Be Victorious - Choose Jesus, and Abide with Him

Everything going on is spiritual on some level; this is not the battle we think it is. The powers of darkness are seeping out from behind the restrainer and licking at the edges of this life.

Christians are the target. Our minds are the battlefield. If the enemy can twist and confuse our thinking, he can immobilize and isolate us. If he succeeds with that, he can do even worse. Why is Satan so excited? Because for the first time, he is being given the opportunity to coerce and deceive God's own. In this generation...this last generation before Christ's's open season on Christians.

What am I talking about? This sounds like heresy! No one can pluck us from God's hand! He will never leave us, nor forsake us!

Absolutely - those promises are true. But...IF IT TURNS OUT that the pre-tribbers are wrong...and Jesus doesn't come back before the Tribulation begins...we've got a lot to brace ourselves for.

The enemy is on an all-out disinformation campaign to lull Christians into a false sense of hope, and a false sense of security. Hope that they won't have to face what is coming, and security that of course nothing could effect them, they are much too wise, and besides, they're protected by God. Couple that with the largesse of the Spirit of Religion that has always owned the [C]hurch and now is playing it's massive cannibalistic endgame...and you've got a recipe for apostacy the likes of which no believer can even comprehend.

What happens - what is "apostacy?" It is a "falling away" a rejection of faith, casting out of the Holy Spirit. NOWHERE in Scripture does God say free will ends when a person gets saved. God promises to hold up HIS end of the covenant relationship, but if YOU give up, reject, or deny your end of that relationship, you are released from it. It's a "marriage." And God sets the precedent in His Word that if the unbelieving spouse wants to go, let them go. The "divorce" is accepted. God doesn't want to present a reluctant, hateful Bride to Jesus. NO one is forced to be part of that bridal dinner. Even Christians are falling away from the faith, and more will - by the millions.

How can YOU be victorious? How can you be assured of your salvation?

Confessing that Jesus Christ is your savior these days is getting harder. Recognizing the NEED for salvation is even hard for many people. We are all sinners, and we all deserve to go to hell for our sins. God is holy and just, no sin can be allowed where He is. We can't clean ourselves up, we can't try hard enough to be perfect. We can't pay enough penance to pay our own debt, and we can't talk our way out of paying it. There is only ONE WAY that our sin-debt is paid off and we are made pure so that we can be with God in heaven forever instead of banished to hell. Only one way.

From the very first moment sin entered the world in the Garden of Eden, God already knew He would be spending the next 6,000 years redeeming humanity. He decided the payment structure, He decided the timing, and He decided to let Jesus Christ - who through the great mystery that is God, IS GOD, in the flesh, die a gruesome and inhumane death, so His own blood would pay the price for you and me. And because God decided the outcome of all of mankind before mankind was even created, Jesus rose again - didn't stay dead - and was the first to truly defeat Death, and with such force and spiritual breath that hundreds of others rose with him! That's victory. That's our risen King.

And that's how we become victors too. We must keep our eyes on Jesus - He is the author and finisher of our faith, and only through Him will we be sustained and able to endure to the end as He admonished us to in Matthew 24:13.

We have to let ourselves get so wrapped up in our relationship with Jesus that worldliness falls off of us like dirty rags. So much that when we are tempted to sin, we can't bear to do it, because we are so close to His heart, and feel His grief over such willful acts. So close to Him that His love overflows in us and is seen easily by all who encounter us. We have to know Him so intimately that in every situation we can know instinctively how He would want us to reply, or behave, so that we make His name great and are adequate representatives of His name at all times.

There is no way we will get caught sleeping, or be deceived, if we are that close to Jesus.

How do we do that? READ THE BIBLE…PRAY…SUBMIT your will to His – SURRENDER every dark and hidden corner in your life and allow Him to transform your mind, so your thoughts are His thoughts. Let Him convict your heart, and repent daily. LOVE OTHERS – and FORGIVE.

It’s not complicated, but it’s very hard. Very few can do it. It’s a narrow path, and Jesus says few will find it. I don’t know how many people will find it, but I know it’s awfully easy to walk away from it, there are many distractions and fake detours. Only walking close with Jesus will keep your feet on His path.

It's all or nothing. Hot or cold. In or out. Choose Jesus, and choose to abide/remain with Him...every day. He is the only HOPE for all of us, the only peace and rest from the evil and weariness of the world.

Spiritual maturity under attack from within the body?

Shouldn't Christians hold themselves to Biblical standards? Not perfection, but a knowledge of the Bible enough to know what is "Christian" behavior and what is not? A relationship with Jesus that includes understanding His instructions, that because they are designed for our good, that we should want to follow them, and live inside the goodness that He wants for us?

I guess I figured that was a major part of being a Christian: working out our faith, learning, growing, maturing. We're all at different points in that journey, sure, but if we are believers, we should all be moving in the same direction, pressing toward the same goal. We should look to more mature believers to set an example in word and deed, to be encouragers and to inspire us to keep moving forward in our own spiritual maturity.

I find sometimes though, that when someone does hold themselves to that standard, makes that effort, and publicly does seek to spur others toward spiritual discipline, love, and good deeds...that some other Christians mistreat them, ridicule them, or deride them for it. Call them things like judgmental, sanctimonious, self-righteous, etc.  Some of the most scathing and damaging insults I've seen have been levied from one Christian to another. 

The result is a serious lack of mature believers willing to be bold and live their faith out loud, because of repeated abuse. They leave it to the pastors who were never meant to be solely bearing that weight, and under which many of them fall.

Another result is stagnation in the lives of those mature believers - who then begin to feel washed up and useless or stale in their prayer life. Without imparting their knowledge, without raising up and encouraging others, their faith becomes routine and boring. Their own spiritual growth stops advancing.

Instead of attacking people of faith when they speak out and fulfill their purpose as disciple-makers, we need to listen to them, and when we feel pricked by their words or convicted by their example, we need to spend time with God in prayer, not lash out in name calling tirades that reveal our weakness. It's ok to be pricked, to be convicted, even to be offended! If we're faced with a Biblical truth that we're not comfortable with, it will offend us until we take it to the Lord and work it through with Him. But it's not the messenger who has offended us. It's the Bible, and biblical principles, so our conflict is not with a person, but with God, and the solution is to surrender our will to His in that new area that has been uncovered.

We need more mature believers to speak up, to teach and disciple. We need example-setters, people who aren't perfect, but are willing to live transparent lives and illustrate faith and relationship. If the immature are allowed to bully the mature laypeople in our churches, isn't that backwards and counter-productive? How will anyone grow, at any level, if that is the status quo?

Conversely, the mature believers have a grave responsibility to guard their lives and doctrine closely, so that as they do live a transparent life, discipling and leading by example, that their example is a pure one above reproach. They should be humble and receive (appropriate) correction when it is warranted, be quick to apologize, clarify, recant, or repent depending on the situation.

This seems like basic Faith 101 stuff, but it continues to be an issue that is not restricted to any one church or denomination. Nothing I've just said is new, it's all a regurgitation of biblical principles...and all of us can benefit from them.

Shine your Light...and Agree with God, even though the world is out of control.

Syria. What a mess. It's impossible to know who to believe...but...all the photos of terrorists (aka Rebels) holding up severed heads and disembodied hearts sure makes it seem like maybe we shouldn't help them a whole lot. But there is a MUCH bigger situation that we need to understand here.

The Muslim Brotherhood = Islamic extremists.
Al Quaeda = Islamic extremists.
Hezbollah = Islamic extremists.
Hamas = Islamic extremists.

Many Muslims are as ignorant of their eschatology (end times prophecy) as many Christians are. That's why you hear so many moderate Muslims saying what a peaceful religion it is, and how we have nothing to worry about. They simply don't know or understand their holy book, and have Imams who are watering it down so they don't know the whole picture. (Sound familiar? This is going on in Christian churches too!)

But these Islamic extremists are simply Muslims who have read and believe wholeheartedly in the entire Koran. They are the "true believers" of their religion. As such, they act in accordance with that worldview. They too believe that we are in the "end days" so they are behaving as the Koran instructs them to in order for the final events to transpire.

In Islam, their end times belief is that mass chaos and bloodshed will lead to a Caliphate Muslim government (one unified government for all Muslim states/countries) and that the Mahdi, or 12th Imam, or "messiah" will come/appear to run said government. So, they WANT chaos and bloodshed. They don't care who dies, because their highest honor is to die for the sake of bringing the Mahdi to power. They believe that even if they kill their own children to bring about this chaos, they are doing the work of Allah (who is NOT GOD).

Since the end of 2010, the Islamic world has been in unprecedented upheaval, but make no mistake, it is on purpose! Now, this is also part of Christian eschatology...and therefore part of the one true God's plan. Much of what is happening in the world that is so upsetting has been prophesied in our Bible...and is part of the Kingdom of God being brought to this earth.

As Christians, we can and need to pray in AGREEMENT with God, that "His Will be done, His Kingdom come" because anything else is to DISAGREE with God. This is time to TRUST like you have never trusted before. Time to pray for mercy, and to remember that God is holy, sovereign, and trustworthy. He is in control, and He has already won the victory.

Whatever our government does in this moment, will be used by God to advance His plan. We can be upset, we can disagree, but in the end - the very end - God's Will is being accomplished. We must remain aware of what is going on, but we have to remind ourselves of this important point. We want to agree with God, not disagree. Within His will, we can pray for mercy, but this is time for us to expand our thinking and think Eternally.

Witness - testify - share the Gospel, and help others understand what is happening, share the peace that you have. And if you don't have peace, know that it comes from being educated in the Word about what is going on, what is coming, and trusting God.

Is our government doing outrageous and ignorant things? Yep. Just like they have been for decades. Just keep trusting God, and keep your children close to you. They are your first mission field...and spiritual responsibility. Then reach out within your sphere of influence and advance the Kingdom in the hearts of the people you know every day.

Muslims who know and act on their instructions in the Koran become rapists and cold hearted killers.

Christians who know and act on their instructions in the Bible become passionate lovers and servants of others.

Matthew 22:37 and 38 - Jesus said "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important commandment. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself."

Become an extremist. An Extreme Christian (aka A true believer, one who is not lukewarm, but filled with the Holy Spirit and in daily constant communication with God)...and become a passionate lover and servant of others! Let your light shine so bright that the darkness flees around you! 
That is our activism. Let that be our crime.

Read Philippians chapters 3 and 4 today.

Meditate also on Colossians 3:1-17

Have God's perfect peace in these tumultuous times!

Be wise, don't be caught off guard, and don't misunderstand our Lord!

From Robert Hawes, author and blogger:

The Parable of the 10 Virgins – a Warning to Christians in the Last Days

Among the teachings of Jesus, the parable of the 10 Virgins, found in Matthew chapter 25, ranks as one of the most grave. In it, the Lord presents a warning, namely that some of those who set out with the best of intentions to find the kingdom of God will not enter it, but will find themselves turned away in the end. As such, this is not a teaching that we can afford to misunderstand.

Bible teachers have speculated as to the finer points of meaning within the word pictures that Jesus presents in the parable, but I find that many seem to agree on a few key points. While all ten virgins represent professing Christians, only five of them are thought to be genuine believers, as only these have sufficient oil (which is interpreted as being the Holy Spirit) by which to make it through the night and enter the kingdom.

While this viewpoint is held by men who are highly esteemed, I believe that it is based on some false assumptions, and that a failure to properly understand this parable poses a grave danger to Christians living in the last days, as to misunderstand the warning in this instance is also to misunderstand the nature of the danger. For this reason, I offer the following discussion of the parable, in the hope that it will help my fellow Christians prepare for the difficult times that lie ahead.

Keep Reading...Please...

Bio-tech, Data mining, Immigration Reform & Prophecy - What you need to know.

There are several forms of biotech that I've been keeping watch on over the years and researching. The book I co-wrote with my husband might be fiction, but it deals with the kind of clandestine shadow-government activities that are going on and the baby steps these people are taking in individual governments as well as the United Nations to prepare for what Christians know as the "Mark of the Beast." So, I've been researching and learning about all things potentially "Mark-related" for many years.

Of course, that's not what it will be called, nor will any of the steps leading to it show a quantifiable threat, but instead they will seem necessary, understandable, to protect the public from real, potential, or fabricated threats. No, instead, each step will be easily adopted by the masses who have been conditioned to want the newest, hottest, even most expensive technology. Objectors will be ridiculed, ostracized, discredited, vilified, and eventually eliminated.

Even many, if not MOST, Christians will be seduced into participating at every step, partly because they are unaware of the big picture, but mostly because they are unaware of God's picture - they haven't read and understood the Bible's warnings and instructions about this very time in human history.

Many Christians who ARE aware are being deceived because the

Perverting the Bible, and Selling it to the Church

Four years ago this month, I experienced God in a way that was so foreign to me, and so intense, that it left my body in shock, and my husband in awe. Just sitting in our family room late one night, I began to rant in what can only be described as a "download" with the words and emotion of God. We had been discussing the rise in popularity of a certain Bible version, after noticing an entire endcap of it in various colors and sizes at our local Christian bookstore earlier in the day, when all of a sudden, this fury welled up from the pit of my stomach and words began to flow from my mouth that I was not assembling. My hands gripped the chair arms and my gaze fixed on the window while my husband sat on the floor and listened in amazement.

For over twenty minutes, a steady, fluent stream of God's burning anger flowed from my lips, aimed directly at the many perversions of His Word that are being marketed to His Church. The main target was indeed the paraphrase that my husband and I had been discussing, because it has been widely accepted by leaders who should have known better, and heavily promoted by retailers who should be using better discernment as well.

God was angry that this perversion was created, that it was so easily accepted, and that so many were even preaching from it. He was deeply hurt that His shepherds and His sheep had allowed their discernment to become so worldly and broken that they couldn't see the damage this book was causing.

When the rant was over, my body literally went into shock. I was freezing, shaking, sweating, and hardly able to utter a sound through the chattering of my teeth. I rocked myself while wrapped in a few blankets while my husband tried to recount to me what had just happened, much of which I couldn't remember. I wish we had known to write it all down. It was a new experience for both of us, and we didn't know how important it is to write down or otherwise record when God speaks. You'd think we would have known that instinctively...but we just didn't.

In my inexperience, I thought God was trying to give me an assignment - to read through and categorize all the problems with this paraphrase for myself. Soon after I began that project, I realized it was far above my paygrade, and too overwhelming for me. I also realized that the work had already been done.

From time to time I've had the opportunity to tell my story, and to share the heart of God on this matter, but almost every time, I've been met with such unexpected defensiveness, you'd think I was confronting the author himself. It seems that once a person begins using this book, they become unusually attached to it, even in the face of the facts that I'm about to lay out that prove it is not only a perversion of God's Word, but is fraught with new age ideas and terminology that reduces God to one of many, strips Jesus of His deity, and removes all necessity for a personal decision to be born again.

I pray that you won't feign defensiveness over a book that you didn't write, and that you'll take heed to this warning and hear the heart of God.

Let's dig into this together, shall we? ...

Broken discernment, hidden knowledge, and the original sin - Be alert!

The enemy is like a roaring lion, friends. He seeks YOU. To devour YOU. If you are not wise to his game, he will disable you, disarm you, and isolate you so that you are no longer a threat to him. You might think you are on the right track - but end up seeking God so hard that you fall into the traps set for you of religious zeal and absolutism, man's theology, compromise, pride, and division.

What was the original sin? At it's core, Eve wanted hidden knowledge. If you are chasing deeper knowledge than what God has revealed to you in His word - on your own with Him - and you are spending more time googling and researching than you are in the Word, you are at HIGH RISK of falling into a trap. Accept that there are things you just don't need to know before the enemy's foothold in your life becomes the very passion you have for God. How very sad of a way to fall.

Don't go looking for a "better way to pray" or a more "proper name" or any of these rabbit trails. They all lead to deception. Trust God that the BIBLE we have is enough, and it is what HE ordained for us to have.

I've been there, I know. My discernment was once broken too (I still have to be cautious) - and I believed lies crafted by men because they were skilled at spinning the Word, but the enemy knows the Bible better than you or I EVER will. We have to keep our noses in the right book.

Don't get me wrong, I love to research, and I love to know the roots and origins of everything that I can - but there is always balance to be found - and many of us are not mature enough in our faith to know how to maintain that balance. It's a struggle I've faced since I fully submitted to God, to rein myself in when I run ahead of Him or to know when He is telling me to stop digging and trust Him. It's also important to look at both sides of any idea, movement, etc.

If you're determined to dig deeper and research extra-biblical theologies and movements, be sure at least to read and watch background materials that both persuade and warn - because for pretty much everything you can find both sides out there, and if you give honest time to both, you will have a better foundation for your discernment to function.

Even the greats fall. Henri Nowen was an amazing man of God, intercessor, prolific writer...but his quest to find the better way to pray led him to transcendental meditation and he began consorting with demons - not even able to recognize his peril - because his drive for hidden knowledge became more important than his actual relationship with God.

Other great men of God have fallen prey to schemes of the enemy and become cult leaders and led countless believers astray. It happens, friends - and we must be always on our guard.

Be alert! Your discernment may not be as fine tuned as you expect it to be, and it may even be compromised.