You want signs?

In October of 2015 I shared a story from Breaking Israel News about a Jewish couple from Vancouver, British Colombia, Canada who raise sheep which they claim are direct descendants of Jacob’s sheep, and who were making plans to return to Israel (where the couple met), and to bring the sheep with them..  Yes, Jacob of Old Testament fame.

Well, it is apparently a very long and arduous process to bring the sheep from Canada to Israel, including a special plane, and a period of quarantine, but here is the update!

The political narrative is so thick and relentless, people have totally bought into the pretense that we the people are being offered a “real choice” this time around. .America is simply the last bunch to finally succumb to the same delusion all of Europe has already embraced. The divide and conquer ploy flows seamlessly on.  The rhetoric du jour is straight-up along the individual group’s bias, depending on which sector the candidates are addressing.  At AIPAC it’s all “never again” and “we stand with you, Israel”.  But what do the same people say when they address a group with a different agenda/focus/background?  Trump has already outright said he is a chameleon.  And Cruz has proven he is.  I would love to believe that we are having a Hiram/Solomon moment, as some ascribe to the Trump “phenomenon”.  The problem is, we are not Israel.  We are AMERICA.  And this is our end.

The anti-rapture vitriol continues to rise in crescendo.  And the pressure on Israel and push for a “peace initiative” that costs Israel everything and the Palestinian occupiers nothing, which benefits “Palestine” only, and seeks to legitimize them, continues to mount.

I read a story yesterday where a Christian missionary went to Muslim refugees and when he introduced himself (his name is Daniel) he claims that the Muslim couple became very animated and excited, and said that the previous day a man dressed in white robes, came to their tent and introduced himself as Jesus, and told them that on the following day he was sending someone to see them named Daniel, who would tell them “more about me”.  Now, His ways are not our ways, but I had to wonder, why would Jesus show up in person only to inform a couple that someone else would be coming tomorrow to tell them about Himself?  Why wouldn’t He just do so while He was there?  I have heard the reports of “numerous” instances of Muslims “coming to Christ” because Jesus Himself was appearing to them in dreams and visions, and telling them about Himself.  My question is, which “Jesus” is this?  What “gospel” is being told to them.  Yes, “your women shall prophecy, your young men shall have visions and your old men shall dream dreams.  People love to quote that these days, but they completely disregard the fact that this statement by Peter in the 2nd chapter of Acts on the day of Pentecost is a reference to a statement by the prophet Joel from Joel chapter 2 that is clearly and unequivocally addressed to Israel.  They don’t consider that Pentecost was a transitional time, and the gospel went to the Jews first, and then to the Gentile world, so that the message to the Jews was specific to the Jews in ways it was not specific to anyone else. Even as the church was only in infancy.  The gospel did not go to the Gentiles via the initial apostles, but by the one Apostle whom the original 11 did not even recognize as an apostle, but by Paul.  Remember when Judas killed himself, the apostles, on their own initiative, chose two “candidates” and then drew lots to determine which of these two options God “approved”.  The problem is God didn’t approve either one of them, and Matthias was never heard of again in scripture.  But Saul was addressed on the road to Damascus and called specifically as the Apostle who would take the gospel to the gentiles.  The only non-Jews the original apostles had any ministry to whatsoever as Cornelius, and even then, Peter was resistant.

So I don’t put much stock in these reports of “Jesus appearing to Muslims”.  Sure God is free to work that way, but it doesn’t actually line up with scripture and what He actually said in scripture about the dreams and visions of the last days.  This prophecy concerns the Jews in the last days.

Likewise when I read about massive “revivals” I have to wonder too.  Confusion about salvation and the Bible and what is true and what is not, seems at an all-time high. (Famine of preaching of the Word).  That in itself is a sign, as is this rabid reaction so many seem to have to the pre-trib rapture.  And just about everything on the internet and a huge proportion of what is coming out of “ministries” is as likely to be spun from pure imagination as what is on the television these days.  People hear about a movie based on something in the Bible and having no understanding or knowledge of the Bible itself, they think the movie is accurate.  Like Tyler Perry’s “The Passion”!

Things are so far gone at this point that anyone with an ounce of discernment knows it simply can’t keep going much longer this way.  But even those who don’t know squat about the Bible, know the world is headed for some kind of catastrophe.  The highly educated scientists among us are the most deluded bunch of all.  Sure they see the way clear to things such as life-like and ever-learning robots, many prototypes of which are already in existence. They anticipate someday merging the best of technology and humankind.  Sure they see all sorts of possibilities in physics and the study of time/space/matter. But in discounting God from their equations, they have become utter fools.  The problem with that is this:  God is.  He is the eternal I am that I am.

I thank God for my several “sources” of encouragement that include (but are not limited to) J.D. Farag, Terry James, Wendy Wippel, Pete Garcia, and Jan Markell who all keep reminding us Jesus is coming and His timing will be perfect.  I believe that those blessed with that unshakeable certainty,  though their confidence is a gift from God, are themselves a gift to others in the faith who have not gotten as far along in their maturing and understanding.  I imagine these folks get tired and discouraged from time to time, but knowing their calling, they stick with it.  They may not be entirely aware of the ranks of “foot soldiers” with smaller platforms who take their messages and keep them moving along the pipeline, but we are all cogs in a big machine, or rather, members of one Body.  It is remarkable and uplifting to observe this function taking place.

Me, God saw fit to find a use for, here on this little blog.  So many others have their own bit parts, behind the scenes. We fail and we falter and we feel that as little as we do, it is not near enough, not near what the Lord deserves from us, but sometimes we also underestimate what God is capable of and what He does indeed accomplish with our wee loaves, fishes, and “widow’s mite’s”.  We should be better at just doing what He has put in front of us to do and not trying to measure it ourselves. He knows our limits and our frame. And I believe there is truth in that old poem by “anonymous” about how our life is a weaving between the Lord and us, and while all we see are those tangled and crisscrossing threads underneath, He is weaving an amazing tapestry that won’t be revealed to us until we get “up yonder”.

I find that boiled-down, the life of serving, of obeying the Lord and pleasing Him comes down, in many cases, to constantly checking in.  It is kind of like flying without benefit of visibility, and having to simply place all confidence in the instrument panel.   Or maybe the Air Traffic Controller?  Anyway, it’s a matter of doing what you know to do, and trusting that what you don’t know, God knows, and is keeping tabs on. Do the best you can, and God makes up the difference.  We don’t have to know the science behind aerodynamics to put our trust in a plane. And we don’t need to know what exactly our contribution is in the “greater scheme of things” in our service to the Lord, only to do our best with what He has placed in front of us to do.  It means remembering Him in all the moments of the day.  Not losing sight of Him, not disengaging, not forgetting, always taking in the Word, and always “reporting in” with prayer, and monitoring attitudes and our thought life, and how we perceive and treat others. It means living circumspect and examining ourselves and confessing our sins immediately and keeping our heart and consciences tender toward the Holy Spirit.  Living mindful of things Spiritual at all times doesn’t just come natural.  It has to be cultivated, and boy do we have no lack of distractions to keep us from that?

I know that there are saints that are tired.  I am one of them.  Satan is so cunning that just as soon as you figure out one tactic, he has twenty-five more to switch right over to, that will keep you off-kilter if you let it happen, because all it takes is one slip, and reluctance to fess up to it, and he’s got you where he can mess with your mind.  All it takes is being tired, and skipping your prayer time or any other lapse or negligence.  When God said Satan is always seeking whom he may devour, He wasn’t exaggerating.  It is very important for Christians to understand that Satan is real, but it is also equally important for Christians to know their standing before the Lord, and thus that Satan has no jurisdiction and we do not have to contend with Satan, we merely have to resist and God tells us he will flee.  Just refuse to fall prey.  And get on with your work, because there are certain things that are true and there are certain things that are false, and a double-minded person is unstable in all their ways.  It comes down to whose “report” you’re going to believe.  What God said or whatever the devil is whispering in your ear today.

Not long ago a Christian expressed to me some concern about a family member who is starting to read the Bible and who said they didn’t want anyone else’s opinion, they didn’t want commentaries and other stuff, they just wanted to read it and understand it for themselves.  I say, “YAY! Good for that person.  Because the Holy Spirit is able to teach you all you need to understand.  That does not mean that commentaries and the writings of learned saints have no value, they absolutely do.  But don’t you think that if that person is seeking God with a sincere heart in the Bible for himself, that the Holy Spirit will let him know if he should consider that commentary?  Does he need to hear it from YOU?  Does God NEED you to be the one to tell him?  If you ask me, that family member has a better chance of avoiding error and false doctrine with the approach he has taken, than otherwise.  I think a big part of the problem of Christianity today is this belief that we need something other than the Bible and the Holy Spirit in order to arrive at any understanding of truth, because what that person will often do is listen to every Tom, Dick, and Harry and wind up confused, frustrated, and throwing their hands up in defeat.  Especially nowadays.

I think that it is clear that when we pray according to God’s will, we can know that we have what we ask for.  That means if you are praying diligently for someone to be saved, God hears you, and He has already said He is not willing that any should perish but that all should have everlasting life.  So your prayer is aligned with Gods will.  Little things like doubt, stubbornness, and involvement with a cult, are no obstacle to God.  We let them be obstacles to our faith, though.  We fail to believe God will do what He said.  For whatever God’s reasons He requires faith.  Without faith it is impossible to please Him.  What is our faith supposed to be in?  In a specific outcome?  In HIM.  Faith that He is as good as His Word.  Faith that what seems impossible is not impossible for Him.  Where we falter is in our own lack of knowledge.  “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”.  Do you know the Bible by heart yet?  Nope?  Well, then you still have studying to do.  We can never exhaust the resources and treasures that are in there.  Every nugget we find, can be studied facet by facet to discover even more, and for every nugget we do discover, there are countless more still to be gleaned.

Eternity will not be long enough to learn all there is about God, even about Heaven, about life, about our own selves, as all these things pertain to His plans, purposes, designs and there will always be “more”.  Always enough, and always more.  Like manna.  Like the Living Water.

I get so excited whenever I contemplate exiting “time” and entering “eternity”, I just can hardly wait to experience it.  A new body.  A new everything!  Who has not ever longed to “start fresh”?  Only babies and toddlers, and those who have not lived long enough, or have not the capacity to reach the state of accountability.

This world is so full of tragedy and evil.  Not only do we all at some point exit that state of ignorance and cross over to that state of comprehension of Good and evil (other than those mentioned above), but that is happening  prematurely in many cases, where children are not being afforded any childhood at all.  Consider the children in the families of radicalized Islam who are taught hatred from birth.  Consider the voracious appetite of men, and increasingly, of women as well, for perverted self-gratification with children.  In a world where people are being told that there is no God, and we are all just the product of random happenstance, sin blinds the minds, and the result is ignorant pursuit of gratification of base and animal-like natures that are a result of a disease known as sin.

I sometimes wish that there were well-delineated and separate terms for the state of sinfulness vs acts of sin.  Because the truth is, we are not sinners because we do things God has labeled “sin” rather we sin because of a condition of sinfulness.  The condition called sinfulness is the “default” orientation of anyone who wishes to deny God’s sovereignty.  Because we all came about through the seed of one man, who chose to deny God’s sovereignty, we were cut off from our original “estate”.

I had a great-great-grandfather who at one time owned a huge chunk of land on a mountain in West Virginia.  I also had an ancestor somewhere back further in my family line who owned a massive portion of the part of Virginia I live in.  However, that land does not belong to me now.  Why doesn’t it?  The “inheritance” was forfeited somewhere further back the family tree, and so it never got this far.

Adam, our ” many-greats-grandfather”, and his wife Eve, at one time enjoyed perfect fellowship with God.  We would have inherited the same if it had been preserved, but it wasn’t.  Therefore our “inheritance” was forfeited before we even came along.  We can’t get it back by any means, without a “kinsman redeemer”.  That means there has to be someone legitimately born to the family line, who is in a position to buy it all back, who then can turn around and impart a share in the inheritance back to me, if He so desires.  Well, that is what Jesus did for us on the cross. He became a part of our family line (human) and paid the debt to buy back that inheritance.  Where Adam lost our “rights” Jesus bought them back.  But before you go getting all irate about how “unfair” that seems, consider that it really would not have mattered if you got to be the first man because you would not have chosen any differently.  This is the purpose of the precise way in which God progressively revealed Himself to mankind over many generations that would have otherwise forgotten Him altogether.  He has essentially allowed us “enough rope” for us to prove to ourselves that we would each (generation and individual) “hang ourselves”..  You can deny it all you want, but one of these days you are going to admit the truth of that statement.   You’re going to know your own culpability and God’s sovereignty.

People are so enamored with their own “intelligence” that they foolishly choose to believe that God is a “fairy tale”.  It is a choice we each make.  People don’t reject the Bible because they can’t believe it.  They reject it because they don’t like what it says.  Satan hates the Bible and has provided so many look-alikes that are more appealing to those who don’t like what God’s Word says, it is so easy to go on perpetuating the delusion which sinners already want to embrace.

It is not that it’s really confusing.  We suffer poor vision and poor comprehension because we reject the truth and prefer lies.  So God gives us over to that which we prefer.  “Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies”.  That is the world’s theme song.  And unfortunately it is also the theme song of the modern church.

So there’s your sign.  For all the good a sign does for a blind man.

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “You want signs?

  1. Amen! Good to hear from you BB. It is tragic that even sincere preachers have fallen prey to agents of Satan that have infiltrated the seminaries, and the simplicity of the gospel is lost amongst the love affairs man has have with “intellect”. Whenever I read or hear some one pontificate with “great swelling words” and experience that “what did he say” moment, I just remind myself of the fact that it is the faith like that of little children, that is a saving faith. Those who would complicate the matter of salvation with extra requirements are the very ones Jesus warned “better a millstone were tied around your neck”.

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  2. I love it when you “dig deep” and put a real banquet on here for us to feed on. This was that, my sister. There’s so much “stuff” coming at us….not just at the lost…but at those of us who’ve been blessed with years of teaching and fellowship. My head gets rattled from time to time. I shake my head and ask myself, “What in the world did that preacher just say?” The Gospel need not be confusing. I must stick to the basics—the simplicity of God’s plan—and let our Great God work His Work, His plan. Don’t let me get in the way, my Father. Just let me be in the place, in the time, when you can use my small voice.

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