Archive for October, 2010
Revelation 2:10 “Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.”
When one considers the progression of technology; not only the life changing aspects of each new enhancement, but also the rate at which these enhancements are introduced, a single concern stands out as being the most ominous. “There is, or soon will be, no place to hide. There will come a time when no financial transaction will be anonymous and no geographical position will be “off the radar screen.” Increasingly, interaction with the internet is a requirement for filling out resumes, school work paying bills, staying in contact with others (seriously; who mails a letter these days?) and what have you. And as social networking continues to grow at an astonishing rate (the last I knew, Facebook had more than 500 million subscribers) private information will be “at the ready” for those bringing with them a sinister agenda. With little effort, the agents of this new order will be (are) able to identify and locate resistors. Most of the incriminating evidence will have been offered up freely by those who are just “fascinated with this technology.”
We know that cell phones can be located with a few feet and lately the news has been awash with stories about criminal trials in which e-mails and text messages play a pivotal role. Everything that we have ever placed out here is accesible to those holding the proper clearances and many of us have made a myriad of anti-antichrist statements on our respective sites. A humorous exchange transpired Sunday evening as Matthew, Ryan, and I went out for a walk. Following our departure from the house, Mrs timbob, Morgan, and Megan left in the van to take care of some business in Three Rivers. During our walk, I received a call from Mrs timbob asking if everything was ok. She had seen several police cars on U.S. 131 heading toward Constantine with their sirens blaring. I jokingly replied “maybe they found my blog.” And yet while I was being light about the situation (Mrs timbob didn’t find my comment amusing) the truth is that senarios of this nature could well await us in the days ahead.
Perhaps it would be prudent to depart this venue, however, such caution may well result in someone somewhere not receiving a much needed admonishment. A situation that was told of in Brother Andrews book “Secret Believers” has remained with me ever since I read it a few years ago. It was a statement made by brother Andrew to a saint in a muslim country who was hesitant to let others know about his faith in Jesus. Brother Andrew gently explained how the seriousness of salvation requires that we sometimes “place ourselves in harms way” in order to reach the lost. (That saint was in a position of authority and later on, he aided the escape of several saints who had been targeted by that nations Islamic government) I remember the testimonies of house churches springing up behind the iron curtain during the cold war era. Despite the government placing secret agents throughout society, and despite the treatment of any new converts (Christianity was treated as a mental illness) the churches continued to grow. Each time these saints shared the gosepl with another, they did so knowing that the person could be an informant.
I just did a search for Sergei Kourdekov, with the intent of linking to information, but the engine came up with no results. (I may be spelling it wrong) Several years ago, I read his testimony. He had been a Soviet naval officer who, during his schooling at the naval academy in Petropavlovsk, was also involved in rounding up newly discovered saints. He stated that, in the beginning, they found a few here and there. As time went on, however, the numbers of those being rounded up kept increasing. The authorites were bewildered and wondered how this could be possible. Years later, Sergei defected to the west; jumping off a Soviet ship and miraculously making it to Canadas Pacific coast. Later on, he believed on the Lord Jesus and began to share his story. Shortly before his death, he had stated to others that, when he was found, it would look like either an accident or a suicide.
It seems alien to most of us; that we could one day be rounded up in the middle of the night. Yet we know the times in which we live as we witness the gradual implementation of a global governing framework. The principles outlined in the opening passage weren’t exclusive to the saints in Smyrna. We place in this venue, the contents of our heart. The “whole” of who views it is a mystery, however, we can be assured that occasionally an opposer of truth will stumble upon our electronic trail. We know that key words are flagged and their sources identified. And once again, the familiar passage of Revelation 12:11 comes to mind. There really is no place to hide. We could unplug from the internet. We could rearrange our lives so that we buy everything with cash and completely minimize our interaction with the electronic beast. We could move to the mountains and live off the land (how many of us could actually live off the land if we had to? Were aleardy “tied in” to a degree) But those options are quickly dissipating. At some point, Revelation 13:16-17 will come to fruition. At some point we will have to save our lives; not by running to a bomb shelter or hiding in the desert, but “by the blood of the lamb, by the word of our testimony, and by loving not our lives unto the death.”
Last week on a Coast to Coast broadcast, George Noory talked with a guy who follows the latest advances in electronics along with the subsequent trends that they foster. he discussed everthing from the new X-Box system coming out to the latest advances in cell phone technology. Near the conclusion of the interview, George inquired “what will our lives be like five years from now?” The guy spoke words to the effect that practically every aspect of our lives will be routed through the internet. His outlook suggested that, apart from the web, it will be impossible to function in society or even sustain ones self. This brave new world was spoken of with an excitement that could not be contained. Such is how many, if not most view all of the latest editions of better living through science. We love the convenience, but rarely consider how such a thing could be utilized to control the masses.
And we know that a time is coming when all who wish to continue functioning in this present world will have to receive a mark. Anyone who refuses will be instantly exposed as being in opposition to the beast system and beheaded. Most of us cannot even fathom such a manifestation; let alone consider that we may one day have to lose our heads in order to possess our souls. I know that, as of late, this topic has become dominant on this blog; seemingly to the point of vain repetition. And yet, this is what has been impressed upon me to write about. It’s why every planned series of posts about a specific topic fails to be completed. Each post has to involve what has been placed on my heart at a given moment. And over the past few weeks; striving to relay the seriousness of what we are soon to face in its completed form has been weighing heavily. My sincere prayer is that all who stop by will seek to be in close to the Lord Jesus, and not become astonished when the beast is permitted to make war with the saints and prevail against them.
Matthew 10:26-31 “Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid that shall not be known.
What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.
And fear not them which kill the body; but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall to the ground without your father.
But the very hairs of your head are numbered.
Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.
To let go of this present world, from our heart, and have our affections set on things above, is imperative. This world is soon to pass away and regardless of what form of trials we must face, they are for a very brief season. A season that, when compared to the fabric of the everlasting, is as nothing. May we all be of sober mind and watching as we fulfil our testimony in this world.
Blessings always in Jesus name.
Wednesday evening, while machining gears at work, a conversation from the past came to mind. It transpired in the fall of 1983, a few weeks after the hour in which I believed on the Lord Jesus. While I don’t remember the names of the people having the conversation, it focused on Ezekiel chapter 38. It was a routine assigning of current goings on to prophecy and I remember a continual mentioning of then Soviet chief of state Yuri Andropov in connection with Gog and Magog. (I now seriously consider the possibility that Ezekiel 38 describes the little season following the millenium as it lines up perfectly with Revelation 20:7-9) From our twenty first century vantage point, it’s clear that much of what was theorized that night, insofar as timings and players didn’t come to pass. It did, however, begin to foster in me an interest in prophecy which continues to the present.
In the arena of prophetic consideration, it’s imperative to discern between that which is clearly outlined in scripture and speculation. To embrace truth, discard error and to filter everything heard or seen through a prayerful searching of the scriptures. To look beyond the myriad of senarios and seek true understanding from on high. (Jeremiah 33:3 and James 1:5.) A side cogitation that’s been going on lately is how many of us (Christian and non- Christian) will unwittingly devote much time and energy to defending our world view instead of sincerely inquiring as to whether or not it’s accurate. We’ve all done this to one degree or another. We live in a deception-rich environment wherein the whole world is being prepared to follow a falsehood. Many who were once strong in the faith will fall away and as such we must remain continuously atuned and watching.
Although we normally don’t view it as a prophetic book, The Acts of the Apostles offers insight on three critical areas concerning the time of the end and the return of Jesus. Two of them are obvious. The third is more obscure, but critical as it entails a pitfall that may not appear as such. As such. The first passage to visit is:The
Acts 1:9-11 “And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.”
One of the primary elements of the return of Jesus is that it won’t be a secret event. It will be visible and in like manner as he was taken up. This was a point of emphasis when Jesus was telling about his return. He warned us to beware of imposters and of thinking that he’s in a secret place. He also warned us of supernatural fireworks that have but one purpose; to draw folks away from the truth. He described the moment of his return like this:
Matthew 24:27″ “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.”
Prior to Jesus return, there will appear false Christs; yielding signs and wonders and there will be rumors that Christ is in a safe location. Under normal conditions it may seem strange that anyone would believe rumors of Jesus being conceiled in a secret place. But in times of upheaval; such as we know will precede his return, folks will be much more susceptible to believe such a thing. Especially if, instead of staying close to Jesus, they had been heaping to themselves teachers who didn’t prepare them for trying times. One thing that has been driven home while reading Steve Wohlbergs book, “End time Delusions” is that we cannot follow a person; even if we agree with portions of what they are teaching . He brings up some really good points and has fostered a studying out of a few issues. But there are also things in his book that I definately cannot agree with.
The second familiar insight found in the book of Acts actualy stems from the old testament, but is revisited by Peter on the day of pentecost after he is filled with the Holy Ghost:
Acts 2:16-17 “But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;
And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and you young men shall see visions, and your old men shall see dreams.”
Two observations before proceding further. First, the day of pentecost could be considered the beginning of the last days, or the “last time” as John writes in I John 4:18. It’s the age that spans between Jesus being received into heaven following his resurrection, and his glorious return wherein every eye shall behold him. Another observation is that, in making the connection between the day of pentecost and the day of the Lord, one understands that the gifts of the Spirit will remain for the duration of the “last time.”
Acts 2:18-20 “And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy.
And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:
The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come.
Acts 2:21 “And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
It’s intresting that, in the above passage, Peter, under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, moves from discussing the gift of prophecy right into the signs of the end and the day of the Lord. One thing that Steve Wohlberg does cover well is the flow of events through the church age. We tend to view things in a segmented matter; clonsidering the days of the early church, and then fast forwarding to the 1800s or thereabouts. Steve discusses how the history of the church from a last time perspective. He discusses how the spirit of antichrist campaigned for the hearts of the undiscerning right from the beginning, seized the reigns of control in the institutionalized church during the dark ages, and is fuctioning in the present day. Which brings us to the final passage from the book of Acts:
Acts 20:27 “For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.”
This verse highlights the need to present a completeand balanced gospel. If we leave things out, or over emphasize certain aspects, we end up presenting a lopsided gospel; kind of like the curved mirrors found at carnivals. They reflect an image, but it’s a distorted one.
Acts 20:28-30 “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous woulves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.”
Folks with an alternate agenda, slipping into the church and leading folks away from Christ. So imperative it is to ensure that we are following Jesus foremost. I’ve seen folks who are so beholden to a denomination or a particular ministry that it seems to have become their first love. Their words and study will become aimed at defending the denomination or ministry as opposed to sincere searching of the scriptures. We learn from Revelation 2:4 that a similar transplanting of our first love took place in the church at Ephesus; although there’s no evidence that they were embracing heresies. Interestingly, the above passage was addressed to the Ephesian elders who had travelled to Miletus for what would be their final audience with the apostle Paul. This remionds us to not place the words of others in higher esteem than that which is written. We are going to be judged according to that which is written and we must give all diligence to ensure that we are grounded in truth.
Well this is in need of refining, but I’ll post it in a few minutes. The conclusion is something that we all know. We must stay close to Jesus and stay in his word. We don’t have a complete picture of what the end time senario will look like and pitfalls are everywhere. Settling it in our hearts to maintain the testimony of Jesus “regaqrdless of the consequences in this life,” is imperative. If we’re holding out in a certain area; we can be assured that the enemy will attempt to use it to his advantage.
Mark 13:37 “And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.”
Blessings always in Jesus name.
Psalm 39:12 “Hear my prayer, O LORD, and give ear unto my cry; hold not thy peace at my tears: for I am a stranger with thee, and a sojourner, as all my fathers were.”
II Corinthians 5:8-9 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
Wherefore we labour, that whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.”