In another off topic moment, after a long hard fought battle, Joel Peebles, the son of the late Betty Peebles, and the City of Praise mega church people received news from the courts that they may return to the original property.
A lot of real crazy stuff went into this battle.
Several players like Pastor Michael Freeman, who was severely incapacitated (judged by God for meddling in my opinion) some time after having Joel Peebles escorted out of the church property, and the rogue Board of trustees that filed lawsuit after lawsuit to keep the control of the church, Jasmine Sculark, a firebrand preacher, who was illegitimately installed as pastor of Jericho City Of Praise by Bishop TD Jakes, and other players made this a very ugly episode on the world stage.
Over the course of time, many statements have been made by commenters about this debacle.
Time will tell who will emerge as unscathed of this but one thing is certain, those who did wrong will stand before the Master to render an account.
I do not think that Joel Peebles was in the wrong.
It was determined by the courts, and properly so, that he was wrongly removed from the Board, thus facilitating a church takeover over money and church property.
As Paul stated in the Scriptures, paraphrasing, that we couldn’t even judge this among ourselves, and we do this before the world.
That’s because when we do this among ourselves, we can’t trust ourselves. Therefore, the rule of law, as it relates to Bylaws, Church Meeting Minutes, Church Monetary Records, Church Constitutions, Articles Of Incorporations, and other legal church instruments, must be kept up to date, and in order.
Apparently, Joel Peebles and his attorney ensured that they had their stuff together, as they were allowed to return to the original church property.
Let this be a lesson to us all that there is a greater fight in the realm of the spirit for the souls of men. When we are consumed with earthly treasures, we bankrupt ourselves of the presence of the Lord. Time and effort was wasted. Wasted in the sense that when the wrong people view church as a business only venture with money, souls means nothing.
This is not to say that Joel Peebles was about the money or the property, because the rightful owner of all things is the Lord Jesus Christ. Joel Peebles was acting as the steward of what was entrusted in his care. Had he been wrong, the outcome would have been different.
The Bible is filled with all sorts of disputes in both testaments because of the hearts of men.
Disputes will continue because of the hearts of men.
The place where we least expect disputes is the house of worship, but just because it is a house of worship, it doesn’t mean that there will never be a dispute. How the dispute is handled reveals the true intent of people that worship God.
If anything is of God, it will not fall into the hands of the wrong. If anything is not of God, the wrong will undoubtedly be on the short end of the stick with a boomerang effect.
While this will be judged by the Lord at the Judgment Seat of Christ, if sin was committed, it is best that any and all parties check their hearts and ask the Lord for forgiveness. To say that no sin was committed is pride. And yes, that sin will be judged.
Now that this episode is over, perhaps, the people involved will do some serious soul searching and reflection.
The devil has had his day and it is time to do work for the kingdom.
How these persons play out the rest of their respective ministries is completely up to how close they want to be to the Lord to perform His will in the earth. Trivial matters must be dealt a death blow. As one person said it very well. We must pay attention to the main issue and not get side tracked with side issues. It is very easy to be distracted when our prize becomes something or someone else than Jesus and His will.
After Michael Freeman’s (who has three church properties in Maryland) brush with death and Jasmine Sculark being side lined from City of Praise, every preacher need to examine themselves to determine that our motives are consistent with the directives of the Head of the Church.
If you are not right, you will be left.
The aftermath and ending story about City of Praise could be read here.