Thursday, July 30, 2009

Evil has a face (Warning, graphic)

Do not read this essay if you are sensitive or in a low emotional state. It is not one my more encouraging pieces.

2 Timothy 3:1-5a "Perilous Times Will Come"

"But realize this, that in the last days perilous times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power;"

Evil has a face. But what does that face look like? In the prophesied perilous times, how will our neighbors be acting, what kinds of things will they be saying, what will they be doing? In each case below, they had neighbors, like you and me. They lived among and amidst people in a town or a city or a village, and went to work and laughed and played just like you and me. Yet their face and heart hid great evil. So, what does that face look like? This:

Police: Woman accused of killing newborn ate brain
A woman charged with murdering her 3 1/2-week-old son used a knife and two swords to dismember the child and ate parts of his body, including his brain, before stabbing herself in the torso and slicing her own throat, police said Monday.

Prosecutor: Dad Threw Girl Off Cliff to Avoid Child Support
A father who had no interest in his 4-year-old daughter did the unimaginable — hurling her off a 120-foot cliff to avoid paying child support, a prosecutor said Monday during the man's murder retrial.

Man Gets Death Penalty For 3rd Time
Grell took the child into the desert near Apache Junction and set her on fire.

Three 'let rats chew toes off baby'

Authorities said the baby's toes on one foot were gone when sheriff's deputies went to the home in the city of Columbus, in the mid-western state of Ohio, on Sunday after receiving an anonymous tip. "It's one of the most horrific things I've ever seen," Pike County prosecutor Rob Junk told the local 10TV News.

Can you imagine such evil? The prosecutor in the above news article said that the father did the unimaginable, so no, it is not easy to imagine what lurks in the hearts and minds of the evil-doers of today. These are the times in which we are living, perilous times, assuredly.

In 2004-5 I had a series of visions sent by the Lord. In one vision I wrote about here, the prevailing message was an irruption of 'lions among us' and 'innocents sacrificed.' I believe that time of perilousness spoken of by Paul, and the scene in my vision, which was evil descending upon us in great quantity, and innocents being sacrificed in ever larger numbers, is now.

Children are a people the Lord Himself loved so very much. In Psalm 127:3 it is written: "Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him." Children are a reward, "And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me." (Matthew 18:5). Children are to be nurtured and kept protected as the reward that they are, and receive them as the very blessing in the name of Him who gives them.

We are in perilous times when these rewards from God are tossed off cliffs and set on fire and eaten!!!!! In one case, the mother said that the devil made her do it, and I can find that easy to believe. The perilous times are made perilous because of an increasing inability to withstand the deepening of evil as it rises to meet its ultimate end. The children of today are not protected and received in His name, but they are violently rejected in increasingly evil ways. Rejection of these innocent ones is a rejection of Him who gives them. Perilous times indeed!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Is sports is your new religion?

Cor 10:7 Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: "The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in pagan revelry." 1 John 5:21 "Dear children, keep yourselves from idols."

We don't think of sports in the United States as pagan revelry. No! Let it not be so! They are our "national pastime"! Superdomes, sports fields, and the court are places where we come together in one heart, with thousands at one time rooting for the same end result and helping each other and the team in every way we can, including throwing obscene amounts of money at it for the all-important 'win.' Can we say the same for our churches?

"Win one for the Gipper," "Hail Mary pass" and "Do you believe in miracles?" are to most any American instantly recognizable hosannas. They are not religious phrases but sports hymns, sung and shouted to the pagan god of Athletics.

But just who are we worshiping? Steroids, illegal drugs, and alcohol use and abuse by players seem to be the norm. It is common these days to hear of players being arrested, raping women, cheating on or even beating their wives, attacking fans, and even assaulting people. A new syndrome has arisen among sports players' wives, who are told they must just cope with it: "The Adultery Culture." We spend a lot of time watching, engaged in, and supporting what is in most cases, an immoral pastime. According to one survey, about 6 and a half hours each weekend is devoted to watching sports.

We pay coaches multi-millions but widows and children starve on the streets. We spend inordinate amounts of time getting to, attending, and leaving sports events. We spend time in traffic, listening to honking horns but we complain if the parking space we favor at church is filled. We sit in hot stadia, enduring heat, snow, and rain but we complain if the AC at church is one degree below comfortable.

Where are our priorities? Can you name the batting averages of the Red Sox but not the books of the New Testament? Do you spend more time in pre-game, game, and post game than you do in church? If it comes down to a choice between the game and the pew, which wins? Even if it is for just that sports' season, what message are we sending the children when we pull them out of church for three months because it is soccer season?

If sports has become our idol, please re-think the priorities God set out for us. We already know that in the last days, "men will be ... lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God." It is written, "Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching." Heb 10:25

art: The Gladiators by Jean Leon Gerome

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Don't swallow the pill! It is the Lie

Mr. Obama gave an address last night regarding health care coverage, and outlined his intent to revamp the current system. This essay is not about that. It is about a remarkable reference in the middle of the speech, something that stood out in its strangeness. Adam Rosenberg of MTV Movies blog said that it was a "somewhat indirect reference." Ben Smith of Politico said the reference was a "puzzling abstraction" which is an understatement if you are a Christian and understand exactly what Obama was really saying. In any case, the reference stood out, immediately, to millions. And the internet is buzzing about it today.

Obama referred to a scene in a science fiction movie "The Matrix" in which the seeker wants to know the truth. The one who has been guiding the seeker explains that he can take the red pill, in which he will see ugly reality for what it is, or he can take the blue pill and remain under his current, pleasant delusions.

Obama asked, "If there’s a blue pill and a red pill, and the blue pill is half the price of the red pill and works just as well, why not pay half price for the thing that’s going to make you well?” he asked. There is a reason this weirdly placed metaphor was uttered last night, and it is closer to the truth than anyone can imagine. Let us parse what Obama is really saying.

In the Garden of Eden, the serpent approached Eve and slyly asked her why she was banned from eating the fruit on the particular tree. The serpent asked Eve, "Did God really say that?" 'Why not eat it? It will make you see reality,' "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened," the serpent said. Last night we had a man asking the American public the same thing. How strange that our elected leader asks the American people to take the blue pill, the pill which in pop parlance that offers illusion! Worse, he slyly asks us to pop the pill because it is less expensive. How cheaply he asks us to trade reality and truth! Just as the serpent back in the garden, Obama offers a sly choice and couches it in language as in Revelation "Take it and eat it; it will make your stomach bitter, but in your mouth it will be sweet as honey." (Rev 10:9)

Mr Obama is right. There IS a choice before you. The choice is to accept Jesus ... or not. "He who is not with Me is against Me," said Jesus in Matthew 12:30. It is that simple, there is a red pill and a blue pill.

This man who purports to be a Christian said that "The stars are aligned for health care reform,” an occultic reference to activity that God expressly prohibits in the bible. (Deuteronomy 18:10-14). He whispers that delusion is better than Truth, and he puts before you a choice: red pill or blue pill? Which will you swallow? “How long will this continue in the hearts of these lying prophets, who prophesy the delusions of their own minds?” (Jeremiah 23:26). Eve answered God, saying, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."

In this strange statement, this 'puzzling abstraction', which is not puzzling to a Christian because archetypal as it is with satan's lying language, it was recognizable as a neon billboard. Our national leader urges us to swallow the blue pill of delusion ... with that strange "indirect reference" Obama could very well have revealed himself to be the prophesied False Prophet.

Time will tell. The only truth there is, is the Lord Jesus as revealed through the Holy Word. Read it and pray for discernment in these delusional end-times! Stand on Truth and swallow nothing the liar offers!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Obama is not the problem

Like many Christians with discernment, I found Obama's candidacy and Presidency dicey from the get-go. His myriad lies, evasions, and lack of transparency worried many. Mockers wrote that,

"They’re terrified that if Obama wins the presidency they’ll find themselves living in a country that encourages abortion, homosexuality, and obscenity; chops up embryos for their stem cells; mocks traditional Christian family values; welcomes terrorists; and isn’t fair to white people."

Turns out we were right.

We are terrified because only six months after Obama took office, we find ourselves living in a country that encourages abortion, homosexuality, and obscenity; chops up embryos for their stem cells; mocks traditional Christian family values; welcomes terrorists; and isn’t fair to white people." It has all come true.

We were right to be terrified of an Obama presidency, for those and many other reasons. Christians, soldiers, patriots, and conservatives (and lately, "nervous Democrats" and more lately, centrist Democrats...) are raising a hue and cry. Yet we cannot blame Obama.

But he is causing the economic disintegration of our country due to massive debt and printing money! He is dismantling the freedoms we hold dear! He lied through his teeth on every campaign promise! He might even be the antichrist or the false prophet!

So? We know all this is coming. The bible is clear on God's judgment rendered on blasphemous and immoral nations. It is clear on the end times prophecies regarding the coming of the Antichrist and the False Prophet. We even know that God sets up kings and takes them down. What I want us to focus on is OUR reaction. I personally believe that God's setting up of Obama is an opportunity for sifting and winnowing. There will soon be no fence-sitting regarding where a person stands on moral issues in America. We have already been challenged with his legislation on homosexuality, abortion, God in the place of civic life, stem cell research, fiscal responsibility and much more. The hedge is shrinking. God is galvanizing the populace, as described by Doug Patton today.

Eventually, a great decision will have to be made, yes to the mark or no to the mark, which means worshiping the Antichrist or not. Today's noose is tightening and the dividing line between good and bad, moral and immoral, Christian and non-Christian is widening. Obama's presidency is forcing us to sift our beliefs and decide what we really stand for.

"His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear His threshing floor; and He will gather His wheat into the barn, but He will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire." Matthew 3:12

1Timothy 1:18b-19 "... fight the good fight, holding on to faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith." We are in the time of many Christians being shipwrecked on the rocky shores of unbelief, apathy, and apostasy. Good conscience seems in short supply. And where is faith in the face of massive deception and hatred and evil?

The problem is not Obama. The problem is us. Will you fight? Or will you be shipwrecked? I pray we all stand for God. That we unashamedly proclaim Jesus and His work on the cross. I see Obama as a galvanizing catalyst in the rising storm. For some, they will be tossed onto the shore and wrecked. Others...will stand. The winnowing fork is coming. Be ready brother and sister and fear not! Stand for Him and your hedge shall be forever strong.

Friday, July 17, 2009

"Did President Obama Mislead the Holy Father?"

HotAir's headline link to Inside Catholic's story was that "not even the Pope is safe from Obama's abortion lies." Inside Catholic wrote:

"Did President Obama Mislead the Holy Father?"

"In the late afternoon of July 10, President Obama met privately with Pope Benedict XVI for just over 30 minutes. According to official Vatican spokesman Rev. Federico Lombardi, S.J., "The president explicitly expressed his commitment to reducing the numbers of abortions and to listen to the church's concern on moral issues."

"On July 13 in a Senate committee hearing, Sen. Barbara Mikulski was forced to admit under persistent questioning by Sen. Orrin Hatch that the new health-care bill includes abortion coverage. Planned Parenthood's Guttmacher Institute estimates government funding of abortion increases abortion by 20 to 35 percent." Did President Obama know these abortion provisions were in the Senate health-care bill when he met with the Holy Father? There is no reason to think he didn't."


It goes on. Hardball's Chris Matthews, a Catholic Obama enthusiast but is so in love with Obama that merely being in Obama's his presence sends a "thrill up his leg," "insisted that including abortion services in the health bill is "the last thing Obama needs. The issue's complicated and divisive and controversial enough without bringing abortion into it."

But then Matthews adds the kicker:

"He goes over to see the pope and says they're going to reduce the number of abortions, and then that same week he pushes to subsidize abortion? You can't do that!"

What will be the reaction of most of America's Catholics and Christians when they realize that Obama looked Benedict right in the eye and said he was committed to reducing abortion, knowing all the while that his bill subsidizes abortions? I know what mine is. The bible says that "For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds."

Satan is the father of lies. ‘He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it’ (John 8:42–44). Lies fall as easily from his lips as do petals from a waning flower. Obama is a liar and he is good at it. If you were fooled by this relatively facile but small potatoes game-changer 'with the funny name', what chance will you stand against the Antichrist? Or the Father of Lies?

The only truth you can trust is the bible. And the bible's truths will be revealed to you if you ask Jesus to forgive your sins. He will send the Holy Spirit to indwell you and the bible will no longer be a pesky, dusty, moldy book but alive and vibrant with unending truths. You can use it to stand on as your foundation, you can place it in your heart as the servant of His work, you can place it over your head as your authority. The bible will reveal to you the nature and character of Christ, who is the true Father, in him is no lie, no darkness at all.

One day, the door to salvation will shut

I know many of us have heard the phrase, "When God closes a door, He opens a window." And He does! He sends the Holy Spirit and His angels to nudge us along the paths He knows are best for us to travel; for career, for morals, for Christian growth, for all our behavioral choices.

In the movies, the scenes when a guy is rushing toward the girl at the end of the movie, and he HAS to get to the restaurant but just as the guy arrives at the place, the owner switches over the OPEN sign to CLOSED. The guy bangs on the window and pleads to be let in. Because it's the movies, the owner shrugs, smiles, and he always lets the guy in. The guy rushes to the girl and they hug and all is well.

That's the movies. However, there will come a day on our earth when the door will close and no window will open. There will come a day when no kindly restaurant owner will shrug, smile and let you in anyway. Once the door is shut, it will STAY shut.

The door is a frequent metaphor in the bible. In John 10:9 Jesus says:“I am the Door, if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. ” There will be a day when it will be too late to enter in to His kingdom. He will shut the door against you and you will be barred from entering. Is that a mean thing? No, it is what the reprobate asked for. Those who reject Jesus will be given their desire: separation from Him. No entry.

Matthew Henry said that Jesus did not come to satisfy curiosity but to guide men's consciences. Noah took about 100 years to build the ark. During that time the people saw, they questioned, they mocked. However they all were given legitimate chance to enter in. Only 8 were deemed worthy and one day, " Those that entered, male and female of all flesh, entered as God had commanded him; and the LORD closed it behind him." Genesis 7:16. The door was shut against them that rejected God and they were lost in the rising waters.

Then Jesus came, and we have had two thousand years of bible truth, Gospel truth, and His work on the cross pointing the way. During that time the people saw, they questioned, they mocked. However they all were given legitimate chance to enter in. "He said to them, "Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to." Luke 13:24

He has told us that the day will come when "Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, 'Sir, open the door for us.' "But he will answer, 'I don't know you or where you come from.'" Luke 13:25

Once the rapture comes and the Bride Church is united with her Groom, the ground rules change. The Tribulation begins and the age of Grace is over. Tribulation believers are not guaranteed their salvation as the parable of the 10 virgins Matthew 25:1-3 and Rev. 16:15 explain.

A narrow reading of 2 Thessalonians 9-11 indicates that salvation will be very, very difficult as many will labor under a delusion and accept the false for the real. We do know that many will be saved because the bible talks of those beheaded for the name of Jesus. (Tribulation Martyrs). But the delusion will be pervasive and effective. There is no guarantee of post-rapture salvation being widely available nor once saved after the rapture that you will keep your salvation. Treacherous times. No one is guaranteed a tomorrow and even in these last Days of Grace, one should not wait to come to the cross.

He has warned us. The door will close someday. Whether it is upon your death or that he allows your hardened heart to remain hard or that He allows you to accept the delusion...the door to salvation will close. I think it would be the worst thing in the world to be operating under the Hollywood fallacy that the kindly restaurant owner will relent and open the door to you after all. And in hell, there are no windows.

The door is open TODAY! All you need to is pray to be saved from your sins, believing in Jesus the Son and His resurrection and His ability and willingness to cleanse you of sin's blots. Do it today, while the door is open.

"And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut." Matthew 25:10

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Russians snub Obama; all refuse to shake hands

What does this mean in the world of eschatology? Maybe nothing or maybe everything. First, we know that there will be a war at the last days, described in Ezekiel 38-39, in which revived and overly aggressive Russia will form a coalition with Libya, Sudan, Iran and others to attack Israel. That Russia collapsed so flatly in the late 80s and early 90s and is now revived and on equal footing with America is amazing enough. But their rapid rise in global influence and military might portends the stage-setting Gog-Magog war Ezekiel prophesied. The divide between East and West; between Israel and the rest of the world, is widening. The armies of satan are lining up their chosen ones on the battlefield.

Secondly, we see the decline of America happening in rapid order. No land has ever snubbed its nose at God and avoided judgment. America has pushed a homosexual agenda, removed God from civic life, rejected moral values, exploited our children, made an idol of greed on Wall Street, lifted pornography to center stage for monetary gain and lascivious pleasure...all these rejections behaviors incur the wrath of God. His timing is perfect: judgment always comes. America is declining in world influence and that is for a reason. Judgment has begun in my opinion and the deliberate snub of our President at such a critical time in the course of events is meaningful. I pray that you recognize the rapidity of events hurtling us toward the rapture. If you are not saved, the events occurring now are hurtling you toward Tribulation and Armageddon.

I pray that you seek Jesus as your savior now. No one is promised a tomorrow, and today can be the day of your salvation!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Prophecy, plagues, famines, and fearful signs in Iraq

Yesterday I posted about the Euphrates drying up and the biblical language that the NY Times used in describing this event as part of coming judgment in Revelation. In addition to possibly being an indicator of the coming judgment described in Revelation, (The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river, the Euphrates; and its water was dried up, so that the way would be prepared for the kings from the east. Rev 16:12).

The scriptures also mention that there will be "great earthquakes, and in various places plagues and famines; and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven." (Luke 21:11).

In Iraq where the Euphrates flows, there is plague...

As Iraq runs dry, a plague of snakes is unleashed
Swarms of snakes are attacking people and cattle in southern Iraq as the Euphrates and Tigris rivers dry up and the reptiles lose their natural habitat among the reed beds."People are terrified and are leaving their homes," says Jabar Mustafa, a medical administrator, who works in a hospital in the southern province of Dhi Qar. "We knew these snakes before, but now they are coming in huge numbers. They are attacking buffalo and cattle as well as people." Doctors in the area say six people have been killed and 13 poisoned.

And fearful signs from heaven...

Sand storms a further blow to Iraqi hopes
Iraq is experiencing the worst sand and dust storms in memory, blotting the landscape and the country’s prospects for economic recovery. Airports, schools and administrative offices have been forced to close and hundreds of Iraqis with respiratory difficulties have swamped hospitals. Two years of drought and a reduced flow of water in the Tigris and Euphrates rivers are transforming farmland into desert, diminishing drinking water supplies and cutting agricultural production.

Massive Sandstorm Brings Iraq-Iran to Standstill
A massive sandstorm that spread across much of Iraq and Iran sent hundreds of Iraqis to clinics with complaints of sore throats, clogged eyes and acute asthma. Businesses in Baghdad closed during the blinding storm as reduced visibilities delayed air traffic in and out of the capital.

And groundwork for famine...

The Shrinking Euphrates
For two years, rainfall has been far below normal, leaving the reservoirs dry, and American officials predict that wheat and barley output will be a little over half of what it was two years ago.

And we do know from Revelation wheat will be in short supply, costing a day's pay by the time of the end. That the wheat crop is failing now should be no surprise.

These end times signs were given to us by our loving Lord as a warning for believers to look up and see the pieces coming together and gain hope and comfort each other. The signs were also given in love to unbelievers so that they may know the wrath is coming.

Ps 16:9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure,
Ps 31:24 Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD.

Putting these pieces together between the bible's prophecies and the news of the day is a warning but also, I hope and pray, a blessing. The Lord is true on His promises and He will not delay. Do you know Him today?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

End time and Revelation mania

In early October 2008 the economy crashed. The floor fell out from under and the globe went into a simultaneous spasm.

In just in the last 9 months the world has turned upside down. Not only the economy, but the prevailing attitude that accompanies this unusual turn of global events: doom. It seems that end time mania and revelation study is everywhere (a good thing). It also seems that television and movies are also getting on the bandwagon with documentaries outlining the Tribulation events on the History Channel and movies exploring the Mayan Prophecy supposedly to occur in "2012" How even the liberal, entrenched in secular culture New York Times is getting in on end times prophecy. Today they published a series of photos and captions about how the Euphrates River is shrinking. Of interest isn photo number 2.

1. Strangled by the water policies of its neighbors, Turkey and Syria, a two-year drought and years of misuse by Iraq and its farmers, the Euphrates River is significantly smaller than it was just a few years ago, and some officials worry that it could soon be half of what it is now.

2. The shrinking of the Euphrates, a river so crucial to the birth of civilization that the Book of Revelation prophesied its drying up as a sign of the end times, has decimated farms along its banks, left fishermen impoverished and depleted riverside towns, forcing farmers to flee to the cities looking for work.

3. Canoes along the shallow Euphrates. The drought is widespread in Iraq. For two years, rainfall has been far below normal, leaving the reservoirs dry, and American officials predict that wheat and barley output will be a little over half of what it was two years ago.

The end times signs are signs the end is coming, the Tribulation in Revelation means the end has arrived. The ultimate message of Revelation is "woe to Babylon and glory to the Faithful." By the time the Euphrates is dried up it is far along in the three-set series of increasingly wrathful judgments. The first set of seven judgments are the Seals, the second set of seven judgments are the Trumpets and the last set of seven are the Bowls.

Revelation 16:12-- "The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river, the Euphrates; and its water was dried up, so that the way would be prepared for the kings from the east." Interestingly, the lack of wheat crop mentioned in caption 3 also is something that will happen, in Revelation 6. However I think it is quite startling that the New York times captioned their photo of the drying Euphrates with a biblical reference referring to the end of the world. I think it shows how deeply the human soul (believer and non-believer) intuits that this IS the time of the end.

Stephen Hawking not so smart after all?

I Timothy 4:1-3 "But the spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons." Scientist Stephen Hawking made a pronouncement a few days ago:

"Humans Have Entered a New Stage of Evolution"

The article is technical but the gist is this: "Although it has taken homo sapiens several million years to evolve from the apes, the useful information in our DNA, has probably changed by only a few million bits."

Unpack that for a moment: despite 'billions of years' of evolution, human DNA has not changed much. "Probably." Hmmm. But the fact of relatively unchanging DNA and Hawking's uncertainty at why, is glossed over as he pursues his conclusion, that: "By contrast," Hawking says, "there are about 50,000 new books published in the English language each year, containing of the order of a hundred billion bits of information. Of course, the great majority of this information is garbage, and no use to any form of life. But, even so, the rate at which useful information can be added is millions, if not billions, higher than with DNA."

This means that we have entered a new phase of evolution, according to Mr. Hawking. "At first, evolution proceeded by natural selection, from random mutations. This Darwinian phase, lasted about three and a half billion years, and produced us, beings who developed language, to exchange information. But what distinguishes us from our cave man ancestors is the knowledge that we have accumulated over the last ten thousand years, and particularly, Hawking points out, over the last three hundred."

What he is saying is that knowledge increased, no, has exploded, over the last three hundred years. Biblical students already know that this was prophesied to occur: God told Daniel to "seal up the book until the end of time; many will go back and forth, and knowledge will increase." (Daniel 12:4)

"I think it is legitimate to take a broader view, and include externally transmitted information, as well as DNA, in the evolution of the human race," Hawking said."

Hmmm, so because our internal DNA has not changed but barely, and there is no explanation for that (except that God did it) then that must mean that our brains have gotten smarter, evolved, into a new type of evolutionary phase called "an external transmission phase," where the useful information is not going into our DNA but into our brains, which in turn is propelling a greater rate of biological evolutionary acceleration. Self-evolving, if you will. LOL!

Hawking is likely unaware that his words actually confirm what God has said would be the state of affairs at the end of days:

II Timothy 3:1-5,7: But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be ... always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Increase in demonic activity in advance of the great delusion

I've written about aliens and UFO phenomenon before and that my opinion is that these increasing "sightings" are a signal that the invisible spiritual war is increasing and becoming visible in some cases as well. Scripture is replete with examples of good and bad angels moving around our realms unseen (Daniel 10:1-21), in an invisible war (Ephesians 6:10-12) but also the bible shows them as interacting with living people at different times. Sometimes we even see that they can actually possess people (Mark 5:1-20).

Both good and bad angels can cause unusual natural and supernatural phenomenon to occur (Job 1-2, Revelation 7:1; 8:5; 15:1; 16). Christian, put on your spiritual armor, (Ephesians 6) it's getting bumpy! Now comes from the BBC no less, the mainstream media, an article about a family who wants to sue a genie who is harassing them, and other occultic articles.

Saudi 'genie' sued for harassment
A family in Saudi Arabia is taking a "genie" to court, accusing it of theft and harassment, reports say. They accuse the spirit of threatening them, throwing stones and stealing mobile phones, Al Watan newspaper said. The family have lived in the same house near the city of Medina for 15 years but say they only recently became aware of the spirit. They have now moved out. A local court is investigating.

Mongolian Shamans Cure Modern Ills...for a price
Enkhtuya is among a growing number of shamans turning an ancient spiritual tradition into a booming business in Mongolia’s rapidly swelling capital, home to about a third of the country’s nearly three million people. Banned for 70 years under Communist rule, shamans are now protected by the state and have become a fixture of city life.

Ghost In The Garage? Marysville (CA) Home Investigated
A Marysville woman says a ghost in her garage is creeping her out, so she asked a group of local paranormal experts to attempt to make contact.

Largest FM station in Bangalore launches first occult radio show
Big FM's Bangalore station has launched Indian radio’s first ever paranormal show. Titled Yecherikay (Caution!), – touching upon the supernatural, occult, ghosts and much more, (Caution!) with RJ Vicky takes listeners on a complete poltergeist ride each night. This novel show deals with the supernatural aspects of life – mysticism, uncanniness, unfamiliar, unimaginable and much more! RJ Vicky will be visiting alleged haunted houses in the city and also scourging around for all the spooky vibes that the city has to offer.

Believe in God? Oh, no. But I swear by little green men, ghosts and mediums
Believing in ghosts and little green men from outer space appears a touch easier than having faith in God, according to a survey.

We know that at the time of the end, "Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils." (1 Tim 4:1) "But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived” (2 Timothy 3:13).

The number of Australians identifying themselves as either witches or wiccans more than quadrupled in the five years between the last two censuses. Interest in Pagan travel grows as the number of Pagans doubles about every 18 months. This year the pagan celebration of summer solstice had a record attendance at Stonehenge. Click on the link to see the amazing photo of the damned dancing for their sun god. The celebration's opening is described, "Druids began their incantations, Wiccan priestesses drew their cowls tight against the damp morning air and four half-naked Papuan dancers waved their hands in the air and went: “Woo, woo, woo”. "

Ghosts, hauntings, séances, tarot cards, Ouija boards, crystal balls are common book, movie, television and blog topics. Recent movies 2012, Knowing, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince all have pagan or occultic themes. Television seems especially intent on normalizing the paranormal: Ghost Hunters, Paranormal State, Paranormal Cops, Medium, and Reaper are just a few examples of cultural infiltration and presentation that glorifies the demonic rather than the Godly. UFOs, aliens and crop circles are common dinner table topics of conversation. The History Channel recently presented a program entitled "Ancient Aliens" which attempted to show that aliens have visited us before and with their superior intelligence, left behind amazing technology. The most chilling part of the program was when George Noory of the popular overnight AM radio show Coast 2 Coast said, "Well, frankly, with the way the world is going and the way things are, I would welcome a little help from superior beings."

Does that comment not give you a chill? The bible tells us that after the rapture, "The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness." (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 ESV)

Is there any doubt that satan is the god of this world and that his minions are increasing their death-grip on the lost? In addition to the increase in demonic filling our senses from every direction, the implications are also clear. The delusion has begun. It seems that Satan's strategic placement of his own in the ongoing spiritual battle is ramping up. He is increasing numbers of people who are preparing to believe what will be the greatest lie to humanity since the original lie, "Surely you will not die!" which is, "I am the Answer (Antichrist) and I am here to help you!"

Deception is the key means by which our enemy defies our God. Their punishment is certain, eventually, but for now the battle rages hotly. Their focus in perverting the truth of Jesus Christ is unflagging. Trust in only God and His Holy Word. Know it so you can know when it is being presented falsely and will not be deceived. Sow faith and certainty in His promises, not a spirit of fear. Stay strong, Christian!
illustration artist here

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Gaddafi, Erdogan, and Obama

Mouammar Gaddafi has put himself on a charm school course for the last ten years, and has earned the directorship of the African Union (AU). At the G8 summit, Obama shook Mouammar Gaddafi's hand and uttered a prepared speech, which he opened by saying, "I'm proud of you..." More on that in a minute.

"However, even more momentous was the meeting on Thursday evening in Aquila between Gaddafi and the Turkish Prime minister, Recep Tayyib Erdogan, who congratulated him for his accession to AU chairmanship, was one of the most important activities of the Libyan leader at the G8 summit, PANA reported."

Prophetically speaking, the alliance of Gog-Magog includes Russia, Iran, Libya, Sudan and Turkey as the main players who attack Israel in a battle Ezekiel describes occurring at the time of the end. Turkey has been asking to join the EU for fifty years, but has been continually rejected. It seems that Turkey is frustrated with waiting for acceptance and now is turning to her Muslim roots in seeking alliance with like-minded countries. That she will ally herself with Libya and Russia and Iran eventually is assured, for God has told us. That it seems to be happening now is likely, given that the G8 article reports that "During the meeting, Mr Erdogan stressed the desire of his country to strengthen its bilateral relations with Libya and the African continent. The Turkish PM invited Gaddafi to visit Turkey and also announced his desire to visit Libya."

About Obama and his pride in Mouammar Gaddafi:

On September 1st, 1969, the Revolutionary Command Council initiated the takeover of the country. The first order of business was to dissolve all functioning bureaucracies and institutions of the monarchy and shut down the American and British military bases, and outlaw all political activity.

"I'm proud of you."

A new “constitution” was implemented on December 14th, 1969, with only one premise: the Revolutionary Command Council was the ultimate authority in Libya. Every law in the country was shelved leaving the RCC as the only law.

"I'm proud of you."

Basic civil liberties are virtually nonexistent, and opposition is not tolerated. From time to time Gaddafi has responded to domestic and external opposition with violence. His revolutionary committees called for the assassination of Libyan dissidents living abroad in April 1980, with Libyan hit squads sent abroad to murder them. On April 26, Gaddafi set a deadline of June 11 for dissidents to return home or be "in the hands of the revolutionary committees." Nine Libyans were murdered during that time, five of them in Italy.

"I'm proud of you."

The madness continued throughout the 90’s. In 1992, a Libyan passenger flight from Benghazi to Tripoli was destroyed, killing over 100 people. In wake of the news, Qadhafi claimed that the crash was the result of the UN sanctions on Libya; they prevented Libya from purchasing the necessary equipment to maintain their airplanes. In reality, he ordered the Air force to destroy the plane during flight.

"I'm proud of you."

In 1996, it was reported that up to 1700 Libyan prisoners were massacred at the Abu Saleem Prison outside Tripoli. That is one thousand-seven hundred who have been killed or have simply “disappeared...”

"I'm proud of you."

Remember the 270 people who died when their plane exploded over Lockerbie Scotland? Two Libyan men are responsible. Though Libya has never formally admitted carrying out the 1988 Lockerbie bombing. In a letter to the United Nations it "accepted responsibility for the actions of its officials." The motive that is generally attributed to Libya can be traced back to a series of military confrontations with the US Navy.

"I'm proud of you"

The only certainty in Libya's future is that of the destruction visited upon the country by Gaddafi and his dictatorial policies. We know the end of the story. Gaddafi's charm school initiative is a deception, and in the end, the country along with Ethiopia, Sudan, Iran, Turkey and Russia will go after Israel.

"After many days you will be called to arms. In future years you will invade a land that has recovered from war, whose people were gathered from many nations to the mountains of Israel, which had long been desolate. They had been brought out from the nations, and now all of them live in safety. You and all your troops and the many nations with you will go up, advancing like a storm; you will be like a cloud covering the land." Ezekiel 38:8-

And God will save Israel!

"Then I will strike your bow from your left hand and make your arrows drop from your right hand. On the mountains of Israel you will fall, you and all your troops and the nations with you. I will give you as food to all kinds of carrion birds and to the wild animals."

And where will Obama's pride be then?

Toddlers and tiaras: A people without understanding will come to ruin!

The "Learning" Channel has a new show called "Toddlers and Tiaras." It centers on two-and-three-year-olds participating in beauty pageants. The show bio goes like this:

"On any given weekend, on stages across the country, little girls and boys parade around wearing makeup, false eyelashes, spray tans and fake hair to be judged on their beauty, personality and costumes. Toddlers and Tiaras follows families on their quest for sparkly crowns, big titles, and lots of cash. The preparation is intense as it gets down to the final week before the pageant. From hair and nail appointments, to finishing touches on gowns and suits, to numerous coaching sessions or rehearsals, each child preps for their performance. But once at the pageant, it's all up to the judges and drama ensues when every parent wants to prove that their child is beautiful."

How can natural beauty be judged when there is a pile of makeup, fake hair, fake tans, and fake smiles? When reality tv like Jon and Kate Plus 8 (kids) put their youngsters in the national and international spotlight, a magnifying glass really, the meltdowns are inevitable. The couple announced their divorce while the Pennsylvania Child Labor is investigating the couple for overworking their kids. We in this country have turned children into a commodity. And I'm not the only one who thinks so ... my opinion is that tarting up a two year old so the parents can win a pot of money is pimping them out for gain. I don't want to hear about how the two year old gains "poise", either.

Hosea prophesied for the Lord. He said in chapter 4:

"I will not punish your daughters when they turn to prostitution,
nor your daughters-in-law when they commit adultery,
because the men themselves consort with harlots
and sacrifice with shrine prostitutes—
a people without understanding will come to ruin!

Colossians 3:21- Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.

Ephesians 6:4- Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

Cherish the children. Don't exploit them. Mark 9:42: "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea."

Friday, July 10, 2009

Medvedev shows off supra-national coin

"And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name." Rev 13:16-17

The verses above tell of a time when the world economy will be united as one, commerce will be accomplished by a mark. Anyone not accepting the mark will be killed. The mark is the ticket into the economy. Buying food, paying rent, receiving salaries will all go through the Mark. However it really is a mark of worship, for taking it means that one accepts worshipping the Beast (Antichrist). Refusing the mark means you are excluded from the global system of commerce, and worse, it means you will be killed.

Two things have to be accomplished prior to the mark being developed. First, the technology must exist for the mark to be instituted. This technology must be so sophisticated that all who refuse it are known to government officials in a central location, (so they can be tracked down to be killed); and those who accept it can be tracked also, so they will not be killed, and will be allowed to participate in commerce. It also means the technology must be so far-reaching that it can accurately dip into every individual's bank account.

Secondly, the psychology of the world at the time the Mark will be proposed means that nations must be willing to abandon their sovereign national currency. Abandoning national feelings for and identity of themselves in exchange for a cold, impersonal mark is a difficult thing for a nation to accomplish. This would be a drastic change, and likely the global economy would have to be so terrible that the 194 nations on earth would be willing to accept this change.

That change took a step closer this week.

Medvedev Shows Off Sample Coin of New ‘World Currency’ at G-8
July 10 (Bloomberg) -- Russian President Dmitry Medvedev illustrated his call for a supranational currency to replace the dollar by pulling from his pocket a sample coin of a “united future world currency.” “Here it is,” Medvedev told reporters today in L’Aquila, Italy, after a summit of the Group of Eight nations. “You can see it and touch it.”

The coin, which bears the words “unity in diversity,” was minted in Belgium and presented to the heads of G-8 delegations, Medvedev said. The question of a supranational currency “concerns everyone now, even the mints,” Medvedev said. The test coin “means they’re getting ready."

It takes many people and a lot of time to develop a coin. It must be designed, the motto must be decided. Metal must be chosen and materials gathered, and finally it must be minted. You can see it here. To have a coin at the ready to show at the G8 economic summit is a huge step toward the moment we are sure is coming: diverse nations united, trading in supranational currency. Can you hear His footsteps?

Giving themselves over to lust and strange flesh...

Ron Graham wrote:"There is an aggressive world-wide push to replace natural societal behavior with that of a completely unnatural and thoroughly corrupt behavior. This push involves a tiny community of people so consumed with lust that they go so far as to flaunt their abhorrent behavior in the street..."

What does this have to do with the end time? “Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” Jude 1:7.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Earthquakes in diverse places

Jesus told the Apostles that the times of the end would be typified by birth pangs relating to, among many other things, earthquakes in diverse places. This week has seen an unusual amount of earthquakes. These tremors are occurring not just as earthquakes but other, inexplicable earth form events that have scientists perplexed. Let's begin with the more mundane of the events, regular old earthquakes.

There have been quite a number of 6.0 plus magnitude earthquakes around the world this week. Easter Island to Baffin Bay, Rat Islands Alaska to Panama to the Gulf of California. China experienced a 6.0 that collapsed 10,000 homes, damaged 40,000 and caused much other havoc. There were some serious injuries but so far thankfully, no deaths.

In addition to the strong earthquakes in diverse places this week, two highly unusual events have also occurred. One is that scientists have detected mysterious tremors deep under the San Andreas Fault in California.

Mysterious tremors detected on San Andreas Fault
"Scientists have detected a spike in underground rumblings on a section of California's San Andreas Fault that produced a magnitude-7.8 earthquake in 1857. " Uh-oh, that's not good. The article goes on: "What these mysterious vibrations say about future earthquakes is far from certain. But some think the deep tremors suggest underground stress may be building up faster than expected and may indicate an increased risk of a major temblor." Well, we know that there will be earthquakes as there have always been earthquakes but typical of the end times, they will increase in size and frequency as birth pangs always do...

"Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, monitored seismic activity on the fault's central section between July 2001 and February 2009 and recorded more than 2,000 tremors. The tremors lasted mere minutes to nearly half an hour." The tremors are at a level that is twice as high as before the 6.5 magnitude 2003 quake. The fact that the tremors haven't gone down means the time to the next earthquake may come sooner," said Berkeley seismologist and lead researcher Robert Nadeau." All scientists do know is deep tremors appear to have foreshadowed large 2004 quake. Time will tell what God will do.

Other weird earthform activity is occurring up in Alaska. People living near Homer and visiting Bluff Point today were stunned to find a dramatic change in the beach. Where, the day before, beachcombers had a long flat beach in which to stroll, the very next day a 1,000 foot long bluff reaching 20 feet high greeted them. No one knows why.

'Uplift' baffles scientists, transforms area beach

"Like a giant fist punching through the earth, a 1,000-foot long section of the beach below Bluff Point rose up 20 feet from the tidelands sometime last Friday or late Thursday, pushing boulders up from the ocean bottom, cracking sandstone slabs and toppling rocks upside down. Below Bluff Point, a new fissure opened up at the base of the 800-foot high cliff."

Scientists don't know exactly what caused the uplift. It would take an earthquake over magnitude 7 to cause an uplift that high, said Peter Haeussler, a geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Anchorage. "I have no idea," he said when he first learned of the uplift. "This sounds really, really bizarre."

Why yes. Yes it does. You know, it kind of reminds me of the Corn Field Volcano that erupted in front if a guy plowing back in 1943. One minute, field, next morning, Volcano!

Though Mount Redoubt volcano has been extremely active, scientists do not attribute the mysterious uplift at Homer across the bay to be connected. Scientists have also ruled out an earthquake as the cause. Haeussler said, "You would have felt a huge earthquake if it was earthquake related." Hmmm. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Worshipping the golden casket

I was a Michael Jackson fan in the 1980s. Who wasn’t? His talent and music was everywhere. It was on the new cable station called “MTV,” displayed on posters, climbing the record charts, and entertaining moon-walking fans in packed concert halls. But Jackson’s story is a sad one, because as time went on he just got weirder, greedier, and more lost.

In Romans 1, Paul talks about unbelief and its consequences. “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools …They exchanged the truth of God for a lie…”

I chose not to watch any of the Jackson funeral coverage. But one photograph did catch my eye. I saw a raised dais in front of adoring multitudes who were singing, dancing, and mourning while celebrating a weird man inside a golden casket. It reminded me of the golden calf, and the Truth the sons of Israel exchanged for a lie. Remember when Moses went up the mountain to talk with God, and he was gone for 40 days and 40 nights? The sons of Israel were told by the LORD “You shall not make other gods besides Me; gods of silver or gods of gold, you shall not make for yourselves.” (Ex 20:23). But they got impatient. Thinking that Moses was never coming back, they took matters into their own hands. They made a golden calf, an idol, before which, they sang, danced, sacrificed, and celebrated. (Ex 32:1-6)

The multitudes who revered a singer who spent millions on himself as fast as he could get it, who dangled his baby out a high-rise window, who injected drugs daily, starved his body, and underwent face-changing operations because of self hatred, have made a poor exchange of Truth for idol worship.

I read that the nation’s business came to a complete stop during the funeral as the House staffers were all watching it on the internet, which almost crashed under the load. I wonder how many people felt let-down after the Jackson hoopla vanished. Maybe the casket-worshippers are wondering, “Hmmm, what next? I feel empty.” If you feel empty that is because you are. You have traded the Truth for an idol. The fact is, you can worship a golden casket now, or you can walk a golden street later.

If you want to find out how to make that empty, let-down feeling disappear, you can. Just call or visit any good bible believing preacher in your town and he will tell you about perfect truth and joy. A few years ago, I exchanged the lie for Truth. In return for abandoning the golden casket I will walk on the golden street in New Jerusalem. I hope to see YOU on the golden street someday. And you can be sure, we will not be moon-walking.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Golden casket / golden calf

Exodus 20:22-25, Exodus 32-34, after making their covenant, Moses taught the people what God wanted. This included instructions on worshipping God. God was very specific about it. So the Israelites worshipped God His way, which included making an altar with nothing man-made on it- no objects, no idols, nothing even that a man made tool had touched or fashioned. Only stones. Then God called Moses back up to the mountain so He could give him the law in physical form (the tablets containing the Ten Commandments). Moses was gone 40 days and 40 nights.

Being stiff-necked and impatient, the Israelites worried about Moses and they decided he was not coming back. Abandoning the worship of God His way, "when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people assembled about Aaron and said to him, "Come, make us a god who will go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him." Aaron said to them, "Tear off the gold rings which are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me." Then all the people tore off the gold rings which were in their ears and brought them to Aaron. He took this from their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool and made it into a molten calf; and they said, "This is your god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt."

"So the next day they rose early and offered burnt offerings, and brought peace offerings; and the people sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play."

They worshipped a golden calf. An idol.

Entertainer Michael Jackson's funeral is today. The musician lay on a stage at the Staples Center, inside a golden casket. Estimates are that 2.5 billion people are watching the funeral. Facebook reports that as of 10:30 a.m., 300,000 users are logged in to the Facebook/CNN platform. There have been more than 500,000 status updates, with 6,000 status updates posted per minute. And the Michael Jackson Facebook page now has 7 million fans, more than any other fan page, including Barack Obama's.

After the Kings spoke, congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee delivered a thunderous speech praising the transcendental power of someone like Michael to improve the nation and the world. Brooke Shields read a passage from "The Little Prince" to illustrate Michael's fragility and sensitivity. Jermaine Jackson took to the mic and broke into song with "Smile," originally written by Charlie Chaplin. Michael's favorite song. Usher then broke into the apt "Gone Too Soon." Then, the Reverend Al Sharpton rose and spoke in his booming voice of Michael as a child, a dreamer, a father, a world-changer. Another song, this time, the singer's voice broke at the end, as he glanced over at Michael's golden casket.

They sang, they danced, later they will eat. They worshipped before a golden idol.

Paul wrote to Timothy that there will be Godlessness in the last days. "Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: "The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in pagan revelry." 1 Colossians 10:7. If a third of the world is mourning and worshiping an entertainer laying inside a golden casket, what does that say about our misplaced attentions? Our priorities? About how far we have fallen? ... What it says to me is how soon He will come!

Are you ready? Turn your eyes upon Jesus and Hin only. Serve Him and walk in His ways. Forego the golden idols of this world and plan on eternal rewards. The temporary rewards of this world are just that, all too temporary. Just ask the man inside the golden casket.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Mustard seeds and birds aren't always good things

I was driving home one day after a BBQ at a friend's house and saw this hanging over the driveway. It gave me a funny feeling, it seemed ominous somehow. I stopped the car and took a photo of it. Today, The Parable of the Mustard Seed comes to mind:

"Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field: Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof." Mt 13:31-32

Often, people take the mustard seed to represent faith which starts small and grows to a mighty tree. Yet the mustard seed never grows to a tree, it is a weed and grows to a bush no higher than 3-4 feet tall. What do the birds of the air represent? They were described earlier in Jesus' conversation, in verse 19 as The Wicked One.

In the mustard seed parable, Jesus tells us that the birds of the air will lodge in the branches. These "birds" as we see in the verses are actually demons led by "the prince of the power of the air" (Ephesians 2:2), who have continually tried to infiltrate the church. Satan thinks, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em!' Satan efficiently implants his agents in Jesus' church to teach false doctrine while appearing to be true Christians. Sound like some of today's churches? We know from 1 Corinthians 18-19 that God has allowed antichrists to lodge within His church. They nest, they lodge, they infiltrate. Believe it. Like the birds in the photo, where there are a few clustered and not shooed off, more arrive and climb the branch. more, source here

Since satan is a counterfeiter and a copycat, and Jesus said when two or more are gathered so He will be among them also (Mt 18:20) then satan will also send his demons to nest in the mustard branches. Where you see two fowl, you will see more. The problem is, Jesus also said that in the time of the end, many will not be able to discern the false from the good: "And many false prophets will arise, and will mislead many." Matthew 24:11 Is a fowl of the air nesting in your branch? Is he calling to fowl brothers to come on in? Pray daily. Study the bible daily. Walk with Jesus daily. Pick up your cross and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you. Why? Nesting birds in your branches are not always good things.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Are you in the belly of the fish?

As I was praying before bible reading today, the Holy Spirit prompted me to go to Jonah 2. It is Jonah's prayer of thanksgiving to God for relieving him from certain drowning.

Jonah's Prayer
1 From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the LORD his God. He said: "In my distress I called to the LORD, and he answered me. From the depths of the grave I called for help, and you listened to my cry. You hurled me into the deep, into the very heart of the seas, and the currents swirled about me; all your waves and breakers swept over me. I said, 'I have been banished from your sight; yet I will look again toward your holy temple.'

5 The engulfing waters threatened me, the deep surrounded me; seaweed was wrapped around my head. To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever. But you brought my life up from the pit, O LORD my God. "When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, LORD, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple.

8 "Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs. But I, with a song of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. Salvation comes from the LORD."

There are several parts that leap out for me, in the way that scriptures do. Verse 8, Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs. Isaiah 2 shows the temporal nature of idol worship: in the midst of this tribulation of the Day of the Lord, people will finally see the worthlessness of their idols. They will hide among rocks and throw them to "the moles and bats" (Isaiah 2:20). While this throwing out includes actual idols made of gold and silver, charms and religious objects, the apostle Paul equates idolatry with our modern pastime of greed and covetousness (Colossians 3:5).

We have made idols of everything these days. Our cars, entertainment centers and other toys. There is a current commercial on television showing two yuppies excited about all the features their new iPhone has (or blackberry, who can keep up) and a third guy insisting he is happy with his current mechanism but the thought bubble comes up that he is really so jealous he would steal theirs if they put it down for one second. An entire commercial exalting idols and jealousy and thievery cannot be pleasing to God!

II Timothy 3:1-5,7 warns us of godlessness in the last days. Men will be lovers of self, lovers of money. They will be impatient, and having no patience, fail to take the necessary time and self-control to store up treasures in heaven.

It is a time of distress for many Christians as well. However, it was a time of distress for Jonah, too. Jonah had run away from the Command of the Lord, who then tossed him from a boat in the middle of a storm and sent a fish to swallow him. In the midst of Jonah's distress he called out to the Lord, he did not cry out against the Lord. And the Lord HEARD HIM! As the end times progress, there may come temptations to succumb to the trials, to abandon our narrow path and opt for the wide way of the covetous now. To cry against the Lord who is sending these trials upon the earth. Don't succumb, brother! Don't raise your fist against Him, sister! Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit grace. Trust Him always. His deliverance is perfect and just. It will come.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Love the church!

Reprinted. He said it so well! Please read:

Church: Love It, Don't Leave It
By Kevin DeYoung and Ted Kluck

Here's what Bono, Oprah, and the guru speakers on PBS won't tell you: Jesus believed in organized religion and he founded an institution. Of course, Jesus had no patience for religious hacks and self-righteous wannabes, but he was still Jewish. And as Jew, he read the Holy Book, worshiped in the synagogue, and kept Torah. He did not start a movement of latte-drinking disciples who excelled in spiritual conversations. He founded the church (Matt. 16:18) and commissioned the apostles to proclaim the good news that Israel's Messiah had come and the sins of the world could be forgiven through his death on the cross (Matt. 28:18-20; Acts 2:14-36).

For almost two millennia, it was axiomatic that Christians, like, actually went to church (or at least told other Christians they did). From Cyprian to Calvin it was believed that for those to whom God "is Father the church may also be Mother." But increasingly Christians are trying to get more spiritual by getting less church.

Take a spin through the religion section at your local bookstore. What you'll find there is revealing - there are "revolutionary" books for stay at home moms, teenagers, and Christian businessmen. There are lots of manifestos. And most of the books about church are about people leaving the church to "find God." There are lots of Kerouacian "journey" stories, and at least one book about the gospel according to Starbucks. It used to be you had to overthrow a country to be considered a revolutionary, and now, it seems, you just have to quit church and go pray in the woods.

We've been in the church our whole lives and are not blind to its failings. Churches can be boring, hypocritical, hurtful, and inept. The church is full of sinners. Which is kind of the point. Christians are worse than you think. Our Savior is better than you imagine.

But the church is not all about oppression and drudgery. Almost every church we know of visits old people, brings meals to new moms, supports disaster relief, and does something for the poor. We love the local church, in spite of its problems, because it's where we go to meet God. It's not a glorified social/country club you attend to be around people who talk and look just you do. It's a place to hear God's word spoken, taught and affirmed. It's a place to sing praises to God, and a place to serve others. It's a place to be challenged.

The church is more than plural for Christian. It is both organism and organization, a living thing comprised of a certain order, regular worship services, with doctrinal standards, institutional norms, and defined rituals. Without the institution of the church nurturing the flock and protecting the faith for two thousand years, there would be no Christianity. If Gen Xers (like us) and their friends want to be against something, start a revolution. If you want to conserve truth and grace for twenty centuries, plant a church.

We love the church because Christ loved the church. She is his bride--a harlot at times, but his bride nonetheless, being washed clean by the word of God (Eph. 5:25-26). If you are into Jesus, don't rail on his bride. Jesus died for the church, so don't be bothered by a little dying to self for the church's sake. If you keep in mind that everyone there is a sinner (including yourself) and that Jesus Christ is the point and not you, your dreams, or your kids, your church experience might not be as lame as you fear.

Perhaps Christians are leaving the church because it isn't tolerant and open-minded. But perhaps the church-leavers have their own intolerance too--intolerant of tradition, intolerant of authority, intolerant of imperfection except their own. Are you open-minded enough to give the church a chance--a chance for the church to be the church, not a coffee shop, not a mall, not a variety show, not Chuck E. Cheese, not a U2 concert, not a nature walk, but a wonderfully ordinary, blood-bought, Spirit-driven church with pastors, sermons, budgets, hymns, bad carpet and worse coffee?

The Church, because it is Christ's church, will outlive American Idol, the NFL, and all of our grandkids. We won't last, but the Church will. So when it comes to church, be like Jesus: love it, don't leave it. As Saint Calloway once prophesied to the Brothers of Blues, "Jake, you get wise, you get to church."

Bible Word of the Day: Immanence

Last week the word was Transcendence . God is apart from His creation, different from it. This week the word is Immanent or Immanence,...