Saturday, March 31, 2012

Truth Revealed

Ephesians 3:8 - To me, who am less than the least of all the saints, this grace was given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ...

What a mouthful of scripture, but so rich in its content. A scripture came to mind as I sat outside to spend some time with the Lord. Right now I can't recall which it was but it took me into the Book of Ephesians. I read chapters 1-4.

The Apostle Paul was talking to the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus. There was a note in my margin which said that saints meant anyone who believes Jesus Christ is Lord. Paul's history was he had once been Saul of Tarsus, a persecutor of Christians, whose name brought
terror...and now he was so totally on fire, so sold out to Jesus, but he feared not for his life and often preached from prison for his preaching Christ.

I absorbed the words that followed. Paul was describing to the Ephesians what happens when one receives Christ. It's what is available to any who choose to bow to the Lord Jesus Christ, who desire relationship with this Man.

  • God chose us before the foundation of the world (those who would receive Christ)
  • We were predestined for adoption by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will (this is a very great privilege!!)
  • We have redemption through His blood, forgiveness of sins according to His grace
  • He has made known to us (as true believers) the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure
  • We will be gathered together in the last days with all others with the same conviction and beliefs
  • We have an inheritance because of this predestination 
  • He has worked all things according to His will
  • We trust in Him because we have heard the truth about salvation
  • We have been sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise upon our conversion and this guarantees our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession (in other words, until Jesus returns, our inheritance is long as we maintain our trust and faith in Him)
  • God is rich in mercy and love and it is because of this we have been made longer dead in our sins, which is the way of the world
  • We have been saved by grace through faith in Jesus only, a gift from God
  • Works will not save us because we are liable to boast about the good we've done
  • Upon salvation we are created in Christ Jesus FOR good works which God has prepared for us
  • He alone is our peace
  • Jesus alone has taken away the wall of separation between God and us and granting us peace
  • We have overcome eternal death when we received Jesus
  • This is for all people; once anyone has received Christ we become one body through the power of the Holy Spirit
  • Christ is now the chief cornerstone in the new body of Christ, those who have received Him
  • We are fellow heirs through Christ, of the same body, partakers of His promise
Paul knew nothing about these things when he was Saul of Tarsus. He fought against Christ and against Christians. But now he relishes in the the mysteries of Christ which have been revealed to him through his miraculous conversion on the road to Damascus. He needed to be blinded before he could see. This is each and every person before they come into true contact with Jesus Himself, when He calls and one receives. When that call is heard and a heart is moved into receiving His call.

What will it take for the world to see? The world, for the most part, is blind. What tragedy will have to take place before God opens eyes to see Him for who He is? What mysteries He will unveil. It's what I've spoken of before...through the power of His Holy Spirit things of God are revealed. Truth is revealed. Truth that opens eyes to what is happening in this world and how the world believes in men, their own strengths, their own (supposed) knowledge. How the world sees right as wrong and good as evil. Truth reveals the rights and wrongs in this world, in government, in religion. What we as a world have allowed to become okay out of the premise of not offending. It's a truth that cannot be explained, only experienced.

Jesus Christ is the only Way, Truth and Life. Only He reveals the truth. He holds the keys to eternal life. He removes the veil that separates us from God the Father. Bear with me in this closing scripture! It's for anyone who desires a relationship with Him.

Ephesians 3:14-19 - For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height--to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 

Thursday, March 29, 2012

For God So Loved the World

John 3:16 - For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

After the other day's blog, I felt I needed to write a little differently today! 

Yes, God is a God of love...and judgment. I want to focus on His love. His love has always been what He has wanted to share with the world. The promises in the Bible are for all those who truly seek Him. His love brings peace.

Yes, the way of the Lord is narrow and there are few who take this road. But oh, the blessings one misses when they do not follow Jesus. Just knowing that He is the One who has provided us with the opportunity for eternal life... That is the greatest gift He could give...and the greatest gift we could receive.

I know many think there is nothing after death; that life on earth is all there is. But this is a lie. We might even think that there is no hell, that hell is what we live on earth...and then we enter our sweet, eternal reward. That's a lie also. 

I believed these things once! But then I met Jesus and my life changed. I learned what is truth...and just. I learned more about Him through His Word, through church, through reading and study. But it's those promises of His that keep me coming back. Specific words He's given to me that I can hang on to when things get dicey.

He has promised me things that are not specifically written in the Bible. But it's my understanding of His Word that helps me believe these words are true. And believe me, I cling to these words. I praise God for the love He shows. I praise Him that He never lets go and when needed, rebukes because He loves me, like a Father should.

I praise Him for opening my heart, ears, eyes and knowledge to the things about Him. This is all available to anyone who is interested.

We will see some dismal days ahead. And although we see things happening in this world that we do not like and can momentarily be struck with, Why, God? we are reminded of the peace He provides and will provide. He provides a hope in all these things, a way out...the Way out. Whatever we might encounter, He has promised His strength in those times. His strength because ours could very easily fail. 

Lord, thank You for how You watch over Your children. Thank You that You try so hard to reach others who do not know You, that You keep putting people or things in paths that they might see You. Thank You it does not have to do with religion but relationship because You are available to all denominations, all peoples, all nations. You died for ALL. If only getting beyond religiosity was so easy that they might see You for who You are. 

It seems a dauntless task for everyone to be reached. I pray for those who hesitate and say they don't need You. I pray for hearts to be softened, ears to hear, eyes to see. You are all around if we would just stop and take the time to listen and look. 

If people would humble themselves. That's the biggest thing. Humility is not a weakness; in God's eyes it is a strength, because then He can step in and do some wonderful things. We can't even imagine the things He could do with our lives if we would let Him. Completely give of ourselves to Him. Carry our crosses daily. It would not be a chore if we didn't struggle so much. He knows what we need. Our earthly needs, or wants, will come and go, abound or diminish, be lost and eventually replaced with the next greatest thing we think we need. God never changes. When we receive what we truly need (His love and salvation) and we cling to that one great thing, we are satisfied for life. 

Praise God He doesn't leave us where we were. As our pastor says frequently, we must be grateful for what He has taken us from and to where He has delivered us...or something like that! Our lives are not secure until we are secure in Christ. 

Easter is upon us soon. His death was the start of life. It was necessary. He knew what He was to do. He didn't begrudge His Father for this. He did it because He loved us. 

HE died for you. He DIED for you. He died FOR you. He died for YOU. 

Isn't this Someone you want to be close to? He says He calls us our friend (John 15:15). He's a friend that sticks closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24). He will never leave us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6)...if we decide we want this Friend. 

But don't get me wrong, we cannot look at Him as just a friend. He has to be viewed reverently. He's not someone you would pat on that back and tell jokes to, although we know He has a sense of humor. He is to be taken seriously. He is to be admired, adored, loved, looked up to, worshiped. He is not to be taken for granted. I was just talking with a friend this morning and we can sometimes forget that we can thank Him even for the most trivial things as well as the biggest things. He wants to be part of every thing in our lives. From finding a lost article to a meal prepared tastefully to knowing we've been saved from an accident. It's not "luck." It's God's grace. 

Jesus Christ can be the Lord and Savior of anyone's life. One just has to be open to receive Him. Call Him, call on Him, invite Him, praise Him, worship Him. He will do some amazing things.

Yes, He can pronounce judgment on us. Because He loves us so much. It's all about turning to or back to the Lord, seeking Him in difficult times, but better to seek Him before the troubling times. Let Him give you the love and peace today so that you are armed with this when the time comes.

Matthew 11:28 - Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Monday, March 26, 2012

For Our Learning

Romans 15:4 - For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.

I have been prompted to read other prophets of the Bible. Many words of warning were declared. And when we hear words of warning from God, we should heed them. It requires us to do these things: humble ourselves before God, pray, seek His face and turn from our wicked ways. The result of this is His hearing us, forgiving us of our sins and healing.

I began to read Habakkuk and was struck with some of the wording that sounded familiar. I had highlighted some of it in the past and even had notations. Listen to these words from God to Habakkuk after he had complained to God about the state of his nation's wickedness and when was He going to do something about it:

The LORD replied, "Look at the nations and be amazed! Watch and be astounded at what I will do! For I am doing something in your own day, something you wouldn't believe even if someone told you about it. I am raising up the Babylonians to be a new power on the world scene. They are a cruel and violent nation who will march across the world and conquer it. They are notorious for their cruelty. They do as they like, and no one can stop them. Their horses are swifter than leopards. They are a fierce people, more fierce than wolves at dusk. Their horsemen race forward from distant places. Like eagles they swoop down to pounce on their prey. On they come, all of them bent on violence. (Habakkuk 1:5-9 NLT)
Babylon's location today is Iraq! Need I say more? Think about the words of Isaiah 9:10 and the comparison between Israel and the United States by Jonathan Cahn written in The Harbinger. And remember, what has been written is for our learning. 

We should be crying out to the Lord as Habakkuk and other prophets: How long, O God, shall we cry and you will not hear? How many of us are really crying out for His mercy? How many of us want His judgment?

Later Habakkuk pleads more with God, worshiping Him as the God everlasting and holy. Habakkuk knows that despite all that happens, God's people will not be totally destroyed. But...He has chosen to appoint an enemy for our judgment and correction (Habakkuk 1:12). He allows these things in order that we might once again

This country has started to allow one enemy to infiltrate our society and allowed evil to look good and good to look evil. If you don't see it, you are living in a fantasy world. The only way is to return to God, turn from the evil ways, seek God through prayer. This is the narrow way; Jesus is the narrow Way. No political figure can do this, no matter how "right" he might seem. No strength of our own in our military. Both are mere men. 

If God wants to cast judgment on us, He can. And I believe He will. He will use a physical enemy.

Here's another tidbit from God in Habakkuk:

Then the LORD replied: "Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay. (Habakkuk 2:2-3).
A commentary on these verses said that this prophecy is for a future time also. Could that future be now? When are we going to learn what we are called to do? Will we as a nation wait until the next attack against us? All things are written for our learning. The tablets could be the Bible, the herald, all who share the words of God. 

If each one of us would trust in God, seek Him first for our salvation that we might understand all these things through the power of His Holy Spirit, gain the discernment necessary for these days, we might be able to effect some change in the world. We cannot, as people, be the change, as many suggest. If the change does not take place through the power of God, it is meaningless.

All things are written for our learning. Although God is patient with us, hoping we will get it, His patience with us will wear out. A judgment will come. Are we ready? Are we truly heart, soul, spirit and body? As Romans 13:11 says, we are to understand the present time; we are to awaken from our slumber. Remember we have a means of salvation. Turn to God, humble yourself, seek His face, and give your life to Jesus that you will be safe from future judgment. 

1Corinthians 10:11 - Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Desire and Delight

Zephaniah 3:17 - The LORD your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet your with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.

Lord God, You are the God of all creation. You spoke and all things were created. Who can even comprehend this. Awesome is Your name. It brings an excitement and reverent fear from this heart. All glory belongs to You.

Today I only want to praise Your name. I want to sing praises to the glory of the one who created me.

I desire Your presence all about me this day...and all days. My Savior, first love, provider, redeemer, sustainer in all things.

To You be all glory. It is You I worship. It is You whose name I whisper throughout the day. It is You I put my trust in in this world that is spiraling downward in its immorality, wrong thinking, violence and absence of You. I thank You that I know truth.

You, my God, are to be cherished above all. Nothing is more important, more costly, more precious than my Savior.

You know our innermost thoughts and You knew them before time began. Who can understand? With this knowledge why wouldn't I call You my everything? It is only You who can provide what man cannot. Only You provide the perfect peace. Only You provide the one way, the narrow way, to salvation. You make me complete.

You are my heart's desire. You give me the desires of my heart, O God, so that I might share this with others near to me. Let Your love spill out from me to those nearest, Lord God.

I thank You that You have placed an excitement in my heart for You and that there is nothing I see or hear that I don't see through  the eyes You have opened in my spirit. It's like an opening of clarity of what truth is. You are forever in my thoughts and I see nothing in the same light as before knowing You, like those frontlets on the foreheads of the priests in the Old Testament.

You have put the enemy under Your feet, therefore in You I am protected, as a bird under the wings of its mother. Thank You for that personal protection.

Lord God, You delight in me. You sing over me. For all I know You dance before me! My heart does these for You today. I lift up my heart. I lift up my voice. I lift up my hands. All a sign of worship to my King. I praise You. I worship You. I adore You, my Lord. Let my worship be as delightful to You.

You are my strength and my shield. You are my righteousness and my truth. Your Word is a lamp into my feet and a light to my path. You are my peace. I delight in You for all that You provide.

Let Your manna be my sustenance this day. Let Your words be my strength and my hope, for they are the words of life to any soul who longs for You. Let the words from my lips and the meditation of my heart be solely devoted to You.

There is that old song that just came to mind that reminds me of You:

You are my sunshine, my only sunshine.
You make me happy when skies are grey.
You'll never know (Lord) how much I love You.
Please don't take my sunshine away.

Lord, I know that You are my Sonshine and you will not take that away from long as I remain faithful to You.

Thank You, Lord, for Your covenant promises to those who seek You, who long for Your return, who look to Your Word for inspiration, truth, encouragement, rebuke and signs of the time.

Deuteronomy 7:9 - Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I Have Equipped You

2Corinthians 5:13 - If I acted crazy, I did it for God; if I acted overly serious, I did it for you. (The Message)  

Jesus came humbly to earth, down from His seat at the right hand of God. He came to show the world that He was the Way, the Truth and the Life. He gathered men from the four corners of society...laborers (fishermen), "office" workers (tax collector, banker), very well educated (physician), even a political activist (Peter), among others whose occupations are not divulged, to become his disciples.  

You see, He made friends with all sorts of people. You see again, He comes not for the destitute or "really bad" sinner, but for all people. He mingled with sinners and spiritual leaders of the day. It was His mission to touch the lives of all people.  

When Jesus knew it was time for His ministry to end, to give His life for all, He commissioned these men. He had groomed them. On the job training. He gave them His Word. Now it was time for them to go out knowing what they had seen and heard from their Master and Teacher and continue to teach. He told them if people persecuted Him, they too would certainly be persecuted (John 15:20), just for believing in Him, for carrying out His ministry, for being His followers, for using the same words He spoke.  

Jesus was the Word. And His Spirit wrote the Word (Bible). We have that same Word at our fingertips, as well as His Spirit within us, to learn from. If we are equipped with the Word, the Word and God's Spirit, we are well armed. One of the battle weapons in this world is the sword of the Spirit, His Word. You might picture a preacher with his hand held high holding his Bible to make a point. He's wielding the the sword.

Should we be any different today? If we have understood, been face to face with the reality of our own sin, received Christ and now know that our own sins have been forgiven, shouldn't we also share this forgiveness with others, try to reach them for their own moment of forgiveness through the healing power of Christ?  

If we are in Christ we are His followers and disciples. We are to do as the disciples of His day. Be about His business of introducing others to Jesus, that they may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, [to] attain to the resurrection from the dead. (Philippians 3:10-11)  

I have been equipped, like these men. I am crazy about the Lord; knowing Him is exciting. His Spirit resides in me. The way I serve my God is not like everyone else. I still am my own person, with my own style, my own way of speaking. It's only wrong if I am telling untruths, if my words do not line up with the Word of God. Am I always right. No. Am I always gentle in my speech? No. But I know without a doubt that what the Lord has placed in me I would like more people to understand so they might know Christ. And sometimes this has to come in serious times...times of difficulty for others. Why? Because lives depend on it. And He is opening a door.  

He has equipped me. We are all equipped if we know the Lord, whether our speech is flowery or plain. It just doesn't matter. He knows what works. It doesn’t matter where we are witnesses. And if someone doesn't quite agree with the way I say something or the way I do something because they wouldn’t do it like me, well, we are who we are. The Lord can use us in any way, even if it isn't perfect. As long as He gets glorified and His name is pronounced or announced.

2Corinthians 11:1 - Oh, that you would bear with me in a little folly--and indeed you do bear with me.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Living Sacrifice

Romans 12:1 - I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.

I am about to participate in a Bible study this morning. It's a non-denominational study and the leader has suggested we discuss Lent. Not to seem disrespectful, I have to admit the subject stopped me in my tracks. I had to question something I'd not thought about for many years. At our church we do not observe Lent.

That got me to thinking, why is it we do not? Again, I've not questioned this at all for the past 13 years! It just never crossed my mind. Our church observed Lent when I was a child growing up, not that I did, not that I even understood what it was all about so it didn't seem an odd thing to me years later when I no longer attended church when people talked about it. But now, in my "new" church, we do not. I asked myself, perhaps God, again, why is that?

The answer came quietly but soon it began to get louder in my head. Lent is about giving something up. People would discuss at work what they were going to give up, if they were going to. Some would give up chocolate. Others would give up television. Others might give up beer! It was all about giving up something that they enjoyed. Some were serious, others not. In other words, sacrifice...something of value.

Well, the word sacrifice naturally reminded me of Jesus who sacrificed far more than beer, chocolate or television, or more likely today, Facebook or the computer. Jesus sacrificed His life for each one of us that we may have eternal life. 

The purpose of Lent, I had to look up, is a time of reflection, repentance, prayer and even fasting in preparation for Easter, giving up certain types of luxuries. It starts on Ash Wednesday and ends with Easter Sunday. And then I read somewhere that it is not instituted in Scripture so it is not a requirement! But it is about sacrifice.

If we have received Christ, we automatically share in His sufferings, as Romans 8:17 tells us: and if [we become His] children, then heirs--heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. Sharing in His sufferings sounds like a life-long sacrifice on our part. 

When we are in Christ we are new creations. The old man has gone and the new man has emerged. Sharing in His sufferings then comes with our territory. We are in Christ and that comes with a message: to go and make disciples. These words came fast and furious:

Come, follow Me. Give up your old life and now be about your Father's business, as I am. I have commanded you to carry your cross daily, to be a living sacrifice. It's not about you anymore; it's all about Me. Your job is to reach others like I did, for My sake, for My glory, for their eternal lives. The job will not always be an easy one. You will be rejected as I was and still am today. But you are not to quit. You are to stand fast in Me and give your lives for My Gospel, for the good news of who I am. You will have to count the cost, carry your cross daily, as I did. It's no longer all about you. To be about your Father's will, about My will, you must expect interruptions, observe the hurting, reach out to the lost. That is being My disciple. I laid down My life for you; therefore, you lay down your life for Me. It's the very end result in your life, if you continue to follow, that will be the ultimate reward.

You see, it should not only be a 40-day period of time, once a year, but an ongoing commitment. If we are in Christ, we are new people with a new life and new values, a new purpose. We are to be living sacrifices each day, being prepared each day to speak the word of truth about Jesus if the occasion presents itself, being the salt and the light in this world. To speak the loving words of Christ and also the harder words of judgment because He loved…and also judges.

As 1Corinthians 6:20 tells us, we were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. The price was Jesus' life. We are to honor Him with body, soul and spirit, with our words. That's sacrifice, as He was our sacrifice. Hebrews 13:15 suggests--no commands--that we are to continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise--the fruit of our lips that confess His name. That sounds to me like being His disciples, keeping the truth of God's word in the airwaves or cyberspace. We are to be about the Father's business, keeping His Word in the forefront of our minds and deep in our hearts and souls…then as followers, share it. Share the good news of Jesus Christ, as it was once, maybe more than once, shared with us. Pass it on. Jesus' death was the ultimate "paying it forward." It is extended to all.

Resurrection day, as our church calls Easter, is approaching. Just as Jesus died for us, He arose and He is alive today in Spirit and in Truth. Hallelujah! He is our soon coming King, the King of glory. Are we prepared for His coming? Are we being a living sacrifice? Not that we physically give our lives, although we might be called to do so. But...are we sharing the truth of Christ? 

1Thessalonians 2:8 - So, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Subject to Judgment

Isaiah 9:10  - "The bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with hewn stones; the sycamores are cut down, but we will replace them with cedars." 

I have said many times the Bible is meant to show us how to live. It gives us examples from which we are to learn. It has stories from love to miracles to judgment. It presents to us signs we are to look for. I’ve mentioned we’re in the last days. I’ve shown scriptures explaining what we will see. All God’s warnings. But not warnings to harm but to turn us back to God, to trust in Him, get right with Him. I’m certainly not the only one who sees last days right before us. You can choose to believe me or not. It’s your choice. 

I finished reading The Harbinger by Jonathan Cahn. A harbinger is a warning from God. I wished I’d been a faster reader. Let me first say that there have been times when I thought I was being unnecessarily critical of our country. I have felt bad that I was criticizing our own nation, and yet...  

The Harbinger is prophesy couched in fiction...with numerous factual footnotes. I have felt for a long time that there are things happening today that happened in years past in the accounts of the Bible. I’ve mentioned some of them. This author has specifically taken one ancient scripture and numerous accounts that have happened in the United States and shown how they parallel each other; how these ancient events transpired and are playing out today. It’s phenomenal. And it’s happening, actually happening, in our country! You can call it coincidence. If only one thing happened I might consider that, but there are many incidences which cannot make it coincidence.

Read the scripture again above. Read it slowly and let me explain... I won’t be able to get in to the nitty gritty of some of the details...too time consuming. I will only explain a couple issues, briefly. You will have to read the book if you have any desire to understand more deeply. Don’t be skeptical, be wise...if for no other reason than to try to prove me wrong!

The scripture above refers to Israel during a time of war against her enemies. God was trying to send a message to them because they turned away from Him and put their trust not in His strength and power to battle their enemies, but their own. In a Bible commentary by Finis Jennings Dake, this explanation of this scripture reads: In this scripture we have the defiance of the people against the judgments of God, the people saying that the bricks are thrown down, but we will build with stronger material--large hewn stones and cedars that are stronger than sycamores. In an NIV study Bible commentary this is what was written: These verses (9:10-10:4) describe Israel’s arrogance and persistent impenitence, and God’s anger and judgment against them; even in great trouble they would not humble themselves and turn to God with a contrite and broken heart.

[What’s amazing is the verses before 9:10 speak prophetically of Jesus. These verses are read yearly at Christmas. He who would be the coming Deliverer who would bring joy, peace, righteousness and justice to anyone who claimed Him as their Savior. If we believed and put our trust in Him... This all came true; we know that. So why not believe the next prophetic event in Isaiah 9:10? An understanding of Jesus, a true knowing of Him spiritually, is necessary for anyone’s future. Take heart, heed the warnings. Consider your future. Do you know Jesus? Have you received Him? Ignoring this is turning from Him, rejecting Him... This is not just about a nation, but about people.]

So, you get the picture above. Turn from God, be warned by Him, be subject to judgment if the warnings are not heeded. No Jesus, No Peace; Know Jesus, Know Peace, as a bumper sticker states.

Here’s a list of nine harbingers Cahn uncovered:
       First - The Breach (separation from on God)
       Second - The Terrorist (9/11)
       Third - The Fallen Bricks (towers came down)
       Fourth - The Tower (the proposed building of the Freedom Tower)
       Fifth - The Gazit Stone (bricks replaced by stronger stone)
       Sixth - The Sycamore (uprooted at Ground Zero)
       Seventh - The Erez Tree (replaced the sycamore, stronger)
       Eighth - The Utterance (vows made: Isaiah 9:10)
       Ninth - The Prophecy (pronouncing judgment)

Cahn specifically shows us proof, that the attacks on 9/11 play out the scripture above. Our walls were destroyed. We opted, like Israel, to rebuild, not with materials we first built with, but with stronger ones. What awaits is the judgment. (This is documented in detail in the book.) I remember hearing someone say they wanted to rebuild the WTC, but they wanted to make it even taller. Why? Why is bigger better?

There was also a tree, a sycamore to be specific, that was growing nearby at the time of the attack. A piece of the last building that came down struck that tree cutting the trunk and leaving it uprooted. It was cut down. In time another tree, as a symbol of hope (also documented by Cahn), was planted. A cedar tree was planted, one stronger than the sycamore! All of this is documented...

I remember thinking during the time after 9/11 how arrogant we sounded, that we would rebuild bigger and stronger. But then I heard many, even in the church, say otherwise, that we should be proud as a nation and I thought I was wrong. I now know differently.

Our nation, during that time of disaster, set about to manifest the very same prophetic word to Israel upon ourselves. 1Corinthians 13:1 says ...By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established. Established as in bring into existence. In three specific instances after 9/11 (defiant) vows were made by Tom Daschle, John Edwards and Barak Obama in his first speech to Congress after his election. They all quoted, unknowingly, Isaiah 9:10 in the hearing of a nation and God, that we would rebuild our walls, we will recover and we will be stronger than show the world who we (think we) are. Daschle and Edwards fell into disgrace shortly after the words were spoken. Just saying....

All are acts of defiance, arrogance and pride. We are placing ourselves in a greater position than God. And we are being warned today. Why would God harm innocent lives? Only He can answer that question. Why is He doing this? For our own good because He loves us. We have for too long removed Him from our nation and relied on our own strengths.

There are so many events in the book. Let me just give you one other nugget of information: The consecration of Israel took place on the Temple Mount by its leaders and later God's judgment came at the same location; consecration of America in 1789 was done in a little chapel that owned the land where Ground Zero now stands and that’s where His judgment took place on 9/11. Surprisingly, the chapel still stands. It was protected by that sycamore tree I mentioned! Is this enough of a temptation to cause you to want to read the book? Cahn describes how Wall Street was started, where, and the intricate details of it all. One amazing instance after another.

Although we might see ups and downs in this country, we cannot think for a second we are totally secure on our own. God is growing angry, but He also loves us. His Word tells us that He wishes none would perish. That is why He warns us; that is why we need to wake up and heed the warnings. If we heed the warnings we will receive blessings instead of curses. Judgment will not take place.

Our churches are guilty, we as Christians are guilty, of not putting an end to the removal of God and all He stands for. We have become complacent. We have become tolerant so as not to offend. We are allowing the removal of God by our silence. This is a sin. We will receive God’s judgment. It puts an even stronger meaning and emphasis, and which is a plea across the nation by those who understand, to the closing scripture below. What do you say? Will you take any of this to heart?

2Chronicles 7:14 - ...if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

More Warnings?

James 4:6 - But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble."

I have written previously that the Bible is our instruction book. It was written by men through God's instruction, His words spoken to the hearts and spirits of men, the prophets. As old as the book is the words spoken then are just as important for today. It has always been part of His plan.

There are some who know without a doubt there is a connection, a tie between Israel and the United States. It’s a spiritual tie which I’m not even sure I fully understand. We have been told that those who bless Israel will be blessed and those who do not will be cursed. Is our nation going to receive a blessing or a curse for its support, or lack of, of Israel?

In a book I just finished reading called The Harbinger by Jonathan Cahn, a Messianic Jew, he points out several things. It’s truth couched in fiction. Perhaps it’s Cahn’s way of getting more people interested in reading this book. I’m sure there will be many who chuckle at this man’s findings and try to say it’s only coincidence.  

I believe America has always been a plan of God’s. I’m sure some biblical expert might say the same thing and have a very excellent reason why. 

That God would use the United States for some great thing does not seem implausible. We have been used to do great things. Our greatness was because we were founded on the Word of God, the promises of God, the truth of His Word. God was the very foundation of this nation. Well, do you see the foundation crumbling? Do you see where our security has been breached? Do you also see where we are also choosing to do things in our own way and not God’s? 

I love this country but I don’t love where we’re taking ourselves and if God sees us pulling away from Him, there’s absolutely no reason for His judgment to not fall upon us. I don’t think I’m wrong in believing this. Others have been criticized for thinking this. We have always been a proud nation, but that pride once was a good thing, a patriotic thing. Nothing wrong with that. But now there is a pride emanating that is uprooting the good pride and replacing it with arrogance and defiance...against God. When we started taking God out of schools, office buildings, prayer, we starting rejecting God. When we start wanting to impose laws that would go against certain organizations’ beliefs, we are in trouble even more.

Our God is a jealous God. Webster defines jealous as intolerant of rivalry or unfaithfulness. God desires us as people, even as a nation, like Israel. When we turn our backs on Him we are being unfaithful to the One who sustains and protects. We all have to admit despite all the churches and “freedom” of religion, it’s not like it used to be. We have slacked off. We have allowed false preaching to enter the pulpits. We have created new churches that preach so as not to offend anyone. Jesus has been watered down. For the sake of tolerance all roads now can lead to God. 

Another thing I came across was that jealousy can bring on a change of color of the face, the rising of heat of emotions. This can be defined as intense fervor over something dear to us. This is what God is over us! Over us! Imagine that. He loves us and He wants nothing more than to protect what is precious to Him. This goes for all people, all nations. The United States, however, has been precious to Him, like Israel. We should be so grateful for this. We should be praising Him for His love for us. He only desires for us to desire Him more. He wants us for His own and we are turning our backs. 

Instead of pushing Him aside for man’s “great and wondrous” ways, we should be humbling ourselves and seeking God as a nation for what He desires for us. We once considered ourselves “one nation under God.” Well, how’s that working out nowadays?? Where’s God role in government, in our own lives, even in some of our churches? We are wandering a path that will not be a blessing for us unless we turn back to Him.

I strongly believe God is sending out warnings to us. I have believed this for some time; some of us understand this and take notice. I'm sure, however, this goes against the grain of most individuals. God’s Word to His people 2,000 years ago can also be a guide for us today. How many times have I pointed this out? He’s the same today as He was yesterday and will be tomorrow. He never changes. So why should we think otherwise? Are we, after all, truly smarter than God?

There are warnings in the Bible for people and for nations. These warnings, like terrorist attacks, extreme weather, economic troubles, are for our good! God is looking for us to turn back to Him, to humble ourselves, to lose our arrogance and impenitence against Him. As with Israel, so with the United States, so with us as individuals. This is what makes God so huge, us so small and His Word so important. It's still so all about Him...if we choose to believe that. If we don't, well, it's our choice, our life. The biggest problems we have is our pride and arrogance to think we are better and know better than God, and to think we can live without His guidance.

In order for us to understand His plan we must have a Bible. We must understand what is in the Bible, which means we must read it. We must understand the Old Testament because it develops God’s plan for the Way of salvation in the New. It shows us Jesus in sacrifices, feasts and more. We cannot fully rely on the Church to show us these things. We cannot think that if we don’t know we are innocent bystanders. 

When you buy something with assembly instructions, you can't always put it together without first reading those instructions. How many times have any of us tried to do so without reading them? Guilty...until the frustration of defeat causes a need to better understand.

Let me just say this: America has been a blessed nation. Israel has been a blessed nation. There IS a connection. There has been pride and arrogance in both nations, whether you want to hear this or not. 

With all that said, I’m going to quit! Here’s another scripture that says the same thing as the one above. Give it some thought. God’s Word is true...and just.

Matthew 23:12 - And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.