The Heavens Declare the Glory of God, the Firmament the Work of His Hand

The Heavens Declare the Glory of God, the Firmament the Work of His Hand

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Emails filled with Santa Claus and reindeer serve to remind me that far too many have forgotten the true meaning of this Holy Season and care little about the greatest gift ever given to mankind.

I am saddened to receive emails asking me to watch a video with Steve Martin singing the Atheist Hymnal, “sad but funny” was the comment. Tears fill my eyes when receiving an email depicting how an email from Mary to Joseph might have read, with the comment, "I loved this." These I will not open, these I will not read, these I will not share with others.

Don’t share with me your enjoyment of the Harry Potter movies with comments: “who thinks satan wears glasses - hahaha” Don’t tell me you went to see Avatar or the latest Narnia movie and saw no harm. Don’t tell me you were so blessed as you read The Shack and that you love the Twilight movies.

My heart is grieved by all that I see and hear. Tell me, how do these songs, these movies and books glorify our Beloved L-RD and Saviour? Tell me, how do these things bring the lost among us, even within our own families, closer to the Truth of Jesus Christ? How does Santa Claus bring us to our knees in gratitude to the One Who has given us life? How does it give us courage to share our Great Salvation with others?

The Word of G-D speaks clearly:

“What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people. Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you." 2 Corinthians 6:16-17

Hidden deep within each email is the word - NO, I will not follow Your Word, I will not walk that narrow path - NO, I have chosen the way of the world. Just as in the days of Jeremiah the voice of the watchman is ignored, His people stand in arrogant defiance:

“Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’ I appointed watchmen over you and said, ‘Listen to the sound of the trumpet!’ But you said, ‘We will not listen.’ Jeremiah 6

Look around, see all that is happening. Santa Claus. Atheist Hymnals and Twilight movies will not equip you to stand up for HIM when you are called to do so.

“To whom can I speak and give warning? Who will listen to Me? Their ears are closed so they cannot hear. The word of the L-RD is offensive to them; they find no pleasure in it. I have listened attentively, but they do not say what is right. No one repents of his wickedness, saying, “What have I done?” Each pursues his own course like a horse charging into battle. Even the stork in the sky knows her appointed seasons, and the dove, the swift and the thrush observe the time of their migration. But my people do not know the requirements of the L-RD. The harvest is past, the summer has ended, and we are not saved.” Jeremiah 8

Thursday, December 16, 2010

For several years I listened expectantly for the trumpet to sound, calling believers home. I listened with excitement to messages of deliverance from the wrath coming upon the earth. With a smile on my face, I embraced those encouraging words admonishing each of us to look up and not out, teaching them to my children. Joy and laughter filled the halls of churches as thoughts of escaping the judgments to come danced across our minds, filling our hearts with the assurance that all was well with our soul.

Several years passed and I rocked on until one night I was radically changed after an encounter with the True and Living God. I matured in my faith, took my Bible and began to read, to study. As the Word commands:

“Study to show yourself approved to God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15

As I read books by Robert VanKampen, Marv Rosenthal and Michael Pfeil along with studying my Bible, nagging thoughts crept in. My smile became a thoughtful gaze, and I was left to wondered:

“What If?”

What if the PreTrib belief were correct? What Harm?

We had waited with expectant hearts the appearing of our LORD. Standing joyfully on His promises to deliver us from the wrath to come.

What if the PreTrib belief were correct? What Harm?

We as a family, with joy and laughter, had discussed what heaven would be like and spent hours attending prophecy conferences with feel good messages, amid shouts of Maranatha, sharing our excitement with like minded believers.

BUT nagging thoughts refused to go away.

What if the PreTrib belief were wrong? What Harm?

We have spent much time waiting expectantly to be saved from the wrath to come but NO time preparing our hearts and our minds to stand for Him in the fiery furnace of affliction. We have spent little time on our knees weeping before the LORD over the lost within our own families, nor have we cried out to our Father to save, deliver and heal a lost and dying world. We have swallowed and followed but spent no time becoming rooted and grounded in His Word.

What if the PreTrib belief were wrong? What Harm?

We have not examined our own hearts before God, but have chosen instead to embrace easy belief-ism. We have not looked at our own sins nor cried out to God in broken repentance. We have forgotten to look up to a Holy God who said:

“I am the LORD your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy, for I am holy.” Leviticus 11:44

There will indeed be a rapture - but whether it is today, tomorrow or a thousand years from now, our LORD has said “occupy until I come."

“…when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?" Luke 18:8

Saturday, December 11, 2010

No Longer A Baby ~

But a King.!.

I do not think anyone can ever know the preciousness of the blood of Christ, until he has embraced a full sight and sense of his own sin, his own uncleanness and his total depravity. Is there any such thing as truly coming to the cross of Christ until first of all we have seen what our sin really deserves?

A little light into that dark cellar, a little light into that hole within the soul, a little light cast into that infernal den of our humanity, and we soon discern what sin is, and, seeing it, we soon discover that there is no hope of being washed from it except by a sacrifice far greater than what we ourselves could render. Then, and only then does the atonement of Christ become fair and lustrous in our eyes, and we can rejoice with joy unspeakable in that boundless love which led the Saviour to give Himself a ransom for us, "the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God."

May the Lord teach us, thundering at us, if need be, what sin means. May He teach it to us so that the lesson shall be burned into our souls, so that we shall never forget it!

May we all be burden-carriers until we grow weary. May each of us labor after eternal life until our strength fails, and we rejoice - resting in Him who has finished the work, and Who has promised to be all we will ever need when we believe in Him, trusting in Him with our whole heart and with our entire being cry out to Him:

'nothing in my hand I bring, simply to the cross I cling.'

Hebrews 9:13-14 "For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of a heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctified to the purifying of the flesh: how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?"

Monday, December 6, 2010

"This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD." Jeremiah 23:16

"Then the LORD said to me, "The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divination's, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds." Jeremiah 14:14

As I surfed the Internet, viewing photos of the fires in Israel I wondered to myself ~

Where were the prophetic voices that claim to hear from God? Where were the voices that should have warned of what was coming upon His Land and His Chosen People? Where were those who would warn of the devastation to come?

For me, they were noticeably silent - made me wonder - perhaps they do not speak for God after all.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Many churches claim to love truth but what they really love is man-centered Christianity that helps them obtain success. Success in their marriage, finances, family, careers. Building bigger and bigger congregations while fostering a positive attitude that produces health and a successful personal life without the pain of dying to self, picking up the Cross of Christ, sharing the gospel with a lost and dying world or being persecuted for standing for The Truth of the Word of God.

II Timothy 4:3 tells us that many Christians will only want to hear what makes them feel good and appeals to their flesh:

"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears."

Warning the church, family or friends of emerging dangerous, unbiblical trends, false teachers, a false gospel, unbiblical theology is never popular nor is it easy. Yet, we are not called to please the world, we are called to please our Lord. We are expected to act as Bereans - checking out all we hear with The Truth, The Word of God, but if we do not know the Word...

Exposing error has become negative in the eyes of many today. Many consider it to be judgmental - even cruel to expose in public what has been spoken in public. Yet, Jesus Himself told us we would see those who would claim to be shepherds, pastors, [evangelist, prophets and apostles] that really have little or no concern for the sheep but care more for their own pocketbooks and positions, twisting the Word of God to benefit self.

Paul, writing in I Corinthians 4:9-13 while in prison:

"For I think that God has displayed us, the apostles, last, as men condemned to death; for we have been made a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men. We are fools for Christ's sake, but you are wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, but we are dishonored. To the present hour we both hunger and thirst, and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless. And we labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure being defamed, we entreat. We have been made as the filth of the world, the off scouring of all things until now."

Notice the last examples: condemned to death, weak, poor, hungry, beaten and homeless. Its obvious we don’t see those who claim these positions today living in such a manner. The messages proclaimed by most of today's profiteers who live in mansions, travel in private jets, live like royalty, practice necromancy and cheat on their income tax and their wives is G-D wants you wealthy, lacking in nothing, trials and tribulations are from the devil, and if you are sick it is because you lack faith, so just name it and claim it.

In John 10:11-13 we read:

"I am the good shepherd, the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and not concerned about the sheep."

One reason why God would allow false teachers among us may be to test those who call themselves 'Christian" - will they be faithful in their Biblical mandate to expose false teachers and thus protect the sheep from the spiritual poison of wolves in sheep's clothing, will they be faithful to study to show themselves approved, a watchman who need not be ashamed or will they choose instead to swallow and follow those who teach and preach the gospel they find most appealing.

Ephesians 5:11 makes it clear we are to expose false teachers:

"And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them."

Jude 3:1-4 commands all believers to contend for the faith that is under attack from false teachers:

"Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ".

The Truth is never negative to those who seek to serve it.