Sunday, June 29, 2014

Surrounded by a 'Cloud of Judases'

Keep your chin up - God holds your hand. He is the Author and Finisher of your faith that is being tested daily in these perilous times. We are eye-witnesses to the unfolding of Bible prophecy as we watch in amazement as the visible church and the world march to the beat of the devil's drum.

It will only get worse as the Day approaches. Right now we are surrounded by a cloud of Judases who hate us because we do not walk in goose-step with the direction they are taking the church. They tell both sheep and goat alike that God wants to unify all institutions that name the name of Christ regardless of their doctrine. And those who do not go along are the enemy -- that would be you and me.

The Bible tells us who this unified religious hag is destined to become and you resisters will be put out of your congregations for voicing any objections. They will shun you and ridicule you. You will be called judgmental and divisive and a threat to the peace and tranquility of the new religious order.

The prophesied persecution that would increase in the last days is beginning and it is happening within the walls of the church. You will be hated by all for your stand on the Truth while all those who go along with the communal direction of the tide will be given over to believe THE lie, because they did not have a love for the Truth.

We are little voices crying out in the wilderness, yet we are labeled as the dreaded religious leaders such as those who opposed Jesus. But we are not the ones with the miters on our heads. We are not the ones with clerical salaries and retirement plans. We are not the professors in the seminaries. We do not have titles of respect like Reverend and Doctor and Bishop. The ones who hate us and will persecute us hold those positions. With that we agree that it is indeed the religious leaders who Jesus rebuked.

We must stay awake and keep on the lookout and alert others when danger approaches. Jesus warned us not to be deceived. He told us before He returns that deception would increase to the point where even the elect could be misled. We may be scattered around the globe, but we can still join together in cyberspace and obey the Master's warning to gather ourselves together as we see the Day approach. If we can't do it in the flesh, we can online. If our only neighborhood option for a church is to join with the hag, we will obey the Master's voice and 'come out from among them' so as not to be in the fallout zone.

Give Him glory today -- Lift up His name wherever you go. Warn all -- He is coming soon and very soon!

"For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness." -- 2Thes 2:7-12

“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, ‘These things says He who is holy, He who is true, “He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name. Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie—indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown." Rev. 3:7-11

Sunday, June 22, 2014

We Have the Mind of Christ

As we watch the prophesied events of the end times play out in our day, it doesn't deliver the same joyful expectation that it did back in the 1970s & 80s. We would listen to prophecy teachers speak of a coming cashless society, of some new world religion coming, of a new kind of vulture showing up at Megeddo, and a target date of 1988 for a pre-trib rapture. We had Hal Lindsey, Chuck Smith and Doug Clark heralding the coming events with such a thrill of excitement in their preaching that we just all got titillated too.

All those things were somewhere down the line. We didn't see that there would be an entire breakdown of morality - we thought we'd seen it all back then after the age of Aquarius. We never conceived of same-sex marriage -- especially in the church!

We heard from new agers of a coming paradigm shift and didn't realize that the same shift was going to happen in the church and take many of our friends and loved ones along with it. We didn't anticipate that new age altered states of consciousness would take hold in our own circles under the guise of contemplative and soaking prayer.

The shifted worldview has now encompassed the visible church and left us few sheep behind. We don't see the Word of God as a success-motivational tool or a diet book to get in shape by following Daniel and his friends' choice of veggies. I like what Jesus said to the Pharisees who misused the Scriptures:

“You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me." - John 5:39

Rather than going along with the paradigm shift in the church we need to see the world and the church through the eyes of Jesus and with the mind of Christ. As we meditate on His Word, not gazing into our navels, we renew our minds and are better able to exist in this world where we do not fit in.

Compromise with the world is one of the most dangerous temptations the devil is using to overcome the saints.

LORD, keep us set apart for Your purposes in these evil days. Amen.

"Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, 'Be holy, for I am holy.'" - 1 Pet 1:13-16

"Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. For 'who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?' But we have the mind of Christ." - 1 Cor 2:12-16


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Balm of Gilead

There have been many discouraging stories and news items I've shared with you all this week. From the update of the evil empire of TBN to the Congress finding that discrimination against the gay lifestyle is equal to Antisemitism and anti-Black discrimination. Stories of the apostate church merging with new age mindlessness and occultism as if it were spiritually beneficial. The world and the visible church seem to have fallen into the pit,

It is painful to one's soul to look about us and see the heathen rage and the church decimated from within. That is the best time to open up Psalms for the LORD's encouragement -- the balm of Gilead.

As Solomon said, "There is nothing new under the sun." God's people, even back in the Old Testament times, were discouraged by similar things. The Word of God is eternal -- what blessed them can bless us today -- as reading Psalms 106 and 107 did for me.

"Then they believed His words;
They sang His praise.
They soon forgot His works;
They did not wait for His counsel,
But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness,
And tested God in the desert.
And He gave them their request,
But sent leanness into their soul."
Ps 106:12-15

Reading this, I thought of the TBN scandal and remembered in the early days of the Crouch dynasty how their Praise-a-thons resembled lively hootenannies but before long devolved into greedy money-grubbing sessions featuring the demonic faces of evil men laying burdens on the viewers while flashing their diamond pinkie rings, The Crouches, in their lust and greed, achieved riches for themselves but ended up with dark and ugly souls.

Thoughts turned to the apostate church as I continued reading Psalm 106-

"Thus they were defiled by their own works,
And played the harlot by their own deeds.
Therefore the wrath of the LORD was kindled against His people,
So that He abhorred His own inheritance.
And He gave them into the hand of the Gentiles,
And those who hated them ruled over them.
Their enemies also oppressed them,
And they were brought into subjection under their hand."
vss. 39-42

The church has made friends with the world and used its ways to market the church and build up mega-church-businesses. Now the world has turned on the church and soon will force her to perform same-sex weddings or lose their tax-exemption status. The church loved the world and now the world hates the church.

Only a remnant has repented of those things and will be rescued from the end result of the love affair with the heathen world.

"Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble,
And He delivered them out of their distresses.
And He led them forth by the right way,
That they might go to a city for a dwelling place."
Ps 107:6-7

That city, the New Jerusalem, awaits those whose hearts cry out to our God. Those who are strangers and pilgrims in this world. These verses are the icing on the cake:

"Then they cry out to the LORD in their trouble,
And He brings them out of their distresses.
He calms the storm,
So that its waves are still.
Then they are glad because they are quiet;
So He guides them to their desired haven."
vss. 28-30

When Jesus calmed the Sea of Galilee He was telling his disciples that He is the source of peace in their lives. Whatever storms we are facing today, we can rest assured that He holds all things in His hands and He will soon gather us to the Celestial City.

The storm clouds are gathering -- Don't look back -- keep looking up!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Are You Institutionalized?

Have you noticed that the older the institution, the further away from the Truth of Scripture it has drifted? It is apparent that as soon as believers come together and appoint elders, the devil sows his tares in the leadership. 

The ecumenical voices in the church do not offer any solutions to this problem. One ecumenical commentator in a recent issue of Christianity Today wrote, "Sticking with enemies and heretics is not for the faint of Spirit." She is saying we must accept the leaven for the sake of unity. But my Bible says:

"Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us." - 1 Cor 5:7

We must not retain enemies of the cross of Christ or heretics who sabotage God's Word and lead people astray. If they enter in, they must be corrected and removed if they insist on polluting the fellowship. Putting up with wolves in sheep's clothing is not the solution to division in the church.

The voices of compromise are getting louder and louder and drowning out the voices of reason and faithfulness to the Word of God. All signs point to the nearness of the LORD's return -- even at the door. This is not the time to make peace with heresy -- when we do that we become one with spiritual adulterers and the mother of harlots. Ecumenists say that we have to be one for the world to know the Lord, but when the world looks on and sees that hag, a mixture of truth and error, it only confirms their contempt for God is justified.

So if your church has crossed the line and given heretics a seat at the table and allows false doctrine and evil workers in to do their damage, it's time to move on and form a new lump. We are all one -- those of us who keep separate from doctrines of devils. We may have friction in our midst where personalities clash and we need to work toward peace with each other. We have a lot to learn on that front. But when it comes to making unholy alliances we must draw the line.

We are pilgrims in this world. We need to tune in to the Master's voice in this wilderness. When the pillar of fire or the pillar of cloud moves on, we need to move too and not stay in a place that no longer retains their lampstand.

Onward and upward!!

"For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!" 2 Cor 11:2-4

“Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” - Rev 19:7

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Corporate Worship: A thing of the past?

Corporate worship, singing praises to our God, is a glorious tradition in the church that is becoming a thing of the past. So many churches select song leaders based on their talent without any thought to their gifting or calling.

I know a few such gifted men on the planet -- but they are scattered like the rest of us in the post-Christian age we're in. When I read in the Bible of all of us worshiping around the Throne, I long to be there and know I will some day.

The body of Christ is not only lacking in gifted pastor/teachers, but in all other areas of ministry. I think the reason for this is that the church has allowed leaven in and it has grown so exponentially that the entire lump is now leavened. For this reason many true believers have gotten out of those churches in obedience to the LORD's call to 'be ye separate.'

It can be a lonely place up on one of the many hills, metaphorically speaking. I moved my entire family three thousand miles just to be part of a small home church where I had hoped for true Christian fellowship. The song leader was a blessing. She only chose songs that glorified the LORD and were biblically sound. But the group soon broke up when no gifted teacher was among us after the removal of one that read sermons of others to us without attribution.

So many of us find ourselves with no sound fellowship to attend. I plan on relocating again later in the year. I've learned a hard lesson that I cannot count on finding a New Testament church gathering that is leaven-proof. As soon as I think I have and leaven creeps in, the moment I point that out to the leadership I'm no longer welcome.

I'll share this song this morning with others in my same situation. Be transported to the Throne room as you lift your lone voice to the Most High -- Blessed be His name!!

"And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth." Rev. 5:6-10

"And David and all the house of Israel played before the LORD on all manner of instruments made of fir wood, even on harps, and on psalteries, and on timbrels, and on cornets, and on cymbals." 2 Sam. 6:5