Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Big Picture

When we read the Bible as a book, take it as a whole, we can see that its message is cohesive. It is brilliantly tied together. From Genesis to Revelation, God, and His nature, is revealed. He tells us emphatically what He will tolerate and what is offensive to Him. He gives us multiple examples of both His abiding love and His unwavering holiness, and He tells us His intent is to motivate us to the obedience of faith.

I know that many like to focus on one Scripture, taking it apart, and expounding on its individual meaning. However, there is a danger in separating out Scripture from its context, and from the whole. People make serious mistakes by that practice, because Scripture was meant to taken together, to be looked at and understood as the pieces of a larger puzzle.

Now, God did this on purpose. He wanted us to study to know Him, to seek Him with diligence. He also wanted to keep those who were not earnest from knowing or understanding. Interpreting His word was never meant to be easy. It was meant to be work, taking both effort and dedicated submission. When we are more dedicated to forming God’s word to suit our desires than understanding what He is saying to us, we may sound like we know what we are saying; but we are more like clanging cymbals – keeping those who would know from knowing by our own arrogance and pride.

When the Lord called me, He taught me. He showed me the “big picture”. I have shared pieces of it, thinking the overall message too much for those whose ears have been deafened by those clanging cymbals. Here I’m going to share that big picture. I encourage you to look at the whole. These are not conflicting Scriptures, but pieces of the puzzle. They fit together and they are completely inline with the nature of God. I pray eyes will be opened and ears unstopped. We begin with Jeremiah, because that where the Lord put me when He called me.

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as prophet to the nations." -- Jer 1:5

Only God creates. Here He informs Jeremiah that having made him, God had the right to call him into service. Just so, each child is created, meaning that it is God who gives them form and life, and God that has dominion over that life. Therefore, every time a child is aborted, God’s authority -- over His own creation -- is treated with insolent contempt.

The Lord said, "What have you done? Listen! Your brother's blood cries out to Me from the ground." -- Gen 4:10

We think by killing the helpless that we have somehow eliminated a problem; but, if that person is innocent, what we have really done is profoundly magnify their voice unto the Lord. Just like Abel, Yeshua hears the cries of every innocent killed – every preborn babe, every handicapped, every elderly, etc.

The Lord was very angry with Cain for killing Abel. He was very clear that His call on Jeremiah’s life began even before conception. And He warned the Israelites clearly:

“Do this so that innocent blood will not be shed in your land . . . so that you will not be guilty of bloodshed.” – Deu 19:10

God made it very clear that the Israelites did not actually have to kill to be held guilty. No, all they had to do was ignore the shedding of innocent blood. Now, if this law has been rescinded by grace, then we have nothing to worry about.

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” – Mat 5:17

Now here’s the thing: the admonition to protect the innocent is not a ceremonial law, negated by the sacrifice of Christ; but rather, an extension of the original commandment to not commit murder (Exo 20:13). Literally, we are commanded to not take the lives of those who have committed no offense worthy of death.

Jeremiah was called to speak to a nation whose religious leaders kept telling the people that God was not angry with them. He told them the truth, but the people loved their leaders so much that they could not and/or would not hear Jeremiah. Almost up to the moment Jerusalem was overthrown, the people and their leaders continued to ignore Jeremiah's warnings. They reasoned that God could not be mad at them, because they were His chosen people. Yet, the Scriptures tell us that God most certainly was angry. The second chapter of Jeremiah is full of God’s complaint against them. Let us look at three primary passages:

“My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken Me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.” – Jer 2:13

Israel had chosen to worship and follow idols, a worship that called for the sacrifice of innocent children. They had traded the one true God for worthless images and allowed their children to be brutally murdered in tribute to them. Now, before you think that this is not America’s sin, I invite you consider the way we idolize the rich and famous, and justify our pursuit of pleasure and wealth. Are not the children killed for convenience’ sake? Do we not regard our “right to choice” higher than their innocent lives? Absolutely! And as such, we are just like ancient Israel.

The broken cisterns that Israel chose were carved pieces of stone and wood. Ours are ordinary men and women, money, fame, etc. Israel also loved the immorality that came with their foreign gods. Today, immorality is sold as something no one can do without. Quite literally, the children are killed because immorality is considered to be of so much more value than their innocent lives.

“Your wickedness will punish you; your backsliding will rebuke you. Consider then and realize how evil and bitter it is for you when you forsake the Lord your God and have no awe of Me,” declares the Lord, the Lord Almighty. – Jer 2:19

Israel had ceased to fear God. Even though He warned them and disciplined them repeatedly, they considered His patience to be unending. Today, many see the mercy of the cross in much the same way, as a license to sin. Israel disrespected God’s holiness. So do we. They did not have the sense to be in awe of Him. Neither do we.

“On your clothes men find the lifeblood of the innocent poor, though you did not catch them breaking in. Yet, in spite of all this you say, ‘I am innocent; He is not angry with me.’ But I WILL PASS JUDGMENT on you, because you say, ‘I have not sinned’.” – Jer 2:34-35.

The innocent blood that covered the ancients is no different than the innocent blood our nation is awash in today. The children offered to ancient Israel’s gods were no guiltier of any crime than the ones we slaughter today. And what do we say to God? Just like Israel: that we are innocent of any crime!

Please understand: God does not expect those who do not belong to Him to be concerned with the things of His heart. Therefore, He is not looking for them to come to the aid of helpless. However, He does expect those who do belong to Him have regard for them, because we are to reflect Him to the world. Literally, when we, who claim to belong to God, fail to regard the things of God, we leave those things to those who do not, by their very nature, regard the things of God. To be sure there are those who do not believe who do consider the children, but it is to our disgrace for the ambassadors of the King are the ones who should be about His work. 

Ancient Israel’s priests considered their standing more important than teaching the truth of God’s word. It is easy to see that in the Scripture, but few realize that this is exactly what prompted many to keep the truth of abortion quiet. Because abortion is such a political “hot potato”, teaching the truth of it could result in the loss of a church’s tax-exempt status. Some were actually threatened with just that. And that loss, should a teacher pursue the subject, could then result in an end to the teacher’s position in the church. Some even used the excuse that teaching salvation was all they were called to do, anyway. And yet, when we look at the life of Christ, we do not see that He concerned Himself with salvation only.

Then He went up and touched the coffin, and those carrying it stood still. He said, “Young man, I say to you get up!” The dead man sat up and began to talk, and Yeshua gave him back to his mother. – Luk 7:14-15

Now, some will say that by this action, He also drew people to Himself. However, the same argument can be made for reaching those abortion bound, because to offer them the truth of God’s word is to offer them Christ.

The lack of regard for the children’s lives has led to an even stronger lack of regard for life – which now includes the infirmed, the handicapped, the elderly, and those considered to have a low “quality” of life – where “quality” is, of course, determined by someone other than those to be murdered. In short, our refusal to live by God’s life-giving laws has resulted in a ferociously zealous anti-life society.

When the Lord called me, He said I would be like Jeremiah "crying out to a people who would not listen". Like the priests of Jeremiah’s day, the preferred leaders of this day also teach that "God is not angry". Like Israel many see themselves as God’s chosen people. The Israelites did not stop to think that being holy, and completely supreme; God was able to raise up another people to be His. Today, many show the same arrogance by thinking that there will be no judgment for their lack of obedience, either.

Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. – Jam 1:33

Many see the acceptance of Christ’s sacrifice as enabling them to continue in their sin, as long as they repent of it later. Paul tells us clearly that this is not the way we should live.

What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ were baptized into His death? We were, therefore, buried with Him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we, too, may live a new life. – Rom 6:1-4

Further, the Lord tells us clearly that if we are truly His, obedience will be our goal. Look carefully at John:

If you love Me, you will obey what I command. – Joh 14:15

No wiggle room here. It’s either one or the other. We love Him or we don’t, and that reality will be reflected in our lives. The Lord explains the consequences of choosing disobedience in Matthew:

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father in heaven.” – Mat 7:21

Notice that it says “but ONLY he who does the will of My Father”. Understand, it does not mean that we will be perfect, but it does mean that we will be committed to striving for perfection – that our reverence for Him will be reflected in our lives. (Please do not think this means we are saved by our actions. That is another lie of the devil. IF we are saved, it is by grace and that salvation will produce obedient service.)

Some teach that this admonition to obedience is inconsequential, because God has forgiven our sins. However, forgiveness only applies to sins we have fully repented of or turned from. Where abortion is concerned, most have been too busy ignoring or denying their responsibility to have even considered repentance. So, we continue in our sin insisting that our voiced allegiance be considered more important than actual obedience.

Some will say that murder is the unlawful taking of a life. Understand, that while this true, it is God’s law with which we must concern ourselves, because it is God whom we will answer to. The law of man can be, and often is, perverted. But the law of God stands firm. We will either live by it or be broken by it eternally.

Do not deny justice to your poor people in their lawsuits. Have NOTHING to do with a false charge and do NOT put an INNOCENT person to death, for I will NOT ACQUIT the guilty. – Exo 23:6-7

God was very clear in warning Israel. He told them that they would disregard innocent blood at a high price, such as mentioned in Ezekiel, Chapter 35, verse 6:

“. . . since you did not hate bloodshed, bloodshed will pursue you.”

Again, if God has changed, we need not consider these warnings. If we consider Him to not regard the shedding of innocent blood or to have suddenly regarded it less in light of the sacrifice of Christ – which makes no sense at all given that Christ’s blood was also innocent – but, if we are that willfully blind, then we might negate – at least mentally -- any punishment we might otherwise deserve. If that be the case, I invite such unreasoned thinkers to look at Christ’s response to a lukewarm church:

“So because you are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – I am about to spit you out of My mouth.” – Rev 3:16

Is not our sin more reprehensible? Have we not slandered His righteous name by insisting that our right to His holiness negates His holiness? Does He not show Himself to be both completely holy and unchanging? Absolutely, so then we can see that He would neither allow for the shedding of innocent blood unnecessarily nor a casual relationship with Him. On the one hand, such reasoning would attempt to lesson the value of the shed blood of Christ. On the other, to think that God has gone to all this effort to suddenly become completely uninterested and detached from the creation He has worked so hard over is pure folly.

Some have come along and determined in their own hearts that God is no longer actively, as in miraculously, involved in the lives of men and women. They have said this because they have not had such experience with God. Having determined their own worth to be too great to have been overlooked by such blessing, these have spoken out against all miraculous encounters as not of God. So by their reasoning, God no longer heals, delivers, restores, speaks, etc. in a manner inconsistent with their own personal views. Meaning, if it isn’t explicitly recorded in Scripture, it isn’t of God.

Now this egregious error literally means that if God clearly has miraculously removed your cancer, lump, or otherwise healed you beyond the physician’s understanding, you must not view it as from God. It also means that wherever anyone is miraculously delivered – be it from drugs, demons, or other assorted affliction – then that, too, must not be considered of God. No miracles literally means absolutely none at all.

Here’s the thing: if there are no more miracles and God no longer speaks directly to His people, then this warning which God gave to me Himself, is nothing to be concerned with. Forget the fact that it included a prophecy already largely fulfilled. (1 The 5:19-20). Ignore the reality of Scripture, because there are great quantities of Scripture that must be considered irrelevant – although why they would have been included for later generations is beyond reason. (Paul wrote extensively on the proper use of the gifts of the Spirit.) All because these modern-day Pharisees are convinced they are absolutely correct in their decidedly personal, assessment of the times.

And yet, people ARE being delivered, restored, healed, spoken to, etc. And God is still very intimately involved in the lives of men and women. Doctors and nurses report miraculous healing that cannot be attributed to modern-day medical care. Drug addicts are delivered from their addiction – without plausible explanation (beyond the miraculous). Prophets speak and are vindicated by the fulfillment of their prophecies.

Therefore, we should not be so committed to those who teach that we cannot see the evidence before us. We should not be so led by those who claim authority that we cannot understand what God is revealing. We must not be so proud that we do not take the time to seek out the truth from God, Himself. To think otherwise is to negate even the admonition to ask, seek, or knock (Mat 7:7), for who would do any of those things if, indeed, God were not responding. And, why, ask yourself, would this even be included in Scripture if God had no intention of fulfilling His word? Again, the Scripture that these “teachers” use to negate miracles is misinterpreted, and to believe it we must disregard far too many Scriptures – including the overall intent, that God is deeply, and personally involved in the lives of those who belong to Him.

If we desire to be His people, we must truly be His people – concerned with the things of His heart, focused on our service to Him. To merely say we are His while living like His word to us is irrelevant is to invite His wrath. Dear Brothers and Sisters it cannot be otherwise because God, Himself, has made it painfully clear throughout His word:

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. – Gal 6:7

Like Israel we have sown death by allowing and promoting the shedding of innocent blood. Like Israel we have sown a lack of regard for God by preferring our wealth, etc. Like Israel if we do not repent we will reap what we have sown.

Their arrogance led to being slaughtered or carried off into captivity by cruel taskmasters, and the total destruction of their nation. Ours has already led, in many ways, to the demise of the nation our forefathers founded. Like ancient Israel, we now live in one that neither respects nor regards Him. Israel did not turn until it was too late. Do not be deceived. We stand at the precipice. IF we truly want peace with God, we must live as though His word to us is the most important thing in our lives. We must make His priorities our priority. We must stop considering the “business of the gospel” as a business, and recognize it for the obligation it is. For, IF we are saved by Him, we are bound to Him. The debt we owe Him can only be satisfied by our unadulterated love for Him – reflected by our wholehearted service to Him. And that service, dear brothers and sisters, will, by its very nature, reflect a concern for the things of His heart – including the lives of all innocents.

God’s peace.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Christmas Song -- Have you really thought about it?

Christmas Without Me?
by Betty Baker Bailey

You're planning Christmas without me, whatever Christmas is.
I've heard talk of mistletoe and buying gifts for Liz.
You're planning Christmas without me. I wonder where I'll go.
They say it's just too early for me to even know.
You're planning Christmas without me, though it's not too far away.
Don't you know that I'm not ready to come outside and play?

What are Christmas bells?
Who are Santa's elves?
Are there presents for me?
Is snow really cold?
Why is Grandma old?
I can hardly wait to see.

You're planning Christmas without me. You never say my name.
All I hear is how my Daddy is the one to blame.
You're planning Christmas without me. You act like I'm not here.
I think this Doctor Coldheart is someone I should fear.
You're planning Christmas without me, yet, you seem to be so sad.
I would think that our first holiday would make your really glad.

What's a tree-top star?
When's the craft bizarre?
Are there manger scenes about?
What's a Christmas tree?
Just who is this He
This Christmas is all about?

You're planning Christmas without me. I wish it was not so.
Without a place inside you, I don't know where I'll go.
You're planning Christmas without me, as if I never was.
I do not think I'll like what this Coldheart doctor does.
You're planning Christmas without me. What'd I do that was so bad?
If you'll just let me stay with you, I'll never make you mad.

Hear that Christmas bell?
How do cookies smell?
Will I get to taste some fudge?
How do reindeer fly?
Do you think that I
Am just some worthless sludge?

You're planning Christmas without me. I heard you had to pay
To get that Coldheart doctor to take my life away.
You're planning Christmas without me. Do you not hear my cries?
Don't you know I love you, Mommy? Can't we compromise?
You're planning Christmas without me, and I don't have a say.
You're going to let him hurt me. I'll not see Christmas day.

What are Christmas lights?
Why are "women's rights"
More important than me?
Did you deck the halls
With some Christmas balls?
Oh, how much I'd like to see!

You're planning Christmas without me. Why must it be this way?
Do you think the Babe of Christmas intended me for prey?
You're planning Christmas without me. That must be Him who cries.
Guess you cannot hear Him either when list'ning to their lies.
You're planning Christmas without me. I had hoped you'd change your mind.
How can you think things will be better once you leave me behind?

How do Chestnuts roast?
Will you make a toast
To welcome your New Year?
What does paper wrap?
Think I'll take a nap.
Why do you not hold me dear?

You're planning Christmas without me. I'll miss you, Mommy, dear.
You'll never know who I was. My voice you'll never hear.
You're planning Christmas without me. You'll never hold me close.
You won't be kissing my cheeks, that's what I'll miss the most.
You're planning Christmas without me, though I fight to stay alive.
If only you had loved me, too, so that I could survive.

What's a Christmas wreath?
Are there gifts beneath
Your decorated tree?
On some lonely night
Do you think you might
Ever even think of me?

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Today's Word

Today's Word comes from last night's study. I had been asking the Lord what He wanted people to hear and this is where He led me. The actual study was comprised of Deu 10:12--11:32. It is a fitting section of Scripture, because in some ways the U.S. is like ancient Israel. 

Many traveled here for religious freedom, seeking to worship and serve the God of the Bible. The land had to be fought for, but was rich in "milk and honey". Also, like ancient Israel, this nation will only stand as long as God is our God. 

The following excerpt contains His instructions on how keep a right relationship with Him. While, certainly, we have been released from the need to sacrifice animals, we have not been released from the need to respect Him for Who He truly is.

And now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the Lord's commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good? -- Deu 10:12-13

If this is what God expected of Israel, why do we now think our sins and lack of real commitment to Him is of no consequence? Christ died for our sins. This is true, but He did not die that we might continue in them. He did not die that we might treat Him as our servant. He did not die that the things He regards should not be our concern. No, Christ died that our forgiveness might be full, that in our efforts to serve Him -- with all that we are, with all that we have, with all that we can give -- might not be hindered by our sin.

Dear Brothers and Sisters, let us therefore repent, and turn to the task at hand -- worshiping and serving the Lord our God.

Monday, November 18, 2013

From the "Air of Heaven", "Regarding Salvation", "A Desire to Obey"

Thy word I have treasured in my heart that I may not sin against Thee. – Psa 119:11

When I first accepted Christ, I walked the aisle, repented from my sins, and was assured by the pastor that I was eternally and irrevocably saved. He believed that one could not fall out of God’s hand; therefore, once saved always saved. Years later, while my first husband was at seminary, he took on the same attitude. It became one of our primary points of dispute.

I have read the New Testament, from Matthew to Revelation, more times than I can count. I spent every spare moment of every day for months reading it and seeking Him. I read and prayed and read and prayed some more. I began to see connecting factors throughout the entire set of books. The constant devotion to knowing and growing closer to Him also led to the Lord speaking quite clearly.

I was pondering the way we can learn so much by studying His word; how He teaches us without regard to who we are and the Lord said something that really gave me pause. I don’t remember His actual words. It’s been many years ago now, but it was something along the lines of, “Yes, Betty, but it is only true if one actually practices it. Talking about it isn’t enough.”

That prompted a search through the Scriptures on the need for the evidence of Salvation in our lives. What I found surprised me and thoroughly annoyed my husband. While God is certainly capable of keeping us, He will not force us to stay. The sad reality is that people walk away from Him all the time. The Pastor was right. He doesn’t drop us. What he failed to factor in is free will, which has caused many to just walk away.

And He spoke many things to them in parables saying, “Behold the sower went out to sow, and as he sowed, some seeds fell beside the road, and the birds came and ate them up. And others fell upon the rocky places, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth of soil. But when the sun had risen they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. And others fell among the thorns, and the thorns came up and choked them out. And others fell on the good soil, and yielded a crop, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty. He who has ears let him hear.”  – Mat 13:3-9

Most Christians know this teaching, but not so many grasp its application to us.

“When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is the one on whom seed was sown beside the road. The one on whom seed was sown on the rocky places, this is the man who hears the word, and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no firm root in himself, but is only temporary, and when affliction or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he falls away.

And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. And the one on whom seed was sown on the good soil is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit, and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.” – Mat 13:18-23

Now, here’s the thing: many who are represented here by the seed sown on the path, the rocky place or amongst the thorns made a profession of faith. They walked the aisle, were baptized, and communed with the brethren. By some denominational definitions, they were completely and irrevocably saved. Not by God’s word, but by man’s.

“He who has My commands and keeps them, He it is who loves Me; and he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him, and will disclose Myself to him.” -- Joh 14:21

If we are truly saved, we will love Him; therefore, we will obey Him. If your life is full of unrepentant sin, if you plan to sin then repent, if you love sin or accept your sin, if you continue in the same sins year after year, if your own sin isn’t repulsive to you – all these things should set off alarms in your heart. This doesn’t mean we won’t sin, but it does mean that sin will not rule our lives.

It is critical for us that we realize that the holiness of God does not play favorites. So many think that because they once made a profession of faith, it does not matter what they do. But it absolutely does. We are saved by grace, but not to continue in sin. Christ died for those sins. His holy blood was shed that we might be redeemed. So sin is a tremendous issue for God. Acting like it isn't is a serious disrespect of the cross and not one He will long tolerate. Consider this:

"So, because you are lukewarm -- neither hot nor cold -- I am about to spit you out of My mouth." -- Rev 3:16

He does not say they are lost, but just that their love is mediocre. If a weak love is enough to make Him sick to His stomach, how much more must He be sickened by a lack of regard for His sacrifice? Is not the decision to be willfully sinful more offensive?

No, those who are truly His seek to obey Him. We do not consider sin acceptable. We see it as the instrument of His suffering and are deeply humbled by our involvement. So, we submit ourselves to Him and strive to live in the Spirit, abstaining from sin as much as possible.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Blankets, please!

I've recently discovered that the old abortuary here is back to doing abortions. So, I am preparing to return to active, on-site witnessing. Literally, I'll be pleading for the children's lives as mothers come to the mill to kill their children.

The last time this pit of hell was open I made, collected, and offered free handmade blankets to mothers as an incentive to choose life for their babies. Although it wasn't something that had been tried before, it proved to be a wonderfully effective deterrent. I stopped counting when we had given out over 1,000 blankets. The program was such a success that others were making and offering blankets, as well. So, I know that more -- probably many more -- than 1,000 children were saved by going that extra mile.

As a rule there are always willing witnesses who do not know how to crochet, quilt, etc. They have witnessed first hand the difference these blankets can make, but they just can't make them themselves. So, I have historically tried to keep them supplied, but one person can only do so much. Today, I am pleading with those of you who are crafty to help us help the children. Even if you can only make one here and there, God will bless that effort, and we will be eternally grateful.

If you can edge a pre-made quilt, we can use it. If you crochet, quilt, knit, sew -- or otherwise make baby blankets, we can use them to save children. I have already been busily working to get things rolling, but if things go as before -- and I pray they do -- I will not be able to do this by myself. So, anything you could do to help will be appreciated.

Here's the thing offering free blankets for children's lives is both a testimony that we truly value the children, and a representation of our faithful, abiding love for the Lord. It reflects Him to them, and make no mistake mothers do get it. They recognize and appreciate the extra effort. I've even had those who did not take the blankets stop and tell me just how deeply they appreciated the extraordinary regard.

I am also looking for copies of the New Testament or the book of John. I believe the New Testament we used before was called the "Hope" New Testament, but any decent translation will do. I already have some tracts. So, we'll use those, too, but it is a bonus to be able to give a copy of God's word to those caught up in this culture of death. In addition, baby clothes, diaper bags, and the like are also quite useful. I find displays of baby items to be quite good at catching a mother's eye. We give them to mothers, too, if they need them. So, it's good to have a supply on hand. Of course, I'll be taking a piece of art or a poster as I can get that together. (It has been quite awhile since we had a need in this area. So, I'm pretty much starting from scratch here.)

I realize that much of this sounds easily done, but it runs into quite the undertaking. Although I never ran the effort with an eye towards making money for myself, it has always taken money to do. In part that is because I prefer to equip and encourage other witnesses, and supply mothers where I can. We didn't get to 1,000 by just considering my own personal requirements. Even the art became an expense, because there were so many possible uses for it.

Please understand, although I have worked with some of the larger organizations in the past and surely will work with them here, I find it important to stay free from them. I don't work like they do. My priorities are different, and so is my approach. To be dependent on them would mean being obligated to them, and I know that to not be the way that God would have me work. He made me a gifted witness for the children. By His grace I was able to reach many mothers, even to the point of comforting those who had gone through with their abortion. So, I'll be sticking to what He has called me to. Please understand, I'm not putting the major organizations down. We just have a different way of doing the job. In my opinion, my way is better; but, of course, they would prefer theirs.

So, if you want to be involved in saving little children, but cannot be an onsite witness, this is an excellent alternative for you. In the past, I sent email updates to those interested. Though I'm not completely certain which form I'll use for reporting this time, there will be a report (for those involved) should any desire one. So, you will know when we reach a mother and, likely, when witnesses have something to share.

Children are dying here. Together we can do something positive to help them. My website is You can leave a comment here or contact me through the site.

God's peace.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Last Night's Study

Dear Brothers & Sisters, I do not expect to be on the net much right now as I am in prayer for the Philippines (and others) and seriously ailing myself. However, my during Bible study last night certain Scripture seemed especially relevant. So, I want to share it with you.

But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man DO NOT even eat. 1 Cor 5:11

Do you not know that the wicked will NOT inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 1 Cor 6:9-10

The entire discourse is about how we are to act towards those who present themselves as Christian, but clearly are not. Many of today's churches embrace people immersed in such sins under the pretense of "being Christ" to them. Brothers and sisters it is true that we need to be Christ to the dying. However, if we ignore sin in our midst, how are we to be perceived as different from the masses? The truth is we will not, because that leaven will work through us and, indeed, already has. For many now accept these sins as normal behavior.

I encourage you to read through Chapters 5 and 6 in Corinthians. Paul was adamant that the Corinthians not allow themselves to appear to embrace such sins. Look at what he says:

Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast . . . 1 Cor 5:7

There's no wiggle room here. We are not to tolerate those who claim to be Christian, but clearly have no love for His laws. Again, this is not for the unsaved, but for the saved. We cannot be His beacon to the lost while we are embracing the darkness.
Pray for the Philippines, our brothers and sisters in North Korea, our brother Saeed, and the little children. Please ask our Heavenly Father to incline mothers to choose life. If your heart's not breaking for them, it should be. Their innocent blood is on us. Ask that this "god" of NK come to realize who the real God is. Ask that our merciful Father no longer allow this man to continue to kill those who recognize that he is just a man. Plead for mercy for the Philippines, and that our Lord use this to bring revival to them. Ask that revival break out in the prison where Brother Saeed is being held, and that the Lord comfort him and his family. Let us be together on these things before Him to His glory.

God's peace.
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Saturday, November 9, 2013

More from "The Air of Heaven", "Why This Book Now", "Planted Seeds"

There is much distress these days over the destructive path our world seems to be on. In some ways we appear to be heading into a type of “dark age” or, as some believe, the end-times. Truth and, therefore, knowledge suffer increasingly at the hands of those of station and power. Freedom and peace are being replaced by control and fear; and life, itself, has been dramatically devalued.

Take, for example, the case of evolution and life. If man is no more than an elevated ape and life only begins when we quantify it as such, then what once was murder is now no more than a culling of the herd. Now, evolution is a highly unsubstantiated hypothesis, but by declaring it the origin of man, man’s value is remarkably diminished. He is not “made in the image of God”, because – by evolution’s reasoning – there is no God. So, man becomes just another animal like any other beast in the forest. And life, by this same reasoning, becomes expendable because where there is no God there is no great Maker to take offense at the destruction of His creation nor any Holy Supreme Being to fear – a very dark age, indeed.

As Christians we know this argument to be baseless and delusional, but it is representative of the type of logic being pressed upon us daily. As I’ve already noted, many say this perversion has come about because we are in the end-times. I believe the answer more directly relates to reaping what we have sown. We may well be in the last days, but I think our crops are producing as ordered.

With the freedom we’ve grown accustomed to disappearing like vanishing ink, natural disasters multiplying around us, relentless inflation, catastrophic unemployment, and strangling debt; I think it beneficial for us to take inventory of what we’ve seeded our lives with. A truly honest look will, I believe, reveal a fairly sobering reality.

Like ancient Israel – which fell away from God during Solomon’s reign -- we have abandoned our God – at least publicly. I don’t believe it a conscious choice – at least not by professing Christians; but rather, an attempt to present God as agreeable. In most cases this has resulted in ignoring the truth where it might be considered offensive, omitting or overlooking Scriptures that might alienate, and/or treating sin as immaterial. While it has been considered acceptable for Christ to have died for our sins, in some circles it has been deemed unreasonable for us to be required to abstain from those sins. Many focused on His love while ignoring His holiness altogether. Others seemed to want God to be viewed as some Spiritual rock star, forgetting that His presence far exceeds the need for such earthly embellishment. Ancient Israel did not even realize that God was angry with them, for the most part, neither do we.

Since His holiness is what resulted in our salvation, it is not an aspect we should even want to ignore nor will He allow us to. Given that we are to confess Him before men, our silence is, also, unacceptable. Again, it simply isn’t something He will long tolerate. Yet, we stood silently by while the seed that led to His removal from our public life was firmly planted in our institutions, our workplace, and our government.

Many even had the audacity to affirm and confirm publicly that their god had no real effect on anything other than their most private lives. Think for a moment about the politicians who have brazenly declared their ability to keep their personal beliefs separated from their very public choices. This silenced-idol-in-the-closet approach allowed them to appear righteous to a blind public while engaging in some seriously wicked dealings. Not only did they step away from God, but they slandered Him by implying that He would in any fashion tolerate such double-minded behavior.

Education is an excellent example of how those seeds of silent agreement have born fruit. At one time school began with prayer. The halls were safe, the level of education high, and the atmosphere one of respect. One ridiculous argument later, and our God was marched right down the hall and straight out the door. Soon after, History books were re-written to omit all reference to our Christian foundation. Science was degraded from the study of God’s creation to the desperate denial of any and all things God related, regardless of evidence – or, more accurately, lack thereof. Achievement levels were lowered, then lowered again. Sex-ed became more important than simple math and schools became combat zones where children struggled to survive, let alone learn.

Our founding fathers believed that children could not be taught without the Bible. One reason is that God’s word teaches respect. They knew that raising children to respect and fear God leads to a moral and responsible citizenry. Yet, we allowed the Bible to be removed from our public schools, because we did not want to offend unbelievers. Now most do not understand Who this Holy God really is or what He is capable of. We don’t fear Him. We don’t know Him. So, we don’t have the sense to fear Him.

Today students are actually punished for bringing their Bible to school, harassed for wanting to pray at school functions, and maligned for believing in God. The planted seed bore fruit matching its nature. That’s the way it works. We don’t get corn by planting broccoli and we don’t get freedom from emulating an ostrich. We planted a lack of respect for God and that’s exactly what is coming up in our fields – an utterly horrific lack of respect for our awesomely, all-powerful Creator. A lack of respect that is far more dangerous than all our worldly weapons combined.

And, our public life is not the only area suffering from a bad case of dandelions. Our churches have been over-run as well. Many pastors are more interested in filling the offering plate than reaching the lost. The same can be said for deacons, elders, and others in the ministry. Some churches are so fixated on prosperity that their focus has completely shifted away from God altogether. They try to trade the blessings of God for earthly riches, as if God could be fooled. These, weeds-in-the-pulpit, live lavish lives on the back of those hoping to cash in on God. They should have been plucked out like the tares they are. Instead, many flocked to them and the seeds that greed has born are both plentiful and devastating.

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh shall from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit shall from the Spirit reap eternal life. – Gal 6:7-8

The need for opulence led to more turning away from the truth of God’s word and a rejection of the established church by many who truly belong to the body of Christ. (Of course they did not forsake Christ, Himself; but rather, the established church.) Obviously, this is not the only thing that emptied the churches, but it is one of the problems behind failing church attendance. And believers aren’t the only ones who fled.

It’s practically impossible to grasp the selflessness of Christ when presented Him by someone who clearly relishes an over-abundance of earthly treasure. Comprehending God’s holiness isn’t simplified by a leader’s milk-them-dry approach to personal finance, either. The fact is God just isn’t well represented in these churches – at least, not the God of the Bible. Greed is. Greed, selfishness, idolatry . . . but, not the holy God we seek. So, some who went to church looking for God just moved on. They were looking for holiness and holiness isn’t found in the greed of man.

Greed wasn’t the only well-tended seed in the church field. Ignoring the truth of Scripture was also tolerated to the point of bearing fruit. Denominations were more interested in arguing with each other than holding hard ground. However, much of that also ties back to the love of money, because most churches completely ignored major issues in order to keep members that might otherwise have strayed. In doing so, they kept some who only wanted their ears tickled and maintained their tax-free status, but separated themselves from God.

Obviously, these are not the only areas where what we have allowed to take root in our lives has born undesirable fruit, but you can see where this is going. This book is about those areas, Who He is, who we are supposed to be, and what we should be doing about it. It is also about the love of God and our love for Him. So, it is part love-song and part reality check.

The Holy God we claim to worship and serve has been seriously defamed and very publicly humiliated. We did not regard Him enough to keep Him or, perhaps, we just loved our sin so much more? Whatever the case, spurning Him publicly has led to a private and public separation. The idea that the jealous God of the Bible would tolerate a private relationship that is denied publicly is ridiculously delusional.

“You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in Heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.” – Exo 20:4-6

It helps to understand that since there is no sin in God, He and sin cannot cohabitate. The type of seeds we’ve been planting prove that we are neck deep in sin and the tolerance of sin. If we expect to spend eternity with God, we must be cleansed and live holy. If we want a nation blessed and protected by God, we must be a nation that embraces and honors His laws wholeheartedly. We cannot just say we are His and go on allowing His laws to be ignored. He simply won’t tolerate it. If we insist on acting like He is irrelevant, He will walk away from us. Much of the distress we’re witnessing is due to His hovering on the edge of abandoning us to our sins. If He does leave us, we can be certain He will also punish us -- as much as sign to others as a statement that, even though we rejected His authority over us, He is still the great I AM.

And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” – Exo 3:14

The relevance of this statement is, of course, that He is the great Creator, the God of all time – past, present, and future; the God of Abraham and Isaac; the God that each of us -- whether we recognize it or not -- will answer to; the ultimate, supreme Authority over all, forever. It stands to reasons that if Supreme, His law is law whether we accept it as such or not.

In the Scriptures just prior to this proclamation, He gave Moses this beautiful, if sobering, insight regarding His holiness:

Now Moses was pasturing the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the west side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. And the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a blazing fire from the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold, the bush was burning with fire, yet the bush was not consumed. So Moses said, “I must turn aside now, and see this marvelous sight, why the bush is not burned up.”

When the Lord saw that he turned aside to look, God called to him from the midst of the bush, and said, “Moses! Moses!”

And He said, “Here I am.”

Then He said, “Do not come near here; remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” – Exo 3:1-5

I absolutely love the clarity of this piece of Scripture. Even the ground was made holy by His presence. Dirt! Common, ordinary, everyday dirt became holy when He drew near. We should take note of this, because being close -- obediently, spiritually close -- to God leads us to holiness, too.

I’m convinced that if we could get a handle on just how holy He is we simply would not rest until we made sure He had removed every single weed in our garden. I can’t say that that would straighten this world out, but I can assure you that it would make a very big difference in how we live in it. It would make a big difference in how we view our circumstances and it would make a big difference in how we deal with those circumstances. The holiness of God is no little thing. We’ve treated it like it is, but it isn’t.

This lack of regard for His holiness has led to confusion over what He expects of us and a disregard for His laws. We need to get reconnected to the reality of how that holiness affects us and our world. We need to seek Him. We need to turn from our everyday troubles and put His priorities first. We need to return to Him and commit to Him. We need revival. But we cannot and will not have it until we are honest about where we stand before Him, ready to give up our comfort for His call, ready to be broken, ready to be shown where we’ve missed it, and ready to understand where we’ve failed. Until we’re ready to ask Him to convict and prune us into fruitful vines, revival will not be ours.

Understand, I’m not talking about the “feel good” revival; but rather, a return to genuine closeness to God and the renewal of His protection. Some are seeing “feel good”, but few are seeing a return of His protection. No, what we are seeing is the unrelenting removal of His hedge of protection. Ask yourself this, do you feel safer today than you did 20 years ago? If you do, you’re not paying attention.

Before we can draw near enough to Him to breathe the air of Heaven, we need to acquire a deeper appreciation of Who it is that called us. We need remind ourselves of the true nature of God. Further, we need to explore who we are before Him and the nature of our relationship to Him.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

From "The Air of Heaven, Regarding Salvation -- It's Alive"

The true Christian relationship is a living relationship. It is an unequal partnership to be sure, because He is our superior by far and we are the obvious underling. But it is still a partnership, because we are tied together. The only way we can mature is by partaking of Him – His word, His presence, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. He doesn’t need us, but He does desire us. So He gives and we take, but we must reach a point where we are also giving back.

In the beginning the Spirit does much for us. For instance, we are assigned angels. Again, this may be an area where some would draw back, but the Bible is full of references to angels. They’re not imagined beings. On the contrary, they are quite real.

Now when they had departed, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise and take the Child and His mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is going to search for the Child to destroy Him.  – Mat 2:13

And the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Yeshua, who has been crucified. – Mat 28:5

And behold, an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared, and a light shone in the cell; and he struck Peter’s side and roused him, saying, “Get up quickly!” And his chains fell off his hands. – Act 12:7

Now, in today’s world many find the idea that angels are still amongst us laughable. In reality, that attitude is like saying one doesn’t actually believe the Scriptural accounts of them. It’s an illogical and detrimental stance, because angels are still very much involved in our lives. Personally, I think we do far more harm pretending they don’t exist than dealing with their reality. I think that because angels are often the ones who deliver us, much like Peter from the jailhouse. In addition, they respond to our prayers -- those uttered in faith and coming from obedience. So, by denying them, we are, in fact, denying His power – at least one avenue of it.

Like us angels serve God, but unlike us they are not tied to this world. Many who see or hear them report it as through a vision or dream state, but they can speak as clearly or appear as tangibly as us. Perhaps the greatest misconception about them lies in thinking them weak or too full of joy to obey His Word. While they do rejoice at our salvation, they are also quite capable of taking out whole armies.

Then the angel of the Lord went out, and struck 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians; and when men arose early in the morning, behold, all of these were dead. – Isa 37:36

Fortunately, the legend about guardian angels happens to be true. I heard the call go out when I returned to service and I heard the two that answered. Since God is no respecter of persons, I tend to think that all believers have two. I’ve seen the ones assigned to me more than once through the years and must tell you I’m thoroughly impressed with their dedication. We really aren’t alone. The Lord does check in on us. He is intimately involved in every aspect of our lives, but the angels assigned to us stay with us as long as we are alive spiritually.

I had this beautiful experience a few years ago. I was greatly grieved over something. I can’t say for certain now what it was, but it weighed heavily on me. I lay on my couch weeping bitterly, pleading with the Lord to help me. In a brief dry-eyed moment, I saw one of those assigned to me bending over with his ear right up next to my mouth listening intently.

Suddenly, the Lord stood beside him asking, “What is wrong with her? Why is she so upset?”

Tender love, that’s what we get from our Lord when we seek Him with a broken heart. Don’t ever think He isn’t listening or doesn’t care. He is and does. He and those He sent to be with us are, too. We’re not left to our own defenses, nor expected to carry the weight of the world. We are to be looking to and expecting Him to be very much involved in our everyday lives, because our relationship is as alive as we are.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

An Open Letter to Bro. John MacArthur

Dear Brother MacArthur,

When I first learned of your claim that all miracles had ceased, I was very distressed and spoke out against you quite clearly. Some have said it was because of my own personal experience with God, as if having an experience with God was something we ought not enjoy -- as though there was something wrong with experiencing God in our own little lives. Of course, this is convoluted thinking, because God has been involved in the lives of men and women since creation. So, the actual accusation, I believe, is that we seek the experience rather than God.

Here’s the thing: I haven’t been seeking the experience. No, I have been seeking God; and time and time again, He has revealed Himself dramatically.

I know that seeking tongues, etc. is something that some do. However, it was not what I was doing when I sang in tongues, had prophetic dreams, etc. Understand, I’m not saying I never sought these things; because on rare occasions, I did – though, not in earnest and not until after I had experienced them. I was not certain these things were still from God, myself, until after I experienced them. Then I realized they were as authentic as ever, meaning my experiences fit with Scripture and how God has dealt with man throughout time.

I mean that, every experience I have ever had with God is completely in line with His word. With few exceptions, they were also the result of seriously in-depth seeking on my part -- again, not seeking an experience; but rather, an answer. God was the One who decided to make that answer miraculous, not me. I just wanted an answer to my question.

Each time He responded miraculously, I was completely surprised. When I broke out in angelic song, I was so startled that I cut them off. It was beautiful, truly beautiful. I knew it was praise. It was as if every fiber of my being was elevated with His praise. I didn’t hear words in my head. I didn’t think what to say. The song just literally flowed through me. I had been praising Him and weeping for joy at His presence. Then I opened my mouth to say “thank You”, again, and this angelic song just poured out. I, literally, sat there listening and wondering whose beautiful voice I was hearing. Logically, I know it had to be me, but it sure didn’t sound like me. It was too pure, too immersed in utter adoration.

I know it happened because I had been feeling a need to worship Him more abundantly. I felt like no matter how hard I tried to phrase His praise with all the adoration I felt, I couldn’t begin come close to putting it in words. So, God assisted me. It was an incredible blessing, but it came out of a need to praise Him better. At the time I hadn’t even considered tongues.

When God spoke to me audibly, I was so startled that I stopped what I was doing and looked around. I knew in my heart it had to be Him. I’d never heard anything quite so powerful or authoritative in my life. Yet, His voice was gentle on my spirit. He made me smile from ear to ear. I simply could not stop grinning. To this day I grin spontaneously when I think of it. I just can’t help it -- this awesome God taking time for little ‘ole me.

I had never even read the Scripture (I was very young) that describes His voice as “many waters”; and yet, that is exactly how I described it when I told others. My Godly grandmother had to show me the Scripture in Revelation (1:15). I knew it was Him, but I had no idea there was proof it was Him. Again, this came in response to my speaking specifically to Him for months on end. Literally, I did little else besides speak to Him regarding a certain issue, and He responded, dramatically.

The angels I’ve seen have often frightened me at first. They can be quite intimidating. The one that met me outside an abortuary scared me half to death. I thought it was over. I thought I had done something so wrong that he had come to take me home. It wasn’t until he leaned over and smiled at me that I started breathing again. I was just that frightened.

I had been asking God to send angels to help us reach mothers for the truth of His position against abortion, but I never expected to see one. I still get a chill when I think about him. He had a huge sword and stood about 10 foot, and – boy, did he mean business. (If abortion proponents could see him, they’d never enter another clinic.) It did not even occur to me to ask God to show me the angels, but there he stood.

These are just a sampling of what I’ve experienced through the years. I don’t know about your journey with God, but mine has been full of things that can only be termed miraculous. I was miraculously called as His witness. That calling was miraculously confirmed, and I have been experiencing these things every single time I sincerely seek Him out. He never fails to respond, never.

Now, I don’t know if this makes me “charismatic” or not. If your stance is the standard for Calvinists, I’m certain I’m not one of them. But being Calvinist or charismatic or Pentecostal or whatever, has never been the issue for me. No, I want to be whatever God wants me to be and to do whatever God wants me to do. I give myself to Him and I tell Him, “You tell me. You lead me. Wherever You want me --- whatever You want of me, that is what I want”, because God is what matters to me. No offense, but I don’t care if I don’t fit your mold, because I fit God’s. He continues to move in my life and lead me, and there is plenty of evidence that it is Him in my life.

So, dear Bro. MacArthur, I wish you all the best. I really do. But I intend to continue following my Lord as He leads. I’m certain you will continue on in the path you believe to be His for you. But, let us not be enemies, dear Brother. Whatever differences there are between us, as long as we serve the same God, we are still part of the same family. It does God no service if we bicker like unregenerate siblings. No, that does the body and all watching more harm than good.

Here’s the thing: God has not been silent. Since He called me in 2001, He has been very adamant about my getting the word out to this nation. By prophetic dreams, visions, etc. He has continued to warn me and tell me to warn this people that He is very angry with us. We have forgotten Who He is. We have turned from His truth to our own will, and He is very near to leaving us to our choices.

Why do you think you have chosen this time to come against prophecy? Do you think that timing is just coincidence? I tell you the truth, dear Brother, it is not time to spurn prophecies (1The 5:20) for the proof is in the pudding. Literally, the dreams He gave me have already been partially fulfilled. Would you wait until the whole wrath is poured out? Do you really want that responsibility?

I plead with you to recant your stance, Brother MacArthur, for it is not one that you will long be pleased with. I have seen far too many of these dreams fulfilled to not know that this one stands ready. And I assure you, dear Brother, you do not want to be counted as having kept those who would have repented from doing so.

God does not lie. He may not be speaking to you in a miraculous fashion, but I urge you, dear Brother, leave room for the Spirit and be not so proud that you cannot hear.

God’s peace.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Discerning False Teachers

Dear Brothers and Sisters, today I’d like to share with you what the Lord has shown me regarding the discernment of wolves. Certainly sometimes we just know. The evil in them offends the Spirit in us and we are repulsed by them. Certainly we do know them by their fruit (Mat 7:16). But sometimes, especially when others we know value these teachers, it can be difficult for us to separate them from those who truly work for God. So, how shall we know?

This best way is to know the Scripture, because wolves invariably pervert it. From an ever so slight twist to the out-right lie, wolves use the Scripture to fleece the flock, turn believers from the truth, and discourage the unprepared. So, be faithful to study His word. You will know the truth if you are diligently seeking it from God, because God does not lie and His word is firm to us. Further, He has promised to be faithful to us if we are faithful to Him:

            You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. – Jer 29:13

Another way to judge wisely whom you will listen to is to look at where their focus is. Is it on earthly wealth, personal fame, etc. or are they centered on God? To be sure this can be problematic, because we don’t always have access to the overall picture. Fortunately, there are ways even when the evidence seems thin.

Personally, I am automatically suspicious if one is considered or represented as a “Prosperity” teacher. It tells me that their priority is more likely to be money; rather than, God. I generally move on at that point, because I’m not really interested in money. No, I want to know more about God. So, be careful here, because it isn’t just about what others teach, but what we are really seeking that matters.

There have been a lot of people taken advantage of by prosperity wolves. They basically teach that giving to them, as “God’s” representatives, will increase the giver’s wealth. What they don’t tell you is that the god they serve is usually the god of money.

Again God does look after His own, but there is a world of difference between being fed by ravens and living the lifestyle of the rich and famous. Many prosperity teachers bear more resemblance to Hollywood stars than Elijah or John the Baptist, etc. We need to have open eyes when it comes to these truths and look at the teacher before we accept what they teach. Ask yourself: What is their goal? Does it benefit them or does it glorify God? If they are sincerely seeking to do God’s will or teach His word, they cannot also be seriously devoted to gathering wealth.

Here’s the thing: Our Lord did not own a single house or chariot. He did not gather earthly wealth nor encourage us to do so. So, when you see someone focused on earthly wealth, think to yourself: “How do they reflect Christ?”

The answer is very simple. They don’t. Our Lord is not reflected in the love of wealth. More importantly, if we were to be focused on wealth, He would have told us so. But that is not what He said. No He said:

            “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” – Mat 6:24

So we see here that what they are devoted to is also the one they love. Therefore if the prosperity of the flesh is the primary focus of a teacher then we can be certain that teacher is not focused on God.

Again, I’m not saying God does not provide for His own, but I am saying don’t expect mansions or a fleet of luxury vehicles in this age. Or do you think you are more deserving than our Lord? That is the line, folks. He lived a life of poverty, preferring to please His Father over all else. If we are truly following Him, pleasing God will be our priority, as well.

God’s peace.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Regarding John MacArthur and his "Strange Fire" teaching:

Dear Brothers and Sisters, as I considered this man who has come out against many of the ways the Spirit of God moves among us, I asked Him what the proper approach should be. (We all know I saw a little red after reading the man's comments. Though not as much at him as at myself for letting his followers post his deception on my page.) After I had asked I opened my Bible to continue my study in Matthew, and found my eye drawn to the text before me in Acts. (I know some will find this an unacceptable, but God has spoken many times through the years in just this fashion. And I would suggest the nay-sayers first consider the likelihood of finding just the right Scripture so quickly, for I did not flip through the Book. I just opened it.) Anyway, this is what lay before me:

Then the high priest and all his associates, who were members of the party of the Sadducees, were filled with jealousy. They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail. But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out. "Go, stand in the temple courts," he said, "and tell the people the full message of this new life."

At daybreak they entered the temple courts, as they had been told, and began to teach the people.

When the high priest and his associates arrived, they called together the Sanhedrin -- the full assembly of the elders of Israel -- and sent to the jail for the apostles. But on arriving at the jail, the officers did not find them there. So they went back and reported, "We found the jail securely locked, with the guards standing at the doors; but when we opened them, we found no one inside." On hearing this report, the captain of the temple guard and the chief priests were puzzled, wondering what would come of this.

Then someone came and said, "Look! The men you put in jail are standing in the temple courts teaching the people." At that, the captain went with his officers and brought the apostles. They did not use force, because they feared that the people would stone them.

Having brought the apostles, they made them appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest. "We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name," he said. "Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man's blood."

Peter and the other apostles replied: "We must obey God rather than men! The God of our fathers raised Jesus from the dead -- whom you had killed by hanging Him on a tree. God exalted Him to His own right hand as Prince and Savior that He might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel. We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him." -- Acts 5:7-33

So, we see, Brother and Sisters, that there is confirmation in the Scriptures that we are to continue teaching and working as God has called us to. We also see that it is proper that we speak against what is taught in opposition to His word just as the apostles were bold enough to speak against the leaders of their day. Indeed what this man today is teaching is an interpretation of certain Scripture that I, and many others, believe is in utter opposition to what the Scripture actually refers. In addition, this man took the actions of wolves and not only declared all guilty by their actions, but condemned obvious evidence of the Spirit among us because of their perversions. Clearly no one who is judging according to God’s Spirit does to that.

All that being true it is also important that we speak out against those who are guilty of perverting the gifts of the Spirit; for they, too, offend God and attempt to hamper His work among us. In the coming days I intend to share what the Lord has shown me regarding these issues, because I do agree with the man on one thing. It is the job of those God appoints to identify and call out such breaches of conduct where we know of them. No, dear friends, I do not intend to start a "witch hunt"; but rather, to point out how to recognize these wolves from those who truly seek to serve at His pleasure.

God’s peace.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

More from "The Air of Heaven" from "Regarding Salvation . . .", "It's Not About the Money"

If our hearts are truly His, we do not serve for money. The satisfaction of knowing we’re pleasing Him is high reward for us. We’re not in it for prosperity’s sake. That isn’t to say that those who work don’t deserve to be paid. They most certainly do, but such payment should not afford the worker a lifestyle worthy of “Forbes” nor should it be obtained at the cost of misrepresenting His word.

The simple logic of it is that if Christ, Himself, lived a life of poverty then we, as His follows, should not think that we need to live lives of opulence. Yet, many get caught up in just that. Some even try to justify taking advantage of their brothers and sisters in Christ as necessary for the work they are called to. This is not Biblical. I hear it all the time, but it simply is not Biblical. No, that’s arrogance.

If we are to be crushing our brothers and sisters to maintain the lifestyle we think we deserve, how are we to be discerned as different from the lost? Peter didn’t take advantage of Paul nor Paul of Timothy, but the Christian aristocracy often takes advantage of its fellow laborers. Where do we see Christ demanding a second or even a third home? He didn’t have the first one and He had to borrow a ride. So, when you crush someone who is working in the Spirit, what you are really doing is saying that what you desire is more important than what the Spirit desires.

Money is a tool. When it becomes more important to us to have what money provides than to be in line with His will, we have stopped serving the Master and started serving ourselves.

An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not addicted wine or pugnacious, but gentle, uncontentious, free from the love of money. – 1 Tim 3:2-3

For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith, and pierced themselves with many a pang.  – 1 Tim 6:10

Sunday, October 20, 2013

From "The Air of Heaven", Section Titled "Seeds", Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your merciful patience.
Thank You for Your generous mercy and grace. Forgive our sin.
Father, help us to recognize the seeds that we have planted
and the weeds those seeds have birthed in our garden.
Help us to return to Your Holiness, away from our sin.
Help us to lay ourselves bare before You for Your pruning
that we might become the servants You called us to be.

Open our eyes, Father, and unstop our ears. Convict us
that we might recognize our sins and turn back to You.
Do not punish us as we deserve, but deliver us, Father,
Our only hope lies in You. Allow us to cling to You
like little children who have nowhere else to go.
In Your great mercy do not send us away.

You, Father, are the great I AM. We are Your creation.
You speak and everything listens. We tremble before You,
knowing we are totally dependent on You for everything.
You are worthy of all praise and glory. We submit to Your authority.
Have mercy on us, Father. Turn us back and lead us to revival.

Let our hearts praise You with great gusto once again.
Let our feet rush to serve You in all that You ask.

Let the earth ring with Your praises from the mountains to the shores.
Let the angels sing and all of Heaven rejoice before our Holy Lord.
Let Your name be exalted for all the world hear.
Let our hearts return. Do let us draw near.
We ask it, Heavenly Father, in Yeshua’s precious name
and thank You, dear Father, for answering our plea; amen and amen.

Friday, October 18, 2013

"The Air of Heaven", from the section on "Who He Is": Completely Holy

Holiness is so intrinsic to who God is that we simply cannot separate Him from it. Today, the love of God has been taught so extensively that many do not even comprehend the relevance of His holiness. Much like ancient Israel, we have stepped away from the reality of who He is.

When God created man, He created him without sin. The fellowship that God intended to have with man was tied to that lack of sin. And God walked and talked with man – the Creator with the created – having him name the animals and assigning him to keep the garden of Eden. Then the serpent tempted Eve and sin came between God and His much loved creation, corrupting the relationship that God sought. It was sin that caused the Holiness of God to curse His creation and send man away from His presence.

If we appreciate the effort expended creating us, we can begin to comprehend how great a loss this was for Him. He didn’t just get angry with man, His Holiness required a separation from sinful man. So, Adam and Eve were driven from His presence out of the garden and forbidden to return. In seeking to be equal to God, they had cut themselves off from God.

If we look at Noah, we see God’s Holiness requiring the near extinction of His creation.

And God looked on the earth, and behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had  corrupted their way upon the earth. Then God said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me; for the earth is filled with violence because of them; and behold, I am about to destroy them with the earth.” – Gen 6:12-13

Man had separated himself so far from God that he committed evil continually. So, God sent the flood to cleanse that evil from the earth. This time they weren’t just sent away. They were destroyed to prevent further corruption. Noah and his family were all that remained of man. Clearly the Holiness of God is something with which we need to be deeply concerned.

Then there is the defeat and exile of ancient Israel. After bringing them up out of Egypt – which was no small feat in itself – leading them through the desert for 40 years, empowering them to defeat the nations occupying the “promised land”; God turns them over to be slaughtered and carried away as captives.

We know that He loved them and called them His own. We know that He went to great lengths to reveal Himself to them as the true God He is. Yet, once again, when man turned from God and became intolerably evil, the Holiness of God required separation. In this case separation not only meant the deaths of many, but sending them far away from the land He had given them and ending His provision and care for them for a time. What we need to identify with here is that if He would not spare His chosen people, neither would He spare us.

When we strip away His authority over us – such as by choosing which of His laws we will obey, we are literally attempting to place ourselves on par with Him – like Adam and Eve. We think He will not treat us as He did them, because Yeshua is our redeemer. However, the Scriptures do not say that. We have just read this meaning into them.

If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch, and dries up; they gather them and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. – Joh 15:5-6

Yeshua answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make Our abode with him. – Joh 14:23

Then we have this from Paul:

You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited, but fear, for if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will He spare you. – Rom 11:19-21

So, we see that continued, willful disobedience separates us from God. If we are to draw near to Him, we must turn away from disobedience. We must identify sin as sin and submit ourselves to His holiness. We must remember that it was God’s holiness that required the sacrifice of Yeshua. It is sheer folly to think that after such great sacrifice, He would now decide that sin was no longer an issue. If then, we are to breathe the air of Heaven we must first require holiness of ourselves.

“For I am the Lord your God. Consecrate yourselves therefore, and be holy; for I am holy.” --- Lev 11:44