Daniel 8:24-25 “And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.
And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.”
Revelation 1:3 “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.”
Revelation 13:1 “And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.”
This is another visit to a question that has been at the forefront for months. “Do we have even a remote understanding as to the seriousness of the hour?” We dutifully execute the routine that’s expected of us; working, buying, selling, and filling our leisure time with an array of pastimes. We’re in church every time the doors are opened, we shout when the right song is sung, we laugh when the pastor tells a good joke, and we leave the building right on time. Day after day, week after week, and year after year, we run through the motions in a matrix where the end of the age is always “near” but never actually “here.” I’m equally guilty of this. As I write this, my heart fully expects to wake up tomorrow morning, head to Kalamazoo (after paying the electric bill) share the gospel on Rose street, pick up hay on the way home because the goats are almost out, and be at work by 3:30. Will this happen? I don’t know; we may awaken tomorrow to learn that the constitution has been suspended and that a world ruler has stepped forth. But we never expect the unthinkable to actually manifest. Despite knowing the lateness of the hour, despite our continual monitoring of a beast system that’s all but completed, and despite our profession that every word from Genesis to Revelation is divinely inspired, we go about our tasks as though every tomorrow is going to resemble every yesterday.
We watch as, step by methodical step, the machinery for global governance is installed and activated. We observe as our contemporaries who receive not the love of the truth are being prepared to embrace a false deliverer. And yet, so long as there appears to be “a few steps remaining” between now, and the moment when “he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand or in their foreheads,” we set the consideration aside in favor of more pressing issues. (like paying the electric bill and purchasing hay for the goats.) Despite the perception of continuance; despite the fact that such talk has gone on for generations ( Sir Isaac Newton lived in a time when many saints believed that theirs was the final generation) despite witnessing one detailed timeline after another be discredited when events didn’t manifest as expected, the integrity of scripture remains solid. This means that a moment will arrive when the Restrainer is removed and a son of perdition will be permitted to make his move. Every person who is alive at that moment will have to make a choice. They will either have to embrace this world ruler, or maintain the testimony of Jesus Christ.
There is an incredible danger associated with the pre-tribulation rapture teaching. (Which I adamently supported prior to April of 2004.) If one is expecting to be raptured away before all of these things take place, and suddenly they have to choose between feeding their household or standing for Jesus, that person will be in a situation which they’ve not prepared for. A person who embraces a pre-tribulation rapture will not prepare for enduring conditions such as those which transpire in the tribulation; any more than a person in Constantine will see to it that their roof is strong enough to withstand hurricane force winds. We must search the scriptures diligently; whether these things are so; not only on this issue, but on all things seen in part. None of us have a complete picture of the things being discussed here.
This is something that I had to come to terms with in the spring of 2004. I was in the back room and began to seriously inquire as to the timing of Jesus return. (not the day and the hour, but rather it’s place in the order of prophetic fulfilment) A simple prayer was offered…”Lord, if this is true, then this is how it’s going to transpire; rather I believe it or not. If it’s true, I ask, in Jesus name, that you would prepare me for whatever I may have to face in the days ahead.” Of all the navigational corrections that the Lord has had to make in my life over the years, this was one of the most dramatic. The result was the incredible peace of God on a level never before known and an enhacerd desire to be as close to Jesus as possible. This does not mean everything is figured out, but my trust is in Jesus and not in escaping the trial of my faith. (which no previous generation was able to do)
One more thing before concluding. It involves CRs brief employment at Graphic Packaging in Kalamazoo, during the late spring and early summer. He had been out of work for some time and, with a wife and three children (the oldest of which is nine) the finaicial situation was becoming critical. A position was secured with this manufacturer and it looked to be an answer to prayer. Until he learned that they utilized hand scanners. One had to place their hand, palm down, on this scanning device and it determined if the person was supposed to have access to the facility. CR was so disturbed by this that he nearly refused to accept the position. During the two weeks prior to starting, we discussed this. “Do you think this is like taking the mark?” he would inquire. Of course, not being directly involved, I was at greater liberty to theolagize. My reply was that the mark, whatever form it manifests, will be a global thing. Such technology will certainly play a role in the final network that will make it impossible to buy or sell without allegiance to the antichrist,however, this single incident isn’t it.
This caused a lot of cogitation on the part of us both. While I was certain that my observation was accurate, I didn’t want to mislead anyone. (These are incredibly dangerous times) Then a greater realization came forth. There will be a time when we’ll have to make a decision like this; only it won’t be a dress rehearsal. There will be a real beast who, in the eyes of those under strong delusion, will appear to be an entity of light. He will demand real allegiance and he will put into place a real mark which, in order to buy or sell, one will have to accept. Real households will be divided, saints will be betrayed by loved ones, and heads will roll. One has only to observe the ambience to know that this moment is fastly approaching.
Revelation 12:17 “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”
“I know that this has become an often-visited topic, however, the urgency is overwhelming. The great falling away is acellerating and multitudes are asleep. Within the walls of our cathedrals, a seeker sensitive gospel has largely replaced the blood of Jesus and taking up ones cross, while our cities are filling up with souls who are at their wits end. Jesus described the time of tribulation as exceeding every other season of upheaval; both before and after. And yet, despite the events that lie in our future, we should not be discouraged or fearful. These considerations should cause us to draw close to the Lord and examine ourselves. They should provoke us to forsake eveything that’s frivillous and be about our Fathers business. These events should motivate us to store treasure in heaven instead of accumulating mountains of wood, hay, and stubble. This is where we’ll find peace and unspeakable joy. This is where we’ll be able to truly love not our lives in this world as we patiently wait for the moment when we enter into the presence of the Lord. And as I Thessalonians reads, “so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
I Thessalonians 4:18 “Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”
Blessings always in Jesus name.
Revelation 20:4 “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.”
Genesis 13:13 “But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.”
It was an unexpected twist to an otherwise very routine day in Kalamazoo. Last spring, while heading north on Rose street, a voice called out from behind me. I turned to see a younger man, closing in and desiring to talk. As I immediately took the conversation into issues of eternal significance, this guy (named Jeremy) asked “what do you think about homosexuality?” After responding in accordance to Romans chapter one, he argued “well actually the bible doesn’t say anything against it.” After a brief conversation he headed west and disappeared inside a channel 8 news van parked outside the county courthouse. (He must work for channel 8.) As if the conversation wasn’t enough to catch me off guard, it then dawned on me….”I think I was just hit on…..YUCKERS!!!” Despite being fully aware of how wicked our culture is becoming, when one is approached in such an unnatural way, it’s disturbing. I bring this up because recently the story of Sodom and Gomorrah was a point of focus. Not so much the goings on in the cities, but rather the ramifications of those actions.
The land surrounding the Dead Sea is 1312 feet below sea level. It is the lowest depression in the world. With water flowing in, but nothing flowing out, the sea is literally a dead place with such a high level of salt that a person can float with no effort. But this land wasn’t always like this. It’s just speculation, but I wonder if, at one time, water flowed into the Red sea from this place. This would facilitate the then fertile nature of the region as a steady flow of -water would be continuously passing through. Whether there was a flow into the Red sea or not, this desolate spot on the globe is a perpetual reminder that the wages of sin is death and blatant iniquity can bring down a people. And so we begin with the following passage:
Genesis 13:10 “And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD, like the land of Egypt, as thou comest into Zoar.”
When Abraham allowed Lot to choose which way he would go (because the land could not sustain them both) he chose the plain of Jordan because of the abundance of water. “Even as the garden of the LORD” suggests that this was an incredibly lush environment. I don’t believe that this land was 1312 feet below sea level prior to the destruction of Sodom, Gomorrah, and the cities round about them. (Except for Zoar) This may be the result of rock slamming the area from the sky. The reason for writing about this is to highlight a single truth…sin equates to death. Of all the problems in our world, economically, socially, and what have you, the underlying cause is sin. It goes without saying that wickedness is becoming increasingly rampant. love of money, love of pleasure, a desire to satisfy self; even at the expense of others, a forsaking of natural affection, and forgetting the Creator who holds in his hand the breath of life. Every condition that the bible states will prevail prior to the return of Jesus is present.
While all unrighteousness is sin, the act of homosexuality seems to be the proverbial final straw for any city or nation. When I was a youth, this lifetyle was not widely condoned by the majority. Now it’s not only widely accepted, it’s almost fashionable in some circles. A person who maintains a biblcal perspective on this issue is considered intolerant and uncaring for others. This is fortified by the widely held (and erroneous) belief that a non-straight person is “born that way.” Regardless of public opinion, however, this lifestyle is unsustainable, unnatural and it brings swift judgment upon those who are given to it. I remember reading the words of Frank Bartleman in response to the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. (Frank Bartleman was on the scene during the Azuza Street revival) In that time, pastors were running to and fro, comforting the citizens by stating that “God wasn’t in the earthquake.” Frank wrote about how the Lord showed him that it was indeed a “judgment event.” Even a hundred and four years ago, this was an incredibly wicked city. A major problem in our age is that we simply don’t grasp the seriousness of sin. Sin cannot abide in the presence of a holy God, in whom is no variance or turning. It is the reason for untold billions being forever separated from the presence of the Lord Jesus and it was the reason for the demise of two unimaginably wicked cities in the region of the Salt (Dead) Sea.
Genesis 14:10 :And the Vale of Siddim was full of slime pits; and the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, and fell there; and they that remained fled to the mountain.”
Not only was this region well-irrigated, it had…..wetlands? The reason that Lot chose to pitch toward Sodom probably had nothing to do with an appriciation for city life. (Although we learn in Genesis 19:19-22 that he did fear being overtaken by some evil in the wilderness; prompting him to request permission to flee to Zoar) It was because the land could support a large amount of livestock. Mrs lot, on the other hand, appeared to love the city and subsequently began to persuade a moving in its direction. Soon the family was within its borders, where Lots righteous soul was vexed daily by the conduct of his new neighbors. He most likely moved there to satisfy Mrs Lot; setting in motion a course that would result in her being turned into a pillar of salt. The LORD delivered Lot and his family, but Lot suffered tremendous loss. This relates very much to the present because, when Revelation chapter thirteen becomes fully manifest, the greatest temptation will be from loved ones seeking to save their lives in this world. In the eyes of the deceived, standing for Jesus will appear heartless and contrary to all that they consider “good.” None of us will be fully able understand the whole of what’s coming, prior to its manifesting. We must be close to Jesus and trust him in these hours. As for the fate of unrepentant Sodom, Gomorrah, and the plains about them, we know the story well:
Genesis 19:23-25 The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar.
Then the LORD rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the LORD out of heaven;
And he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground.”
Genesis “19:26 “But Lots wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.”
If we love our lives in this world, we shall lose them. The next scene must have been beyond description.
Genesis 19:27-28 “And Abraham gat up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the LORD:
And he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace.”
Jeremy from channel 8 was thoroughly persuaded in his mind, that it’s ok to lie with mankind as with womankind. (YUCKERS) But a desolate depression at the conclusion of the Jordan River reveals that a perverse lifestyle void of repentance results in death. (They wearied themselves to find the door after being stricken with blindness…how wicked is that?) All unrighteousness; regardless of its form or its devices, results in destruction and separation from God. Sin in the life of a saint will ruin their testimony, turn them into unprofitable servants, and if not repented of, eventual shipwreck. This post gave attention to a primary form of perversion, but the primary message is that sin has consequences. Well I’ll be going for now. May we continually examine ourselves and keep our hearts with all diligence.
Blessings always in Jesus name.
Luke 13:2-5 “And Jesus answering said unto them, Suppose ye that these galilaeans were sinners above all Galilaens, because they suffered such things.
I tell you Nay; but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
Or of those eighteen, upon whom the tower of Siloam fell, and slew them, think ye that they were sinners above all men that dwelt in Jerusalem?
I tell you nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”
Each of these posts (I really missed being out here) highlight an aspect of the need for us to be in close to the Lord Jesus, walking in obediance, and keeping our hearts. Of placing our complete confidence in him and not conforming to the spirit of this age. Of discarding every thought, every agenda, and every behavior that’s contary, while being in a place where we discern the gentlest prompting of the Holy Spirit. Of being sober-minded and continuously seeking opportunities to share Jesus with a generation that’s rushing headlong into perdition. Sometimes the task before us seems so overwhelming. I know beyond any doubt that I belong in the streets sharing Christ with whosoever will listen, and yet I’m the most unlikely person to be engaged in such a thing. I tend to talk fast, I’m kinda goofy looking, and oftentimes I wonder if anyone actually takes me seriously. My home life is so chaotic and complicated that finding time to get into the streets is almost over the top. Everything in my life says that I don’t belong out there, and yet I cannot ignore that which is so embedded in my heart.
Jude 22-23 “And of some have compassion, making a difference.
And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garments spotted by the flesh.”
We know that the Lord is the one who gives increase and grants repentance to another. Our responsibility is to be obediant. Whenever we enter a public venue, we usually don’t know any of the people in that space, but God knows the number of hairs that are on each head. He knows the name and story of every soul. he knows every motive, every dream, every contention, and how many days each person has remaining in the valley of decisions. He is our sufficiency as we are called to reach these priceless souls with the gospel of Jesus. We must, proclaim the truth with the full urgency that it demands; silencing the excuses, stepping outside of the comfort zone and “pulling them out of the fire.” It’s a call that’s in direct opposition to the tendancy of many these days to “imitate the world” so to speak, in order to draw them in. Many forgo a fervent seeking of the Lord in exchange for gimmicky campaigns that conform to the current stylings of the world in an effort to generate numbers. We place more confidence in a program than in preaching all the words of this life and allowing the Holy Spirit to confirm the word. “It pleased God by the foolishnsess of preaching to save them that believe.” He knows the hearts of all and grants the increase when we are obediant. We must drop our own “strategies” and be in a place to hear from on high.
The way to prepare for such is obvious; fervent prayer and abiding in the word of God. A continuous fellowship with Jesus and being transformed into his image. When we do this, we’ll not have to work at being a city set on a hill; it will simply “be there.” We should strive to be so close to Jesus that when we occupy a space, the very atmosphere is altered. This was brought home to me last week. It was Thursday afternoon and I was operating the lappers at work. A monotonous job; but enjoyable in that it allows for much cogitation and prayer. Unexpectedly, I found myself so full of the joy of the Lord that I was all but carried away. It was indescribable and I wanted to just forget about making gears, climb to a high place in the plant and preach. (Then return home and explain to Mrs timbob why I no longer had a job) It was consuming. The eternal picture was front and center while the sideshow (making gears) was seen for what it is. During this moment, this was dropped into my heart:
“This is where you need to be when you are on the streets.”
I’m guilty of not always being in a proper place spiritually speaking when hitting the streets. Many ventures are carved out of a schedule that seems determined to put an end to these excursions. I’m not always properly prepared when reaching the venue of the moment. This needs to be addressed quickly because time is simply running out and everyone has a moment of departure. There are undoubtedly people whom I have met in the streets that are now in eternity. Was I walking in the Spirit when our paths crossed or was I going through the motions, with all of the proper street ministry verses waiting in the back of my mind? Did they see Jesus or just another religious guy peddling a lifeless theology? We know that Gods word will not return void, but this is no excuse for carelessness on our part. Eternities are being forged and we carry the words of life.
Such considerations bring with them a feeling of being completely inadequate and ill prepared. I could study the word of God from dawn till dusk and then pray from dusk till dawn, but it would not remove this feeling of inadequacy. Over the months and years, I’ve often begun to bring to the Lord my laundry list of shortcomings, only to have the prayer cut off, almost before getting the first word out, with verse after verse about how he chooses the baser things to work his will. Even on those days where I return home feeling as though it would have been better had I not gone out at all. We are not privy to such information. I was just thinking about the first time that Moses stood before Pharaoh. Not only were the Hebrews not allowed to leave, they had to begin foraging for their own straw in order to make brick. Their responsibilities increased substantially, yet they had to produce the same amount of product. Initially, the encounter seemed to be a complete disaster, however, it set in motion all that was to transpire. A nation was judged, a people were liberated, and a promise was fulfilled. The next passage is familiar to most:
II Corinthians 12:7-9 “And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
For this thing, I besought the lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weekness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Whatever this thing was, it was distracting enough that opon three occasions, Paul sought to be rid of it. But a twofold work was in play. This thorn was to keep Paul from unwittingly allowoing a seed of pride to take root while casuing him to place his complete confidence in Jesus. Paul learned to actually take pleasure in such infirmities as the power of Christ did then rest upon him. (I Corinthians 1:29.) I imagine that few of us have reached a place that we view infirmities from such a perspective. But God sees the complete picture and operates accordingly.
As for now, I have to be going. I’m off work next week (a planned vacation) and on Monday I’m minded to take Matthew to Elkhart with me. (He doesn’t have school this coming Monday) I’ll not go into the downtown as Matthew comes unglued in arenas of much commotion. But we will visit Island park where a lot of tracts can be distributed and conversations generated. It may go smoothly or Matthew may decide to wade out into the river which would necessitate a call to the authorities for assistance. (Autistic children are full of surprises. Especially when they are bigger than you. lol) If Matthew can go along on such ventures, it will free up more time to be about the issues of eternal significance. As the urgency mounts, increasingly unconventional circumstances are manifesting. I’ll report later on how everything went. Until then, blessings always in Jesus name.
It would appear that the season of chaos is concluding. (Kinda…I think) The truck is running well with a new engine, Matthew has been much calmer as of late, and this morning, we had Hughes net installed at the house. Netscape has been very dependable over the years, but is now a thing of the past. (This is not the reason for the above title. More on that later) August was a month with no trips into the streets and very little internet activity; two venues where I find incredible peace. (Although the peace of God is in every place for those who love him) It was a much needed time of prayer, reflection, and examination. A time of preparation for the battles of this autumn and beyond. Conflicts which may, or may not, appear in the physical, but will play to the determining of eternal desitinations for multitudes.
Over the weekend, I was again reminded of how serious the battle is. While heading into Wal-mart, I noticed a couple of bumper stickers on a truck. One of them read “Witches do it in circles.” The other one featured a wiccan symbol on the left side and contained the word “CLERGY.” These are folks who interact with the forces of darkness on a spiritual/supernatural level, and summon manifestations in the physical realm. I was instantly reminded that our gospel must be presented, not in word only, but with power. Our culture is being systematically programmed to embrace a sinister world view. This can be observed by just taking note of the latest offerings from the (so-called) entertainment industry. The enemy is playing for keeps and a form of godliness will convert nobody. It is the Lord who opens the eyes of the blind and grants repentance to the captives. We simply cannot do this in the flesh.
One of the primary inquiries as of late has been “do we really grasp the seriousness and scope of the battle that’s before us? Do we have even a remote understanding of what’s transpiring all around us?” I’m convinced that none of us do. (I mean “none of us; including myself”) If we did, we would be proclaiming the gospel day and night; even from the housetops. We would be in prayer continually and would not be sidetracked by sideshow issues. Our conversation would continually be the gospel of Jesus Christ to the desired subverting of the hearers. (II Timothy 2:14.) Self-serving ambitions and the lusts thereof, would be unable to compete in an arena of such spiritual awareness. Our hearts should reside completely in heavenly places, with such love for those in our ambience, that we count it a small thing to compass sea and land on their behalf. Our heart will rejoice in our great God and Savior; the Lord Jesus Christ, and it will break at the consideration of the priceless eternal ones who give no thought to their souls.
Such a one will also be mindful of the times from a prophetic standpoint and will prayerfully consider the bigger picture, which brings us to the title of this post. As of late, CR has submitted a lot of resumes via the internet. We’ve been discussing just how much our daily lives are tied to the world wide web; from financial transactions to applying for employment. Research, entertainment, (much of which is very dark and addicting) placing our proverbial two cents worth in a forum for others to consider, searching for someone that we have lost contact with, and what have you. While there are a plethura of positives, this electronic network provides an incredible mechanism for monitoring and control. Eventually, one will be unable to buy or sell apart from this…..beast? One can see where it’s all headed and the time will come when we will have to unplug from the matrix. (And we just had a Hughes net dish installed on our house…astonishing) Without a doubt, it will eventually play a significant role in the end times senario; when the Restrainer is removed and the man of sin is permitted to take center stage.
The machinery is in place for continual tracking and it can now be stated that “there’s literally no place to hide.” This is why the following familiar passages of scripture are so very important:
Matthew 16:25 “For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall save it.”
Revelation 12:11 “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.“
I know that these verses have been referred to much, but this thing is so imperative that it demands a continual revisiting. In the hour of temptation the very instinct of self-preservation and will be the primary point of assault. The agents of falsehood will argue a very convincing case as to why one should go along with the program. Those in our household who have not believed on the Savior or are loving their lives in this world will try us on a level; that we cannot comprehend in a time of relative stability. (compared to what’s coming, this is stability) “The whole world will wonder after a beast.” Sadly, that crowd will include some folks whom we were very close to during the previous season. May the Lord grant us all enlightenment as to the scope of what’s playing out before us and may our love for Jesus be unwavering.
About four years ago, Pastor Meyer wrote about the dangers of the internet in two subsequent issues of the Last Trumpet Newsletter. They were:
Well I need to close for now. The time away from this venue was indeed awesome, however, I missed being in contact with everyone. It was a much needed downtime, however, I required some expensive promptings to enter into it. The closeness to the Lord Jesus is beyond explaining. A complete peace that fits the scriptural definition of “passing understanding.”