Archive for June, 2009

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“DIVISION-ATION”

June 27, 2009
The title of this months Last trumpet Newsletter hits on truth that’s been on my heart for quite a while; that being the final separation in the last days. The season in which the wheat shall be separated from the tares, the sheep from the goats, the saints from the aints, (I really do not like using improper words; even when they rhyme) and what have you. This profound line of demarcation will run through communities; dividing neighbors, coworkers, congregations, households and every form of gathering under the sun. The time is soon approaching when anyone who is not fully in Christ will be manifest by their intense opposition to the remnant saints. `The remnant saints will likewise become more manifest as they have abandoned all that is in the world and have their affections firmly upon Jesus. The following is the customary monthly link to the newsletter, followed by a very timely excerpt from its author, David Meyer:

THE GREAT SPIRITUAL SEPARATION:

“As I watch and pray fervently according to the instructions of our saviour, I see that something very amazing is happening. It is an unmistakable truth that can only be clearly seen by true and discerning Christians everywhere. I am referring to the fact that the separation of the small but powerful true remnant of the Almighty God from the multitudes of deceived antichrist population is becoming more pronounced as we near the end of the world. The people of the Almighty God are getting more and more like the place they are going to. They are sick of this world and are vexed by its corruption. A new heavens and a new earth occupy the minds of the little flock in the last days, and eternal glory with Jesus remains the hope of their hearts.”
Sorry to interrupt, but this is profound. We should be finding ourselves increasingly uncomfortable with this worlds system as it goes the way prophecied in scripture. The more our affections are on Jesus, the less we’ll find the trappings of this world appealing. The whole world lies in wickedness as it is preparing to follow after one who will deceive all who love not the truth but have pleasure in unrighteousness. Pastor Meyers continues:
“We also know that those who are surrendered to satans will are getting more and more like the place they are going to, and hells society now predominates the earth. People are preparing themselves for an eternith of damnation, and the forces of hell draw near to meet them. The primary question that arises to all who are reading this newsletter is this: which way are you going? It is an urgent matter, for time is about to expire. All salvation happens in the realm of time, not in eternity. You can call upon the Saviour right now, and then follow through with obediance to the gospel and a full and true conversion. hell is no doubt full of people who would give anything to have the opportunity that you have right now.” 
There are many widely recognized pitfalls that the end times saints must be aware of. Chritian sounding doctrines with just enough error to lead the undiscerning astray, supernatural fireworks from the enemy that are designed to obscure the authentic, false christs, false prophets, and prevailing conditions in the ambience that are so horriffic that even the most spiritually prepared are astonished at the intensity therein. (Just a note; after receiving the vision featuring the king of fierce countenance, Daniel “fainted, and was sick certain days.” We should not take lightly, issues concerning the time of the end.) We know that the world will wonder after a beast and multitudes will seal their eternal destination by receiving a mark in order to sustain their lives for a short season.
But one of the most dangerous situations; one that’s likely to try our faith more than all of the other transpiring chaos, will be in the area of those people who are closest to us. As the hour of temptation swings into high gear and restrictions are rolled away, anyone who is even the slightest “less than persuaded” will develop a hatred toward us to the point of desiring and/or bringing about our physical demise. This group may include parents, children, aunts, uncles, close frineds from the days on our youth, neighbors, pastors, brethren who beforetime appeared steadfast in the faith, and what have you. Currently, we may have a number of acquaintances who are not in Christ, but are, nonetheless, people with whom we have a solid relationship. We love them with the love of Christ, associate with them at regular intervals, continually plant seeds, seek opportunities to give instruction on issues of the soul, and keep them in fervent prayer. We’re really careful that we don’t unwittingly cause scattering as a soul is hanging in the balance. These reationships will eventually fail, unless the other person comes to Jesus in sincere faith and repentance.
There’s a tendancy for our considerations of end times events to be filtered in one of two ways; both of which are hazardous. The first is to compartmentalize them; keeping them safely locked up within the realm of theology without actually believing that they could one day witness such happenings. This keeps a person from actually preparing spiritually for such times. The other danger is that of adapting a romantic view of these events; watching them unfold but somehow not understanding the dangers asssociated therein. This leads to grandiose proclamations of faith without considering what that proclamation entails. (Similar to Peters emphatic declaration that he would never deny the Lord Jesus) The following passages should dissolve both of these tendancies.
Matthew 10:34-36 “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.
And a mans foes shall be they of his own household.”
Mark 3:12-13 “Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death.
And ye shall be hated of all nations for my names sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.”
Natural affection will cease to be a restraining force. The above passages reveal that we should expect to be hated of all who are not born of the Spirit; even those in our own household. It’s “beyond heartbreaking” to witness loved ones reject Jesus and fall for the prevailing delusions, with no regard for their soul. This is something that I’m mindful of daily as ours is a divided household. I love my wife and children more than words can express, however, they don’t see the urgency of the matter concerning their souls and “time is running out.” The thought of any in this family going into eternity without Jesus is unbearable; and yet, agonizing as it is to contemplate, this is a very present danger. How imperative it is to be sober-minded and vigilant. To pray fervently for their salvation and be a faithful ambassador in this venue where eternal souls are in jeopardy. Words cannot adequately express the gravity of this issue (This is not an easy post)
There’s one more venue that’s needful of discussion before closing. Most are familiar with the parable of the wheat and the tares, so for the sake of time, I’ll type out the last verse as it pertains to the discussion:
Matthew 13:30 “Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.”
The separation between the true remnant saints and the almost persuadeds. This is line of dividing is certain to surprise all of us when it is made manifest. A few years ago, a preacher on shortwave was discussing the attributes of natural tares. They look exactly like the wheat. They spring up at the same time, and they produce a spike at the same time. The only difference between the two is that a tare does not produce a kernal.  It looks authentic on the outside, but there is no fruit to perfection. Sadly, we may witness supposed pillars of our faith fall in the time of temptation. Richard Wurmbrand once stated words to the effect that “everyones a potential traitor during times of persecution.” He mentioned how the person who composed one of the greatest Romanian hymns later on composed one of the most famous communist songs .  Each of us must ensure that we are trusting completely in Jesus and not trusting in the discernment of a pastor, an elder, or simply someone whom we consider to be really spiritual.
Well, I’m going to close for now. My desire is not to cause apprehension. I know that this isn’t a pleasant topic. But it should cause us to draw closer to Jesus and understand that we must abide in him continually. We should not be fearful, but we should be sober and watching always.
Blessings always in Jesus name.
Matthew 16:25 “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.”
Daniel 12:3 “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.”
Currently on the blogger site: “BENEATH THE INDIGO SKY” 
June 30, 2009 (0930) This is one that will cause much pondering. It’s located on nonaeroterraqueous’ blog and is entitled “THE RESURRECTIONIST” Please check it out.
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The True Worshippers

June 24, 2009
They can be difficult to detect as we cannot see into the heart of another. The picture is further obscured as we live in an age where, all too often, prayerful discrnment is set aside as the primary focus is placed on appearances. It goes without saying that the ambience today is filled with confusion and that even the most discerning among us will not have a completely accurate picture of it. Each of us can only give diligence to ensure that our words of praise unto God and embodiment of works done in Jesus name are motivated by nothing other than a sincere love for him. Before going any farther, however, the post “HE DELIGHTS IN ME”  must be relinked to. Not to fill this brothers comment section with ping backs, but because the writing is so significant that it warrants a second link.

worship

 True worship is not determined by ones vocal talents or how many times they visit the prisoners. There’s no physical “worshipometer” that we can hook up to another and it will tell us where their true motives lie. It’s quite possible to “put on a show” that appears so real that nobody in the vicintiy ever questions the persons authenticity. Historys most infamous example of this was Judas. This man blended in so well with the other disciples that, when Jesus stated “Verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me” the other eleven began to search their own hearts. There was nothing outwardly that revealed the true nature of Judas. I’m thinking that one could have heard a pin drop when Jesus revealed what was about to happen.  Even after Jesus rose from the dead, there was still confusion as is revealed in this familiar passage: (Note: Jesus had just revealed to Peter that he would live to an old age, but would not die of natural causes)
John 21:20-21″Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord. which is he that betrayeth thee?
Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do?”
It was so unthinkable that one of them had betrayed Jesus that now everyone seemed questionable; even the one who appeared closer to Jesus than all. “and what shall this man do?” Is he less than authentic? Suspicions arose in places where beforetime there had been none. The reply that Jesus gives Peter is something that applies to all of us as we travel through this world where showmanship is trumpeted and two kings shall speak lies at one table:
John 21:22 Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.”
(Just a note: even this answer generated much discussion and even led to many thinking that “the disciple whom Jesus loved would not die)
“Follow thou me.” The thing for us to do is to follow Jesus. Things won’t always be as they appear, but we are to follow Jesus. To love him so much that we desire to be just like him. To desire fellowship with him so much that we are ready, at a moments notice, to go anywhere or do anything that he asks of us. If we are true worshippers; if we just “love the Lord Jesus with reckless abandon of everything else” our words and actions will begin to line up with this love. As such, we’ll not go into the streets with a backpack full of tracts to fill a quota, but because we love Jesus and desire to share the words of life with others. Compelling them to turn from the ways of death and believe on the one who paid for their sins with his own blood. . A true love for Jesus will cause us to abandon motives that are of a weak and beggarly nature or that would seek to bring attention to our name.
In the post relinked to near above, the author makes a notable observation that warrants elaboration. (The whole post is awesome; please check it out) He states:
“We sadly relate to God mostly in two ways: Either we relate to God in the context of what he can do for us or in the understanding of our usefulness to him. In other words, we use biblical precepts to worship ourselves either by using Christianity to fulfil our wants and comforts or by seeking accomplishments to bring before him so that we feel justified in our self worship.”
The landscape today is filled with examples of both and all of us must be ever mindful of the dangers associated with placing “self” on the throne of our heart. The prosperity gospel movement seems to focus primarily on the acqiisition of stuff and therby equating gain with godliness. (I Timothy 6:3-10) It’s promotors use feigned words and promises of “ones best life now” if they will follow their definition of the gospel and exercise their seed faith.  They sound authentic, they come in Jesus name, they will often be surrounded by a praise team that’s second to none, but they lure their followers into seeking a bigger house, a better car, or anything that their heart should lust after. Maybe it shouldn’t astonish us, given the times that we’re in, but for me it’s still hard to believe that something so blatantly materialistic can have such a tremendous following.
The other side of the equation is equally dangerous as we use our embodiment of works to justify ourselves. In Matthew 7:21-23, Jesus tells about many who will stand before him, thinking that they were in good standing, only to find out that “they never knew him.” Their rehersal of activities; including some of which even appeared supernatural, done in Jesus name reveals that they were placing confidence in their works and subsequently, were seeking to enter in through a window. Their arguements have no power to alter that which has been forged in life by a heart that wasn’t right with God. Our works, done in Jesus name, should not be done in an attempt to gain approval, but should rather be collaborating evidence that we are born of the Spirit and maintain the testimony of Jesus. (James 2:14-26, I John 5:2-4)
In short, if we truly love the Lord; if we unconditionally place him first in our lives and keep our hearts with all diligence, everything else will begin to fall into place. Our desire will be completely unto the Lord and if we begin to become otherwise minded, the Holy Spirit will reveal this unto us. My prayer is that we would give all diligence to ensure that our worship is authentic and that no contrary motivations are allowed to set up shop in our heart. We know that Paul was greatful whenever the gospel went forth; even in pretence, (Philippians 1:16-18) as the word of God will never return void, but to minister out of a sincere love for Jesus is far greater. It then becomes a work that will follow us into eternity.
Blessings always in Jesus name.
I Samuel 16:6-7 “And it came to pass, when they were come, that he looked on Eliab, and said, Surely the LORD’S anointed is before him.
But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.”
Psalm 63:1-8 “O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land where no water is;
To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.
Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee.
Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name.
My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips:
When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches.
Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.
My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me.”
Revelation 2:4-5 “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, escept thou repent.”
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The Last Roundup

June 22, 2009
I thought about editing this into the previous post as it discusses the remnant church in the midst of judgment against a nation. However, the urgency of the topic and the shortness of time is of such that it needs a separate posting. As in all such matters, paryerful discernment and scriptural understanding is imperative. When someone cliaims to have had a dream, there’s no machinery in the physical realm for independant. Nor can we know if the dream is of the Lord, other than by the scriptural test of whether or not something is authentic. An imagination can be powerful and I wrestle daily with mine. Nonetheless, this appears significant and as such, I’ll offer a link to it here. (I found it today on Steve Quayles site)
THE LAST ROUNDUP
The statement concerning the saints who were late in arriving in the places of Gods protection because “they had business to attend to” is chilling. The dangers of being overcharged by, and attached to, the things of this world are well laid out in scripture. The scriptural reference from Ezekiel is astonishing and should cause every saint should take this to the Lord in prayer.
Ezekiel 14:13-14 “Son of man, when the land sinneth against me by trespassing grievously, then will I stretch out mine hand upon it, and will break the staff of the bread thereof, and will send famine upopn it, and will cut off man and beast from it:
Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord God.”
Verse 14 almost left me speechless and prompted the urgency to get this post out. I know saints who truly believe that judgment cannot possibly be in this land because of the evangelism efforts that are based here. Well, we also know that the blood of approimately 70 million unborn innocents cries out from our soil. My prayer is that all of us would be understanding of the times, draw closer to Jesus, and make the most of our remaining time in this realm.
One more thing before going. After a 27 month absence, I’ve kick-started my old blogspot site. This was my very first blog. Lord willing, I plan to once again try posting on both sites, even though past experience has revealed that doing two blogs is almost impossible when one is strapped for time. At this this moment, I’ve only moved a few links over to the sidebar, but I will continue to move others over as time permits. (Blogger is different in that one must go into the code in order to place links which is more time consuming.) The site is called PHILIPPIANS 320 which is a referral to the following passage.
Philippians 3:20 “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:”
Well, I’ll be going for now. I wish to all a blessed day in Jesus.
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June 23, 2009 (1600) Greetings again. The link below is to a post on Jeralds site that’s very timely in this age where physical gain is often equated to godliness:
POSSESSING THE REIGN: BLESSED ARE THE POOR
June 23,2009 (2120) I just came across this post while scanning through the latest posts from the listings at the WordPress homepage:
HE DELIGHTS IN ME
Please check out both of the above links when time permits. Blessings always in Jesus name.
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I RAN DOWN AND JOINED THE ARMY OF GOD WHICH WAS MARCHING FORWARD THROUGH TIME

June 20, 2009
This post is primarily a pondering of things seen in part and ideas that keep coming back into the mix of daily cogitation. The title is from a line in C Alan martins “House vision of the night” to which a link is present near the top of the “End Times/Prophetic Sites” page. The wording of this particular statement has always intrigued me; almost as much as the content of the vision. Last night, after reading a couple of posts which will be linked to shortly, I was outside the house at 2:30am and this thought came to mind again. The army of God; the true remnant, isn’t an earthly organization that’s hemmed in by tradition. Its partakers have their affections firmly on the Lord Jesus and find no pleasure in those things which keep ones aspirations fixated on this world. They maintain an eternal perspective while being about their Fathers business; consistantly speaking, and compelling others to consider, the words of life by which they can be redeemed.
A few days ago, while taking care of some things in the garage, I unexpectedly came across an old copy of the Last trumpet newsletter that was dated October of 2006. It is entitled AMERICA – LAND OF THE WILLINGLY IGNORANT. As is customary, David Meyers begins each newsletter with scriptural references that pertain to it’s primary content. This issue begins with the quoting of Jeremiah 5:25-31 and II Peter 3:3-7. I began reading through this nearly three year old issue and quickly found myself focused on the following statement:
“In the second group of scriptures above, the Apostle Peter describes the same condition that Jeremiah reveal and used the words “willingly ignorant” to describe the people of earth in the last days. This is especially true of professing Christians. Very few of them ever talk about Bible prophecy anymore. One vital point regarding this serious problem that I urge you to never forget is that it is not the work of the antichrist to deceive the unbelievers of this word! Satan already has the unbelievers right where he wants them. The work of the antichrist is to deceive the Christians. When Christians stop reading the true Bible and when they no longer pray and fight the enemy, the first thing they lose is their gift of discernment. This is a gift that is given only to those who are actively engaging the enemy in battle. What follows is an inability to think for themselves and to understand the evil world that they live in.”
This is the telling of a condition that’s rampant in the church today. It’s incredibly heartbreaking when those who profess Christ seem content to settle for wood, hay, and stubble while the Lord is doing a short work in these final days. I’ve been through seasons where I was absorbed by the cares of this world; not only in the days prior to being born of the Spirit, (it was to be expected back then) but also as a Christian who simply catagorized carnal interests as “neutral ground” (kind of like a mythological purgetory of the heart)  This was another element that led to the season of rebellion as, by and by, I became obsessed with the affairs of this world. Politics, sports, work, material acquisition, and allowing the desires of family to take priority over the things of God. (I should really explain that last one in detail, but I’ll save it for a later post when adequate time can be alloted for it.) The Lord wrought a most incredible deliverance and today it’s almost physically painful to see others, not only enslaved to these things, but equating them to godliness.
A few weeks ago, during a casual conversation, Mrs timbob made the statement “None of the people at church think like you think.” It wasn’t a criticism of anyone; just an observation that she’s made over the course of time. I routinely ponder prophetic events and the manifesting of the end times senario as the return of Jesus draws closer. When CR and I are talking, the conversation flows like melted butter. But CR is one of the very few people in my vicinity with whom I can freely discuss such things. Most professing saints will quickly develop a troubled look on their face and either seek to change the conversation or vacate the vicinity. The suggestion that the continuance, in which most of us have spent our whole lives, is quickly giving way to the time of the end, seems to generate apprehension in the hearts of many who otherwise “appear very solid” in the faith. With such a widespread lack of understanding concerning the times, one begins to get a very discomforting picture of the great falling away that will precede the revealing of the man of sin.
Both of the posts in the following links, concern the remnant. Those who understand the times and are preparing spiritually for the days that are upon us. It’s been mentioned much, but it bears repeating. These ponderings should not cause fear. They should cause in us an urgency to reach the lost and enhance our desire to let go of everything that’s not of God as we draw closer to the Lord Jesus. Understanding the times in which we live should cause us to, all the more, unite our hearts to seek the Lord and abide under the shadow of his wings. Both of the following posts should encourage all who have joined the army of God as it marches forward through time. (The first post is quite long, but well worth the time that it will take to read it.)
ISAIAH 32 A NEW WORD FROM AN ANCIENT PROPHECY
THE LATTER RAIN (THE REMNANTS JOURNEY TO THE VALLEY OF ACACIAS)
Last night, after reading these posts, I went outside to spend time beneath the stars in prayer. Once again cogitating on this end times church; a church that will not conform to the images that we tend to assign to it. Then the line from C Alan martin entered in. The stars were quickly becoming obscured by clouds. Lightening began to light up the sky as a severe storm was rolling in from the southwest. In prayer I was inquiring of the Lord of where all of this is going and what we should be doing.  Time is quickly running its course and souls are in the balance. The army of God is not a stationary force that’s hanging out in the barracks and playing video games. It’s moving continuously forward. Those who maintain the testimony of Jesus are not conforming to the lofty sounding, but hollow designs of experts who profess to “know what they’re doing” but are closely following the continual promptings of the Holy Spirit. They will be tried in ways that we cannot even fathom at this time. They will endure as they have seen Jesus standing at the right hand of God. (Acts 7:55) The following passage offers an incredible portrait of the remnant church.
Daniel 11:32-35 “And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt with flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong and do exploits.
And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil many days.
Now when they shall fall, they shall be helped with a little help; but many shall cleave to them with flatteries.
And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed.”
Another thought came to mind last night; partially brought on by Cindys post and partially because it’s been impressed for years. The concept of a house church. I don’t know where, I don’t know who, I don’t know when, and I have no idea of what this will look like, but this concept is somehow a part of our future. All of us will have to, at some point, separate from the matrix that is so much a part of  our lives at the present. I’m going to close for now. How imperative it is to continue staying on our face before the Lord and earnestly seek him. As Deb observed in a comment on the previous post, “is there anywhere else to be?” Amen! I’ll close for now. The second passage below has appeared dozens of times in the history of this blog. Blessings to all in Jesus name.
Acts 1:10-11 “And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, so shall come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.”
I Peter 4:7-8 “But the end of all things is at hand: be ye herefore sober, and watch unto prayer.
And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
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Preeminent Domains

June 18, 2009
Last week I was impressed to begin keeping a guy named John in prayer. I’ve never met him, but for a number of years, he had been an associate pastor at CRs church in Kalamazoo. About three weeks ago, he was unexpectedly asked to resign. On the basis of the information that CR has offered up over the course of the past several months concerning this pastor, it sounds as though spiritual pride and/or a desire for being held in high regard were increasingly becoming a hinderance. This is a spiritual contidion to which I can well relate as I’ve wrestled with both of these in the past and must continuously guard against their reviving. Such attitudes have the tendancy to set up residence in our heart without our being aware of it. Once rooted, the cause us to begin taking our eyes off from Jesus and begin campaigning for the promotion of self. We unwittingly begin working to set up an “autonomous region” so to speak, in the kingdom of God where we strive to generate a following.
The underlying root to this is pride. In my past, unchecked spiritual pride, mingled with a hidden desire to be held in high esteem by the saints in my ambience (at the time, I was blissfully unaware of either problem) led to a lengthy season in which I became profoundly backslidden. The Lord did a complete restoration in my life back in April of 2004, (the thing was done suddenly and I am forever greatful) but the memory of that dark season serves as a constant reminder of how dangerous such attitudes can be. During that time, I married a lady whose salvation was suspect and all of our children were born into this world. Many of the complexities in this household today; where deep divisions reside in the spiritual realm, are a direct result of that season of rebellion.
Proverbs 4:23 “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”
Philippians 3:15 “Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.”
The desire for preeminence is something that, in our own ability, we will usually not see its rising up. It can be hard to detect in others and almost impossible to detect in ourselves. It will oftentimes disguise itself as godly zeal or even an advanced level of spirituality, however, the primary driver is a desire for our name to be recognized. A desire that, in time, will eclipse our concern for those around us. We’ll unwittingly desire positions; even if this is detremental to those around us. Here’s a simulation of this. Suppose that I desired to be the pastor of our church. (I don’t) It’s not a move mandated by the Lord, it’s simply timbob wanting to be on a pedestal. It would lead to manuverings designed to undermine the pastor and convince others in the church to “consider me.” Forget the fact that I would be a terrible pastor (seriously; I’m aloof and I “know” that I’m not called to such an office.) If this endeavor were to succeed, it would hurt the entire fellowship as there was now a person behind the pulpit who “did not belong there.”
III John 9-10 “I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.
Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.”
This man, Diotrephes,  desired to be the star of the show; to the point that it was a hinderance to the well-being of the other saints. This is “not” to say that all desire for position is of such a nature. The apostle Paul explained that “If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.” I Timothy 3:1) If a persons desire stems from a sincere love for Jesus and a desire to serve, it can be a very good thing. But once “self” begins to enter the fray, it can lead to certain calamity down the road. In time, piritual pride enters the equation and the needs of others begin to take a back seat to the maintaining of office. (The third chapter of I Timothy offers up sound advice to those who hold office, on maintaining an attitude of humility.) The danger of embarking on a path of self-promotion is something that Paul warned the Ephesian elders would be a problem. in this well known passage:
Acts 20:28-30 “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.”
The desire for preeminence. In short it’s a seeking of worship; a desire to be recognized by our contemporaries as being one who is “above average.” It’s a broadening of the phylacteries and a making of lengthy prayer for the express purpose of having folks pass by and say “what a spiritual person.” It’s the very thing that caused Lucifer to began entertaining thoughts of “look at me.” He then embarked on an ambitious plan to overthrow the very one who had created him. This initial sin of pride has subsequently led to every single injustice and lament that the world has ever known.
Isaiah 14:13-15 “For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of god: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds: I will be like the most high.
Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.”
Tragically, spiritual pride has led to the downfall of many and continues to hold unsuspecting captives. We must give all diligence to ensure that we don’t fall into its grasp. My season of rebellion was preceeded by an attitude of being “too spiritual to fall.” I would have never admitted it; even to myself, but it was present nonetheless. A couple of years ago, Al McNeely (a saint from my navy days) told about a navy chaplain whom he led to Jesus. This was a man who had the theological credentials to be comissioned as a chaplain, and yet was not saved. This happens all the time. What’s fascinating is that, despite the spiritual pride that would accompany such an office, the Lord granted him repentance to the acknowledging ot the truth. (Bro Al; I can only vaguely remember you talking about this. Please feel free to offer additional information or correction.)
Well I’ll close for now. The passage below highlights the ultimate danger of spiritual pride and pursuing preeminence. The “many” that Jesus refers to are rehearsing their accomplishments and are “surprised” to learn their true spiritual state. This should keep all of us on our face before the Lord. Blessings always in Jesus name.
Matthew 7:22-23 “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.”
I Peter 5:5-7 “Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth gract to the humble.
Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
Casting your care upon him; for he careth for you.”
 
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“Resonance of the Everlasting”

June 14, 2009
It’s been a topic of much cogitation over the past few years and has even been the subject of a few posts. (although none of them are able to capture the profoundness of it) Recently, a post on Carols site brought it to my attention once again. While the post is a solid discussion of holiness, an observation was made concerning some of what passes today for “christian music.” A notable portion of todays most popular songs are catchy, but light in content, and occasionally, borderline cheesy, as more focus is placed on the entertainment factor than moving the heart. This is not a blanket observation of everything that passes for christian music these days; nor is it a questioning of anyones heart or motivation. It’s simply an observation of a trend that seems to gain momentum with each passing year. Before going any further, here are two links; the first being to the post on Carols site that’s alluded to above:
REAL RELEVANCE (Write at Home)
OUR THOUGHTS CREATE OUR REALITY…BUT (Stirring the Deep)
Sometimes there almost seems to be a kind of “disconnect” as it were between the spiritual melodies of this world and those that permeate the atmosphere of heaven. This is by no means, a criticism of the wonderful worship songs, penned by those who have had a personal encounter with Jesus, which have come forth over the years. Such anointed compositions will always draw the true worshippers closer to the Lord as they consider the awesomeness of our God and our great salvation through Jesus Christ. It’s just that the harmonies that ring through the atmosphere of heaven are far beyond even the most stirring spiritual songs that have ever been composed in this realm. Melodies so incredible that this theater of atoms simply couldn’t contain them.
It’s a thing which continues tointrigue me much. The only thing that even seems somewhat close to it is when we find ourselves singing in the Spirit. The melodies are of such that they really cannot be assigned to any of the worlds musical styles. . They come forth in those moments of heavenly sweetness and fellowship with Jesus. Encounters so incredible that none of the worlds promises (so called) can ever compete; nor can any of the enemies threatenings diminish. Such moments result in the everlasting things becoming more real to us, while the temporal things just seem to become increasingly irrelevant. As we become closer to Jesus, we will increasingly desire to engage in heavenly conversation and find no fulfilment in that which focuses on the “here.” For this reason, I cannot help but wonder how the life of the saint mentioned in the following verse was affected by what was revealed to him.
II Corinthians 12:1-4 “It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.
I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.
And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)
How he was caught into paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.”
The apostle Paul is telling about a saint who heard a heavenly vocabulary that cannot be found in this world. The following aspects of this account stand out as “fascinating” and should enhance our desire to let go of anything that’s causing separation between us and the Lord Jesus.
( 1 ) The fact that Paul rehearses an event that transpired over fourteen years prior, reveals that it’s not an everyday occurrence. This is possibly because most of us couldn’t hear such things and still be capable of functioning in this world. How could one find the motivation to go to work in the morning when they had just seen “and heard” glory the night before?
( 2 ) Paul could not tell if they were in the body or out; a fact that he mentions two times. I remember reading in Frank Bartlemans account of the Azuza Street revival that many times he would go to the site late in the evening and find another brother who had likewise been awakened and called to go there. They would be in prayer for what seemed like only a few minutes, but soon discover that the sun was coming up and that the meeting had lasted the entire night. He stated that the ambience was so sweet that when others came by in the morning, the casual conversation of everyday events seemed very harsh and cold.  
( 3 ) This man saw the third heaven and heard the resonance thereof. He was granted an “appetizer” so to speak, of that which will endure forever. I’m thinking that, after such an encounter, one would have such a mindset for the world to come that, from that moment forward, all engagement in the physical world would be toward the furtherance of the kingdom of God. Forget the career path, forget the large home on the lake, forget all of the things that folks routinely seek to enslave themselves to, forget the popularity contests, forget anything that would work to tether us to this temporal setting.
When thinking of the age to come, a number of aspects are gravitated to by those who are in Christ. Our first and foremost desire is to be forever in the presence of the Lord. That moment when we see him as he is and know that from henceforth we’ll never again have to travel through a wilderness of sin and temptation. This thought in itself is so incredible that even as I type, I’m desiring to let forth a shout that would awaken everyone in the house. (I’m sorry Kimmy; I was just thinking about Jesus) Other aspects that people think about much are the mansions, the streets of gold, the sea of glass mingled with fire, whereupon stand the saints who were victorious over the beast, the untold thousands of saints from every tribe and generation gathered together, and what have you.
But for me, the melodies of the everlasting are of a fascination; to the point that, during prayer, I occasionally ask for a preview. It’s something that I think of a lot and perhaps it’s why sometimes the amount of time spent singing in the Spirit exceeds the amount of time spent praying and singing with the understanding combined. It’s not a planned thing; it just happens as I ponder the awesomeness of the Lord and think about that heavenly chorus continuously giving glory to God. I’ve never heard this chorus, but I know that it has a profoundly sweet sound which flows like a river; every note and every syllable bringing glory to the Lord Jesus Christ. It does not contain a driving beat or harsh utterances. It’s pure praise unto God with absolutely no fleshly minglings. The true worshippers will hear and join in as the name of Jesus is lifted up.
I apologize if my thoughts seem to be wandering and I’m not sure as to why I’m once again compelled to bring this topic up. I guess it’s an admonition to ensure that we are worshipping the Lord Jesus in sincerety and not settling for flesh-friendly noise with a few christian words mingled in.  (What Carols post refers to as “7-11 songs”) Likewise, we should give all diligence to ensure that our worship; even if we’re singing one of the greatest spiritual songs of all time, is from the heart and not simply an excercise of the lips. And finally, the understanding that; regardless of what may have crossed our ears in this realm, the truth is that “we haven’t seen or heard anything yet.” I CAN HARDLY WAIT! Well I’ll close for now. Blessings always in Jesus name.
Psalm 104:33-34 “I will sing unto the LORD as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being.
My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the LORD.”
Psalm 118:14 “The LORD is my strength and song, and is become my salvation.”
I Corinthians 2:9-10 “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.
But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.”
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The Word I’m Looking For (episode V)

June 11, 2009
This post must begin with an apology as I’ve been unable to make the normal rounds over the past few days. There is a lot of drama currently in play at home and souls are in the balance. The devil is continuously seeking whom he may devour and working feverishly to sidetrack those who walk in truth. I thought about going into some detail at the beginning of this post, but the situation is so delicate that it’s better to request prayer for this household. The complexity of the situation is such that I cannot even begin to wrap my mind around it. And now, on with the fifth installment in this series of words which have a single appearance in the King James bible beginning with:

ALOOF 

Psalm 38:11 “My lovers and my friends stand aloof from my sore; and my kinsmen stand afar off.”
 Psalm 38 contains Messianic implications in verses 13 and 14. Verse 11 can also be taken into consideration because when Jesus was brought before those who sought to put him to death, nobody stood by his side. Matthew 26:55 reads “But all this was done, that the scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him and fled.” But the real-time focus at the moment of recording was that David had been deserted by folks closest to him while his enemies were bearing down heavily. A fair weathered friend is one who will give every appearance to being solidly in our corner, but when trouble arises, they’re nowhere to be found. I’m convinced that, when the real shaking begins, many of us may find ourselves under the same type of circumstances. We  are to love the brethren and our neighbors as ourselves, however, our confidence must be completely in Jesus.

AMBASSAGE

Luke 14:32 “Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace.”
The full context is found in Luke 14:26-35 where Jesus is explaining the need to forsake all that is in the world in order to truly be his disciple. We live in an age in which one can preach about material acquisitions and pack a stadium with those who equate material gain with godliness. But a message of complete discipleship; that being counting all of our former treasures as dung that we may win Christ, is not very popular at all. A thought has been with me for a long time concerning this. When we set our affections “completely” on the Lord Jesus Christ and the age to come, we may find that our passion is not understood or shared by many professing christians. But those who do understand will be authentic. They will also be the ones who stand with us in times of trying.

ANETHEMA

I Corinthians 16:22 “If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha.”
It’s a word meaning either devoted to destruction or accursed. (I’m not a greek expert and I’ve come across both interpretations.) In short, a person who rejects Jesus Christ, is in a a most precarious situation as there is no salvation in any other. I think that the single most tormenting aspect of being lost for all of eternity has to be the knowledge that it wasn’t necessary. When Jesus said “It is finished” the sin debt of everyone who would ever pass through the valley of decisions was paid. But for a number of reasons, multitudes reject the sacrifice that Jesus made for them. For some it’s prestige amongst their contemporaries, while for others, it’s pride in their abilities and understanding (so called). Still others simply love their sin for s season. All of these devices lose their power, the moment a person exhales for the final time and their eternal destiny is secured.

ANCHOR

Hebrews 6:19-20 “Which hope we have as an anchor to the soul, both sure and stedfast, and which entereth into that within the veil; Whither the forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.”
Jesus Christ; our high priest forever; who ever lives to make intercession for us. A continual prayer is for a greater understanding of our incredible salvation. A salvation so complete that it defies explaining. We are anchored in the truth and no longer sifting through the endless streams of philosophies and teachings of men in search of something to hold on to. Nor are we placing all of our confidence in the institutions of this world which seem solid as a rock but cannot deliver in times of shaking. For two days now, I’ve been fixated on Psalm 49; to the point that it may become a post. Verse 11 discusses the illusion that the things of this world will go on indefinately and folks strive to leave a legacy in stone. Yet when a person leaves this world, the only thing that truly matters is whether or not they are anchored in Christ.

ANCLE

Acts 3:7 “And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ancle bones received strength.”
What a stir this miracle caused. The man was above forty years old and had been a fixture in the community for a long time. Suddenly, this man who was laid daily at the gate, was leaping and praising God for this miracle. When those in the vicinity took notice, Peter preached Jesus unto them; explaining that through faith in his name, this man was made whole. Subsequently, this got the attention of the priests and Saducees who had thought that, once Jesus was no longer on the scene they could get back to their “old time religion.” But this miracle; done in the name of Jesus, was undeniable. Consequently, the resisters of truth could do nothing other than issue empty threatenings. We know that about five thousand believed on Jesus after this miracle transpired.

ANNA

Luke 2:36 “And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.”
I’ve been steering away from names in this series, but Anna is special. As was the case with Simeon, she bare witness that Jesus was the Messiah. She gave thanks to God and spake of Jesus to all who looked for redemption. This was a lady who spent all of her time with the Lord and departed not from the temple. She didn’t remarry or seek out what would be considered a normal life. There is something profoundly special and inspiring about those who give their “all” unto the Lord at this level.

ANOINTEST

Psalm 23:5 “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.”
It’s the one Psalm that’s known by almost everyone. This verse tells how the Lord will meet our needs completely while those who are arrayed against look on. Even in the valley of the shadow of death, he will grant restoration and peace to those who trust in him. We should never fear threatenings in the ambience but place our complete confidence in God, who inhabits eternity and knows what we have need of before we ask.

ANT

Proverbs 6:6-8 “Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise: Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.”
So much can be learned by casual observance of the creation. This example reminds us of how important it is to diligently prepare for the seasons to come and to not allow precious time to pass by. Once a day is gone. it’s gone forever. June 11, 2009 will never happen again. This principle is even more serious in the spiritual realm where half-hearted efforts can have eternal ramifications. May we all strive to make the most of every remaining day. As Psalm 90:12 reads “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”
This looks to be a good place to conclude this episode. This series has a long way to go and it quite possible that I’ll not be be actively blogging long enough to see it through. I’m convinced that time is quickly running out on this age and, as such, we must be ever so diligent about the tasks at hand. I wish to all a blessed day in Jesus.