Thursday, May 13, 2010
"Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;" Hebrews 12:15
There was a documentary on the other night that showed an octopus stalking a crab. It would stealthily slither close to the crab and reach out one tentacle in an effort to grab the unsuspecting crustacean. After a few attempts, the creature finally managed to get a crab with one tentacle. In seconds the crab was caught by all eight tentacles and drawn towards the powerful jaws of the hunter.
Being unforgiving is like the one tentacle used by the octopus. Once grabbed, many other tentacles follow. Each has its own name; bitterness, wrath, anger, gossip, hatred, strife, and envy. Each one bears down and draws the victim ever closer to the hunter of men's souls. Many believers have been captured by that one tentacle only to be overwhelmed by them all. Once caught, escape by normal means is impossible. The prey is left with a life full of heartache, loneliness, and sorrow without deliverance.
Bitterness and an unforgiving spirit are like the roots of a sassafras tree. One lateral root can grow many smaller trees. A root of bitterness towards one person usually buds into bitterness towards many others. Soon, the offended individual is mad at the church, the pastor, the family, and maybe even God. What a terrible situation.
There is hope. Take the matter to the foot of the cross and leave it there. If not, it will strangle your effectiveness for Christ. Don't let that root produce anything else. Run from that one tentacle before they all grab you.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Loss of American Freedom
It is apparent that America is on a collision course for greater judgment. Like the Germans who voted in Hitler, it seems that a new dictator has been voted in by men too caught up with prosperity and such to discern the true intentions of the administration they voted for. We are currently under God's disciplining hand already, but things will only get worse. Whether the President is a Muslim, a socialist, puppet of a New World conspiracy willing to cede American rights, or all of the above, his recent actions show that he fears truth. Why else would you hide the cross when you give a speech at a Christian institution or fear the freedom of speech or the press. Hold on my friends! Focus, the anti-Christ is near and the angel's trumpet is about to sound!
Obama Swipes at Media, Says 'Information' Onslaught Pressuring 'Democracy' "Speaking at Hampton University in Virginia, the president raised alarms when he said "information becomes a distraction, a diversion" that is putting "pressure on our country and on our democracy." This is right out of Goebbels's playbook. Control the media so that you can only send your brand of poison.
Bill would allow states to veto offshore drilling Which keeps us dependant on foreign oil.
Israel and the Middle East
Monday, May 10, 2010
The book of Joel is one of the great books of prophecy found in the minor prophets. This seer understood that the judgment that Israel was facing in his day was directed by God to call the nation to repentance. Three judgments hit the land of Judah in succession. First, they were invaded by locusts that destroyed all of the crops and denuded the trees. After this a severe drought hit them. Finally, it appears that a fire ravaged anything that was left. Joel's message is simple--"If you think it is bad now, wait until the Day of the Lord!"
There is a lot of symbolism in this book that parallels America's current condition spiritually. Before I go on, please remember that the events Joel described were real and the last day's warnings are just as true and will take place imminently. Yet, the message of this prophet can clearly speak a message to us today! Here is some of that symbolism and what it speaks of our condition.
1. God sent the locusts. He used them in an effort to draw the people back to Him. Compare these judgments with His warnings in Deuteronomy 28. "All thy trees and fruit of thy land shall the locust consume." Dt. 28:42 God sends all judgment in a redemptive manner to draw us back to Him. Will we heed the warning judgment or shuffle off alone failing to repent and face further reprisals?
2. All that was green was destroyed. Green speaks of life and rest (Ps. 23:2), growth and fruitfulness (Luke 23:31, Ez. 17:24), and maturity (Job 15:31-32). Due to an invasion of spiritual locusts, few churches are seeing true life in Christ, very few are seeing actual growth (Members bouncing from church to church is not growth! It might make a pastor feel good, but it is not growth!), and few believers are pressing on to maturity.
3. The grain and drink offerings were cut off. These speak directly to the gospel. The grain makes bread and the drink offering was from wine. Few churches are actually preaching the true gospel message today. Rather, there is an emphasis on God, the great genii, who poofs blessings our way to make us happier in health, wealth, and prosperity. God isn't your heavenly bell-hop! You are his servant bought with a price you were not worth! All you deserve from Him is destruction, but in mercy and love He saved you by great grace in Christ! Time is short and he wishes you to be a servant He can trust in His field and not a whining baby crying for more milk!
4. The trees were stripped of their bark. Trees speak of the cross according to Acts 5:30 and 1 Peter 2:24. When was the last time you heard a message that proclaimed the importance of the blood of Jesus? Who preaches the cross and the power of a resurrected Savior? Many churches have denuded the cross and preach a message other than the truth. You had better listen to Paul's warning in Galatians for preaching anything other than Christ crucified, resurrected, glorified, and coming again. It is this message that the power of the Holy Ghost endorses.
5. The pomegranates were cut off. Pomegranates are a well known symbol of the law. It is said a pomegranate has 613 seeds which is the same number of OT laws. If you don't believe the laws of God are cut off, bring up divorce or homosexuality, among other topics, the next time you are with a group of people. Also, who walks in the law of love like the NT prescribes. Who always puts God first and their neighbor as themselves?
6. There was no oil. This is an easy one here. Does the Holy Spirit actually direct all of the affairs of the church today? If He did Christ alone would be exalted and not "gifted" speakers and innovative men directed programs. Signs and wonders and the gift of salvation always follow the Dove of Holiness!
7. The other fruit trees were cut off. Who walks in the fruit of the Spirit today? Who operates in Spirit led love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, temperance, and meekness?
8. The sheep and cattle suffer. How many churches are filled today with suffering, hurting members who are starving due to lack of personal commitment to Christ? Also, the ministry was not operating effectively due to the lack of the grain and drink offerings.
We are just where Paul told the Thessalonians we would be. "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;..." 2 Thessalonians 2:3 Spiritually, we are where Joel was too. Between a spiritual drought and the Tribulation. Thank God for the second chapter of Joel! Between these two events, God does a sovereign work. However, we need to do our part. What is our part?
•Rend your hearts and not your garments
•Sound the shofar for battle
•Tremble•Fast and pray
God bless and get to it!
Israel, the Middle East, and the Coming of Y'eshua!