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!!

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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)

The Lord’s Fast

homeless

What if we allowed the Spirit of the Lord to help teach us to treat everyone we run into with a shower of love, dignity, honor and royalty? What if we treated them like kings and queens, princes and princesses (like we’d like to be treated) – especially the most unlovely, forlorn, mean, irritating, irrational, incoherent and oppressed? What if we perhaps even treated them to a gift, a good meal or warm shelter? What if our ability to “arise and shine” (Isaiah 60) is interconnected to how we treat the poor and needy (Isaiah 58)?

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.

“If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.” ~Isaiah 58:6-10 (NIV)

The Greater Works!

Fire Hands 2

I want to be more like Jesus, don’t you? But, doesn’t it seem astounding that Jesus said, “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father” (John 14:12, NIV). Amazing, isn’t it? How is this even possible? He is so great and powerful and we are so weak and small!

“God came from Teman, the Holy One from Mount Paran. His glory covered the heavens and his praise filled the earth. His splendor was like the sunrise; rays flashed from his hand, where his power was hidden.” ~Habakkuk 3:3-4 (NIV)

“Sun and moon stood still in the heavens at the glint of your flying arrows, at the lightning of your flashing spear. In wrath you strode through the earth and in anger you threshed the nations. You came out to deliver your people, to save your anointed one.” ~Habakkuk 3: 11-13 (NIV)


“The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire.” ~Revelation 1:14 (NIV)


“His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.” ~Revelation 1: 16 (NIV)

It sounds intimidating, especially considering His immense power and glory! But, we must press on into Jesus, just as Moses approached the mountain of the Lord, to yield our hearts to Him and let him set our hearts on fire with His Holy Spirit, and then His fire will emanate from our eyes, mouth, face and hands.

Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?” And the Lord said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.” Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.” ~Exodus 33:15-18 (NIV)

“When Aaron and all the Israelites saw Moses, his face was radiant, and they were afraid to come near him.” ~Exodus 34:30 (NIV)

Jesus said, “Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are healthy, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are unhealthy, your body also is full of darkness. See to it, then, that the light within you is not darkness. Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be just as full of light as when a lamp shines its light on you.” ~Luke 11:33-36 (NIV)

“A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” ~Luke 6:45 (NIV)

One of the results of the fire of the Holy Spirit coming from our hearts and proceeding out our mouths, is that the wisdom of the world and demonic strongholds are uprooted and destroyed.

“For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds, [Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God…” ~2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (AMP)

“My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power. We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. No, we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” ~I Corinthians 2:4-8 (NIV)

In the time that we are now entering, the “demonstration of the Spirit’s power” through the spoken word, will take on new dimensions that we would currently find difficult to comprehend, similar to what the Lord through the prophet Habakkuk.

“Look around [you, Habakkuk, replied the Lord] among the nations and see! And be astonished! Astounded! For I am putting into effect a work in your days [such] that you would not believe it if it were told you.” ~Habakkuk 1:5 (AMP)

In scripture, we can clearly see the theme of the Holy fire proceeding from God, Jesus, Moses and the prophets. Are we to just sit back and wait for Jesus, a prophet or an angel to speak His words and accomplish these great and mighty works? We know that even many of the prophets and heroes of the Bible were considered weak in many ways, yet we know that through faith, they overcame. “…through faith, [they] conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies.” (see Hebrews 11:33-34)

Have you considered that He might be waiting for you to ask Him to fill you with His Holy fire, so it can flow in and through you? When Moses approached the Red Sea, it appears in scripture that Moses was standing there waiting on God to do His thing. But we see later that God was also waiting on Moses…He wanted to work with and through Moses. God didn’t want Moses and the Israelites to stand there in fear, staring at the Red Sea on one side and the Egyptians coming from the other side. He needed them to step up in faith and do their part!

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground. I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians so that they will go in after them. And I will gain glory through Pharaoh and all his army, through his chariots and his horsemen.” ~Exodus 14:15-17 (NIV)

I get the sense from this that God was saying, “Ok, Moses, I’ve given you authority and you know me and you know my heart. You see the enemy coming for you and the Red Sea in front of you. What are you going to do about it?”

What about us? He’s filled us with His precious Holy Spirit. He’s given us authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and all forms of evil (see Luke 10:19). Are we going to respond by hiding, or by just standing there and staring in fear and terror at the giants in front of us–at the gross sin and the disasters on the earth? Instead, aren’t we ready to step up, step out and be a Holy Spirit fire pryo for Jesus? I believe that Jesus and all of His creation is waiting for us you as well! He’s waiting for all of us to come forth and make our move!

Jesus said, “I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! ~Luke 12:49 (NIV)

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” ~Romans 8:18-21 (NKJV)

Should not the sons of God be about doing what the Son and His Father are doing? Shouldn’t we follow Christ’s example of radiating light and love and bringing the Kingdom of heaven to earth?

“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 [See Psalm 45:7] 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. They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations. Strangers will shepherd your flocks; foreigners will work your fields and vineyards. And you will be called priests of the Lord, you will be named ministers of our God. You will feed on the wealth of nations, and in their riches you will boast. Instead of your shame you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And so you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours.” ~Isaiah 61:1-7 (NIV)

Also, it should not surprise us that the greatest works will come at the time of the greatest need. Have you ever noticed in the Bible that there is a lot of spiritual darkness, devastation, death and destruction during the time of the end of the age? During the birth pangs, the seals and the trumpets, for example, there are plagues, sicknesses, diseases, demons being released. There are people dying from war and from all kinds of natural disasters. But let me ask you a question. What is more powerful: Life or Death? Love or Hate? We all know that answer. And we must live it during this time! This will be an amazing time for the love, power and Holy fire of Christ to flow through us to bring an answer to all of these things that are going on across the earth; and then we will lead multitudes to Christ. But let’s not wait for the very last few years to do this. Let’s jump in the river and start now!

Once again, at the end of the age we will see the fullest manifestation of the following scripture,

“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)

“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)

It’s Harvest Time!

harvest time

As I see how the leaves are now quickly falling from the trees, I notice how suddenly they are everywhere–even when I just took care of them about 2 days ago! So, I am reminded how the harvest is increasing; and souls will be saved like leaves falling from the trees! We must be prepared to take care of them and bring them in–and not stop until it is over!

It is a time of acceleration and we will need to run with Jesus to keep up! He is very excited and joyful about this great coming harvest–His inheritance! We must also stay in the river of the Spirit for our strength. Though we may only be wading in the river now, it will grow deeper and deeper until we are swimming in it! (Ezekiel 47). We will be washed and receive His strength and purity. And we will see many signs and wonders–which will in turn lead many, many more into the kingdom and to the river! It is a time of great light and darkness, a time when both the wheat and the tares are reaching maturity! It’s harvest time!! (Isaiah 60, Matthew 13, Joel 2:28-32)