Restricting God – Let Me Count the Ways…

Many of us are frequently stirred and humbled by the testimonies of missionaries and servants of God. From Biblical times to present day, men and women proclaim the power of God as He leads them to hidden places of suffering. Surrendered vessels who seem totally insignificant become agents of Most High God, affecting lives for eternity.

And we want that too! Who wouldn’t want their temporary life here to matter in God’s Kingdom? Who, knowing the Lord, wouldn’t want all His purposes and intentions come to fruition? And so we too cry out, perhaps at an altar, perhaps in our private prayer….

“Lord, use me, send me! I want my life to matter, to count…”

isaiah1

THEN our flesh speaks ‘sense’ into our cry,

“BUT Lord…”
….don’t send me any place hot, you know how I hate the heat. I would be miserable
….you know I couldn’t go very far, you know my limits, I have responsibilities…
….don’t send me to blah-blah, I could never eat that food, and the bugs are ginormous. Agh, Lord send someone else there
….send me to truly needy people, not to those blah-blah; they’re always trying to rip off the system
….I would serve in a hospital ministry but the germs… and who really knows if those comatose people can even hear the Gospel?
….prisons are, well, dangerous. I’m too old….I’m too young
….please don’t call me to serve in my own neighborhood,  that’s too boring!
….if I go there, if I do that – wouldn’t I lose everything?

By the time we’re finished we’re no longer stirred…we’re discouraged!

Underneath is unbelief  which doesn’t really restrict God but restricts us from grasping His best for our lives.

American Christianity may have a foundational flaw embedded from our culture of ‘rugged individualism’ and ‘opportunity’ and ‘freedom’. We defend the rights to excel, possess, invest and express.  True Christianity smashes that self-reliant lifestyle. No one naturally wants to die to ‘self’ but when we resist complete surrender, resist the cross of Christ, we risk missing His perfect call upon our lives.

“Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.”  Jonah 2:8

I for one am not at the place of total surrender. I want to be though, especially in these last days where prophecy points to the soon return of our Lord. I hope for a deeper burden for the lost, not stoked by fleeting and temporal emotions, but one birthed by the Holy Spirit which defies my emotions and intellect.

Would anyone join me in prayer?

“Lord, thank you for saving me and abiding within me. I believe that, no matter what failures mark my life, no matter how ordinary or limited I perceive my life, You are not limited and You can never fail. I pray for a calling, a heavenly burden that will overshadow and nullify every fear and obstacle. Help me to trust You, Lord. Don’t let me imagine remote and ‘fantastic’ things while missing the ‘woman at the well’. Loosen my grip on the things of this world and help me to walk with a view of eternity. In Jesus name, Amen.”

“God promises not just to save us but to give us a full and meaningful life.”  

“We are called to be a testimony to the world that God is alive.”

(Pastor Carter Conlon, Times Square Church)

 

 

Diving Back Into Life Giving Waters

hot springs in armenia

Hot Springs in Armenia – medicinal but not life giving!

When I was five my mother taught me the 23rd Psalm. She told me to repeat it in bed whenever I had bad dreams. Perhaps ongoing repetitions lulled me back to sleep; I doubt I knew about “shepherds” or how they “maketh me lie down in green pastures”.
Now, many years later, I am finding ongoing treasures in this Psalm, different in life seasons. This week, during a time of emotional heaviness, I read, as if for the first time, the 3rd verse,

“He restores my soul”

Other versions read:

“He refreshes my soul”
“He renews my strength”
“He revives my life”
“He brings back my soul”

I began praying for the Lord to restore and heal my soul and believe in His promise to do it.

Intellectual memorizing and reciting scripture is often the death blow to the life giving power of God’s words. This foundational practice of formal religions effectively squelches the Holy Spirit. The “Lord’s Prayer”, often spoken and sung as one long sentence, grants a feeling of piety but hardly ‘connects’ with the Lord. How many people ‘pray’ that prayer and really expect an answer?

Evangelicals also limit the freedom of the Holy Spirit by endlessly using one verse, John 3:16, as if that alone is all that need be said. But we serve a personal God that reaches every person differently. Jesus never repeated the same words verbatim to everyone He met yet His words were healing, provoking, convicting and powerful – delivered differently, depending on who He was addressing and what was needed to be said!

Any verse can become a ‘mantra’. I’m asking today for a newness in scripture reading, where I’m not predicting the next verse from memory but prayerfully opening my heart to a newness from the Holy Spirit. I want His word to actually be for me…

“…living and active. Sharper than any two edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit….”

“Lord, shake our hearts in these last days. Let every ‘formula’ in our prayer to and sharing of You fall to the ground. Today as we open Your word, let us see it as “living and active” and personal. Inspire us and refresh us with a personal word for others that they may hunger to know You as well.  Lead us, Lord, to joyously dig beyond the surface….”

“For the Lamb on the throne will be their Shepherd. He will lead them to springs of life-giving water. And God will wipe every tear from their eyes.” (Rev 7:17)

“Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; For the Lord God is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation.  Therefore you will joyously draw water from the springs of salvation.”   (Isaiah 12:2-3)

 

(Springs: “a place where water wells up from an underground, unseen source”)

Commemorate Armenian Martyrs – Cry Out for Their Unborn

Armenian Martyrs Day is once again upon us, 4/24/17. Once again crowds will rightfully gather around city centers and government headquarters, continuing demands for complete acknowledgement and justice for the genocide perpetuated upon the Armenians. In 1915, wide scale systematic annihilation began as the Ottoman Turks sought to exterminate the Armenian people. Over 1.5 million Armenians were brutally murdered, some dying slow deaths of starvation and illness during death marches.

Yes, we must remember this great crime against humanity.

However, if we truly care for the Armenian people, their survival and salvation in this world, we would be remiss totally hypocritical to ignore the rampant plight of Armenia’s unborn. (See also “When Good Works End in Spiritual Ashes” 3/22/17)

There is an abortion epidemic in Armenia, deemed a “crisis” by the United Nations.
No one is killing more Armenians today than Armenians.  Armenians once died for their faith yet today, after years of communism and corruption they are shamefully dying in the womb.

Before Armenian Martyrs Day, an online All Night Prayer Meeting will be held, Friday April 21st, from 9pm to 5am Saturday morning. I urge all believers to join in for the whole night, part of the evening or even a few minutes. We cannot, under God’s eye, take a stand for those who were martyred while their current generation is under silent yet utter destruction.

baby at 18 weeks

Every year nearly 25% of all unborn Armenian babies are killed – this may not include gender selective illegal abortions

Proposed Prayer Schedule – Friday 4/21/17 to Saturday 4/22/18

9pm to 10pm: A time of quieting our hearts before the Lord. Visit the Psalms and actually sing some in praises to God or choose any praise and worship songs toward God.

10pm to 11:30pm: Begin to pray for the Church in Armenia and all those who accept a place of spiritual authority. For many, the scriptures are a dead word, without life or power.

• Pray for a great move of the Holy Spirit upon spiritual leaders in Armenia, that their hearts may be deeply convicted for the state of their flock. For the sake of Christ and those who are perishing, pray that God take away their false peace!
• Pray that their hearts are greatly stirred and without rest until they cry out to God and hear the Lord’s direction to lead the men and women under their domain.
• Pray that the eyes of every priest and deacon are open to the futility of rituals that have no grounding in the word of God and no power to save or heal.
• I pray for a deep weeping and grief in the hearts of all church leaders – may the Lord mercifully oppress them with the weight and burden of these sins.

“The heart of the king is in the hand of the Lord…” (Proverbs 21:1) So even the heart of a priest, “For who is able to resist His will?” (Romans 9:19)

11:30pm to 1:30am: Pray for the women of Armenia. Many of these women are descendants of genocide survivors. Armenian women have lived through the tyranny of communism, have known deprivation from Islamic oppression and blockades. While abortion procedures may have been freely offered, contraception was never taught or available for many years. Many Armenian women have had over 10 abortions. Infertility is extremely high.
• Cry out to God for pregnant women, pray that the Holy Spirit open their eyes to the developing baby within them. For those who are gladly expectant, I pray that God increase their joy. I pray that God fan into flames any ember of faith so that these women can call upon the Lord with assurance.
• I pray that women of faith, those who truly know the Lord, will rise up and seek God’s leadership in mentoring and counseling pregnant women among them. May they receive  a God-given burden in their hearts to pray for and reach out to women in crisis.
• Pray for women who have ‘made up their mind’ and especially those who are pressured and cornered by husbands and in-laws to have an abortion. May the Lord take their false peace and well up a controversy in their hearts. May they hear the heartbeat within them. May the Lord quell every fear.
• Pray for women who have had abortions – pray that God would heal their hearts, that they can know full forgiveness and newness of life through the promises of God.
As it is now daytime in Armenia, pray that today is a day without abortions. Let every appointment be canceled, missed, and unattended. Let today be a day that the Lord guards every womb and let the people take notice and realize supernatural intervention.

1:30am to 2:00am: BREAK, a time of physical refreshment and scriptural reading

2:00am to 3:00am: Pray for Armenian men. Armenian men often pressure and propel their wives to have abortions based on gender. Rather than standing as the protector of the home, many of these men strongly push for death to their unborn daughters.
• Pray earnestly that God heal their seared conscience, that the Holy Spirit raise up pangs of conviction in their soul.
• Pray that the Lord magnify their sin before them so they may clearly see it. Let sonograms and pregnancy tests weigh heavy on their hearts as a true life that matters, a life created by God.
• Pray that the Lord give them sleepless nights, that the Holy Spirit draw them into repentance, that the cross of Christ be illuminated before them as the only hope to restore their heart and save them.

Pray for men, women and families that the event of pregnancy become a turning point towards God, that the Lord interrupt any dark plan and turn it around for life and salvation.

3:00am to 4:00am: Pray for doctors and others in the medical field who perform abortions.
• Pray that the Holy Spirit take away their false peace and replace it with deep inner turmoil at the thought of killing unborn babies.
• Let the 6th Commandment, “Thou Shalt Not Murder” resound in their hearts and minds
• Pray that the Holy Spirit weigh upon them heavily with the grief and burden of Christ’s heart for life
• Pray for doctors and medical personnel to come to true repentance, even for the thousands of lives they each may have terminated, and let the true forgiveness and peace of God reign in their hearts and souls

4:00am to 5:00am: Take time to rest in the Lord, let us begin to thank Him for what He is already doing. Let us take confidence in His supernatural work, accomplishing in a short time what man could never do in a lifetime.

“The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power to prevail”

(James 5:16)

 

When Good Works End In Spiritual Ashes

The abortion epidemic plaguing Armenia should be deeply disturbing, especially to Armenians. As spotlighted in the media, the prevalence of gender selection abortion alarmed organizations such as the United Nations and, subsequently, the Armenian government as a demographic crisis would soon be unavoidable.

The median number of abortions for women over 40 is eight, and some women have as many as 20 abortions in a lifetime.” (12/20/2011, lifesitenews.com) Even worse, with the availability of abortion pills, costing less than $1, women might remember medical abortions but many cannot remember how many times they have had drug induced abortions. Gender selection is the compelling, deciding factor in many of these abortions. So compelling and highly pressured, these women are opting for late term illegal abortions.

Yes, a demographic crisis is bad. But what I have realized stepping further into the issue is worse. Just weeks following my article in the Armenian Mirror Spectator, 2/18/17 Armenia’s Hidden Genocide, I was encouraged to learn of a presentation at the United Nations focusing on this specific problem, Prenatal Sex Selection in Armenia. World Vision, a Christian humanitarian organization, led this meeting. I spoke briefly with the World Vision representative from Armenia to express my concerns and ask about their interventions.

“We work closely with the Armenian Apostolic Church”, she stated.

“Do you work at all with other Christian churches, Armenian evangelical churches or ministries? Do you ever have prayer meetings or present the gospel to any of these women?”

“No, we don’t do things like that. We partner with the Armenian Apostolic Church, they have the power.”

Yes, I silently agreed, they have power – political, financial, and social clout. The Armenian Apostolic Church could have eradicated this culture of abortion long ago.

“But don’t you see how priests go into these very hospitals and clinics, bestowing ceremonies and blessings while knowing that abortions are performed there?”

The representative smiled as though this were a funny irony instead of a tragic reality.

“We’ve been working together for 28 years” she added with enthusiasm.

I was aghast, 28 years and women are more desperate than ever!

Although I wanted to run out at this juncture, my husband and I stayed, front row, hoping to learn of some unexpected Christian intervention. However, the singular issue for World Vision and others there was gender selective abortions which, they noted, became widely prevalent with availability of sonograms. The presentation outlined the challenges and strategic interventions to resolve the demographic crisis: changing social norms and restructuring gender roles.

Sonograms did not start this problem, they were the flashpoint in an ongoing tragic lifestyle.

The ‘social gospel’, deeply rooted in organizations such as World Vision, is gaining popularity in megachurches and ministries. At face value no one objects to the mission of providing clean water, food for the hungry, or defending the oppressed. However, while compassion and good works are fruits of living faith, they were not Christ’s mission and can neither be ours if we are following Him.

Jesus, whose name means “the Lord saves” came to “save His people from their sins” (Matt 1:21). The heart of Christian ministry is deliverance  – that is why Jesus is called our Messiah, Savior, and Deliverer.

“The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work”(I John 3:8).

What is the devil’s work? Since the beginning, Satan strives to sow rebellion against God into the heart of man, keeping man in the bondage of sin and despair. Scriptures resound throughout with the truth, “The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ” (Romans 6:23) From Genesis to Revelation only one course of action reconciles us to Him and opens the gate of life: the turning point of repentance. Only through repentance can we begin any journey in life with the Lord and, only from that humbling place can we hope to obey Christ’s essential call, “Pick up your cross and follow me.”

Our total inadequacy keeps us totally dependent on the Holy Spirit of God. “Without me you can do nothing” declared Jesus.

While initial efforts years ago may have begun with prayer and compassion, the social gospel is now well fueled with generous funding of supporters, the collaboration of agencies and religions and the strategic planning of educated participants. Exciting events and team efforts, walks, races, fundraisers, outreaches, and community engagements unleash the ‘human can-do spirit’. Sadly, there is no need for the Holy Spirit, the One to whom we are called to surrender.

“Who Gets to Say What’s Possible?  You!” (from social gospel volunteer page)

The social gospel is fueled by the popular spirit, not the Holy Spirit. The popular spirit drives us to that which the world will affirm, reward, and esteem. The embrace and accolades of others also elevates our self-worth and confidence. But Christianity did not elevate the lives of the apostles nor most of Christ’s followers then or now. There is no self-worth or worldly esteem in the cross we are called to carry. If the Holy Spirit indwells us He will compel us to deliver that which the world rejects: the call of God to repent and walk in holiness, the only call with eternal value.

The social gospel cares about the oppressed people and communities of the world, as does the Red Cross and Crescent Cross. The danger is, however, that social gospel ministries present a ‘false Christ’ – one that is not grieved at sin and so came to die for sin. They present a god who is satisfied with alleviating the suffering of others, even if they die without salvation. The social gospel, like the spirit of this world, never wants us to consider hell or proclaim the soon return of Christ as Judge upon mankind.

Having lost sight of Christ’s mission, the social gospel is growing into an inclusive movement for those pursuing justice for immigrants, LGBT, and even tacit support for abortion rights – as long as it is not gender selective. When the “Truth that sets men free” – free from sin and free to approach God, loses the place of supremacy, good works turn into spiritual ashes before God.

“If anyone does not remain in Me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.” John 15:6

World To God: “DON’T DISTURB OUR CONSCIENCE!”

The below posted brief film gained notoriety as it was recently banned in France. (Perhaps being banned brought it forward to greater limelight than otherwise possible!)

Films and literature are subject to scrutiny and outright ban when governing authorities deem the content to be intolerably offensive – politically, morally, and/or socially. Banning films or literature serves to punctuate the prevailing values and agendas of society.

So why was this film banned in France?

“The court said the video’s depiction of happy Down syndrome children is ‘likely to disturb the conscience of women who had lawfully made different personal life choices.’ “

(Read more at: http://www.nationalreview.com/article/442735/dear-future-mom-down-syndrome-anti-abortion-video-ban-france)

In France, 96% of unborn babies found with Down Syndrome are aborted.

From the beginning of time, man embraced the delusion that the freedom to rebel against God somehow empowers us. This ‘freedom’ and heady independence from the ways of God emboldens us to rename immorality and cloak it with glamour and allurement. We boast ‘we are free!’ while in fact there is no greater task master than sin.

Biblical passages, such as Ephesians 2:1-3, describe this present world as under the dominion of Satan,

“..the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient”

In Ephesians and elsewhere, the Apostle Paul declares that ‘rulers’, ‘authorities’ and ‘powers of this dark world’ dominate our culture. There is a progressive course of rebellion, laying foundation to accept and redefine sin, deceiving man into celebrating sin and finally and futilely, raising up standards against the inner conviction of sin.

                       WORLD TO GOD: “DON’T DISTURB OUR CONSCIENCE!”

This is a sobering quest of the last days.  It is the dark zeal that animates parades and entertainment that celebrate offenses against God.  Killing our conscience, that alarm installed by God to warn of danger, consequence and judgment is a futile and desperate denial of Sovereign God.

The final destination of man’s darkened heart, revealed in the fearful coming judgment….

“The rest of mankind that were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood – idols that cannot see or hear or walk. Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts.” (Revelation 9:20-21)

… appears to be an inability to repent in spite of horrific acts of judgment.

Revelation chapter 11 describes ‘two witnesses’, sent by God and endowed with His power. Ordained by God to prophesize and testify for 1,260 days, these two messengers are murdered and their deaths are celebrated by the whole world…. “Don’t disturb our conscience!”                                                

Jesus, the Light of the world, left us here to be the light of the world. Light of the world, not friend to the world. The gulf between light and dark is broadening and fortifying.  Those  Brethren who choose to stand in God’s light, upholding Biblical truths in the power of the Holy Spirit, is shrinking.  We can expect this: the ‘church’ will continue to downward spiral, compromise and apostasy will make nominal Christians enemies of God. As the great ‘falling away’ steadily progresses,  the Body of Christ will be His remnant left in the world.

Our plea to the world has not changed, “Be reconciled to God” (II Corinthians 5:20) Neither has the message of salvation by faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross, His forgiveness of sins for all who sincerely repent. And steadfast is the promise of the resurrection, new life and life eternal for those who trust and obey. We cannot change, soften, or compromise the message as the darkness aggressively resists.

Our call, from before the world began, also remains. “Stand”, “watch” and “pray”, steadfast in faith wherever we are, believing that He has put ‘the parts of the body exactly where He wants them.’ Be ready with that undying plea to man from heaven. No one knows who around us will hear and receive the Gospel truth and cross over the gulf from death to life.

The celebration of sin, the banning of life and hope, should truly propel us deeper into the word of God and separate us further from the ways of this world. Viewing the world with the heart of Christ should birth in us both discernment and deep grief.

“We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one.” 1 John 5:19

Let us commit to exalt and honor God. In mercy for our fellow man and in defiance of the wicked one, let seek God each day, speak the truth of the whole gospel of Christ wherever He assigns us.  Let us pray fervently that the Holy Spirit will enable us to  disturb the conscience of those who are perishing, that they may come to their senses and be reconciled to God.

Revival In America? What Do You Believe?

Everyday there is a new celebrity push to GATHER TOGETHER or MARCH AS ONE or somehow STORM THE CAPITAL FOR JESUS. Whatever the launch, the driving force is the same: ‘Bring America into Revival!’ ‘Bring America Back to God!’ Many of the involved Christian leaders are well respected pastors, authors, and servants of God. Of course, to gather, march, or otherwise make an impact there must be a concerted ecumenical effort.

As a plea to other believers I humbly suggest to please stop and consider the Biblical basis for these popular movements. There are no such events organized in the New Testament. No such campaigns are found in the Old Testament, where godly prophets risked their lives to admonish and warn, preaching repentance to the nation. They stood alone unlike leaders today who strategize national repentance.

When Christians – or any people – strategize, they are in the flesh, utilizing human capabilities of cleverness, intellect, creativity, social and political connections, and media blitzes. How could this possibly align with the teachings of the apostles that we are admonished to follow?  “So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings that we passed on to you…” (II Thessalonians 2:15)

John 6:63 records the words of Jesus,

“The Spirit gives life but the flesh counts for nothing.”

Similarly, collaborative ecumenical efforts toward the goal of national repentance have no grounding in the New Testament. The most powerful, Spirit filled men, launched by God into the world, did not rely on money, media, strategies, collaborative committees, or social/political connections. They were separated from the world system, they did not try to employ it to ‘help’ God.

WHEN was America a ‘Christian Nation’? When were your neighbors truly your ‘brethren’? Yes, historically the United States has been prosperous and upright in many ways, but godly? Only selective memory can lead to that conclusion. Our country’s long standing and deepening love affair with sensuality, sexuality, greed and violence has opened doors of sin in other nations. When we study the scriptures we must conclude that there is no ‘Christian nation’, every country is included in the ‘world system’ and every country is under the domain of the prince of this world – Satan. Every country will willingly and without exception join into the one world government. Christian nation? The United States may be the driving force plunging us into these dark last days.

Outside of our borders, no one thinks we are really a Christian nation, in fact, most of the ‘heathen’ countries are being inwardly destroyed by our exportation of gross immorality.

815606        Neither one of these represent Jesus Christ…. Which                                             american-homosexual-flag                           one represents America?

 

 

 

 

So, what’s wrong with all these grand revival plans anyway? Aren’t these rallies better than just watching the country implode like a slow train crash? Sadly, no….

Intertwining ‘nation’ and ‘God’ does not revive true faith but truly revives NATIONAL PRIDE. Pride skews our thinking and separates us from God. Creating a ‘vision’ and ‘formulating a plan’ blinds us to God’s ways and view. How does the Lord see the United States of America?

“Surely the nations are like a drop in a bucket; they are regarded as dust on the scales….” Isaiah 40:15

Strategized events with emotional and ‘spiritual’ fervor, formulated and launched by man, can never amount to anything of eternal value. If we’re doing something that God has not ordained then we are missing what He had planned for us to do. It will count FOR NOTHING (Matt 7:21). ‘Servants’ don’t busy themselves with self-assigned projects and missions, they wait upon their Master. More powerful than us in every way, would the angels of God ever think to devise their own plans to serve God? Never! The “good works which God prepared in advance for us to do” may not be grandiose, emotionally tantalizing, or popular amongst the masses but those ‘good works’ will never fail to yield God’s intended eternal fruits.

God’s way of salvation calls for the old man to die. Many of those gathering with revivalists do not subscribe to foundational tenets of salvation. Godly sorrow brings  repentance that leads to salvation.”  (II Corin 7:10) God does not lead men into godly sorrow through prosperity but through severe chastisement, sometimes devastation. While many are calling for ‘national repentance’ there is hardly a cry for godly sorrow. And who would rally around such a cry?

The Old Testament prophets carried the burden of the Lord with much grief and sorrow – knowing that destruction and judgement were in store for backslidden Israel. Separated from the world with words from God, they were unpopular and persecuted. Nobody rallied around them. They did not work up a cheering crowd or organize media blitzes, financial backing, or celebrity participants. They were compelled by God alone.

I pray that we do not rob God of what He truly wants to do through us in these last days. May we be watching for His return, praying, and “making disciples of all the nations” – perhaps as far as our next door neighbors…engaging in those “good works prepared for us” noted in Ephesians 2:10.

A drop in the bucket

Here we are as a nation…a drop indistinguishable from any other.

We as believers are called out of the world by God who “rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the Kingdom of the Son He loves” (Colossians 1:13) It’s time for us as true believers to give up ‘national pride’ and dreams of ‘past traditional values’, and get deeper into the Word of God.  God has placed us in His Body exactly where He wants us, (I Corinthians 12:18) with ‘good works’ prepared for us, rooted in the heart of Christ that He may welcome us on that soon coming day,

“Well done My good and faithful servant!”

“…God Sends Them a Powerful Delusion..”

“They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.” (II Thessalonians 2:10b and 11)

No matter how you turn these verses, the core meaning is fearful – God is taking action that will seal the doom of those who refuse to love the truth. Note, the verse does not point to those who don’t know the truth, but those who refuse to love the truth. This chapter speaks of both apostasy – “the rebellion”- and the antichrist, “man of lawlessness”. Many people, believers and unbelievers alike, lend an ongoing and lively curiosity to the arrival of the antichrist, sizing up various politicians, religious leaders, and world leaders. Many take great care to somehow ‘discover’ who this diabolical leader will be. However, few Christians are lamenting over the “great falling away” spoken of by Jesus in Matthew 24.

Pastor David Wilkerson spoke of this ‘powerful delusion’ and the’ lie’ which the fallen will believe: “…the ‘lie’ is the same one Eve believed, ‘you can sin and get away with it. God will not punish you.’” I believe that the seeds of this lie grow and bear fruit as they are watered by love of self and a fearless propensity to contort the word of God. A demonic empowerment, grossly mistaken for anointing, emboldens church leadership to wrap Scripture around human logic and reasoning…“You can get away with sin, God will not punish you, He’s a God of mercy…wait a minute, is this really a sin? ‘This’ is love…love can’t be sin so this cannot be a sin, therefore God would not punish this and, moreover, God agrees with this. This is a good thing! Yes, that’s right, we should celebrate!”

“’Delusion’ is stronger than deception. Deception means that a person can be fooled about something. Delusion is a way of life in which one is perpetually deceived. People under delusion harden their heart permanently.” Dr. Grant Richison, Verse by Verse Commentary website

A tremendous amount of money, public relations, political backing and cultural grooming has been invested into transforming homosexuality from unnatural and ungodly to innate and celebrated. Is it ungodly? Even a spandex Bible could not stretch the truth far enough. Is it unnatural? Can anyone really insist, “it is natural for a man to put…” no, it isn’t.

The power of this agenda further creates a cultural divide as it asserts a wrong accusation:  if you’re not aligned with us, you are haters.  What?  Any loving parent – any loving person in fact- knows that love can withstand and exist within disagreement and differences.

As a parole officer I once supervised a middle aged masculine lesbian who lived with her ‘wife’. She was hostile to law enforcement which was greatly heightened toward me when I violated her parole. After spending time in jail, she was released to my caseload again, much to my dismay. I was amazed however when she came back into my office….her whole countenance had changed, she had a true peace. She shared with me, “I came to know the Lord in jail” and described her baptism and Bible study. She left the ‘gay’ lifestyle. I was in awe of the Lord’s transforming power as every week she presented as more and more feminine until she was wearing dresses.  She often shared about the life changes God brought about in her, lamenting one day, “How could I have done such disgusting things?”

Today’s apostate church would have celebrated her fallen state, validated her sin and obscured the life transforming power of Christ’s salvation and deliverance.  

The sinful seed in the demonic challenge, “did God really say” – is brought to utter fruition by the delusion sent by God. While the Lord invites the sinner and mercifully chastises the carnal Christian, there is little hope for those who rush forth to misrepresent and slander the word of the Sovereign and Holy God. Who can deliver you if God Himself sends a powerful delusion upon you, a precursor to condemnation?

There is a dark net launched and hovering over the world in preparation of the antichrist. The corruption of entire denominations facilitates the ‘coming together’ of many into one faith, with compromise as its cornerstone. True believers in the west will be tested as the Lord calls upon us to “stand”, “watch” and “pray”. “Let us not give up meeting together” but commit to encouraging, admonishing and ‘loving one another deeply’ in the Lord. As is the Body of Christ elsewhere in the world, we will be hated and ostracized by unbelievers and worse – by those who have fallen away. Those who have known the faith have the greater vantage point to oppose and betray. But the Lord is our Defender, our Advocate, and our High Priest.

May we stand faithful in the shadow of God’s Son, together under the authority of His sovereign Word and be that ‘one’…

“This is the one I esteem; he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at My word.” (Isaiah 66:2)