much evil as possible. If that were true, why would Scriptures say of King Jehoshaphat, who had just sinned against God, ‘there is, however, some good in you’ (2 Chronicles 19:3).

“We can successfully complete any number of physical and mental tasks, even some good ones. But we remain helpless sinners with nothing to offer God that could gain a right standing with him. Therefore, I believe Wayne Gruden‘s term, total inability, is more accurate and helpful. I’ll add one word, calling it total spiritual inability. To emphasize that we have no ability to save ourselves may avoid the
misinterpretation some have of the term total depravity.“

I remember this was the topic of much discussion when Will first became a believer — whether a non-Christian has any good within themselves apart from God. Obviously the answer is yes, even for purely altruistic reasons. But, as Isaiah says our righteousness is as filthy rags; even Jesus in Matthew 7:9–11 seems to acknowledge this. For we have all sinned and come short of God‘s expectation; also see 1 John 1: 8-10.

Who do you love more?

September 13, 2020
Sunday, Day 650

“If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple…So therefore, no one of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.” (Luke 14:26-27, 33).

When I spoke to Kathie today on the phone, she told me how she hopes I’m home by the holidays. They are very difficult times for her even when I’m home, but me being away in prison makes it even more difficult for her.  She did tell me that she, however, has perfect peace and that God has shown her how she has put me ahead of HIM.  I too have had to repent of putting Kathie ahead of the Lord on numerous occasions. This is something extremely easy to do while we are having to be apart because of sheer injustice out of hatred by some people for the Lord Jesus Christ and God’s Word.

But Jesus Himself predicted such a future. He told His own disciples, “And you will be hated by all on account of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.” (Matthew 10:22).

We will be hated for righteousness’ sake. This has clearly been what has happened in my case, and I am now sitting in a prison cell because of it, and my wonderful wife who struggles to be alone is home without me (I thank God, however, for our oldest son William who is living at home – what a blessing he is).

The Greek word used here in Luke 14:26 for “hate,” miseō, normally is translated hate, which is specifically attributed to the testing or abhorring something. However, it has a less common meaning, which Matthew’s account depicts Jesus saying, “he who loves . . . more than Me.” In Luke 14:33 Jesus sums up that “no one of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions.” But hear the Greek word translated “give up,” apotassetai, literally means “to properly arrange.” It refers to Christians who know how to properly arrange their lives so that Christ is given the preeminence. And this is what the problem was with the rich young ruler (Luke 18:18-27), for the wealthy young man’s riches were his idol, something he wasn’t willing to give up for Christ.

Herein lies the secondary meaning of miseō, translated “hate” and Luke 14:26. In this context, it is loving one’s relatives less than the Lord. That is required of us — for us to take up our cross and follow Christ or be his disciple. My dad, in The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament, puts it this way, “Here Jesus asserts His deity. Every member of man’s family is a human being, and the love shown to humans compared to the love shown to Jesus Christ, God in the flesh, must be so different that the former seems like hatred. The meaning of miseō as loving less is made clear in Matt. 10:37, ‘He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.’ In His commands for loving other human beings, the Lord never said, ‘Love other human beings as you love Me,’ but ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself’ (Matt. 19:19). When it comes to loving God, however, He is placed in a unique position (Matt. 22:37, 38).”

For Kathie and myself, Rearranging our lives of priorities assuring that Christ is first has been one of God’s purposes in our current travails. This is all part of God’s refining process; a key reason God allows suffering in our lives. Being apart from each other for up to three years is the hardest thing for both of us during the confinement. Without Christ, in our lives, it would be unbearable. Many times, prior to my trial the prosecution offered me plea deals: “plead guilty and testify and you’ll receive no prison time,” they said, even the day before the trial was to begin.  But I truly believed this would be no different than denying Christ.

I truly could not at the time see any purpose for God allowing me to be found guilty, to be sentenced to prison, to lose my appeals, and to be denied home confinement after having served two-thirds of my sentence, as per the law. Yet now, looking back, as difficult as it has been and as hard as it remains especially during the Covid-19 lock-down, I see God’s hand in every bit of it. Making sure our priorities are in the right order, with Christ being the head, is at the top of that list. Both of our lives have been radically turned even more toward becoming more like Christ. Yet even beyond what God has done in our own lives is what He has done in the lives of others, especially within the barbed wire of these prison fences and this unit in particular. God’s Spirit continues to move in miraculous ways. Men are continuing to come to Christ and many more are being dramatically transformed into the image of Christ to the point where it is spreading beyond these walls and the gates of this prison.

And so, I have come to the point where, if I am to stay here until March 6, the date I have been given to leave here and report to the halfway house in Virginia, I am willing to do so. I rejoice for the privilege of being here to witness firsthand the Spirit of God move among men here. I praise Him for being called into His service.

In His service,

Philip Zodhiates

P.S. Kathie, William, Josiah and Janet Stasulli have nearly gotten all of my daily journal up-to-date at http://www.romanseight28.com. Please check it out!

Vote!

November 3, 2020 is a very important day in our country – ELECTION DAY! This election, some say, is the most important and consequential election in our entire history. It may very well mean freedom or slavery (socialism).

ELECTIONS  HAVE CONSEQUENCES THAT LAST A LIFETIME!

What you can do:
1. VOTE
2. If you are not registered – register to vote and then vote.
3. Get others to register and then vote.
4. Pray.
5. Check out the candidates – very easy with https://ivoterguide.com/
6. Send this link to all your friends across the country!

With the iVoter Guide you can:
1. Search by state, zip code or candidate
2. Check the party platforms
3. Check the policy positions of Presidential Candidates

One very helpful feature is the survey that the candidates were asked to fill out – some did, some didn’t.

This voter guide is sponsored by many conservative organizations including: AFA Action, FRC Action, CWA LAC, Eagle Forum Georgia, Priests for Life, VA Freedom Caucus, and many others.

I actually worked on rating Virginia and Pennsylvania candidates along with my panel members.

Janet Stasulli
Co-Founder and President
419 Fund

Thankful!

“The Lord told me everyone was going to be okay.”

— Hanna Sims

I delivered a check to Hanna yesterday and she testified that the Lord had been with them. Brenda had told me that Waylon usually drives with Hanna in the passenger seat, but on that particular day, Hanna was driving. Because of this change, Hanna’s life was spared. Waylon is a big guy and was able to withstand the impact much better than Hanna ever would have.
Hanna said yesterday that during the spinning, she heard the Lord say to her that everyone was going to be okay (injured, but alive). So once they stopped spinning and ended up hitting the commercial vehicle, she knew Eden (in the backseat in the car seat) was okay, and she could concentrate on aiding Waylon. She has such a sweet spirit.
Her right shoulder was injured and still hurts, but she has had to concentrate on Waylon’s PT and taking care of Eden to get the attention that her shoulder needs.
Hanna wants to thank everyone who has given to help them!
— Janet Stasulli
Co-Founder and President
419 Fund

Judges rules against Church!

JUDGE RULES AGAINST CHURCH – CANNOT HOLD INDOOR SERVICES!

https://tinyurl.com/yys5sao8

After a hearing on Friday, September 4, Judge Mitchell L. Beckloff in the Superior Court of California, ruled on Friday, September 11 that the Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, CA (John MacArthur’s Church) could not hold indoor services!

Read the article here:  https://tinyurl.com/yy4n6vw7

To quote the article, John MacArthur said,

“In an inexplicable ruling, the judge said the ‘scale tipped in favor of the county.’ 1/100th of 1% of Californians with a virus apparently wins over the U.S. Constitution and religious freedom for all? That is not what our founders said. Nor is that what God says, who gave us our rights that our government—including the judicial branch—is supposed to protect. The scale should always tip in favor of liberty, especially for churches.”

Read the order of Central District in County of Los Angeles et al. v. Grace Community Church et al. here: https://tinyurl.com/y474mncx

Calabash Seafood

Calabash Seafood in Mechanicsville, VA is under attack by the Commonwealth of Virginia for opening. Brian Smith has owned and operated Calabash for 41 years. The Virginia Health Department shut him down September 1st over masks and social distancing requirements. Masks have not at this moment been mandated in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Read more here:

https://www.nbc12.com/2020/08/17/ag-herring-files-injunction-bar-mechanicsville-restaurant-operating-without-license/

https://www.wric.com/news/local-news/vdh-suspends-permit-for-mechanicsville-seafood-restaurant/

Check out video:

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1491489904394381&

They are going to fight this injustice. Will you help them with their attorneys’ fees?  They are fighting for your freedom as well!

Donate here:    https://419fund.com/donations/calabash-seafood/

Romans 8:28-29

“And we know that all things work together for good for them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. For whom he did foreknow, He also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.”

Romans 8:28-29

Well, tonight I decided to share with my fellow inmates who meet nightly for Bible study what the Lord showed me a little while ago.  You know Romans 8:28. The last half says, “for those who love God and are called according to His purpose.”

But what is His purpose?  I never put verse 29 together with verse 28, but it answers that question.  His purpose in every circumstance is for us to become Christlike.  It says it right there.

If you back up to verse 18, you get the eternal perspective on things – “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory, which shall be revealed in us.”.  We rejoice in the glory that is to be revealed.  God is causing all things to happen for our own benefit so that we will become Christlike, for in glory we will be fully Christlike.  We will shine just as Jesus did in His glory on the Mount of Transfiguration, as bright as the stars!  But He wants us to put on His character now in this pre-life here on earth in preparation for our ultimate life there.

That’s why we are going through what we are going through now.  He is causing all things to work together for His good and His purpose, but we may not know what that is until it is fully revealed to us in glory.  Verse 22 speaks to this – “For we know that the whole creation groans and travails in pain together until know.”  If we knew His purposes fully, what hope would we have?  What we have seen is not hope, it says.  So, through all of this we have His hope!  What awesome things to think about.

And just think how that also goes together with verses about suffering and persecution such as Matthew 5:10-11!  “Blessed are they who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when men shall revile you and persecute you and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward n heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets who were before you.”

Our blessings will come in that life when it really matters.  Yes, He may still bless us in this life, but that’s not where our hope should be.  Our hope should be in glory; in our being with Him.

That’s a lot to think about.

In His Service in Ashland Correctional Facility,
Philip Zodhiates

Philip’s Journal – July 30, 2020

July 30, 2020
Thursday, Day 606

Today our nation is in an uproar. A few thousand protesters/rioters have hijacked the agenda of the largest political party and the major news organizations to the point where they are supporting anarchy and Marxist revolution. Who would have thought this would happen a few years ago? And all of this is happening without the support of the majority of the country‘s citizens, while President Trump’s support among the “African American“ community is at an all-time high – – at approximately 40%, as attorney general William Barr asked the congressional Democrats on the judiciary committee this week, “Since when is it OK to try to burn down a Federal Courthouse?“

All of this is going on while churches are forbidden to hold services in many if not most places. Clearly Christians are being targeted. A friend of mine who lives in a neighboring county, Albermarle, tells me that if they are caught outside of their home, even on their porch or deck without a mask it is an automatic $1,400 fine per person! Yet who are they going to infect? The squirrels? The birds? They live in the countryside, but yet on a busy road.

Another friend of mine who writes each week, keeping me informed of the news, brought to my attention 2 Timothy 3, in conjunction with the current anarchy in the streets of many of our cities:

“But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revealers, 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 deny its power, and avoid such men as these. For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. And just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men of depraved mind, rejected as regards the faith, for they will not make further progress; for their folly will be obvious to all, as also that of these two came to be“ (2 Timothy 3:1-9).

But what should be our response as believers? In the rest of the chapter, Paul tells us very clearly, “but you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, persecutions, and sufferings, such as happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium and at Lystra; What prosecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord delivered me! And indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. But evil man and imposters will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. You, however, continue in the things you have learned and become convinced of, knowing from whom you have learned them; and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith, which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work“ (2 Timothy 3:10-17).

The adjectives Paul uses in the opening verses describes so perfectly the burning down of our cities and seeking to overthrow all authority. And it astonishes many pundits that the majority of these Anarchist are white college educated women under the age of 35. Yet it is a reflection of what they are being taught in our colleges and universities today – – that they are entitled to whatever anybody else has, they are to reject all authority, morality is relative, God is a myth, it’s OK to kill your own children for convenience sake (life has no intrinsic value), and tradition is to be rejected and history rewritten. Yet right here in 2 Timothy 3:6, Paul says weak women weighed down with sin will be captivated and lead on by various impulses. Is that not exactly what is going on?

Yet we are to remain faithful to the Lord and scripture, expecting persecution during these times, conducting ourselves righteously with purpose, faith, patience, love and perseverance. Indeed, we are to show love to the protesters/rioters in the name of Christ, and patience and perseverance! We, especially those in the communities where this is taking place, must reach out in love, not hate, in the name of Christ. And they will know we are Christians by our love.

In His Service,

Philip Zodhiates

More journal entries at:

https://www.romanseight28.com/