Thursday, October 27, 2016

His Majestic Voice

This is from the blog A Word in Season:
Excerpt From Coming Book
“And ye said, Behold, the LORD our God hath showed us his glory and his greatness, and we have heard his voice out of the midst of the fire: we have seen this day that God doth talk with man, and he liveth. Now therefore why should we die? for this great fire will consume us: if we hear the voice of the Lord our God any more, then we shall die. For who is there of all flesh, that hath heard the voice of the living God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as we have, and lived? Go thou near, and hear all that the Lord our God shall say: and speak thou unto us all that the Lord our God shall speak unto thee; and we will hear it, and do it.”
Deuteronomy 5:24 – 27
Though Israel saw the works of God in Egypt and at the Red Sea it is here that they first caught a glimpse of the fact that He speaks to men. This reveals the possibility of relationship. It is one thing to see the moving of His hand; it is quite another to hear Him speak and enter into the place of comprehending His WILL and PURPOSE. Relationship denotes responsibility and accountability. Religion does not mind acknowledging God, nor does it have a problem with even His miracles and His words if they are related to us from a book or someone else. But the thought of hearing His voice for ourselves brings us to the edge of reality. It brings us to the awful place of His fire, His presence, and into the place of knowing. Religion is like an anesthetic; it gives us enough understanding to make us feel comfortable, but leaves us in enough darkness that we do not have to face that penetrating light and feel the heat from the fire of His presence. For it is in knowing that we see to some degree our state and His glory. It is in hearing His voice that He communicates His Will and His purpose for our lives. This is a fearful place. It is a place that strips us from the comfort of the shadows of obscurity into the knowledge of the Holy One by the revelation of Himself in and by His living Word. It was in God speaking here, that men quickly desired to have a man to stand between them and God, for the Holy Voice would beckon them to His presence and His glory. It is here where men chose religion and over God. They would seek out others to speak to them rather than to draw near to God Himself. They would chose a comfortable pew rather than a Holy encounter with the God of fire and glory.
“Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his shape.
and ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent,
him ye believe not. Search the scriptures;
for in them ye think ye have eternal life:
and they are they which testify of me.”
John 5:37
The Jews had a confidence in their knowledge of the scriptures, yet that knowledge instead of revealing the Christ, blinded them to the seeing of Him, “…for in them ye think ye have life…” Their confidence was in the knowledge of words rather than in the hearing of His voice. If they had heard His voice they would have seen Him and known Him. The voice of the Lord is ever speaking into the earth looking and longing for His creation to hear and come that it might know Him and be changed.
It is the voice of God that calls us to the true knowledge of Him and to the awful revelation of ourselves. It is the voice of God that calls us to separation and obedience. No wonder the desire to remain in the comfort of obscurity. But, it is also the voice that reveals the Lamb of God in all of His Grace and Glory. It is the voice that draws us away from our sin and our sickness unto Holiness, without which no man can see God. It calls us to the place of worship, to the place of fellowship with Him, to the place of the mount of God baptized with fire and glory and ultimately it brings us to the place of His divine purpose, Christ in you the full hope of Glory. His voice is for one purpose; to make us so one with Him that our life becomes His voice to others, our life becomes his provision to those He brings our way. When the people asked John the Baptist who he was he simply replied… “I am a voice of one crying out in the wilderness…” They could not recognize him because they knew not the voice that spoke through him, and that voice was to prepare the way for the true Shepherd who was to follow. It’s in hearing His voice that we become an echo of the One who is, who was and who is to come; “for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy”. Let us not draw back in the hearing of His voice but as Elijah who upon hearing the “still small voice” wrapped himself in his mantle and presented himself to the Will and the Purposes of God.
How men and women in this day quickly trade away their true standing in God and seek out men who will speak to them in the stead of God! How sad it is that there is a professional “ministry” who would stand in the place of God so that the people can shirk their responsibility and sit in comfort and ease when they should be up and about doing the will of their Father. Where is that ministry which will confront this lethargy and speak with power and unction to cause people to recognize their birthright as “sons” and draw near to God with hearts that long to hear and obey the voice of the Almighty? Where is that true ministry such as John the Baptist that rejoices when his disciples forsake him to follow in the footsteps of the Son? May God arise and pour out His fire in this day to ignite the hearts of His people to give our lives unto Him as living sacrifices’!
“An empty altar will receive no fire…”

--Frank Bartleman

It All Comes Down To Jesus

Friday, October 21, 2016

Muslims Turn to Christ in Unprecedented Numbers

This is from the website Open Doors
The Islamic State has been filling the headlines for a long time and filling the hearts of many people in the Middle East with fear. But in the midst of all this, the church in the Middle East is showing the love of Christ to those who fled their homes. Muslims in the Middle East are turning to Jesus in unprecedented numbers.
Before the war, it was rare that a Muslim would become a follower of Jesus Christ. The war has changed everything. According to one of the Christian workers of a church in Lebanon, many new converts say they had their doubts about Islam before they converted. “Doubt is many times the key to start a change,” says the church worker.
We meet with Amir*, Rasha* and their two children, who fled from Homs. Proof of the extraordinary change lies in her arms sleeping —a five month old baby girl with the very Christian name Christina.
“Since 2012, we have been living in a tent,” Amir shares. “It is not an easy life. About a year ago my wife’s mother was killed by a sniper when she went out to have some fresh air. My wife’s brother was killed on his way home.”
The life of this family was and is still hard, but recently they found light in their life. “About three months ago, I was given a vision of Jesus Christ,” Rasha shares. “I was sleeping and all of a sudden I saw Jesus Christ in white. He said ‘I am Christ. You will have a beautiful daughter.’ I was eight months pregnant, and a month later we received our beautiful daughter.” At about the same time the husband had a dream, too. “I saw Jesus Christ. He was dressed in white. He said to me ‘I am your Savior. You will follow me.’”
“We’re Afraid Now”
Both Amir and Rasha made a bold decision after these dreams. “We decided to follow Him. We named our baby Christina. We left our old Islamic customs.” Amir stopped going to the mosque, but Rasha still dresses as a Muslim woman with her head covered by a veil. “Our clan is very big; we’re afraid now. They might kill us,” says Rasha.
Amir continues: “Our family knows we are Christians now. Becoming a Christian is, for them, the same as if I had destroyed the Kaaba in Saudi Arabia. It is because we walked in the darkness and are now in the light. I want to protect my family.”
Because of the danger, they didn’t want to continue living in the tent in the camp where mainly Muslims live. With her soft and sad voice Rasha says: “We now have no fixed place to live, we go from place to place.”
Back home in Syria, Amir worked as a carpenter. “I have no work in Lebanon. Our financial situation is bad. Now, because we are Christians, others don’t want to help us. The church is helping as much as is possible.”
Gesturing with their hands and faces, they say they don’t know what the future will bring. “The most important thing is that we know Jesus Christ as our Savior,” the man adds. “He will save us. We regularly pray to the Lord, we freely worship Him, and He protects us. God is with us. God will resolve our situation.”

Islam is Slavery
Dreams and Visions--David Wilkerson
Quote from Winston Churchill

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Time, Timelessness and Jesus Christ

“Only through time time is conquered.”
–T.S. Eliot
This is a comment I left on the blog Richard’s Watch:
When I think on the word “saved” (as in, “I was saved twenty or thirty years ago” or “when were you saved?” and so on), as a Christian, it is probably an incorrect word or concept. To be saved implies the past. The Lord Jesus Christ is past, present and future. As a Christian, I abide in Christ right here right now.
Let’s say someone surrendered their life to Christ a number of years ago. This is the BEGINNING of being connected with the timelessness of Jesus Christ. As we take up our cross and die daily, our body and soul life are put to death, so that the spiritual life within us (Christ) grows stronger and stronger every day. As the passions of the body and soul life die, time dies. Think of the sinful, physical body as shackled to time: the physical body is born on a certain date (time), it lives for 85 years (time) and then dies on a certain date (time).
There is a point in physical time when someone surrenders to timelessness—the Lord Jesus Christ. Worldly people and lukewarm Christians are still bound to time; spiritual Christians are timeless.
The power and beauty of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is that that timeless event (it defied time and space) pierced human time and presented us with the possibility of living a life connected to timelessness and sinlessness (abiding in Christ)—if we act in faith and surrender our lives to Jesus Christ.
I John 1: 7: “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”
The above scripture absolutely implies, not some historical event (time), but the timelessness of Jesus Christ. To an unbeliever, the phrase “and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin” is totally insane: the death of Jesus Christ happened over two thousand years ago (time). To a Christian, what happened at Calvary is happening right here right now (timelessness). If we walk in the light (abide in Christ daily), the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us (not cleansed us) from all sin.
Enoch walked with God and then God took him because (after many years of obeying the Lord through proper blood sacrifices [dying to self] and believing in the future Messiah) he walked in timelessness and eventually timelessness (God) took him. Enoch was no longer shackled by time.
Prophets are very timeless because the timeless Holy Ghost inspires them to speak of future events as if they are happening right here right now.
Time to stop writing.

Enoch:  The Seventh from Adam

Friday, October 14, 2016

Time to Go and Time to Stay

This is from the Daily Meditation blog:
Hagar ran away from the house of Abraham, and God went all the way to send an angel to ask her to return. The casual observer may think: how can God be that wicked. This was a place where life was made a living hell for her.
However, there was a time she left the house, this time around it was now organised, this time around, she did not initiate the move. But now God sent a message again to her that it was okay, giving her precious promises.
How come God did not want her to leave the first time but the second time, God wanted her to leave? She wanted to leave when God did not want her to leave, and when God wanted her to leave, she seemed not to want to.
It brings us face to face with the “times and seasons” character of God, where different things happens in different seasons because they are different seasons, based on the superior wisdom of God.
What happened to Hagar, is similar to what happened to Moses. He made a move to start to deliver Israel but it led to his running away from them, the second time when he does not want to go, God pushed him to go, showing that the time is in God’s hands, not ours.
Jesus was told by his brothers to go and show himself to the people in Jerusalem, when a feast was going on there, so that he came become popular and more acceptable. But he said his time has not come.
imageA life of spiritual significance is focused on divine timing more than others. Others can follow humanistic reasoning, follow the way things are normally done, the way of human approval, humanistic rubbish, thinking carnally, judging after the flesh.
Man, Jesus said, does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. What proceeded yesterday, is not what will proceed today, so I need to follow the shepherd so that I do not lean on my own understanding, so that I will find sustenance today.
To get water from the rock for the Israelites, at different times, God told Moses to do two different things. When, the second time, he became moved by what the people are saying more than what God said, God felt slighted, and punished him for it. He hit the rock the first time, and did the same the second time, turning a walk with God to a formula, ritual, routine, though it is a relationship.
God asked Elijah to show himself to Ahab, and he will bring rain on the earth. That was the timing. Elijah could not afford to move by human feeling in that regard. He cannot follow wishful thinking. It was not self-initiated.
To the people, it may seem that Elijah acted on a whim, to seize rain and to bring rain again. He was authorized by God to make those proclamations. God decided to trust Elijah with such power. When rain fell, it was also based on God’s instruction. And in the time of the water coming down, it was based on God’s instruction.
While the prophets of Baal were hoping that Baal was going to answer them by fire, Elijah had no such uncertainty, he acted on express instruction from God, the God of times and seasons. God determines the place of our abode and times of our habitation.
You may be asking: what should I do now, how do I move, where should I go, knowing that the best thing is to know what God is saying.
Isaiah said: my ears he has opened. So my hearing God is not my responsibility, but God’s responsibility. It is written, He makes hearing ears.
So the challenge is not the challenge of hearing, it is the challenge of obedience. God speaks, we read in the book of Job, but we refuse to listen, to pay attention, to yield.
Eve did not have the problem of hearing from God, but she choose differently from what God wanted. She embraced error. What about Saul? He had a clear instruction, but chose not to obey.
But apostle Paul, after he had a revelation of Christ and his purpose in him, said: I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision.
If obedience to God is important and it is, and since God has to be justified when he speaks, he needs to clear his own side of the arrangement, which is to make his will known. He puts conscience in us for that reason, the indicator of right or wrong.
He made it so that if you want to know his will, you will know it. He said: ask and it shall be given to you, seek and you will find. You can find out the times and seasons he has for you, the people he wants you to be with, the places he wants you to go, if you want to know, if you will follow his logic and not humanistic rubbish, which is about conforming to the world.
We should stand in his presence like Elijah and declare the will of God, because we know it, because we love it. If our minds are clouded with humanistic rubbish, in which naturalistic thinking which the bible calls carnal mindedness is king, we will not be able to see beyond our noses, to see the path that God has set before us.
So it’s not about what others say, what seems convenient, what is acceptable, but the will of God.
Abraham is a case in point. He was told that he should sacrifice his son, that was what to do, he made preparation for it, organised a party, started out early in the morning, but at the end of it, he did not carry it out. Why? Because the first instruction was about testing Abraham's obedience, not really about anything else. Eventually, Abraham sacrificed a ram. It would have been disastrous if Abraham refuses to hear the second instruction, but God did it so much that he did have a choice but to hear.
Moses saw the burning bush, through which God caught his attention. God knows how to get your attention, but we see Moses afterwards struggling to obey God, even suggesting that God send somebody else. That actually happens partially when it was Joshua who eventually led the Israelites to the promised land.
The attitudes differ between the two: to do or not to do, to hide or show yourself, to move or to stay.
Moses was so used to the “not going” attitude for forty years that when the time came to go, he found it hard to move.