Good afternoon. It’s been another hectic week, as we began working overtime at work, baby goats were born at home, (Boo-ton had three again) the constitution of the United States was severely weakened and the nations slide into totalitarianism acellerated. I know that it sounds like a drastic statement, however, we know that unimaginable events will transpire in the time of the end and “we’re merely wittnessing the harbingers at this moment.” Earlier this week, I heard a mainstream commentator (someone who adheres to a particular world view and gives no heed to the prophetic side of things) question whether or not we will even have elections this fall. If one portion of the constitution can be compromised, none of it is safe. To most, it sound like crazy talk, but anyone who studies scripture knows that this status quo will not continue indefinately.
Much speculation can be offered up concerning the flow of events, however, the most important thing right now is for everyone who knows the Lord Jesus to be in fervent prayer. Continually examining ourselves, being in a place to hear what the Spirit is saying, and interceding for the priceless souls in our ambience who are not prepared for the woeful day. We cannot navigate these times in the flesh. We see through a glass darkly and while we know the basic perimeters of things to come, none of us have a complete picture of what the manifested product will look like. We cannot begin to guess what “except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved” is going to look like, however, the information that Jesus offers us lets us know that it will be a time like none other.
If there has been a single word coming to the forefront this week, it would have to be the word “ALL.” It is imperative that we are fully commited to the Lord Jesus and that are affections are 100% set on things above. A love for this world; its system, its wares, or its values, will open the door to compromise-without-remedy. Words fail to convey the sense of urgency that’s been building for months. Most of us are the product of a continuance that has been in place for as long as we can remember. Even if our lives were in turmoil from every angle, we went to sleep every night feeling relatively certain that the infrastructure would remain intact. The idea that everything familiar is being systematically disassembled is difficult to fathom; even for one who routinely studies bible prophecy. And yet we are witnessing it all around us. The events of this past week are but a tiny by-product of an agenda and conditioning that’s been going on for decades as the world is beint prepared to usher in a son of perdition.
I know of people who believe that Mr Obama is the antichrist. (we know that he fits the billing of “an” antichrist) I currently don’t believe that he is “the one” whom the world will wonder after. Such a revelation will have to come from on high and will be granted at the proper moment. Speculation of this nature can be dangerous and and misleading; causing ones discernment to be hindered. Nonetheless, a statement made by Mr. Obama earlier this week was very revealing of a heart filled with love of self and no regard for the creator of all that is. This isn’t the exact wording, but I’ll place it in parentheses as to not confuse this comment with anything else written here. He stated words to the effect of:
“Some have referred to this health care bill as Armageddon. (audience chuckles) So right after I signed it into law, I looked up; expecting meteors to fall out of ths sky and the earth to open up. Well none of that happened. The sun was shining, the birds were still singing, and….it turned out to be a really nice day.” (audience chuckes louder)
Proverbs 16:18 “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”
Another pondering that’s been in the forefront this week is that every person will stand before God. “And I saw the dead, small and great” is all inclusive of every soul who has ever travelled through the valley of decisions. “And the books were opened” tells of a judgment that will call into account every deed, every word, every thought and every motivation. We know that the man of sin, whoever it turns out to be, will make war with the saints and prevail against them in the physical realm. We overcome that wicked one by holding fast the testimony of Jesus Christ and loving not our lives unto the death. We absolutely must have our affections upon the Lord Jesus and our heart must be abiding in the realm of the everlasting. We cannot serve two masters. Peter Lillington has a most important admonition at the top of his blog: “Those who marry the spirit of this age, will find themselves widows in the next.” I apolagize if this post sounds excessive, but it seems that very few of us (myself included) understand the full perilosity of the hour.
Well, I’ll be going for now as this weekend is filled with things that must be attended to. Thanks to all who continue to stop by. I’m minded to make the rounds to other sites tonight, although it will be late. Malachi 3:16 continues to come to mind and this is a great forum wherein we can “speak often one to another.” Encouraging each other as we see the day approaching. Tomorrow, Kimberly and I will celebrate our eighteenth wedding anniversary.
Incidentally, David Meyers talks extensively about goings on in the Obama administration, the economic metamorphosis currently underway, and the increasing toxicity of our ambience; both physically and spiritually. here’s a link to the April newsletter entitled:
Revelation 20:12 “And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which are written in the books, according to their works.”
Mark 13:37 “And what I say unto you, I say unto all, Watch.”
This cogitation must begin with a passage that, while familiar to most, may initially seem to not be the best selection for this topic:
Revelation 5:2-4 “And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon.”
This had to be one of the most incredible revelations; equal to all other pieces of understanding that were imparted unto John during his time on the isle of patmos. In a single panoramic moment, he saw a side-by-side comparison which revealed just how absolutely righteous the Lord is and just how far removed we are from that level of righteousness. The wickedness of man was seen in its full and it was almost more than John could bear. (Praise God for verse 5!) There’s no way of knowing how much time transpired during this portion of revealing from on high, but it had quite an impact on “the disciple whom Jesus loved.” (John 21:20) Such revelation will forever alter the life of a person; regardless of how spiritually mature they may be. Even if the revelations of that day had proceeded no further than this single truth, Johns life was already forever altered. He would never have been able to view the world in the same light again after witnessing this.
Over the past several days, two themes have been dominant. The first is the consideration of just how “contrary to God” this fallen world is. It is a place that becomes more ungodly, seemingly by the hour, as the third chapter of II Timothy becomes manifest. The second is how few people seem to care, or even notice that this world is at complete odds with the God who created all that is, holds the very breath of life in his hand, and before whom all of us must stand at the time appointed. Everyone who is born of the Spirit, can remember back top the times when, we too, gave little or no thought to matters of eternal significance. Were it not for the gentle drawing of the Holy Spirit, we would have continued down that road until our allotment of days expired and we found ourselves in a place of everlasting hopelessness. As these thoughts came to the forefront, I had to make another visit to a favorite memorial. The defining moment in my past wherein the Lord gave me a heart to know him.
In hindsight, one of the most incredible aspects of the summer of 1983 was the “drawing.” Over the course of those months, the Lord used a family in Elkhart to bring me into the household of faith. I met them in June when their neice, whom I had known for years, went down to live with them. I began to make routine visits to their home, wherein I started to notice something profound. It seemed as though the very atmosphere was different around them. I knew that they were Christians, however, this was deeper than just a religious profession. Dennis and MaryAnn never actively tried to evangelize me; although they would politely answer any questions that I had. Over the course of weeks, I found myself desiring what they had. I understand it much better now than when it was transpiring in real-time, however, it was an ever so sweet “drawing.” Unbeknownst to me at the time, I was being granted repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; a revelation that would result in my believing upon the Lord Jesus Christ at around 11:30 am on a sunny mid-september day of that year. (I’m quite certain that it was a Friday)
When the moment arrived, I knew that it was time and I truly desired to know the Lord Jesus. This wasn’t the culmination of extensive theological study, comparing one belief system to another, or thorough analyzing all of the data at my disposal. It was the result of the Lord opening my eyes in a way that would have seemed impossible just a few months previous. Everyone who is born of the Spirit has a unique testimony; and yet in every case, it was the Lord who granted the increase. The more that we consider our great salvation, the more incredible it becomes. To realize how much time we spent “one heartbeat away from perdition and that it was of the Lords mercy that we were not consumed. To realize that the Creator of all that is, who has no beginning and changes not, took upon himself a body of flesh, and bore upon that body the sins of all. It bears repeating; if I had perished in August of 1983, I would now have been in hell for 27 years and 7 months with no reprieve, no hope, and the knowledge that it didn’t have to end that way because my sins were paid for 2000 years ago on an old rugged cross.
The following passage has become, as it were, a “signature verse” as it’s referred to often:
II Timothy 2:25 “In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.”
It’s easy to become discouraged by appearances. To see so many souls in our venue going through their allotment of days with no regard for their soul is heartbreaking. The vanities and lusts of this world seem to have them in a death-grip and one is tempted to question whether or not they can ever be reached. This grouping includes co-workers, relatives, neighbors, outstanding members of the community, and what have you. And yet, each of us can remember when we were lost and without God in the world. Everyone who is born of the Spirit can remember the incredible way that the Lord brought us out of darkness and into the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Each testimony is a miraculous event; whether it’s one dominated by a lengthy series of calamities over the course of decades, or one that’s relatively void of upheaval and heartache. Each one is a testimony of the Lord granting unto a lost soul, a heart to know him.
John 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
I Corinthians 3:6 “I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.”
It’s become a standard prayer request as names are lifted before the Lord in prayer. That request is that the Lord would give them a heart to know him. That he would draw them unto himself; just as he did me 27 years and 8 months ago. There are people in my venue who seem so hardened and oftentimes it seems that everything I say or do is the wrong thing. Yet the Lord can open the hardest of the hardened and grant repentance unto the most contrary of our contemporaries. When we understand that it is the Lord who grants this increase (while all of us understand this from a theological standpoint, our thoughts and actions oftentimes reveal a different belief residing in our heart; one that we may be hesitant to recognize) we’ll be more diligent in lifting them up in prayer. Coming before the throne of the one who can open blinded eyes with just a word, and petitioning on their behalf.
I’m certain that someone was lifting me up in prayer prior to the hour in which I first believed. It may well have been Dennis and MaryAnn. Someday I should dedicate a post to these saints who had an immense impact on my life, both before I was born again and in subsequent years when I would confide in them regularly.
This prayer also applies to the saints as all of us are a work in progress. Each of us can remember times when our level of spiritual maturity was less than it is today. (At least we should be able to do this. Likewise, we should be able to revisit this current moment one year from now and be able to pinpoint areas of growth during the span of time currently in front of us) The more a persons heart is united unto the Lord Jesus, the more they will seek to separate from anything that’s contrary to him; be it the vanities of this world, attitudes, time bandits cleverly disguised as “harmless pastimes” and what have you. A heart to know the Lord will casue one to reside in heavenly places while compelling those around them to taste and see that the Lord is good. A heart to know the Lord will cause one to realize just how lifeless the treasures and agendas of this world are as they seek a continuing city wherein dwells no darkness and no timepieces. Their thoughts and affections will gravitate toward issues of eternal significance while the offerings of this present world lose their power of allurement. One more signature verse:
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.”
This has become longer than intended and as such I must be going. Finding time to operate in this venue is still proving to be a challenge, (especially on weekdays) however, Lord willing, I’m minded to keep it going. I love the fellowship that one finds here. Even though I’ve never met another blogger in the flesh, just knowing that there are saints in other places, whose posts reveal a heart that’s firmly set upon things above, is encouraging. I’ll try to be more diligent in visiting everyones site; even if it has to be done at 3:00 AM. Thanks to all who continue to stay in touch through this venue.
Malachi 3:16 “Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.”
Matthew 5:44-45 “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you: That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just ans on the unjust.”
Luke 18:1 “And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;”
Acts 12:5 “Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.
Philippians 1:3-4 “I Thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy.
There are many other passages which should be included with the ones selected above. The admonitions from scripture to pray without fainting for our contemporaries are abundant . To come before the Creator of all that is, who inhabits eternity, is a privelage beyond description and without competition. None of this worlds offerings can compare with the relationship that a true saint has with the Lord Jesus. A Savior who is always as close as the mention of his name and can instantly bring us into a time of refreshing; regardless of the goings on in our physical vicinity. It’s times such as this, when one is so content; so completely at peace and in the joy of the Holy Ghost, there is a want of absolutely nothing for self. Here, all the worlds treasures and awards are discovered for what they truly are; empty promises that will soon be no more. We so desire that everyone would come to this place and be filled. Seriously; whenever these moments are at hand, at some point I almost always end up praying “Oh Lord; how I wish that everyone would find this place. The vanities would drop like lead baloons as they tasted this heavenly sweetness while the fabric of the everlasting seemed so close that one could almost touch it”
Isaiah 55:1 “Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.”
Sometimes the filling is so incredible it’s as though our vessel cannot possibly contain it all. Sadly, however, this oftentimes brings with it a realization, so horrific, that we cannot grasp the full. The majority of our contemporaries will never find this place. Jesus explained that “strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” To bring this painfully close to home, it means that a majority of the people around us will not inherit eternal life; choosing rather, to climb up some other way, or just putting matters of eternal significance out of their minds. Relatives, neighbors, co-workers, the people who ride their bikes by our house every morning, people that we see daily and love dearly; rushing headlong into an eternity apart from God. Unfathomable tragedies, unfolding on every street in every city, in every nation under the sun. Priceless eternal ones, loved of the Father but separated from him by sin. They stand in desperate need of unfeigned exposure to the truth that can make them free, and in need of someone to diligently stand in the gap.
James 5:16 “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
That someone to stand in the gap would be us. Eternal destinations can be completely reversed by one who intercedes on behalf of a lost one. Anyone who has ever read David Meyers testimony may remember that the Lord used an elderly lady, who had been friends with his Grandparents, to pull him out of incredible darkness. One cannot even imagine the course of his life, had this dear saint not diligently maintained her post. There are ever so many like testimonies of folks who were pulled from the pit because somebody “wouldn’t give up.”
Before CR came to Jesus, I would often lift him up in prayer, however, there was always an incredible battle with doubt. The enemy would continually whisper in my ear; saying that this captive was just too set in his ways. Sadly, these dark sentences affected me; even to the point that oftentimes my petitions seemed more like a mechanical “going through the motions” in the wake of a disbelief that could be felt. (There were others praying for him also and he grew up with routine exposure to the gospel) Yet in November of 2007, his name was recorded in the book of life and today, he’s one of the few saints in this venue with whom fellowship is unhindered. We get together and the conversation instantly launches into the deep things of God. There is a profound sweetness in fellowship that is centered completely upon the Lord Jesus with no agendas or pursuings after the rudiments of this world. CR is very active in his church and his children are in a Christian school.
Interceding on behalf of others is a unique thing; almost, as it were, an adventure. First of all, there’s the element of fellowship with the Lord Jesus. A space of time, (sometimes lengthy, sometimes just the amount of time it takes to drive to work ) in which our focus is completely upon the Lord. A complete abandonment of self as we seek his will and listen for the ever so subtle promptings of revelation. Oftentimes these moments will be entered into with a list of names; folks that we intentionally pray for upon every remembrance. Other times, the names of souls are brought forth; sometimes even the name of a person who hasn’t crossed our mind in years. Either way, it’s a time of being before the Lord and asking that he would intervene in the lives and circumstances of these. It’s almost like being actively involved in the world of that person; even when the person is known to us by no more than a name on a piece of paper. Oftentimes these moments come and go with our understanding of the situation being none the clearer. Other times, subtle insights will be granted as to what’s really going on behind the scenes that direct the prayer into specific areas of need.
My prayer list is filled with names; many of them from encounters on the streets. People with whom I’ve had but a single encounter, however, I can routinely drop in on their world by bringing their name before the Lord. It’s such an incredible thing; to be driving to work in the afternoon while battling strongholds in another city or even another country. This is an area of my life where the enemy battles fiercely in a number of ways. Oftentimes I make his job easier when I become hemmed in by circumstances, and, instead of just praying, I become agitated that another venture into the streets was thwarted. (or whatever was on the agenda.) I strive to maintain an “either way; the devil loses” mindset, however, too often I become hung up on mechanics. (Wow; it’s a good thing that James 5:16 is mentioned above.) If we understood that strongholds which have been in place for generations, can be brought down by a praying saint who simply won’t give up, we would be much more diligent in our prayer life. And then, when a planned outing is thwarted by circumstances, I would be quite content to engage in battles somewhere beyond the horizon where I may never venture in the flesh.
Well I have to be going. My prayer is that all of us would be more diligent in prayer. I have much room for growth in this and sometimes become astonished at how quickly a span of time can be squandered on irrelevancies. In the days at hand, we must be in this place of intimate prayer before the Lord. Not only for the souls around us, but also to be in a place of hearing what the Spirit saith unto the churches. The final moments of the age are quickly playing out. The ambience is filled with voices proclaiming “thus saith the Lord; go this way” or thus saith the Lord, this is how events will unfold.” We cannot place confidence in another; only in the Lord Jesus. Without a doubt, the Lord has watchmen and preachers who are faithful, however, we must be in a place to discern between the real and the feigned. (Jeremiah 23:28 just came to mind)
Blessings always in Jesus name.
II Timothy 1:3 “I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day.”
Revelation 5:8 “And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.
Prayers being equated to sweet odours is a most incredible thing to ponder. WOW!!!
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.”
It’s probably safe to say that, despite our heartfelt desire to be in a place of complete obediance unto Jesus, most of us do not fully line up with the level of discipleship that he has called us to. Everyone who is born of the Spirit continues to be a work in progress as we daily become less like us and more like Jesus. And yet it’s unlikely that many of us are so committed that we would carry out any prompting from on high with no regard to prevailing circumstances, the potential consequences of obediance to the leading, the possibility that others may not understand (thus causing us to wonder if the action will cause scattering) the lack of a logical format, the laying aside of our own ambitions, and what have you. Learning to do as Jesus instructed; to “follow thou me” is indeed a lifelong process, as time and again, our own reasoning will make note of the ambience, convince us that we know how to approach a given situation, and remind us that our personal agenda may well be in jeopardy.
Yet we are called to “forsake all and follow Jesus” regardless of the fallout in the physical realm. A level of obediance that’s void of our own aspirations and is focused completely upon the Savior. A “though he slay me, yet will I trust in him” devotion that will not falter in the face of adversity, uncertainty of outcome, or even in the event that our better half should ask “Dost thou still retain thine integrity?” It’s a place where many initially fear to enter, however, a life of unfeigned obediance is also one of unsurpassed liberty. Such a one has tasted the indescribable goodness of the Lord and has rejoicingly let go of all that is contrary to that goodness. A couple of days ago, I unwittingly found myself in Matthew chapter 8 (unwittingly because I was heading somewhere else, but ended up there instead) where some familiar passages on “following” came to the forefront. In verse sixteen, we find that Jesus is casting out devils with his word and healing all who are sick. These deliverances had an incredible impact on a particular scribe.
Matthew 8: 19 “And a certain scribe came and said unto him, Master, I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest.”
Scripture doesn’t exactly tell us whether this scribe had truly given thought to what he was saying or if he was just caught up in the moment. Nonetheless, Jesus offers a quick dose of reality; both to the scribe and to all who would hear of this account in subsequent generations:
Matthew 8:20 “And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.”
In other words, being a disciple wasn’t a part-time arrangement from which one could return to their street address after a long day. It was, and continues to be, a complete separating from the former lusts and itineraries. A letting go, from the heart, of the worlds agenda and trophies as we place our affections upon those things which are unseen and evelasting. When we are in such a place with the Lord, letting go of the life that we once had will seem as nothing. I fear that few of us have completely entered such a place and I’m acutely aware of areas in my own life where growing is needed in regard to this. The next passage offers a glimpse into just how absolute our commitment is to be.
Matthew 8:21-22 “And another of his disciples said unto him, Lord. suffer me first to go and bury my father. But Jesus said unto him, Follow me; and let the dead bury their dead.”
This may seem harsh, but many truths are present in this passage. We are called to a level of following that may, at times, appear insensitive. If this disciple obeyed the Lord, there may well have been folks who observed “what an insensitive son; to miss his fathers eulogy.
A thought just came to mind as I was typing the above passage. (This could be trouble) Certainly, whenever a loved one or close friend passes into eternity, we gather with the family as we remember a life lived. This is honorable, and we never know when an opportunity to share Jesus with one who is ready to hear will emerge. (Ecclesiastes 7:1-2) Suppose, however, that, following the passing of someone close to us, the Lord reveals that, instead of attending the eulogy, we’re to drive to a nearby city and share the gospel in a park. This would certainly have the kinfolk scratching their heads, however, in truth, the eternal abode of the person who has passed is now settled; unless one has a level of faith comparable to that of smith Wigglesworth. (we should) However, there may be, unbeknownst to us, a soul in that distant park, whose heart has been opened. Their conversion, in fact their eternal destination, hinges upon our leaving where we are presumably “supposed to be” and going to the park where this soul will soon be passing through.
This is a hard thing to consider and one should only do this upon the distinct prompting of the Holy Spirit. I fear, however, that if we were to be prompted to do such a thing, many of us would unwittingly tune it out as we reasoned “that cannot possibly be the will of God.” My wife lost an uncle several months ago, and, once again, the family was granted an opportunity to reflect upon how temporal this present world is. If I had gone up to Kalamazoo to pass out tracts instead of attending the funeral, it would have generated an ugly scene in the house of timbob. Again, that would be an action to take “only if granted a precise prompting,” however, we tend to be more conformed to this worlds way of looking at things than we would like to admit. If the Lord places a thing on our heart, there is a reason for it; regardless of how bizarre it may appear. (And now, I’ll never be able to attend a funeral without, at least the imagination, revisiting this post.)
The account in Matthew chapter 8 continues:
Matthew 8:23 “And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him.
Note: if the disciples hadn’t entered the ship, they would have been left behind. A ship completely separates one from the land and, unless one is at the helm, renders self-determination impossible. We cause many complications when we try to take control of the helm.
Matthew 8:24-26 “And behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep. And the disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.”
We are to be in a place of such confidence and commitment that the storms of life fail to generate apprehension. Waves going over a ship is a very intimidating thing. (although I thought it was cool when, during my navy days, a certain storm was causing our ship to pitch forward to such a degree that the front of the flight deck was hitting the surface of the water) But if our affections are completely upon the Lord and the age to come, potential fallout in the physical realm will not be a hinderance. “Why are ye fearful O ye of little faith?” What an incredible place to abide; close in with the Lord and not allowing the threatenings of life to interfere.
Well I have to go, despite the need to clean up this posting.A most profound peace and contentment awaits us as we grow into a place of complete obediance. To be in a place where we take no thought for our life in this world and can sincerely say unto the Lord “behold, I am here” is to be in a place of total liberty. I’m wanting to share an encounter that transpired last Monday in Kalamazoo, however, this post is running way long. Lord willing, I’ll get to it in a later posting because it touches on the peace that one has when their affections are on things above. Until then, blessings always in Jesus name.