Matthew 7 verses 22, 23 "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity".
When I was in the Army, I was fortunate enough to be assigned to the 25th Infantry division (Tropic Lightning), Schofield Barracks, Hawaii. I had fell in love with the Aloha state when as a young boy, I saw the movie, "Blue Hawaii". I thought that was the most beautiful place and even back then, I longed to go to that "paradise". Twenty two years later, my dream came true. My years (1982-1985) in Hawaii were richly rewarding.
I had to volunteer for the assignment to Hawaii. I was placed on a waiting list, and two long years later was reassigned from Alabama to Hawaii (the Lord was teaching me the value of patience even back then). After I received my orders, I was excited (and my family was, too!) about my new mission with the 25th.
The Tropic Lightning Division had a storied history and was well known for the many heroes who had "Done the Division Proud". I want to state here, that throughout my Army career, I was blessed to be assigned with some of the best men and women who wore the uniform. The 25th was no different-it was well stocked with outstanding soldiers.
Part of my responsibilities as Chief, Personnel Actions Branch, 25th Adjutant General Company, was to process retirement applications. One day, my dedicated senior non-commissioned officer, Sergeant First Class Alex Silva, brought me a retirement application for a well known Sergeant (SGT). I'll call him SGT Doe.
This soldier was reportedly the most decorated (for heroism) enlisted man we had assigned to the 25th at that time. High ranking officers had often pointed out his deeds as an example for others to emulate. SGT Doe was prior service (Korea and other places), had reached the rank of Master Sergeant, and was honorably discharged before reaching retirement eligibility. He had reenlisted to gain the 20 years active duty service required to retire. His military personnel records jacket (DA 201 file as we called it) reflected all his service data pretty accurately. Although his 201 file looked genuine and SGT Doe had been performing his duties in an outstanding manner, something contained within the 201 struck me as a little unusual. I had learned over my years of military personnel work, that these little suspicions proved out to be right. I've seen some soldiers fake educational qualifications, awards, promotions, test results, and various other items. My earlier training as a Personnel Records Specialist helped me to quickly detect inconsistencies within a 201 file.
As I thoroughly searched SGT Doe's 201, several small items raised red flags. This man supposedly had been awarded a Silver Star (SS) and many other medals too numerous to list. This SS medal did not look right to me...the documentation was suspicious.
I forwarded SGT Doe's retirement request to the Department of the Army Military Personnel Center located in Alexandria, Virginia. I knew the grizzled up old Chief Warrant Officer Four who was in charge of the Army Awards Department. I called him, told him SGT Doe's application was coming to him, and I asked him to carefully look at the Silver Star award.
About three weeks later, Chief Smith (I'll call him), called me and said that he had found out something very interesting about SGT Doe - he had received a Dishonorable Discharge from the Army in the early 1950's. This man was not a part of the Army...all his personnel records had been almost expertly falsified! SGT Doe was an imposter and had been found out by an expert! This "highly decorated" imposter was a slap in the face to the true soldiers who valiantly served with the 25th Infantry Division. I was glad the truth came out, and he was exposed as a false soldier.
Several years after this incident, I heard a story about a veteran who lived in a small town in the Midwest. This veteran was supposedly the most highly decorated man that city had ever produced. He was "top dog" and took the limelight at every ceremony honoring veterans. Well, some old wise World War II veterans (I have the utmost respect and gratitude for this group of veterans-I thank and salute them for the sacrifices they made to defeat the evil of that time) became suspicious and started to do some checking on this man. He too, was impersonating a true hero. He had never been in any type of military service!
A few years ago, the Lord had me to start witnessing to a church choir director. As I would say to her words the Lord would have me say, I was puzzled. After all, this woman was not only a choir director but she was also a pastor's wife. She thought she was saved because she was doing good deeds, had joined the church and was baptized. She had never been born again ((John 3 verse 5). Several months later, at a tent revival, she was truly saved as she was born again. She was now a true member of the Army of the Lord.
Through the above examples, I've learned many spiritual lessons. Outward appearances can be deceiving. One can look like a Christian soldier, act the part, have the badges of honor of a good church goer but be lost and dying and going to hell. God looks at what is within the heart.
I am so glad that one day, Jesus made me a part of His Army. He knows his sheep and calleth them by name. Unless a man be born again, he cannot enter the gates of Heaven. Examine yourself...have you truly had your name written in the Lamb's Book of Life? Are you real or fake?
Matthew 13 verse 49 "So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just".
Copyright 2008 Irvin L. Rozier, author of My Walk with the Lord, US Army, Chaplain of American Legion Post 181..website to song and video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lseFgH7XumU http://www.youtube.com/user/walkin2e
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