It is hard to say what it is like for each of us living in these times (this website goes all over the world) but unless someone gets to heaven ahead of the rest of us, we are all living in a world with something major in common. We are all in a world where Babylon is gaining strength as it seeks to rise to global domination. By Babylon, I mean the combination of the demonic network (the beast of Revelation 17-18) and the human network (the scarlet woman, the whore of Revelation 17-18) it carries.
“The lost” of this world are on the road to “their last rebellion” before the return of the Lord.
We all know there have been major historical rebellions before. The first rebellion happened in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve had total freedom (except for one small command). They chose to listen to a fallen angel, rather than God (Eve listened to the devil, then Adam listened to Eve, who after eating the fruit, was used by the enemy to coerce Adam to eat some too).
Adam lived for over 900 years and though he undoubtedly was a major leader and godly patriarch, when he passed, things really went downhill for mankind. Man became so evil, that God repented even making him. That does not mean God did not want us, but His heart was broken at what most people had become. It was getting harder and harder for righteous people to live, because of the depravity of the lost who outnumbered them in large measure.
When it came down to the last thread of godliness, the Lord took a drastic measure. He wiped out all mankind but eight souls, being Noah, his wife and his family.
It was not long from the re-start after the Flood, that man declined again. This time, Noah had to watch his very own descendants go the way of rebellion. It is estimated that Noah lived 90 to 100 years longer than Peleg (his 3rd great grandson), who in his lifetime, the Babel rebellion happened. Noah lived 950 years, with 350 of those years after the Flood (Genesis 9:28-29). So we can see that it took no longer than 260 years to consummate another great fall of mankind and possibly a little less.
The tower of Babel incident was a turning point. The Lord had told everyone to go “out” from where they were and be fruitful. But they didn’t. And in a huge move of “we’ll show you God” they stayed together in one place and decided to build the tower.
What is often not realized, is just what happened that day. God did not just thwart their plans, He did that and much, much more. The Lord slowed down mankind’s ability to unite in such a rebellion again for a long, long time.
Genesis 11:7-9 Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another's speech." 8 So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city. 9 Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.
The “scattering” was the beginning of a divided culture that would divide people like never before. Up until this time, there was one language and one culture. Whatever Noah’s family language was, was their language and whatever cultural ways they had, were their cultural ways. And then: it all changed. Not only did God spread the people out, but He changed their language from one to many. If you study history and travel, one can easily see how much much more happened, than just a change of language. Along with new languages, came cultural division. It is not mere language that separates people. People think and act differently according to their culture and environments.
The division in the days of Peleg (the scattering from the tower of Babel), “bought us time” as mankind, but man is still headed for another great rebellion. The EU has the tower of Babel incorporated into the design of one of its main buildings in Strasbourg, with the original intent of having many languages but with one voice. The United States has a saying, “e pluribus unum” which means “out of many, one.”
Little by little, the world is heading for a one world system. The threat of globalism is real. The Bible says that it is coming, and along with it, will come wars and rumors of wars. So it is an illusion to think it will bring peace. Globalistic socialism will lead to globalistic communism. For close to six thousand years, the devil has been using his trickery upon man. He has honed his evil craft and worked hard to spin a web of deceit for those who will naively fall into his trap.
In the message we have about Babylon, the whore and the beast, it is shown clearly how it works. The beast is the devil’s kingdom of darkness, with its own hierarchy. The whore, is made up of various humans that it carries. So the whore, is the evil human network carried by the demonic network. The evil network has been here all along (as it never dies) but the humans of the system change as people live and die. Whoever is alive, that knowingly or unknowingly, is carried by and used by the devil, is part of the system of the whore.
The difference between the lost and those who know their Savior, is defined by whatever they love the most: darkness or light . Everyone is one of the two. Sooner or later, whatever one we love the most, will come out in all of us.
The people of the whore, victimize anyone and everyone, that they can make money from, take advantage of or acquire more power off of. They are often excellent liars and actors. People of the whore are everywhere, from politicians, to bankers, judges, lawyers, insurance execs, high finance and big company operators, military personnel, merchants of anything and everything. The big lie of the last days, is getting something for nothing. It comes as “everything should be fair and provided for: for all” so that “all will be fair for all.” In reality, it will turn out that the real ones who will benefit, will not be the common man that will have taken the carrot. The whore’s human network will prosper and the rest will be equally dominated and poor.
When Babylon (the Babylon of Revelation 18:11-19) is destroyed, all will be in shock. The people of the whore who profited from it, will cry at their loss.
For now, Babylon is plotting and pushing to rise. For now, godly people need to draw close to God and hold firm, as the earth around us grows spiritually dark. While there is not much to look forward to on one hand, there is very much to look forward to, on the other. People who are ripe for salvation, will not be able to ride the fence for much longer. Many will go with the whore, but the ones who will not, need to see Jesus in God’s people. Real love, real faith, etc. We will see those who are serious about getting saved becoming truly saved. We will see the body of Christ becoming truly pure. The fake church will continue, but the real church will not be able to continue being a part of it. The worldliness of it, will continue in becoming unbearable.
Pressure brings refinement. Refinement brings more of the presence of God in our lives. When the devil tried to destroy the early church it did not work. The church only grew. And so it will happen again.
Things are going to change. Draw close to God and He will draw close to you. Prepare to have your faith pressure tested! Prepare to be a sharper tool of the Lord. Putting one’s head in the sand like an ostrich will not stop what is coming or help one become their best. In all likelihood, the Bible will become illegal. It will be considered a hate book because it tells the truth. And truth is going to become rarer and rarer. Get God’s Word in your heart, not only to help you be your best but also because it may not be so easy to have a Bible for long.
Prepare to suffer for being a Christian. I cannot say how or when it will happen, but in the communism put forth by Russians on Eastern Europe, they were denied plenty. Unless one was “approved by” or “part of” the controlling party then one got lesser jobs, lesser education, etc.
Some might say this is "gloom and doom" talk. If "the truth" is "gloom and doom" then so be it. If I am wrong, praise the Lord and it was a false alarm. But if I am right and this truth is ignored... then so be it also. The Lord will help His people who listen to Him. How can He help those who do not?
Draw close to the Lord and re-read Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, Revelation and Daniel. Seek the Lord in what He means about what you read. Do not just listen to people. Seek the Lord and listen to Him. Learn to be a better listener to Him. Becoming a better listener comes with practice. Hearing the direction and voice of the Holy Spirit is important to any Christian and how much more important it is to those living in the last of the last days.
We have been given a reprieve for right now, with people even trying to stand up and stop the globalist movement. This will come to an end sooner or later, and the globalist agenda will go forth with even greater momentum. I am so thankful for this time of reprieve but we need to realize that a reprieve is exactly what it is and react accordingly!
The true church will be the church triumphant. Escapism theology is a myth and the church will go through much to be refined. Press into the Lord and get your life in order. No one wanted to hear the truth when Jeremiah cried out at the gate and the same is true today. But Nebuchadnezzar came and a worse one than him is coming soon. Don’t be deceived and prepare your heart and life as much as possible!
To understand more about how the wicked people of the scarlet woman/whore are carried by the wicked kingdom of the devil, see the article, The Scarlet Beast And The Mystery, Babylon, The Great, The Mother Of Harlots, And Of The Abominations Of The Earth.
Have you ever considered how much our salvation cost Father God and His Son, Jesus? Even the highest price and the worst suffering was not too much for the Lord to pay for us to have the chance to spend eternity in heaven with Them. This important truth shows us all how much God loves us! His love for us immeasurable.
God knew from the beginning of creation what every human being would or would not do, starting with Adam and Eve and ending with the last man that will ever live on earth. God was outside of time, when He created the earth and the whole universe. God knew how history would develop and how much sin there would be on the earth, so nothing could ever surprise Him. That's why it seems incredible that even after mankind has proven how evil and malicious we could be, God continued to love us with His perfect love. Not even the fact that Jesus would be terribly rejected, mocked, unloved and unappreciated by God's people first and later by the rest of the world, this did not prevent God the Father or Jesus from changing their minds about the salvation plan. Jesus endured mockery, humiliation, whipping and even death by crucifixion (the most shameful death of those times) without fighting back, fulfilling the prophecies of the Old Testament.
All this shows us that God's desire is for us, not against, and that we should “work out our own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12). Then the apostle Paul says:
“For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.”
When we truly understand who we are and what we have in Christ Jesus, we know that all that is good comes from Him, including the desire to continue to be faithful to Him and that He continues to help us live for Him until the end.
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one..” (John 10:27-30)
Jesus calls us His sheep and Himself the “Good Shepherd.” If we hear His voice (Holy Spirit), we are known by Him and we follow Him. It is such a blessing to know that nobody can “snatch us from His or His Father's hand.”
We are not only in Jesus' hand, but at the same time we are in Father God's hand. There is no one higher or more powerful than the Lord in the whole Universe, and we are protected in His hand, so we will make it to heaven and be there with God forever! What a marvelous gift! What an amazing promise! Because He created us with free will, if we would choose to leave Him, He would let us go. It is up to us and only us, to accept Him and stay with Him or not. The Lord wants us to make it, to be able to defeat any of the devil's attacks and overcome any hardships caused by our own bad decisions or even by our enemies. Father God wants us to be able to fight the good fight, to keep the faith and finish the race as Paul did in 2 Timothy 4:7-8:
“I have fought the good (worthy, honorable, and noble) fight, I have finished the race, I have kept (firmly held) the faith. [As to what remains] henceforth there is laid up for me the [victor's] crown of righteousness [for being right with God and doing right], which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me and recompense me on that [great] day—and not to me only, but also to all those who have loved and yearned for and welcomed His appearing (His return).”
The seven seals are amazing. The Lord wants us to know important events that are to come. And the information about these important events come from a scroll with seven seals that could only be opened by one person. Only one person was worthy to open this scroll. As the song says, “Worthy is the Lamb” because the Lamb of God, who is also the Lion of Judah, is the only one who could do it.
Many people today, try to say that the seven seals have already started, which as of this date, 5-21-2018 we can know that it has not. How can we know? We know because the first one has not happened yet. When it does, we will all know in short order. The first one is when “a crown and the authority to conquer” are given to the Antichrist. Somehow people mistake this rider of this white horse as our Lord. Jesus will not come and be the first of four horses at the rapture. At the rapture, He will come on clouds, stop in the air and call His people up. He will not be coming down on the earth or go about destruction with a crown that has to be given to Him. He already has His crown and He sits at the right hand of Father God. The Lord does ride a white horse at Armageddon and the armies of heaven will be riding with him (at the conclusion of the seven years). You can read more about it at Two White Horses, Two Very Different Riders Two Different Times.
In the article linked to at the bottom of this blog, one can see how closely the seals correlate with Matthew 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21. The seven seals lead to the Rapture which will happen midway in the last seven years of this age. The Christians that are killed and referenced during the fifth seal, are not converts after the rapture which the Bible never says will happen; on the contrary, they are some of the believers which will be slain as things worsen in these last of the last days, just as the Bibles says will happen (Matthew 24:9, 21-22, Mark 13:12, Luke 21:16-17).
"When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, "How long, O Lord, holy and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?" Then a white robe was given to each of them; and it was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed."
Christians will not have to live through God's wrath that will be poured out with the seven trumpets and seven bowls after the Rapture and the sealing of the 144,000 Jews (12,000 from each tribe of Israel - which happens before the first trumpet blows as it says in Revelation 7:1-4). The first half of the seven years is tribulation for everyone, but the second half is the judgment and wrath of God upon the wicked. The “last trumpet” that sounds at the rapture that Paul wrote about in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 and Jesus told us about Matthew 24:31 is not the last trumpet of the seven that John saw and wrote about in the book of Revelation. John's 7th trumpet is after 6 bowls of the wrath of God are poured out upon the wicked of this earth. The last trumpet of Paul in 1 Thessalonians is the last trumpet because it will mark the “end of the age of salvation” for mankind. The two witnesses will have preached for 1260 days (3 ½ years) and the Gospel will have gone out to the whole earth as the Lord said it would before His return to get us (Matthew 24:14). The last trumpet at the rapture marks the end for the wicked as well as the call for God's children. In order to believe that the last trumpet of the book of Revelation is the trumpet of the rapture, one would have to believe that all Christians will have to live through God's wrath. This would also called a post-trib view.
The seven seals are much different from the seven trumpets and seven bowls in two very interesting ways. 1- The seals do not involve being distributed by angels as the trumpets and bowls do. 2- The seals tell us of future events involving what the church and world will go through while the trumpets and bowls are the judgment and wrath of God are clearly upon the wicked.
For more information on how the 6th and 7th seals are the rapture and more of an in-depth look at the seven seals, please consider the article: The Seven Seals of Revelation.
When life gets too busy or hard, we can feel drained and low on strength, and find ourselves operating in a vulnerable state. Making a mental choice to “do better or be stronger” is not really enough because we are spiritual beings.
When we have “given of ourselves too much” or are living with an “open wound caused by a deep hurt” or “severe loss” of some kind, we must stop and deal with our condition. How we handle our stressed or weakened condition is everything.
If we listen to sad secular music, we will get sadder. If we listen to the unseen spiritual enemy, who tries to convince us of how unfair things are and how much worse we have it than others, it will not help us at all and only make matters worse. There are endless possibilities of all kinds of unhealthy thoughts and situations that do not build us back up or strengthen us.
For those of us who are Christians, we have the Lord. If we will remain close to Him, calling upon and even crying out to Him, it makes it possible for the Lord to help us. When we lay our issues at His feet and worship Him from our hearts, despite the pain, something amazing happens. We become comforted and strengthened. Additionally, as we listen to Christian praise and worship or simply sing something meaningful from our hearts to the Lord, the process continues. This is God's way of helping us re-hydrate spiritually.
In a way, the “spiritual us” operates along with the “mental us.” The deeper level is the spiritual. This deeper level is where our “spiritual strength” comes from. Positive “thoughts” are nice and helpful but only in the deeper part of us, are we really strengthened spiritually.
In choosing to “trust and praise God” - especially and including when it hurts the most, we find something that cannot be attained any other way and that is a deeper level of spiritual strength. Sincere prayer, worship, godly mediation, praise, etc - all these actions on our part, are used by the Lord, to strengthen us.
If we try to continue in our “own strength” or by just “trying to be more positive” we may be helped somewhat but not in strength that comes from doing it the Lord's way. We are not just physical beings with minds; we are spiritual beings with bodies and minds. Much secular reasoning, and even some reasoning found in the church, says that emotions are only mental. This is not true and is the reason why finding mental solutions is often not near enough.
When we give our “issues” - our hurts, pains, needs, etc. to the Master of wisdom, love, comfort and strength and we trust and praise Him despite how bad it hurts at the time, then we are allowing God to help us His way. And we all know that His ways are higher and better than ours.
Some Christians have come to a place in their lives when they do this automatically because they have learned to do so by being sensitive to listening to the Holy Spirit and His direction. But some have never realized the process or even seen it demonstrated. The choices we make when we are hurt and even struggling the most, are especially going to be for better or worse. Choosing the Lord and His ways are the best ways and with trust, praise, worship and prayer and even simple songs sung sincerely to Him from our hearts will bless the Lord but also restrengthen us. Just as physical athletes must be hydrated, so must Christians in the daily battles of life. And sometimes the battles come rapidly, one after another. These types of godly choices, help “hydrate us” for the kind of strength we need daily and especially when life is too much or too fast.
So let us choose to battle God's way, taking time to face our challenges and circumstances with His Word and actually stand on His promises. We can give our pains and issues to Him, trusting in His plans for our situations. And instead of allowing the negative thoughts that the devil comes with or even our own negative thoughts of doubt and despair, or choosing to listen to sad secular songs that drain us even more; we can choose to listen to healing and uplifting godly songs and stay close to the Lord through prayer and worship. These types of choices give the Lord the opportunity to restrengthen us.
In conclusion, becoming a Christian is just the beginning. We must learn to live life according the direction of God's Word, the Bible, and by the direction of the Holy Spirit. And as we do as Jesus did, taking time out from the pressures and hurriedness of living in a demanding world, to personally seek the Lord alone and find His refreshing, then we in-turn, are strengthened and will go through the next round of daily pressures from a place of strength instead of feeling drained and in a weakened condition. As we literally “praise the Lord” from our hearts, He lifts us up from where ever we are! To win the battles of daily life, we must invest making the kind of choices that help us operate from a place of strength!
Endurance is something we cannot live without! Quitters really never do win. Jesus endured. His church throughout the centuries, has endured. His Bride will endure.
We need to make our minds up ahead of time, that when the going gets rough, that by the grace and strength of God, we will endure. And that if the pre-tribulation mindset that has spread among the church is wrong (and it is) and we have to go through some very hard times, before the Lord splits the skies open and calls us up to Him, that we will endure.
Ask any serious athlete or successful entrepreneur how important a strong mindset is and they will tell you. Ask anyone who works at a cancer hospital how important it is. Most will tell you a strong mindset is more than half the battle.
We need to set our minds and hearts that for today and even if the tide turns against us and persecution really steps up, that we will stay true to our faith and God's Word. We need to set our hearts that when the enemy comes with with ear tickling deception, that we will not fall for it. When the evil one comes on the scene, with all manners of charismatic speeches and even if some of our church leaders fail and are oohing and awing over him, that we will not go that direction. We need to truly know our God and His Word now, not just as we have heard of Him, but know Him personally so that as the world goes, we do not. We need to be filled with God's Spirit and His Word. We need to be truly living our faith. We have been called out of this world and to be the true church of Jesus Christ, no matter what our denominations are.
Here are few verses just for thought and mediation, in regard to endurance and perseverance:
“Do not be sad, for your rejoicing in the Lord is the source of your strength”” Nehemiah 8:10b
“No king is saved by the multitude of an army; a mighty man is not delivered by great strength. A horse is a vain hope for safety; neither shall it deliver any by its great strength. Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, on those who hope in His mercy, to deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine. Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in Him, because we have trusted in His holy name.” Psalms 33:16-21
“You are my strength, I watch for you; you, God, are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely.” Psalms 59:9b-10
“How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to Your Word. I seek You with all my heart; do not let me stray from Your commands. I have hidden Your Word in my heart that I might not sin against You. Praise be to You, Lord; teach me Your decrees. With my lips I recount all the laws that come from Your mouth. I rejoice in following Your statutes as one rejoices in great riches. I meditate on Your precepts and consider Your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your Word.” Psalms 119:9-16
“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for in Yah, the Lord, is everlasting strength.” Isaiah 26:3-4
“Lift up your eyes on high, and see who has created these things, who brings out their host by number; He calls them all by name, by the greatness of His might and the strength of His power; not one is missing. Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel: "My way is hidden from the Lord, and my just claim is passed over by my God"? Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:26-31
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.” Matthew 7:24-25
“But he who endures to the end shall be saved.” Matthew 24:13
“To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, He will give eternal life.” Romans 2:7
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12
“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had” Romans 15:5
“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Galatians 6:9
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put “on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints--” Ephesians 6:10-18
“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17
“You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.” Hebrews 10:36
“And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12:1b-3
“Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” James 1:12
“'These things says He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands: I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil. And you have tested those who say they are apostles and are not, and have found them liars; and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name's sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place--unless you repent. But this you have, that you hate the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.'" Revelation 2:1-7
“'Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.'" Revelation 2:10b-11
“'But hold fast what you have till I come. And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations-- 'He shall rule them with a rod of iron; They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter's vessels'-- as I also have received from My Father; and I will give him the morning star. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'" Revelation 2:25-29
“'You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'" Revelation 3:4-6
“'Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. And I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'" Revelation 3:11-13
“'As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.'" Revelation 3:19-22
“He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." Revelation 21:7-8
Living in the last of the last days is an incredible time to be alive. To many it is horrifying and before it is over, many will even have their hearts failing them from fear.
How do we live in peace and confidence in these times? For sure, our strength and confidence is in the Lord just as always, only now we need Him more and as times goes forward, we will need Him even more and more.
Do we want anyone we know and love, to have to go through the trumpets and bowls of God's judgment and wrath that will be poured out after the rapture? Do we want anyone we know and love, to go to the pits and flames of hell and eternal misery? Of course not. So as the time grows shorter and the labor pains of these last days increase, we must increase in living our lives as true servants of the Lord. We must live what we say we believe. Our lives speak louder than our words and we must give the Lord words He can use too. We must do all we can to see those in our own personal mission fields come to the Lord.
If we draw close to God and He will draw close to us. Our God is our Rock. He is our Savior. He is our Strength. He is our Comforter. He is closer than our breath. He is the Word of God and He has given us His Word. We need to be in His Word so that His Word is in us. When the time of grace has passed that we have been given currently, I believe the enemy may be allowed to move forward very fast and when he does, the world including America, will most probably grow very dark, very quickly. God will allow devastations to increase because for so many, that is what is takes to get them to wake up spiritually.
People around us are watching us. Yes, many hate us and will hate us even more as the wicked continue on their paths. But at the same time, some will come to the Lord because of seeing Christ in us and hearing about Him from what we share.
The devil knows his time is short and is giving it all he has. How much more should the body of Christ be doing all it can?
Press in to the Lord dear brother and sister. Be closer to Him than ever and listen with the best hearing possible to the leading of the Holy Spirit. We are the bride of Christ who has to make herself ready and be the true church that listens to its head, our Lord Jesus.
Oh Lord, help us to hear, trust and obey you today and always. Anoint and use us to the maximum Lord. Save as many souls as possible around us (and all over this earth) from the foolishness of rebelling against You and the price tag of sin. Thank You Lord, in Jesus' Name, amen.
For more thoughts about living in these times, please see the article The Best Biblical Mindset for Living in the Last Days.
Revelation 3:1 “And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, ‘These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.”
The Holy Spirit, in His whole complexity and perfection (called by Jesus the seven Spirits), and the angels of the seven churches from Asia Minor (“The mystery of the seven stars which you saw in My right hand, and the seven golden lampstands: The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches.” - Revelation 1:20 ) belong to Jesus Christ. He is holding the “seven stars” in His right hand, which means that He not only has authority over the churches but they are also very important to Him.
In the letters to the seven churches of Revelation, Jesus is sending messages of both admonishment and correction to the churches, which to Him is not a list of people that completed a membership form, but are those who were truly born again and faithful to the end. If we judge by what we see in the natural, we might say that those who attend church on regular basis are the ones who are spiritually alive. But Jesus sees beyond “appearances” and knows if we live our lives truly lead by the Holy Spirit or if we are sadly really living it according to our carnal nature. He knows everything about us and nothing is hidden from Him.
The problems that Jesus is calling serious attention throughout the letters to the seven churches, are common to all churches throughout history, including to those in today. Hypocrisy was and still is very present in churches and in many Christians lives. It is so common that most of the time, we do not even realize when are hypocrites or being hypocritical, trying to seem more holy than we really are, making sure we look good to other people. It is really helpful for us to never forget that God knows our true hearts and thoughts and sees all our secrets and that we should be much more concerned about what He sees in us and in our behavior, than what other people see.
Revelation 3:2 “Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God.”
Are we saved by works? No way! We are saved by grace, but “faith without works is dead” (James 2:26). Our works and behavior, are the result of our spiritual condition. It is up to us to be watchful, to analyze our spiritual condition and take the necessary measures to strengthen our faith as we walk on God's path. How we are doing spiritually completely dictates what we think and our actions. If most of the time we meditate upon God's Word, His ways, love and care and we live our lives with the leadership of the Holy Spirit then the outcome is pleasing to the Lord and we will stay on the right path. But if choose our thoughts to be mainly about our problems, other people, temptations and all that is worldly and all too-often the disproportional activities of life, then we are choosing to be carnal and we are deceiving ourselves if we think we are on the right track. Dear Lord please help us see the truth about ourselves and correct what needs to be corrected.
Revelation 3:3 “Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.”
What can we do? It is important to stop and remember what we received when we came to Jesus and what it means when Jesus is the true Lord of our lives. Faith comes by hearing and so does doubt. Hearing the Word of God, produces faith in our hearts. On the other hand, by hearing and paying attention to what the world say on so many matters, we start to doubt that God's power and miracles can work for us and our faith is easily replaced by doubt.
We need to hold fast to our faith and be quick to repent once we realize we sin. Forgiveness of sin comes only after we sincerely repent. We need to recognize the sin, regret it and oftentimes ask for the Lord's help to not repeat it. What is really spooky is when we “sin” and are no longer “sorry” then this is evidence of a huge problem. Only a hardened heart becomes insensitive to sin and if we find our selves in such a position, it should shake us to our very core. We keep a soft and pliable heart, by being watchful, paying attention to what is going on in our heart. If not, Jesus says that He will come upon us “as a thief” meaning suddenly. None of us know when will leave this earth, so we should stay right with God at all times, keeping a clean, soft heart and a pure conscience. Praise God that through Jesus Christ we have all we need to do that.
James 1:6-8 “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”
Faith is the opposite of doubt and the two, can not co-exist. Doubt causes us to wave between belief and unbelief. We should have faith in God's help, care, love, provision, best solution to every bad situation we are facing and in the truth of His Word and promises. But if we listen to the enemy's voice or human reasoning, instead of the Holy Spirit, our trust might be soon be replaced by uncertainty and lack of confidence that God wants to help us out, heal us or perform any miracle for us. Not even the most powerful men of God can say that they have been completely fearless and have not fallen into doubt, worry or concern, when they faced tough situations. But, the more we mature in the Spirit, the less it will take to strengthen up our faith. We are strengthened by remembering how the Lord saw us through with His help and even miracles previously in desperate situations. When we choose to remember or find the Bible verses that reveal God's will in our situations then we are able to be strong in faith and eliminate the doubt. As we start to pray using God's promises, we are increasing our confidence that we will receive what we are asking for. And as we proclaim God's Word as we know it is still true today, we are producing a more concrete faith that will produce the best results. You may read more on the matter at click here: “How do we know that the old testament promises are valid for the gentiles, too?”
Revelation 3:4-6 “You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. 5 He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. 6 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’”
God is always has a remnant of sincere believers that serve Him with all their hearts, even when the majority doesn't. Even if God's remnant is greatly outnumbered, they refuse to follow the crowd and are fully committed to the Lord and try their best to live right, following the Bible and the leadership of the Holy Spirit. How is this possible? Their true desire to follow Christ and His leadership in every area of their lives. We can be like them, doing what it takes to keep “our spiritual garments” clean. With the help of the Holy Spirit, we are able to not sin on purpose and to overcome temptation, by staying focused on God's Word and refusing thoughts about the lusts of the flesh. As Paul said about himself:
1 Corinthians 9:27 ”But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”
Jesus will dress us up in white garments, if we remain in Him and His Word remains in us (John 15:7). We cannot be branches in the vine, that is Jesus, if we live under the leadership of our carnal nature (our flesh) and not the Holy Spirit.
The meaning of “to be worthy” in Revelation 3:4 (according to Thayer's Greek Lexicon), is to deserve Jesus' fellowship and all the blessings connected with it. We will deserve to spend eternal life with Jesus in Heaven, if we live for Him to the end.
Revelation 2:10 b ”Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.”
Jesus says that He will “ not blot out the name from the Book of Life” of the one who is worthy and overcomes. This means that there is “the possibility” to have one's name erased from it. Jesus is talking to born-again Christians that have their names written in the Book if Life and He reaffirms that we have to live right until the end to make it to Heaven. If Jesus will not confess our name before Father God and His angels, then we will not be covered by His righteousness, which means that our sins will not be forgiven. As a result, we will pay for them by being separated from God for eternity, which is the second death. This is serious.
Oh Lord, please help us keep our spiritual ears sincerely open and truly sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit, fulfilling what You tell us to do and living in obedience to You every day, because we want to conclude our journey on this earth, in Your arms.
The Lord has given us all discernment. Without it, we would not last long in this world. We encounter thoughts and circumstances all day, every day. And healthy fear keeps us from trouble. From learning not to play with fire to not playing on a busy street. From not hurting others' feelings unnecessarily to working well with others at our jobs. Discernment and healthy fear are important. However, unhealthy fear is a danger that we need to all be aware of.
Healthy fear keeps us on the wise path but unhealthy fear subtly opens the door to the enemy. When we give more place to fear than to God's ability to help us through our circumstances, it does at least two things. For one, it is a lack of faith in God and that is really bad. Not only is without faith, impossible to please God but to doubt God including His ability to help us, is a sin. Secondly, when we turn our back on God's provision for our circumstances, we open the door to trouble.
Right choices empower God to work in our circumstances and wrong choices empower the devil and his cohorts to work. It is up to us, who we empower. We cannot give place to the devil and expect to see God move in our circumstances. The sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, has been given to us not only for our defense, but also for our offense; and we must not only stand on His Word, but sometimes we have to apply and wield the Sword. We must pray prayers of faith and eliminate doubt. We must ask the Lord for His wisdom and direction in our challenges.
Wisdom calls out for us to trust God and not fear. All throughout the Bible, we see the Lord exhorting and commanding His people not to have unhealthy fear but rather to put their faith and trust in Him. And just like those who have gone before us, the choice is up to each one of us. Do we listen to the voice of fear or the voice of the Holy Spirit? One is a miserable spring of torment and the other a well-spring of life. Let's choose to truly believe and really trust the Lord, not just in lip service but with all our hearts and in all our ways!
As David, the psalmist, king and giant-slayer, said to the Lord when he was girding himself up:
“Whenever I am afraid, I will trust in You. Psalms 56:3
And as the prophet Isaiah recorded the Word of the Lord:
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.'” Isaiah 41:10
And Jeremiah, the weeping prophet whose assignment was to one of the most stiff-necked generations ever, wrote:
"Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8
And our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, said:
'"And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him! Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God.” Luke 12:4-6
Over the years, the Lord has delivered me from sin, the penalty and bondage of it, including from various bad habits. He set me free from all kinds of things such as from smoking cigarettes to frivolously spending money. And lately, He has helped me even more.
Not everyone is born into a Christian home where Jesus is Lord. And while I come from a very hard working and tenacious background, I learned many things that the Lord has had to help me with and show me new ways. We know that when we become born-again, all things are new. This is meant spiritually. In the physical, if we weighed 300 pounds, we are born-again but still weigh 300 pounds. And the habits we had, become affected by the new born-again spirit but we still have to be renewed and transformed in our minds according to God's Word.
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”
And in this life-long process, Jesus gave me a key to help! I was reading my favorite “rapture chapters” Matthew 24, Luke 21 and Mark 13 again and while in Luke 21 and meditating on the Lord's words, He said something amazing. He said “By your patience possess your souls.” (Luke 21:19)
Patience for me has been a life-long challenge. While I have been delivered from swearing for many years, patience is something that I have struggled with. And there were these words of Jesus jumping off the page to me; “By your patience possess your souls.”
Wow. And along with it, seemed to come the realization that not only will this key take us through the tribulation that Jesus was warning about but also to help us daily.
I knew all to well that when we lose our cool, that it is when it is the hardest to not judge or criticize or slip to use swear words. And I was always seeking to “praise the Lord at ALL times.” Somehow, suddenly, a realization was sinking into my heart that when we lose our patience, we not only can lose our souls in the long run but also in the immediate when we disappoint the Lord who is trying to lead and direct us. And that, praise God, when we keep our patience, we possess our souls! From studying the Bible over the years, I knew that “souls” does not always necessarily mean “spirits” but can often mean our “minds.” And in this case, in keeping our patience, we can keep it both!
”But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.”
Naturally, this revelation was the beginning of the journey. My personal testimony is found under the testimonies and encouragement section as “Jesus Set Me Free... Again” and also an article called, on our sister website ”By Your Patience Possess Your Souls” co-written together by myself and C. Pușcaș. For more information on the "renewing of the mind," we also have the article ”Renewing the Mind” available there.
If patience and keeping your cool has been a challenge too, please consider one or more of the articles. The Holy Spirit in teaching and shedding His light on this matter, truly helped our “paradigms” and not only are we are not the same, but strength and joy have come from it.
The Lord bless and keep you in 2017 and always,
There really is a war between God and the devil. The devil started it but God will finish it. The devil was created good; he was beautiful to behold and high ranking in heaven but he made the grave mistake of trying to usurp God. He not only is the father of lies but he is also the father of rebellion and mutiny.
No human on earth knows all the details, but we do know that Satan decided he wanted to be like God in his heart. He sold the same lie to a third of the angels in heaven. He entered the Garden to purposely try to usurp the Lord there too with Adam and Eve.
Everyone who sins, no matter what particular sin, commits sin against God. Everyone who sins, buys into the lie from the father of lies, the father of mutiny in that: You can be like God. You can do what you want, when you want, how you want. You do not have to listen to God. Be your own god. That is “the lie.”
The truth is: God is #1. He made everything including the rules. Rule # 1 is God is God. Not you or I and certainly not the devil. Disobedience is expensive; no one can afford it, as it separates us from what we were made for and that is wonderful fellowship with our Father God.
So how does “the war” work since the devil was cast out of heaven to earth and did his dirty-work in the Garden?
There is a constant battle for our souls. God wants us to make heaven and tries to help us while the devil seeks to kill and destroy humans. Every person that falls for the lie that God does not have to be honored and obeyed is a soul for the devil.
Where Christians are, there is Light. Where the lost are, there is darkness. Demonic forces use humans. Demonic forces are empowered by using humans. The devil wants to rid the earth of Christians and as more people choose against God, the earth will grow darker and the devil will be more empowered. We as humans cannot normally see in the spirit, but we sure see the results. The situation is real. Once before, the whole earth grew spiritually dark and had to be cleansed with a Flood and God did a “re-start” with Noah and his family. Today, we are near the End of this Age. This is it. We are approaching final curtain call.
If we choose God and obedience to Him, we are empowered in the Light. If we choose the lie, rooted from the master liar and mutineer, then we belong to darkness.
Righteous decisions and actions empower heaven to work. Disobedience to God empowers evil to work. One might say, I choose neither. To not choose, is still disobedience to God.
The more darkness the devil can develop in people of disobedience, the more power he has. God is all-powerful. But He gave us the option of free will (though the consequences of sin is death, He offers a pardon to those who repent and accept and follow Jesus Christ). So until the “time of choice” is over, God allows a certain amount of choice, even against Him. But there will come a day of reckoning.
The goal of Satan is the end of Christianity on earth and to take heaven by force. He is still full of his rebellious and mutinous self. And the end is still clear. God wins. Even if Christians get caught in the devil's cross hairs, the worst he can do is take our bodies. When handling the thoughts of extreme persecution and possibly death, we need to combat fear by remembering the words of our Lord, “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”
And take total heart in: "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?"
Take heart, hold fast and press in close to the Lord, for the final countdown is approaching fast, ready or not.