Dr. Royce Woods, senior pastor of Holy Trinity Worship Center International in Washington, D.C., introduces the truth and offers purpose and direction as he promotes the resurrection of the original Jerusalem Council, once removed forcibly by those who opposed it. Woods begins by detailing his own spiritual journey as the seventeenth of eighteen children who grew up on the streets of Washington, D.C. and transitions into a discussion about why, out of all the ethnic groups of the world, none have exemplified the idea of blood ties like the Nation of Israel-descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and the primary targets of dark forces bent on destroying their bloodline. Woods includes applicable scripture as he encourages the removal of the center and head of the church in spirit and in practice from Rome back to the heart of Jerusalem.
Blood Ties Forever transports others on an amazing journey into the mind of God, ultimately illustrating that God's promises will indeed be a blessing to all people as His gift to the world.
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Blood Ties ForeverThe Re-Covering of the True Church
By Royce L. Woods
Trafford PublishingCopyright © 2009 Dr. Royce L Woods
All right reserved.
Chapter OneThe Journey of a Common Man "My Own Story"
"And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call." Joel 2:32 KJV
This prophetic window and others like it peering into Israel's future, still remains a perplexing enigma to both the people of Israel and to those who have been introduced to Israel's predetermined destiny. They are often left with more questions than answers. Questions like when and how is all this suppose to take place? As always, God remains true to His tradition as He continues to keep men in suspense, until He is ready to reveal His handiwork. That is why we should never take our eyes off of the limitless possibilities of the infinite being God, Him whom we worship.
We know that there are certain people who will be appalled at the idea that as the Church, we would have the audacity to think somehow and in some way, we should get involved in Israel's current state of affairs. However, we are of the Ecclesia -'a called out remnant' that God has set in place and in motion for this particular point in time. Moreover, our being part of this remnant gives us every right to speak in the way that we do. We are genuinely concerned with Israel's prosperity and well being. It is by God's Holy Spirit that we feel compelled to issue this clarion call to the entire Christian community. "As Israel goes, so goes the rest of the world."
"God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation." Acts 17:24-26 KJV
Just as we are familiar with the term 'landlord' as describing a property owner who leases his property to others, so is God Lord of both heaven and earth. Therefore, He should not be minimized in our thoughts towards Him. So often because of the voluminous boundless statute of God, for many it is difficult to imagine the very mind, attention and design of Him trickling down into, and becoming interwoven with the concerns of a common everyday mortal man. Not just at some particular event or juncture in their lives, but from the very moment of their inception. Paul shares with us the definitive linkage that God has with men, and the common linkage that men have with each other - One Blood.
Paul is very confident and comfortable with the idea that when it comes to God's created being, man, every step that he makes, every breath that he takes, every inch of ground that he covers, and every person that he meets have all been measured, appointed and determined before time ever was.
When I look back at what appeared to be a mundane existence and life that began without real purpose, I am thoroughly amazed at the fact that God was always around, which is to say no matter how dismal or grim an event or circumstance may appear to be, there has never been a moment or place in time where God was not in attendance.
"And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?" Exodus 3:11 KJV
Who am I? I honestly can't remember how many times I have found myself asking that very same question, when confronted with challenges that I felt exceeded my ability to perform. Who would have thought that after 40 years of living in exile, this man Moses born of Hebrew slaves, and at the time of this particular event a fugitive in hiding, would be used of God to deliver his people Israel out of Egyptian bondage? At least in Moses' mind, this task that he had been summoned to undertake was both huge and unthinkable.
At Israel's birth Egypt had already had many centuries of stable national life behind her. The Pharaohs were not only the Lords of a dynasty; they were also the patrons of a majestic culture. The pyramids and hieroglyphic inscriptions on walls and tombs showed their intense ambition to preserve, and transmit the Egyptian experience. Massive statues and exquisite mural paintings reflect their artistic imaginations. The political sway of Egypt's strength and power ran from the Nile which is the Sudan, across the Sinai wilderness into Canaan and Syria. Sometimes an Egyptian expedition would reach as far westward as Libya. Moses was born at a time when the Pharaoh, the ruler of Egypt - a most powerful and magnificent dynasty - had given orders that no more male Hebrew children should be allowed to live. The Hebrew slaves had been reproducing so fast that he felt threatened by a Hebrew revolt against his authority. But, in an attempt to save her young child's life, his mother fashioned a basket of papyrus, waterproofed it with asphalt and pitch, and set it afloat on the Nile River. By God's divine providence the child was recovered by a princess who was the daughter of Pharaoh, who would raise him as her own son.
However, unbeknown to the princess in her search to find a nursemaid to rear the child, she chose Moses' own mother who would play a critical role and have tremendous influence in the life of this young prince of Egypt. Moses' 40 years in Egypt afforded him ample time to learn many things concerning the Egyptian culture, and way of life. Also, I believe at some point during that same time, he struggled with his inner most feelings concerning the accepted practices of how the Jews then called Hebrews, were to be treated. In a fit of anger Moses took the life of an Egyptian soldier for beating a Hebrew slave and this led to his banishment from the Land.
The Bible's depiction of Moses' first encounter with God makes it apparent that his approach to "this great sight", (a burning bush), was that of a curious observer. Little did he know that he was being led down a path that God had set in place for him long before he was ever born.
"Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure." Isaiah 46:9-10 KJV
I can certainly connect with Moses' dilemma during that time. His feelings of compassion that were born out of a place that was not easily identifiable, and his feelings of frustration which derived from knowing what should be done, but not knowing exactly how to do it.
"And now we are rising from the ashes and we are putting forth our hands look inside us for our story, see through our eyes and understand". (A gift from an Indian friend)
Being the 17th of 18 children, it is needless to say that I too have witnessed a lot of frustrations growing up on the streets of Washington, DC. I was only six weeks old when my parents migrated to the city from Raleigh, North Carolina. I guess you could say that I was a Washingtonian to the bone. There was a time when I would say that with a lot of pride, but these days I'm not so sure. So much has changed to the detriment of the generations that are coming up behind us. One need not give a long lengthy analogy of the problems because they are so obvious that almost any inner city child can recite them. What's even more disturbing to me as I look back on certain things, is the distinct possibility that many of these young children, may be the victims of an empty fruitless legacy passed on to them by the prior generation - my generation. Although we did not intend to leave them without substance, certainly the old adage "I didn't know the gun was loaded" can be applied here.
The reason why I say this is because as a people, at least up to this point we are still divided in America. While on the other hand, the unity of the Hebrew nation has been sustained throughout the ages by a vision of descent from a single ancestor. The narrative in Genesis of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is presented in the language of national pride. It evokes the memory of an age in which God walked intimately with men and intervened in the daily commerce of their lives. A spiritually inspired Moses chronicles the biblical account, that tells us Abraham received divine instructions to leave his land and kinsmen for a new country, one in which he would found a historic lineage of his own. Obedient to the divine voice, Abraham moved into Western Palestine - the land of the Canaanites, the territory from Dan to Beersheba is promised to him as an inheritance. I don't know what kinds of things Moses' mother whispered in his ear as he was growing up in Egypt. I can still remember so vividly the things my mother whispered in my ear as she tried to shield us from the evil that she knew existed beyond the boundaries of our neighborhood Projects. (That's what our living areas where called - The Projects). Sounded like some kind of testing or breeding ground for manual laborers. At least that's what it seemed like to those of us who were of the then younger generation. So we had made up our minds that when we grew up into adulthood, we would definitely do some things differently. We decided that we would be more prepared and prepare our children as well, not to be drawn into the trap which we called an "attitude of servitude". As much as our parents tried to protect us, there was an alluring bitter sweet passion in the air, a longing to get on the other side of the street where the grass always seemed greener. Oftentimes, we couldn't get to it but it sure managed to get to us through our music. The music made us want things and we were left with the question of how to get them. Mistakes, mistakes, mistakes or should I say tricked again.
The first trick was for us to think that we knew more than our parents, which meant that any personal or direct link to the historical account of our plight was broken, and we found ourselves mobilizing in an endless cycle of starting over again.
The second trick was that we didn't understand the nature of the forces that were working against us.
So even though in my father's house, the predominant uncompromising message was that of love and caring, we hadn't yet learned to appreciate the wisdom that our parents had acquired over the years. Neither did we comprehend the unique challenges they faced trying to raise an entire football team complete with cheerleaders. Eighteen children, that's a lot of folk!
It goes without saying that my father worked hard to keep a roof over our heads, but I believe that my mother worked doubly hard trying to hold down the roost until he got home in the evening. My mother was a strong beautiful woman of Cherokee Indian descent. In fact, she was born on an Indian reservation in Spring Hope, North Carolina. So there were many nights when my dad got home he would find his lovely soft spoken wife on the warpath. Needless to say, those were the times when his poor innocent children were so grateful to see his face, and to feel his long callous fingers on theirs.
We were a very close knit family and I would not trade one moment of those times we shared together. However, there still remained the call of the wild, because at the same time my father was instructing me on certain principles for living, there was another message being taught. The message was simple, that despite the passage of five civil rights bills, despite the erosion of illegal support for segregated institutions, despite greater acceptance of blacks into our major institutions, both private and public, it was still no easy thing to be a black person in America. So much time has passed and so little has changed. Like so many others, I sought all kinds of ways, solutions and alternatives to compensate for some of the pain I felt. Pain from the deprivation and humiliation that I and my father and his father before him had suffered, we wanted retribution. In our minds, that retribution could only come in one form, rebellion.
But here again, not understanding the particularities of the battle that was more spiritual than natural, we chose to rebel by re-defining ourselves. Many changed their names and allowed their hair to grow long and wore African attire purchased primarily from street vendors and Korean merchants. We used African slogans and batted around the African words we had learned mainly from each other. Now with the identity change we needed a change of attitude; something that would drown out the warnings of our elders and those who would lead us down the path of submission. In walked the mind altering drugs. We had fallen into a perilous pit face down and the more we dug in the deeper we sank, carrying with us everyone who believed that we had the plan. I cannot remember how many pro black organizations I belonged to, but, through it all somehow, this thing that my father had instilled in me kept haunting me and getting in my way. It heightened my compassion and concern for the needs of others. I soon realized that somehow through the blood, all of us would be tied together forever. This is why I needed to understand how a man like him could love unconditionally in the way that he did. How could he give food and money away to other families when often times we had so little ourselves; and why did he walk up and put himself in harms way, getting in the middle of disputes and fights, risking life and limb while acting as a mediator, many times while the participants were still brandishing weapons.
When I accompanied him on trips to the market places he would shake hands and hug and kiss strangers and babies, as if he were running for public office. This man clearly had a sincere concern for his fellow man and an uncanny love for the Jewish people and the Nation of Israel. It was also apparent that a lot of things that would insult or intimidate most people and make them feel disconnected or disenfranchised did not bother him. He was able to roll through those things and keep his head up as this tall proud individual in an environment that normally had been hostile, by insisting that he accept his assignment as a substandard human being. He became a king, so much so that many of the Jewish shop keepers would offer him gifts, and bare their souls to him and seek his counsel. They recognized that this was a man among men. It was not until later years that I realized that his ability to do those things came as the direct result of him embracing a bigger picture, one in which he was also included. He had risen above the natural and ascended to a higher plain, and there in fellowship with God he found purpose; a purpose which was rooted and grounded in both an idea and solution, neither of which would ever fade away.
"For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace." Romans 8:6
This was vital to his success as a God man. By divorcing myself from my father's teachings, I had become material minded, because in our neck of the woods a man was measured by the things he possessed. In truth, the further I got away from my father's teachings, the further I got away from God's divine purpose for my life. As time has shown, God continues to place in our midst those who would yield to the call upon their lives of mentoring others. My father was certainly one of these people. If the truth be told there are still so many others both Jew and Gentile, who have never recognized the power and plan of God waiting to be birthed in their lives.
"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. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?" Romans 8:29-31 KJV
Excerpted from Blood Ties Forever by Royce L. Woods Copyright © 2009 by Dr. Royce L Woods. Excerpted by permission.
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Table of Contents
Chapter One The Journey of a Common Man "My Own Story"....................1
Chapter Two The Dispersion of a Bloodline....................13
Chapter Three The God of Increase....................25
Chapter Four A Call to Worship....................35
Chapter Five Zion's View....................45
Chapter Six An Ensign to the Nations....................53
Chapter Seven An Engaging Destiny....................59
Chapter Eight When God is Not Enough....................67
Chapter Nine A New Covenant....................73
Chapter Ten Blood Is Thicker Than Water....................79
Chapter Eleven The Intrusion of the Strong Man....................85
Chapter Twelve Quitting Is Not an Option....................91
Chapter Thirteen The Calm before a Storm....................99
Chapter Fourteen The Shadow of Death....................111
Chapter Fifteen Fear - The Great Disabler....................119
Chapter Sixteen The Re-Covering of the Church....................125