It was a calm Tuesday morning. In NYC, the polls were open. Voting was in full swing. My wife took my daughter to school on the upper east side of Harlem. I just got back from running and voting. I went to bed and then I decided to turn on the TV. On the screen was the North Tower with a gapping hole at an angle.
Smoke was ascending and blowing to the south, south west.
I went to the roof and wondered what was really going on.
First, the air traffic pattern for that area flies right over the apartment building we were in. Since my dad was the landlord at the time, I had access to the roof. I quickly went to the roof for a better sight. I said to myself this must be a serious error of judgment from the pilot. Several planes flew over the house from the south, on final approach to LaGuardia.
I went back to my apartment to get my camera because this was a significant event. After retrieving my camera to take photos, I thought that perhaps, the pilot had equipment trouble but with clear skies, VFR (Visual Flying Rules) were in effect. However, on approach, there is a certain pattern that requires a few turns to get “in line” for your final, but never from the north unless you are flying at a certain altitude.
Such an alternate pattern would take you back towards Coney Island north to south, circle around to the east, and then north again, and then the final to LaGuardia.
I was never an Air Traffic Controller in the Navy, but as an Operations Specialist, vectoring military helicopters was part of my MOS.
Then out of the corner of my eye, I observed a dark plane flying from the south, flying at a very high rate of speed, sloping into the south tower.
Sound travels at eleven hundred feet per second and I was roughly three miles or more from lower Manhattan. In three or five seconds, I heard and felt the explosion as the plane slammed violently into the tower.
At that moment, I said to myself, “This is no accident. This is an attack.”
I went back down stairs and my wife just got home.
We watched in horror what was happening.
Then the south tower collapsed. Then a while later, the north tower collapsed.
I said to my wife, let’s get our daughter.
The smell was incredibly toxic. For weeks, this smell of death permeated the area. It was a solemn reminder that death could happen at any moment.
We drove to the Triboro Bridge (renamed Robert F. Kennedy), parked the car on the Queens side. I asked my wife to stay with the car as I walked over the bridge to Harlem. Sheryl was not there because she had left with a friend over the Triboro Bridge on the opposite side. I came back to the car and Sheryl was with my wife.
At that moment, it was God that made that happen because I didn’t want her to take the train. Underground is too complicated when a city is under attack. It’s the last place you want to go unless you have no other options.
Reunited with my family, I felt obligated to go back into military service but I would have to get waivers for my age. My wife and daughter cried because the way I saw it, the only way to get back at who did this was to go over there and kill them.
The attacks were too close to home.
Years later, it would have been the wrong decision to go.
Almost 3000 people were wiped off the face of the earth. You want revenge and you want to do it in a way where there is no mistake about it. Having served in the greatest Navy the world has ever seen, I know that we would be able to deliver the goods.
I found out later that like the children of Israel, when you sin as a nation, the boarders are wide open for judgment.
That’s right. JUDGMENT!!!!
The symbols of power of this nation were attacked.
Financial and military.
Note Psalm 33:10-16 “The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing;
He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect.
The counsel of the Lord stands forever,
The plans of His heart to all generations.
Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
The people He has chosen as His own inheritance.
The Lord looks from heaven;
He sees all the sons of men.
From the place of His dwelling He looks
On all the inhabitants of the earth;
He fashions their hearts individually;
He considers all their works.
No king is saved by the multitude of an army;
A mighty man is not delivered by great strength.”
When a nation and the people of God in this nation deliberately defies God and turn its back on Him, we have no protection. Under all the intelligence operations apparatuses, under the radar of our military might, under the watchful eyes of our satellites, we were reduced, mocked, and made a laughing stock.
People from the mountain regions, that lived in the valleys visited America to do harm.
Much like the children of Israel. Invincibility is never a guarantee when God is not found among the people of God. We must also remember that America, or any other nation, for that matter, is not Israel, nor are Americans true believers unless they repent and make Jesus Lord, and be born again.
To humiliate this nation, God sends a weak group of people to terrorize a mighty nation.
That’s right. God sent them.
Look at the many small and large nations that the Lord sent to judge Israel because they deliberately disobeyed Him.
This nation is not to be blamed alone.
The sleeping giant, called the church. Christians. Believers of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Any believers that live in sin opens the doors of judgment.
Even today, the people in the church, the Body of Christ is Samson, tied between the posts with our eyes gouged out as the Philistines make sport of us.
Peter said these words, “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?”
What about this nation?
Study the OT, and you will see that every nation that never repented were severely judged. Some nations never recovered and ceased to exist.
The United States has experienced the grace of God for 238 years. This graced is about to come to a close.
We must remember that these are the end times.
Sadly, many people want the good times to return. However, as Jesus said in Matthew 24, “Because of lawlessness, the love of many will grow cold.”
We are seeing this unfold before our very eyes.
The major sins of this nation is covetousness or greed, the sin of homosexuality, and abortion.
As long as we kill innocent children and insist on the sin of homosexuality, adultery, fornication, bisexuality, bestiality or zoophilia, porn, masturbation and all other sins, this nation must come to a close.
Repentance spares people from what is to come.
Hell for all eternity.
Many people do not believe that this is going to come to an end. That life will go on.
Do not fool yourself.
Hebrews 9:27 says, “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, after this the judgment.”
If death is true, judgment is true.
Those that died that day on 9/11 was judgment on this nation for its pride and arrogance.
Many will say that I am very cold for saying this.
Luke 13 is your answer.
Was Jesus cold in saying that “Unless you repent, you shall all likewise perish?”
The very Jesus that sinners want believers of Jesus to become.
This Jesus, who is God is warning every one of us to repent or we will perish in the same manner. Out of all those that died on that fateful day, we pray that some of them were true believers and made it into heaven. In Matthew’s account of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Lord said, “Many are on the road leading to destruction.”
On the streets as I am preaching, many pass by me and never pay attention to the warning to be saved, to repent and be born again.
Noah, not the movie, a preacher of righteousness, according to Peter’s general epistle, preached to the people about the coming judgment. No one listened and they all perished. Sodom and Gomorrah. Same thing. No one repented. God rescued Lot, his wife, and two daughters. Lot’s wife looked back and became a pillar of salt.
Such is the case today.
Many of God’s people have already looked back and became a pillar of salt.
As we preach, many ignore the call to repent.
A sure sign of one thing.
At every Yankee game during the seventh inning stretch, they would play and sing “God Bless America.”
With beer in their hands, they would sing.
With sin in our lives, we would sing.
With unrepentant hearts, we would sing.
God Bless America, when we kill babies.
God Bless America as the Congress sung on the Capital steps on the night of 9/11. The same ones that legislate immorality.
God Bless America when we perform SSM.
God Bless America without God in our schools.
God Bless America with attacks on preachers regarding free speech.
God Bless America when preachers watch porn and masturbates.
God Bless America when church vixens dress provocatively to trip up a pastor.
God Bless America when a pastor infects women with HIV/AIDS, or sexually takes advantage of emotionally unstable women in church.
God Bless America when Jezebel and Delilah walk through the doors.
God Bless America when homosexuals play and sing gospel.
God Bless America when pastors take over churches on the rogue.
God Bless America when child Sunday School workers are child molesters.
God Bless America when Preachers of LA, Preacher’s Daughters, Ex Wives of Preachers, Sunday Best uncover what is really going on in the house of worship.
God Bless America when churches are having orgies as they are worshipping sex.
God Bless America when we are covetous in goods, rich in wealth and not rich towards God.
God Bless America when good is evil and evil is good.
God Bless America when LGBTQ churches open up all across the land.
The hypocrisy in the church is reflected in the fabric of America.
There is still a remnant that refuse to live in sin. There is a remnant that is serious about living right before God in holiness. There is a remnant that is preaching the gospel and living what they are preaching. There is a remnant that is praying and seeking the face of God. There is a remnant that tells the devil forever no, and told God forever yes.
As the 10th anniversary of a dark day approach, once again, the families that were left behind will mourn their loss on this day of infamy. It was an interracial tragedy. No one race of people suffered alone.
It was a bright, sunny, cloudless day when two airplanes struck the north and south towers.
Two more aircrafts, destined for another deadly assault were racing to hit their targets. One crashed, in what was called utter confusion, into the Pentagon. Sheer fortune on the terrorist driver of the craft. I refuse to call him a pilot because it would put him in a class of the skilled pilots that were killed that day before the planes crashed.
The other aircraft crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania but not by the will of the terrorist driver by choice. There were selfless heros on that plane. All were heros because they knew that one way or another, their precious lives would end, and they didn’t want the terrorists to succeed.
I was on the roof of my father’s apartment building after the first plane struck the north tower. Just before the first attack, my wife drove our daughter to school. I ran to our usual voting district to vote, I came home, and went to bed. But for some strange reason, I turned on the TV.
It was just after 9 AM when the most horrible pictures flashed on the screen.
Smoke was billowing from the north tower of the World Trade Center.
I had put on some clothes and went to the roof to get a bird’s eye view of the “accident.”
If you’ve been inside the World Trade Center, it was awesome.
When I was training to be a teller for Manufacturers Hanover (I know, this is going back in time), we had to ride the elevator to get to the training floor. Riding in these elevators is like riding an airplane. If you are not used to it, your brains along with your heart, falls into your belly. The “G” or gravity force going up nailed you to the floor. Going down was like riding in an airplane with almost zero “G’s.” Your ears would “pop” in either direction.
When you go to the 79th or 80th something floor (I don’t recall which floor), you transferred to a local elevator. As you looked out the window, the sky is the limit. You could see for miles. On days that it would rain, you were in the rain clouds or above it. On windy days, both towers would take turns swaying.
My sister went to the towers one day. On that particular day, she observed a bird flying towards the building. It hit the window. Beak first and slid down like in the cartoons.
On occasion, there would be “gospel concerts” on the grounds of the WTC. Yeah, God was there using His people to get people saved from their sins.
I wondered who listened and who refused the gospel of Jesus Christ?
As a young teenager in Junior High, we would look out the window and see the cranes assemble the towers. It was magnificent. Sometimes we forget that one day, people would work in these buildings because the structures tend to overshadow the fact that humans would one day occupy these buildings.
As I was taking pictures on the roof on that fateful day, I looked up and two planes flew over where I was standing. They were flying unusually close. At that time, the FAA had not given the order for all aircraft to land.
I mentioned the word “accident” because a few years before 9/11, a plane flew around to go up the Hudson River to land in LaGuardia Airport. This airplane was under 1,500 feet and was turning towards the south tower when the air traffic controller ordered the pilot to turn right and climb to 3,000 feet. 3,000 feet is the holding pattern altitude for certain situations at that time.
The plane barely missed the tower.
For a plane to hit the north tower, I thought at first, that this was definitely an accident. Pilot error or instrument error.
As an Operations Specialist in the Navy over 30 years ago, we are not air traffic controllers, however, depending upon ship assignments we are to know the rules. On board the ship that I last served, the USS Savannah AOR4, we had CH-46’s onboard, and we had to qualify on “vectoring” the helicopters towards the ship in low visibility situations to land on the flight deck astern.
There is IFR and VFR rules. IFR is “Instrument Flying Rules” and VFR is “Visual Flying Rules.” With the north tower struck by an airplane, how could it be a malfunction with instruments when you can see as clear as day out the cockpit window?
Anyway, I thought that this was definitely an accident until out of the corner of my eye, an ominous sight. It was a United Airlines plane that rapidly descended and struct the south tower. I counted the seconds because sound travels at 1,100 feet per second. It took 2 and a half seconds for me to feel the blast and the heat.
It was then that I knew that we were under attack and that lives were lost in an apparent coordinated terrorist attack on US soil.
The first thing on my mind was, it’s an attack. It’s time to re-up. It’s time to go to war with whoever attacked the US. My wife and daughter didn’t want me to go and cried.
Obviously, I didn’t go but others did.
Some to never make it back.
In a nut shell, here’s what we have yet to learn.
Everything about America isn’t as what it seems. Since the idea of democracy was born, humans without God can be prideful, arrogant, greedy or covetous, lascivious, and destructive. Just that evening after the attacks, both sides of the government stood on the steps to sing “God Bless America.”
At every Yankee game, during the seventh inning, they sing “God Bless America.”
America, God cannot bless us when we live in sin. God cannot bless us when we blatantly snub God by legislating sin called same sex unions. God cannot bless us when pastors are living extravagant lives that poor people dream of having while we preach to them. God cannot bless us when we pastors live secret lives of sexual immorality and permit music ministers to play while they live homosexual or bisexual lifestyles. God cannot bless us if singers that claim to be singing for the Lord watch porn and gratify themselves. God cannot bless us if we are doing all these things.
God cannot bless us while we live any old kind of way.
Church attendance is down because the sinning hypocrites of the world calls the church a bunch of hypocrites and they are mostly right. NO church is perfect, but there is someone out there that is living right, telling the truth, and helping the desperately poor folks in their neighborhoods. Some church is doing the right thing.
According to one statistic, 65% of people view church on the Internet. They never come out to church for 3 basic reasons.
3. Church Hurt.
The terrorist attacks, natural disasters, and economic turmoil that America and the other nations is experiencing is consequential judgment.
Luke 13:1-5 is like reading the Daily News.
The issue is clear. Unless you repent, you shall all likewise perish.
The issue is not just attending church for attendance’ sake. The issue is getting into and developing a relationship with the Father, through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the bottom line of the church. To live lives apart from the way the world lives it and to show that we have been changed by the power of God.
To extend and teach by example faith, hope, love, and forgiveness from a non condemning and non compromising position.
The church is not just a “charitable organization.”
The church is an organized organism. We live to please the Lord. We live to worship the Lord. We live to honor the Lord. We live the life of Jesus Christ unapologetically. We tolerate the person, not the sins a person commit.
In Him we live and move and have our being (see Acts 17:28).
God attached consequential judgment as a penalty for the sins man intentionally commits. For instance, when you see a sign that says “Danger 600 Volts. Do Not Touch,” it is there for a reason. Yet, people foolishly touch it. It’s the same with sin. No one escapes the deadly penalty.
End time judgment is God’s direct hand on every man. End time judgment will come later according to the book of Revelation from chapters 4 to 20.
We see evidence of consequential judgment in the OT (Old Testament).
When Israel obeyed the Lord’s commands, they were spared consequential judgment. When they sinned, they would receive judgment. The ultimate judgment was when Israel was exiled to Babylon.
Every year before the death of Christ, the Jews would celebrate the Passover to “atone” or cover their sins.
However, after the death of Christ, there is no longer a need to “atone” for sin (see Hebrews 9:6-15). When we come to Christ and believe that His sacrifice or propitiation forever took away our sins, we have eternal life (see John 3:15-16).
However, because man insist on disobeying the Lord, judgment is meted out as a consequence for sin.
The people of this nation continues to sin before God.
We haven’t learned a thing.
We, as a nation, both inside and outside the church, continue in sin.
All this can turn around if we find a reputable place of worship where the gospel is neither watered down or compromised. Where consecration, dedication, and sanctification to the Lord is the byword of our lives. When sin is no longer excused but washed away by the blood of the Lamb.
Where people can go and hear the unadulterated Word of God. Where a passion for Jesus and a yearning to be close to God is borne. Where true believers incorporate the Word of God into every day living to please God, and with His help and grace, change our immoral ways to live holy before God. Where believers come together to live victoriously over sin and the world through the power of the Holy Spirit.
When the nations turn back to God in repentance with godly sorrow for sin, we could potentially add years to the life of a nation before a definite turn for the worse occurs.
We still have time, but, if we don’t repent, then we haven’t learned a thing.