Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Wisdom and Warning of God

THE WISDOM AND WARNING OF GOD

When Gen. Robert E. Lee approached Gettysburg and began to strategize that battle he was hindered in one very great way. The man assigned to provide intelligence had disappeared and Lee had to guess what the enemy was doing and where he was lining up his troops. Intelligence is primal in any battle, and the army which has the best intelligence has a significant advantage.

God has given us an advantage in this present world. We know who the enemy is and we are not ignorant of his devices. If we are willing to listen to God’s Word through the voice of the Spirit we will be prepared. And when we have the mind of Christ we know that we have not been given the spirit of fear. What will happen must happen, and God has told us what will happen. This entire world lies in the grip of the wicked one and in these end times he has unleashed his entire army of demonic forces.

Does that seem too much like Dungeons and Dragons for you? Does it sound like some kind of fairy tale or Greek myth? That is exactly what the enemy wants you to think. This is the war of all wars, and men’s souls hang in the balance. Melodramatic? Sensationalistic? Hyperbole? Oh no, regardless of what dramatic words any man can use they all fall embarrassingly short of the viciousness of this spiritual war. All of created history is driving toward a culmination which will astound the wise and bring to nothing the power of man.

The unseen boots march on. With a cunning honed from centuries these spirits of darkness have many ways to defeat and deceive the human race. They have infiltrated the church so that rare is the church that is even concerned about what is taking place, and even if that church mentions it, the lack of passion and crisis belies their words. If the church actually believed that Satan was using all his power to overrun the world right now would we not be gathering during the week in repentance and intercessory prayer? But our hearing is now dull and our eyes are now blind.

We have refused the divine intelligence given to us and we now use it for charts and graphs and to prove our orthodox eschatology. Who among us is diligently examining himself to see whether he is in fact in Christ? Who arrives at the Sunday gathering with tears streaming down his cheeks because some of those he loves are still outside the Ark? Who among is so consumed with the billions of lost souls around the world that he has lost the sense of hunger? Who among us so desires to be a part of the end times cause for Christ that he denies himself all kinds of luxuries or entertainment? And who among is so caught up with the coming glory of Christ’s appearance that he has lost all sense of desire for anything in this world? Our dry eyed and redundant religious expressions indict us before the world and our God.

The lethargy of the church, lip service notwithstanding, points accurately to only one thing. We no longer believe God and His Word. Instead we believe our cravings and lusts and the tepid and innocuous words that drip from the lips of hirelings. The stories, the jokes, the object lessons, the personal anecdotes, and all those carefully crafted messages soothe our flesh and provide contentment in the midst of a colossal tragedy. Of course there are times to laugh and times to teach, but where are the times to loudly sound the clarion call and warn sinners that the end is near and eternity looms large? In fact, do we even believe in eternity anymore? There is no sense of urgency and we are far from desperate.

Is this some kind of parallel universe in which we are living? Is it a fictional play we have constructed? Do we even hear what we say we believe? How can we chit-chat about how these could be the last days and go on about our business as usual? The Words of Scripture are ice breaker for religious conversations, but if we really believed them would we not have some sense of urgent compulsion? How can say we stand on the brink of eternity and yet love and embrace all that is temporal? Is it actually possible to know that your house is on fire and yet relax in your easy chair and watch the next television program? How can that be?

This is no game of pin the tail on the antichrist. This is the culmination of all things. We do not have the luxury that other generations thought they had, and in fact many who came before us were much more concerned even though Israel had not yet been reformed. What would they think of us now? But all this reveals the strength and depth of the demonic deception that has shrouded the church. Urgency? Please. Desperation? Even we cannot lie to ourselves. We are complacent and consumed with ourselves and this present world. It is quite a spectacle to listen to believers claim that the end is near and yet live as if there is no God. That is a colossal feat of hypocrisy that must amaze the angels.

It is time to awake and repent! Do not wait for the church to sound the alarm. Do not watch and see what others do. Look to Christ and open your hearts to the voice of the Spirit. Read again the precious Scriptures and receive them as transforming truths. Bring your mind and body under subjection to Christ and do not be afraid to appear as fanatical and out of touch with the evangelical mainstream. This is not a time for placidity or conservative perspectives. This is a time for bold personal changes which authenticate your commitment to Christ and His Word.

Stand back and watch how people come to church. Listen to what they speak about. Look around and see how they embrace the redundant and how everyone desires to be blessed but are content with a several sentence congregational prayer. Watch how they file out unchanged and unchallenged at all, only to return again next week in the same condition. And watch how the preacher seems ambivalent even in the face of such spiritual lethargy and such a mixed multitude. Notice the absence of tears or any sense of crisis. And then realize that you and I were once among them and walked in that same deception. Finney once remarked that when a preacher would deliver a message of warning and eternal consequences, and then smile and shake hands afterwards, it is as if he just played a part in a play and was receiving the congratulations of the audience. Today you may be hard pressed to hear such a message, but the smiling and hand shaking is now part and parcel of every service.

We live in dire circumstances. And listen to what concerns professing believers. The fiscal cliff? Gas prices? Gay marriage? Unemployment? Elections? But who calls another believer and breathlessly shares a concern for the coming judgment? Who weeps at all except when their dog dies? What kind of falsehood are we practicing? Brothers and sisters, the time is not coming; the time is now. Let us repent of our ways and turn wholly to Christ.

Eph.5: 14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.
15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,
16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

While we sleep walk in the temporal, the unseen world is teeming with spiritual activity. Our eyes and hearts are fixated on this world while the world to come will soon replace that which is seen. I realize it seems so melodramatic, but this reality must give way to the reality of eternity. The kingdoms of this world will soon become the kingdoms of our God and of His Christ. Words like this come from fools like me and the wise of this world mock such things.

But soon the very integrity of the Words of Christ will be revealed in a reality far more tangible that anything we have ever seen or experienced. When the true church is removed, and the events begin to tumble like so many dominos, the inhabitants of this world will experience fear and panic on a supernatural level. Men will beg for death and not find it. And then, at the very moment of complete chaos and comprehensive violence, Christ will appear. And it seems as if we will return with Him.

Oh my…oh my!!! I will return with Him whose face shines as the Sun itself? Redeemed and safely in His arms, we will come back to this world drenched in His everlasting glory. Yes it seems so unearthly and so mysterious and so beyond our imaginations, but so was the virgin birth and the cross and the resurrection. It is all too wonderful for human minds, much less human words. If you are reading this and you have never believed in Jesus, I exhort you, I beg you, consider His own claims. And if you do know Christ, I exhort you to reexamine your own spiritual walk, renounce this world and the hidden things of darkness, and prepare your heart and soul for His return.

Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

And His reward is with Him. Selah.

This is the wisdom (intelligence) that is from above. Do with it what you will.

8 comments:

Lori T. said...

My friend once had a vision of this huge horrid demon with a little church house in its arms. What was it doing? Rocking it to sleep! We need to understand that there is a spirit of slumber (among many spirits) over much of the church and we need to intercede on their behalf. (spiritual warfare paying)

Those who are awake are only so because the Lord has awaken them.

Steve said...

I'll add in confirmation the word God has been speaking to my heart: intense spiritual WAR. And the picture of the Church, deep sleep.

Amen to Lori's observation: we who are awake must praise Him fervently for that. "It is the Lord's doing, and marvelous in our eyes."

In His great mercy, He may yet awaken others. Praying daily and earnestly.

In Jesus, Steve

Cherie c. said...

Ready, Willing, Able to be a fool in the eyes of this world for the intelligence (Wisdom) from above. My prayer is that the world never see me as one of their own. So far, so good. Divorce is threatened unless I repent of my repentance. Guess I'm getting divorced. Yes, the so called Christian in my life wants to divorce me for not partaking in Pagan rituals like Christmas. Yes, gives me grief for giving to those in need. Tries to prohibit me from reading the Word of God. Prefers Tebow Christianity to that which is doctrine in Scripture. Says curse words are okay because they are not specifically mentioned in the Bible. This is what the church system is allowing and teaching. NO where does this Christian think that he is a sinner or in need of repentance. But will sit and compare how good he is to how bad Tiger Woods is. Calls me evil because I do not want to shame Jesus with pagan idolatry. Complains about his 63k job everyday while millions are unemployed and others are starving. Will not listen to the Wisdom and Warning of God. But I am to love him, submit to him, and pray for him. All of which I do and at times hate it too. I am nothing special and DO NOT feel sorry for me. This is how it is supposed to be. Just trying, and at least twice or more a week fail at it, but Christ commands us to endure to the end, and I struggle everyday to that end.

With fear and trembling I look for the Lord, and fight to serve Him. May God have mercy on all who profess and do not possess Jesus Christ. May we all repent everyday, may we all heed the Wisdom and Warning of God. Pray without ceasing. Take up our cross and Glory in His.

Cherie c. said...

Believe it or not Spiritual war starts in our homes. Sad, but true. The Bible says that betrayal will happen by those who are closest to us. I see God's Word of Truth come to life everyday. The closer to the end, the more we need to be closer to Jesus, closer to true brothers and sisters of the Faith. I long, as Paul longed to see his brethren, I too long to meet mine. How many of us can answer the words of Isaiah, "who has believed our report?"

Isaiah 53:1
Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the LORD revealed? If it is any of you, speak up!

Will Jesus find any Faith when He returns? Is there true People of the Faith before His return? My heart aches to know.

Anonymous said...

Hello Cherie, thanks for sharing your details - I too am in a similar situation. I guess many genuine believers are enduring the same circumstance. Just continue to pray and live out what God has revealed to you.

Anonymous said...

My dear sister in Christ Cherie, I live in Australia, but never-the-less I share your burden and your fight. The Lord said that His Word is a two-edged sword (cuts and divides)and that is what has happened to my family because of my love for my Saviour, Jesus Christ. Satan attacks me (and all who love Christ)ferociously every day, but remember, the fight is not ours but the Lord's and he has already won the victory at Calvary's cross. Where once the things of the world were so important to me, even as a child of the Redeemer, I now detest them and can think only of His soon return. I'll pray for you, and those whom you love.

Cherie c. said...

To my Anonymous brethren in the Lord, Thank you for your encouraging words, it helps, really helps. Please know you are not strangers, but family as I too wait, sometimes impatiently, in fear and longing for the Lord to return.

I do have a Praise report, my younger son has taken down off the wall of his bedroom a satanic flag, and I am so grateful to the Lord for answered prayer. I discovered I was doing it all wrong in this area, and like you sister from Australia, it is the Lord's battle. All I am to do is take it to the Lord in prayer. Jesus said to His disciples that some things need fasting with prayer, and I have found that to be true. So I do it as often as the Spirit leads. God is so wonderful to me even in the midst of despair. I dream of the perfect Godly family, but the reality is that it doesn't happen that way. Blessed are husbands and wives who's family is that way, I give all the Glory to God. Those families are one of our foundation in the Faith.

I am meeting and being blessed by sweet brothers and sisters in the Lord, I hope you know how important this blog has become Pastor Rick, and thank God for it.

It would be a blessing to keep in touch with my brothers and sisters in the Lord.

Cherie c.

Chris Baumgart said...

Matthew 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. -if you look for God he will find you... Then set the fire beneath you to bring the dross up and out. Fine gold you become in his sight. As I grow in Christ I find spiritual battles at almost every front in my relationships. I feel vulnerable to a point that I personally have little power to overcome certain situations and here is where I put my confidence in Christ. Stay true to Him, pray always. The Holy Spirit dwells within and great He is. He will set the tone for what passes before you and if it hurts hold tight to your faith. Because believe it or not, you are changing. Our hearts are much harder than we think, our pride is such a stumbling block to receiving the good things from above. The cross you bear does have weight... Let's not fool ourselves, tears clean the soul. Death brings life. Charles Finney also said, pray big. God wants you to prove him in this, in meeting your needs...as you press the Kingdom forward to give light to the darkness.--- know this, demonic strongholds are found in the minds of men and women, this may be in a household, a community, a region, or even a whole country. These minds are believing a Lie. This Lie must be broken. The Light of Christ reveals the truth through the power of the Holy Spirit. You are Christs standard where you are. Pray. And learn to do your best displaying Gods Love, but do not shy away from speaking or doing what God may tell you to do... In the boldness and courage of Jesus Christ.