War and Peace

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war planes

I’ve seen and heard several studies that talk about where we are in the history of the ages. Most agree that the seven churches in Revelations were literal churches, that they are descriptive of groups of people whom the Lord had different admonishments for, and that they represent periods in church history.

For example, the church at Ephesus, the backslidden church, was in the time from Christ’s death to about 100 AD. (This is not to say true earnest followers of Jesus were not in this or any of these groups. The Bible always talks about a remnant that is truly faithful.) Smyrna, the persecuted church, was about 100 AD to 300 AD; Pergamum, the compromised church, was about 300 AD to 600 AD; Thyatira, the lax church, was about 600 AD to 1500 AD; Sardis, the dead church, was about 1500 AD to 1750 AD; Philadelphia, the faithful church, was about 1750 AD to 1900 AD; and Laodicea, the lukewarm church, is from about 1900 to now.

The year-dates are approximate because these eras overlap each other. Here we have yet another example of literality (as opposed to figurative): churches that were on the route of the first apostles Great Commission in what is modern day Turkey.

The Bible talks about the great harvest that will come in at the end of the church ages and I wondered how a lukewarm church would be able to bring that in? Are we truly living in the age of the Lukewarm Church? I’ll let you decide.

Another passing of the proverbial baton, from one age or era to the next, happened in the time of King David. David wanted to build the Lord a house but the Lord said no, for David had shed much blood (1 Chronicles 22:8). He told David that his son Solomon would build Him a house. Solomon built the Temple.

David was a man of war. He had to be. He was the chosen and anointed king of Israel and Judah but then had to run and hide for years from the then king Saul. He was constantly being chased down. It wasn’t that he wanted to shed much blood, it was that he had to. But God wanted a place for His Presence to rest ushered in in a time of peace. Solomon’s name means “peace”.

We, in the world today, are in a time of war. We have been since the early 1900s. (The world has actually been at war since the beginning of time but I speak of America.) In the 1800s we had mostly war within our borders with Native Americans and the Civil War. We then started to really engage globally. Most notably:

  • Spanish-American War (1898)
  • Philippine-American War (1899-1902)
  • Border War (1910-1919)
  • World War I (1914-1918)
  • World War II (1939-1945)
  • Korean War (1950-1953)
  • Vietnam War (1955-1975)
  • Grenada Invasion (1983)
  • Gulf War (1990-1991)
  • Afghanistan (2001-)

It seems there has never been a time of peace. Does there seem to be a correlation between this fact and that we are possibly  in the Lukewarm church age? Possibly…Probably.

Matthew 24:6-8

And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.

So when will there be peace? Will we ever see peace? Jesus, the Prince of Peace, said He did not come to bring peace but a sword (Matthew 10:34) but of this he spoke within a believer’s household, that one should not deny Him just to keep the peace and avoid persecution.

The Prince of Peace and Lord of lords brings peace when the Father says it’s time. When it’s time for the fighting to end and a time of peace to be ushered in. When the Davids have all done their job fighting for the heavenly Kingdom and it’s time for an era of peace with Jesus as our Ruler, when He puts all things under His feet.

The Bride, the faithful, will behold this and rule and reign with Him for 1,000 years and THEN the world will be at peace.

For now, we are nearing the end of the Laodicean Era, when lukewarm will turn into the great harvest and the Lord’s coming will be upon us. I wonder what it will take to shake us out of our present era?

Snippets, not Doctrines

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There is a certain “way” that God speaks of in the Word. In the Old Testament, He says to not deviate from His ways lest you are cursed- (Deut 5:33, 10:12, 19:9, 30:16; Joshua 22:5; Judges 2:22; 1 Ki 2:3-4; 1 Ki 8:25, 36; i Ki 11:33…just search “the way” “walk in it” in the app, there’s too many!)

This WAY that He talks about is not a broad way, it is a narrow way. It does not include ALL doctrines, it is very specific. There are doctrines that lead to destruction that sound like they are holy and righteous.

Isaiah 30:21-

Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying,
“This is the way, walk in it,”
Whenever you turn to the right hand
Or whenever you turn to the left.

Matthew 22:16-

And they sent to Him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that You are true, and teach the way of God in truth; nor do You care about anyone, for You do not regard the person of men.”

In the days following Jesus’ death, Paul and the other disciples struggled to stay in the way, despite horrendous persecution trying to get them to abandon the way they had been taught by Jesus. But He said He would send the Helper, the Holy Spirit, who would teach them and guide them. This was given in Acts 2.

I was saved at the age of 26 after the birth of my first child. Not long after I prayed to receive the Holy Spirit. He has been teaching me since but I have deviated from the way, here and there, getting interested in ‘doctrines of man’ that seemed right and good. The Holy Spirit always brought me back to the Word, which is the right way.

1 Thessalonians 5-

19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies. 21 Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil.

In 2018, the Lord opened my eyes to some truths about His Way (I started blogging about this – see the category New Spiritual Journey*) and He revealed many things, but mostly that with the age we are entering into with His coming, the Kingdom Age, we will need to be more careful about deviating into strange doctrines.

Matthew 15:9-

“…And in vain they worship Me,
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ (Jesus quoting Isaiah)

1 Timothy 4:1-

Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,

Last year, I was following a trail on a popular video site and a particular teacher really peaked my interest. He had some insights into things regarding Christianity that made me think, “Wow! How did I not see that before!” I starting watching more of his videos, which led me to others that preached the same things he did. It was like I found my own little “truth community”. I felt like I belonged to the “truth club”, and started to scoff at those who were not yet in the know on this subject. (I purposefully leave out the subject.) But the Holy Spirit graciously stepped in, after enough of it had settled on me like an addiction, and gently pulled me out. My advice: if it feels like a club, it’s probably a strange doctrine.

Now and then, the Lord will intentionally show me snippets from a video feed or social media feed that He wants me to be informed of the latest of the enemy’s ploys or some truth that is needed to stay in His ways. I just need to remember NOT to follow those leads and feeds to my spiritual peril. He uses people but only in a limited fashion as to not lead one into prideful destruction. We are all pieces of a much bigger puzzle.

Bottom line is the devil uses these deceptions to keep us off the narrow path. His strategy includes getting us to follow rabbit trails and go on goose chases… which doesn’t produce truth, it just keeps us busy and make us want to argue. Trust God and His Holy Spirit to keep you in The Way.

 

(*I have not posted in this category for a while…waiting on the Lord’s leading.)

The Days of Noah, Part 2

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On January 10, 2020 I posted a synopsis of what it may be like as we come near the end of this age, and how Jesus was telling His disciples what it will be like when His second coming draws near.

I stumbled across a verse in 2 Peter 3 that I don’t remember reading before, and if I have it’s because it wasn’t timely and didn’t sink into my spirit:

…scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water, by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water [Noah’s day]. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition [Strong’s G684: destruction] of ungodly men.

Whoooaaaa…wait a minute…. First, was the flood a literal flood? Well, yes it was; there is scientific evidence that there was a flood that wiped out the dinosaurs. It’s no longer a theory. So, will there be literal fire that God uses for judgment and ultimate destruction?? I believe so.

God is Love. He is also a “consuming fire”:

The sight of the glory of the Lord was like a consuming fire on the top of the mountain in the eyes of the children of Israel.
For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.
Therefore understand today that the Lord your God is He who goes over before you as a consuming fire. He will destroy them and bring them down before you; so you shall drive them out and destroy them quickly, as the Lord has said to you.
For our God is a consuming fire.

 

In the above OT verses, the KJV uses also “devouring”; but all are Strong’s H398: “burn up, consume”. In Hebrews 12:29, it is G2654: “consume utterly” and “fire” is “literally or figuratively lightning – fiery fire”.

Wow! But one thing I also want to point out… Judgment is for those who need to be judged. It is not wrath. Revelations makes it clear that judgment comes first, and then the wrath for the ungodly.

When I looked up “judgment” in the Strong’s G2920 in verse 2 Peter 3:7 (above), the meaning is “tribunal, justice”. Tribunal is defined as a law court; the bench where a judge sits; and an assembly to conduct judicial business in a court for punishment in severe cases or for certain types of disputes. (I combined various sources, can’t quote just one.)

Tribu-nal has the same first 5 letters as the word Tribu-lation. Just an observance.

There are courts in heaven that God presides over. He used judges in the book of Judges. There’s a whole lot in the New Testament about judging so I won’t go into that here. Besides, it always riles people up when you do that.

 

There’s Something in 3’s

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One thing I’ve noticed:
God is Triune – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
People are triune – body, soul, and spirit.
The Word of God is threefold – literal, figurative, and spiritual.

When we are born again, we begin  the process of the things of God through dying to our carnal fleshly desires, then changes take place in our soul (mind, will, and emotions), and then we become more spirit-oriented.

It’s the same with the Word: we start out understanding it as literal, then figurative until it becomes engrained in us as a spiritual principle of the Godhead.

And I have a feeling that’s just the tip of the iceberg on that subject!

Do This

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When Jesus said, “Do this is remembrance of Me”:

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He really meant this:

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16 The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. (Romans 8)

For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ. (2 Corinthians)

10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; 11 in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. (Philippians 3)

13 but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. (1 Peter 4)

Can I Get a Witness?

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I was reading about Martha and Mary, and how Martha was busy, busy, doing tasks for the Lord and Mary was at His feet listening in adoration. That’s us. Sometimes we’re busy doing for the Lord (which is good) and sometimes we’re at His feet listening (which is better). Jesus’ disciples Luke and John recount this story.

Then Jesus agreed to eat at the home of a Pharisee where a sinner woman came and washed His feet with her hair and anointed them with ointment. Luke and John also tell this story. Luke says she was at His feet behind Him (that’s humility!); John says this woman was the same Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus.

Matthew and Mark tell about a woman who had an alabaster box of precious ointment, came to Simon the leper’s house while Jesus was eating, and poured it on His head to anoint Him. It is recorded that the disciples were indignant, saying, “To what purpose is this waste?” (Matthew 26:8)

Directly after this, Judas goes to the chief priests and says, “What will you give me, and I will deliver Him to you?” They ‘covenanted’ with him for 30 pieces of silver. (Matthew 26:15)

It was at this point Judas made a covenant with the devil. The others didn’t understand the significance of the woman anointing Jesus for His upcoming burial; Judas just plain didn’t care. He only cared about the cost and the seemed foolish waste. He didn’t care about Jesus. He was a spectator, not a faithful witness.

But it is for this reason, and for the sinner woman, and for the deeds of Martha and Mary, and for the raising of Lazarus from the dead, that Jesus took his disciples as witnesses with Him wherever He went. If Jesus has performed miracles for us in any type of answered prayer or otherwise, we are His witnesses, too.

“But if he will not hear you, then take with you one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.” (Matthew 15:19)

“And I will give power to my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.” (Revelations 11:3)

To Get To God

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To get to God we have to go back. Back to the garden of Eden where we, as humanity, were kicked out because of rebellion. Adam and Eve walked with God in the garden. They knew His voice and He knew theirs.

They walked with God in the cool of the day, as one would walk as on a leisurely stroll with no cares or barriers between them. Enoch also walked with God, and “was not because God took him,” (Genesis 5:24). According to the length of their lifespans, Adam would have been alive to tell Enoch what it was like to walk with God. Enoch sought it out.

John 10:

But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice.

That is the door… and it’s guarded by angels.

The Second Allotment

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The other day, as I was praying, I sensed the word “allotment” in my spirit. I looked up “allot” in the dictionary and it said “to give or apportion (something) to someone as a share or task.”

Then I thought about the word “portion” and how a prophet I read recently was saying 2020 is the year of the double portion. I jotted this into my Bible study notebook and set it aside.

The next morning I was scrolling through my YouTube feed and came across a video where a gal was describing a dream she just had about a Second Allotment for the church.

How random is that? I looked back in my notebook to see my thoughts of when I heard the first mention of the word and I had been talking to the Lord about how I wished He would bring me back to a time in my life, two years ago, when I was so on fire for Him there was no shutting me up.

Getting back to the dream the lady had, she was relating the meaning behind it on how the Lord is getting ready to propel mature believers into a second go-around, where the first was in ignorance but the second will be in maturity.

This resonated with me. If this is the way the Lord is trying to get my attention, I’ll take it. It’s up to Him if He thinks I’m mature enough, I sure don’t know. But one thing I know for sure, I sure don’t believe in coincidence.

Smoothing out those Wrinkles

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Much is being said lately about the Bride of Christ. She is to be without spot or wrinkle:

25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 that he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.  (Ephesians 5)

Now we know that in Leviticus the sacrificial animals were to be without blemish, and Jesus Himself is The sacrificial Lamb, without blemish. But what about His Bride?

Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” (Revelation 19)

When Esther was being readied just to go before the king, it took 12 months of purification! (Esther 2:12) But yet she was getting ready to be a queen.

How can one go through their entire Christian life and not have blemishes? First, there’s the physical blemishes: it takes years to attain to any level of maturity: lots of scars and wrinkles. Then there’s the spiritual blemishes: if we are letting ourselves be sanctified, there’s going to be spiritual scars.

I got to thinking about wrinkles, though. I have a few physically. I’m not a spring chicken. But the wrinkles, or folds, that need smoothing out that the Lord looks at are rough patches, if you will. Listen, we’re all a little rough around the edges; we aren’t perfected yet. But what came to mind in prayer about “wrinkles” were these:

  • offenses that I can’t seem to get over (but I wouldn’t call them grudges)
  • a speck (or log) in the eye
  • having to be right (or wrongfully judging)
  • taking my time (instead of giving it)
  • anything that robs others (selfishness)
  • impatience

These are a few things I thought of. I’m just trying to be honest with myself. I still have work to do to smooth out the wrinkles and clean up the spots. Last time I tried aging cream I broke out in a rash. So I think now I’ll just let the Lord focus on the spiritual ones.

You’re an Original!

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TL Osborn said:

“Do not trust in other people’s faith. Have your own faith. You are a believer. You have faith. God has given to each person a measure of faith. (Rom. 12:3.)”

You have your own walk with God. It’s okay to get spiritual counsel but keep in mind: everyone’s walk is different and someone else’s walk is divinely designed to be different than yours.

Your book of Life is not a reprint, it’s an original.