“They will put you out of the synagogues. Indeed, the hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God.” – John 16:2
“The sentence is by the decree of the watchers, the decision by the word of the holy ones, to the end that the living may know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will and sets over it the lowliest of men.’”
Daniel 4:17 ESV
“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.”
Romans 13:1 ESV
There has never been a governmental authority except by God’s explicit approval.
Obama was President of the United States because God said so.
Trump is President of the United States because God said so.
Our next President will be President of the Unites States because God said so.
And God is altogether good.
And his ways are perfect and unquestionable.
“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!”
Romans 11:33 ESV
Let’s do our best to rest in the truth that our good God is sovereign over this American election and over the affairs of men.
Peace be with you in Jesus’ name.
For those of you who are brothers and sisters in Christ. Would you please prayerfully consider giving this documentary a watch?
If you don’t feel compelled to watch it, please by all means, act according to the faith the Lord has given you. But if you do feel the Spirit prompting you to give it your ear, then I would encourage you to do just that.
If you grew up or have spent really any time in the American “evangelical” church you’ve probably been taught and generally believed in a form of eschatology (the study of last things, “the end times”) called “pre-tribulationalism”.
I know I was and I did.
In short (and I mean really short) the pre-tribulational position supposes that the famous “rapture” (or “catching up”) of the church referenced primarily in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 will happen before the world enters into a time of great distress most often referred to as “The Great Tribulation”.
“The Great Tribulation” as it is most often called is generally referring to a 7 year period of time that the book of Daniel refers to as, “The Time of Jacob’s Trouble”. This period is also generally synonymous with a term we find throughout the Scriptures known as “The Day of the Lord”, the time when Jesus Christ will return to execute his righteous judgement on the world.
The pre-tribulational position supposes that the Lord will come for his church before all this stuff goes down and that they will be taken out of the world before the Son of Perdition (the Antichrist) is revealed to the world and who will subsequently be destroyed by the appearance of the Lord’s coming.
Over the years as I studied the Scriptures I felt like the Holy Spirit was challenging me on my previously held belief of a pre-tribulational rapture of the church. As I read 1 and 2 Thessalonians, particularly 2 Thess 2:1-12, it was like it jumped off the page at me.
“2 Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers,[a] 2 not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. 3 Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness[b] is revealed, the son of destruction,[c] 4 who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. 5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? 6 And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, 10 and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, 12 in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” – 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12
After reading this passage the Holy Spirit began to reveal to me, more and more in the Scriptures about the Lord’s coming and about his church. Over the years that walk with the Lord has brought me to an eschatological position known as the “Pre-Wrath” position on the rapture of the church.
In a nutshell it presumes two things:
1. The church is not appointed to suffer the wrath of the Lamb and will be raptured before the great and awesome “Day of the Lord”.
2. The “Day of the Lord” will not come until the “rebellion” or great apostasy takes place (a great falling away from God) and the Man of Lawlessness (aka the Antichrist) is revealed to the world.
The issue of great consequence is this: the church will endure much suffering at the hands of the Antichrist and his kingdom before the Lord returns in power and glory.
But the good news is this. In their sufferings they will be more than overcomers in Christ Jesus our Lord who died and who was raised for the remission of our sins.
“And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.” – Revelation 12:11
Again, if this word finds no place in your spirit please, by all means, throw it in the trash where it belongs.
But, brothers and sisters, if this word pricks your spirit I would encourage you to seek the Lord so that he himself can teach you what he would have you know. I pray that as he teaches you and ministers to you, you would know Him and his peace that surpasses all understanding.
Grace and peace to you church, in Jesus’ name.
we drink the cup and eat the bread
to remember Him risen who once was dead
under the water and up again
symbol of death and life in Him
these two we do because we boast
not in kingdom come but the Lord of Hosts
His kingdom is here and great reward it may be
but the blood is our passion as it was for He
lions with lambs and justice prevail
but we are hidden behind the veil
justice? equity? I count them as loss
the good news of the kingdom is the good news of His cross
once being dead but now made alive
I know nothing among you but Jesus Christ and Him crucified
love the root
good works the fruit
Tree of Life is He
spared the flood
by precious blood
Calvary’s tree makes free
abiding in Truth
cherish the root
grafted in Him we be
How did you “learn” Christ?
I keep going back to this passage in Ephesians 4:17-24
“17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self,[a] which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”
If I asked you, “How did you learn Christ? How did you come to know Jesus as Lord?”
What would you say?
Did you study the Scriptures and come to know the Living God?
Or did you hear His voice and believe it?
“39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.” – John 5:39-40
“Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves.” – John 6:26
“Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life…” – John 6:35
“63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.” – John 6:63
“47 Whoever is of God hears the words of God.” – John 8:47
“27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” – John 10:27
“17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” – Romans 10:17
“3 O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified. 2 Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith? 3 Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by[a] the flesh?” – Galatians 3:1-3
“22 But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.” – Galatians 3:22
“12 Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. 13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 14 For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. 15 As it is said, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.” – Hebrews 3:12-15
“2 For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened.” – Hebrews 3:2
“20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” – Revelation 3:20
Our minds are futile, we must have the mind of Christ. Our intellect is of no benefit at all. In fact, it must be crucified on the hill called “Skull”.
We know Christ because we hear his voice in our spirit and believe it and are born again taking on the mind of Christ through our resurrection from the dead.
We must be renewed in the Spirit of our minds, the flesh is no help at all. Our intellects are flesh.
Hear his voice and believe it.
19 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
20 He sent out his word and healed them,
and delivered them from their destruction.
21 Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
for his wondrous works to the children of man! – Psalm 107:19-21
The following is a story from the Facebook Page “Accepted By Grace” by Jeanette Kelley and I thought it was worth sharing here. Here is a direct link to Jeanette’s blog if you’re interested in visiting it as well. I pray this blesses you. Accepted By Grace Blog
Isaiah 65:24 :- “Before they call, I will answer.”
This is a testimony written by a doctor who worked in Africa.
One night I had worked hard to help a mother in the labor ward; but in spite of all we could do, she died, leaving us with a tiny, premature baby and a crying two-year-old daughter. We would have difficulty keeping the baby alive; as we had no incubator (we had no electricity to run an incubator). We also had no special feeding facilities.
Although we lived on the equator, nights were often chilly with treacherous drafts. One student midwife went for the box we had for such babies and the cotton wool that the baby would be wrapped in.
Another went to stoke up the fire and fill a hot water bottle. She came back shortly in distress to tell me that in filling the bottle, it had burst (rubber perishes easily in tropical climates). “And it is our last hot water bottle!” she exclaimed. As in the West, it is no good crying over spilled milk, so in Central Africa it might be considered no good crying over burst water bottles. They do not grow on trees, and there are no drugstores down forest pathways.
“All right,” I said, “put the baby as near the fire as you safely can, and sleep between the baby and the door to keep it free from drafts. Your job is to keep the baby warm.”
The following noon, as I did most days, I went to have prayers with any of the orphanage children who chose to gather with me. I gave the youngsters various suggestions of things to pray about and told them about the tiny baby. I explained our problem about keeping the baby warm enough, mentioning the hot water bottle, and that the baby could so easily die if it got chills. I also told them of the two-year-old sister, crying because her mother had died.
During prayer time, one ten -year-old girl, Ruth, prayed with the usual blunt conciseness of our African children. “Please, God” she prayed, “Send us a hot water bottle today. It’ll be no good tomorrow, God, as the baby will be dead, so please send it this afternoon.”
While I gasped inwardly at the audacity of the prayer, she added, “And while You are about it, would You please send a dolly for the little girl so she’ll know You really love her?”
As often with children’s prayers, I was put on the spot. Could I honestly say “Amen?” I just did not believe that God could do this.
Oh, yes, I know that He can do everything; the Bible says so. But there are limits, aren’t there? The only way God could answer this particular prayer would be by sending me a parcel from the homeland. I had been in Africa for almost four years at that time, and I had never, ever, received a parcel from home. Anyway, if anyone did send me a parcel, who would put in a hot water bottle? I lived on the equator!
Halfway through the afternoon, while I was teaching in the nurses’ training school, a message was sent that there was a car at my front door. By the time I reached home, the car had gone, but there on the verandah was a large 22-pound parcel. I felt tears pricking my eyes. I could not open the parcel alone, so I sent for the orphanage children. Together we pulled off the string, carefully undoing each knot. We folded the paper, taking care not to tear it unduly. Excitement was mounting. Some thirty or forty pairs of eyes were focused on the large cardboard box. From the top, I lifted out brightly-colored, knitted jerseys. Eyes sparkled as I gave them out. Then there were the knitted bandages for the leprosy patients, and the children looked a little bored. Then came a box of mixed raisins and sultanas – that would make a batch of buns for the weekend.
Then, as I put my hand in again, I felt the…..could it really be?
I grasped it and pulled it out. Yes, a brand new, rubber hot water bottle. I cried. I had not asked God to send it; I had not truly believed that He could.
Ruth was in the front row of the children. She rushed forward, crying out, “If God has sent the bottle, He must have sent the dolly, too!”
Rummaging down to the bottom of the box, she pulled out the small, beautifully-dressed dolly. Her eyes shone! She had never doubted! Looking up at me, she asked, “Can I go over with you and give this dolly to that little girl, so she’ll know that Jesus really loves her?”
“Of course,” I replied!
That parcel had been on the way for five whole months, packed up by my former Sunday school class, whose leader had heard and obeyed God’s prompting to send a hot water bottle, even to the equator.
And one of the girls had put in a dolly for an African child – five months before, in answer to the believing prayer of a ten-year-old to bring it “that afternoon.”
“Before they call, I will answer.” (Isaiah 65:24)
When you receive this, say a prayer. That’s all I ask. No strings attached. Then just send it on to whomever you want to – but do send it on.
Prayer is one of the best free gifts we receive. There is no cost, but a lot of rewards. Let’s continue to trust in God with all our heart. What a faithful God we serve.
This is a really great story. I’ve heard countless stories like this through out my life. Stories of God’s divine providence working in ways that illustrate so clearly his omnipotence, omniscience and most of all his omnibenevolence.
What I think is really worth noting in this story though is the part where the sender of the package “heard” God and “obeyed” him.
This was a very specific prayer request. There’s no Bible verse to turn to here, no chapter and verse that applies to this situation. But the living God, the Holy Spirit spoke specifically to a person, they heard his voice, believed Him and obeyed Him and their faith was honored by the Lord.
THIS is the normal Christian life. Hearing and obeying the voice of the Lord. This is what it means to “abide” in Christ.
“Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word (rhema, that which is uttered by a living voice) of Christ.” – Romans 10:17
“Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” – John 18:37
“24 And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear: with the measure you use, it will be measured to you, and still more will be added to you. 25 For to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.” – Mark 4:24-25
“26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” – John 14:26
“12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.” – John 16:12-15
“20 But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge.[d] 21 I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth. 22 Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. 23 No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also. 24 Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father. 25 And this is the promise that he made to us[e]—eternal life.
26 I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. 27 But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.” – 1 John 2:20-27
“20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. 21 The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’” – Revelation 3:20-22
Anybody else have a story like this? Something where you know you heard the Lord speak to you and you obeyed his voice? And then he showed himself to honor your faith? Would love to hear it if so!
Grace and Peace to you in Jesus name.