“For I know that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.”
This post begins a process that will not only will allow me to keep the site more current, (as in they are quick to assemble and yet relevant) it will facilitate those unexpected cogitations that often stem from a spontaneous opening of the scriptures. Oftentimes the most incredible things from the word of God arrive when I just open at random, without a set agenda. Last summer, before CR got rid of his cell phone, we would often do this. We were both on first shift at the time. In the morning, upon waking up, I would open the bible at random, and whatever passage I landed on, I would text the reference to CR. Sometimes it would result in an obscure passage, but usually it would become a point of cogitation throughout the day, once we arrived at work.
This, and subsequent “Time Passage” posts will be a version of this. The verses highlighted may be one stumbled upon unintentionally, something that came forth during planned reading or something that came to light during the preaching of another. This first edition was an unintentional landing, but what an “unintentional landing” it was.
We tend to think of Acts 20:29 as the introduction of erroneous doctrine into the body of Christ, but it goes even deeper than this. It also speaks of folks who profess to know Jesus but have self-serving motives. Being a faithful servant of the Lord is not their primary motive; nor is the well-being of the saints. Such a person may well be unaware that they are harboring such a thing. In John 16:2, Jesus speaks of those who think that they are serving God by killing the saints, and while he is primarily speaking of physical demise, a person with a self-centered mindset can be equally dangerous. A self centered person opens themself up to manipulation by the enemy, who knows exactly which levers to pull in order to bring about a desired outcome. While we tend to think of Acts 20:29 as referring to those in leadership positions, it applies to anyone who enters the flock with a self-centered agenda. (It bears repeating; such a person may well be unaware that they are doing this)
A thought just came to me as I was about to close this up. (well so much for keeping it short) A person who is “not sparing the flock” may well be scripturally solid and proclaiming truth on every issue, but their heart is in the wrong place. This can lead to decisions based on the desires of self; some of which may sow discord, damage those who have been washed in the blood of the Lamb, and even cause scattering. Paul mentioned in Philippians that “whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.” We rejoice whenever truth is proclaimed. We must love the truth, (Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life) love the brethren, love those in our ambience who know not the Lord, and be careful that we don’t place excessive confidence in our contemporaries. This is all the more imperative in this age of celebrity preachers and Christian “superstars” so to speak. “For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos: are ye not carnal?
Well I have to go. Matthew 7:22-23 just came to mind, but I must stop before I spend the entire morning on the comuter.
John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
“Peace beyond understanding.” It’s one of the many descriptions that we use to describe what it’s like to have a relationship with the Lord Jesus. It’s an accurate description of course, (Philippians 4:7) and yet there’s a longing to find the perfect phrase to explain it to others and even to somehow better understand it ourselves. A contentment so real and complete that it could never be enhanced by any of the worlds accessories or rewards. A continual springing up from within of living water which cannot be hindered by external circumstances or threatenings. A glorious hope in knowing that, when this earthly tabernacle shuts down, we have an everlasting habitation in the presence of the Lord Jesus. Every senario in the natural, be it one of relative ease or one of one of continual upheaval, will come to pass. But when we know the Author of life and our heart resides in the realm of the everlasting, we are no longer held captive by those things which are unable to pursue us beyond the physical realm.
The peace of God is only a portion of what’s been in the forefront over the past several days. Another portion centers around the word “sovereign.” The fact that “God is” and that there is none beside him. He has his way in the whirlwind and holds in his hand, the breath of us all. With a word, he can dislocate mountains, dissolve a storm, promote whom he will, or bring down a mighty empire. All of our status, agendas, security measures, and kingdoms are, at their best, vanity. Temporary senarios that remain for a brief season before fading from the scene. But God has always been, will always be, and is unchanging. He literally inhabits eternity (Isaiah 57:15) and can make manifest his will by simply speaking a word. He is not subject a higher power and will never be dethroned. It’s astonishing to consider that there was a time in which one of his created beings thought to do just that; set himself up in the place of his Creator. All of the subsequent woes, tribulations, and eternities of everlasting lamentation, stem from this single seed of ungrateful arrogance.
Revelation 11:10 “And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.”
Another pondering that’s been in the forefront is “providence.” Knowing that the Lord will meet the needs of those who love him. Over the weekend, as we were thinking on some past events, Mrs. timbob made note of the fact that, regardless of what has come up over the years, things have always worked out “just in time.” We are living in a house that, in the natural, would have been impossible to obtain. Even more astonishing is the fact that this came about during the years when I was profoundly backslidden. We may not be living in this place a year from now, but at the moment we are protected from the elements. Trusting in Gods providence is not being fearful of what may take place tomorrow or panicing when all means of acquisition have failed. Most of us are familiar with Matthew 6:24-34, however most of us fail to live this to the fullest. (I know that I have growing to do here) Scripture is awash with examples of “just-in-time delivery” such as the children of Israel being sustained during their wilderness journey by manna that appeared every morning. Likewise Elijah, a widow woman, and her son were sustained by a barrel of meal and cruse of oil that failed not, while Ahab was searching frantically for enough water and grass to keep some of the horses alive.
I’ve had a somewhat unusual path toward finding peace in this area and still have growing to do. In past years, I suffered from chronic apprehension; even to the point that I would lie awake all night considering the ever-present potential for disaster on a number of fronts. (Now the only time that I’m awake all night is when I’m doing this, although lately this hasn’t been possible) It was a continual parade of “what ifs.” What if this happens? What if that doesn’t work out? What if, what if, what if? The problem was largely solved with a question. “Would the manifesting of the absolute worst possible senario cause me to abandon my faith?” I determined the answer to be no. No situation, regardless of how unpleasant it may be, would cause me to turn away from the Author of life. Any situation in this life is temporal at its best and loses its authority at the moment of departure. Kind of like:
Daniel 3:17-18 “If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.”
Either way; be it by a firey demise or a miraculous event, these three men understood that a deliverance was at hand. (Revelation 12:11) God is able to sustain us in the most inhospitable of environments, but even if we should be overcome by situations in the natural, our faith should remain intact as we operate from an eternal perspective. This is where loving not our lives in this world is so imperative; especially as we’re fastly approaching a time wherein folks will have to consciously receive a mark in order to buy or sell. (Revelation 13:7-10)
When these attributes of God begin to resonate in our hearts, the supernatural peace of God will be unhindered. A rest that defies explanation; available to all who are in Christ and walking in obediance. That place wherein a person is so content that they are in want for nothing. Trying to find adequate words of description is impossible because they reside beyond the limits of our vocabulary. The above title stems from the “default image” as it were, that oftentimes comes to mind when the peace of God is considered. (This will sound kind of strange) It’s like being in the midst of a vast prarie that stretches to the horizon in every direction. Here, on a pleasantly warm, late summer afternoon, standing between the earth and sky as a gentle, yet steady breeze blows across the landscape. The blades of grass sway in agreement as they stretch toward the brilliant blue sky; releasing an almost entrancing harmony. The whole of the place is awash from the light of the sun…and…
The whole of the place is awash from the light of the Son.
For a moment, one is taken to a place that will abide forever; long after this fallen world is but a distant memory. A holy city that’s never been contaminated by offence or sorrow. And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. Its citizens hail from every tribe and generation of the world that was. Though once lost and undone, each one is now washed in the blood of the Lamb, has taken on immortality, and will forever remain in his presence along with the great cloud of witnesses. An indescribable pristine freshness permeates the ambience, along with melodies so incredible that they could never be duplicated in a theater of atoms. There are no shadows as the very light of God shines upon every aspect of this creation. Darkness never falls and the 12 gates; each one being a single pearl, are continually open. “And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there a tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.”
Well I have to close for now as there’s much to done this morning and this post has surpassed fourteen hundred words. Despite the events that are developing upon the earth, the peace of God will be ever present in the lives of those who trust him completely and do not harbor a love for their lives in this world. A perfect peace and confidence in knowing that “if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”
Blessings always in Jesus name.
Psalm 23:2-3 “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness.
04/25/2010 Hello again. It’s been a sleepless night in which I came across the following posts:
All three of these posts contain information and encouragement that’s critical as we see the end approaching. To love the truth, to love not our lives in this world, and to abide ever closer to Jesus. A routine prayer request is that, each day, we would be closer to the Lord Jesus than we were the day before.
Hebrews 5:18 “But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”
Two elements make this a difficult post to write which have been the primary reasons for its delay. (along with a lack of time) The first is the subject matter itself. The second is the wondering if this is of the Lord or the product of an overactive imagination. The passage above makes mention of the need to “through use” be atuned to the nature of a thing. A lot of things can obscure our perceptions such as the following:
1. Imagination. This is where I must be extremely careful because mine likes to run amock. Couple this with a routine pondering of end times events and it becomes very easy to assemble a picture that may look like revelation but is not.
2. Sound Indoctrination. This is where a person is so devoted to a doctrinal stand that they are no longer open to revelation. The most notable trait of this is the fitting of scriptures into what we already believe instead of allowing the Holy Spirit to speak to us through scripture.
3. Wishful thinking. This is where our desires may direct what we believes about things. A good example of this is the secret rapture theology, wherein many expect to not see an hour of temptation like none other. My change of position on this issue came on an evening in 2004 when I inquired of the Lord “If this is true; that we’ll see the tribulation, please grant me peace about it.” When we have clarity of things to come, we can prepare spiritually for whatever we may face.
Just a side note concerning this; a few nights ago, while driving home from work, a senario was brought to my attention for which I was seriously “not prepared” and may not be prepared for yet. A thing that, if left unattended, could result in compromise-without-remedy under the right circumstances. The Lord is faithful to alert us to areas wherein we are otherwise minded.
4. Heaping of teachers. This is the process of placing the words of others in higher esteem than what the Spirit is saying, or relying on the scriptural interpretations of others. This is another form of wishful thinking as we gravitate toward those who teach what we want to hear. There are other hinderances to discernment, but the four mentioned here are a few primary ones.
The following SHOULD NOT be classified as a “thus saith the Lord. I’m still questioning whether or not it’s valid or my mind is piecing things together. It is, however, the cumulation of several things which seem too numerous to be sheer coincidences. Over the past three weeks or so, a phrase has been repeatedly coming to mind:
“This years harvest is not a guarenteed thing”
This phrase has been popping up at work, while driving by a field wherein preperations for planting are underway, while planning out this years garden, and what have you. At first, I didn’t pay any attention to it, but it kept coming up again and again. On the natural side of this, it’s a true statement. We have no promise that the harvest of 2010 will be as expected. Anything can happen; extensive flooding, drought, disease, unforseen changes in climate, the fulfilment of Henry Gruvers vision, and what have you. And yet, despite this knowledge, the phrase has maintained continuance and I must wonder if it’s from the Lord or just my imagination. (I think on prophetic events a lot and unwittinly open myself up to imaginations)
Something else, however, is even more intriguing and has finally resulted in the writing of this. Lately, I’ve been landing randomly on passages of scripture that deal with famine; too many for it to be coincidence. Along with planned reading, I oftentimes just “open up the bible and run with whatever is presented.” Amazingly, more understanding is found through this method than anything planned. It began when I found myself routinely landing in Nahum chapter 3, however it was enhanced when I awakened one morning and haphazardly opened up to:
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 upon 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.”
Last week, the following came unexpectedly to the forefront; albeit not from a random turning:
Genesis 26:1-2 “And there was a famine in the land, beside the first famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went unto Abimelech king of the Philistines unto Gerar. And the LORD appeared unto him, and said, Go not down to Egypt; dwell in the land which I shall tell thee of.”
Both of thes passages speak of famine and both of these passages also speak of Gods providence for those who love him in the midst of that famine. This post has been a wrestling for several days now and I was almost minded to let this thing go; despite randomly turning to Habakkuk 2:2-4 during lunch at work one evening. That is until this morning when I awakened. There was a marker at Ezekiel chapter 14, so I removed it and backed up a little. I unwittingly landed here:
Jeremiah 5:23-25 “But this people hath a revolting and a rebellious heart; they are revolted and gone. Neither say they in their heart, (in their heart..hmm) Let us now fear the LORD our God, that giveth rain, both the former and the latter, in his season: he reserveth unto us the appointed weeks of the harvest. Your iniquities have turned away these things, and your sins have withholden good things from you.”
As if this wasn’t enough, I turned back further; wondering if the same topic would again be presented. I landed on:
Job 15:23-24 “He wandereth abroad for bread, saying, Where is it? he knoweth that the day of darkness is ready at hand. Trouble and anguish shall make him afraid; they shall prevail against him, as a king ready for the battle.”
One must back up to verse 20 to get the thrust of the above passage. Incidentally; these words are spoken by Jobs friend Eliphaz. Jobs friends did appear to have much wisdom; even though they completely misunderstood the reason for Jobs situation.
The laws of averages and chance would indicate that this is too many references to a single thing for this to just be coincidence. Whether or not there’s a famine coming or whether or not it will be this year is not something that I’m prepared to say. This is simply a reporting of what’s been transpiring lately in this venue. (Wow! I just tested the link to Henry Gruvers vision and noticed that Ezekiel 14:12-14 is mentioned at the top. I had not noticed this before; despite this link being on the “end times/ prophetic sites” page for a long time. The page was initially thrown together quickly) The primary thrust through all of this has been the need for the saints to remain in a place of hearing what the Spirit is saying, trusting in the Lords providence, and having our affections on things above. We know from scripture that the times before Jesus return will be like no other time; and yet, there will be saints standing here when he returns. I don’t know how the year 2010 will unfold, but we know that things are moving along very quickly toward their conclusion.
Well I must get ready for work. Thanks to all who have been stopping by. I’m trying to remain active in this venue for as long as possible; as in “until the guys in black show up at the door at 2:30 am and say that I have five minutes go gather some personal effects and go with them to an undisclosed location.” We jest often, but such times may be much closer than most of us think. It begs the question that oftentimes comes up in prayer. “Lord we we even have a clue as to what’s currently underway and what’s about to transpire?” How imperative it is to have our affections on things above and love not our lives in this world.
Psalm 90:2 “Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.”
Romans 8:6 “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”
This is a truth that, once it passes beyond being a theological position and becomes planted in our hearts, it will forever change the way we view our present circumstances. To realize that, long before the first was formed and commanded to take up its position, “God is.” And to consider that, long after the last star has ceased to shine and the present creation has fled away, “God is.” Understanding just how temporal this life is and contemplating what “everlasting” is like will place the present into perspective. And when we consider the incredible price that Jesus paid, so that we may be forever in his presence, it’s an understanding that will leave one all but speechless. An everlasting Creator, who became flesh, dwelt among us, and paid for the sins of all with his own blood. “That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.” It’s a love of such magnitude that, try as we may, we cannot possibly grasp the whole of it.
Before going any further, I must tell about March 28 as it has become far more significant than in previous years. Back in 1992, this was the day in which Kimberly McClain became Mrs. timbob. In 2010, this was the day in which Mrs. timbob believed upon the Lord Jesus Christ. I truly believe that this was more than just a wayside profession and there have been indicators throughout the past week that signify an authentic encounter with the Lord Jesus. It’s interesting how, in the months and years leading up to this moment, I strove to be a faithful city set upon a hill without jumping ahead of what the Lord was doing at any given time. (I mis-stepped often) It was quite a balancing act as the potential for disaster-without-remedy was profound. There were many times (I mean MANY TIMES) when I had to stop and fervently ask the Lord to amplify the eternal picture because the circumstances in the natural appeared to be so entrenched. By the grace of God, this marriage remained intact and strongholds have been toppled.
This is not to say that it will be smooth sailing from no until the trumpet sounds. There will be trials; some which will be even more challenging than any in the past. It seems that the potential for mistteps is even greater than it was a week ago. On top of this, we see the end of the age and all that accompanies it fastly approaching. This means that those who are born of the Spirit in these times will have to become “spiritual-in -a-hurry” so to speak. It seems like a formidable task, and one is tempted to wonder how a new saint will fare under such conditions. (probably much better than many of the older ones) Yet we know that the Lord will sustain those who truly love him and his grace is sufficient for any situation. Nahum 1:7-8 explains that the Lord will make a full end of a place, however, he will sustain those who trust in him. He is “a strong hold in the day of trouble” regardless of the components or the intensity of that trouble. (I Corinthians 10:13 also comes to mind)
John 6:47 “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.”
“Everlasting” doesn’t submit to the laws of weights and measures. It is “literally” an existance without ending. Every time a child is conceived, the fabric of the everlasting is expanded. We know that God inhabits both eternity past and eternity yet-to-be. Everyone who is born of the Spirit will inhabit “eternity yet-to-be with the Lord Jesus. These truths are primary components of our faith and yet, try as we may, we cannot truly envision the whole of them. The fact that God has always been and has never changed is a truth that shatters all of the perimeters of logic. It seems impossible to have “always been,” with no starting point or process of becoming. As for everlasting future; at least we can somewhat (somewhat) wrap our mind around the theological concept. Still, we cannot envision what it will be like to abide in a setting where timepieces have nothing to measure. While these things are beyond our comprehension, they foster incredible peace on the part of those who are born of the Spirit, cause us to be all the more grateful of our salvation, and place into a proper perspective all the issues of this temporal world. Our love for the Lord Jesus will continually grow as these truths become increasingly real to us.
I John 3:2-3 “Beloved, now we are the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him: for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.”
The level to which this truth resides in a persons heart will manifest in their life. A peson who is eternally minded will have a different agenda than one who is focused on the here. Much preaching today, from an array of venues, focuses on the “here” and it literally robs those who, for whatever reason, embrace it. There is no life in the conversation of this world; nor will one find contentment in anything that it offers. A person whose affections are firmly upon Jesus and the age to come will find themselves withdrawing from anything that caters to the three lusts while lovingly offering instruction to those who oppose themselves. Our desire is that everyone would know the Lord Jesus and inherit eternal life. The level to which this desire resides in our heart will also manifest in our conversation, what we do in our spare time (Spare time? What’s that? lol) and how we conduct ourselves in the course of performing obligations. This next passage is a favorite:
Daniel 12:2-3 “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. 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.”
What an incredible moment; when we put off this earthly tabernacle and enter into the presence of the Lord Jesus, by whom the worlds were created. (Hebrews 1:2) Whether we leave by way of the grave or we are appointed to be one who is standing here when he returns, that moment will be like none other. “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” This means that, throughout the ages to come, we’ll “never” be apart from the Lord. When this world and all that it entails is but a distant memory, we shall be residing in the holy city, new Jerusalem. There will be a new heaven and a new earth; a pristine creation uncontaminated by sin.
I Thessalonians 4:18 “Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”
Well I have to go as it’s now past 2:30 AM and this post has run long. So much is happening; both physically and spiritually, as the days are being shortened. Just a note; on Wednesday, April 7, Steve Quayle will be the featured guest on Coast to Coast AM. He will be discussing the prophetic implications of the current world economic situation, the various theaters of potential military confrontation, bio-terrorism, and other harbingers of “things to soon be unleashed.” This should cause us all to look up and know that our redemption is drawing near.
Revelation 1:7-8 “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, A-men. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.”