Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Most Cataclysmic Chapter of the Bible.

Rev 16

Rev 16:17 And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done. 18 And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great. 19 And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath. 20 And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found. 21 And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.

The 7 vials poured out upon the earth by the 7 angels produce mayhem on the grandest scale the planet has ever seen. A quick rundown:
Vial #1: a noisome and grievous sore on all who have the mark of the beast and who worship his image.
Vial #2: seas are turned to blood and all sea life dies.
Vial #3: all rivers and fountains of water are turned to blood.
Vial #4: the sun is enhanced until it scorches men with fire.
Vial #5: the kingdom of the beast is filled with such intense darkness that it is painful to the point where men gnaw their tongues.
Vial #6: the Euphrates is dried up. Demons are belched out of the mouth of Satan, sent forth to round up the armies of the world and draw them to Armageddon.
Vial #7: God declares, "I have had enough!" Lightening, thunders and the worst earthquake in history decimates the landscape. Islands disappear, the mountains crumble, 100 pound hailstones fall from the sky.

Friend, this old sinful world is winding down. So is the patience of heaven. The ages of godlessness have worn thin on the longsuffering of the Lord. He is not willing that any should perish, however, He warned that His Spirit would not always strive with man. Now, the ages are drawing to a close. About 6 1/2 years following the rapture, these events will unfold. It is high time to choose sides. Make sure you are on the right team so you will be an observer during this horrific time rather than a participant.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Who Doesn't Fear the Lord?

Rev 15:4 Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.

What intelligent person, who has witnessed the evidentiary hand of God in creation, blessing and justice, will not bow before Him with contrite heart and humble spirit? Only the Lord God Almighty is holy, only His name is worthy of praise and glory.

Here is a scene in heaven, tribulation saints standing upon a glassy, fiery sea, each one playing a harp and all singing Moses's song of deliverance.

In one harmonious accord, they proclaim, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art
holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.

This is a must see occasion. Will you be present? Trust Jesus today as your Lord and Savior. Open your heart and invite Him to wash away your sins. Call upon Jesus for salvation.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Penalty for Worshiping Antichrist

Rev 14:9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, 10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: 11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name.

We all worship something!

Previous verses in this chapter describe the worship of the 144,000 men of God, sealed for His service. Their demarcation is the Father's name written in their foreheads. Probably "YHWH" with the original vowels inserted. Not a one of them will have ever known a woman intimately. They will be among the first of many saved in the tribulation and will become fiery evangelists of the gospel. Then, in heaven, they sing a new song before God's throne accompanied many waters, thunders and harps.

But then, there are those who will worship the beast or his image, in my imagination, probably an animated holographic image, and will have accepted the mark of the beast. The mark is either the number 666, or the name of the antichrist or his logo. It will be placed either on their foreheads or in or on their right hand, possibly even on the arm. It could be an rfid chip, or maybe a tattoo. It could resemble a barcode. No one is allowed to buy or sell without this mark.

But the penalty for succumbing to antichrist is steep. The angel gives the sentence: He will drink the undiluted cup of the wrath of God. He will be tormented with hellfire. His smoke will ascend up forever. He will have no convalescence from that pain for all of eternity.

I reiterate what was thundered on Sinai so long ago;
Exodus 20:2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

Worship God and live forever or worship the devil and burn for eternity.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

It's the Lord's Day!

Rev 1:9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ. 10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, 11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

John, our brother, companion in tribulation, in the kingdom and in the patience of the Lord, found himself:

*Dedicated to the Word of God
*Standing on his testimony
*In the Spirit
*Faithful to the Lord's day
*Hearing the voice of the Lord

Today is the Lord's day. I pray that each of us will isolate ourselves from the world in our island of fellowship, the church. I would hope that we would all be dedicated to the Word, stand true to the stuff, be filled with the Spirit and pay heed to the voice of the Lord.

May God bless your worship today!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Dragon and the Beasts

Rev 13:4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? 11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. 12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.

It is amazing what people worship! I observe people worshiping their kids, their cars, their precious time, their bank accounts. Then there are those who bow down to academia or their own intellect. Millions do obeisance to the god of pleasure. Some ignorantly venerate statues, others, the dead. Dumb, blind people worshiping dumb, blind idols.

One day in the near future, the world will go gaga over hell's trinity; Satan, the Antichrist and the false prophet. Silly, ignorant masses of people honoring the most despicable characters of history! These three make the likes of Jezebel, Hitler, Mao, Tito, Pol Pot, Stalin, etc. look like a well behaved Sunday school class. Yet, the world will wonder after them, hanging on their every word, obeying their every edict.

It was Blaise Pascal who said, “There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every person, and it can never be filled by any created thing. It can only be filled by God, made known through Jesus Christ.”

When all is said and done, every knee is going to bow before the throne of Jesus and proclaim that He is LORD!

Don't be duped by false gods, worship the one, true God, Jehovah, Who loves you and gave Himself for you.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Praise the Lord on this Thanksgiving Day

Ps 9:1 I will praise thee, O LORD, with my whole heart; I will shew forth all thy marvellous works. 2 I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou most High.

Many are the marvelous things He has done for me. As I rose to the new day, I began to note the many things for which I am thankful. Here are a few:

*Coffee, and the ability to make it in an automatic coffee maker.
*Paper and Plastics.
*Hot and cold running water.
*Toothbrush and Paste.
*The combustion engine.
*The opportunity to serve my community as a chaplain.
*My family. The very best wife in the world, no hyperbole!
*My kids.
*A wonderful church family.
*Technology, for example, cell phone, texting, blogging, etc.
*Those who have texted me today wishing me a blessed Thanksgiving.
*A positive bank account.
*The opportunity to make a killer coconut cream pie to take to our
neighborhood fire-fighters for their Thanksgiving meal away from their
*The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, a tradition that has followed me all
through life.
*Turkey, football, naps, family, laughs, prayers and the giving of Thanks! –
the things I look forward to today.

I will praise the Lord with my whole heart on this, the purest of all
American holidays.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Worship Wars

Rev 13:7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. 8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. 9 If any man have an ear, let him hear.

Telling verses here! If you are saved, the coming rapture of the saints will separate the sheep from the goats, so to speak. Then, in that awful tribulation period, literally millions upon millions will trust Christ. The vast majority of Jews will lose the scales from off their eyes and will turn en masse to their true Messiah. Others, presently ignorant of what the Savior did for them on Calvary will have an opportunity to believe.

That leaves two future classes of people on the earth. Worshippers of Jesus the Christ and worshippers of the Antichrist. There will be no riding the fence.

That leads me to think that, if the coming of the Lord is soon, as it appears so, then most everyone I personally know right now is already lined up for whom they will worship. Already they either worship Jehovah or they are pleasure worshippers who will bow before the Beast soon.

Mind you, those who have heard a clear cut presentation of the Gospel prior to the trumpet will have no second chance after the rapture. The following Scripture makes it clear; 2Thess 2:7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. 8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: 9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, 10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: 12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Did you notice that? Those who refused to believe hear and now will not believe after the rapture. They made their choice to live a life of unrighteous pleasure rather than trust Jesus.

Choose you this day whom you will serve!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Overcoming the Accuser of the Brethren

Rev 12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. 12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

Satan hates the presence of God, yet relishes his appearances there to bring railing accusations against the saints of the Lord. Just as he accused Job of being a follower of the Lord only because of God's hand of goodness upon him, so we can be assured of his vitriolic aspersions upon us as we serve and worship the Lord.

But he is brought to abject silence when the blood is presented. When the shed blood is brought up, the accuser is shot down. He sees red when he is reminded that we are washed, we are clean, we are robed in white garments washed by the blood of the overcoming Lamb.

Not that we are undeserving of his accusations. Our total depravity makes for accusatory fodder for his tongue lashings against even the holiest of the brethren. However, the word of our testimony, that is, that the cross of Christ has blotted out the curse that was against us. It has utterly spoiled the principalities and powers of Satan, showing him for what he is, the ultimate loser. Our salvation ever causes us to triumph over him. (Col 2:14, 15)

Whether the dragon's accusations before God are true or merely malicious gossip, they are completely negated by the fact of the shed blood and our victorious testimony of renewal in Christ.

The day is rapidly approaching when the serpent will forever be banished from the throne room and the accuser of the brethren will be cast down from heaven, for there, nobody or nothing that maketh a lie shall ever enter into it again, only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life. Rev. 21:27

Friday, November 18, 2011

Dead Prophets Holiday

Rev 11:3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.

During the tribulation period, these two prophets of the Lord, His two faithful witnesses likened unto olive trees and candlesticks, preach for just a few days shy of three and one half years. They faithfully preach that Jesus as the promised Messiah, controverting the message of the false prophet that the Beast is the sent one. Their message is highly successful. In a day of internet, cable and satellite, many are reached with the everlasting gospel that they preach. Perhaps more are saved during that time than have been saved in the entire age of grace!

Consequently, the beast is outraged. Their preaching puts a huge crimp in his plan of world domination, and so he seeks to destroy them. Up to now, they defend themselves by spewing fire from their mouths to devour those who would accost them.

They possess such power as to even prevent rain from falling, turn the waters to blood and curse the planet with plagues. These are two extremely powerful preachers! I am thinking these prophets might be 2 of either Moses, Elijah or Elisha. I doubt that they will be the Osteen or Warren types.

Yet, when God's time for their preaching to cease is over, He allows antichrist to get to them and slay them.

It's party time! God's enemies proclaim a prolonged, world wide party to celebrate their demise. "Dead Prophet's Week!" Since Christmas is no longer celebrated, This is to become the new super holiday. Lights are strung up, the halls are decked, mistletoe is hung with care and the malls begin to do a brisk business. Those with the bar code of the antichrist affixed to their right hands and foreheads exit the checkouts with shopping bags full of Dead Prophets gifts. Dead Prophet Trees draped in tinsel of silver and gold and bulbs of red and blue stand sentinel over the many gifts to be given to one another. World-Wide Parcel Service works overtime to assure that everyone will receive their gifts before that joyous day. Carols are joyfully sung, "No hell, no hell, no hell, no hell...", "Oh little town of Babylon", "Good King Antichrist."

One of the favorite holiday activities is to turn to BNN (Beast News Network) to look in on the bodies of those pesky prophets lying in the street. Occupy Temple Mount protesters display their placards just outside the protective barricades, "The Prophets were 1%ers", "Share the Rain!", "Stop the Plagues!", "Fire Breathing Prophets Cause Green House Emissions".

But then God does His thing to ruin Antichrist's holiday season. Right there, in front of the whole world watching by TV and internet, He breathes the Spirit of life into His prophets and raises them from the dead!

The raising of Lazarus was the last straw for the Pharisees. The Raising of Jesus from the dead struck a death blow on death itself. But the raising of these two preachers seals the deal for the Beast. They stand up and the entire world is smitten with knee-knocking fear. To top it all off, God's voice is heard from heaven calling His faithful prophets up to glory. And just to add an exclamation point, a major earthquake hits Jerusalem killing 7,000 men and people start giving glory to God!

Season's Greetings!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Unknown Judgments

Rev 10:1 And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire: 2 And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth, 3 And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices. 4 And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.

We know about the 7 seals, the 7 trumpets and the 7 vials. But of the 7 thunders we know little except that they are preceded by the appearance of the angel, clothed with a cloud with a rainbow upon his head. His face was as the sun and feet of fire. With one foot upon the land and another on the sea and holding a little, opened book, he roars like a lion.

My assumption is that the 7 thunders concern both land and sea, since he stands upon both. It could mean that the thunders affect both Jew and Gentile.

These are noteworthy judgments, yet the Apostle was not allowed to take notes. At the conclusion of these thunders, time will be up (6). That is, 1) the saints who have been awaiting recompense will now see it come to pass, 2) judgment will now begin to accelerate.

Think about it, my friend, we could be on the very cusp of these things right now. Once that rapture trumpet sounds, the judgments begin. The seals will be opened, the 7 trumpets will blast and then these 7 thunders will sound.

It would be much better to watch the show from the balconies of heaven than to be a participant on this earth, better to observe than to participate.

I don’t suppose these thunders will bring rose petals falling to earth, nor will the water be turned into Diet Coke. I am thinking little comfort will be afforded on earth when it all comes down.

Do you have your front row tickets reserved?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Euphrates River: No Swimming!

Rev 9:14 Saying to the sixth angel which had the trumpet, Loose the four angels which are bound in the great river Euphrates. 15 And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.

Last summer, my son and I were invited to kayak up the Osage River in the Ozarks to a place where a rope was tied to a large tree so folks could swing out over the water into the middle of the river. The first boy on the scene had to shoe a water moccasin away from the area. Needless to say, I opted to stay in the kayak!

It was just reported that the US President, traveling abroad to Australia, has taken out crocodile insurance for $51,000. I guess he is thinking of going walk about, mate! No worries, right?

Every time I read today's verses, I think about river monsters. I am not a swimmer anyway, but to wade into waters infested with alligators, piranhas, water moccasins, sharks, crocodiles, etc. is not my idea of fun.

I cannot see myself entering the Euphrates River knowing that there are four demons bound in that river, waiting to be loosed so they can slay about 2 billion people.

At the same time, the saints will be dipping their toes into the pure waters of the River of Life proceeding from God's throne.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Journey to the Center of the Earth - the Smoke-filled Den of Iniquity

Rev 9:1 And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit. 2 And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit. 3 And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.

The star which fell to earth was a angel. As in other places, the stars of God can refer to angels. Jesus beheld Satan fall as a star from heaven (Luke 10:18). At the creation, the morning stars sang together (Job 38:6,7).

This angel is given the key to this bottomless pit. That pit is what I will dwell on here:
1. It is a pit - (never a good place to be)
2. It is bottomless
3. It is full of heavy, dark smoke
4. It is heated, as if by a great furnace (probably the earth's core)
5. It is dark
6. It is populated with hideous, hurtful creatures
7. It is home to fierce and powerful demons Rev 9:11
8. It is the current home of the beast (unless he has already ascended from it) Rev 11:7, 17:8
9. It will house the devil for the duration of the millennium, Rev 20:3
10. Chains are employed there to keep its inhabitants secured Rev 20:1
11. It exists within the bowels of the earth, Ezekiel 26, 28, 31, 32.
12. It is a compartment of hell, Isa 14:15

All a person has to do to forever avoid this horrible place (not intended for humans) is to put their trust in the finished work of Christ on Calvary. Simply believe on the Lord and pray:

Lord God, I confess to you I am a sinner, deserving of this horrible pit, but I trust you today as my Savior. Wash my soul in the blood of Jesus, Who died for me and rose again in victory over sin, death and hell. I open my heart's door and invite you into my life. Save me for Jesus' sake; Thank you for saving me, Heavenly Father. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Your Prayers, a Sweet Savor to the Lord

Rev 8:4 And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand.

Several times in the Old testament, the incense offered by the high priest is referred to as a sweet savor to the Lord. That is, a sensory enjoyment.

Recall that beautiful smell when you pass a bakery, or the bouquet of a floral shop. I like to stop and savor the luscious smells that make my brain happy...steaks on the grill, the forest in the fall, a really good perfume on a beautiful lady, etc.

The Bible likens the prayers of the saints to a savory incense wafting up to God's throne. Picture Him waving the prayers toward His nostrils with the palm of His hand, His eyes closed as He savors those sweet utterances of praise and petition from His kids.

It makes me want to approach His holy throne even now. I pray He savors that holy time as much as I do!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

12 Sure Ways for New Believers (and Older Ones Too) to Fail in the Christian Life

Heb 6:1-3
Listen, all my friends who are new believers in the Lord, There is an old country song which says, “I beg your pardon, I never promised you a rose garden.” God has promised you hundreds of things, eternal life, sins forgiven, His constant presence, every need supplied, the Holy Spirit, and many, many other things. But one thing he has not promised, that things down here would be easy. In fact, when you got saved, you made the devil mad. He can’t take your salvation away, but he will do all he can to keep you from being a good testimony and from enjoying your new life in Christ. Know your enemy!!!

I am going to briefly give you the 12 most common things that happen to believers to keep them from being successes in the Christian life.
Sure ways to fail in your Christian life…
1. Stay in the Pig Pen
I Cor 5:17 “If any man be in Christ…”
Know this, God loves you just the way you are, but He loves you too much to let you stay that way! You have been saved FROM something and TO something.
*From hell to heaven,
*from your sins to sanctification,
*from the pig pen to right living
Once you have been redeemed, it is time to leave the old life behind and seek to please Him. Otherwise, eventually, the lure of the old life will pull you back and will destroy you. Get out of the pigpen.

2. Ignore the Instruction Manual
2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
In this Book, God has given you all the answers for every question of life.
Immerse yourself in the Word of God and prayer. Develop a deep relationship with Him. You cannot grow in grace if you are not daily in the Word!

"This Book is the mind of God, the state of man, the way of salvation, the doom of sinners, and the happiness of believers. Its doctrines are holy, its precepts are binding; its histories are true, and its decisions are immutable. Read it to be wise, believe it to be safe, practice it to be holy. It contains light to direct you, food to support you, and comfort to cheer you. It is the traveler's map, the pilgrim's staff, the pilot's compass, the soldier's sword, and the Christian's character. Here paradise is restored, heaven opened, and the gates of hell disclosed. Christ is its grand subject, our good its design, and the glory of God its end. It should fill the memory, rule the heart, and guide the feet. Read it slowly, frequently, prayerfully. It is a mine of wealth, a paradise of glory, and a river of pleasure. Follow its precepts and it will lead you to Calvary, to the empty tomb, to a resurrected life in Christ; yes, to glory itself, for eternity.
The more you know God, the more you’ll love Him – and here is where you will meet Him every day.

3. Forsake the Family of God
Heb 10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: 25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
You NEED the church. It exists to instruct you, to provide fellowship and encouragement for you. You need your new spiritual family to lean on. This is your support group. When you aren’t around, they can’t help you.
By the way, it needs you too! Time to step up and get to work for God through the ministry of your church. God has given you spiritual gifts to use for His service. The ONLY way for you to be content is to do what God MADE you to do.

4. Duck Discipleship
Mat 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
It is your responsibility to learn all you can about the faith. There are people and tools out there that can help you, but you have to take the initiative. Hang out with mature believers who will take you under their wing and bring you along in the faith. Attend Sunday school, attend Wed. night Bible study. Sunday is the Lord’s day, all day. Why not be where you can be growing in the Lord! Win souls, Invest in eternity with your tithes and offerings, be filled everyday with the Holy Spirit and rightly divide the Word of truth.
A religion that gives nothing, costs nothing, and suffers nothing, is worth nothing. M. Luther.

5. Use God as a Spare Tire
Many newbies try to live life on their own, but when trouble comes, they pull Him out of the trunk slap Him on the vehicle of life until they limp into the service station. When the flat is fixed, back He goes into the trunk until the next time He is needed.

6. Expect that God will be Your Personal Genie.
God does not exist to serve us. We were created (and recreated) to serve and honor Him. He did for us all He was compelled to do by giving His Son to die for us. He owes us nothing, we owe Him our everything.

7. Simply “ADD” Jesus to the Mix that is Your Life – John 14:6
Jesus is not a way, He is the way. He is not a fire escape from hell, He is your ticket to heaven and your Provider for an abundant life (Jn 10:10) He needs to be your all in all, your life, your breath, your everything. Not just a small part of your life.

8. Expect that Your New Life will now be Beautiful and Problem Free

1Pe 4:12 Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: 3 But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
If anything, life is going to get harder now that you are saved. When you trusted Christ, you made the devil your worst enemy. He will never let up. The great thing is, now you will never walk alone. Jesus has equipped you with the Word, the church, but most of all, His presence and power by the Holy Spirit. Get filled with the Spirit of God every day for everything life and the devil are going to throw at you.

9. Figure that a “Little-Dab-Will-Do-Ya”
Deut 6:4-8
Nope, when it comes to Christianity, don’t do it in moderation. Go “all in” for the Lord. Don’t wade in the kiddie pool, get out and swim with the big boys. The more the better.

10. Trying to Be a Double Agent
Mat 6:24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.

Don’t be living 2 lives, one on Sunday, another during the week, one at church, another at home or work. You are to be a Christian everywhere you go, whatever you do. Slay the flesh, say no to the devil, flee from sin and serve God with your whole heart.

11. Keep Your Eyes on Other Christians, Not on Jesus!
Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider him…
Rom 7:18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

Christians are going to offend you. Sometimes inadvertently, sometimes on purpose! They are made of the same stuff you are, flesh. The flesh will fail every time. Preachers are not exempt from failure either. The devil knows that if he can get a preacher to fall, others will fall because they were looking to him.
Look to Christ as your leader and your example. Jesus will never fail you! Keep your eyes on Him and on Him only and you won’t be disappointed.

12. Finally, if a new believer is going to fail, When (not if) You Fall, Stay Down, Don’t Get Back Up! I Jn 1:9

Don’t think that you are any different than any other believer who ever got saved. These things are true for every child of God who ever entered the family. There are no shortcuts when it comes to these issues.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Silence is Golden

Rev 8:1 And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.

We really don't experience much of silence anymore. Our world is filled with constant activity accompanied by noise. For me, when all else is silent, I have ringing in my ear that is accentuated by the quiet. Nearby rail yards make for constant noise for us, which we learn to ignore.

In our society, there is usually a TV on simply for background noise. Perhaps music plays on a radio or other device.

Can you imagine, in a place where constant praise is offered to the Lord, silence? The angels fold their wings, the elders cease their worship, the assembly of saints wait with baited breath. This all in anticipation of the results of the opening of the seventh seal. This silence is 30 minutes in duration!

Talk about suspense! Look what transpires next, seven angels are handed seven trumpets. An angel then comes to stand at the altar. There, he offers incense with the prayers of the saints from his hand to God. We will literally see the prayers of God's people ascend to God. No wonder all else is silent. What a holy moment! People are praying and heaven witnesses the holiness of the moment.

Let me tell you something, your prayers are special to God. He must be the ultimate multi-tasker. Yet, when we pray, it's as if all He has to do is attend to your praise, supplications and intercessions.

Imagine, you have the opportunity right now to bring heaven to a halt while your prayers come to God's attention.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Farewell to Tears

Rev 7:9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; 10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. 11 And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, 12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen. 13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? 14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. 16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. 17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

How many tears have been shed over the past six millennium because of grief, pain and sorrow? Only God knows!

Most are convinced that tears are not shed in heaven. That is a partial truth. Here, saints saved in the tribulation and martyred for the name of Jesus, stand before the throne of God worshiping the Lamb on His throne. At some point, the heavenly Kleenex box is passed around, the tears are dried and God banishes those salty drops from the cheeks of the saints. We find this happening again in Revelation 21 once the Great White Throne judgment is completed.

To recap, the martyred saints cry during the tribulation until the Lord wipes away their tears. The sainted millions cry after the Millennium when death and hell are banished to the lake of fire. Again, the Lord ministers to His children by drying their tears.

In a sense, I am glad that a good range of emotions will be operable in heaven. Joy is desirable, but it is enhanced by the capacity for sorrow. Confidence can be appreciated when trepidation has been experienced. For instance, there is going to be one more coup attempt by the devil, followed by his final ouster from the heavenly realm. We might experience some fear and anxiety for a time before we exult in the total victory of the overcoming Lamb of God. The apostle weeps much because no one is found to open the 7 sealed book. But his weeping quickly turns to rejoicing when the Lamb prevails to open the book. The 4 great "Hallelujahs!" of heaven come on the heels of God's absolute annihilation of evil on the earth.

It will not be until, at the least, 1007 years from now that time shall be no more, a new heaven and earth will be formed, Satan is made a crispy critter in the Lake of Fire, the former things will be passed away, all things will be made new, and THEN the last salty drop will have stained the last cheek and eternity can proceed without another tear.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

But Nobody Doesn't Like Sara Lee

Rev 6:6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.

The third seal, opened in heaven during the tribulation by the prevailing Lamb, shows a black horse whose rider holds a pair of balances in his hand. Alas, the world economy has crumbled. There will no longer be a stock market, it will have totally collapsed. People will forage for food. If a loaf of bread could be had, it would cost a day's wages.

And we think things are hard now! Unemployment is high, inflation threatens our earning power, the prices at the pump cause much grief and consternation, folks are struggling, but all that is nothing compared to the resulting economy under the king of the world, the man of sin.

A while back, I noticed in our local grocery store, a loaf of Sara Lee bread was almost $5 a loaf! I had recently visited a Central American country where the daily wage for a man is about $5. Yet, prices for things there weren't too different than our prices. It got me thinking how close we really are to the end, a loaf of bread for a day’s wages.

I am thankful that believers will be evacuated before the real tribulation begins. Are you ready?

Monday, November 7, 2011

An Angel Strong and Loud

Rev 5:2 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof?

Jesus is the central figure of heaven, of this, there is no doubt. But I find it interesting that others will have a role in His glorification.

Here is an angel, maybe Archangel Michael, asking the rhetorical question, "Who is worthy?" He is described as strong. Would Michael be considered strong because of his appearance? Does he have rippling muscles? Or is it because of his reputation? Michael made quite a name for himself in the book of Daniel because of the spiritual battles he wages. Or is it the deference given him by the other angels? "Archangel" indicates that he is a prince among angels. Or maybe all of these cause this angel to appear as a strong angel.

He then proclaims with a loud voice. There are millions upon millions of redeemed souls present along with heavenly beasts and creatures and an innumerable company of angels. The voice of the strong angel had to carry over the entire audience. I get chills realizing that I am going to see this first hand. Won't that be a grand occasion?

It strikes me to think that such creatures, designed by God, are watching over us at this moment, keeping us from hurt, harm or danger. (Psalm 91:10-13)

Thank you Lord, for your mighty angels and for your watch care over us.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Bowing Before the King

Rev 4:8 And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. 9 And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, 10 The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, 11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego are going to love this! Remember when old king Nebby built the grand statue 90' tall and 9' wide? He had it gold plated and got a worship band together. The decree was that whenever they struck up the band, everyone within earshot was to bow down and worship the image. Well, these 3 Jewish boys refused to bow to the great idol. Nebby, in his rage, gave them one more chance. The music played and the Hebrews stood firm. So into the fire they went, where they were met by the Son of God. "Way to go boys!" He could have encouraged them, "One day you will get to bow and it will be a lot more appropriate."

Heaven is the location. On the throne sits the King of Kings in all of His regal splendor. Eyes of fire, feet of brass, robed in white, ensconced in His royal throne. An emerald rainbow encompasses His shoulders, the same shoulders that carry His helpless lambs. Lightning and thunder proceed from the throne. Flashes of blinding light dazzle the millions of saints, rumbles of seismic thunder shake the heavens. A glassy sea reflects these unearthly images. The apostles and patriarchs sit on surrounding thrones.

Heavenly beasts full of eyes, front and back, rise to make the eternal proclamation, "Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come!"

At that saying, the elders and all of heaven in attendance fall before the emerald throne, before its immutable Occupant, He Who sat in regal majesty for eternity past, Who spoke the worlds into existence, Who humbled Himself to inhabit human flesh, Who redeemed us with His own blood shed on the cross, Who rose victorious over sin, death and the grave, Who called all His followers to this heavenly scene.

And when “Holy, holy, holy” is proclaimed, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego will fall in obeisance to their true king, the One Who kept them safe in the fire.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Just Any Day Now

Rev 4:1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. 2 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

I am looking for that open door up yonder when the gates of heaven are thrown open for the saint of all the ages. What a glorious parade that is going to be as those who have longed for this day get to march through those pearly gates and down the golden avenue alongside the river of life lined with fruit trees, heavy with the fruit of the month. And then we wind our way to the very throne of Him Who loved us and gave Himself for us.

Not only am I looking for that open door, but I am listening for two sounds, the sound of Gabriel's golden trumpet and the voice of my Savior calling out my name and beckoning me home to glory.

Now, I have seen some sights and heard some sounds in my day, but none of them will look as beautiful and sound as sweet as those my senses will take in on that day.

And that day could be today!

Friday, November 4, 2011

The Laid Back Laodiceans

Rev 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God; 15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.

I would criticize this church that Jesus condemned if I weren't part of it! The Lord had no commendations to give to this church like He did the other six, only condemnation.

The letters to the 7 churches have a 3-fold interpretation.
*First, they are messages meant for the actual churches which operated in first century Asia Minor.
*Second, they were written to the churches of 7 general time periods of the church age. Ephesus being the 1st century and Laodicea, the 20th and 21st century. The characteristics of churches during these periods and the history of the world seem to parallel the tenor of these 7 letters.
*And finally, these letters are written to all churches of the entire church age. Various churches have emulated the characteristics of these 7 various churches despite the era. There are Philadelphian churches and Ephesian churches in operation during our Laodicean age. It is an “if the shoe fits, wear it!” proposition.

According to the second interpretation, we would be living in the Laodicean church age. It is an age where the churches tend to be lukewarm; not on fire, not cool and refreshing. In other words, the churches are fairly innocuous, apathetic, ineffective, irrelevant. I would say that is an apt description of the majority of churches these days.

Additionally, we get to thinking we are all that. We are so self-sufficient and independent, not realizing how spiritually needy we are.

The worst indictment of all is that Jesus is on the outside, wanting to come back in!

Yet God, in His love and mercy, continues to sprinkle favor and blessing upon the churches of today. Souls are being saved and missionaries are being sent to the field. We had better wake up, see our miserable condition, repent and do what we are called to do.

By the way, we are not talking about the mainline denominations, up shoots or the Romanists. This Laodicean church is one of the candlesticks among which Jesus walked. It is (they are) legitimate church(es). This letter is to us, brethren. There is no justification in finger pointing, only introspection and appropriate action.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Sardis: Church of the Living Dead

Rev 3:1 And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith he that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead. 2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. 3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. 4 Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. 5 He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

We like to have our egos massaged from time to time. We tend to think of ourselves more highly than we ought to think. Most churches like to think they are all that, when in reality, we are just playing games.

The church of the Sardines may have really packed them into the pews, but there was enough fishy activity going on among the membership which displeased God to merit a strong condemnation.

They had a few things they were doing right and there were a few members who were faithful, and that's what kept them on life support.

Many of our churches today need to heed the same warning delivered to Sardis, "Watch out, strengthen the few things that you are doing right, hold on to the truth and repent of your error!"

Indeed, churches are so concerned with massaging egos that they have neglected the teaching of the whole counsel of God. Time for us to get revived and do the work we are called to do, evangelize, baptize, teach and train.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Jezebel Comes to Sunday School

Rev 2:20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols. 21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not. 22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds. 23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

Remember Jezebel? She was arguably the worst woman of the Bible. Delilah was a delight compared to this wicked witch of the north. She sissified her husband, invented imminent domain, persecuted Prophet Elijah and sunk Israel as low as she could go.

She is a symbol of corrupt leadership and degraded womanhood. If she were with us today, trick or treaters would be donning her mask more than any other.

Jesus invoked this despised name to let the church at Thyatira know how displeased He was with its teachers. They made use of ungodly teachers claiming the mantle of “prophetess” and drawing the church away from purity and soundness.

He warns that Jezebel's uncomely demise, eaten by dogs which left nothing of her but her palms and the bottoms of her feet, would be revisited upon these godless teachers of seduction.

The take away message here... churches need to stay true to the stuff and be careful the screen their teachers well.

Paul addressed the issue of teacher placement with Timothy, And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. 2 Tim 2:2

May God give our churches the wisdom to properly train our teachers so that the Great Commission is carried out according to God's prescription. May He give us the discernment to screen out the Jezebels who would subvert godly teaching.