Rejoicing In Suffering & Persecution

Rejoicing In Suffering & Persecution

In the world we live in and especially in the perilous times we currently are in there is much suffering, persecution, and sometimes even martyrdom. People in general suffer from sickness, disease, poverty, hardships, disasters and death. Loss and suffering have been with mankind at some level since our first parents lost the original status in the garden of Eden after disobeying the commands of God. There was never supposed to be death, but that entered as a result of the ‘fall’ of man. So how can we speak of rejoicing in such evil times? How can we have joy when there is so much destruction, and evil and it only seems to grow worse?

Christians all around the world face persecution at various levels just for being Christian. Because they have chosen to follow and be disciples of Jesus they are faced with imprisonment, abandonment, loss of personal property, families being torn apart and ultimately death, sometimes violent. Most believers in The Western Church, particularly in the United States have no real understanding of persecution. We here have so many freedoms, and we tend to take so much for granted. Rarely, if ever do most Christians tell of the faith outside of the four walls of the church. Many don’t want to ‘rock the boat’, or upset someone, or get involved in matters that they feel should be avoided.

It is for this reason that we are faced with the current crisis here and in many western nations. A crisis where we are losing some freedom to speak or take a stand for our faith. Or when we do there is no real outcry from within the body of Christ. Many are left to stand alone to choose to take a stand against gay marriage or abortion, or just immorality or indecency. We don’t want to offend anyone, or hurt someone. While it is important to have good relationships with peers and co-workers, there comes a point where we must be recognized as true believers of Jesus Christ.

Matthew 5:11 “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.” (NASB)

1 Peter 4:12 “Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange was coming upon you, 13- But to the degree that you share in the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing so that at the revelation of His glory, you may rejoice with exultation.”

In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus tells His listeners, which includes anyone now who reads and hears His words, that when you are persecuted, or insulted and when people say all sorts of evil things because of Him. In other words, if you ‘truly follow Him’, and obey Him, at some point you will be insulted, and yes persecuted. You will suffer. Suffer for being human is one thing, but for serving Jesus is another. Peter speaks about sharing in Jesus’ suffering. We forget that because we have been redeemed and Jesus paid it all that we still suffer like Him, and must endure hardships from time to time.

Believers in many nations today face suffering just for naming the name of Jesus. They don’t have to speak out against current events or issues. They just confess, ‘Jesus is Lord’. We here in the US have no real knowledge of the level of persecution and suffering the rest of body has in the world. We seem to be isolated or feel we are insulated against it.

However, there is a level of persecution coming that we never thought we would face here. AS times grow more evil, the church or ekklesia will grow more glorious. There is glory in suffering for Jesus, and I’m not talking about some unkind word. I mean for instance like the Pastor who basically lost his job because he said ‘homosexuality was a sin.’ He never said anything about the people, just the act is indecent and sinful. Yet, his congregatio felt that that was not the right thing to put on there sign. Or what about the clerk in Kentucky who was fired for not granting a marriage license to a gay couple because it went against her beliefs.

When we take a stand we must count the cost and be ready to suffer whatever consequences here man may offer. Yet we must rejoice. Keep on rejoicing. The revelation of His glory is a daily thing, but the full revelation of that glory will come in the Millennial reign as we rule with Christ. In John 17:13-14 Jesus prayed for the joy that the Father put in Him would be in his disciples. He said ‘the world hates them.’ If the world hated the early followers how much more are we hated today. Yet we need His joy.

John wrote to various churches in 1 John 1:4 that his purpose in writing was that their joy might be complete. In John 15:11 Jesus said that He spoke about abiding in Hi so that His joy may be in them. Whatever comes our way in this age we are not to let it steal our joy. WE are to agree with God’s word that we have the abiding Word (Jesus) living in us, and that word brings us joy. In Hebrews 12:2 we are told to ’fix our eyes on Jesus’, for the joy set before Him endured the cross.

There is an age coming where we will rule and reign with Him. Many of us will have a lot of responsibility while some less. What we do now prepares us for that age and how we will serve. We should weep for those that persecute us especially the lost or those perishing without Jesus. God doesn’t desire that any should perish.

Count everything with joy, esteem others higher than yourself for there is coming a day when we will have Jesus and He will make all things right. Let us run the race set before us with ‘joy’. Of all of the disciples John was the one that fully understood what it meant to have Jesus and the joy that went with that. He often wrote about joy and rejoicing. Yet, John was persecuted, so much that they tried and failed to kill him. He was finally forced into exile on The island of Patmos, where he received the final Revelation Jesus.

None of no for sure what we may face but one thing is for sure we can face it with joy and rejoice that we will be with him forever. We are part of the plan to bring restoration to the earth.

Rejoice in the Lord always and again I say rejoice!!!!!!! Phil. 4:4 my paraphrase

Don’t forget to pray for our brothers and sisters all around the world who are facing torment and imprisonment daily.

Visit opendoorsusa.org or voice of the martyrs on how you can pray effectively for the persecuted church

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Atlanta, Super Bowl Weekend, And Modern Slavery

Atlanta, Super Bowl Weekend, And Modern Slavery

One of the largest and most widely celebrated major sports events in the United States and perhaps the world will take place this coming Sunday in Atlanta, Ga. At the same time one of the often overlooked and forgotten horrors of society worldwide will be bringing millions of dollars just in Atlanta. In 2014-15 Atlanta was ranked number one in the United States in human trafficking, in terms of money made, and also number of victims. This is due in large part to the large number of conventions and events that Atlanta attracts.

Why would this event in this city be of utmost importance to me? Obviously as a born again Christian I believe that it is wrong for humans to be forced to do anything against their will, especially to take woman and children and force them to commit sex acts against their will. Further the pornography industry has grown to alarming rate due to the internet. People involved in this industry usually are trapped for various reasons, including the promise to make big sums of money.

Likewise, prostitution is also considered by many a form of ‘slavery’ even though the women are paid, and often call it a career, they are trapped because they feel they can’t do anything else. Not to mention the shame and guilt that is heaped on by those that are over them and the mind games. According to the ministry Exodus Cry, “ Prostitution is primarily the lack of a choice among the most marginalized, defenseless, and vulnerable people in the world.” In other words those that are marginalized or defenseless and vulnerable are not really given a choice. The same could be said I think, for many caught up in the drug trade.

The fact is whether one is paid like a prostitute or forced to perform sex acts they are trapped and usually feel there is no other choice, or no real way out. Human trafficking is a highly organized and lucrative business generating over 150 billion USD annually and 2/3 of that from prostitution says the Exodus Cry website. What is a good definition of human trafficking? The most widely accepted definition which was adopted by the UN General ASsembly and accepted by 150 nations is known as the Palermo Protocol.

It defines Human Trafficking

“The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation.”

There are some key words to ponder. Exploitation, abduction, and coercion are what really stick out for me. I think that is true for all forms of trafficking including pornograpic videos and images and yes, even strip bars as well. These women and sometimes men are being exploited even though they will often say, ‘I gotta make a buck”.

So, what is the big deal about the Super Bowl? We know that Atlanta is already one of the largest markets for human trafficking and sex slavery in the world. We also know that as much as people like sports and watching a ‘good game of football’, it is a lot more than just that. It is a big, big party where billions of dollars will be made from gambling and betting, not to mention the gains of the city of Atlanta, hotels, restaurants, and not to mention all of the parties that will be going on during the game. Many will buy snacks, party food, finger food, drinks, and all sorts of party favors. So, the Super Bowl is big business.

There is that hidden or forgotten business of men’s souls that will be overlooked. The real losers in this weekend’s events will be the victims who will be forced, coerced, extorted and held into all sorts of acts of bondage, mostly against their will. Fortunately there are a lot of prayer groups coming together for a concerted effort to cancel the enemy’s plans.

Does the Bible describe the events I have discussed? Does it speak of a system where men trade various things of this world including the souls of men? Yes, it most certainly does and I will look at that.

Revelation 18 talks about the coming fall of the ‘Babylon System’ or the world’s way to do things, Revelation 18:2 (ESV) and he (the angel) called out with a mighty voice , “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place for demons, a haunt for every unclean bird, a haunt for every unclean and detestable beast. 3- For all nations have drunk the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have grown rich from the power of her luxurious living.”

I wrote about the ‘kings of the earth’ in a previous article. But, clearly the rulers of nations and business, and media, and arts, sports are following after the Babylon system and have perverted so many things that God called good. There is nothing wrong with merchants profiting and making a living from selling honest goods and services. What is wrong is when they build their empire and never help anyone out or still never pay fair prices or wages or tip the scales unjustly. There are many good and honest people in all spheres of society, but there are so many built on indecency, dishonesty, and various forms of sordid gain. But our focus here is on something else that is being traded.

Vers 11-13 “ And the merchants of the earth weep and mourn for her (Babylon). Since no one buys their cargo anymore, cargo of gold,silver jewels, pearls, fine linen, purple cloth, silk, scarlet cloth, all kinds of scented wood, bronze, iron, and marble cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, frankincense, wine, oil,flour wheat, cattle and sheep, horses, and chariots, and slaves, that is human souls.” ESV

Yes, slaves and human souls are mentioned as being traded as part of the world system. I am not talking just about slavery as people working in fields or building pharaoh’s buildings. No we are talking about women and children and sometimes men trapped as sex slaves. So what can be done? Laws exist or are being passed and introduced to limit, alter, or in many countries end sex slavery. Israel, one of the worst offenders, recently passed new legislation limiting prostitution or redefining it. Sweden has one of the harshest laws against prostitution. Many nations are now adopting similar laws to the ‘Swedish model”.

Passing laws is good but they must be enforced. Likewise what is to be done to the children and women who come out of a life of ‘sex slavery’? They are often very fragile and are not trusting of most people. Especially men. Then there are the pimps or slave masters themselves. Many of them are also trapped in a system. We need to pray for the souls of those in bondage and those forcing the bomdage. Pray for their salvation and for the fire of the Holy Spirit to burn in their lives. Pray that they are discipled in the truth of God’s word.

Jesus read Isaiah 61 in the synagogue, saying “the Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, to bind up the brokenhearted, proclaim liberty to the captives, and opening up of prison to those that are bound.”

Isaiah 1:17 learn to do right, seek justice. Defend the oppressed…….

There are many verses about justice, but these are just a few. There are many ministries that focus on “human trafficking”. A few are Exodus Cry, Out of Darkness, CBN, The Hand of Hope, There are many but as you look for one to support prayerfully or financially or just for information be sure to check various sources. The key is we all need to become ABOLITIONISTS to END SEX Slavery not just in America but worldwide.

Isaiah 16:4b “ when the oppressor is no more, and destruction is ceased, and he who tramples underfoot has vanished from the land, 5- then a throne will be established in steadfast love, and on it will sit in faithfulness in the tent of David one who judges and seeks justice and is swift to do righteousness.”

Jesus will establish His throne in Jerusalem and not only rule but judge and bring justice and righteousness. We pray in agreement for justice and righteousness to be established in these situations to end human trafficking in Atlanta and all over the world.

New York: Where Baal and Molech Want Your Children

New York: Where Baal and Molech Want Your Children

The above sign appears at the arrival gate when one enters the state of New York and New York City at JFK airport. Unfortunately, that welcome mat is no longer a guarantee to thousands of unborn children. Yes children! A woman can now carry a baby full-term and still have a ‘legal’ abortion performed. This was signed into law under the disguise of ‘only for women whose lives are at risk.’ Studies show that less than 1% of all abortions performed are the result of the woman’s live being at risk.

What is really at risk here? According to Governor Cuomo and the Democratically controlled legislature of New York, ‘we are afraid that Roe v. Wade will be overturned and we are guaranteeing women’s reproductive rights at the state level.” When Gov. Cuomo spoke about the new law he, along with other lawmakers stood at a blue podium with the caption Reproductive Justice No Time To Wait. Wow, talk about an irony. What kind of justice are they referring to?

Aside from the various Bible verses there is enough proof that life begins at conception. Further, why would a woman carry a baby full term and decide to not have it? Obviously there are cases of rape, incest, and the mother’s life risk that are often considered. However, overall there are always many waiting to adopt. There are always people who want to have children and yet can’t and desire to adopt and are required to go through so many various hoops in order to finally get a child to raise as their own. Worse is the fact that a woman can have a one night stand and turn up pregnant only to walk into a doctor’s office and get an abortion under the cover of ‘women’s reproductive health.’

I am more than sympathetic to those who have been raped and abused. It is most unfortunate. Most of the abortions performed in the United States are not due to rape or incest nor the risk of the life of the mother. All that to say, what is really going on? What has New York just done? The state of New York operates a website for child abuse and protective services. If someone suspects or knows of a child being abused they are supposed to report it. Also, there is a list at their website that details who is ‘required’ by law to report child abuse. Among those listed are physicians, nurses, the coroner, medical examiner, and other health care officials.

The same health care officials who are required by law to report the abuse of a child, are possibly the same ones who will be killing or murdering many unborn healthy children. Where is the justice in that? 5 minutes maybe 10 can mean the difference in what is a crime in New York. Worse is the fact that the lawmakers are praising this. Where is the justice?

I worked in healthcare for nearly 3 decades and came in contact with many situations and have a full appreciation of the matters at hand.

I understand that many in all levels of society do not have a Biblical worldview. Others meanwhile, do have a Biblical worldview but they have erroneous teaching are worse have been convinced by bad medical claims that it is not murder, or it is a ‘woman’s right to choose’. Yes there is a choice. What about the choice of the unborn.

So what does the Creator have to say about all of this? I have previously written about Molech in Amos 5, and the Children of Israel passing their children through the ‘fire’ or offering their children to this false god.

Consider the following verses:

Jeremiah 32:35, “they built the high places of Baal that are in the valley of Ben-hinnom to cause their sons and daughters to pass through the fire to Molech, which I had not commanded them nor had it entered My mind that they should do this abomination to cause Judah to sin.”

Leviticus 18:21, “ you shall not give any of your children to offer them to Molech, nor shall you profane the name of the Lord your God; I am the Lord.”

I can hear some people saying ‘well that is Old Testament!’ Remember the Old has not passed away and further Jesus took the commandments higher. The Old points to the New. We are quick to say ‘thou shalt not murder.’ That is part of the Old Testament which we as New Testament believers are under but Jesus gave us power to live it out and if we sin then we have the blood of Jesus as our sacrifice and we can repent and be forgiven. Wow, God is good.

But we see that God strictly forbade His people to act as the other people around them in allowing or causing their children to ‘pass through the fire’ in being offered to Molech. The god Molech was made by man’s hands of metal, probably bronze, and in its belly a fire was lit and later children were placed in there above the coals and left in there to be basically burned alive, thus the term ‘pass through the fire.’

In 2 Kings 3:27 the king of Moab saw that the battle was turning against him and ‘he took his oldest son, who was to reign in his place, and offered him as a burnt offering on the wall. You see, it is the heathen, or pagan peoples who offered their children to false gods.

Psalm 106:35, “ but they mingled with the nations and learned their practices, 36- and served their idols, which became a snare to them. 37- they even sacrificed their sons and daughters to the demons.” (NASB)

God had forbidden Israel to offer their children to false gods or demons, yet as we read they mingled with the other nations and took up their practices. This is what happens when we allow the world to ‘mingle’ with the Church and we adopt their practices instead of keeping Jesus’ teachings and further teaching and discipling the nations as we were commanded by Jesus. Thus in America and in any nation where abortion or any form of child sacrifice exists we have come to allow our children to be offered to false gods. I’m sure many are offended and many see what I am teaching as too extreme. Unfortunately, we can’t cover it up or disguise it any longer.

What are we to do then? First we must pray and intercede for the United States as a nation, and then for all states. We need to pray for the Supreme Court in possibly overturning Roe v. Wade. When this happens and legislation is in turn sent to the states to pass we must pray that each state is ready to pass legislation making abortion illegal. I’m sure that there will be as I believe there should be few if any exceptions. Such as, rape, or incest or the mother’s life. There will need to be education, science, medical and other. We must pray for people’s hearts to be turned back to The Father through Jesus as that is really the only way.

Lord help us! Lord forgive us!

Has God Forsaken America Or

Has God Forsaken America Or

Has America Forgotten God?

It doesn’t take a prophet to look around and see that the current ‘spiritual’ status of the United States is nearly bankrupt. The state of society in every corner has fallen to its worst level in it’s nearly 243 year history. The same could be said of the ‘spiritual’ climate in Europe. The United States has seen a rapid decline in church attendance, and an increase in drug addiction and drug-related crimes, pornagraphy, human trafficking, murder, idolatry, and ‘all manner of evil.’ The state of the schools is at an all time low as we see more and more government mandated teaching that clearly violates God’s Holy Word. The children, youth and young adults are seeking answers and they are getting them from the wrong sources.

We so often hear so many speaking about God’s judgment coming to America, while others speak of a great revival and harvest of souls for the kingdom of God. Who can really know what to make of it? How are we supposed to really know what God is up to? How did all of this happen and is there any real hope for America or any nation that has turned down the path of destruction?

In Deuteronomy chapter 28 God tells how He would bless the Israelites if they obeyed His commands, and at the same time what curses would come in them if they rebelled and did not obey His voice, and turned away from His statutes, precepts, and ordinances. In the book of Judges we see the pattern of the people rebelling and turning away from God, and then God allowing the nations around them to overtake them and conquer them, and the Israelites would remain subject to them until they would cried out, and God would hear their cry and send a deliverer, or Judge. The people would follow God and His teachings for awhile only to turn away again.

By the time the Prophet Jeremiah came on the scene Israel had taken a king, divided into two separate nations, Israel, or the Northern Kingdom, and Judah, or the Southern Kingdom. The Northern Kingdom had been overrun, defeated and saw many of its people assimilate into the Assyrian Empire. While Judah had mostly “good or Godly” kings, the few evil ones were really, really evil. They were the one who ‘killed the prophets’ as Jerusalem was part of that kingdom. Eventually they wouldn’t receive the prophets messages and were carried away to Babylon to be ruled by Babylon and later Persia. This is where the First Temple destruction occurred and then later the return to rebuild The Temple and Jerusalem after 70 years.

So, the question I originally asked about America requires an Answer. Has God gone so far that God has turned His back on her, or has America just thumbed its nose at God and He finally has had enough? I recently was awakened early one morning and was lead to Jeremiah 18:15, which reads,

“but My people have forsaken Me; they make offerings to false gods; they made them stumble in their ways, in the ancient roads, and to walk into side roads, not the highway”

American Has Stumbled Off Of The Path

 

I believe that America has gotten off of the path it started on, not for good but for evil. Some would see the path that America is on now as a ‘good path’. It is obvious that a generation rose up and trampled on The Ten Commandments, and prayer, not just in school, but in any ‘public’ arena, and have abandoned the Word of God. I have a picture of one of the first Continental Congresses and the attendants knelt in prayer. This is how our forefathers founded our country, on their knees, praying to God for direction. Through time, the nations from where immigrants came from brought their cultures and cuisines as well as their religions. We gladly welcomed them but instead of the church demonstrating the gospel to them and reaching out to the nations coming here we allowed their false religions to become mainstream, affecting so much of our culture at large. Often this has caused Christians to lose their first amendment rights but other faiths are given a higher place of respect. We are no longer given respect to practice and follow the teachings of Jesus.

I often hear people say, “America is no longer a Christian nation”! I think only God can answer that but I believe God has and always has had a remnant who will not forsake His word. Certainly there has been a shift as I mentioned at the beginning and the pendulum has swung far to the left, or far away from God. But is there hope?

Jeremiah 18:12 (NASB) But they will say, ‘It’s hopeless! For we are going to follow our own plans, and each of us will act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart.” (ESV)

Like Israel of old it seems we live in a day where each one follows his or her own plans. Further, the problem is worse in the church. How can those outside of the church follow and live according to the “Word of God” if they don’t see it modeled by those who claim to be followers of Jesus and the one true and living God? How can we expect the world or society to know God if we don’t ‘know’ Him and His ways? We have to spend time in the word, pray and worship in order to ‘know’ Him and what He is saying and how we can be light in the areas where we walk.

The Potter And The Clay

Perhaps God will deal with America like the Potter dealt with the clay in Jeremiah 18!

Jeremiah 18:7 “At one moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to uproot, to pull it down, or destroy it; 8- if that nation turns from its evil I will relent concerning the calamity I planned to bring on it.”

God does not desire to destroy or wipe out any nation, but those that do not ‘turn or repent’ from evil will certainly eventually feel destruction at the hand of God. So, when we hear someone speaking of coming destruction to America or any other nation, we must remember there is always hope, if that nation repents and turns toward following God. We all know and can probably recite 2 Chronicles 7:14. It speaks of God’s people humbling themselves, and praying and seeking God’s face and turning from their wicked ways. Who is it that turns? God’s people. The nation is following after the devices of their hearts because the ‘people of God’ are not praying, seeking, turning, etc. It starts with God’s people. If we do those things, then He will hear and forgive and ‘heal the land’.

The land must be healed. Yes, the land can be broken, because the evil is spilled on the land and the land cries out for healing. This is why the Southern Kingdom was sent away to Babylon so that the land could ‘have a rest from all of the evil, and heal.” Also, so that God could reform and reshape His people and put a hunger in them to serve Him in their own land.

Jeremiah 18:9-10 “ or at another moment I might speak concerning a nation or concerning a kingdom to build it up or to plant it; if it does evil in My sight by not obeying My voice, then I will think better of the good with which I had promised to bless it.” (NASB)

God Established America

 

It was God that truly established America as a beacon of religious freedom for those seeking such in England and all of Europe. The early settlers sought to reach the Native Americans but that had tragic disappointments. America has seen at least two Great Awakenings and many local and regional revivals. Missionaries were sent out to Africa, Asia, and other parts of the world from America, Great Britain, and other nations. Jesus’ church was strong, vibrant and was helping shape the United States at all levels of society.

Unfortunately, America and many other once strong Christian nations have ‘not obeyed God’s voice and have done “evil” in His sight.’ Nevertheless as God built up America and now she has turned away, causing leaders to speak of coming judgment, He can also ‘relent’ concerning the calamities. The storms we see in greater magnitude may or may not be associated with His judgment, but they should serve as a wake up call. Further, before God judges or turns America or any nation over to wrath He will most assuredly judge the church for not doing it’s part to cry out in repentance. 1 Peter 4:17 says that ‘judgment must begin in the house of God, and if it begins with us what will be the end of them that ‘obey not’ the gospel of God?’ God will judge the nations, but first we, the people of God are judged. God is telling the church in America to turn back.

What Is The Final Word

The answer is No! That God has not forgotten America, even though it looks as if America as gone down a different path than it started. He is not willing that anyone should perish, but have everlasting life, through His Son Jesus. The answer is Revival, Reform, Reconciliation, and Awakening .Prayer for America and the nations that have turned away is needed. Pray for the ‘church’ to wake up! Pray for a harvest of souls and then for those to disciple new followers of Jesus. Pray For awakening and harvest in every corner of society, and of course speak up. We all have a voice and we need to quit turning our face away as if it doesn’t matter.

Thank You Lord for mercy and grace.

A Psalm 2 Answer To Christian Bale’s Acceptance Speech

A Psalm 2 Answer To Christian Bale’s Acceptance Speech

It’s not hard to find issues in the news to get followers of Jesus’s hair set on edge or worse get our ‘blood pressure up.’ This one shouldn’t come as a surprise since so many of Hollywood’s ‘elites’ are always making headlines with comments that are prone to be anti-God or anti-Christ. On Sunday night Christian Bale kept in line by actually going so far as to saying “Thank you Satan” as he accepted his award for best actor. He alluded to his portrayal of former Vice President Dick Cheney in the movie ‘Vice’. He said “Satan had inspired him” in playing the role of the former VP.

I do not watch any of the awards that Hollywood or similar groups put on but all one has to do is wait a few minutes or hours after the conclusion and all of the headlines will appear. I ran across this one on a friends facebook feed. It should not and really doesn’t come as a surprise to me what comes out of the mouths of most of these actors. This continues to demonstrate the morals and beliefs of so many that influence so much of American society, as well as much of the world. I have enjoyed several of Bale’s performances in movies like The Dark Knight, Public Enemies, 3:10 to Yuma, The Prestige, and Batman Begins.

 

Bale has performed in over 50 productions as well as producing Harsh Times. With so many great performances, awards, and accolades it is no wonder someone of his talent is well like and loved and respected in the industry. He has many fans and admirers as well. Nevertheless what he said certainly is representative of many in Hollywood. Not all of Hollywood actors and actresses subscribe to the same religion or false ‘god’ but they all fall into the same boat as God haters, and of Christ and His disciples as well.

So, what do I mean by a Psalm 2 answer? Wouldn’t it be just as well to say something like ‘Oh how terrible, he honored the devil, not Jesus” or anything of the sort. Psalm 2 is an awesome chapter that gives a lot of understanding to what has always but even more so now is going on in our world. I was first brought to this understanding in 2014 through the teaching of Mike Bickle who has recently written and published a Book which alludes to this subject. But let me expand. First, what does Psalm 2 have to say?

1- Why are the nations in an uproar And the peoples devising a vain thing?

2- The kings of the earth take their stand And the rulers take counsel together

Against the Lord and against His Anointed saying,

3- “Let us tear their fetters apart And cast their cords from us!”

4- He who sits in the heavens laughs, The Lord scoffs at them.

5- Then He will speak to them in His anger And terrify them in His fury, saying

6- “But as for Me, I have installed My King Upon Zion My holy Mountain.”

7-”I will surely tell of the decree of the Lord: he said to Me, “You are My Son, Today I

Begotten You.”

8- ‘Ask of Me and I will surely give the nations as Your Inheritance, and the very

ends of the earth as Your possession.’

9- ‘You shall break them with a rod of iron, You shall shatter them like earthenware.”

10- Now therefore O kings, show discernment; Take warning O judges of the earth.

11- Worship the Lord with reverence And rejoice with trembling.

12- Do homage to the Son, that He may not become angry, and you perish in the w

Way, For His wrath may soon be kindled. How blessed are all who take refuge in

Him! (NASB, 1995 Lockman Foundation)

The Psalm begins by asking a question or rather 2 questions. Why are the nations in an uproar and the peoples devising a vain thing? Then it mentions the kings of the earth taking their stand. The nations are not necessarily nations as we think of confined to man made modern boundaries. They are people groups, tribes, ethnicities, and nations like we have here in America, the Cherokee, Navajo, and other “First Nations” tribes. Likewise the kings of the earth are not necessarily the rulers of the above mentioned tribes, or nations. Certainly Presidents, Kings, Queens, Primes Ministers, and Emperors are rulers.

At the same time there are other areas of authority where there are rulers. In The days of King David when Psalm 2 was written there were merchants and traders, and those that controlled vast sums of gold, silver, ivory, and food as well. There are of course the priests in Israel and then the priests and prophets of the nations around Israel, who served false demonic gods yet were revered with high esteem in their culture. In ancient Greece and other societies Stoics, and Philosophers were held in high regard. So you see rulership is not just confined to the ones sitting on the governmental throne.

In our modern age there are many voices contending to rule in our various societies and cultures, They are really wanting to take up their throne in mine and your lives. Hollywood has for many years leaned politically to the far left, always opposing any semblance of Judeo-Christian morality. Not to mention the many adherents to ‘Scientology.’ Then there is the many Sports figures who are looked up to and revered by so many, especially our youth. AS far as the merchants that would be represented by ‘Corporate America”.

As a ‘ruler’ or group who is looked up to Hollywood certainly has a lot of sway with many in America, especially in the political arena. Some say why don’t they stick to acting and keep their nose out of the government. That could be said of a lot of people, even sports figures. However, it’s not even their comments but the lifestyles they live that we, as Christians, should examine.

In Psalm 2, verse 2 David states that these rulers ‘take counsel together against the Lord and against His anointed.’ I’ve written it before and will continue to write and say that all of these that speak or desire a life contrary to Biblical standards are really opposing God and Jesus. When people accept an award for fine acting and make millions of dollars and live an opulent lifestyle and then give thanks to ‘Satan’, and further saying he inspired him, it is really as if they are speaking Psalm 2 verse 3, “ Let us tear their fetters apart and cast away their cords from us.’

Look at the picture above and it is as if Christian Bale, which is ironic his name is Christian, is waving his trophy at God and at Jesus as if to say, “I don’t need you, I only need Satan, you see I am waving my award and all I have in your face.” Hollywood has been thumbing their nose at God and Jesus and Christians who won’t bow to what they say and even worse keep going to the box office and supporting them financially so they can go and pour money into other rulers like the drug trade or human trafficking, or other fleshly fulfillments.

The Psalmist says that God is sitting on His throne laughing at these so-called rulers. Pause and think about that, God laughs at Hollywood. But the final admonishment is in found in verse 10. ‘Show discernment and take warning. He calls them judges of the earth. Judges are supposed to bring justice and that means righting a wrong. Obviously the wrong that needs to be righted is the wrong of giving ‘Satan’ praise for anything but especially for inspiring an award winning performance.

Verse 12 tells the ‘rulers’ to Do homage or as some translations might read, ‘Kiss’ the Son. In other words bow to the Son. Who is the Son? None other than Jesus Christ, who is Lord of Lords, and KIng of Kings. ( Rev. 19:16)Hey what did I just say? King of Kings! Wow that means Hollywood rulers Jesus is your king!! If the ‘rulers’ do not worship Jesus (the Son), He will become angry and they will perish. In other words, some day Jesus will bring justice and judge those who do not acknowledge Him as King of Kings. Matthew 25:31-46 deals with Jesus as the Judge, and how He will separate the ‘sheep’ or His true disciples from the goats, or those who have chosen not to follow Him and obey His commands.

The end of it all is this: Hollywood and all of those who act and think like Christian Bale will be judged one day. They can flaunt their trophies and thumb their nose at God and He is laughing but sadly judgment will come. WE need to pray for Christian Bale and all of the Hollywood actors. There are some believers involved in the Entertainment industry who do wonderful work, and represent the kingdom of god well.

We need to pray for them as they stand on the front lines. Pray God will raise up more righteous actors who are not afraid to speak and act on behalf of the kingdom of God. But whatever you do pray, we are living in dark, perilous times, but wonderful and exciting as well. Only if you follow and obey Jesus, and His commands will it be exciting, for then you understand that there is a harvest coming. I have heard of a ‘move of God’ among some in Hollywood.

My home state has become the new Hollywood and we are praying for all of those that are involved to be touched by the power of God and there be a revival among the Entertainment Industry here. Join me and others in praying for lost souls to be saved in Hollywood, Bollywood And the Entertainment industry all around the world.

2019 Promises, Blessings, Decrees & The Will of God

2019 Promises, Blessings, Decrees & The Will of God

We all have needs and situations that went unmet in 2018. There are many reasons why we may not have seen everything we felt God was going to do, or goals we set not achieved. There are many speaking promises, and prophetic words today, or will be in the days and weeks ahead of what they believe God may be speaking over our nation or a particular situation. Sermons will be preached, resolutions made, goals set, decrees made, and blessings given, all with the intent of speaking ‘comfort and hope’ for the coming year.

I am all in when it comes to edifying and comforting people, so long as we speak it from the hope of the cross.I love prophecy and all of the gifts of the ‘Spirit’. We need to hear what God is saying through leaders and those gifted in the body to speak forth what He is saying. But, we also need to weigh every word against the Word of God, and as Paul says ‘test the spirits.” We need wisdom and discernment.

All of that said we know that God speaks in many and varied ways, including circumstances and even non-believers. Whatever we need for God to do or we what to see Him do we must first ask what His will is and what is He saying about a particular situation. All of this obviously comes from a relationship built on time in the Word, worship and prayer.

Speaking a blessing over someone or asking God to bless is a good thing. He certainly does not want us to go around speaking curses over ourselves, families, friends, nation, etc. Speaking blessing, and being thankful and praising Him in all things, 1 Thes. 5:18. Praying the Word of God is also important and you can’t go wrong as it is His Word. Unless of course you misapply it. Praying the Apostolic prayers and the blessings found in the Psalms and throughout the Bible are good.

Then there are decrees and declarations. As priests we are mediators making intercession, and as kings we make declarations, but they must be made on His Word or through what God shows us and tells us. Again, that comes from a place of intimacy. Job 22:28 say, “you will decree a thing and it will be established for you.” (Nasb) The previous verse talk about Job delighting in the Lord, and these things will happen.

You see there is always the part we play. God gives us a promise or prophetic word but it doesn’t happen like magic. We have to pray and guard and keep the enemy from stopping it from coming forth. We have to let our hearts line up, and remain pure, and be thankful, and not grumble, complain or be accusative. God will do what He said, but not when we want it or how we expect it.

James 4:13 says, “Come now you who say ‘tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.’ 14 Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are like a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. 15 Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills we will live, and do this or that’ 16 But as it is you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil.”

Now don’t misunderstand what James is writing about. He is talking about us making our plans without God’s input, direction, leading etc. Even when we get a “Word from the Lord’ and we pray and everything checks out it does not mean it will just happen immediately and certainly then enemy will try to stop it. By the same token, we need to plan every day according to what God would have us do. There are some things we don’t need to ask or plan too much. Getting up every day and going to our jobs or doing the work we have for that day is something we must do. Often He interrupts us and changes things.

When God called me to serve Him I wasn’t ready nor prepared for all that it required. Further, I have always heard Him speak for me and my wife to do something or He was going to do this or that but we had to always do our part, and even in that we had to be led by the Spirit. When He told us to move to Pensacola and for me to go to school at Brownsville we had to make some adjustments. We had to ask Him when and how.

I pray and ask Him for His guidance about everything. I used to ask for direction and then go and do what I wanted to do and say the Lord said for me to when I was just asking Him to bless what I was doing when I was clearly out of His will. Now, He has through the years afforded much mercy and grace and I am thankful. He also disciplined us when needed. It is better to seek His will and not make my plans and then ask for mercy and forgiveness.

Let 2019 be the year we all say ‘I will seek the Lord with all of my heart, and obey His commands.’ Let this be the year that we ask Him in everything ‘what is His will’? Let our boasting be that God has ordered our steps.(Psalms 37:23).

Remember prophecies and prophetic words are meant to encourage, exhort, comfort, and confirm. They should never be used as a guide or for direction except to confirm what God is already speaking.

He has promised us all certain things, mainly salvation, deliverance healing, and His return. Again we had to do some things, but the rest we wait on Him. So let us also, wait for Him to do what He promised, loving Him more each day.

Just like He left the rainbow as a token of His promise He is faithful to do what He said.

Looking Back and Looking Ahead

Looking Back and Looking Ahead

How To Know What God Is Really Saying!

It’s that time of year when everybody likes to forecast what lies ahead for the up and coming year. Likewise we all like to reflect and ponder what went right and what went wrong. Where did we as individuals get off the path God has for us, or did we do alright? If you are one to make New Year’s resolutions, then by now you probably have taken an inventory of how well you did.

But is all of that really important? Remember it is only what God says that really matters. If you are disappointed with your results then ask God what He thinks. Repent and ask for grace to move on. Still, why do we need to make resolutions. I believe it is important to have goals both short-term and long-term. We must make sure they are of course bathed in prayer and based in the Word of God.

In the ancient days the Children of Israel knew when it was time to reflect, repent, and look for the New. That took place around three seasons called ‘feast days’. The spring feasts, focused primarily on Passover, then 50 days later there was Pentecost, then the ‘fall feasts’ beginning with Trumpets, Atonement, and finally Tabernacles. There were other times like New Moon Feasts, and Jubilees that had special significance, and special meanings.

So, we have precedent to take a season to stop and look back and ask God to examine us over the past season. Yes, it is a daily thing but sometimes we need to see the bigger picture. In the Book of Acts we typically don’t read of New Year’s resolution, but see Peter talking about repentance and experiencing seasons of refreshing. The early Church began with just Jews and until later centuries they always celebrated the feasts. The feast were and are a good time to also sow special seed.

That seed sowing can be giving an offering to your church or a missionary or orphanage, or special need. We can sow our time and from our talents or skills. It helps us to break the cycles we have fallen into over the year. We can see others less fortunate or in need and we have not only opportunity to help but we are ‘storing up treasure in heaven.’

I began by talking about looking ahead. How do we know what God is really saying when we have 20 prophetic words over our nation or church or government. Or the prognosticators of the world start speaking. Who do we believe? We need to always submit everything to the Spirit of the Lord and His Word. Pray, and ask the Lord first what are His plans for your individual life for the upcoming year. Seek Him in prayer the Word, worship, and then pray with others. Every Word is not for each of us.

If the Lord moves on you to make changes be obedient, but make sure if you are married you are both in agreement. Pastors and leaders need to fast and seek the Lord for their Churches. Business and government leaders should seek heaven. The world is not where we get our guidance. Psychics, astrologers, wiccans, or anything from the world is not for believers of Jesus Christ to seek out or even give an ear to. Pray about everyone in authority over you and what they are telling you and make sure that it lines up with God’s word and that your spirit bears witness.

By staying in God’s Word and seeking Him in prayer you will be on the right path, and it will keep you there if you are obedient and if you stray and are quick to repent He will forgive and be merciful and bring you back to the place you need to be. Embrace the new seasons ahead with joy and delight and be thankful that it is also a time to just ‘wipe the slate clean’ in some instances.

It is my prayer that each one will seek God first before making any decision and obey. Perhaps this may be your biggest year where all of your dreams and everything you have been waiting for God to do will be accomplished. But, if not, grab onto the horns of the altar and don’t let go. Enjoy Him every day and do not give the devil any place.