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

May 2, 2024

Our Counterculture Mindset Needs Jesus

As I was considering the span of years in my life, I was actually amazed at all the changes in our culture; how it seemed as if each decade was beset by new challenges to societal values. In addition, the years seemed to also foreshadow the forces that were coming as counter to our "accepted" national culture. But we must recognize that the word "Culture" is hard to pin down. That's because a National Culture is usually identified as a group of people that share certain expectations of how things should be done, and share the values that surround these expectations. But within that social construct, Americans are a conundrum. 

True, we like to espouse individual freedoms, equality, diversity, patriotism, privacy, and democracy as hallmarks of our common American culture. But because we are a melting pot of other cultures with their own individual norms, behaviors, customs and values, we have often been at odds with each other -- and at no time more than when we fought a devastating Civil War in the 19th Century over how our national culture would be defined. 

I'd like to say that we've always celebrated the differences in our American culture; that we've honored those differences with respect, and have accepted others' values and standards of behavior as falling within our moral fabric. I'd also like to say that we've been a nation founded on Christian principles, continuing to be faithful and consistent in following Jesus's commandments in our government, churches, commerce, schools, and everyday lives. I'd like to say that ... but honestly, I can't. 

You see, there has been a spiritual power that runs counter to any Godly culture we might have, or have had. And it doesn't even try to hide its purpose as we examine the various "counterculture" movements that have swept through our land -- just in my lifetime! I first became cognizant of the term counterculture when I was in high school in the mid-late 60's. It was the era of the "hippies", free love, and the Age of Aquarius, in which a New Age of peace and understanding, self-awareness, and the brotherhood of man was proclaimed. And of course, all that self-examination led to an attack on God in our culture with the removal of prayer from the classroom.

It was also the age of Woodstock, a burgeoning drug culture, psychedelic rock n' roll, and anti-war and civil rights demonstrations, which were often violent. Obviously, these swings away from the uniformity and conformity of American culture in the 1950's represented a culture that was becoming counter to the norm. You can see how Satan was influencing the hearts and minds of our American psyche. But you can also see how God counterpunched with the Jesus Movement, an evangelical movement of American youth that, in itself, was countercultural in its desire to return to a Christianity that favored the historical Church movement in the First Century, in contrast to the religious interpretations of the traditional 20th Century American Church.

With each advancing decade, we saw America embracing the idea of being countercultural; adopting values and norms of behavior that differed considerably from mainstream society. In the 70's it was personal liberation and rebellion against authority. Feminism changed the shape and foundation of the family forever, leading to Satan's most devastating accomplishment: convincing women that willful abortion was acceptable. And Roe v Wade became the law of the land. The first Earth Day was observed, opening the door to worshiping Mother Earth, rather than God, its Creator. Student protests turned violent and Kent State happened. Students no longer respected the U.S., and the radical ones began infiltrating the university educational system. Americans began doubting their government as Watergate, inflation, the energy crisis, and Three Mile Island occupied the news cycles. 

Thus began what could be called the "counterculture revolution", with the 80's, 90's, and the new 21st Century decades becoming characterized by political and social liberalism, consumer materialism, the meteoric rise of technology, globalization of everything, and the ultimate polarization of society, as common values were disregarded in favor of personal standards. The absolute truth of God's moral principles were discarded for moral relativism; the only truth that mattered was what a particular individual or group believed was true. And the most destructive aspect of these forms of counterculture was the transformation happening in the Church.

Even the idea of God, who He was, and how we are to relate to Him, came up for debate. Everything about Him was questioned; from theological doctrine to whether the Bible still had value as our moral guidebook. Lines were being drawn between those who still believed in the "old paradigm" of the virgin birth and the deity of Christ, and those who were members of the "new paradigm", believing that the Bible is not the inerrant Word of God, thereby freeing people who identify as Christians to create their own version of God and what He commands. Long story short, it became all about a "Me-first" mindset and "what I want", instead of a "God-first" worldview and what He commands from His followers. 

Our slide into "counterculturism", so to speak, has led to a lamentable separation from God. We see it in the shift of our societal standards. Sadly, marriage, gender, what is considered Godly faith, the treatment of children, how we treat our neighbors, what we worship, and what we value are now often counter to God's standards set before us in His Holy Word. And I am left with the heartbreaking question ... How have we Christians failed to influence this culture that is hell-bent on becoming counter to everything God stands for?

It's easy to become enmeshed in our Christian communities, whether small or large -- thinking that we are being an obedient follower of Christ and accomplishing great things for His Kingdom -- and still be blind to the fact that the culture has influenced the Church-at-large, instead of the other way around. Are we cocooned in a comfortable mindset, convincing ourselves that the state of the American Church and Faith are healthy? But let's step back and look at the big picture ... Can we honestly say that the institution of Religion, as evidenced by the American Church, has not amassed wealth by society's standards? That many denominations have not accepted new definitions of marriage, family, and what is defined as "life" for a fetus? If Jesus came back today, would He praise or rebuke "the Church"?  

So, in this matter of counterculture values, where does that leave the faithful follower of Jesus? We know that His teachings were definitely counter to the cultures of the religious rabbis and the Roman Empire. To declare that the poor in spirit were blessed because the kingdom of heaven belonged to them, must have sent a tremor through the elite who ruled over the people. The people had been conditioned in that culture to receive their physical needs from those with earthly and material power over them, whether religious or political power. So, when Jesus explains that the meaning of His teaching is from God's perspective, and that riches and poverty are a description of our spiritual conditions, we see that He challenged the culture of the time.

Again, when He teaches that "whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant", that runs counter to the culture of the Gentiles [as well as the religious leaders] who exercised authority over the people. This teaching is definitely not a "Me-first" prescription for self-actualization [which is the fulfillment of becoming the best version of yourself, according to your own desires]. Here's the thing; somewhere along the way, I wonder if the American Church has forgotten that it belongs to Jesus. It is His values and behavior that we should be imitating, not the culture's. If we say we truly belong to Him, then our values and behavior are going to be counter to the culture's. We aren't going to desire to look like everyone else, or compare ourselves to the culture to see if we measure up -- no matter how much the social media [that we are in bondage to] tells us we should. 

Think about that -- we belong to Jesus! He paid for our sins and He expects us to change the culture to look more like Him! That's a tall order, considering how far off the reservation we've allowed the culture to roam. But Jesus has created each of us with a purpose for His Kingdom. So, that means we all won't look alike. But how we think, what we say, what we do in [and with] our lives will look counter to the culture -- we will stand out. And we may even look different from each other. But if we are truly righteous, we will reflect the heart of Jesus, and recognize that we each identify with the culture of Heaven and our Sovereign God. 

I believe in the Remnant of God; those whom He has chosen, knowing they will be constant in their faith and devotion to Him and all He commands. I also believe that this Remnant can and will challenge this corrupted culture to turn from their rebellious ways. We must persevere in showing Society and the established, institutional Church that following God's way is the only way to finding meaning in this world. He is truly the way, the truth, and the life that will meet all our needs. If nothing else, the Remnant will be unquestionably counter to everything the rest of the world is chasing after. Our lives will reflect a conflict with everything our society and culture lust after -- popularity, wealth, and power. Let us provide the same challenge that Jesus did, and in the process, draw others to Him. We are the faithful counterculture, and our movement comes from Heaven, where our Lord awaits His return to change the world forever!

Revelation 22:11    Let the one who does wrong, still do wrong; and the one who is filthy [vile, impure], still be filthy; and the one who is righteous, still be righteous; and the one who is holy, still be holy.


April 28, 2024

Politics or Jesus? Man's Government or God's?

The other day I listened to a short 3-minute soundbite from a sermon delivered by Pastor Loran Livingston, of Charlotte, NC. Although I'm not a fan of the "hellfire and brimstone" manner of speech of some Southern preachers, I was definitely in agreement with his message. He lamented that the Church is lacking in their practice of praying and reading the Bible, which can "directly affect a believer's mindset and interaction with the world". I agree wholeheartedly! And I would like to dive into this discussion, with the understanding that I do so with a heart that has nothing but love and respect for my fellow Christians, even though we might disagree on some aspects of this conversation.

To begin, Pastor Livingston's main focus was how much faith and reliance believer's seem to be putting in politics as the answer to our country's woes. I found it interesting that he said, "Some of you bring politics into the church. You think politics is spiritual stuff. Don't be talking to me about my spiritual responsibility to vote! I don't have a spiritual responsibility to vote. I have a civic privilege"! 

What he is describing is a tension fomenting within the Body of Christ, between those believers with a particular attitude or philosophy that gives credence to the idea that if we just elect good Christian men, they will pass laws that provide for the welfare of the American citizens; and those believers who feel that politics will never be the answer to our problems precisely because it relies on men making laws to change our world.

The part of the church that believes the right men in office can turn things around also thinks that if more good Christian men and women got involved in getting these righteous people elected [by voting], then we could count on our representatives in government to stand up for our rights and do the moral and ethical thing ... i.e., stop abortion, stop human trafficking, protect parents' rights, rid our school libraries of pornographic reading material for middle schoolers, ban drag queen story time, decide how to reduce our taxes, and which wars are the justifiable and/or moral ones. Those would certainly be issues God would approve of! But have they fulfilled their oaths of office and promises to us? 

In other words, some of our fellow brethren believe that getting engaged in elections and voting is our civic duty [obligation or responsibility] -- if we call ourselves a Christian and a representative of the Kingdom of God. Perhaps they hold that position, believing that there is hope for change in the culture of a nation that has lost its way. That by electing Godly men as officials of the government, they will defend and promote Biblical truth and Christian principles and values. That would be wonderful if it was true! But sadly, I do not believe that any man or woman who goes to Washington D.C. sees themselves as the savior of the Biblical worldview and a moral culture warrior!

I believe elected officials know how the process works ... they know they will be part of the activities, actions, and policies [that men and women] use to gain and hold power in order to influence the decisions of the government/governing bodies. That in itself is not a bad thing. That is the purpose of a government in the world! But what's the first thing you see these newly elected officials do? They jockey for those coveted seats on the prestigious Committees in Congress. They know they are entering into a power struggle among men to assert rival interests. That is called "politics". And it is of this world! Yet, somehow, Christians have come to believe that by voting or getting involved in the voting process -- or championing one person running for office versus another -- we can bring God's Kingdom into that activity. Oh, how I wish that were so!

But, let me present a couple of questions. Doesn't the mere fact that these elected officials are called "representatives of the people" point to whom they serve? This governmental body openly declares that its job is to serve people. They don't say they are elected to serve God! That indicates [to me, at least] that they are laboring for things of this world. Yes, we are called to do the work of the Kingdom wherever we find ourselves in order to transform this world into Kingdom territory. But that is the job of the Church, not elected officials! 

Don't get me wrong -- I desperately want Godly men and women to serve in our government bodies. But the work they do there is work in the world. They write and pass man-made laws; they are to see to the welfare of their states and constituents; they answer to their political party; and too often, their allegiance is to themselves and the power the worldly government has given them.  The idea of Heaven's government is a totally different construct.

Jesus tells us in Matthew 16 that the form of government He brings from Heaven is called the Ekklesia, NOT the Church [which is a common mistranslation in our modern Bibles]. And listen to what He says ... On this rock [foundation and cornerstone] I will build My Ekklesia; and the gates of Hades (death) will not overpower it. I will give you the keys (authority) of the Kingdom of Heaven; and whatever you bind [forbid, declare to be improper and unlawful] on earth will have (already) been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose [permit, declare lawful] on earth will have (already) been loosed in Heaven. 

So, let's do a quick dissection of this passage ... The word EKKLESIA is translated from Greek to mean a "called out assembly"; a group separated from others, whose purpose is determined by the context in which Jesus uses it. Here, He contrasts it to GATES. The first mention of a gate in Scripture is found in Genesis 19:1. The gate was central to community action; where courts were convened; important civic business was conducted, and the governing of men decided. KEYS is used in Scripture as a symbol of authority and power; signifying the intrusting to someone with an important charge. And the charge of the Ekklesia is to "bind and loose" what has already been established in Heaven -- in other words to bind [to restrict, constrain] what is UNLAWFUL [according to Heaven's government] in the earth, and loose [release, deliver] what is LAWFUL in Heaven into the earth. If the men and women we elect would see themselves as, and act as, the representatives of Heaven, rather than of men on earth, perhaps we would have better choices to vote for.      

I pray that those with spiritual eyes to see, and ears to hear, might understand that Jesus intends us to discern that He is pointing to the affairs of men in this world, and it is "the Most High who is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and gives them to anyone He wishes". It is God who determines our leaders. YES, we have a voice in the election of our leaders, and we can [and some argue should] exercise that right by voting for those whom we think best demonstrate our Christian values. But is Jesus calling the Church [as the entire Body of Christ] to do this, or is this the commandment to the Ekklesia -- those called with this particular mission of governing?  

NOW, think on this for a moment ... Do you see anywhere in the Bible that Jesus or His disciples spend time teaching new believers how to reform the pagan world of their evil, corrupt governments? Do you see them call for what is known as "civil disobedience" towards the Roman Empire's immoral and violent rule? Certainly, there were valid reasons to do so! Instead, we read about Jesus commanding us [as He taught His disciples ] to proclaim the gospel to everyone, and to live our lives so that they are testimonies of the transforming power of God in the earth. That is the primary purpose of the entire Body of Christ [the church]!

Please hear me when I say I honor the hearts of my God-fearing Christian friends who seek to return God to our halls of government. I see the time and energy they put into this mission. The Good Lord knows we need that! And I do not question the hearts of Christian men and women in our governmental bodies who are serving the people out of hearts that love God. But ultimately, don't we have to ask the questions, Where is the fruit of that service? Have we seen government take back territory from the kingdom of darkness? Is the culture of our nation more moral than it's ever been? 

PERSONAL NOTE: As much as I hate to say it, I have seen Christians rally around elected officials who openly and dramatically espouse their faith and their intention to put that at the forefront of their time in Congress. The recent newly elected Speaker of the House is a good example. And then when the time comes to stand on that testimony for the betterment of the people they say they came to serve, they cave to the pressures of this world. I am beginning to understand why the Remnant in the body of Christ are no longer willing to put their faith in men and our current process of governing. Jesus is our only answer! 

So, I think that, as Christians, we have to offer grace to each other as to how we choose [or not] to devote our time and energy  -- whether to social reform and activism in local and national government; or to do the work that Jesus did: heal the [physically, emotionally and spiritually] sick; cast out demons; cleanse the lepers [social outcasts]; raise the dead; and spread the Good News that the Kingdom of God is reclaiming the earth! Whether you're called to one or the other [or praise God, both!] is your decision, and I honor your heart to serve others. 

For me, the bottom line is this ... We have to ask ourselves, what is God's purpose for us, as the body of believers in Jesus Christ? How do we incorporate our civic privileges and responsibilities in the world with our Heavenly mandate to bring Heaven's redemption to mankind? Our situation in this country, in this century, is no different than the history of countless nations that have come and gone since God established nations in Deuteronomy. Ungodly governments and faithless cultures have always existed among us. Yet history shows that faithful people in the One True God not only survived them, but flourished under them. And sometimes evil governments were part of God's plan to refine and cleanse a nation of its evil ways. Just a thought ... Remember how it turned out when the people of Israel decided on their own leader, rather than waiting on God to anoint him? They got Saul instead of David! 

Regardless of who we get as the next leader of our nation, we are taught by the Bible to honor, respect, obey and pray for all leaders because they are there at the discretion of God's will. It is also our instruction that they are not the source of our provision or our preservation from judgment or destruction. Only Jesus is our Deliverer!

I would like to leave you with this quote from a Christian website, called Got Questions. It is not a judgment against anyone, but a statement on which I believe the Body of Christ can find common ground ... "Political entities are not the savior of the world. The salvation for all mankind has been manifested in Jesus Christ. God knew that our world needed saving long before any national government was ever founded. He demonstrated to the world that redemption could not be accomplished through the power of man, economic strength, military might, or politics. Peace of mind, contentment, hope and joy -- and the salvation of mankind -- are provided only through Jesus's death and resurrection". 

And I would like to add to that my own postscript ... and because Jesus came to reclaim the earth for His Father's Kingdom, He not only died for my sins, but gave me the power and authority to speak into the world to change hearts; and thus, truly change the culture of our nation. Whether I choose to cast a vote or not in this world, it will not change my heavenly mandate as a citizen of Heaven to be the light of Jesus and show my true Source of hope. I am trusting in God; that His will be done on earth [in everything] as it is in Heaven! Let there be fruit in my life for Your Kingdom, Lord! 

Daniel 4:17     "This sentence is by the decree of the angelic watchers and the decision is a command of the holy ones, so that the living may know [without any doubt] that the Most High [God] rules over the kingdom of mankind and He bestows it on whomever He desires and sets over it the humblest and the lowliest of men".      



April 25, 2024

Are You Prepared to be Part of God's Remnant in the Last Days?

I do not ask this question lightly, because it is a very serious one. First of all, does the Body of Christ even understand what and who the Bible calls "the Remnant"? If I had to guess, I imagine most of the Church would say it's a small group of Believers who are left to serve God; either when the rest of the world has fallen away or has suffered His judgment. That would be correct, from a rudimentary point of view. But the true Remnant plays a very critical and crucial part in God's End Times plan. 

Make no mistake, the Bible tells us that God has always had an authentic Remnant throughout history; a small minority of people who remain faithful to Him in times of trouble and tribulation. He knows who they are and they have a distinct purpose and calling. They are very valuable in that their faith remains strong, holy, and steadfast; usually in the midst of God's divine judgment due to apostasy, rebellion and disobedience among those who claim they belong to Him.

We are all familiar with those whom God called "His remnant" in the Old Testament. In the days of Isaiah, the prophet, God revealed the wickedness and betrayal of the Kingdom of Judah and its capital, Jerusalem, as they strayed from Him. In fact, God declared in Isaiah 1:3, But Israel does not know [Me as Lord]; My people do not understand. Ah, sinful nation, a people loaded down with wickedness [with sin, with injustice, with wrongdoing], offspring of evildoers, sons who behave corruptly! They have abandoned (rejected) the Lord; they have despised the Holy One of Israel [provoking Him to anger]; They have turned away from Him.  

God goes on to reveal to Isaiah that it does no good to strike Israel [which includes both the kingdom of Israel and the kingdom of Judah] or punish them again because they only continue to rebel. There is nothing healthy in the nation's body and He has had enough. But even in the midst of all their idolatry, depravity, degradation, despicable sins, and ultimately, their destruction, God has called a remnant to seek justice, rebuke the ruthless, defend the fatherless, and plead for the rights of the widow in court. A small contingent of survivors will still serve Him in righteousness and goodness, paving a path of redemption for those who will truly seek it. 

Again, in the Old Testament, we see Noah and His family as the remnant who is left after God sent the Flood to destroy evil from the earth. Both Abraham and Moses served as God's remnant, displaying their faith and trust in God that He would choose them to lead a people set apart unto Him alone. Then there is the story of Gideon, whom God gave a remnant of 300 men [out of 30,000] through which He would rescue the Israelites; and give them victory over their enemies, the Midianites. We also read the witness of Elijah, who in the midst of hopelessness, declares that he is the only one left in all of Israel who has not bowed down to Baal. But what is God's answer to him? He has reserved a remnant of 7,000 who "have not bowed their knee to Baal and whose mouths have not kissed him". Through these examples [and many more], we can be assured that God will always keep to Himself a remnant to uphold His holy ways and assure the faithful that He is still at work in the world.

But as the world advances in these Last Days, do you still trust God to provide a righteous remnant that will survive the tribulation and persecution that the Enemy will heap upon it? And are you prepared to be a part of that chosen assembly? Because if your answer is "yes", I believe there are some things you need to understand. In these Last Days, the remnant will be sorely tried and tested -- not only by the world, but by God, Himself. You see, the tribulations, [the pressures, the distress, and the oppression] we will be facing, as Jesus says, "are such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will [be again]". So I believe God will be testing those who have hearts [like none other] to be close to Him and be free of the burdens of this world. They will be people who have no fear of witnessing [to those who hate them] of the glory of God!  

I can certainly identify with my fellow Believers who want nothing more than to abide in the Lord, and to be continually in His Presence. I am so tired of this world and long to be in holy communion with the Lord, and away from all the false Believers and pretenders of faith. I find myself wanting to be separate from society, yet possessing a heart that burns to witness and testify of God's purpose for the Kingdom in every member of society that I come in contact with. As you can imagine, that creates a tension in my soul. And one can find themselves quite lonely in the midst of both the secular community and the "Christian" brethren, because no one understands your battle with the world and "the Church", and they do not see what you see. They don't experience the grief and sorrow over wasted lives who have no fruit to show in their lives or for their love of Christ. And they don't contend with your worry about how these people will endure the suffering of their souls [and the testing of their faith] when the hard times come.

Are you prepared to carry your Cross? Because, you know, Jesus said [in Luke 9:23] that if we want to truly be His disciple, we must deny ourselves and take up our cross and follow Him. And that means sharing in His persecution, His abandonment by those who professed to believe in Him, His loneliness, and His death. You may even question if you're worthy to be considered or chosen for the Remnant because you know its your heart's desire to be like Jesus; but you also know you fall short. And yet, you still seek to pay the price to abide in Him. You don't want the accolades of men. You seek only to be tested and refined by the Lord to walk in righteousness with Him. 

The question for each of us is this ... Are we satisfied to be a part of what feels comfortable to our souls? Do we long to belong to the masses who proclaim their love and faith in Jesus? Are we content to believe in a Rapture theory that promises we will escape all that Jesus said we would have to endure to follow Him? Or ... are you ready to lay down everything you are, and everything you own, in order to  remain uncompromised in your faith? Do you believe it when the Bible tells us that we will be hated by the world and despised by those who call themselves "the Church"? Are you ready and willing to stand apart from the crowd and be your authentic self? 

The truth is that those of the Body of Christ who will be qualified to be part of God's Remnant are those who follow His every commandment; those who remain true to their calling and don't look for fortune or fame as they walk out their purpose for God's kingdom on earth. They will be like the five wise Virgins who stayed focused on being prepared for the moment of Christ's return. Only those who know the cost and the eternal rewards of following Him will be called to the Remnant. 

And that reminds me of two instances in Scripture when Jesus reveals the characteristics of those who might be considered for the Remnant. In Matthew 7:21-23, Jesus makes it clear that not everyone who calls Him, "Lord, Lord", will enter the kingdom of Heaven. In fact, He says that prophesying in His Name, driving out demons in His Name, and performing miracles in His Name, is not enough. He says, "I will declare to them publicly, 'I never knew you; depart from Me [you are banished from My presence], you who act wickedly [disregarding My commands]". 

Then in Luke 6:46, Jesus says, "Why do you call Me, 'Lord, Lord', and do not practice what I tell you?" Again, it is apparent that Jesus demands and expects His commandments [which are the commandments of the Father] to be acted upon, not just read or recited or heard. The Remnant will be comprised of those loyal followers who are awake, aware, and ready to be all they were designed to be, even in the midst of the most evil times mankind has ever seen or endured. 

And Jesus has given us those commandments to show us the way to persevere in these Last Days. We must not surrender them to the ways of the world. We must desire to be His Remnant and testify of His righteousness; looking different from the world, and standing with our wicks trimmed, ready to light the way for His Second Coming! And then we will experience the joy of our glorious Homecoming and the rewards of our eternal inheritance. Hallelujah! God bless the Remnant!

Revelation 12:17     And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.


April 22, 2024

How Will You Receive the Bible's Prophecies? Are They Our Warning Signs?

I have always been intrigued with the prophecies the Lord gave to His messengers, the prophets, and what they are to mean to us in the 21st Century. We are all familiar with the Messianic prophecies that have been fulfilled: the Christ child would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2); He would be born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 2:1); He would be a healer of the blind and downtrodden (Isaiah 35:5-6); He would be despised and rejected by men, and wounded for our transgressions, like a lamb led to the slaughter (Isaiah 53); He would be resurrected from the dead and ascend into heaven (Mark 16); where He sits at the right hand of God, with all angels, authorities, and powers made subservient to Him (1 Peter 3:22). What blessings of hope these bring to us!

So, do we, as modern-day Christians, read all prophecies in the Bible as predictions of future events that will happen? The problem is that we've never learned -- or been taught -- [in the Church] how we are to rightly discern the predictive truth of prophecies? If the Lord gives a prophet a message to share with the people, can we assume that it will happen? And can a prophecy in the Old Testament [which was fulfilled] also apply to us in the present? There seem to be similarities in ancient prophetic world events that coincide with what we're seeing in 2024. Are those prophetic outcomes meant to be warnings to us? How does God want us to perceive our truth in His prophet's messages?

For instance, ancient Babylon has long been considered [by theologians and Biblical commentators] to be a "type" for wicked nations and governments that rebel against God. And I have certainly written about the obvious parallels in Revelation 18 between ancient Babylon and New York City. Since God doesn't specifically tie the two together, are we to recognize the shared sins, yet dismiss the possible judgment? Or has God intended for His Word to be examined and researched by righteous people in the hopes they can receive His warning of judgment? Prophecies -- are they meant to "predict the future", or are they simply warning signs; or both?

Interestingly, as I've contemplated these questions, I have come to realize that all of the above are possible, and a lot of the outcomes depend on people. The prophets shared what the Lord had spoken to them at the time about how things could be in the future (either judgment or blessings), depending on what people decided to do. Predicted punishment could be avoided if the people repented; or a predicted blessing could be withheld if they continued to do evil. Because God is sovereign, He reserves the right [and the possibility] to change direction at any time -- even after the prophet speaks a blessing or a curse!  

Scripture makes that very clear in Jeremiah 18:5-10 ... Then the word of the LORD came to me: Can I not do with you, O house of Israel, just as this potter has done? says the LORD. Just like the clay in the potter's hand, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel. At one moment I may declare concerning a nation or a kingdom, that I will pluck up and break down and destroy it, but if that nation, concerning which I have spoken, turns from its evil, I will change my mind about the disaster that I intended to bring on it. And at another moment I may declare concerning a nation or a kingdom that I will build and plant it, but if it does evil in my sight, not listening to my voice, then I will change my mind about the good that I had intended to do to it.  

I don't know about you, but I can clearly see that we might identify as the nation that God built, but since we've quit listening to His voice, we thereby face the very real possibility that He has changed His mind about continuing to do good to us. This is a very explicit warning to all nations! Prophecies like this one are not predicting an unavoidable future, but hopefully pierce the hearts of people to change their behavior and activate their will to avoid the predictive outcome. 

For those who doubt the accuracy or purposes of Biblical prophecy, how do you explain Daniel's inerrant dream of the four empires from Babylon to Medo-Persia to Greece to Rome? He even predicted that there will be a final, Divine Kingdom that will never be destroyed. The truth that these empires really existed in history, just as Daniel prophesied, gives credence to the importance of learning from Bible prophecy. So what are we to do in the midst of a world that seems to be sliding ever further towards violence, destruction, and moral decay? Is there value in reading what God had to say through His prophets in similar times? Can we get clues as to whether we are headed towards blessings or judgment/curses? And can we discern how to avoid any judgment that are due to mankind's rebellious nature?

Let's consider the Book of Habakkuk. In the first chapter, Habakkuk talks to God about his concerns that God is going to use the Babylonian empire (called the Chaldeans) to bring judgment on Judah because of their sins. Let's listen in on parts of their conversation: 

Habakkuk:  O LORD, how long will I call for help and you will not hear? I cry out to You, "Violence!", yet You do not save. Why do You make me see iniquity, and cause me to look on wickedness? For destruction and violence are before me; strife continues and contention arises. Therefore, the law is ineffective and ignored and justice is never upheld, for the wicked surround the righteous; therefore justice becomes perverted.

[The LORD replied,] "Look among the nations! See! Be astonished! Wonder! For I am doing something in your days -- you would not believe it if you were told. For behold, I am raising up the Chaldeans [who rule in Babylon], that fierce and impetuous nation who march throughout the earth to take possession of dwelling places that do not belong to them... They all come for violence; their horde of faces move [eagerly] forwards, they gather prisoners like sand... They will sweep by like the wind and pass on. But they will be held guilty. They [and all men] whose own power and strength is their god".

Habakkuk: Are you not from everlasting, O LORD, my God, My Holy One? ... Your eyes are too pure to approve evil, and You cannot look favorably on wickedness. Why then do You look favorably on those who act treacherously? Why are you silent when the wicked destroy those more righteous than they? ... I will stand at my guard post and station myself on the tower; And I will keep watch to see what He will say to me, and what answer I will give [as His spokesman] when I am reproved. 

Then the LORD answered me [Habukkuk] and said, "Write the vision and engrave it plainly on tablets so that the one who reads it will run. For the vision is yet for the appointed [future] time. It hurries toward the goal [of fulfillment]; it will not fail. Even though it delays, wait [patiently] for it, because it will certainly come; it will not delay. Look at the proud one, his soul is not right within him. But the righteous will live by his faith [in the true God]. Moreover, wine is treacherous and betrays the arrogant man, so that he does not stay at home. His appetite is large like Sheol, and he is like death, never satisfied. He gathers to himself all nations and collects to himself all peoples [as if he owned them].

Will all these [victims of his greed] not take up a taunting song against him, and in mocking derision against him say, 'Woe [judgment is coming] to him who increases that which is not his -- how long will he possess it? And woe to him who makes himself wealthy with loans. Will your creditors not rise up suddenly, and those who collect from you awaken? Then you will become plunder for them..."   

You get the picture, right? Yes, this is a prophecy against the kingdom of Judah who received judgment because they had fallen into idolatry and forgotten the God who had delivered them from Egypt and blessed them in the Promised Land. 

Now, you can stop there and look at this from a purely historical perspective. Or you can receive it as a warning to our own nation who suffers from the same sins -- we have become proud; the soul of our nation is sick. Our leaders have become drunk on their arrogance and do not take care of those at home. Their hunger for power and wealth is huge; they are never satisfied. We have acted as if we own the world, doing to other people and nations what we please, adding to our wealth. But how long will we possess the blessings we have accumulated? We owe trillions of dollars in debt and we see our creditors chomping at the bit to collect. Was the Lord's warning to Habakkuk meant for us, too? "You will become plunder for them".

How will you receive these prophecies? It is up to you. You can choose to see them as fixed and literal [for another time], and therefore of no significance to us. Or you can do what Habakkuk did... Live by your faith in the One True God, and let them strengthen you and anchor you. Stand at your guard post; become a watchman to see what God will say to you and have you speak to those with ears to hear. 

We must receive the truth that God did not speak to His prophets so that His Word would die in the hearts of the spiritually dead. I believe that He intended -- and expected -- that His prophetic words be shared through all generations; especially those that included warnings to His people about the consequences of choosing the path of wickedness over the path of righteousness. 

It's true that God never changes. He judges righteously and we can receive His blessings or we can receive His judgment and wrath. His prophecies make it plain and simple that it's up to us. Heed the warnings! Pray and Repent for our nation, that we might avoid God's judgment and change His mind about what we deserve! 

Habakkuk 3:2      O LORD, I have heard the report about You and I fear. O LORD, revive Your work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make it known; In wrath, remember compassion and love. 






April 18, 2024

The "Stronger Men Conference" and the Blasphemy towards God

I had intended to write on another subject for today's post, but I will defer that subject to another day. An ugly controversy has arisen in the Body of Christ, and I cannot remain silent on it. I don't want to belabor the points why it is important for me to speak out, so here is my take on the latest public disagreement among Christians.

By now, I'm sure you're aware that the internet has blown up over the opening act of the 2024 "Stronger Men's Conference" hosted by James River Church and Lead Pastor John Lindell. The controversy arises from the comments delivered by Pastor Mark Driscoll, himself a controversial figure in the Christian community, and the subsequent reproach delivered by Pastor Lindell. 

This post does not seek to condemn either Pastor Lindell nor Pastor Driscoll for what either said. I will not judge them in their roles as Pastors, whether in the present or the past. That, I leave to God. That is not what I seek to address. Rather, as a Believer who honors the Holiness of our God, I want to comment on what I see as the dishonor and perverted irreverence towards God during the performance that opened the Conference. 

First, let me say that in Biblical terms, dishonor means "to treat shamefully" or "insult". Perversion refers to any form of human behavior which deviates from what is considered to be normal; usually sexual behaviors that are considered particularly abnormal, repulsive or obsessive. Irreverence points to a lack of respect; and in regards to the human condition, is a product of ignorance which leads to disobedience.  

So, let's jump right into the controversy. The very first thing that starts off this "Stronger Men Conference" is a male stripper performing an erotic act on a stripper pole, which includes licking and swallowing a sword. Now, since the stated purpose of this annual event [hosted by James River Church] is "to inspire and equip men to live out God's vision for manhood to be the husbands, fathers, and leaders God has called them to be", I must say I fail to see any connection to the supposed objective of the Conference, nor any Godly reason for this act of perversion. 

How does inviting the spirit of Perversion to a men's conference "inspire and equip men to live out God's vision for manhood"??? Who thought this was a good idea and a way to honor God? And don't tell me that the leaders of this conference had no idea who this "star of the show" was! Now, you can go online and find all kinds of testimonies saying this man has repented of his errant days as a gay male stripper and he has come to the Lord. Maybe that's true and I pray that Jesus has changed his heart. Yet, here he is, stripping on a pole in front of other men! That is called seduction! And Romans 1:24 says, Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their own hearts to [sexual] impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them [abandoning them to the degrading power of sin]...

As disturbing as this part of the controversy is, that's not what has everyone in an uproar on social media. There were people who got up and walked out on that opening presentation, but it was what happened the next morning that has stirred up a heated debate among Christians. Pastor Mark Driscoll gets up to speak, telling the crowd that he's been up since early in the morning praying because his heart was burdened for those in attendance. 

He stated that his remarks were in no way a rebuke or a correction, but rather an observation ... "Before the Word of God was opened, there was a platform -- it was a high place. On the platform was an Asherah pole; the same thing used in a strip club for women who have the Jezebel spirit to seduce men. In front of that was a man who ripped his shirt off [like a woman does] in front of a pole at a strip club". Further pictures of the demonstration show the man ascending the pole and then descending into a pose like a man crucified upside down. I can see why Pastor Driscoll's heart was burdened. But as he prepares to continue speaking, Pastor John Lindell yells from the crowd "This is out of line" a couple of times. And Pastor Driscoll concedes and says, "OK, Pastor, I will receive that". Lindell then yells, "You're done", and Driscoll leaves the stage.

As if the performance, the subsequence observation by Driscoll, and the termination of his remarks by Lindell are not enough, the aftermath of this embarrassing event now has "the Church" arguing whether Driscoll followed the proper protocol for order in the Church. Citing Matthew 18, Lindell said Driscoll should have come to him privately if he disagreed about anything being done at the Conference. That is the argument for putting the focus on Mark Driscoll's sin, but the issue of the sin against God's honor is not addressed!

In addition, Matthew 18 is all about sins of personal offense, and Mark Driscoll clearly stated that he was not rebuking or  correcting anyone, but rather calling out the release of a spirit of Jezebel. I would add to that the spirits of seduction and perversion! To be honest, I am also discouraged by all the comments that claim the performer is now a born-again Christian, who is attending a church. My reply to that is the fact that he is still displaying his old sins [and at a Christian conference] is no evidence of any fruit of his conversion.

And to those who claim that Pastor Lindell is a righteous and pure man of God, and the appearance of the strip act was "an oversight" by the planning committee, I am left wondering why the good Pastor, himself, didn't stand up and stop the act the minute it began. Why did it take until the next day before anyone spoke up, and then when they did, why did Lindell resort to chastisement and shut the criticism down? 

By now, you are well aware of what I think about this controversy. It is just further confirmation [for me] that much of the Church has lost its reverence for the holiness of our faith, and it deeply saddens me. The fact that thousands of men at this conference -- some with their wives and young sons in attendance -- were subjected to this aberration of manhood, shows us just how far the Church has fallen into a distorted practice of their faith. 

Ephesians 5:3 says, But sexual immorality and all [moral] impurity [indecent, offensive behavior] or greed must not even be hinted at among you, as is proper among saints [for as believers our way of life, whether in public or in private, reflects the validity of our faith. My question to the leaders of this conference is this: How can you justify your opening act in light of this Scripture? How does that performance inspire or equip Godly men?

And as for Pastor Lindell's use of Matthew 18 to justify his handling of Mark Driscoll, I'd like him to respond to a verse that a good friend of mine pointed out to me: As for those [elders] who continue in sin, reprimand them in the presence of all [the congregation], so that the rest will be warned (1 Timothy 5:20). Again, I am not willing to condemn Pastor Lindell as overtly sinning in this situation, because I do not have all the information of his involvement in the planning of this event. But I can call the performance out as sin against our Holy God. 

As a part of the lineup of speakers, did Mark Driscoll handle this situation in the proper manner? Perhaps not. Did John Lindell feel "called out" and his leadership questioned? I'm sure he did. But was anyone involved in this conference thinking about how God felt? Do you think He was offended? Does anyone think He approves of this perversion as a good way to build "stronger men"? And if you don't want to go as far as to call the opening performance perversion, then perhaps you should go back and read Ephesians 5:3 again. As the song says, "I saw Satan laughing with delight."

It is time that real men of God stand up and reclaim their identity as righteous men. The spirit of perversion has invaded our land and the Church has not risen up to fight this spiritual battle! We are seeing too much carnality infiltrating, not only society, but our churches and our church leaders. God will not be mocked, nor will He allow Himself to be disgraced or disrespected! There is a limit to His patience for us to clean up the Church. Before long, God is going to gather His wheat into His barn, and then He will burn the chaff. Remember, He is a consuming fire! Pray for the Church to repent for agreement with perversion like this conference portrayed!

1 Peter 4:17      For it is the time [destined] for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not respect or believe or obey the Gospel of God?   

April 14, 2024

Remember God's Promises In The Midst of World Chaos

As I finish writing this post, Iranian drones are flying over Israel, and the sense of impending war is heavy. Are these the birth pangs Jesus talked about? Is God determining to shake the world to bring about judgment and [hopefully] repentance? At the same time, as the season of Passover approaches, I am detecting a heightened sense of anticipation in my spirit; different than other years. I don't know how to explain it, other than I'm discerning the upcoming Feast Days unlike I have in years past. The picture God is painting for me is still not in total view, but I want to share what seems to be making sense to me at the moment. And I need to begin with how the Feast days tie into our current world events.

If you are familiar with the timeline of God's Holy Feast days then you are aware that the Spring Feasts align with Jesus's Crucifixion and death, His burial, and His Resurrection. To be more specific, He died as the sacrificial lamb [delivering us from the consequences of sin] on the Feast of Passover; was buried on the Feast of Unleavened Bread [born without sin, He is our Bread of Life]; He rose on the Feast of First Fruits [as the first fruit of the harvest of souls]. Then, 50 days later, on Pentecost, [which is when the Jews believe Moses received the written Law], He sent the Holy Spirit to write God's laws on the hearts of Believers.   

Knowing the spiritual and historical significance of these Holy Days, I am drawn back to that critical moment in time when the first Passover occurred, and God chose to step in and deliver His chosen people from their bondage. Israel had suffered in slavery for 400 years in Egypt and God had heard their cries and sent Moses to try and convince Pharaoh to set them free. Because Pharaoh hardened his heart and rebelled against the Most High God, YHWH interceded to set His plan in motion.

Ultimately, He sent the Angel of Death to judge the nation that had enslaved His people, telling Pharaoh, "Israel is My son, my firstborn. So, I said to you, 'Let My son go that He may serve Me; but you have refused to let him go. Behold, I will kill your son; your first born' " (Exodus 4:22-23). This is a prime example of what it can look like when God shows up to defeat Satan's wickedness and evil. He shows Creation (Satan and his fallen angels) just who is in charge. How it must have enraged Satan to see that God had provided a way for death to "pass over" the homes [and sons] of the Israelites!

God instructed His people how He wished them to memorialize this day of their deliverance by sacrificing an "unblemished" lamb to make peace with Him. This was to remind them that although they were His chosen people, they were not without guilt. Pharaoh paid a price with the shedding of his son's blood. The Israelites would have had their sons killed, too, without the substitutionary sacrifice of the lamb... Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins (Hebrews 9:22). 

The ancient sacrifice of the first Passover lamb occurred on the 14th day of Nisan and this day has been commemorated ever since. It should be of great significance to all Believers to understand that nearly 1500 years later, Jesus would become the sacrifice for us, that we might make peace with God. Once again, God chose to step into the world because something had to change if His plan to reconcile mankind was to move forward. So, Jesus chose to die for us on a long ago Passover; to shed His blood so that we could be forgiven for our sins and our relationship with our Creator could be purified and made holy.

Mankind has now had over 2000 years since that historic Passover to make their peace with God and receive that much-needed forgiveness by coming to faith in the One who provided the way to reconciliation. But does it look like we want to restore our relationship with Him? Does the world look like it seeks to honor His sacrifice by perpetuating His message of loving the Lord God with all your heart, soul, and mind; and loving your neighbor as much as you love yourself? The violence that threatens to engulf the world surely does not honor the upcoming Holy Days. 

We must not forget that while our God is a God of grace and mercy, He does not accept our sin and disobedience without chastising us. Over and over the Israelites of the Bible did not fulfill their obligations to YHWH for delivering them out of bondage. Not only did they continue to sin, but they rejected Jesus [whom YHWH sent to deliver them once more]; they refused to listen to His messengers, the prophets; and they forgot His word. And let's not forget the horrific harm to children through their idol worship of child sacrifice. I think nothing grieves God more! And the nation of Israel ended up in bondage. 

I dare to say that the world closely resembles that level of sin today. We certainly deserve the judgment of our Holy and Righteous God. And I believe that every day is an act of His mercy and love for us, giving us a chance to repent and ask for forgiveness; to end the impending wars and violence, the murder of innocent babies, and the sexual perversion that threatens to entrap millions of children in sexual slavery. And it gives Believers one more day to share the Good News of deliverance from our bondage to sin and God's glory of a coming Kingdom on earth.

So, as I contemplate these upcoming Spring Feasts, I am reminded that the Fall Feasts are not that far away. And remember, they point to Jesus's return when God sends Him, once again, to reconcile the world and defeat Evil and Wickedness; this time for good. And what I keep hearing in my spirit is God's promise in Hebrews 12:26-28 that He will "shake the earth and the heavens" in judgment in order to give us His Kingdom that cannot be shaken. 

We know that when Jesus died on the Cross, there was a great earthquake; the earth shook and the veil in the temple was torn in two, representing that the separation between man and God was torn asunder and we now have access to restore our relationship with our Father in Heaven. That shaking 2000 years ago is a foreshadowing of increasing shakings to come, unless we turn from our wicked ways and seek His face.

We do not know when the future Return of Christ will occur, but we do know that it will happen during the Fall Feasts. And when Jesus warns in Matthew of false prophets, false Christs, wars and rumors of wars, famine and pestilence, and great earthquakes that will shake the world, it may look like He's coming soon ... perhaps even during the 2024 Fall Feasts? Many are beginning to tremble with fear of God's judgments, but for us Believers, it is a time for rejoicing, because we know of God's promises when Jesus returns -- even in the midst of world chaos. It is a time of hope, not despair.

We know that no matter what evil Satan instigates in the world, we have an eternal life that awaits us. We know that while we are in this world, it is not our true home. We are a citizen of Heaven, and God promises we have a Savior who will take us Home with Him. Not only that, but He has promised us a home in His mansion; one that He is preparing for us even now. Furthermore, we have the promise that we get to exchange this mortal body [that is subject to pain and disease] for a glorious body, just like Christ's!  

Even in the midst of all the chaos, evil, and corruption of God's laws, I think the promise I am most excited about is the intimacy with Christ that I will experience -- to have personal access to Him as He receives me into His adopted family is something that I hang on to as I witness the increasing darkness. That promise transcends anything the kingdom of darkness can bring against us in this season. And who does not look forward to the promise of having authority in the Millennial Kingdom as we rule and reign with our Lord? 

But while we are still here on the earth, there are still promises that sustain us! Jesus will never leave us or abandon us. We have a precious inheritance that awaits us in heaven; an inheritance that will not perish, spoil or fade, as God, Himself guards it for us. The old corrupted order of things will be abolished and a new order will find us engaged in eternal worship and rejoicing in the presence of God. And don't forget the Heavenly celebration that awaits us at the Wedding Banquet! We will be given fine linen robes of white to wear. What a day that will be!

But even in the midst of all this reflection on the promises of God, we must face the reality of the tragic events that must take place at the end of time. Scripture tells us that wars, earthquakes, famine etc. will come to pass -- and we can certainly see the "shaking" that is coming into view. But the final promise will help us endure these troubling times because we know that God will judge the Enemy and the Enemy will be defeated! And then God comes to dwell with us!! And how I anticipate walking and talking with Him just like Adam and Eve did! 

So, as the world takes another step towards chaos and world war, I wonder if this is another critical moment in time when God will intervene for His people. Will He show up to demonstrate to Satan just who is in charge? While we wait for that answer, I will focus on the Spring Feasts in the next week, and I will be mindful of the sacrifice and pain Jesus suffered for us, and what it must have been like to experience the loss of hope in the days following His death. But I will praise Him for giving me the opportunity to come to faith and believe in His promises. And then I will look forward to that future season of the Fall Feasts when Evil is defeated and all the above promises become our new reality... and it may be coming sooner than we think!

2 Corinthians 7:1     Therefore, since we have [great and wonderful] promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, completing holiness [living a consecrated life -- a life set apart for God's purpose] in the fear of God.           


April 9, 2024

It's Darkest Just Before the Dawn ... The Thoughts of a Modern Watchman

This is somewhat of a personal post. I hesitate to even share my thoughts because they come from my position as one of God's Watchmen on the Wall. Actually, both my husband and I have been called to that position -- and it is not one that comes with any kind of accolades or acclaim. In reality, it is not an enviable calling because first of all, many Christians do not recognize the need nor the responsibilities -- and let me be honest -- the burden of being a Watchman on the Wall. Secondly, a Watchman is not commonly understood in the Western Church today. For most, it has an Old Testament connotation. And just like those Old Testament Watchmen, we modern ones are just as much ignored and misunderstood. But, without any rancor or spite, I would like to say that what God shows us as we look out into the darkness is just as important and significant today as it was thousands of years ago. 

Most people have seen enough movies or read enough historical books to have an idea of what a Watchman is all about. Whether on the walls of Fort Carson in the Old West, the tower of a castle in Medieval Europe, or the high barrier walls of King David's Palace, there was a Watchman stationed on the wall. His job was to stand guard and look out upon the land, watching for messengers, any hint of danger or movement by an enemy, and then to warn those within his sphere. The Hebrew word for "watchman" is tsaphah, and it means to overlay [serve as a covering], to observe, to spy, to keep watch, and ultimately to give warning of what they see.

The Biblical importance of being called to be a Watchman for God is not without consequences, and should not be taken lightly. The primary Scripture that everyone thinks of is Ezekiel 33 from the Old Testament, but make no mistake, it applies to every Watchman in every age. It reads: So you, son of man, I have made a watchman for the house of Israel. Whenever you hear a word from My mouth, you shall give them warning from Me.  If I say to the wicked, O wicked one, you shall surely die, and you do not speak to warn the wicked to turn from his way, that wicked person shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand.  But if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, that person shall die in his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul (Ezekiel 33: 7-9). So, I hope you understand ... I HAVE to share what my spirit is shown.

We are familiar with the men called by God in the Old Testament to be Watchmen for His people Israel: Isaiah, Ezekiel, Jeremiah come to mind. They were men who had the responsibility to share with the people what they saw coming upon the nation. Sometimes, they were successful in waking the people up to repent for their erring ways, thus avoiding God's judgment through the actions of other men. More often than not, they were ignored and the people suffered greatly for clinging to their iniquity and rebellion. And because of their rebellious ways, God spoke through His Watchmen, and the message they delivered was, more often than not, negative. And believe me, it is not fun to be the one giving those warnings.

Modern Watchmen don't find it any easier than their ancient counterparts. God gives us the Bible to counsel us; to educate us in His ways; to show His Glory; to help us learn from His history; and to "connect the dots", so to speak between what He revealed to generations past and what He is unveiling today. Remember, His Character and His Ways never change -- the purpose of the prophecies He spoke thousands of years ago were warnings to return to Him. The same holds true for us. The names may have changed, but the results of disobedience remain the same. 

So, just as Jeremiah was looking for trouble on the horizon of his day, and warning the people to repent and change their ways, so do those of us who have been given discernment as to our own situation. We try to warn those of faith [and the lost[ that trouble is headed our way. But we often receive the same reaction -- no one wants to hear bad news, and you get a reputation for always being negative. "Why don't you ever talk about the Good News"?, they'll say. "Victory is ours! We win in the end"! Yes, that is true. But we may have some hard times before we get to that promised victory; especially if our leaders and the nation continue in rebelling against God's laws. And just because I am saved and try to live a righteous life, it does not mean that I won't suffer from God's judgment against the nation.

Right now, no one can deny that the whole world sits on the edge of war. So much blood has been spilled -- in battles; ritualistically; and through abortions, trafficking, and violence in the streets. And while it looks pitch black, like the dead of night, from the wall where I stand watch, I want to assure you that I DO SEE THE HOPE OF THE DAWN. The darker it gets, I know the dawn is still on the way! I do see people beginning to stand up and shake off the false sense of security that their normalcy bias affords them, and begin to turn to Scripture for the hope it offers in the midst of this chaos and darkness. Hallelujah!

Yes, we're in the middle of a battle for the future of our nation and the futures of our coming generations. But I know, in the deepest recesses of my soul, that we don't fight alone. The battle is the Lord's and He goes before us. He stands watch over us from Heaven, and if not, then my calling is in vain. But He has given me a part to play; and my job is to keep watch and tell the truth -- no matter how unpleasant and troublesome -- so that my fellow believers will not be caught off-guard and unawares [should the prophecies of the Bible come upon us in this generation. 

And I earnestly pray that what my spirit discerns does not materialize in our lifetimes. Furthermore, part of my position as Watchman is to prepare and encourage people to endure and persevere. So, while Watchmen are often accused of painting a picture of "doom and gloom", if you listen closely, the heart of our warnings is the blessed hope we have of the Lord's return. If we can help anyone avoid the "falling away" that the Bible prophesies, by strengthening their spiritual vision of the world and their faith, and fully living in the truth that this is not our home, then we are fulfilling our mission. Without a doubt, it seems as if things are getting darker -- but that only means that the Light of this world is nearer than He's ever been! Get ready for the appearance of our great God and Savior!

Ezekiel 33:3-4   ... and if he sees the sword coming upon the land and blows the trumpet and warns the people, then if anyone who hears the sound of the trumpet does not take warning, and the sword comes and takes him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. 


April 5, 2024

What You Don't Know About April 8th -- And Need To!

It goes without saying that the world has gone crazy over April 8th! Unless you've been like Rip Van Winkle, and just woken from a long nap, you likely are aware of the event that has captured the interest of people around the planet. A new moon phase will bring about a total solar eclipse on the 8th of this month. This unique event will be visible in Mexico, 14 states in the U.S., and Canada. 

It is not only a celebrated celestial event, but has significance to many other interested groups. Everyone from scientists to pagans and witches are fascinated by the possibilities of tapping into the energy of the sun and moon during this time when they are perfectly aligned. For instance, many pagans, Wiccans, and Druids view April 8, 2024 as a time of supercharged energy that can be harnessed to bring about transformation in the world. (See link). The question remains, will that transformation be for good or evil?

That same question applies to the work of CERN, the European Organization of Nuclear Research, which operates the largest particle physics laboratory in the world. By this description, most of humanity would dismiss CERN and what it's all about. But ask Google, "What is CERN trying to do"? and this is the answer you get ... "What is CERN's mission? At CERN, our work helps to uncover what the universe is made of and how it works. We do this by providing a unique range of particle accelerator facilities to researchers, to advance the boundaries of human knowledge". Other less scientific-sounding explanations have pointed to their plan to develop the "God particle" that resulted in giving life to the universe, all in the hopes of becoming like God; discovering His knowledge of the creation so they can control it. In my view, it's just another "Tower of Babel" attempt by men.

But that's not all! In this post, I'm going to share some engrossing information provided by Pastor Jim Staley, founder and director of Passion for Truth Ministries. I highly recommend you watch his short video on all the information I will be presenting today. It will demonstrate all the implications that April 8th has for us and the world. To begin with, Pastor Staley points out that, on April 8th, CERN is going to be starting up their Large Hadron Collider, looking for the God particle, on the same day that NASA is launching rockets into the eclipse. But here's the interesting part of that -- NASA is naming their mission after an Egyptian serpent god. And did you know that April 8th is also the day that billions of cicadas are supposed to come out of the ground, covering a large portion of the U.S.; the first time we've seen that event since 1803? Also, there are plans for red heifers to be sacrificed in Israel for the first time in thousands of years, fulfilling ancient prophecies. All of this, and more, all happening on the same day?? Coincidence, or does it all [taken together] point to the Bible's prophecies for these End Times?

So, let's back up a moment and consider exactly what CERN's Hadron Collider does. It is a 17 mile long tube, sitting 300 feet underground that is designed to send particles in opposite directions at the speed of light, with the purpose of causing an explosion. Why? If they can reach their objective, they hope they can discover exactly what the "anti-matter" is; the particle that is holding matter together, and ultimately, what is holding the universe together. In other words ... the "God particle". What's the problem with that, you might ask? For starters, the process of colliding particles has the potential to cause a "black hole" in the fabric of the universe. So, the next question is, "What is a black hole"? The scientific explanation is that it is a region of spacetime [time and space continuum] where gravity is so strong that nothing, including light and other electromagnetic waves, is capable of possessing enough energy to escape it. Think of it as being "sucked in". In addition, it can potentially deform objects that come too close to it before being "swallowed up".       

Of course, critics of this concern will say we don't know that for sure, so there's no reason for worry. But CERN hasn't accomplished their task ... yet ... so there's reason to be cautious. But even more disconcerting than these exercises with the Hadron Collider is the spiritual implications of CERN itself. This organization was founded on September 29th, 1954, which just happened to be on the Feast of Trumpets which, [according to God's calendar], foreshadows "the blowing of the trumpet in Zion", sounding the alarm that the Day of the Lord and His Judgment is near (Joel 2:1). Kings were inaugurated on that day as well, foreshadowing that on some future Feast of Trumpets, Jesus will be coming as King to set up His Kingdom on earth. 

CERN is anything but a Godly-oriented organization. There is so much about it that points to God's enemies. To begin with it is situated in Switzerland in a region called Saint Denis Pouilly. In the time of Rome, it was called Apolliacum, and the town and a temple were dedicated to Apollyon. This name has great significance in the Bible. Revelation 9:11 tells us "They had as king over them the angel of the Abyss, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek, Apollyon". In Hebrew, Abaddon means "place of destruction"; in Greek, Apollyon means "The Destroyer". What's also interesting is that Hinduism also has a god of destruction known as "the Destroyer", named Shiva. And guess what statue sits at the entrance of CERN, welcoming all who come to this "scientific laboratory"? You guessed it ... a statue of Shiva! And the plaque from the Indian government, that sits at the feet of Shiva, extols [in part] "the process of Creation and Cataclysm [that] is not just linked to the beginning and end of life in the universe, but to the particles of the whole Creation". By the way, the word cataclysm is defined as "a large-scale and violent event in the natural world".  Starting to get the picture? 

Furthermore, Sergio Bertolucci, Director of Research and Scientific Computing at CERN is quoted as saying this, "Something may come through dimensional doors at LHC [Large Hadron Collider]. And out of this door might come something, or we might send something through it". First of all, why are they consumed with "ripping open" the curtain of the universe? And secondly, what exactly is the "it" they might invite in -- or send out -- into the universe? Let's go back to Revelation 9 and read verses 1-3 ... "Then the fifth angel sounded his trumpet, and I saw a star [angelic being] that had fallen from heaven to the earth; and the key of the bottomless pit [abyss] was given to him. He opened the bottomless pit, and smoke like the smoke of a great furnace flowed out of the pit; and the sun and the atmosphere were darkened by the smoke from the pit. Then out of the smoke came locusts upon the earth, and power to hurt was given to them, like the power which the earth's scorpions have". Sounds an awful lot like there's a possibility that CERN's "scientific experiments" could open a portal into the second heaven, giving the demonic realm access to earth and its inhabitants. 

BUT the CERN event is not the only thing that is happening on April 8th, and I want to touch on these other significant occurrences. On the same day as the eclipse, NASA is launching three rockets into the solar eclipse for research purposes. The disturbing part of this event is that the mission is named after Apep, the Egyptian god of destruction, chaos, and darkness, who "swallows up" his archenemy, Ra, the Egyptian sun god. Coincidence, or not?

Also, on that day, the world may get a glimpse of the rare "horned" comet, known as the Devil's Comet, which orbits the Sun once every 71.2 years. The last time we had a comet that appeared the same time as two solar eclipses that formed an X over the United States was in 1811. Three months later was the largest earthquake in the history of the U.S.; an earthquake so large that it caused the Mississippi River to flow backwards and the Liberty Bell to ring on the East Coast! And it occurred along the New Madrid fault line, which scientists have been saying for years is way overdue for a repeat performance. And guess where X marks the spot this time for the eclipses to intersect? You guessed it! Are we going to see another catastrophic earthquake at New Madrid?? I pray not, because my family lives very near the fault line.

As if all this is not enough, on April 8, 1904, Alistair Crowley, [a satanic cult leader] sought to breach the second spiritual realm, and claims he was contacted by the Egyptian god, Horus, to write down his [Horus's] Book of the Law, in which humanity would leave behind the tyranny of the Abrahamic religions and enter into a New Eon of "greater consciousness" and "self-actualization" characterized by "their own specific magick [occult] formula". The moral code of this new "Book of the Law" was Do as thy wilt. In other words, everyone can make up their own morality code and do whatever they want; there is no need for God's absolute moral law -- we will all have our own, defined by ourselves. If that is true -- if Crowley was able to break through the space and time continuum to contact a demon -- then what CERN is trying to accomplish could potentially unleash the same kind of contravention into our world.

And let's not forget the news that sometime near April 8th, the first time in over 200 years -- not since Thomas Jefferson was President -- two breeds of Cicadas are coming up out of the ground in the billions, covering a large swath of the U.S., EXACTLY at the intersection point of the two solar eclipses! Sounds kind of like the locusts from Revelation 9, doesn't it? 

Then there's the Biblical prophecy concerning the Red Heifer, that points to the reinstitution of the Temple sacrifices. In the Book of Numbers, burning the ashes of a red heifer is a mandatory (and lasting) act for beginning the temple offering to God, and the ashes are a key element in a biblically mandated purification ritual. Since there is currently no Temple in Jerusalem, the Jews have been looking forward [for centuries] of being back in their homeland and to the building of a Third Temple. And of course, because of the bloodshed on the Temple Mount for the last couple of millennia, the Mount itself must be cleansed before the Temple can be built. That presents a bit of a problem, as I'm sure you can discern, with the Muslim religion claiming that the Temple Mount belongs to them.

But there are actually red heifers in Israel waiting to be sacrificed. The government of Israel has given the Temple Institute [in Israel] permission for these red heifers to be sacrificed. Of course, there is no Temple yet. And the threat of violence from the Arabs and Muslims if the Temple Mount is used for daily sacrifices anywhere near their mosque or the Dome of the Rock has the Israeli government rethinking their permission. So, the heifers are now being held in Shiloh. You might be thinking that this is all part of the Jewish Torah, but as Christians, we must remember that Daniel prophesied that the AntiChrist would interrupt [and cease] the daily sacrifices in the End Times, so for that to happen, there must be sacrifices, right? 

While it looks like the building of a Third Temple is off the table, there is an interesting possibility that must be considered. The Book of Judges tells us the first temple of the Israelites was actually a tabernacle in Shiloh. So a tabernacle could be built much quicker than a Temple, and built in Shiloh [where the heifers are being kept] and the religious Jews could begin their daily sacrifices pretty quickly. 

The truth is, we just don't know how all this is going to play out, but no one can deny that there are a lot of prophetic and spiritual dynamics surrounding April 8th. I can certainly see aspects of the Bible's prophesied judgments within the predictions surrounding these events. And I can see the opportunities for Satan to exploit mankind's arrogance to "become like God" and the very real possibilities of destruction to the design of our planet and the universe. And we have testimonies of how the earth has responded in history to similar alignments of such events... earthquakes abounded!

So while it is anticipated that millions will flock to destinations along the path that the eclipses can be seen, I think I will stay at home and contemplate the Bible prophecies that may play a part on this compelling day. And I will be praying that just like at the Tower of Babel, God will confuse the machinations of men who scheme to "reach into the heavens" (Genesis 11:4); and He will scatter them abroad from there over the surface of the entire earth (verse 8), and they will stop trying to build something to alter His Creation. I will be praying for the earth to rest in peace, and the tremors, shaking and convulsions to be quieted. I will pray that the earth will not erupt in billions of cicadas in order to damage and destroy the crops in the "bread basket" of our nation. And I will be praying that God's will and timing be done regarding the sacrifices of the red heifers in Israel. 

In the power and authority given to me by Christ, I declare that the ancient gods of evil -- the "Destroyers" -- must bow down to Yeshua, yielding all their illegitimate and unsanctioned power, as they are sent to wherever the Lord wants them to go. And finally, I pray that the fabric [framework and structure] of the universe remains intact and just as our Lord created it, protecting us from the demonic realm and all who intend to do us harm. We praise You, Jesus, for the perfect world and universe, created by You; and we repent for our rebellion against all things made by Your Hand. Forgive us and Save us! Amen!

Genesis 11:6   ... This is only the beginning of what they will do [in rebellion against Me], and now no evil thing they imagine they can do will be impossible for them.