October 17, 2006 – WHAT TIME IS IT?
No one knows the day or the hour of the Lord’s return, but I believe the Spirit and the signs all around us are pointing out His soon return. It is better to be prepared to board the “ark of safety” than to find out we missed the boat. I am speaking here of the “catching away of the bride of Christ.” There are a lot of differing interpretations of scriptures on end time events, but because of recent spiritual words and burdens from the Lord, I would like to share some of what the Spirit has been laying on my heart.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2006
“THERE IS A DICHOTOMY (divided into two contradictory parts) IN SCRIPTURE BETWEEN WHAT IS TAUGHT AND UNDERSTOOD AND WHAT IS GOING TO HAPPEN. I WILL GIVE YOU UNDERSTANDING AND KNOWLEDGE OF THIS DIVISION OF SCRIPTURE AND YOU MUST TEACH IT FOR IT WILL SHORTLY COME TO PASS.” DEU 32:1 Listen, O heavens, and I will speak; hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. 2 Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants. 3 I will proclaim the name of the LORD. Oh, praise the greatness of our God!”
Let me first give you the background and the signs of the times for the dichotomies in scripture: ~A Hard Road before Them Matthew 10:16 I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. 17 “Be on your guard against men; they will hand you over to the local councils and flog you in their synagogues. 18 On my account you will be brought before governors and kings as witnesses to them and to the Gentiles. 19 But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, 20 for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Most of us have not experienced being sheep among wolves and we are free to speak without fear of harm. In the past, we have not had to be on guard against imprisonment for our testimony. These background scriptures speak of the time before his return when these very things will be a real threat. We accept or reject a scripture (such as those above) according to the events happening in our life at the present time. If it doesn’t fit the world as we perceive it, we reject it! We all hate change for the worst, but it is coming. God is warning us of “change to come”.
Dichotomy is defined as: division into two parts, opposed or contradictory groups. God gave me the following dichotomous scriptures, which convey the thought of totally dying to self and being willing to pay whatever it costs (even unto death) to follow him. It also means that we must die to self that we may gain life in Christ.
- Matthew 10:39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
- Mark 8:36 What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?
- Luke 17:33 Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.
- LUKE 9:24 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it.
- John 12:25 The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
As I studied these scriptures, the words “lose his life for my sake” leaped out at me. God requires us to give up our lives, if necessary, and many in the world are already facing death for the cause of Christ. Most of us, though, as I wrote above, are so insulated and blessed that we have never had to risk physical danger for our faith. However, we are beginning to see and experience opposition in this country for our Christian beliefs as well as a world wide war waged for the death of Christianity. You only have to look around you to see that Christian teaching and testimony is unpopular in the public arena. They are deemed politically incorrect and are being locked out of many places where they were once revered. I am astounded at how easily our culture has assimilated evil into its definition of what is right. Isaiah 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. Everyone knows that we are locked in a death struggle between good and evil, truth and error, and God and satan. It seems far more acute than it has ever been and this war, aimed at us, is minimal compared to what is coming. Matthew 10:22 All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. Matthew 10:27 What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. Matthew 10:32 “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. 33 But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in heaven. John 12:23 Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. John 12:24 I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.
I am wondering if the war in heaven has just taken place and SATAN and his minions, principalities, and powers have been cast to the earth because the time is short. Revelation 12:7 And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. Revelation 12:8 But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. 9 The great dragon was hurled down – that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him. I am not an expert on eschatology and I make no such claim. I believe we are the end-time generation because of the rampant display of evil that is everywhere. These signs of the times are “truth” and God is reminding us of the cost of the battle ahead, so that we can remain free and not be entangled in satan’s infamy.
Some of us have not given all to the cause of Christ and more could be required. We have been called to the kingdom of God for such a time as this. We are not to accept the rule of evil over us. We are to curse, through faith in Christ, the specific acts of darkness around us. Christ cursed the fig tree and it withered away. Mark 11:23 “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.” God has given us His authority to “bind and loose” or to “bless and curse.” As the above scripture points out, we must “believe the words we speak and it will be done for us.” We are to bless those that are righteous so that they flourish. Remaining idle and docile under satan’s attacks will only give him power that belongs to the children of God. Luke 10:19 I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. We must rise up and pay whatever sacrifice is necessary to overcome satan! James 4:7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. This message is a “wake up call” to join the battle against satan and evil. It is time to rise up in prayer and intercession for our nation and the nations of the world for God’s righteousness and justice to rule in the land. Prayer changes things and I have seen God bring down satan many times through prayer. I pray that as you read this message you will be moved to start a prayer group in your neighborhood or among your friends to block satan and gain the victory for the kingdom of God. Wherever we see sin and injustice we should move against it.
Luke 4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” The early apostles preached this message and “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” The prayer group that backs this ministry is effectively praying for individuals, as well as conditions in the world that only glorify satan. There are many such prayer groups in God’s kingdom. We are called to redouble our efforts in every way. Now, however, the call to prayer is stronger and takes on new meaning because the enemy has come in like a flood and we must ask God to lift up a standard against him. We must follow our prayers with actions. “We overcome evil with good and through the blood of the lamb and words of our testimony!”
I had a very interesting and exciting thing happen to me at 4:10 am this morning (October 8, 2006). I awakened and was speaking in another tongue. Immediately the spirit interpreted the short message: “You say in yourself that you are insignificant! I am in you and I am significant (having great importance and consequence)! You shall never be separated from me and I will be with you forever.” I arose this morning with a new infusion of the word and a new determination to have the world see the significance of God in our lives and in the world. Praise the Lord! Through Christ in us, we can be significant if we allow Christ to rule in our lives. If we are willing to fight for the cause of Christ, God will fight for us. When we faithfully pray, according to His will, God extends to us all the resources of heaven.
There are two scriptures I want to share with you because they are powerful. Galatians 3:13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, 14 He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit. GEN 12:2 “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” I firmly believe that God will bless the works of our hands and those who bless us, because he told Abraham that he would. Christ then tells us that we were redeemed in order that the blessings given to Abraham could be passed on to the children of God. I also believe that God will curse those that have cursed us (namely satan and his minions). Therefore I want to speak blessings on the children of God and those that desire to serve him, and will curse the works of satan in Jesus name for his glory. The patriarchs of old pronounced blessings on their sons and their words came to pass. I believe it works when we are anointed of God, he puts within us special faith, or he gives us the words we are to speak. We are sent to finish Christ’s work and he has given us all power over the enemy. John 14:12 I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.
David sang a song of deliverance from the hands of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul: 2Samuel 22:2 He said: “The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; 3 my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior – from violent men you save me. 4 I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies. Let us look further: HEB 11:32 And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies.
Faith, prayer, and action together will overcome the plans and intents of satan. 1CO 16:13 Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. 1CO 16:14 Do everything in love. God has given us mighty weapons to penetrate even to the principalities and powers of our enemy. 2Corinthians 10:3 For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. When we start praying in faith and through the blood of christ, satan flees. Revelation 12:11 They overcame him (SATAN) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. Ephesians 6:10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
The world sorely needs the light of our “hope in Christ” to stand in the coming darkness. It has been easy for us to be Christ’s followers so far, but as our testimony of “hope” becomes increasingly unpopular, our lives could be endangered. The time for passivity is gone! I know that the Holy Spirit is leading us into “spiritual warfare” for the cause of Christ. I have been searching my own soul to see if I could face the threat of death for my faith. I know God’s grace is sufficient and I believe beyond doubt that I would remain faithful. 1Peter 3:15 But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17 It is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil
I found these scriptures reassuring: Matthew 24:38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. ~Be Ready for His Coming 42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.” Noah’s ark carried him and his family away from the judgment of God on the earth. The scripture goes on to say: Matthew 24:40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left. ~Be Ready for His Coming 42 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into. 44 So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him. The “catching away” of the body of Christ could come at any time!
The times in which we live are an indicator of coming events. The Lord has been saying to me over and over again, “these events are the shadow of things to come”. The “church age” began with persecution and it will end with persecution. I know the Lord never asks us to do anything without giving us His strength to carry it out. The Lord will equip and anoint us for His work. We are more than overcomers for Christ because He has given us “everything that pertains to life and Godliness.” God has everything planned to bring glory to His name and His kingdom. We will overcome all tests and obstacles through Christ who strengthens us. I can’t wait to be caught up with Christ in the air, ever to be with Him! We all shall witness the kingdoms of this world becoming the kingdoms of our God and His Christ. ~The Seventh Trumpet – Christ’s Reign Foreseen Revelation 11:15 The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever.”
Praise the Lord! We win the war over satan and evil through Christ! We have the power of God within us. The scripture says: Isaiah 48:17 This is what the LORD says – your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.