Cloak & Dagger

My Mom taught us against going to movies.  
At age 17, I snuck out to see my first one:
“You Only Live Twice.”

You Only Live TwiceOut in June 1967, this was the fifth spy film in the James Bond series and the fifth to star Sean Connery.   Early on the plot has 007 faking his death and being buried at sea, so the villain Blofeld, head of SPECTRE, doesn’t look out for him anymore and the MI6 agent can operate undetected.

This brilliant strategy reminds me of satan the devil who stealthily puts the whole world in Bondage.

My Mom saw right through my carefully plotted escapade.  Thankfully she let me keep on living once.

She didn’t ground me—like God did when Lucifer, lifted up in pride and vanity, swooped up to heaven trying to knock Him off His throne (Isa. 14:13-14).   Satan was swatted down to become the unseen ruler of this earth (John 12:31) who “has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe” (2 Cor. 4:4 New Living Translation).

Paul warned us in 2 Cor. 2:11 “lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.”

Surely satan’s best tactic

is to deceive so many people into believing that he doesn’t even exist. Even many Christians!   A Barna survey in 2009 found that only 35% of Christians thought Satan exists as a living being rather than personifying evil.  You’d have to think that figure would be less in 2017.

The military cloaks a plane or submarine so it can be right upon the unsuspecting enemy.

devil red pitchforkSo c’mon, a little red man with a pitchfork?

Flip WilsonWhat fun to laugh at Flip Wilson in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s about “The devil made me do it!” Flip had to blame somebody for buying the dress he was wearing!   Not himself for donning women’s clothing though God says it’s abomination (Deut. 22:25).   Why do we let others con us into laughing at sin?

So here we are at sunset tonight through sunset Saturday night, Sept. 30—It’s a double Sabbath,

The Day of Atonement

which pictures the glorious day when satan the devil is put away.  So many would scoff that there’s nobody to put away!   Those of us observing this crucial Holy Day know better (Lev. 23:23-32).

Since Jesus was crucified on a Passover, and it was on a Pentecost that the 10 Commandments and Holy Spirit were given and the Church was started, satan’s removal will surely take place on the first Day of Atonement of Jesus Christ’s millennial reign on the earth.

goats DOAIn the Day of Atonement ceremony,  the “goat of departure” [Green’s Literal Translation] representing satan is sent “away into the wilderness by the hand of a suitable man” (Lev. 16:21).

“Scape goat” is an incorrect translation because satan is guilty of all the sins the High Priest places on his  head.  If you start thinking “God is unfair,” suspect you are tuning in to radio K-DEV, “the prince of the power of the air” (Eph. 2:2) via your spirit in man.

Rev. 20:1-3 describes the fulfillment of satan’s ousting by a powerful angel.  Surely removing an archangel is a task for another archangel.  I’m guessing Michael.   He seems to be the warrior archangel.

Replacing satan with Jesus Christ is going to make all the difference for the earth!   The source of deception, suffering and evil will go into bondage as the world is freed from it!

For those not duped into thinking he doesn’t exist, satan’s next bag of tricks is to get us to

Underestimate his power

Satan deceives the whole world (Rev. 12:9). Do you catch yourself thinking: How can they be so dumb? Do you read that:  except me?

“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12).   We must not be ignorant of his holds or he’ll pin us to the mat—with a dagger if he has his way!

Jesus fasted 40 days and 40 nights to be ready to face satan for rulership of the earth. He didn’t underestimate him!  Satan loves to distract us from diligent daily Bible study, but Jesus defeated him by quoting the Bible (Matt. 4:4).  Satan pulls out all stops to get us to

“Neglect so great a salvation” (Heb. 2:3)

toolbox“Therefore we must give the more  earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift  away” (verse 1).  A powerful tool in the Christian toolbox to give “earnest heed” is to fast.

For this Day of Atonement, the Bible commands us to “afflict your souls” with fasting for only the 24-hour period.   The Hebrew word for afflict is “anah.” Think anah not gnaw.  Think Yom (Day) Kippur (of Covering or Atonement) not Yum.  Going without food and drink helps us humble ourselves.

The Hebrew word “kippur”  is used 23 times in Lev. 16, and the Day of Atonement pictures the whole earth becoming at-one-ment with God after Jesus returns and the devil is put away.

Why do we fast just five days before the Feast of Tabernacles which pictures joy and bounty being restored to the earth?  So we can relate to people suffering under satan’s rule—feel their pain—when God installs us as servant leaders.

thSF8JW51WGod resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.  Humility helps us resist “the devil [who] walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Pet. 5:5, 8).  A lion goes after loners away from the herd.  Just you and me, Lord!

King of the beasts is so appropriate for Satan because he is the father of lyin’ (John 8:44) and he’s lyin’ in wait to destroy us.

armor of GodThis Day of Atonement he wants us DOA … dead on arrival!  And I’m not talking about how we feel during the fast.  He doesn’t want us in the first resurrection we just pictured by keeping the Feast of Trumpets Sept. 23.  He doesn’t want us serving in Christ’s millennial kingdom on earth which we will picture by keeping the Feast of Tabernacles Oct. 5-12.

Satan is angry because he knows he has only a short time left.  He is instigating hatred and division on every front with more intensity each day building up to the Great Tribulation.

May this Day of Atonement 2017 help us “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against  the wiles of the devil” and “quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one” (Eph. 6:11, 16).

Only with God’s help can we uncloak him.   Resist his daggers.   Have a great Feast!

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HD booklet.jI personally recommend a booklet called “God’s Holy Day Plan” you can get FREE by mail or download at https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/gods-holy-day-plan-the-promise-of-hope-for-all-mankind

 

World 51 8-30-17

 

“You’re Laodicean!”

A favorite pastime of many is
to brand others.
First make sure we are
standing in front of a mirror.
A solid Christian woman observed humbly
“We’re all Laodicean.”

We don’t see the seven Churches of Revelation in our “church of your choice” ads.   There’s no Laodicean Church on the corner of Elm.   Is that where people from Laos worship?

7 churchesWhat do the seven Churches mean to you?  “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (2:7).   That’s good advice from the Head of the Church!  Let’s take it personal!

Today it’s fashionable to reject organized religion.  Only one in four Americans say they attend church each week.  Their pastors might tell a different story.

Did Jesus let the gates of hell prevail against His Church He built (Matt. 16:8)?    It has continued through seven eras since Jesus started it in 31 A.D.

Two key questions for each of us:

♦   Is our church even a part of these seven eras?
♦   How do we identify a true Church of God?

When I was 16

I almost had my right arm and leg ripped off in a motorcycle accident.  I thought God was punishing me for having just quit going to church.  In Tim McGraw’s hit song “Humble and Kind” he sings “Go to church ’cause your Momma says to.”  I had been doing that as long as I could remember without knowing what the Bible teaches about God’s Church.  My Mom didn’t know of any local church actually teaching what the Bible teaches but this one at least had the right name so she settled for it.

At the end of my sophomore year of high school, I quit because my boyhood church seemed dead.  Today I can read what the Undertaker warns Sardis about its desperate need for resuscitation (3:1-6).  My church wasn’t live enough to even be Sardis.

But back from too close to dead myself, I said “sorry” in heartfelt repentance and asked God to show me where His true Church was.  This was the turning point of my life.  If you do the same, I’m sure He will show you without giving an arm and a leg.  Well, actually, you must give your whole life.

God says we must repent, believe, be baptized, have a true minister lay hands on us, asking God to give us His Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38).   All the glory goes to God because it’s the goodness of God—not ours—that leads us to repentance (Rom. 2:4).

Sardis, Philadelphia and Laodicea church eras

exist right up to the return of Christ.

God help us to be Philadelphians who are zealous to complete the commission of preaching the gospel and making disciples of all nations (Matt. 24:14, 28:18-20)!  Those whose hearts are in the Work rather than trying to save their own skin will be the ones growing in grace and knowledge (Matt. 16:25).

Who doesn’t want to claim this promise:  “I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those  who dwell on the earth” (3:10).  The Church of God has been promised “her place, where she is nourished for” 3-1/2 years (12:14).  Yes, God can save us individually where  we are, but He clearly talks about a group hideaway.  Zephaniah, whose name means “The Lord Hides,” prophesies “It may be that you will be hidden in the day of the Lord’s anger” (Zeph. 2:3).  That would be the last year of the 3-1/2 years of Great Tribulation when the seven trumpets are blown and the seven last plagues are dispensed.

A good reason might be to train Christ’s upcoming administration.  Like He did with Paul for three years before he began his public service (Gal. 1:18).  And  leadership training with a group can compound the effectiveness through iron sharpening iron in Christian fellowship (Prov. 27:17).

“Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:36).

The key to how we personally experience the book of Revelation will be

When we repent

Jesus said He has a “few names even in Sardis” (3:4).   Sounds like Lot in Sodom and Gomorrah.  I’d rather make my calling and election more sure!

Laodicea is dominant at the end where material riches abound amid spiritual poverty and wretchedness.  Are we lukewarm—neither hot or cold—which would induce Jesus Christ to vomit us (3:15-17)?  As the head of the Church, why shouldn’t Jesus want a hot bod too!

Laodiceans will be “ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (7:14).   Looks like they suffer martyrdom to prove their heart has changed commitment.  Why not get spiritually hot now!

For our sakes,  I would hope we have repented by this time because after this “innumerable multitude” there is no mention in Revelation of anybody repenting through the Day of the Lord.   You’d think people would cry out for deliverance but they shake their fist at God and blaspheme.

So please, we must repent now

Philadelphia means “brotherly love” and love is the defining sign of the Church (John 13:35).  We must learn from Ephesus and recapture our first love.  “Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works” (2:5).

Temptation AdIsn’t it interesting that the reason for “not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (Heb. 10:25) is “to consider one another in order to stir up love and good works” (verse 24).  Emphasis of Ephesus!

Are we hearing what the Spirit says to the seven Churches?  Let’s not waste time judging and branding others.   Let’s take it personal!

new map 88 countries 

 

 

 

 

When Will Whens Be Changed?

The answer starts at sunset tonight.

When will North Korea turn the incredible abilities and aptitudes of its people into building a successful nation instead of menacing rockets?

When will mercenaries and corrupt leaders stop stealing from the victimized Africans and let the continent blossom using all its incredible resources?

When will the family unit be restored worldwide?

When will marriage once again be between not only a man and a woman
but with God to make it a sacred union?

When will winds of hurricanes cease to scour the Caribbean and flood the Gulf?

cup of wrathWhen will today’s evils stop being poured out?

God says “When!”  The cup of  His fierce wrath is full enough (Rev. 16:19).

It all starts at sunset tonight, with the beginning of God’s Holy Day called “The Feast of Trumpets,” which lasts until Thursday sunset (Lev. 23:23-25).

Wait a minute!  Friday morning Kim Jung On will still be blustering against the United States, Japan and South Korea.  War lords will still be plundering in the Congo, pushing orphans south toward Zambia.  We’ll still be tracking Maria’s destructive path.  Today’s evils will still be creating perilous times (2 Tim. 3:1).

Sadly true.  But

Keeping God’s Feast of Trumpets starting at sunset tonight

♥   certifies that they are as good as conquered.
♥   and proclaims that you are preparing to be a part of the conquering!

This momentous day

Pictures the turning point of world history

The seven trumpets of Revelation herald Jesus Christ taking governmental control of the earth.

When the seventh trumpet sounds, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!” (Rev. 11:15).

The leaders who are messing up this world will be replaced by resurrected saints who are not only servant leaders (Matt. 20:25-28) instead of despots and pillagers but they have been changed from carnal human beings into Gods in the God Family and Kingdom (1 Cor. 15:51-53).  Jesus Christ and the resurrected saints will then rule the earth.

Kim Jung On will be off!   Probably replaced by a saint of Korean descent who will lead his beloved people into becoming a glorious nation.

God has been training many African brethren to be ready to serve their continent when Jesus Christ takes over the reins of the earth.  How ironic that Angola, an African nation that never figures in any news, has one Church of God group with 6,000 adults and children aiming to serve at Christ’s return!

Is God calling you and training you

to be one of His leaders who will serve as a king, priest, judge or teacher in Jesus Christ’s millennial reign?

I  hope you will make this Feast of Trumpets a turning point for you in your history!   If God is leading you to want to be a part of His big plans, act NOW!  Because His other Holy Days and all they foreshadow are coming up quickly.  You still have time to become a part of it now.

Those of us keeping the Feast of Trumpets for 2017 are announcing that the evil whens of today are going to be changed at Jesus Christ’s soon-coming return into victorious wins.  And we are committing to be the Changers.

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HD booklet.jI personally recommend a booklet called “God’s Holy Day Plan” you can get FREE by mail or download at https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/gods-holy-day-plan-the-promise-of-hope-for-all-mankind

 

World 51 8-30-17

The Book of Revelation: Let’s Take It Personal!

beastBeasts, seals, trumpets and plagues
wreaking  global havoc!

It’s common to focus
on the earth-wide upheaval
in the book of Revelation.
Mention “Apocalypse” and
people think the end of the world!

But what’s really interesting is to consider
what this amazing book means to you.
Let’s take it personal!

What do you get out of John’s Revelation?   It’s a trick question because this is the revelation of Jesus Christ (1:1).   Imagine that!  That the King of Kings and Lord of Lords is revealing such royal information to commoners like us!

throneThat should elevate your thinking to a higher plane—all the way up to the third heaven throne (chapter 4) where “in His temple everyone says, ‘Glory'” (Psa. 29:9).  Imagine that you are invited 24/7 to “come boldly to the throne of grace” whenever you choose! (Heb. 4:16).

But wait a minute.   Are you really privy to this revealing?  One of the first principles of rightly-dividing Bible study (2 Tim. 2:15) is to note who a book is written to.  Revelation states that it is to

“Show His servants

—things which must shortly take place” (1:1).

So are you truly now a servant of God?  If not, your top priority must be to become one.  Because to others this enigmatic book with some 300 symbols remains a confusing head-scratcher.

“Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near” (1:3).  Are you reading, hearing—and keeping?

It all began in Genesis with Jesus Christ walking in the garden with Adam and Eve and commanding them to eat of the tree of life but not of the tree of the knowledge of  good and evil.  It all ends in His Revelation with “Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life …” 22:14).  The Bible bookends obedience.

If you want to be a saint commended for patience, you must “keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus” (14:12).

If we allow the deceiver (12:9) to con us like he does the “whole world” into rejecting God’s law and commandments, it’s us who will be done away!

It’s so simple:  Obedience will not earn you salvation, but God will not save anybody who is not obedient.  It’s grace and law, not versus.  Grace, which is not cheap because it cost the torture and life of our Creator for each of us, enables Christ living in us to produce good works.   Truly “the simplicity that is in Christ” (2 Cor. 11:3) and all glory goes to Him.

Along with all of His other exalted titles and responsibilities, Jesus Christ is “Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood” (1:5).

This is the

Key to what Revelation will mean to you personally

When we repent will dramatically determine how we experience this amazing book and its unfolding events.

My personal hope is that you are already
♥   “Being redeemed from among men, being firstfruits to God and to the Lamb” (14:4).
♥   “Follow[ing] the Lamb wherever He goes”—He goes on some pretty exciting adventures in Revelation!  And after that it’s going to get out of this world!
♥   bride of ChristMaking yourself ready to be the wife of Jesus Christ (19:7).  We must be engaged at that!  Revelation comes from the Greek word apocalypsis which means unveiling, and pray you get to be part of the bride when Jesus reaches up and gazes at you face to face (1 John 3:1-3).

I’m not expecting a kiss … for the surprised Husband, it might seem the end of the world!  Worse than Joseph waking up to Leah when he was expecting ravishing Rachel!  Worse than if it were Broose the Moose!

The ApocaLIPS!

Fun aside, what a glorious future!  Let’s take it personal!

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RU bookletI personally recommend a booklet called “The Book of Revelation Unveiled” you can get FREE by mail or download at https://www.ucg.org/bible-study-tools/booklets/the-book-of-revelation-unveiled

World 51 8-30-17

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This Is Not a Blog

OK, it is one of 2.5 billion posts written with WordPress,
which claims to now power 28% of the Internet.
A new blog is created somewhere in the world
every 1/2 second,
and this probably 
resembles them.

But …

♦   A blog typically puts its main point right at the top, blackmailed by the maxim that otherwise most readers will X out.   Advisers say you’ve only got 10 seconds to reach hopping hares with your message before they chase another carrot.

Hey, you’re still with me!  You’re my desired reader.  You might be one of the few who is being called to benefit from priceless pearls (Matt. 13:45-46).   Shell-shocked?  Ooy, stir yourself!  Choose wisely and become faithful (Rev. 17:14).  Go sell all you have that’s hindering you!

♦  A blog often notifies at the top how long it takes to read it.  If timed over five minutes,  the warning is that too few will bother.  You have to wonder how “they” can predict how long it will take speed readers and Dick-&-Janers to sled or slog through—what you have spent hours preparing for them.  I want Rom. 2:7 readers “who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality.”

♦  A blog should  be no more than 500 words or too many readers will be scared away.  “Eek, a tome!”

Really, should there be a limit for learning about The Way (Acts 9:2)?  For finding answers to the big questions of life?  Yes, we must consider eyes and derrières because God knows our frame (Psa. 103:14).  Where needed, I make it a series.

♦   A blog on religion is usually filled with opinions, famous quotes and psychology, and seldom includes even one scripture.  Too many hate religion so they don’t want to appear religious.  Too many are coming to view the Bible as a hate book.

Bible cloudyThe Bible is truth (John 17:17).  It is entirely inspired by God (2 Tim. 3:16).  The Bible has “the words of eternal life” (John 6:68).  It spells out what God hates and what we should also view as abominations.  I’d rather be God correct!

As my mentor thundered, “Don’t believe me or any man.  Open your Bible and read it with your own eyes.”  So pardon me for backing everything I write with scripture.

toolboxOne of the most important tools in a Christian’s toolbox is meditation.  One Hebrew word for meditation is haga, meaning the roar of a lion.   A lion chews on a carcass for days until he totally devours it.  He roars a warning to any predator that would dare to snatch it from him (1 Pet. 5:7).

Please take the time to look up the scriptures in your own Bible and meditate about their meaning “day and night” (Psa. 1:2 and 119:97).   Then act on what you’re learning (Psa. 111:10) and understanding will follow.  What’s really scary is that Christians who have obeyed for years and then stop forget everything they once knew.

OK, so as to not be conceited, I’ll concede this is a WordPress blog.

But this is not a blog

for anyone to use a mental stopwatch or word count.  This is not a blog to look for opinions,  quotes and psychology.  The 210 posts published so far are not a blog unless you are ready to claim the glory of kings to search out a matter (Prov. 25:2).  And unless you are ready to choose The Way to life which is narrow and difficult—and though there are 409 million people who view WordPress blogs monthly—“there are few who find it” (Matt. 7:14).

Before publishing each post, I pray it’s you.

World 51 8-30-17