Approval Removal

“What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:3

That is a go to verse that we all probably have used one more than one occasion.

Some of us, hundreds of occasions.

I have spent much of the day reading posts of other bloggers something I always enjoy and hadn’t really had much time to do lately and I have never ceased to be amazed at the loud ringing true of Jesus’ words from the Book of Revelation, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” 

Which he tells us on seven different occasions as he gives us the list of behaviors and attitudes that can make us or break us.

But Jesus, always merciful and beautiful highlights the strong points and then deals with the problem areas.

Areas that must be corrected otherwise the consequences are also spelled out but with fabulous mercy and grace, we are also assured of the rewards for overcoming these quicksand areas that our flesh causes our souls to sink into. 

It seems through reading the work of others whom I respect and love for their passion, their rawness, and their commitment to keeping it real even while revealing their own hurt and humanism.

And I for one, know that it blesses me, not because they are hurt but because there are others who are willing to share their own struggles, doubts and fears to shine light for those who are experiencing the same.

We have all been preached to that if we are sad, get over it and “put a smile on that face”.

We have all heard that if we have prayers seemingly unanswered, then surely there must be sin in our lives or we are just “not praying right” and you know what, none of those teachings or thoughts line up with the Word of God.

We are given encouragement through his word to deal with any and all situations that we find ourselves in on this earth.

And we are given those instructions, and those rays of hope because God knew when he had the book written that we would need every single one of those words. 

And it seems we all are in a battle royal with feelings of inadequacy and rejection, the pain of feeling the disapproval of others, in that no matter what we say or what we do, we will never live up to their standard.

I had heard years ago the horrifying numbers of those who daily leave the ministry.

And I am sure most have at one point or other almost been swayed by those same forces to do the same.

But we have to stand, we can get knocked down, distressed, and almost broken by the thoughts and attitudes of others and there are always those who love to kick us when we are down and there are those who, for whatever reason, seem to only validate every wrong view the enemy tries to present to us concerning ourselves and our ministries.

My personal belief on this is that attacks are much more severe than those suffered by the former generations. the closer we get to the end… personal hits on us and the stress of stats and followers and the pressure from the web world that often through sites that offer us a better “reputation rating” IF we buy a subscription.

The pressure to increase and spread the Gospel while under the microscope of a world that does not believe and constantly under the raised heel of the modern pharisees, who can not wait to critique every word, every action, and quickly correct us all that feel they would have worded differently and to every accidental misuse of Old English.

The same “crushing heel” that the disciples were faced with, same old tried and true corrections and restrictions according to their opinions as they just wait to put that heel down on us.

Just like Jesus said to those of his day, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass the sea and land to make one proselyte, and when ye have made is,ye make him twofold (twice) more the child of hell than yourselves

It is really nothing new, we are just getting hit on a much larger scale and so many changes in the world that many of us entered ministry from backgrounds of brokenness, dysfunctional homes, and failed marriages, myself included, talk about rejection, my first marriage ended because of my refusal to convert to Catholicism.

I have written and pulled posts “dealing with the dealing with of that”, but even once we are saved and all things are made new, we still are “works in progress” and sometimes old wounds hurt, and they will hurt until the root of it is found and destroyed, and with every “root” there is a promise, a word from God, that will take care of that as we experience it. 

Isaiah 54:6: “For the Lord hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and as a wife of youth, when thou wast refused.” was a comfort, and peace, and also a source of relentless tears this first time I read it because it was God’s word, to me, and all who have suffered that kind of rejection that he knows, he knows the pain and he is there to wipe every tear away and give us something so much better.

And so many of us that have gone through the heartache of divorce have also been blessed with a new lease on life with relationships with spouses that are what God intended for our lives. 

Sometimes the hardest “enemy” to face is ourselves and when we think of the scripture above and sometimes that “who” that tries to come against us, can even mean us. 

I know I have been guilty of it, the need for the approval of others so that I can approve of myself.  I can see mistake after mistake in choices I have made.

Choices I would have thought through a little more carefully had I remembered the moment of my salvation and the truth we all experience in that moment, Jesus LOVES us, he loves us simply because he loves us, nothing more nothing less.

It is when we listen to all those outside voices that reaffirm that own little self-doubt in our own head that whispers”You are still not good enough…” that we lose sight of  the only approval worth having.

God does not want that, he did not create us to please anyone except him and we are his creation. And we were created for his pleasure, ever think about that?

When he created Adam from the dust and breathed his breath into him and then took the rib, the DNA from Adam to create Eve, how awesome is THAT? 

He visited the garden and talked with them, he loved them and even when they messed up so bad and sin entered in and they had to leave the garden, he STILL loved them, he made them clothes, and taught them all they needed to survive their new existence.

And how many times does he want so much more for us, but our need for approval prevents us from throwing “caution to the wind” and following him in a direction that is completely unknown?

I have wrestled this so much lately myself , having been through such a difficult season, and many, many of us are in the same battle.

But just as David told Goliath, the battle is not ours it is the Lords and he promises us in his word that nothing, nothing can separate us from his love.

Not life, nor death, nor demons, and surely not any human, or the approval or especially the disapproval of us by any person. 

So we must allow him to remove that false need of approval because we are sealed until the day of redemption, how much more approval do we really need?

Romans 14:4: “Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth, Yea, he shall be holden up (made to stand) ; for God is able to make him stand.”

Jesus Christ is the author and finisher of  our faith. He began us and He is the only one who can end us.

So rest in the remembrance of the peace and joy you receive upon salvation, because the strife, stress, and constant pressure to be someone that some else thinks we should be does NOT come from him. 

It will break your spiritual feet and broken feet cannot stand and sometimes they can be so fractured that the will NEVER stand again and that is what the enemies wants.

 So when you feel that you can’t stand, trust Jesus, know that he will enable you to stand and as with any battle royal only the last one standing can win.

Φλογιζω NBJ 2019

Ninth Hour

“And straightway in the morning the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and the scribes and the whole council and bound Jesus and carried him away and delivered him to Pilate.

And Pilate asked him, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answering said unto him, Thou sayest it. 

And the chief priests accused him of many things: but he answered nothing. And Pilate asked him again, saying, Answerest  thou nothing? behold how many things they witness against thee.

But Jesus yet answered him nothing; so that Pilate marvelled. 

Now at that feast he released unto them one prisoner, whomsoever they desired. And there was one named Barabbas, which lay bound (was also chained with) them that had made insurrection with him, who had committed murder in the insurrection.

And the multitude crying aloud began to desire (ask) him to do as ever he had done (do as always) unto them,

But Pilate answered them, saying, Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews? For he knew that the chief priest had delivered him for envy (Pilate KNEW that the priests were just trying to get Jesus killed).

But the chief priest moved (stirred up) the people, that they should rather release Barabbas unto them.

And Pilate answered and said again unto them, What will ye then that I shall do unto him whom ye call the King of the Jews?

And they cried out again, Crucify him. Then Pilate said unto them Why, what evil hath he done? And they cried out the more exceedingly, Crucify him.

And so Pilate, willing to content the people (wanting to gratify the crowd) released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, (flogged with a roman scourge) to be crucified.” Mark 15:1-15

A portion of the immense prophecies concerning the suffering of the Messiah, which was and is Jesus Christ of Nazareth, The spotless Holy Lamb of God can be found in the Book of Isaiah..

“WHO hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm (the power) of the Lord revealed?

For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant (He was very gentle and kind),and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form or comeliness; and when ye shall see, there is no beauty that we should desire him (He came to earth quite ordinary in appearance). 

He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised and we redeemed him not.  

SURELY he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten (struck down) of God, and afflicted.” Isaiah 53:1-4 

Now lets talk about the scourge, the Jews had a “law” that prisoners would receive forty stripes save one, which means instead of receiving forty lashes it would be thirty-nine (which really is not mercy) but it was not the Jews beating Jesus.

It was the Romans that were beating Jesus, the Romans did not do this to their own citizens, and he was in no way covered under any supposed “mercy” clause and this was all the forces of hell unleashed upon Him.

Remember He told the Disciples before His arrest this from John 14:30: “Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince (ruler) of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.” 

He said this in reference to what was going to happen, which can be backed up with His statement when they came to arrest Him. Luke 22:53: “When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me; but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.”

Again, God has ALL power, power over the enemy BUT Jesus willingly laid down his life for us which is WHY darkness was ALLOWED this power so that He could take OUR place and suffer the punishment that belonged to us and through His death reconcile us back to Him.

Back to the beating, He was viciously beaten, striped by a whip that has multiple strings of leather often with bone or metal knotted at the ends, which cuts on contact and then pulls skin and flesh with it at its release and there was NO mercy shown in this beating.

Isaiah 53:5: “But he was wounded (pierced through) for OUR transgressions, he was bruised (crushed) for OUR iniquities; the chastisement of OUR peace was upon him; and with his stripes (blows that cut into flesh) we are healed.”

On to Calvary, Mark 15:16-18: “And the soldiers led him away into the hall, called Praetorium (a separate tent); and they call together the WHOLE band (cohort). 

And they clothed him with purple, and platted (twisted)  a crown of thorns, and put it about his head. And began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews.”

These thorns were no tiny little briers which would still have been very painful, these were sharp, piercing barbs that torn intro his skin and sank into his flesh around his temples, and we all know how delicate and tender the brow area is and when they shoved this thing onto His head it  and caused excruciating pain and blood dripped from every pierce.

Here is His own description as He pleaded with the sleeping Church, His Bride to awake and open that door for Him. Song of Solomon 5:2: “I sleep, but my heart waketh:  it IS the VOICE of my Beloved that knocketh, saying

Open to me, my sister, my love, my dove, my undefiled (perfect one)FOR MY HEAD IS FILLED WITH DEW, AND MY LOCKS WITH THE DROPS OF THE NIGHT.”

He suffered that crown of thorns so that we could have His peace for our troubled minds and if you want a little more about that wake up.

Onward- Mark 15-32: “And they smote (struck) him on the head with a reed, and did spit on him, and bowing their knees worshipped him  (in MOCK worship). 

And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and out his OWN clothes on him, and LED HIM OUT to crucify him. 

And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, (he was just passing through) the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear (carry) his cross. { by this point they had beaten Jesus SO severely that He was physically unable to carry it any farther} 

And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of the skull. And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not.

And when they had crucified him, they parted  his garments (divided his clothes), casting lots upon them, what every man should take (gambled for them)

And it was the third hour, and they crucified him. And the superscription of his accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS.

And with him they crucify two thieves; the one on his right hand, and the other on his left.

And the scripture WAS fulfilled, which saith, AND HE WAS NUMBERED WITH THE TRANSGRESSORS. 

And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ah, thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days,

Save thyself, and come down from the cross.

Likewise, also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He saved others: himself he cannot save.

Let the King of Israel now descend from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reviled him.”

Here Jesus was, beaten to the point of being almost unrecognizable, privately humiliated and tortured by the soldiers, spit on, his beard ripped out, those who passed by making fun of him, pointing at Him, the priests STILL attempting to demand proof of who He IS, chiding Him to “come down”, and even those with him mocking Him, (which one did repent me and was saved) 

It all just as written in Isaiah 52:14:  “As MANY were astonised at thee:(could not believe His condition) HIS VISAGE (appearance) WAS SO MARRED (disfigured) MORE THAN ANY OTHER MAN, AND HIS FORM MORE THAN THE SONS OF MEN; (beaten far worse than any other); 

His beaten, tortured, bloody body taken and His hands stretched out and driven through by spikes, His feet placed one atop the other again driven completely through, telling you there is to tell about the size of these spikes. How bad does it hurt to just “stump” our toe, or “crack” our ankle or hand pain from just overdoing chores, imagine what He suffered, we can’t imagine it.

Mark 15:33: “And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the WHOLE land until the ninth hour.” 

The entire land overshadowed in complete blackness because the very one who created light, the one who IS light, who created the Sun, the moon, and all the stars, the one who spoke all of earth and existence into creation was now crucified by the very ones that he had created. 

The sins of ALL mankind on Him and the hour of darkness He had spoken of  thought they had won.

And He hung there, He could have destroyed every single thing on this earth, with one WORD, as He IS also THE WORD, He could have started over with a new creation rather than to save those whom had already been created, even those whose time had not yet come to dwell on earth, those who were souls, still with Him as we were created BEFORE the foundations of the earth.

Ecclesiastes 12:11: “The words of the wise are as goads, and as NAILS fastened by the masters of assemblies, WHICH ARE GIVEN FROM ONE SHEPHERD.” 

That ONE Shepherd, The Word and The WORD of the WORD concerning all these things.

John 12:31-33: “NOW is the judgment of this world: NOW shall the prince (ruler) of this world be cast out.  And I, if I be lifted up from the earth (crucified) WILL DRAW ALL MEN UNTO ME.” This he said, signifying what death he should (would) die.” 

We’ll make our way through those three hours with Matthew 27:45-54: “Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.

And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAST THOU FORSAKEN ME?

Some of them that stood by there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias.

And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.

The REST said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come save him. Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.

And behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain (split in two) from the top to the bottom: and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent (split); 

And the graves were opened: and many of the bodies of the saints that slept (were dead) arose.

And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went out into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

Now when the centurion and they that were with him, watching (guarding) Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things which were done, they FEARED greatly, saying, TRULY, THIS WAS THE SON OF GOD.”

Thankfully we know this was NOT the ending of the story of Christ. We know that on that third day He rose!

He rose in victory everlasting and He rose to give us victory and life eternal and life everlasting in the everlasting arms.

And we also know the darkness that covers this earth now, and great is that darkness and it will only get darker.

Don’t be as those who mocked, waiting for a “sign” and when the earth quaked and rocks shook, they feared, we know that an earthquake is one day coming, a quake so great that earth itself will rock in space and we know that in that great and faithful day Christ will return to this earth and we know that those who are dead will resurrect and those who are alive and REMAIN in HIS WORD will take our heavenly flight. 

And don’t let this Holy Season pass without stopping for a moment and thanking Him and rejoicing in Him for the gift He gave us when He gave Himself!

God Bless you! Blessed Good Friday and I hope that you have a joyous Easter and the renewing grace that Christ gave.

Φλογιζω NBJ 2019

First fruits first

Romans 8:15-25: “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be we suffer with him, that we may also be glorified together. 

For I reckon the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 

For the earnest expectation of the creature (creation) waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

For the creature (creation) was made subject to vanity (futility), not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope

Because the creature itself shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption (decay) into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. 

And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we also groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.  

For we are saved by hope; but hope  that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for it?  

But if we HOPE for what we see not, then do we with PATIENCE (perseverance) wait for it.

One of the main threads used to weave scripture into the beautiful tapestry of life is this, the assurance, confidence, and encouragement that this life and this world is not all there is to the story.

Let’s think about what the Bible tells us about “firsts” and think of all the “firsts” the Bible contains, the beginning of all creation and those whose stories fill the pages telling the stories of their lives, stories of many firsts and completely new beginnings and a pilgrimage to a land clearly not of this earth:

Hebrews 11:8-10: “By faith Abraham when he was called of God to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance ,obeyed, and he went out, not knowing whiter he went (not knowing where he was going). 

By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange (foreign) country, dwelling in tabernacles (tents) with Isaac, and Jacob, the heirs with him in the SAME promise;

For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker IS God.”

So knowing these firsts we have fruits of those firsts, the wonderful things produced as God prompted these journeys of faith and with the birth of Jesus Christ, the first and only of the kind, the Son of God, born of a virgin and He chose and would choose those to be His firstfruits in the giving of the indwelling of His Spirit and by His resurrection power. He made us the first adopted in the Kingdom of God and His blood making us kindred with Him.

Think about what John tells us from Revelation 1:5,6: “And Jesus Christ who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten (born) of the dead, and the prince  (ruler over) the kings of the earth.

Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be the glory and dominion  for ever and ever. Amen.” 

James 1:18: “Of his own will begat he us (he chose us) with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.”

Ephesians 1:3-14:“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings, in heavenly places in Christ.

According as he hath chosen us in him BEFORE the foundations of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before in love.

Having PREDESTINATED us into the adoption of children by Christ to himself, according to good pleasure of his will.

To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of HIS GRACE.

Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence (understanding). 

Having made known to unto us the mystery of his will,  According to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: 

That in the dispensation of the fulness of times (when all things are fulfilled and New Jerusalem descends) he might GATHER TOGETHER IN ONE ALL THINGS IN CHRIST, BOTH WHICH ARE IN HEAVEN, AND WHICH ARE ON EARTH, even in him;

In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.

That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: In WHOM also after that ye believed, ye were SEALED with that holy Spirit of promise.

Which IS the earnest (down payment) of  OUR inheritance UNTIL the redemption of the PURCHASED POSSESSION,unto the praise of HIS glory.”

And that a greater life and a new story yet to be written is waiting just on the other side of that door that separates our physical earthly bodies from their true home in the eternal realm. And as he so eloquently put it, the fear we often associate with this crossing was not given to us from God.

God did not give us the bondage that comes from being chained in fear and chained by fear. God gave us hope and that hope is in the knowing that we are already adopted into a greater family, a heavenly family, and a royal priesthood, the hope in the knowledge that God is our Father, that He does hear us and most assuring that our home is not of this earth, but our true home is with him.

Our inheritance, and Jesus sealing us through himself as our “down payment”, our assurance that we do have a right through him, through that adoption into the bloodline of the King, a right to that country, yet to come.

We are given this assurance and reassurance as we do groan and we do suffer pain and heartache on this earth and yearning for that day when all will be made new, the day when peace will be as a river, kindness, love, and mercy will rule everyday life and even the animals and all living creation from the smallest microbe to largest beast will live in absolute harmony, scripture telling us that nothing shall hurt or destroy in his Holy mountain, a child will play atop a snakes den and the lion will eat straw and the serpent will eat dust.

No more pain, no more sorrow, no more dying for ANY of his creation. And that beautiful feeling of peace and hope and comfort given us by Him is only but a small sample of, as they have written, the glory which is to be revealed. We all need encouragement and a little extra zeal sometimes to get through this world and to keep us focused but sometimes I think we need to focus a lot less of this world and focus much more closely on the next.

Just as Jesus told us to not lay up treasure on this earth but to store our treasure in heaven, sometimes we need to take a peek at that treasure and remember the wonderful things waiting there and of course none of us know what we have stored up but we do know we will see loved ones who have gone on, rejoice with old friends and beloved brothers and sisters if old, we know that we will have joy unspeakable and love that never ends, heavenly choirs as we all sing to the Lord and as he did we the disciples, we may even get to hear His beautiful songs. But all the pain and all the sorrows of this creation will be forgotten and we will rejoice evermore.

So indulge me if you will, and think of me as your travel agent for just a bit, and let me give you the description of your homeland and the country you will be travelling to.

“And I saw a NEW heaven and a NEW earth; for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things are passed away.

And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make ALL things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.

And he said unto me, It is done, I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of LIFE freely

He that overcometh shall INHERIT all thingsI will be his God, and he shall be my son. 

But the fearful (cowardly), and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers (sexually immoral), and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

And there came unto me on of the seven angels which had the seven vials of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither (here), I  will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife.”

{That was the background on our country, now for the scenic description and wonders to be found there}

“And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me a great city, the holy Jerusalem descending out of heaven from God.

Having the glory of God and her light was like unto a tone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal;

And had a great wall and high, and twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel; On the eats three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates.

And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in (on) them the names of the twelves apostles of the Lamb.

And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof.

And the city lieth foursquare (is laid out as a square), and the length is as large as the breadth; and he measured the city with a reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal.

And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel (he used human measurements).

And the building (construction) of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.

And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished (adorned) with all manner of precious stones.

The first foundation was jasper, the second, sapphire, the third, a chalcedony, the fourth, an emerald; The fifth, sardonyx, the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolyte; the eight, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh,a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several (individual) gate was of one pearl; and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass. 

And I saw NO temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb ARE the temple of it. And the city had NO need of the sun, neither the moon, to shine in it: FOR THE GLORY OF THE LORD DID LIGHTEN IT, AND THE LAMB IS THE LIGHT THEREOF.

And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour unto it. 

And the gates thereof shall NOT be shut at all by day FOR THERE SHALL BE NO NIGHT THERE. 

And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.

And there in no wise (way) enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh (causes an) abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

And he shewed me a pure river of water of water of LIFE, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God, and of the Lamb.

In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 

And there shall be NO more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him:

And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. 

And there shall be NO night there; and they need NO candle (lamp), NEITHER sun; for the Lord giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.

And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.” Revelation 21 & Revelation 22:1-6

Now that is a destination not to be missed!

Isn’t it amazing to know that you are firstfruits hand-picked to be part of that glorious Kingdom?!

Thanks for reading! Until we meet again may God bless you and yours!

Φλογιζω NBJ 2019

 

 

“PREPARED” Part#2 oxygen to fire

And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused (questioned) in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not; John answered, saying unto them all, I INDEED BAPTIZE YOU WITH WATER;

BUT ONE MIGHTER THAN I COMETH, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: HE SHALL BAPTIZE YOU WITH THE HOLY GHOST AND FIRE:

Whose fan(winnowing fan) is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor (threshing floor), and will gather the wheat into his garner (barn); but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable.” Luke 3:15-17  

I want to remind of you of a little of John’s own journey to the Kingdom, he had been filled with the Holy Ghost while still inside his mother’s womb, he had also spent his life up to the point of his ministry in preparation for that ministry and everything he did was unheard of in his time.

He was so different and taught so differently that those who heard him wondered who he could possibly be.

And also those of the enemy who HOPED that he was not who they were afraid he might be. (Now that was almost a tongue twister!)

We are told that the people were expecting, they were in that mind-set, no one knew exactly what to expect but they knew something major was on the horizon. 

Imagine what thoughts were going through their minds when John answered them that he was NOT even worthy to touch the shoes of the one that they should be expecting and imagine the confusion and fear they must have surely felt when he informed them that they would receive a holy baptisma baptism of the Holy Ghost and fire.

Do you think they understood any of this? Maybe some, the Lord certainly could have quickened hearts to that understanding, but most would have been a little fearful, at the very least by these statements.

The Holy Ghost is who takes us from death into life, it is God changing us by truly giving us HIS Spirit, that is why we should never get caught up in the “waiting until we can live it” deception that prevents so many from accepting Jesus.

We CAN’T change and we CAN’T live it, that is why He gives us His Spirit because he strengthens us from the inside out, so that we can overcome all those things that are impossible for humans, and thankfully, that includes overcoming death and hell, as HE OVERCAME THEM for us.

And it is as that water that the Spirit and bride are urging “whosoever will” to come, to take that water freely. We must have that, we must have the Spirit of God or we will not enter into his kingdom.

Romans 8:8-11:”So they that ARE in the flesh CAN NOT please God. But ye are NOT in the flesh, BUT in the SPIRIT, IF SO BE THATTHE SPIRIT OF GOD DWELLS (lives) IN YOU.

NOW IF ANY MAN HAVE NOT THE SPIRIT OF CHRIST, HE IS NONE OF HIS.

AND IF CHRIST BE IN YOU, THE BODY IS DEAD BECAUSE OF SIN; BUT THE SPIRIT IS LIFE BECAUSE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS.

BUT IF THE SPIRIT OF HIM THAT RAISED UP JESUS FROM THE DEAD DWELL IN YOU, HE THAT RAISED UP CHRIST FROM THE DEAD SHALL ALSO QUICKEN (give life to) YOUR MORTAL BODIES BY THE SPIRIT THAT DWELLTH IN YOU.”

It is as that “fan” John spoke of, that winnowing fan that IS used to blow the chaff away from the wheat, it frees the wheat from the dirt and useless particles that get stuck to it in the growing process (again, some serious symbolism in that also).

Now think about the day of Pentecost recorded in Acts 2:1-4: ” And the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were ALL with ONE ACCORD (purpose of mind)  IN ONE PLACE. AND SUDDENDLY THERE CAME A SOUND FROM HEAVEN AS OF A MIGHTY RUSHING WIND, AND IT FILLED ALL THE HOUSE WHERE THEY WERE SITTING. 

AND THERE APPEARED UNTO THEM CLOVEN (divided) TONGUES LIKE AS OF FIRE, AND IT SAT UPON EACH OF THEM. AND THEY WERE ALL FILLED WITH THE HOLY GHOST, AND BEGAN TO SPEAK WITH OTHER TONGUES (languages) AS THE SPIRIT GAVE THEM UTTERANCE.”

Once again we are seeing the need for that unity, but more for the point of this subject, we see that the Spirit came SUDDENLY and a sound as rushing wind and the fire sitting upon them, them being filled with His Holy Ghost and His fire.

As his blood washes us as we are forgiven for our sins, all these work as part of the process that cleans the “wheat “from all the things of the world and purifies us for the kingdom. 

Fire is usually associated with pain and destruction but with God, who IS a consuming fire, it is part of our hearts being purified, “as gold in a furnace” and as fire consumed the offerings that had been accepted. And think about the very life force that God breathed into us, perfect temperature but once that life is over we grow stone cold and we also need that spiritual fire in our souls to be fully “alive” in Him. 

All believers are given the Holy Spirit to lead them and guide them once they accept Christ but the Baptism of fire and the Holy Ghost in so essential and such a completely different experience, just as that experience was described in the Book of Acts.

ALL these WERE saved, but God endued them with this power, HIS power to bring forth those miracles and signs that birthed the early church. I do truly understand that the teachings that this was only for that period of time, but I promise you, that teaching is quite mistaken and we NEED a revival of the fire baptism and the Holy Ghost NOW more than we ever have in history.

HIS anointing is what will break those yokes of bondage and it is what allows believers to “live” out their faith, they have assurance, assurance that they have FELT that there truly is so much more than this world.

But I am sure it sounded scary for them when John preached it but as John was sent to prepare hearts of that time, and maybe it still sounds scary to those who have never surrendered to Him. But it is not painful but certainly can be felt, it is beautiful as God would never harm his children. 

I am sure all this and the apocalypse and earthy reign are all terrifying also to those we are being sent to this day. Never think it doesn’t scare me, something would be truly messed up if a person did not fear it but if you serve Christ, he doesn’t want you to be afraid, only READY. 

But refusing to tell them or to even acknowledge that all these events will and must come to pass is really not accomplishing anything.

And this is why Jesus warned us to pay close attention and not let these things come “upon us aware”

They are not getting saved, they are not being prepared, any ever question why so many repented under John?

Maybe because he actually DID preach things yet to come. We let so many things interfere with our responsibilities to Christ and to the kingdom.

So many mega churches packed with thousands and thousands of people and yet content NOT knowing whether or not these people have truly accepted Christ. Content that just by being there “it will sink in” and they will be saved, but what is it doesn’t just “sink in”.

What if they are taking for granted that since no one is saying otherwise they MUST be okay. Because if their souls was in danger, surely someone would say something, wouldn’t they? The Bible asks us a very good question, “HOW can they hear without a preacher?”

But our problem now is How can they repent if the preachers refuse to preach?

This REFUSAL to preach hell, brimstone, and repentance is what has brought us to the era of  “pagan palaces” that are calling themselves true churches of God and allowing absolute abominations to God in condoning, allowing, and outright celebrating practices that are anything but Godly.

We always want “the other guy” to say something, do something, stand for something and in the end NO ONE IS STANDING FOR ANYTHING. 

So with the LAST commission of the Gospel the Bible gives, we are ALL being told EXACTLY what we are to do.

Because just as he sent those before to lessen that fear and encourage them and warn them to salvation, as the bride of Christ we also are sent with a very clear message.

Let’s review it one more time, Revelation 22:17: “The Spirit AND the bride, say, COME. And LET him THAT HEARETH, say, COME. And LET him that is athirst (seeking), COME. And WHOSOEVER will LET him TAKE OF THE WATER OF LIFE FREELY.”

As far back as the fall of Adam, God has said “COME”, the Bible even says of Jesus, “the Lamb who was slain before  the foundations of the world”  deliverance and salvation are a constant thread through the Old Testament, in preparing the world for that reconciliation back to God in its truest sense.

Jesus encouraged ALL to come to him, The comforter was sent, so we KNOW the Spirit wants people saved. As the body of Christ, the bride of Christ, we had better want people saved.

Our voice individually and as a collective church body the world over, should be in unison with the Spirit, in our prayers and in beckoning COME. Notice also, it is not just one denomination, or group, or nationality.

To the best of my ability and understanding, in the Book of Revelation chapters two and three combined, seven times  in his message to the seven churches, Jesus tells us this, He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

This explains why often we hear a message and then hear a similar message somewhere else or on television, because we are ALL one church and it is ONE Spirit over us.

So with our verse, the Spirit is the first voice and joined with the bride have both given the invitation.

The second  group is those who have heard what the Spirit has said and they are also to “send out that wedding invitation” to tell them simply, COME. 

The third group is those who are seeking, maybe they have been “on the fence off the fence”, unsure as to what they really believe, but thirsty, desiring something that will give them refreshing relief, they are told to COME. Meaning seek no more, come will you may.

And the fourth group is a net that spans all of the earth, WHOSOEVER will, rich, poor, young, old, former pagan cult member, former atheist, WHOSOEVER

Anyone! Anyone who has chosen to believe and accept Christ and the water of life FREELY as the wedding bells begin to toll.

It is salvation, free and clear, point-blank. 

Next time, Lord will, part #3, we’ll look a little closer at that water, we’ll discuss the behavior expected form those invited and most importantly the wardrobe the King has  provided and commanded the guests to wear!

For complete series: Prepared Part #1 Preparing for the wedding of a King

Prepared Part #3 Would be wedding crashers washed inside out

Φλογίζω Σαλπίζω NB 2018 

 

End of the season….

“And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness.

Being forty days tempted of (tested by) the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing; and when they were ended, he afterward hungered (was hungry).

And the devil said unto him, IF thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread. And Jesus answered him saying, It is written, THAT MAN SHALL NOT LIVE BY BREAD ALONE, BUT BY EVERY WORD OF GOD.

And the devil taking him up into a high mountain, shewed unto him the all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power (authority) I will give thee, and the glory of them; for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will give it. IF thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me Satan: for it is written, THOU SHALT WORSHIP THE LORD THY GOD, AND HIM ONLY SHALT THOU SERVE.

And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, IF thou be the Son of God, cats thyself down from hence (here): For it is written, HE SHALL GIVE HIS ANGELS CHARGE OVER THEE, TO KEEP THEE: AND IN THEIR HANDS THEY SHALL BEAR THEE UP, LEST AT ANY TIME THOU DASH THY FOOT AGAINST A STONE. And Jesus answering said unto him, It is SAID, THOU SHALT NOT TEMPT THE LORD THY GOD. And when the devil had ended all the temptation (testing) HE DEPARTED FOR HIM, FOR A SEASON (until an OPPORTUNE TIME).” LUKE 4:1-13

We sometimes are too easily convinced that NO ONE endures the same freaky, bizarre battles that we suffer and allow the enemy and ourselves into pushing us right off the boat because we believe the lie that if we were “right” these things would not be happening. If you are going through something similar today, be encouraged, we are never alone.

So in our story, this is not JUST any one that is going through this! It is our Lord, our Savior, the beauty is that as we all know, or should know NO HUMAN can fight the devil. Jesus was full of the Holy Ghost and then LED by the Spirit to go into that wilderness, He could not take a buddy, He could not decline the offer, He had to go this one completely alone.

Of course having all power in heaven and earth HE COULD HAVE did anything He wanted but to be the example to us, this is what He did and as He walked that wilderness, alone, fasting, praying and BEING TESTED BY THE DEVIL FOR FORTY DAYS!  

We fight the most heated parts of our battles when we are physically the most weak, and sometimes the most emotionally drained, the enemy is not going to hit you the moment you come from a house shaking revival, full of fire, and new oil, he is a lot of things but unintelligent is  NOT one of those things. 

First he attacked Jesus’ identity, his first move is ALWAYS to try to get us to doubt or question our Identity in God, and there’s some symbolism in that, I think in the bread also that we can sometimes be weak, weary, and lured into accepting the wrong thoughts and doctrines as “food”  during the times of famishing, but Jesus just quickly came back with the word, that hunger is nothing, but the true bread of life, the word of God is the only truly satisfying meal.

The devil then tries to make Him an offer, all the POWER, all the Kingdoms, ALL he could ever desire, IF, he would worship him. Pretty hilarious right there, trying to “buy a man with his own money” and we know to not sell out your eternal riches for “A MOMENT IN TIME” as the devil tries to sell it.

Again Jesus cut him with that sword of the spirit, telling him to his face that HE KNEW who he was dealing with. Sometimes you just have to let the devil know that you are not playing his game, call it for what it is and don’t let him bluff you.

And then he makes ONE MORE ATTEMPT to try to get Jesus “to prove” Himself, He USES scripture. Ever had anyone twist scripture as an argument back to your Biblical reasoning against an argument they have against you or something the enemy is trying to test you with? You know, that in my thinking is really deadly territory, and I love this part, Jesus no longer stating “it is written” instead He used “IT IS SAID” because not only was it written but God had spoken it and was indeed speaking it AGAIN and there is nothing quite like that, when you think it in context of parent to child … I SAID… carries all the weight needed and the devil knew he was absolutely busted. 

There is no power in heaven or earth, nor will there ever be that has precedence over what He has spoken. And with that the devil fled.. but only for a season.

Some things do just keep coming, all those who came against Him during His ministry, but think of all that came to Him for salvation. We do go through battles in this world that relief is only for a season, and there is always going to be struggles we may never understand here but God uses all things we suffer through as an opportunity to shine His light on our lives and we can often look back after a trail and see what He has allowed to grow and be nurtured in us during those moments and in the end, even though some have went through terrible ordeals, probably not one of us would go back and change a thing IF changing it would have altered the outcome of bringing us to the Lord. We know satan thought he waged the final battle against Jesus at the cross, he thought in this opportune season, that he had won it all only to have Christ overcome death, hell and resurrect victoriously forever and ever.

We have to have those enemies to have that table prepared for us in their presence. If we were never crushed in spirit, how could He draw nigh? If we never shed a tear how could He wipe them away?

Maybe life would be all happy-go-lucky but we would not necessarily know the redemptive power of Jesus and we would not have that promise of eternal life, we would not need it if this one was so fabulous, without the need for hope, we would be most hopeless.

We know also in the following passage after our verses that “Jesus returned in the power of the spirit…” So I want to leave you with His word, when you feel like the enemy is dragging you under, quote this: HE SAID …

“My sheep HEAR my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I GIVE unto them eternal life: and THEY SHALL NEVER PERISH, neither shall any man pluck (snatch) them out of my hand.

MY FATHER which gave them me, IS GREATER THAN ALL; and NO MAN IS ABLE TO PLUCK THEM OUT OF MY FATHER’S HAND. I AND MY FATHER ARE ONE.” JOHN 10:27-30

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω  NBJ 2016

“Now I lay me down….”

Very familiar children’s prayer there, “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, and If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take. Amen”

Classic, many versions of it but still the same meaning. Even as children we are often painfully aware of the frailty of this life. And we seek that assurance from God, really more like NEED that assurance that even, heaven forbid death should come to call unbeknownst to us that even then we are covered by Jesus love and care.

As I always say, I was not raised in church, but God made sure I knew that prayer and knowing Jesus as I do now, I can never think back to those nights of laying there reciting that prayer, without a warmness in my heart and an awe of how sweet Jesus is toward us. We go through the same thing every night, I’d say it and then I’d start to list all my family, in order, and my pets, and then I’d get all hung up naming everyone else, and finally reach the conclusion of “could He please just Bless everybody, ALL the people and ALL the animals all over the WHOLE world.

This memory, along with many others, which unknown to me at the time of occurrences had actually been “divine appointments” along my path, came flooding back to mind after I was saved and I thought what an awesome God, to listen.. and listen.. and listen… as I was on and on, ever adding to my list of “and Bless.”

If anyone ever needs a character reveal concerning God and His willingness to listen and care about what we care about, just backtrack through the conversation between Him and Abraham, GENESIS 18:20-32 When God came and spoke to Abraham about the judgment coming upon Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham picked a number that if God could find such and such number would he spare them. Abraham kept lowering the numbers in hopes hat God would not destroy Sodom, his nephew Lot lived there and Abraham knew how bad it was but he still had to plead for Lot’s life, so God KNOWING the real question Abraham had, still patiently let Lot ask Him until he had the assurance he needed.

As with our prayer and the pleas of Abraham, we ALL need that assurance that somehow, no matter what our eyes see, or our ears hear, no matter the terror of the report and even if we are slain in the night, our reassurance rests in the eternal hands of a sovereign King, who still reigns and has victory over all we face or all we will ever face. 

And it is funny for me, not in the funny ha ha way, but funny in the oh how ironic way, that I could still have that same prayer and yet have the call to forewarn to repentance or face the unquestionably horrific judgment from that SAME God, that will one day cover the earth. How do you shine light in pitch darkness, how do you speak judgment tempered with unmerited, unwavering mercy? How do you proclaim that this way is rough but it will lead you home, because there is ONLY one way, out of the shadow of death in this life. There it is, our fear, our cause to stumble, the one thing, we as humans, get so hung up on, death. It is assured, as you are born, certainly you shall die, unless of course you are in the number who will be raptured, but to be effective and to be in those places of peace God wants us to walk in we must be willing to just embrace the walk on that path and know it really will be well in the end.

So I wanted to do this to maybe get you thinking about some of these things, as the “divine appointments” times I believe God steps in peoples lives, into their paths when they are lost, circumstances that once you are saved you will look back and KNOW that He was always there, always waiting and watching over your soul until the day that realization comes and you give your life to Him.

Tearing down the fear of death, breaking down the strongholds of the what-ifs, and the terror of the unknown is needed now more than ever because we live in a scary, scary world and I am so sorry to say, it is only going to get scarier and the only, ONLY peace we truly have is the peace of the Lord and it is imperative for this generation to find that peace, to embrace that peace.

We are praying and waiting for that last great harvest, but the reality is this, with much wisdom comes great sorrow, out of severe persecution comes signs, wonders, miracles and that great revival.

As we seek the last great harvest spoken of by the Prophet Joel, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on all flesh, we may need to also consider under what circumstances this will come and I’ll leave it at that for a moment.

Jesus said we must come to Him as a “little child”, I believe this means in the FAITH and ASSURANCE we have as childlike in Him, KNOWING as that little bedtime prayer states “if” we die before we “awake”, so our peace is knowing that either through the grave or through the rapture, we are covered. 

The world is scary but Jesus said that we are His, we are not of the world, He has kept us. So here is some food for thought. God has kept us; LAMENTATIONS 3:21-23: “THIS I recall to my mind, therefore have I HOPE, it is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.”

Facing real or perceived dangers, sickness, or persecutions, take comfort from the words of our “go to” guys Peter and Paul, who are examples of Christians sufferings and faith that moved mountains and the thoughts they left us with as their times approached, thoughts to persuade to fight for our calling in the Lord and run after those things God set before us in the knowledge that this life is temporal, just a vapor, to fight for our life eternal but to not fear and to have confidence in God through all things, even when that requires the laying down of this life.

2 PETER 10-16: “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fail (stumble):

For so an entrance shall be ministered (supplied) unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you in remembrance of THESE THINGS, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. Yea, I think it meet (fitting) as long as I am in this tabernacle (his body) to stir you up by putting you in remembrance:

Knowing that shortly I put off this my tabernacle ( that he would soon be executed) even as our Lord Jesus Christ has shewed me. Moreover I will endeavor that  ye may be able AFTER my decease to have these things ALWAYS in remembrance.

For we have NOT followed cunningly devised fables, when we made know unto you the POWER and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses to his majesty.” 

His last desire was that we all remain in remembrance and go forth for the kingdom, even in his writing, that us, AFTER his death, centuries later, WOULD be stirred by his words. We ARE stirred by his words.

Apostle Paul when his time drew near left us with astounding words for OUR day, 2 TIMOTHY 4:1-8 :

I CHARGE thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick (living) and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom.

PREACH THE WORD, BE INSTANT (ready) IN SEASON, OUT OF SEASON; REPROVE, REBUKE, EXHORT WTH ALL LONGSUFFERING AND DOCTRINE.

For the TIME WILL COME WHEN THE WILL NO LONGER ENDURE SOUND DOCTRINE (Gospel truth): but after their own lusts will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears ( chase after those who will tell them whatever they want to hear); And shall TURN THEIR EARS AWAY FROM THE TRUTH, and shall be turned unto fables (follow after lies and false doctrine).

But WATCH thou in all things, ENDURE AFFLICTIONS, do the work of an evangelist, MAKE FULL PROOF OF THY MINISTRY. For I AM NOW READY TO BE OFFERED, (his execution drew nigh) and THE TIME OF MY DEPARTURE (death) IS AT HAND.

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I HAVE KEPT THE FAITH. Henceforth there IS laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: AND NOT TO ME ONLY, BUT UNTO ALL THEM THAT LOVE HIS APPEARING.

As they took courage and boldness in laying themselves down, it is time for us to lay ourselves down, lay down the fear, lay down the rejections, and take that courage and childlike faith and lay down everything that hinders us in these last days.

 ISAIAH 33:15-20: ” UNTIL the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest. Then judgment (justice) shall dwell in the wilderness, and righteousness remain in the fruitful field.

And the WORK of righteousness SHALL BE PEACE; and THE EFFECT OF RIGHTEOUSNESS QUIETNESS AND ASSURANCE FOR EVER. And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure (safe) dwellings, and in quite resting places; When it shall hail, coming down on the forest; nd the city shall be low (brought low in humiliation) in a low place.

BLESSED ARE YE THAT SOW BESIDE ALL WATERS, that send forth thither the feet of the ox and the ass” 

That is our hope, even though the world will fall by judgment God gives us reassurance that all will be well, and our commission to sow His seed and sow every opportunity we have, in all areas, beside all waters and send those feet forward. 

So today, rest in that reassurance, lay down in His peace, knowing the ultimate promise of His reassurance, come what may, death, grave, or caught away, that trumpet will surely sound and these words throughout eternity WILL resound: 

REVELATION 11:15: “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, THE KINGDOMS OF THIS WORLD ARE BECOME THE KINGDOMS OF OUR LORD, AND OF HIS CHRIST; AND HE SHALL REIGN FOR EVER AND EVER.”       AMEN

Φλογίζω Σαλπιζω NBJ 2016

“DOWN TO THE WIRE…..” Prophets & Preachers WORD UP!

“And  now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with ALL BOLDNESS they may SPEAK THY WORD.” ACTS 4:29

That was Peter, praying as the disciples were being persecuted and threatened, he did not say, “Oh, sorry Lord, I can’t say that” and tuck tail and run. No he PRAYED FOR BOLDNESS. Not popularity, not bigger crowds, but BOLDNESS TO PREACH GOD’S WORD.

We’ve a wee problem going on right now. Seems courage has been lost, maybe it was never found. Our generation came up with a different church mindset, it is more about making the Gospel appeal to everyone. But Jesus said that if he is lifted up HE WILL draw all people unto Him. So we really don’t need to try to force the Gospel to be “appealing” and try to conform to the world in hope of converting the world.

Actually the world has  done a great job of converting the church. On the rise is a group of people who weld the Gospel sword in a church setting, as long as it sounds good, looks good and keeps the congregation in a realm of happy. But when they have a message that they KNOW is to be shared, they refuse to do so because of the fear of repercussion and the fear of maybe placing their own lives in peril for preaching those words.

I am sorry, bad news, can not stand before God and tell him that we were afraid and to be a coward will bring a cowards death, it will not extend your life and you should have read the fine print before taking the job, “whosoever seeks to save his life, shall lose it.” That we were afraid to speak HIS TRUTH as HE COMMANDED US.

That is the generational difference, generations of old sought the Gospel because they desired the Gospel. And many paid a hefty price, through persecution for that Gospel, but it was not watered down and it held the word of Life and the power of it was intense and so indwelling that one could risk life and limb for it.

More bad news, we are heading into the time of the persecution, the flood sent after the woman’s child, the church. And no one is going to stand through that if they can not stand in their own church and proclaim the truth. So now may be a good time for many to decide what they believe, what they will stand for and if it has not been for the necessity of the Gospel, now may be a good time to get out.

Does anyone really believe that the candy coats like “Ole Joelsteen” who will stand for nothing except standing for nothing, cheapening the Gospel to the level of condoning sin and outright lying against God by saying he will accept it into heaven, the money preachers, like “Markdown Mike” and “Ron Parsnip” and “Stu Munskey”are really going to stand against the forces of that persecution?

 What about the “prophets” who promise peace over people and nations, who are so far away from God, that they openly worship anything but him, and yet these prophets scream peace, peace, when there IS no peace, think they’ll risk their heads for those prophecies?

If you answer Yes to any of those questions, you really need to study a little more history and a lot more Bible. Lets check a prophet and then checkout what becomes of false prophets.

We’ll start with a “priest” badmouthing a real prophet because they so do not want to hear judgment and we’ll hear them telling him to stop it and just go away and do it somewhere else, and  then we’ll hear his answer.

AMOS 7:10-17 ” Then Amaziah,  the priest of Bethel sent to Jeroboam king of Israel, saying,  Amos hath CONSPIRED against thee in the house of Israel: the LAND is not able to bear (ENDURE) all his WORDS.

For thus Amos saith, Jeroboam shall die by the sword, and Israel shall surely be led away captive out of their own land. {Not what they wanted to hear}.

Also Amaziah said unto Amos, O, thou seer, GO, FLEE thee AWAY into the land of Judah, and there eat bread, AND PROPHESY THERE. but PROPHESY NOT AGAIN any more at Bethel, for it is the king’s chapel, and the king’s court. {He kinda forgot that it actually belonged to the Lord}

 Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was NO prophet, neither was I a prophet’s son; but I was a herdman, and a gatherer of sycomore fruit.

And the LORD TOOK ME as I followed the flock, and the LORD said unto me, GO,  PROPHESY UNTO THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL.  Now, therefore hear the word of the Lord: Thou sayest (you say), prophesy NOT against Israel, and drop NOT thy word against the house of Isaac. THEREFORE thus saith the LORD; Thy wife shall be a harlot in the city, and thy sons and thy daughters shall fall by the sword, and thy land shall be divided by line; and THOU SHALT DIE in a polluted land: and Israel shall surely go into captivity forth out of his land.

Trying to run him off really didn’t help them too much, what he was doing was NOT out of his own will, it was God’s will over his life and God’s will IS supreme

Now, we’ll go to a question God posed, as to why they did not want to know judgments, if someone is told what they are doing is wrong, they then have a chance to correct their behavior and repent. He also addresses the false prophets and the cause of the destruction’s.

MICAH 3:1-11:” And I said,  Hear, I pray you, O heads of Jacob, and ye princes of Israel, Is it not for you to know judgment (justice)?  Who HATE THE GOOD, and LOVE THE EVIL, who pluck off their skin from off them (my people), and their flesh from off their bones; Who also eat the flesh of my people, and flay their skin from off them, and they break their bones, and chop them in pieces, as for the pot, and flesh within the cauldron.

Then shall they cry unto the Lord, but he will not hear them he will even hide his face from them at that time, as they have behaved themselves ill in their doings (been evil).

Thus saith the Lord concerning the prophets THAT MAKE MY PEOPLE TO ERR, that bite with their teeth, and CRY,PEACE (all is well) and he that putteth not into their mouths ( gives them nothing), THEY MAKE WAR AGAINST HIM.

Therefore, NIGHT shall be unto you, that ye have not a vision; and it SHALL BE DARK unto you, that ye shall not divine; and THE SUN SHALL GO DOWN OVER THE PROPHETS, and THE DAY SHALL BE DARK OVER (for) THEM.

Then SHALL the SEERS BE ASHAMED, and the DIVINERS, CONFOUNDED (embarrassed) : yea, THEY SHALL ALL COVER THEIR LIPS (mouths); for THERE IS NO ANSWER OF (from) GOD.

But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the Lord, and of judgment (justice), and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin.  Hear this, I pray you, ye heads of the house of Jacob, and princes of the house of Israel, that abhor judgment (justice), and pervert equity.  They build up in Zion with blood, and Jerusalem with iniquity.

The heads thereof  judge for reward, and the PRIESTS thereof TEACH FOR HIRE (pay), and the PROPHETS DIVINE FOR MONEY: YET WILL THEY LEAN UPON THE LORD, AND SAY, (saying) IS NOT  THE LORD AMONG US? NONE (no) EVIL CAN COME UPON US.”

We know this also references our modern-day churches and it is truly eerie, THEY do all these things and still proclaim that God is with them and no evil shall come, but we see God’s thought on the subject and the justice He shall have.

The day is coming that there will be a separation and as He said judgment must begin at His house and we will see many, many who will cave to the pressure of the persecution but those who will stand, will need to be as Peter and the disciples when they PRAYED for that boldness, no one wants to be hated, no one wants to be threatened, but if you suffer persecution for the Gospel, you ARE BLESSED.

I do understand, God knows my multi based “fan club” ( I mean that with the utmost sarcasm)  but we have to be strong and be, as JESUS told us, “of a good courage”, knowing that your courage is NOT your own but it is HIS courage, that He will give you, so you can truly “do ALL things through Christ” who strengthens you.

He was persecuted and hated, the prophets were hated, the disciples were hated, those murdered through-out history for the Gospel, and those who are martyred even today were also hated, but they were bold and of good courage, they were brave for the WORD even when they didn’t feel very brave.

Why on earth would we be an exception to that rule? I am sure someone is going to be like, “Well, that is your risk, I AM NOT doing it”, well, don’t.

That is between you and God, but don’t be expecting Him to protect if you will not stand for Him.

Doesn’t quite work that way. And don’t think just because I am at a computer it changes my life, my job has barely begun and I am no exception to those rules, all my work is dated and in a specific order for a reason and this post is no exception.

We are down to the wire on it and you are going to have to have a plan for a worst case scenario and you can not hold back messages and warnings that God is putting in your heart that are for the ears of all believers that He has given you an audience with.

So what do we do? You can’t hide, you can’t run, and if you are smart you will not denounce your calling, we will need to put away all the jealousy, resentment, and our religious snobbery and truly be in one mind and one accord, of one heart, and one thought to see His kingdom come……… Now back to the Book of ACTS, revisiting our starting verse.

ACTS 4:29-33: ” And now, Lord, behold their threatenings; and grant unto THY SERVANTS, that with all boldness they may speak thy word.

BY STRETCHING FORTH THINE HAND TO HEAL; THAT THE SIGNS AND WONDERS MAY BE DONE BY (through) THE NAME OF THY HOLY CHILD JESUS.

And WHEN they had PRAYED, the PLACE WAS SHAKEN where they were assembled together; and THEY WERE ALL FILLED WITH THE HOLY GHOST, and they SPAKE THE WORD OF GOD WITH BOLDNESS.

And the multitude of them that BELIEVED WERE OF ONE HEART AND OF ONE SOUL: neither said ANY of them that ought (any) of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things in common.

And WITH GREAT POWER GAVE THE APOSTLES WITNESS OF THE RESURRECTION OF THE LORD JESUS: and GREAT GRACE WAS UPON THEM ALL.”

ROMANS 10: 14,15(a): “ HOW then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and HOW shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and HOW shall they hear without a preacher? And HOW shall they preach, except they be sent?

Preaching is for others to believe, to glorify God, to encourage of heaven and New Jerusalem, to exhort and to warn of sin and hell. Preaching is to lead others to the love and peace that is Christ and if you are unwilling to do that you only hinder the kingdom and those hindrances will soon cease.

Think about it! Peace and Love till next time!

Φλογιζω Σαλπιζω / Rev. Nina BrownJohnson / 2016