This is not Fake!

Numbers 23: MSG
19  God is not man, one given to lies, and not a son of man changing his mind. Does he speak and not do what he says? Does he promise and not come through?

This is a personal commentary in regards to the current headlines in the news.  The main debate of “fake news”.

There seems to be an all out assault on the word called “truth”.  A nation is nothing when truth is brought in to question.  So, I ask what is truth?

John 17: MSG
17  Make them holy—consecrated—with the truth; Your word is consecrating truth.

I truly believe that children of God should weigh all things through the prism of truth, the Word of God.  Use the scripture as the basis of all our judgements.  Not pre-text, but with context.  Interpreting scripture with scripture.

The first woman did not weigh the serpents statements with the very Word of God.  Yes, the serpent used words and statements, although twisted, that sounded similiar to the truth.  In the dessert he tempted Christ with snippets of the Word but again were twisted.  Christ knew the truth for he was truth.  He was the Word incarnate.

Truth is the foundation of freedom for without it a person is in bondage.

John 8:  MSG
31  Then Jesus turned to the Jews who had claimed to believe in him. “If you stick with this, living out what I tell you, you are my disciples for sure.
32  Then you will experience for yourselves the truth, and the truth will free you.”
33  Surprised, they said, “But we’re descendants of Abraham. We’ve never been slaves to anyone. How can you say, ‘The truth will free you’?”
34  Jesus said, “I tell you most solemnly that anyone who chooses a life of sin is trapped in a dead-end life and is, in fact, a slave.

I sometimes have wondered if the western world is standing on precipice and if it goes over it I truly believe there is no road back.  This does then open the door for an anti-christ to arise and put in place his rule and government.

Remember, there is coming a time where people will be deceived by some who will work false miracles.  History speaks to this in the exodus story.  The pharoah’s magicians were able to work so-called miracles.  The miracle they couldn’t reproduce was when God sent death acrosss the land to all the first born egyptian males.  The only ones who were not touched were those who had the blood applied on the door posts of their homes.

I am not writing to give my commentary on who said what and when.  My only objective is to declare that christians need to really know the Word and have a personal relationship with Christ Jesus.  This is not the time to be on the outside of the fold.  Your very life could be in the balance!

Characteristics of An anti-christ Society

2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 KJV
1  Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2  That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
3  Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
4  Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
5  Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
6  And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
7  For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
8  And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
9  Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
10  And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
11  And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
12  That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Watch an evening news broadcast and you will probably reach the conclusion that this world is in perilous times.  Anarchy in countries with leaders turning against their own people.  Christians beheaded, tortured, and even jailed.

Weather patterns seem out of sync.  Sea levels rising, massive floods which kill thousands, and tornadoes cutting a course of destruction across countries with a more frequency.

To the believer who understands the Word of God all of the above things comes as no surprise because we have been given warnings by Christ and His prophets and disciples.

A man’s word is no longer his bond.  Skepticism abounds in the minds of all people.  It is now every man for himself, a dog-eat-dog world.  Due unto others before they do it to you.

Back in the early 1990’s I found myself living in the largest city in Canada, Toronto, Ontario.  It shouldn’t have been culture shock to me for the one reason that I had visited many times in my life.  Yet I can say I couldn’t tell you the name of one neighbour while living there.  The local grocer didn’t call you by name, the pharmacist behind the counter only knew you by your health card number.  Walking down the street could cost you your life just by looking someone in the eye.  You never stopped to help someone who may stop you asking for some spare change.

Just today a report was given that brick and mortar store closings are on the rise. Reason, the internet and online shopping.  Yes, I am now one of those who goes to website to buy the products I need without any effort of leaving my home to go to the local department store.  More and more actual hard money is exchanged from one person to another.

Yes, the way has been paved for a world leader to come onto the world stage to bring mankind into a world government, religion, and a new world order in finances.  There will be no more minted money instead a mandate from this leader that everyone will have to receive a mark, the number of a man, on their forehead or their right hand.  Without this branding no goods can be bought or sold.

A new world religion will be established.  An image will be created and man will be ordered to worship this image of a man.  The penalty for not doing so because you are a disciple of Christ will be the lost of your head causing death.

History tells us of horrific stories like that described already.  With the rise of dictators on the world scene many would come out and say that was the anti-christ, only to be proven false.  Yes, these leaders persecuted those of faith, demanded complete loyalty or suffer imprisonment.  So I wonder if Christ does not shorten the time of His arrival how many more horror stories will be written.

We have been warned as Christians not to go running when someone says come here because the Christ here.  There will be those who gives these type of proclamations that  Christ is here or over here in the desert.

In these troublesome times believers cannot allow these things to cause their faith to waiver.  Believers need to ensure that they have their footing on the solid rock.  

It behooves every believer to have a close relationship with their Saviour, Christ Jesus.  This will be what allows you to spot an anti-christ because you know the real Christ.

Child of God be of good courage God will take care of you.  He knows his sheep and his sheep know Him and another they will not follow.

 

Threadbare and Homeless

Revelation 3: MSG
14  Write to Laodicea, to the Angel of the church. God’s Yes, the Faithful and Accurate Witness, the First of God’s creation, says:
15  “I know you inside and out, and find little to my liking. You’re not cold, you’re not hot—far better to be either cold or hot!
16  You’re stale. You’re stagnant. You make me want to vomit.
17  You brag, ‘I’m rich, I’ve got it made, I need nothing from anyone,’ oblivious that in fact you’re a pitiful, blind beggar, threadbare and homeless.
18  “Here’s what I want you to do: Buy your gold from me, gold that’s been through the refiner’s fire. Then you’ll be rich. Buy your clothes from me, clothes designed in Heaven. You’ve gone around half-naked long enough. And buy medicine for your eyes from me so you can see, really see.
19  “The people I love, I call to account—prod and correct and guide so that they’ll live at their best. Up on your feet, then! About face! Run after God!
20  “Look at me. I stand at the door. I knock. If you hear me call and open the door, I’ll come right in and sit down to supper with you.

When I was a young preacher just starting out I truly believed what is commonly called “prosperity gospel”.  How wrong I was!

As time went on and televangelists became more in view across the networks in North America and now worldwide the message of wealth equals the blessing of God and approval.  This message is not supported by the Word of God.

I try to listen to pastors behind their pulpits and all I see and hear is just empty words.  Yes, they have multi thousands congregations, television ministries, but they are very shallow.

I am old enough to remember when the subject of giving to missions was a very vital part of the Body of Christ.  One Sunday each month was dedicated to talk about missions, supporting missionaries  ministering the gospel to the sick, needy and the poor.  Sunday Schools would have children bring their pennies in and all of it would be collected to send to the mission fields.

Proverbs 19:17 MSG
17  Mercy to the needy is a loan to GOD, and GOD pays back those loans in full.

There was a hymn that most would sing, “Bring them in, bring them in, bring them in from the fields of sin…”

Some where across time this message has been forgotten and replaced with a doctrine that I now truly believe is directly from the pits of hell.  It has created a spirit of lethargy, complacency  and pure greed among those sitting in the pews across North America.

We have replaced the message of “Jesus Saves” with “get rich through God”.  Sunday nights preachers would preach an evangelistic style message directed in getting people to the altars asking God to forgive them of their sins.  As people would run to the altar the elders and others of the congregation would lay hands on them praying until they broke through to God.  Lives were changed dramatically.  Just like the early days of the church God added to the church as He saw fit.  There truly  was a feeling of community, a true body, the family of God.

There was no message of wealth, yet, somehow people’s needs were met.  Many times people would testify that when they were in need of food they would find a box of groceries on their doorstep not knowing how or who placed it.

As a pastor I believed in the Body of Christ having a pantry to help those in family of God and the community meet their needs.  This was the safety net set forth by the Apostles in the growing days of the church.

I am not rich, to most I would be considered poor, but, I have my needs met with a roof above me and food on the table.  Most important though is this, when I lay my head on the pillow at night I am at peace with God and my Saviour, Christ Jesus!

To the pastors behind your pulpits I have a message for you.  Like in the scripture quoted at the beginning, you are threadbare and homeless.  You need to return to the most important gospel message, that being reaching people for Christ.  No, don’t try to clean the fish before they are caught, but, encourage the lost to come just as they are.  God will cleanse the tabernacle.  He has many tools to do this and does not need the help of man.

To every child of God whether young or old, rich or poor, please change your focus from the dollar sign and put it back to where it belongs, the cross.

The Shaking Has Begun

[Heb 12:27 MSG]  The phrase “one last shaking” means a thorough housecleaning, getting rid of all the historical and religious junk so that the unshakable essentials stand clear and uncluttered.

[1 Peter 4:17 MSG]  It’s judgment time for Christians. We’re first in line. If it starts with us, think what it’s going to be like for those who refuse God’s Message!

[Matthew 24:4-11 MSG]
[4]  Jesus said, “Watch out for doomsday deceivers.
[5]  Many leaders are going to show up with forged identities, claiming, ‘I am Christ, the Messiah.’ They will deceive a lot of people.
[6]  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.
[7]  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.

Unless you have been living in the wilderness with no access to the outside world you must admit that we are living in a chaotic time around the world.  It seems like the world has been turned on it’s head.

Norms no longer hold true in governmental ruling, financial markets, and every type of relationship that you may find yourself in.

The church world is in shambles and from the outside looking in it would seem it has lost the power of it’s influence.  Preachers in the pulpit are preaching what they feel will gain them members and from members great financial gain.  One could ask the question, is there any true faith left in the  pulpit or in the pew?

Christians have somehow swallowed the bait that they should expect their governments to protect, even though Christ warned us the opposite will happen.  Laying  up treasures here in this life believing that when one has great wealth one is blessed of God.  Sorry, wrong answer!

I am old enough to remember the shaking that happened in the late 1980’s.  God exposed the very rot found within the pulpits of America.

North America once experienced a great revival across all boundaries, rich, poor, white, black, in the beginning of the twentieth century.  It all began in a small prayer meeting on a street in urban Los Angeles, Azusa  Street.

The Azusa Street Revival was a historic Pentecostal revival meeting that took place in Los Angeles, California and is the origin of the Pentecostal movement. It was led by William J. Seymour, an African American preacher. It began with a meeting on April 9, 1906, and its legacy extends to the present day. (Wikipedia)

This revival reach into every corner of North America, then around the world.  There was no fancy preaching, music, money raising, just Christians on the knees asking God for a revival of souls.  

I am not a person who works with hammer and nails, to be truthful I cannot draw a straight line.  Even in school I was useless in what was called shop class.  Nothing was squared, nails bent, wood finish would be dangerous to your skin.

However, I do know that if you are going to build a house the first thing you have to do is put in a proper solid foundation.  Without it the house will crumble at the very first storm to come it’s way.

It is the same with our horizontal relationships also.  Without a proper foundation marriages fail, families fall apart.

Our vertical relationship between ourselves and God also must have a solid foundation.  One that will stand when false teachings come our way, and even when we have to walk through a dark valley.  This foundation begins with our knowledge of God’s Word.

As I look out into the world of churches I see a generation who is not interested in solid teaching, but rather just make me feel good.

Congregations no longer have the prayer room for they have replaced it with the board room.  The moving of the Spirit of God has been replaced with music that makes you tap your feet.  There is no place for the altar where people can pray and seek the face of God, but in it’s place a theater stage.

I can almost hear the critics telling me I am out of touch.  I do not believe I am, I am just a person who has known a move of God in my life.  One that knows God’s Word, but yet willing to declare that I am still in the learning stage.

For North America I am not quite sure if there will be one last move of God before we see Christ coming in the clouds of glory to put His’ feet on the Mount of Olives.

This is the beginning of the time of great shaking, and everything that can be shaken will be shaken.  It will expose those things that are not founded on a solid foundation, Christ Jesus.

It’s time to stop putting our trust in those things that are made of man and begin to turn our focus towards God.  Time to plant God’s Word within our being so that we are prepared for those things that are coming on this earth.

 

 

 

 

 

He Played The Fiddle

Dan 2:21 MSG  He changes the seasons and guides history, He raises up kings and also brings them down, he provides both intelligence and discernment,

 

If you look down through history of all the different empires there will be one key event that starts the empire on a downward spiral.

The Babylonian empire was great.  It spanned from the middle east all the way through to Egypt.  It was great, until one king decided he was a god.  He ordered his men to erect a statue of his image.  Commanded all people to bow down to it and worship the image.

The children of Israel were held captive by the Babylonian empire and were forced into slavery. 

Within the children of Israel was a man named Daniel.  Held captive in prison but God had plans for him.  Daniel’s name was getting out that he could interpret dreams. Then came the moment that turned things around for the young Israelite.  The king had a dream which his own magicians and sorcerers could not bring to the king the meaning of it.  The king was told about Daniel, so he ordered his men to bring the prophet before him.  Daniel stood before the king of Babylon and was told that the king had a dream.  The ruler asked Daniel for the interpretation of this dream.  Daniel replied to the king that he needed at least one night and that the God of Israel would give the interpretation but also the dream itself.  Thus the dream of the statue made of different ores and minerals.

Daniel later in his life again was summoned before the king and the prophet told the king how the Babylonian empire would be overtaken by the Medes-Peres.  The rest is written in the history books of how the armies of the Medes dried up the Euphrates river that ran under the walls of Babylon through the middle of the city from north to south.  The Medes armies didn’t go over the walls, but  under the walls and captured the city.

Now look down through history to 64 A. D. just before the fall of the last great empire, the Roman empire.  History does not tell us how the great fire of Rome started, but does tell us of events happening during this raging fire.  Over in the coliseum Christians were being eaten by lions and wild beasts and also being put to death by Roman soldiers.  Their screams of horror no doubt echoed throughout the city of Rome.  Yet, there was one man who seemed to be oblivious to all that was happening around him.  Speculation and historians tell us he was playing a fiddle, or in the classical term, violin.

There are many more empires that I could write about, but, space and time is limited.

Now I am going to take a liberty in my writing and use some conjecture.  I probably could use some portions of Scripture, but that would be using pre-text.

We do know that Bible prophecy tells us that a empire that was dead would come back to life in the last days.  We are told that it received a deadly wound to it’s head, but somehow revives.  I believe that head was the gold head that the king of Babylon saw in his image.  The head made of gold.  I believe, not like many theologians, that revived empire that is written about throughout Biblical prophecy is the Babylonian Empire.  From this empire a man arises unto the world scene.  All nations marvel at him.  He brings peace to Israel with a pact for seven years. He’s called the anti-christ.  This man though breaks the treaty three and half years into it.

He creates a world government, a financial system, and a false religion.  Ancient Babylon held all these characteristics.  Babylon was the center of trade, finances and government.

Now here is where I would like to use some conjecture.  Some events must have happened around the world for all of these things to come together.  The British empire has lost it’s power and we know that even today they are a major-minor on the world stage.  Events are shaping up that the kings of the east are gaining major power in financial and trade. 

I truly feel there is coming a time on the world stage of events that “the west” loses it’s grip as the leader of the free world.  I cannot help but look at the headlines in 2017 and wonder, is this the beginning of the downward spiral.

I realize that some will take exception to this, but, like I mentioned I am using conjecture.  At the moment America is the financial and trading center of the world.  Yet, for Biblical prophecy to be fulfilled there must be coming a tremendous catastrophic event that strips the lady of liberty her power.

The anti-christ, as I have written in earlier posts arises of the area we now call Iran/Iraq.

Some event brings down the financial systems of the world as we know it in 2017 because a new world financial system where the man of sin orders everyone to take a mark.  John in the Book of Revelation says it is 666, the number of man.  Without it men will not be able to buy or sell.

Then there must be some event comes to Israel that sends them to hide throughout the mountains because the anti-christ declares war with them.   All armies of the world begin to gather in a valley outside of the area of Israel, the valley of Megiddo.  There starts the bloodiest war ever throughout the history of the world.  The blood will run as high as the bridle of the horses and it will take seven years to bury the dead.

There is victory coming to Israel, the Saviour, Christ the Lord.  He will come with the armies of Heaven, place his feet on the Mount of Olives, defeat the anti-christ and the armies of the world.  Then begin to set up His kingdom here on planet earth.

Yes, it will get worse before it gets better.  Storm clouds are starting to gather over the horizon.  These will be terrifying times for those without hope.

As for me, there is one hymn that I learned as a young child:

“My Hope is Built on Nothing Less”
by Edward Mote, 1797-1874

1. My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

2. When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

3. His oath, His covenant, and blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When every earthly prop gives way,
He then is all my Hope and Stay.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

4. When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found,
Clothed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne!
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

Hymn #370
The Lutheran Hymnal
Text: 1 Timothy 1:1
Author: Edward Mote, c. 1834, cento
Composer: John Stainer, 1873, arr.
Tune: “Magdalen”

Child of God, hold on.  Do not despair God is on your side!