Hey Pilgrim… This World Will Never Be Home.

See the source imagePsalms 84:5-7 (NKJV) Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, whose heart is set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a spring;  the rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength; Each one appears before God in Zion.

For many Americans, the word pilgrimage often conjures images of those who landed at Plymouth Rock Massachusetts in 1620. Many do not know that the pilgrim voyage to America, for the purpose of avoiding religious persecution, was not their first pilgrimage.

The pilgrims first left England for Holland in 1607 and attempted to live in the city Amsterdam. Having been of the persecuted puritan Christian sect (persecuted by the Church of England), the pilgrims found freedom to worship as they resided in Amsterdam. They also found a new threat to their faith from hundreds of practices in the the liberal city’s culture. They decided to move to Leiden (another city ion Holland, over concern that their young people would be enticed to leave the faith for the worldliness immorality of Amsterdam.

Many of the pilgrims did well in Leiden, as they shifted to industrial work rather than the agriculture they were accustomed too. There were some, because of their good morals and practice, who even attained government and college level employment; but many struggled. After about 10 years they began to notice signs of early aging, an inability to adjust to Dutch life in some of the older puritans and their younger community members falling away from the faith. 

They learned an invaluable lesson, one that would repeat in America in a short time: when pilgrims find a home, they are no longer pilgrims. When the reason pilgrims are on pilgrimage is no longer an issue, they lose sobriety and their faith is at risk.

In Holland the pilgrim faith and practice began to diminish, as they settled into their new home; a home city which placed no pressure from persecution against their faith. One would think that the environment of religious freedom would be wonderful, but alas it seldom produces stronger faith. In this environment there is a real risk of a watered down caricature of the faith. The pilgrim leaders recognized this and decided another pilgrimage was necessary to preserve their puritan faith. On July 20, 1620 they set sail for the  North America continent.

Many believe, in error, that the pilgrims had much to do with the founding to the United states of America; that is an incorrect understanding of history. It is true when they founded their governance, it was separated from other English colonies, and reflected a more biblical form of governance. But the Massachusetts Bay Colony (founded upon the mayflower compact) was reformed as the Massachusetts Bay Province in 1691, which was under English governance and Church of England dominance. The remarkable reality is that there was no pilgrim uprising and no pilgrimage to escape English tyranny.

The reason for this outcome, is that after the pilgrims landed and found “religious freedom“, where their faith and practice was no longer at risk. In the years that followed they fell away from the fervency of their puritan Christian faith. By the time of the founding of the United States the pilgrim faith and practice was not influential.

We must regard well what occurred when they found a permanent home. In Psalm 84 we are reminded that Christians are always on “pilgrimage“. But what does that mean?

“Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, whose heart is set on pilgrimage”

Let us remind ourselves that the person who knows they need God’s strength, having their faith tested and at risk repeatedly by the world around it, is the person who will be strong in the strength and power of the Lord. 

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NKJV) And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 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.

It is the person described above that is set on “pilgrimage“.

The word “pilgrimage” in its original Hebrew from Psalm 84 means “to be passing through, as on a turnpike“. The man or woman who is strong in the Lord is one who sees himself as “passing through this life“, as a pilgrim with no homeland on this earth.

How long is this pilgrimage? Our entire life, as we are on the narrow road with Christ, walking through the Valley of the shadow of Death; from the moment we are saved, until we are with Him forever.

A “pilgrim” is therefore one who passes through life and denies the desire to be tied down to the world in any way. They claim no ownership of anything, because they understand that the temporary material things of the world can be taken away–they understand that being tethered to stuff, culture, or politics, robs us of energy, time and focus needed to  live out God’s will. The Book of Hebrews reveals this pilgrim character we are to have.

Hebrews 11:13-16 (NKJV) These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.

For those who truly love the Lord, we must carry the attitude of heart that we are passing through and our destination is not the American dream, not even a better life here. As soon as a Christian finds home in this life, and we may take their eyes off of our eternal home. In this state, we become protective of what is ours, forgetting “naked have I come into the world and naked shall I go“, forgetting we will be clothed with His righteousness forever.

When we prayerfully maintain a heart disposition led by the Holy Spirit, then and only then can we appropriately relate to the lost world around us.

1 Peter 2:11-12 (NKJV) Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.

The word “sojourner’s” means “resident alien“. This understanding fits right along side the reality that we are “passing through“. With the new circumstance facing Christians in America, we can now see that the idea of a “Christian nation”, this side of heaven, is antithetical to what it means to be a pilgrim passing through. Now we are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation (Christians of all nations tribes and tongues), His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light (I Peter 2:9). This really hits home as we consider a few more verses in Psalm 84.

As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a spring;  the rain also covers it with pools.

The phrase “Valley of Baca” literally means “Valley of Weeping” This was a literal place, but also a metaphor of the life of the one on pilgrimage. Simply put, the follower of Christ, on pilgrimage, will pass through the Valley of Weeping often, because it is synonymous with the pain and perils of the Valley of the Shadow of Death. Once again we are reminded this world does not reflect the glory of the new heavens and the new earth, but is passing away and dying. 

The point being, that as we walk the narrow road through the Valley of Weeping/Valley of the Shadow of Death, we make it life giving like an oasis in the desert. This occurs through the fullness of the Holy Spirit in and through us. Let us recall…

“As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a spring;  the rain also covers it with pools

It was the Lord Jesus Christ in John 7:37-38 who told us, whoever believes in Him, as the scriptures declared, will have a river of living water spring up from their innermost being. It is the apostle Paul, who testifies through his sincere prayer, what it is that brings us into such union with Christ, that we are baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit.

Philippians 3:10-11 (NKJV) that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

The power of His resurrection is to be filled and empowered by the Holy Spirit of God. Not only was it Paul’s desire to know the Lord Jesus Christ intimately, but also to be filled with the same power that raised Christ from the dead. Why would the Lord bless us so? Because we are committed to the “fellowship of His sufferings” which come as we walk after Him through the Valley of Weeping. 

What far too many charismatic and Pentecostal Christians forget is that being filled with the Holy Spirit is not a badge of honor or for spiritual prestige, but the gift of the Father is to glorify Christ alone. This gift is for all but is only given to those who absolutely surrender in faith; who’s love and faith for Christ is so sincere that they will obey him even if it puts their health, livelihood or life in jeopardy. That person is one who is on pilgrimage.

As that person passes through the Valley of Weeping and are squeezed by the “fellowship of the sufferings of Christ” out pours the former and latter rain of the Spirit of God, to being life to those who are seeking to avoid the second death.

So, “Listen here pilgrim, this world will never be our home”. Let us go forward on pilgrimage untethered from the world and the flesh, that in the difficult times ahead, we will remain on pilgrimage, until we reach our eternal destination. Only then will we fulfil our calling, and set our navigation on our eternal home with our Lord and God.

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GRIEVED, FRUSTRATED and HOPEFUL

Canadian pastor Artur Pawlowski was arrested, after returning from a trip to the United States for some preaching engagements. Born behind the Soviet “Iron Curtain” in Kozuchow Poland, he immigrated to Canada in 1995 and became a Canadian citizen in 2004.

He has pastored for several years in Alberta Canada, and had become known for standing up to Albertan and Canadian authorities that imposed mask mandates and restrictions on church gatherings. In a viral video he ran off police encroaching upon the church’s observance of a special Passover service, prior to Resurrection Sunday.

I found out about his arrest through a Facebook post by an American pastor, who is a friend of pastor Artur. The post troubled me greatly, in fact, it left me grieved, frustrated and at the end feeling a little hopeful. My irritation has nothing to do with pastor Artur, or his arrest. To be honest, I expected that and expect more to come, even in America. I also expect that in addition to more church leaders, faithful lay Christians will be jailed or worse.

So my irritation was not over the growing persecution of Christians. Why should it be? The Lord Jesus told us this would occur in all of His teaching on how we relate to the world, especially in relation to the the very last days before His return.

GRIEVED

What grieved me was the the rising anger and rhetorical vitriol from the pastor who was sharing the information of Artur’s circumstances. The host’s demeaner seemed out of place, given the fact that as a pastor his biblical knowledge ought to have regulated his emotion and response.

Let me say first, that I completely support Artur in His obedience to Christ, and as a pastor will never freely cease providing an opportunity for the saints to gather together in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, as this is commanded by the word of God (Hebrews 10:19-31). I fully expect that if I live long enough, I will find myself jailed for the sake of my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, or worse. 

I am in lock step with the young pastor’s heart for our brother Artur and grieve deeply for his family and fellowship, for as long as they are without him. That said, we America Christians need to open our eyes to what we have been missing; we must begin to understand suffering for Christ not as unfortunate circumstances, but part of how we glorify God by denying ourselves. 

It is important that by the fruit of the Spirit of self control, we can control our emotions; remembering that the anger of man is not always reflective of God being angry. In that case, we misrepresent the character of God to those whom we lead. Remember, this was the issue concerning Moses sin in Numbers 20, where he was told to speak to the rock for water, but struck it instead. 

Numbers 20:12 (NKJV) Then the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe Me, to hallow Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.”

What grieved me about the the brother’s “righteous anger” is that, only now, when soft persecutions measures are closer to us in the United States, are we seeing the serious nature and risk of living with faith in Jesus Christ. In fear, many are having a similar un-christlike response.

I have advocated for the persecuted church world-wide over the last 15 years and have consistently  found, most America pastors and Christians have been clueless to Christian persecution world-wide. Many are too busy to know and sadly many simply don’t have heart or time to time to care.

Let me ask the questions of those of us who are American Christians, where was our outrage over the Christians persecuted around the world, over the last 20 years?

Where is the outrage over the slaughter and torture of North Korean Christians since the United States halted its military mission in 1953? It is likely that in my 24 years as a Christian, that North Korea is the most brutal and pervasive of persecutors of our brethren in the world.

Where is the outrage for the pastors and laity reduced to forced poverty, jailed and killed in Vietnam, China, Iran, Saudi Arabia or the Philippines over the last 20 years?

Where is the outrage over the brutality against the church in Columbia from FARC militant groups, corrupt government officials and drug Lords?

Where is our outrage over our brothers and sisters in India, who are beaten to death, stoned to death, have their houses burned, are evicted from home and village, or left out of jobs? Recently an 11 year boy, who was a leader in his church was burned with acid over 65% of his body (3rd degree). Where is the outrage? In India the government has used covid-19 to stifle the church, because they want and entire Hindi state. Where is the outrage our angry rhetoric?

Although I understand and have expressed righteous indignation, we must remember that we are called to be swift to hear, slow to anger and slow to wrath; for the wrath of man works not the righteousness of God (James 1:19-20). Let me ask another question…

Is the Lord more grieved by lost people doing lost people things, when He told us exactly what the lost would attempt to do to us (please read John 15:18-25 and John 16:1-4), or by His children who have for so long turned a blind eye to the suffering of their brethren world-wide and are angry because the heat has been turned up a little on them?

To me this is a rhetorical question, and it leads me to why this pastor’s post FRUSTRATED me.

FRUSTRATED

he Facebook post I am referencing reminded me of a huge problem that has been diminishing the spiritual effectiveness of the church in America for the last 125 years. This problem is outlined in a very powerful and long forgotten hymn, “Am I a Soldier of the Cross

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Am I a soldier of the cross,
A follower of the Lamb?
And shall I fear to own his cause,
Or blush to speak his name?

Must I be borne to Paradise,
On flowery beds of ease,
While others fought to win the prize,
And sailed through bloody seas?

Are there no foes for me to face?
Must I not stem the flood?
Is this vain world a friend to grace,
To help me on to God?

Sure I must fight if I would reign;
Increase my courage, Lord;
I’ll bear the toil, endure the pain,
Supported by thy Word.

When thine illustrious day shall rise,
And all thy saints shall shine,
And shouts of vict’ry rend the skies,
The glory, Lord, be thine.

The second verse discusses the mindset which stirs my frustration. Because the dominant position on the rapture in America is the pre-tribulational position, most America Christians believe the were borne for paradise and will get there transported on flowery beds of ease. This is the American Christian mindset, while our brethren world-wide have been led as sheep to the slaughter all day long (Romans 8:36-39), fighting to win the prize and sailing through bloody seas, we get to ride to glory on flowery beds of ease.

When would suggest counter to that false narrative, in anger we rant and ignore the truth that no sincere Christian avoids tribulation.

Now for those who are pre-tribulation brethren, note I did not say “no sincere Christian avoids the tribulation period“, but “tribulation“. Observe the words of Jesus Christ Himself.

John 15:18-20 (NKJV) “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.

John 16:33 (NKJV) These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

2 Timothy 3:12 (NKJV) Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.

Whatever rapture position one holds (except post-tribulationism which has not biblical merit), being “caught up” does not mean we avoid satanic attack, in fact we find scriptures where the Lord God allows Satan to appear to win.

Revelation 13:6-7 (NKJV) Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them.

Here is the frustration, because of the wrong mindset concerning an escapist rapture (We are only guaranteed we are not appointed to the wrath of God): We see persecution as an evil to be stamped out, when it is exactly what God uses to purify, strengthen and fill His church with the joy of the Lord (I Peter 1:6-9; 4:11-12; James 1:2-9).

When we recoil at persecution, rather than embrace the will of the Lord in it, we miss the blessing and benefit of being afflicted for Christ’s sake. This is the source of my frustration, because although I do not like pain or the prospect of confinement, torture or death, I realize some of all of those painful things are built into my salvation in Jesus Christ; in fact suffering is our calling in Christ, every bit as much as the joy of salvation.

Philippians 1:27-30 (NKJV) Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel, and not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that from God. For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake, having the same conflict which you saw in me and now hear is in me.

We must remember that in the first persecution against the church, chronicled in Acts 3-5, we see a very different response than anger, outrage or even shock. When the apostles were brought before the Sanhedrin their response was not laced with vitriol or angst at all.

Acts 4:18-22 (NKJV) So they called them and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you more than to God, you judge. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” 

When they were brought a second, before their nations leaders they replied “We ought to body God, rather than men” (Acts 5:29). When this answer led to them being beaten with rods and severely threatened, their response was remarkable.

Acts 5:41-42 (NKJV) So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.

This is where I speak of the HOPE I have after viewing the young pastor’s video. Despite the anger arising from fear and wrong headed thinking about how Christians in free lands ought to expect a different outcome to their faith (than the rest of the world’s Christians), we are seeing the church awaken.

The Church is awakening to its calling in Christ. The Church is awakening to the precious nature of our faith and the risk and reward of living absolutely surrendered to our our Lord Jesus Christ. Daily the church in America are seeing the signs that Jesus told us would proceed His return. Therefore we can hope in life eternal to come, rather than scraping by on this sin cursed rock, looking for ways to spruce up what Christ will purge with fire.  

I have hope that all who truly love the Lord Jesus Christ will not look to politicians for provision, protection or solutions, but to Him to Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith. I have hope that in the short years to come (before Christ’s return), real deep Holy Spirit empowered fellowship will grow and the church well shine brighter than it ever has, in testimony of our God and Savior. I have hope, for our redemption is nearer than when we first believed and many of us will be those who hear last trumpet of God, the voice of the arch angel and rise to meet Christ in the air.

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Weighed Down and Weary

Luke 21:34-36 (NKJV) “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

 Let me be honest and truthful. When I read this passage almost a month ago, I did not know how much I needed to heed its admonition.

“But take heed to yourselves”

 I kind of missed the “yourselves” as I thought on how much the body of Christ needs this admonition, in the times we are living in. At first, I began to muse on the implications this passage has for those I pastor, especially, how to communicate the truth contained in the text, but then four weeks passed with world-wide circumstances significantly impacting the bride of Christ; more than a few have become pressing on my own family.

Just a few days ago, I noticed a tiredness in my body, mind and emotions, that revealed I was “weighed down”. The phrase “weighed down” in the Greek language Luke’s gospel was written in, means to be overcharged or overfull.

It is an interesting phrase to say the least, especially when considering how we get to being overcharged or over full.

 “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life”

 The Lord Jesus Christ is warning us not to become weighed down with carousing or being overcharged with the things of the world, the flesh, and the devil—Not to be overcharged or overfull with drunkenness or substances—not to be overcharged with the cares of this life.

When dealing with an overcharged battery, one would think,  “great, that means more power on hand”, but that is a grave misunderstanding. When a battery is overcharged, the power cannot be called upon because the components of the battery turn on itself. The extra power will cause the battery to overheat, causing the content of the battery, sulphfuric acid and water, to boil and swell; even seeping out. If even a small amount of electricity passes through a battery in that state, an explosion could occur.

It is my opinion that this is a fairly accurate metaphor of what occurs in a Christian’s life when we are weighed down. Our lives get overwhelmed by something and rather than being “anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving we make our request to God, whereby we gain His peace” (Philippians 4:6-7), or “casting our cares on Him for He cares for us (I Peter 5:7), we stew and fall into a sinful pattern of thought and behavior.

If we do not catch it quickly enough then we are “weighed down” or overcharged. In this state, without even being aware, we can turn on ourselves, having our faith challenged with continual doubt and despair that leads to unbelief. Make no mistake about it, to have that occur is a spiritual explosion.

This is where I found myself, not at the point of spiritual explosion, but becoming “weighed down”. What was the event or events that brought this about? We can answer the question by returning to where Jesus commands all of us to “take heed of yourselves”. Context is everything.

Let’s begin by understanding that our Savior is speaking to the original disciples and sharing with them the events and timeline of the end times, culminating with the phrase “and that Day come upon you unexpectedly”. What was Jesus referring to?

The phrase “that Day” is clearly defined in both the Old and New Testaments in many different places including, but not limited to Ezekiel 7:19, 30:3; Joel 1:15, 2:11 and 31, 3:14; Amos 5:18 and 20; Obadiah 1:15; Zephaniah 1:7 and 1:14; Malachi 4:1. In these passages “that Day” is called “the day of the LORD’s wrath” or “the day of the LORD”. In the New Testament “that Day” is also referred to as “the day of the Lord”,the day of Christ” and “the Day” (Luke 21:34-36; I Corinthians 1:8, 5:5; II Corinthians 1:14; I Thessalonians 5:2, 5:4; II Thessalonians 2:3 Hebrews 10:25).

In the Old Testament passages the focus is one, the day of the Lord is a series of events at the very end of the age, where God pours out His wrath on mankind in devastating supernatural events. In the New Testament “that Day” is the event which precedes the outpouring of God’s wrath, which is the rapture of the Church.

Our blessed hope, the appearing of our great God and Savior the Lord Jesus Christ for the purpose of bringing us to Him, is the closing of the door on the age of grace. We are not to be caught unaware of the signs and circumstances which proceed that day, we are to be prepared and looking for it.

1 Thessalonians 5:1-10 (NKJV) But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness. Therefore, let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.

That we ought to be comforted by the fact that we are not appointed to wrath, being among the redeemed of the Lord Jesus Christ, ought to cause us comfort. So why have I been feeling weighed down?

Returning to our original passage we must understand the context it was written into. The context is that of the Lord Jesus Christ explaining the times and signs proceeding His return. Among them are…

Luke 21:8-9 (NKJV) “Take heed that you not be deceived. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and, ‘The time has drawn near.’ Therefore, do not go after them. But when you hear of wars and commotions, do not be terrified; for these things must come to pass first, but the end will not come immediately.”

 The Lord declares that we are not to be terrified, for these things shall come to pass. Why the admonition? Because without our blessed Hope in Christ, these commotions would be unbearable, at best. Let’s look.

Luke 21:10-11 (NKJV) “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven.

We have every reason to believe these things are in line with Matthew 24:4-8, which Jesus defines as the beginning of the sorrows. Should we be alive on earth at this time, we will see these things and they are catastrophic, in fact some of these I believe are upon us. Yet listen to what our Lord reveals in the next 6 verses, where we discover that before these things (vs. 12)

  1. They will lay their hands on us and persecute us, delivering us up to the authorities and prisons ( 12)
  2. We will be brought before kings and rulers for My name’s sake ( 12).
  3. Despite the trouble, it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony. The Holy Spirit will give us the words we need to speak in the moment ( 13-14).
  4. We will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives, and friends; and they will put some of us to death ( 15).
  5. We will be hated by all for the sake of the name of our Lord Jesus Christ ( 17).

Let us agree that the church has been suffering these things since the day of Pentecost. The point is that as we draw nearer to the beginning of the sorrow’s events in Luke 21:8-11, the incidence and force of the persecution intensifies exponentially. Consider that the number of Christian martyrs has increased exponentially since Israel became a nation in 1948. In fact, the number of martyred Christians in the last 73 years has exceeded the amount of martyrs from the beginning of the church aged until 1948.

It is these realities that can overwhelm us, if we are not careful. This is Jesus’ point in admonishing us But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly.

 As I prayerfully considered why I was blue in spirit and fighting against anxiety, I had to admit, that the news reported moment by moment concerning the pestilence of our time (Covid-19) and the mandating of an unproven, ineffective, and potentially dangerous vaccine for this virus, is unsettling. In addition to that the potential of being shut out of society for refusing it is real. This reality is not just potential in America but occurring in Australia, Israel, Great Briton, Canada, and many European nations. This tyranny is the rule in most of the non-westernized nations, where these “vaccines” are available.

As I considered how these realities will affect how I provide for my family, I was tempted with sadness, fear, anxiety and was overcharged by the cares of this life. This continued until I laid hold of my hope in Christ and the reality that to be sober, means to watch for His return daily, adjusting my life in real times to what comes each day.

This is the point of our Lords admonition. Take heed, because the times we are living in are fearful, in fact so fearful it is raising the number of deaths from the number one killer in the world throughout the ages… heart failure.

Luke 21:25-26 (NKJV) “And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.

 Taking heed means we understand our proclivity to be taken by fear of what is to come, and we deal with it, by casting our care on Him (for He cares for us), through prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving (Philippians 4:6-7; I Peter 5:5-7).

If we do not, then we are targets for being weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and the cares of this life. When we fall into any of those, we may deaden the pain, but we can become ensnared in lethargy and insensitivity to the word of God and His Spirit, and unprepared for “that Day” of Christ’s return to rapture us. Which means we will be unworthy to stand before Him.

So let us take the admonition and obey the Lord. Difficult days are ahead, but so long as we keep our eyes on the Lord Jesus Christ and pray watchfully, we will endure till the end and see Him face to face. To do so we must seek the Lord and refuse to give in to fear about down the road days, as we are called to live one day at a time.

Luke 21:36 (NKJV) Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

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THE MERCY OF PREACHING THE JUDGMENT TO COME

 

The image on the right is a lot closer to our reality, in 2021, than it being a tongue and cheek cartoon from December of 2012. Each and every day around the world, normal people are aware that something is dreadfully wrong. People are looking for answers, in a world that seems to be rushing over a cliff of despair. Christians do have the answer, if we are willing step out in faith and testify to the truth.

The cartoon above represents a way of truth telling that many Christians either are uncomfortable with or utterly despise. It is my biblically informed opinion that our disdain for this type of declaration is absolutely out of step with the biblical narrative as a whole.

Consider Jonah. Though he may not have had a sandwich board with “Repent or Perish” boldly written across front and back, it was Jonah’s bold proclamation to a people who were dedicated for destruction by the LORD for their wickedness. Let us consider Ezekiel’s message on God’s behalf to the people of Israel.

Ezekiel 14:6-8 (NKJV) “Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Repent, turn away from your idols, and turn your faces away from all your abominations. For anyone of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who dwell in Israel, who separates himself from Me and sets up his idols in his heart and puts before him what causes him to stumble into iniquity, then comes to a prophet to inquire of him concerning Me, I the LORD will answer him by Myself. I will set My face against that man and make him a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off from the midst of My people. Then you shall know that I am the LORD.

To understand the force of the prophet’s message against Israel, which warns of judgment for unrepentant sin, we look no further than the call of God to Ezekiel.

Ezekiel 3:16-18 (NKJV) Now it came to pass at the end of seven days that the word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me: When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand.

The call of the children of God is to reveal the love and grace of God, but without the guarantee of the LORD’s judgment on the unrepentant, His love and grace are not love and grace. Another way to frame it is that to be saved means we are saved from something: THE WRATH TO COME.

When seeing a person such as the brother in the image to the right, many American Christians have an adverse reaction. Some would say it is not a proper way to share God’s love or that it is even foolish. Is it really? Is it more foolish to call people to repentance to avoid the coming judgement of the wrath of God, with a bull horn and sandwich board, or to be as Noah and build an ark?

This is more than a fair question. Consider that Noah was called to build a very large boat-like structure, in a region where there is no significant body of water to float his boat. Consider that he was called to pronounce through building this vessel (over the course of over 100 years) and through his preaching, that God would send a flood upon the earth, which will kill all the unrepentant. Consider Noah’s object lesson and preaching were to people, who had never seen it rain, in a region with no significant body of water.

In comparison to the sandwich board Christian, Noah would certainly win the contest concerning what appears to be more foolish. 

Let us now consider we live in times where the character of man is eerily similar to that of the majority of the world’s population around the time of Noah. Genesis gives us a sobering snapshot of that character.

Genesis 6:5-6 (NKJV) Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart.

The point is not that we ought to all wear sandwich boards, but that we need to use the sign of the times and the coming wrath of God, as a means to call people to repentance, that they may receive God’s love and grace in salvation. Remember that God is working with us to reveal His wrath to come and His grace through the Lord Jesus Christ

Romans 1:16-20 (NKJV) For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.” For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse…

It is the fear of the LORD (which is the beginning of knowledge), which leads to conviction of sin. This in turn begins a process leading to salvation.

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

NOAH’S ARK FORESHADOWS CHRIST

Christians have been mislead by teachers and pastors for decades concerning not only how to share the Gospel, but about the very nature of the gospel itself. Even 23 years ago, when the Lord Jesus Christ saved me, I would hear of “Hell fire and brimstone preachers” almost in a derogatory fashion. It was as if preaching the judgment to come was supposed to be off limits, being deemed legalistic or even cruel.

Christians were also inundated with statements such as this “If the lost do not know you love them, they will not want to know what you have to say about salvation”. At first, hearing that statement sounds compassionate, perhaps even loving, but it is a total falsehood.  The word of God expressly declares that we are to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). Our motive is love, but our mission is that of Paul the apostle.

Colossians 1:28-29 (NKJV) Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.

What is it that we are warning them of? THE WRATH TO COME, upon the unrepentant! It is this warning that leads to the fear of the LORD, which brings wisdom to understand the weight of our sin. Knowing the weight of our sin brings godly sorrow, working repentance leading to sorrow.

Remember that Noah is defined in scripture as a “preacher of righteousness” (II Peter 2:5). We must consider that this means he preached repentance from sin and a return to God, for the covering of their sins. The covering of their sin was in the blood sacrifice of an animal, which was to point to the coming of the Lamb of God, in the fullness of time. 

His preaching of righteousness, had to come with a warning, or there would have been no incentive to repent or return to faith in God. For over a century Noah’s preaching came with a really big reminder of the judgment to come… the ark.

The message to be considered by Noah’s generation… only those who repent and walk after God, can be saved from the wrath to come through the flood.

Noah preached how to be counted righteous through repentance and faith. To do so is God’s love to the lost of this generation.

Noah preached that those who reject repentance and faith in God’s mercy, would die in the judgment to come. This warning is God’s love to his generation. Sadly none but Noah’s family responded.

Noah’s ark was antitype (a pattern of something greater to come), revealing something for future generations concerning Christ. What does the Noah’s ark foreshadow?

Without repentance and faith in Christ, where we are saved by grace through that faith and placed inside Christ, the true ARK of God, there is only the expectation of God’s wrath and eternal judgment. I Peter 3:20-21 illuminates this truth and shows water baptism as a sign we are in Christ.

We also, like Noah, Jonah and Ezekiel are called upon to preach the wrath to come, because it  may lead the lost to seek Christ for salvation. It is true that the majority will not heed the warning, but it must be given and we know that it is and will be given.

In the Book of Revelation, we find that the world is not atheistic in the last days, but living in hatred of the the one true God, as they follow the antichrist, whom is Satan’s counterfeit.

Revelation 6:15-17 (NKJV) And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”

Revelation 6:15-16 (NKJV) And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!

Revelation 16:8-11 (NKJV) Then the fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and power was given to him to scorch men with fire. And men were scorched with great heat, and they blasphemed the name of God who has power over these plagues; and they did not repent and give Him glory. Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom became full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues because of the pain. They blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and did not repent of their deeds.

All three of these passages reveal the state of men, after the church is raptured and before Christ’s physical return to have His victory over the wicked world, at Armageddon. How do they know it is the Wrath of the Lamb? Because the church warned them of the wrath to come.

Brothers and sisters, we need to love the lost around us. We do this by warning them of the wrath to come. If we do not they will die in their sin, but their blood will be upon us.

The people of the world understand that something very threatening is growing every day. We know it is the unfolding of prophecy. which will end judgment for them, without hearing the full gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We understand that as it was in the days of Noah, where “the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually”, so it is now.

Time is short, the world needs to know that the end is near, that they may have a everlasting beginning in Christ. Let us pray for God’s grace to be His messengers of Christ’s love in the cross. It is our calling.

Philippians 2:14-16 (NKJV) Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life, so that I may rejoice in the day of Christ that I have not run in vain or labored in vain.

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Sports Illustrated and Sinister Swimsuits?

(Matthew 24:37) “But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.”

(Genesis 6:5) Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition sells over 800,000 single copies yearly, in addition to the copies that are received through yearly subscriptions. The single-issue accounts for 10% of the company’s total revenue. Altogether, the Swimsuit Edition reaches more than 66 million adults annually and more men ages 18 to 34 than the Super Bowl. The Swimsuit Edition can earn as much $35 million in ad revenue for Sports Illustrated.

As we know, sex sells and anything that engendering the lust of the S.I. Swimsuit issue, will be a top seller. Herein is the trouble. the S.I. Swimsuit Edition produces more provocative and content with each passing year. The company’s over the top exploitation of women, is soft core porn, which serves as a launching point for even more perverse forms of pornography. The magazine is a gateway for millions of young men, into seeking to relate to women only for pleasure.

If that is not enough, the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition for 2021 has put a transgender man, who has had sex reassignment surgery, on the front cover. This was done while not revealing that the man, who looks like a swimsuit model, is indeed a man masquerading as a woman. The only information the magazine gives, is the man’s chosen feminine name, Leyna Bloom.

Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro questioned the message S.I. is sending and the confusion it will create for those who have no idea they are looking at a man, surgically changed to look like a supermodel. He asked why they did not place the man who calls himself Laurel Hubbard, the transgender weightlifter from New Zealand, on the cover; stating that the weightlifter is more representative of the minute population of men, who believe themselves to be women.

The answer to that question is quite sinister indeed. Let’s agree that true female swimsuit models, do not represent true womanhood, because most women do not look like swimsuit models. The models in the Swimsuit Edition represent a lie that men have been told, concerning the ideal woman, which is a lustful fantasy.

This fantasy carries over into Hollywood and even pornography. In this lustful fantasy, men expect that women are pleasure objects, and the images are to arouse the lust of men. Not only do theses images arouse lust in the moment, but they also change male expectations of women, which are impossible for any woman to live up to. This is one reason marriages break apart and sexual immorality is prolific in our day.

Sex has been redefined for personal pleasure, rather than an act of beautiful mutual submission between a husband and wife; for the potential of bringing godly children into the world. Our Creator made sex is a beautiful gift for a husband and wife, but the world sees it as “pleasure yourself at any cost”. This is why the Swimsuit Edition choice to place a man made to look like a woman on the cover is so nefarious.

Let us consider the words of Jesus’ concerning adultery and sexual immorality.

Matthew 5:27-28 (NKJV) “You have heard that it was said to those of old, You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart

 We see that God’s definition of sexual immorality is not confined to the physical act, but extends to lusting after a person in ones heart. This lusting is an intentional trip into fantasizing about the person being looked at. For followers of Jesus Christ, male or female, this truth out to cause sobriety concerning what we allow our eyes to fall upon.

Sexual immorality is everywhere. One can still images or video for free at the touch of a screen, and enter into a Pandora’s box of perversion. Most Christians have viewed some pornographic images in their life, and sadly many are regular unrepentant practitioners. CHRISTIANS SHOULD NEVER LOOK AT IMAGES MEANT TO GENERATE LUST. I have not included the S.I. Swimsuit cover photo for this very reason.

It is with this in mind that we return to the sinister action of putting a man on the cover, who has been physically altered to look like a female swimsuit model, rather than a man (whose name is Gavin Hubbard), who has gender reassignment, who weighs well over 260 lbs. and stands almost 6 foot 1 inches?

If the answer is not obvious, I’ll let you know… Because no man who lustfully looks at the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, would buy or look at a copy, with a surgery altered male that is that large and in a swimsuit. This is why The Sports Illustrated publication for this year, is absolutely sinister.

With no marking on the cover stating that Leyna Bloom is a “transgender woman” (actually a man), who has had his male parts surgically removed and altered (as well as have other parts added), no one would question that the cover model was anything other than a woman.

This may not be obvious to everyone, but men do not purchase the Swimsuit Edition to read the articles. Therefore, text in this issue is slim to none. A male looking at this cover, with lust, is not only guilty of sexual immorality, but that of the homosexual kind; not knowing that the person he is lusting after is actually a man.

To say that Sports Illustrated is intentional in their sick, sinful publication, is an understatement. This publication is part of the world antichrist system fooling the world with the last great deception. It has been bad enough that their annual lust fest has opened the door to more graphic forms of sexually immoral content for millions of men; now it is opening a society to more perverse rejection of God’s order.

This mainstream gender bending, which erases the lines of true masculinity and femininity, through sensual and perverted imagery meant to confuse, has brought us to days just like that of Noah…

 (Genesis 6:5) Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

Once more, America leads the way into perversions which signal the imminent destruction of the United States of America or its identity a player in end times Babylon. Those who speak the truth in love, against this darkness, are now in the minority, and the majority, who are LGBTQ supporting, will come for us.

Church, it is time to speak the truth in love—call the lost to repentance in Christ Jesus and prepare to endure persecution. It is time for us to completely come out of the world, with its entertainments and recreations. It is time for us to renounce the world, the flesh, and the Devil, and hide the word of God in our heart, for they cannot take that away from us. It is time to stand in the truth, love our enemy, and look for our blessed hope, the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

(2 Corinthians 6:14-18 to 7:1) Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:

“I will dwell in them
And walk among them.
I will be their God,
And they shall be My people.”
Therefore

“Come out from among them
And be separate, says the Lord.
Do not touch what is unclean,
And I will receive you.”
“I will be a Father to you,
And you shall be My sons and daughters,
Says the LORD Almighty.”
 

(2 Corinthians 7:1) ​ Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.

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A Movement to Hinder His Manifest Presence Among Us #2

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In our last post we began to look at world events and how they have led to the church considering the importance of God’s command that we “forsake not the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some and so much the more, as we see the Day approaching“.

We have come to understand that Covid-19 is yet another dangerous man-made crisis meant to break national sovereignty, remove personal freedom, and ultimately divide the church of Jesus Christ into silence.

In addition to the last objective, we must understand that dividing the church of Jesus Christ from gathering, has been the objective of every totalitarian regime, from the founding of the church. This is true whether that government be democratic, communistic, or fascist. It matters little whether there is an emperor, dictator, king, president or premier.

This is the plan for two reasons. To hinder or cease face to face gathering of the saints (1) Hinders the power of sanctification, discipleship, and evangelism (2) Because hindering the gathering of the saints hinders the promise of Christ’s manifest presence, in the His people collectively.

To illustrate this first point, please read Acts 2:40-47. You’ll notice, that gathering together brought about consistent teaching concerning the true nature of Christ and our calling as the church (apostles’ doctrine). This togetherness also founded the church in prayer, which led to disciple making and signs and wonders strategically placed, for the purpose of amplifying the preaching of Christ to the lost. Therefore, the church was added to daily.

Let us remember that their gathering together was not only Sunday, but fellowship that blessed, benefitted, and produced God glorifying work, daily and house to house.

In Hebrews 10:19-25, before a stiff warning that walking away from fellowship brings the judgment of God upon the Christian (Hebrews 10:26-31), we find the dynamic nature of sanctification and its effect when we gather in God’s presence.

Hebrews 10:19-25 (NKJV) Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

 In the 4 underlined statements we see that gathering together, has a four-fold purpose in our sanctification…

  1. To give assurance of our salvation in Christ, and cleanse us from patterns of sin, so long as we continue in the faith (Let us draw near).
  2. To encourage one another to testify of Christ to all we encounter (Let us hold fast our confession).
  3. To agitate one another if necessary to do good God-glorifying works (Let us consider one another in order to stir up).
  4. To point one another to our blessed hope, Christ’s return (not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together… the Day approaching).

Not only does forsaking bring judgment upon the individuals drawing back, but it also hinders the power of sanctification in the fellowship. Yet there is something even more perilous, when considering not gathering together as commanded.

Matthew 18:19-20 (NKJV) “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

 Before we get to Christ’s manifest presence, it is important to give the context of His teaching. Matthew 18:15-20 is part of a teaching where Jesus deals with brothers in Christ who offend through unrepentant sinning. After laying out the process of discipline for someone who is in unrepentant sin and who refuses to repent even if brought before the entire body itself, He commands they be banished.

This sounds extreme and it is, because unrepentant sin damages the body of Christ and affects the presence of Christ among us. It is important to remember the primary context of verse 20 is the discipline of a sinning brother, but the context does not make Christ’s presence, “where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am in the midst” exclusive to only church discipline. Scripture clearly reveals the breadth of His manifest presence among the two or three.

The entirety of the New Testament, as well as the testimony of God’s presence among the Israelites in the tabernacle and temple (in the Old Testament), inform us that Christ is with us, when we gather wherever we gather and for any purpose pertaining to the will of God.

To understand Christ’s manifest presence among the saints, let us begin dealing with His presence with each individual Christ; before we revisit Matthew 18:20.

Please read I Corinthians 6:9-20. In the first 3 verses we are given a list of unrepentant sins that will lead to a person being prohibited from entering the kingdom of heaven, regardless of their confession of Christ—we then read that we ought to know better than to partake in this sin—followed by instruction for us to consider our behaviors well, as not to fall away. Then we read…

1 Corinthians 6:18-20 (NKJV) Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

 From this passage we understand that each individual Christian is a temple of the Holy Spirit. This means that the Holy Spirit of God, who is fully God Himself, dwells in each individual believer (see also John 14:15-18; 23). Therefore, He who is Holy, demands we expel sin from our personal life, rather than practice it. The warning of this passage brings us back to what occurred in Ezekiel 8 through Ezekiel 10, where the prophet is shown all the abominations and sins of the leaders of Israel and her people; and how it caused the glory of the LORD to depart the temple, in chapter 10.

This truth, concerning the individual presence of Christ is so important, for each individual temple is a living stone, being built into the spiritual house of Almighty God (I Peter 2:4-5, 9-10), where God in Christ comes to dwell, not only in eternity, but now!

Ephesians 2:19-22 (NKJV) Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

Now we can understand Jesus’ declaration in Matthew 18:20For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.

Let us remember that Jesus’ declaration is in the immediate context of judging and binding a sinning brother from fellowship (This was powerful, because so long as the brother remains unrepentant, they are outside of God’s protection, provision, and presence. If the Lord’s words were only concerning discipline, that would imply Christ’s presence is not with us when two or three evangelize, receive communion, pray together, or even teach the word.

Read Acts 2:40-42 and see their fellowship empowered and held together by the presence of Christ in the Holy Spirit, who had just been poured out, and how the fear of the Lord was on every soul. Please look at Acts 3:1-12 and 4:31-37 and see the results of Christ in their midst; it is truly wonderful.

Look once more at the death of Ananias and Sapphira in Acts 5 and the results in verse 11So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who hear these things”.

Let us also consider the warning in I Corinthians 11 concerning receiving the Lord’s Supper, in an unworthy fashion. The NASB really lays it out well.

1 Corinthians 11:27-30 (NASB) Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. But a man must examine himself, and in so doing he is to eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly. For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep.

 The reason some were sick, and some were dying, was because they were not judging the “body rightly”. We understand that they were selfishly approaching the table of the Lord, not putting others ahead of their desire. This selfishness is against the mind of Christ. They would gather together with grudges and factions among themselves and eat as if nothing was wrong; this was not judging the “body rightly”.

They were offending the presence of Christ, in and among the living stones, which are His spiritual house. Is His presence powerful, tangible and really present? Yes! Perhaps, this is the reason the body of Christ in America is the most medicated and infirmed group of Christians in the world; because we receive communion and exist so divided, even in individual fellowships. Are we not to have the life of Christ for our bodies and our bodies to be for the Lord?

In one of the churches, I had been blessed to pastor, I met a person who was raised as a Christian and was in ministry for 21 years. This person had chosen to walk away from Christ and live openly in sin, after the Lord did not meet their unreasonable expectations. As I was speaking to them one day, they told me that they were anxious about moving so close to a church. I asked why and they told me “I did not want to be around the presence”.

Even though they did not say Christians, let’s admit, God does not inhabit buildings anymore, He inhabits the saved and the gathering of the saved.

 Church, Covid-19 is a bioweapon that is not going away, nor are the mandates associated with it that impinge upon those of conscience. The world’s population went along easily and far too many churches ceased gathering, being convinced we could meet online. How do you gather for communion online, lay hands on the sick online, share the gospel with those outside the kingdom online, with a mind for discipleship?

Regardless of threats, and they will come, we must obey the Lord and gather, trusting His protection, provision, and presence. These measures have been worldwide, and their target will ultimately be people of one particular faith. Those of the faith of Jesus Christ, must obey God rather than man. No matter what, we must together meet, even if its two or three, because Jesus Christ is in the midst and will be mighty to save, sanctify, heal, and give hope for His return.

Refuse them who attempt to mangle the manifest presence of Christ, which is our heritage as Children of God.

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A Movement to Hinder His Manifest Presence Among Us

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Covid-19 is not going to leave us anytime soon. There are many reasons for this, some of which we will looking into in this post, but this virus will not simply pass out of existence. For billions of people world over, who were looking for a return to life as they knew it, there will only be a new normal.

The new normal is one where only “experts” acting on behalf of the governments of the world, are allowed to speak freely. We have seen this time and again in the United States, where the president and governmental scientists have mocked any question that runs counter to their narrative.

Within the last few weeks an “outbreak” of Covid-19, in New South Wales Australia, has brought another locked down an area with over 900,000 residents. These residents are not allowed to go to work, school, or anywhere, except for emergency supplies. This was enacted because they have a daily new infection rate around 210 cases on average, with less than half being infectious: new deaths being as few as one to five per day. Australians are being told to listen only to their government for information, they alone know the truth and have the experts.

This sounds similar to what we have experienced in the United States, where “experts” like Anthony Fauci and politicians who alone “follow the science” are reinventing truth, with each passing day. From the beginning of the lockdowns in the U.S. we have been told masks do not work, they do work, they work even better if you wear two and that if you are vaccinated you do not have to wear a mask; only to find out that the vaccinated must wear masks again.

In addition, both the president, who has chastised unvaccinated Americans as being selfish, and Anthony Fauci have pitted the unvaccinated against the vaccinated.

Fauci, himself, declares we live in two Americas, the vaccinated and the unvaccinated. Both Fauci and President Biden have declared the Delta variant to be a “pandemic of the unvaccinated”. This rhetoric has recently been dialed back when real statistics reveal that the vaccinated are just as susceptible to the new variant as the unvaccinated.

Why push a vaccine that is ineffective in stopping the spread of a virus it was intended to halt and does not, so soon after it is deployed? Money, money, money, money? DING! We have a winner!

Perhaps there is something in this vaccine, the promoters desire for the vaccinated to have, beyond protection from Covid? Perhaps.

Is it likely is the reality that this “pandemic” fits into the plan of the governments of the world, to advance their one world governance end and to reduce population? DING, DING, DING! Winner, Winner chicken dinner! Follow this trail of truth.

It is public fact to anyone who can watch a congressional hearing, that Anthony Fauci, as the head of the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Disease, signed off on the funding of a special project at the Wuhan lab, where Covid-19 originated. Millions of dollars of funding went for “gain of function research”, which is a procedure where a scientist manipulates an animal virus to be infectious in humans, when it had not been before.

The research was specifically done on bat corona virus. Why would they do this? To use as a bioweapon… plain and simple. In 2017 Fauci predicted a pandemic of corona virus. On October 19, 2019 he was part of a pandemic response drill, with multiple nations imagining a response to a corona virus outbreak, called EVENT 201.

Why would a U.S. government funded, and appointed doctor provide funding and support to China, an enemy nation, for the purpose of finding a way to make bat corona virus able to infect humans? Why would President Obama allow such a thing to be funded?

The answer is rooted in the reality that even America is part of the end times rebellion against our God.

Ask yourself a question, why would the United Nations, with its World Health Organization, be allowed to headquarter in the nation it seems so antagonistic to? Because the United States and most of its politicians are and have been in cahoots with them all.

Consider Agenda 2030 (used to be Agenda 2021), which was created to minimize resources and population for the purpose of governing a very different world, under one government. Most of the United Nations Agenda 2030 experts see a need to reduce the world’s population by half, which is a reduction of at least 4 billion people. This will be accomplished, in their view, by natural death, war deaths, famine, family planning (or ABORTION on DEMAND or FORCED sterilization), universal health care for coming PANDEMICS, and genetically altered food sources.

Why is this important? Because it is in line with the one world government prophesied in God’s word and revealed in Psalm 2.

 Psalms 2:1-3 (NKJV) ​ 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.”

Consider that many world leaders are advocating vaccine passports, even in the United States, where if a person is not vaccinated, they will not have access to commerce, livelihood, and other areas essential to life. Although I do not believe we are there yet, this kind of our overreach is present in a growing number of leaders and citizens and sounds very similar to the world before the return of Jesus Christ.

Revelation 13:16-17 (NKJV) He causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

 There will be more lockdowns, more mask mandates, more calls for vaccine mandates and yes more shutting out and canceling among those who are people of conscience. But who truly the people of conscience in this world? Scripture would deem only those who are coming to faith in Christ or those that are already in Christ. The word of God reveals that only Christians can have a good conscience before God.

Of those who are stalling in coming to Christ or already have a seared conscience, we will find those who fall to the Antichrist’s deception (II Thessalonians 2:1-12). Christians must beware, because for us to give into fear and begin to choose self-preservation over obeying the Lord, will be spiritual suicide.

Remember that these measures are being used to break the resolve of people of conscience, and sadly we saw the influence fear had over the church worldwide, in getting us to disobey Gods’ command to gather together.

 Hebrews 10:25 (NKJV) not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

 This passage, written to Messianic Jews (Jewish followers of Jesus Christ), was for the purpose of warning them to not cease from gathering together (physically), no matter what. How we need this admonition today.

Consider that a year and a half ago, on Resurrection Sunday 2020, as many as 95% of the churches in America did not gather, because of Covid-19. This lack of gathering was the norm for close to four months, and as we speak, most churches have never recovered the loss of most of their congregations.

Some would say, “Brother Michael, lots were meeting online! That does not matter. Could the Hebrews believers meet online? Or how about the North Korean believers of today? Or what of the Chinese believer today, whom will put their fellowship at risk if done in an online fashion. Hebrews 10:25 is not the only about where we gather but the nature of how often we gather. The early Church had the mind of Christ on that truth.

 Acts 2:40-47 (NKJV) And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

 Were these not persecuted? Read Acts 3-5 and find that they were and were commanded not to speak in His name, at threat of loss of their life, but even when they had everything to fear they feared God more and gathered.

The reason for our gathering is that gathering together produces something the enemy is very concerned with… Transformed saints filled with the Spirit, whom meet and manifest the presence of Jesus Christ. In our next post, we will see, what Satan seeks to accomplish by dividing the saints of God… For our Lord Jesus Christ declared, “Wherever two or three are gathered together in my name, I am in the midst of them”.

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The Danger of “the LIE” #6

Avengers: Endgame

It may appear to be a stretch suggesting modern narrative of comic books and the super hero’s associated with them, have been used by Satan to transmit “the LIE” in our time. It is not a stretch, but a present and growing reality. 

The reason I am focusing on the genre of comic superhero narrative is that since the early 1950’s until the present influence of serial movies (since the early 2000’s), have communicated Satan and the fallen angel’s war against God.

This has been done, by telling and retelling the story of the Titanomachy, which is the story of how the Greek gods overcame there creators (and parents) the Titans, to then be the creators, saviors and protectors of humanity. The Titanomachy, is tied to the first rebellion against the LORD after the flood, with Nimrod leading and organized fallen religion of multiple gods, to propagate “the LIE”.

As the myth unfolds, we find Chronos as the head of the Titans. He created the gods, Zeus being one of them. When Chronos believed his children would rebel against them, he ate them; except Zeus who was hidden. After Zeus fooled Chronos, making him vomit up his children, the children united and overthrew their unstoppable father Chronos. This is merely and inversion of the truth of Satan and the fallen angels rebellion against YHWH.

Interestingly, the gods were immoral, capricious and at times sympathetic to humanity. The gods were angelic, but also very human, while at times throwing in a little animal and machine for good measure. The gods had a penchant, especially the male gods, at getting human woman pregnant, and bring demigod’s into the world, such as Nimrod, Heracles and Mithras. 

Why is this important, because since comic books moved beyond Batman, they have been retelling “The LIE”, in pop culture. The “LIE” that God is unnecessary and need be thrown off; with the lesser “gods” the heroes that will save us from God returning.

This has become vary apparent with the rise of the Marvel movies, both of which have retold the Titanomachy, with modern spin, for the world’s population. First let’s consider how the Marvel movies have presented “science falsely called”, pagan religion, the occult, and apostate Christianity.

  • Captain America” Perhaps one of the most well-know characters, he becomes a super soldier through chemical genetic mutation and occult powered genetic experiment. He gained super strength, endurance and near immortality (transhumanism). In the first Avengers movies he appears to believe in one God. By the last he does not, because of what he has seen.
  • Iron Man” This character becomes more and more powerful, as he designs high tech suits of armor that make him super. After he dies in the last avenger’s movie, he lives on in artificial intelligence, again transhumanism.
  • Doctor Strange and Scarlett Witch” Both use new age, and black magic in order to be super. In this spells are cast, engage in astral projection and other forbidden arts.
  • Thor” is literally seen as a god, because he is a god in Norse mythology. He the son of Odin and a savior figure, akin to Zeus. He had godlike powers, enough said.
  • Hulk” another altered human through occult power/science; transhumanism. Hulk is almost indestructible.
  • Black Panther” Gains his superhuman agility and strength from African occult power. Beyond that he wears a metal suit, which make him impervious to most attacks, and enhances his occult received powers. Once more a marriage of human ingenuity, and occult power.
  • Spiderman” Gained his power from altered DNA from being bitten by a radioactive spider. Super strength and spider like abilities. Like all these characters, their unfortunate accidents or literally being used as experiments, have opened them up to “evolve” into all a human can be… godlike.
  • Thanos” Is literally called the mad Titan. He had godlike qualities and intelligence. His followers call themselves the “children of Thanos” and they revere Him the savior of the universe, who must make the tough decisions, no one else can make. He literally decides who lives and dies and is coming to destroy the earth.

In the last Avengers movie with these very characters, Thanos (who is a restatement of Chronos), who is a perversion of Almighty God in Satan’s “LIE”, decides thinning out life by half is not enough. He decides that he will destroy all life and begin fresh, creating a universe “teaming with life”, grateful to him for creating them.

If his language seems sort of biblical, it is from a perverted aspect that is an inversion of God’s compassion in the Genesis 6 flood account. Remember that “the LIE”, which was pervasive in Nimrod’s first world religion, was a giant middle finger to the LORD. In this false system of religion and life, they would make a name from themselves and prove God could not destroy them with a flood ever again, by building a tower to heaven. In their view God was like Thanos or Chronos and they were fighting against YHWH’s tyranny.

Some may think it a waste of time to share this information. Consider a a couple of relevant points.

In the first place, life has been imitating art for a while now; most simply have not noticed. With that fact in place, consider that the Marvel Cinematic Universe begun in 2008, has had 22 films (which average 2 releases per year) and have made get this $22, 500, 000, 000 worldwide. That is $22.5 billion dollars. These films are being seen and their message is being heard, understood, and accepted.

Not only are there more films coming, but now on immoral Disney Plus, there are 3 released Marvel series shows, with more to come. In these new movies Loki, the literal Norse god of mischief is gender fluid (meaning he can appear as a man or woman), and Valkyrie (a woman) will become king of Asgard and marry a female queen.

Pin on DC

It is important to remember that Marvel is not the only movies publishing “the LIE” in this fashion. D.C. comic book movies have made 5.2 billion dollars, over the last 7 years—there story line is almost identical to the Marvel movies, with an even closer connection to the Titanomacy, in its characters.

Together, they present a cogent retelling of the portion of “the LIE” which aids Satan in preparing the world to accept the antichrist and fight with him against the real “alien invasion” the is Coming in the clouds.

Revelation 19:11-21 (NKJV) Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war. His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns. He had a name written that no one knew except Himself. He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses. Now out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should strike the nations. And He Himself will rule them with a rod of iron. He Himself treads the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And He has on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. Then I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven, “Come and gather together for the supper of the great God, that you may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and great.” And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh.

As we can see, popular culture is Satan’s main channel of communicating “the LIE” to the world’s populace, and into the church. Since 1968 release of “2001: A space Odyssey”, continuing with Star Trek, Star Wars, Independence (1996) and the Marvel and D.C. superhero movies over the last 12 years, the world has been programmed to believe what ever they see.

But is it not just to proclaim the old gods at war with YHWH, it is also to create fear from above, in the form of asteroids and alien life. Mark well that popular new feeds on the internet are filled with stories of NASA releasing UFO findings, potential extinction level asteroid impacts and the lie of life being found somewhere else in the universe.

In Adam Wieshaupt’s well researched book “Use Your Illusion I: Aliens, UFO’s and the Occult”, we read of Wernher von Braun, famed Nazi scientist plucked up by the U.S., for the purpose of building weaponry and rockets. Over the years he revealed to those he worked with the plan of the world’s ruling class  (active in every nation): create threats to unify the world into the need for one government to save us all.

He revealed these threats in order… The Soviets, terrorism, “Nations of Concern, asteroids, and finally the lie of alien life. These “threats would be used to bring fear on the populace, who would not have a way to prove or debunk any of these threats. Von Braun went so far as to say there would be a fake alien invasion. If one would take inventory of the news cycle from the 1970’s till now they would discover this pattern.

Another popular culture means of undermining YHWH as Creator is the Jurassic Park franchise which have unfolded over the last 30 years, and have taken in over $5 billion in only 6 movies. These influential films have made evolution a possibility, through false science, in an attempt to undermine God’s creation of all things.

Most of the world’s people are influenced by the falsehood of “the LIE“, without question. Having Lucifer’s inversion of God’s truth droning on in every medium of life is overwhelming to anyone who has not received a love of “the TRUTH“.

2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

We are in the midst of the great deception leading to the final the great apostacy. The only pathway for Christians to avoid being fooled is…

  1. To be thankful for the Creator and serve Him through Jesus Christ (Romans 1:18-31)
  2. Receive and hold to a love for the knowledge of the truth.  (II Thessalonians 2:9-12)
  3. Love not the world or anything in the world, refusing to trust anything that does not line up with God’s word (II Timothy 3:15-17; I John 2:15-17)
  4. Finally, be “being” filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18-19

Remember these deceptions are so great as to deceive the elect, if possible. Do not be fooled… STAY CLOSE TO JESUS and refuse to give into “the LIE” (Matthew 24).

 

 

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The Danger of “the LIE” #5

See the source image

Romans 1:24-25 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

As we consider the repetition necessary for a lie to be believable, we must understand how “the LIE”, and its subsequent wickedness has been transmitted repeatedly, from the time of Babel.

It is clear that Satan’s deception was birthed in the Garden of Eden, where he to suggested to Eve, that God was not what He presented Himself to be. It was not until after the flood that we see, “the LIE” in a world culture and religious form, as it is still presented today. We find in humanity’s rebellion at Babel, that Satan reframed “the LIE” to lay hold of the mind and heart of humanity.

We discover in Genesis 11, that under the leadership of Nimrod, humanity defied God’s command to be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth (Genesis 9:1-6). They gathered in one place (Babel) and decided they would build a tower so high, that no flood would overwhelm it. In their intention, we can see how Satan had led them to believe (in error) God would break His promise never to flood the earth again.

In the LORD confusing the languages, we see humanity spread out over the known world, with Nimrod’s false religion of multiple gods (with the fallen angelic watchers), would lead the fight against the malicious and distant Creator, who only wanted to oppress man with His commands.

Because of the confusion of the language, people groups would name these false gods after their own language. Interestingly, if one researches well enough pagan world religions, they will find that although names of gods would change, their character remained similar, nation to nation and people to people. In almost every pantheon the native people worshiped lesser gods, who were considered reachable and active in humanity; where the Creator is distant and only interested in oppressing humanity.

In almost every pantheon there is a similar narrative where the lesser gods, sought to free humanity from the tyranny of the Creator, or provide where He selfishly withheld. In all of them we see the contempt of the kings and rulers against almighty God in Psalm 2.

A little disciplined research will reveal that the multiplicity of gods in the Egyptian, Hindu, Canaanite, Native American, Norse, Celtic, Greek and Roman pantheons, are often interchangeable. Satan has been very effective in using this “LIE” to turn humanity against the LORD.

 Psalms 2:1-3 (NKJV) ​ 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.”

Since Babel, “THE LIE” has been repeated to the world’s population, but there has been little unity among them because of national and language barriers, until a man conquered much of the civilized world by the time of his death in 332 B.C. That man was Alexander the Great.

The importance of his conquest is that Greek became the language of trade for most of the world. People were again connected through learning a common language. In this state, people began to see how their regional or national gods were just like those of their enemies.

Once more “the LIE” began to gain influence. With the advent of the Roman empire, which took control of and expanded upon Alexander’s territory and influence (as far north as the Celtic and Norse pantheons, and as far east as China and India’s multiplicities of deities), we begin to see a synchronization of “the LIE”. This was unchecked until the incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ.

See the source image

From the time of the Lord’s death and resurrection, until the rise of the Roman Catholic Church, we see humanity awaken to “the Truth” of the Messiah. Even in Rome, by 325 AD, we see the gods and “the LIE” surrounding them losing effect and influence.

Sadly, with the corruption of the church of Jesus Christ, in the rise of Roman Catholicism, we see the old god’s gaining ground through apostate Christianity, where idol worship returned, with Christian names. The image above is that of the Catholic saints in a setting eerily similar to that of the Greek gods above.

See the source image

With the reformation, we see a resurgence of truth, until the rise of masonic thought with Sir Francis Bacon’s “New Atlantis”, which gave rise to Masonic influence, through syncretism of religions. Sadly this masonic movement found its footing in more than a few of the founders of the United States, who were devotees of Sir Francis Bacon and believed America to be the fulfillment of the New Atlantis. The image to the right is that of “The Apotheosis of George Washington”, where he sits in the seat of Zeus/Jupiter, while he is surrounded by the Roman versions of the Greek gods. This picture is in the dome of the capital building in Washington D.C.

The LIE” flourished in the elite political class of America unnoticed, while evangelical Christianity grew in the populace alongside of it. In this environment, “the Lie” was seen in the syncretism of spiritism, Native America spirit worship, the rise of the occult and the growing influence of the Roman Catholic Church, in the later part of the 1800’s even up to our current time.

One need only to read Revelation 18 and see the concerning similarities between the end times economic and governmental Babylon and history and current state of America.

Revelation 18:1-8 (NKJV) After these things I saw another angel coming down from heaven, having great authority, and the earth was illuminated with his glory. And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, “Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird! For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich through the abundance of her luxury.” And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities. Render to her just as she rendered to you, and repay her double according to her works; in the cup which she has mixed, mix double for her. In the measure that she glorified herself and lived luxuriously, in the same measure give her torment and sorrow; for she says in her heart, ‘I sit as queen, and am no widow, and will not see sorrow.’ Therefore her plagues will come in one day—death and mourning and famine. And she will be utterly burned with fire, for strong is the Lord God who judges her.

Revelation 18:9-18 (NKJV) “The kings of the earth who committed fornication and lived luxuriously with her will weep and lament for her, when they see the smoke of her burning, standing at a distance for fear of her torment, saying, ‘Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour your judgment has come.’ “And the merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her, for no one buys their merchandise anymore: merchandise of gold and silver, precious stones and pearls, fine linen and purple, silk and scarlet, every kind of citron wood, every kind of object of ivory, every kind of object of most precious wood, bronze, iron, and marble; and cinnamon and incense, fragrant oil and frankincense, wine and oil, fine flour and wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, and bodies and souls of men. The fruit that your soul longed for has gone from you, and all the things which are rich and splendid have gone from you, and you shall find them no more at all. The merchants of these things, who became rich by her, will stand at a distance for fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, and saying, ‘Alas, alas, that great city that was clothed in fine linen, purple, and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls! For in one hour such great riches came to nothing.’ Every shipmaster, all who travel by ship, sailors, and as many as trade on the sea, stood at a distance and cried out when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, ‘What is like this great city?’

It makes Christians in America emotionally agitated to suggest that the nation in which we live, could be anything other than  benevolent at heart. Although the weight of historical evidence and the cultural perversion that has grown unchecked is weighty evidence, I admit, that I too am grieved by the implications of what I have written. Despite my desire to hold on to what I was taught, we must for the sake of truth, throw off nostalgic views and refuse to make the mistake Israel made.

They believed themselves special, as a nation, no matter what they did. Although this is true of the remnant, it is not true of all born in Israel (read Romans 9, 10, 11). In fact, the same warning the Lord gave to them ought to cause true followers of Jesus Christ to pray for repentance in His church in America.

Ezekiel 16:48-50 (NKJV) “As I live,” says the Lord GOD, “neither your sister Sodom nor her daughters have done as you and your daughters have done. Look, this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughter had pride, fullness of food, and abundance of idleness; neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty and committed abomination before Me; therefore I took them away as I saw fit.

It is important we investigate one more cultural phenomenon, which is effectively reframing Satan’s “LIE” in our current time. In the last days, there needs to be a cogent mechanism to transmit the great deception against the the LORD. That method is superhero comic book films.

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The Danger of “the LIE” (#4)

Romans 1:24-25 (NKJV) Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12 (NKJV) The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

As we have been investigating “the LIE” over the past few postings, we understand its completely contrary position to “the TRUTH” of God, as given to us in the scripture. The “father of lies” has been busy throughout the history of mankind, attempting to convince mankind that the LORD is capricious, unloving and unkind; that God is hindering man from realizing his potential.

In this unrighteous deception, Lucifer is the hero (not the villain) and freedom to speak one’s own truth (relativity) and live according to that truth, is the pinnacle of life. Essentially, “the LIE” convinces man to live under the illusion we can be our own sovereign.

Easily missed in “the LIE” is that our desired freedom comes through throwing off God’s rule and command, as described in Psalm 2 “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 (His Messiah), saying “Let us break Their bonds and cast Their cords from us”. 

Simply put,the LIEenslaves man, in an attempt to achieve personal sovereignty. In this enslavement, man, bound by their sin nature grows increasingly perverse apart from God. When man exchanges the truth for the lie, turning to worshipping and serving the creature rather than the Creator, they begin to resemble the behavior of the false gods they have been worshiping.

One way we can see “the LIE” becoming the truth in our age is how pervasive sexual immorality has become, especially LGBTQ. Remembering that the fallen went after strange flesh (meaning angels copulated with human woman), it should be no surprise they taught men, to believe that sex was for pleasure, and love was relative to what made one feel good at the time.

In our day pop culture has been spreading this product of the LIE, in far reaching ways, as well as repeatedly retelling the war between the false gods and the LORD. Why? Because the more a lie is repeated, the more believable it is. Let’s take a look at how America sport is being used to advance the LIE.

 COMING OUT FOR THE PURPOSE OF SINGLING OUT CHRISTIANS

 Perhaps one of the more foolish questions Christians get asked and we for our part answer just as foolishly is “If I am gay does that mean I am going to hell?”

The reason it is a foolish question is that any person, who continually practices sin (of any sort) falls under the judgment of God (I John 3:4-9). I have instructed my children if asked such a question to respond that unrepentant sexual immorality brings the judgment of God, as well as any unrepentant sin.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (NKJV) Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

Given our topic it is important we understand the forecast of a nation that exchanges the truth of God for the lie.

Romans 1:24-27 (NKJV) Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.

 In this passage we see the in any society, where “the LIE” has become majority opinion, LGBTQ behavior becomes pervasive and insidious. This is not to say that other sin does not abundantly corrupt the populace. Reading Romans 1:28-32 reveals that sin abounds period, but LGBTQ signifies a debased mind, because it is literally that which kills off humanity, not being natural, and able to bring about offspring.

America has exceeded any nation in the history of the world in this area and now we see corporations, politicians, entertainment conglomerates and sports business promoting “the LIE” and in righteousness looking to suppress the truth.

Just the other day, NFL player Carl Nassib made headlines. Not for a mega contract or any on the field activity, but because he revealed that he has chosen to identify as gay man.

Truth be told, Carl Nassib has achieved a certain level of success in football. Though not a super star, he was rewarded by the Las Vegas Raiders with a three-year $25 million dollar contract in 2020.

His announcement was met with praise from his team, the NFL and former NFL players and even the president.

The Las Vegas Raiders tweeted “Proud of you”.

NFL Commissioner Rodger Godell declared “The NFL family is proud of Carl for courageously sharing his truth today,” Goodell also stated “Representation matters. We share his hope that someday soon statements like his will no longer be newsworthy as we march toward full equality for the LGBTQ+ community. We wish Carl the best of luck this coming season.

Former NFL quarterback Chris Simms commented that Nassib’s declaration was “Incredibly courageous”.  Chris Simms partner Mike Florio, in anticipating backlash in the locker room from “religious” players, declared “Religion has no place in an NFL locker room”.

Jim Irsay the owner of the Indianapolis Colts commented “I commend Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib for his courage and world leadership“.

President Biden called Nassib and inspiring athlete and “Because of you, countless kids around the world are seeing themselves in a new light today,”

Here we see the reality of those who exchange the truth of God for the lie and call good evil and evil good.

It is a fair question to ask what is so courageous about announcing you are a sodomite? The answer is nothing. The word to describe Nassib’s revelation is not courageous, but “reprobate” and of a “debased” mind.

In contrast, it is quite chilling to consider the comments of Mike Florio. In watching most of the video of his conversation with Chris Simms, players with faith, in his viewpoint, are the problem.

In a further dive down the rabbit hole of calling evil good and good evil the NFL has released a video on TV and online that unequivocally embraces the LGBTQ community, stating that football is gay, lesbian, queer, transgender, beautiful and other descriptors. You can watch the video here.

It is quite clear the NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball to a lesser degree have chosen to lead the fight for social and cultural change, even if it infringes upon the personal consciences and God given choices of others.

Across professional sports pressure to accept LGBT (redefinition of humanity made in God’s image), get vaccinated (science falsely so called), and bow to Black Lives Matters anti-God agenda are praised when complied with. Those who would dare question are shamed and run out of the sport. Sadly college sports are just as corrupt and engineered with this abominable agenda.

It can be clearly seen that “the LIE” is being repeated, over and over again in popular culture in America and it has changed the perception millions of people, who now see the truth of God’s word as antiquated, bigoted and to be outlawed. Sadly, in far too many churches, the truth is being exchanged for “the LIE”.

Once more let us remember “the LIE” with is supporting wicked thinking and immoral behavior, is being told over and over through entities thought to be innocuous and even good. During LGBT pride month, both Disney and Nickelodeon, supposedly networks for children, rans programming applauding LGBT in many different ways. Perhaps the most egregious, was a Disney special where Kermit the Frog has a discussion with  drag queen, about the goodness of being LGBT.

In my next post we will investigate how “the LIE” has been transmitted, both in religious and cultural form, with all its anti-God behavior, from the time of Babel.

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