Archive for December, 2016
Looking back on 2016, it has been a year of struggle and disappointment for many believers—jobs of even meager earnings have been lost, some family members have been unfaithful and devilish, managing finances proved arduous, and maintaining a modicum of faith in God was often a struggle. Yet He was faithful, He kept His children afloat and they survived. Even so, most Christians look forward to 2017 with anticipation and hope that things will be not just better, but victorious, for themselves, their families and friends.
First, all believers must recognize that we are living in the last days of man’s rule on earth. People all over the globe live with or watch war, death, and poverty encroach upon their lives on a daily basis. Many good people did not survive 2016. Thus, Christians must double-down on attaining the spiritual growth necessary, not only for survival, but for Victory in 2017. These growth factors must include more Bible, more prayer, more love for God, family and everyone else, and more godliness in thoughts, words and actions.
Thus, Christians must dedicate themselves to knowing the Bible better. It is not enough just to read what people write about the Bible. True believers must read God’s Word for themselves. Enough of this sitting in church for twenty years and not knowing how to find the Book of Habakkuk, or who Apostle Jude is. Christians must dedicate more personal time each day to studying—and praying in and about–God’s Word for themselves.
Such re-dedication to His Holy Word means reading it more, learning the organization and types of its Books—i.e. History, Prophecy, Gospels, Epistles, etc.—and praying more for understanding of That Word. It also means memorizing more Bible verses. The warrior Joshua demands that God’s people think more—i.e. memorize—God’s Words: “This Book of the Law shall not depart [i.e. stop coming] out of thy mouth [through speaking and confession]; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success (Joshua 1: 8).”
Some preachers teach that confessing a few favorite verses is enough, but true believers must live and believe what they confess. (A person confessing the same verse several times a day, but using vile and faithless language otherwise, while exercising shallow faith in The True God, should not expect full blessings.) Memorizing and confessing as much of God’s Word as possible makes His Word a part of you, and you then become a walking example of His Word.
Let me explain another reason for memorizing and repeating verses as often as possible: Back when the walls of the Soviet Union fell, the people living behind the Iron Curtain screamed with joy and delight. One man stood up on the rubble and demanded that they all thank God for their new-found freedom (that freedom coming largely from faithful Christians in the Free World Christians who prayed). A few tried to lead in a hymn they remembered from their childhood. One man tried to lead them in The LORD’s prayer, but sadly, few could remember the words.
Why? Because, the Communist government indoctrinated their own books as the ‘new Bibles.’ Those same rulers tore down most churches or turned them into office buildings. Anything that those in the crowd remembered about God’s Word came from what their grandmothers had taught them decades ago. Soon school, newspapers, politicians—yes even radio, television and worldly music–obliterated God’s Word from their minds. (Even more shameful, too many who confess to be Christians in the U.S. today also have slight memory of God’s Written Word, because they seldom bother to memorize some of It’s passages, and spend more time on the things of this world.)
Remember, The LORD Jesus says that His Words are the very essence of life: “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life (John 6: 63).” Apostle John also wrote of His Savior: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men (John 1: 1 – 4).” Your Savior knows where the jobs are, and He knows the job He wants you to have. He also knows where the funds are for your businesses.
As the Old Testament writer, Job, learned through his many struggles: “Surely there is a vein for the silver, and a place for gold where they fine it. . . . The stones of it are the place of sapphires: and it hath dust of gold. There is a path which no fowl knoweth, and which the vulture’s eye hath not seen: The lion’s whelps have not trodden it, nor the fierce lion passed by it. . . God understandeth the way thereof, and he knoweth the place thereof (28: 1 – 23).” The vicious fowl, vultures and lions refer to that feigned god, Satan, and his evil angels and demons–the ones which use the Christian’s wrong words and actions, and that of others, to block the successes God wants to give His children. So in 2017 we must stop cooperating with these destroyers and start walking and speaking more in God’s methods for our health, happiness and good success.
Job learned these truths through suffering and loss, and he left us a road map so that we can find the path that God has for our favor, honor and good success. So open those wholesale Christian Bibles and get ready for 2017 to be the best and most prosperous year you have ever had! Next we will suggest new prayer goals for 2017. Don’t forget to catch our internet radio-TV show on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. EST at Worship Detroit.com. God Bless you, and let us shout thanksgiving together for God’s blessings in the coming New Year!
Some time ago, my daughter, Nancy, asked me to turn to the Book of Revelation for more in-depth teaching. The show’s Producer, had been begging the same thing for months. He even changed the name from ‘Home for Today and Tomorrow’ to ‘End Time Revelation.’ But other team members balked, wanting to keep the old name. So he simply combined the two. But I have still been reluctant to do so.
For one thing, I insist that readers, listeners and viewers must know more about the whole Bible, not just the last book. As a Bible teacher, I know that one cannot grasp this last book of the Bible, without knowing more about the other 65 books in God’s Holy Word. So before exploring what men have named, The Revelation of St. John, The Divine (but The Holy Spirit calls The Revelation of Jesus Christ (verse one), I ask audiences turn to the Table of Contents in their Bibles.
The problem is that too many modern-day translations only have an alphabetical Table of Contents, which is antithetical to God’s intention, because the Bible is an historical book which moves from the first and second creations to Adam, to Abraham, through Jewish history to the birth and ministry of Our LORD Jesus Christ, and the formation and continuation of His Church.
So readers should mark (or create) their own Table of Contents thusly: I. Genesis to Deuteronomy – The Five Books of Moses; II. Joshua to Esther – 12 books of History; III. Job to Song of Solomon – 5 books of poetry; IV. Isaiah to Ezekiel The Four Major Prophets (but in 5 Books because Jeremiah added Lamentations); and V. Hosea to Malachi The 12 Minor Prophets. Thus, there are 39 Books in The Old Testament. And each book in The Old Testament refers to the coming of The LORD Jesus Christ.
In The New Testament, of course there are the Four Gospels recording the life and ministry of The LORD Jesus Christ—Matthew, Mark, Luke and John; and then Acts, the New Testament book of history, establishing the birth of His Church. Next come the Epistles (or letters) of the Apostles, of which Paul wrote 14, from Romans to Hebrews; James one; Peter two, John 3, Jude one, and then The Book Revelation also by John—all adding to 27 Books in The New Testament, for a total of 66 Books in The Bible.
OK, so why the reluctance? Because this Book–which promises, by the way, to bless all who read it, hear it and obey it—also gives what could be the most damning condemnation for so many today who call themselves Christians: namely that just because someone was once born again, or goes to church regularly, or sometimes confesses knowing Christ Jesus does not mean that person is going to that eternal place of blessing and joy called heaven.
In chapters two and three of wholesale Christian Bibles, The Resurrected LORD Jesus examines seven churches and explains to each that eternal blessings are only for ‘Overcomers’. In 2: 1 – 6, while He lauds them for some good accomplishments, He nonetheless begs members of the Church at Ephesus to repent: “Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent (2: 4 – 5).” Loss of the candlestick means that church loses its Spirit-filled, God-appointed pastor.
Without Holy Spirit appointed leadership, church members cannot grow spiritually. These are grave consequences, which only strong Christians can overcome. Thus, The LORD adds: “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God (2: 7).”
In each message to the seven churches, The Savior repeats that eternal blessings and rewards are only for those who fight to overcome obstacles and temptations from the world, the flesh and the devil put before every born-again believer in Jesus Christ. Yes, all believers will face attacks, but they must fight to overcome them (i.e. Ephesians 6: 10-18). Let us resolve that in 2017, we will fight—by getting into God’s Word much more, praying more, loving others more than ever, returning to and loving The LORD Jesus more than ever—to be the best and strongest true Christian generation God has ever known!
Last year, Bert Farias published the “Amazing 1927 Smith Wigglesworth Message” in which the noted prophet, evangelist and healer stated: “But there will be things that will happen prior to His coming that we shall know. . . You can tell. It is real fire from heaven that is making my utterances come to you to know that He is coming. He is on the way. . . There must be special preparation for the return of Christ and at least half of all believers will be totally unprepared. We have to see that these days have to come before the Lord can come. There has to be a falling away.”
Hmmm. If Wigglesworth—who is known to have raised 14 people from the dead—said that half of the Christians in his generation were not ready for the return of Christ, what must that percentage of those “not ready” be in this generation? Twenty-five percent? Ten percent? Smith continues: “This is the day of purifying. This is the day of holiness. This is the day of separation. This is the day of waking. O God, let us wake today! Let the inner spirit wake into consciousness that God is calling us.”
What words are these for this 21st century Christian confessing crowd: “purifying,” “holiness,” “separation” from the things of this world? This spiritual father must be joking: those words are anathema—or as Apostle Paul would say “accursed”–to most claiming to be part of The LORD Jesus today.
Today, women dress like men. Some men openly long to be women in their relationships with other men. Curse words flow like regular language out of the mouths of some who claim the Name of Christ. Yet all of these ‘ex-sinners’ claiming to be “born again,” at least sometimes, go to one kind of church or another. Fasting and mid-week prayer services that wait upon God’s anointing are unknown devotions in the majority of these “church” fellowships today, but church dinners served by and to vastly overweight members remain the norm. And, really how many of the pastors overseeing these services are born again themselves? If they are not true Christians, then who has placed them to head what are suppose to be God’s churches? Satan, the wicked one, placed them there is the answer.
Wigglesworth adds: “There are in the world two classes of believers. There are believers which are disobedient, or I ought to say there are children which are saved by the power of God which are disobedient children. And there are children which are just the same saved by the power of God who all the time are longing to be more obedient.” Is he saying that only the latter group will be called up to join The LORD Jesus in the clouds as 1 Thessalonians 2: 19 promises: “For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?” Is he saying further that the disobedient children will have to face the horrors of the coming tribulation, or as Paul says, the wrath to come: “. . . for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost (2: 16).”
Truly, as 2016 comes to a close, churches and Christians in the United States are badly in need of revival—real Holy Ghost Spirit-filled revival. And if we don’t earnestly pray for this type of revival to sweep our land soon, these wrong types of churches, as well as this nation, stand very near the final judgment. The wholesale Bible promises in all of its 66 books, that God is coming to judge the earth. And earnest born-again committed Christians will return with Him to judge the earth:
“And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day (2 Thessalonians 1: 7 – 10).”