YOU’RE FIRED!!! Trump discards protecting life and the Christians that got him elected.

Kristen Welker's 'Meet the Press' interview with Trump treads familiar  ground - Los Angeles Times

On Sunday September 17th 2023, former president Donald Trump did what was unthinkable to many of the Christians who voted for him. He stated that he would entertain legislation which would allow abortion up to 15 weeks of gestation. Once again he mocked Governor Ron DeSantis, as Ron “DeSanctus”, and labeled the Florida governor’s heart beat abortion ban, which bans abortion after 6 weeks or if a heart beat is detected prior to 6 weeks, as “terrible”.

The former president, who was being interviewed on NBC’s “Meet the Press” reiterated that he believes he will be able to bring peace between the pro-life and prochoice crowd, by finding the place all will be happy. He believe that place to be 15 to 16 weeks in the womb, a full ten weeks after a heart beat is normally detected. Most Christians believe abortion at any stage to be murder, and rightly so.

Many will say that Trump is walking back his position, but truth be told, he tricked millions of Christians’, that he was not only pro-life, but God’s man for the hour. I addressed these issues in an article I recently wrote called “Trick or Trump and the Truth”. Below is a quote from that article as it pertains to thee current revelations.

Let me ask how Donald Trump was elected in 2016?

This really is a simple question. He was elected, because Christian voters, fearful of Hillary Clinton being elected, voted for a man that is antithetical to what the word of God declares is good and honorable leadership.

Truth be told, there were other candidates who would have beaten Clinton, because she is perhaps one of the most polarizing candidates in history. The election would have been close, but others could have won.

The point is that a majority of Christians voted for Trump, while knowing there were and are huge character issues, because they were told, he was the only one who could beat Hilary Clinton—the only one who could drain the swamp—the only one who could protect our civil liberties from being taken away.

This was an alliance forged in mutual need. Therefore, Donald Trump, a candidate who was and avowed pro-choice supporter, as little as five years prior to running as a republican, was now miraculously pro-life and would put forth supreme court justices with that in mind.

I admit Trump did appoint judges that overturned Roe vs. Wade, but why change his tune.

As little as 8 months ago, he began criticizing those republicans who are so pro-life as needing to loosen up or risk losing elections.  In April the former president criticized Florida’s heart beat abortion ban, as going too far, and suggesting either in error or by outright lie, that most pro-life advocates are against these types of bills.

Was this done because of political expediency or to criticize his onetime ally, Florida  Governor Ron DeSantis, who is running against him? For what it is worth, I believe it is political expediency, like how he went out of his way to overturn Roe vs. Wade, because who would advocate for life and not understand a heartbeat means life? To me it appears that for what is best for him, the former president is changing his colors.

Let me be clear, the overturning of Roe vs. wade was landmark, but did not outlaw abortion, it merely stated the the federal government has no constitutional authority to impose abortion on the states. This is a good thing, but why is the man who appointed the prolife judges, now stating he will entertain codifying abortion, at the federal level, through a federal ban at 15 or 16 weeks? To do this means that abortions will then again be federally protected until the 15th or 16th week of pregnancy.

Would that not make what was accomplished in the overturning of Roe vs. Wade a mute point? Of course it does.

Is former president Trump as delusional as our current president or is there something else at work?

He is not delusional, but a shameless opportunistic narcissus, that lied to those who voted for him. He made himself the antithesis of conservatives chief political enemy at that hour, but it was just a temporary make over.

How does a pro-choice person leave behind that death filled disposition, become the chief supporter of the pro-life cause, only to behave as if he does not know life begins at conception, and the goes as far as possible consideration of allowing abortions up to 16 weeks?

Quite simply, he is what he always has been, a wolf in sheep’s clothing, who as a master manipulator led Christians to believe he would save our political bacon and ensure our way of life. Now we see him as he truly is.

Three Ways to Spot a Wolf in Sheep's Clothing | Association of Biblical  Counselors

Matthew 7:15-20 15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. 16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? 17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

Some will conjecture this passage does not refer to someone like Donald Trump, but false prophets make promises, some of which they keep, because if nothing they say comes to pass, no one would believe them.

Consider that president said, in his campaign…

  1. He would build a wall and Mexico would pay for it. Well, I guess he built some of it, then blamed everyone else for it not being completed.
  2. He would appoint conservative judges to overturn Roe vs. Wade, which he did, but now only to walk back to a pro-choice position.
  3. Consider that while campaigning he said often “I am the only one that can move the country forward”.
  4. Consider how he attacked, even good candidates, insulting anyone who could rival his policies.

President Trump continually “prophesied” what would occur if not elected and during the last election had a multiplicity of false Christian prophets prophesying he would be re-elected.

Let us dig further. In Matthew 7:15 Jesus declares Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves“. Interestingly, the word “ravenous” means “rapacious” in the Greek word from which it is translated. To be “rapacious” a person is aggressively greedy.

If that does not describe the former president, in the totality of his public life in business and what ought to be his private life, then I am Jimmy Carter.

We are also told that we can know the false prophet by their good or bad fruit. Beyond the appointment of conservative judges, what other lasting fruit that would peg the man as righteous?

Consider a further assessment of the false prophet from Matthew 7

Matthew 7:21-23 21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

Although Trump never publicly stated he was a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, plenty of evangelical superstar ministers proclaimed him to be a Christian, such as Paula White, Greg Laurie and Robert Jeffress, going so far as to suggest he prayed a sinner prayer.

The truth is, ones’ profession of being a follower of Christ, has little merit in proving salvation. What matters is what Christ has to say concerning whether we know him or not. To know Him is to love Him by denying self, taking up our cross and following Him.

By that defining line, it is clear Donald Trump is a liar and those who voted for him must understand, your interests are unimportant to him, because he does not believe he needs you to be re-elected. He believes he must pander to sensible democrats who are not radical in wanting abortion right up to birth and feel that Biden is an absolute train wreck.

Once more the wolf is putting on another sheep’s shade and color of clothing. Brethren, I have been saying this since 2015.

How did so many who follow Christ get fooled by a man who is the antithesis of what Christ is and what we know to be decent, honorable and morally right?

Simply put, far too many are afraid of suffering for Christ, and have convinced themselves that American Christians are a special class, that will avoid the persecution the rest of the world-wide church is going through and has been going through since the beginning of the church.

We do this because we have convinced ourselves that that the rapture of the church is for us to avoid suffering tribulation, when the Lord Jesus reveals all true followers of Christ, in all generations will suffer tribulation for following Christ (John 15:18-6:4, 33; II Timothy 3:12).

We have fallen for this ruse time and again because rather than obeying Christ and focusing on the Great Commission, we have called the world into our theaters of religion called churches, in error, and told ourselves we ought to have a government that accommodates our Christian belief’s. We say it is for our children and grandchildren, but we lie. Wet Paint Printing + Design Youre Fired Trump Bumper Sticker  Decal: Posters & Prints

Don’t get fooled again. Christians supported Trump and now he has said to all those who voted for him “You’re Fired!”

If Christ’s return is close and imminent as many declare, then we know we are securing nothing for our children and grandchildren, because this world as it it, is not our home. We are not to hope in a better condition, but…

Titus 2:11-14 11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.

Simply put, we took our eyes off of Christ “the Author and Finisher of our Faith” coming for us, and placed them on human political savior’s such as Donald Trump, and then we asked our God to bless our choice.

Should we have the opportunity to vote again, vote to honor God, but don’t get fooled again. Christ is our Savior, He is returning and all nations will be against Him and His bride.

A wolf in sheep's clothing? – Moonstone Information Refinery

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Fast Approaching Sign of the Times… (Daniel 9:25-27)

The time has come for us to be very sober and vigilant concerning the sign of the times of Christ’s return and the nefarious program of the antichrist’s progressive program.

General Assembly High-level Week 2023 | Nations Unies

Daniel 9:25-27 25“Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublesome times.

“And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself; and the people of the prince who is to come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, and till the end of the war desolations are determined.

Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week he shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate.”

Many recognize the above passage of as a corner stone of understanding the New Testament’s prophecy concerning the events of the beginning of sorrows and tribulation, the in-gathering of the saints (the rapture of the Church), God’s wrath poured out, and Christ’s millennial reign. Understanding the last unfulfilled week of what is called Daniel’s 70 weeks is the genesis of much debate.

Before we get to events surrounding the last of the 70 weeks (or 70 weeks which are seven years a piece), it is important to deal with the context and content before that last week.

Daniel 9:25 reveals both the 62 weeks and 7 weeks prior to the 62 weeks. Those 49 years began to countdown from 457 BC , when Israel returned from Babylonian captivity, to begin rebuilding the Temple, which again was completed in 408 BC.

The 62 weeks, or 434 years (a week equals 7 years), began to countdown from the completion of the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem, in 408 BC. The end of this countdown is 27 AD, when Messiah, Jesus Christ, was “cut off” in His death.

In total, 483 years lines up with our previous calculations. O, the amazing the accuracy of God’s word.

This timing lines up perfectly with the life and death of Herod the Great (he died in 4 BC), who attempted to kill the infant Christ and with Quirinius, who was governor of Syria at the time of the census (between 6 and 5 BC), which led to Joseph and Mary traveling to Bethlehem, where Christ was born (Luke 2:1-2).

The last week of 7 years has yet to be fulfilled (verse 27). In outline…

  1. The prince of verse 26 will make a covenant with many for one week (or seven years), which includes the Jewish people and a third temple.
  2. Halfway into the last week of seven years, the prince, or antichrist, will break his covenant, by what is referred to as the abomination of desolation. II Thessalonians 2 gives us more insight, as does Matthew 24.

2 Thessalonians 2:3-4  Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,  who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

Matthew 24:15-16 15 “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.

Interestingly, to those present when Christ spoke in Matthew 24, they would have known of a first fulfillment and may have been alive for a potential second fulfillment of this prophecy.

In 167 BC Antiochus Epiphanes, the ruler of Syria sacrificed a pig on a alter of Zeus, he erected in the temple. Despite, this “abomination of desolation”, the Lord Jesus Christ would tell them they would see it again.

In AD 70 Roman general Titus destroyed the temple, set up and image of Jupiter (Roman version of Zeus) and had an orgy in the temple area before destroying the center of Jewish worship.

Yet both the first and second times were only partial fulfillments. In the first place, Jesus mentions it again, after the first fulfilment and secondly with Antiochus Epiphanes and Titus there was no seven-year covenant.

Therefore, that which we read of the “abomination of desolation” from Matthew 24 and II Thessalonians 2:3-4, will be fulfilled in the very near future, which means a third Jewish Temple must be built in Jerusalem, as a condition of a seven year covenant the antichrist makes with many.

Recent events have us rolling towards fulfillment of this last seven-year week. Let me share some troubling realities.

A Potential Covenant with Many is Potentially Very Close

In the last three months (June 2023 to September 2023), there has been a movement between Israel and Saudi Arabia, through normalizing relationship between these two opposing nations, for the purpose of bringing peace to the middle east. More specifically Saudi Arabia is being seen as necessary to achieving a lasting peace, because of its relationship to key regional powers, like Jordon, and its opposition of Iran, which funds terrorist groups backing the Palestinian State against Israeli national security.

What Donald Trump's Middle East Peace Plan Means for Israelis and  Palestinians

More specially, Saudi Arabia is aligning itself to be the chief Islamic nation in influence over the Temple Mount, in Jerusalem, which Jordan has held for decades. With many leading Muslims now acknowledging the Jewish temple preceded the Al Aksa Mosque, on the Temple Mount, this development is very interesting.

The reason is that next week at the United Nations in New York City, Saudi Arabia, on behalf of the precursor one world government of the United Nations, is co-hosting a U.N. event, entitled Peace Day Effort for Middle East Peace.

This conference is designed to push the peace process in Israel. This is significant for the many nations involved in that process. Remember from Daniel 9:27 where “he (the prince who is antichrist) will confirm a covenant for one week.

The leader of Saudi Arabia is crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.

In a vacuum, this would not ruffle many feathers but behave as something with limited prophetic potential, such as most other peace efforts, between Israel and the Palestinian puppet government. The Palestinian sham state was planted by Muslim nations of the middle east to continue the war lost to Israel when they regained control of the promised land in 1967.

The “Peace Day Effort for Middle East Peace” is not occurring in a vacuum, but as a sidebar event to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal Summit for Agenda 2030 occurring at the same time (September 18 and 19).

SDG Summit 2023 | United Nations

The point of this S.D.G. Summit for the United Nations will be a “negotiated political declaration” among the nations represented. This declaration will push a seven-year agreement to achieve Agenda 2030 sustainable development goals.
These goals, include…

  • The weakening national sovereignty of individual nations, which means governments will allow U.N. agreements to supersede national constitutions and law.
  • Radical measures of population control (population reduction) and poverty (like vaccines which assure sterility, abortion, restrictions on childbearing, food grown only with genetically modified seeds or cultured meat).
  • A movement toward smart cities where A.I. watches and controls every aspect of human life.
  • The ending of conflicts and war, beginning with the one place in the world, which in every generation, is a focus of conflict… Israel and more specifically Jerusalem.
  • To push for equal distribution of wealth, through a digital sovereign digital currency.

Is it not significant that during the United Nations Summit to push a seven-year plan, which will move much of the world into a one world sovereign government (with a one world currency), has a side bar one day conference pushing peace in the between Israel and its neighbors, which is something Daniel speaks of?

In lieu of that question, remember that the Temple Institute in Israel has been and is currently preparing for the building of a third temple. They even now have red heifers to reinstate the sin offering. Note what the Temple Institute declares about a third temple.

“Every prophet of Israel, without exception, prophesied that the Temple would be rebuilt, ushering in a new era of universal harmony and peace unparalleled in the history of man. Thus, the “movement” to rebuild the Holy Temple is not new. It was born almost 2,000 years ago, at the moment of the Second Temple’s destruction. For when the Holy Temple stood in Jerusalem, it was the soul of Jewish people… and the entire world… as we believe it will be once again.”

Is it difficult to see a third temple will be a condition of a new peace deal with Israel and has been a chief sticking point since nations have attempted to make peace between Israel and its neighbors since its return as a nation in 1948.

It must be noted that one of the legitimizing acts of the early United Nations was resolution 181, which effectively gave Israel nation status, albeit in a limited fashion. Not only was President Truman a catalyst for this event, but also the cry “never again”, concerning the holocaust of WWII.

Do not be surprised if in the 6 to months to come there is some terrible attack on Israel, which pushes all parties to grant the Temple Mount to Israel for the construction of a third temple.

To the United Nations the temple is a giant middle finger to YHWH because they are all at war with Him and His Christ, and His death and resurrection made the temple obsolete.

Psalms 2:1-5  Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and against His Anointed, saying, “Let us break Their bonds in pieces and cast away Their cords from us. “He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The Lord shall hold them in derision. Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, And distress them in His deep displeasure:

The United Nations are intentional in their hatred of YHWH, His Messiah and Messiah’s people. Consider that these wicked leaders push the ridiculous notion that one day soon, we can download our conscience into artificial intelligence, in computers or robotics and “live forever”.

The purpose of my writing to inform of what is likely on the horizon, so we can walk righteously, holy and in faith, as tribulation with much persecution will roll over the church worldwide, as these events come to pass.

I do realize that it may still be a considerable amount of time, perhaps a year or years, until these situations come to prophetic fulfillment, but the Hebrews calendar of years suggest we are at the door.

Lift up your heads, for our salvation is nearer then when we first believed.

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Vision and Valley’s? (Part II)

Third Heaven | RayKLiu

2 Corinthians 12:1-41 It is doubtless not profitable for me to boast. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord: 2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a one was caught up to the third heaven. 3 And I know such a man—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows— 4 how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.

In my last article we established Paul’s love and devotion for Christ, as a foundation for the revelations and visions he received from the Lord. Concerning the contents of this vison, we know he saw the very dwelling place of the throne of God.

Contrary to others who have seen the glory of the LORD, such as Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel and even John the apostle in Revelation, we are not given a window into Paul’s immediate response. What is revealed is the nature of this vision in concert with all the other revelation Paul received, made him particularly venerable to the carnality of pride.

Remember II Corinthians 12:1-10 is in a section of 2 chapters, where Paul is defending his apostleship from false teachers, prophets and apostles. Despite this fact, he does not include the vision as a mean to elevate himself, but to reveal, visions without proper chastisement from God, can lead to spiritual pride and shipwreck.

The apostolic character trait that set Paul apart was not his knowledge of the scripture–the visions and revelations he received–the number of people he converted to disciples of Christ–or the special miracles he did. It was his absolute dependence on the LORD for grace, power and sustaining strength.

In fact, all the great works accomplished through Paul, arose from his absolute dependence on the Holy Spirit, his faith in God’s word and his willingness to live for Christ, even if it meant dying (Philippians 1:19-21). This is why Paul reports in defense of his apostleship, and concerning the vision “Of such a one I will boast; yet of myself I will not boast, except in my infirmities.

Even in this boast the apostle could take no credit, for if it were not for the LORD ordering a specific chastisement, Paul may have ended poorly, in a prideful and sinful state. In II Corinthians 12:7 the servant of God reports “And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.”

What this reveals to us is that…

  1. Being blessed by God with giftedness for ministry does not afford us with prestige, but often necessary pain.
  2. Having revelation from God is not about gain, but the necessary loss of instant gratification.
  3. Being filled with the Holy Spirit is not about authority to direct others, but having faith to persevere through trial as a model to others.

From Paul’s experience we can see that the Lord had a specific chastisement for him “a thorn in his flesh“, a messenger from Satan to to buffet (or repeatedly give a blow), for the purpose of keeping Paul humble, dependent on the Lord alone.

A Thorn Was Given to Me – Vine Fellowship Network

When Paul reveals the thorn was “given to me“, it means God allowed the enemy to touch Paul’s flesh in a particular way. The use of the word flesh, in context could mean his physical body or his old man, which was crucified, but hanging around like a dead body. Many have attempted to figure out what the “thorn” was, this knowledge is ultimately  not that important.

What is important is how it made the apostle feel, as the enemy would use the weakness as an occasion to shame, criticize and discourage Paul from God’s will. It is likely that the messenger was a particular false apostle or collection of them, who saw this “thorn in the flesh” and would lambaste the man. This would be in an effort to discredit him. It is likely that satanic and demonic assaults on his mind would occur accusing him of the same. It is also likely his own stinking thinking would blare like a broken record.

The outcome of this buffeting upon the servant of the Lord, was a chorus declaring…

“You are unqualified”

“No one believes what you say”

“You can heal other in Jesus name, but you can’t heal yourself”

“God has forgotten you and your pain and shame reveal it”

We ought to be careful of placing ourselves inside of Paul’s experience, but for anyone who truly desires to make the Lord Jesus Christ know, you know some of this painful and demoralizing messaging from Satan.

What is often difficult to wrap our minds around is that God designed this particular trial, specifically for the apostle and He designs specific chastisements for you and I as well.

Eye on France: Spare the rod, spoil the child - or not?

One way of embracing this truth is to remember that the Lord’s chastisement are not always a result of our  doing something wrong, but because we desiring to serve Him more. What did Paul do that was wrong or sinful? Nothing, he was given a vision because he was sold out to Christ in love and faithfulness. It was his heart to know Christ, that needed sanctification from hidden pride.

I encourage you to read the book of Hebrews, especially all of chapter 12. In many cases people can recite most of Hebrews 12:1-3, yet, miss the context and message of the chapter, yeah the entire book. That message is to be faithful to Christ regardless of the trial or persecution, they are chastisements we need to have strong powerful faith.

Despite knowing these truths, like Paul we may seek the removal of the pain or difficulty. This is normal, until the LORD gives us and answer.

2 Corinthians 12:8-9 Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. 9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”

My scriptural advice for any illness or persistent period of pain or pressure is to seek the Lord for resolution, but be listening to His speaking back, for He may say “My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness“.

This is true for healing of sickness or physical or emotional pain. Often we ask and being impatient with the delay, we run to human methods for relief, believing it to be God’s way. This is problematic.

Consider that if the “thorn” in Paul’s flesh was a physical ailment or brokenness, and rather than wait for an answer, he sought out some of Luke’s old Greek physician friends for resolution. To do that would have been walking outside of God’s will.

God wanted Paul to trust Him and allow grace to be the means of his relief and empowerment. In this state, the physical condition is known by others, but they can also see Paul unaffected when ministering and living for Christ. This is because
God’s power rested upon and filled Paul, as he trusted God.

We ought to learn this now, rather than when all our human American crutches are taken away from us in the coming tribulation.

What will we do when we have no pain relief, have to trust Him for daily bread and find ourselves outnumbered and overmatched, and still called to proclaim Christ? In that weakness we can find an even fuller effectiveness if we learn the lesson of boasting in our weaknesses.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Paul learned that boasting in those things we cannot control or change, even in ourselves, is the door by which we are filled with the power of the Holy Spirit.  This is contrary to much of Christian culture in the world.

We seek degrees and training to strengthen weaknesses, and find we need more training and further degrees.

We seek to change our presentation to the world around us and gather the things we lack, that will endear us to those we desire to come to our building and programs.

We are continually looking to become stronger, not in Christ, but in relevancy to those who if we are honest, do not love the Lord Jesus Christ, but are looking to be pandered to.

The time has come to boast in our weaknesses and rejoice in the power of God. The world around us does not need great preachers with better diction or better building with more modern accouterments. They need God’s people, who are foolish, weak, ignoble, and simply normal, to be filled with love and fire for the Christ who redeemed them.

Stop looking to improve yourself, boast in your weakness and as the power of God’s Spirit fills you. Boast in the greatness of God and His redemption through Christ’s death and resurrection, as you call the world to repentance and faith in Him. And remember…

1 Corinthians 1:26-29 26 For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. 27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28 and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29 that no flesh should glory in His presence.

The last time I checked, you and I resemble those remarks, isn’t it about time, we allow God to show them His glorious Son through our lives?

1 Corinthians 1:27 God chose the foolish things" Kids T-Shirt for Sale by  plushism | Redbubble

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Vision and Valleys? (Part 1)

The Valley of Vision: A Prayer – revPACman

Christian ministers in America, often use phrases which we believe to be biblical. This is done the purpose getting a point across or stirring up a congregation, to enlist their effort to execute a leader or leaders agenda.

Consider the phrasing of being on “a journey”. Pastor’s have been using this phrase for decades  to encourage churches to stick to a particular teaching. Pastors also use this phrasing when congregations get restless with a lack of results concerning a particular program or ministry. The “journey” phrasing is used so much, I almost have a physical reaction to hearing it in others. My question is, as important as the journey may be, are we ever going to get to the destination.

Another particular phrasing we Christian ministers have beaten like a dead horse concerns the words “vision” and “valleys”. With “vision” we bandy about phrases like “vision casting pastor” or what is your fellowship’s “vision statement”.

A “vision casting pastor” usually means a pastor who dreams up plans he desires the congregation to carry out and God to bless. This phrasing sounds exciting, but is simply advertising, from men less talented than P.T. Barnham, and most often not led by the Spirit of God.

What is the vision statement of all the church, throughout the ages?

Matthew 28:18-20 18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.

If we would spend our time trusting the Lord with all our heart, not leaning on our own understanding, acknowledging His presence with us in all things, He would direct us, away from the need for vision statements (Proverbs 3:5-7).

The very real draw back to phrases which misuse the biblical word vision, is to potentially redefine what a biblical vision is and never consider why the person received the vison. Consider Paul’s most well know vision.

What does the Bible mean when Paul mentions three Heavens? - Quora

2 Corinthians 12:1-41 It is doubtless not profitable for me to boast. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord: 2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago—whether in the body I do not know, or whether out of the body I do not know, God knows—such a one was caught up to the third heaven. 3 And I know such a man—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows— 4 how he was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.

Clearly Pauls’ “vision” was filled with “revelation” for him, but he did not over focus on what others could not understand.

Paul’s reporting of this “vision” is nestled in a two to three chapter section, where he is defending His apostleship. He does not use the vision to elevate himself over those who are opposing him, but to shine the light on what makes his character truly apostolic.

That element of true apostolic character is absolute dependence on God, as experienced in a humbling experience. This humility is an alien concept to the false apostles and prophets.

Why was Paul’s blessed to receive this vision in the first place?

Who can argue Paul’s influence on the church or the LORD’s abundant illumination and revelation to him. Not only was Paul chosen to write a majority of the New Testament letters, he did miracles, founded churches received information from angels about surviving ship wreck, and much more. Again why was Paul chosen for such revelation and vison(s)?

The answer is his love for Christ, which was rooted in Christ’s forgiveness of Paul. Although forgiven, Paul never forgot that he was the chief of sinners. That distinction did not mean he saw himself as such in the present tense, but that no one was as foul and antichrist before their conversion as he was.

1 Timothy 1:12-14 12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, 13 although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. 14 And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.

When Paul was still known as Saul of Tarsus, he watched the cloaks of the men who murdered Stephen the first martyr.  He was not old enough to be an elder and therefore could not carry out the sentence of stoning.  Although he could not throw rocks used to end Stephen’s life, the young persecutor had much power. Given authority by the religious leaders, he would be consenting to the separation of Christians from their families, as well as their deportation to Jerusalem to stand trial (Acts 7:54-8:1-3).

Remember that Luke, Paul’s travelling companion wrote the book of Acts of the Apostles, so the account of Stephen’s death would have been relayed to Luke by Paul. Even this accounting.

Acts 7:55-56 But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, 56 and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!”

Note the word does not begin with “Stephen said ‘Look! I see heaven open and the Son of Man…'”, but it does first say the Stephen “gazed into heaven and saw… Jesus standing at the right hand”.

This was before Stephen spoke what he saw, so how would Paul know? Because he saw the same thing. Remember Paul was a living witness to the events and was practicing by the mouth of two or three witnesses all things will be established.

2 Corinthians 12:1-5: What did the apostle Paul mean when he said: “caught  up to the third heaven” and “caught up into paradise”? - Christian  Publishing House Blog

It is my strong and biblically informed position, that when Christ appears to Paul in Acts 9, where Paul is blinded and knocked from his horse, and where he addresses Christ as “Who are you Lord”, that Paul knew it was Christ. I believe this for he had seen Jesus before, in Jerusalem, in the same vision that Stephen had seen.

Why is this important? Because Paul, who had lived in Jerusalem from late boyhood, studying under Gamaliel, was present in Jerusalem when was Christ was crucified. During the time of Christ’s death, Paul hated Jesus and was that chief of sinners. How do we know? Because Paul wrote this under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

Romans 5:8 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Who else could write that as an actual real time and lived out experience, but Paul, who most likely was in the very crowd of mocking blasphemers that day. This brings us to why Paul received visions. it was his love for Christ, because of Christi’s love to a  to him; a man wanted the Messiah dead, and attempted to bring death to those who loved Messiah.

We know this because from the moment Paul was healed, by the laying on the hands of Ananias in Acts 9, Paul was wholly and holy committed to making Christ known. In this commitment, he left everything behind to follow the Master.

Philippians 3:7-11 7 But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. 8 Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

This is love, to the extent where a person strives to look unto Jesus the Author and Finisher of their faith alone. In this love for Christ, Paul would pray to “know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings…”. This prayer was answered over and again, as Paul lived in the fullness of the Holy Spirit and suffered greatly for it.

In American Christian culture those who would claim vision, love to declare with prosperity gospel garbage, that God would not want them to suffer. Paul understood that love for Christ, is expressed by those who are blessed, in valleys of trouble, all of which are either ordained by God or allowed by Him..

Paul had such great revelation, because His love for Christ, called for his unconditional surrender to God’s will, regardless of the cost. He was glad to surrender.

Paul also understood that being blessed in receiving a true vision, comes with a heavy cost. The cost is in maintaining and attitude of dependence on the Lord, which means walking through dark and difficult valleys.

In my next post, we will discuss Paul’s valley concerning II Corinthians 12 (the other misused word in often repeated and assumed biblical phrases), which arose from the vision he  received.

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Trick or Trump, and the Truth

The Internet Is Obsessed with the President's Trick-or-Treating Fail - E!  Online

Be cautious Christian. In our desire to have a nation more affable to our comfort and faith, we are at risk of making a sinful error for the second time. What I am about to write is controversial for sure, but it is true and a repeated fact of history. It is the question of whether we ought to throw our voting weight behind former president Donald Trump.

Consider the many times the American Government has made an alliance with nations or people groups contrary to the American way of life or democracy, only to have those convenient allies turn out to be enemies.

Consider Russia during WWII and the reality that Stalin and communism, turned out to be just as murderous and even more contrary than the evil of Nazi Germany. Consider the United States training and providing arms to the Mujahedeen Gorillas of Afghanistan, in that nation’s war against Russia, and how they turned out to be involved in the 911 attacks.

Consider how many Americans were killed during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, by men directly trained or indirectly trained by these former Mujahedeen fighters, Osama Bin Laden being one of them.

Why were these alliances forged? Because at the time it seemed aligning with those contrary to America’s ideals, was the only way to defeat a perceived evil. At least that is what we are told.

Let’s no lose that principal, because we Christians have done this to our detriment, through out the history of the church.

Consider how the faith once delivered to the saints was weakened, after persecution against Christians was outlawed (in 325 ad). We know the word of God declares, the world will hate us, because it did not know the Lord Jesus Christ and it hated Him, but we forget that truth when the world appears to like us.

Persecution was ended by emperor Constantine, who saw Christianity exploding in growth. He understood that although paganism was still the majority, it would not be for long and that would create a potential civil divide leading to war. Therefore, he accommodated both, by instituting law favorable to Christians, while instituting incremental changes into Christianity that would draw pagans. The man flat our manipulated Christians.

Constantine focused on a celebration of the virgin birth of Christ, to be held during the feast of Saturnalia (around December 25th), which was not the season of Christ’s birth. When Christmas was introduced, the early church had not specific day of celebration for the birth of Christ, although it is a fundamental fact of Christ’s deity.  Constantine used a pagan feast, which celebrated the birth of Mithras, a pagan demigod, to syncretize pagans and Christians.

This pleased Christians for they would get tax breaks and other accommodations to celebrate an important theological fact, publicly. It pleased the pagans who held that Mithras, who was supposedly born from a rock, could be aligned with Christ, which we know is blasphemous.

Over time, this syncretism would lead to other pagan practices being brought into Christianity, when “parallels” were found. One would be the bastardization of the Lord’s supper itself. Romans, by way of Egypt celebrated the raising of the god Osiris into bread and wine. It was called transubstantiation. In lieu of this ritual, the priests of Osiris would then consume bread, which is the representation of the actual flesh of the false god, gaining power and blessing.

This is the exact ritual of the Roman Catholic Church in what they call the eucharist, or what we call “communion” or the Lord’s supper”. The difference the bread and wine are remembrances. Roman Catholics are taught they are eating Christ’s actual flesh and blood.

In addition to this blasphemy, the Roman syncretism of the faith led to Catholic idol worship, as they swapped out Roman god names, with Christian ones, whereby through devotion one can supposedly gain power and grace for their troubles. There are so many more, all because the church decided, the world can’t be all that bad, and if it will advance our cause, and they say they are aligned with Christ, it can’t be bad.

How does this relate to my earlier warning? Let me ask how Donald Trump was elected in 2016?

This really is a simple question. He was elected, because Christian voters, fearful of Hillary Clinton being elected, voted for a man that is antithetical to what the word of God declares is good and honorable leadership.

Before you want to clobber me with a club, let me declare I do not need the president of America to be a Sunday school teacher, but for a Christian, the criterion of voting should not be based on who is the only hope to beat the other candidate. Truth be told, there were other candidates who would have beaten Clinton, because she is perhaps one of the most polarizing candidates in history.

The election would have been close, but others could have won. The point is that the majority of Christians voted for Trump, while knowing there were and are huge character issues, because they were told, he was the only one who could beat Hilary Clinton—the only one who could drain the swamp—the only one who could protect our civil liberties from being taken away.

This was an alliance forged in mutual need. Therefore, a candidate who was avowed pro-choice as little as five years prior to running as a republican, was now miraculously pro-life and would put forth supreme court justices with that in mind.

Now I admit that is something Trump did, yet now that the election cycle is on, and Roe vs. Wade overturned, his tune has changed.

As little as 8 months ago, he was criticizing those republicans who are so pro-life as needing to loosen up or risk losing elections.  In April former president Trump criticized Florida’s heart beat abortion ban, as going too far, and suggesting either in error or by outright lie, that most pro-life advocates are against these types of bills.

Was this done because of political expediency or to criticize his onetime ally, Florida  Governor Ron DeSantis, who is running against him? For what it is worth, I believe it is political expediency, like how he went out of his way to overturn Roe vs. Wade, because who would advocate for life and not understand a heartbeat means life? To me it appears that for what is best for him, the former president is changing his colors.

I do not fault him for this, because it is what he has always been as a self-promoting and self-serving lost man. From my earliest years being raised in pop-culture I knew of Donald Trump. He says and does whatever is expedient for him. Now the Roe vs. Wade is settled, he needs moderate voters from the democrat side, so he will soften his rhetoric to reflect a more centrist view on abortion.

Christians beware, he still needs your vote, therefore he is coming hard at the alphabet soup of LGBTQ ideology, against out children, all the while saying that a heart beat ban goes to far on protecting unborn life.

As stated above it seems contradictory, because it is, but that is what political expediency is. His political expediency can be seen in the blasphemous statements the former president made concerning the meaning of the Lord’s supper and how he does not need forgiveness, but just to tried harder, during the 2016 presidential campaign.

One more, I do not need a president to be a Christian in order to vote for him. I also understand that an honest politician with integrity is a rare commodity, but a person who reduces a practice of the faith to a humorous and mildly mocking troupe, for the purpose of appearing close enough to what you want in a candidate to vote for him, is more than troubling.

This is partially how he was elected, but also because of his bitter, mocking, insulting and at times cruel manner of attacking enemies.

There is a vulgarity, mixed with a loose self-righteousness, mixed with a humorous arrogancy–mixed with a situational morality–mixed with an ability to get away with somethings many would like to get away with–mixed with a well crafted and phony narrative of success–that appeals to many a man’s offended macho man sensibility.

Consider that many Christian men, like Trump because he tells it like it is or says what we would like to say in our disgust. Why do we like this? Because rather than behave like Jesus Christ, loving our enemies by blessing those who curse us and not returning insult for insult (Matthew 5:44-48; I Peter 1:21-24), we would rather be like Trump.

How many times have I heard men say, “God did not save me to be a doormat”, when they are called to consider that suffering? Truth told suffering persecution for our faith in Christ, is more than a prospect; it is built into the experience of a Christian and necessary for them to live a life being sanctified (Matthew 24; John 15:18-6:3; II Timothy 3:12; I Peter 1:6-7, 4:11-14).

The error of the “I will not be a doormat” theology, is contrary to the very life of Christ, who’s bleeding wounds from His torn open back read “Welcome Home” to those of us who walked across His body, from the land of death, into the kingdom of God and eternal life. This wrong thinking is also contrary to our call to be like Him, in this life.

Recently I have heard many mirroring the attacks of former president Trump on former vice president Michael, even calling him a coward and akin to a flip-flopper.  I do not know if Michael Pence would be a good president, but a coward he is not and not a flip flopper.

What he is, is a man who at least seeks to live with integrity, self-control, and character. The point is, Donald Trump praised Mike Pence when expedient to do so, and now he curses him because it is expedient.

Be careful friends not to believe that Trump is the only one who can save us from tyranny. He cannot and does not need too. Jesus Christ saved us from the tyranny of sin and death and a world contrary to us. He enables us to shine that truth, by resurrection power, throguh the Holy Spirit with us. One day, we will forever be free of the curse of this ear, from sin and death, and dwell with His perfect Government, in a new earth wherein dwells righteousness.

Trick, Trump or Truth, what will we get, that is the question? Do we win at any cost, or potentially lose and hold to our Christian integrity? Is a second Trump presidency going to make us a more godly nation of Truth, or be a trick, which may further shackle the church with carnality and false beliefs about political saviors?

You’ll have to decide.

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Is It Possible To Limit GOD?

Un-Limiting God! |

The title implies a ridiculous question to more thana few factions of Christianity, in what is know as Western civilization. To suggest that God can be limited, in the minds of many Christians, would mean He is not Almighty. Does this mode of thought line up with the Bible?

God has chosen to work independent of man and at times with man, through the auspices of man’s faith. In fact, man’s choice to believe God is that which moves God to consider a person righteous (Genesis 15:16; Habakkuk 2:2-4; Romans 1:17). Consider Moses and how the Lord worked through Him, even in a most practical way.

In Exodus 17, the Israelites are sent into battle against the unbeatable Amalekites. While Moses has the staff of the LORD extended over Israel on the battlefield, Israel would advance toward winning the battle. When his arms would drop, Israel would lose ground to their enemies exponentially.

In a wonderful move of faith and collaboration, we read that Aaron and Hur gave Moses a stone to sit upon and they held his arms extended until sunset. The result, as God worked through them, was Israel winning the battle against a much great and superior force.

This reveals God working through men, then being limited by men, and then working unhindered once more in His will, by faithful men. This kind of pattern extends and continues throughout the Old Testament, with the nation of Israel and is clearly stated in Psalm 78:40-42.

Psalms 78:40-42 40 How often they provoked Him in the wilderness and grieved Him in the desert! 41 Yes, again and again they tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel. 42 They did not remember His power: The day when He redeemed them from the enemy

It is true that God is all powerful and limitless, but because He chooses to work through humanity, by faith, when the faith of that humanity is faulty or unbelief takes root, it can and does, at times, limit His will from moving forward.

This is not only an Old Testament phenomenon. Remember that where there was little or no faith, in the Lord Jesus Christ, He could not do many miracles (Matthew 13:58; Mark 6:5). In addition, we find the church can be a limiting factor to the what the Holy One of Israel desires to do in a particular area or time.

1 Corinthians 10:6-13 6 Now these things became our examples, to the intent that we should not lust after evil things as they also lusted. 7 And do not become idolaters as were some of them. As it is written, “The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.” 8 Nor let us commit sexual immorality, as some of them did, and in one day twenty-three thousand fell; 9 nor let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed by serpents; 10 nor complain, as some of them also complained, and were destroyed by the destroyer. 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.12 Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. 13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

Christians who commit sexual immorality, tempt Christ, and complain in a fashion like Israel can and do limit what the LORD desires to, for as long as it persists. It is important to see these violations, as violations of faith in God’s word, Person and plan. The word unbelief is the action in us which limits the work of God. Consider Romans Chapter 11.

Romans 11:19-22 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” 20 Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. 22 Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off.

To be cut off means to fall away into judgment. This is made clear by what the Lord Jesus Christ declares in John 15:1-3 where He declares “Every branch in me that bares fruit will be pruned and every branch in Me, that does not bear fruit will be cut off and cast into the fire”.

Unbelief, therefore, is the key factor which limits the Holy One of Israel and it is a big problem for the Christian. This is because unbelief is not to declare that Jesus Christ is not the only Begotten Son of God, but to act contrary in ways to that profession. Consider the book of Hebrews which uses Israel as an example of those who declared we will follow YHWH, but to would not obey Him.

Hebrews 3:7-15 7

Therefore, as the Holy Spirit says:

 “Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, in the day of trial in the wilderness, 9where your fathers tested Me, tried Me, and saw My works forty years. 10Therefore I was angry with that generation, and said, ‘They always go astray in their heart, and they have not known My ways.’ 11so I swore in My wrath, they shall not enter My rest.'”

 12Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; 13 but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end, 15 while it is said:

“Today, if you will hear His voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”

 Let us remember that this passage declares “Beware, Brethren, lest there be in any of you and evil heart of unbelief in departing the Living God”.

To be cut off, or having and evil heart of unbelief, is to limit the work of God in the individual, the church, and the world. So let us be determined to not be persons limiting the power of God in our sphere of influence. Let us revisit Psalm 78:40-42 to understand ho to be a conduit of God’s limitless will.

Psalms 78:40-42 40 How often they provoked Him in the wilderness and grieved Him in the desert! 41 Yes, again and again they tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel. 42 They did not remember His power: The day when He redeemed them from the enemy

In this passage we see four descriptive words which arise from their lack of faith in what the LORD had done for them in the past: provoked, grieved, tempted, and did not remember.

This is unbelief, for while they professed they believed God, in trials the did not remember His power, and went their own way, provoking, grieving and tempting the LORD.

This is egregious error is a huge sin problem for us as well, but in our Christian culture, we make excuses for not trusting God alone, for choosing from our own understanding and forgetting His word and testimony of power.

When we walk in unbelief, we provoke, grieve, tempt and limit the LORD, not only in our life, but also in our fellowships and the communities of lost men, we live in.

This passage greatly convicts me, and ought to greatly convict all of us. The Church in America is largely based on individual profession of salvation, but salvation is not about a ticket to heaven on the “Jesus Train”. Salvation is the powerful on going deliverance and transformation of the entire man, by the power of God filling and working through our humanity.

In this we are privileged and called to participate in the expansion of His will, until Christ’s comes for us in the clouds. To not embrace this blessing and accountability is to potentially hinder His glory and purpose where we live.

When the Son of Man comes, will He find us faithful and believing in His power still, or simply hanging on till He arrives? The choice is ours, for not everyone who declares to Christ “Lord, Lord” will enter the kingdom of heaven, but those who do the will of His Father (Matthew 7:21-23).














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The Idol of “Me, Myself and I”… (Ezekiel 14:1-11)

What is Your Mirror in Life? - Goodness Of God MinistriesGoodness Of God  Ministries

I have recently been working through the Book of Ezekiel in my personal seeking of the Lord in scripture. Although there is much in his prophecy which begs for further understanding, I have always been drawn to God’s disposition in dealing with Israel, through this man.

Ezekiel is a book filled with fantastic visions of the throne of God (Ezekiel 1), the rebirth of Israel in the vision of the valley of dry bones (Ezekiel 37), and the end times war of Gog of Magog (Ezekiel 38-39).

Perhaps the most meaningful revelation to me, in the midst of all the outlandish things the prophet is called to do, is what the LORD admonishes Ezekiel with not once but twice, in this book (Ezekiel 3:16-21, Ezekiel 33:7-11).

Ezekiel 33:7-9 7So you, son of man: I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear a word from My mouth and warn them for Me. 8 When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you shall surely die!’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. 9 Nevertheless if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul. 

It is for this reason, that I am writing today about Ezekiel 14:1-11 and the “Idol of Me, Myself and I”. We Christians must heed the warning in God’s dealing with Israel, or potentially suffer a similar falling away. 


Ezekiel 14:1-31 Now some of the elders of Israel came to me and sat before me. 2 And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 3 “Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their hearts, and put before them that which causes them to stumble into iniquity. Should I let Myself be inquired of at all by them?

It is important to note that these men are not the full compliment of the elders of the nation of Israel. Even though these elders were no pagan in their practice, the LORD reveals they had set up idols in their own heart, causing them to profess trust in God, but walk in unbelief.

This is important for earlier in Ezekiel, the LORD carries the prophet in the Spirit, to the temple in Jerusalem, where he witnesses the priests and elders of Israel, doing abominable worship rituals to a multiplicity of false gods (Ezekiel 8). Those who were responsible for the religious and civil life of the nation, were almost completely corrupted in idol worship of pagan deities.

The result is that the glory of the LORD would depart the temple, God’s city and the nation itself. Imagine how disheartening the revelation in Ezekiel 14, concerning these elders must have been.

The elders in Ezekiel 14 were not involved in the abominable rituals of Chapter 8, but still had a problem. What were these idols?

We can identify them, by understanding what idols are used for. Remember that idols represent a false god, machinated by the fallen angelic watchers. These created beings that left their first estate, used their God given authority to fool the people and become false gods the people could serve, instead of the God they knew but were no longer thankful for.

The idols of Ezekiel 8 provided shortcuts to gaining what God promised, only with the added bondages of pagan ritualism of varying abomination. In that understanding, we can look at the god mammon, so called in Israel (same Chinese god called Fortune or Hotei).

Our Lord Jesus declares in Matthew 6:24 No man can serve two masters. One cannot serve God, while performing worship rituals to mammon. In Matthew 6 our Lord explains the reason people would confess following YHWH, while serving mammon is anxiety over needed provision… what we will eat, drink, and cloth ourselves with.

We Christians must be concerned about this anxiety ourselves. We may not go to China and throw a penny in the water at a shrine of the god Fortune, believing we will gain necessary provision, but the want of more and faster, may still be and idol pulling us away from our Provider.

Although God will supply our needs through the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19), His supplying our needs does not satisfy our want, of more than our daily bread. Therefore, an idol can be anything which we run to for the purpose of gaining the upper hand on anxiety or fear, when we need provision or protection, or feel the need for more.

Idols are tied to more, faster and that which makes “Me, Myself and I” feel in control and safe. That is why, idols are not always wood, hay, stubble or stone. The  elders of Ezekiel 14 were in a deception, believing themself followers of YHWH, while being in bondage to iniquity. Perhaps their idol was self-righteous religion.

God, also declared everyday, ordinary, average guys, had the same idols.

Ezekiel 14:4-5 4 “Therefore speak to them, and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Everyone of the house of Israel who sets up his idols in his heart, and puts before him what causes him to stumble into iniquity, and then comes to the prophet, I the LORD will answer him who comes, according to the multitude of his idols, 5 that I may seize the house of Israel by their heart, because they are all estranged from Me by their idols.”‘

Before we move into the product of a person with idols in their heart, let us consider that the definition of an idol, in a society like America, may literally be a religious relic of some sort, or even a statue of a false deity.

The Golden Smiling Buddha or Hotei is the Chinese God of Happiness, Wealth  and Good Luck Stock Image - Image of figure, asian: 245577625

Although this example may seem innocuous to some, consider one of the Chinese god’s Hotei, or the god of good luck and fortune. In China he is placed around bodies of water, where devotee’s looking for the luck of wealth, drop money into the water. Hotei in return for the payment is to pass along the material blessing.

Only ten miles from my house is a Chinese restaurant where a fountain serves as a whishing well for Hotei, represented by a three foot high idol, like the one to the right (he is also the first piggy bank).

I realize that means little to the ignorant American parent’s and children who toss money into the water, but to the Chinese owners, who have placed the idol there, it is in an effort to gain the false deity’s patronage and blessing.

Outdoor Garden Statues of Mary | Catholic Faith Store

It is for the same reason, Roman Catholics display a grotesque crucifix with a dead Christ on it, on their bedroom wall, or an idol of Mary in their yard, in an effort to gain the false deity’s patronage and blessing. 

Yes there are actual idols of false God’s being worshipped in America, as well as things like job and career, sports and entertainment, people, politicians and programs, that are also idols, as well.

What ties them all together is the place in us, which the enemy tempts and tricks, for the purpose of looking to and idol, rather than trusting the Living God… “Me, Myself and I”.

In considering “Me, Myself and I” in relation to idols, we look no further than to the “I” which is the first letter in the word “iniquity”.

“Everyone of the house of Israel who sets up his idols in his heart, and puts before him what causes him to stumble into iniquity,…”

Once again let us remember that iniquity, which means “depravity and perverseness” in the Hebrews of the Old Testament, refers to the depravity and perverseness in all humanity. How did we get this “iniquity”?

Iniquity has been passed on from Adam, through all fathers, to all of their offspring. It is the spiritual genetic trait all mankind is affected with (Romans 5:12-21). This inward crookedness, a bent towards “Me, Myself and I”, is what leads us until we are awakened by grace to consider sin, righteousness and judgment, as we hear the Gospel.

The only person, not having this iniquity, is Christ, as He was born in THE miraculous conception, without a human father (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:18-24; Luke 1:26-38).

In Ezekiel 14 the LORD declares that the person with idols in his heart, or “go too” strongholds rather than seeking God, will stumble in iniquity. That is because iniquity is the inward and crooked bent towards “Me, Myself and I”. In this understanding let us consider the one idol we see every day, when we look in the mirror.

This is not a stretch, when we consider, that although our old man of sin (with transgression, iniquity and missing the mark) was crucified with Christ and is perishing, that old rascal dies very harder than Bruce Willis (Romans 6:4-8). It is for this reason we are commanded to actively put our old sinful tendencies to death and refuse to follow them. 

Colossians 3:5-10 5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, 7 in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them. 8 But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him

If we do not, then the LORD Himself will bring affliction, so we are forced to choose His will or continue to be a half-hearted, carnal professing Christian.

I the LORD will answer him who comes, according to the multitude of his idols, 5 that I may seize the house of Israel by their heart

The Elders of Ezekiel 14 as well as the majority of the nation’s population, were riding the fence of God’s will and pursuing their own desires. I should not have to say, but we have the same proclivity hanging on to us (Romans 7). We are called in Christ to put to death our will, for the sake of pursuing the kingdom of God and His righteousness.

In many Christians communities we have turned God’s will, into affirming us personally and providing for what we think is right in our own sight. This is what the leaders and people of Israel were doing. We should not need a history lesson to understand the many times God brought affliction, to get their heart back to Himself. He will do the same in our life, to seize back our heart.

James 4:1-5 1 Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? 2 You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. 4 Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”?

In considering the truth that the LORD demands our devotion, for that is what the word “jealously” means, we understand it falls in line with God’s love, through chastening us. This is important, for not only does Hebrews 12:5-17 discuss this truth at length, but David gives us the blessedness of God’s chastening.

Psalms 119:67-68 67 Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your word. 68 You are good, and do good; teach me Your statutes.

Psalms 119:71 71 It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes.

In closing, it is important to ask “How does one know they have the potential to set an idol in front of themselves?” 

In the first place, we all have the potential. Secondly we must remember that the appeal of an idol to one person, may not have the same appeal to another. Although we all have the iniquitous “Me, Myself and I”, our differing anxieties, fears and inordinate desires, will set us to search for idols to meet those differences.

Simply put, the best way to combat this problem, is to seek the LORD asking Him to reveal what are the areas of life your are most prone to be anxious, fearful, and pulled into excess by temptation. Once discovered, seek the LORD for understanding in patterns in your life, which lead you away from seeking the LORD to meet your anxieties, fears, and temptations to excess.

Finally, commit to daily seeking the kingdom of God and His righteousness, daily. Much of our falling to “Me, Myself and I” begins, when we desire to be secure in tomorrow or next week. Remember we are given grace for provision, protection and presence, for today not tomorrow.

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Five Basic Effects Produced by Revival #2

Your First Love (Dec 10) | pastor jeff's neighborhood

During our last discussion concerning the nature of biblical revival, we discussed two of the first five effects produced by a God-instituted revival. These first two effects are as follows…

  2. AWAKENED AND REPENANT SAINTS FORSAKE THEIR SIN (Luke 9:23-26; Acts 26:17-18, 20; I Thessalonians 4:3-5, 5:23; I Peter 1:13-16).

Let’s continue with…


It should not be a shock to anyone, that those who need revival have at some point left Christ, as their First Love.

Revelation 2:4-5 4 Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 5 Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place—unless you repent.

Drifting from our First Love is not difficult and when we have been drifting, leaving our first love can be almost imperceptible. With the Ephesian Church, we see a church of good doctrine, hate of false teaching and overall good Christian practice. The problem is their appearance and self-estimation deceived them into thinking they were tight with our Lord Jesus Christ, yet in actuality they were a universe away from from Him relationally.

Regard the seriousness of His call to repentance, “unless you repent” HE would remove their lampstand. Now repentance in Revelation 2:5 was not and is not saying “Gee, Lord Jesus, I am sorry and I’ll try not to do it again”. Our Lord commanded “repent and do the first works“.

It is important to remember that true repentance comes with works worthy of repentance, as delineated by John the Baptist, our Lord Jesus Christ and all the New Testament writers (Luke 3:7-14; Matthew 4:12,17; Mark 1:15; John 5:12-15, 8:11; Acts 26:20).

Works befitting repentance do not save the induvial, but they prepare the heart of lost person, to receive Christ by faith. In the saved, repentance removes the clutter and unlocks the door of the heart, that Christ, who is knocking can come in again, as Lord. Without repentance there can not be a walk of faith and obedience to Christ.

From the passages above you will find repentance means forsaking sin, but it also means doing those things within our power to do, that please God and aid others. Consider what John the Baptist declares are works worthy of repentance from Luke 3:7-14.

In the same passage, he defines repentance as regular folks giving to those in need, which means to forsake our personal view of extra property–he instructs tax collectors to only charge the tax, rather than extra for themselves, hence denying their greed and thievery– he instructs soldiers to be content with their wages, rather than using force to extort extra money from the citizens.

Again, let us understand, this does not bring salvation, for one could never do enough good works to overcome their sin debt before God, but these works are the person obeying the conviction of the Holy Spirit and God’s word, to make a straight path for Christ to travel on into their heart (Isaiah 40:3-5).

How does this work with the saved, who have left their first love and need to repent and do the first works, as an evidence of revival?

Although works do not save us, our obedience to God’s word, by the leading of the Holy Spirit is how we grow in our salvation, through being sanctified by the washing of regeneration, by the Holy Spirit, with the word of God. The problem arises when the church begins to believe doing ministry means we are close to Christ.

When this occurs, our life seeking to commune with the Lord Jesus Christ in the secret place, our desire to be led by His Holy Spirt is reduced to praying for Him to bless our plans. This replaces grace with religious Christianity, almost imperceptibly. This is the same sin, of Israel, where the Lord declared “all your righteousness is as filthy (used menstrual italic mine) rags” (Isaiah 64:6).

In revival, the church of Jesus Christ recognizes it has given lip service to Christ, concerning its love for Him, and in emaciated dryness of soul, returns to seek Christ with passion and perseverance, to once again live a holy life and experiencing Jesus in all live activity

The revived Church is therefore marked by an outpouring of continual love toward God, fixed on removing every hindrance to our growing in knowing Him.


Yes, those who are saved by grace through faith have the Holy Spirit resident with them. Whether the Hoy Spirit is the president of their life, will determine whether they are filled with the Holy Spirit. The revived Church will experience a wave of baptism in the Holy Spirit and many who are being filled with Spirit again and continually.

Ephesians 5:18-21 18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, 20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another in the fear of God.

When we read “be filled with the Spirit” the Greek phrase means to “be being filled” or to be currently and continuously filled with the Holy Spirit. This is an ongoing, continuous and progressive action, that we can limit; hence Paul’s command to be being filled with the Spirit of God.

Read the context from Ephesians 4 until the verses cited above, you can see the Ephesians, who approx. 35 years later had already turned from their first love, and it was effecting their ministry to each other.

Let us understand that to be filled with the Holy Spirit, one must have been baptized in the Holy Spirit for the first time, subsequent to salvation very close to being saved. This is seen in the Ephesian Church at its beginning.

In Acts 19 Paul comes to the Ephesians believers, who believed on Christ, continued together and were disciples, but had not yet been baptized in Christ’s name, having not been told to be so.

Paul, asks them if they have received the Holy Spirit since they believed, not the residency of the Holy Spirit, as they would have had Him, the same as any disciple. Consider the first disciples the day of Christ’s resurrection in John 20:19-23.

This was prior to Pentecost, Christ rebukes their unbelief in the same encounter from Mark’s gospel, they believe, he gives them the resident Holy Spirit and then they are able to understand the scriptures (Luke 24:45; I Corinthians 2:14).

Even thought the Spirit of God was with them, the Lord Jesus still commanded they wait in Jerusalem, after His ascension to receive the baptism in the Holy Spirit (Luke 24:46-49; Acts 1:4, 8).

So, we understand the Ephesians in Acts 19 were as the original disciples, saved and sealed by the resident Holy Spirit, with Him as a deposit, but not being continually filled with the Holy Spirit as Christ prophesied (John 7:37-38). Therefore, after Paul baptized them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, they experienced…

Acts 19:4-7 4 Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.” 5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied. 7 Now the men were about twelve in all.

Of great interest is that we can neglect our first love Jesus Christ and go from being continuously filled with Spirit of God, to being dry and empty, while we carry on in ministry and life, believing we are filled. It is for this reason Paul prays for the Ephesians in this fashion.

Ephesians 3:14-19 14 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

You’ll notice that being strengthened with all might and being filled with all the fullness of God begins with Christ dwelling in their hearts by faith (as LORD and president not simply resident deposit)–with the believer being rooted and grounded in God’s love–then understanding the immeasurable nature of the love.

Therefore we see the revival characteristic of the church returning to its first love, being the impetus for the next characteristic… experiencing the gift of the Father, the baptism in the Holy Spirit, leading to being currently and continuously filled with the Holy Spirit.

This wonderful blessing is not so we can sing all night in an auditorium and fall all over the floor, then make commitments that we will not fulfill. But it is for holy lives, empowered by the same power that raised Christ from the dead, for the purpose of being His witnesses and completing His mission of disciplemaking.  This gift is for all of us, until He comes

Acts 1:4-5 4 And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; 5 for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”

Acts 1:8 8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

Acts 2:38-39 38 Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.”


Finally, we come to the ultimate impact of revival in God’s church. Saints reconciled to Christ, as their first love, are being continuously filled with the Holy Spirit and begin to share the gospel in the power of His Holy Spirit. If you read a Acts of the Apostles in a survey fashion, you will discover that whenever the church is baptized in the Spirit for the first time or filled again, their is an immediate an lasting impact on in the church and on lost world.

Study the results of Acts 2 after the 120 are baptized in the Holy Spirit and its continuing effects, at beautiful gate through out chapter five–look into the events of Acts 6 and chapter with Stephen the first martyr or Philip who is mentioned as filled with the Holy Spirit (as a deacon), as we follow him through acts chapter 8–or events following the first gentiles filled with God’s Spirit in Acts 11 and also the Ephesians in Acts 19.

What you will discover is that God’s fills His redeemed with the Holy Spirit to empower the preaching of Christ and by faith, do miracles which testify to the truth of the message. These revival characteristics effect the lost world we live in.

Let us be mature enough to understand the results in the community of lost men, is not always what took place with the ministry of Phillip.

Acts 8:4-8 4 Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word. 5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them. 6 And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. 7 For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed. 8 And there was great joy in that city.

Often, the results bring glory to God in manifold salvation, but also manifold sufferings for the saints. Revival means, the world will hate us even more than before. The reason is that Christ has come to bear on them through us, in His presence and conviction which can not be ignored. So crime will drop, immorality and ungodliness repented of, but the kingdom of men locked in war with the LORD and His anointed (Psalm 2), will rage more violent and abominable.

Worry not, the fulness is even to persevere that tribulation.

Acts 4:23-32 23 And being let go, they went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. 24 So when they heard that, they raised their voice to God with one accord and said: “Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them, 25 who by the mouth of Your servant David have said:

‘Why did the nations rage, and the people plot vain things?
26 The kings of the earth took their stand,
And the rulers were gathered together
Against the LORD and against His Christ.’

27“For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together 28 to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done. 29 Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, 30 by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.” 31 And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.

After this filling, there was more trouble, but the church was sweeter and better, because they, who loved Jesus Christ more than their own lives, were filled and poured out ruth in love upon one another and the world around them..

Do you need revived?

Your First Love (Dec 10) | pastor jeff's neighborhood

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Five Basic Effects Produced by Revival

holy-spirit-fire-of-pentecost – Messiah Lutheran Church, Auburn WA

After examining the three passages most easily associated with revival (II Chronicles 7:13-15; Jonah and Ephesians 5:13-19), we turn at last to five effects produced by a true Revival. If you have not read the two part series “In the Midst of Revival” click here to do so In the Midst… Part #1, Part #2.


I my last post we look at Ephesians 5:13-19, in regard to the church needing to awaken in revival. This comes from Ephesians 5:14, a prophetic quote about the church, from Isaiah 26:19 and Isaiah 60:1, which declares “Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ with give you light“.

Remember this is spoken to the church, a fellowship, in Ephesus, that had begun to drift from Christ as its first love. The idea communicated is that of awakening someone out of a deep sleep, or coma like state. Revival, therefore, comes with an awakening that reveals what we have missed in the way of loving God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength.

Ephesians 5:14-18 14 Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, arise from the dead, and Christ will give you light.” 15 See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit

Revival is an awakening to how we have walked into worldly entanglement, rather than walking circumspectly or around and avoiding the world. It is an awakening which reveals we have foolishly and to our own hurt, wasted precious time in our won pursuits. It is an awakening that we have left the will of God undone, as we have unwisely pursued our own.

This awakening, therefore, is an awakening to sin. Make no mistake, to walk as asleep in the light is sin, because all unrighteousness is sin (I John 5:17). In this awakening to sin, we grieve over how we have allowed men to perish while we played in our own desires. We grieve over how we have left our Lord Jesus Christ unglorified in our lives. We grieve over how our lack of holiness has been an example to other saints to live carnally.

This grief is godly sorrow which must produce something or our awakening will fall back to sleep.

2 Corinthians 7:10 For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.

In error, many have declared this passage to be about unbelievers coming to faith for the first time. I say in error, because although this must take place in and unbeliever to be saved, those being instructed in this process are Christians in a fellowship that had fallen into a coma like spiritual state of carnality.

Remember that the word salvation, in New Testament Greek, does speak to the atonement being applied to the sinner by faith for the first time, but the word carries with it a current, progressive delivering or salvation, as moment by moment or day to day, as well. This is important, because it does not matter if your past was wonderful and intense for Christ, if your present is a cold coma like spiritual state of falling away.

Hence the need for godly sorrow working repentance, or renouncing and walking away from the world, the flesh and the Devil, throughout our Christian life. The heart of repentance is a change of mind, concerning your sin, the judgment deserved for that sin and true righteousness, but its seen effect is a forsaking of sin and self. This is the second effect of true revival.


As I previously wrote, the heart of repentance is a change of mind, concerning your sin, the judgment deserved for that sin and true righteousness in Christ; but repentance seen effect is a forsaking of sin and self.

Luke 9:23-26 23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. 24 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. 25 For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost? 

This is very important, in understanding revival. True awakening in the church, has always included saints, who believed they were “good with God”, seeing their true heart condition, and in fear of God, not only repenting, which includes restarting their stalled walk with God, but forsaking their sin also.

Revival produces a true understanding of holiness and sin. No longer can those who have been asleep pretend that there are acceptable sins, because we’ve got grace.

Dishonesty, lying, undue anger, sexual immorality, time wasting, silly pursuits, bitterness, love of worldly accouterments, self-righteous religious Christianity and selfish spending of money (as well as a host of others) are often seen, as behaviors we may grow out of. From a Bible perspective they are as unacceptable iniquitous intrusions to our relationship to God; the very compromisal stuff of falling away or an indication of never having repenting in the first place.

The forsaking of sin and its practice, in those who call themselves Christians is a huge sign that revival and awakening has taken place in the church, which leads me to some of the contemporary events of Christian culture promoting revival in America.

“The Jesus Revolution”

Recently, “The Jesus Revolution” movie, which is a biopic covering the first year and half of the “Jesus People” movement or what is referred to as the “Hippie Revival” of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, passed the 50 million dollar mark. It is true that what took place in the overall movement, has the hallmarks of true revival.

In this film, the viewer gets a look inside the relationship of of three men, at the middle of the “Jesus People” movement; Chuck Smith, Greg Laurie and Lonnie Frisbee.

What the movie does not reveal is the cautionary tale of a person, who is ministering, while not having fully repented of something or many things. Lonnie Frisbee, at the time of the “Hippie Revival” was a hippie, who “got saved” and “filled with the Holy Ghost” (allegedly). Prior to his testified salvation, he was involved in the drug culture and “free love” movement, which led him into homosexuality.

He never left behind what was characterized as flamboyance, in dress and attitude, although he preached the Christ, while not being heavy on “works of repentance”. At one point, he began to hob nob with the likes of Kathrine Kulmine, who’s practice and theology, have been the stuff of Pentecostal controversy.

After a year and half, Lonnie left the growing revival, eventually divorced his wife, was excommunicated by Calvary Chapel and voluntarily left the Vineyard movement, after admitting to a gay relationship while ministering.

These revelations are not to disparage a dead man, for Frisbee’s homosexuality was referred to by many in leadership, as an “open secret”. This means that Lonnie was encouraged to stop, but not called to forsake the sin completely or not be able to minster or fellowship in the church. This of course  was the case, until the secret would become too open for leaders to tolerate.

The point is that in revival, the preaching of repentance with the forsaking of known sin, becomes primary, when it has fallen to the wayside. Remember that repentance always carries with it turning towards God and away from the Devil and His works.

Acts 26:17-18 17 I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, 18 to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’

Acts 26:20 20 but declared first to those in Damascus and in Jerusalem, and throughout all the region of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent, turn to God, and do works befitting repentance.

This is important because we are known by our fruit and a good tree cannot bring forth bad fruit.

By this definition of forsaking of sin, the supposed revival at Asbury College, comes into question. During the events of this movement, known homosexuals led worship and were being interviewed, as to how God was bringing legitimacy to those who were students, and identify as “queer”, on campus.

Those of an LGBTQ persuasion, who identify as “celibate” but queer, were not counseled to seek freedom from temptation to what God calls abominable sexual immorality, and to renew their minds in God’s word accordingly, but to embrace it as a unique platform to minister for God.

To call someone a “celibate” queer (or allow themselves to identify as such on a Christiaan campus) is an oxymoron. By nature, sodomy and lesbianism are perverse sexual deviancy and will not be forsaken, unless the one tempted, knows it is absolutely evil and does not seek to deal with same sex attraction, but forsakes even a thought of it being normal or allowed by God.

This of course may take some hard work of reforming the  mind, but that is what Christians do, empowered by the Holy Spirit, concerning any practice which offends God.

Revival comes with a conviction in all who desire Christ to forsake sin, and a call to forsake sin, that causes the insincere to humble themselves or walk on. This is because revival restores the holiness of the church, by setting the individuals stones to pursue holiness, without which none will see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14).

1 Thessalonians 4:3-5 3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you should abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, 5 not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God

1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24 He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.

1 Peter 1:13-16 13 Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14 as obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; 15 but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.”

In the next post we will discuss the last three elements produced in a true revival.

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In the Midst of Revival? Part 2

As we discussed in Part I of this series, many are claiming revival is taking place across the U.S. on certain colleges campuses (if you have not read Part I click here). In addition to these reports of the beginnings of revival, the movie “The Jesus Revolution” which chronicles the first year and half of “Jesus People Movement (or Hippie Revival) of the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, has heightened Christian excitement.

Therefore, we must look to the word of God to understand the true  nature of revival, understanding the dire condition in the saints which necessitates this kind of movement from God. That last statement, must be the cornerstone of understanding revival.

Revival is God decided, God ordained and brought about when He sees fit. Revival cannot be cajoled, or teased out of God by spiritual exercise, although it has often begun when only a few sincere lovers of God are made aware, by God of the poor spiritual condition of the saints, and begin to cry out to Him.

We see this throughout the Old Testament historical books and prophets, especially in one passage that gets thrown about often, in dealing with revival. The passage is usually used out of its context.

“If a people who are called by my name…”

2 Chronicles 7:13-16 13 When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, 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. 15 Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place. 16 For now I have chosen and sanctified this house, that My name may be there forever; and My eyes and My heart will be there perpetually.

In the first place, this passage deals primarily with Israel. This does not mean that we cannot glean truth from it concerning the church of Jesus Christ, but it does means that the promise of healing the land, deals with the geography of Canaan, where Israel resided in Old Testament times.

This is important, for often with Christians in America who quote this text improperly, it creates expectation where God did not promise. Remember II Chronicles 7:14 is not a guarantee to Israel anymore either, because the place God’s ears are attentive too, the Temple, has not been around since 70 AD.

It is hubris to suppose we can bend this passage to mean the LORD will restore us to the Christians Utopia we often claim America was founded to be. History reveals that although there were good moral nominal Christians present at the founding of this country, there were few what we would call evangelicals.

The U.S  governance, was not founded as a Judeo/Christian state, but one that incorporated ideas such as Roman federalism and Greek democracy–British, Greek and Jewish aspects of law and education, and the idea French egalitarianism.

So what can we glean from II Chronicles 7:13-16 about the condition necessitating revival and revival itself?

First, we understand that in the people disregarding God’s law and commands, their practice becomes hypocritical. As they go through the motions, they move further from love for God, as seen in obedience, toward doing that which is right in their own sight. In their coldness towards God, they incorporate the world around them and its system into their lives, rather than trusting in the Lord with all their heart.

In this, they sin against God and forget Him, except when they desire blessing or deliverance from some trouble. They begin to die spiritually. God, in His mercy chastens them through drought, famine, pestilence, war from foreign enemies and other tribulation. This is for the purpose of revealing their condition, which grows worse, as they have moved away from God’s heart.

This occurred multiple times over the 490 years Israel was in the land, after the Exodus. Their pattern was to fall away into sin, only to find tribulation upon them, which leads them to cry out to God. It was this of falling into spiritual deadness or sleep, then awakening to recognize their sin, which led to the Jewish people being in captivity for 70 years.

Perhaps one of the most well know and out of context quoted passages of the Old Testaments prophets, is a result of the need for revival, which placed the Jews in circumstances that led to their reviving, in Babylon.

Jeremiah 29:10-14 10 For thus says the LORD: After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word toward you, and cause you to return to this place. 11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, says the LORD, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the LORD, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.

You’ll notice this is not a passage to be quoted when trying to evangelize someone, but specifically about the Jewish people, who did not enjoy their captivity. The Lord is declaring this punishment is redemptive, not punitive; it is to turn them back to search for Him with their whole heart. Only then would He listen and bring them back from where they had been scattered.

When Israel did come back, they had what was necessary for a true revival… Godly sorrow, which works repentance.

In chronicling the relaying of the foundation of the temple, after 70 years of captivity in Babylon, Ezra testifies…

Ezra 3:11-13 Then all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid. 12 But many of the priests and Levites and heads of the fathers’ houses, old men who had seen the first temple, wept with a loud voice when the foundation of this temple was laid before their eyes. Yet many shouted aloud for joy, 13 so that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people, for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the sound was heard afar off.

Note the condition necessary for revival, is God’s people, either Israel in the Old Testament or Christians in the New Testament period, being cold, hypocritical, spiritually lethargic and insensitive to God’s conviction and at or near spiritual death (a coma like state).

We must remember that this condition requires sorrow first leading to repentance (II Corinthians 7:10). What hinders revival is the saints, who often believe they do not need revival, but the nation around them that is vexing to them. Consider Jonah.

The Book of Jonah

Many will look to the book of Jonah as a representation of revival based on how the Ninevites responded to the preaching of Jonah (Jonah 3:1-10). Although their response reveals the potential impact of a true biblical revival, remember that revival deals with the reviving of God’s people. Evangelism is a wonderful product of the church awakening in revival.

In Jonah where was the revival most necessary? In the heart of the prophet Himself. Remember that Jonah fled from God, because He knew the outcome if the hated Ninevites repented: God’s mercy.

He knew this, as a prophet of God, because of merciful the LORD was to Jonah’s own wayward people, he at times had to call back to God. But Jonah, was self-righteous about his own people being far superior to these pagans. In this his heart was hardened and although walking with the title of prophet and “serving the LORD”, he had left his First Love, by boarding a ship to Tarshish.

heck out what he reports, once the LORD chastises him by putting the prophet in a living prison of a great fish.

Jonah 2:1-91 Then Jonah prayed to the LORD his God from the fish’s belly. 2 And he said: “I cried out to the LORD because of my affliction, and He answered me. “Out of the belly of Sheol I cried, and You heard my voice. 3 For You cast me into the deep, into the heart of the seas, and the floods surrounded me; all Your billows and Your waves passed over me. 4 Then I said, ‘I have been cast out of Your sight; yet I will look again toward Your holy temple.’ 5 The waters surrounded me, even to my soul; The deep closed around me; weeds were wrapped around my head. 6 I went down to the moorings of the mountains; the earth with its bars closed behind me forever; yet You have brought up my life from the pit, O LORD, my God. 7 “When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the LORD; and my prayer went up to You, into Your holy temple

Interestingly, Jonah’s word acknowledge that God had placed him in his living hell, in the great fish, but for a purpose. To remember that YHWH is merciful and salvation. In the midst of this tribulation, he would “yet look again toward Your holy  temple“. Sounds a lot like what the LORD declared would happen, if the sinning saints would humble themselves, pray and seek His face and turning from their wicked ways.

We tend to look at Jonah with feelings of understanding for our desire not to walk in God’s will, rather than seeing what he did as wicked. He knowingly disobeyed God and refused to speak to the wicked to save his life (Ezekiel 3:18).

What leads to the church needing revived. Well like Jonah, years of self-righteousness, where we minister and live our lives our way, rather than being led by Him, and filled with His heart and holiness.

Remember a revived heart, or even one partially awakened through pain, as Jonah’s, can lead to massive salvation in the lost. Remember Philip, who did not need revived  because he was alive, filled with and led by the Holy Spirit, who preached in Samaria.

The results were multitudes coming to faith in Christ, being set free from demons, and receiving healing in Christ’s name, to the degree that character of that once pagan city was joy (Acts 8:4-8). With Jonah, we do not know if he fully repented and was revived, but praise God it was enough for thousands to avoid judgment.

Ephesus a Fellowship in Danger of Remaining Asleep

In the new testament, the church of Ephesus reveals a pattern withdrawal from our first love, which leads to a need of revival. From Revelation 2:1-8 we see Ephesus were the church that left its First Love; which is Christ. From this chapter in the Revelation, we can glean, that they left their First Love, through the business of good ministry, where doing ministry was seen as loving God.

This is a fallacy and the Holy Spirit addresses this 40 years prior, when Paul was inspired to write the epistle to the Ephesians. This was a very good church, but, as they were slow to come to the Baptism of the Spirit (read Acts 19:1-11), they were still struggling to hold to the One, who enables us to be “being filled”… Jesus Christ our Lord and First Love.

You will recall that the Holy Spirit speaks to them about the responsibilities of spouses in marriage, as a living example of Christ’s love for His church and His Bride’s love for Him. Yet, this was the message, because they had already begun to turn from their First Love. The results were poor behavior between them, that at times resembled their former gentile lives (read all of Ephesians 4).

Into this context we read…

Ephesians 5:8-21 8 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. 14

Therefore He says:
“Awake, you who sleep,
Arise from the dead,
And Christ will give you light.”

15See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, 16 redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit

When considering revival in the church of Jesus Christ, we must understand the idea of being asleep spiritually; a result of leaving our First Love. From the passage above we that this leads to walking in a way where we fall into various avoidable traps and temptations (not circumspectly)–where we waste time, and are clueless as to what is God’s will.

These are signs that we are asleep and in need of revival. In this faculty, we begin turn on each other. We become insensitive to a lack of God’s presence among us.

When the church arrives at this point, it begins to look for political saviors, rather than focus on the blessed hope, for the purpose of enduring in hope till He comes for us. Also the church looks for a way to pay for its overhead, rather than focus on making disciples. The unwritten plan is let us work to get people into our building, rather than going out to be light in the world.

Rather, than calling out to God in repentance of our carnal lives, we call on god to restore our land to a Christian Utopia that has never existed and will not this side of Christ’s return.

Revival is most often the painful process of waking out of a spiritual coma, where we need to relearn to seek Him, rather than our will and desire–where we need to relearn to pray and be led by the Holy Spirit–where we need to relearn to obey God’s word rather than redefine or reject its precepts–where we refocus on Christ alone–where we walk away from all that is contrary to those things just mentioned.

Genuine Revival – 2 Chronicles 7:14 – Summit Church

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