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The Lion that Tears Us to Pieces

lion-over-the-sunset

Honestly, one of the things the Lion of Judah, Jesus Christ, will do...is to absolutely tear us to pieces. Then He puts us back together again in His image. Why? So we can appear before Him. So we can be with Him where He is. It may be painful and terrifying...but it is worth it! He is worth it! He is our great reward!! Are you ready for this? We must prepare our hearts for this, because heat and pressure on this earth is increasing...and it is just the beginning. But, be encouraged...the end result is wonderful! He is refining us as gold and forming the coal of our souls into diamonds!

"For I will be like a lion to Ephraim
And like a young lion to the house of Judah.
I, even I, will tear to pieces and go away,
I will carry away, and there will be none to deliver.
I will go away and return to My place
Until they acknowledge their guilt and seek My face;
In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me.
Come, let us return to the Lord.
For He has torn us, but He will heal us;
He has wounded us, but He will bandage us.
He will revive us after two days;
He will raise us up on the third day,
That we may live before Him.
So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord.
His going forth is as certain as the dawn;
And He will come to us like the rain,
Like the spring rain watering the earth.”

~Hosea 5:14-16;6:1-3 (NASB)

Hosea 5:14-16;6:1-3 on biblegateway.com: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Hosea+5%3A14-16%3B+6%3A1-3&version=NASB
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Decisions that Define Us

resolutions

I was very encouraged to read the below at my home church on Sunday and wanted to share it. It is called "Decisions that Define Us" by Graham Cooke.

We have decided, that teaching the Gospel without demonstrating the Gospel is not enough
good preaching, good doctrine, being good people — it’s not enough
We’ve decided that having a good church club is not enough
good fellowship — it’s not enough
just being a member of that club is not enough
We’ve decided that having good bible studies is good, but not good enough.
That just making it to heaven is not our goal
and that knowing about God without truly knowing Him and experiencing God is meaningless

We’ve decided that having good programs is not enough,
That change without transformation is intolerable
And that staying the same is not an option

We’ve decided that gifting without character is futile
We’ve decided that singing songs without worshipping is hollow
Having meetings without God showing up is pointless
We’ve decided that faith without works is not enough
And having works without love is not acceptable
That our function comes out of our relationship first, with our father and second, with each other

We have that decided that reading about the book of Acts without living the book of acts is unthinkable

We’ve decided that confident faith is good, bold faith is better
We’ve decided that hearing about the Holy Spirit without experiencing Him is silly
That believing in His presence without seeing it manifested in signs and wonders is hypocrisy
That believing in healing without seeing people healed is absurd
and that believing in deliverance without people being delivered is absolutely ridiculous

We’ve decided to be Holy Spirit filled, Holy Spirit led, and Holy Spirit empowered
Anything less doesn’t work for us

We have decided to be the ones telling the stories of God’s power, not the ones hearing about God
We have decided that living saved, but not supernatural, is living below our privilege and short of what Christ died for.

We have decided that we’re a battleship, not a cruise ship
an army, not an audience
special forces, not spectators
missionaries, not club members

We have decided to value both pioneers and settlers
pioneers to expand our territory and settlers to build on those territories
but we are not squatters — people who take up space others have fought for without improving it

We have decided to be infectious instead of innocuous
contagious instead of quarantined
deadly instead of benign

We have decided to be radical lovers and outrageous givers
We have decided that we’re a mission station, not a museum
Therefore, we honor the past, but we don’t live in it.
We live in the present with our eyes on the future

We see past events, success and failures as stepping stones, not stop signs
We pursue learning in order to be transformed, not learning in order to know

We are people of engagement, not observation
We focus on what could be, not what is or has been
We are not limited to the 4 walls of this building
Our influence is not restricted by location
Not even the nations are ‘out of bounds’
We are more concerned about how many we send out into the world,
Than how many we convince to come into the building

This building is meant to be filled, and it will be
but it will not be the measure of who we are, or the measure of our effectiveness
We raise up world-changers, not tour-guides
We train commandos, not committers

We are people of our destiny, not our history
We have decided that it’s better to fail while reaching for the impossible that God has planned for us than succeed in settling for less
We have decided that nothing short of His kingdom come, and His will be done in our world as it is in heaven will satisfy
We have decided we will not be satisfied until our world freaks out, and cries out “those who have turned the world upside down have come here too” (acts 17:6)

These are some of the decisions that define who we are as a community and how we live our lives
These decisions are not destinations but rather journeys
Journeys along an ancient path, we’ve not found some new way
but rather we’ve discovered the path as old as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob
The same path followed by Moses, Joshua, Caleb, Paul, John, and Peter
A path followed by the first century church
A church that revolutionized the culture of the 1st century and beyond

It’s a path that will impact the world we live in today
It’s a path of bold faith
believing that what God says is really true and acting on it

It’s a path of outrageous generosity
Giving our life away in order to demonstrate his kingdom
It’s a path of radical love
Loving God with everything in us
and our neighbors as ourselves

It’s a path of liberty freedom and healing
On this path, you will find significance purpose and destiny
It’s a path less traveled, however
It’s not a path only available to a select few
but to whosoever will may come
It’s for people of every nation tribe and tongue
for those in any occupation or vocation

No matter where you are on this life journey, there’s room on this path for you.

- Graham Cooke from “Decisions that Define Us." Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=XRqDmDohTLM
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Hidden in Christ

hiddeninchrist

Colossians 3:3 says, “…your life is now hidden with Christ in God.” What does that really mean? I suppose we could really write endlessly on this subject. But what occurred to me the other day is the idea that we are generally either running AWAY from God…or running WITH Him.

We can see in Genesis, and throughout the Bible, that it is just part of the nature of God that He likes to walk with us in the Garden. He loves us! He also likes to work with us…and run with us! But something happened in the Garden. Adam and Even ran away and hid one day when God came strolling up in the cool of the day. Why would they do that? God said to Adam, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” (Genesis 3:10, NIV) Yes, something had happened…they knew that what they had done. They had broken allegiance and fellowship with God…and they were about to be discovered! But God is so merciful! Right way, God said that Adam and Eve’s descendants would crush Satan’s head. He already had a plan! When Jesus came and offered His life up as a sacrifice, He paid for all our sin, and conquered death and the grave! He was given all authority! He took back the authority that man had given to the enemy…and then gave it back to us! Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20, NIV). But how can we do this? How can we just go out and disciple nations? We cannot do this on our own, or by our own merit. We can only do it if we die first…and live our lives hidden in Christ! Romans 8:37 says, “…in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”

Now, let’s expand our original verse, Colossians 3:3, and read it with the verses surrounding it: “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”

Since Christ died for us, we then also die…so that we can run WITH Him instead of FROM Him!

Today, as we consider these things, let us be encouraged by the modern-day Christian example of Hea Woo in North Korea this short video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_AmLA-UDqIo&feature=youtu.be&utm_content=buffer10dd0&utm_source=buffer&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Buffer
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Running to Disaster

Run to disaster

Well, you might think I’m talking about people who are on a highway to hell. Not today. My topic today is a new generation of young people that are emerging on the earth that run to disaster…not to their own disaster…but to disasters affecting others. They are running to the disaster in order “to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Isaiah 61).

What do we do with the increase in disasters on the earth? Does Jesus intend for us to hide in fear? I think Jesus would say no…as He expressed in the parable of the talents (Matthew 25). But instead, Jesus spoke of greater works that we would do…even greater than He did on the earth! Wouldn’t it make sense that the greatest works are reserved for the time of greatest need? Imagine a context of increase of natural disasters and war on the earth…a time near the end. Now, in that context, let’s read Matthew 10:7-8, “As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.” Makes sense, doesn’t it?! Now let’s look at the overall themes of Joel 2:28-32, “I will pour out my Spirit on all people…I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved .“ What are the themes of this passage? 1) The Spirit is being poured out, 2) it’s a time of great distress, 3) people getting saved.

Beloved, everything that can be shaken…everything that is not built on the Rock…will be shaken. Why? So that we can run to those that are shaken and help them to place their feet upon the Rock…Jesus Christ! Yes, it’s harvest time!!

How can you help? Perhaps it is time to pray and ask the Lord how you can be a part…how you can join a ministry that answers the call to help those in need in times of disaster. Maybe for now you just want to help someone else. I am very honored to be able to tell you about an opportunity to support own Olivia! She is heading with a team in early December straight into the center of the area affected by hurricane Haiyan in the Philippines!

Olivia has been training with YWAM since late September with the Aikea Discipleship Training School (DTS) for a 2 ½ month missions trip. Earlier this year, their leadership team had felt led to change their trip from going to three countries to just one – the Philippines. Now that hurricane Haiyan has hit, the team has decided to take a sub-team from the group for a portion of their stay and head straight into impacted area. There are some preparations that this team must make for this venture that are over and above their original mission trip plans. They require additional immunizations, water filtration equipment as well as funding for additional gifts and supplies. The team will be leaving in early December. We would very much appreciate any gift of support! There are 3 ways to give:

1. Cash

2. Check (made to: Holoholo Ministries PO Box 4010 Kailua-Kona, HI 96745)

3. https://www.paypal.com/ (Send money to: oliviabersin@yahoo.com)
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Your Inheritance as an Overcomer

overcomer

What a privilege it is for us to be born into the world for such a time as this! I couldn’t think of a more exciting time to be alive! Jesus looked throughout history and handpicked us specifically to be alive during this generation! Part of our inheritance is that of the overcomer! He set this thing up so that we’d have an enemy to take out. He set is up so that we’d: 1) grow in the process of battling and overcoming the enemy, 2) that we’d receive great rewards for doing so, and 3) that His mighty Name would be glorified! Sometimes it is better to just shut up and let God talk…so, let's allow Abba Father to speak over us in regards to our inheritance as an overcomer as we read these words:

“For though the mountains should depart and the hills be shaken or removed, yet My love and kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall My covenant of peace and completeness be removed, says the Lord, Who has compassion on you. O you afflicted [city], storm-tossed and not comforted, behold, I will set your stones in fair colors [in antimony to enhance their brilliance] and lay your foundations with sapphires. And I will make your windows and pinnacles of [sparkling] agates or rubies, and your gates of [shining] carbuncles, and all your walls [of your enclosures] of precious stones. And all your [spiritual] children shall be disciples [taught by the Lord and obedient to His will], and great shall be the peace and undisturbed composure of your children. You shall establish yourself in righteousness (rightness, in conformity with God’s will and order): you shall be far from even the thought of oppression or destruction, for you shall not fear, and from terror, for it shall not come near you. Behold, they may gather together and stir up strife, but it is not from Me. Whoever stirs up strife against you shall fall and surrender to you. Behold, I have created the smith who blows on the fire of coals and who produces a weapon for its purpose; and I have created the devastator to destroy. 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.” ~Isaiah 54:10-17 (AMP)

“I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” ~Matthew 16:18 (NIV)

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” ~John 1:5 (NIV)

“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” ~John 16:33 (NIV)

“Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” ~Romans 12:21 (NIV)

“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” ~I John 4:4 (NIV)

“…for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. ” ~I John 5:4-5 (NIV)

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God.’” ~Revelation 2:7 (NASB)

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt by the second death.’” ~Revelation 2:11 (NASB)

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.’” ~Revelation 2:17 (NIV)

“He who overcomes, and he who keeps My deeds until the end, to him I will give authority over the nations” ~Revelation 2:26 (NASB)

“He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.” ~Revelation 3:5 (NASB)

“He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will not go out from it anymore; and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God, and My new name.” ~Revelation 3:12 (NASB)

“He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.” ~Revelation 3:21 (NASB)

“He who overcomes will inherit these things, and I will be his God and he will be My son.” ~Revelation 21:17 (NASB)

“Then I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received the mark on their forehead and on their hand; and they came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.” ~Revelation 20:4 (NASB)

“Many evils confront the [consistently] righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all” ~Psalm 34:19 (AMP)

He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. However, do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” ~Luke 18:20 (NIV)

“And they overcame him [Satan] because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.” ~Revelation 12:11 (NASB)

“The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.” ~Romans 16:20 (NASB)

“Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” ~Hebrews 6:17-20 (NIV)

Finally, let me speak over you a variation of a famous Winston Churchill quote. “Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties in the perilous times ahead, and so bear ourselves, that during the millennium reign, men will still say of us, ‘This was their finest hour.’”
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A Great Mystery

mysteryblackandwhite

Why would a loving God allow Satan to roam the earth to kill, steal and destroy? Satan was even in the Garden before man turned over to him his God-given authority! Could it be that in part it is so we can choose life vs death, love vs hate....and then be rewarded for our choices? Could it be in part so that we can learn to resist and rebuke death and choose to create life? Beyond all of that, is it also so that we are given an enemy to defeat and destroy...and then to be rewarded lavishly for doing so? Is not the enemy set before us so that we can knock him down and kick him out? Do we not love to set things up so our kids can knock them down? (take T-ball and bowling for example). Consider the following scriptures, “'See, it is I who created the blacksmith who fans the coals into flame and forges a weapon fit for its work. And it is I who have created the destroyer to wreak havoc; no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and this is their vindication from me,' declares the Lord." (Isaiah 54:16-17) Jesus never said that this challenge would be easy, or that we would not lose our life in the process. But the greater the challenge, the greater the reward! He said, "In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33, NIV) Jesus greatly encourages us to overcome, promises us many rewards for overcoming, calls us "overcomers" and then also prophesies that we will succeed in overcoming!!

(See the following promises for the overcomers)

So, let's be what God made us to be: Overcomers!!
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It's Harvest Time!

harvest time

As I see how the leaves are now quickly falling from the trees...I notice how suddenly they are everywhere...even when I just took care of them about 2 days ago! So, I am reminded how the harvest is increasing...and souls will be saved like leaves falling from the trees! We must be prepared to take care of them and bring them in...and not stop until it is over!

It is a time of acceleration and we will need to run with Jesus to keep up! He is very excited and joyful about this great coming harvest...His inheritance! We must also stay in the river of the Spirit for our strength. Though we may only be wading in the river now, it will grow deeper and deeper until we are swimming in it! (Ezekiel 47). We will be washed and receive His strength and purity...and we will see many signs and wonders...which will in turn lead many, many more into the kingdom and to the river! It is a time of great light and darkness...a time when both the wheat and the tares are reaching maturity! It's harvest time!! (Isaiah 60, Matthew 13, Joel 2:28-32)
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Watch and Pray

watch and pray

Have you ever noticed that in the Bible it says that when Jesus returns, He will come as a thief specifically to those who are asleep and are careless? Consider the following passages of scripture:

“Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.” ~Revelation 3:3 (NIV)

"But suppose that servant is wicked and says to himself, ‘My master is staying away a long time,’ and he then begins to beat his fellow servants and to eat and drink with drunkards. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he is not aware of.” ~Matthew 24:48-50 (NIV)

Interestingly, in the parable of the ten virgins described in Matthew 25:1-1…ALL of the virgins were asleep and were alarmed at the coming of the bridegroom! However, by comparison, the five that were considered wise were the ones that were at least better prepared for His coming.

Paul aptly makes the differentiation between those who are asleep and those who are not in I Thessalonians 5:1-5 (NIV):

“Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober.”

So, what should we be doing? Part of the answer we see in the Bible is that we should watch and pray. Jesus instructs us to watch and pray during these perilous times, just as He instructed the disciples during the perilous hours just before His death, “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” ~Matthew 26:41 (NIV). It is interesting that He was asking for watchfulness and prayer during this hour of great travail before His death, and also during the hour of great travail of His return. “Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able [or strengthened] to escape [or flee away from] all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.” ~Luke 21:36 (NIV). The prophet Zephaniah speaks of the Day of the Lord, “Gather together, gather yourselves together…seek the Lord, all you humble of the land, you who do what he commands. Seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you will be sheltered on the day of the Lord’s anger.” ~Zephaniah 2:1,3 (NIV). Paul continues his instructions above by saying, “Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” ~I Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NIV)

Jesus warns us about how difficult those days will be, and says, “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.” Thankfully, He warned us ahead of time, told us what we should be doing and also shortened those days for our benefit! I like the simplicity of what He says in Matthew 24:25, “See, I have told you ahead of time.” But are we listening? How will we respond? Will we remain watchful? Or will we grow drowsy and careless?

I have heard someone refer recently to the house of prayer as the “house of the watchful and the wise”. I couldn’t agree more! Interestingly, in what appears to be a sign of the times, thousands of 24/7 houses of prayer have been popping up all around the world over the last 20 years! But, whatever the format or location we meet in, let us encourage each other to stay the course and continue to watch and pray!

“And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” ~Luke 18:7-8 (NIV)
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Things are not OK right now

fasting and mourning 2

Have you ever felt like something is missing in your life? Have you have looked around and felt like things are just not right on the earth? Well, it’s true. Jon Thurlow puts it well in one of his songs when he sings, “Things as they are, are not OK…when someone is missing, when someone is absent.” In the beginning, Adam walked with God in the Garden of Eden and had fellowship with Him. I believe that from the time Adam had to leave the Garden until now, there has been a growing realization that something, that SOMEONE, is missing! Jesus is missing! When Jesus finally arrived and walked the earth, He said, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.” (Matthew 9:15, NIV). Before He left, He predicted that in His absence (and as time went on) darkness and injustice would increase. He also said that as darkness and injustice increased, we would cry out and mourn for Him more and more...and that He would answer! Jesus said, “And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:7-8. NIV) The prophet Isaiah said, “I have posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the Lord, give yourselves no rest, and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem and makes her the praise of the earth.” (Isaiah 62:6-7, NIV)

I would bet that you have been feeling an increasing inner desire for something. Maybe it’s been something that you just can’t put your finger on. Whether you have realized it or not, much of this inner desire is separation anxiety. It is a longing for more of Jesus in your life. He said that if we ask and seek Him, that we would find Him and that He would be with us and never leave us! But beyond the spiritual realm, we also have this innate desire for His return to this earth to physically be with us and walk with us. It is a desire for the way it was supposed to be from the beginning…like it was in the Garden of Eden! How long will I feel this? You will feel this desire to cry out for Him, to even MOURN for His return…until He comes in a greater measure into your heart…and ultimately until He comes to walk with us on the earth!

What about the Jewish people who rejected Him? Jesus said of Jerusalem, “For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’” Yes, the nation of Israel will too fast and mourn specifically for the return of Jesus Christ. In Zechariah 12:10-12, the prophet Zechariah says, “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son. On that day the weeping in Jerusalem will be as great as the weeping of Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. The land will mourn, each clan by itself, with their wives by themselves...” In Zechariah 10:6, it says, “I will restore them because I have compassion on them. They will be as though I had not rejected them, for I am the Lord their God and I will answer them.”

Yes, it’s true, as the song says, “I’ll stay here and mourn for You, I stay and fast for You, I’ll stay here and watch for You, I’ll stay here and wait for You. Things as they are, are not ok…when Someone is missing, when Someone is absent. And they won’t be until You come back!

Come, Lord Jesus!!

“Things are Not OK” ~Jon Thurlow. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JU0OPJGPHro
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Darkness is increasing! Why? And who are you?

Return to Pigeon Point Lighthouse - 138th Anniversary

We can look around us and see that darkness is increasing…especially if we watch the news! Jesus warned us that this increase in wickedness would happen. However, He also said that He would let the “wheat and the tares” grow up together…and that in these perilous times there would also be an amazing outpouring of His Spirit! Joel 2:28-32. This also means that the darkness and the light will increase together. At the end of times, there will be two harvests: 1) The Weeds (or Tares) and 2) the Wheat. In Matthew 13:41-43, Jesus explains, “As the weeds are pulled up and burned in the fire, so it will be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.”

Why does the darkness increase with the light for a time? Jesus says He allows this because He does not want the “wheat” to be uprooted with the “weeds.” My guess is that this has to do with His mercy. But, we know that this is only temporary…and during this period of grace. Personally, this seems like a very deep subject that requires much wisdom and revelation…perhaps we will pursue this further in another post.

So, what remains in our discussion is “who are you?” Also, what can I do? I have come of up with a simple acronym, “DARK.” It is something to remind us how we can respond to darkness.

Destroy it.

Yes, overcome the darkness. But how?...

Arise and Shine.

Stand up to it! “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:5. Jesus said, “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.” Isaiah 60:1-3 says, “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.” Remember that in the parable of the talents, Jesus told us not to crawl into a hole in fear and wait for Him to come back (my paraphrase). We must stand up and shine!

Resist and rebuke it.

“Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7. That seems simple enough. Perhaps it is not easy, but simple. But it’s not enough just to resist…

Kick it out and overcome it!

In the Garden of Eden, mankind made a decision to give his authority over to the devil, plunging us into darkness. Bad idea. Now, it’s our job to kick the devil back out! The Bible predicted this overthrow of darkness in Genesis…the plan was revealed right away! Father God spoke of Adam’s offspring, that “he [Adam’s offspring] will your crush [Satan’s] head, and you [Satan] will strike his heel.” Genesis 3:15.

First of all, this means that Jesus would come and defeat death and the grave on the cross! Jesus said that He came to destroy the works of Satan. Jesus was given all authority in heaven and on earth…then He told us to GO! He said He will be with us always, even until the end of the age. He told us to bring the Kingdom and disciple the nations!

So, secondly, this also means that we will bruise our heel kicking Satan out! Romans 16:20, Paul says, “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.” I John 3:8. Romans 12:21 says, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” One thing that Jesus says over and over again in Revelation, especially in regards to the end times; “Overcome… overcome… overcome… overcome!” There are many rewards He lists for those who overcome! (I highly recommend you read them in Revelation 2, 3 & 22). Let us not be like that generation of complaining Israelites that were afraid to go into the promised land and kick the enemy out! After that, there was another generation that got it…and did it! Today, in regards to the end times, I think that generation is you! Your children and babies are part of the plan too! Jesus reminded us in the book of Matthew of Psalm 8:2, “From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise because of your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.”

In summary, our Father God prophesied in Genesis that we would defeat Satan. He then encourages us over and over again to overcome Satan. Finally He prophesied that His prophesy will come true! Revelation 12:11 says, “They triumphed over him [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.” He is saying that we WILL become His Light and Love in the world…and we WILL overcome!

The only thing that will remain on this earth after this whole thing goes down is God’s Kingdom of Light and Love. Everything else will have been assimilated (by Love) or will have been destroyed. Yes, darkness is increasing on the earth…but that is quite temporary. Light and Love will overcome it and will be permanent. So, who are you?
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