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Arise & Shine!

arise and shine

As I drove in to my office this morning, I was reminded of a very important job that we all have to do as believers in Jesus Christ…that is to shine our light for Him!

It seems that these days, many are afraid of the darkness…content to stay put and draw back…instead of shining their light! Why is that? Could it be that we are unfamiliar with how things are going to go down? The Bible says that as darkness increases, so does the light! The light will ultimately defeat the darkness! What voice(s) are we listening to? What are we afraid of? After Adam and Eve sinned in the garden, they hid from God in fear and shame. But Jesus paid the price of our sins and has purchased our redemption! Jesus Christ has all authority! In respect to the end times, He tells us in the parable of the talents (my paraphrase) not to crawl into a hole and hide from Him, as in the garden, waiting for Him to come back. Instead, Jesus tells us to GO! He tells us to GET OUT THERE, to BRING THE LIGHT, to BRING THE KINGDOM! Hear the heart of the Father…

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:6, NIV)

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

“Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” (Ephesians 5:14, NIV)

“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. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:15-16, NIV)

“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” (Isaiah 60:1-3. NIV)

“For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent, for Jerusalem’s sake I will not remain quiet, till her vindication shines out like the dawn, her salvation like a blazing torch.” (Isaiah 62:1, NIV)

“Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.” (Daniel 12:3, NIV)

“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.” (Matthew 13:40-43, NIV)


Beloved, we have a job to do! Adam and Eve turned man’s God-given authority over the earth to Satan in the garden. But Jesus Christ sacrificed Himself on the cross…and He is worthy! He has been given all authority! He has given us the task of kicking Satan back off of the earth! We may lose our lives in the process, but we will overcome!

“But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.” (Hebrews 10:39, NIV)

“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.” (Revelation 12:11, NIV)
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The Burning Ones

burninglion

Billions have likely prayed, “…let Your Kingdom come, Your will be done…on earth as it is in heaven.” But I wonder sometimes if we really consider what we are asking for? Well, Daniel saw “as it is” in heaven. In Daniel 7:9-10 (NIV) he describes what he saw,

“As I looked,

…thrones were set in place,
and the Ancient of Days took his seat.
His clothing was as white as snow;
the hair of his head was white like wool.
His throne was flaming with fire,
and its wheels were all ablaze.
A river of fire was flowing,
coming out from before him.
Thousands upon thousands attended him;
ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him.
The court was seated,
and the books were opened.”


What an awesome sight! It can be presumed from this scene, that one thing we are asking for when we pray the Lord’s prayer, is for the Ancient of Days to come to earth, and for Him to bring His throne of flaming fire, and river of fire with Him!

Many might say, “How will we survive this?” As the prophet Isaiah foretold, “The sinners in Zion are terrified; trembling grips the godless: ‘Who of us can dwell with the consuming fire? Who of us can dwell with everlasting burning?’” (Isaiah 33:14, NIV)

It is only by the blood of the Lamb, that a way has been made for us! He made a way for us to invite the Burning One into our very hearts! When we do this…it sets our hearts ablaze and burns out anything that is not of Him! We, then, also become burning ones for Him!

Remember the two that walked with Jesus on the road to Emmaus, but didn’t know at first that it was Him? They said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?” Just being close to Him set their hearts ablaze! Jesus wants the same thing for us! Remember also what happened later in the upper room? “Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.” They went out from there, and with signs following, they led thousands to the Lord! His desire is for our hearts to be set on fire…and for that fire to spread to others!

During his revelation, John saw the fire in Jesus’ eyes. It is the fire of his love! This love is described in Song of Songs 8:6-7, “Put me like a seal over your heart, Like a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death, Jealousy is as severe as Sheol; Its flashes are flashes of fire, The very flame of the Lord. “Many waters cannot quench love, Nor will rivers overflow it…”

Let us, therefore, receive the consuming fire of His love into our hearts...and let us spread it to others and increase His Kingdom…and reduce the number of souls ultimately consumed as enemies of God by the fire of His jealous anger!
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The Rock that Crushes

In about 500 BC, the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar had a dream. It took the prophet Daniel to interpret it for him. In the dream, he was show kings and kingdoms that would rise and fall throughout history. But at the end, he was shown the ultimate kingdom. The dream concludes with, "In the time of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people. It will crush all those kingdoms and bring them to an end, but it will itself endure forever. This is the meaning of the vision of the rock cut out of a mountain, but not by human hands—a rock that broke the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold to pieces. The great God has shown the king what will take place in the future. The dream is true and its interpretation is trustworthy.” (Daniel 2:24-25, NIV)

Who is the rock cut not by human hand? Who is the rock that crushes all the other kingdoms? The answer comes from the Rock himself. Interestingly, two of the verses where Jesus gives the answer to this question are Matthew 21:44 and 22:44. In the first verse, Jesus is talking to the chief priests and Pharisees. The Creator and King of the universe, the God of pure, righteous love was standing right in front of them in human form, but they didn't recognize Him. They didn't recognize Him because they didn't know God...they didn't "have" Love abiding in their hearts. In fact, they were challenging and rejecting Him. Jesus told them, "Anyone who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; anyone on whom it falls will be crushed.” He was identifying Himself as the Rock eternal, the Rock that Crushes. Later, in Matthew 22:44, Jesus was again talking to the Pharisees. He told them that King David was writing about Jesus when he penned Psalm 110. There is a wealth of revelation of Jesus in Psalm 110. But at the end of the chapter, we read the following, "The Lord is at your right hand; he will crush kings on the day of his wrath. He will judge the nations, heaping up the dead and crushing the rulers of the whole earth. He will drink from a brook along the way, and so he will lift his head high." (Psalm 110, NIV)

What should we glean from this? We know that Jesus Christ is patient, kind, humble and longsuffering. He is a servant. He is love. That is the essence of His nature. He was first crushed for us, dying on the cross...and He has been longsuffering in waiting for us to come to repentance. He is the Christ. He is the Anointed One. He is the King of the whole earth. He holds everything together. We must remember that the time of choosing, the valley of decision, will come to a close. This is true for each of us as well as for the whole earth. Anyone that is not with Him (with Love), is against Him (against Love), and will utimately be crushed and destroyed. It does not matter how influential or powerful that person is right now. Jesus Christ will rule and reign.

See, since you are reading this, it means that you are still alive. You have been given at least one more breath...one more gracious moment to choose what is right. In this moment, let us fully yield ourselves to the King and ask that His burning, passionate love would burn inside of our hearts...burning out anything that would oppose Him. Then, we can join with Him to accomplish His goal, of destroying the works of Satan and bringing His loving kingdom to earth. On earth as it is in heaven! Amen.
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Something Worth Fighting (and Dying) For

book_home

I recently received a small book in the mail a few days ago and began to read it. The book is called “Tortured for Christ” by Rev. Richard Wurmbrand. This book was first published on the year I was born (1967) and it actually sat in my home as I grew up. I remember my father telling me about it when I was young, but I can’t remember for sure if I read it back then or not. Rev. Wurmbrand grew up as an atheist in Romania. By the grace and power of God, he became a Christian and then even a Pastor. When the Nazis took over in World War II, he suffered much persecution by their hands. Then, when the Russians kicked the Nazis out, Communism was implemented in Romania and the persecution became far worse (in the West, many of us forget that our country signed off on this travesty…that our agreement as a nation with Russia after World War II resulted in the persecution and martyrdom of countless Christians). Rev. Wurmbrand suffered a total of 14 years of torture in prison for his faith in Jesus Christ under the Communists. However, during that time, he loved his Communist persecutors with the love of Christ, winning many souls for the Lamb! Eventually, his plight became well known in the West, and his release was negotiated. He moved to the United States to raise awareness, prayer and support for the persecuted church. Although he passed away in 2001, his ministry, “Voice of the Martyrs” continues today (the ministry is actually located in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, which is about 45 minutes north of Tulsa).

I highly recommend this book, it is so powerful! I believe it will change your life. Yes, I believe that something deep will happen when you read it, although I’m not even sure I can describe it. It is a deep work of the Holy Spirit that happens in the heart. At the end of this article I will put a link that will allow you to receive a free copy of the book, and to order a few more for your friends (as well as learn more about this ministry).

I believe that the timing of when I picked up this book and began to read it is a God thing. We have seen persecution of the followers of Jesus Christ for over 2,000 years. John the Baptist was beheaded. Jesus Christ hung on a cross. Stephen was stoned to death. Yes, eleven out of the twelve disciples followed Jesus in pouring out their lives and dying as martyrs! History even tells us that they also attempted to kill John, but could not kill him. Since the time of Christ, an estimated 40-70 million Christians have been martyred for their faith. Does this still happen today? Yes! As I read the news just today, one headline tells of Islamic military groups demanding of Christians in Syria, “Either convert to Islam, or you will be beheaded.” This is not an isolated incident. Open Doors (another great ministry that supports the persecuted church) states that about 100,000,000 Christians in 60 countries currently face persecution! It is estimated now that there are approximately 200,000 Christian martyrs each year…and the rate of martyrdom continues to increase!

You may ask, “Will this ever happen in my country?” The answer, no matter what country you live in, is YES. Persecution will continue to increase until it reaches ever tribe, people and nation. It will continue to increase until the God’s appointed number of martyrs is reached (Revelation 6:9-11). All of this has already been prophesied in the Bible. It is written there as a warning to prepare us, but also points to great and powerful promises and opportunities for the believer! Let’s take a look at what the Bible says:

After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!” All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God. ~Revelation 7:9-11 (NKJV)

Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?” And I said to him, “Sir, you know.” So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them. They shall neither hunger anymore nor thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any heat” ~Revelation 7:13-16 (NKJV)

In these verses, we see the end result. We see the good news, and actually more good news. First, we see that “a great multitude” of Jesus worshippers were gathered from “all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues.” How is that possible? Right now about 40% of the world, almost 3 billion souls, have yet to receive the gospel of Jesus Christ! Yet, these verses show that what Jesus prophesied in Matthew 24:14 will come true, “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” How far away can this be? Well, we don’t know. However, many major missions organization predict that every tribe and tongue can be reached with the gospel by 2020-2025 (and for the first time I can remember, these estimates are staying put, or growing shorter, instead of growing longer!)

The “more” good news may not seem so good at first. But as with Jesus, the disciples, or any follower of Christ (John 15:20), one of the results of all these people of all these tribes and tongues receiving the gospel, will be a backlash of great persecution. It will be the largest harvest of believers in human history, and also the greatest resulting backlash of persecution in human history. You may ask, “What is good about that?” I would respond: Purification, refining and rewards:

And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. ~Revelation 20:4 (NKJV)

This verse refers to the “image” which is the “Abomination that Causes Desolation” that will be set up in the Temple (yet to be rebuilt), that will cause the great tribulation, the most difficult time in the world’s history. Yes, those beheaded for holding on to Christ, and not worshipping the image of the beast, are promised thrones. This time, described in both the Old and New Testament, will last 3 ½ years. Jesus says that the time is kept short for the sake of the believers. There will be much wrath poured out during this time on the Antichrist and his followers, fueled by the prayers of the believers. As the Antichrist and his followers are experiencing God's wrath, believers will be experiencing God's protection, but at times will also experience persecution and some will experience martyrdom. We have seen many pictures and types of this throughout history. Antiochus IV Epiphanes, Nero, Hitler, Stalin, the current North Korean regime...just to name a few. In North Korea today, it you do not bow down to worship the images of three of Kim Jong-un's ancestors, which must hang on the “best” wall of each person's home, you can be thrown into prison indefinitely. Neglecting proper care of these portraits is a capital crime. Beloved, these are all examples of the antichrist spirit. The difference is, when we see the final version of this unfold, it will be the biggest and most powerful occurrance in human history. Jesus warns of the severity of these times:

“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come. Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.” ~Matthew 14:14-21 (NKJV)

But all of this sounds scary! Shouldn’t this mean that we should all run and hide? Jesus does give some allowance for taking cover (at least for those living in Judea at the time). However, our work will not yet be complete! In the scriptures it is revealed that this time will also be the church’s greatest hour! In Daniel we see, as we do in Joel, that the believers will still be working in great power during the most difficult of circumstances. I believe that the "greater things" Jesus said would happen, will take place in the time of the greatest need in human history! Matthew 10:7-8 will have no greater meaning than in the end times, for the kingdom will surely be near…and there will be many struck with fear for us to love, many sick with plagues (that baffle science) for us to heal, many demonized for us to deliver and scores of (emotionally, spiritually and physically) dead people to raise!

And forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation. Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits. And those of the people who understand shall instruct many; yet for many days they shall fall by sword and flame, by captivity and plundering. Now when they fall, they shall be aided with a little help; but many shall join with them by intrigue. And some of those of understanding shall fall, to refine them, purify them, and make them white, until the time of the end; because it is still for the appointed time. ~Daniel 11:31-35 (NKJV)

“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, Your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days. “And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: Blood and fire and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. And it shall come to pass That whoever calls on the name of the Lord Shall be saved.” ~Joel 2:28-32 (NKJV)

In summary, I have written this today both as a warning and also as encouragement. In the Garden of Eden, humanity was given the choice of life or death in the tree of knowledge or the tree of life. God presented the choice and then provided encouragement to Adam and Eve to make the right choice. Unfortunately, Adam and Eve choose death and Satan. However, God in His mercy has made a way for us through the sacrifice of His Son on the cross…and by His great grace we get to choose life once again! During the times we are entering, like the times of many of those who have suffered before us, we must hold fast to Jesus. Ultimately the choice will be between keeping the seal of God on our foreheads versus rejecting the Lord Jesus Christ and choosing the mark of the beast.

In the beginning, man chose incorrectly and let Satan have dominion in the earth. However, Jesus is encouraging us to hold fast to the seal of God, endure, overcome, finish strong and labor alongside Him to reverse the curse! This time, we may lose our lives in the process, but we will prevail in kicking Satan off of the earth, and gain everlasting life! Read these words of Jesus on this topic and also the prophets. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal His Truth to your heart! Follow Jesus! Don’t ever quit, don’t give up, don’t stop, and don't ever look back!

“For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.” ~Mark 8:35 (NKJV)

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

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

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

“And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations. ‘He shall rule them with a rod of iron; They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels’— as I also have received from My Father; and I will give him the morning star.” ~Revelation 2:26-28 (NKJV)

“He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.” ~Revelation 3:5 (NKJV)

“He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. 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 I will write on him My new name.” ~Revelation 3:12 (NKJV)

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

“He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.” ~Revelation 21:7 (NKJV)

“And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” ~Revelation 12:11 (NKJV)

With Love in Christ,

Stu

Receive a free copy of “Tortured for Christ” by Rev. Richard Wurmbrand here: https://etools.ncol.com/a/tfc/bg_vomtfc_persecutioncom-tfc-flash_346.html
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Here Come the Wristwatches

In 1983, Bob Jones prophesied, among many things, that he saw people in China watching and joining with the "songbirds" (24/7 intercessors and worshippers) in Grandview, MO, (at Harry S. Truman farms) worshipping and praying for Israel. He said they would be watching them on their "wristwatches."

At that time, there was no IHOP, no intercessory worshippers, and the group of people that Bob prophesied to were at a church located in Overland Park (not Grandview). Well, it's 30 years later...and the International House of Prayer has been running 24/7 for 14 years, now has over 1,000 full time intercessor / worshippers and they own Truman farms in Grandview! People all over Asia (and the world) join them via their webcast. Now, here come the wristwatches. Guess what? These new Samsung wristwatches have android, which is one of the systems that can be used to run the IHOP 24/7 worship and intercession app.

Mike Bickle and Bob Jones tell more about the prophecies here (the wristwatches are at 1:24 in the video): http://mikebickle.org/resources/resource/1643?return_url=http%3A%2F%2Fmikebickle.org%2Fresources%2Fseries%2F38

Samsung Plans to Release Android Based Wrist Watch Next Month: http://www.mobileworldmag.com/samsung-plans-to-release-android-based-wrist-watch-next-month.html

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The Fellowship of the Burning Heart

The love of God. I personally think that in this area we may find the strongest area of attack from Satan. Why? I could think of dozens of reasons. But, let's just try to take a high-level view. I John 4:8 says that God is love. Love is His essence. He is love, passion, zeal, holiness, power, glory. His love "burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame" (Song of Songs 8:6). Paul says in Roman 8:36, "For from Him and through Him and for Him are all things." So, it follows that we are made out of the essence of God, through Him and for Him...and His essence is love. We are made out of blazing, passionate, zealous love....we are made by love and for love. We are held together by Him...or by love (Colossians 1:17). Yes, every subatomic particle of our bodies and also of everything that we see in creation is made by Him and is held together by Him. So, what are we? Are we love? Or are we rebelling against love? The choice has always been there. Will we return to God the love that was given to us and also give it to others? Jesus said that all of the law and the prophets hang on these two things. We must remember that in order to give love, we have to receive it. In order to receive it we have to believe it...believe that what He says is true...that God is love. He loves us so much that He sent His only Son to die for us and to carry our sin and rebellion! I believe that when we really get a revelation of this by the power of the Holy Spirit and receive it, we will join the fellowship of the burning heart of the love of God. It will unfold in deeper and deeper measures for all of eternity. There is much to be explored...will you join me? He says seek Him and we will find Him. Let's run after it!!
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Run hard after God...don't look back...and don't ever stop!!

Well, there a ton of things I could add to that, scriptures all over the place to support it…a thousand ways I could expound on it, but I won’t. I want to keep this one fairly simple. Let’s just encourage each other to do what my title says, “Run hard after God…don’t look back…and don’t every stop!! If that sounds overwhelming…then how about starting with a 90 day challenge? For the next 90 days let’s seek God diligently and then also simply and quickly do anything He asks us to do…no matter how small, large, frightening or simple the thing seems to be. Then we’ll watch what happens! You may ask, what if I fail or get tripped up along the way? Just sign right back up and keep going! (and you don’t have to start over!) If you get a chance, report back how things are going… get ready to be blown away by His goodness!! God Bless you!

“From now on I will tell you of new things, of hidden things unknown to you.” ~Isaiah 48:6 (NIV)
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"Meology" Vs. "Theology"

I think we should always question our theology to see if it lines up with the Word of Truth. Is it a "Meology" or really a "Theology?" In other words, is it what I want to believe about what the Bible says...or what God is really saying?

I believe that in our culture, we tend to get conditioned to believe a certain way based on the way we were raised, based on the beliefs of those around us, or perhaps based on what our favorite preacher or some smart teacher says. We also may have the tendency to pick and choose our favorite beliefs based on what we want to believe...and then justify that by finding a teacher, commentator or author that believes the same way we do. When this happens, I believe we are transitioning from forming a "theology" to a "meology."

On the contrary, how many times do we just sit down with the Word of God...without any other book, etc...and just ask the Holy Spirit to guide us in all truth as we read the Word? Are we really willing to accept the truth about what God really means? What if He really means what He says? I believe there are times that we find some mystery in the Word...and it will take considerable prayer and searching in the Word to find the true meaning. Jesus says, "seek and you will find." We should not give up! If we are tempted to give up searching and looking to the Holy Spirit [The Spirit of Truth]...and begin to look primarily to another source, we will often find a teacher that is saying, "well, it's complicated...what He really means is THIS." Sometimes this may be true. But other times, it may be "complicated" only because that teacher is trying to take a few scriptures and squeeze and stretch and form them into his or her own personal "meology." I Timothy 4:3 describes this phenomenon. It says, "For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear." Jesus also talked about some such teachers. In Matthew 15:13-14 He said, "Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by the roots. Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit.” The Truth [Jesus Christ] was standing right in front of them. But they wouldn't accept Him...they wouldn't accept Truth. So they got more of what they were dealt by denying truth...blindness.

So let us search out truth in the Word and not give up. Let us accept what we are given as truth so that we may be given more! The Lord promises us, "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know." (Jeremiah 33:3, NIV)
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What's in an "Aura?"

I was prayer-walking downtown one day with some Jesus-follower friends of mine. We were walking along and praying for the city and praying about what to pray for, etc. As we approached a certain hill, we felt led of the Spirit to go pray over it. So as we were going up the hill, we discussed the fact that one of our friends had run into a Satan worshipper on top of that hill one day. Sure enough, we saw that someone was up there again when we arrived. We noticed Satanic graffiti and some sort of make-shift altar. After we had prayed over that area for a while, I said to one of my friends "let's go talk to this guy." As we approached him, I said, "Hey there...we were just praying around the city, is there anything you need prayer for?" He responded, "Well...yessss...there are probably lots of things." So, I reached out to put my hand on his shoulder to begin praying and asked, "Anything specific?" But as I reached out, he drew back immediately and said, "Whoa!!...are you guys angels? You guys have very strong auras!" Then he began to back away from us. He did not let us pray for him that day. He tried to tell us that he was already lost...he said that he was Satan. He took his hoodie off and showed a funny little hat with red "devil horns" on the top. So, I just asked him if he realized that Jesus loves him...and that Jesus was keeping him alive so that he could find Him.

Acts 17:25-28 (NIV), "Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’"

Later, as we left that area, I waved and said goodbye to this young man. I pray that the Holy Spirit would guide him into all truth and that he would find the One True God, his Higher Power. A few months later, I was listening to a message by John Paul Jackson. He described some of the outreach work they do...setting up tents at all kinds of interesting events, like "Burning Man," "Mardi Gras," and several occult and witchcraft related festivals. They basically offer spiritual services to people that walk into their tent. The difference is, it is all based on Jesus and the Holy Spirit...although they don't always tell their visitors that at first. But, then John Paul began to describe how some of these people would be surprised at his "aura." They would say, "We don't see auras like yours around here very much!" They would then ask what it is...and John Paul would tell them it is from the "Pure Light," the "Perfect Light."

So, what is in an "aura?" Well, I can't say I know 100% for sure. However, for me, it was a fuller realization of what our enemy (or one of his followers) sees when they see a Spirit-filled believer. It was also a reminder to me of the power and the light that we have inside us because Jesus is in us! Don't be afraid, or discouraged!

"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)

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

"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." ~Matthew 5:14-15 (NIV)

"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." ~Isaiah 60:1-3 (NIV)

John Paul Jackson's full message: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjbfXKNgGjw
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Life & Death | Heaven & Hell

(A response to a fb discussion on sin)

We "see through the glass dimly" as is manifest in the physical by our weak attempts to build a telescope large enough to view the contents of Jesus' infinite creation. So, last I heard, we can only see 300 sextillion stars (300 billion galaxies x avg. 1 trillion stars each). But our telescopes are still too puny...each time they get more powerful, they expose our previous relative blindness, and the number of stars and galaxies suddenly multiplies exponentially. In the same way, I could only ponder and the potential weight and impact of this simplest of sins. I would surmise that as when God sees an acorn, He sees the potential of a giant forest; I could imagine that a simple evil word spoken out of hatred buried in the heart, would have the potential to create a giant harvest of destruction for generations (with the hearty aid of Satan). I would imagine that is why the Word of God says that life and death are in the power of the tongue.

We are made in the image of God....we have resurrection life in our tongue if we operate in the Holy Spirit (the Spirit of the Giver of life). We can raise people from the dead physically, emotionally and spiritually. The Word says that Jesus wants us to create like Him...to be sons of God. We are made out of love and for love (for in Him and through Him and to Him all things are made....and His essence is love). But He gave us a choice. He wants voluntary lovers....to receive and return and to share love. He wants us to simply trust Him like a child and obey His commands. I don't think we understand the eternal generational impact and reward of a simple smile done in obedience to Jesus. On the other hand, we also have the choice and the capability of being instruments of mass destruction in more ways than we understand. We can abort the "forest" of precious potential life through things like evil words of hatred, through murder, through literal abortion, through homosexuality, through adultery, through robbery, etc....how could we possibly estimate the eternal impact on potentially millions of precious souls through a simple act of disobedience? It's too much to bear. Yet He is always so gracious and loving to forgive if we simply ask!

I think if we did have a clear picture of the final outcome of the impact and consequences of our sin, we'd have a fuller understanding of the reality of hell and heaven and the unbearable weight of sin and unspeakably immense price paid by our precious Savior Jesus Christ on the cross! If you listen to many people with near death experiences in hell or heaven...you will hear many of them come away from that experience saying that in no uncertain terms that the spirit realm is more real than our current natural realm. Thus, I personally believe that the experience of hell is the full manifestation of the really of the true eternal weight of and payment for our unrepented sin (John 16:7-9). While, for those who do not reject Jesus' sacrifice, but instead gladly accept it....He rewards in love, servanthood and humility (as is His nature) for eternity in heaven with Him. Yes, we will find that the simplest, seemingly mundane act of obedience to His command, in response to His great love, has unspeakable eternal impact. Especially when taken and multiplied by the creator of unknown billions of galaxies. And, as always, we will find that He gives us so much more than we deserve....if we simply ask, seek and knock...instead of trusting in our own extremely limited wisdom (Matthew 7:7-8)
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