2016, Arise Let us Build... Part 2

The Plight of God's Promise
 
The reason you are saved is so you can influence others into the Kingdom of God. That is a fact that you should never dispel or a responsibility that you should ever take lightly. The eternal destiny of people that come across your path often lies in your obedience to this command.
 
As you mature in the things of God this should become more of a priority in your life. Jesus told us to go into the entire world and preach the Gospel. As serious and direct as this command is, there are many people who will see this as a casual statement given by Jesus to a bunch of fishermen on the shore. However, this statement is just as true and relevant for us today as it was over 2000 years ago.
 
When you are serious with God and make His command your priority, when you go there are things that will creep into your life with the intent of choking out this desire making you an ineffective Christian.
 
When things are choked, there is less emphasis placed on what God deems important. What must be realized is that God's things are often choked by good things. It's often the blessings of God that draws the people away from what He intends. It's often promotions on the job, desires for wealth, the lust for other things, the deceitfulness of riches, unmet expectations and even your income tax refund that are culprits in drawing us away.
 
Therefore, He warned His people in the Book of Deuteronomy chapter 8 about the tragedy of forgetting the Lord their God.
11 "Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today, 12 lest”when you have eaten and are full, and have built beautiful houses and dwell in them; 13 and when your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and your gold are multiplied, and all that you have is multiplied; 14 when your heart is lifted up, and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; 15 Who led you through that great and terrible wilderness, in which were fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty land where there was no water; Who brought water for you out of the flinty rock; 16 Who fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your fathers did not know, that He might humble you and that He might test you, to do you good in the end”17 then you say in your heart, ˜My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.'
18 "And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth [Hebrew, Strength and influence], that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day. 19 Then it shall be, if you by any means forget the Lord your God, and follow other gods, and serve them and worship them, I testify against you this day that you shall surely perish. 20 As the nations which the Lord destroys before you, so you shall perish, because you would not be obedient to the voice of the Lord your God.
 
This becomes the cry of the heart of God in our generation as the transfer of wealth has begun, the hidden riches are revealed, and God confirms His Covenant through an outward release of the promises He made millennia ago.
 
As we continue "Rising and Building our lives and God's Kingdom, there are things that we must never discount that is needed if we are going to achieve what I believe is God's plan for some of His people. This is not for everyone as there are people in the Kingdom that are following God for reasons other than He intends. Because of their selfish motives and their inability to bring their lives into agreement with God's Word, they knowingly or un-knowingly forfeit what God originally intended for them.
 
In today's society, more than ever it is necessary to get and remain focused on the things that matter most to God. This takes unswerving faith and patience so you can experience the promises of God in manifestation. I often say that at some point, "Our faith must become sight. This fact is reserved for those that aligned their lives up with the Master and never got unhinged by the things of this world.
 
As any building comes to completion, there are things necessary to allow that place to function in the manner the building was created. The same is true with us building the Kingdom of God as like a natural facility, there are things that will go inside of the structure that makes that house a home; that makes that commercial space an office; or makes a building a sanctuary for the Presence of God. Without the furnishings, the building remains a shell.
 
This is important to know because as we began this series of messages in January we began with blue prints [The Word of God] and a foundation [Jesus Christ].
 
Over the months, Pastor Brenda and I have methodically laid the groundwork for your greatest success in the Kingdom and have revealed the tools you will need to live a life that is fully submitted to God and not be taken back by the attacks of the enemy.
 
But now, we come to the place where I believe that God is ready to release on His people the things they have labored for over the years. There are going to be some that will see promises manifested after ten, twenty or thirty years, and there will be some who will step into the blessing after beings saved for a few short months.
 
This Biblical principle is revealed in the parable Jesus gave in Matthew chapter 20 about the laborers who went out into the Landowner's field early in the morning for one wage and then throughout the day there were others that were added, who was promised the same pay. It appeared that the Landowner was unfair, but His reasoning is explained in the Parable.
 
When it came time to pay the workers for their labor the conversation went like this in Matthew 20: NKJV
8 "That evening he told the foreman to call the workers in and pay them, beginning with the last workers first. 9 When those hired at five o'clock were paid, each received a full day's wage.
10 When those hired first came to get their pay, they assumed they would receive more. But they, too, were paid a day's wage.
11 When they received their pay, they protested to the owner, 12 ˜Those people worked only one hour, and yet you've paid them just as much as you paid us who worked all day in the scorching heat.'
13 "He answered one of them, ˜Friend, I haven't been unfair! Didn't you agree to work all day for the usual wage? 14 Take your money and go. I wanted to pay this last worker the same as you.
15 Is it against the law for me to do what I want with my money? Should you be jealous because I am kind to others?'
16 "So those who are last now will be first then, and those who are first will be last.
 
This is important because even those who come into the Kingdom in this last hour will be rewarded according to their faith yet there will be a tendency for those just getting blessed after years of struggle to question the intent of the Master in blessing those who are new to the Kingdom.
 
The reality is that what we have belongs to God and what we are going to be receiving will be coming from the Hand of God. I am going to rejoice with you as you're blessed and rejoice by myself [if I have to] when I'm blessed. I know the blessing is coming from the Good Hand of My God, no matter through whom He uses.
 
With this groundwork laid, we move into the Plight of the Promise. When you look at the word, "plight you must see the resistance you have encountered from the perspective of these "promises being withheld because of outside or unforeseen circumstances.
 
Some synonyms for the word plight is a "dilemma, predicament and difficulty. Webster's dictionary defines plight as "An unfortunate, difficult or precarious situation; a bad condition or state. Now you must understand that this is not a reference to "you being caught up in a bad condition or state, but "the promise being resisted.
 
When you got saved, there are promises that God made to you that are awaiting fulfillment. Often the promises are delayed as God works on us and brings our lives and character into alignment with His greater purposes. Yet there also comes a time when you must recognize the tactics of the enemy in distracting you and causing you to forfeit what God intends.
 
Because the promises are delayed, it does not mean they will not come to pass. You have the responsibility to remain steadfast no matter how long it may take. This is why you get the promise, pursue it and exercise patience for the fulfillment of it.
 
Often when we look at the "plight of the Israelites, we do so from the perspective of them having been in Egyptian bondage for four hundred and thirty years and wandering in the desert for another forty years.
 
However, the manifestation of God's promises was the real reason for their plight. The enemy resisted everything God intended for His people yet when the fullness of the times came, the manifestation could not be stopped.
 
After the Lord prepared the hearts of a generation, they stepped into the promises that were the result of the obedience of a man named Abraham who God said would inherit the land and have descendants as numerous as the stars in heaven and the sand on the seashore. In Genesis 12 the Bible says:
7 Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, "I will give this land to your descendants. And Abram built an altar there and dedicated it to the Lord, who had appeared to him.
 
The promise made to Abraham was given by God, ratified by God in covenant and sealed away until it would be manifested in God's timing.
 
After traveling for years to get to the promise and after being in Egyptian Bondage for Four hundred and thirty years; when the Israelites were released, their perception was we're now free and walking into the promise would be a "cake-walk.
 
However, after being released because of their unbelief they were then commissioned to wander in the desert for an additional forty years until the generation of nay-sayers perished in the desert. Only Joshua and Caleb were spared to experience the promise once God chose to bring them in.
 
This is where it requires your understanding of a promise. When you read the Book of Genesis and follow the lineage of Abram, you will find that Abraham died, Isaac died, Jacob died, Joseph died and as God raised up Moses, he lived 120 years and he also died without experiencing the promise. The Bible said Moses saw the promise from far off, but he never set foot on the land of Promise.
 
Therefore you have hundreds and quite possibly over a thousand years from when the promise was made Abram to when Moses takes over the leadership of the nation of Israel. Although many people died along the way, the promise stayed true.
 
In like fashion, the Promises made to this generation that would live in these Last Day's remain intact and we are now being charged to go in and possess the land God swore to our forefathers to give us.
 
As Moses dies, God charges Joshua with a mandate to go into the promised land. He also told him it would take courage and that he was not to be afraid but courageous knowing that the Lord was with him.
 
Joshua 1
After the death of Moses the Lord's servant, the Lord spoke to Joshua son of Nun, Moses' assistant. He said, 2 "Moses my servant is dead. Therefore, the time has come for you to lead these people, the Israelites, across the Jordan River into the land I am giving them. I promise you what I promised Moses: ˜Wherever you set foot, you will be on land I have given you”
 
Land represents the tangible promise made to Abraham. It is one of the symbols of wealth that God reserves for His people.
 
As we have taken land, the land now produces tangible fruit that are another symbol of being prosperous. It's this tangible "low-lying fruit that God has released in this hour which I believe He's intent on getting into the hands of His people.
 
Yet to cause this transfer, it will take us working with God and fighting with him so we can have the outcome that He wants.
 
For many of us, the battle has been intense and we've even fought with lack, sickness, mental distress, family problems, church issues and even at times hopelessness. But when God came in and calmed your heart, you experienced peace like no other¦ you began to experience joy like no other, faith like no other and victory that only God could bring.
 
Without realizing it, you were fighting for the manifestation of the Promises of God.
He promised to you health, and you fought sickness,
He promised to you a saved family, and you fought sin;
He promised to your church that it would make an impact, and it struggled;
He promised to your city that righteousness would exalt it, and unrighteousness seems to be the order of the day.
 
During these times, you fought for the manifestation of God's promise even while going through yourself. You were determined and said that you would not be denied!
 
Now God is saying it's time to go the rest of the way in. Don't stop because you're too close to the finish line.
 
God said in Joshua 1 NLT
6 "Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them.
7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do.
8 Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.
9 This is my command”be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. 
 
The fight is real. It may be a spiritual fight, but it can mess up the natural if you're not prepared.
 
You cannot secure the promise while walking in fear. Therefore, God says, go forward¦ don't stop¦ you can do it¦ You have what it takes¦ nothing can stop you¦ God is saying, I've got your back!
 
God reiterates,
9 This is my command”be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. 
 
As you move into position, you find that the faith of God that can move mountains and the patience needed to with stand the storms of life is there to bring you through your darkest tunnel.
 
It's only when the people of Israel gets to Joshua chapter 21 that they are ready to physically touch the promise made to Abraham. They withstood the false prophets; they withstood the slavery, they withstood the unbelief and doubt and now they stand on the verge of receiving the greatest blessing and transfer of wealth since the creation of man.
 
In the book of Joshua chapter 21, you have the manifestation of promises made hundreds of years earlier. NKJV
43 So the Lord gave to Israel all the land of which He had sworn to give to their fathers, and they took possession of it and dwelt in it. 44 The Lord gave them rest all around, according to all that He had sworn to their fathers. And not a man of all their enemies stood against them; the Lord delivered all their enemies into their hand. 45 Not a word failed of any good thing which the Lord had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass.
 
NLT
43 So the Lord gave to Israel all the land he had sworn to give their ancestors, and they took possession of it and settled there. 44 And the Lord gave them rest on every side, just as he had solemnly promised their ancestors. None of their enemies could stand against them, for the Lord helped them conquer all their enemies. 45 Not a single one of all the good promises the Lord had given to the family of Israel was left unfulfilled; everything he had spoken came true.
 
This is the reason for most of the dilemma's we face. There is opposition to the promises. The enemy is causing multiple dilemma's, predicament's and difficulty. He's trying to discourage you through "An unfortunate, difficult or precarious situation; a bad condition or state.
 
But God is saying it's not you that is the target, but the promise that's contained within your heart.
 
God is unlocking that promise and you will possess everything that the Lord promised you, just as He said.
 
 
End Time Deception
 
For you to Arise and Build without fear and distraction, you must understand that things the nation faces and that you may face personally are not new to God. Because of that they cannot keep you from accomplishing the purposes for which you have been born.
 
The matured Christian has the spiritual fortitude to remain focused and continue moving the Kingdom forward despite what is going on around them. This takes understanding the promises of God as they pertain to us and the world we live in.
 
Knowing the promises God made to us include more than physical healing, financial sustenance, mental stability and peace in the midst of our storms, becomes vital for us as Believer's in the Messiah, Jesus Christ in these Last Days.
 
His promises include prophetic messages given by inspiration of God through His Holy prophets thousands of years ago. These messages are given so we would not become fearful when inevitable End Time events unfold.
 
To properly process the prophetic admonitions in the Word of God, we must first know that what has been written is not a figment of the imagination of a group of people. They are spiritual insights given by God to chosen men who captured those thoughts and warnings for us to see. This is revealed in Second Peter.
 
Second Peter 1 NLT
16 For we were not making up clever stories when we told you about the powerful coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. We saw His majestic splendor with our own eyes 17 when He received honor and glory from God the Father. The voice from the majestic glory of God said to Him, "This is my dearly loved Son, Who brings Me great joy. 18 We ourselves heard that voice from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain. [Transfiguration; Matthew 17:5]
19 Because of that experience, we have even greater confidence in the message proclaimed by the prophets. You must pay close attention to what they wrote, for their words are like a lamp shining in a dark place”until the Day dawns, and Christ the Morning Star shines in your hearts. 20 Above all, you must realize that no prophecy in Scripture ever came from the prophet's own understanding, 21 or from human initiative. No, those prophets were moved by the Holy Spirit, and they spoke from God.
 
In receiving the prophetic messages from the people who spoke on God's behalf, although in our generation we may have someone speak from their own consciences at times [even their flesh], the prophecies in Scripture are without flaw and therefore are impeccable and without error¦ having come from God.
 
On occasion, I mention that there are things that have been prophesied that we cannot stop. Some of those things deal with the evil that God said was coming on the earth in the Last Days. These things "shall transpire and no one can stop them¦ including the devil even if he wanted to.
 
Among many others, there are prophesies about:
  • the anti-christ taking over the earth¦ it cannot be stopped
  • the mark of the beast that everyone shall receive¦ it cannot be stopped
  • the inability for people to buy or sell¦ it cannot be stopped
  • the war of Mount Megiddo [Armageddon] in Israel where the nations of the world gather to make war against God and His Christ¦ it cannot be stopped
  • that world peace will not be accomplished without a covenant being made with the anti-christ who will break the covenant after 3 and one-half years, throwing the entire earth into utter chaos¦ it cannot be stopped
 
There are people who [in their ignorance] believe that their "prayers, their confessions, their desires and their passion to see things happen in the earth that are not in alignment with what God said, will somehow stop what God has decreed and determined by His Will and His Power. This is a waste of their efforts as they have become ignorant to the plan God has for the earth.
 
I must say that even though things may not go as we would like them to go, we are "God's chosen people, we are still under the umbrella and protection of Christ.
 
Being under His protection, God's provision and promise we will be spared some of the things that are coming on the earth. It's the person with the prepared heart and mind that is going to stand and continue to fulfill the will, plan and purpose for God placing them in the earth¦ for such a time as this.
 
I'm convinced that there are natural promises that God made that are going to be released on His people. These promises include the things that we desire need if we are going to fulfill His purposes and bring us satisfaction as we live in the earth.
 
However, we are not to build our eternal lives on the fact that God is going to bless us in a tangible way and base our faith in God on this premise alone. Many people have turned from following Christ because of unmet expectations that led to disillusionment and disappointment. We must follow Christ because "He is the Way, the Truth and the Life and we will never gain access to the Father apart from this Biblical fact.
 
Speaking of Christ and prophesies from the Word of God, we have one of the more intriguing prophesies given by Christ Himself in the Book of Matthew.
 
As we'll see, His disciples asked him a question concerning the End Times and instead of giving the specifics of when The End will come, He gives "signs for all to see. No one knows the day or the hour when Christ will return for His Church, but we are to pay attention to the signs that He gave us.
 
The sign is not the event, but points to a specific event, place, series of actions or procedures. It's like driving and looking for a certain city. The Interstate may have a sign that says "Albany, 80 miles¦  If you get off before you reach the exit, you will not get where the sign directed you. You were on your way, but didn't follow the sign.  But if you follow that sign, you will arrive at your destination.
 
A sign is "a mark; something by which another thing is known; Something material or external that stands for the presence or existence of something else
 
What must be understood is that the "sign is not the manifestation of the object that it is referring to. Just because you see a sign, it does not mean that you have arrived at your destination.
 
The same is true with the Word of Prophecy that Christ gave us. A prophecy is the prediction of a future event that will happen. A Biblical prophecy is a prediction; the foretelling of future events, including the declarations, encouragements, and warnings uttered by the prophets while under the inspiration of God.
 
In Matthew 24, Jesus is saying there are things that will certainly happen and you must heed these prophesies as "signs if you want to reach the place the signs point to.
 
Matthew 24 NKJV
3 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?
4 And Jesus answered and said to them: "Take heed that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in My name, saying, ˜I am the Christ,' and will deceive many. 6 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. 7 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
9 "Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake. 10 And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. 11 Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. 12 And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But he who endures to the end shall be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
15 "Therefore when you see the ˜abomination of desolation,' spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 "then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect's sake those days will be shortened.
23 "Then if anyone says to you, ˜Look, here is the Christ!' or ˜There!' do not believe it. 24 For false Christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand.
26 "Therefore if they say to you, ˜Look, He is in the desert!' do not go out; or ˜Look, He is in the inner rooms!' do not believe it. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 28 For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.
29 "Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
32 "Now learn this parable from the fig tree: When its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. 33 So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near”at the doors! 34 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things take place. 35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.
36 "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. 37 But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. 38 For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
 
In verse 4, as Jesus tells His disciples to take heed, or be mindful so that no one will "deceive you, He is letting us in on a Biblical Truth that many will not be able to resist.
 
According to Encarta's Dictionary, "Deception is defined as, "The practice of misleading somebody: the practice of deliberately making someone believe things that are not true; Something intended to mislead somebody: an act, trick or device intended to deceive or mislead somebody
 
What must be understood here is according to this definition, deception is something that is "deliberate meaning, "carefully thought out and done intentionally; It's slow and methodical. In the Greek text, the definition points to the fact that the person being deceived is being lead down a path that is wrong in a "slow and meticulous manner.
 
When I speak of End Time Deception, we're looking at it from the perspective that things are going to happen in the earth that are deliberate, intentional and have been carefully thought out.
 
It's not that God is going to do this, but He will allow things to be done because in His "foreknowledge He already knows the end from the beginning. The person that is going to be the main character in this series of events is the devil. Just as he thought he was smarter than God when he crucified Jesus, he also thinks he will outwit God in the Last Days.
 
But as the Scriptures say, "If the rulers of this age had known what they were doing, they would never have crucified the King of Glory.  [I Cor 2:8] The same arrogance, pride and quest for power satan lusted for when he was cast out of heaven will be his downfall in the Last Days.
 
What I find troubling is that prophetically, we have the Bible being lived out right before our eyes every day and Christians all over the country cannot see it. I'm not so much amazed by the lack of spiritual perception in the world because the world is already blind to Biblical Truth. I'm more concerned about the followers of Jesus who seem to have lost their spiritual edge and have had their spiritual insight darkened.
 
I've been saved since Sunday, October 31, 1982 and as bad as things were then, so much more has happened that allows us to see these signs becoming clearer and more defined.
 
Lawlessness [spoken of in verse 12] has taken center stage and what is ironic about this is the fact that some things that are against the Law of God is considered righteous in the constitution of the United States. As Christian's we must follow our hearts in decisions we make.
 
Often we make decisions based on a Scripture without understanding the entirety of the heart of God; we make decisions based on what our family or friends dictate; we make decisions based on what we may have been taught growing up or we make decisions based on the type of news media we watch most often.
 
Some Christians have forsaken the heart of God and the Word of God for a political party without giving prayerful thought about God having an End Time plan that must occur. As I mentioned, this plan is non-negotiable and will find fulfillment in one of the generations that will be one the earth.
 
Even in praying or prophesying, you have Believer's telling God what they think should be done instead of approaching God with a clear conscience and determining who they should vote for based on the assurance they have in their hearts.
 
The political system [Congress, Supreme Court and the Presidency] over the years has allowed things that were never thought of years ago to become law and give rights and privileges to acts and actions that are anti-God and against Biblical principles.
 
It makes no difference if the United States says something is right that God says is wrong. As Believer's we still have the obligation to follow the Law of God. We must stand for what is right and give grace to those who we feel are in the wrong.
 
We must be careful to not become part of or exacerbate the problem by fighting against flesh and blood. We must still love those who are without Christ with hope of influencing them into the Kingdom of God.
 
As some hold onto certain Biblical Truths, they forget the basics of our faith or what Jesus refers to in the KJV, the more weightier matters.
 
Matthew 23:23 NKJV:
23 "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.
NLT
23 "What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore the more important aspects of the law”justice, mercy, and faith. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things.
 
I'm not saying that one person or one party is 100% right or wrong¦ I am saying that we have an obligation to follow our hearts in what we do and have that settle the matter within us. Whether we realize it or not, the results are up to God.
 
If we are not willing to accept God's results, we side with the spirit of the age and fight battles that have not been decreed for us to fight. By these actions, we have also agreed with the lawlessness [anarchy, chaos, disorder, things not restrained by law] of our generation.
 
This doesn't mean we try to "fix what is wrong by our own standards, but that we refrain from personally getting involved in the chaos that may ensue once the election results are calculated.
 
If we are going to change a system, we must do so from the perspective of the laws that are in place. Become a voice for what is right and stand until the change comes.
 
Using the presidential candidates as an example, we have allowed the upcoming elections to not only divide the nation, but divide the Church of the Lord Jesus as well. This is not about the candidates who are running for president in this current election or for any other office in the USA. It's about the spirit of the age waging war against what God is trying to accomplish.
 
I don't care who it is, no man or a woman can fix the things that we deem wrong in our nation by themselves. You must understand that they must operate within the constitution of the United States and that limits any single person's full power. You must also consider that full power is reserved for God and that is even harder to overcome.
 
There has always been a divide in our nation between democrats and republicans. If people place more faith, hope and trust in a political party than they do God, we will always have these factions.
 
Because one of the candidates is against abortion, does this mean that if elected that they will reverse the Roe v. Wade decision of the sixties? If that could easily be done, one of our former Republican presidents that believe that same way would have already done it. In the "Bush era alone, we had at least twelve years to reverse it¦
 
In like manner, because someone promises jobs, a better life and better future; does this mean that they alone can do this? Every politician has made these promises and the oppressed continue to be so, the poor we always have with us and for some the future has never looked more bleak.
 
In my opinion [and that's all this is], I believe that we as a people need to begin finding ways to increase our own standard of living. We need to draw strength from one another and settle our faith in God.
 
Instead of getting mad about our youth who refuse to pull their pants up; use swear words openly that we used to use privately; killing each other in unprecedented rates; and rebelling against authority on every level¦ We need to teach those who want a better lifestyle to:
  • align their lives with good moral and ethical values so they can have the greatest opportunities for advancement
  • Pursue ways to run successful "legitimate businesses so they can make a better life, have a sustained standard of living for their families and finance the Kingdom of God as God intends
  • Become politicians who understand the fact that God sets them in place and their obligation is to influence the Laws of the Land so they agree with God's righteous standard.
  • Become the head of Educational Institutions that will ensure that the system is fair and equitable for all and will place people of all colors and races on a level playing field.
 
But looking at the state of our nation, we are far from these things becoming a reality as the cards have been stacked against certain people for hundreds and thousands of years.
 
In these End Times, we need a mentality that allows us to go under the radar and accomplish some of these things as Believer's in Jesus Christ.
 
Many of us being from a culture that has been oppressed and often denied the equal rights in our generation that many of our forefathers from have died for, have allowed the spirit of the age to define what we are going to do. We must break out of our shells and establish God's order wherever we are.
 
Even knowing this and endeavoring to do these things, we will have opposition to them. Knowing we will have opposition we must remain diligent and be wise as serpents yet gentle as doves in our methodical approach.
 
In First Timothy 4 we have another prophetic Word that we will not be able to get around. Before we begin judging the people of the world, let's look at the state of many people that follow Jesus Christ.
 
This Scripture is not talking about the world but people in the church who say that Jesus Christ is their Lord. If we are not careful, we can allow an offence, unmet expectations, the cares of this world and lust for other things to place us in this same category.
 
As we read, we read this from the perspective of knowing that a person cannot "turn away from something that they were not at one time following. First Timothy 4: NLT
Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons. 2 These people are hypocrites and liars, and their consciences are dead.
 
What you must understand is that this admonition is not an indictment against the Christian Church, but a warning TO those in the Christian Church encouraging you to become more Biblically literate. You must know what the Word of God says so you will not be one of the people who are seduced away from the Truth.
 
Second Timothy 2 Amplified Bible
15 Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth.
 
This is needed more in the Last days than any other time in the history of the earth. 
 
Proverbs 24 NLT
5 The wise are mightier than the strong, and those with knowledge grow stronger and stronger.
 
Hosea 4:6 NKJV
6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.
 
Daniel 12:4 NLT
But you, Daniel, keep this prophecy a secret; seal up the book until the time of the end, when many will rush here and there, and knowledge will increase
 
It's a lack of Biblical knowledge and the "direct application of it, [wisdom] that the enemy is trying to keep us from embracing and will keep many of us in ignorance.
 
Therefore, most Christians would rather have a "shouting experience on a Sunday morning than a learning one on a Tuesday night. When you're done shouting, there is no other responsibility placed on you¦ But when you learn the Word of God, you have a responsibility to "DO WHAT IT SAYS.
 
This separates the carnal, immature and worldly Christian from those that make obedience to Christ a priority. The religious mindset appeases the conscience of the Christian by coming to church on a Sunday, watching a religious program on T. V. or giving something to the poor. But this is not the type of Christianity that God wants us to live. It only sets us up for disappointment down the road.
 
In Second Timothy 3, we have a clearer picture of how the End Times or the Last Days will look. These things will not be done in secret but will be blatant and in the face of the inhabitants of the earth. Even though we are warned, many of those who profess Christ will not recognize the deception and will believe the lie.
Second Timothy 3 NLT
You should know this, Timothy, that in the last days there will be very difficult times. 2 For people will love only themselves and their money. They will be boastful and proud, scoffing at God, disobedient to their parents, and ungrateful. They will consider nothing sacred. 3 They will be unloving and unforgiving; they will slander others and have no self-control. They will be cruel and hate what is good. 4 They will betray their friends, be reckless, be puffed up with pride, and love pleasure rather than God. 5 They will act religious, but they will reject the power that could make them godly. Stay away from people like that!
 
The Last Days will produce people that know all about religion and the various religious institutions and ordinances of the nation, but will not come to the very Power of God that can save their souls.
 
Some will accept and practice many religions and be lured by a religious spirit to embrace anything that has a "spiritual or scriptural implication.
 
When verse 5 mentions the "power that can make the people godly, It's not referencing an act, but a Person.
 
The difficult times of the Last Days will be so bad that no matter how much we try to pray and fast them away, they will only get worse. It's only by abiding in Christ that we will be able to stand for righteousness in the middle of a crooked and perverse generation.
 
First Corinthians 1 reveals this Biblical Truth:
24 But to those called by God to salvation, both Jews and Gentiles, Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 This foolish plan of God is wiser than the wisest of human plans, and God's weakness is stronger than the greatest of human strength.
 
Therefore, the power that makes us godly is not a place as some people think; a geographical location as some people think; a posture at certain times of the day as some people think; a revelation, as some people think; or a common man, woman or child¦ it's the Man Christ Jesus!
 
Jesus Christ IS THE POWER OF GOD THAT GIVES SALVATION "to everyone that believes, to the Jew first and then to the Greek.
 
In Second Thessalonians chapter 2, we have an unveiling of the anti-Christ in the Last Days and it would be advantageous for you to place this caution in your heart and mind.
 
As you have now seen this in a limited fashion, there will be a disregard for God's Law, His Truth, His Commands which will open the door for the anti-Christ to speak lies and people will view what he says as the truth.
Now, dear brothers and sisters, let us clarify some things about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and how we will be gathered to meet him. 2 Don't be so easily shaken or alarmed by those who say that the day of the Lord has already begun. Don't believe them, even if they claim to have had a spiritual vision, a revelation, or a letter supposedly from us. 3 Don't be fooled by what they say. For that day will not come until there is a great rebellion against God and the man of lawlessness is revealed”the one who brings destruction. 4 He will exalt himself and defy everything that people call god and every object of worship. He will even sit in the temple of God, claiming that he himself is God.
5 Don't you remember that I told you about all this when I was with you? 6 And you know what is holding him back, for he can be revealed only when his time comes. 7 For this lawlessness is already at work secretly, and it will remain secret until the one who is holding it back [THE HOLY SPIRIT] steps out of the way. 8 Then the man of lawlessness will be revealed, but the Lord Jesus will kill him with the breath of his mouth and destroy him by the splendor of his coming.
9 This man will come to do the work of Satan with counterfeit power and signs and miracles. 10 He will use every kind of evil deception to fool those on their way to destruction, because they refuse to love and accept the truth that would save them. 11 So God will cause them to be greatly deceived, and they will believe these lies. 12 Then they will be condemned for enjoying evil rather than believing the truth.
 
In satan's counterfeit kingdom, there will also be a trinity that is set up like The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit. His kingdom will consist of the dragon, the beast and the false prophet.
 
This unholy trinity will make up the Last Day antichrist who will manifest himself as a political leader: the beast; and a religious leader referred to as the false prophet. They will point everyone to worship the dragon referred to as the "abomination of [or who causes] desolation and who will be worshipped by all the inhabitants of the earth.
 
If someone chooses not to worship the beast, they will not be able to buy or sell and eventually will die of starvation or through death by having their head removed.
 
The hearts of the people of the generation spoken of here will be so overcome with lawlessness that they will believe blatant lies. The speaker will tell a lie and because he says it over and over, the lie will appear to them as being the truth.
 
However, it must be understood that is antichrist cannot rise before his time as verse 7 says the Holy Spirit is holding him back. The reason he's not been able to come on the scene is because there are many people who are still in the world that God has determined to be saved.
 
Second Peter 3
3 Most importantly, I want to remind you that in the last days scoffers will come, mocking the truth and following their own desires. 4 They will say, "What happened to the promise that Jesus is coming again? From before the times of our ancestors, everything has remained the same since the world was first created.
5 They deliberately forget that God made the heavens long ago by the word of his command, and he brought the earth out from the water and surrounded it with water. 6 Then he used the water to destroy the ancient world with a mighty flood. 7 And by the same word, the present heavens and earth have been stored up for fire. They are being kept for the day of judgment, when ungodly people will be destroyed.
8 But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. 9 The Lord isn't really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. 10 But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment.*
 
The Christian must keep their eyes on Christ. Anything other than that will serve as a diversion from what God is endeavoring to do in the earth.
 
I reiterate that these things cannot be stopped and I am not saying that the antichrist is in the earth or in position today, yet we see how easy it will be for the antichrist to assume leadership here in the USA.
 
With everything going on all around us, it will be hard to remain focused unless we learn to stay focused on what matters. In the nation, people become unglued when decisions are made that they don't agree with. Instead of getting involved when there is a semblance of peace, they wait until there is unrest and then allow bitterness and anger to control their actions.
 
They are influenced by the negatives of the situations instead of looking for positive ways to become bridge builders. These "bridge builders are who the Bible refers to as builders of the breach, restorer of paths to dwell in.
 
 
 
Isaiah 58 refers to this person in response to people who have learned to Fast God's way and line their lives up with God's greater plan.
 
12 Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities. Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls and a restorer of homes.
NKJV
12 Those from among you shall build the old waste places; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; and you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach, the Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.
 
I must say that this is not an easy task even though we are expected to follow through and be this special type or reconciler. This is only done as we remain focused on Jesus during times that our faith and nation is being challenged.
 
The reality of a divided nation has never been so clear than it is in our present day. The nation is divided by culture; politics; religion; social status; financial status and I think the greatest divide is the breach within the Church of the Lord Jesus.
 
The example we draw from again is the Lord Jesus who went through similar disappointments and received the ultimate crown. If we are going to bring healing o our nation, we must do so from the perspective that we are commanded to.
 
Hebrews 12 NLT
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy* awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God's throne.
 
Hebrews 12: Message
2 Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed”that exhilarating finish in and with God”he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he's there, in the place of honor, right alongside God.
 
To think that everything is going to go the way we would like it to go is an ignorance that many have allowed to take hold of their hearts. This is revealed when decisions are made that contradict reason and when we think that our way is the only way for people to go.
 
In the middle of this, if we are going to accomplish the purpose for our existence, it must begin by doing what God tells us. We may not agree and we may not like it, but God knows what's best for us.
 
It's this ministry that will produce God's intended results in the end. Being a new creation, you have the power to overcome the forces that are trying to influence you to side with the opinions of the world. Second Corinthians 5
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation.
 
Just as God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, Christ is in us, reconciling the world to Himself in these Last Days¦ we must let Him.
 
This brings us to the question of what is our relationship to our "president supposed to be? The very first thing is we must pray for him and every person in authority over us.
 
The king or president of any nation often directs the steps of those that inhabit that region. This is true today as we are in the process of transition and the steps of the former king are now going to be replaced by the president elect.
 
You must understand that there is an End Time responsibility for the inhabitants of the earth, especially the Church to line their lives up with God and what he wants.
 
First Timothy 2
I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. 2 Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. 3 This is good and pleases God our Savior, 4 who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.
 
This is clear and in doing this, we must be careful to not pray curses on the president as some have distorted the scriptures to do in praying for the outgoing president. They prayed that he would be childless and removed from office.
 
In their ignorance, they neglected to realize that God had a plan for President Obama and used him to position us for what is coming. We must pray with a clear heart and conscience, giving our will in this situation over to the will of God.
 
When we rise from our knees, we must not "touch God's anointed and do his prophets no harm.
 
This is referenced in First Samuel 26 when David had an opportunity to kill the current king and assume the position over Israel.
 
Abishai one of his soldiers said God gave the wicked king into David's hands; David was already anointed to be king and now he had an opportunity to assume the throne, but David realized that our times are in God's Hands and had a reply that would do us well in this hour of our nation.
8 "God has surely handed your enemy over to you this time! Abishai whispered to David. "Let me pin him to the ground with one thrust of the spear; I won't need to strike twice!
9 "No! David said. "Don't kill him. For who can remain innocent after attacking the Lord's anointed one? 10 Surely the Lord will strike Saul down someday, or he will die of old age or in battle. 11 The Lord forbid that I should kill the one he has anointed!
 
If God places someone in position, it's also his responsibility to remove that person at the appointed time. He realized that the kings heart was in God's Hand and that God yet had a purpose for him. We must also have this realization as we move our lives where God intends.
 
Daniel 2:21
18 He urged them to ask the God of heaven to show them his mercy by telling them the secret, so they would not be executed along with the other wise men of Babylon. 19 That night the secret was revealed to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel praised the God of heaven. 20 He said, "Praise the name of God forever and ever, for he has all wisdom and power.
21 He controls the course of world events; He removes kings and sets up other kings. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the scholars.
22 He reveals deep and mysterious things and knows what lies hidden in darkness, though He is surrounded by light.
 
Proverbs 21:1
The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord, like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.
 
HEARTS OF THANKSGIVING
 
As we Rise and Build, we must always be conscious of the fact that God is a good God and always has our best intentions at heart. Often through the stresses of life we can lose sight of this simple fact.
 
It's important for us as followers of Christ to retreat at times from the daily grind and consider what the Lord has done. Things may not have been done in the way we wanted them to be done, in the magnitude that we thought they should be done or as fast as we wanted them to be done, but as I look over our lives, I can say that God has been faithful.
 
To reflect briefly on Him and His faithfulness, we often don't have to look any further than someone special He placed in our lives. We're grateful for our family, friends, our church, community and our nation as much as we may disagree with what we see.
 
Being more specific, we are grateful for our wives or husbands, mothers or fathers, sisters or brothers, sons or daughters, grandchildren and our special aunts or uncles.
  • We're grateful for the times when we didn't think we were going to make it, but God provided a way out
  • We didn't think we had the strength, but when we were weak, God proved to be strong
  • We didn't know where our next penny or a meal was coming from, but God provided for us exceedingly, abundantly and in a way that we could not think or imagine
  • We thought the last doctors report was the thing that was going to take us out, but mercy said NO¦ I'm not done with you yet!
  • When we thought we were going to lose our minds, God's peace came in and renewed our hope
  • When all hope was gone, God still gave a greater hope and caused us to still believe that He was somehow going to come through
 
In the midst of the negatives out there, we are to allow two things associated with a thankful heart to resound from our lips. When we do, we garner the help and assistance of the ministering spirits called angels to come alongside and minister to us as heirs of salvation. These two things are His goodness and His mercy.
 
First Chronicles 16:
34 Oh, give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! For His mercy endures forever.
35 And say, "Save us, O God of our salvation; Gather us together, and deliver us from the Gentiles, to give thanks to Your holy name, to triumph in Your praise.
36 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting!
 
The Message Bible
34 Give thanks to God”he is good and his love never quits.
 
The Amplified Bible
34 O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His mercy and loving-kindness endure forever!
 
The word mercy used here has a much greater implication when you look at it from the Hebrew text it was originally penned in. Therefore, various words could be used and each of them would be accurate.
 
The Hebrew word, "hesed means "kindness, lovingkindness, mercy, goodness, faithfulness, love, acts of kindness. This aspect [hesed] of God is one of several important features of His character which is "truth; faithfulness; mercy; steadfastness; justice; righteousness; goodness.
 
When you put these character traits together, you have a prescription for a life that will never be put to shame and that will never fail.
 
What must be noted when we bring these things into proper perspective is that these are not things that God "does they are "Who He Is. God IS truth; faithful; mercy; steadfast; justice; righteous; good; He is Kind and as First John 4 8 states, He IS LOVE!
 
I also understand that over the years, some Believers have mocked the goodness of God discounting the fact that being "good is one of His significant character traits by saying that "Chicken is good, but God is great. I understand what they are trying to convey, but you don't exalt a Biblical principle by putting down a Biblical Truth.
 
Yes, God is great however it is very clear that He is also good! And it is out of the goodness of God that we are not consumed because when you consider the goodness and mercy of God, you find that because of the love of God you were not consumed.
 
Because of God's kindness or His mercy, He meets the needs of His people by delivering us from enemies, misery, hopelessness and despair; He preserves our lives and redeems us from sin.
 
In Psalm 136 it portrays God's kindness as "abundant, exceedingly great, without end, and good. The God we serve is the covenant-keeping God who maintains kindness and mercy to those who love Him.
 
But there is a place where many Christians miss it as we are to be imitators of God and therefore imitators of Christ. When we are imitators of someone, we mimic them, follow them, mock them and act like them.
 
However, when most of the New Testament Church looks at this, we say we should perform miracles, signs and wonders when the greatest thing we can do is allow God's fruit to become matured in us. When His fruit is being matured, we no longer hold onto the "old way we used to act, live and think and neither do we make excuses for those negative character traits.
 
Ephesians 5:1
"Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. 2 Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.
 
People are to imitate God. They are to display kindness and faithfulness toward each other especially toward the poor, weak, and needy (Job 6:14; Prov. 20:28).
 
With this as a foundation for building our lives further, we see that these are things that we are to be thankful for.
 
We are to try to look for the silver lining in every cloud that comes into our lives no matter how dark that cloud may appear.
 
I've seen some people, who made Christ a priority by lining "how they live up with His desires for them, come through some of the most trying circumstances. At the same time, I've seen people that made what appeared to me to be a half-hearted commitment to God fall apart at the smallest thing.
 
The difference is in their perception of God. How do you view God? This becomes the foundation for a person who will give thanks for whatever they find themselves in.
 
As Paul ends his letter to the church in Thessalonica, he tells them the importance of doing good to each other and always having a heart of thanksgiving.
 
This is similar to what I say about prayer as when we're told to pray without ceasing, we are speaking from the perspective of having a constant attitude of prayer and therefore a consistent connection with God.
 
First Thessalonians 5 NLT
14 Brothers and sisters, we urge you to warn those who are lazy. Encourage those who are timid. Take tender care of those who are weak. Be patient with everyone.
15 See that no one pays back evil for evil, but always try to do good to each other and to all people.
16 Always be joyful. 17 Never stop praying. 18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
 
Amplified Bible
18 Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will].
 
NKJV
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
 
To properly understand what the Bible is saying here we must look at a small but very important word in verse 18¦ "in.
 
We have "IN everything, give thanks and God meant what He said. However, I find some Christians thanking God "FOR everything whether it lines up with what the Bible says or not.
 
I find it very difficult to "thank God FOR something that I know He is not the author of. This is where the importance of knowing the Word and my God-given rights and privileges come in.
  • I can't thank God for a sickness, but will thank Him for healing to the day I go to my grave;

  • I can't thank God for lack, but will openly declare that I'm obedient to God in all things and therefore expect God to open the windows of Heaven and pour out so much blessing that I will not have room enough to receive it

  • I can't thank God for taking my family from me, but will thank Him for preparing a place for me in heaven with Him and be so appreciative to Him for the time I spent with them

  • I can't thank God when I fall short and commit an act of sin, but will be quick to thank Him for forgiveness and remission of those sins and the fact that He will further cleanse me from ALL unrighteousness

  • I can't thank God when I'm hungry and don't know where my next meal is coming from, but will that Him that He provide my daily bread.

You must look to His answer and that is what you're to be thankful for in this season of Thanksgiving.

 
THE FINAL HOUR
 
To remain diligent in the things of God we must have a perception of the fact that tomorrow is not promised any of us.
 
As much as we plan, save and hope for a great future the reality is that "Our lives are in God's Hands and He knows the end from the beginning. He knows the length of our time in the earth before we took our first breath. He has also given us comfort knowing that He is always there; He will never leave us or forsake us; He will not allow to come on us more than we can handle; and with every temptation we face, He will make a way of escape.
 
With this said, we must be people of vision and have dreams for our lives and children that will span generations. Because tomorrow is not promised, it does not mean that we do not plan for our future and neither does it mean that we neglect to make the most of every opportunity today.
 
  • We must plan as if we are never going to die and choose to live each day to the fullest.
  • We must leave the earth a better place for our children and grandchildren than it was when we entered the earth.
  • We must remain in the will of God each day and be ready when the trumpet blows and we leave this earth.
 
To do this effectively we must find ways to influence those around us with the Gospel lived out in Word and deed every day. This is important because it's been said "Only what you do for Jesus Christ will last. There is no other task in the earth that is more vital than influencing someone into the Kingdom of God because that becomes eternal fruit that will never pass away.
 
At the same time, we must have a mindset that will help people around us become all they can be and make their experience in the earth as good as it can be. This cannot be done effectively if we are not free and have hope for our own lives.
 
This is also not something that is reserved for Christians only. Yes, there is a certain affinity or attraction that we have towards those that are Believer's, but we must never forget that God created all people and is concerned about the world. His love shines and is reflected through the actions of His people and as the world sees Jesus in us, there is more of a chance that they will want Him as their own as well.
 
Because "God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, we must be vessel's that bring this love to those that are estranged from Him. Without love and God's character easily seen in us, the mandate from Him to be His witnesses to all nations will not be realized in this generation.
 
Jesus' command to us was to
"Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone. 16 Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned. Mark 16:15, 16
 
This entails us bringing them into the Kingdom and then releasing them into all areas of influence so they can do the same.
 
There is a two-fold balance to being Christians that we don't often hear of as God "needs us in every sphere of life in the nation and around the world so we can fulfill the Great Commission of Mark 16. You cannot separate the two as they are closely associated.
  • One part is a natural calling with spiritual implications
  • and the other is a spiritual calling with natural implications.
 
We must be spiritually minded which brings life and peace without minimizing the importance of what we do in our homes, on our jobs, the school, and wherever we are placed in society.
 
God needs His people operating with wisdom and grace in natural areas of life. This has not changed through the generations. The New Testament has people in politics [Matthew, Tax Collector]; education [Paul]; business [Peter, fisherman]; medicine [Luke, the physician]; social arena [woman at the well].
 
By the same token this does not minimize what we're supposed to be doing in working in the local church as well as sharing the Gospel¦ it enhances it. We can do these things more effectively and share Christ by having natural things in common with those who have the same interests.
 
The latter is also true as we will have the spiritual concept of being a Christian always in the forefront of our hearts and minds. This means we place the Gospel first and never compromise.
 
Christ never meant for us to take people out of the world when they got saved and utilize them "ONLY in the church. We are to teach them how to operate in the world using Biblical principles.
 
The church is the place where we freely serve Christ ensuring that the local assembly remains a vital part of the community we're in. Everyone should have a desire to serve Christ in some way, but not everyone will serve Christ the same way.
 
We are told "we are in the world, but not of the world. We're in the world as salt and light and must be focused so we can influence others as well. This is what causes true Kingdom growth through the local church.
 
In this Final Hour a true spirit of evangelism has been released and we will reap the benefits of our remaining obedient to Christ in this over the years.
 
These are things that will be prevalent in the Final Hour of the age we live in. This is the hour in which we will experience the power of God for salvation as we've never seen it.
 
Acts 2 prophesies of a time such as this.
17 ˜And it shall come to pass in the last days, says God, that I will pour out of My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your young men shall see visions, your old men shall dream dreams. 18 And on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days; and they shall prophesy.
19 I will show wonders in heaven above and signs in the earth beneath: Blood and fire and vapor of smoke.
20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.
21 And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.'
 
This becomes the cry of the Spirit in this hour that moves us to other End Time events that must transpire.
 
The significance of the hour is revealed in the Word of God and will cause the people of God to also see how serious it is. Because we will have a focus on the souls of men, there will be a priority placed on being the best Christians we can be.
 
One of the things that is repeating itself in my mind is the fact that it is going to take a effort on the part of the Church. Things are not going to just happen even though it may appear to some that it will.
 
Most Christians will not see the labor and sacrifice that was made so God can move in the way He desires. Just as things was prepared for Christ to come the first time, it shall be so in this Final Hour. This means, there are natural things that shall be put in place so greater spiritual things can transpire.
 
Therefore, our admonition is that we would wake out of a slumber, so Christ can reign through us. Romans 13
11 This is all the more urgent, for you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. 12 The night is almost gone; the day of salvation will soon be here. So remove your dark deeds like dirty clothes, and put on the shining armor of right living.
 
Message Bible
11 But make sure that you don't get so absorbed and exhausted in taking care of all your day-by-day obligations that you lose track of the time and doze off, oblivious to God. 12 The night is about over, dawn is about to break. Be up and awake to what God is doing! God is putting the finishing touches on the salvation work he began when we first believed.
 
These things will give rise to people with the spirit of anti-christ that will openly oppose everything that is righteous and promote a spirit of lawlessness. There will be open antagonism for the things of God and the individual churches will not be exempt from this attack against God.
 
I John 2
18 Dear children, the last hour is here. You have heard that the Antichrist is coming, and already many such antichrists have appeared. From this we know that the last hour has come. 19 These people left our churches, but they never really belonged with us; otherwise they would have stayed with us. When they left, it proved that they did not belong with us.
 
We often don't realize that people in some churches can have a spirit of anti-christ. They are in place to disrupt the church and keep it from growing. They oppose things that deal with Kingdom building, they oppose the leadership and work against the vision.
 
They try to assemble a personal following and when their deeds are exposed, they leave the church in bitterness. But these never belonged to the church.
 
This increase of antichrist objectives in the Final Hour will give rise to the devil knowing that his time is quickly ending. The last day battle will appear and God and His angels shall prevail.
 
As he is cast out of heaven [from accusing the brothers] one last time, he will be thrust to the earth and wreak havoc as the earth has never seen.
 
But the Saints will overcome him with the Blood of the Lamb and Word of their testimony. This is a statement of faith in the Atoning work of Christ on Calvary's Cross that releases His people into their End Time purpose and destiny.
 
Revelation 12
7 Then there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon and his angels. 8 And the dragon lost the battle, and he and his angels were forced out of heaven. 9 This great dragon”the ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, the one deceiving the whole world”was thrown down to the earth with all his angels.
10 Then I heard a loud voice shouting across the heavens,
"It has come at last ” salvation and power and the Kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters has been thrown down to earth ” the one who accuses them before our God day and night.
11 And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony. And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die.
12 Therefore, rejoice, O heavens! And you who live in the heavens, rejoice! But terror will come on the earth and the sea, for the devil has come down to you in great anger, knowing that he has little time.
 
This important Scripture reveals the victory we have that will propel each of us into the victory that God wants. It will not happen without a fight and our fight must be with both the enemy that God says we're at war against and by using the weapons of our warfare that is not carnal.
 
Our victory lies in our understanding of the power of Christ's Blood and remaining secure in that victory, not our own intelligence, wisdom and stature in society. We are also the conquerors that God wants us to be because we have matured in the Word and our testimony is our confession of the promises that Christ made to us and gave us as our guarantee of overcoming the enemy.
 
The Blessing of Obedience
 
As we have been building our lives over the year with many principles and precepts outlined in the Word of God, we've come to a place where we must embrace the Blessing God has for us because we have followed and obeyed those principles.
 
This has been a year of structure and adjustment and many of us have faced challenges with an attitude that God is still in control. We had to settle our hearts on this fact while in the middle of it not even knowing if we would come out of those situations.
 
But because we have been building our lives properly, our faith has been increasing and getting stronger and we have unknowingly been maturing in the things of God.
 
Like a natural building project, there is no real glory in tearing up the ground; cutting down trees; putting in spikes for the foundation; moving dirt around, pouring cement, setting beams in place. It looks a mess and you have no idea about what the final product will look like.
 
Even as you build, until the roof is on the building you are still subjected to the elements whereas if it rains, you will get wet; if it's cold, you will feel it; if it snows or there is a storm, you will experience the same elements inside the unfinished structure as you would if you were outside in it.
 
As we have been "Rising and Building these elements being spoken of are metaphors or are likened to the storms of life we have faced; the challenges that have come to destroy our faith; the mental attacks against us; the lack of resource or physical challenges that come to undermine everything God said.
 
During this time, there is a heightened awareness of satan's three-fold objective of killing, stealing and destroying us. But at the same time we see that "When the enemy came in, like a flood the Spirit of the Lord raised up a standard against him and brought you through.
 
The truth is, over the year you have weathered the storm. You have positioned yourself for where God wants you to go and now it's time to reap because of your obedience. You have been building your life on the Rock like the wise man and here you are still standing as we prepare to go into another year.
 
To "reap the blessing because of your obedience as God would have it, is a foundational principle that has stood the test of time and will be here long after you're gone.
 
You reap what you sow, and while the earth remains, there will be seedtime and harvest. After the flood and God spared Noah and his family along with the animals, God made a covenant with the earth stating in Genesis 8:22,
"While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease.
 
One of the most encouraging examples of someone reaping in the Bible is our patriarch, Isaac. In Genesis 26 it says there was a famine in the land, yet Isaac still applied God's principle of "sowing or planting.  He did not look at the situation or the drought that the nation faced. He trusted God looking at what God said and it's evident that he reaped where he sowed. NLT
12 When Isaac planted his crops that year, he harvested a hundred times more grain than he planted, for the Lord blessed him. 13 He became a very rich man, and his wealth continued to grow. The NIV says, He became exceedingly wealthy.
 
There is no doubt when you read the Scriptures that this reference is to a man that followed God's principle of giving represented here as "planting or sowing. Because he chose to do what God commanded when it wasn't convenient. This is represented when you read in context as during a "drought God honored him for his faithfulness.
 
In looking at the word blessed, the Old Testament Hebrew and New Testament Greek definitions are quite similar. You cannot separate a state of blessing with some type of physical, material increase.
 
3 John 2 says, "Beloved I wish above all that you will prosper, be in health, even as your soul prospers. This is material, soul and body as much as there are some people that will refute what the intention of God is here.
 
The Hebrew word "Beraka means "bestowal of good, usually conceived of as material. Because of this definition, you see that there are things associated with being blessed that causes "favor with people and increase in some way.
 
The Greek word for blessing is "Eulogia where we get our word "eulogy from which means "to speak well of someone
 
However, when the Greek word is used, there is both the "spiritual good brought because of the Gospel we have chosen to abide by and material blessing as well
 
Dealing with the attitude of blessing, there must be an understanding of what a blessing is. Encarta's dictionary defines it as "God's help
 
If this is the case, I'm confident that we will all agree that over the years we have been helped by God in one manner or another. If we have been helped by God and the definition of blessed is "God's help, then we can conclude that we have been blessed.
 
What you must know is that being blessed is and has always been God's intention for His people. You see the word used in various forms throughout the Bible starting in Genesis chapter one through Revelation chapter 22. Therefore, from beginning to end, no matter what people have had to go through, it's God's intention to find and bless certain people.
 
In Ephesians 1:3, you have God's intent for us as Believer's in Christ.  NLT
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.
 
The word blessed is used twice here; the first time referencing the place from where the blessing comes and secondly the actual blessing.
 
"Hath blessed in the Greek text, refers to the fact of an action. The translation should read "The One who blessed, meaning our God and the Father of Jesus Christ.
 
The phrase, "with all spiritual blessings, the word "spiritual describes the blessings, not as spiritual as contrasted to physical, but to blessings produced and given us by the Holy Spirit.
 
The word ˜all' is a bigger word than the three letters that make it up to be could imply. Meaning inclusive of everything and exclusive of nothing, it covers all the good that comes to us by grace”whether the assurance of immortality. It also contains the promise of the resurrection, the inheritance of the kingdom of heaven, the privilege of adoption. The word "all includes each of these graces of God, but is not limited to them.
 
Biblical "blessing and being blessed is a two-fold action. There is the blessing we give to God and the blessing He gives to us. The action on our part is that "When we bless God, we praise Him, speak well of Him [eulogia]. We tell Him we love Him, adore Him; we magnify Him and sing songs that exalt Him because of Who He Is. We speak well of Him.
 
When He blesses us, it is not that He only speaks good about us, but He does us good. Our blessing is in word. His is in "deed.
 
He confers benefits upon us. Expositors Greek lexicon says, "In word and thought we bless God because in deed and positive effect He blesses us
 
My expectation as I continue walking with God is that there will be increase and noticeable steps that move my life closer to what and Who He is as my Father in Heaven.
 
The spiritual blessings that God gives us that are in heavenly places, are not intangible only whereas we know they're there but can never get them. Being in heavenly places allows us to see that we are not to be limited to what we see in the earth alone, but know that our help comes from heaven.
 
In Matthew 6:10, when Jesus gave the disciples what we refer to as the Lord's Prayer, He said pray after this manner¦ "The Kingdom come, thy will be done IN EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN. Therefore, the manifestation of heaven in the earth is the spiritual blessing taking on natural or material form.
 
What must be settled is the fact that this is not my reason or purpose in following God, it is a state of mind that serves to allow me to have an expectancy of good even when things contrary are all around me. If God said it, will He not bring it to pass?
 
In Isaiah 46, as God was reiterating His position as "God He sets in motion a p[rinciple of expectancy about His commitment to His Word.
9 Remember the things I have done in the past. For I alone am God! I am God, and there is none like me.
10 Only I can tell you the future before it even happens. Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish.
11 I will call a swift bird of prey from the east”  leader from a distant land to come and do my bidding. I have said what I would do, and I will do it.
 
If God gave the command to bless, it cannot be reversed.
  • We must feed on the Word of God until we are thoroughly convinced that the blessing of the Lord makes rich and He adds no sorrow to it.
  • We must know that we are the head and not the tail, above only and not beneath.
  •  We must know that what God determined for us is that we would prosper, be in health, even as our soul prospers.
 
We must be as convinced about our position of prosperity as the prophet was in Numbers 23 when He made this declaration:
19 God is not a man, so he does not lie. He is not human, so he does not change his mind. Has he ever spoken and failed to act? Has he ever promised and not carried it through?
20 Listen, I received a command to bless; God has blessed, and I cannot reverse it!
21 No misfortune is in his plan for Jacob; no trouble is in store for Israel. For the Lord their God is with them; he has been proclaimed their king.
 
Some groups have concluded that the blessing is for a certain race, religious sect or for people that were born with a silver spoon in their mouths.
 
But God has reserved His greatest blessings of an awareness that He is our very present help in time of trouble for those who are willing and obedient.
 
God never intended for His people to substitute things for Him and neither did He intend for us to take a vow of poverty so those around us that have no hope while they become even more hopeless.
 
He intends for us to have an [and at times "be the] answer to their problems and it is impossible if we are not increasing in the things of God as He intends.
 
Many times, God told His people, "I will bless you and you will be a blessing; you will lend to many and will not borrow and these promises are just as true today as when He made them. 
 
What had to happen is: 
  • He needed people He could trust with more
  • who would be good steward's over whatever level of increase He allowed them to have 
  • people that understood that whatever level of blessing they received was to be used for Kingdom building and not selfish purposes
  • people that understood that blessings was more than having more money but a state of life in which we submit all we have, to the purposes of God
 
These mindsets take obedient servants that take joy in their salvation. It takes people who know their God and are commissioned to do great exploits in the Name of the Father. Daniel 11:32 NKJV
          "¦but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits These are feats of strength, good deeds and accomplish major achievements.
 
I'm not sure where the mentality of the church came from that thinks that everything is going to be given like ripe cherries falling from a tree.
 
There must be a passion in us that drives us like the prophet had when he declared that God's Word was like fire, shut up in his bones. It's forward movement that God blesses in the greatest way and that brings us under an umbrella that "pours out so much blessing that we will not have room enough to receive it.
 
It also takes people who will love what is good and eschew [avoid or shun] evil as God spoke of His servant, Job. These blessings are reserved for people who will resist that which is evil and cling to what is good. Romans 12:9 NLT
"Don't just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good.
 
It's important to understand that a relationship with God is more than knowing the Scriptures and knowing what to do. It is having a willing heart to do what we know we're supposed to do and doing it with all our hearts.
 
As we do, we enter into a place with God that I believe He reserves for obedient sons and daughters. These are not affected by a life that falls short because of an act of sin as they know that the grace of God applied will keep them in right standing with God. They know that they are doing what they can to champion the cause of God while meeting the needs of as many people as possible.
 
They know that as an act of their will, they reap what they sow because they have allowed the Lord their God to be their holy habitation.
 
Isaiah 1 NKJV
18 "Come now, and let us reason together, Says the Lord, "Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
19 If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land;
20 But if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword; For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
 
NLT
17 Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans.  Fight for the rights of widows. 18 "Come now, let's settle this, says the Lord. "Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool. 
19 If you will only obey me, you will have plenty to eat. 
 
Notice the responsibility [Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans.  Fight for the rights of widows] , the righteous position we are called to [Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow] and the blessing God places on the shoulders of His people because through that obedience, there will always be plenty.
 
As the NKJV says, "if you are willing the responsibility becomes finding out what this actually entails. It is more than knowing that something is required, or knowing what you're supposed to do. It is taking the position as an inferior subjecting what you the Superior wants you to do.
 
The Hebrew word for willing, "āḇāh is a verb meaning "to consent, to be compliant, to surrender, to desire. To be positively inclined to respond to some authority or petition. The word is used to signify willingness or desire; consent to authority; to be content.
 
The word obedience becomes the key to opening the blessing of God on your life. It means: "submit to an authority and do what is asked or required. Further it is the "practice of following instructions; complying with rules or regulations and submitting to another's authority
 
This becomes the door to every other good and perfect gift that God releases on us.
 
Being blessed has become a buzz word in many Christian circles without any intention of fulfilling our responsibility of obedience to God. Many people think that they will receive some type of materialistic blessing because they know or was told that they will be blessed.
 
Others have used the term blessing as if it's some elitist position and when you mention God bless you, the response of "He does. People say it as if there's something wrong with you for mentioning it.
 
However, when the blessing of God comes on us, there will be more than a statement of fact, but a lifestyle and mental attitude that will portray it even if it is not said. It is something that you release and adds to another's life, no matter hiw blessed they may be at that time
 
You will understand the fact that no matter how blessed you have been in life, that there is room for more. You will know that the blessing of increase will increase more and more. And as you live under the blessing you have you will look forward to accomplishing things for God that will foster increased blessing in your life.