A Modern Woman's Perspective On The Kingdom of God on Earth

Showing posts with label Glory of God. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Glory of God. Show all posts

April 11, 2023

Jesus Is My Everything!

During the Holy Week of Passover/Easter, we concentrate on the glory of the Son of God who suffered horrendously on our behalf so that we could receive forgiveness of our sins and eternal life. Our Home Church gathered together and studied the different accounts of Jesus's Resurrection and Ascension in each of the four Gospels. It was amazing to see the subtle distinctions of each version, and we appreciated how much each gospel added to the fullness of Scripture. 

Afte reverent reflection, I find myself contemplating those days that led to my Lord's crucifixion and what His experience was like. Yes, His resurrection revealed that He was truly the Son of the Most High God, just as He said He was. But prior to the moment He declared, "It is Finished", Jesus lived His life as a man; a human being just like you and me, facing all the attendant issues and matters of the flesh. Sure, He knew He was the Son of God, and could call down a legion of angels at any moment to change circumstances in His favor. But He refused to exploit His relationship with the Father for His own advantage.

From the moment He began His ministry, He experienced His assignment for the Kingdom of God as a man, not as God. I cannot even imagine the consternation and dismay that must of caused Him! Knowing that He created the earth and the people to whom He came as a servant, how it must have grieved Him to see the state of both so corrupted from what He intended. And I don't think we 21st Century believers have given much thought to the world that the Christ child would be born into, and what He would have to navigate throughout His life.

First of all, John the Baptist appeared on the scene and began to preach and teach repentance from sin and turning back to God ... Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. In effect, John was preparing the way for the appearance of the Lord. We forget that before Jesus was born, God had not been heard from for 400 years! YHWH had been silent since Malachi had prophesied that He would send Elijah the prophet as a forerunner [to prepare the way for the Messiah,] over 400+ years prior. John the Baptist was that forerunner. 

But by the time Jesus arrived on earth the people of God had suffered greatly through those years of silence. Having come out of exile in Babylon, they would endure under the Medo-Persian, Greek, and Roman empires; see their faith outlawed under Antiochus Epiphanes; witness the Maccabean revolt; and see the emergence of rival religious groups [Pharisees, Sadduces, Essenes]. By the time Jesus was born, the Roman Empire had ruled for half a century. There were obvious political tensions between governors (supported by a Roman army) and the Jewish "puppet kings"; religious tensions between the various Jewish sects; and social tensions between the impoverished and the wealthy. Yet He came to save all who would believe in Him, and carry on His work.

So, imagine the frustration of trying to bring the love of God, the Father, and to restore harmony and relationship between God and humanity. It must have seemed hopeless, yet He continued to pursue His goal, the fulfillment of His mission. So, He is intimately familiar with what many of us feel as we look upon our world today. Like us, Jesus [as the man] instinctively knew the world wasn't as it should be. Today we see the massive corruption and greed, the unpredictable and illogical violence, and the shocking number of deaths in the wake of the pandemic ... and we are acutely aware of suffering and evil in the world. Jesus can identify with that.

I recently read an article on Christianity Today, in which the author, Chine McDonald, wrote, "Like many other millennials, I have been gripped by an acute sense that the world is getting worse, with disaster around every corner. From climate catastrophes to polarization and political unrest to economic uncertainty, we have been forced to confront our own helplessness". That sense of helplessness is not limited to one age group. There is a very real sense of unease, despondency, depression, and a sense of things being out of our control across all generations. Yet, like Jesus, we must continue to rely on our Father in Heaven. We must continue to hope in His omnipotence; His unlimited and very great power to rectify all things unto Himself... to make things right and resolve the problems of the world. 

But even as the Son of God, yet fully man, Jesus wept. He personally knows our human emotions and sensibilities. He identifies with our feelings and stands alongside us in the midst of the world's turmoils. Remember, as a man, He spent an anguished moment in the Garden of Gethsemane asking His Father to remove the cup of suffering from Him -- if it was the Father's will. And then He shed tears of blood; evidence of the tremendous spiritual pain and despair He knew He was about to face -- as a man. There is nothing we may face in this world that He is not able to recognize or help us through. 

Therefore, we must cling to the model Jesus has set before us as we prepare for wherever this world is headed. He never gave up hope. He endured incomprehensible physical harm, never abandoning His relationship with the Father. He didn't give in to the schemes of the devil to enslave Him to the world's kingdom of darkness. Instead, He trained and equipped competent disciples to know the truth of who they were -- ambassadors and representatives of the greater Kingdom of God. He did all this for our benefit; to show us that we can endure and persevere through everything He did, and do everything He accomplished; and as He says in John 14:12, "even greater things". 

I will admit, I am growing tired of seeing the deterioration of the world and humankind. But I know I am only temporarily "in the world", and I will not submit to the powers and spirits "of the world". When I discern that the world is becoming a drain on my connection to Jesus, Father, and Holy Spirit, I remember that He has shown me how to walk this out. He has shown me that I always have a connection to Him in the spiritual realm. I can talk to Him and hear from Him and Father and Holy Spirit, just as He did. He knows what I'm feeling and what I am capable of doing, because He experienced it first. I will be obedient to follow in His footsteps, and I am committed to training up new followers for Him so that there will never be a generation that doesn't know Him. 

It must have felt like the darkness won, on that day of His crucifixion. But He showed us that His Light is eternal, and will always shine into the darkness to reveal the true Kingdom of God, His righteous power, and the splendor of His glory; and the reality of Heaven for all those who choose to follow Him. There is no greater example and He is my everything!

Hebrews 5:7-9    In the days of His flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to Him who was able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverence. Although He was a son, He learned obedience through what He suffered. And being made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey Him...


March 7, 2023

How God Prepared This American Woman For Our Nation's Collapse

If you have been reading this blog since I began writing in 2011, you will have seen the scope of my journey. From the outset, I have had my eyes focused on the direction our nation and the world have been careening towards, and my ears and spirit tuned to the direction God has told me to go in the midst of it all. And I will tell you that there haven't been too many people who have understood how me and my husband can reconcile the two. This post is going to be neither super religious nor radical survivalist in nature. My hope is that it will encourage other people how to be "in this world, but not of this world".

But let me share an overview of my odyssey... it began as I came to terms with the plan to "fundamentally transform America" that was revealed in 2008. God had not yet disclosed the specific intention He had for our lives, so by 2012, I was writing to all those who were sensing the pressure and the distress of those uncertain times. I was discerning a distinct difference among my friends who were "awake."  Everyone was pretty much on the "Prepper" page. The very essence of "preparing" meant we were pre-positioning assets for an undefined event (or crisis); whether it be a hurricane, an ice storm, a comet from outer space, a busted sewer line, grid-down situation, economic collapse, civil unrest, martial law, or terrorist event.  We were no longer taking things for granted. We were storing supplies and making contingency plans to get through whatever was coming. 

But I was also aware that there weren't enough beans and rice, guns and ammo, generators, or toilet paper to give people the peace of mind they were seeking in order to overcome every new threat to our freedom; or any new peril to our economy, environment or health anxieties that we were all experiencing. That only comes with trusting Jesus to help us persevere through the crazy, mixed up, evil world we're in. What we were experiencing was Biblical. It was foretold thousands of years ago through the Prophets, and just over two thousand years ago by the very One who will come to judge this wickedness and Evil. Make no mistake, I didn't believe in the axioms that some of my fellow Christians were promoting: "There is no need to prep at all. God will take care of us". I knew full well that He gave us a brain and discernment, and He expected us to use them. He didn't want us to sit idly by and do nothing; we were to prepare -- regarding food, defensive training, and spiritual warfare -- with the ultimate preparation focused on His return. That was in 2012. 

By 2014, I had faced "the monster" after reading One Second After and The End of the World As We Know It. I confidently joined my husband in working out our plan, and preparing to make our plans work. We rid ourselves of any normalcy bias that still existed, and got on with life, determined not to live in fear or anxiety. But as the years of slow, steady decline progressed, we noticed that we [and many of our fellow Americans]
retreated somewhat from our initial level of enthusiasm and drive. The passage of time, with no extreme event, had deprived us of our "edge". The very nature of becoming a Prepper was not to be comfortable ... whether in the physical or spiritual aspect. Our mindset should always be on expanding knowledge to save our lives. 

When I look back over those years, I can see a shift in my thinking and my focus. I still wanted to make sure that my larder was full, and I had plenty of medical supplies on hand. I still wanted to be physically ready to defend myself, less wasteful, and more innovative in taking care of our needs... in other words, I still fit the "Prepper" description. But I was less concerned with worldly strategies, and more preoccupied with heavenly pursuits.  I was thinking more about God, and less about myself. 

And that brought my husband and myself to the place where God revealed His purpose for our lives and showed us how it fit into His redemptive plan. We were given a ministry to help people identify the wounds to their souls that kept them from knowing their true identity and purpose in Christ, whether that be due to their sins or sins that were committed against them -- including molestation, pornography, physical abuse, witchcraft, drug abuse, PTSD, etc. Jesus died to set the captives free, and He wanted to counter the lies they were believing from the Enemy with His truth. We have been blessed to help people receive that freedom by facilitating an encounter with their Savior to break that bondage. BUT we never stopped being awake to the deterioration of the nation, and we were soon called to our spiritual position as Watchmen on the Wall.

Because we can see clearly what the Lord is showing us, we know that Biblically, we are responsible to sound the alarm; to warn people to get prepared physically and spiritually for what is coming upon the earth. And as you can imagine, that doesn't make us very popular with people; neither the secular nor the religious, who can't conceive that Jesus would allow "that" to happen to us. However, to stick our heads in the sand, or to run away from the evidence that is before our eyes, is to deny what the Spirit is showing us. The nations are lining up for war. Lawlessness is growing throughout the land. Our national sovereignty is disappearing. Famine and plagues are threatening to decimate vast populations. Even the elements of nature are warning that upheaval could be imminent; nothing is as it has been. And last but not least, Good has become evil and Evil is now called good. But the Lord will not abandon those in covenant with Him!

Which is why, even as we are commissioned to see Satan's agenda on the earth and warn its inhabitants to get prepared, we are both more than thrilled to rejoice over the revival we all discern is springing up in increasing numbers. I know this presents a dichotomy between my life as a Watchman and my joy in this new revival movement. Many Christians and secular citizens have called me negative and anti-revival, but I am excited about this latest revival because I believe it is a lifeline of hope for Christians [new and old] who might now become spiritually ready [and strong enough] to prepare for the battles ahead. I believe God is on the move in both the realm of revival and spiritual battle preparedness.

That's why it is important that we, who call ourselves followers of Jesus, realize that we must battle this spiritual war on two fronts. First, we battle from a position of spiritual protection, just as Psalm 91 instructs us. In the shadow of, and under the wings of the Most High and Almighty God, we battle from a place of protection and safekeeping; fighting in the confidence of one who trusts the Name of the Lord of Hosts to defend him. This is how the shepherd boy, David went into battle against the giant, Goliath.

But, we also battle from a position of God's power and authority in the physical. If we trust that the battle is His, we can be bold, even in the midst of our fears of what is coming. We can release ourselves to Him to be used for the advancement of His Kingdom here on earth, no matter what it looks like or what is required of us... because we know that it will be accomplished in HIS strength and power. He just needs men and women who are willing to allow Him to work with [and through] them, and agree to be in covenant with Him to see His will done. We need not be afraid of the power of men on the earth; knowing that if God tells us to take that mountain, He will go before us and we will see our victory. We can defeat anything -- corrupt governments, disease and pestilence, evil domains, demonic entities -- if we will just have faith and do not doubt. We can trust, as did King David, that God has trained our hands for war and our fingers for battle. He will stretch out His hand and fortify us because we know His Name.

Sometimes it's hard for me to realize that it's been 12 years since the Lord caught my attention and gave me my marching orders. I have been given the privilege of spiritual discernment to see the events that are lining up for the future. The Enemy's forces are on the battlefield and advancing rapidly. But the Lord is showing the manifestation of His Glory in the hearts and lives of a new generation of Jesus lovers. I know God has been preparing me for this time and what's to come -- both the war and the victory. I will not be blind to the battle we're in, and I will be ready and equipped to fight on all fronts. But I will also embrace, endorse, and encourage the beautiful revival we see happening in our midst. And I will declare that the Glory of the Lord will prevail!

#gloryofthelord #spiritualdiscernment #watchmanonthewall #spiritualpreparedness #endtimes

Psalm 62:5-6    "Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from Him.  Truly He is my rock and my salvation; He is my fortress, I will not be shaken."


March 2, 2023

REVIVAL: Understanding It in Scripture and Our Culture (Part 2)

In light of the fact that we are continuing to see God's Presence moving among our college campuses and across our land, I want to take a look at Revival from a more personal perspective in people's lives and our culture. In Part 1 of this topic, I took a basic approach towards Revival from a Scriptural viewpoint in the Old and New Testaments, as well as how theologians describe it, and even the cynicism of modern Believers and non-Believers alike. As I stated in the previous post, I don't really care if people call what we are seeing a "Revival" or an "Awakening" or even a "Movement of God" -- it is my prayer that it persists and is sustained as God proceeds in doing whatever it is that He has planned for it. Let His Spirit work in the hearts of men as the message of His love and power to change lives -- and the world! -- permeates this land.

There is no question in my mind that I am witnessing a movement of God in our culture. And I use that terminology in a deliberate way. By now, I am sure most of you have heard of the movie Jesus Revolution, whose popularity is widely touted by the Christian community. I was introduced to a video by John Ruttkay [a participant in the Jesus Movement in the 70's]. He was a witness to the Jesus Movement, the Shepherding Movement, and the Vineyard Movement, all which lasted well into the 90s. None of these movements resembled the traditional, orthodox Church of that time period. And I invite you to click on the links and do your own research on what these revivals looked like. But the point I want to make is this: Mr. Ruttkay made a statement that I think is central to how we must view Asbury and all the other colleges and places where revival has broken out. He said, "If something is called a movement, it's because God is moving in that time and space". A very simple statement, but perhaps it can keep us from getting hung up on whether any of these spiritual activities "qualify" to be called a revival. 

Yes, we have the Biblical concepts of Revival as 1) bringing back to life what [of God] was dead and lost, as well as 2) being awakened to whatever has been appointed by God for men to understand, and then being stirred into action through obedience to reveal it to others. And I recognize those definitions as being true. But I think we can sometimes become too rigid ... and I'll say it, "religious" ... about setting standards for what qualifies as a revival. There are multiple websites on the internet that proclaim the 8 or 10 or 12 "certifications" for genuine revival. But I think Revival looks like whatever God wants it to look like in the circumstances in order to give birth to, or arouse the spirits of men and women to testify to His Glory.

Now, that can be in a corporate model, as we see at Asbury University and Cedarville Unviersity, as well as college campuses in Pennsylvania, Missouri, and Texas. Even a Tennessee Middle School is experiencing the movement of God. But Revival can be individual and personal, too. Bottom line, it doesn't need to fit a cookie cutter mold. As a dear Sister in Christ commented on Part 1, "When I experienced revival, I knew I was changed. When I began to share my testimony, the naysayers were the first to tell me that my transformation was not real. The naysayers did not know my whole life story, so how could they make an assumption that nothing really happened to me? By my outward appearance, they were right, but if I had listened to their words, I would have been discouraged and been as dry as the naysayers have become. I am thankful for that moment in time in my life that I experienced, so that I can rejoice with those who have also experienced Jesus. Their transformation may not happen in an instant. Mine didn't either. It took time, so I am anticipating those who rise above the naysayers and thankful that Christians are truly experiencing Jesus, to repent, to be set free". I know her well and can attest to the evidence that she experienced true revival in her life.

Then there is another woman, who has become a new friend, who shared with me her experience of being part of the Jesus Movement in Texas. She has seen the movie, The Jesus Revolution, and says it is pretty accurate to what that movement was like. She said the hippies from California [which is where the movement began] showed up at their South Texas Church and showed the congregation that they could have a personal relationship with Jesus, which was a new paradigm for them. The people inside that Church were spiritually transformed, and then came to understand that they had made their building the Church, but it couldn't contain the whole picture of God. He was much bigger than that confined space, and His message needed to go out into the streets and spread across the land.

But she also testified that if the Holy Spirit was not properly stewarded, and the power and authority did not go out, it became confined in the building and Satan would begin causing disruptions. People with no discernment would "get out of hand" [her words] and stand up and witness, oftentimes out of their own soul. The power of the Holy Spirit was so great, that the building could not contain it. Church leadership struggled with thoughts of "what do we do with this movement of the Spirit"? But she testified that the revival lasted for 5-7 years, with many of the young people involved in street ministry that bore much fruit. And she affirmed that the seeds of that revival are still alive these 50 years later. Many of her good friends from that period of her life are still doing ministry and evangelizing.

Finally, I want to share the testimony of a young man who my husband and I ministered Inner Healing to. His story, and that of his family, is nothing short of miraculous. There has been a revival in his life that encompasses both of the definitions of Revival from Scripture. He came from an abusive childhood, drug addiction, sexual issues, and satanic influence into a life seeking Jesus, having visions of Jesus washing his feet, but he still experienced a constant battle with Satan to keep that relationship with His Savior. Just a few short months ago, we met with him, partnered with Jesus so that he experienced an encounter with the One who died for him, and he was changed forever. He went home to his wife and stepson, and together the family has battled to keep the freedom that would lead them all into God's miraculous favor. The love he had for Jesus was always overshadowed by the power of the Enemy to lie and convince him he could never be free. But when we ministered to him, and he saw Jesus hand him a key to walk out of that prison cell, he left that dead life behind once and for all, and there began a personal revival in his life that stirred up his spirit to lead his family into a Divine freedom. He recently was given a job that he could only have dreamed about five months ago; his wife is free of all her depression and anger from life's struggles; and his stepson has excelled in school beyond kids that are two grades ahead of him. And the most beautiful thing is that he said he felt the spirit of the revival at Asbury University [which is not far from where he lives] infusing his own spirit and igniting his own walk with the Lord.

So, as you can see, Spiritual Revival and Awakening can take many forms. The most obvious is when movements like the Azusa Street Revival, which began at the turn of the century in 1906; the Jesus Movement of the 70s; and today's Asbury Revival give witness to large numbers of people who experience the Presence of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. But personal revival bears great fruit, too; changing the destiny and purpose of families for generations to come. As I said earlier, God will do what He wants to when the people are willing and ready. Our nation has an amazing history of Revivals and Great Awakenings, and I believe we are ripe for another one. Does it mean it will last and bring in the Return of Christ? Only God, the Father knows. 

But we cannot make or fabricate Revival ourselves. It is the Sovereignty and Grace that God extends to us in response to our repentance and prayers that lights the spark. And historically, revivals in America have rarely lasted longer than 10 years. But I know you join me in praying that this spirit of Revival continues and grows until God is once again welcomed back into our society and culture. Let Revival spill forth from our Church buildings and our Home Churches into our individual lives, our homes, our schools, the halls of our government, and across the entire globe. Let us learn the lessons from past revivals and not define nor limit God as to who He can use to change our nation. God, we pray that You use each one of us to bring revival in our spheres of influence and we invite You to reign over our land once again. Amen!

#revival #revivalinamerica #Godsrevival #asburyrevival #whatisrevival

Psalm 69:32   The humble have seen it and are glad; You who seek God [requiring Him as your greatest need], let your heart revive and live.


February 23, 2022

Apostate America and the Ichabod Church

Before I present the heart of this premise, let's identify what I mean by the terms I use in this title. To begin, the word "apostate" means "one who has abandoned their religious faith, a political party, one's principles, or a cause". To my way of thinking, America is guilty on all those fronts. Let me plead my case: according to the latest report by Dr. George Barna's Cultural Research Center, although 69% of Americans self-identify as "Christians", this figure represents a diverse population with often conflicting theological views, with some even having beliefs that hold, frankly, unbiblical perspectives. When taking a closer look, Barna found that "many in this group hold views clearly in conflict with traditional teachings and only 9% actually possess a biblical worldview". And of that 69% of self-identified Christian Americans, only 6% live a lifestyle that demonstrates a consistent understanding and practice of Biblical principles. 

In other words, 69% of Americans simply call themselves Christians and their diverse belief systems include such "doctrines" as people are basically good; they consider feelings, experiences, or the input of friends or family as their most trusted source of moral guidance; having faith matters more than which faith you pursue; all religious faiths are of equal value; if a person is good enough, or does enough good things, you can earn your way into heaven; they believe that the Holy Spirit is not a real, living Being but is merely a symbol of God's power, presence, or purity; they believe in karma; and finally, that determining moral truth is up to each individual [there are no more moral absolutes]; moral truth is subjective  [based on opinions and interpretations]. None of that follows the tenets of the Bible or true Christian faith!

Then, there is my opinion that America is guilty of apostasy for abandoning the personal and political principles that once identified us as an honorable, ethical, and decent nation. But corruption at the highest levels of our government [and within our political parties], and the hunger for power and money in our elected officials and heads of business, have led to men and women willing to compromise their personal and professional principles and responsibilities in favor of perversion and wickedness. 

And that leads me to what I see as America being guilty of apostasy by abandoning her cause. Whether you consider the legend of the early European settlers to America as the "new Israel entering the Promised Land" to be a myth or not, it cannot be denied that this nation was the first in all of history to establish the common man's right to own land as personal property. We have had our share of flaws and mistakes, but millions have been drawn to our shores in search of freedom [which is an instinctive desire to act, speak, or think as one wishes] and liberty [the state of being free from oppressive restrictions, or control, imposed by authority on one's way of life, behavior, or political views]. It doesn't take much of an argument to propose that liberty is the root cause of freedom, or that liberty is under threat in an apostate America.

As for what constitutes the Ichabod Church, the background for this appellation comes from 1Samuel 4, in which the Bible tells us of Eli, a Hebrew priest who served God in the tabernacle in Shiloh. The prophet Samuel was just a boy at the time, attending to the service of the Lord under the supervision of Eli. However, Eli's two sons, Hophni and Phineas, were guilty of dishonoring and blaspheming God and Eli did not rebuke them. So the Lord told Samuel to warn Eli of the coming judgment upon his family for their sinful behavior. It came to pass that Israel and the Philistines went to war, and Israel was defeated. The elders of Israel called for the ark of the covenant to be brought from the tabernacle at Shiloh [and to be among them] so that the Lord would come and save them from the hands of their enemies. But the prophecy that Samuel had spoken from the Lord was fulfilled. Thirty thousand foot soldiers of Israel were killed in the battle, including both of Eli's sons, and the ark of the covenant was taken by the Philistines. Upon hearing the news, Eli fell backwards off his seat by the city gate [where he enacted justice among the Israelites], broke his neck and died.

His daughter-in-law, Phineas's wife, who was pregnant, went in to labor at the news, and gave birth to a son, whom she named, Ichabod, saying, "The glory has left Israel, because the ark of the covenant is gone". And because the labor had been difficult, she died soon after giving birth. The significance of his name is this: the meaning of "Ichabod" is "inglorious", or "there is no glory". In the history of Israel, the Glory of God was evident in the pillar of fire and the cloud that followed Israel and guided them and guarded them during their Exodus from Egypt. Once the ark of His covenant with Israel was built and placed in the tabernacle, it became a symbol of YHWH's presence with His people, and signified God's favor and blessings on them. Therefore "Ichabod" became a reality to Israel ---  and it remained as long as they remained disobedient to His commandments.

With the ark of the covenant absent from the tabernacle of Israel, so was the glory of God. And Jesus refers to this concept in Matthew 23:37-38, when He says, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who murders the prophets and stones [to death] those [messengers] who are sent to her [by God]! How often I wanted to gather your children together [around Me], as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling.  Listen carefully: your house is being left to you desolate [completely abandoned by God and destitute of His protection]!" The Greek word "desolate" means "abandoned to ruin".

Notice that He says "your house". It is no longer "My House" or "My Father's House" -- God is no longer there! There is no glory! Ichabod! As much as it saddens me to suggest this, but the same sins of disobedience, idolatry, and compromise have entered into far too many modern churches. The Holy Spirit is not present, and the glory of God has departed. Which leads me to this summation: When I look upon the apostasy of America and her abandonment of true faith, a righteous government, Godly principles and the cause of freedom and liberty... and I combine that with an Ichabod Church where God's amazing and powerful glory has been replaced by self-promotion for the purpose of power, status, or wealth, I find it difficult to see signs that God is going to forego judgment or discipline. 

Believe me, I pray that we can humble ourselves and turn the hearts of the people and our leaders back to Him and His glorious ways, but that means we must restore our covenant with Him on so many levels. He is a God of miracles and I hope you will join me in praying that He will pour out His mercy upon this desolate land! Let the name of Ichabod be removed from our lexicon and the true meaning of "Christian" be restored to reflect one who has a deep commitment to passionately pursue being like our glorious Savior, Jesus Christ!

1 Timothy 1:17  Now to the King of the ages [eternal], immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.


December 15, 2021

Are You Positioned In The Cleft of the Rock?

One of the most powerful images in the Bible is that of Moses meeting with God on Mount Sinai. Exodus 33:11 says that God met with Moses "face to face, as a man speaks to his friend". What favor! That is the most intimate kind of relationship! We also read that Moses desired  to see the glorious presence of the Lord, and to know the ways of YHWH so he could understand Him more fully. God promised to go personally with Moses, but could not allow him to see His face, for the glory of God was so powerful, that no man could look upon him and survive. But God invited Moses to stand near Him "on the Rock". He promised that He would call out His Name as He passed by, hiding Moses in the cleft of the Rock, and covering him with His hand until He had passed by, therefore protecting Moses from the power of His glory. And so we see the safety and deliverance that the cleft of the Rock provides. In essence, this cleft represents a covenant between YHWH and Moses
I am currently reading an amazing book, written by Anne Hamilton, titled Hidden in the Cleft: True and False Refuges. This book is one of a series of books in which the author's goal is to share how to reach new thresholds in our relationship with God. This is particularly interesting to me, because I know this life is a journey of growing into the image of Christ, which means reaching new levels of identity and harmony with the Lord as we mature into our "Oneness" with Him. So, I wanted to share some new insights I have received and expand on them as my spirit responds in excitement. 

First, let's consider the fact that this cleft in the Rock on Mount Sinai provided Moses with a refuge or shelter from the power of God's glory as He passed by. That concept of both the Father and Christ being "our refuge" runs throughout the Bible. The Psalms give us so many powerful verses that encourage our souls and spirits as we face some anxious and worrisome days ahead. Psalm 62:8 says, Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Psalm 27:5 says, For He will hide me in His shelter in the day of trouble; He will conceal me under the cover of His tent; He will lift me high upon a rock. And then there's Psalm 91:4, which declares, He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and buckler. Finally, consider Psalm 18:30: This God -- His way is perfect; the word of the Lord proves true; He is a shield for all those who take refuge in Him.
The Hebrew word for "refuge" is machceh. It means a shelter; hope; trust; [the place of] shelter, which will have further significance as I show you a bigger picture of the Cleft in the Rock. It comes from the root word chacah, meaning to flee for protection; to confide in; to make a refuge; to have hope. And it's important to understand that it was the cleft in the rock that was Moses's refuge. That might mean seem obvious and you may be wondering why I keep reinforcing it.

To begin with, the concept of being hidden in the cleft of the Rock is repeated over and over. Moses was not the only one! As Anne Hamilton points out in her book, the prophet Elijah not only hides from Ahab in the cleft of Cherith, but later hides from Jezebel in the cleft of Horeb, [which is Mount Sinai, where Moses experienced covenant with YHWH]. But let's see who else was hidden in clefts ... Samson hid from the Philistines in a cleft in the rock of Etam (Judges 15:8). Jeremiah hid a linen belt in a cleft in the rock at Perath (Jeremiah 13:7) as a demonstration that the people of Judah would be ruined wherever they hid, because they had covenanted with idols. Yet he later exhorts the people of Moab to flee from their cities and, like the dove, make a nest in the clefts of the rock (Jeremiah 48:28). We also see Solomon speaking of his betrothed as a dove hiding in the cleft of a rock (Song of Solomon 2:14). 
Notice all the references to clefts in the Rock and doves. It's a picture not only of the Holy Spirit abiding within the Rock, which is Jesus, but a beautiful image of the Bride of Christ. Before I continue, I want you to understand that the Hebrew word for "cleft" is n'qarah, which means "a fissure", which is a long, narrow opening or line of breakage, as in a rock. The root of n'qarah is naqar meaning "penetrate, pierce, thrust out". Because Christ is our refuge, it's not difficult to see that, like Moses, we are invited to be hidden from the Enemy in the cleft, the cut in His side! But how is it possible to hide in this cleft/cut in the Rock?
For that understanding, let us consider Nicodemus's conversation with Jesus in John 3. Jesus tells this member of the Sanhedrin that No one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Our natural birth comes with the breaking of water and the coming of blood. Since Nicodemus was present at Jesus's crucifixion, did he realize the significance of those words as he watched the Roman soldier's spear thrust and penetrate Jesus's side, causing a cut where blood and water gushed forth? Did he realize that he was now witnessing a parallel to a natural birth, and it was a spiritual birth?
Do we see that Jesus died to bring about a new birth from Heaven? That this cut in the side of the crucified Christ is "the cleft in the Rock", and when we enter by faith into that wound, we are not only born again but we are hidden from the power of the Enemy. Just like Moses, we have access to the cleft in the Rock, where we find refuge and a hiding place; where we covenant with our God and can shelter beneath the shadow of His wings. And it is the position of covenant in that cleft that determines if we are abiding in true refuge; if we are truly hidden in Christ. 
Because, my friends, I believe the Lord is telling me to speak to His followers and encourage all of you to make sure that you have abandoned the world and its false refuges and securities and what it means to make God your refuge and hiding place, your shepherd, your counselor, your friend, your Redeemer, your Savior, and your guide. In the words of Thomas of Kempen, a medieval religious leader, Let all your thoughts be with the Most High, and direct your humble prayers unceasingly to Christ. If you cannot contemplate high and heavenly things, take refuge in the Passion of Christ, and love to dwell with His Sacred Wounds. For if you devoutly seek the Wounds of Jesus and the precious marks of His Passion, you will find great strength in all troubles. And troubles are certainly threatening us in the coming days, months, and even years ahead. Find your refuge in Christ, and enter the place of hiding He has provided. And like Moses, you will behold His Glory!
Psalm 34:8-9   Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in Him! Fear the Lord, you His godly people, for those who fear Him will have all they need.

February 11, 2021

God Is Exposing Evil To His Light; Not To Scare Us, But To Empower Us!

Ever since we have entered 2021, my spirit has been on hyper-alert --- I'm sure many of you can identify with me. I have written that God has seemed to be silent, yet I am, at the same time, seeing things more clearly. So, I know He is present and still imparting words of knowledge and visions about what He wants us to know in this season of Time. 

While it may seem as if Evil is growing more apparent and powerful [and with no constraints], I assure you that our God is preparing us for what He is soon going to be doing in the earth. And yes, I do believe the Lord is close to returning to deal with all the evil and injustice in the world. Here is the Scripture that keeps resonating in my heart ... “So do not be afraid of them, for nothing is hidden that will not be revealed [at the judgment], or kept secret that will not be made known [at the judgment]. What I say to you in the dark (privately), tell in the light (publicly); and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim from the housetops [to many people]" (Matthew 10:26-27).


Have you noticed that the lies, corruption, and chaos sowed by the Anti-Christ and his beast system is being rapidly exposed? Take just a moment and look at all that has happened in just the last year. The world [and our nation] have undergone some of the most radical changes in recent memory. And if you step back a century, you can look at how from World War I until today, we have committed all the things which are abominations to God: haughty eyes [an attitude that makes one overestimate oneself and discount others]; a lying tongue; hands that shed innocent blood; a heart that creates wicked plans; feet that are swift to running to mischief; a false witness who breathes out lies [even half-truths]; and one who spreads strife among brothers.


From the outset of World War I through the current wars in the Middle East and Africa, a cabal of international bankers have plotted to make money off wars that have killed over 187 million military personnel, all for profit and self-wealth. And we can just go down the list ... to the countless lies that have been fed to us by corrupt politicians. leaders, and media to advance Satan's kingdom; to the 40-50 million abortions in the world every year; to the wicked hearts that plot with Satan to defeat God's Goodness and promote evil agendas in the world [funding riots and murder, spreading false witness,  manufacturing hostility, conflict and hatred among the brotherhood of man; and corrupting God's divine design of man] ... it all adds up to a conglomeration of iniquity that will bring judgment by our righteous and holy God.


It is in Matthew 10 that Jesus not only shares the incredible insight that evil will be exposed and subsequently judged, but He also gives His disciples power and authority to serve His Kingdom [on earth] while they are in the midst of Satan's dark kingdom. And then He tells them to Listen carefully. He warns them they have a hard road before them because Satan will use evil men to impede their journey, as well as their service to Him and their fellow man. And then He gets serious ... He tells them  that persecution is inevitable and they will be hated by those who hate, despise, and rebel against God. But then comes the passage, Do not be afraid of them....


These are among the reasons that I believe Christ is close to coming. Evil is not diminishing and is accelerating at a rapid pace. BUT, God is also exposing the evil and the result is that Evil will be its own instrument of defeat. It is important that the Body of Christ understands that hard times will precede our victory in Christ. We must prepare in our flesh, souls and spirits to endure the evil that will come against us from men who deny and reject Jesus. And we must understand that Jesus is coming back to judge with a sword before He delivers the world from evil. That does not mean we escape the trials and persecution that is already being fomented against Christians in this country as national security threats. Remember, Jesus tells us in Matthew 10:34, Do not think that I have come to bring peace on the earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword [of division between belief and unbelief]; and in Matthew 10:38, he who does not take [up] his cross [expressing a willingness to endure whatever may come] and follow Me [believing in Me, conforming to My example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Me] is not worthy of Me. 


Those are sobering words to those of us who profess faith in Christ. We must not cower in fear over what is coming [nor deny it!]; but we are to endure, knowing that no matter what happens here on earth, if we conform to His example, we shall share eternal life with Him in victory! We are His disciples! We must not be counted among those men and women whose hearts fail them for fear. Instead we are to nurture and spiritually develop hearts that are rooted in the power of Heaven in us. We must believe that our prayers are powerful and that they are heard! We must be willing to let YHWH display His Power and Might in us [and through us] as He did Moses in his battle with Pharaoh; as did the Maccabees in their war with the Anti-Christ spirit in Antiochus Epiphanes; as did the Disciples and the First Century Church in the face of violent persecution from the Roman Empire. 


Yes, we keep the eyes of our heart focused on Christ and our victory in Him! But we are not to be blindsided by the very things Jesus warns us must come before He judges Evil and delivers us into that victory! We must be obedient to the whole counsel of God, not just to the portion that makes us feel good. We must become unified, courageous, and committed followers of our Lord and Savior, willing to carry out our orders from the Lord of the Heavenly Host. Let us be willing to wait in the silence, while being alert to see what He wants to show us. Hear what He says about the darkness that is coming, pray earnestly for wisdom, and then declare and renounce it in the midst of His Light! We can defeat the power of Evil by shining God's Heavenly Light on it. And let us always have our spiritual armor on, being willing to fight alongside Jehovah Nissi in the spiritual realms, being mindful that He goes before us and never forsakes us, no matter how dark it may get. Let us join together and ask the God of the Universe to keep revealing the Evil so we know how to pray against it. Expose it, Father, and we declare that we will not falter nor lose faith. Here we are! Use us for Your Kingdom!


Luke 21:25-28    And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves,  people fainting with fear and with foreboding of what is coming on the world. For the powers of the heavens will be shaken.  And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.  Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near. 

December 28, 2020

A Testimony For Our Times

I write this blog post with a keen sense that I have come full circle since I began writing in December of 2011. The very first post I published expressed the reasons why I felt called to begin this journey ... "I am writing for all people, who like me, do not want to sit on the sidelines while our country and this world go down the tubes. I am writing for everyone whose instincts tell them something is wrong, terribly wrong, and are ready to throw off the shackles of fear and claim their personal power; to overcome the paralysis of panic and dread, and take command of their lives and their circumstances. And the foundation of that power is the saving grace of Jesus Christ in my life".

At the time, [and it seemed like overnight], all sense of security in my country, my government, and my future went up in smoke. This country was headed down the wrong track, and the conductor was taking us there as fast as he could! In 2008, my husband and I received heavenly promptings to re-evaluate everything in our lives ... to prepare for economic hard times and radical changes in our society. And it scared the living daylights out of me! But instead of giving in to the suffocating fear, I made a choice to face it. I would not give up that easily in all I believed in!

So, three years later, I decided to begin a dialogue with the people of this country, and in 2011 began writing this blog. We are now at the end of 2020, and these last nine years have seen many people arriving at the stage I was at all those years ago. And I will admit that we were not able to turn that train around. In fact, we are further down the tracks and ready to head into a long, dark tunnel. But, as I've done since the beginning, my goal is to give you hope and encouragement in the face of whatever evil we may face. 

We are not the first in history to engage in spiritual warfare with what seems like an invincible Enemy. I am the daughter of a WWII veteran, and not many years before I was born, a force of Evil, such as our modern world had not seen, was defeated with the help of Almighty God's support. That same anti-Christ spirit that existed in Adolph Hitler is still intent on capturing the world and forcing it into horrendous and despicable bondage. You may be experiencing the fear that comes with sudden realization that my words are not written out of ignorance or rashness. Perhaps you are just now receiving your own heavenly promptings, or having been enlightened for a few years now, are becoming weary of the fight and are struggling to endure. 

We all need encouragement and support! And if you are having difficulty hearing the voice of the Lord directly, I would like to offer the following testimony by Corrie ten Boom. You will hear the voice of the Lord through her humble words! And if you are unfamiliar with who she is, I exhort you to become familiar with her story. Hers is the remarkable legacy of surviving the Nazi death camps under the most dehumanizing circumstances, while offering the mercy and grace of Jesus in the midst of what was hell on earth. She would not describe herself as a hero of the faith, yet that is what she was; a woman who persevered against the deepest darkness, demonstrating her hard-learned trust and dependence on the Lord. Let her testimony, given at the First International Congress on World Evangelism in Lausanne, Switzerland in 1974, give you hope and strengthen your faith. Here is her testimony, in her own words...

In the Bible we read in Colossians 1:11, ‘As you live this new life with Jesus Christ, we pray that you will be strengthened from God’s boundless resources, so that you will find yourselves able to pass through any experience and endure it with courage.’ God’s boundless resources are what we find when we obey the commandment, ‘Be filled with the Spirit.’ This is not a suggestion; the Bible has no suggestions, only commandments, and this is the most happy commandment of the whole Bible. When the Lord told us to witness and make disciples over the whole world, He promised, ‘You will receive power after the Holy Spirit has come upon you.’

When I was a little girl, I remember that I talked with my father and I said, ‘Daddy, I will never be strong enough to be a real witness and a martyr for Jesus.’ And father said, ‘When you go to travel, when do I give you the train ticket, or the money for it—three weeks before?’ I said, ‘No, daddy, the day that I go to travel.’ And father said, ‘That is what God does. You don’t need to have the power to suffer for Jesus at this moment, but the moment that you will have the great honor to be a martyr for Jesus, the Lord will give you everything.’ And I’ve experienced that we have not a ‘spirit of fear but of power and love and a sound mind’, and the Holy Spirit is there always to do the job, to make us ready.

When I was in prison where my sister and 95,000 other women died, I experienced what Paul wrote to the Philippians when he also was in a terrible prison. The Holy Spirit had pointed Paul to Jesus, and the Holy Spirit also did the same for me. And I can say with Paul what he wrote in the text, ‘I count everything as lost compared with the priceless privilege’ (I read it from the Amplified New Testament), ‘the overwhelming preciousness, the unsurpassable worth, and the supreme advantage of knowing Jesus Christ, my Lord, and of progressively, more intimately, getting acquainted with Him.’ That happened when I was in that terrible prison. That can happen with you also, when you let the Holy Spirit turn your eyes more and more to the Lord Jesus even when we are perhaps entering a time of very great darkness and suffering over the world.

One of the most cruel things I have suffered was when in the concentration camp, we had to stand naked. They stripped us of all our clothing and I said to Betsie, my sister, ‘I cannot bear this. This is so terrible.’ But it was suddenly as if I saw Jesus at the cross. It was the Holy Spirit who turned my eyes to Jesus, and the Bible tells that He hung there naked, they stripped Him of all his garments and He hung there for me. By my suffering I could understand a fraction of the suffering of Jesus and it made me so happy, so thankful, that I could bear my suffering. The Holy Spirit will turn your eyes to Jesus, whatever happens, and then we are ready, we are even willing, and we are able to suffer.

The world is very sick, very ill. Who is it that overcomes the world? He who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. I am sure that all of us believe that Jesus is the Son of God. That means that you and I, that we all have to overcome the world—and that is hope for the world. The best is yet to be. Jesus is coming and He has said, ‘I will make everything new’, and that this world, yes, this sick, ill world will be covered with the knowledge of God like the waters cover the bottom of the sea. What a joy to know from the Word of God that God has no problems, only plans. There’s never panic in heaven, and we have to be right with God and we know it. That is because of the finished work of Jesus at the cross. And we have to be right with men also because of Jesus’ presence. The love of God, He will bring into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who is given to us (Rom 5:5).

Once, when traveling the world, I came to Germany and sometimes I find people who have been cruel to me in the concentration camp. Once I saw a lady in the meeting and suddenly I thought, ‘That woman was the nurse who was so cruel to my dying sister,’ and there came hatred and bitterness in my heart; but when I felt that there was hatred and bitterness in my heart, I knew I had not forgiven her. And I know, and you know, that Jesus has said (you can read it in Matthew 5), ‘If you do not forgive those who have sinned against you, my heavenly Father will not forgive you your sins.’ But I said, ‘Oh Lord, I cannot, I am not able.’ And suddenly I saw it. I cashed the check of Romans 5:5. I said, ‘Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you have brought into my heart God’s love through the Holy Spirit who is given to me, and thank you, Father, that your love in me is stronger than my bitterness and hatred.’ I could go to that nurse and I could shake hands with her, and I had the joy to be used by the Lord to bring her to this decision for the Lord Jesus. What a joy.

This is only part of the remarkable testimony of Corrie ten Boom, an ordinary woman who lived in an extraordinary time. At the start of WWII, Corrie was single, in her 40s and living in her parent's home. Her father, Casper, a watchmaker in the small town of Haarlem in Holland, was a devout Christian who made a decision that his family would become involved with the Dutch Resistance and help smuggle Jews out of  Holland, putting his family in grave danger. After a neighbor betrayed them and the family was arrested, Casper died ten days later in prison. Corrie and her older sister Betsie, would eventually arrive in Ravensbruck, the notorious women's labor camp in Germany. 

Through what can only be described as a miracle, Corrie smuggled a Bible into the camp. While all the other women were strip searched, Corrie walked into Ravensbruck without being touched by a guard. She and Betsie would share the comfort of Scripture in a widening circle of women who found their way to their bunk in the midst of the horrors of the camp. Corrie would say, "The blacker the night around us grew, the brighter and truer and more beautiful burned the Word of God". God had given these two sisters a mission, a purpose and a ministry in one of the darkest places on earth. 

All through their time in the Concentration Camp, Betsie shines to Corrie like a lighthouse of Jesus's love. Corrie has rage against her oppressors; Betsie is compelled by love and forgiveness. Through the love of Jesus, the bunker in which they stayed was transformed from a selfish place where women would fight each other for scraps of food to a place where prisoners developed an overwhelming love for one another. But the deprivation in Ravensbruck became too much for Betsie. As her body became weaker, and just before she died at the age of 59, Betsie said, “We must tell the people what we have learned here. We must tell them that there is no pit so deep that He [God] is not deeper still. They will listen to us, Corrie, because we have been here.”

And that is the lesson we must take from their testimony. We don't know what our future holds, and I pray it never becomes as dark as what Corrie endured. But it's becoming clear to me that the same winds of evil are on the horizon, and we must be as determined to represent God as did the brave and faithful ten Boom sisters. We must let the Gospel messages of Salvation and the Kingdom define our lives. We must let the love, mercy and power of our Lord Jesus increase in us during the rising tide of spiritual warfare we are experiencing. We must identify with the Lord no matter how heavy our Cross becomes; being His instrument in the battle against Evil and proclaiming that He can overcome all. Corrie ten Boom is evidence of that truth ... Because of a clerical error, the Nazis released Corrie ten Boom from Ravensbruck 12 days later. Exactly a week after that, everyone her age was sent to the gas chambers and murdered. 

God had a purpose for Corrie's life! And He does for each one of us, too! Betsie ten Boom's purpose was to offer hope and compassion to the women in that Ravensbruck bunker, and to uplift the spirit of her sister, so that Corrie would survive, and go on to tell their story and her journey toward forgiveness. It's a story that defines her legacy, and mirrors the reason that I began writing this blog in the first place, and why I will continue to write it until the Lord tells me to stop --- no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in; no matter how chaotic and evil the world becomes; we have a Victor in Christ. He and the Holy Spirit will show us the way if we stay focused on them, and lean on them. We have no promise that it will be easy or comfortable; only that we will be strengthened to endure and persevere for the sake of the Gospel. There is a Kingdom that has arrived and that Kingdom will soon have dominion over all the earth. We are designed and planned to be a part of that! Be convicted, be bold, and be all in for the Glory of the Lord!

John 3:19-21    And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.