I believe that the Lord would say that modern churches are feeling "under the weather." The phrase is an idiom used in the English language to denote sickness, but not to the level that would require a visit to the doctor or the hospital. The fact is: whether the church is comatose or "under the weather" the result is the same--it misses its calling and purpose. The church's purpose is to interpret prophecy, to warn the congregation and the world of impending doom, and to hear the cries of its people. A church or congregation that cannot hear the cries of its people and respond urgently and appropriately will not survive. The key is having an appropriate response. If each time someone asks for oranges, you give them an apple, eventually they will stop asking and try to find someone else who can hear and respond to their request for oranges.
The spirits of the remaining men and women who still inhabit churches and other congregations are crying out for deeper meaning and purpose in life. They want to know that this earth represents more than a passing encounter with life. It is their sole opportunity to grab hold of an eternity that seems to be eluding them, leaving them with no more than a passing encounter. Deep within their spirit they know intuitively that they can have infinitely more than a "treadmill" existence, fueled by a repetitiveness that appears to have no end. If that is all that the church or congregation provides, the remnant also will leave eventually.
In order to survive in this current spiritual climate, a congregation must literally and figuratively touch the face of God and connect with eternity. It is a powerful and explosive encounter that is facilitated by God's Holy Spirit. When we connect with God's Holy Spirit, we connect with eternity. When a congregation connects its members with God's Holy Spirit, it connects them with the eternity they crave, and in a manner that cannot be rivaled by any other entity or organization. One cannot tell them that they have God's indwelling Holy Spirit if they don't. Their spirits know truth. They feel and experience the empty hole at their core that yearns to be filled. People of God, be filled with his Spirit and allow that Spirit to consume every inch of your being. A congregation that is filled with members who are filled with God's Holy Spirit will be passionate, vibrant, alive, growing, urgent, loving, and teeming with unmatched miracles.
Some of us, particularly the more vocal among us, already have felt the effects of America's economic siege. The initial brunt of the antichrist's rage was directed at us, while those who have chosen to align with them are being generously rewarded. They have decided that escaping the siege and its consequences ideally is accomplished by surrendering to the enemy--doing what he demands, regardless of the consequences for our lives and for the future of our country and our world. For them, fighting for individual freedoms, or for international human rights and religious self-determination is not an option.
Some of these individuals use fear as an excuse for committing the most heinous evil against those whom they believe may pose a threat to their belief systems. Fear may be an excuse if the person claiming to be fearful receives no benefit or reward as a result of succumbing to the fear. However, when the person or entity receives substantial remuneration in the form of major charitable donations, jobs, bonuses, vacations or other benefits, the actions or lack thereof cannot be deemed to be occasioned by fear.
The term "American" is synonymous with diversity--in race, in viewpoints, in politics, in religions, and in ideologies. Even if you have become convinced that "American" has a meaning more akin to homogeneous or single-minded, the homogeneity and single-mindedness is in its commitment to democracy, and to widely disparate individual rights and freedoms.
The question one must ask is: "Where would we be and what would be the condition of our world if everyone did what I am doing?" Would the world be in a better or worse position? We often think of ourselves as being in a world unto ourselves, having the right and privilege to do solely what is in our best interests. But I am reminded of a poem I learned in High School which states in part: "No man is an island, no man stands alone." While we may be committed to doing what benefits only us in the short term, our inaction when action is necessary, as well as our actions, particularly when they involve doing harm to others, clearly undermine the fabric of our society, as well as our place in that society.
Twenty-first century Americans at home are voluntarily surrendering the same rights that our military presumably is fighting to secure. Military men and women have been compelled to serve multiple tours of duty, sometimes as many as fourteen or more, with each tour lasting from several months to years. Some of them return home with mental and physical deficits and minimal compensation and disability benefits. As I noted in a letter a couple of years ago, if we no longer cherish the rights and liberties for which they courageously are fighting, then perhaps it is time to end every war and bring home all of our troops.
Escaping should be a term we use in reference to escaping the clutches of the devil. But it should not include the relinquishment of our moral, societal, and political obligations, or the escapist dedication to short-term self-interest and self-protection at virtually any cost.
When in danger, there often are many different avenues of escape. Some are quick and easy, others are more energy intensive. The more energy intensive methodologies often require detailed planning, thinking through various alternatives, and choosing the options that are perfectly suited to the circumstances. If the danger is imminent, the planning must be swift.
Today, our nation is in grave danger. That danger is imminent, and requires the immediate attention of our elected officials. The danger stems from the fact that America has been placed under siege by virtue of its economic indebtedness. The potential consequences of that siege are far more devastating than anything we have ever experienced, principally because of the absence of any realistic planning in regard to discovering a resolution. If our elected officials fail to take action within the next four weeks, Americans are hereby warned that beginning perhaps as early as September 2015, their lives could be turned upside down. Europe may be able to bail Greece out of its dilemma. But who will bail out America?
The Wall Street Journal reported this week that China's Tsinghua Unigroup Ltd., a state-owned Chinese semiconductor company, made a $23 billion bid to takeover the U.S. company, Micron Technology, Inc. As the Journal reported, Micron is the only remaining U.S. supplier of an important variety of the microchip, which itself is a critical component of the memory-based chips used in smartphones and mobile devices. In addition, memory-based microchips are now being implanted in infants and adults throughout the world. These microchip implants are believed to be the "abomination that causes desolation" described in the book of Daniel, and the "mark of the beast" described in the book of Revelation. If and when China acquires control of this critical industry, the world will likely change dramatically. See full article at:
Imagine for a moment that you just received an offer for your ideal job--a job for which you did not interview, and from a company about which you know only its location. However, the salary offered is much more than you would have requested, and entails doing a job that you know will make you eager to begin each day and will bring you immense joy for at least the next decade.
You absolutely intend to accept this position and want to be as prepared as possible so that the transition will be seamless. You have a copy of the company's "Handbook For New Hires" ("Handbook"), but you decide to hire an expert claiming inside knowledge of the requirements for a truly seamless transition. The expert suggests numerous purchases of various devices and paraphernalia, and a long list of courses to take and programs to attend prior to your start date. None of the information being offered by this expert is in the company's Handbook but you are committed to doing it (in lieu of taking a vacation break) because it appears to be logical, results oriented, and in accordance with 21st century thinking. Eventually, you arrive at the job on the first day to discover that the Handbook contained everything you needed to know about the company, and the company provides, free of charge, all of the programs, devices, and paraphernalia you could possibly need in order to fulfill the job requirements. In fact, the purchases you made not only were unnecessary, but also, related to an entirely different company.
That is the religious or spiritual context within which most individuals operate. They seek after a life that on the surface appears beyond their normal grasp. Instead of exploring the contents of the one book that purports to be a manual for life (the Bible) written through inspiration by the only known God who is claimed to be alive and communicative, they seek after experts and, because of their lack of knowledge of the contents of the "manual," they become easy prey. Here are two of the ways in which humans of every religious and spiritual persuasion (including religious leaders) have become easy prey for Satan and his cohorts:
1. They willingly agree to have "spirit guides" who purportedly reveal inside information about colleagues, friends and neighbors, guide them on what to say and do to accomplish their personal and professional goals, and reveal the answers to difficult questions, such as whether they should remain married or get a divorce, or school and college test and examination answers.
FACT: These " spirit guides" are programmable demonic spirits sent by Satan whose only goal is to groom and prepare you for hell. They will tell you what you wish to hear, interspersed with abundant lies designed to coerce you into following Satan. The only "spirit guide" whose goal is most likely to align with yours in the short term as well as in the long term is God's Holy Spirit that he offers freely to every human being. It is a Spirit of truth who seeks only willing worship and your best interests.
2. They worship gods that are animals or that they have created from wood, stone, metal or other materials.
FACT: If you are seeking answers to life's difficult questions, and guidance for difficult problems, you are not likely to receive the answer or guidance sought unless you access a higher more knowledgeable power. By the laws of nature, you cannot possibly create something that is more advanced than you are, and therefore cannot find answers outside of yourself in something you created. At the very least, ask the questions of the human spirit that God gave you. It knows not only the answers, but also the true and living God that created you, and the only God whom you should worship.
SOLUTION: Today, "throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles" and assert your independence (Hebrews 12:1). God has given you everything you could possibly need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). Nothing outside of yourself can bring you joy. In seeking him, and in learning how to truly worship from a spiritual perspective, you eventually will satisfy every genuine need--for this life and for eternity.
It is always a glorious feeling when we arrive at a point at which we can celebrate our independence. But history bears witness to the fact that independence is rarely if ever merely handed to us on a silver platter. It often is achieved only after a long and sometimes fierce battle. We must assert our desire and our right to be free. Today, while we can celebrate our political freedom, we face yet another battle for spiritual freedom. If we lose this battle, the victories of 1776 will have become meaningless.
We assume that spiritual freedom is independence from God. When we are free to choose to align with opposite forces we feel we have asserted our independence. Unknown to us, while we might be free to align with opposite forces, it is those forces that ultimately will enslave us. Their now gentle embrace ultimately will become steel tentacles from which we can never be set free. Only God seeks to give us the gift of spiritual freedom--freedom to seek him or to turn away. Seeking after him, freely, yields eternal bliss. The alternative is an endless enslavement to everything that seeks to destroy our sense of peace, joy and freedom. It is against those forces that we must fight the battle for independence. Because while God stands patiently waiting with open arms, the dark, alternative forces pursue us with unmatched vigilance.