Sunday, July 27, 2014

Let's Get Together, Yeah, Yeah, Yeah

As a female follower of the LORD Jesus, I have heard it said that I am not to witness to men, only to women. I can hand out tracts but not engage men in any discussion of God - leave that to the men - only share Christ with women and children. But what does God say about that? Does the Great Commission only apply to men or to all true believers?

God makes no distinction of gender when His Word tells us to speak the truth to all and to "be ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear."

Asking me or any other handmaiden of the LORD to refrain from quoting scripture in the hearing of men is like telling us to quench the Holy Spirit in our lives. Woe is me if I do not speak when the Spirit gives me utterance!! 

I would answer such macho men in the church in the same manner as the apostles did when they were told not to speak:

"Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men...and when they had called for the apostles and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus." -Acts 5:29, 40

Women seem to outnumber men in the church 2 to 1. To muzzle them from sharing the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ would be self-defeating to the body of Christ. It's A-OK if we look for and pray for strong male leadership and pastors to teach doctrine, but to tell us to shut-up and not prophesy and speak God's word in mixed company is NOT.

Should the Samaritan woman at the well have only told the women about Jesus? Should the Marys at the tomb have not testified to what they saw to the men? Should Priscilla have kept mum and just smiled blankly at her husband Aquila as he explained to Apollos the way of God more accurately on his own?

"Or did the word of God come originally from you? Or was it you only that it reached?" - 1 Cor. 14:36

We are not second class citizens in the church. Those who treat us as such are not pleasing the LORD. At such a time as this EVERY voice is needed to reach the lost -- the time is short!!

Let's get together!!

"And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy." - Acts 2:17-18

"For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." - Gal 3:26-28

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Eagle, Stars, Iron Dome

It appears that Bible prophecy is happening before our eyes. Watching the news this morning many commentators are referring to Israel's defense as the "Israeli invasion of Gaza." I'm hearing more and more rhetoric against Israel, one UN spokesperson saying that all nations must come together to restrain Israel's attempt at disarming Hamas and making Gaza a de-militarized zone.

I've heard it preached that the Jews have returned to their land for judgment - and I might even have repeated that. But I think the Jews have been returned to the land - not for their judgment - but to gather them in one place where God can protect them -- iron dome, if you will -- while He judges Israel's enemies, which is quickly becoming the entire planet.

Reading the first chapter of the prophet Obadiah this morning, I was struck with some of the symbolism. It speaks of the sons of Esau who delighted in Israel's captivity and took over their possessions during the diaspora. The prophet seems to switch gears from the Arabs to the nations, including one described in this manner:

"Though you ascend as high as the eagle,
And though you set your nest among the stars,
From there I will bring you down,” says the LORD."
- Obad. 1:4

The symbols of the eagle and the stars point a direct finger at America. As dangerous as a place as it seems the state of Israel is, it just may be the safest place on the planet. I read a thread this week quoting a Hamas spokesperson saying that they cannot make a direct hit with their rockets because 'their God' keeps redirecting their missiles.

As we pray for the peace of Jerusalem today, ask God to lift the veil that is over their collective eyes so that they will see clearly that Jesus IS their Messiah.

We can observe the closing of 'the times of the Gentiles' and the church age as many are departing from the faith. God's grace is returning to the natural branch as some of the unfruitful grafted-in branches are being lopped off.

As for the remnant faithful ones who continue to abide in the Vine -- be ready at all times -- praying that you may be found worthy to escape.

Stay awake!

“For the day of the LORD upon all the nations is near;
As you have done, it shall be done to you;
Your reprisal shall return upon your own head.
For as you drank on My holy mountain,
So shall all the nations drink continually;
Yes, they shall drink, and swallow,
And they shall be as though they had never been.
But on Mount Zion there shall be deliverance,
And there shall be holiness;
The house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.
The house of Jacob shall be a fire,
And the house of Joseph a flame;
But the house of Esau shall be stubble;
They shall kindle them and devour them,
And no survivor shall remain of the house of Esau,”
For the LORD has spoken."
--Obadiah 1:15-18

"And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, 'Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.' Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either." - Rom. 11:17-21

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Feast of Tabernacles Update

I don't know about you, but I wish we could skip over all the bad stuff that must take place before the LORD establishes His Kingdom rule for 1,000 years. I know once the labor pains began, there was no turning back -- and the birth pangs are in high gear right now -- we're in the middle of one huge contraction. 

I don't sound very optimistic to some of my brothers and sisters in Christ when I say I don't believe we're going to see some 'great awakening' or outpouring of God's Spirit between now and the time of Jacob's trouble. Knowing bible prophecy as I do, all I can see is the labor getting harder until the birth -- it's not going to let up now that the prophetic baby is in the birth canal.

During the Tribulation, again I don't see in scripture any big revival there either. The Jews don't believe in Him until they "look upon Him whom they have pierced." How many earth dwellers take heed to what the angel flying through mid-heaven pronounces or what the two witnesses are preaching? It is not very encouraging for a big revival either since the whole world rejoices when the two witnesses are slaughtered. And men hiding in the rocks shaking their fists up at God doesn't represent a spirit of repentance either.

Right now I'm just trusting God daily for His divine protection for me and my family and all those who love Him without compromise. I know I have to be ready to pack up and go when I get the inner witness to do so. We need to be tuned into His still small voice more now than ever. The events going on in Israel right now and the unwalled borders to our country being breached tells me there is no safe place other than where God places us. 

Pondering these things, I thought of the Feast of Tabernacles (Booths) in which the Israelites would make temporary shelters to live in during the week to remind them that God's people must be at the ready when the trumpet sounds. It reminded them of their sojourn in the wilderness before being brought into the Promise Land. They had their staff and sandals next to them ready to move out and get going before danger arrived.

I have an inner witness that I need to look at the things of the world, even where I dwell, in the same way. I'm not going to get comfortable since I could be living in ground zero in Sodom or Gomorrah or out in the wilderness warning people to flee the wrath to come.

I'm also wondering what the meaning is of this passage in which the prophet sees the continuing celebration of this feast even into the Millennium. 

"And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles." - Zec 14:16

The time is here to keep alert - keep on the watch -- don't fall asleep spiritually speaking. Tune in to the Master's voice -- if you don't, you may miss out on His provision.

"I will stand my watch
And set myself on the rampart,
And watch to see what He will say to me,
And what I will answer when I am corrected.
Then the LORD answered me and said:
'Write the vision
And make it plain on tablets,
That he may run who reads it.
For the vision is yet for an appointed time;
But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.
Though it tarries, wait for it;
Because it will surely come,
It will not tarry.'" - Hab. 2:1-3

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Sheep on the Hills

I wish I had all the answers to this life's problems. How do we overcome the pits and snares we come upon on the Road to the Celestial City? It's getting more and more uncomfortable here on planet earth. Sometimes there are no easy ways around the obstacles in our path.

We who have been born-again and have new life in Jesus Christ have had to leave our old life behind. After salvation we no longer fit in with old friends who continue to live the life Jesus redeemed us from. They aren't comfortable around us either since we don't laugh at their dirty jokes nor are we tantalized by their relating their intimate secrets as we used to be.

We've had to make new friends we've met at church. Maybe that worked for a while until we dig deeper into Scripture than they're comfortable with. The church people start seeing us as fanatics for questioning the worship leader's choice of songs or the pastor's quoting of questionable sources. Soon we're no longer invited to join them at their get-togethers. They tired of hearing about Bible prophecy and what they call 'conspiracy theories.'

When that happens it's easier to feel more comfortable with the life-long friends we left behind who are carrying on doing the same things where we left off. We find some comfort there, like clinging to that old beat up blanket with holes in it we just don't want to part with. But when we go back there we find ourselves acting and thinking like we did in our B.C. days and forget who we are -- new creatures in Christ. 

So we are stumbled by our nostalgia for the good old days and disenchanted with the church socials when we don't fit into the cliques in those circles. Fiery darts seem to come from both pre-and-post-kingdoms as we strive to walk in the Truth without compromise.

The only other option seems to be isolation -- and that's not a good solution either. Just me and my Bible -- alone again.

The current climate of apostasy in the church has left so many sheep in this condition -- scattered on the hills -- outside the camp. No Spirit-led leadership to latch onto.

As I said - I do not have all the answers. It seems to be a dilemma each of us has to work out for ourselves. Every situation is unique. 

May the LORD strengthen all who find themselves between a rock and a hard place. Jesus has a place for all amputated members of His body -- at least in the by and by.

"A Psalm of David when he was in the wilderness of Judah.
O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water." Ps 63:1

"That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God. For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries: Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you: Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead." - 1Pet 4:2-5