Thursday, August 21, 2014

THE DAY WILL COME SUDDENLY

“But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape” (1 Thessalonians 5:1-3).

The judgments of God strike suddenly, but not without warning. God promised that He would do nothing, including sending judgment, without telling His prophets what was coming. “Surely the Lord God will do nothing [unless] he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7). God promises that a trumpet will be sounded; He will roar like a lion to awaken the people prior to judgment. “And the Lord shall be seen over them, and his arrow shall go forth as the lightning: and the Lord God shall blow the trumpet” (Zechariah 9:14).

God blows the trumpet, a reverberating blast, a warning, through the voice of His watchmen and prophets. Paul warned, “Behold, I shew 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 trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:51-52). “At the last trump” suggests there were other trumpet blasts. I believe this means that just prior to the change that will come “in the twinkling of an eye,” the Holy Spirit will have all His watchmen at their posts, all seeing eye to eye, all giving forth the last call—the final warning!

No wonder Paul wrote these words to the church at Thessalonica. Why should it be perfectly clear to them that God’s Day of Judgment would come suddenly? The church in Thessalonica was only about six months old when this letter was received. Paul probably preached about Noah and Lot and the sudden destruction of Israel and they had all the same Old Testament examples we have. Paul is saying: “It is perfectly clear that God’s judgments will fall suddenly, like a thief in the night! Yet, no believer should ever be surprised.” That day should not overtake God’s people unexpectedly. We should know how God works, because we have His record.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A SUPERNATURAL SHAKING

According to Hebrews, the sole reason Jesus will pour out His Spirit in these last days is to shake up God's house. Everything that is unholy, unclean or of flesh will be shaken, swept up, wiped out.

Our ministry receives heartrending letters from precious saints who grieve over what they see happening in their churches. There is a constant clamor for “new works,” and horrendous things are being introduced daily—fleshly manifestations, foolish practices. One person writes that every week his church features punk rock concerts, with performers who look and act like secular, devil-influenced groups. Still others write of empty, dry, permissive preaching.

I tell you, all that is about to change. The Lord is going to speak powerfully, exposing everything that is false. How will this shaking and exposing happen? It will happen through a man—Jesus! He vows to speak to all who are living in sin, disobedient, clinging to things His word has condemned. And His voice will be unmistakably clear.

First, He will speak tenderly to every backslider who has strayed, saying, “Why have you not listened to My plea for you to return? Why have you turned a deaf ear to My call to repent and be restored? Come to Me now, before your life is shaken to the foundation.”

Jesus will also speak to godly men and women who pursue truth, purity and holiness. Even now He is raising up a people whose hearts have received His shaking, convicting word. They are shut in with the Lord—and He is going to give them power to speak for Him.

So, how will the Lord speak to you? Are you receiving His word of shaking, allowing it to work in your heart? Or are you living a double life—still indulging in fornication, adultery, hatred, bitterness? If you claim, “Christ is my Lord,” yet still have hidden sin in your life, you can know you’ll hear Him say, “Why haven’t you come back to My grace? Why have you continually rejected it? You’ve heard My loving call and tasted my loving-kindness yet you’re going your own way. Why?”

Here is the good news: This supernatural shaking—God’s housecleaning, in both the nation and the church—will result in an unshakable foundation. It will produce a holy, pruned church—boasting a remnant of saints who walk in the fear of God and the righteousness of Christ.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

GOD DOES THE COUNTING

Many Christians have become barren from sitting in a dead church and listening to a pastor who has no anointing from God. In the process they have become spiritually starved, with no spiritual authority. Families suffer; children backslide; marriages fall apart. There are many Ishmaels being born in churches today. Ishmael stands for “flesh” and many Christians are bound by flesh, claiming to be heirs of righteousness.

God is going to cleanse and heal children after His heart and give them to the church. “Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear; break forth into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst not travail with child: for more are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife, saith the Lord” (Isaiah 54:1). God is not talking about simply emptying the houses of Ishmael and giving the crowds to the righteous. It is much deeper than crowds, numbers, and success and He is going to do the counting, not man. “Shall I count them pure with the wicked balances, and with the bag of deceitful weights?” (Micah 6:11).

“The Lord shall count, when he writeth up the people, that this man was born there” (Psalm 87:6). Look at any great gathering of Christians and they may all be singing loud praises with upraised hands. But God is not impressed by the crowds. Rock bands draw huge crowds but there is no praise to God there. He knows who is holy and those who mourn for sin.

This last revival will come because God will pity His own name. He will sanctify His name before the whole world. Let me share with you a great prophecy from Ezekiel. “But I had pity for mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, whither they went. Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name’s sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went. And I will sanctify my great name, which was profaned among the heathen, which ye have profaned in the midst of them; and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord, saith the Lord God, when I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes” (Ezekiel 36:21-25).