March 23, 2009

In God We Trust

Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. 1 Timothy 6:17.

Today I read an article how the market responded so well to the "good news" concerning the Treasury Department's bank rescue plan. FoxBusiness - 'Bad Bank' Buying Binge: Dow Soars 497

For months we have all watched the Dow nosedive from 12,548.63 (March 24, 2008) to today's close of 7,685.46. (Yahoo! Finance)

And today's 497 point rally is good news? Even if the Dow rose to the level it was a year ago in the next two weeks or two months, people will still place their trust and hope in the world's financial system rather than in God's Word.

I am not a pessimist by any means whatsoever, but it is sadly clear what people treasure most and what they desire to see more of in their lives. MONEY. Now I also realize that there are others who do not have such a lust for money in their lives either.

In the article, Dave Rovelli, managing director of Canaccord Adams said, “The market definitely likes what it’s hearing. It’s taking the uncertainty out of the equation.” Amazing! The market likes what it is hearing and the uncertainty people had has been eased, or comforted.


Unfortunately though, many people find their total security and complete happiness in the amount or size of their financial portfolio and many are consumed by the opportunity to amass more wealth as if there would soon be a short supply of it.


This story caught my attention because while the market responded positively to the Treasury Department's bank rescue plan, many people do not respond to God's rescue plan from eternal condemnation through His command to repent and believe in the gospel (Acts 17:30, Mark 1:15).

Let's take a quick look at a verse from Scripture that talks about the danger of trusting in riches.


6 Those who trust in their wealth and boast in the multitude of their riches, 7 none of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him— Psalm 49:6-7
Matthew Henry's commentary regarding verse 6 says, "they depend upon it as their portion and happiness, and expect that it will secure them from all evil and supply them with all good, and that they need nothing else, no, not God himself."

After Jesus counseled the rich young ruler (Mark 10:17-22) who could not leave his wealth to follow Jesus said, "Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God!"

Matthew Henry says, "here he tells them, that the danger arose not so much from their having riches as from their trusting to them, and placing their confidence in them, expecting protection, provision, and a portion from them; saying that to their gold, which they should say only to their God, Thou art my hope, Job 31:24. They have such a value as this for the wealth of the world, will never be brought to put a right value upon Christ and his grace." (Matthew Henry's Commentary, Mark 10:17-31)

What will it take for people to realize that trusting in anything material of this world will not save them from God's judgment for their sin? Those who think their weekly donation to the local church or their charitable contributions will somehow exceed the blood that was shed by Jesus Christ on the cross for the payment of their sins. It won't. It truly won't.


The Old Testament prophet Hosea said, "I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. O Death, I will be your plagues! O Grave, I will be your destruction! Pity is hidden from My eyes.” Hosea 13:14.


These words are filled with such hope for the unrepentant sinner who stands on the edge of eternity and before a just and holy God! God will be the one who will release a person from the power of the grave! Death cannot hold the repentant sinner in the grave when an eternity in heaven awaits them!

God will be the one who redeems them from a state of absolute lifelessness to a life of glory and immortality in heaven! God will conquer death and the grave for the one who repents before God!

The only ransom that will satisfy God, is Jesus Christ!

In You, O LORD, I put my trust; Let me never be put to shame. Psalm 71:1.


Reference

Meyers, R. (2006). e-Sword. The sword of the Lord with an electronic edge (Verson 7.8) [Computer software].

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

March 20, 2009

Seek...do...teach

HT: Phil Morgan at http://thetarrier.blogspot.com/ for this post.

“For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel.” (Ezra 7:10)


I love this character, Ezra. He was an honorable man, chosen by God to lead in the rebuilding of the Temple. He was not a warrior or a king; nor even a thundering prophet. He was a “plain” man, faithful to his calling as “a skilled scribe in the Law of Moses” (v 6). In other words, he was a “workman in the Word” (see 2 Timothy 2:15).

Note what verse 10 says. Ezra gave himself with a serious commitment to “seeking”, “doing” and “teaching” the Word of God. Some people might see these skills, this occupation, as mundane and unglamorous, but God seeks out such a servant to use for His purposes – for “He has magnified His Word above all His Name.” (Psalm 138:2)

Ezra’s distinction was in his devotion to his calling. He “prepared his heart” for it. A lot of people have been deemed great Christian leaders for their charisma or natural leadership ability, but the Christians who have changed the course of world history for God’s glory have been those that have buried themselves in the Word of God, seeking to know His message, and have meticulously applied it to their own lives to be changed by it, and only then have emerged to teach it to others. This is the only right order – “SEEKING” (studying) … “DOING” … then “TEACHING”.

Think of St. Augustine, Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Knox, John Owen, Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, John Wesley, Charles Spurgeon, and others, who “though dead yet still speak”...men bent over parchments and books by lamplight, wrestling with the great truths of God, and emerging broken and humbled, walking with a spiritual “limp” as real as Jacob’s physical limp after his wrestling match with God (Genesis 32). And only then did they dare to open their mouths and with trembling lips instruct others.

What a contrast to the flippancy of our day. The spotlight seems to fall on any novice who can tell a joke with good timing. If a preacher comes out with something that seems ”new” and pithy, it is received with oohs and aahs, regardless of whether it has any substantive basis in rightly interpreted Scripture.

Thank God there are still Ezras. In fact, there is a growing column of “soldiers of the Book”, who love God’s Word and are dedicated to SEEKING, DOING and only then TEACHING it. We need more.

There is a clear challenge here, of course, to pastors and preachers. But not exclusively. Every Christian ought to be a seeker, a doer, and a teacher of God’s Word.

Can I challenge you with the following:

  1. Avoid “soundbyte” Christianity, where we live on a diet of sermonettes and bumper sticker slogans. Don’t look for “3 steps to a happier life” – learn everything God’s Word has to say about living for His glory. It will take you a lifetime.
  2. Prayerfully read God’s Word every day. Learn to study God’s Word (take some training in how to rightly interpret the Bible. CLICK HERE for a resource I highly recommend).
  3. Eagerly participate in Bible Study opportunities at your church. Be there when it's being taught, sit up the front, take notes; be determined to get everything you can!
  4. Be sure to put what you are learning into practice in your own life; don’t allow hypocrisy in your life by “knowing and teaching” but not LIVING it.
  5. Share the truth with others. Tell the gospel to unbelievers, and share the encouragement and correction of God’s Word with other committed Christians to build them up.

Phil Morgan is the senior pastor at First Assembly of God in Brookfield, Connecticut.

March 14, 2009

Are we headed for another Great Depression?

Mar 12 05:49 PM US/Eastern
By JIM KUHNHENN
Associated Press Writer

Obama: Economic crisis 'not as bad as we think'

WASHINGTON (AP) - Confronting misgivings, even in his own party, President Barack Obama mounted a stout defense of his blueprint to overhaul the economy Thursday, declaring the national crisis is "not as bad as we think" and his plans will speed recovery.

Source: http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id=D96SP30G5&show_article=1


NOW READ THIS

"The industrial situation of the United States is absolutely sound, and our credit situation is in no way critical...The interest given by all the public to brokers' loans is always exaggerated...The markets generally are now in a healthy condition. The last six weeks have doen an immense amount of good by shaking down prices...I know of nothing wrong with the stock market or with the underlying business and credit structure."

--- Charles Mitchell, Chairman of National City Bank of New York, two days before the stock market crash on October 22, 1929. (Chapter 1, God's Plan to Protect His People from the Coming Depression)


To buy this book, click here.

Personal note:
My intention in sharing these messages with you is to provide an awareness concerning, 1) the changes that are taking place in our world that are not pleasing to God, 2) direction regarding where to obtain resources to help you and 3) encouragement to share this with others.


We must draw closer to God through His Son Jesus Christ by devoting our time with greater commitment to reading and studying His Word. We must also draw closer to Him through prayer as well.

March 13, 2009

A PASTOR’S RESPONSE TO “AN URGENT WARNING”

A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it. Proverbs 22:3.
_______________________________________________________________

It is the task of a true prophet to warn. We have recently heard such a clear warning of perilous days just ahead of us. The prophet is like a man who comes to warn a shepherd that ravenous wolves are approaching.

It then becomes the shepherd’s task to appropriately discern the warning and to guide those in his care to a place of wisdom and security. I am not a prophet. I am a local pastor. I must ask myself what I am to do in light of hearing the warning from God. What should I say to those under my pastoral care?

First, I want my people to clearly hear the word. What is it saying and what is it not saying. Some have heard of fires and looting and their hearts are filled with fear. I am to assure my people that God is always completely in control. God is sovereign. Nothing takes place outside of his notice and counsel, and all things happen for his ultimate, highest glory. Even in the most troubling of times, our God knows exactly what he is doing.

Second, I want those I serve to know two things concerning God’s wrath. First, some leaders in the church have sadly fallen into the deception that there is no such thing as the wrath of God. Roman 1:18 says, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.” Some act in ungodly ways, others are ungodly by their suppressing the truth of God’s wrath. Some leaders reduce, ignore and even ridicule anyone who reminds them of the certainty of God’s wrath. Romans 2:5 also tells us clearly that the wrath of God is toward those whose hearts are hard and impenitent. This leads to the second element of understanding God’s wrath. It is never, ever, ever poured out on the children of God. In I John 2:2 “He is the propitiation for our sins.” The word propitiation means “wrath quencher.” What marvelous grace, what redemption! God’s wrath at my rebellion and sin has been quenched on the Cross of Christ. Hard times come; rain falls even on the just but wrath does not.

Last, I am obligated to guide the flock given to me with loving-kindness and soberness. If a wolf or a storm is coming, I as a shepherd must know the conditions of my flock. Are any sitting on the fence? Warn them that this is no time for compromise or close affiliation with the world. Partying in the house of an Egyptian on the night of the Passover is definitely not a good idea. This is a time to stay close to the Chief Shepherd. This is also an opportunity for us to call out to those outside the gate. Jesus is the Door and has opened his heart. His cry is that all flee from wrath to come. More than shrinking behind a double-locked door or fleeing to a rural farm, this is a call from Jesus to move your life into the sheepfold.

When a prophet comes with a message of warning, often people want the prophet to give them specific advice about what to do in response. At times, God gives the prophet a word, but more often it is up to the shepherd, and even more so, up to every man of God to take the word into account for his own family. Just as a pastor has stewardship of the church, a man of God is to give an account of his own family. When one comes to warn that wolves are coming, it is not always his responsibility to tell them what to do. We can hear from God. Joseph heard God say to store up food for the season to come (Genesis 41). Moses heard God say to receive gifts from the Egyptians for their journey (Exodus12). We as well can hear from God for our situation. Sheep do hear the Shepherd’s voice.

Jesus—in this hour, in this storm—will not only guide his people and comfort his flock but will also give them boldness, confidence and a heart to serve those troubled by the afflictions. A prophet once came to Paul and prophesied that if he went to Jerusalem he would be bound and put in prison. The prophet was faithful to give his word; it was up to Paul to hear from God how to deal with that warning. Paul, after hearing the prophecy, still decided to go to Jerusalem—willing to risk his life for the gospel (Acts 21). Some will hear and stay in a place of safety; others will hear and go to a place to serve. Some churches are positioned in cities that will need their spiritual strength and compassion. Perhaps the wisdom of Paul in Ephesians 5:15-18 speaks most to what we need, “Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit.”


Due to the many requests of Pastor David Wilkerson's books 'GOD’S PLAN TO PROTECT HIS PEOPLE IN THE COMING DEPRESSION' and ' AMERICA ’S LAST CALL', they are available for free online reading.

WWW.DAVIDWILKERSON.ORG
WWW.WORLDCHALLENGE.ORG
http://davidwilkersontoday.blogspot.com/2009/03/pastors-response-to-urgent-warning.html

More devotionals visit http://davidwilkersontoday.blogspot.com

March 12, 2009

FEAR NOT. FIX YOUR THOUGHTS ON JESUS

I will continue to re-post any messages from Pastor David Wilkerson that pertain to his URGENT MESSAGE that was previously sent on 7 March 2009.


We are to listen carefully to the warnings of the watchman but are not to become obsessed with their warnings.

We are to be alerted and warned by prophetic messages, and we're to heed every one that's revealed and confirmed in Scripture. We're to gather all the knowledge we can about the coming storm, so we can prepare our hearts for whatever destruction it brings. But we are not to let fear or anxiety consume our thinking, dominate our minds, take hold of our hearts!

Darkness is certainly coming, and judgment is at our very door. But as God's people, we cannot allow any cloud of darkness to hide the light of his great promises of love and mercy toward his people. We are to be well informed by the Lord's words and prophets, but we are not to dwell on prophetic knowledge so much that it takes over our lives.

The devil would love for that to happen. He knows if he can't get you to doubt God's Word concerning his judgment, he'll take you to another extreme by driving you to a fearful obsession with perilous times. He'll try to rob you of all hope by consuming you with thoughts of foreboding.

The apostle Paul reassures us about such things with this instruction:"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things" (Philippians 4:8). Paul is telling us, "You've heard all the warnings. Now, simply take heed to what God's Word reveals and to what his watchmen are saying. Then, finally, fix all your thoughts on Jesus and his goodness."

I have faithfully warned of a soon-to-come worldwide economic holocaust, and we already see this happening around the world. I have warned that Christians are going to suffer - that here will be great loss and hardship - and right now multitudes of precious saints all over the world are enduring unbelievable tribulation. But none of these things is the focus of all my energies and ministry. No, the deepest expression of my soul is to proclaim the love of God the father and the tender mercy of our savior Jesus.

So when I go to bed at night, I know that he alone is in control of all these things. I simply do what the prophet Isaiah did: he put his mind to rest by fully trusting in his Lord. He said, "Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee" (Isaiah 26:3).

March 9, 2009

A Further Word from David Wilkerson

“If the foundations be destroyed, what shall the righteous do?”

Recently I felt compelled to send out an URGENT message warning of an impending great calamity — such that will cause even God’s elect to tremble.

One Bishop asked, “Is there no further word: How should the righteous respond to such a word?”

I can only answer by sharing what the Holy Spirit is speaking to my own heart and what I am to do. I shared that I was led in a practical way to lay aside a month’s supply of food — because I have witnessed the panic in the wake of terrorism. That has to be a personal word for every individual.

This is what I hear the Holy Spirit speaking to my heart concerning my own spiritual response to impending calamity. It is simply this —STAND STILL AND SEE THE SALVATION OF THE LORD.“

And Moses said to the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will show you today…The Lord shall fight for you, and you shall hold your peace” (Exodus 14:13-14).

This is the attitude of faith in the face of calamity. What could Israel do on the brink of the Red Sea? Pharaoh’s army is pressing in, mountains are on both sides, and there is an impossible sea ahead. The flesh cries, “Do something!”

The flesh cries hopelessness. Can God’s people dry up the sea? Level a mountain? Fight a great army without having weapons? They are in what appears to be a dreadful, frightening situation. God’s people tremble — and in this hour of trembling comes a word from God.

In essence:“Stand still. Fear not. This is the hour of salvation. You are going to witness the pulling down of the foundations of a world power. But in the same hour, I will fight for you. Hold your peace — be still and see my works.”

Beloved, my warning is just one voice among many who are saying the same thing. We may all tremble for a season, but those who truly know God’s Word will be quickly comforted by the Holy Spirit. We will be baptized with a great peace — a supernatural quietness — which will be a tremendous witness to the fearful multitudes.

In Christ, David Wilkerson

********************************************
I pray that this proverb will guide you concerning Pastor David Wilkerson's words, "A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself, but the simple pass on and are punished." Proverbs 22:3, NKJV.

Keep in mind, no dates were given in his URGENT MESSAGE when this would occur. He simply encouraged everyone to prepare themselves spiritually.

I have read numerous other posts concerning this message and many have concurred with what Pastor David has shared. Others have scoffed at him, which is no surprise.

My friend over at Sola Dei Gloria stated regarding Pastor David's warning, "that many of the OT prophets prophesied warnings of coming judgment for many years [if they weren't killed] before God’s judgment fell..(heck, Noah preached the same warning for 120 years!)"


Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. Matthew 24:44, NKJV.

For He says: “ In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. 2 Corinthians 6:2 (Isaiah 49:8).

March 7, 2009

AN URGENT MESSAGE

I am compelled by the Holy Spirit to send out an urgent message to all on our mailing list, and to friends and to bishops we have met all over the world.

AN EARTH-SHATTERING CALAMITY IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN. IT IS GOING TO BE SO FRIGHTENING, WE ARE ALL GOING TO TREMBLE—EVEN THE GODLIEST AMONG US.

For ten years I have been warning about a thousand fires coming to New York City. It will engulf the whole megaplex, including areas of New Jersey and Connecticut. Major cities all across America will experience riots and blazing fires—such as we saw in Watts, Los Angeles, years ago.

There will be riots and fires in cities worldwide. There will be looting—including Times Square, New York City. What we are experiencing now is not a recession, not even a depression. We are under God’s wrath. In Psalm 11 it is written,“If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (v. 3).

God is judging the raging sins of America and the nations. He is destroying the secular foundations.

The prophet Jeremiah pleaded with wicked Israel, “God is fashioning a calamity against you and devising a plan against you. Oh, turn back each of you from your evil way, and reform your ways and deeds. But they will say, It’s hopeless! For we are going to follow our own plans, and each of us will act according to the stubbornness of his evil heart” (Jeremiah 18:11-12).

In Psalm 11:6, David warns, “Upon the wicked he will rain snares (coals of fire)…fire…burning wind…will be the portion of their cup.” Why? David answered, “Because the Lord is righteous” (v. 7). This is a righteous judgment—just as in the judgments of Sodom and in Noah’s generation.

WHAT SHALL THE RIGHTEOUS DO? WHAT ABOUT GOD’S PEOPLE?

First, I give you a practical word I received for my own direction. Lay in store a thirty-day supply of food, toiletries and other essentials. In major cities, grocery stores are emptied in an hour at the sign of an impending disaster.

As for our spiritual reaction, we have but two options. This is outlined in Psalm 11. We “flee like a bird to a mountain.” Or, as David says, “He fixed his eyes on the Lord on his throne in heaven—his eyes beholding, his eyelids testing the sons of men” (v. 4). “In the Lord I take refuge” (v. 1).

I will say to my soul: No need to run…no need to hide. This is God’s righteous work. I will behold our Lord on his throne, with his eye of tender, loving kindness watching over every step I take—trusting that he will deliver his people even through floods, fires, calamities, tests, trials of all kinds.

Note: I do not know when these things will come to pass, but I know it is not far off. I have unburdened my soul to you. Do with the message as you choose.

God bless and keep you.

In Christ, DAVID WILKERSON

DW:bbm 3-05-09

March 6, 2009

The Second Coming - Compilation

I frequently visit PJMiller's blog, Sola Dei Gloria and along the right sidebar, I noticed a picture of Pastor David Wilkerson regarding a video. I saw his picture, promoting this video a few days ago and tonight, I listened to what Pastor David and others had to say about the Second Coming of Christ.

What was spoken in this brief audio message left speechless and deeply convicted by what Pastor David addressed to the congregation of Times Square Church, as well as what was included by other ministers in this compilation. The date of the sermon is unclear to me, but I would love to know if it is still available to purchase somehow.

This audio compilation is posted for all to hear and I urge you to share it with as many people as possible.

The LORD is coming and He will come at a time unknown even to Him, but He is coming and we must all be ready to stand before His throne, for His mercy rather than for His judgment.



But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. 2 Peter 3:10, NKJV.

Christian Persecution Hits All-Time High Worldwide: Report

This morning, I read a story titled,  Christian Persecution Hits All-Time High Worldwide: Report , which is  about how much the persecutio...