The Testimony of Jesus

testimony-of-jesus

It seems these days that some people, even within the “church,” are increasingly having an issue with Scripture…sometimes they have a problem with the Old Testament, or with the Prophets, or with Revelation, or with the “Bible” in general. I would say that what is often happening here is that these people are really having a heart issue with the “Word made flesh and who dwelt among us,” Jesus, himself (John 1:14). Moses, David, the Prophets and the Apostles all wrote about Jesus. The Old Testament is the testimony of Jesus. The New Testament is the testimony of Jesus. The prophets of the Bible, who operated by Holy Spirit, were testifying of Jesus, for the “spirit of prophecy is the testimony of Jesus” (Revelation 19:10). The Book of Revelation itself, is the “Revelation of Jesus Christ” (Revelation 1:1).

So, when someone rejects the Word of God, they are in essence, although sometimes unknowingly, rejecting Jesus himself. As Jesus said to the Pharisees, “For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?” (John 5:46-47). The Pharisees, Jesus said, didn’t have the love of God in them. They read the Scriptures, but they didn’t believe the testimony of Jesus that it brought…and therefore, they didn’t believe in Jesus when He appeared to them either.

So, dig into the Word of God today, and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal Jesus to you. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life! (John 14:6). Receive His great love for you and grow closer and closer to Him each and every day!!

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The Reign of Cyrus

It has been prophesied of Trump that he would be a Cyrus. Who was Cyrus? Cyrus was a heathen king called on by God to set the people of Israel free from bondage. Isaiah 45 is the key chapter regarding King Cyrus (and Trump is the 45th President). In Isaiah 45:4 it says of King Cyrus, “For the sake of Jacob my servant, of Israel my chosen, I will summon you by name and bestow on you a title of honor, although you do not acknowledge me.” The heathen King Cyrus responded to God’s call and declared His glory and obeyed His commands, setting Israel free and helping them rebuild the temple.

What should we expect to happen at this time in history and how should we pray? Daniel was a key intercessor for Israel during their captivity. He didn’t just read the prophecies about Israel’s release from captivity, he aligned himself with God’s plan and purposes and helped pray them into existence.

I believe that it is a good time to sit down and review Isaiah 45 and ask for revelation from the Holy Spirit about God’s plan, and for current application. Ask for wisdom and discernment on how to pray. I think Psalm 45 (the return of Jesus to earth) is another good one to pray through as well at this time.

Just a few key verses in Isaiah 45 that I think are quite encouraging at this time refer to a great outpouring of the Spirit of God and great and mighty wave of salvation…a move that we’ve all been waiting for:

“You heavens above, rain down my righteousness;
let the clouds shower it down.
Let the earth open wide,
let salvation spring up,
let righteousness flourish with it;
I, the Lord, have created it.”
~Isaiah 45:6 (NIV)

“Turn to me and be saved,
all you ends of the earth;
for I am God, and there is no other.”
~Isaiah 45:22 (NIV)

“Only in the Lord, it shall be said of me,
are righteousness and strength;
to him shall come and be ashamed
all who were incensed against him.”
~Isaiah 45:24-25 (NIV)

Let us pray these purposes of God into existence. Amen!

The Peacemakers

dove

We have recently seen an increase in conflict pouring out on the streets, and an increase in the manifestation of the conflict between the kingdoms: the kingdom of the earth vs the Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ. As we see riots stirred up in the streets, I would ask, do these things stir up a riot in our own hearts? Do these things foment anger against one side or the other? I ask this because the riots in the street are an outward manifestation of what is pouring out of the hearts of men. We must all examine our hearts to see if we are completely under the rule of the Prince of Peace in these tumultuous days.

“Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart; Test me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way.”
~Psalm 139:23-24 (AMP)

We must ask the Lord to search out hearts and to burn out and uproot any riot or conflict in our hearts first. For the Lord, the Prince of Peace, is sending out the peacemakers at this time. If we want to join alongside Him in this effort, we must first let peace rule our own hearts.

“But the wisdom from above is first pure [morally and spiritually undefiled], then peace-loving [courteous, considerate], gentle, reasonable [and willing to listen], full of compassion and good fruits. It is unwavering, without [self-righteous] hypocrisy [and self-serving guile]. And the seed whose fruit is righteousness (spiritual maturity) is sown in peace by those who make peace [by actively encouraging goodwill between individuals].”
~James 3:17-18 (AMP)

Several years ago, the late Bob Jones saw a vision of thousands of eggs being hatched in heaven. He first impression was that they were eagles (prophets) being released. However, the Lord corrected him and showed him that they were actually doves (peacemakers living under the power of the Holy Spirit). Noah sent the dove from the ark three times before the dove (representing the Holy Spirit) finally found a place to rest. The ark (the presence of the Lord) could then finally come to rest among the people. So, I would ask, are we a people on whom the Holy Spirit can rest?

We are close to entering the time of the millennium reign of Christ, a time of peace that will last for a thousand years. Yet, only those who have the Prince of Peace ruling in their hearts will be able to rule with Him during this upcoming age of peace. So, we must deal with the Lord, however severely, to have him remove any wicked or riotous way in us. Now is the time!

“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us;
And the government will rest on His shoulders;
And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace,
On the throne of David and over his kingdom,
To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness
From then on and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.”
~Isaiah 9:6-7 (NKJV)

“The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.” ~Romans 16:20 (NASB)

The Bread of Affliction – A Dream of Famine

1026-ALEPPO-BREADLINE

Several days ago I had a dream. I can’t say that I know the full meaning of this dream, but I felt like I should share it. I will continue to pray into this for further revelation.

The Dream

I was in a line to get some food. The man behind the counter asked each person what kind of food they desired. However, it seemed that he only had two kinds of food to offer. Furthermore, both kinds of food seemed like some sort of gooey unleavened pita bread or tortilla. However, if anyone every called it pita bread, tortilla, or any other name than this man’s preferred name, he always corrected them saying, “No, it is Ram-ida!” That was the essence of the dream.

Now, “Ramidan” is a season of fasting in the summer in the religion of Islam. Ramidan comes from the word, “ramida” which means dryness or heat. So, my initial sense is that this was some sort of bread line where there were not many varieties of food left to pick from, and that the food was being rationed due to shortage. Perhaps this was partly due to “dryness” or drought, which caused a famine. Therefore, this seems to be a warning dream of things to come. We don’t know how fast vast changes can happen. These types of breadlines are already happening in Syria  (see picture above), all over the Middle East and Europe – any place where Syrian refugees (and other refugees) are now fleeing. For them it was a “suddenly.” These types of shifts and changes can happen in a single day. It could happen in the USA as quickly as it could happen anywhere else. I had another recent dream where there were convertible cars that were completely covered and filled with snow. To me, this indicated a warning to be prepared for sudden unexpected changes. These changes can happen in the weather, society, economy, spiritual atmosphere, etc.

We must always be vigilant and continue to watch and pray, as Jesus instructed us to do. We must pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ that are now in distress. We must pray for the lost Muslim refugees that they would find refuge in Christ Jesus. We must prepare our hearts and ask that the Holy Spirit would highlight anything that would keep us from Jesus. We must be prepared for His return!

I found the appearance of unleavened bread in the dream interesting. The Bible says about the use of unleavened bread during the Feast of Passover, “Do not eat it with bread made with yeast, but for seven days eat unleavened bread, the bread of affliction, because you left Egypt in haste–so that all the days of your life you may remember the time of your departure from Egypt.” ~Deuteronomy 16:3 (NIV) This may take further interpretation through prayer, but I do find it compelling that the unleavened bread, the bread of affliction, was made because the Israelites left Egypt in haste. We must be ready to listen and quickly obey the Holy Spirit’s direction at all times. When it is time to move…we must move! If He says stay, then we must stay! It is for our protection…and with our obedience comes great reward!

I pray that the Father would richly bless you and keep you in Christ Jesus at all times. Amen!

The Valley of Decision and God’s Training Ground

valley of decision

The Valley of Decision

We can either be possessed by the Holy Spirit or possessed by demons. We get to choose.

Life on earth is a valley of decision. We may be tempted to think that we can just be possessed with ourselves and not choose God or Satan. I would respond to that thought with a phrase from the Rush song “Freewill” which says, “If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.” Rush may have gotten many things very wrong, but they sure got that one line right! At the end of the day, there is no middle ground. It is the battle of the kingdoms and we will choose sides…and Satan owns the fence.

“So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” ~Revelation 3:16 (NIV)

Ultimately, we will be possessed by what, or by who, possesses us. Then, we get to spend eternity with the gods—or with The God—that we worshipped and invested our lives in. Wouldn’t you rather be possessed by a God who is pure, righteous love?

 

God’s Training Ground

Life on earth is also a training ground. If we choose to give our whole life to God, He will begin to teach us how to love. We must receive His love and then give it back to Him and to others (See Luke 10:25-37). We don’t have love in ourselves, unless we first receive it from above.

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” ~James 1:17 (NV)

We must learn to give love freely in the face of evil and hatred. God has allowed enough devil opposition here on earth enable us to learn to be overcomers. We must learn to overcome evil with good. We will then receive the rewards of the overcomer (see Revelation 2, 3 & 22).

Jesus said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:43-48)

So, I hope that you are encouraged today. You are here for a reason. I pray that you are strengthened in the Lord. I pray that you are filled completely with the Holy Spirit and receive the great love that He has for you. I pray that you waste no time to move forward in His great purposes and calling for your life. Amen!

Running to Disaster

Run to disaster

Well, you might think I’m talking about people who are on a highway to hell. Not today. My topic today is a new generation of young people that are emerging on the earth that run to disaster–not to their own disaster–but to disasters affecting others. They are running to the disaster in order “to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Isaiah 61).

What do we do with the increase in disasters on the earth? Does Jesus intend for us to hide in fear? I think Jesus would say “No!”…just as He expressed in the parable of the talents (Matthew 25). But instead, Jesus spoke of greater works that we would do–even greater than He did on the earth! Wouldn’t it make sense that the greatest works are reserved for the time of greatest need? Imagine a context of increase of natural disasters and war on the earth–a time near the end. Now, in that context, let’s read Matthew 10:7-8,

“As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.”

Makes sense, doesn’t it?! Now let’s look at the overall themes of Joel 2:28-32,

“I will pour out my Spirit on all people…I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

What are the themes of this passage? 1) The Spirit is being poured out, 2) it’s a time of great distress, 3) people getting saved.

Beloved, everything that can be shaken–everything that is not built on the Rock–will be shaken. Why? So that we can run to those that are shaken and help them to place their feet upon the Rock–Jesus Christ! Yes, it’s harvest time!!

The Increase in the Harvest

wheat-field

In November of 2013, I wrote a blog about the harvest called, “It’s Harvest Time!” Beloved, it truly is harvest time! How long this harvest will go, we do not yet know. Jesus spoke of a great harvest at the end of the age. I believe that we have entered that time. I’ve personally seen it increasing all around…as have family members, friends and fellow believers! But, here are a few pieces of evidence, in case you have any doubt:

– I have been reading “A wind in the house of Islam” by David Garrison, published this year. His team conducted a very large study, travelling across the 9 “rooms” of Islam in dozens of countries. He discovered 82 voluntary moves to Christianity across 29 countries in these areas (a “move” was defined as being comprised of at least 1,000 baptisms or 100 church plants). Two of these moves happened in the 19th century. Eleven of them happened in the 20th century. Amazingly, 69 of them happened just within the 21st century!

– Every Home for Christ has brought the gospel in written form to over 1.6 Billion homes around the world in the last 60 years and has seen well over 100 million decisions for Christ. They have seen many more decisions for Christ in the last 10 years as they’ve seen happen in all of the previous 55 years combined! Also, their conversion rate right now is approximately double what they’ve seen over the course of their history.

– In talking this morning with a friend who is in ministry in the US. He mentioned that he just recently performed the first baptisms in a certain people group he has had an outreach to for 15 years!

– All of this is driven by Spirit-led prayer. We have recently seen a great global increase in Houses of Prayer, many which have worship and intercession going for many hours each week (some even 24/7) and that have been praying in an increasing way for the lost and unreached tribes. The number of these types of Houses of Prayer suddenly increased in the 21st century…from just a handful to ~20,000-25,000 Houses of Prayer worldwide!

In 1975, the prophet Bob Jones passed away and stood before the Lord. One the things the Lord said he would do is to go back and touch some leaders that would have a big impact in bringing in a harvest of over 1 billion (mainly young people) into the Kingdom! He was told he would see the beginning of it before he died. Bob began to announce that the harvest had begun in earnest in 2012 and 2013. Bob passed away on Valentine’s Day of 2014.

It is time to seek the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. To drink in His extravagant love deeply and give it back to Him and to others.

“Then He said to His disciples, The harvest is indeed plentiful, but the laborers are few. So pray to the Lord of the harvest to force out and thrust laborers into His harvest.” ~Matthew 9:37-38 (AMP)

Boaz is seen as a type of Christ in the Bible. Let us watch closely what is happening as we see Boaz returning to the “field” (which represents the “world” in Matthew 13).

Naomi said to her, “Go ahead, my daughter.” So she [Ruth] went out, entered a field and began to glean behind the harvesters. As it turned out, she was working in a field belonging to Boaz, who was from the clan of Elimelek. Just then Boaz arrived from Bethlehem and greeted the harvesters, “The Lord be with you!” “The Lord bless you!” they answered. ~Ruth2:2-4 (NIV)

What did Boaz find His people doing when he returned? They were busy bringing in the harvest! They were joyfully doing as they were expected… just as they had been earlier instructed.

When Jesus was in Jerusalem, He said, ”For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’” ~Matthew 23:39 (NIV)

God does not change His mind. When He says something, He means it! There is no crooked word that comes out of His mouth. So, what are our instructions? What should He find us doing when He returns? I think it is clear that in addition to watching and praying…we should be bringing His Kingdom of Love to earth! We should be actively demonstrating and sharing His love with others and bringing in His harvest, reaping for Him the rewards of His suffering!

”Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age’.” ~Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV)

“As you go, proclaim this message: ‘The kingdom of heaven has come near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.” ~Matthew 10:7-8 (NIV)

It takes a fearless warrior, operating in the love of Christ, to bring in an abundant harvest. Evil must be overcome with good. When our enemy is overcome, then we can release the prisoners and set them free!

“’If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” ~Romans 12:20-21 (NIV)

“In fact, no one can enter a strong man’s house without first tying him up. Then he can plunder the strong man’s house.” ~Mark 3:27 (NIV)

“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.” ~Isaiah 61:3 (NIV)

As followers of Jesus Christ, what will we do? Will we respond to His commands? Or will we sit around in ignorance, apathy and cowardice, waiting for Him to return? Consider the parable of the talents. How did the Master respond to the one who hid in a hole and waited for the Master’s return, instead of laboring in his Master’s harvest? Consider the actions of the wicked servant in the Parable of the Talents.


“Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’ His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest. So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’” ~Matthew 25:24-30 (NIV)

Notice how the wicked servant says, “I was afraid and went out and hid your gold…” How similar that is to Adam, after he had sinned and turned over his authority to Satan. “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” (See Genesis 3:10)

Christ has already won the victory and holds all authority. So, let us never go down that road of holding back or hiding again! Instead, let us faithfully and courageously lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters around us and around the world just as Christ did for us! Let it then be said to us on that day, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!” ~Matthew 25:21 (NIV)

“Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.” ~Daniel 12:3 (NIV)

Beloved, it is time to throw everything into His harvest…while there is still time! The very least we can do is pray! (For various examples of ways to help, click: Here)