Archive for darkness

Hard Times on Easy Street

Posted in 11 : Labor Pains with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 06/02/2011 by timenolonger

Has your life recently grown more difficult? This may be theory right now.. but based upon the mounting evidence for it.. I’d say it could become law soon.

As believers we are all, so to speak, on ‘Easy Street’.. we have eternal life in our Savior.. and that makes our lives much easier than the lives of the lost.. we have the liberation in Messiah that slaves to sin have yet to know. We pray those bound to sin will come to know, sooner than later, that redeeming freedom from death.

Believers will have tribulation.. that is fact.. and we are to count it all joy.. and that can be difficult.. but as for going through daily life.. we have it easy.

We are protected by the saving blood and resurrection of Yahushua our Messiah.. and we have been empowered by His Holy Spirit to know and speak truth in love.

The path believers have taken is described in scripture as narrow, and hard to find.. and we know this is true.. the world is filled with gaping invitations to run the road to ruin.. and charting a path through this earthly tangle of sin is not easy.. the path to salvation is narrow, but it’s there, waiting and open for travelers.. though walking it takes Divine intervention.

But once we as believers have taken the high road of salvation.. we are free in our Savior.. and that liberty in Him, we all know, has made our lives much easier. It’s the times, i think we’d all agree, which have grown harder.. these are evil days.. full of turmoil, destruction and general uneasiness.. lots of little things in people’s lives have begun to mount.. and that mountain, for many, has begun to crumble.

Through our faith in Yahushua we could fearlessly enter the fiery furnace or calmly sleep with the lions.. we could face any unwarranted attack from the enemy with firm resolve in simply knowing and accepting that we, as believers, are protected. But we are not perfect.. and, even if we do not willfully continue in it, we will fall into sin at times.. and those times, now more than ever in our lives, are causes for concern.

It’s not the sin that should be more concerning than before.. it’s the ramifications of sin committed in a world where the enemy has us surrounded, and is closing in on our camp.

In believers’ lives, the effects of sin are becoming more dangerous than ever.. and I’d imagine these dark days have found many of us re-assessing our situations a lot more frequently than we had before.

We all have seen the tightening of the belts holding up the financial industry.. companies pursuing even small credit lapses.. natural gas companies cutting people off in winter when their bills are barely two months behind.. merchants instituting a maze of individually-identifying red tape before they give out a refund.

Of course, it hasn’t stopped there.. amidst the world-wide disaster strikes and skyrocketing levels of geo-political unrest.. the industry of government has feverishly begun sewing together all its loose ends as well.. closing off the exits on every possible avenue of freedom.. creating invisible-barred virtual prisons where people are unwittingly put to hard labor in mental slavery camps which appear to be ‘just life’.

I think Bob Marley put it well with his words “the Babylon system is a vampire.. sucking the blood of the sufferers..”

And now, and more each day, in this world where there is a major earthquake, flood, fire or something weird practically each week – we as believers have got to stand ready in our lives.

My personal life re-assessments have found me ready for the lions of the den – but unprepared for the mice of the field.

Bush (the band, of course) recorded a song with the line “It’s the little things that kill.. tearing at my brain again.. little things that kill..” and i think that now those words have rung most true. Our little sins.. like neglect.. like over-confidence.. they are the mice in the field.. and when they find us, they begin to gnaw.. not just at the visible tethers of our physical lives.. but they eat away at our unseen spiritual strength as well.

Our world is getting more evil, and everything wrong we do seems to carry much more weight than it did before.. and we know the only solution is to seek the counsel and instruction of our Savior. The days of dancing down the street singing are behind us perhaps, for now. The road is rocky and full of pitfalls.. and getting worse, most especially when we are at fault through those so-called ‘little’ sins. This is my theory, but of believers, i dare say, there’d be few who reject it.

Friends.. get your houses in order.. tie up the seams you have turned your head against in the past.. love each other without portion, and above all.. stay in our Master’s company.. read His word.. do His will.. be as close to without reproach as possible.. live like today is your last without living like today is the only day.

Our daily futures certainly don’t need to be mapped to nausea, but we do need a ‘game plan’.. because the game is on, it seems (if it’s not.. then we are even worse off than we think) – and the penalties for crossing the lines have gotten harsher.. and will continue.. until we, the believers on Yahushua, are openly the enemies.. and then it will be the worst.

Hard times on Easy Street.. I think we are probably there.. and I think if that is the case.. then what we will find on farther up the road is going to be times even harder.. until there is time no longer.. we believers are being tested.. let Yahushua bring us all out shining like gold.. turn every stone in your life.. consider sin – and run from it like it’s the plague.

Take care of the little things in life that can be controlled.. because the rest of the things we can’t control are hurtling toward us at increasing size and speed.. escape the avalanche with the simple and protective faith you have in our Savior.. do His will to the fullest daily.. He has said He will never leave us nor forsake us, and we know that to be true.

Don’t forget the little things.. these are dark days and hard, but Yahushua will surely bring us through them.

Remember Joel:

{1:1} The word of Yahuwah that came to Yo’el the son of Pethuw’el.

{2} Hear this, you elders, and give ear, all you inhabitants of the land! Has this happened in your days, or even in the days of your fathers?

{3} Tell your sons about it, your sons their sons, and their sons another generation.

{4} What the chewing locust left, the swarming locust has eaten. What the swarming locust left, the crawling locust has eaten. And what the crawling locust left, the consuming locust has eaten.

{5} Awake, you drunkards, and weep. And wail, all you drinkers of wine, because of the new wine, for it has been cut off from your mouth.

{6} For a nation has come up against My land, strong, and without number. His teeth the teeth of a lion and he has the fangs of a fierce lion.

{7} He has laid waste My vine and ruined My fig tree. He has stripped it bare and thrown it away. Its branches are made white.

{8} Lament like a virgin girded with sackcloth for the husband of her youth.

{9} The grain offering and the drink offering have been cut off from the house of Yahuwah. The temple officials mourn, who minister to Yahuwah.

{10} The field is wasted, the land mourns, for the grain is ruined, the new wine is dried up, the oil fails.

{11} Be ashamed, you farmers! Wail, you vinedressers, for the wheat and the barley, because the harvest of the field has perished.

{12} The vine has dried up and the fig tree has withered. The pomegranate tree, the palm tree also,and the apple tree. All the trees of the field are withered. Surely joy has withered away from the sons of men.

{13} Gird yourselves and lament, you temple officials. Wail, you who minister before the altar. Come! Lie all night in sackcloth, you who minister to my ‘Eloah, for the grain offering and the drink offering are withheld from the house of your ‘Eloah.

{14} Consecrate a fast. Call a sacred assembly. Gather the elders, all the inhabitants of the land to the house of Yahuwah your ‘Eloah, and cry out to Yahuwah.

{15} Alas for the day! For the day of Yahuwah is at hand. It shall come as destruction from the Almighty.

{16} Is not the food cut off before our eyes, joy and gladness from the house of our ‘Eloah?

{17} The seed shrivels under the clods, storehouses are in shambles, barns are broken down, for the grain has withered.

{18} How the animals groan! The herds of cattle are restless because they have no pasture. Even the flocks of sheep suffer punishment.

{19} O Yahuwah, to You I cry out, for fire hasdevoured the open pastures and a flame has burned all the trees of the field.

{20} The beasts of the field also cry out to You, for the water brooks are dried up and fire has devoured the open pastures.

{2:1}Blow the trumpet in Tsiyown and sound an alarm in My sacred mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble, for the day of Yahuwah is coming. For it is at hand!

{2} A day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, like the morning spread over the mountains. A people come, great and strong, the like of whom has never been, nor will there ever be any after them, even for many successive generations.

{3} A fire devours before them and behind them a flame burns. The land is like the Garden of ‘Eden before them and behind them a desolate wilderness. Surely nothing shall escape them.

{4} Their appearance is like the appearance of horses and like swift steeds, so they run.

{5} With a noise like chariots, over mountaintops theyleap, like the noise of a flaming fire that devours the stubble, like a strong people set in battle array.

{6} Before them the people writhe in pain, all faces are drained of color.

{7} They run like mighty men. They climb the wall like men of war. Every one marches in formation and they do not break ranks.

{8} They do not push one another. Every one marches in his own column. Though they lunge between the weapons, they are not cut down.

{9} They run to and fro in the city. They run on the wall. They climb into the houses. They enter at the windows like a thief.

{10} The earth quakes before them. The skies tremble. The sun and moon grow dark and the stars diminish their brightness.

{11} Yahuwah gives voice before His army, for His camp is very great, for the executor of His word is strong. For the day of Yahuwah is great and very terrible. Who can endure it?

{12} “Now therefore,” says Yahuwah, “turn to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.”

{13} So rend your heart and not your garments. Return to Yahuwah your ‘Eloah for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and He relents from doing harm.

{14} Who knows if He will turn and relent and leave a blessing behind Him, a grain offering and a drink offering for Yahuwah your ‘Eloah?

{15} Blow the trumpet in Tsiyown, consecrate a fast, call a sacred assembly,

{16} gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the sons and nursing babes. Let the bridegroom go out from his chamber and the bride from her dressing room.

{17} Let the temple officials, who minister to Yahuwah, weep between the porch and the altar. Let them say, “Spare Your people, O Yahuwah, and do not give Your heritage to reproach that the nations should rule over them. Why should they say among the peoples, ‘Where is their ‘Eloah?'”

{18} Then Yahuwah will be zealous for His land and pity His people.

{19} Yahuwah will answer and say to His people, “Behold! I will send you grain and new wine and oil and you will be satisfied by them. I will no longer make you a reproach among the nations.

{20} But I will remove far from you the northern army, and will drive him away into a barren and desolate land, with his face toward the eastern sea and his back toward the western sea. His stench will come up and his foul odor will rise because he has done monstrous things.”

{21} Fear not, O land! Be glad and rejoice, for Yahuwah has done marvelous things!

{22} Do not be afraid, you beasts of the field, for the open pastures are springing up and the tree bears its fruit. The fig tree and the vine yield their strength.

{23} Be glad then, you sons of Tsiyown, and rejoice in Yahuwah your ‘Eloah, for He has given you the autumn rain faithfully and He will cause the rain to come down for you. The autumn rain and the spring rain in the first month.

{24} The threshing floors shall be full of wheat and the vats shall overflow with new wine and oil.

{25} So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the crawling locust, the consuming locust, and the chewing locust, My great army which I sent among you.

{26} You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied and praise the name of Yahuwah your ‘Eloah Who has dealt wondrously with you, and My people shall never be put to shame.

{27} Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Yisra’el. I am Yahuwah your ‘Eloah and there is no other. My people shall never be put to shame,

{28} and it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh. Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions.

{29} And also on menservants and on maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.

{30} And I will show wonders in the sky and in the earth. Blood and fire and pillars of smoke!

{31} The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the coming of the great and awesome day of Yahuwah.

{32} And it shall come to pass whoever calls on the name of Yahuwah shall be saved. For in Mount Tsiyown and in Yeruwshalaim there shall be deliverance, as Yahuwah has said, among the remnant whom Yahuwah calls.

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Witnessing 101

Posted in 01 : The Chief Cornerstone with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 04/09/2011 by timenolonger

The single most important thing, we as believers, will ever do aside from accepting our Savior ourselves, is bring His message to others.

The pure and simple foundation of our redemption, the Gospel, is the weightiest subject matter in the entire body of the scriptures.

Having an eternal impact on every single being accountable to a moral standard… what we do with the Good News is ultimately the measure of what kind of servant we were for Him.

Some of us are naturally more outspoken than others, and so that difference means that we will each have our own level of comfort when it comes to witnessing to strangers… or even those we know well.

There is no need to feel disabled by an innate level of shyness, however.

Even the most introverted and non-confident believer should understand that, if nothing else, the Gospel is the one thing in which he or she can have perfect confidence.

What is, unfortunately, often mislabeled as shyness is a sense of shame… a self-consciousness which comes from a desire for personal acceptance the believer feels might be lost if they share the truth with another.

There is a great deal of danger in being this sort of believer, not only to the cause of witnessing, but the entire relationship between the individual and his or her Elohim.

For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the splendor of His Father with the sacred messengers.

– Mark 8:38

We can never excuse ourselves from the task put to us… to be the light in a dark world. Being that light not only means being able to communicate His message to others, but to do that correctly.

There is one simple difference between witnessing correctly and incorrectly, and that difference is directly tied to the motive we have for witnessing the Gospel.

Correct witnessing of the Gospel is much more about the why than the how… the reason we want to tell others the Good News, should obviously be the same reasons Yahushua wants us to tell others.

That every instance wherein we open our mouths and speak His message to another is a moment with eternal impact aught to put us in mind that we are literally becoming a part of that person’s eternal future, whatever it will be.

If we do this in any other spirit but His… a spirit of deep concern, compassion and genuine desire to see someone enter into His Kingdom… we have already failed.

The motive, too often, among believers is far more utilized like a call to battle with the lost person who is receiving the message.

It becomes a boxing match of clever words and memorized arguments, the goal of which is someone coming out “the victor”.

If the lost remain lost… no matter how cleverly you’ve stated your argument… there is no “winner”, instead you leave a lost individual embittered against the subject to a degree which will throw up road blocks in the face of the next to attempt to evangelize.

Remember, the lost don’t need to hear how well educated you are… they need to know that there is a Creator who cares for them.

The correct and incorrect reasons to witness are, very simply, compassion or pride.

The why will always mean much more than the how… but after you have witnessed His message to a variety of individuals you will quickly learn that there are various stands that the lost will take as their reasons for living a life apart from Him.

Being able to understand those positions and relate to how people came to hold them is an integral part of being genuinely concerned for the individual.

The lost must, by the very nature of their “lostness”, practice a certain level of dishonesty with themselves. This being the case… they are not able to be any more honest with you than they’ve been with themselves.

Spiritual discernment is crucial… that ability every believer has to listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit can tell you much more about what makes the lost person tick than any words he or she will say.

There’s no possibility of putting every individual into a category… there will always be people who defy the usual, but there have been in my experience, very often repeated versions of certain types of unbelievers.

Here is what I’ve learned from them, which might in some way help others to understand their positions and what they need to hear (or not hear) from believers.

The Intellectual Atheist:

A case of seeming like everything they are not. These are those people who are a student of every kind of evolutionary science man has to offer.

They have spent hours reading books, taking classes and watching documentaries that bolster their faith in a theory of macro evolution.

Having done so and properly memorized every term and one-line argument that sounds intelligent… they are literally self-trained to wage verbal war with believers.

That is precisely what they have done… though you will never come across an Intellectual Atheist who will admit that all this time spent was for the sole purpose of disproving a Creator to themselves and others… that’s exactly what it is.

Atheism is a faith built of shaky ground, therefore it requires such maintenance as to seek out those who believe in a Creator and continually strengthen their own resolve by “winning” verbal wars with them.

As a believer, you will never effectively witness to these by engaging in those battles. It doesn’t matter how well you have researched the data and know that the “science” behind evolutionary theory is flawed… you will not convince them.

They have a desire in which they have invested a great deal of time, pride and desperate hope… their reasons are deeply emotional and your arguments threaten, what is to the defense mechanisms of their mind, a matter of survival.

They have a Need to not believe in Him… that need can stem from a place of having suffered terrible trauma which they can not or do not want to reconcile with the existence of a loving Creator.

It can also stem from a deep attachment to a lifestyle which is not morally sound… their resistance to Him is a resistance to accountability for sins they do not want to admit they commit.

Intellectual Atheists do not need an intellectual response… they require the knowledge that there is, in fact, a loving Creator Who is both worth living for (even if it’s difficult) and Who has promised justice to all those who cling to Him.

The Emotive Atheist:

While the Intellectual Atheist uses a necessary screen of shallow indifference to conceal his or her intense dislike of the concept of a Creator, the Emotive Atheist doesn’t bother hiding the fact that he or she despises the idea of an Almighty Elohim.

This person is outwardly angry, bitter, and tends to be a rather unpleasant person with whom to try to witness the Gospel. The arguments of Emotive Atheists normally revolve around their perceived lack of “fairness” of YHWH’s nature as presented in scripture.

These will often accuse Him of being tyrannical, violent and war-loving… they will mention His “indifference” to the suffering in the world and His general lack of compassion as they see it.

They’ll also not hesitate to call the believer a variety of insults for having faith in such a Creator.

Emotive Atheists are usually deeply hurt individuals. There is often terrible abuse in their past… not unlikely administered by their own parents or some other adult who was looked up to or trusted in their formative years.

Their raging anger is often towards that abusive parental figure and a Creator who, in their understanding, did nothing to save them from it.

Witnessing to an Emotive Atheist is normally done best in the shortest amount of time you can possibly spend on it for at least the initial attempt.

Anything which becomes a long ‘give and take’ will only allow the person to shut his or her ears and open their mouths in the familiar output of venomous hatred which is their defense.

Again… these need to understand that we follow an Elohim who is all about love and justice… even when, in our shortsightedness, we can’t see it immediately manifest.

Give them the option to come talk about it with you… but take care not to pursue.

The Pagan/ Pantheist:

Many believers might be under the impression that the worship of pagan deities is a thing of the distant past… but that couldn’t be more wrong.

Particularly in the recent decades, people have been more and more drawn to what they consider “older” faiths than Judeo-Christian beliefs.

There is a certain level of self perceived “enlightenment” in following after a “god” who is attached to romanticized notions of an ancient past. There is definitely a “fad” feeling to the modern adherents of pagan worship.

These individuals normally have very little actual knowledge of the faith they profess in their chosen deity… they generally don’t investigate what history has to say about those who, in the ancient past, gave homage to these beings.

The attraction of worshiping a pagan deity is often the sense of being able to choose among an extensive pantheon of beings to find the “right god for me”.

When that deity is chosen, even the peculiar attributes which are supposedly applied to them undergo a distinct adjustment by the whim of the pagan who chose them to further suit their own likes and dislikes.

You will find most Pagans/ Pantheists are quite unwilling to venture into the darker histories of the worship of their chosen being. Few want to admit that they bow to a creature who demanded child sacrifice or who tends to be more or less indifferent to their subjects wants and needs.

Modern Pagans know not what they worship… they simply have chosen a poor alternative solution to their very real need for a Heavenly Father.

They have done so in the most shallow and sin-friendly way available. A mystical, spiritual “experience” + a designer “god” + the ability to write their own moral code or live without one entirely.

These individuals have often been put off from Christianity by bad examples thereof. They have experienced rejection, poor teaching and a lack of understanding in churches or from representatives of Christian faith.

They want and need YHWH… but they are wholly disillusioned by how He has been presented to them.

They are not unlikely to also have attachments to morally questionable lifestyles which they are reluctant to give up or be convicted of. What they will certainly not have experienced in their choice of a deity is real love and an active interest in their lives.

What the Pagan needs to hear from us are good, sound reasons to logically conclude we serve a King above all Kings, that He is the One and the Only Being called Elohim who is a true Creator and loves His creation.

They need to understand that we, just like them, and every “Christian” they have ever met… are sin-natured beings and that our mistakes are not His.

The Unitarian/ New Age Collectivist:

I consider the Unitarian or Collectivist philosophy to be one of the more dangerous ones.This idea is founded on very ancient roots, but manifests in a very modern way to people who adhere to it.

I call this the Religion for Junior Luciferians.

Completely ignorant of why this concept exists or what its ultimate purpose in the world is, the people who believe in it are pawns of something much darker and more sinister than they could imagine.

Unitarianism might be defined as a separate entity from New Age Collectivism by many to adhere to one or the other.

Unitarianism is an “everything that equals nothing” faith. The lure of it is supposedly its wide tolerance for… whatever. Anything you decide to believe is true is fine… as long as you think everything you don’t want to believe is also fine for those who do believe it.

It means nothing except that you become tolerant of everything… except what is exclusive. The truth being, by nature, exclusive, simply means that there’s nothing you’re not allowed to believe as Unitarian… except the truth.

Collectivism is not much different… it’s just dressed up as more spiritual, sometimes adorned with the seriously weird and fantastic, but it ends in the same place.

You are subject to a concept that not just allows… but demands that you conform to a wide tolerance of everything except exclusive truth.

Those that have bought into either one of these ideas have done so in an outward attempt to be progressive, peaceful, more evolved, and unified in some idea of global brotherhood with all humanity.

The tolerance to which these ideas owe their call to arms is typically turned inside out. At the core of the matter… Unitarians and Collectivists have a desire to see the Truth snuffed out in the world.

They have a deep and even disturbing spirit-level hatred of the judgment they inevitably feel weighing on them from that Truth. As a passive-aggressive means of retaliation… they seek to become the “army of the enlightened” who would eradicate the presence of that Truth in the Earth if they could.

They are the ironic epitome of intolerance and they hold a philosophy which will be a mortal threat to true believers in the last days.

These are truly brainwashed individuals… mainstream entertainment, news, political climate and nearly anything else you can name in society has driven this message into the subconscious of the masses.

Truth is despised to the point of being called (insanely enough) non-existent in an absolute sense.

People are convinced of only relative truths, which is always more comfortable as one can dream up any “reality’ they like.

The mind of a Unitarian or Collectivist is not unlike a mind clouded by a cocktail of drugs, and in fact, you will very often find most of them on some sort of mind altering prescription drug. It is tough to deny the existence of reality you can observe without some manner of intoxication coming into play.

Perhaps some of the hardest people there are to witness to… the Unitarians/ Collectivists needs to be shown what should be readily obvious to them, but isn’t.

Very simple examples of truth they can not change or deny… very basic level logic. Not having a grasp of a basic level of reason means that they can not possibly process a higher logic which deals with spiritual things.

The aim is to not only illustrate that truth is whatever it is, regardless of our wishes… but also that ultimately the truth is Good News.

The Apathetic Agnostic:

These individuals don’t think much about spiritual matters. They are immersed in life right here and now… subject to the flesh in everything.

Because they enjoy and are deeply concerned with the temporal, the eternal is shoved to the back burner of their mind where it is only brought out on rare occasions when great adversity and loneliness descend on the individual.

It is normally just as quickly shelved again when that adversity has passed. Their general position on a Creator is “maybe there is and maybe there isn’t… but if there is, He’s certainly not that one talked about in the Bible.”

The Apathetic Agnostic doesn’t want to have to think about Him… they enjoy a far away, misty idea of going to heaven… something they hold onto for the sake of loved ones who have passed away, but not consciously for themselves.

They generally feel some level of invincibility… as if they, themselves, will never die. They normally like to live fast and destructive lifestyles; drugs, an overabundance of alcohol and promiscuous sexual encounters are not uncommon.

They are often people who either have been disillusioned by how Christianity was presented to them, or have grown up without any spiritual training whatsoever.

Eternity is always far in the unimaginable future to Apathetic Agnostics… a thing that might be out there… but they’ll never get to. The love of all things worldly that they subsequently manifest makes them a ticking time bomb of disaster…. headed for, in the best of cases, a rude awakening.

Since they are people who, for lack of a better term, are “chronologically handicapped” and believe “now = forever”, they find it difficult to concern themselves with what they see as an impediment to the enjoyment of their lives… a Creator to which they are accountable.

The Apathetic Agnostic, more than anything, needs to be made aware of how fleeting a thing it is in which they have invested all their energy.

These are those that require some fear… some sober words of truth about the consequences of ignoring even a Possibility that He exists and that He requires things of us.

The message to get across is that “someday” is some tomorrow’s yesterday and that this is not LIFE, but a preparation for it if we will have it.

The Seeking Agnostic:

Maybe one of the more fortunate groups of lost people out there… the truly Seeking Agnostics know they have a need to know spiritual truth.

These tend to be individuals who have had little to no training in spiritual matters growing up, but in whom that void has sparked a deep curiosity or even a desperate need to find out “what it’s all about”.

Though they are aimless and often dabble and experiment in a wide variety of spiritual outlets, they retain a general feeling of dissatisfaction and emptiness which causes them to keep looking.

The Seeking Agnostic is a good person for the witnessing believer to run into if they are fully prepared to answer the questions.

They have obviously not yet encountered any Christian who could answer those questions efficiently and that opportunity is a big one for us. Any truly Seeking Agnostic person will not be able to ignore the simple and true rational answers which faith in Him affords, if we are competent to provide them.

Anyone Really seeking the Real Creator of Heaven and Earth is good ground for good seed.

It’s our job to sow carefully… to be able to explain why we are all in need of salvation… why salvation had to come in the way it did, and why our acceptance and devotion to Him in truth is necessary.

We need to be able to explain why sin is the destructive agent that it is and why He hates it… where it began and when it will end.

The seeker needs to know why the void in him or her exists that is reaching out to an Elohim they never met… and that He can fill that and impart peace that resists temporary circumstance.

The “Christian” Cultist:

This category might cover a pretty broad spectrum of individuals. I do not define it, however, in terms of ‘Christians who simply don’t agree with me on one or more issue’.

I have found very few people who don’t, and I would venture to guess that most believers can say the same.

Differences of understanding what I call “secondary doctrine” are those which can not undermine salvation and do not constitute “lost individuals”.

It’s a very dangerous practice I see too often, that believers will label anyone of disparate views from theirs as essentially “lost souls”. We absolutely can’t spout idle words like that and not consider the consequences of being wrong.

The Christian Cultist is one who, in one or more way, entirely diverges from the core message of the gospel and presents some other “gospel” as being Christian.

“But even if we or a messenger from the sky preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed. ” – Galatians 1:8,9

These individuals adhere to their choice of scripture… but subtract the elements with which they are not satisfied.

When this touches the core of the message… YHWH’s intervention on Earth as the physically embodied Messiah, the death of Yahushua, His bodily resurrection or His ascension which is the hope of His people, the message is entirely defiled and becomes something other than Christian.

Many examples of Christian Cult groups like Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons and Christian Scientists are under the control of leadership who practice a method of leading their flock in one understanding of their faith while holding a “secret” understanding of the roots of their belief to themselves.

The leadership understands that the religion they practice is not Christian… it’s only the lay people of the congregation who are kept unaware of that fact.

Often Christian Cultists have either been raised in the faith they are in or they were drawn into it as scripturally unlearned individuals who were seeking something genuine.

Since most of these groups do not encourage reading or studying scripture itself, and offer alternate texts and teachings to the bible, the adherent is usually entirely convinced of the righteousness of his or her faith.

Witnessing to these necessitates making them aware of what actual scripture actually says.

It’s not effective to bring your favorite English translation of the bible into such an endeavor because there is no clear way of proving the superiority of one translation over another by the use of those texts alone.

One needs to go a little further and provide concordance definitions of original words which can shed light on the meaning of scripture without an argument over one translation versus another.

The Spiritist/ Occultist:

One should be well versed in spiritual warfare before treading some of the more dangerous ground of witnessing.

Though most Spiritists or Occultists whom you’re likely to come across are simply dabblers in such things… there are very some serious individuals who have made a life’s endeavor of living with one foot in the Devil’s realm.

Occult practitioners are those individuals who call upon the power and knowledge of demons and fallen angels to manipulate the world around them in whatever fashion seems to them to benefit their goals.

This is a costly practice for them… though most who begin dabbling in it take a very reckless and childish view of those consequences, assuming that they are the ones who have control of the affair.

Save for a few who have only played with such things a short time and been very fortunate… you will hardly meet an occultist who has not become possessed or attached to by an evil entity.

The great draw of spiritism is the lure of power. Being able to manipulate natural life through the use of supernatural means is the stuff of every kid’s fantasy (thanks to Disney).

Having that “edge” against the average mortal is a most attractive prospect… attractive enough to sometimes Literally sell one’s soul to the Devil.

Not every occult practitioner… and very few dabbling individuals… will claim to be calling on the devil or any negative forces.

Most would like to believe, and hence convince themselves, that they have the ability to only call upon “good” spirits… and they rarely ask themselves if spirits could convincingly lie to them.

The more adept occultists are people that the average Joe is not likely to meet… these are people in places of great power and influence, who have come by wealth and worldly favor through their arts.

If ever one does have a chance to speak to them, you might find it next to impossible to speak to a real human being through the web of demonic spirits that have attached themselves to them.

It’s advisable to precede witnessing to an Occultist with a prayer… one that binds and silences every influence apart from the Holy Spirit.

Dabbling Occultists need reasonable and very sober words that sensibly explain the horrific consequences of being utterly possessed and enslaved by an enemy who is quite capable of lying.

The adept occultist no doubt has already realized the pitfalls… but often sees no means of escape or a way to relinquish that worldly power. These need to know that we serve an Elohim that practices an amazing grace, and that there is an escape, even from the full force of hell.

All Occultists need to understand that the world is full of temporary things… and the only thing worth living for is what is eternal.

The Satanist:

The mention of “Satanists” to many believers invokes a concept of “the worst of the worst”.

Though, (depending on what kind of Satanism one is referring to) there are some practitioners who are very deeply involved in some very dark things, there are many Satanists who are no more than hedonists who have made a religion of their selfishness, and use Satan as a symbolic, not literal, figurehead.

The Satanist, of whatever ilk, is someone who holds a deep resentment for YHWH. Most Satanists of a hedonistic sort begin their venture into such a religion through some manner of traumatic or disillusioning experience which makes them mistrust or hate YHWH.

The Satanist of the more literal type is quite often born into the scene by way of a family who has gained a powerful position through their practice.

Children born to Satanic families are almost always very damaged and not unlikely have been put through an intense, lifelong ordeal of producing in them a dissociative identity.

Unfortunately many of these individuals are caught up in a life that they have only broken memories of, and very little chance of escape from without divine intervention. These are the individuals who become the unknowing patsies of black op government projects and perpetrators of mass murders.

The Hedonistic Satanist is a mere dabbler… he or she is normally a very desperate and needy soul who very much wants to believe in better things than the life they lead.

They want to know He cares… even though they might entirely deny His existence. There is a place inside them that realized YHWH exists since it is impossible to hate anyone who does not… and they require someone to be the example to them of what He is really about.

The Literal Satanist is a much more difficult individual to reach. Chances are you are dealing with someone who has parts of their psyche programmed to respond with hostility, violence or escape back to their “handlers” in the event of anyone attempting to usurp their “system”.

Be very cautious… some of these include programs which will literally “self destruct” (suicide) the person in such an event. Witnessing to these should be done with a group of faithful believers who are well trained in dealing with DID/ SRA victims.

The Luciferian:

Perhaps the most unlikely lost individual you are to meet, simply due to the secrecy and high position that is usually associated with the belief system.

These are the counterpoint to the true Satanist… they are the servants of the Evil One, who disguise themselves throughout society and religion as benevolent… even Christian.

Whereas the Satanist practices a dark art forthrightly and is either viewed by the masses as non-existent or a rare, fringe element, the Luciferian is all but unknown to most people because they appear openly in the world in seemingly humanitarian, political and civil servant positions.

There is not much to be said for a “dabbling” faction of Luciferians because this belief is normally only understood in its entirety by the highest factions of their very powerful construct.

The lower novices among Luciferians are often presented with the notion that they are worshipers of the true Elohim, and as that person advances, the lines are blurred and finally erased to expose the fact that the “Christ” that they follow is not Yahushua… but Lucifer.

Luciferians along with Satanists are the ruling controllers of this present world age… they literally have their strings attached to every facet of government, entertainment, economy, commerce and infrastructure on the planet.

The Luciferian faction is in a position to be a much greater threat than the Satanists, perhaps due to their chameleon tactics in society and even amongst their own adherents. One does not “join” to Luciferians… they are born to it. Bloodline is of extreme importance to them.

The average Luciferian has been born into a generations old position… they are born to fill a spot in the machine that will one day bring about the “great vision”… the New World Order.

They are often very assured of the righteousness of their own undertakings and have been conditioned to believe in a very warped moral standard, including a twisted perspective of who YHWH is and the power of Lucifer which they suppose to be superior.

They are likely to view the average populace as property more than humanity, and understand this as a condition which is for the “greater good”.

Luciferians are, like Satanists, often subjected to a rigorous life that produces a dissociative psyche. The parts which are used to carry out more nefarious activities are often hidden from a front alter which is oblivious of those things and can present a very normal countenance.

The same cautions apply to witnessing to a Luciferian as with a Satanist and perhaps go even further… be aware that the high connectedness of a Luciferian can mean that one who is willing to leave their position is also marked for termination and needs prayer support as well as a safe haven.

——————

We are the followers of a Messiah who is a Rock of Offense to the world. Telling people of the Good News will, more often than not, be received as anything but good news.

Sometimes those encounters can degrade quickly into hostility and an evident attitude of rejection. It’s never good to proceed past the point of clear rejection… the point of witnessing is compassion, when your message carries on past where it has been thrown aside and trampled, you are no longer doing a service of compassion.

Remember… there is an eternal impact to that rejection every time it occurs… when the answer is clearly no, we don’t want to compound the condemnation with further rejection.

We might leave it lie for the time and present it again later… allowing for a different mood or mind set. Two rejections on two occasions is normally the finale for me. After our words have been rejected… our witnessing to that individual should be confined to using our lives as examples in action.

All we can do is sow the seed… YHWH alone can give the increase. Pray He leads us to good ground.

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On the Rapture: Let’s Not Get Carried Away

Posted in 11 : Labor Pains with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 10/21/2010 by timenolonger

Many Christians who believe these are the last days view the events taking place in the world as imminent signs of a long awaited event wherein Messiah will make a preliminary appearance, to believers only, and remove them out of the Earth prior to tribulation.

This event called the “rapture” is possibly one of the most hotly debated doctrines in Christianity.

All doctrine learned of church leaders and denominations aside, it is not unimportant that we examine what scripture supports exist for or against an occurrence such as this.

If error exists in a believer’s judgment concerning the rapture, there is the real danger of being set up for serious deception regarding the end times in general.

Knowing that this time is described in terms of the sheer magnitude of deceptions which will ensnare the inhabitants of Earth, it is reasonable that such a dramatic event, which is so debated as the rapture of all believers, would play a central role in that one way or the other.

Should a rapture occur, the danger for those who were never looking for one would, hypothetically, be that any left behind would not, as a consequence, repent of what had disqualified them for it in the first place.

Should no rapture be forthcoming, the danger would be that those expecting one would lose faith as they began to experience the distress of tribulation events… or they would be easily deluded by a staged event meant to mimic a rapture.

There is probably no one on Earth, believer or otherwise, who would not be more than happy to be spared a period of time in the world that was matchless in its upheaval and suffering.

To be taken away from it all and transported to a place of safety and peace is an incredibly attractive idea. For many Christians, the idea of our Heavenly Father allowing His people to suffer along with the rest of the world is unthinkable.

This is the root of where a strong and nearly unmovable conviction for the doctrine of rapture originates. We believe in an Elohim of mercy and therefor it seems altogether unmerciful for there not to be a rapture to spare Christians the tribulation.

We can not let that be our reason, though.

Such a conclusion is drawn out of fear of facing such a horrific trial, and out of a sense of entitlement as a believer to be assured comfort rather than adversity.

A doctrine that we hold as truth can’t be built upon the sandy soil of perception and feeling. It must stand or fall on the rock foundation of His word only, regardless of how we end up liking or disliking the outcome.

The word “rapture” itself is a concern.

Often those who argue against the doctrine of rapture note, as support for their position, that the word is not anywhere in scripture.

That’s not my argument, as I take it as a fairly weak argument at best. The debate is not over a term, but over a concept that is simply summed up in a word.

The question is whether or not the concept is in scripture.

My concern with the word chosen to describe the concept is in the literal meaning of that word. Rapture… does not sum up a lot of very Christian ideas in its definition.

rap·ture:

1. the state of mind resulting from feelings of high emotion; joyous ecstasy 

2. (often plural) an expression of ecstatic joy

3. the act of transporting a person from one sphere of existence to another, esp from earth to heaven

(tr) Archaic or literary to entrance; enrapture 

[from Medieval Latin raptura, from Latin raptus rapt1]

Feelings of high emotions… ecstasy. Every temptation and deception of Satan has always targeted a manipulation of emotions. The ability to create states of pointless euphoria has always been the lure of every sinful act.

By becoming “enraptured”, we’re deceived by and addicted to sin. In essence, to be raptured is literally to “get carried away”.

If that seems much too critical of a mere word which is used to describe an event of being taken away from the suffering of the tribulation… then readers are free to ignore it, but lets examine the definition by which it is defined as doctrine.

“the act of transporting a person from one sphere of existence to another, esp from earth to heaven.”

By all reason… we are to understand this as believers not dying, but being given incorruptible bodies and being taken from Earth into Heaven.

Likewise, the dead who believed on Messiah are also to be returned to their bodies and taken up Bodily with those who were still living.

Clearly all believers taken in the rapture are removed in physical form… not as spirits, yet they are removed to Heaven… a place or state/place understood by most Christians to be a Spiritual abode.

To what dimension or realm do these believers get raptured to where physicality in a human body is sustainable?

That is not a question to discredit the idea of physical locations in Heaven… but one to galvanize some thought on the condition of the resurrected, or perfected, human state which is particularly designed to be sustained in a future perfected Earth.

“Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away and there was no more sea.

Then I, Yahuchanan, saw the sacred city, New Yeruwshalaim, coming down out of heaven from Yahuwah, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold! The tent of Yahuwah is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. 

Yahuwah Himself will be with them and be their ‘Eloah.”

– Revelation 21:1-3

The origin of the doctrine of the rapture… (note: the origin of the Doctrine, not the Word) dates back only to around the early 1700’s. It was supported and preached by Cotton Mather who is also notable as being an integral participant in the Salem Witch Trials.

This idea was picked up and popularized later by other protestant pastors… particularly Edward Irving who preached a twofold return of Messiah such as many believers accept today.

The doctrine of the rapture is a fairly recent one, and does not date to the original church in the first centuries after Messiah came.

All these points aside now… here are the verses which are quoted in support of the rapture:

“For this we say to you by the word of the Master, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Master will by no means precede those who are asleep.

For the Master Himself will descend from the sky with a shout, with the voice of a high messenger, and with the trumpet of Yahuwah, and the dead in the Anointed will rise first.

Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Master in the air.

And thus we shall always be with the Master.”

– 1 Thessalonians 4: 15-17

The words “caught up” here are those which are used to translate to “rapture”…Harpazo: to seize or catch up or away.

In these verse, the most heavily relied upon to argue in favor for a rapture… we do not actually read anything which states that a pre-tribulation rapture is what is being described here.

What is being described in the return of Messiah, the resurrection of the dead who belong to Him, and the transformation of mortal bodies of believers into incorruptible bodies.

If those bodies are then brought up to meet Messiah and fellow saints “in the clouds”… is that to be taken to mean they are “transported to heaven”?

Do we normally Truly view the location of Elohim’s throne and the abode of angels as the cloudy atmosphere of Earth?

The timing of what is described here is not clearly mentioned… however if one continues reading past these verses we see:

“But concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need that I should write to you for you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Master so comes as a thief in the night.

For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them as labor pains upon a pregnant woman and they shall not escape.

But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should overtake you as a thief.

You are all sons of light and sons of the day.

We are not of the night nor of darkness.

Therefore let us not sleep as others, but let us watch and be sober.”

– 1 Thessalonians 5: 1-6

Here is a pointed warning to be watchful and sober, but the warning is not be watchful for an impending rapture… but the chaotic events of the tribulation.

It would be reasonable to be watchful for those things… observable events which would prelude a return of Messiah. How can one, after all, be watchful for an event which is by definition sudden and without warning, preceding any tribulation, such as the rapture would be.

“For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.

Then two will be in the field, one will be taken and the other left.

Two grinding at the mill, one will be taken and the other left.

Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Master is coming.

But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into.

Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”

– Matthew 24:38-44

Here, it is often said is a description of rapture… “one taken… the other left”.

Is this realistically a portrait of a favorable event for those who are “taken” though? “For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.”

If this is the comparison… then we cannot surely say that these who were swept away in the flood were met with favorable circumstances.

Further, the description goes on to make a comparison to a master of a house which is “broken into” by a thief… again, not a favorable outcome for the master of the house.

Other verses referred to in support of a pre-tribulation rapture event are those which mention the transformation of the mortal body into the incorruptible form:

“As the man of dust, so also those of dust, and as is the celestial, so also those celestial.

And as we have borne the image of the dust, we shall also bear the image of the celestial.

Now this I say, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of Yahuwah nor does corruption inherit incorruption.

Behold! I tell you a mystery! We shall not all sleep but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.

For the trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised incorruptible and we shall be changed.”

– 1 Corinthians 15: 48-52

Certainly, there is no room for denial in scripture that there will be a bodily transformation of living believers at the coming of Messiah, or that those who have died in Him will be raised, likewise, incorruptible.

No mention is ever attached to references of this event preceding tribulation on Earth, or that there are appearances of Messiah prior to His final judgment before the millennial reign, though.

With the publication of a series of popular Christian books called “Left Behind”, the belief in a doctrine of rapture saw a manifold increase.

These books covered a fictional account of future prophetic fulfillment on the subject of the end times. The lengthy story begins with pre-tribulation rapture events wherein multitudes of believers all over the world are suddenly and inexplicably missing.

Unbelievers who have been left behind have only the recollection of what their missing loved ones told them of the rapture to come to a conclusion about what has happened. As a result, many become saved, accepting, finally,what the missing believers had told them.

Apart from making the doctrine of rapture a central theme to the story, Left Behind also strongly relies on a position of staunch political Zionism to interpret the fulfillment of end times prophecy.

Many Christians who have never attempted to read the entire Bible have, nonetheless, read these books. As a result, multitudes of spiritually immature believers have come to treat these fictional stories as if they were prophecy themselves.

It might be prudent to give the benefit of the doubt to the authors of these books, Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, as having ‘done their best’ and with no intention to skew the perception of the millions of Christians and non-Christians who read them… but for the very questionable background of one of the authors in particular.

Tim LaHaye, an evangelical minister founded an organization known as the Council for National Policy of CNP.

This organization, upon hearing the basic description provided by the same, sounds at once like one which is dedicated to everything Christian values can be said to be.

There is, however, a very familiar air to the workings of the group, which not only mirror the sort of secretive, “behind closed doors” operations that we have come to expect of Masonic societies and government agencies, but have been branded the conservative counterpart to the Council on Foreign Relations.

The CFR, as many of us are well aware, is an extremely exclusive think tank of globalist elites who attempt to steer the nations policies toward a one world governement.

It is not at all unlike the controllers to put forth two sides of every issue and to control them both… this has been a very long standing game plan of theirs and can be seen in action in the two main political parties, ‘left’ and ‘right’ controlled media… etc.

It is far more efficient to their goals to provide at least two camps for the public to choose from and adhere to, rather than one, obvious target which can be easily seen for what it is and countered.

The wealthiest and most powerful conservatives in the country belong to the CNP.

The membership list is not made public and admission to the group is by invitation only… much like the CFR and Bohemian Grove. No guests are permitted, except by unanimous approval of the executives of the organization.

No matter their supposed “reasons”… we must seriously question any organization which conducts their business apart from the scrutiny of the public and which is geared toward being a serious influence on the governing of the country. This behavior is directly contrary to any notion of “We The People”.

Aside from secrecy… Tim LaHaye’s organization has gladly received million of dollars of funding from none other than Rev. Sun Myung Moon, leader of the Unification Church… for those not familiar with Reverend Moon, he ascribes to himself a status of being messiah himself.

No true believer in Yahushua would ever accept a position of affiliation or receive support from someone who literally took on themselves the title of a pseudo messianic figure.

With these things in mind, it is reasonable to question the true intention of the publication of the Left Behind series which have so “enraptured” so many believers.

With such strong political and anti-Christian ties… might we not wonder if these books were published precisely for the purpose of misleading Christians about what can and should be expected in true fulfillment of end times prophecy?

It is always… without fail… a 100% error to lean on the understanding of men instead of seeking the truth of His word directly.

How many have and will fall victim to an end times deception which includes erroneous expectation of pre-tribulation rapture?

Among many pieces of the puzzle which are falling into place in these days is a very serious trend toward a belief and interest in extraterrestrials, and much of this recent excitement on the matter is focused on a spiritually benevolent aspect of alien visitation.

We should also not allow ourselves to be unaware that mankind possesses technology capable of both projecting realistic images in sky, and realistic synthesized emotion and vocal messages directly to human brains.

If it seems somehow highly unlikely that all these things are the present contributors to a future “strong delusion”… then perhaps that disbelief makes an excellent foundation for just that.

“The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish because they did not receive the love of the truth that they might be saved.

And for this reason Yahuwah will send them strong delusion that they should believe the lie,”

– 2 Thessalonians 2:9-11

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