Archive for April, 2008

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Sects and the City

April 28, 2008

 

Galatians 1:6-8 “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.”

I Peter 1:20-21 “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”

One of the most common observations and questions asked by those outside the household of faith is “There are so many religions in the world and even the christians are divided into hundreds of denominational.  How does one know what is truth and what is error?”  The more doctrines that are on the table, the more wrong choices that people have to select from in their search for truth and fulfilment.  Yet despite all of the theological banterings, twistings of scripture, philosophies of men and other falsehoods so prevailant in the world today, God is from everlasting and to everlasting.  In him is no variance or turning and his word shall endure forever; long after the heavens, the earth, and even time itself are but a distant memory. Through his word he offers understanding to any who seek him with a sincere heart.

As a confused, new age-oriented teenager, I was berwildered by all of the contrasting voices in the world.  I desired understanding concerning spiritual matters, but didn’t know where to turn for answers other than my oldest sister. It’s by the grace of God that I didn’t end up becoming a mormon or venturing too deeply into the realms of the paranormal. (my sister is a mormon and she talks to dead people)  Despite all of the confusion from those years, I always knew that God was real and I believed the bible to be completely reliable. (although I didn’t really understand it) I remember one night praying and asking the Lord for enlightenment into truth.  I was serious; the whole arena of theological wranglings was enough to make ones head hurt and I “seriously desired truth.”  It was a year or so later (September of 1983) when he brought me to sincere repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.  Despite the myriad of erroneous teachings to which I had been listening to, the Holy Spirit led me into the truth and I became a new creation in Christ. 

This passage is sobering! I Peter 2:1-3 “But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.”

There’s no better way to obscure the authentic than with an array of authentic look-alikes.  We know that the devil is the father of lies and he knows how to assemble campaigns that would deceive, if it were possible, even the very elect. He’s so subtle that he convinced a third of the angels in heaven to leave their first estate and rebel against the Creator who has no beginning and changes not.  Later on, in the garden of Eden, a little twisting of the truth and pandering to the three lusts (listed in I John 2:16) he persuaded Adam and Eve to partake of the “one tree” that they were not to eat from.  Shortly, he’s going to cause the world to wonder after a beast, bow down to an image, and receive a mark.  During these final moments of the age, the ambassadors of falsehood are working at a fever pitch to inhibit the truths laid out, “precept by precept” in the word of God.  Elaborate philosophies and fuzzy doctrines, marketed by their proponents as “enlightenment” in an effort to lure the undiscerning into a lifelong wild goose chase that ends in unexpected, calamity.

I Timothy 4:1 “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;”

It’s a problem that we were warned of two thousand years ago; that this would be a time of unparalleled deception.  In the above verse, the words “depart from the faith” are sobering because a person cannot depart from something unless they are partnered with it.  Not long ago, I was shocked to find out how widespread the acceptance of sodomy is in the church.  We often hear reports of mainline denominations debating over this issue. (an issue that really has no debate)   Yet I was astonished when I came across a blog , GCM Watch, that’s devoted to exposing this heresy as it makes inroads into the evangelical community.  Once scriptural truth is compromised and error is given an inch of wiggle room, the devil will go after a mile.  Today we have more schisms and more denominational wranglings than one can count as the result of scriptural deviations.  (Whenever there’s a disagreement over something, we know that at least one of the parties is in error.) 

For every saint, washed in the blood of Jesus and born of the Spirit, it is imperative to  contend for the faith by which a person can pass from everlasting death unto life.  The truth is under attack like never before.  Over a week ago, I was in downtown Elkhart, and while I saw no other saints proclaiming the gospel, I did, however, run into a couple of Mormons.  Sometimes people wonder why Mormons, Jehovahs Witnesses, and others who preach another gospel have no trouble getting out there while the saints are busy with every distraction under the sun.  The simple truth is that they don’t have an enemy that’s trying to keep them sidetracked.  The devil would love for evryone in Elkhart to become a Mormon and worship another Jesus.  (Think about how many millions of people are currently following this way that “seems right but isn’t” all because  one guy listened to an “angel” and didn’t search the scriptures to see if those things are so.)

Acts 17:11 “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”

Truth will always have its backing in scripture and in the above passage, the saints in Berea searched diligently.  Prayerful diligent searching will keep one from falling prey to to the plethura of false teachings and one verse wonders that occupy the arena of theology.  (A “one verse wonder” a doctrine that’s built around a single scripture. All of the other scriptures are then molded around the doctrine)   This seems like a simple thing, but deception is so…well….deceptive, that we dare not let our guard down.  The enemy isn’t going to come after the saints with something way out in left field.  He’ll use something that sounds christian, and employs evengelical terms, but mingles in enough error to to cause an “almost invisible” drifting toward the side of the straight and narrow path.  So important it is to be filled with the Spirit and close to the Lord Jesus as he will never lead us astray. 

Jude 3 “Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnistly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.”

Well, I must get going for now as there’s much to get done today.  (Running to and fro)  The times are perilous and the number of voices competing for a following continues to grow almost daily.  Praise God for his word that never fails and is consistant from cover to cover.  A work that, without divine inspiration, would have been impossible.  Most of all, Praise God for loving us so much that he sent his Son Jesus to pay for our sins with his own innocent blood.  May we not be astonished by the winds of doctrine, but proclaim the truth of new life in Jesus Christ.  Have a blessed day in Jesus.

Jeremiah 23:28-29 “The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD. Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?

Hope Rides Alone   This posting at “Word For It” features the words of Sgt. Edmund Jeffers who died in Iraq on Septembr 19, 2007.  This is a very sobering account of a situation that few of us can grasp the scope of.

 

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“And It Shall Come To Pass”

April 21, 2008

On February 26, 2008, a labor impasse at American Axle resulted in the work stoppage which is still continuing.  At times, it appears as though an agreement may be in the works and at others, a solution seems light years away. Sunday morning, Pastor Troyer asked me if there was an end in sight to this ongoing situation?  My reply was simply “Oh, it’s going to end!”  The simple truth is that it “will” come to pass.  We dont know what that end will look like, but it will end, as will all wrestlings in the theater of atoms.  There may be may a resolution shortly that would facilitate a brief continuation of the status quo.  Or the chariots of Egypt could fail completely and we could lose all of the physical acquisitions that people place so much stock in.  Regardless of the end result of this present matter, it’s only for a season and, at some point, every physical trapping which has our name attached to it will be ours no longer. 

Luke 21:33-34 “Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.”

This post is somewhat of a “note-to-self” because earlier, the ongoing situation with American Axle was troubling me.  We don’t presently see a conclusion to the matter and the latest information suggests that a couple of steps backwards have been taken.  Yet we know that this will pass and that, in the grand scheme of things, the conclusion of this very temporal matter is irrelevant.  A thousand years from now, I seriously doubt that anyone will be thinking about American Axle or the fallout from the strike of 2008.  We will, however, be praising God who brought us to repentance and faith in Jesus Christ.  We will be forever with the Lord Jesus Christ along with all of the saints from every tribe and generation.  Within that vast array of those who have been washed in the blood of the Lamb, there will be a handfull who worked at American Axle for a small portion of their brief time on planet earth.  One of those will be the brother who came to Jesus last November.  These are the things that will remain when all of the axles, prop shafts, and trophies of this life have melted with a fervent heat. 

Romans 8:5-6 “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”

It’s so easy to get caught up in the dramas of life which offer a lot of theatrics but have no eternal significance.  Currently, we’re in the midst of an election cycle and, at the time of this posting, everyone is watching Pennsylvania to see which democratic contender will win emerge victorious.  It has been talked about, reported on, placed under a microscope, and analyzed from every conceivable angle.  Yet five months for now, the results will have absolutely no relevance; even if the present status quo is intact.  It’s safe to say that, in a hundred years, all of the players in this drama will be in eternity.  At the moment a person enters eternity, it doesn’t matter what their political affiliation was or what their net worth was in terms of monitary holdings.  It wont matter how many degrees hung from their office wall or what percent of their income went to charitable causes.  The ONLY THING that matters when a person enters eternity is whether or not their name is in the book of life. 

Currently at American axle, there’s a lot of animosity between the union and CEO Richard Dauch and many are apprehensive as they don’t know what the future holds.  Yet in the midst of this drama is the truth that, in a hundred years, all of the players will be in eternity.  The CEO, the plant managers, the union representatives, the electricians, the security people, every current employee, every past employee, every stockholder, every truck driver, every independant contractor, and every person who had interraction with AAM will be in their eternal abode.  The only thing that truly matters is our standing with God.  This next passage is familiar, but it applies to everyone; regardless of the office that they hold in this life.

Matthew 16:26 “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” 

This is not to suggest that we should never engage in the situations of life.  As saints, however, we must place them in an eternal perspective.  I would like to see a favorable agreement emerge from the negotiations at AAM, however, my joy and security isn’ depending upon this.  Likewise, I would prefer if Hillary Clinton wins the primary tomorrow, however, my reasonings for this are somewhat weird.  Elkhart Indiana has an Obama campaign office.  If there’s still has no clear democratic nominee after tomorrow, this office will likely become very busy with the Indiana primary coming up, and it’s a good place to pass out tracts. (Especially the ones that talk about the mark of the beast.  They are published by the Gospel Tract Society  and are very sobering)  Yet the eventual results from this political season have no bearing on the peace of God that passes all understanding.  Jesus Christ is King of kings, and Lord of lords.  Every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess.  It is imperative that we encourage those around us to bow before the window of grace closes as the second ressurrection has no power.

Well, it’s time to go for now.  I have a lot to get done and time is short.  In fact, time is running out.  Yesterday, Pastor Troyer mentioned something that most wouldn’t give a second thought to, but it highlights the direction in which things are going.  He was on the turnpike where he discovered that the fees have been doubled if one is paying with cash.  “If one pays electronically, the lower fees are still in effect.”  The conditioning of an undiscerning population is coming to fruition and the ease at which one can transfer funds electronically makes this look like nothing more than the latest installment of “Better Living Through Science.”  Tonight (April 21) on Coast to Coast AM George Noory will be talking with Erwin Baxter of Endtime Ministries  This program is heard on AM stations nationwide from 1:00am-5:00am est. (10:00pm-2:00am pac.) The interview will most likely begin in the second hour of the broadcast.  Until the next time, I wish to all a blessed day in Jesus.

APRIL 22, 2008 (0815) Hello again. I would encourage anyone with ears to hear to check out the information presented on Erwin Baxters web site, linked to in the previous paragraph. The interview on Coast to Coast last night (I stayed awake for all of it) was very enlightening and encouraging.  Jesus return is at hand; this cannot be disputed.  The great tribulation is just ahead as the darkest hour is before dawn.  But OH WHAT A DAWN IT SHALL BE WHEN JESUS APPEARS!  

I Peter 1:7-9 “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour, and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.”

 

 

 

 

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The Return of Jesus (Episode VI)

April 16, 2008

I Thessalonians 4:18 “Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”

In ponderings of the moment when Jesus returns, each of us probably have in our minds, somewhat differing pictures of exactly what this is going to look like.  Every saint should be watching for this event with both joyful anticipation and urgency.  Joyful anticipation in knowing that we shall forever be with the Lord and urgency in knowing that we must reach the lost before the door closes.  When the saints have been gathered are putting on immortality, countless souls will, at the same time, be slipping into an eternity without Christ.  I imagine that none of us fully comprehend just what the Lords return entails.  Nonetheless, it’s imperative that we grasp the seriousness of reaching the lost, and ensure that our lamps are filled with oil in these turbulant times.  As the journey through Matthew chapter 24 continues, it becomes clear that, prior to the return of Christ, few things will line up with their outward appearance. 

Matthew 24:23 “Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, of there; believe it not.”

We can expect, as the time draws ever closer, to be inundated with calls to follow many who are proclaiming to be Christ but are not.  These false Christs will not simply be eccentric characters wandering around making grandiose statements.  They will offer up supernatural signs and wonders, designed to create an appearance of validity to their claims and develop a following.  The accompanying fireworks will be so compelling that anyone who isn’t firmly grounded will forgo the warning that Jesus gave us in verse 23.  Ahthough not readily verifiable, the account mentioned in the link to “Another Rapture” (here)  highlights one notable danger.  When people are at their wits end, they will be tempted to believe anything that offers an escape from an ambience void of fleshly stability.  This next verse has been mentioned often, but it outlines how imperative it is for all of us to try the spirits; to see if they be of God.

Matthew 24:24-26 “For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before. Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chamber, believe it not.”

In verse 5, Jesus warns us of those who will come in his name, but will present another gospel.  In verse 24 he begins to tell of those who will come claiming to be Christ and attempting to offer up that which appears as evidence of this claim.  Yet they will have to “lure” people into following them.  When Jesus appears; we won’t have to go looking for him.  As we watch the ease in which people are led into the ways of error, this seemingly obvious truth becomes even more profound.  In a way, chapter 24 is a continuation of chapter 23 where Jesus exposes the blatant hypocrisy of the religious elite.  In Matthew 24:1, the disciples appear to be changing the topic with causal commenting on the temple when Jesus replies “See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”  In a moment, the conversation was restored to issues of eternal significance, prompting the disciples to inquire “what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?”

Matthew 24:27-28 “For as the lightening cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.”

Despite all of the deceptions preceeding the return of our Lord and Savior, when he appears, it will be obvious and every eye shall behold him.  The angels will be sent into the four corners of the earth to gather up those in Christ and we shall forever be with the Lord.  When we get this truth into our heart; that we will be with the Lord Jesus “forever” the daily banterings of life seem so irrelevant.  What could possibly be more exciting than being with the Lord Jesus who paid for our sins with his own blood?  We shall be forever in his presence along with the saints from every tribe and every generation. Throughout the eons to come we shall stay forever this way.  No more dying, no more tears, no more broken hearts, no more anguish of spirit, no more wondering what tomorrow may bring, no more lonely nights, no more campaigns, and no more perplexities. Whatever we may be going through curently; it’s just a season. A VERY SHORT season that’s soon to pass. 

When we are focused on the age to come, we’ll not only have the peace of God that passes all understanding, we’ll not become overcharged by the neverending dramas of this life.  Instead we’ll be focused on those things which have eternal significance; reaching those outside the ark of safety, visiting the fatherless, offering a glass of water in Jesus name and serving in whatever capacity the Lord would have us serve in. (Matthew 23:11) These are the things which will remain when our works are tried by fire and this is one of the reasons for chapter 23 being so profound.  If we truly love the Lord wholeheartedly, we’ll so desire for others to know Jesus that we’ll be about our Fathers business with a pure heart; not just to put on a show and make a name for ourselves.  Our fervent desire will be to be with the Lord Jesus and to compel everyone around us to “know the Lord.”

Verses 29-32 tell about the time “immediately after the tribulation” and this will be the focus of episode VII.  For now, I have to take care of things around here.  Praise God for a deliverance in the realm of “blogger addiction.  With the AAM labor dispute now in its eighth week, I’ve had a lot of time on my hands, and yet it hasn’t resulted in spending much additonal time here.  This is a very transitional season and, at some point, blogging will cease.  Whether external forces bring it about, the Lord lets me know that it’s time to depart this venue, or I simply run out of things to write about, this is a very short season.  When compared to the timeless age to come, our days under the sun seem as nothing.  Yet our eternal abode is determined by whether or not we accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord during our brief encampment in the valley of decisions.  I wish to all, a blessed day in Jesus.

I John 3:2-3 “Beloved, now we are the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purefieth himself, even as he is pure.”

 

 

 

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“The Last Trance”

April 11, 2008

Reality versus that which appears to be real but isn’t.  This is such a vast problem today that one struggles to find a starting point from which to begin commenting.  We live in an age like none other before us.  It’s an age when thoughts can be translated into word or images, placed on electronic locomotives, (internet, television, etc) and broadcast around the world in a matter of seconds. Todays generation is so spellbound by electronic wizardry and images that the line between reality and falsehood has become obscured.  I remember reading a few weeks ago, how Prince Charles appeared at an environmental conference in Dubai (I think it was Dubai) via a hologram.  Once the technology is reached, the never-ending process of perfection sets in.  (For example, in 1903, the Wright brothers achieved a dream that had been around for thousands of years.  Sixty six years later, we landed men on the moon.)

Revelation 13:15 “And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as should not worship the image of the beast should be killed.”

For months, the topic of images has perplexed me; to the point that placing such ponderings into words seems insurmountable.  We know that man is created in the image of God. and that the enemy is continuously assaulting this image.  One of the biggest assaults is the belief that we “accidentally evolved” from an image that’s not of God.  The enemy continouly offers up images that would seem to discredit truth such as fallen angels appearing as “extra-terrestrials” and false prophets appearing as perveyors of truth.  He knows how to employ smooth sayings, convincing pictures, logical theories, and “cuddly theologies” that will cause most to exchange scriptural truth for an “appearance” that looks authentic but isn’t.  Never has it been more imperative for the saints to have discernment that can only come from a close relationship with the Lord Jesus and having his word hidden in our hearts.

II Corinthians 11:13-14 “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.”

As if the images from television aren’t deceptive enough, the internet takes things to a whole new level.  Here, instead of passive observance, people are prompted to interract via electronic means which brings up another thing that I’ve been pondering lately.  The interraction between man and machine is reaching incredible levels; even to the point that, in many instances, voice commands are all that’s required.  It’s as though the defining line between man and machine is also becoming obscured.  As I watch those around me; even christians, it becomes astonishing that very few ( I mean VERY few) realize what’s taking place.  The world is being conditioned to believe a lie and receive a mark.  The strong delusions mentioned in II Thessalonians 2:11are underway as the wheat and chaff are soon to part company. 

This is a side note and in no way intended to imply anything.  Every time I hear of Barak Obama referred to with “messianic-like” words, it’s astonishing.  I’m not suggesting anything about the guy, but when people can casually talk about a man with such language, it becomes obvious that generations of illuminati conditioning are nearing completion.  People will look to a “man” for answers and if that guy says all the right things, they’ll turn off their brains and jump on the bandwagon.  (I offer up this observation without an accompanying agenda as I do not engage in political wranglings.) 

The following links are to archived editions of the Last trumpet Newsletter.  Although published near the end of 2006, both of them outline the dangers posed by the world wide web and shed light on “where this all is headed.”

The Internet-Americas Electronic Brain transplant (November, 2006)

America-Ensnared in an Electronic Net (December, 2006)

This next report from Fox News tells about “The Grid.”  It’s a system that’s so fast and powerful that it could render the world wide web a thing of the past.  So many events are transpiring so fast that one struggles to keep up; even if one were to devote all of their time to doing so.  With the dizzying pace at which things are progressing, we know that bible prophecy coming to pass before our eyes.  Even from a purely natural standpoint, the current progression of things is unsustainable.  The world is being systematically prepared to wonder after a beast who will promise them peace, safety, and food for their household.  Many are already so far removed from any basis of reality, that causing them to wonder after a way that appears right but is the way to destruction, will be a small task.  Generations of conditioning coupled with an apostate church which is more interested in putting on a show than proclaiming truth has resulted in this present generation being ripe for the picking.

Christians who are born of the Spirit must be aware of the dangers associated with interracting in this electronic realm.  It’s amazing how a five minute check of the e-mails can transform into hours of sitting in front of a computer doing nothing.  I pray that when the time is at hand to “let it go” we will be atuned to this.  Everything that we’ve ever done in the internet; be it e-mails, instant messages, blogs, electronic transfer of funds, what have you, is documented and will be used at the appropriate time by the powers that be.  As I write this, I wonder if we should still be here; although I’m certain that many of us are already be on the red and blue lists.  (The illuminati “red and blue lists” contain the names of individuals whose words, actions, and affiliations suggest that they would act in defiance of the globalist agenda  At a determined time, they will set out to neutralize those who will not comply. More information can be found herehere, and here, but PLEASE pray for discernment on such things.) 

We are at a time in history when very little of what we see is truly as it appears.  The saints of God; those who have been born of the Spirit and have the testimony of Jesus Christ, must arrive at a place spiritually where we:

( 1 ) Hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.  We must strive to be so close that when the Holy Spirit leads us a certain way, our response is instantaneous.  (Proverbs 3:5-6)

( 2 ) Love not the world.  We must have our affections in heaven one hundred percent.  If we seek to save our lives in this world, we will die.  (Luke 9:23-27)

( 3 ) Hold fast the profession of our faith.  Jesus warned us that the deceptions of this age would be so convincing that if it were possible, even the elect would be deceived.  This is a very serious statement concerning a clear and present danger.  (Revelation 12:1, Revelation 14:12)

Well, it’s time to close out for now.  This post doesn’t even come close to addressing the things that are on my heart concerning this topic.  One might be inclined to ask how we should respond to those things which are coming to pass.  If we are truly in Christ, we have no reason to fear the coming attractions.  We truly have no continuing city here and when we leave this realm, we have an eternity with the Lord Jesus along with the saints from every tribe and generation.  Knowing the lateness of the hour, we should do everything that we can do to reach out to the lost while they can still be reached.  As the world grows darker, our light should shine brighter.  Knowing that the end of all things is at hand should cause us to draw closer to the Lord Jesus and be about our Fathers business with an urgency like never before.

I Peter 4:7-8 “But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. And above allthings have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover a multitude of sins.”

Revelation 21:1-6 “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.  And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.  And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.  And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.  And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.”

It’s hard to be fearful or discouraged after reading that final passage. WOOHOO!  Please check out this post, found on Michael Boldeas blog, entitled The Awakening!  I wish to all the saints, a blessed weekend in Jesus.

 

 

 

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The Kings Highway

April 9, 2008

Deuteronomy 6:6-8 “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.  And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes.” 

 Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.”

In the year 2008, when tolerance and diversity are held in higher esteem than truth, such passages would seem to be “unreasonable” to most.  A way that “seemeth right” is preferred over the ways of God who created all that is while anyone standing for truth is often labeled “narrowminded, fanatical, holier-than-thou, out of touch, mean-spirited, and a host of other phrases too numerous to mention.  The philosophical and theological arenas have been flooded with ideas that run contrary to the word of God, however, because they allow everyone to engage in that which seems good in their own eyes, they enjoy widespread acceptance.  The next passage is as familiar as the first two, but it’s needful of another visit.

Isaiah 55:6-7 “Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.”

Three notable truths are contained in these two verses.  First is the call to the wicked to forsake that which seems good in their own eyes and seek the Lord.  Second, if this is done in sincerety; repenting of (being sorry for and turning from) those deeds which are contrary to scripture, the Lord will “abundantly pardon.”  He desires a sincere relationship with us and is ready to forgive us of whatever is separating us from him; if we’ll simply ask.  Third, this is a limited time offer that “expires when we do.”  Since none of us know when our final moment under the sun will transpire, the urgency of this is paramount.  “Call on the Lord while he may be found.”  Or as the apostle Paul told the Athenians “Though he be not far from every one of us.”

This not only applies to those outside the household of faith.  For all who have accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and have their names written in the book of life, we must keep our hearts with all diligence and be willing to let go of anything in our lives that’s not pleasing to the Lord.  In addition, we have a very short time in which to be about our Fathers business and after we draw our final breath, our file in heaven will be complete.  Our works will be tried and only those things which are done for Christ will remain.  Everything else will go the way of the world which is destined to be burned by fire.  If we would get this truth into our heart of hearts, we would be much more diligent about those issues which have eternal significance. 

Isaiah 55:8-9 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Gods ways are so far beyond our ways that, in ourselves, we can never grasp the whole of them.  If we are truly born of the Spirit, we should fervently desire to let go of anything and everything that’s not of God; be it traditions, foolishness, (my ongoing battleground) an interest that keeps our heart chained to the temporal; anything that would take our heart away from the deep things of God.  (even blogging; if it becomes a hinderance) This is not a grievous thing because as we draw closer to Jesus and become transformed into his image, those things which hinder simply lose their appeal.  Just as the apostle Paul counted everthing that he had achieved or acquired in this world as dung, we’ll come to so desire a closer relationship with Christ that letting go of the temporal weights will be a small thing. 

True liberty; that which the world can never offer or take away, is found when we make Jesus Lord of our life.  When our itineraries and the philosophies of others are set aside and we seek him first and foremost.  While all who are born of the Spirit will grow day by day, I fear that few of us ever arrive at a place of complete liberty in this venue.  Sometimes, with the hecticity of life these days, such a concept would almost seem to have no place.  Yet when a person can say “here am I Lord” and be ready at the drop of a hat to respond accordingly, regardless of what it is the Lord would have them do, what the cost is in this world, or who thinks it’s a crazy idea; this is liberty.  With the shortness of time and the events looming on the horizon, we all must get to a place where everything of this life can be dropped as we say “Here am I Lord; send me.”  One more familiar passage, but it’s a favorite:

Hebrews 12:1-2 “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run run with patience the race that is set before us. Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Weights “and” sins.  There are things which may not be sinful, but they become weights as they take away our heart.  For example, the internet isn’t “sinful” in itself, but it certainly becomes a weight in the lives of many as countless hours are spent in a cyber reality.  This is venturing into the subject of a future post, but it’s amazing how much time we delegate to that which isn’t real.  Recently I found out about a cyber world called “Second Life.” Here a person can enter into a simulated world; design a life to their liking, interract with others, and, in short, develop a complete life in a make-believe setting where the only hinderance is ones own imagination.  Our society has become so dominated by illusion that many have difficulty separating reality from that which is a simulation.  The inhabitants of the earth are being set up to follow a man and worship an image that’s not what it appears to be.  (I’m sorry: I wasn’t planning to go apocalyptic in this post.)   

Well I’m going to close for now.  The thing that’s been on my heart much lately, is the need for every saint to seek the Lord Jesus and his will for our remaining days under the sun.  To, from the heart, let go of everything that’s destined to burn and follow hard after the Lord Jesus who purchased us with his own innocent blood.  May we grasp just how great a salvation we have and give our all unto the Lord who gave his all for us.  I wish to all a blessed day in Jesus. 

I John 5:3-5 “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God.” 

Revelation 14:13 “And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.”

PROPHETIC INSIGHT INTO THE TIMES  It’s needful to be aware as to the hour in which we live and this post over at “The Age to Come” (Peter) is very timely.

 

 

 

 

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To Be Spiritually Minded:

April 3, 2008

Proverbs 3:19 “The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens.”

II Corinthians 4:17-18 “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.  While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

One thing that seems needful is an ongoing exhortation to focus on that which is eternal.  On a clear night, one can look into the heavens and the sheer vastness of it all would seem to just go on forever.  Yet despite the vastness of all that appears, every single atom will, at some point, cease to be.  The spiritual realm, on the other hand, is forever.  God is from everlasting and to everlasting; a truth that falls into the “things too wonderful for me” catagory as our finite mind can never grasp how such a thing can be possible.  Each of us have a beginning, however, we are going to remain forever.  There will never be another moment in which any of us cease to exist.  We are all eternal beings and where we spend that eternity depends completely upon whether or not we have accepted Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. 

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Several months ago in his newsletter, Last Trumpet Ministries, David Meyer made a statement to the effect that “most people simply don’t think spiritually.”  He was referring, not only to those who are in the valley of decision, but also to most who confess Jesus Christ as Savior.  We often become so occupied with the elements of this present world that they consume us.  Then, just as the seed that falls among the thorns, we become unfruitful concerning matters of everlasting significance.  Increasingly, we will obsess over the ongoing earthly theatrics and heap to ourselves treasure in the physical realm while the issues that truly matter are neglected.  Drifting sets in and we start becomming “religious” as opposed to spiritual.  It’s a danger that all of us are confronted with daily to varying degrees which makes it imperative that we continually examine our desires and ensure that Jesus is truly our first love.

I’ve mentioned this analogy in previous posts.  Our pastor commonly makes mention of the hundred year test.  When assigning a level of importance to a particular subject, we should ask the question “will this thing have any relevance a hundred years from now?”  In short, if it will be irrelevant a hundred years from now, it’s probably not all that important now.  A hundred years from now, (if time should extend that far out) all that we currently lay claim to in this world will be in the hands of others.  The political speeches, the memorable sporting events, the celebrities, the current manifestations of cutting edge technology, reality television programming, everything that causes people to obsess over the mundane will have been long forgotten. 

On the other hand, that which is done in the name of Jesus; reaching out to a lost world with the gospel, visiting those who are in prison, providing sustinence for one who is in want; in short, loving our neighbor as ourselves, will have eternal ramifications for both parties.  Such works in Jesus name benefit those in despair; not only in the meeting of physical needs, but as they receive the truth that we serve a living God who desires a relationship with them, some will come to accept Jesus Christ as Savior.  How imperative it is for our lives to match our profession of faith in Christ as priceless souls are hanging in the balance.   

Such works also benefit those who perform them in Jesus name as they are the means by which treasure is stored up in heaven.  Treasure that will remain when the mountains, the seas, all the worlds treasures, and the stars that fill the midnight sky are but a distant memory.  A truly heavenly minded person will be about their Fathers business with the understanding that this season in the physical realm, where we daily rub shoulders with those who are still outside the ark of safety, is ever so brief.  As we draw closer to the Lord Jesus and become increasingly more like him, we will undoubtedly be shunned by many in this world; even many christians who have chosen to remain within the confines of endless debatings and conformity to the traditions of men. 

Psalm 39:5-6 “Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah.  Surely every man walketh in a vain show: surely they are disquieted in vain: he heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall gather them.”

It’s perplexing becaue we know the temporal nature of things here and the lateness of the hour.  We are surrounded by priceless eternal souls for whom Jesus shed his blood to redeem.  We know the joy and peace which passes all understanding that remains constant when we are in close to the Lord.  We can quote, or at least easily locate,all of the verses that tell of the awesomeness of God and the wonders of the age to come.  Yet we easily allow ourselves to become distracted by the temporal.  We gnat-strain over the most insignificant of issues, subject ourselves to mindless entertainment which usually presents a picture of reality that’s anything but scriptural, throw ourselves into our careeers, and, suddenly look around and ask ourselves “where have all of the years gone?” 

Please understand that, with this post, I’m addressing areas in which I need to grow also.  I’ve squandered so many years that it’s painful to even think about.  Yet the subject must be addressed and we must redeem what little time remains. Our perception of reality must extend beyond the confines of a status quo which would have us believe that the CNN version of reality is accurate.  We must lay hold of the bigger picture and understand that every day, the relentless spiritual warfare which transpires all around us is becoming more intense.  That every day, souls depart the land of the living; never to pass this way again.  That every night, we go to bed with one less day to make a difference in the life of someone who is at their wits end. 

Well I’ll close out for now as this post has become more involved than was anticipated.  This is an area in which literary limitations keep one from adequately conveying the seriousness of it.  But the word of God endures forever and never returns void.  Therefore, I wish to all, a blessed day in Jesus and will leave with these familiar passages:

Romans 8:5-6 “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.  For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

Philippians 3:17-20 “Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an example. (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: Whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.) For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.”

“TO MOVE BEYOND?”  This is a post by Phil McAlmond that brings to light the fervent desire that we must possess for going on unto perfection in Christ.  I don’t quite know how to explain it, but it’s an awesome read and will encourage anyone who takes a moment to check it out.

“WHERE IS THE URGENCY?”  I found this post a few minutes ago.  It’s a heartfelt plea for the saints of God to wake up and realize the lateness of the hour.