Brethren and saints in the Lord, Hearken, As we approach the final hours of yet another year - ready to close it out and begin another year (afresh), namely ... the year 2010! Bear in mind this: 2000 years have now come and gone since history occurred at calvary's tree ... 2 milleniums have also expired and elapsed. Keep in mind God's timetable of prophetic events is still very much (on his) agenda, and waiting (to come to pass) Now This my brother and my sister is as garanteed as the sun is of rising in the morning and setting in the evening tide. But this we know and are persuaded of - things cannot continue in the present vein and nor can they continue forever. The prophecy of the scripture must be fulfilled and will be fulfilled! And The way things stand at present ...time is still on our side well for the moment they are (thankfully) That being said, the window of opportunity that currently exists is narrowing and closing BY THE HOUR - AND BY THE MINUTE! yea even as we speak. The chief reason time is on our side is for us-ward ( meaning ) God is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing any perish, but all come to repentance. Its the grace of God and the mercy of God we have space and time still available...
But we have come to the dawn of a new year with a word of exhortation and so without further ado or delay lets launch - and jump right into it! Lets get down to brass tacks as they say. It should also be noted by the reader that this word is not so much a prophetic word
inasmuch as its an admonition and exhortation. That said, we will however explore some biblical prophecy and with EARS TO HEAR HOPEFULLY .... see what the Spirit is also saying REGARDING THAT which confronts us - and lies ahead! It should also be noted by the reader that in 2008 i went on record as saying 2009 would be a big year for Change both in the church and in the secular unchurched world. And to this, not a few pastors can bear record that this was INDEED the case ...that is to say - i spoke that word !!
The winds of change did indeed blow in the church, in world politics, in Government, in policy changes, in climate change, in the financial money markets, the economy. Ecet.
( THE COUNTDOWN HAS BEGUN )
Wether anyone agrees with me or not or recieves what i am about to say next - nevertheless and notwithstanding i am going to go on record as saying " The countdown has begun " and that TIME IS SHORT! In fact i would even hasten to add that time is oh soooo short - and that time is indeed of the essence. As i said: The window of opportunity is narrowing day by day as GOD'S CLOCK continues ticks down. And being someone that keeps abreast of things both inside the church and without - the one thing i am picking up on more and more is just how much other respected and well known ministries are saying "this is the last generation of believers" (end quote) Now were it not the fact these ones are saying it - and it NOT JUST something issuing forth from my lips ...THEN one might well NOT bear with me...
However The one constant we take for granted daily is that time still continues to march on! but what this has a tendency to do in our lives is - lull us into a false sense of security and sleep! And living in the realm of the natural mind and giving place to the course of the world can be such (that at times) we begin to think like the world - that all things will continue the same as from the beginning of time - but not so however, beloved!
( THIS IS THE LAST GENERATION OF BELIEVERS )
Now i realize in saying this: that is quite a mouthful BOTH to say and to STAND-BY! But i firmly believe we have come to such a time as this - namely 2010! A time in the which scripture describes as a time of "the dispensation of the Gentiles" You see when the Jews rejected Jesus as there saviour and there messiah - then paul and the other disciples said "lo, we turn to the gentiles" And through there fall (Israel) salvation is now COME TO The Gentiles. Holding that thought still: know this, that blindness in PART is happened to Israel, until the FULNESS of THE GENTILES (US WESTERNERS) be come in. Well still holding that: 2000 years have now elapsed and expired since calvary's tree and the gentile nations have had a significant (time period) to recieve the free gift OF JESUS' SAVING GRACE ... but that opportunity is rapidly rushing towards its enevitable conclusion as "the kingdom of heaven - is at HAND" INDEED: NOW IS THE DAY OF SALVATION AND NOW IS THE ACCEPTED TIME! NOT TOMMOROW, NOT THE DAY AFTER, NOT NEXT MONTH OR NEXT YEAR - NOW BELOVED , NOW!! And in the words of the GREAT apostle himself consider this also " now is our salvation nearer than when we (FIRST) believed (Amen!)
( THE SIGN OF GLOBALIZATION AND UNIFICATION )
The one thing we can declare today with absolute certainty is the PUSH by our world leaders and by world religious leaders for a globalization of the planet! And For world religions to become more tolerant of each other and to work towards a greater unity and respect of diverseness in religious culture. It seems like the WORD Globalization has become the new "Buzz word" (AS IT WERE) as charismatic leaders (the world over) continue to drive AND PUSH and cause as many who will listen to them to jump on the bandwagon of "Save the planet" and " Become climate smart " With that in mind globalization does not stop there! In one sense its only the beginning as we see the push for a united front in government, in policy making, in financial money markets, in world religion, in border security, in the making and passing of laws regarding both terrorism and that of identity theft - and debit card fraud
One well known Christian author described it this way:
A super bank, a one world government, And a united religious front! Interesting summation and conclusion!
( KNOWLEDGE SHALL INCREASE )
Over in the book of Daniel we find a very interesting passage of scripture! And its from Daniel 12:4 which states this (and i qoute) " many shall run to and fro and knowledge shall be increased " Never before have we seen the fulfilment of this verse possible until the advent of modern technology ...the digital age ....and the age of information technology all OF WHICH have been made possible from the turn of the 20th century and right on up until year 2010. We have also seen and witnessed technological advances in modern electonics, modern travel, modern medicine, space and outer space travel, a sophisticated modern communications network, and major advances in miltary and weapons (per say)!
All of which were not always available or acessable to previous and former generations ... but all of which are necessary for the (man-of-sin) to introduce his universal marking system and a system by which no man might buy or sell - save he had the mark or the number of his name!!!!
( MANY SHALL RUN TO AND FRO )
Once again we draw from the prophecies of Daniel and from the selfsame text which as the brackets read talks of a time when many shall "run too and fro" This is another most intriguing passage and like the previous one we just read and touched on. This prophecy describes the modern advent of 20th century travel and the speed of travel by which we now arrive at our proposed destinations! Again something which was not available to previous and prior generations. But the scriptures foreseeing a time such as this: when man could simply board a plane and travel from one end of the globe and be at the other end of the world - in virtually no time and overnight. Also highlights the fact nothing takes God by surprise in foreseeing this! nor is it a case whereby the scripture had nothing to say on it. In fact: taking it one step further over in the book of Nahum there is strong evidence to suggest the advance of the (modern automobiles) was predicted and foreseen as a mode of transportation long before it ever came to pass in our time " The chariots shall rage in the streets, they shall be with FLAMING TORCHES in the day of HIS preparation - the chariots shall RAGE IN THE STREETS, they shall jostle ( i.e congestion and traffic ) one against the other in the broad ways (highways) Nahum 2:3-4
Indeed: prophecy is history in advance!! This is all being outplayed and fulfilled before our very eyes - even as we speak. mmmm.
( THINGS ARE IN READINESS AND IN PLACE: )
"WHEN THE TRANSGRESSORS ARE COME TO THE FULL"
Again know of a surety things are in the final countdown phase and mode when as the prophet Daniel described "the transgressors are come to the full" This is another most intriguing and interesting passage from the prophet. With Both student and scholar having mused over this text for many a good while now! But i believe and concur it is an end-time "word and prophecy" for the latter times in which we now find ourselves living in...
** When the transgressors are come to the full ...know of a surety that iniquity will abound on our streets and the love of many shall wax cold.
** When the transgressors are come to the full...lawlessness will break forth and perilous times will come forth in the which it will be a dangerous time to live
** When the transgressors are come to the full - Nahum the
prophet wrote "i will cast abominable filth upon thee, and make thee vile! " let him thats filthy be filthy still and let him that is unrighteoues - be unrighteous still.
** When the transgressors are come to the full ...it will be a time when mens hearts fail them for fear and for looking out for those things coming on the earth. When men will be heady, high-minded, Incontinent and fierce, lovers of their own sevles...lovers of pleasures more than God (Daniel 8:23& 2Tim3) Now If that doesnt pertain to our age of "fun" and our "entertainment mad" age - then what pray tell i ask you - does???
( THE NEW WAR ON THE SAINTS )
WE FIND OURSELVES AS 21st century believers in the very odd and perculiar position of being "christian" and yet not having experienced anything remotely comparable to the persecutions that the early church faced and met with! Why is this so? Seeing the name of Jesus is still a hated name and the spirit of anti-christ is in the world? We seem to have not only come to a point (as a church) that the world tolerates us! but also accepts us! This was never the case in previous generations of believers that went before us! Again why is this so? ...so the question then begs, will it always remain this way? Someone recently said to me by way of christian conversation " oh - please stephen, please, don't pray for persecution of the church" (end quote) well the truth of the matter is: i dont have to pray for persecution - as it is already forecast in the scriptures! you say where? well im glad you asked me that! " All those who live godly in Christ jesus shall suffer persecution" you see Right there in that one passage of scripture in timothy explains (in a nutshell) why the 21st century church as a whole does suffer any meaningful persecution. Because: simply put: we don't live godly or holily enough to trouble or bother peoples consciences enough to warrant or earn there ire in - persecution! Hmmm. But all this about to change and soon! Not because i say so or i have prayed thus: but because Jesus himself has forecast this - along with the holy prophets (of olden time) And its as good as (set-in-concrete) if Jesus has spoken it! consider these scriptures though if you will " They shall lay hands on you and beat you, and persecute you " They will deliver you up to the synagogues, and to kings and rulers for my sake - and for a testimony! "But it shall turn to you for a testimony" and this "and Brother shall betray brother" "Yea the time cometh that whosever killeth you will think he has done God a service! Following hard on the heels of those passages we once again turn our focus and attention to the prophecies of Daniel which adds further creditation to that which we deliver today " And (he) shall destroy the mighty and the holy people " And he shall wear out the saints of the most High " I beheld, and the same horn MADE WAR with the SAINTS, and PREVAILED AGAINST THEM. " And when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people ""Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried"
" And it was given to him to make war with the saints, and to over come them" (end quote) "And i saw the souls of them that were BEHEADED for the WITNESS of Jesus, and for the word-of-God"
The fact is: If you live godly in Christ Jesus and have the testimony of Jesus and keep the commandments of God - (as we all should) then we dont have to pray for persecution! As it (persecution) will come knocking on your door! You wont have to go looking for it - it will come looking for you! It goes with the territory (so-to-speak) of LIVING GODLY! And not only that brethren, as mankind continues its pursuit of loving sin and worldly pleasures ...then our striving of sin against such things ....as was the case of fearless (John the baptist) when he confronted Herod about his brothers philips wife (unlawful relationship) with him! had an end which earned him many stripes, and a stint in prison, and subsequent martydom. Do you see NOW why the church is not - persecuted ???
( CLOSING THOUGHTS AND COMMENTRY )
THERE ARE MANY MANY MORE THINGS I COULD SAY AND BRING TO THE TABLE - BUT THE TIME - DOES NOT PERMIT ME - TO DO SO:
But some final questions to give consideration too are:
~~ Is time running out? How close is the end?
~~ Does God's timeclock read five minutes till midnight?
~~ Is our salvation nearer than when we (first) believed?
~~ Is the world degenerating and deteriorating as we speak?
~~ Is the world stage in readiness and set forth - for the man-of-sin to (shortly) appear and reveal himself??
~~ Do you see and read the signs of the times?
~~ DO you discern the lateness of the hour - BRETHREN?
~~ Are you a wise virgin (or) a foolish virgin?
When the voice of the bridegroom is sounded to go ye out to meet him ... will you be ready? or will your lamps have run out of oil, by such a time?
The bottom line is simply this in closing out yet another year in order to bring in the year that follows: It will pay very handsome spiritual dividends in the last days to have the following things present in your own life - and which are as prescribed?
~~ Become a man of the word and of the scriptures
( study to shew yourself approved of God )
~~ Acquaint yourself with the prophecy of the scriptures and learn end-time events! dont be ignorant - beloved!
~~ Keep a good watch on things unfolding and unraveling both in the church - and in the world about you!!!!!
~~ Finally make sure your lamps are trimmed and have plenty of oil - so that that day does not catch you unawares ...be ready for hard times ahead - and most of all, be ready for the coming of your soon coming king (amen!)
Thank you so much for bearing with me beloved !!
My prayer to you and to all is this : may God's grace and peace be multiplied and abound toward you all and throughout all the churches of God, both locally and around the world. Grace be with your spiriit! Marantha! Even so come quickly Lord Jesus , Amen!