Archive for the ‘Seasons in the Son’ Category

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The Redundant Sea

April 6, 2015

Over the past several years, a myriad of catastrophic events have been forecast which created a frenzy, but in the end, went away without a stir.  Some were rendered irrelevant once a particular date passed, such as Y2K, the end of the Mayan calendar in 2012, and what have you.  Other predicted calamities have had a more open timetable, however, as the years progressed, concern began to wain when the predictions either failed to manifest in a timely manner, or, events begin trending in a direction that was contrary to the predictions.  Global warming is a primary example of this.  A supposed environmental tipping point that was embraced by much of the scientific community and discussed widely in the various media outlets, but failed to live up to the expectations.  More recently, there were predictions of massive Ebola outbreaks in the United States and Europe, when patients from West Africa were flown in for treatment.

They enter the forecast of “things to come,” create a frenzy, spawn an array of predictions as to the extent of their impact, prompt those with an agenda to utilize the uproar to their advantage (let no crisis go to waste) and then vanish with little more than a whimper.  Today, few remember the panic surrounding the predictions of Y2K, while the end of the Mayan calendar became a non-issue right after the date passed.  Many Christians were caught up in the Mayan calendar frenzy; a phenomenon to which one particular individual made an observation, containing words to the effect of “The Mayans were pagans and received information from demonic entities.  Why are Christians getting worked up over something that essentially came from the father of lies?”  I don’t remember who made the observation, however, it was spot on.  Satan continuously seeks to change times and seasons while drawing folks away from the Creator of all that is.  But God inhabits eternity and sees the end from the beginning.  He holds in his hand time, seasons, judgments…….and the breath of every living thing.  

I Samuel 2:3 “Talk no more so exceeding proudly; let not arrogancy come out of your mouth: for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed.”

These would-be calamities, while failing to live up to their billing, still manage to have an adverse effect on many who were present when the hype was in high gear.  Below are three primary ways that non-events impact the population.  In many instances the ramifications can have eternal consequences as they contribute to the overall state of slumber that has gripped this generation. 

1.  Non-stories bolster the misplaced confidence that those who know not the Lord Jesus have in the present world. As dire predictions create a frenzy, but then fail to materialize, they begin to “merge,” as it were, into a redundant sea of false warnings. This creates skepticism toward any report that threatens the continuance……including authentic warnings that have a scriptural foundation.  An unsaved person may well view warnings about the rise of antichrist in the same light as the warnings about Y2K; despite the abundance of physical evidence that a beast system is emerging.  In many cases, they become increasingly sketpical when the issue of salvation and coming judgment are presented; choosing rather to cling to their own beliefs…..“a way that seemeth right.” We all know people who have such confidence in this world and/or their personal beliefs that questions about whether or not their beliefs about either one are accurate true never come into consideration.  This confidence in a false security is bolstered every dire prediction fails, a false prophecy falls to the ground…….and another preacher replaces scriptural truth such as except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish” with soothing phrases about living our best life now.

Confusion and slumber are two attributes of our age.  Yet regardless of all the confusion, the truth of Gods word remains steadfast and each of us will be judged according to truth.  (II Peter 1:20-21) All of us have a checkout date; a moment when our final breath is exhausted and we leave this theater of atoms……..a moment that can arrive without warning.  Every fatal automobile accident tells a tragic tale of someone who had plans that were just beyond their allotment of time.  When our time in this world ends, we will be judged according to the truths found in scripture; whether we believed them, rejected them, or fell for a twisted representation of them. John 14:6 records it like this: “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” 

2. Many of the would-be calamities were considered by many Christians to be signs of the end times.  Many placed a lot of captial in these predictions and, instead of seeking the Lord Jesus on the matter, embarked on a campaign to prepare for the non-event.  One family from Ohio prepared for Y2K by stockpiling enough food, clothes, personal effects, survival gear, and what have you, to maintain themselves, their children, and their grandchildren, for months.  The home was packed to the ceilings……until a fire in the summer of 1999 consumed everything that had been assembled.  When we fail to hear from the Lord and go about doing our own thing, we waste time that can never be retrieved, squander resources that could have been utilized in a more profitable manner, and put a tremendous amount of thought and energy into preparing for an illusion.  This is not to say that we shouldn’t seek to be prepared for the unexpected.  We should, however, inquire of the Lord as to how we should do this.  

But false predictions go beyond the misplaced allocation of resources.  Many will monitor the goings on in the physical realm, and listen to report after report of the dire situation that is unfolding, until they are convinced that the bottom will fall out any day.  (On more than one occasion, I have been fully convinced that the economy was two weeks away from total collapse) Then, as time progresses and the bottom doesn’t fall out, they become dull of hearing……even to the point that the verifiable warnings found in scripture also begin to lose their urgency.  This is a real danger; especially if a person is given to emotion and sensationalism, as opposed to prayerful inquiry and searching the scriptures.  I have known of people who spend so much time consuming one report after another, that they neglect to take time to step away from the computer, go before the Lord Jesus, and inquire “is this true, and if it is, how do I respond?” 

Proverbs 14:15 “The simple believeth every word: but the prudent man looketh well to his going.”

3. False reports, non-events, and distractions of like manner, create an atmosphere of confusion to the point that identifying the legitimate issues becomes almost impossible.  We simply cannot navigate the terrain in our own wisdom or understanding.  Because buried somewhere, amidst the stories about Niburu, an eruption in the Yellowstone caldera, the return of the Nephilim, Spetsnaz soldiers operating outside of Dayton, the potential for a major earthquake along the New Madrid fault, Cumbre Vieja crashing into the sea; triggering a mega tsunami, and what have you, there are legitimate reports that signify that the end of the age is at hand.  While many of the aforementioned issues may, (or may not) be credible, there are issues that we know to be, not only credible, but they carry serious eternal ramifications…..such as the manifesting of the beast system, the great falling away, and the limited amount of time that we have to compel those around us who know not the Lord Jesus to believe on him before the door is shut.  

We know from scripture that prior to the return of Jesus, the earth will be ravaged by earthquakes, famine, plagues, fearful sights, signs in the heavens, and what have you, we know to expect them…..but we should not be fearful of them; nor should we believe every report concerning predictions as to the when, where, and how severe.  Here is what we should be watching with godly fear: “Take heed that no man deceive you.”  Because if we embrace deception, follow after a false Christ, or abandon our faith because something else suddenly seems more verifiable (a false way will always appeal to the flesh) we have placed ourselves into a hole from which there may well be no escape.  The remainder of this postg will focus on three passages which sum up many of the conditions found upon the earth in the spring of 2015 and are sure to increase as the end of the age draws ever closer:

Matthew 24:6 “And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars; see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass.” 

Wars and rumours.  We think of it in terms of armed conflict and, without a doubt, there are many armed conflicts underway and expected to be underway in the future.  The fog of battle; where one doesn’t know which reports are verifiable, which ones are a deception, and how to prepare accordingly.  Currently, there is war in several nations, including Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, Eastern Ukraine, Yemen, Gaza, while a number of lesser campaigns are underway on every continent. (except Antarctica…..but then again……we know about the Nazi activity involving Antarctica back in the 1940’s.  Who knows what may be transpiring now) But rumors go well beyond conventional conflicts.  Wars and rumors are found in every facet of society……right down to the microcosm of a family, where strife, accusations which may or may not be true, displays of drama over irrelevant issues, and the like create an environment of confusion and sorrow until, finally, affection begins to wain.  While in the verse above, I believe that Jesus was referring specifically to conflict of a national and international nature, there is conflict and rumor at every level of society.  “And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

 Luke 21:25-26 “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;
26 Men’s heart’s failing them for fear, and looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.”

A time where everything is being shaken and one can no longer find a place of stability.  A population that is so overwhelmed by the myriad of coinciding calamities that the hearts of many will fail.  Interesting, as I was writing out this verse, I began to think of how many times it has been quoted over the past few years.  Over and over and over – every day Rick Wiles broadcast opens with a reading of this verse.  And while it is indeed an accurate picture of the time of the end……we can hear it so often that we lose sight of its significance……especially when each day, the mail arrives on time, the electricity is still on, and people have time to worry about such things as how their favorite sports team is doing.  We must be on continual guard against complacency – never allowing scriptural truth to fall into the redundant sea.  The west has been so saturated with truth that many no longer hold it in as high esteem as we should…..even as these events are right at the door.  The final verse defines the apathy that is prevailent in society and even in many churches.  

II Peter 3:3-4 “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts,
4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.”  

It’s the battle cry of all who refuse to believe, or even consider, that there is an end to the present continuance.  A majority of the people in our ambiance, even those who identify themselves as Christian, are so attached to this present world, that they give no thought to such things.  And yet history is filled with examples of societies that bought, sold, and married on the final day of their existence.  It happened in the days of Noah, it happened to Sodom, and for an added historical perspective, it happened to Pompeii. Despite the fact that Vesuvius was showing signs of an explosion, the casts taken from the solidified ash reveal a society that was completely caught off guard.  The mountain had been stable for so long that thoughts of a calamity were non-existent (I visited Pompeii in 1986)  

While Pompeii was buried by a volcano that was plainly visible, Sodom was destroyed by brimstone falling out of the sky.  There was no physical anomaly that a citizen of Sodom could have pointed to and said “that physical aspect is acting different.”  Any confidence in physical continuance is unfounded…..even if all the collaborating evidence supports the continuance.  We are reminded in Nahum 1:3, that “The LORD is slow to anger, and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked: the LORD hath his way in the whirlwind.” (One of the current issues that has me intrigued is the number of sinkholes that are showing up in divers places across the globe.)   

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  II Peter 3:5-7 “For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the           word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of         the water and in the water:
6 Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water,         perished:
7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word       are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of                               judgment and perdition of ungodly men.”

Well I have to go. May we all look steadfastly to Jesus, not be rattled by the events that are underway (or soon will be) and not become dull of hearing when, despite the rhetoric coming at us from every angle, the status quo seems to remain intact.  As Jesus explained it, “Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.

Blessings in Jesus name.

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Embodiment of my Desire

March 16, 2015

 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.”

Psalm 84:10 “For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.”

These passages identify the heart of all whose heart is there, and not here.  We dwell in a fallen world and inhabit a body which still houses the old nature. We remember the days prior to regeneration; when we fully embraced this world and all that it offers. We reflect upon that incredible moment when the Lord granted us repentance to the acknowledging of the truth; when we believed on the Lord Jesus and consciously turned away from what we had always been.  And now, the agenda of this world – the very thought of those things which we once identified with, literally “feels like death.” The treasures have lost their appeal, the promotions feel like a distraction, and the conversations that we once engaged in, sound like foolishness. Wistfully, we ponder the age to come, and the moment when we this corruption puts on incorruption. Our conversation is in heaven and we await the moment when we are forever in the presence of Jesus.

We meditate upon that which is eternal, and the God who inhabits eternity. In this world, it becomes increasingly difficult to ever be fully “in the moment.” While contemporaries discuss the latest developments in this life, their physical aspirations, the continuing dramas at their place of employment, The latest thing to come out of Hollywood, the remodeling project in the kitchen, and a thousand other topics which have no eternal significance, our thoughts slip away into a holy space.  We cry out “even so, come, Lord Jesus” as we simply have no appetite for the earthly. We seek to steer the conversation of those surrounding us toward the eternal, but nobody wants to go there. The sixty third psalm identifies a heart that is fixated on the God who created all that is and changes not. This post is a visiting of that incredible portion of scripture.  

Psalm 63:1 “O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land where no water is.”

This opening verse sets the tone.  A heart that thirsts after God while dwelling in a land that is void of life.  This world is a spiritual “dry and thirsty land” where a famine for truth is growing by the hour.  Many who once proclaimed the whole council of God are now compromising in ways that would have been unthinkable in previous generations.  The great falling away has become so multi-faceted and consuming that we sometimes wonder if anyone is fully insulated from the temptation to “just go with the flow.” Recognizing this danger; we give more diligence to make our calling and election sure.  We rise early and stay up later than is advisable as we just want to be in the presence of the Lord. “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” We determine within ourselves that, regardless of what everyone else does; regardless of how dark this world becomes and what the physical consequences may we will look steadfastly unto Jesus and maintain our testimony until the end.

Psalm 63:2 To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary.” 

We’ve had, as it were, glimpses of the eternal. Moments of deep fellowship with the Lord when it seemed as though the world was a million miles way. For a span of time, all of the earthly cares became as nothing while we considered the one who sees the end from the beginning.  We have tasted that the Lord is good, and are forever ruined for ever again wanting to return to what we once were. As the apostle Peter observed, “Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.”  Nothing else can compete for our affection. His precious blood cleanses us from all sin. The rivers of living water continuously spring up from within; regardless of what is transpiring in the physical realm. 

Psalm 63:3-4 “Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. 4 Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name.”

Better than life itself is the love of God. Beyond all understanding is his perfect peace. It remains a constant in our lives; even when everything in our ambiance seems to be unraveling.  “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” He loves us despite our shortcomings. (not a licence to sin – if we love Jesus we will strive to keep his commandments) His peace remains when the armies of wickedness are encamped around us.  He will abide with us when we carried away by those who know not the Lord. He will give us a mouth and wisdom when we are brought before those who oppose themselves as they occupy an office of authority.  “Lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting” we worship God with a heart unfeigned, as those who “commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.” The life that we have in Christ: the world could never give it and the world can never take it away.

Psalm 63:5 My soul shall be satisfied with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips.”

Satisfied. When a person is born of the Spirit, and their sins washed away by the blood of Jesus, they are finally “satisfied” in a way that one can never find apart from God. And while marrow and fatness probably pertains to physical blessing, the fact remains that in Jesus we are satisfied……regardless of our possessions (or lack thereof) that remain only for a moment in time and are then distributed to others. With joyful lips, we give praise. We can never thank him enough for pulling us out of the pit, however, we can thank him and praise him forever and ever.  Ten trillion years from now, we will be praising the Lord Jesus and singing the song of the redeemed……in an eternal abode which has never been contaminated by pride or rebellion. All that is currently seen and handled will have long ago fled away into nothing; the memory of which will be as a fragment from a dream that visited us during a night long long ago.  

Psalm 63:6-7 “When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches. 7 Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.” 

The quiet moments, when all of the worlds distractions are laid aside and we can focus entirely upon that which our heart longs after. Laying awake in our bed, or laying out under the stars; our thoughts drift toward the Lord Jesus and this incredible salvation that he has offered.  We think of what he brought us out of. We consider where we would be had we died the day before we believed on Jesus. We think about the precious blood that he shed to pay for our sins. “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we were healed.” The love that he had for us; even while we were dead in trespasses and sin, is unfathomable.  And since the moment of our conversion he has been an ever present help.  His council is perfect and his protection steadfast. As we abide in the shadow of his wings, nothing of this world can touch us. Even if they lay hold of the body, they cannot pursue us beyond the grave…..and where we are going, nothing contrary shall ever set foot. 

Psalm 63:8 “My soul followeth hard after thee: thy right hand upholdeth me.”

“I run to thee.” When our affections are set on things above, the weights and sins which once hindered us will fall to the ground.  When we are in Christ, the power that sin once had over us is broken.  the power that the enemy once had over, us through a myriad of wicked attractions that governed every area of our life, is dissolved.  The Holy Spirit empowers us to live godly; even when surrounded by the agents of darkness which continuously seek to derail us. 

Psalm 63:9-10 “But those that seek my soul, to destroy it, shall go into the lower parts of the earth. 10 They shall fall by the sword: they shall be a portion for foxes.”

“For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.” This has prophetic significance, because, according to scripture, the son of perdition is going to prevail physically over the saints who are alive at the time of his reign. Those who work against us, betray us, and kill us……unless they repent of their sin and believe on Jesus, the moment is fast approaching when they shall slip beneath the surface and into a realm that was not created for human occupation.  After the appearing of antichrist and the implementation of the mark, those who lay hold of us will have no hope of redemption as they will have undoubtedly given their allegiance to the beast. Once we depart this body of flesh, we will never see them again.

Psalm 63:11 “But the king shall rejoice in God; every one that sweareth by him shall glory: but the mouth of them that speak lies shall be stopped.”

The sixty third psalm was given through king David; a man after Gods own heart. He rejoiced in God – when people talked about king David, his most distinguishable trait was his love for the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  As for those who speak lies, they have all been stopped.  They have all gone to their eternal abode. Those amongst us today who speak lies, live in falsehood, profit through deceit, and shake hands with the shadowy figures…..the moment will come when their mouths are stopped…..a moment that may well come upon them suddenly.  Whether the level of falsehood is on a global scale, or just that of a single individual who rejects the gospel of Jesus Christ, the consequences are the same. Are there varying degrees of consequence? Yes……but of what comfort is that to one who dies in their sins and is taken to the least tormenting portion of hell?

The thrust behind this post is to encourage all who love the Lord Jesus to keep our focus upon that which is eternal. To give all diligence in preventing anything from replacing the Lord Jesus as our first love.  We are in a time of great falling away and none of us can think to ourselves that we have arrived.  It’s a topic for a later post, however, lately there seems to be an element of pride that accompanies much of the Christian dialogue in various social venues and broadcasts.  Certain phraseology, coupled with an abundance of references to self, which indicate the impression that one focuses on self a lot. Two general rules when writing. 1 – never say “you” as it tends to sound as though one is talking down to the reader. 2 – Say “I” sparingly as it sounds as though one is consumed with self……except for in a title, where a term for self reference can function as “we.”  Oftentimes “I” is unavoidable, as in, “yesterday I had to go to a meeting.” But in general, self-reference should be limited. “We” works perfectly in dialogue.  It’s not condescending, nor does it bring attention to self. (example: “We must keep our eyes on Jesus.”)

Well it’s time to go.  That final detour necessitates the mentioning of this final passage: 

Philippians 3;20 “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:”

Blessings in Jesus name.

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Inhabitors of the Continuing City

February 24, 2015

The late Leonard Ravenhill made an observation concerning those among us who, from their heart, have let go of this worlds allegiances and have set their affections firmly upon things above. He spoke words to the effect of “they live in eternity six days a week, and on the seventh day, they come down to attend church.” Physically speaking, they are as much a part of this world as their neighbors.  They work and raise families; they are model citizens who may be found in nearly every facet of society. But their conversation, their perspective, and their focus is on the eternal. They cannot be enticed with shallow discussion and dead religion holds no place for them. They have a walk with the Lord Jesus that all of us strive to reach as they fully identify with the words of the apostle Paul. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.” 

For the saints in this category, eternal mindedness is no longer a theological construct. They dwell continually in the presence of Jesus and concern themselves primarily with issues of eternal significance. I feel woefully inadequate to embark on this as I am continually reminded of my own shortcomings. Subsequently, this is as much a “note-to-self” as it is an encouragement for all who love the Lord Jesus. To use an old cliche “we’re all in this together.” 

This post will involve a visiting of passages which are familiar to many of us. It’s likely that a number of them are carefully preserved in our memory and we visit them on a regular basis. As the days grow darker and the strong delusion continues to take on attributes that none of us were expecting, it is imperative that our focus is on the Lord Jesus and that our perspective is eternal. Satan plays to the three lusts like a skilled musician; incorporating the full emotional spectrum. from a euphoric sense of wellness to overwhelming despair, as he seeks to direct our attention away from that which is eternal and back to the itinerary of this world. These distractions may seem noble. Many will have a form of godliness. Pursuing them will oftentimes cause us to think to ourselves “I’m doing God service” as they lure us into a continuous loop of earthly focus and endeavor. If we make mention of them to other professing saints, many of them will not recognize the distraction as being such. We must have our senses exercised to discern between good and evil as we forgo the frivolous and lay hold of the eternal.

The first passage below is necessary because striving to be more like Jesus and less like us is a lifelong endeavor. At the end of any given day, we will have either become a little more like Jesus, or we will have surrendered territory which must be regained. We face pitfalls and distractions of a nature that previous generations did not have to contend with; due largely to the current state of technology, coupled with the steady rise of spiritual darkness as the final moments of the age play out. We must look to Jesus; focused squarely on the eternal, while nearly everyone and everything in our physical ambiance is trying to pull us into the vortex of perdition. 

Philippians 3:13-14 “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Jesus Christ.”

I become discouraged when considering where I desire to be spiritually……and then comparing it with an accurate assessment of my current state. These words are a remedy for anyone who, at times, finds themselves becoming overwhelmed by the journey and the issues that they struggle with. This passage is not a license to remain in a state of complacency or continual stumbling. Rather, it compels us to repent, get back up, and keep looking to Jesus. “And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” (I John 3:3)

This next passage is the perfect summary to the listing of saints from past generations who maintained their testimony until the end. 

Hebrews 12:1 “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and run with patience the race that is set before us.” 

The great cloud of witnesses. A company which, since the time of this writing has grown beyond our comprehension. It now encompasses those who left this world at the hands of Islamic invaders, and the untold thousands who refused to agree to the unscriptural doctrines of Rome. It is composed of missionaries who left their nativity with no expectation of returning and evangelists who regarded not their own well-being as they brought the words of life to hostile shores. Pastors, farmers, craftsmen, a few statesmen who revered God more than their office – people from every generation and every walk of life, who, in the face of adversity and firey trial, maintained the testimony of Jesus while darkness swept across the land.  These have crossed the finish line; leaving behind a legacy of souls who were birthed into the kingdom and an example for those following who would be tried in like manner.

The message is clear. “Let go of everything that hinders and lay hold of eternal life; trusting in Jesus who is our faithful Creator and Redeemer.” As the days grow darker, it will become easier to let go of the trivial matters that currently hinder so many of us. The firey trial will do this. It silences everything that is irrelevant and amplifies the issues that truly matter. For one who is truly born of the Spirit, it brings the eternal into perfect focus; burning away every shred of lifeless religion and dissolving any residual fascination with the trappings of this evil place. Hebrews chapter 12 continues: 

Hebrews 12:2 “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”  

From before the foundation of the world, Jesus was knew that a moment would arrive when he would be crucified at the hands of evil men. He was fully aware as this moment went from being thousands of years away to hundreds of years away…..and eventually just around the corner has he began his earthly ministry. When the moment arrived, we can see his agonizing as it was recorded by Luke “And he was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,  Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine be done. And their appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” Regardless of what we may have to endure in this world, it will not even come close to the agony that Jesus went through on our behalf.

He could have called twelve legions of angels…..but didn’t. He could have come down from the cross when the mockers were compelling him to do so…..yet he remained. We must be continuously mindful, and eternally thankful, that our faithful Creator redeemed us with his own precious blood.He endured the cross and was faithful unto death. Three days later, he rose from the dead and is alive forever more. 

Hebrews 12:3 “For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.”

We were once in absolute contradiction to the person and nature of the Lord Jesus Christ…..until that moment, when, in sincere repentance and desire to leave the old behind, we called out to him. It wasn’t simply a fire escape or a decision made while a fleshy praise team worked the crowd up into a frenzy. It was a sincere desire to follow Jesus. My personal story bears repeating. The moment that I believed on Jesus, there was no overwhelming euphoria or feeling of release. Quite the opposite. As I sat there “believing” that if I truly called on him and asked for forgiveness, he would do it. Then the strange “thought” came to me. it seemed to come from just outside my right ear. It spoke to me “you know that you can never live like that. Three or four days and you will be back to your old self again.” That thought from the enemy caused me to…think….and then proclaim with emphasis “NO! I’m tired of what I have been all of my life. I’m serious about this.” and I was. despite seasons of struggle and one lengthy season of backsliding, that day was the most important in my life. it was my one “turning point” in every sense of the word.

Hebrews 12:4 “Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.”

And because Jesus overcame this world, and we have the Holy Spirit abiding within, we too can overcome the wicked one……even in a time of tribulation which Jesus warned us would be more severe than any other season of adversity; before or after.  Our time in this world is but a vapor that appears for a fraction of a second. Then we enter our eternal situation, “and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words” I recently heard it described like this. This world is the only hell that a true Christian will ever know. This world is the only heaven that those who reject the truth will ever know.  The final two passages were actually part of a draft that involved a different topic, however, they fit this issue perfectly

James 4:8 “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.  Cleanse your hands ye sinners; and purify your hearts ye double minded.”

Revelation 2:17 “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone, a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.”

The first one encourages us to draw close to God and cease from the works of the flesh. To repent and turn from anything that separates us from the Lord Jesus and unite our heart to follow him without reservation. The second passage is one that blows my mind upon every remembrance. If I understand it correctly…..in the age to come, each of us is going to have a special name that nobody else knows except the Lord Jesus. Without a doubt, we will have an identity that is known to others, however, we will also have a secret name…..and only the Lord Jesus will know that name. WOW! Even now, it blows my mind that he can have a personal deep relationship with each of us at the same time…..as though we were the only person on the planet. But the words found in Revelation 2:17 carry this into a whole new dimension.  This idea is in the realm of things “too wonderful to comprehend while inhabiting a vessel of flesh and seeing through a glass darkly.”

A name that only the Lord Jesus knows. This is far more incredible than the grandest mansion, the widest street of pure gold, the indescribable features of a world with no ending,  or any other reward that one could receive, This is what comes to mind whenever my thoughts venture into heavenly placves. Being in the presence of Jesus and surrounded by the company of all who entered eternity with their testimony intact.  “For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.” I’m looking forward to the moment when we are all gathered around the throne of God, who inhabits eternity. 

Blessings in Jesus name.

 

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Watashi wa hitori masen

December 29, 2014

This posting must begin with some passages that, whenever we visit them, we are carried, as it were, into the wilderness where the world seems far far away, and the presence of the Lord Jesus is incredible beyond description: 

Genesis 15:1 “After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.”

God is our shield and exceeding great reward……as in, he protects us and grants an inheritance incorruptible to those who believe on the Lord Jesus! It makes the worlds threatenings of non effect (and in nothing terrified by our adversaries) and reminds us of how temporal this present setting is. The treasures and titles of this world lose their appeal.

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.”

Psalm 84:10 “For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.”

Psalm 91:1 “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. Hebrews

Jeremiah 9:2 “Oh that I had in the wilderness a lodging place of wayfaring men; that I might leave my people and go from them! for they all be adulterers, an assembly of treacherous men.”

A common theme is carried in the above passages; isolation in this present world, and fellowship with the Lord. While Jeremiah 9:2 doesn’t specifically mention fellowship, it does showcase the desire to depart the company of those given to unbridled wickedness, and from those whose thoughts are continuously focused on the temporal. And this is where we are today. This world is growing darker……in ways that many of us could have never imagined. We are seeing much the church embrace teachings which are so contrary to scripture, that even the newest saint should be able to recognize the error. Still others are literally “stuck on lukewarm” and completely satisfied with following Jesus from afar. Finding a true new testament church these days in nearly impossible in many areas. Were it not for social media platforms, such as this one, many of us would feel like Elijah, when he prayed “and I, even I only, am left: and they seek my life, to take it away.”

Elijah is an excellent example of an end-time remnant saint. He was unshakable in regards to his love for, and obedience to, the LORD God of hosts. He was not shaken when seemingly everyone else had followed after Baal. Even when the threatenings of Jezebel drove him into the wilderness, his faith was not shaken…..although he was desiring to die at one point. One day into the widerness, after Jezebel promised to make him like one of the prophets of Baal whom he slew, Elijah cried out to the LORD “it is enough; now, O LORD. take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.” This man, who had seen God work miraculously on a scale that most had never witnessed, became overwhelmed by the level of wickedness in the land and the forces that were seeking to do him in. In his life were manifested five things which an end time remnant saint will be able to relate to.  

1 – A profound lacking of companionship. If we walk close to Jesus, and the things that he is concerned with become the things that we are concerned with, we will find a diminishing number of contemporaries who are in agreement with us. Here is a test that many will not agree with, however, it makes a point. I do not like to engage in holiday celebrations. Not so much due to the pagan origins of most of the traditions, but primarily because they take ones mind off from the eternal, and place it on the temporal. But to tell others of this…no matter how much emphasis is placed on the profound liberty associated with detaching from tradition……people still want their traditions and will defend them vigorously. In this vicinity, I’m the only one who feels this way in regards to holidays…..but the freedom is priceless.

Today, it may be something as simple as whether or not one esteems one day above another. Tomorrow, it may well be something far more blatant, such as same sex marriage, or co-mingling with false religions. These are trends which are gaining momentum in the church. Trends which, twenty years ago, wouldn’t have been given the time of day by most professing Christians. As the days grow darker, and such wicked inventions continue to add converts, anyone taking a stand for scriptural truth will face increasing isolation, and increasing ridicule – especially from those who think that they are doing God service. Seriously……these professing Christians who are locking arms with the muslim religion, seriously believe that they are serving God. This is what strong delusion will do to a person. Discernment falls by the wayside, and they are no longer able to identify the lies of the enemy.

2 – It will seem like the entire world is against us. Jesus stated that a mans foes would be they of his own household. In other words, even those whom we are the closest to will turn on us if we maintain a biblical worldview. I fear that most of us (including me) are truly prepared for this. This thought has been with me for months. I have adult children who are not saved. I have a very good relationship with them, however, their world view does not reflect faith in Jesus. If this doesn’t change, the time will come when they will be prepared to turn me over to the authorities. It seems hard to believe now…..and I pray that they will be born of the Spirit before such a time arrives…..but this is an eventual reality which all of us……must come to grips with. When the proverbial bottom falls out and the illusion of continuance is washed away, the hearts of all will become apparent to all. 

3 – Our sustaining will be supernatural in nature. Elijah was sustained by a brook, while ravens delivered sustinence two times a day. when the brook dried up, the Lord prepared another situation, with a widow lady, and there preserved life until the rain returned. In the days ahead, our sustaining will be supernatural in nature. In Daniel 7:21, we read “I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them.” In Revelation, it’s stated more plainly:

Revelation 13:7 “And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.”

If we are one who is appointed to be standing here when the Lord Jesus returns, he is able to hide us, and sustain us; even during a time which he described as “great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” It must also be noted, however, that if we are one called to maintain the testimony of Jesus until put to death for our testimony, he will be with us during that time and strengthen us to remain steadfast. We must determine within our hearts, to remain faithful; even if it costs us our place in this temporal setting.

Something else must be considered in regards to sustaining……..it’s always supernatural. If Satan had his unadulterated will, he would take all of us out in a moment. I was reminded of this earlier when awakened shortly after 5:00. During a short time of prayer, I thanked God that everyone in my household is still breathing. God holds in his hand, the breath of life and, in any moment, can determine a life to be concluded. As is written in Ecclesiastes, “No man hath power over the spirit, to retain the spirit.” So while our sustaining in the final days will indeed be supernatural on a level that few of us are familiar with, the truth is that our remaining here has always been supernatural.

4 Better living through….wickedness? All of the physical manifestations (not only the supernatural, but the conditions in general; at least early on) will favor the system of the beast. There will be a pseudo recovery from chaos, the people who received the mark will seem to have their lives back on track…..and anyone who is not familiar with scripture will look a the situation and think “this is a good thing…..this world ruler, who has pulled us from the brink of destruction and brought peace……who could make war with him?” Elijah had been 40 days in the wilderness, when, in a still small voice, the LORD inquired “What doest thou here, Elijah?” The prophet responded:

I Kings 19:14 “And he said,I have been very jealous for the LORD God of hosts: because the children of Israel have forsaken thy covenant, thrown down thine altars, and slain thy prophets with the sword; and I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away.” 

Elijah witnessed a situation in the physical realm that was fundamentally similar to the one that will exist during the time of antichrist. And a primary element of that situation will be the appearance that everyone has wondered after the beast. political leaders, pillars of the community, the neighbor nest door, the mail man, the electrician, the babysitter, the waitress at the diner where we sometimes stop for breakfast, the people across the street who attended church every time the doors were opened……it will seem like there is nobody left. In Elijah’s day, this was a false perception. The LORD revealed to him that there were 5000 in Israel, who had not bowed the knee to Baal. And so shall it be in our time. Despite the appearances, there will be a remnant, scattered throughout the four corners of the earth, who maintain the testimony of the Lord Jesus.

Luke 9:27  “But I tell you of a truth, there be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God.”

Please become familiar with Psalm 37, Psalm 73, and psalm 91. The first two discuss how we should not be troubled, when evil appears to be prevailing and prospering. Psalm 91 discusses how the Lord can sustain us; even in the most inhospitable of environments……and finally:

5 – Supernatural departure. Elijah was carried away by a chariot; making him the second person (the first being Enoch) to leave this world without experiencing physical death. This is why many believe that Enoch and Elijah are the two witnesses……because every man is appointed to die, and these two men have not done so. Anyways, we must be prepared for the physical return of the Lord Jesus, who informed us that nobody knew the exact time of his return. This sounds pre-tribber-ish, but it’s really not. People today are debating whether or not the tribulation is close…..or has started already……or is afar off still. If we cannot even be certain of when this time period begins, we certainly cannot know when the return of the Lord Jesus is to transpire. Revelation 16 offers some insight. It’s the time when the three unclean spirits, like frogs, come out of the dragons mouth, the beasts mouth, and the false prophets mouth.

These unclean spirits go unto the kings of the earth and gather them to oppose the return of Jesus. Then, in verse sixteen, Jesus breaks into the flow of description with these words:

“Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.”

In the midst of the great tribulation, Jesus states his soon return as being “like a thief.” And with this post approaching 2000 words, it is time to go. The title translates into “I am not alone.” Indeed, we may be separated from the company of our contemporaries, and many whom we once trusted may well betray us. But the Holy Spirit abides within and, regardless of physical circumstances, the rivers of living water will continue to spring up from within. Jesus has promised to be with us always, even unto the end of the world. Alone in regards to this world…..we can expect it……but Jesus never leaves us hanging. We may drift, we may become lazy and get distracted, but he remains faithful. I’m not suggesting once saved-always saved, however, I am confident that, if we keep our hearts with all diligence, the Lord Jesus is faithful to sustain us through anything that we may have to endure.

Blessings in Jesus name.

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Written in Stone

February 21, 2014

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.”

A particular passage of scripture has been on my heart, which relates such an incredible truth, that it leaves one at a loss for words as they consider it’s significance. I’ll get to it later in the post, however, it involves an aspect of the age to come. A place where all of the prophecies have been fulfilled, all of the dramas have run their course, and time has nothing more to say. When each of us who are presently here, have been positioned in our eternal situation and this present creation has fled away into non-existence.  When all of the issues that we currently devote considerable amount of time and resource to, have been reduced to faint echoes of a time that was, in a place that no longer is. 

Colossians 3:1-3 “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
2 Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth.
3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.”

The conversations of this world are becoming colder and more distant. The endless dialogue about this happening, this event, that breaking story, the goings on over there, “how about this weather,” and what have you is becoming difficult more difficult to engage in. Even issues that are worthy of thought provoking dialogue; if there is no eternal significance to the issue, my attention span quickly seeks an exit.  For example, the fallout from……lets say…..Obamacare. This legislative event has profound ramifications and is in need of serious public debate.  And yet, one hundred years from now, it will be a non-issue. It’s composers, the implementers, those subjected to it’s policies, the debaters; all will be in the realm of the everlasting with their lot being determined, not by the issues of this world, but by whether or not they met Jesus during their lifetime.

This “withdrawing” isn’t restricted to the secular. Increasing theaters of “Christian dialogue,”  which revolves around temporal goings on, is losing it’s ability to grab my attention.  From preaching which panders to the three lusts in order to fill a building to Christian broadcasts which seem like little more than news reports, the focus on side issues and non-issues seems to be gathering momentum while serious preaching of the word of God is taking a back seat (if it’s even allowed into the vehicle at all) Recently, I listened to a reading of the famous Jonathan Edwards sermon “Sinners in the hand of an Angry God.”  Today, 273 after it was preached,  multitudes continue to shake their fist at God while hanging over hell by a thread. And yet, preaching of this magnitude is seemingly nowhere to be found.  

The frustration leads one to is self-examination. “Am I growing cold to the things of God, because most of what I hear being discussed and preached on doesn’t move me?” One begins to review the road traveled as they inquire “Lord, where did I go astray?” Whenever such cogitation takes the stage, one must watch out for spiritual pride.  The enemy begins to plant thoughts along the lines of “you have grown beyond the status quo Christians” which, if left unchecked, can lead to shipwreck.  “I die daily” is how the apostle Paul dealt with his old nature; providing an example for us all. (We all wrestle with this to one degree or another)  The answer to this particular inquiry came forth in an unexpected fashion.  

That unexpected fashion was a revisiting of the times of solitude. Whenever the distractions of the world are temporarily at bay and all of the contemporaries are in other places, our thoughts will run toward those things that are dear to us. Unimpeded by chatter and theatrics, my thoughts race toward the presence of Jesus.  Prayer; instead of being something that is a struggle, becomes the natural outflow of dialogue with our Savior.  It’s where I “want to be.” Our private moments tell much more about us than the public show that we put on. For example, when we at work, we have to think about the various aspects of the task for which we are employed and give diligence to perform those tasks in an honest manner.  But when we are alone, our true affections are given the priority, which should, in turn, directly affect our public life. (Matthew 10:27)   

If we are to endure until the end, our affections must be 100% set on Jesus and things above.  Any harboring of the things of this world and, we have already laid the groundwork to eventually prepare a calculated plan of compromise.  (This is how a well known bible teacher was recently able to tell an audience that a person could be saved after receiving the mark of the beast) Several times in the past few days, the words of Revelation 9:20 have been brought to the forefront; “And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk.” Equally pressing has been:

Romans 6:16 “Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or obedience unto righteousness?”

The hangups of this world have filled the ranks of hell to the brim as people cling to the temporal and give no thought to their eternal situation enough to make a sincere inquiry to know, and line up with, the truth.  A quick glance at an oftentimes misunderstood passage provides further clarification:

Luke 14:26 “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.”

Our love for Jesus must be at this level; where, if it were necessary, it would bring separation between us and everyone for whom we have natural affection.  (Naturally we do not “hate” other people as doing so would violate scripture.)  There is incredible liberty when we let go of the things of this world and set our affections firmly on things above. And yet, it goes deeper. It also enables us to “truly” love the people around us, as we see them, not as contemporaries with whom we varying degrees of association, but as eternal souls for whom Jesus shed his blood. Just as we need to be heavenly minded for our own benefit, we need to be heavenly minded for the benefit of those around us who know not the Lord Jesus and are speeding toward an unthinkable conclusion. In order to be a complete “city set on a hill,” we must abandon our own agenda. 

Another aspect of having our affections on things above is victory over sin and temptation. Everyone stumbles on occasion and, when we do so, quick repentance is a must. But as we draw increasingly close to Jesus and our love for him grows, the old desires; the attachments which once dominated our lives and the sins which drove us to all manner of wickedness, lose their grip.  The desire just goes away. This is not to say there will not be temptation as the flesh still harbors the old nature.  But if we walk in the Spirit, and abide close to Jesus, we’ll not find ourselves struggling to overcome things that we know to be contrary.  (Galatians 5:16 and James 1:14 come to mind)  

And now, to steer this post into the direction originally intended.

I Thessalonians 4:17 “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.” “

“And so shall we ever be with the Lord.” When one considers the age to come, a number of aspects come to mind.  Of all  the benefits that one inherits when they are born of the Spirit, this is the most significant.  We shall be forever with Jesus.  If we are truly longing for this, we’ll find ourselves diligently seeking to be in his presence now.  We should be running to the prayer closet; not forcing ourselves to pray out of perceved obligation.  My moments of complete fulfillment are found primarily in two places.  the first is during prayer.. regardless of the setting, be it the truck, at home, walking down the street, or behind the manufacturing facility during break in the middle of a snowstorm.  The presence of the Lord is beyond incredible and, sometimes it even becomes an honest utterance: “Lord Jesus; being with you in this snowstorm with a temperature of -14 degrees and standing between storage racks to semi-escape the howling wind, is far better than anywhere else on earth.” 

The second place is being about our Fathers business.  There is no greater joy than being engaged in that which the Lord has placed on our heart.  And this is where the error is found in the old cliche of “Don’t be so heavenly minded that you are of no earthly good.” That is not even possible.  A person who truly loves Jesus and has an eternal perspective will be of incredible earthly good as they strive to further the kingdom of God.  Such a person will love their neighbor as themselves and seek the well being of others over their own agenda. The joy of being in the will of God is indescribable; not because we are doing some supposed great thing, but because we are in fellowship with Jesus and his joy is shed abroad in our heart.  There is more joy in passing out tracts in the most dangerous part of the city on a rainy afternoon than spending an entire month on a beach in the Bahamas while being pampered by employees of the resort industry. 

If the presence of the Lord is this incredible when we are abiding in this fallen world in a body that has a different law working in it’s members, imagine what it will be like when we “see him as he is.”  When this corruption puts on incorruption, all of the battles of this world are ended, and we are forever in the presence of the Lord along with the overcomers from every tribe and generation. An eternal abode without ailment, sorrow, frustration, anger, or any of the aspects that are associated with a contaminated world.  We are going to be in a city made without hands, in the company of millions…..and yet….our relationship with Jesus will be more initmate, more one-on-one, than we have ever known in this present setting.  This brings us to the passage of scripture that was the thrust behind this post.  A cogitation so incredible that I’m continually inquiring “Lord Jesus; am I reading this correctly?”

Revelation 2:17 “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone, and in the stone a new name written which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.”

This verse reveals a promise so incredible that it’s beyond defining with words. Each of us are going to be given a new name and only two parties will know that name. Only the Lord Jesus will know our new name.  He will call us by this name.  and even though we will be in the company of a multitude that none of us can ever hope to number, in the presence of God who inhabits all of eternity, we are each going to be on a first name basis with Jesus.  If we are born again, we are already on that kind of basis, however, we have yet to be given a name that is ours alone.  A name that is not shared by any other person, angel, or entity, in all of creation. If I’m reading this right, this is beyond incredible and, even now, finding words to write this is proving to be a challenge.  

Truly “the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” and the sought after aspects of this world cannot even come close to those of the age to come. The mansions promised the overcomers, the streets of gold so pure that it is transparent, the melodies which we long to hear and join in with, the fruit from the tree of life, the leaves which are for the healing of the nations, the river of water of life, clear as crystal which procedes from the throne of God and of the Lamb. All of these aspects cause us to desire to be there now.  But add to all of this, a private identity which is for us alone and the Lord is the only other one who knows this name…….WOW!  I don’t know if this will resonate with any other.  For me, however, it has taken prayer time, along with a desiring to be with Jesus, to an entirely new level.

Well I have to go.  Lord willing, I can begin adding to this blog on a more regular basis.  This place has always been a sort of “cyber-sanctuary” where a blank page is before me and it can be taken in any direction.  Things have been hectic as of late, however, this is not an insurmountable obstacle.  Until the next time, “blessings in Jesus name.”

 

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Distraction Avenue

October 8, 2013

These opening passages are being employed in a somewhat unconventional manner. The first refers to the time when the son of perdition is in power upon the earth, however, the issue that it addresses is very much in play at this moment. The second refers specifically to the time of Jesus’ return, however, just like the first passage, it addresses a danger that is very present with us now.  

Daniel 7:25″And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.”

Satan knows how to “wear out the saints.”

Luke 21:34 “And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.” 

Time is a priceless commodity. A portion that has been given to vanity, can never be retrieved. 

It’s a phenomenon that all who love the Lord Jesus are familiar with. We can determine within ourselves to devote a span of time to issues of eternal significance. We can seal off all possible avenues of distraction and properly address all responsibilities in a manner that will secure for us, an uninterrupted time of being about that which the Holy Spirit has placed on our heart. The preparations can be seemingly “set in stone;” causing us to anticipate the season wherein we can devote our full attention to that which makes our heart sing. But as the moment approaches, a conflicting agenda begins to consume bits and pieces of the time that had been reserved. Distractions arise, and with an almost mentoring tone of voice, the enemy whispers in our ear “it’s alright. God knows that you have obligations. You can intercede later…. like right before bed …. when you are fatigued from the wild goose chase that I have planned for you.  The bible will still be there when these other things are finished.  You can take tracts out tomorrow.  You can go the nursing home anytime. You can visit that new unregistered church next week” He will even quote scripture in an effort to hinder us. “the poor have ye always …. go out with your friends ….. or else they might think that Christians are stuck up …. then they will never get saved and it will be your fault.” 

During the past few months, much cogitation has been given to the many ways that the enemy seeks to distract, misdirect, and neutralize us. For each person whose name is in the book of life, Satan has a customized defensive strategy whereby he exploits every one or their shortcomings in an effort to derail them. He knows precisely where we are insofar as understanding, he knows whether or not we are harboring attachment to this present world, and he knows how to utilize our circumstances, along with the people in our circle of acquaintances in a manner that will hinder our efforts to be about our Fathers business. he knows how to “speak” in a way that, to the undiscerning, may sound just like God. Few of us (if any) of us have a solid understanding of the battle that we are in. Oftentimes, the most critical battles are transpiring while we are on a “spiritual furlough” (for lack of a better term) Satan takes full advantage of every second that we squander, every misstep that we make, every contrary thought that we entertain, and every element of vanity which continues to have a hold on us. He utilizes all of these to keep us from becoming what the Lord Jesus has called us to be and from doing that which he desires to accomplish through us. Even when we have covered all of the basics, the enemy continuously seeks out moments when we have let our guard down.

For me; some of the most intense battles are when waking up. In that groggy place, between consciousness and slumber, the enemy maneuvers frantically in an effort to take control of the tempo and disrupt all that was planned for that day.  

I’m questioning whether this should be shared because 1: it touches on the private moments and 2: it’s a mild deviation from the topic at hand. Nonetheless, it’s a quality example of how the enemy can throw us off when least expected. If there is one time when my guard is probably at its lowest, it is during the intimate moments with my better half. (good grief; this is awkward!) There have been times when, at the most intimate moment, a thought would pop into my head that was so vile, so blasphemous against the Lord Jesus, that it not only impeded the moment, it cast a dark shadow over the next day. Continual repentance seemed to go nowhere as troubling questions lingered “How did such a horrific thought ever get into my brain? …. Did it cross into the area of unpardonable sin? …. Lord Jesus; that thing DID NOT; IN ANY WAY, reflect my thoughts toward you!” It has only happened a handful of times over a period of several years, however, each intrusion by the enemy, who will cross any boundary left exposed, was an intense wrestling. They are worse than sleep paralysis attacks (I’ve had a few over the years) because, at least an sp attack does not plant vile thoughts into the brain. I usually try to refrain from saying “the Lord told me” because it sounds lofty, however, in this case, seems necessary. Following the most recent invasion, the Lord granted reassurance that the thoughts were an attack from the enemy; stating words to the effect of “it’s not new to me.  Satan has been saying things like that about me from the beginning.” The words of the Lord Jesus were comforting, however, the assaults were/are still a bothersome thing. 

Henry Gruver once mentioned that this will often happen while one is prayer walking and that one “should not take it personally.” During a time of prayer walking, the intrusion of vile thoughts signifies that one has crossed into another spiritual domain. They must not be permitted to become a hindrance. In other words, when we are on offense with spiritual understanding, the enemy is reduced to trying to mess with our head. Insofar as the intimate times, preemptive prayer has proven to be an effective defense …… unless the spontaneity of a moment causes one to become careless – TIME TO GET BACK ON TOPIC!!! 

Jeremiah 14:22 “Are there any among the vanities of the Gentiles that can cause rain? or can the heavens give showers? art thou not he, O LORD our God therefore we will wait upon thee: for thou hast made all these things.”

Without fail, the enemy seeks to take advantage of any avenue at his disposal. Sometimes, these inroads are in the form of “things overlooked.” Other times, usually from a lack of understanding, we will hand the enemy assets by which he is able to corral us into a spiritual void of sorts. These stem from the three lusts identified in I John 2:16. A love for the things of this world which cause one to become entangled in the thorns, an appetite for fleshly satisfaction which often lures one outside the scriptural boundaries, and pride of life which will carry one into a relentless campaign of seeking promotion and then advertising it. Recently an acquaintance from across the pond (Atlantic) told about a person whom she has had to work with. This colleague boasted to her, words to the effect of “I love to be noticed; to be the center of attention. I thrive on getting in front of a large gathering, doing a presentation, and receiving recognition for my talent.” As far as I know, the man in this example does not know the Lord Jesus. Nonetheless; if not kept in check, pride can get into the heart of even the most spiritual of saints and lure them into a campaign which looks like ministry, but has, in effect, become a vehicle for personal ambition. The church at Ephesus, in its Revelation 2:4 state, must have had many who had been seduced by this allurement. A scripture must be referred to here as this issue must be placed in context; (another side track coming on)

Philippians 1:15-18 “Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will:
The one preach Christ out of contention, and not sincerely, 
supposing to add affliction to my bonds:
But the other out of love, knowing that I am set for the defense of the gospel.
What then? Notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretense, or in truth, Christ is preached: and I therein, yea, and will rejoice.”

Here, the apostle Paul identifies the pride of life as it pertains to an office of ministry. He goes on to describe how one insulates themselves from becoming poisoned by such attitudes; by focusing on what really matters – the salvation of souls. In other words, if an arrogant self serving person proclaims truth  (not error, but truth) and, subsequently, names are written in the book of life, rejoice in the souls who have been plucked from the pit ,,,,, and intercede for the person with the contrary mindset. Not only is this profitable,for all parties, it deprives Satan a much sought after advantage.

Well; so much for trying to keep it short and passer-by friendly. One more thing is in need of addressing because many well sincere saints are drawn into what could be termed “cul-de-sacs of death.” They present themselves as wholesome pastimes or entertainment. They seem harmless; even family-friendly and noble; however, they carry folks away from consideration of things which carry over into the everlasting while countless hours, days, and weeks, pass by with no return. If attention is called to the carnal nature, the standard defense is “oh there is nothing wrong with this. It’s just fun.” 

Just an observation. Whenever a questionable topic is defended with the words “there’s nothing wrong with it,” that is a good indicator that something is wrong with it, and begs the reply of “oh …. well what’s right about it?”

Since the particular season is at hand, I’ll use football as an example. On the outside; sure, it can be fun, and, on a local level, it can be a good avenue whereby lessons good sportsmanship are learned and one is challenged to achieve maximum fitness. This isn’t the issue. I’m referring to the endless spectator element; whereby a person will spend countless hours, perched in front of a television, eating unhealthy snacks, take in countless images (which were carefully assembled by the masters of advertisement to play on the three lusts) and sit on the edge of their seat while a completely irrelevent storyline unfolds. In the end, one team is victorious, but nothing is gained. Not one lonely elderly person was visited. Not one soul was told about Jesus. (unless one counts the John 3:16 sign in the stands behind the goal post) not one devil was cast out, and not one intercession was uttered with anguish of spirit for a family member, a neighbor, a leader, a city, or a land. The price tag for endless hours of “are you ready for some footballllllll” is astronomical and non-redeemable.

This year, Lord willing, it will happen. I want to spend the entire time wherein the superbowl is being played in intercession. It may seem kind of silly, but it provides one a sampling of just how much time can be wasted on things irrelevant ….. and how much can be accomplished if that time is reallocated toward spiritual matters. 

Acts 12:5 “Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.”

II Corinthians 2:11 “Lest Satan should get an advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.”

OVER TWO THOUSAND WORDS???? I have to go! I’ll strive to clean this up later as there are certain to be enumerable grammatical hiccups. There will be more observations on this topic in the future as, all around us, saints, including myself, seem to become easily distracted by every irrelevant issue that one can imagine.  

Blessings in Jesus name.

Revelation 3:3 “Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.”

 

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Senritsu Wa Fuhen Desu: Sekai Ga Musubimasen

August 2, 2012

The final day of July, 2012 took a somewhat unexpected turn. While driving to work, I was diverted into another direction by a situation which demanded immediate attention. Although the situation was resolved in a timely manner, I ended up spending the final hours of July away from the big blue box of employment.  Later in the evening, I tuned into the Hagmann and Hagmann Report  which is broadcast nightly over blogtalk radio. (A link to the 7-31-2012 broadcast is provided near the bottom of this post) This particular broadcast featured some of the latest information concerning the end of life as we have known it, the methodical steps now being implemented which will ultimately lead to the rise of the beast system, and the effectiveness by which the powers that be have kept most of our contemporaries in a state of complacency. The broadcast touched on events which are so unthinkable that the hearts of many will fail for fear when they are unexpectedly forced to navigate in a paradigm for which they are not spiritually prepared.

Luke 21:19 “In your patience possess ye your souls.”

The three-hour broadcast concluded at midnight; just as July gave way to August. One can approach such information is four different ways. The first (and easiest) way is to ignore it and turn back to the television or distraction of choice. The second is to rationalize it away. (People have been saying things like this for years). The third is to believe it (because the evidence presented adds up) but not have the necessary spiritual anchoring to respond to it. Such a person will bounce from broadcast to broadcast, article to article and cleave to those who have been preparing in a frantic search for direction. (Daniel 11:34 and Matthew 25:8 just came to mind) A fourth method of response, however, will carry us through while others are being herded into compromise and destruction. We come before the Lord Jesus, cast our cares upon him, seek direction, walk in obediance to that direction, and trust him completely. This fourth method describes not only how the saints shall endure unexpected situations, it describes how we should conduct our lives every minute of every day. It’s a place of childlike faith wherein our eyes are on the eternal and not the temporal.

Psalm 91:9-10 “Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation,
There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.”
 
 
Luke 21:16 “Ane ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death.

Psalm 91 should be commited to memory. It was necessary to also reference Luke 21:16; lest an unbalanced picture of what it means to endure should be presented. The Lord can sustain us in the most insurmountable of circumstances. It’s possible that we could be walking down the road while a column of spetnav troops pass by, and they would never see us because the Lord supernaturally hid us in plain site. But this doesn’t mean we are exempt from all  tribulation, nor does it mean that our physical lives will be spared in every situation. Overcoming this present world goes beyond pyhsical preservation. Revelation 12:11 provides us with the formula for overcoming: “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.” It’s quite possible that some of us, or perhaps many of us, will be called to give our lives for the testimony of Jesus. As he told the saints in Smyrna “be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” I pray that these considerations will not discourage anyone, but rather foster a diligent seeking of the Lord Jesus who is with us always.

Luke 21:17-18 “And ye shall be hated of all men for my names sake.
But there shall not an hair of your head perish.”
 
Philippians 1:21 “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

It was after 1:00 AM when I went outside for prayer. I walked out to the road and looked west; pondering how long it will be until those who are assigned to implement the roundup pass through. There was no fear accompanying this reflective cogitation and within moments I was in the presence of the Lord. The opening moments of August became a time of worship; both in english and in languages which commune on a deeper level.  In that place, there were no globalists or Russian spetznav (special forces) units. There were no murderers of the innocent or profiteers from campaigns of iniquity. There was no meaningless chatter, no alarms, and no calls from the complacent ones to come out of the holy place and join them in the potatoing of the couch. For a span of time the intrusions of the world were neutralized. A gentle breeze blew across the moonlit landscape while my thoughts gravitated toward places not observable. A melody which has no ending became my anthem, while looking into the firmament and considering just how incredible our everlasting Creator is.

Senritsu wa fuhen desu – Melody everlasting. While singing unto the Lord, this thought came to mind. “This song never ends. I million years from now, in a realm which has no timepieces, this song will still be on my lips. It doesn’t have a final verse; it’s as eternal as the age to come” For a moment, time vanished and all I could see was the everlasting. Sekai ga musubimasen – world without ending. Our lives in this physical world; the dramas, the agendas, the career paths, the pastimes, and what have you, are as nothing in comparison to that which is everlasting and our Creator who has no beginning. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.” Aikou ga mattaki desu – perfect love. A love that’s pure and without an accompanying agenda. A God whose habitation exceeds the boundaries of time and space; and yet loved us so much that he took on a body of flesh and dwelt among us. He became acquainted with grief.  While we were altogether lost and contrary to his nature, Jesus shed his blood to redeem us.

The moment offered a glimpse; not only of the timeless state that awaits us, it gave insight into how we should live on a daily basis. We cannot spend all of our time on the mountaintop. We still inhabit a vessel of clay and we are surrounded by contemporaries who know not the Lord Jesus. There is much to be done and time is quickly running out. Nonetheless, we can live each moment with the eternal perspective in the forefront. It’s not easy. It requires diligent dying to self while being prepared to be misunderstood and even betrayed by our closest brethren and kin. But when we can abide there on a consistant basis, everything else will fall into place and we will not be quickly rattled by threatenings in the physical realm which accompany the fulfilment of bible prophecy. In writing this, it’s important to mention that I have a long way to go in learning this.

II Corinthians 4:17-18 “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

I need to be going shortly. Here’s the link to the above mentioned broadcast:

The Hagmann and Hagmann Report with guests Steve Quayle and Greg Evenson

Two phrases of significance are mentioned in the first hour of this broadcast. The first is “yard farming.” The second is “seamless application of forced intervention.” Please approach this prayerfully. The second hour is incredible and powerful as prayer is offered up for many. Lest anyone should arrive at some erroneous conclusions, I should also mention that the non-english phrases in this post are Japanese and probably contain some grammerical flaws. (I may have completely butchered it) Ever since hearing an interview with Henry Gruver on July 5, 2012. Japan has been much on my heart. Henry spent spent several weeks there; including a lot of time in the Fukushima region. He reported that in the time since the tsunami, many doors have opened and the names of numerous eternal souls have been added to the book of life. One such name is that of a former priest who was in his 80s. This man is now preaching Jesus throughout the land. I don’t remember what religion he once practiced. It matters not;  God has cast it into the sea of forgetfulness.

A thought came to me recently. There will, at some point, be a final entry made in the book of life. The name of the last person to believe on Jesus will be recorded, following which, the ledger will be finished…….just a thought. Below is a link to the July 5th Trunews  broadcast featuring Henry Gruver. The actual interview begins about 5 or 6 minutes into the brodcast; following a quick rundown of the news stories that were breaking on that day. 

Rick Wiles and Henry Gruver

Revelation 7:9-10 “After this I beheld, and lo, a great multitude which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;
And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.”

Blessings always in Jesus name.