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Jesus the Good Shepherd

jesus the good shepherd

One thing that has been revealed to me over the last few years is that Jesus chases people around. He does this to try to reach them and bring them back. He does this for their good. This may sound odd at first, but let me explain.

Soon after Lion Gear was started, I began to see very dramatic stories unfold that involved reaching the lost. They were very remarkable stories that unfolded with unexplainable circumstances. At first, I thought, “What amazing stories these are that I can tell about Lion Gear!” But, as time passed, I began to realize that we were just one part of a much larger story in each person’s life. Jesus was lining up divine appointment after divine appointment…using person after person after person to reach each of these individuals. I began to realize that this is simply who Jesus is…and this is what He does! And if we are willing, He wishes that we would join Him in bringing in these lost sheep.

In fact, Jesus is the Good Shepherd. He is the only truly good Shepherd. This is why we must join Him. We must not try to be a shepherd on our own…it simply will not work and He will not be happy with us if we try to do it on our own. Consider the word of the Lord in Ezekiel 34:2-16.

“Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel; prophesy and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Woe to you shepherds of Israel who only take care of yourselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock? You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock. You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally. So they were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild animals. My sheep wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. They were scattered over the whole earth, and no one searched or looked for them.’

‘Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, because my flock lacks a shepherd and so has been plundered and has become food for all the wild animals, and because my shepherds did not search for my flock but cared for themselves rather than for my flock, therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for my flock. I will remove them from tending the flock so that the shepherds can no longer feed themselves. I will rescue my flock from their mouths, and it will no longer be food for them.’

‘For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I myself will search for my sheep and look after them. As a shepherd looks after his scattered flock when he is with them, so will I look after my sheep. I will rescue them from all the places where they were scattered on a day of clouds and darkness. I will bring them out from the nations and gather them from the countries, and I will bring them into their own land. I will pasture them on the mountains of Israel, in the ravines and in all the settlements in the land. I will tend them in a good pasture, and the mountain heights of Israel will be their grazing land. There they will lie down in good grazing land, and there they will feed in a rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I myself will tend my sheep and have them lie down, declares the Sovereign Lord. I will search for the lost and bring back the strays. I will bind up the injured and strengthen the weak, but the sleek and the strong I will destroy. I will shepherd the flock with justice.’”

It is obvious from this passage that one of the reasons Jesus is unhappy with some of the shepherds is that they are eating their own sheep. What does this mean? It means that they let the sheep sit in their church Sunday after Sunday and take their money. With that money, they take care of themselves and build their own earthly kingdoms. However, they do nothing to truly take care of these sheep. They don’t bring healing to them. They don’t chase after them when they begin to stray. In this way, they are simply using them up…or “eating them.” Jesus says that His response to this is that He will remove these bad shepherds and He will do the shepherding Himself!

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” ~Luke 19:10 (NIV)

“My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” ~John 5:17 (NIV)

“’Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” ~Luke 15:4-7 (NIV)

“I will surely gather all of you, Jacob; I will surely bring together the remnant of Israel. I will bring them together like sheep in a pen, like a flock in its pasture; the place will throng with people. The One who breaks open the way will go up before them; they will break through the gate and go out. Their King will pass through before them, the Lord at their head.” ~Micah 2:12-13 (NIV)

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.” This figure of speech Jesus spoke to them, but they did not understand what those things were which He had been saying to them.

So Jesus said to them again, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”

“I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life so that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.” ~John 10:1-18 (NIV)

So, let us seek the Lord and find Him…and offer ourselves up as a living sacrifice! Let us join Him in the harvest and help Him to bring in the lost sheep, while also praying for others to join us! (Matthew 9:37-38; 10:7-8 & 28:18-20)

May God richly bless you today, Amen!

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Full Consecration

Consecration

A stark contrast:

King David
"Besides, in my devotion to the temple of my God I now give my personal treasures of gold and silver for the temple of my God, over and above everything I have provided for this holy temple: three thousand talents of gold (gold of Ophir) and seven thousand talents of refined silver, for the overlaying of the walls of the buildings, for the gold work and the silver work, and for all the work to be done by the craftsmen. Now, who is willing to consecrate themselves to the Lord today?” ~I Chronicles 29:3-5 (NIV)

King Belshazzar
"As they drank the wine [actually from "the gold and silver goblets that Nebuchadnezzar his father had taken from the temple in Jerusalem"], they praised the gods of gold and silver, of bronze, iron, wood and stone." ~Daniel 5:3-4 (NIV)

God's response to King David's heart
'You shall never fail to have a successor on the throne of Israel.' ~I Kings 9:5 (NIV)

God's response to King Belshazzar's heart
“Suddenly the fingers of a human hand appeared and wrote on the plaster of the wall, near the lampstand in the royal palace. The king watched the hand as it wrote. His face turned pale and he was so frightened that his legs became weak and his knees were knocking....you, Belshazzar...have not humbled yourself...Instead, you have set yourself up against the Lord of heaven. You had the goblets from his temple brought to you, and you and your nobles, your wives and your concubines drank wine from them. You praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood and stone, which cannot see or hear or understand. But you did not honor the God who holds in his hand your life and all your ways. Therefore he sent the hand that wrote the inscription.

This is the inscription that was written: mene, mene, tekel, parsin

Here is what these words mean:
Mene: God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end.
Tekel: You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting.
Peres: Your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians.” ~Daniel 5:5,22-28 (NIV)

Jesus talked about full consecration in His discussion about the greatest commandment, “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:9-31 (NIV)

When we fully consecrate our heart, soul, mind and body to the Lord, it enables Him to make it into a beautiful and magnificent temple of the Holy Spirit! So, like David, I ask, "Now, who is willing to consecrate themselves to the Lord today?” Let us give Him something to work with...why not give Him all?! It's all His anyway!!

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Turn Toward Jesus

Jesus Akiane

I’ve recently been drawn over and over again to a particular song sung by Don Potter called, “Turn Toward Jesus.” I began get some revelation on why it kept coming back to me.

Sometimes people say, “follow your heart.” That is a dangerous thing to do, unless your heart (spirit) is under submission to the Holy Spirit. If not, you will be following whatever you have let into your heart. If lust is in your heart, then by following your heart, you will follow lust…to the grave and ultimately to eternal punishment. You will spend eternity either with God (if you worship and follow Him) or with whatever god or gods (demon or demons) that you allowed into your heart and that you followed here on earth.

Some of us have been praying a prayer that the Lord Jesus Christ would take His sword and cut out anything that doesn’t belong our hearts. We’ve been praying that He would take His fire and refine us…burning out anything in our hearts that shouldn’t be there. We’ve been praying that He would then make our hearts to be a resting place for the consuming fire of the Holy Spirit! We then want to put our spirit (heart) in submission to the Holy Spirit and our mind in submission to our spirit. As we read the Word of God, we ask the Holy Spirit for help, that He would reveal it to us. That way, we are following the leadership of the Holy Spirit…and are led by the Spirit and then we can have the mind of Christ.

“Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live. For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.” (Romans 8:12-14, NIV)

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” (Romans 12:2, NIV)

God’s Wisdom Revealed by the Spirit
“We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. However, as it is written: ‘What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived’— the things God has prepared for those who love him—these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.

The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, for, ‘Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?’ But we have the mind of Christ.” (I Corinthians 2:6-16, NIV)

As we begin to pray this way and live this way, it could take us by surprise how different things are. My may be shocked at how differently we think and how differently we see things when some of the things that were in our hearts are removed…things that didn’t belong there. When we are free of these things, the Spirit of God burns strong within us, and we begin a journey of a face to face relationship with Jesus Christ. It is an awesome thing! It can also be a scary thing at first…especially if we’ve been depending on man-made things or systems for our support. Even religion or a church can become in our hearts a thing (or an idol) that replaces our relationship with Jesus….instead of letting our works and ministry flow out of our relationship with Jesus. Jesus said that we should take HIS yoke upon us. We should not take on a man-made yoke. He said, “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:30, NIV)

So, the good news is that the Kingdom of God is coming with power with fire!

"I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled!" (John 12:49, NIV)

He will begin to crush and burn up everything that is not built on the Rock Eternal! All religious wisdom that is built on man-made systems (and not on the Rock) will be crushed and confused.

The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught. Therefore once more I will astound these people with wonder upon wonder; the wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish.” (Isaiah 29:13-14, NIV)

There are some teachers that think they know everything there is to know about God. We should not follow these people. First of all, our leaders and mentors are there to encourage us and equip us. But none of us can get to heaven by knowing someone who knows God (let alone anyone who says they know God). We can only get to heaven by knowing Jesus for ourselves. Secondly, when we are in tune with the Spirit and listening to His voice, His wisdom is poured out to us. The more this happens, the more we realize we really didn’t know! The more we realize we are totally dependent on the Jesus and the guidance of the Holy Spirit!

“I will surely gather all of you, Jacob; I will surely bring together the remnant of Israel. I will bring them together like sheep in a pen, like a flock in its pasture; the place will throng with people. The One who breaks open the way will go up before them; they will break through the gate and go out. Their King will pass through before them, the Lord at their head.” (Micah 2:12-13, NIV)

“The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.”(John 10:3-5, NIV)

“From now on I will tell you of new things, of hidden things unknown to you. They are created now, and not long ago; you have not heard of them before today. So you cannot say, ‘Yes, I knew of them.’ (Isaiah 48:6-7, NIV)

In conclusion, the Spirit of God is about to come down and destroy man-made religions and any man-made system that is not built solely on Jesus Christ. Today, there is only one place to be to live, love and thrive…only one place where we can survive what is coming. That is for us to repent and turn from everything the world has to offer and to “turn toward Jesus,” and give him everything we have and everything we are, so that we become “hidden in Christ.” (Colossians 3:3)

“Turn Toward Jesus” -Don Potter (Featuring Kimberley & Alberto Rivera): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDRn0Sb3d6c&list=RDEDRn0Sb3d6c
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The Priest's Son

The Priests Son - 2

Edoh was born the son of a witch doctor in Togo. He experienced a power encounter with the Higher Power, Jesus Christ, that turned his life upside down. As a results, Edoh turned his whole nation upside down by the power of the Holy Spirit.... Now, he is preparing to turn his whole continent upside down!

Beloved, the harvest is increasing immeasurably...the Lord is calling you to participate! It is not too late to join in! There are many unimaginably precious rewards for the overcomer that the Lord wishes to bestow upon those who are willing to participate with Him in His harvest!

If you are not sure how to participate...you can begin by simply praying for the unreached people groups around the world...

"Then He said to His disciples, The harvest is indeed plentiful, but the laborers are few. So pray to the Lord of the harvest to force out and thrust [Ekballo] laborers into His harvest." ~Matthew 9:37-38 (AMP)

I promise you that He will answer you with divine ideas, divine appointments and divine connections. All of these will begin to come forth when you begin praying! For example, you can pray for as many as 1 unreached people group per hour at Pray Ekballo 24/7 facebook or twitter:

Pray Ekballo 24/7 facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pray.ekballo
Pray Ekballo 24/7 twitter: https://twitter.com/PrayEkballo247

May God richly bless you and may He shower His everlasting love upon you. Enjoy the video! ...

The Priest's Son Movie: http://www.priests-son.com/
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April and the Tetrad

tetrad

At about 4:00 am this morning I was awakened with a renewed awareness that this coming April was an important month. The word “tetrad” also came to my mind several times as I was waking up. The four blood moon tetrad begins in April, 2014 and the last one will be in September, 2015. I do believe that this is a legitimate sign of the times.

How should we prepare for what is coming?


- First of all, “watch and pray” is the command that our Lord Jesus gave to us in regards to these perilous times in Luke 21:36.

What should we expect to happen?


- For the believer in Jesus, during this time we will see an increase in the “Oil of Joy” or “Oil of Gladness.” This is the anointing of Jesus (Psalm 45:7) and it will be made available in an increasing way to His true disciples. It is the fulfillment of the time of the pouring out of the Spirit (Joel 2:28-32) which will result in an increase of dreams, visions, angelic activity, the Joy of the Lord, signs, wonders and the fragrance of heaven coming to earth. It is a time of seeking, receiving and abiding in the Love of Jesus and sharing that divine Love with others (John 15). We will see an increase to the answer to our prayer, “on earth as it is in heaven.”

“Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions; your robes are all fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia.” ~Psalm 45:7-8 (ESV)

And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, and your young men shall see visions. Even on the male and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit. And I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and columns of smoke. The sun shall be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the Lord calls.” ~Joel 2:28-32 (ESV)

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.” ~John 15:5-17 (ESV)

- The outpouring of the Spirit will continue to increase over the coming years, just like the depth of the river increased in Ezekiel chapter 47. It will not slow down. We must stay in this river. This increase will continue until the beginning of the millennium.

- In addition to the anointing with the Oil of Joy, we will experience a refining with fire and a time of purification. For the church, this is all the joyful preparation for our wedding with our Bridegroom, Jesus Christ our King, which includes the preparation of our wedding clothes.

- This refining and purification time will begin to strip away everything in our hearts that is not built upon the Rock Eternal. Therefore, it is time to turn every part of our lives over the Lord…body, mind, spirit, plans and dreams! It is time to let Him have all of us l so that He can truly ready us and make us into His image!

“For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so 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 eat with him, and he with me. The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered 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 3:17-22 (ESV)

“ …at your right hand stands the queen in gold of Ophir. All glorious is the princess in her chamber, with robes interwoven with gold. In many-colored robes she is led to the king, with her virgin companions following behind her. With joy and gladness they are led along as they enter the palace of the king.” ~Psalm 45:9.13-15 (ESV)

- For the unbeliever and for those depending upon the world’s systems and structures, there will be an increase of concern, fear and confusion; instead of an increase of joy. For those not built on the Rock, it will be a time of great shaking. This is an act of merciful judgment by the Lord Jesus. The Lord will shake everything that can be shaken…everything that is not built on the Rock Eternal. This will provide another chance for people to turn to the Lord…to seek Him and find Him. They will be looking for answers. They will be asking the followers of Jesus, “How can you be living in such peace?" "How can you be so joyful during these times?" We will respond with an explanation of the “hope that is within us” and lead thousands to the Lord. This harvest will increase to millions, and tens of millions and even hundreds of millions and beyond! We are in the beginning of the great harvest! We are beginning to go out into our neighborhoods, our cities and even to the remotest parts of the world and “win for the Lamb the reward of His suffering.”

- Ultimately, everything not built on the Rock Eternal, will be smashed to pieces and blown away like chaff. The only thing left standing on the earth will be the Rock Himself and His Bride….the glorious, victorious church!

At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, “Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” The words “once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.” ~Hebrews 12:26-29 (ESV)

He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man. The field is the world, and the good seed is the sons of the kingdom. The weeds are the sons of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil. The harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. Just as the weeds are gathered and burned with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will gather out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all law-breakers, and throw them into the fiery furnace. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.” ~Matthew 13:37-42 (ESV)

“But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God's will, than for doing evil. For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God” ~I Peter 3:14-18 (ESV)

Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” ~Matthew 9:37-38 (ESV)

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” ~Matthew 28:18-20 ESV)

“And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay.” ~Matthew 10:7-8 (ESV)

“Forces from him shall appear and profane the temple and fortress, and shall take away the regular burnt offering. And they shall set up the abomination that makes desolate. He shall seduce with flattery those who violate the covenant, but the people who know their God shall stand firm and take action. And the wise among the people shall make many understand, though for some days they shall stumble by sword and flame, by captivity and plunder. When they stumble, they shall receive a little help. And many shall join themselves to them with flattery, and some of the wise shall stumble, so that they may be refined, purified, and made white, until the time of the end, for it still awaits the appointed time.” ~Daniel 11:32-35 (ESV)

“While you were watching, a rock was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were all broken to pieces and became like chaff on a threshing floor in the summer. The wind swept them away without leaving a trace. But the rock that struck the statue became a huge mountain and filled the whole earth.” ~Daniel 2:34-35 (ESV)

- So, hold on to hope. He said that all of this would happen…and it will happen! It is your time to shine!

“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” ~Hebrews 10:23 (ESV)

“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you. And nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising. Lift up your eyes all around, and see; they all gather together, they come to you; your sons shall come from afar, and your daughters shall be carried on the hip. Then you shall see and be radiant; your heart shall thrill and exult, because the abundance of the sea shall be turned to you, the wealth of the nations shall come to you. A multitude of camels shall cover you, the young camels of Midian and Ephah; all those from Sheba shall come. They shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall bring good news, the praises of the Lord. All the flocks of Kedar shall be gathered to you; the rams of Nebaioth shall minister to you; they shall come up with acceptance on my altar, and I will beautify my beautiful house.” ~Isaiah 60:1-7 (ESV)
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The Refining Fire is Coming

burninglion

This is the time we are coming into. When the Refining Fire comes, He refines the gold, while burning up wickedness and man-made systems.

"According to the grace (the special endowment for my task) of God bestowed on me, like a skillful architect and master builder I laid [the] foundation, and now another [man] is building upon it. But let each [man] be careful how he builds upon it,

For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is [already] laid, which is Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).

But if anyone builds upon the Foundation, whether it be with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw,

The work of each [one] will become [plainly, openly] known (shown for what it is); for the day [of Christ] will disclose and declare it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test and critically appraise the character and worth of the work each person has done.

If the work which any person has built on this Foundation [any product of his efforts whatever] survives [this test], he will get his reward.

But if any person’s work is burned up [under the test], he will suffer the loss [of it all, losing his reward], though he himself will be saved, but only as [one who has passed] through fire."

~1 Corinthians 3:10-15 (AMP)
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Consider it Pure Joy

joy of the lord

Well, it’s been a very interesting couple of days. I’ve been repeatedly reading through approximately 150 chapters of end times scriptures during the last year or two and taking notes. I’d recently come to the point where I feel the Lord impressing me to start writing on the subject. So, last night I went to my eight or so pages of tiny scribblings and began to ponder how I could possibly start compiling the notes, at least into themes. For some reason, the first thing I wrote down as a theme was the “Oil of Joy.” It comes from a prophetic Psalm of Jesus our King, Psalm 45. “You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.” ~Psalm 45:7 (NIV)

Honestly, this is not what I expected to start writing about. But I began to see similar themes coming forth from the scriptures I had studied. Scriptures such as Psalm 68:1-3 (NIV), which says, ”May God arise, may his enemies be scattered; may his foes flee before him. May you blow them away like smoke— as wax melts before the fire, may the wicked perish before God. But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful.”

Then I felt the Lord saying to me that the Book of Revelation is also the Book of Pure Joy. You may ask, “How is that possible? Isn’t the Book of Revelation all about trials and tribulation?” Exactly my point! James put it this way, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” Where in the Bible can you find more “pure joy” than the Book of Revelation?

This is the time of the final preparation of the Bride…a time of refining and being made spotless and white! And the preparation of the Bride is a time of joyful anticipation! But we will desperately need the joy of the Lord to help us endure the trials and tribulations. “Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (Nehemiah 8:10) That is exactly why Jesus encouraged us so much in the area of endurance and patience in regards to the end times. Revelation 14:12 (NIV) says, “This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus.” As a bride we will faithfully keep our eyes only on Jesus, and we will resist the temptation to be caught up in the cares of this world. We will resist the temptation to take the mark of the beast. We will not only resist the antichrist, but we will do mighty works in the midst of the tribulation and lead many to righteousness during the time of our refinement and trials! (Daniel 11:32-25) Hasn’t this always been the case since the beginning of the church? Be encouraged! It will be a time of great joy for the believer! Yes, Jesus told us that the wheat and the tare will mature together. But where sin abounds, grace much more abounds! (Romans 5:20) We should not fearfully look at how big the tares are getting, but keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, we should be a light that others look to in their great time of need! It is harvest time! (Matthew 13:36-40)

I look around and I am concerned that many are approaching the end times with either: 1) An escapist mentality, or 2) Complete blindness about the end times. The Lord loves us dearly and He has given us the Book of Revelation as a great blessing! (Revelation 1:3) He wants us to understand that He has specifically placed many of us in this time in history to be alive and to participate in the greatest time of joy the earth has every experienced! Again, it doesn’t mean it will be easy…but He doesn’t want you to miss out on your time of joy! He has set us up to be sons and daughters of God. The whole earth has anticipated our arrival. (Romans 8:19) He has carefully pre-arranged this thing for His beloved followers to be able to overcome Satan (Revelation 12:11) and then to receive all of the rewards of the overcomer! It is all made available to us through the blood of the Lamb! What a great heritage we have, if we will accept it.

“But no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper, and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment you shall show to be in the wrong. This [peace, righteousness, security, triumph over opposition] is the heritage of the servants of the Lord [those in whom the ideal Servant of the Lord is reproduced]; this is the righteousness or the vindication which they obtain from Me [this is that which I impart to them as their justification], says the Lord.” ~Psalm 48:17 (AMP)

It is time to stay in His river…the river of the Holy Spirit and Fire that flows from the throne of God! If we stay in that river…we will stay in His love and His joy! (Ezekiel 47)

“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” ~Psalm 46:1-7 (NIV)

This morning I was reading even more about joy and rejoicing in the battle. I was thinking that some of this is getting hard to wrap my brain around! But when I look at Jesus battling alongside the saints in Revelation 19 with a double-edged sword coming out of His mouth…it at least start to make a little bit more sense. But I’m just not sure how it will all come together at the very end…during the bowls of wrath and the battle at Armageddon. But here are some scriptures on that topic. They paint a very interesting, but graphic, picture!

“Sing to the Lord a new song, his praise in the assembly of his faithful people. Let Israel rejoice in their Maker; let the people of Zion be glad in their King. Let them praise his name with dancing and make music to him with timbrel and harp. For the Lord takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with victory. Let his faithful people rejoice in this honor and sing for joy on their beds. May the praise of God be in their mouths and a double-edged sword in their hands, to inflict vengeance on the nations and punishment on the peoples, to bind their kings with fetters, their nobles with shackles of iron, to carry out the sentence written against them—this is the glory of all his faithful people. Praise the Lord.” ~Psalm 149:1-7 (NIV)

“Before your pots can feel the heat of the thorns—whether they be green or dry—the wicked will be swept away. The righteous will be glad when they are avenged, when they dip their feet in the blood of the wicked. Then people will say, ’Surely the righteous still are rewarded; surely there is a God who judges the earth.’” ~Psalm 58:9-11 (NIV)

It is somewhat hard to imagine all that is going to take place…but I can only imagine that those images are taking place at the very, very end…during the bowls of wrath, when we are fighting alongside Jesus! Isaiah 24 is another great example (which is interesting, because Matthew 24 is also about the end of times). In Isaiah 24, we find a graphic description of the end of the earth as we know it. It lays out the destruction of everything and seemingly just about everyone! Yet, in the middle of all of this, it says, “They raise their voices, they shout for joy; from the west they acclaim the Lord’s majesty. Therefore in the east give glory to the Lord; exalt the name of the Lord, the God of Israel, in the islands of the sea. From the ends of the earth we hear singing: ‘Glory to the Righteous One.’” By the end of the chapter, the Lord returns in His glory. The brightness of His glory is so great, that it “embarrasses” the moon and the sun!

Wow, what a awesome time we have just ahead of us! A time of great joy and great victories…for those that will accept it! I hope and pray that you will join with me in battle as the joyful and victorious warrior Bride of Christ!

So in closing…I arrived at my office this morning and I put on an inspirational message to listen to while I’m doing my work. It happens to be Rick Joyner (a message from December 14th, 2013)…and he’s talking about this very same subject! Go figure. Do you think the Spirit of the Lord is trying to say something to His church?!

Enjoy: “Will The 7000 Arise” Conference - Session 5 of 6 - Rick Joyner 12/14/13 AM - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEUDqSXVeZM#t=16
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End Time Warriors Arise!

end time warriors-2

I believe we are now entering a time of deeper things in regards to our hearts and His heart. It is not enough just to know the times and the seasons that we are entering. We must also know His heart and purposes for the times and seasons that we are entering. He is pressing in and searching hearts in deeper ways, exposing deeper issues of the heart...while exposing a greater revelation of His glorious and passionate heart! How will we respond?

What is His heart and what is His purpose for these times in which He has intentionally placed us?

Let us take a moment and look back at our history on this earth and look forward to where we are going. Here is a brief overview of human history from Genesis through Revelation, the beginning through the end:

 

The Natural History of Mankind on the Earth

Genesis 3:6-10

“…she [Eve] took some and ate it…and he [Adam] ate it.”

He [Adam] answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”

Mankind Gives His God-given Authority on Earth over to Satan

Genesis 3:15

God: Her [Eve’s] offspring “will crush your [Satan’s] head, and you will strike his heel.”

Father God Promises that Jesus and His Followers Will Take it Back

Revelation 12:11

“They triumphed over him

 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.”

Regenerated Mankind, washed by the blood of the Lamb and empowered by the Holy Spirit, Kicks Satan off of the Earth and welcomes back Jesus as their Bridegroom, King and Judge



The Lord’s Heart and Purposes for the End Times

We are a moment in history of preparation for the final conflict. We are being prepared by the Lord to cross the Jordan river. The Lord is encouraging us at the river’s banks. The Lord is calling for His end time warriors to arise, shine and take back the land! He says, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6) The Captain of the Host will go before us and lead the way! As it happened in the days of Joshua (Joshua 3:13-15 ), it will happen again! “The One who breaks open the way will go up before them; they will break through the gate and go out. Their King will pass through before them, the Lord at their head.” (Micah 2:13).

During this preparation time, He blow upon us with His wind and will pour upon us the fire of His presence, to prepare our hearts and our minds for what is coming and to uproot our earthly thoughts and patterns of living. As the Holy Spirit and fire comes upon us, we will go out and prepare the way for the Lord’s return to the earth. We will move forward and overcome Satan and uproot his kingdom through the blood of the lamb!

Jesus’ ultimate desire and purpose in this is to take back His inheritance, His Bride. He will take us back to the garden, so we can walk and fellowship with Him in the cool of the day, and rule and reign with Him, in His Kingdom of Love and Holiness…as He originally intended!

Here are some encouraging words by Terry Bennett and Rick Joiner. Well said...judge their words for yourself and be encouraged!

"Will The 7000 Arise" Conference - Session 3 of 6 - Terry Bennett (12/13/13): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qa-8i5emV8U
"Will The 7000 Arise" Conference - Session 4 of 6 - Rick Joiner (12/13/13): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDBxlMyqzmo

Also, please enjoy this song by Misty Edwards called "Garden" - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Owb_B9BO_c
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I Want to Know Your Heart

Heart of Fire

This morning as I woke up, I heard these word in my heart, "Knowledge puffs up"...and then a few words from a song rang out, "I want to know Your heart."

I believe we are now entering a time of deeper things in regards to the heart and His heart. It is not enough just to know the times and the seasons that we are entering. We must also know His heart and purposes for the times and seasons. He is pressing in and searching hearts in deeper ways, exposing deeper issues of the heart...while exposing a greater revelation of His glorious and passionate heart! How will we respond?

As I meditate on your Word, Lord, let me not just see the names, places, things, times and seasons. Lord, please reveal Your heart of love and Your glorious purposes in all of it through the power of the Holy Spirit.

When I stand in front of someone...let me not just know their name, where they live and what they do. But Lord also show me how much you love them and the purposes and glorious inheritance that you have for them!

Then, Lord, please empower me to act on it and live it out in the power of the Holy Spirit...in Your passion and zealous love! Let me do it all for Your Glory, Jesus. Amen!!

"Closer" (I Want to Know Your Heart) ~Misty Edwards: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=feZUyTNDeoY
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Spread the Merit

spread the merit

As I woke up this morning, I heard the following in my spirit, “Take the merit I’ve filled you with and spread it across the U.S.”

I knew this was the Lord speaking, but this seemed like an interesting statement…and frankly it seemed a little odd to me. I knew intuitively, that it was merit the noun (not the verb), since one is “filled with” the stuff of merit…so it would be merit that one is merited with :) But, I knew I needed deeper revelation on this. I asked, “is there any scripture that would go with that?” I was given Romans 3:23…which I then looked up. It says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

In Webster’s dictionary, merit (noun) is defined to have to do with one’s value, worth, praise-worthy qualities, and deserving reward or honor. One of the definitions listed actually says the following, “spiritual credit held to be earned by performance of righteous acts and to ensure future benefits.” Knowing that we all have sinned and have fallen short, we know that any “spiritual credit” or “merit” we have “to ensure our future benefits” has been “earned by the performance of righteous acts” of Jesus Christ on the cross! John 6:53 (AMP) says, “And Jesus said to them, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, you cannot have any life in you unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood [unless you appropriate His life and the saving merit of His blood].”

In what I think is one of the most important verses of the Bible, Matthew 10:8, Jesus said, “Freely you have received, freely give.” God loved us so much that He sent His only Son to die for us! I freely received merit from Jesus that I didn’t deserve through His sacrifice on the cross…and I should give freely to others who also don’t deserve it. In fact, I won’t be able to find anyone who deserves it, or has earned it, because all of us have “fallen short.” So, to spread the merit [the value, worth, praise-worthy qualities, spiritual credit deserving reward or honor], I must spread the gospel of Jesus Christ! And I must love them enough to do this without pre-judging them first. I must give freely to whomever is there standing in front of me…no matter what their background is, no matter what they look like, whatever state they are in, whatever they are currently involved in at the time (the same as He did for me).

So, I say “YES!” To be honest, I don’t really know what that entails for spreading it to the nation of the United States. Today, we do spread the gospel to some extent via Lion Gear…but it seem relatively small to me. But the Creator of more 300 Billion galaxies is the God of endless possibilities! So, I pray for more revelation and direction on how to carry out this task. Amen!

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