Looking into the Future

 

The following is from a prophetic friend and I wanted to share it with those who read my blog.

The following words represent the sensing of my spirit by way of describing the current state of affairs in both the civil government of nations as well as God’s Kingdom Government on earth among His Body and Bride. Some of this prophetic information will be extremely provocative.  Please remember, however, that these are truly the end-times and there will be no historical relevance or purpose in judging what is to come by using what has occurred in past except as the Word (the Logos) reveals Itself further for our understanding.

In the world that we live in today, civil governments have obviously been aligned in purpose and dominion insofar as creating a one world government.  The pendulum has swung so far left-of-center (Satan’s path) that without the sovereign action of God through President Donald Trump, the end would have come too soon – the end would have come before the final harvest has had an opportunity to manifest. Now, God is not only slowing down the one world government forces, He is also decoupling nations and throwing them into chaos as a means of creating two outcomes.

Outcome #1, God is slowing down the momentum of the antichrist much like the scattering of the Tower of Babel. The scattering of former alliances will bring chaos, and chaos will lead to a search for answers – with Jesus being the only one and true answer. Then, this process will lead to Outcome #2 which is the deconstruction of the enemy’s plans such that the antichrist forces will be set back as the pendulum moves back to the right-of-center (God’s path).  While America will remain safe, she is going to be fighting for her life with new allied forces including these formerly pagan nations of India, Southeast Asia and the former Eastern Block of nations. Israel will always be our closest ally, and she will face new enemies who will become future leaders of the antichrist when it resurfaces later after the harvest. Do not be surprised to find that the outpouring and the harvest will be most prevalent in other nations (involving China and India) and NOT America. While America is kept safe as a sign of security to/for Israel, America will also become even more ambivalent and decadent. America is not hungry, and she will suffer later when “the roll is called up yonder.”  If it were not for The Remnant, there would be no America because God would not save a nation who has been so blessed and fortunate yet pokes Him in the eye whenever she has an opportunity. But, America was established for Israel and God’s purposes by men of Jewish faith (the Jew named Christopher Columbus and his sea-worthy crew of sailors).

As for God’s Kingdom Government on the earth, the march toward “one new man” will become something like the charismatic movement of the 1980’s except that the “one new man” is not a movement — it is God’s final calling of the Bride of Jesus unto Himself by reconciling the Old Testament with the New Testament. This reconciliation will move forward without interruption until Christ returns. The Body of Christ is presently, and very generally, split into three groups – Catholics, Protestants, and The Remnant (the “one new man”).  A return to the early church will not be possible within the confines and pagan boundaries established by the Roman Catholic Church or the Protestant denominations who have only placed bandages and pharmacy prescriptions, so to speak, upon the break-away rebellion that led to a total redefinition of God’s Word, God’s calendar, and God’s intent in 325 A.D. The Remnant, the “one new man”, is the final collection of the true Bride of Christ comprised of Jews and Gentiles who know the times and the seasons – and the season is NOW, and the time is SHORT.

Summarizing briefly, look for God to use (1) the “one new man” churches to establish the face of apostolic control over the harvest-to-come as He implements the harvest processes through the five-fold ministries of the “one new man” (early church) Kingdom Government. However, in spiritual concert with those churches, do not be surprised to learn that (2) the vast majority of the Kingdom leadership will emanate from the quiet and unseen locations of their apartments, their homes, their workplaces, and their homeless shelters.  While their names will never be written in any earthly book of Church history – they will be of the highest calling (true servants) with the largest mansions in Heaven one day. Remember, God almost always chooses the least likely people to lead His teams of servants.  This will likely become even more pronounced as the “one new man” goes underground.

Next month — the answer to the question of, “What is “one new man?”

Why I Don’t Celebrate Christmas

Christmas is a hugely popular holiday celebrated by some 2 billion people worldwide. Even people in nations with little or no Christian history or tradition (Including China) are celebrating it in increasing numbers.

Christmas is so big that it plays a key role in the economies of many nations.

Why would anyone not want to celebrate Christmas like nearly everybody else?

1. Jesus wasn’t born on or near December 25.

Remember those shepherds who were “living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night”? (Luke 2:8). December weather around Bethlehem is often miserably cold, wet and rainy. No shepherd in his right mind would have kept his flocks outside at night at that time of year!

As an aside, the flocks raised near Bethlehem, which was near Jerusalem, were for sacrifice at the Jerusalem temple. Jesus, the Lamb of God sacrificed for mankind, was born in a manger at the city where the sacrificial lambs were raised.

The Complete Book of American Holidays tells us that Luke’s account of Christ’s birth “suggests that Jesus may have been born in summer or early fall. Since December is cold and rainy in Judea, it is likely the shepherds would have sought shelter for their flocks at night” (p. 309) rather than keeping them outdoors.

Also, Luke 2:1-4 tells us that Jesus was born in Bethlehem because his parents came to that town to register in a Roman census. The Romans were well known as highly efficient administrators. It would have made no sense to have conducted a census in the dead of winter, when temperatures often dropped below freezing and traveling was difficult due to poor road conditions. Taking a census under such conditions would have been self-defeating!

2. The Christmas holiday is largely a recycled pagan celebration.

Consider the customs associated with Christmas. What do decorated evergreen trees, holly, mistletoe, yule logs, a jolly plump man in a fur-lined red suit, sleighs and flying reindeer have to do with the birth of Jesus Christ?

None of these things have anything to do with Him, but they have a lot to do with ancient pagan festivals.

How did December 25 come to be assigned as the supposed date of Jesus Christ’s birth? It is believed that the emperor Constantine adhered to Mithraism, a worship of the sun, up to the time of his conversion to Christianity. He was probably instrumental in seeing that the major feast of his old religion was carried over to his new faith” ( The Christmas Almanac, 1979, p. 17).

It’s difficult to determine the first time anyone celebrated Dec. 25 as Christmas, but historians generally agree that it was sometime during the fourth century—some 300 years after Christ’s death. And then a contrived date was chosen because it was already a popular pagan holiday celebrating the birth of the sun god!

Similarly, virtually all of the customs associated with Christmas are recycled from ancient pagan festivals honoring other gods.

3. God condemns using pagan customs to worship Him.

Since Christmas is supposedly a day to worship and celebrate God the Father and Jesus Christ, wouldn’t it be a good idea to look into the Bible to see what it says about how we should worship God?

The answer is quite clear. God gives specific instruction about using pagan practices to worship Him. Notice what He says in Deuteronomy 12:30-31a (NIV) “and after they have been destroyed before you, be careful not to be ensnared by inquiring about their gods, saying, “How do these nations serve their gods? We will do the same.” 31 You must not worship the Lord your God in their way, because in worshiping their gods, they do all kinds of detestable things the Lord hates”.

And lest some think this is simply an Old Testament command that no longer applies, the apostle Paul makes the same point in 2 Corinthians 6, where he addresses whether unbiblical religious customs and practices have any place in the worship of God’s people:

The apostle Paul told them in no uncertain terms to leave behind all these forms of worship and worship God in true holiness as He commands. Jesus likewise said His true followers “must worship Him in spirit and truth” (John 4:24)—not revel in recycled pagan customs and symbolism.

4. Christmas is worshiping God in vain.

Since Christmas is a jumble of ancient pagan customs invented by men, and a holiday found nowhere in the Bible, does God honor or accept such worship?

Jesus provides the answer in His stern rebuke of the religious teachers of His day, men who had substituted human traditions and teachings for God’s divine truths and commands: “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites . . . ‘in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ . . . All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition” (Mark 7:6-9).

In the 17th century Christmas was actually outlawed in England and some parts of the American colonies because of its unbiblical and pagan origins.

5. You can’t put Christ back into something He was never in.Putting Christ back in Christmas may sound like a nice sentiment, but it’s really only a misguided effort to try to justify a long-standing human tradition rather than what the Bible tells us we should do.

6. The Bible nowhere tells us to observe a holiday celebrating Jesus Christ’s birth—but it clearly does tell us to commemorate His death.

Notice what the apostle Paul, conveying the instructions of Jesus Himself, tells Christians: “For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you: that the Lord Jesus on the same night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, ‘Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.’

“In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, ‘This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.’ For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes . . . Let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup” (1 Corinthians 11:23-28).

And yes, many believers do what they consider a form of this today in taking communion or “the Lord’s supper.” They fail to realize, however, the full significance of these acts, or that what Paul is actually describing here is the Passover — which is what Jesus Himself called this observance (Matthew 26:18-19; Mark 14:14-16; Luke 22:8-13, 15).

The point is: Jesus expected His followers to commemorate His death – not His birth – by observing the Passover.

I’ve given you my reasons for not celebrating Christmas. What do you suppose God thinks of your reasons for continuing to observe it?

Other resources:

Santa-tizing: What’s wrong with Christmas and how to clean it up by Robin Main. Heavily documented from Scripture and ancient history.

Post on Nov 25, 2006 by Scott Ashley. The Top 10 Reasons Why I Don’t Celebrate Christmas. Edited for brevity.

When Was Jesus Really Born? Jonathan Cahn on the Jim Bakker Show.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptlsXtTf6n0

The Impact of Words

It is so easy to impulsively say what I think, and later regret the impression I left.. There is much in the Bible that urges God’s children to be in charge of their words. Sometimes just stating a fact can be a strong influence for harm and would be better left unspoken.

Conversely, we have all probably been victims of someone else’s impulsive words. We know how it hurts to be wrongly spoken of. So why is it so easy to speak quickly and regret in leisure?

Proverbs 18:21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.

Perhaps part of the reason for impulsive words is that we want to fill an empty moment. Why not practice speaking blessings? It isn’t necessary to sound like a Pollyanna to make a positive comment.

Even in one’s silent thoughts it is important to “think” positively. One can curse oneself by focusing on failures or instances where “I wish I could have done better”. But when I constantly direct my mind to kind thoughts and ideas, that’s most likely what will come out of my mouth.

Breaking bad habits takes patience and persistence. But it is important, with the help of the precious Holy Spirit, to begin to bear His fruit. In your quiet time, spend time meditating on the positive qualities you observe in others – or wish you could in yourself. Then, speak those thoughts to bless and encourage others. Let peace be the atmosphere you bring with you when you meet others for conversation.

Speak blessings:

Matthew 5:44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,

Luke 6:28 …bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.

Luke 6:45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

Romans 12:14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.

James 3:10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.

Genesis 12:3 I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

Numbers 24:9b “Blessed is he who blesses you, And cursed is he who curses you.”

Deuteronomy 28 (NIV) Blessings for Obedience

1 If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. 2 All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lord your God:

3 You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country.

4 The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.

5 Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed.

6 You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.

7 The Lord will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven.

8 The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you.

9 The Lord will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the Lord your God and walk in obedience to him. 10 Then all the peoples on earth will see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they will fear you.

11 The Lord will grant you abundant prosperity—in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground—in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you.

12 The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none.

13 The Lord will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the Lord your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom.

14 Do not turn aside from any of the commands I give you today, to the right or to the left, following other gods and serving them.

 

Fruit of the Spirit

Last week’s post spoke of what grafting meant. Only with grafting can a sprout produce consistent, high-quality fruit.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering (patience), gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness (humility), and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23)

The Greek word translated “fruit” refers to the natural product of a living thing. Paul used “fruit” to help us understand the character of the Holy Spirit, who lives inside every believer. The fruit of the Spirit is produced by the Spirit, not by the Christian. The Greek word is singular, showing that “fruit” is a unified whole, not independent characteristics. As we grow, all the characteristics of Christ will be manifested in our lives.

Yet, just as physical fruit needs time to grow, the fruit of the Spirit will not ripen in our lives overnight. As successful gardeners must battle against weeds and insects to enjoy the sweet fruit they desire, we must constantly work to rid our lives of the “weeds” of our old sin nature that want to choke out the work of the Spirit.

The Holy Spirit gives us the power we need to crucify the old sin nature. We can say “no” to sin and accept the “way out” God faithfully provides (1 Corinthians 10:13) by following the Holy Spirit’s leading.

As we give the Spirit more control of our lives, He begins to do in and through us what only He can do – to shape us and grow us to look more like Jesus (2 Corinthians 3:17-18).

Since God’s goal for all His children is for us to be like Jesus (Romans 8:29), the Holy Spirit constantly works to eliminate the “acts of the sinful nature” (Gal 5:19) and display His fruit instead. Therefore, the presence of the “fruit of the Spirit” is evidence that our character is becoming more like Jesus’.

The word “Spirit” is spelled with a capital “S” which means these nine traits are coming directly from the Holy Spirit, not from ourselves. It is not the result of any effort anyone can make. Not the effort to have faith or to be loving and kind. The fruit of the Spirit has nothing directly to do with any exertion a believer can make.

The fruit of the Spirit is the natural result of the presence of the Holy Spirit residing in a believer. Philippians 2:13 says, “for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” Conversely, Isaiah 64:6 says, “all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment…” In and of ourselves, we cannot do good. As Hebrews 13:20-21 says, “Now may the God of peace … equip you with everything good that you may do His will.” God accomplishes this as the Holy Spirit indwells believers, changing their character (Philippians 1:6) and manifesting His character.

The most important concept regarding the fruit of the Spirit is that it is the Spirit’s fruit. We are often admonished to be more loving, to have joy, or to be kind, but without the power of the Holy Spirit in us we can’t. It is the Holy Spirit who gives love (1 John 4:7), joy (1 Thessalonians 1:6), peace (Romans 8:6), patience (Colossians 1:11), gentleness (2 Corinthians 10:1), goodness (2 Thessalonians 1:11), faith (Ephesians 2:8-9), humility (James 4:6), and self-control (2 Peter 1:6). Here’s another thought: the precious Holy Spirit is far more than the nine fruit named in Galatians 22. He is also integrity, wisdom, steadfastness. He is an infinite resource of everything we need and hunger for.

As our graft sends out tiny root hairs to drink deeply of the sweet nourishment of the root-stock we grow and are strengthened and begin to blossom and the character of the Holy One can be detected. How gentle and long-suffering He is with His wild shoots grafted in to the root-stock of Jesus.