Tag Archives: Church

Let’s Be Political Dropouts

https://geneticliteracyproject.org/2016/02/08/if-youre-indifferent-about-reading-this-article-it-may-be-genetic/

I had a vision in the first month of 2021 in which I saw a train speeding across the plain states. Somehow, I knew the train represented America. 

My perspective changed in the vision and I saw hundreds of miles ahead of the train. There I saw a deep gorge, but the bridge over the deep chasm was out. The train was heading toward disaster!

My perspective changed again in the vision and I was inside the train. There I watched Christians preoccupy themselves with attempting to change the train’s engineer and crew to their viewpoints or if that didn’t work, to set in place a new engineer and crew. It was loud and competitive! A few people had divine insights about the disaster lying ahead of the train and attempted to warn the Body of Christ, but their mere whispers were drowned out by the louder voices concerned with the engineer and train crew.

I then felt the Holy Spirit ask me: “Do you want to board the train and attempt to warn people? Or do you want to spend your time preparing for the upcoming disaster?

I chose the latter.

The vision ended.

            “Politics is one of the Church’s worst problems. It is her constant temptation. The occasion for some of her worst disasters. It is a trap set for her by the prince of this world.” (Jacque Ellul)

Whether we like it or not, America’s government and political system is a part of the world system which is under the rule of Satan. This system is fueled by lust, greed, pride, selfish ambition, contentions and idolatry. To ever think that we could somehow clean up this system is foolhardy for us believers to even consider.  This won’t happen until the seventh trumpet is blown and the angel announces, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and He shall reign forever and ever!”

At best, we can vote for good, moral men/women to represent us. This is our civic duty and I believe the Lord endorses our efforts in carrying out these obligations.

But…

I believe the Body of Christ needs to wash its hands of politics. Period. 

Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers are not called to be cheerleaders for political parties or politicians. Their callings are to help equip believers for service in the Body and to help bring us into maturity so that we are able to walk in unity and full knowledge of our Lord.

Most unbelievers think Christians are nothing more than Trump supporters and Republican voters. They can’t see Christ in us because our political clatter and partisan stances overwhelm them.

Let’s return and do the simple words of Jesus:

             But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness… (Matthew 6:33)

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Let’s Fight Principalities and Powers Now (Part 4)

Spiritual warfare? How did it come about? And why?

Before the creation of man, God set up earth under an angelic form of spiritual government. The governing angels − or principalities − were located in the heavenly realms over earth, but still underneath God’s heaven, which Paul referred to as the third heaven. 

The head over this angelic government was God

We have no clue what Satan did at first when he and his horde of angels were cast out of God’s third heaven. My guess is that the Devil’s hatred for God and His works caused him to continuously seethe at how God had treated him unfairly. After all, the evil one felt he could have been just like God. 

Satan and his horde became a government in exile. They had no authority and no subjects to rule over.

Let’s fast forward to the first man: Adam.

God formed a new kingdom government on earth with His creation of man, giving dominion over all the earth to man, through Adam. God was the King, the King’s angelic spiritual government was set in place in the second heaven, and His flesh and blood ambassador on earth was Adam. 

All worked well until Adam sinned.

Adam’s act of treason overthrew God’s kingdom government on earth and also God’s angelic spiritual government. Satan became the god of this world and his demon hierarchy of angels took over the principality sites in the heavenlies. Man and creation were no longer connected to their King and under His direct reign and protection.

Also, because Adam forfeited his face-to-face position before God, Satan regained a position before God in which he accuses the saints day and night. 

Through Satan’s coup d’état and by default, Adam and all future subjects on earth, were placed under the reign and authority of Satan and his angelic government.

Spiritual warfare has been fought between the kingdom of God and the kingdom of darkness since the Garden of Eden. The King desires to reclaim His subjects under His righteous reign while Satan hopes to continue his government of enslavement, depravity, and sin. The battles still rages today.

For us believers, we are dual subjects while we live on earth, in that, we are royal sons of the King, but still live in a world ruled by Satan. Our dual citizenship poses daily problems for us.

(Excerpt from Storming the Kingdom by Larry Nevenhoven, © 2014 by Larry Nevenhoven, Amazon eBook)

(Continued in Part 5)

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Let’s Fight Principalities and Powers Now (Part 3)

Let’s check out our spiritual adversary: Satan. Scripture gives us a little insight about the evil one and a few other conclusions can be drawn through biblical reasoning.

Satan was created as a covering cherub or a type of angel. Angels are spirits and not flesh and blood creatures like God created on day five and day six in Genesis. Therefore, Satan is a spirit.

Scripture doesn’t state when God actually created Satan, but I believe we can deduce that Satan and the other angels were created before the end of the fourth day or Genesis 1:16. (Maybe even as early as the first day.) Why?  Because His angels perform God’s word and the angels rejoiced when the foundations of the earth were laid. They may even have been the ones who helped to determine its dimensions.

God created Satan to be perfect in wisdom and beauty. But Satan’s pride corrupted his wisdom and caused him to rebel against God. 

When did Satan rebel against God?

Jesus stated that Satan was a murderer from the beginning, never stood in the truth, and was the father of lies. Thus, by deduction, I believe Satan must have rebelled soon after God created him along with the other angels. 

Where did all of Satan’s fellow demons come from? My answer will seem a little roundabout, but bear with me, okay?

Prophecies in Scripture may have an early and a later fulfillment to them. Usually, the early fulfillment is a partial one whereas the later one is a complete one.

For example, Jesus referred to John the Baptist as the “Elijah who is to come.” His words referred to the prophecy in Malachi 4:5. Yet, John did not fulfill all the words of the Malachi prophecy. We have to wait until the time just before Jesus returns to earth for the complete fulfillment.

Another example, Jesus answered the disciples’ questions about when things would happen by prophesying in Matthew 24: 4-31. The disciples would have thought Jesus was referring to the destruction of the Temple. Yet, when Roman soldiers destroyed the Temple in 70 A.D., not all of the scriptures were fulfilled. The complete fulfillment will occur during the tribulation.

And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So, the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. (Revelations 12:7-9)

If you read Revelations Chapter 11 and all of Chapter 12, the only conclusion you can reach is that this will happen during the tribulation. But I believe an early fulfillment of this prophecy happened when Satan and a third of God’s angels rebelled against God and were cast out of God’s third heaven. I believe these angels then became Satan’s demonic hierarchy in his kingdom of darkness.

One scripture that backs my theory was when Jesus said, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.” His words did not refer to the tribulation, but something He saw while He was in heaven, before His birth to Mary.

There are other scriptures, but this should give us a basic understanding about Satan and his demonic horde.

(Excerpt from Storming the Kingdom by Larry Nevenhoven, © 2014 by Larry Nevenhoven, Amazon eBook)

(Continued in Part 4)

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Let’s Fight Principalities and Powers Now (Part 2)

I watched various students crisscrossing the Campanile Esplanade on their way to classes. They looked normal, wearing typical college apparel. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. My spiritual eyes then kicked in, and what appeared normal in the natural realm was not so normal in the spiritual one.

Have you ever seen pictures of a flying dinosaur known as a pterodactyl? It has a long, slender head with a mouth of sharp teeth, scaly-like body, web-like wings, and talons for feet. This sort of resembles the creatures I saw, sitting on the shoulders of almost every student walking below me. Each creature was the size of a large crow and had wolf hair on its body and a slender rat’s tail. They constantly whispered into the ears of students while holding a wing over the students’ other ears. The creatures also defecated and vomited on the students so that each person dripped with slop and sewage. It was ghastly and I yearned to warn the students.

“Follow those two over there,” said the angel, pointing toward two guys.

I focused on the two students. They continued talking to each other as they walked into a free speech area where a street evangelist preached the gospel of the kingdom of God. Both stopped and listened. I watched the pterodactyl-like creatures use their beaks to snatch the seeds of the gospel out of the twosome’s hearts with swift surgeon-like precision. The two students walked away after a few minutes, none the better for their experiences.

I wanted to shout and warn everyone. Someone needed to do it. Why not me?

The angel touched my shoulder again with his hand. I turned toward him.

“Now, it’s time for your spiritual ears to be opened.”

He reached up and touched both of my ears with his hands.

Wouldn’t you think it would be quiet in the spiritual realm over the University of California, Berkeley? Well, it is not. There is constant clamor, reverberating throughout the whole atmosphere, most of which comes from the ruling principality. But what really shocked me was the demonic principality’s words mirrored the liberal attitudes on the campus, from the deans down to the professors, and then, to the students. The religious principality constantly spewed out proclamations like: 

“All white Americans are racists… All wars are immoral and wrong… Homosexuality is not a sin… Pro-choice is a woman’s right… Same-sex marriage is morally acceptable…Traditional Christianity is irrelevant, mean, hateful, judgmental, and dogmatic…Jesus never said anything about homosexuality…Jesus is the Way which is open to other ways, such as Hare Krishna, Buddha, and Mohammad…God is a God of love and not judgment… Satan and demons are fictional beings, thought up by fundamentalist nuts…The Bible contains no more authority than the Koran, Buddhist sutras, Veda, and other spiritual writings…Creating social justice is the main emphasis of the gospel…Global warming is a Christian stewardship concern…”

I stood there with my mouth open, drool running down my chin.

“Hey, many of these statements I agree with,” I muttered aloud, not realizing I had done so.

“And that’s why you are deceived.”

“Deceived? Me?”

“Yes, you and most liberal Christians who believe such garbage.”

“But, but –”

“Not only are you deceived, but your faith is dead when it agrees with Satan’s agenda. He’s always a liar, even when his words sound like truth. Your faith, in order to have life, must be based on what the Lord has stated in Scripture and is presently saying to His church.”

I kept quiet as his words ripped my theology apart.

He paused for a beat or two.

“Not only is this IOU collection day, but it is your deliverance day,” he said in an authoritative voice. “Your past deception, your dead faith, and your deliverance from all of it will give you an understanding of the spiritual battles taking place on America’s college campuses, beginning with the University of California, Berkeley.”

His eyes locked on mine.

“But how –” I stopped myself. How could I complain when I did not know what I was talking about?

The angel almost grinned.

“Now, you’re starting to learn.”

He pointed down again.

“Look.”

There just below us, was a student resembling a fluorescent light bulb walking across the esplanade. She lit up the whole area around her as she hurried on her way. Unlike the others, she did not have a creature sitting on her shoulder, but instead, one hovered around her head, trying to alight on her, but for some reason, the creature could not land. Deep frustration etched a gully in the creature’s face.

“Listen,” said the angel.

My ears adjusted themselves to only listening to the girl. Her footsteps and the movement of her arms came through loud and clear, but also something else.

“Dee, dee, bah, bah, hooka mah hundae,” she whispered over and over.

She spoke in tongues as she walked along.

“Your message to Christians on college campuses is very simple,” said the angel. “It’s the same one Paul gave to the believers in Ephesus when he said, ‘Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, with all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.” Then he added, “In case you have forgotten, these scriptures are located in Ephesians 6: 17-18.”

(Excerpt from Deceived Dead and Delivered by Larry Nevenhoven, © 2012 by Larry Nevenhoven, Amazon eBook)

(Continued in Part 3)

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Let’s Fight Principalities and Powers Now (Part 1)

The angel reached over and grabbed my left hand. We took off at the speed of light. I looked down as Albert disappeared quickly into a black dot and heard a faint “wolf” fall out of his mouth.

The dome of the San Francisco City Hall appeared directly ahead of us. It looked like we would crash into it. But before I could scream aloud, we passed through it and landed in the Supervisors’ meeting chamber on the second floor. A wooden bench somehow telescoped out of the wall, up near the ceiling, which he motioned for us to sit down on it.

The eleven supervisors sat in leather swivel-chairs down below us. Each had a laptop computer on the desk in front of them. They talked and carried on. It was the weekly San Francisco Supervisors’ meeting.

The angel turned toward me. His robe whispered softly as he pivoted around. 

“Open your eyes and see,” he said with a quiet power filled with heavenly authority.

I looked down again. This time my spiritual eyes opened.

There I saw grotesque creatures sitting on the right shoulder of each of the eleven supervisors. The chimpanzee-size beings had a mixture of what looked like reptile, dragon, and wolf-like body parts with stubby tails, talons for feet, scale-covered wings, web-like hands, and misshapen faces which protruded into long snouts and were filled with sharp teeth. They resembled dingy, gray gargoyles.

Each creature held its right wing over their assigned supervisors’ eyes. Their right hands were curled into a megaphone shape so they could speak directly into the supervisors’ ears. Their left hands looped behind the supervisors’ heads and covered their left ears.

The creatures never rested. When they were not speaking into ears, they looked up, around and at each other, their heads constantly moved about, their eyes searching to and fro. They seemed to be driven by a deep dread, almost as if a cruel slave master’s power instilled a fear in them about possible future punishments.

What is this? I thought. Why am I here?

“Today is show and tell day, preparing you for your first assignment next week,” said the angel.

“First assignment, next week?”

“Quiet, I’m the teacher. You’re the student. Understand?” he whispered a stinging rebuke at me. 

His voice contained no anger and love cushioned the blow, but yet, I felt the power behind the rebuke. I shuddered and nodded. 

“Earlier today, you had a vision. In it, you saw yourself being used as a sword by the Lord Jesus against a brass gate. The brass gate you saw was a gate of Hell over this city. It must be attacked so the truth from heaven can be heard in San Francisco. You are His chosen weapon for the undertaking.”

I bit my tongue, but my brain continued to be plugged in. I wondered if His weapons ever suffered pain, especially with the vigorous way the Lord swung the sword against the gate. O Lord, will it hurt? I thought.

He paused a beat before continuing. 

“Your spiritual eyes have only been dialed up two notches, but that’s more than enough for you to get an idea of what’s happening in the Supervisors’ meeting room,” he said. “As you can see, demons sit on the supervisors’ shoulders, blocking information that is contrary to Satan’s agenda. At the same time, evil ideas are constantly spoken into the supervisors’ ears.”

He pointed a finger at me. 

“Remember: our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against the hordes of Satan.”

I nodded.

He pointed at the supervisors. 

“Look again.”

This time I saw words streaming through the ceiling on what looked like hologram ticker tapes carried on laser beams. These words flowed to the ears of the creatures, the supervisors, and everyone in the room. I read them: “Alternative life style.” “Pro-choice.” “Gay pride.” “Toleration.” “Christians are bigots.” “Abortion is a woman’s right.” “Separation of church and state.”  “San Francisco Pride.”  

With each new message, the creatures spoke into the ears of supervisors. A source from above orchestrated everything.

The angel pointed up. 

“Look.”

The ceiling and roof opened up, allowing me to see into the second heaven. My eyes took a few moments adjusting to the spirit realm, but then, I saw a creature sitting on a large brass throne, blocking a portal coming out of the third heaven. Light rays attempted to flow through the portal, but only a fraction of the rays was able to pass by the large creature.

The creature’s appearance alternated between looking like a beautiful angel dressed in white and that of a gigantic monster version of the dingy, gray gargoyles, sitting on the supervisors’ shoulders. Like the smaller demons, the creature never rested. It caused fear in the hierarchy of demons below it and, at the same time, seemed fearful of its own cruel masters in the ranks above it.

The words I saw, streaming through the ceiling like hologram ticker tapes, emanated from this creature. I saw additional word streams coming out of the creature’s mouth, heading toward Sacramento, Hollywood, Washington, D. C., New York City, newspapers, television networks, movie studios, publishers, corporations, and thousands of other places.

The angel interrupted my thoughts. 

“What you are seeing is the spirit of depravity. It is a ruling principality over San Francisco and guards a gate of Hell over the city. This spirit is so powerful that its wickedness is spread throughout the nation.

“The reason the spirit switches back and forth between appearances is it is creating confusion by this maneuver in the minds of people, whereby good is called evil and evil good.”

(Excerpt from Jonah by Larry Nevenhoven, © 2012 by Larry Nevenhoven, Amazon eBook)

Obviously, the above is a fictional story on how I perceive the demonic realm may influence our earthly realm.

(Continued In Part 2)

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A Dream for Today

It was only a dream, but it seemed so real:

I stood on a starting line waiting for a race. A man dressed in a long white robe stood off to my left, wearing leather sandals on his feet. His dark beard and long hair framed his bronze face. He held a starter’s gun in his hand and nodded at me.

“Are you ready?” he asked.

I pulled up my red track shorts, yanked my white athletic t-shirt outside my shorts for more freedom of movement, and checked to see if my shoestrings were tied tightly on my Nike running shoes. Everything seemed ready. I nodded back at him.

“Now remember,” he said, “you need to go as fast as you can. This is a timed race. You only have a limited amount of time to finish it, okay?

I looked over the racecourse. In the distance, I saw the finish line with healing, deliverance, prosperity, miracles, wonders, peace, and joy awaiting me on the other side. Between the starting and finishing lines stretched an obstacle course. Posts sticking out of the ground. Fences. Brick walls. Quicksand pits. Mud bogs. Trees. Rivers. Water falls. Railroad tracks. Highways. Tunnels. Dangerous cliffs. A narrow path zigzagged its way through the course like a switchback jungle road. It looks easy enough, I thought, just stay on the path and run as fast as I can.

I nodded again to him.

“Get ready.”

I got down on my haunches.

“Get set.”

I rose into a sprinter’s position. My feet and legs strained, set to slingshot my body forward.

“But first, you’ll need this,” he said before firing the gun. 

He walked over and covered my eyes with a black blindfold. Not one ray of light touched my eyes. I could not see a thing, not even my feet.

“Now, don’t forget, you must go as fast as you can.”

I heard a faint whispering behind me, a soft voice saying something. I paid no attention to it.

BANG!

I took off like an Olympic sprinter, running as fast as I could.

BAM!

I hit a post and fell to the ground. My nose felt like it was broken with blood gushing from it. The warm wetness soaked through my t-shirt. It hurt so much I wanted to just lie there and quit.

The dark haired starter walked over and stood above me.

“Now, don’t forget this is a timed race. You need to run as fast as you can.”

I struggled to my feet. As I did, the same soft voice whispered words behind me. But again, I paid no attention and took off running.

YUCK!

I fell into a quicksand pit and found myself sinking under the heavy glop. The more I flailed my arms and legs, the faster I sank. The sandy goop soon reached my neck, not far from my nose.

“Help me, Lord,” I shouted.

My body relaxed and I floated over to the edge, crawling out of the pit. I flopped down there. It was all I could do to catch my breath from the all-out physical effort of trying to survive. I wanted to quit.

“Don’t forget. This is a timed race. You need to go as fast as you can,” the starter exclaimed.

Why I stood up, I don’t know. Maybe I was a glutton for punishment or possibly a modern day Don Quixote searching for futile endeavors to joust against. I brushed the sand off my legs and attempted to clean my shoes. I once more heard what sounded like soft whispers in the background, but like the earlier times, I ignored them.

My sense of direction was completely out of kilter. I could not figure up from down, let alone north, south, east, or west. However, I gave it the old college try and took off running.

SPLASH!

I fell into a deep river with fast-moving waters rushing over me. The hurtling rapids sent me flying downstream in a haphazard manner, smashing my body against rocks and floating logs. I attempted to swim toward shore, but the full force of the current battered my body, flinging me about like a rag doll in a typhoon.

“Lord, help me!” I screamed.

My hand reached out and grasped a tree limb. I pulled myself across the stream, hand over hand on the limb, and climbed onto the shore. This was the end. I couldn’t handle anymore.

I heard the soft voice whispering to me once again. This time I gave it my full attention and listened.

“Stand up,” said the gentle voice.

I obeyed it.

“Okay, now turn to your right ninety degrees.”

Again, I obeyed.

“Walk four steps ahead and stop.”

I walked ahead and waited for the next command.

“Turn forty-five degrees to your left.”

I turned.

“You went too far. Turn to your right five degrees.”

I adjusted myself in accordance with the instructions.

“Walk ten steps forward and wait.”

I stopped after walking ten steps.

“Won’t this take a long time to finish the obstacle course,” I said.

The gentle voice laughed.

“My system is the fastest way through the obstacle course. However, you can always choose to return to your running blindly method, but as you have learned, that can be extremely painful. What do you want to do?” the voice said.

“Lord, what’s Your next instruction?”

Then I awoke with a Bible verse on my mind:

“Your own ears will hear Him. Right behind you a voice will say, “This is the way you should go,” whether to the right or to the left (Isaiah 30:21 NLT).

(An excerpt from my memoir, The Hunt for Larry Who.)

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Over 60? Is it too Late to Build a Prayer Life? (Part 4)

praying

Along with our friends, Tony and Janelle, Carol and I moved to Charlotte, North Carolina, in late 1997 to join The Watch of the Lord prayer ministry and to attend All Nations Church. Mahesh and Bonnie Chavda headed both ministries.

Each of us felt the Lord directed us to move there. Our billfolds lacked money and credit cards, but faith filled our hearts, believing God would somehow supply our needs.

We pooled out money together and rented a room with two double beds at the Charlotte Residence Inn. The room contained less than two hundred square-feet of floor space with a kitchenette, two beds, four chairs, table, and a bathroom.

A mortgage financing company hired the four of us as telephone sales reps on our second day in Charlotte. The company paid its employees on a biweekly basis, which meant our first paychecks arrived two weeks later. This posed a problem because we only had enough money for one week of rent at the motel.

Each morning the four of us gathered together and prayed for our finances, as in, “Oh Lord, help! HELP!”

We introduced ourselves to the church and ministry as soon as it was possible. The members said we were the answers to many prophecies spoken to the group about people moving from different parts of America to be a part of the ministry. Their words encouraged us, but our money still dwindled daily because of food and gas.

A couple from All Nations Church invited us to their home for a small group meeting and Christmas party on the last night of our motel rental. The four of us agreed not to mention our dire financial needs to the group, but instead, we were determined to trust the Father, according to Matthew 6:6 −

But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.

The married couple lived in a beautiful new two-story home located in a picturesque area with tall pine trees. It had a large living room, three bedrooms, fireplace, two bathrooms, and large kitchen. A perfect place for four needy, soon to be homeless, believers like us.

The meeting began with Christmas songs and prayers, with the group then waiting on the Lord to hear His voice. The group leader broke the silence by turning to Tony and Janelle.

“Do you guys need something?” he asked, looking at them.

Tony and Janelle shook their heads.

“Not really. The Lord is taking care of us,” said Tony.

The group returned to waiting on the Lord, but the leader was not satisfied and again turned to Tony and Janelle.

“I just don’t feel good about your answers. What do you need?”

Tony and Janelle answered again in the same manner.

“The Lord is taking care of our needs. Thanks for asking.”

The leader would not quit. He continued to ask them what they needed.

“Okay, here’s the story,” Janelle finally said, “we’re out of money for rent and groceries starting tomorrow morning. We don’t know where we shall go or how we’ll survive until we get paid next week.”

How do you think these joyous, Christmas celebrating Christians replied to her statement? And remember: it was December and cold outside.

The group’s leader digested Janelle’s statement for a moment. He motioned with his hands.

“Let’s gather around these two couples and pray for them.”

Tony, Janelle, Carol, and I stood in the middle of the living room while ten Christians placed their hands on our shoulders and prayed. They cried out to the Lord with passion for our circumstances.

I cheated a little by keeping my eyes open and watching the group. Oh Lord, I thought, this looks like the sum total of their aid for our needs. If so, I feel like puking all over their carpet for their level of Christianity.

The rhythm of their prayers reached a crescendo and backed off, waiting for someone to speak.

“I see the Lord raining drops of gold on the four of you,” prophesied a woman. “And all you have to do is reach up by faith and grab what you need. Just reach up right now.”

The prayers ended and we sat down again.

What a convenient prophecy, I thought. They actually believe they don’t have to help us in our time of need because of the woman’s prophetic words. Shouldn’t someone ask how much gold we were able to cram into our pockets during the prayers? Why did the Holy Spirit unmask our financial needs? To reveal our lack of faith or to reveal the group’s hypocrisy?

Various types of Christmas cookies, fudge candy, sandwiches, chips, and potato salad kept the four of us busy after the prayers. We stuffed ourselves and then graciously said our goodbyes and left.

The four of us did our best to pray blessings on the group and forgive them for their lack of hospitality on our drive back to the motel.

We checked out of the motel the next morning, packed our cars, and went to work. After our phone sales shift, we drove to a large shopping mall and stayed there until it closed at 9 p.m. We then drove both cars behind a large motel and slept in our cars.

How we handled the cold December temperatures was out of necessity rather than comfort. We only started our engines when the cold became unbearable. As soon as they warmed up, we turned the engines off to conserve fuel.

This routine continued for days.

I now wonder about the what if’s, such as, what if we had been four fluffy Golden Retriever puppies abandoned by a cruel master on the couple’s front steps. Would the small group have ignored our pleading eyes and whimpering yelps, allowing us to freeze to death outside in the cold weather? I don’t think so because that’s too inhumane, right?

But whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Little children, let us not love with word or with tongue, but in deed and truth (1 John 3:17-18).

If we want to build our prayer lives, we have to prepare ourselves for the possibility that we might end up being the answer to someone else’s prayers. If we don’t want to do that, why even pray, right?

(Continued in Part 5)

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Friday’s End Time Bible Studies (Part 11)

Is the Covid-19 virus one of the  seal judgments, specifically the pale horse, mentioned in Revelation Chapter 6?

Let me answer this question by looking at another time period.

In 1917-18, American soldiers were fighting in WWI. The end result of their struggles was over 117,000 killed in action and another 200,000 wounded. The total toll of WWI for all nations approached 20 million deaths.

Now, at almost the same time, an influenza known as the Spanish Flu, broke out on a global basis. Before it was finished in 1919, this flu killed 675,000 Americans and an estimated 20-40 million people world-wide.

So, if you think Covid-19 has people talking about the four horsemen of the Apocalypse, it’s nothing compared to how believers viewed the End Times in 1918-19. Believers were almost positive Jesus was returning almost any day back then.

But the years 1918-19 missed three important entities, without which the prophetic words of Revelation can’t take place. Those entities are: (1) Israel has to be a nation, (2) Jerusalem has to be the capital of Israel (3) and there has to be a functioning Temple with sacrifices.

Today, there is a nation of Israel with Jerusalem as its capital, but there is no functioning Temple.

The answer: Covid-19 is not one of the seal judgments.

Chauncey Novarro, an End Times teacher, pointed out an important fact in one of his many teachings. He stated, “The End Times calendar is laid out in Matthew Chapter 24.”

I agree with him.

Therefore when you see the “abomination of desolation,” spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (whoever reads, let him understand) (Matthew 24:15)

Jesus referred to the Book of Daniel when he spoke about the “abomination of desolation.”

Okay, check out these two verses:

Then he [Antichrist] shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; but in the middle of the week he [Antichrist] shall bring an end to sacrifice and offeringAnd on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, even until the consummation, which is determined, is poured out on the desolate.” (Daniel 9:27)

And forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation. (Daniel 11:31)

The word “week” in the Hebrew either means a week of seven days or a week of years or seven years. Thus, the middle of the week would be forty-two months, 1260 days or time, times and half a time as mentioned in Daniel and the Book of Revelation.

Phew!

Okay, if you look at Matthew 24: 3-14, you will notice verses referring to wars, famines, pestilences, earthquakes, persecutions and martydom.  These seem to follow along quite well with Revelation Chapter 6 or the seal judgments.

And the verses in Matthew 24: 16-31 follow along well with Revelation Chapter 8 and 9 and also Revelation 11:15. These are the trumpet judgments and when Jesus returns.

Therefore, Matthew Chapter 24 seems to be a calendar for us to view the End Times.

(Continued in Part 12…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

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Will We End Up Being A Part of the Great Falling Away? (Part 7)

“He’s dead! He’s dead!” exclaimed the courier from Rome as he trotted toward us.

I stopped working and stood up. The other tent makers did the same.

“Who’s dead?” I asked.

“The Apostle Paul’s dead!” said the courier, wiping the sweat from his forehead. “He was beheaded in Rome about a month ago.”

Even though I knew Paul’s ministry would probably have a sad ending, the news stunned me. O Lord, why? I thought.

I walked away from the group, not wanting to talk about the apostle at that moment. It was just too painful. I ended up walking down by the Aegean Sea and sitting on a rock by myself. There, I thought back over my years with Paul.

The first time I met Paul, I was not impressed. His stature was too puny, only 4 feet 6 inches tall and 110 pounds in weight, and his public speaking talents were too shallow when compared to Apollos and the other orators. Yes, he was brilliant and could write, but these were facts that I learned later and did not figure at all into my first impressions of him.

Yet, there was something about Paul which drew me to him. Maybe, it was his fiery passion for the gospel, his fierce boldness or his love for the church. I couldn’t put my finger on it, but anyway, I joined up with Paul and traveled along with him as his aide.

On our first journey to Rome, we ended up swimming in the Mediterranean Sea. Somehow, the Roman soldiers did not execute us and we were able to swim ashore to Malta. And eventually, we did arrive in Rome.

Next, I spent two years, waiting for Paul while he was under arrest. When we finally resumed traveling again, everything became a blur of afflictions, hardships, distresses, beatings, imprisonments, tumults, labors, sleeplessness and hunger.

Then, the fire in Rome changed everything for us from bad to worse. Christians were blamed for the fire and Paul became a marked man. Nero sent soldiers to hunt him down in Asia.

Finally, I mentally collapsed under the stress.

“Paul, I didn’t join your ministry to be killed by Roman soldiers,” I said on the day of my departure. “I’m going to Thessalonica, start a business, maybe marry a young woman and start a family. I’m too young for a martyr’s death!”

Paul was disappointed, but what could he do? I fled on a boat.

It had been almost a year since I last saw Paul and now he was dead. My mind wandered here and there as the blue waves splashed against the rock I sat on.

Did I make the right decision when I left Paul? I wondered.  And how will I be remembered by future Christians?

for Demas, having loved this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica…(2 Timothy 4: 9)

The above is a fictional story about Demas who is only mentioned in the above verse, Colossians 4:14 and Philemon 1.24.

Now, if we think that the three verses about Demas are added to Paul’s writings just to fill up space, then we’ve completely missed the point. I believe the Holy Spirit used Demas to give later believers a name and a face for fallen-away Christians.

Yes, I understand God’s grace, mercy and forgiveness handles problems like this, but still the words of 2 Timothy 4:9 are a part of God’s written Word forever!

(Continued in Part 7…but if you want to read all of the parts to date, you can go here.)

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70,000 Deaths in Three Days!

God was angry with Israel in 970 BC. So, He allowed Satan to entice King David to take a census of the people in Israel.

Doesn’t a census sound harmless? But it wasn’t.

You see, Exodus 30:11-12 states that a census had to be ordered only by God because the Israelites were His people and not the property of any King. And if a census was taken, a ransom had to be given by each person to the Lord or a plague would hit the people of Israel.

When King David ordered the census to be taken, Joab, the commander of Israel’s armies, said to David, “But why, my lord the king, do you want to do this? Are they not all your servants? Why must you cause Israel to sin?”

King David ignored Joab’s advice and insisted on the census.

It took almost ten months to count the people.

And David’s heart condemned him after he had numbered the people. So David said to the Lord, “I have sinned greatly in what I have done; but now, I pray, O Lord, take away the iniquity of Your servant, for I have done very foolishly.”

The Lord sent the prophet Gad to King David to explain just how David’s iniquity could be removed. Gad gave David three options to choose from:

  1. Shall three years of famine fall on Israel?
  2. Shall you flee three months from your enemies?
  3. Or shall three days of a severe plague fall on Israel?

I’m in a desperate situation!” David replied to Gad. “But let us fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercy is great. Do not let me fall into human hands.” (2 Samuel 24:14 NLT)

The Lord sent a severe plague on the following morning. 70,000 men died in Israel over the time of the plague. More would have perished, but King David interceded for Israel by saying:

“I am the one who called for the census! I am the one who has sinned and done wrong! But these people are as innocent as sheep—what have they done? O Lord my God, let your anger fall against me and my family, but do not destroy your people.” (1 Chronicles 21:17 NLT)

King David’s prayer becomes more amazing when you consider that David was willing to give up every prophetic promise for himself and his family if that would stop the plague. His promises included a Son of David promise that would arrive on the scene almost three thousand years later.

God saw David’s heart and stopped the plague.

(Read the whole story in 2 Samuel 24 or 1 Chronicles 21.)

What does this have to do with the Coronavirus, right?

I believe the Lord is looking for believers who are willing to intercede in the same way King David did by standing in the gap for their cities, states and America right now.

For those who are willing, all we have to do is ask the Lord what He requires us to do in this sad hour. If we each do our part, I believe this pandemic will end sooner…rather than later.

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