Friday, October 28, 2011

Jonah and Jesus...How They Were Different

It seems like most people are familiar with the story of Jonah and how he was in the belly of a giant fish for three days, but do they know how Jonah came to be in the belly of the fish?

The Word of God came to Jonah and asked him to go to the city of Nineveh and tell all the people there that God was very displeased with them. God wanted him to tell the people that if they did not repent within 40 days, he would destroy the city and all the people in it.

Jonah was a jew, of course. The people of Nineveh were not. As a matter of fact, the people of Nineveh were known to be cruel, evil people; people who did horrendous things to others along the lines of the Nazis. Jonah hated them, and he didn't want God to warn them because he knew that God was gracious and merciful and loving and if the Ninevites, by some miracle, did repent of their sins, he knew that God would forgive them and not destroy them. He would much rather that God would destroy them, so Jonah ran away from God. God wanted him to go east and Jonah "went down" and hopped the first boat west.

God decides that He is not going to allow Jonah to shirk his duties and so He decides to shake things up on the boat by creating a big storm. Jonah "goes down" into the depths of the boat where he will feel as little of the storm as possible and goes to sleep. Everyone else on the ship sees that this is no normal storm and they begin doing anything and everything they can to lessen its impact on the ship; they throw stuff overboard, they weep, cry and they begin praying to all the various gods represented on the boat. Jonah, meanwhile is having a good nap.

Finally, the captain of the ship finds Jonah and asks him who he is and why he isn't praying to his god. Jonah tells him he is a jew and he is running from God cause God wants him to do someething he doesn't want to do. The captain is frightened and dismayed and tells Jonah to get with the program and start praying.

(Can you see how when we run from God and doing His purposes in our life, we seem to go down, down, down; further and further away from God?)

Finally, Jonah tells the captain to he knows God has sent this storm and that the captain should just pick Jonah up and toss him overboard "down into the deep" and they would be saved. It is my opinion that Jonah was thinking that he could not run from God so he would just die rather than go and preach to the Ninevites. So, the captain says okay and tosses him overboard.

God is in control of everything and he knows exactly what Jonah's going to do, so he purposes to have a huge fish there just waiting and it swallows Jonah, and he spends three days there while the Spirit of God deals with him and his sinfulness and disobedience. Jonah calls out to God while in the fish's belly, and God has the fish spit Jonah out onto shore where the Word of God comes to him and tells him to go to Nineveh to warn the people of their impending doom if they don't repent.

Well, this time Jonah dusts himself and runs directly to the east to Nineveh where he does just what God told him to do. You know what happens? The people of Nineveh repent, fast, pray, dress in sack cloth, and sit in ashes and God decides that's good enough for Him and does not destroy the people or city.

You'd think that's where the story ends, wouldn't you? But God is good and always wants those who love Him to come to a full knowledge of Him and His ways.

If you can believe it, Jonah is mad; well not just mad, furious; so furious he tells God that he knew this is what would happen and asks God to kill him; to take his life. God asks him if it's right for him to be angry about this and Jonah goes out, sets up a tent for shade and sits in the desert.

God makes this plant grow up next to Jonah and Jonah is very thankful for it and the shade that it brings; as a matter of fact, Jonah takes quite a liking to the plant. The next day the plant dies and God sends a big wind and the sun is shining down on him and while Jonah is mad about the plant dying, he has no shade and is about to faint, he asks God to again take his life. So God asks him if he has a right to be mad about the plant and Jonah tells him that he does have a right to angry and that God should
kill him right now.

God tells Jonah, "Look, Jonah, you took a liking for the plant, you didn't do anything to make it live or grow, but you cared for it and when it died, you took pity on it. Why should I not take pity on the people of Nineveh? I created them, gave them life, loved them, saw their error and offered them forgiveness if they repented. When they did, why shouldn't I, who gave them life, take pity on them?

That's how the story ends. It's the story of a selfish, rebellious, prideful man that God used to bring about one of the largest revivals in history. We are not told what happens to Jonah. It is believed that Jonah himself wrote the book of Jonah, so at least we know that he saw himself as he was and that hopefully he came to repent of his shortcomings.

Now, let's look at Jesus, who was also a prophet of God, sent to preach the Kingdom of God was at hand to those who would repent and believe His message.

Jesus never disobeyed, never went the other way, never refused to do, say or be whatever God wanted him to be. Jesus steadfastly walked the path God set before him. Jesus divested himself of all of his abilities as God and aligned himself completely with mankind and yet lived his life without sin. Jesus not only preached the message God gave him to a sinful world, he endured the world's hatred, scorn, beating, spitting, mocking, and crucifixion. He then spent three days in the belly of the earth and then God had the earth spit him back up to preach a message of eternal life and blessed hope to those who would believe his message, accept that he had come to pay the price for their sins and devote their lives to him.

There's a big difference in the stories. Jesus said that someday the Ninevites would sit in judgment of the ones who had heard his message and not repented because they (the Ninevites) had repented at the preaching of a mere man (Jonah) and that one greater than Jonah (Jesus) was among them preaching and yet they didn't repent.

After meditating on these two Bible accounts, the holy spirit asked me, "Kim, what are you running from doing for me today?" Is there something that God wants you to do that you are avoiding or running from. Is it as simple as saying "Yes" to Him? Or is He possibly asking you to make a change in your life now that you have believed on Him and asked Him in to your life and that change is one you don't want to let go of? The purpose of this blog today is to tell you what God is telling me. Don't be fooled, my friend. God will have His way and what He purposes will come to pass. It can come the easy way or it can come in a more difficult, painful way, but it will come to pass. Stop running from God. Sit down, get quiet and listen to what He is saying to you. I know from personal experience that life is sweeter, more joyful and peaceful when you are at peace with God. His promise to us in His Word is this:

Matthew 11:28-30

Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke [is] easy, and my burden is light.

Stop trying to do everything in your own power. Allow Him to lead you and live in and through you. He will do the work, all you have to do is obey.

1 Cor. 10:13

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it].

In other words, God is not going to lay something on you that you are unable to handle; and He will always make a way for you to bear the circumstances He puts you in.

Friend, He is so worth it. It is hard to put into words the changes He can bring in your life...changes that are hard and if He were not there seeing you through them, there would be no way on earth you could do it. And yet, He is there, so the changes take place and you feel joyful and at peace only to find that there are more changes to come...things you need to do and things you need to stop. You think, O God, I can't do this, but you do, indeed, do it, by His grace and with His hand leading you. It hurts, but the hurt is nothing compared to the joy in knowing that you are doing what your Creator/Father/Savior wants you to do. It brings you to your knees in worship and makes you want to dance in joy and exhiliaration. Do it. Take that step. Reach out to God. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you and you will never regret that step. All He asks is for you to listen, hear, and follow Him. He will never make you do it alone.

Father God, may we all hear your call and obey without questioning. Give me a heart of obedience to you. Make your wants my wants. I want to love what you love. I want to show your love to all people. Use me today to bring your love to someone, anyone. And Lord, if someone reads this today who doesn't know you. I pray that a seed has been planted so that you may water it and make it grow or perhaps, Lord, the seed was already planted; in that case, I pray that something in this will cause rain to fall on the seed and that you will cause that seed to grow. To you who sits on the throne, we give honor, glory and praise today for who you are and all that you have done. In Jesus' name. Amen

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Truth Hurts

This morning, I watched a video from Aloha Bible Prophecy's Pastor J.D. about how Libya plays in end time prophecy. There is so much in this one video, that somehow I got into my mind that surely the blogosphere would rampant with blogs today about all that is going on; but to my dismay, I couldn't find anything. I felt the Lord telling me I should say something, but I feel inadequate when it comes to prophecy and end time events. Elizabeth at The End Time is a great one for that, but for some reason I feel God pushing me in the direction. Well, here goes.

We've all heard that old axiom..."the truth hurts", and we've all used it a time or ten when we've hurt someone by saying something rash and unkind, haven't we?

The truth, as I see it, with regard to end times Bible prophecy events, is that the majority of people, and I am referring specifically to so-called christians, don't want to know what is going on. Why would they not want to know you ask. Humbly I say to you that if everyone who proclaimed that they were christian knew that Christ was going to return at any moment and that every single major event occurring in the world today is prophesied in the Bible, they just might have to change their ways. They wouldn't be able to continue pursuing their own agenda and life as they want to live it without consulting God. They might have to stop playing golf as they want, or might not be able to buy things they don't need or can't afford, they might have to stop overindulging in alcohol, food, shopping or their addiction to sports programs or movies...just t.v. or entertainment in general. I don't think any of these things are wrong, in and of themselves, well, except for the things specifically called out in scripture, and some of them are, really, have you seen how rabid people are about sports? I often say, if people would get as excited about Jesus as they do the Pittsburg Steelers or whoever, the world would definitely be a better place and look mighty different.

The truth of the matter is, and I'm quite guilty myself, that we all have a life pattern that we are used to living and we don't want to have to consult God on whether or not it meets with His okay if we do this or that, or have this or that, or if there's something He would prefer for us. God is a good God and as our Father, the Bible in Matthew 7:11 tells us that He is the giver of all good gifts and that if we, who are evil, give our children the things they want, why wouldn't He give us the "good" things we want? So what do we do? We stick our heads in the sand and pretend not to hear, or we listen to the slinky serpent who is busily promoting his doctrine, you know, the "doctrine of devils" which include replacement theology, the no-rapture theology, and/or dominionism theology. Listen to Pastor J. D. explain it, he's much better than I am at it:

Paster J.D. has quickly become one of my favorites when it comes to prophecy regarding the Middle East, and he's exactly right, America has been a great country, and we have been unbelievably blessed by God from the time of its birth. It seems to me now, though, that everyone hates America, not just other nations and especially the Muslim nations, but even the inhabitants of America. As a youngster growing up in America, I remember everyone being proud to live in America; not anymore. You see signs like the one in the video which says...Arab Spring...American "Fall". Everyone wants our country to fail, our money to fail, our people to be in chaos. It meets their agenda, and I'm not saying go out and protest or get involved in politics, or anything like that, but I am saying, if you can't see that the world is fulfilling Bible prophecy every single day, you need to get your Bible out and start reading it. I have, and I can see it and hear without needing a pastor or anyone else to tell me.

It struck me, as I listened to Pastor J. D. - this is why IT IS so important to read your Bible; so that we can know the truth. Otherwise, in the days ahead, it will be so easy to fall prey to the doctrine of demons.

There, I've said it...people don't want to know because they don't want to change and in accordance with the other axiom, "Ignorance is bliss", they can just go on like nothing's happening out of the ordinary. There've been wars for years, and the weather is just global warming or some El Nina or whatever. Well, don't let it be said that I was politically correct. I have news for you, folks. Jesus is coming back, and it's soon. The birth pains are just about passed and we're just about to the pushing phase. I say this all the time to my daughter: Read your Bible. Don't rely on a pastor, a friend, a video, a counselor, a weather-person or anyone else. Rely on the holy spirit and the word of God. They won't let you down. You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

God's Remnant

I watched a movie entitled "Agenda: The Grinding of America" with my family tonight. This is a documentary by Curtis Bowers about the overt agenda of the socialists and communists in America to destroy the country from within. You can watch the trailer HERE.

It was very interesting watching the movie with my husband and son and listening to their comments and questions. My husband is not born again and my son who is 12; well, it's questionable, to say the least, that he is born again, but they both had a lot of comments and questions throughout the 90 minute movie which took us 2.5 hours to watch. It was quite a challenge for me to answer their questions and comments correctly and in a way that I thought would please God, but I believe the Holy Spirit had been preparing me for this moment for the past couple of months.

The book of 1 Kings, chapter 19, tells the story of how Elijah, the prophet of God, (the same prophet who had caused a 3.5 year drought, the one who had been fed by ravens and caused the widow of Zarephath to have food for him and her many days when all she had was a little oil and a handful of meal; and yes, the same one who raised the widow's son from the dead, and killed 400 prophets of Baal after their God failed to show up at the contest of whose God was God) was running for his life because one little woman, Jezebel, had told him that she would kill him within 24 hours. Can you believe that an individual that God had used so mightily would be running for his life because a mere mortal woman had threatened his individual who only had to call on God to get His attention!

Elijah ran a day's journey into the wilderness and sat down under a juniper tree and told God he wanted to die; he'd had enough, he wasn't better than his ancestors and God should just take his life. That night while he slept, God sent an angel to minister to his physical needs by providing him with bread cooked over hot coals and a jug or water. You know how it is, once your tummy's full and you're warm, your body has a tendency to relax and want to go to sleep, which is precisely what Elijah did. The next day, the angel of the Lord did the same thing and told him that he had a journey to take that was too far for him to take without sustenance.

That bit of bread and jug of water carried Elijah 40 days in the wilderness to the mount of God. He found a cave that he could sleep in and verse 9 says that the "word of the Lord came to him and he said unto him, What dost thou here, Elijah?" We are told in the first chapter of John that Jesus is the word made flesh, so, in other words, Jesus spoke to Elijah and asked him what are you doing out here, Elijah. Elijah replies telling him how zealous he has been for God and the children of Israel (who have BTW forsaken their covenant with God and worshiped other gods) and killed God's prophets and that he was the only one left and now "they seek to kill me".

So Jesus tells Elijah to go and stand outside on the mountain (which he does) and then, lo and behold, the Lord passes by and there's a huge wind which tears at the mountains and an earthquake but the Lord is not either one of those two huge occurences, nor in the fire that happens next. No, it is in the still small voice (delicate whispering voice in my Bible's notes) Jesus shows up and asks Elijah again, "What doest thou here, Elijah?"

You'd think Elijah would be down on his hands and knees cowering before God, saying "I don't know, Lord; what am I doing out here" but instead Elijah repeats his earlier montage of how zealous he's been for God, etc., and now "I, even I only, am left; and they seek my life, to take it away."

The Lord tells Elijah to go and annoint the new king of Syria and the new king of Israel and to annoint Elisha as the prophet to succeed him. Verse 18 sums it all up when the Lord says:

Yet I have left [me] seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.

In other words, Elijah, I still have 7,000 others in Israel who are loyal to are not the only one left.

Hold that thought for a minute and I'll tell you how that applies to the Agenda.

I became very active during our last presidential election; mostly because I felt that democratic candidate expressed so many ideas and political rhetoric that had a definite "anti-God message and/or feel. However, over the course of the last three years, God has shown me that politics and earthly governments are not where my (or anyone other follower of His) focus needs to be. I believe I am to be educated and wise about who is being offered up as the leader of my country and to inquire of God who I am to support, but that being said, no leader or nation or government on this earth will ever really have the answer to what ails the world. Actually, I'm at the point where I'm beginning to doubt if I am even to be concerned with elections at all and I'm beginning to think that God has given our country over to our own evil wishes and desires. I know that it is only in God that we will find peace, liberty and happiness with life.

God will always make for Himself a remnant, and because of that He will accomplish His purpose and plan for all of creation. The only important question is: "Are you a part of the remnant?" God can do more through a measly 7,000 followers than satan and all of his evil associates along with the whole world can. God does have a plan and it is unfolding daily right before our eyes. I have been studying and learning so much that proves over and over that the Bible is true and correct and infallible; things that take away all doubt about the veracity of the Bible and it being the inspired Word of God.

If you are not part of the remnant, I can't say enough to encourage you to seek God with all of who you are. The Bible tells us that those who seek Him with their whole being will not be disappointed. He will let you find Him. He will answer you, and while the rest of the world is upset and angry and fighting and picketing or whatever they do at their protests, you will be quietly going on with your life knowing that nothing is going to happen to you today that God does not already know about. You can rest in Him and trust Him not only to take care of your physical needs but to love and care for your soul like no one else ever has or ever will.

If you are in the remnant, you know what to do...only what He tells you.

I pray for anyone who may read this to be blessed by the presence of God in a special way in their life and that they would be drawn ever closer to His throne, that they would learn to worship and adore Him and and to praise Him for who He is and what's He's done and that they would be filled with a peace that only those "in Him" can know.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

The Passion and the Rapture

Ahhhh, the passion and the rapture...sounds like the title of a new movie outlining an online dating event, right? Not so much here on a blog devoted to spreading the call of Jesus to follow Him.
The Passion of the Christ is a movie by Mel Gibson about the final hours of Jesus' life and the crucifixion. It is well known for its depiction of the brutality Christ suffered for us prior to being crucified. Yet, it's not just the movie that calls these hours the Passion; the Catholic church refers to this time period in Christ's life as the Passion, and there are many others who refer to the closing hours of Christ's life as the Passion. Why? Because Jesus was so passionately in love with mankind that He was willing to give up His life for us.

Last week I posted a blog about a study at Radical Grace about the secret life of Christ; a study that uses scripture to show what Jesus' thought life was from childhood to the cross. According to this study, the events in Jesus' life were revealed to Him step by step, day by day, by the Holy Spirit. Everything Jesus did was a choice given to Him by the Father. He lived 100% as a human being, and God gave Him the choice to continue or not. Jesus chose to identify Himself 100% with man and went the distance by completely forsaking His "God-hood" and dying to provide us with a way to reconcile ourselves to God. I've heard of people applying themselves to various organizations or hobbies or their "passion" but Jesus is the only one whose passion was so intense He was willing to die for it.

The term rapture seems closely associated to passion because in today's society it's readily accepted and almost "expected" that men and women indulge in their passion for sex and the rapture that is supposed to result from it.

The actual term used in the Bible is "caught up" and it is translated from the greek word "harpazo". This word is used in the Bible several times to describe being taken by force unexpectedly.

For the past three years, I have been diligently following blogs and news and Christian teachers who believe that the rapture is imminent. I, obviously believe that to be true, too. I have been taught about a rapture event for the past 30-35 years or so, and there has been at least one time period each of the last three years that really looked promising for the rapture to occur. But as you can see, we are all still here.

During that three years, I have been introduced to the teachings of Joseph Herrin at Parablesblog who has made me look at interpreting certain things in the Bible differently, and the rapture is one of them. Just last week, Sarah Beveridge of Believer's Journey posted a blog referencing a teaching by David Eels of Unleavened Bread Ministries about the Separation of the Bride. You can find it HERE.

I believe both of these men are teaching that the spirit of God will be poured out on the true body of believers in Christ which will bring forth the "manchild" referenced in Revelation and that there will be a period of persecution of the church unlike any seen before (and there have been some really bad periods of persecution). If you don't believe me, go to your library and check out Fox's Book of Martyrs and read it for yourself. People have died for Christ in the most unbelievably horrible ways. The Book of Revelation indicates that the guillotine will be reintroduced in the last days and if you read my blog often, you know that last week I wrote about Roseanne Barr saying that bankers who fail to repay bailout money should be be-headed.

Is it possible that the rapture of the church is still far away and that we will have to endure real, true persecution in order to burn off all the fat the church has put on due to hearing too many sweet, ear-tickling sermons? CindyBytheSea wrote a blog this morning that features a news article from The about the protesting going on across the world and now the U.S. It is an excellent article and should be read by everyone who is associated with Jesus Christ. You can find it here.

What I'm saying is that Christ was so passionate about us that he went to the cross and died for us. Are we ready to show him how rapturous we are about Him that we will endure any persecution for His name's sake? That is what the Spirit has been saying to me for a few months now. If you are watching the news at all, you cannot help but see how the Church of Jesus Christ is getting all kinds of bad press and being held responsible for many of the bad things happening around the world right now.

We need to dig into the Word in a new, deep way; we need to reach out to Jesus and pray for a fresh indwelling of His Spirit and we need to be praying for each other that we will all be prepared for whatever the day will bring because of our belief in Christ. I pray that we are not so caught up in figuring out when the "catching up" will be that we are not prepared if we are called to suffer for Christ today.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Jesus Was Completely Human

I hvae heard many, many times in the years that I have been following Christ how Jesus was 100% God and 100% man. That was very confusing to me. Doesn't that add up to 200%, and isn't there only 100% of anything? If what makes me Me is that I have 1/2 of my genes from my mother and 1/2 from my father, doesn't that make me 50% of my mom's family and 50% of my dad's family?

I know that's confusing, but that's what I was...confused! I came to realize that what I was hearing, or rather, what was being expressed was that while Jesus had 100% of the benefits of being God available to Him, while He walked this earth, He walked it 100% as a human being just like you and me, all the way to His death on the cross.
The following link is to a Bible study about what the life of Christ from a small boy all the way through to his death on the cross and what scripture reveals his thoughts to be during each stage of His life. It is a paradigm-shifting study!! It puts Jesus Christ in a whole new light -- at least it did for me. It helps you comprehend Jesus learning from a child that He is the Messiah, studying the scriptures and seeing Himself in them, applying the verses of Isaiah to His own life based on what his mother and father had told Him. It shows Jesus' confusion, His doubt, why He wanted to know who people thought He was and why He confronted Peter with that question and why He responded like He did to Peter's answer.

It fosters intimacy and opens communication lines to the Savior. It produces understanding and empathy and sympathy and repentance and grief. Most of all, it produces joy! Jesus Christ, my Lord and my Savior, WILLINGLY gave up his pure, clean, lovely, holy relationship with God the Father; He BECAME sin for me so that I might become the righteousness of God!

It's a great study. It's one I wasn't going to do, but God moved me to read and once I started, it was hard to stop. Maybe you already saw Jesus in this light. If you did, good for you; God blessed you with second sight, but, if like me you need some help seeing your Savior, read it, you will be glad you did.

The Hidden Life of Jesus

The Chopping Block

There's a program on the Foodnetwork these days called "Chopped". Four chefs compete in preparing an appetizer, a main dish and a dessert with special, almost-unheard of ingredients. At the end of each course, you will hear the words, "whose dish is on the chopping block"? This is weird, I'll admit, but those are the words that came to my mind this morning as I read the following news article:

Roseanne Barr: Behead Bankers, Rich Who Won't Give Up Wealth

Can you believe that? Here is a well known American advocating bringing back the guillotine for purposes of punishment, and when you add that to the fact that there are so many reports of beheadings in Iran and other countries where militants and extremists live and also in Mexico where there seems to be a bag of heads found every other day (according to the news), you can see how easy it is going to be to implement the use of the guillotine in the last days of the age as stated in the book of Revelation! Who'd have ever thought (as a child learning about it in history) that awful instrument would be brought out for use again?