Let’s Get Studying!

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2Ti 2: (MSG)
14  Repeat these basic essentials over and over to God’s people. Warn them before God against pious nitpicking, which chips away at the faith. It just wears everyone out.
15  Concentrate on doing your best for God, work you won’t be ashamed of, laying out the truth plain and simple.
16  Stay clear of pious talk that is only talk. Words are not mere words, you know. If they’re not backed by a godly life,
17  they accumulate as poison in the soul. Hymenaeus and Philetus are examples,
18  throwing believers off stride and missing the truth by a mile by saying the resurrection is over and done with.
19  Meanwhile, God’s firm foundation is as firm as ever, these sentences engraved on the stones: GOD KNOWS WHO BELONGS TO HIM. SPURN EVIL, ALL YOU WHO NAME GOD AS GOD.

2Ti 3: (MSG)
10  You’ve been a good apprentice to me, a part of my teaching, my manner of life, direction, faith, steadiness, love, patience,
11  troubles, sufferings—suffering along with me in all the grief I had to put up with in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra. And you also well know that God rescued me!
12  Anyone who wants to live all out for Christ is in for a lot of trouble; there’s no getting around it.
13  Unscrupulous con men will continue to exploit the faith. They’re as deceived as the people they lead astray. As long as they are out there, things can only get worse.
14  But don’t let it faze you. Stick with what you learned and believed, sure of the integrity of your teachers—
15  why, you took in the sacred Scriptures with your mother’s milk! There’s nothing like the written Word of God for showing you the way to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
16  Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way.
17  Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.

I wonder if someone asked you what you believe and why, what type of answer would you give.  Would be something like, “the Pastor said it”, “I heard it on tv”, or it may be any other answer that would come into the mind. Or would you be able to articulate a Biblical outline because you have discipline yourself to studying the Word of God.

For most studying does not come naturally whether while in school or in our spiritual lives as a child of God.  The digital age has truly made studying the Word of God so accessible like we have never seen, but, it still requires a disciplined life.

The Bereans

Act 17:10-15 KJV
10  And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.
11  These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
12  Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.
13  But when the Jews of Thessalonica had knowledge that the word of God was preached of Paul at Berea, they came thither also, and stirred up the people.
14  And then immediately the brethren sent away Paul to go as it were to the sea: but Silas and Timotheus abode there still.
15  And they that conducted Paul brought him unto Athens: and receiving a commandment unto Silas and Timotheus for to come to him with all speed, they departed.

It is truly amazing how many never search the Scriptures for their own spiritual life but take teachers, preachers, and others at their word.  This is causing a spiritual famine among the many Christians in North America and around the world.

The new-born Christians in Berea searched daily the Scriptures to see if what Paul preached was found within the text.  They did not have the advantage like we do with both Testaments, Old and New, rather all they had was the Torah and the writings of the prophets of old.  I tend to feel that this was not an easy task to do, and yet they probably knew the Scriptures by memory as they learned it from their parents around the meal time.

Here is what God spoke to the minor prophet, Hosea about knowing knowledge:

Hos 4:6 MSG
6  My people are ruined because they don’t know what’s right or true. Because you’ve turned your back on knowledge, I’ve turned my back on you priests. Because you refuse to recognize the revelation of God, I’m no longer recognizing your children.

Cannot Happen Here

North America is the envy of many around the world.  They look at it and say to themselves, ‘if only’.  That is a dream for multiple thousands which will probably never come to fruition.

Allow me to use some supposition here.  Consider this, what if one day for some extreme situation that the Bible and all things related to the Gospel were banned in North America.  You say to yourself, ‘it cannot happen here’, oh, but, it has happened in the near past, is happening even as I write this article.  I can recall stories how some Christians in communist countries would get a hold of just one page of the Bible and that is all they would have for quite a length of time.  In China, Christians meet in secret in living rooms, basements, and other places, in fear that they may be arrested and put into prison for their declaration of faith in Christ Jesus.

Study, Your Life May Depend On It

Many across North America have clung to a gospel of ‘feel good’ centered around things of the flesh.  Missing in the pulpits today is a all-rounded Gospel.

Let’s read and be reminded of  what the Word of God declares through the pen of the Apostle Paul:

2Ti 3:16 MSG
16  Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way.

There is coming a time on this planet that the Word of God and Christians will have a price put upon their heads.  Being a Christian could cost you your life.  Choose Christ, loose your head.  Choose the mark, lose your soul.  It is at that time you have better anchored your soul with more than what the pastor said. Your soul must be anchored to the stone that the builders rejected over two thousand years ago, the man, Christ Jesus.

One better have a great and solid grasp on the Word of God, imprinted on your mind and in your spirit, so that come what may, no situation, or any man can steal it from you.  It will be all that will sustain you and keep you in perfect peace in the trial and great testing of your faith and life.

So, yes, study like your life depends on it because it surely does.  Let’s get busy and study!

 

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Revial Where? -The Face of Apostasy

Psa 127:1 MSG
1  A pilgrim song of Solomon. If GOD doesn’t build the house, the builders only build shacks. If GOD doesn’t guard the city, the night watchman might as well nap.

“I believe that one reason why the church of God at this present moment has so little influence over the world is because the world has so much influence over the church.” (C.H. Spurgeon)

Today, the modern Church says, ”What can we do for you world to have you come to our Church?”

The World: “Feed us, baby sit our children, water down the Gospel, don’t offend me, entertain me, give me music that sounds like mine w/a hint of Jesus.”

The Church: Okay (Twitter: @lyfetreker)

During the 1970’s I was maybe just evelen or twelve years old.  My mom liked to watch the preachers on Sunday morning, this was before twenty-four seven Christian broadcasting as we know of today.  Most were just one hour long, some maybe thirty minutes.  

One of those tv preachers was Reverand Rex Humbard of Ohio.  He preached right from his church there in Ohio.  It was distinct from all others for it had a large white lit up cross on the ceiling.  His wife, Maude Aimee would sing a solo most Sundays.

Mom decided that the whole family would take a trip to see The Humbards at their church in Ohio.  Unfortunately, they were not there, an associate delivered the morning sermon.  What struck me as a kid was not the television cameras or the big cross, but, rather the color of the walls, black.  It felt like you stepped into a movie theatre, except the movie was a sermon.  This now looks like a pre-lude of things to come.

Overtaken

I try to keep a lookout about what is happening first in Bible prophecy, which is a measuring stick for the season we are living in.  I also try to feel the heart beat of things within the church universal.  Things that many would not notice or even have not heard about.

I am told, I have not tried this, that if you throw a frog into boiling water it will jump out.  However, if you place that frog into cold water then slowly warm the water the frog will stay.

In previous articles I wrote about the “The Church: Abdication of the Power”.  They chose:

  1. Popularity Over Power
  2. Prosperity Over Power
  3. Politics Over Power

There has been a gradual, almost silent move away from the very anchors laid out by Christ and the Apostles. The things Christ told the Apostle John about the seven churches in the Book Revelation are relevant and true at this present day church.

I have been seeing and also hearing of an alarming trend among congregations of the very thing I saw back at “The Cathedral of Tomorrow”, walls painted black. The given reason if asked why they are doing such a thing, ‘trying to bring young people in’.  

Pastor if that is why you are doing this then you have forgotten the very foundations that was laid out by Christ Jesus and the first century apostles.  Now you enter into the santuary and cannot tell the differance between it and the local tavern in town.  Same color of walls, smoke machines, strobe lights, and loud music for entertainment.  All these things are pure and utter carnality.  Nothing more than to please the flesh.

Like those letters spoken by Christ to Apostle John the church has:

  1. Left its firts love
  2. Allowed blasphemy to enter the doors
  3. Lukewarm

Pastors have gave way to preaching nothing more than sermonettes that will not offend one.  Messages of how to feel better, gain more riches, and how to become more popular.  The message of the cross seems to have become relegated to the dusty archives of the church.  The message of the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ replaced by “positive thinking”, which had its beginnings with The Bishop Sheen the forerunner of Reverand Robert Shuller.

It is my understanding that many are removing the baptismal tanks from the santuary, which in times past was a symbolical move to state that we have buried the old man and give rise to the new man in Christ.

Pastors, if you want to see people added to your congregation, begin to preach without fear or favor of men.  Seek God and let the anointing of the Holy Ghost flow through you and out to those under your voice.

Let me bring back to your attention of the very earliest days of the newborn church.

Act 2:42-47 KJV
42  And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
43  And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
44  And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
45  And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
46  And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
47  Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

So, there is a choice to made, continue to look, act, smell like the world, or let the Spirit of God radiate from the pulpit to the pew and then spill out onto the streets of Main Town.

For me I choose the Spirit of God!

 

Revival Where? – Apostasy Grows

2Ti 4:1-5 MSG
1  I can’t impress this on you too strongly. God is looking over your shoulder. Christ himself is the Judge, with the final say on everyone, living and dead. He is about to break into the open with his rule,
2  so proclaim the Message with intensity; keep on your watch. Challenge, warn, and urge your people. Don’t ever quit. Just keep it simple.
3  You’re going to find that there will be times when people will have no stomach for solid teaching, but will fill up on spiritual junk food—catchy opinions that tickle their fancy.(emphasis mine)
4  They’ll turn their backs on truth and chase mirages.
5  But you—keep your eye on what you’re doing; accept the hard times along with the good; keep the Message alive; do a thorough job as God’s servant.

Just recently I had a phone conversation with a dear relative of mine. My relative and I were reminiscing about things from our home church.  It was mentioned that they pined for those days again.

You see, the place I considered my home church sat on a country lot with tall poplar trees lined the edge of the property. It was not fancy for most of my childhood they was no running water within the walls.  At maximum it would seat maybe sixty or a little less. On the front left of the santuary sat an old upright piano, out of tune and was only played when a guest would visit that knew how to play, much to the grumblings of my grandfather about it.  Grandpa was the only musician, a self taught guitar player for the small and unassuming congregation.

We considered ourselves to be “pentecostal” in doctrine but with no one umbrella that were our over-seers.  We went through many different variations of preachers and teachers over the years. Until a man became a constant with us and he was picked to be the pastor of a congregation with limited means.

Yes, we were those “pentecostals” that you hear much about, but, not to be mistaken for those who claim power over “snakes”.  Talking in tongues, prophecy, and all manifestations of the “gifts of the spirit”.  These were all I knew growing up and throughout my teenage life.

Casuality

Come Sunday night everyone would dress for church.  No, the ladies did not bring out of their closets mink coats, or wear diamonds around their neck, but yet you knew these were not their every day wear.  The same with the men, the pastor wore a suit and the men that had one.  We always had respect for those who would step behind the pulpit, sometimes we would call the “brother” so and so, or “pastor”, but never once did we think of using their first name.

Things began to change in what is now known as the “charismatic” movement.  People began to be more casual in the attitude with the gathering of the saints come Sunday.  The apparel looked like you would see the teenagers where to high school.  High School students would have never thought of using the teachers first name, but, in the congregation people began to cheapen the ministry of the pulpit by calling their pastor by his or her first name.

Then There Was the Music

For awhile my family moved quite a bit and sometimes my mom and dad would take us to different churches when we lived a distance from the home church.  In all those years we learned the tried and tested “hymns” of the church,  mix in some choruses, and of course the Anointing of the Spirit of God.

The charismatic movement also ushered in a new sound of music, I would call it the flavor of the hippie music, except the words sounded Christian.  Oh, it sounded good, but there were some things missing.  No sound precepts from the Word of God, yes there were some with Scriptures for verses, but it lacked the depth of those Hymns I had grown to love. Also missing was the conviction of the writer.  “Amazing Grace” had the conviction of the writer, John Newton, a slave transporter who was saved while crossing the ocean.  He wrote his conviction when he penned the words to the now most recognizable Hymn.

Don’t Change The Program

Since those days of the late seventies and early eighties the change happening within the ranks of many congregations was palpable to say the least.

A preacher friend of mine told me once this, “never change horses in mid-stream”.  I travelled with that preacher the length of Canada and throughtout many states.  He had a certain rythmn to his ministry and that extended to the style that he wanted his musicians and singers to adhere to.  If he detected a slight change, meaning no anointing, he would stop the singer and music, and start a song on his own.  

When I left him and struck out on my own, I too, developed a rythmn to my services.  There was one thing I learned about my ministry, as a gospel piano player, if my music didn’t minister to the people, I knew my preaching would not fall on welcoming ears.  This was proved to me over and over for years following.  Sometimes my music without my intention would begin to fall with an anointing and before I uttered an altar call, preached a message, the altars would fill with people.

To the pastor, preacher, evangelist, that may read this, all of your man made programs are not worth the time you thought about them, or the paper you used to write them, for if God does not sanction them with His Anointing of His Spirit, then it is time to go find a job other than that of the pulpit.

All across North America the program has changed, and I fear it is not for the better.  People do not want the messages from the pulpit that brings the sinner to his knee, the mother kneeling at the altar, with tear stained cheeks praying for her children, young and old alike with arms around each other lifting needs up to the Lord in prayer. Pastor, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.

Yet many have given themselves over to a worthless kind of gospel, one without the Anointing from the throne room of God.  One that is nothing but words for of lust for greed and self-aggrandizement.  Nothing but puffery, slight of hand, a puffs of smoke.  The pulpit now is no better that going to hear a lecturer on self esteem found in any convention center down the street.  Yes, the people have spoken, they want a feel good gospel(intentionally not captilized “Gospel”). Yet they feel that God must ordain what is happening because to the natural eye, not the spiritual eye, it looks good, some would say it has God’s blessing on it.

We have left the message of “take up your cross” outside the doors of the santuary for a message that does nothing more than tickles the ears and fancy of those listening in the nice comfy chairs.

To be truthful the true Gospel message hasn’t changed, the pulpit and the pew have!

Next post: Not The Man In Black, but Paint the Walls Black.

 

Revival, Where? – Part One

APOSTASY BEGINS

audience-blur-bokeh-9768662Th 2:1-12 MSG
1  Now, friends, read these next words carefully. Slow down and don’t go jumping to conclusions regarding the day when our Master, Jesus Christ, will come back and we assemble to welcome him.
2  Don’t let anyone shake you up or get you excited over some breathless report or rumored letter from me that the day of the Master’s arrival has come and gone.
3  Don’t fall for any line like that. Before that day comes, a couple of things have to happen. First, the Apostasy. Second, the debut of the Anarchist, a real dog of Satan.
4  He’ll defy and then take over every so-called god or altar. Having cleared away the opposition, he’ll then set himself up in God’s Temple as “God Almighty.”
5  Don’t you remember me going over all this in detail when I was with you? Are your memories that short?
6  You’ll also remember that I told you the Anarchist is being held back until just the right time.
7  That doesn’t mean that the spirit of anarchy is not now at work. It is, secretly and underground.
8  But the time will come when the Anarchist will no longer be held back, but will be let loose. But don’t worry. The Master Jesus will be right on his heels and blow him away. The Master appears and—puff!—the Anarchist is out of there.
9  The Anarchist’s coming is all Satan’s work. All his power and signs and miracles are fake,
10  evil sleight of hand that plays to the gallery of those who hate the truth that could save them.
11  And since they’re so obsessed with evil, God rubs their noses in it—gives them what they want.
12  Since they refuse to trust truth, they’re banished to their chosen world of lies and illusions.

Apostasy Defined – From biblestudytools.com/dictionary

a-pos’-ta-si, a-pos’-tat (he apostasia, “a standing away from”):

I.e. a falling away, a withdrawal, a defection. Not found in the English Versions of the Bible, but used twice in the New Testament, in the Greek original, to express abandonment of the faith. Paul was falsely accused of teaching the Jews apostasy from Moses (Acts 21:21); he predicted the great apostasy from Christianity, foretold by Jesus (Matthew 24:10-12) which would precede “the day of the Lord” (2 Thessalonians 2:2). (

During my earlier years of ministry I use to expound that in the last days before the return of Christ that there would be a great global revival; I now after about forty years and thousand of hours later of study I believe I was wrong in this theory.  Yes, I knew this particular passage but that was before I changed my view on the Church and the tribulation. My previous thought of revival and the Scripture above cannot abide in the same place, they are contradictory.  God’s Word always superceedes man’s thought and theory.

If you have been one that has a strong grasp of the Word of God and End Time Bible Prophecy that both the thesis of a great revival and the above portion of Scripture know then that these two are contradictory.

There is not one person living or dead except God himself knows the day or the hour of the return of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  However, Christ did tell us we can know the season and of the events preceeding His second coming.

Mat 24:3-14 MSG
3  Later as he was sitting on Mount Olives, his disciples approached and asked him, “Tell us, when are these things going to happen? What will be the sign of your coming, that the time’s up?”
4  Jesus said, “Watch out for doomsday deceivers.
Many leaders are going to show up with forged identities, claiming, ‘I am Christ, the Messiah.’ They will deceive a lot of people.
When reports come in of wars and rumored wars, keep your head and don’t panic. This is routine history; this is no sign of the end.
Nation will fight nation and ruler fight ruler, over and over. Famines and earthquakes will occur in various places.
8  .This is nothing compared to what is coming
9  “They are going to throw you to the wolves and kill you, everyone hating you because you carry my name.
10  And then, going from bad to worse, it will be dog-eat-dog, everyone at each other’s throat, everyone hating each other.
11  “In the confusion, lying preachers will come forward and deceive a lot of people.
12  For many others, the overwhelming spread of evil will do them in—nothing left of their love but a mound of ashes.
13  “Staying with it—that’s what God requires. Stay with it to the end. You won’t be sorry, and you’ll be saved.
14  All during this time, the good news—the Message of the kingdom—will be preached all over the world, a witness staked out in every country. And then the end will come.

For some time now I have been noticing what I would deem as alarming.  A trend where those in leadership are restructuring the very essence of their services.  I truly believe that this is starting to go down a slippery slope.

When asked why, the answer of ninety-nine percent is this, “we are trying to attract more youth”.  I agree for congregations to contine throughout the decades is the adding of congregants.  My concern is the method/s taken to achieve this goal.

During the “charismatic” and “word of faith” movements the first method was the style of music during the worship portion of the service.  I have for as long as I can remember that songs sung in a minor chord arrangement denotes slavery and bondage.  It started when Israel was captured.  They took their harps and hanged them on willow trees.

Psa 137:1-9 KJV
1  By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion.
2  We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof.
3  For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion.
4  How shall we sing the LORD’S song in a strange land?
5  If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.
6  If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.
7  Remember, O LORD, the children of Edom in the day of Jerusalem; who said, Rase it, rase it, even to the foundation thereof.
8  O daughter of Babylon, who art to be destroyed; happy shall he be, that rewardeth thee as thou hast served us.
9  Happy shall he be, that taketh and dasheth thy little ones against the stones.

To the undiscerning these songs sounded happy, upbeat music. The beat might be foot tapping, but they were to be songs of captivity and defeat.  This is not so for the believer, the body of Christ for He went to the bowels of the earth.

Col 2:6-15 KJV
6  As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
7  Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
8  Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
9  For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.
10  And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:
11  In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:
12  Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
13  And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
14  Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
15  And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.

Eph 4:8-10 KJV
8  Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
9  (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
10  He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)

Go back to the time of King David of Israel and the armies of Israel had gone into enemy territories and re-captured the ark of the covenant.  We see the dangers of touching the ark of the covenant incorrectly results in death. Handled correctly victory in the camp of Israel.  David gets in front of the armies and begins to dance and sing a song of victory, a song in the major chord.  This could be applied as an example of the body of Christ for He through His death and resurrection was victorous over death, hell, and the grave.  Just to add one more thought; I believe in the dance, but, however it should be by the unctioning of the Holy Ghost and not man made.

Take note of the atmosphere among the people who were ushering Christ through the gate of Jerusalem.  It was jubilant filled with glorious praise.

Mar 11:1-11 KJV
1  And when they came nigh to Jerusalem, unto Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount of Olives, he sendeth forth two of his disciples,
2  And saith unto them, Go your way into the village over against you: and as soon as ye be entered into it, ye shall find a colt tied, whereon never man sat; loose him, and bring him.
And if any man say unto you, Why do ye this? say ye that the Lord hath need of him; and straightway he will send him hither.
4  And they went their way, and found the colt tied by the door without in a place where two ways met; and they loose him.
5  And certain of them that stood there said unto them, What do ye, loosing the colt?
6  And they said unto them even as Jesus had commanded: and they let them go.
7  And they brought the colt to Jesus, and cast their garments on him; and he sat upon him.
8  And many spread their garments in the way: and others cut down branches off the trees, and strawed them in the way.
9  And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord:
10  Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest.
11  And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the temple: and when he had looked round about upon all things, and now the eventide was come, he went out unto Bethany with the twelve.

I am of the opinion that this was the slow start into what Paul describes in Thessalonians as “apostasy”(the falling away).

In part two I would like to address another sign of the falling away.  I would like to address the attitude now in the sanctuaries across North America and around the world.

 

 

On The Chopping Block!

 

 blade-2029745_1280Rev 20:1-5 MSG
1  I saw an Angel descending out of Heaven. He carried the key to the Abyss and a chain—a huge chain.
2  He grabbed the Dragon, that old Snake—the very Devil, Satan himself!—chained him up for a thousand years,
3  dumped him into the Abyss, slammed it shut and sealed it tight. No more trouble out of him, deceiving the nations—until the thousand years are up. After that he has to be let loose briefly.
4  I saw thrones. Those put in charge of judgment sat on the thrones. I also saw the souls of those beheaded because of their witness to Jesus and the Word of God, who refused to worship either the Beast or his image, refused to take his mark on forehead or hand—they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years!
5  The rest of the dead did not live until the thousand years were up. This is the first resurrection—

The above portion of Scripture paints a horrific picture of things to come.  The question is not will it happen, but rather, when it will happen.  Let me burst some bubbles, it is not going to get better, but increasingly worse.

We are already seeing or hearing horrific reports of Christians being beheaded, set on fire, and even being incarcerated.  These are just the beginning of what lays ahead for this world.

It is my opinion that the antichrist is alive and well waiting to take center stage.  He will bring to life the unholy trinity found in the Book of Revelation chapter twelve and thrteen. The anti-christ, the beast,  and the false prophet.

The beast will introduce a system that will track every human on earth through his mark, the 666, the number of man.  Technology in 2019 has the ability to give every living human a number and more than likely a way to give this mark on the right hand or forehead.

Now let me turn your attention to a similiar event much like that of the above portion of Scripture, Babylon and King Nebuchadnezzar.

Dan 3:1-7 MSG
1  King Nebuchadnezzar built a gold statue, ninety feet high and nine feet thick. He set it up on the Dura plain in the province of Babylon.
2  He then ordered all the important leaders in the province, everybody who was anybody, to the dedication ceremony of the statue.
3  They all came for the dedication, all the important people, and took their places before the statue that Nebuchadnezzar had erected.
4  A herald then proclaimed in a loud voice: “Attention, everyone! Every race, color, and creed, listen!
5  When you hear the band strike up—all the trumpets and trombones, the tubas and baritones, the drums and cymbals—fall to your knees and worship the gold statue that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up.
6  Anyone who does not kneel and worship shall be thrown immediately into a roaring furnace.”
7  The band started to play, a huge band equipped with all the musical instruments of Babylon, and everyone—every race, color, and creed—fell to their knees and worshiped the gold statue that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up.

I have never seen these two portions of Scripture as similiar/parallel.  I am fifty-seven years old, thousands of hours in studying the Bible End-Time prophecy and just recently have made the connection. I believe this is in part when I wrote many articles ago that I believe that the anti-christ will come from the Iraq/Iran area the home of the original Babylon.

  • Both leaders have an image erected of themselves
  • Demand that everyone worship the image
  • All those who refuse killed by fire, or beheading

I have been giving much thought if I could stand against such tyranny, if my devotion to Christ and His Word would be strong enough.

I can almost see situations where some would buckle under the pressure, maybe because their children are crying because of hunger.  Or a spouse of family member might be spared of the atrocities taking place in their area.

I sit back and take stock of the situation of the Church universal and ask myself will it survive the upcoming savagery of this un-holy trinity.  In some parts of this world we see glimpses of this type of brutal torture happening in 2019.  In China Christians meet in secret praying that they will not be found by the government.  They meet in living rooms, abandon buildings, if caught face life in prison.  One Christian author, Watchman Nee of the last century wrote most of his books while living in prison because of his Christian faith.

We have seen and heard the reports of terrorists lining up people of the Christian faith and beheaded.  In other regions put in a cage and set on fire.

Every apostle, except John, died a horrific brutal death.  Some crucified like Peter who was crucified upside down, some stoned to death, and like Paul beheaded in the city of Rome.

When I was young and studying and later in active ministry I use to preach a “pie in the sky” end-time message.  I now have to come to the realisation after many more hours of studying in the last twenty years that we as Christians will be facing tougher situations then of the ones we so often complain about now.

I will go into much more detail about what planet earth is about to face as we near the day of Christ planting His feet on the Mount of Olives.  Details about many fallacies that Christians have been taught since the late 1800’s.  It is growing worse and apostasy is running rampants from the pulpits to the pews in North America and the World.

In closing this part of this article, let me ask you, the reader, are your feet firmly planted on the stone the builders rejected?  Is your faith in Christ totally secure and strong?

If this were to face you tomorrow what would your reaction be to your pending fate? Suffer with Christ so that you can reign with Him?  Let me be blunt, all your worldly riches will do you any good during this turbulent time on planet Earth.  Billionaires, millionaires with beg for death but it will not come.  A loaf of bread will cost one week’s pay check.

Please, find a quiet space, be sober before God and really turn on the search light inwardly!

I heard a preacher sing a chorus that goes like this:

Are you ready,

Are you ready, Are you ready for that judgment day?

Are you ready, Are you ready, Are you ready for that judgment day?

(author unknown to this writer)

 

 

Dear Church Of Ephesus

maps-Ephesus pointed

Revelation 2:1-7 KJV
1  Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;
2  I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
3  And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.
4  Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
5  Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
6  But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
7  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 tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

The first church that is mentioned by Christ to the Apostle John.  Notice how Christ spoke about the traits that was good about the Church at Ephesus.

  • Works and labour
  • Patience
  • Able to bear those who are evil
  • Tried those who called themselves apostles and found them to be liars
  • Did not faint

After that we hear from Christ what he did not favour the one thing about the Church of Ephesus.

Revelation 2:4  Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
5  Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

Just what was the cause for the Ephesian people to leave their first love, Christ Jesus?  Did they become complacent in their Christian walk, or thought they were secure in their own salvation?

I am not sure what the root cause of the situation in the church of Ephesus, but we see that Christ gives them the solution to their spiritual problem.

Revelation 2:5  Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

Now we know because of the writings of Paul, the apostle that we are not saved by works alone. 

Ephesians 2:8-9 KJV
8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9  Not of works, lest any man should boast.

So, putting these portions of Scripture side by side it would seem there is a confliction between the two.  I feel there is not any confliction, but, rather an admonishment that we have to be ever on guard for the one who is at warfare for our spiritual well being.  

Also, this would seem that the argument of “once saved, always saved” is at err with the very Scripture as it is written.  For if we had a secure “salvation” that we could never lose then why is there an admonishment from Christ to the church at Ephesus to repent.

Our personal salvation is not dependant on our parents, spouse, or even a sibling.  Each of us must surrender to Christ, washed in His blood, and seek His face on our own accord.

Philippians 2:12-16 KJV
12  Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.
13  For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
14  Do all things without murmurings and disputings:
15  That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;
16  Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

At the judgment seat of Christ all will stand alone, absence will be those within our family, friends, and fellow Christians who we worshipped with and broke bread with.

As the old hymn declares we all must give an account of our lives.

The Old Account Was Settled Long Ago
Well, there was a time on Earth when in the books of Heaven
That an Old Account was standin’ for sins yet unforgiven
My name was at the top there were many things below
But I went unto the keeper and I settled it long ago
Long ago, yes long ago (I settled it all)
I said the Old Account was settled long ago
And my record’s clear today, he washed my sins away
And the Old Account was settled long ago (tell em about it)
Well the Old Account was large and growin’ everyday
I was always sinnin’ and I never tried to pray
But when I looked ahead and saw such pain and woe
Well I thought I’d better get it settled, so I settled it long ago
Long ago, yes long ago (I settled it all)
I said the Old Account was settled long ago
And my record’s clear today, he done washed my sins away
And the Old Account was settled long ago (tell em about it)
Now sinner seek the Lord, and repent of all your sins
‘Cause this He commanded if we’re gonna make it in
And then if you should live one hundred years below
You gonna know you got it settled ’cause you settled it long ago
Long ago, yes long ago (I settled it all)
I said the Old Account was settled long ago
And my record’s clear today, he done washed my sins away
And the Old Account was settled long ago (tell em about it)
We are all tasked with keeping our account short and cleared daily!

Prophecy Alert: 1.11.2019

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The Bear – Russia

 

Daniel 7:5 MSG  “Then I saw a second animal that looked like a bear. It lurched from side to side, holding three ribs in its jaws. It was told, ‘Attack! Devour! Fill your belly!’

 

 

russia-1020934_640

Ezekiel 38:1-19 MSG
1  GOD’s Message came to me:
2  “Son of man, confront Gog from the country of Magog, head of Meshech and Tubal. Prophesy against him.
3  Say, ‘GOD, the Master, says: Be warned, Gog. I am against you, head of Meshech and Tubal.
4  I’m going to turn you around, put hooks in your jaws, and drag you off with your whole army, your horses and riders in full armor—all those shields and bucklers and swords—fighting men armed to the teeth!
5  Persia and Cush and Put will be in the ranks, also well-armed, as will
6  Gomer and its army and Beth-togarmah out of the north with its army. Many nations will be with you!
7  “‘Get ready to fight, you and the whole company that’s been called out. Take charge and wait for orders.
8  After a long time, you’ll be given your orders. In the distant future you’ll arrive at a country that has recovered from a devastating war. People from many nations will be gathered there on the mountains of Israel, for a long time now a wasteland. These people have been brought back from many countries and now live safe and secure.
9  You’ll rise like a thunderstorm and roll in like clouds and cover the land, you and the massed troops with you.
10  “‘Message of GOD, the Master: At that time you’ll start thinking things over and cook up an evil plot.
11  You’ll say, “I’m going to invade a country without defenses, attack an unsuspecting, carefree people going about their business—no gates to their cities, no locks on their doors.
12  And I’m going to plunder the place, march right in and clean them out, this rebuilt country risen from the ashes, these returned exiles and their booming economy centered down at the navel of the earth.”
13  “‘Sheba and Dedan and Tarshish, traders all out to make a fast buck, will say, “So! You’ve opened a new market for plunder! You’ve brought in your troops to get rich quick!”‘
14  “Therefore, son of man, prophesy! Tell Gog, ‘A Message from GOD, the Master: When my people Israel are established securely, will you make your move?
15  Will you come down out of the far north, you and that mob of armies, charging out on your horses like a tidal wave across the land,
16  and invade my people Israel, covering the country like a cloud? When the time’s ripe, I’ll unleash you against my land in such a way that the nations will recognize me, realize that through you, Gog, in full view of the nations, I am putting my holiness on display.
17  “‘A Message of GOD, the Master: Years ago when I spoke through my servants, the prophets of Israel, wasn’t it you I was talking about? Year after year they prophesied that I would bring you against them.
18  And when the day comes, Gog, you will attack that land of Israel. Decree of GOD, the Master. My raging anger will erupt.
19  Fueled by blazing jealousy, I tell you that then there will be an earthquake that rocks the land of Israel.

In the headlines every day for the past several weeks has been the country which is referred to in the above portions of Scripture, Russia.

Governments would be wise not to under estimate the “bear”, for it is a carnivore looking for prey.

I began teaching and preaching about Russia over thirty plus years ago.  And I am still studying the subject and watching the headlines closely.

I have written in past articles that I do not find America in end-time Biblical prophecy and yet we see Russia as an intregal part of Bible prophecy.

Students of Bible prophecy are very seldom surprised by headlines in the news.  Headlines concerning Russia, Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and Syria, China.  These are all mentioned throughout Bible prophecy concerning the end-times.

The chess pieces are all set up for the final march toward Israel.  The culmination will be the greatest war in history, the battle of Armageddon.

To those who are busy building kingdoms, self-interest of accumulating mass wealth will be overtaken suddenly by the events which are about to take center stage on the world.  For them it will utter destruction as cash societies fail, and the son of perdition setups his triad of evil.

Only those who have their lamps trimmed and burning will be watching for the groom to arrive and claim His bride, the church, body of Christ.

 

A Very Special Reminder – Christmas 2018

My mother told us this song when I was growing up.

This song’s lyrics are a reminder of the true spirit and meaning of why we celebrate Christmas.  It’s not about some man in a red suit and flying reigndeer.

Please, take a moment and read the lyrics.  Maybe, read them on Christmas morning to your children, visitors.  Keep this meaning and spirit all through the year of 2019.

“C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S”

“C” is for the Christ Child born upon this day;
“H” for herald angels in the night.
“R” means our Redeemer; 
“I” means Israel;
“S” is for the star that shone so bright.
“T” is for the three wise men,
They who travelled far.
“M” is for the manger where He lay.
“A” is for all He stands for;
“S” means shepherds came,
And that’s why there’s a Christmas Day.

“T” is for the three wise men,
They who travelled far.
“M” is for the manger where He lay.
“A” is for all He stands for;
“S” means shepherds came,
And that’s why there’s a Christmas Day.

And that’s why there’s a Christmas Day…

Sung by Jim Reeves

Dear Church

baby-child-ear-374765
“he who hath an ear let him hear”

Revelation 1:9-11 KJV
9  I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
10  I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,
11  Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_of_Patmos “Early tradition says that John was banished to Patmos by the Roman authorities. This tradition is credible because banishment was a common punishment used during the Imperial period for a number of offenses. Among such offenses were the practices of magic and astrology. Prophecy was viewed by the Romans as belonging to the same category, whether Pagan, Jewish, or Christian. Prophecy with political implications, like that expressed by John in the book of Revelation, would have been perceived as a threat to Roman political power and order. Three of the islands in the Sporades were places where political offenders were banished. (Pliny, Natural History 4.69–70; Tacitus, Annals 4.30)[13]”

Place, The Isle of Patmos, an island off of the coast of Greece where the Romans would put criminals as a jail.

The man, The Apostle John, was sent to the island for the spreading of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  It is John who writes that which is given to him by the resurrected Christ of things to come, the last days.  The Book which we know as, Revelation.

The speaker, The Lord Jesus Christ as we read in the first chapter of The Book of Revelation.

11  Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

There is a debate among the theologians around the world as to what period of time is Revelation speaking of, past, present, or sometime in the future.  This writer believes that some is of John’s present time, and also prophecy concerning the last days before the return of Christ Jesus.

For the next several writings I would like to focus on the seven letters to the seven churches.  I believe that within these letters are messages for the Church in this modern age.  Yes, the churches that are mentioned are in the period of time that John lived in.  Warnings that need to be heeded so that the Church and the Body of Christ can survive in the turbulent times ahead, which this write feels we are at the precipice.

It is my objective to present to the reader an indepth study of the last days and how we must prepare as we face tribulation.

These letters are those those who have an ear to hear what the Spirit is saying.

John 16:13-15 KJV
13  Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
14  He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
15  All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

So, with this question I finish, Are you listening?

Pure Joy – Conclusion – Regrets

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1 Corinthians 15:9 MSG
9  It was fitting that I bring up the rear. I don’t deserve to be included in that inner circle, as you well know, having spent all those early years trying my best to stamp God’s church right out of existence.

Philippians 3:13-14 KJV
13  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 Christ Jesus.

When I was younger, late teens early twenties, I probably never thought about the term ‘regrets’.

Now that I have more years behind me than that which is in front of me, I can say, ‘regrets I’ve had a few’.  However, dwelling on should’ve, could’ve, would’ve, leaves me in a state of just spinning wheels.  Someone once said, ‘you can’t move forward if you are always looking in the rear view mirror’.

The Apostle Paul, formerly Saul of Tarsus, was one who had many regrets. It was him that gave consent for the stoning of Stephen.

Acts 7:54-60 KJV
54  When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth.
55  But he, being full of the Holy Ghost, looked up stedfastly into heaven, and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing on the right hand of God,
56  And said, Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God.
57  Then they cried out with a loud voice, and stopped their ears, and ran upon him with one accord,
58  And cast him out of the city, and stoned him: and the witnesses laid down their clothes at a young man’s feet, whose name was Saul.
59  And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.
60  And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

Acts 8:1-3 KJV
1  And Saul was consenting unto his death. And at that time there was a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem; and they were all scattered abroad throughout the regions of Judaea and Samaria, except the apostles.
2  And devout men carried Stephen to his burial, and made great lamentation over him.
3  As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.

Yes, the Apostle had much to feel regret about.  I believe this is why he wrote in his letter to the church in Corinth.

2 Corinthians 12:7-9 KJV
7  And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
8  For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
9  And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

I can imagine that in his mind he could hear the screams of those Christians who he had part in their deaths.  Christ gave him the tool to battle this, ‘grace‘.

The apostle Paul gave us insight on how to fight this battle while in his letter to the Philippians.

2 Corinthians 12:7-9 KJV
7  And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.
8  For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.
9  And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

We cannot escape the trials and tribulations while in the flesh on this earth, but we can have pure joy in our spirit that keeps us moving forward.  Yes, we will have our moments of sadness, grief, even anger, yet none of these things can keep us down.

We can know ‘pure joy’ for the Scripture is true, “the joy of the Lord is my strength”!

Nehemiah 8:10(d) …for the joy of the LORD is your strength.