The Encroaching Darkness

I want to share one my favorite authors/speakers talking about a subject of great importance.  We are living in dark times, but we are not left alone and without hope.  It is so important to know who we are as children of God and to know what He has said so that we may view the dying world around us through his eyes.  We need to get back into the Word in a way like never before to be salt and light to a world that has largely turned away from Him!

Be blessed!

New U.N. Report Erases All Doubts: Iran Is Developing Nuclear Warheads And The Missiles To Deliver Them

Please take a moment to read Joel’s blog on this subject.  We’ve all known the Iranians have been developing nuclear weapons even though they’ve gone before the world and protested otherwise.  If you are an American or a Jew, beware because those in power in Iran have vowed to wipe the Great (America) and Little (Israel) Satan off the face of the earth.  Anybody who thinks that Iran will develop nuclear weapons capabilities and then not use them is deluded and foolish.  

Times are changing!  Open your eyes and see!  He who has an ear, let him hear!

Blessings!

This Present Darkness…

Periodically, I will go back and re-read books that I find valuable or entertaining.  In keeping with this tradition, I’m about to start reading This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti again.

The Bible tells us that what we deal with on a daily basis is not physical in nature; rather, it is spiritual.  Failing to understand that basic truth can cause all kinds of problems in your life.  There is a war going on for your soul and you will always be a casualty if you don’t know you’re in the cross-hairs of the enemy!  Paul clues us in to this foundational truth about life in his letter to the Ephesians:

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.  Ephesians 6:12 (ESV)

Our struggle is against whom?  President Obama?  Republicans/Democrats?  Blacks, whites, neo-nazis, or Al-Queda?  No.  We don’t wrestle against flesh and blood.  We struggle against spiritual forces.  So many times we set our aim on people, not realizing all along that there is more at play than what meets the eye.  Did you ever stop to think on the higher reality that those who cause us difficulty and harm, though responsible for their actions, are under the influence of evil spiritual powers?   I really wonder how many of the ailments we see plaguing society are really caused by spiritual influence rather than physical imperfections (split personalities, depression, suicide, ADD, homosexuality, abortion, sexual perversion, etc…).  Saying that they are influenced by the spiritual does not give license to condone or practice these activities, but it can shed light as to the source of the problem.  Dealing with these types of problems with medicine will never work if they are spiritual in nature.  This is not to say that there are not true medical conditions out there that can be treated, but you have to admit that the concept of a spiritual root is provocative and worthy of serious consideration.  Along the lines of this train of thought, if there were demons present and active in the time of Jesus, did they pack up shop and call it a day when he ascended to heaven?  I think not!  That begs to question, “Where did they go?” and “What, if anything, are they doing now?”  I submit to you that they didn’t go anywhere and are just as active today, if not more active.  But I digress….

Notice that Paul gives a hierarchical listing: rulers, authorities, and cosmic powers.  Just like any modern military, there is an order to Satan’s forces, each with increasingly higher power and authority to work their evil.  Notice that Paul also clues us into the where: the heavenly places.  Where is that?  Those are the places you cannot see but exist nonetheless.  We now know from science that we live in more that four dimensions.  Four you say?  Height, depth, width, and time make up the four observable dimensions, but there are others that are not directly perceptible.  Science is confirming what the Bible has said all along.  Even though we cannot directly perceive the heavenly realms with our eyes, they exist and are populated with both good and evil beings.

The concept of evil and even the use of the word is largely missing in our sophisticated, humanist view of the world at large.  But make no mistake, just because we don’t use the word or acknowledge its workings, evil is present, alive, and on the move in the world today.  Christians accept the reality of the Trinity: God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  If we can accept that each person of the Trinity is actively at work in the world today, then how large a leap of logic does it take to realize that Satan and his angels are hard at work in the world as well?

Sometimes it takes a vivid illustration to make this point and This Present Darkness will snap you out of any sleepy illusion that you may hold regarding the world of the spirit  and give you a fictional, but very thought-provoking view of what it looks like behind the scenes in the realm of the spiritual as it collides and interacts with what we see in the physical.

There is a war raging all around you.  Not consciously making a choice for one side or the other will not prevent you from becoming embroiled in the fray.  The war is real, the stakes are high, and you cannot escape it!  If your eyes are not open to this reality, then I pray that you take the time to explore my claims so that you can prepare and equip yourself to be the active warrior and not an unknowing victim.

Fortunately, the hard part is already done for you:  Jesus died according to the scriptures, was buried, and rose on the third day according to the scriptures.  Putting your faith in him and believing that only he has the power to cleanse you of your sin (another word we do not use much today), break you out of the chains of your current bondage, set you free, and make you a new man or woman truly alive as you were created to be is the solution.  And he will also give you the power to stand against the tide of evil washing over the face of the earth…the power to stand against this present darkness!

Be blessed!

The War Within…

We recently covered Romans Chapter 7 on a Sunday morning in church and reading this again just serves to remind me of the war within…the war between the flesh and the spirit.

I found it interesting to see that the law allows us to recognize sin, and that recognition produces the desire in us, as a fallen race, to do that which we ought not do.

What then shall we say?  That the law is sin?  By no means!  yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin.  For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.”  But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness.  For apart from the law, sin lies dead.  I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died.  The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me.  For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me.  So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good. Did that which is good, then, bring death to me?  By no means!  It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure.  For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. (vv. 7-14 ESV).

Furthermore, the flesh produces all manner of conflict as show by Paul when he continues in verses 15-23:

For I do not understand my own actions.  For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.  Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good.  So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.  For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh.  For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out.  For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.  Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. (vv. 15-23 ESV)

Paul describes the war we all experience within and he, very interestingly, personifies sin.  He doesn’t describe it as some inanimate, impassive, or impotent idea; rather, he uses active words like “seizing”, “deceived”, and “killed” to accurately describe what sin seeks to do to all of mankind who know the righteous Law of God.

This war plagues all who know the truth and Paul laments this, then gives the remedy:

Wretched man that I am!  Who will deliver me from this body of death?  Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!  So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.  There is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.  For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do.  By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. (Romans 7:24 – 8:5 ESV)

Thank God!

Lord, may I live by the Spirit and not the flesh this day and every day through your power and sacrifice on my behalf.  Amen.

14 Women Killed by RU 486 Abortion Drug

The US Food and Drug Administration has quietly released a new report about the deaths of and injuries to women from the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug and the Obama administration has done nothing to make the information available to women. Following its approval during the Clinton administration, the FDA released a report in 2006 that received widespread attention for showing more than 1,100 women had been subjected to “adverse effects” resulting from their taking the abortion drug mifepristone, commonly known a RU 486. Pro-life advocates have waited five years for the FDA to come out with a new report of problems associated with the drug — despite mounting evidence that the abortion drug continues to kill and injure women across the globe.
Life News

A Foretaste Of Things To Come…

I will let the text speak for itself:

Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple.  And Jesus said to them, “Do you not see all these things?  Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”  

Now as he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be?  And what [will be] the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you.  For many will come in My name, saying ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.  And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars.  See that you are not troubled; for all [these things] must come to pass,  but the end is not yet.  For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.  And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.  All these [are] the beginning of sorrows.  Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.  And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.  Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.  And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.  But he who endures to the end shall be saved.”
     Matthew 24:1-13 NKJV