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Prophecy and the Pandemic

I have been reading some challenges posted online by particular well known ministries about ‘why didn’t the churches who operate in the prophetic gifting warn believers that the COVID-19 coronavirus was about to be unleashed on the world in 2020?’.   The conclusion that some of these have come to is that this is proof to the church world that prophecy is a hoax and that churches who operate in this gift are false prophets and charlatan liars.   I don’t think that this is an exaggeration of what is being communicated by these ministries.

We read about prophecy given in the OT and the NT in the Bible.  In the OT prophecy is usually proceeded by the prophet saying something like ‘hear the Word of the Lord’.  Other times  prophecy in the OT scriptures is embedded within a verse or chapter of a book.  An example of this is Isaiah 53 which prophecies of the work of the coming Christ. In the NT an example we have is of a prophet declaring a coming famine throughout all the world in Acts 11:27-30.  In this example several prophets had come from Jerusalem to Antioch.

The main reason given for this condemnation of prophecy by these ministries is the apparent lack of notice to the church of a coming world coronavirus pandemic.  When we look at prophecy examples in scripture sometimes a time declaration is made about when a prophecy will come to pass and sometimes there is no set timeline given.  In the case of the famine prophesied in the book of Acts it was likely several months or even years before it occurred.  Some OT prophecies took place hundreds of years after being declared by the prophet.   It is impossible for online prophecy critics today to go back into years of past prophecies to try and determine if a prophecy was given at some point that would have referenced a pandemic or a world wide crisis that was to come.

It is for this reason and others that I believe that these online critics are not standing on solid ground when they declare prophecy to be a hoax.  It is not possible for them to provide Biblical proof of what they are stating so boldly.   Prophecy is not a current events fore-teller.  It can have this purpose, but I don’t believe based on scripture that this is the main purpose of prophecy.  Scripture in the NT says that these gifts are given to the church to instruct and encourage.  To build up the body into the image of the fullness of Christ.

I think that these online critics are playing an out of tune flute for believers and are mostly riding hobby horses that they have had embedded deeply into their hearts and minds over a period of years.   Because of this they may have become unteachable by the Holy Spirit.

 

 

 

 


Sure Salvation – Book of Jude

Reading the book of Jude with the question ‘is salvation from God once given never lost?’ what does this book say.   Jude says that he is talking to the reader about the common salvation and the need to contend for the faith.  He gives the example of how the children of Israel were saved by God and afterward were destroyed because they believed not.  He gives the example of how angels who left their first place by their own volition are now reserved unto darkness and judgment.  He talks about Sodom and Gomorrah who gave themselves over to fornication and the seeking of strange flesh who will suffer the vengeance of eternal fire.

If we look at these examples as instructive for us, they would seem to tell us that we need to keep ourselves from unbelief, self serving ambition, and sexual sins in order to avoid destruction and judgment. “Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life” Jude says.  This is an admonishment that we need to be diligent and not liaise-fair toward the faith of God delivered at one time to the saints.  False teachers will come in walking after their own ungodly lusts and turn many to ungodly teaching and falsehoods.

Based on what Jude exhorts in this book I would say that once saved, always saved, is not an entirely correct teaching according to Bible scripture.  We do need to walk with God and turn away from and deny our fleshly lusts in order to secure our salvation.

 

 

 


Prophecy Visions Revelation

We read in the Bible the ‘Revelation of Jesus Christ’ and some of the accounts written there of events that will occur during the time of tribulation and of events that lead up to this time.  These events are catastrophic in their nature and impact in the earth.   We find it difficult to conceive or imagine such destruction.  I was saved in 1982.  During the early days of my Christian walk with Christ there was really no concept of how some of these scriptures in Revelation could be possible or come about.  Computers were just coming onto the retail scene at that time and large businesses were just beginning to install computers to manage information.  A lot has happened over the last thirty five years.  We see more clearly today how the control over people talked about in Revelation is possible.  Some of this control involves forcing people to receive a ‘mark of the beast’ and controlling the ability of someone to buy or sell.  This indicates extreme control.

All of this is in the realm of possibility today and is currently being built as an information infrastructure called 5G throughout the whole world.  All of this technology has taken place within a very short period of time.  Change is happening so quickly that most people are being overtaken by it.  This gives us a picture of what the shocking possibilities may be during the next thirty plus years going forward. Artificial intelligence has now come onto the world scene and is commonly being accepted.  Concerts performed by deceased artists are now capable of being offered through hollogram technology.  Environmental, social, and culture movements today are threatening to take people back to life as it was in the time of the post-industrial era.  The Book of Revelation gives some indication of this happening as it talks of wooden chariots being piled up and burned at the very end.

The Bible book of Revelation talks about a Beast, the image of the Beast, and a False Prophet.  This Beast is a tyrant and is ruthless.  Without conscience, without mercy, without empathy.  It is not hard to imagine an image of this Beast being possible through the world of technology that is being developed today.  Some say today the False Prophet is the apostate church.  A worldly representation of the church that finds itself so far away from Christ in the end that it is thrown into the Lake of Fire with the devil.

We are definitely living in the last of the last days.

 


Narcissism Born or Made

At this time I think that for the more severe narcissism disorders I side more with nature.  I think that there is a genetic origin for this severe disorder.  I think this because many children have gone through very difficult to even horrific growing up years and yet do not have a narcissism personality disorder.   I also base my thinking of being more nature than nurture because of scriptures in the Bible.  When God commanded the children of  Israel to destroy the nations that they conquered he commanded that every person and animal of these nations be destroyed in the land.  Some people will say “well the babies were innocent, the animals were innocent, God is unjust”.  Or they may say, “well it stands to reason that God did not instruct the Israelites to kill the little children, it just doesn’t make this clear in the account written in the Bible”.

Another Biblical example we have of people being beyond redemption, even new babies apparently, is the account of Noah’s flood.  Of all people living on the earth at that time only Noah and his family were able to be saved by God.  This is mind boggling.  Something had happened to almost every person living at that time to make them un-redeemable to God.  This Biblical fact gives me great concern for the epidemic of narcissism among people that is now being recognized by many professionals in our day.

I had an experience with a narcissist at work a while back.  This experience was shocking.  The narcissist was able to change their face to the look of a skeleton with darkened empty eyes.  I cannot even describe it to you properly.  This ability goes beyond nurture. There is something else behind severe narcissism that I think is completely unknown to many (or perhaps even all) mental health professionals. What I saw this person do was absolutely stunning and unbelievable.  I’m not sure why this co-worker displayed this face to me other than she knew that I knew she was a narcissist and she was extremely angry with me at the time about something I had done a few minutes earlier.  Even during this the Spirit of God was faithful to me to give me a little ‘be prepared for what you will see’ nudge before I raised my eyes toward her and saw this dead vacuous face.  This incident speaks about something going on that is way beyond nurture with a severe narcissist. Even something beyond nature in my opinion.

I do think however that there are narcissistic conditions people have that are not the same thing as what I have related above.  Some professionals say that narcissism likely has a scale of mild to severe conditions.  Perhaps in these situations nurture plays a greater part.  People might say ” what you saw would be extremely rare”.  I’m not sure.  This person would be considered very nice by most people who meet her.  She is considered smart, articulate, pleasant, young, etc, etc.  This is the scary part.  My impression of her was very positive when I met her and spoke to her for the first time.  I thought she was a great person.  It just goes to show how devious it is to try and discover  a severe narcissist unless you spend a fair bit of time with them or around them watching and observing and noticing things that happen.  I’m not sure when I first knew that she was a narcissist.  I think it was accidental, which is how I think most people find out that a person is a narcissist.  I’m thinking that it might have been after I set up a reward system for children in a kindergarten class to encourage them to hang up their coats and hats on their hooks.   It really kills a narcissist to see others getting a reward.

 


Is Kanye West saved?

There is quite a lot of opinion, concern, and questions about Kanye West and his Sunday Service being talked about on social media sites.  Can we doubt that Kanye has been saved by Jesus Christ?  I don’t think so.  What I see so far would be consistent with someone having been ‘born again’ and having experienced the salvation of God.  Some indications of his new birth are his sudden exuberance for God and the things of God.  Most unsaved people have no desire for church, God or the Bible.   He was delivered from an addiction to pornography he says which is not uncommon for someone recently saved to declare..  My ex- husband was delivered of alcoholism within 48 hours after being saved. Kanye is also conscious of his behaviour and has made some changes already in his life toward more righteous and holy living.  He frequently makes a public confession of his faith in Christ and declares  that he is a Christian.  I  would say there is no doubt that he is saved.

I’m not sure what I think about the Sunday Service at this point.  I think it was a good thing at first.  It was unique, often done outdoors in the open air, it wasn’t too preachy, the choir was excellent and inspirational with some of their songs.  Now the Sunday Service seems to have moved indoors and requires money in order to keep going.  An admittance charge is required in order to attend.  To me this changes the Sunday Service to a performance rather than a church service.

Kanye can bring in a large number of people to a Sunday Service.  For example, the Lakewood Church in Houston holds 15,000 people.  Money and influence attracts false prophets and false shepherds.  They will want to be a part of it in order to try and get something for themselves.  Kanye and his Sunday Service has the potential to bring in a lot of money.  In addition to a cover charge merchandise can be sold at venues and also offered for sale online which could include books, music, and other various products.  Kanye’s Sunday Service is being viewed by many online and Christian pastors and leaders are getting great exposure for themselves and their respective churches when they take part in the Sunday Service.

I think we need to keep in mind that there is potential for error and the eventual demise of Kanye’s ministry.  He is a new born Christian and he is not in a position to be able to judge who he’s aligning himself with.  It appears at this point from what I have heard online that he is trying to hear from God and is taking into consideration the advice of those whom he trusts.  We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.  We need to remember that this is not a mature and seasoned ministry and it could be subject to a lot of compromise and mistakes.

 


The First Resurrection

The Bible speaks about the first resurrection and a later resurrection of all peoples, nations, and tongues to come before the Throne of Judgment to receive a recompense for those things that were done in the body while they were alive.  Whether unto righteousness and eternal life or unto death and everlasting destruction, the Bible says.

Traditional church teachings say that the first resurrection takes place in the twinkling of an eye at the sound of the last trumpet sound at the moment that Christ returns to the earth to gather his people to himself.

Some newer teachings are being presented by biblical teachers in our day saying that there are two resurrections, but who is included , and what the purpose is for those who are resurrected at that time varies from traditional thinking.  The first resurrection they say is for the Bride of Christ for the purpose of executing justice and judgment in the earth.    The Bride is a group of believers elect and chosen, prepared by the Spirit of God for this purpose and aim of judgment.  The Bride will then reside in the new Jerusalem, the city of God, that will come down out of heaven to the earth in the time of the creation of the New Heaven and New Earth.

The saved nations of all prior believers will comprise those who will dwell on the new earth in a heavenly state.  There will be no sickness, no crying, no sorrow.  The child will play safely with the viper, the lamb will lie down with the lion.

What’s coming to my mind is a partial or perhaps full body resurrection while a believer is still dwelling on the earth in their physical body.  We do read about Jesus saying that the apostle John would carry on until his return if Jesus desired.  How would the apostle John do this?  His body would have to be changed through the power of the Holy Spirit dwelling in him.  The apostle John might have ended up with a body similar to that of Jesus  after Jesus rose from the dead.  A body that would not be subject to the usual restrictions of aging, perhaps gravity, physical properties (Jesus walked through a wall), etc.  Jesus went first, the first fruits, then we follow after him.

Some thoughts as we see the world of today deteriorating quickly into perhaps an unrecoverable wickedness and evil at the time of the end.  As we read the Bible let’s look for some evidence in scripture of a Bride in Christ prepared by God to judge wickedness in the earth.

 


Forced Compromise and Confusion About Virtue is Causing Conflict and Uproar

One of the major problems in our society in the West is the definition or the understanding among people of what Virtue and Truth is.  We’ve understood this in our society in the past to mean the Biblical definition.  Under these Biblical terms as defined and taught in the Bible, the West has prospered and society in general has been ethical and law-abiding.  In my parents’ generation it was common for agreements and contracts to be honored and upheld by a handshake between the parties. It was rare for someone to verbally commit to something and not fulfill it.  Reneging would be unthinkable.   The vast majority of my parents’ generation defined themselves as being a Christian, of some sort or other.

Today we are in a situation where government, civil, and legal authorities are denouncing these past definitions and understanding in society.  These authorities are breaking all the rules of a successful past society and are compelling others to do the same. ‘ What’s worked in the past is not going to work in the future’, they say.  ‘We must progress and change, we are living in a new day and time’.

This idea of progress has been an assault on the instinct and conscience of people in the West about what is right and wrong.  The success of this idea of progress has been partly due to propaganda, partly due to changes in education, and partly due to government intervention and legal action if someone does not (at least outwardly) act and think the same way.   Virtue and Truth  are now defined by these entities as a hodgepodge of ideas and thoughts that incorporate nearly anything and everything.  This has created angst and confusion of people in society.  We have no anchor and we have no rudder in this new progressive ship so to speak.

Currently we are seeing more and more response from people regarding what has been  forced upon them over the past number of years.  People dislike political  leaders and they do not trust these leaders to make good decisions on their behalf.  Many people are now taking positions in the equal ‘truths’ of this hodgepodge of virtue.  This has created frustration, anger, division, and intolerance of other viewpoints and peoples within our society today in the West.

 

 


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The Life is in the Breath

Pete Buttigieg a democratic candidate running for president of the United States, made a public statement recently inferring that a baby is not a person apart from the mother until it takes a breath of air.  He stated that this is what the Bible says, that life is in the breath.    I believe the scripture he is referring to is Genesis 2:7 “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”

However there is a contradiction to this in Genesis 9:4 “ you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.”   Scripture does not contradict itself therefore this means that the blood and the breath do not mean the same things.

I then looked up online what the ‘breath is in the life means’.  The Got Questions web site explains the breath of life this way, “So, what is the breath of God? It is the life and power of God, given to man to animate him. The Hebrew word for spirit is ruach, which means “wind, breath, air, spirit.” The life of God lives on and on; the immaterial part of man was designed to live eternally. The only question is where will we live?”

Here in their explanation Got Questions is saying the ‘breath of God’ is the spirit of a person which lives on and on.  Our physical mortal body does not live on and on.  It dies.

God breathed into Adam the ‘breath of life’ during Adam’s creation after he had formed him from the ground.  God had not yet made Eve.  Later, when Adam and Eve began to have children the physical and spiritual (breath) components made up the new child.  This took place in the womb.  The ‘breath’ was not something that happened after the child was born but is related to and is in reference to the child’s spirit.

This is what makes sense otherwise there would be a contradiction in the Word between Genesis 2 and Genesis 9 of whether the life is in the blood or in the breath.

So I think Mr. Buttigieg has his point but not in regards to when life begins for the child who is in the womb.  It is clear that the child has both a physical body and a spirit while he/she is developing within the womb.  Therefore, this child is a complete person.

A baby taking that breath of air after they are born is to make the transition by the physical lungs to functioning in a new environment of air.


The Tempting of Jesus

We read in Scripture that Jesus was tempted of the devil .  One of the temptations set before Jesus in the wilderness was to bow down to Satan so that he would receive the power and wealth of the kingdoms of the earth.  According to teaching within many churches in the West today we would say that this offer was a blessing and that we should reach out and accept it.  This is because we would be receiving what we had been asking for from God.  Riches, wealth, and power.  Instead Jesus said to Satan, ‘it is written that we must worship God alone’.  The devil made this offer, but there were conditions and strings attached.

Jesus did not accept this offer because it was circumventing what God intended for him.  Jesus was to receive the kingdoms of the earth, but it was to be had through the cross and his subsequent resurrection from the dead.   What this teaches us is that the method matters, the motive matters, and the way scripture is taught matters.  It is the difference between truth and error.

The current methods of the Positive Faith Movement are incorrect.  They are using new age and occultist methods to teach believers how to receive the blessings of God.  The  method of confessing what you want so that it will come into existence is the same method used within non-Christian spiritual movements in the West today.

There is a story told in the Bible about trying to enter the sheep pen by another way.  John 10:1 “Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.”

Jesus is talking to the teachers of the law in the above quote from scripture. He is saying to them that you have to enter into the things of God in the right way or you are a thief and a robber.  I believe that many teachers in our day have taken the scriptures and taught them by ‘climbing’  into them in an incorrect way.   These teachers often claim either outwardly or subtly that there is no need for obedience,  sacrifice, or self-denial in the Christian life.  The scriptures teach otherwise.  We need to pay attention to the “ifs” when we read the New Testament.  “If you overcome you will receive….

1 John 2: 18, Dear children, this is the last hour; and as you have heard that the antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come. This is how we know it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.  

This passage of scripture in I John is about those who left the teachings of the Apostles after they had gone out from the church at Jerusalem and began to teach and preach a message that was classified later as antichrist by the Apostle John. 

 


The Church and the Lost Witness

In a recent interview after the mass shootings in Ohio and Texas Oprah Winfrey said she feels the reason behind the latest string of violence is that people are “missing” a “core moral center.”, “Churches used to do that… It was a central place you could come to and there was a core center of values about a way of living and being in the world. Until we can return to that, however that is, in whatever form, we will continue to be lost,” Winfrey told Renee Bargh during the “Extra” interview.

This comment by Oprah Winfrey about what churches used to do for society is very telling.  It tell us that the witness and influence of the church today is either weak or non-existent.  Churches used to set a moral standard until believers were told by their church leaders that they were being legalistic if they pointed out bad behaviour.   “You cannot judge!” is the echo reverberating around in religious dogma today.  Tell that to a society that is floundering and disintegrating before our very eyes in the West.   Tell that to people who know instinctively what the Church should be, but isn’t.

Church leaders in our day think that they are doing society a favour in the West by watering down the requirement for moral standards based on Biblical teachings.  They think they are more relevant, more likeable, more approachable, and more effective with the Gospel if they release people from accountability and responsibility for their actions and inner motives.

I’m thinking about the judgment of church leaders in the Day of Judgment and the responsibility that these leaders will likely bear for their decisions and teaching in our day and time.  Perhaps direct responsibility for souls that were lost or damaged because they wanted a bigger church, a wider following, and a bigger paycheck.