It was turning into another sleepless night for our oldest son, Matthew, and since I didn’t have to work the next day, I stayed up until he finally drifted off to the land of nod. Autistic children require an envirenment of structure; one that’s relatively free of alteration. One of Matthews expected consistancies is that he likes is to watch a station that plays old cartoons while going to sleep. (You know; the cartoons from my day and before, where someone may routinely get blown up and survive, but they don’t contain the occultic elements that permeate practically all of todays offerings in this venue) On the night of discussion, he was beginning to drift off and so I decided to check the weather and what have you.
It quickly became a vintage “why do I even bother” moment when I tuned over to a christian channel where a man was talking. Behind him, in large letters, was the word “PROSPERITY” and it became apparent that he was engaged in merchandising. He had the thousands in attendance eating out of his hand as he utilized a clever formula of scriptures to pander to the three lusts and convince them that God wanted them to heap to themselves the riches of this world. “After all” this line of thinking goes, “we’re children of the King. We should have the biggest house, the nicest car, the best career, the biggest this, the most expensive that, the choicest of those and blah blah blah.” While nothing in the presentation was new (although it’s astonishing that so many fail to see the true nature of this message) this exposure came on the heels of reading Franks post about tribulation saints.
I would seriously encourage anyone who hasn’t yet done so, to to check out the following link. It was a catalyst in causing the ponderings of this post:
One thing that Frank discusses is the two groups of saints. One group seeks stuff at the expence of closeness to the Lord Jesus while the other strives to let go of anything that would separate from the Lord Jesus. Those of the second group have come to understand what the apostle Paul meant with the statement “I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.” Their affections are on things above; oftentimes to a level that most of the brethren don’t fully understand. The first group, however, trades in this intimacy with the Lord Jesus in exchange for a kingdom here. Ensnaring themselves with the cares of this world along with a lusting for its wares; they set themselves up as easy prey for the hirelings to make merchandise of.
Psalm 106:13-15 “They soon forgat his works; they waited not for his counsel: But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert. And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.”
The words “lusted exceedingly in the wilderness” reveal the root cause whereby many unwittingly pierce themselves through with many sorrows. There are many familiar warnings in scripture concerning the dangers of loving this world or placing anything in higher esteem than the Lord. The tragedy is twofold. First of all, there’s the void that develops between one who engages in such pursuits and the Lord Jesus. If this distraction is consistantly entertained, it will grow and lead to a mechanical lukewarmness. Secondly, being overcharged by the frivillosities of this world allows the enemy incredible leverage. He is ever seeking to neutralize and shipwreck those who have made a profession of faith in Christ. If we’re lusting after the rudiments of this world; even the seemingly neutral things (these are actually the most dangerous in that “they don’t seem like a big deal”) we can be assured that the enemy will play to this weakness.
Psalm 62:10 “Trust not in oppression, and become not vain in robbery: if riches increase, set not your heart upon them.”
The rich young ruler is a prime example of one who appeared to have an unshakable desire for the things of God; a quality which caused him to approach Jesus. Of all the things that he could have asked the Son of God, his question was “what good thing shall I do, that I may have etenal life?” When Jesus mentioned a listing of the commandments, the young man fervently “I’ve done that; what else is there?” Without a doubt, observers of this conversation would have made note that this was a “very spiritual guy who loves the Lord” and this was most likely a trait by which his contemporaries identified him. (That young man over there; he really loves God) But there was an idol in his heart that was standing between him and a relationship with God.
Matthew 19:21-22 “Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell what thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.”
He owned a lot of stuff that chained him to the temporal world; not permitting him to abandon all and follow Jesus. We have to arrive in a place of following the Lord with “reckless abandon” for the life that we have here. A following of God that cannot be altered by anything or anyone; regardless of how dear it is to us. The rich young man “went away sorrowful” when called upon to abandon all that he had in this world. It appears that he didn’t even pursue the matter further and those who witnessed the exchange were astonished at the revelation that had just come forth. When things are running smooth and one is prospering much, they can make all kinds of grandiose statements. But when those trappings are suddenly up for negotiation, a person will find out what they are truly serving.
Matthew 19:23-24 “The said Jesus to his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”
One cannot even begin to fathom how many souls have passed through life who allowed “stuff” to keep them from considering their eternal soul to the point of true conversion. Or how many abandoned the journey when called upon to release treasures in this world. The rich young ruler ernestly sought out the path to eternal life as through a series of works, but was not willing to forsake all and follow Jesus. Today there appears to be little preaching on counting the cost of true discipleship. This post is already getting long, but one more example is in need of a visit. It’s one of the more disturbing accounts in scripture and will cause any passerby to seriously examine themselves and what they’re holding in high esteem.
Acts 5:1-2 “But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession. And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles feet.”
This account reveals that there are serious issues of the heart in play and it really has nothing to do with tithing. It was a time when the saints would bring everything that they owned as to have all things common. (How often does this transpire in 2009 AD?) Ananias and Sapphira were professing to be doing likewise, however, they gave a fabricated figure to the brethren and kept a portion for themselves. (Like a secret stash for a rainy day) In other words, they tried to keep some of the stuff while appearing as spiritual as the rest of the brethren.
Acts 5:3-5 “But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.” And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these words.”
It’s likely that this incident came as a complete surprise to the saints in attendance as they had no prior knowledge of the dishonest dealing. A love for things can be fatal. Yet across the land today, certain men make millions by proclaiming a message of unlimited material gain, whereby they cause the undiscerning to follow after wood hay and stubble. All of the warnings in scripture are set aside in a relentless pursuit for atomic structures and financial gain.
Acts 5:7-8 “And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in. And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much.
This was an opportunity for Sapphira to come clean and give an honest report; repenting of the conspiracy to engage in deception. The “lusting exceedingly” for the worlds merchandise while putting on a religious show is a shipwreck waiting to happen; unless it’s acknowledged and repented of. But if allowed to linger within the depths of our heart, it can and will lead to some very bad choices in the times ahead.
Acts 5:9-10 “Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out. Then she fell down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and carrying her forth, buried her by her husband.”
Philippians 3:18-19 “(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.)”
I apolagize for the long post, but this is an incredibly serious matter in an age when it seems honorable for saints to seek their best life now. Thanks to all who have been keeping Morgan and this household in prayer. It’s a situation in which souls are in jeopardy and I often wrestle with seeing past the physical circumstances. Sometimes in prayer I find myself asking the Lord “Do I even have a remote understanding of how serious these situations are?” I mean if we truly understood the full scope of friends and loved ones who are unsaved, we would be on our knees night and day interceeding for them. I pray that all of us would be atuned to the seriousness of the hour.
There’s something wonderful and fascinating about moving into a new season. A bidding farewell to the world as we knew it; reflecting on that which was, but is now beginning to wane in the wake of a new series of definitions. Places never before visited, encounters with souls previously unknown to us, revelations concerning the deep things of God that could have never been fathomed in earlier days, mountaintop encounters beyond our wildest cogitations and trials that will rattle everything around us. Challenges unexpected that will take us to our wits end and leave us suspended for a time; until we have abandoned all confidence in the flesh along with everything that is of us. Nudging us into a position of complete trust in God who raises the dead and brings refreshing to those who love him. Understanding that “neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
The previous phases will undoubtedly have their share of memorials, which distinguish their role in a persons journey through the valley of decisions. This past weekend, while cleaning out the basement, I came across a number of pictures from days gone by. Times when the kids were really young and Morgan would often smile. (This was almost disturbing because I haven’t seen her smile like that in years. It was a sobering reminder that a soul is in under assault and fervent prayer is a must.) There will be memories of firsts, memories of accomplishments, memories of sweet fellowship, and memories of lessons learned; sometimes the easy way and sometimes the not so easy way. Memories of the hour that we first believed, which cause us to be ever thankful for our great salvation in Christ Jesus. A faithful Creator in whom we can place our complete confidence; without wavering or apprehension.
Yet time marches forward to it’s steady, relentless beat. None of our sentitimental journeys can reverse its flow towards the embodiment of the everlasting. We rightfully cherish the memories, learn from the mistakes, organize the photos in a book of remembrance, but ultimately we will continue on the journey toward our eternal abode. And therein lies our blessed hope; not so much in where we’ve been; although each season has contributed to who and where we are today, but in that when this brief stroll through the theater of atoms is finished we have an inheritance incorruptible, eternal in the heavens. A city made without hands where we shall forever dwell in the presence of the Lord Jesus and a cast of untold millions, from every tribe and and generation, who were redeemed by the blood of the Lamb.
There’s a liberty in letting go of all that is frivillous and focusing on those issues of eternal significance. One of the motivations behind each posting is to encourage the saints to release many of those issues which lose their relevance one second after our final breath is discharged and focus on those works which will follow us into eternity. This world is temporal and our portion is but a drop in the bucket. I’ve been through a lot of seasons where carnality and gnat-straining were the order of the day. But when the Lord works a deliverance from such things, it’s an unexplainable liberation. So profound it is, that to see others still caught up in that which we once subscribed to is heartbraking. An example could be this blog. Early posts have a much more pronounced political element and following one particular post, Phil McAlmond called me on it. It was a single comment that led to repentance and much needed adjustment. If time continues, I pray that each of us, in years to come, will look back at July of 2009 and realize growth in Christ that has transpired since.
I should elaborate on the comment by Phil. I cannot even remember what post it was on, however, it involved correlating current political manuverings with prophetic scripture from a carnally motivated angle. Phil left a brief comment that shed light on this. I remember being on third shift at the time because I thought about this all night and realized that he was absolutely right in this observation. Even though I had long beforehand abandoned the political slant to my cogitations, there was still a residual clinging that needed to be detatched. This came about through a casual observation by a saint in Albert Lea MN. Today this incident stands as a memorial to a deliverance that the Lord brought about and a moving on to more relevant issues. (Phil; if you happen to pass by here, “thanks for being obediant to the Lord.)
Today marks the third anniversary of this blogging season. A season which began at Philippians 320 but was expanded to this venue in September of 2006. Where this endeavor goes from here is anyones guess. The same applies to any endeavor or campaign. Tomorrow is not a promise and Ecclesiastes 8:8 reminds us “there is no discharge in that war.” Each post has the potential of being our final gesture to the precious ones who pass through this venue and every moment of our life is a one time occurrance that will never pass by again. I know that I’m in the early stages of season changing; although the perimeters are obscure to put it mildly. Change can happen in a moment, but it’s usually more gradual; like the warm days of summer gradually giving way to the crisper days of autumn until finally the first snowfall covers the landscape. Nonetheless, it’s a time of anticipation and pondering what lies ahead and what unforseen twists reside just around the corner. As such, the following verse is ever in the forefront:
Psalm 90:12 “So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.”
To go forth; placing yesterday in the archives of our personal journal and pressing onward toward the prize. Releasing all lingering attitudes and residual attachments while we deliberatly torch every bridge that would offer an easy return to the person that we used to be. A separating from the old in every sense of the word. It can oftentimes seem bittersweet, and it can also cause celebration. It brings forth reflection of where we’ve been and a contemplative wondering at what the conclusion of the matter will look like. All the while remembering the promises of God and assurances of an everlasting habitation through Jesus Christ who is able to save us to the uttermost.
Philippians 1:6 “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:”
Blessings always in Jesus name.
Philippians 3:13-15 “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. 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 information presented in the documentary suggested that none of the family members were in Christ. Subsequently it served as a reminder that precious souls are hanging in the balance and that the enemy doesn’t go on holiday. (even when we do) The program wasn’t something that I would normally seek out, however, I came across it unexpectedly late in the evening of July 17 while waiting for Matthew to go to sleep. (Matthew is autistic and sometimes he’ll be awake late into the evening. One of us always stays up with him when this happens) Scrolling through some obscure channels (on the television that I would actually like to get rid of) I came across a documentary about a haunting in Corpus Christi Texas. As the story unfolded I began to ponder a number of things relating to the fact that we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against monsters. Fallen entities which seek to destroy those bearing the image of God for whom the gift of salvation is still within reach.
Luke 10:18-20 “And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightening fall from heaven. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.”
Before going into the thrust of this post, some elaboration concering this passage. Jesus tells the disciples not to celebrate over the authority granted to them but to rejoice in their salvation. If it were not for the blood of Jesus that was shed for us, we would all be lost and without hope in the world. If I had passed into eternity in August of 1983, I would be in everlasting torment right now instead of typing out a somewhat controversial post. Our focus must always remain upon Jesus; lest we unwittingly open a conduit for spiritual pride to enter the picture.
The family in the documentary consisted of a man, his wife, and two daughters; the oldest having a son who also resided with the family and the younger being in high school. They moved into a house in which, unbeknownst to them, had been the scene of a drug-related murder twenty years prior. Soon after moving in, it became apparent to the mother and two daughters that there was a sinister presence in the house. The husband had no regard for anything of a spiritual nature and catagorized the events as the products of imagination. (until he was presented with undeniable proof; including an encounter as they were fleeing the property) The entity began to focus on the younger daughter, almost like an obsession. The ladies in the house were becoming increasingly fearful and the entity was becoming stronger in relation to the level of terror generated.
Although I initially questioned pausing on such a story, (not exactly a profitable use of time) I soon began to fathom the significance of a family who was being harassed by a demonic entity and was at a complete loss as to how to deal with it. Even though the footage was merely a reenactment of the actual events; coupled with reflective commentary by the victims, it was heartbreaking to observe. Heartbreaking because these folks seemed unaware that this enemy was defeated 2000 years ago at Calvary. Heartbreaking because This oppression wouldn’t have had to continue unabated until the family was driven from the house, if there had been a discerning saint in the vicintiy. One who was in a place, spiritually where they could be used of the Lord in this situation.
Matthew 10:8 “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.”
And finally heartbreaking because one would naturally think that the church would be the first place to look for help in a situation that’s clearly a spiritual campaign. Instead it became a matter of last resort; and that, after a paranormal investigator recommended a cleansing. (This investigator likewise had a terrifying encounter with the thing) And one can only wonder what kind of church had been contacted; whether it was a body of saints whose affections were steadfastly on Jesus, or the nearest branch office of “United form of Godliness Inc.” Whoever it was, they explained that it would be a week before this case could be addressed. (A lot can happen in a week and they ended up leaving before this call was answered.) The story then took a heartwrenching turn as the mother; in a state of absolute desperation, tried to cleanse the house herself. If she was not in Christ, this was an Acts 19:16 moment in the making and sadly, it led to another terrifying confrontation.
This begs the question “what kind of gospel are we presenting to the world around us if we’re viewed as a last resort; even under such terrifying conditions?” (In one incident, if I remember correctly, this entity was, as it were, “trying to suffocate” the younger daughter as she was lying in bed.) When we, as ambassadors for Christ, travel amongst our contemoporaries with our Christian banner flying, do they associate this with the power of God to deliver from sin and transform lives or do they conjour up images from the “your best life now” crowd; more intersted in getting stuff than being a vessel fit for the Masters service? It’s quite possible that this family knew folks who professed Christ, but never went to them concerning their ordeal. (this is speculation as such information didn’t come out in the report)
I Corinthians 4:20 “For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.”
All around us, souls are being afflicted by the enemy and we have the words of eternal life. We know Jesus; the one who can deliver from any bondage, heal any broken heart, deliver from any affliction, and transform the chiefest of sinners into future citizens of the New Jerusalem. It’s imperative to be ready, at the drop of a hat, to address situations as they arise; being mindful that there is oftentimes a very fine line between gathering and scattering.
As the documentary ended, Matthew was finally asleep and I stepped utside, awash in prayerful cogitation. Thoughts about the range and diversity of the ongoing spiritual battle that rages 24/7 all around us. Thoughts about how many saints are focusing in on political issues that cannot offer deliverance or piercing themselves through with many sorrows as they bow to their golden calf. Thoughts about how many times I’ve been awol over the years when souls in my ambience were at critical junctures. Thoughts about the tender mercies of God and how, despite this household being spiritually divided, he’s kept us safe. Thoughts about how many times the enemy has tried to break up this household and how, on a number of occasions it would have been easy to throw in the towel. The fact that we’re atill together is, in itself, a miraculous thing.
Thoughts about Morgan and Dustin; two souls who are in desperate need of Jesus and how I’ve not always responded to their situation properly. Thoughts about how I need to be praying for this family more diligently. Thoughts about the perilous course that I was on prior to coming to Jesus. There were no saints in my immediate ambience until I met Teresas aunt and uncle in the summer of 1983. With the mindset that I had as a youth coupled with the eccentric cast of characters with whom I associated, I could well have ended up in a plethura of contrary circumstances. Circumstances that may well have resulted in an untimely demise. It all but defies explaining, but before I was born of the Spirit, there was like an invisible barrier that seemed to prevent me from embarking on courses which, at the time, had an almost magnetic attraction to them. There are so many things that could have happened, or perhaps even should have happened, but didn’t. The Lords mercy is beyond our most profound imagination.
Well it’s after 2:30 am and this is Sunday which means I’ll not be getting a lot of sleep tonight. This is probably in the top five on the listing for strange posts, but the account concrning the family in Corpus Christi caused stirring. When one sees the enemies methods of torment being employed; be it an addiction, depression, oppression, possession, uncontrollable lustings, or what have you, it opens the eyes to what’s truly at stake. Priceless souls in need of deliverance. Someone to stand in the gap, interceding much, loving them with the love of Jesus and looking forward to the day when their eyes are opened, their name is recorded in heaven, and the shackles fall to the ground.
Luke 4:18-19 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath annointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”
It’s truly awesome to finally have fellowship in the theater of street evangelism. Going forth with a likeminded saint is considerably different than going out alone, however each method has its advantages. When one is alone, there’s a closeness with the Lord coupled with the ability to “turn on a dime” as it were, as the Spirit leads. For yesterdays outing in Elkhart (I always use a bike in Elkhart because the gathering places are somewhat scattered) I began just south of Island Park as is normal, but soon found myself in a part of the city which I had never ventured into before. Here I encountered an eternal soul named Jose whose wife had just left him. He was very discouraged, but also “very recieptive to the gospel.” During times when CR and I are together there’s the aspect of fellowship with another who has a heart for the eternal ones. Many situations, such as a venue where folks are crowded into a limited area, are easier to cover if two or more saints are working together. Whether one is with a likeminded saint, or is venturing into the gallery of souls alone, the words of life will never return void.
I Peter 4:11 “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever.”
CR is an answer to prayer in two ways. First, he was a longtime friend at AAM for whom prayer was made over an extended period of time. (Although it was circumstances outside of work that the Lord used to bring him to faith in Jesus) Secondly, I had prayed much for someone to come along who would be a fellow-laborer in taking the gospel into the streets. At nearly every church that I have visited, this method of evangelic endeavor never seems to be a serious consideration. I think that a large part of this is that many of us are “just too busy.” I don’t get into the streets nearly as much as I would like to (all day every day) because of other obligations. Nonetheless, in the course of time, the Lord granted repentance and eternal life to one who would have a heart for this. CR is very conscious of what’s at stake and the need to reach the lost now. He has an incredible testimony and the Lord has allowed me a vantage point to witness the “before and after” pictures.
And so Tuesday, July 14, we met on the west side of the Arcadia Creek Events Center; a large park that sits at the northeast edge of the Kalamazoo downtown area. Our course took us south on Burdick street and then west toward Bronson park. A short while into the afternoon, CR made a “thinking out loud” comment concerning the overwhelming scope of the pending disaster before us. So many priceless souls all around us who are not ready to enter eternity. At that moment, the title of this post entered my heart; however, not from the standpoint that the apostle Paul was coming from in I Corinthians 15:30. Every day, we rub shoulders with eternal souls who do not have a relationship with Jesus. They see us as we work in our yard, they greet us in the market place, and they watch us pass silently through the common spaces. Lost boys and damsels in distress, tetering perilously on the edge of the stygian abyss. We offer a friendly “good morning” or ask “how’s it going?” and quickly head off to take care of our obligations.
As I write this, I’m once again hitting on an erea where I have fallen way short. As such this topic is causing examination and repentance on behalf of the one typing out these words.
“THEY STAND IN JEOPARDY EVERY HOUR!” With only a heartbeat between each of us and eternity, one who has not been born of the Spirit is in continual danger of waiting too long before believing on Jesus. It happens every second of every day. One moment they were carrying on with the predictable routine, oblivious to the approach of their final breath. Suddenly they find themselves in a place of everlasting torment from which there is no hope of reprieve. I fear that, for many of us, this doesn’t register too far beyond our statement of faith. We know it to be true, however, we don’t fathom the real-time tragedy that’s playing out all around us. We spend our days adding to our resumes and maintaining our kingdom. We speak home depot prophecies over our castle and continuously add to our collection of wood hay and stubble. We’re in church every time the doors are open (nothing wrong with this) we raise our hands and clap right on cue, (nothing wrong with raising our hands or clapping either) and we never ever miss the monthly prayer breakfast at Dennys. If we were required to wear a sign, ours would proclaim “Model Christian.”
Meanwhile, there are people who, at this very moment, are enjoying what will prove to be their final dinner, climbing into a vehicle from which they will never emerge, and setting an alarm clock to announce a moment that’s beyond their time. One thing that I continually ask the Lord for is clarity. Clarity in understanding just how great our salvation is. Clarity in understanding the shortness of our time in the theater of atoms. Clarity in grasping the concepts mentioned in this post. Not just as a package of theological confessions but a real grasping of what’s playing out before us every hour of every day while we’re casually sitting in front of whatever it is that we enjoy sitting in front of. If everyone who confesses Jesus as Savior understood the true gravity of this issue, we would be shouting it from the housetops day in and day out.
Well I should be going for now as it’s after 2:00 am. Next week, if there’s a continuance of things as they are, I should be back to work, however, it will be on first shift. This will limit the number of opportunities for getting into the streets, however, there are souls at AAM who need Jesus. Our mission field is before us 24/7, wherever there’s a soul hanging in the balance. I apolagize if this post seems overbearing; it’s just an attempt to address a pressing issue. An issue that I likewise must approach with greater diligence. I’ll close out with some familiar passages. Blessings always in Jesus name.
Jeremiah 1:17 “Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak unto them all that I command thee: be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound thee before them.”
Matthew 9:37-38 “Then he saith unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.”
II Timothy 2:4 “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”
II Timothy 4:2 “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
JULY 17, 2009 UPDATE….The first link below falls into the catagory of things “hard to think about but necessary to prayerfully consider. The second link is an encouraging call to the saints to let go of every hinderance and enter a deeper place in the Lord:
We are truly being called to a complete abandonment of confidence in the worlds systems (including those which we have dressed up to look christian) and a complete confidence in the Lord Jesus. To a place where we can say from the heart “To live is Christ and to die is gain. It’s incredible; the work that the Lord is doing in these times.
For the past several months, there have been some cogitations that I’ve been unable to shake. One of them involves embarking on a course that, if done for the wrong reasons, could result in scattering, bitterness, strife, pride, and even a gradual drifting from our first love. Like any course of action that we may be contemplating, it’s imperative to ensure that the move is ordered by the Lord Jesus and is not merely a self-centered plot that we’ve concealed behind a spiritual sounding cover story. If God is in the move, it will be the right choice; even if it runs in complete opposition to common sense or the advice of others. If however, the move is a result of personal fantasy or a belief that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, it will be a recipe for disaster. This post is going to be on the strange side as it’s more of a thinking out loud session concerning these ongoing considerations.
John 12:26 “If any man serve me, let him follow me; that where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.”
Today, with prophetic fulfilment bearing down upon us and time being an ever-diminishing commodity, it’s imperative to be hearing from God and not placing all of our confidence in the advice of another. It’s equally imperative that we don’t package that which our own imagination has assembled and catagorize it as “the Lord told me thus.” For this reason, I’m approaching the ongoing considerations carefully through prayer. It’s dangerous for us to be in one place while the will of God is for us to be in another. The pondering at hand; the one that simply won’t go away, relates to the issue of the unregistered fellowship (aka house church) This has been on my heart; sitting patiently on the back burner as it were, for over two years. I’m continuing to bring this before the Lord; inquiring if it’s truly of him or it’s just a fantasy born out of frustration over the continual efforts by many in the church to be like the world from which Jesus has delivered them.
From an initial observation, the idea seems eccentric at best and self-exalting at worst. Eccentric in that it’s a departure from the authorized (or incorporated) church structure, where as person can effectively blend in with the crowd. Self exalting in that there’s almost certain to be an appearance of one who’se seeking a following. This is a constant danger in any such endeavor. We must not only ensure that the journey is the will of God, we must also ensure that our motivations are pure. We know full well, the warning that Paul issued to the Ephesian elders at Miletus, concerning thosewho seek recognition from their contemporaries.
Acts 20:30 “Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.”
The answers concerning this issue will not be found in a multitude of councellors or by careful analysis of the prevailing conditins in the ambience. It will not be determined by prophetic timetables that are assembled to offer up a senario for the days ahead. (It’s dangerous to believe that our understanding of the prophetic timeline is complete; especially when we see through a glass darkly, we do not know what the seven thunders uttered, and we DO NOT KNOW the day or the hour when Jesus will return.) The answers to questions concerning a house fellowship; such as “if, when, where,” and “who else will be there,” can only come from the Lord. Currently, this notion has no accompanying direction and as such, one should not embark presumptuously.
The unregistered fellowship has an almost romantic element to it. The vacating of an apostate establishment in exchange for a small close-knit community with the focus exclusively upon the Lord Jesus conjours up a sensation of intimacy with God, unity with likeminded saints, complete abandonment of the worlds lustings, and freedom from traditions. Here, these redeemed ones are living in eternity as they fellowship, minister to those around them, and compel all who pass through their vicintiy to turn from wickedness and believe on Jesus. There even may be a prceived element of adventure as these saints will be despised and pursued; not only by the world, but also by a religious hierarchy that long ago traded in the precious words of life for a social gospel that focuses on this world and soothes the itching ears.
I’m convinced that such a time is coming; when the true worshippers will have to separate from the superstructure if they are to hold fast the testimony of Jesus. But we must move on the Lords timetable. I’m almost certain that a time will come when we have to leave Agape Church, but the time is not just yet. There are profound dangers to jumping the gun, going forth out of a contrary attitude, or joining up with a situation which appears to be in line with what the Lord has placed on our heart, but is based on an agenda that’s not of God. (Imagine joining a fellowship of those who had all left their former assemblies because they had been offended by something trivial and irrelevant. It would be a continual anger-fest with the atmosphere contaminated by bitterness.
Ephesians 5:15-17 “See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.”
Such moves; or repositionings of any sort, should not be taken lightly. They should not be put into motion for any reason other than to be in the will of God. Another thing that adds to this debate is the saints who oprate in the blogosphere. I’ve encountered many who are looking steadfastly unto Jesus while being about the Fathers business. Their words reveal a longing to let go of every weight and sin as their hearts have already crossed into the eternal realm. Yet my efforts to find a similar fellowship in this area have yielded no results; save for CR who was born of the Spirit in November of 2007. Frank recently addressed this in a reply. The remnant; the symbolic 7000 who have not bowed the knee to Baal, are out there. There in different places; learning to trust completely upon Jesus and to not lean on an supporting cast. At the proper time, we’ll be led into places of refuge until the indignation be overpast. (I’m paraphrasing; Frank stated it more clearly) Well I’m nodding off at the compter, so I’ll be going for now.
Blessings always in Jesus name.
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?”
UPDATE: July 16, 2009….The following is a most incredible discussion of prophetic timing concerning the end of the age and the return of Jesus. DANIELS VISION OF OUR TIMES, THE ANTICHRIST, AND ISRAEL This post is long and includes a lot of detail. The final three paragraphs, however are under a sub-heading entitled “SIGNIFICANCE FOR YOU.”
It can seem almost intimidating at times to bring forth items which appear to suggest that the end of the age is upon us. Such pondering has been in play for hundreds of years with each reflection upon the contemporary setting seemingly indesputable. As a result, the majority of warnings about a looming apocalypse tend to not be taken seriously by many. Even many saints take a lighter approach to such considerations. Many would prefer to focus on topics which are easy on the flesh such as “becoming a better you” and “accumulating stuff while equating it with godliness.” But these are times unlike any other and whereas indicators of the final days used to appear at seemingly rare intervals, they now seem to transpire almost daily. Every event, every rumor and senario is significant as the end of the age approaches and the return of Jesus draws ever closer. It is a time for watching, praying, and loving not our position in this temporal world.
This post contains links to some items of significance, but there has been one almost overwhelming thing on my heart as of late. That is to shut out the excess rhetoric and seek the Lord Jesus. Such reports as the ones linked to below, are like mile-markers along an interstate highway. They give us a rough idea of where we are on the prophetic timeline. They should cause us to strive, all the more fervently, to be in the continual presence of, and perfect will of, the Lord Jesus for the moments remaining; regardlss of the fallout in the physical realm. Indeed those in our household and neighborhood may think that we’re nutty while many (if not most) in our local fellowships may think that we’re “obsessed with doom and gloom.” We need to cast all of this aside and “hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” The true church, those who are watching and keeping their garments, have let go of the sideshow issues and are looking steadfastly unto Jesus. Here’s the links mentioned above; most of which I found on STEVE QUAYLE’S site, beginning with:
UNDER THE ALL-SEEING EYE THE ILLUMINATI DEALS (Hawk) This discusses some of the fallout from the meeting in Moscow between Mr obama and Pres. Medvedev. No such meeting is insignificant in these times and Hawk goes into detail on issues that won’t be discussed on CNN.
DEATH BY AMUSEMENT (Dave Daubenmire) This article discusses how our society has become obsessed with being entertained to the point that many can no longer think for themselves. (Caution: Dave makes some observations about Michael Jackson that some may fine troubling. The circumstances leading to Michaels untimely demise are a tragedy and today a soul is in eternity.)
POPE ENDORSES WORLD POLITICAL AUTHORITY (Cliff Kincaid) This may not sound surprising, but the timing is significant. We know that Mr. Obama is to meet with the pope on Friday. We also know that the real goings on in power are generally not forthcoming. The photos and sound bytes, which are carefully crafted to have a desired effect, do not offer an accurate picture of the event. PRAY MUCH.
Daniel 11:27 “And both of these kings hearts shall be to do mischief, and they shall speak lies at one table; but it shall not prosper: for yet the end shall be at the time appointed.”
THE PROPHECY OF THE POPES BY SAINT MALACHI and THE 72nd DAY This is a long read, but contains a lot of insight for one who has patience. With the ongoing rhetoric over the past year concerning evidence that the man of sin may be revealed in July of 2009, this becomes all the more notable. Whether or not such a revelation is forthcoming this month is not clear, but we know that events are moving forward at an ever accelerating pace. (It would seem that Mr Obamas snide remark about completing his second span of one hundred days in only seventy two days and then resting, is as thought provoking as it is arrogant.)
One thing of note concerning bible prophecy. Those things which have not yet occurred, will transpire at the appropriate time. They may not match the images that we have assigned to them based on our limited perceptions, but the word of God will come to pass; regardless of our theologies and debatings. (One can only imagine how much different our perceptions would be if John had been permitted to record what the seven thunders uttered.) As such, there is absolutely no subsitiute for being close to Jesus, abiding in his word, and hearing from on high. These are days of unprecidented deception.
PREPARING FOR CIVIL UNREST (Claire Wolfe) As the status quo unravels, those who depend upon the infrastructure are certain to react in unpredictable ways. This article has some common sense guidelines for such times, however, there’s no substitute for abiding close to Jesus. He alone is our strong tower in times of trying. One more link:
SCOTTISH WARRIORS (Frank McEleny) If one is curious about the makeup of the remnant church and about what will be required of those who profess the name of Jesus in the times approaching, this is a site to visit on a regular basis. Franks posts always challenge us to examine our current spiritual state while encouraging us to get in close to Jesus. Please check out this page entitled THE COMING TRIBULATION
Well, it’s about time to close this up. This weekend, after much urging by Mrs timbob, we are having a garage sale. This is the first time that I’ve ever done something like this and I’m kind of hoping that it’s a one time thing. (lol) Nonetheless, I have made several tables and thoroughly cleaned the garage. I am looking forward to it for one reason. there will be souls here who need Jesus. I’ve also constructed a stand for tracts along with copies of the Last trumpet Newsletter and I’m praying for a door of utterance. Time is running out and the only thing in this world that’s eternal is the priceless souls for whom Jesus shed his blood. Everything else is just wood, hay, and stubble. May we all be about those issues which have eternal ramifications as “EVERYTHING ELSE MUST GO!”
Blessings always in Jesus name.
Matthew 24:24-28 “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 chambers; believe it not. 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.”
II Peter 3:3-7 “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own ungodly lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation. for this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.”
July 9, 2009 (1800) Hello again. I’m not certain as to what kind of response this will get, however I thought it to be noteworthy. It’s a report on a newly discovered crop circle in England. While crop circles are a common phenomenon, this one is particularly interesting and it would appear that for those with eyes to see, “the signs are everywhere!” Here’s the link:
“My sister is a priceless soul who is in need of a deliverance.”
Other than this immediate household, my family isn’t as close as we have been in previous years. Not because of any falling out or rift; it’s merely the by-product of everyone having a hectic lifestyle in a diversity of venues. For this reason, whenever someone in the family calls unexpectedly, the imagination instantly launches into a wondering of “what has happened and who did it happen to?” On the morning of July 3, we received an unexpected call from my sister in South Bend. Although she has suffered from an assortment of infirmaties in recent years, she sounded well on the phone. Shortly into the dialogue, however, the conversation took an unexpected turn when she stated:
“Mom wants me to tell you that she says hi.”
The problem with this message is that our Mom passed away in October of 2000. My sister has been involved with some dangerous activities for a lot of years; although she does not regard them as being dangerous. She became a mormon in either her late teens or early twenties; thereby eroding any confidence that she may have had in the divine inspiration of scripture while embracing a doctrine which in no wise resembles “that which is written.” Shortly after I came to Jesus in 1983, she made an attempt to steer me into that way, but the Lord prevented this. I had a “very uneasy feeling” about what I being introduced to; even though I considered the mormons to be “just another denomination” at the time. In recent years, my sister has embraced many aspects of new age teaching and professes to routinely talk with deceased persons. This latest incident, however, came about when she attended a session with famed necromancer John Edwards.
I was caught off guard by the statement, but replied that scripture warns against communicating with, or attempting to contact, those who have passed into eternity. She dropped the subject and moved on to more casual topics, but I could tell that my refusal to entertain the idea was bothering her. Once a person detaches themselves from the foundational truths laid out in scripture, they unwittingly set themselves up for embracing a worldview based on falsehoods. A set of beliefs that will often appear warm and fuzzy, but be the ways of death. To the average person, it would seem a good thing to once again visit with a deceased loved one, or perhaps receive a message from those on the other side. (Luke 16:19-31 just came to mind) All of this despite the warnings that are clearly defined in scripture.
II Corinthians 11:13-15 “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. Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”
Following this conversation, I rehearsed the matter to Mrs. timbob. This created additional complication as Mrs. timbob sees nothing wrong with this practice. She admitted that she holds the workings of John Edwards in high esteem; making me, once again, the guy who rains on everyones parade. Sadly both of us have relatives who embrace such practices. Amongst my kinfolk, (kinfolk?) Sally is by far the most visible. On my wifes side it was her Mom and late Grandma who, through the routine employment of a ouija board, opened some doors that should have been left unopened. We can be assured that, when a person calls into the darkness and says “come on over” there will be takers. We can be equally assured that those invited guests will conceil their identity as they lure the “curious simple ones” into a web of bondage and confusion.
There really is nothing new under the sun and a well known reference to the practice of necromancy is found in I Samuel. King Saul knew that the Lord was no longer with him and consequently, he paid a visit to the witch of Endor. She asked of King Saul “Whom shall I bring up unto thee?” as though it was as common as baking a pie. (I Samuel 28:11) Without a doubt, this practice does yield results. We know that during this encounter, Samuel disclosed the demise of Saul and his sons, along with the deliverance of the children of Israel into the hands of the Philistines. But this doesn’t justify the practice of engaging in necromancy; any more than giving to the poor would justify the act of stealing. A person can proclaim that a conversation with a deceased loved one would be a positive experience that could lead to “closure.” But the devil attaches a price tag to everything and the spiritual state of my oldest sister is a primary example of that price tag.
Speaking of king Saul; I’ve been perplexed, for a long time, that the prophet Samuel appeared in a situation where an unscriptural practice was being employed. Certainly the Lord is in control and permitted this to transpire. One thing, however, is very clear, and that is the spiritual condition of Saul. This was a man, appointed by God, to be be the king that Israel sought after. He later dissolved any prospects for those of his lineage to reign when he “forced himself” (I love the king James wording) to offer the burnt offerings instead of waiting for the prophet. (he was more fearful of the Philistines than of God) Later on, the bleating of sheep and a lone surviving Amalekite (King Agag) bare witness of a man who was no longer little in his own eyes. In the end, this man, who at one time was “also among the prophets” received his final morsels from a lady of Endor who communicated with the dead as routinely as we do laundry.
King Saul did not have to end up like this. At any time during his downward spiral, he could have called out to the Lord in genuine repentance. Even with the understanding that his rebellion would have consequences in the physical realm, (the disobediance of performing the burnt offerings cost his descendants the throne; this was irreversable) he could have turned his heart to the Holy One of Israel. Instead, he spends his final moments seeking dialogue with Samuel by means of a lady with a familiar spirit in a desperate attempt to hold on to his temporal position in the land of the living. Loving this world will cause a person to make “really bad descisions” every time.
Hebrews 3:12 “Take heed brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.”
Well I should wrap this up shortly. The conversation with Sally was not the only thing that transpired Friday morning. About two hours beforehand, Dustin arrived from Kentucky to pick up Morgan. She left on good terms; despite the volatility that has defined our relationship over the past few years. I think this is going to end well. I’m praying much for both of them as these are two priceless souls who need Jesus. In fact (this is going to sound nutty) it’s much easier to keep them in prayer from a distance. When residing here, Morgans attitude and shady workings sometimes engage the emotions and make it a real struggle to focus on the eternal. The spirit is always striving but the flesh wants to “react in a manner that’s not condusive to gathering.” But with two states in between us, I can come before the Lord and pray fervently for both Morgan and Dustin; void of any distracting issues in the realm of atoms that cause hindering.
Dustin and Morgan are now in the town of Corbin where employment has been secured. It sits along I 75 about halfway between Lexington KY and Knoxville TN. Please keep Dustin, Morgan, Sally, and this household in prayer. The spiritual battlings are not subsiding; they are growing more intense as the days draw to a close. The situation in this venue is more complex than words can relate, but God sees the end from the beginning.
Blessings always in Jesus name.
Deuteronomy 18:10-12 “There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consuilter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.”
Acts 19:19 “Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.”