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Posts Tagged ‘prophecy’

I woke up anxious.  Fears came on me about many things, especially anxiety about making a wrong decision.  I prayed for God to ease my mind and to really show me the right path to take.  I fell back to sleep and had this dream.

A pastor and his wife were spending the night at our house.  The next day was Sunday but we all overslept.  We made sure they were able to get ready to go first (only one bathroom) and they left.  When it was time for us to go,  I realized I had not had a chance to get cleaned up, put on make-up, or get dressed.  I thought… I can’t go in looking like this, so I will just stay out in the car.

As we were driving to the church..  it was dark like night.   (The whole dream took place in a night setting)  We turned a corner to go down the road where the church was and there were buildings on fire everywhere.  Off in the distance was a huge grain silo and it was burning up with flames going way into the sky.  Several other buildings were also on fire.  I was shocked and afraid to see so much fire and wondered what could have caused all of it.  I looked down the road, and the church was meeting in one part of a long building.  Their end was near the highway and the opposite end was a restaurant which was also on fire.  I saw alot of activity – people coming and going out of the church – so I thought it wouldn’t matter how I looked, considering the current crisis.  We went inside, but none of the activity I had seen from the road was related to the crisis.  No worship service was taking place and no fire-fighting, but alot of chaos.  I found a room with merchandise.. kids running everywhere… but just chaos.

I tried to go back outside to see what was going on and in front of the building there was a river of black water between the building and the highway, which had  bridge over it.  I looked and there was a big semi parked on the bridge, and there the road ended.  In front of the truck was a cliff and the same black water was at the bottom of the cliff, kind of like a coastline.  A woman got out of the passenger side and went to the edge.  She looked at me and said…. “It’s painless this way.” And she jumped.

I was trying to get around to the other side of the building to check on the fire situation, but there was not enough room on the bridge between the truck and the drop off down into the river to get by.  I started to slip into it and I knew if I did I would die, so I stopped trying to cross the bridge.

I went back into the building and found the pastor and asked him if he knew the other half of the building they were in was on fire.  He seemed surprised and and not terribly concerned.  I couldn’t understand how he didn’t know what was going on outside.  We found a side door and went out.  Next door an old traditional style church building was also on fire, but no one was there.  I felt urgent that someone needed to call and tell them their building was also on fire.. but no one seemed concerned about any of the fire.  That’s all I remember.

This week I have had so much grief seeing more and more the state of the American church.  I go between wanting to throw up and wanting to weep.  It’s heavy and I can’t shake it off.  And it feels like hardly anyone sees or cares.  I know some do.  Our country is full of churches but we have fallen into so many ditches.  False teaching, complacency, profit-seeking, fun-seeking, status seeking, political influence… and people are indeed heaping up for themselves teachers that will tell them what they want to hear.  Ironically,  I woke up from this dream to read in my devotional time, I Thessalonians 5 about the Day of the Lord.  I found the parallels about night and sleeping interesting as they were elements in my dream.

1Th 5:1  Now concerning the times and the seasons, brothers, you have no need to have anything written to you.
1Th 5:2  For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.
1Th 5:3  While people are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction will come upon them as labor pains come upon a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.
1Th 5:4  But you are not in darkness, brothers, for that day to surprise you like a thief.
1Th 5:5  For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness.
1Th 5:6  So then let us not sleep, as others do, but let us keep awake and be sober.
1Th 5:7  For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, are drunk at night.
1Th 5:8  But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, having put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation.
1Th 5:9  For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,
1Th 5:10  who died for us so that whether we are awake or asleep we might live with him.
1Th 5:11  Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
1Th 5:12  We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you,
1Th 5:13  and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves.
1Th 5:14  And we urge you, brothers, admonish the idle, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with them all.
1Th 5:15  See that no one repays anyone evil for evil, but always seek to do good to one another and to everyone.
1Th 5:16  Rejoice always,
1Th 5:17  pray without ceasing,
1Th 5:18  give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
1Th 5:19  Do not quench the Spirit.
1Th 5:20  Do not despise prophecies,
1Th 5:21  but test everything; hold fast what is good.
1Th 5:22  Abstain from every form of evil.
1Th 5:23  Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1Th 5:24  He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.
1Th 5:25  Brothers, pray for us.
1Th 5:26  Greet all the brothers with a holy kiss.
1Th 5:27  I put you under oath before the Lord to have this letter read to all the brothers.
1Th 5:28  The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

The sleeping, and the not being dressed for action – that is a huge problem.  I sense it deeply.  We (myself included) need to wake up and “come clean’ with God and each other.  We need to recognize the urgency of the time…. have some concern for those under judgment around us, even if we have ourselves managed to escape it.  The black water.. a false Holy Spirit that people are seeking to escape what is coming… the painless way… the way that offers what we want, not what God wants.

It’s time to wake up.

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I don’t have time to blog this morning, but here I am.  My devotional time today landed in Luke 1, (reading through the gospels again).  I never cease to be amazed at the things God reveals in His Word every time you go through it.  New treasures every day.

This morning I was reading the prophetic passage Zechariah spoke after he regained his speech, telling of the work that his son John would do, and also of the coming Messiah.  One passage caught my eye.  (apologies for not formatting – this is straight from e-sword.  Like I say.. short on time! )

Luk 1:68  “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people
Luk 1:69  and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David,
Luk 1:70  as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
Luk 1:71  that we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us;
Luk 1:72  to show the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant,
Luk 1:73  the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us
Luk 1:74  that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear,
Luk 1:75  in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.

The italicized part here jumped out at me because it’s not the part of the Abrahamic Covenant you hear referred to often.  The only part of the Covenant to Abraham I can remember (or find) that resembles this statement is the prophecy of Israel being delivered from Egypt.

Gen 15:13  Then the LORD said to Abram, “Know for certain that your offspring will be sojourners in a land that is not theirs and will be servants there, and they will be afflicted for four hundred years.
Gen 15:14  But I will bring judgment on the nation that they serve, and afterward they shall come out with great possessions.

Reading the story of Moses and Pharaoh, God speaks through Moses repeatedly to “Let my people go that they may SERVE ME.”   No one needed an explanation of what that meant because even Pharaoh understands.   He tells Moses mid-way through the ordeal to “go ahead and sacrifice to your God here in the land of Egypt.”  Moses explains that the worship their God demands is an abomination to the Egyptians and they would be stoned.   They must go into the wilderness; man, woman, child, and all their livestock, which is the deliverance story that Passover recounts.

So why would Zechariah refer to this promise of deliverance if it had already been fulfilled with Moses?  Did he see, by revelation from the Holy Spirit (passage here says he was filled with the Spirit) that even this deliverance was not an end in itself, but a foreshadow of a greater one to come?

Zechariah was a priest, who knew the fear of the Lord.  He knew what would happen to him if he had gone in to minister in a wrong manner, as had happened to some before him who had disobeyed.  For him to say that we might serve God, without fear, in holiness and righteousness indicates that a far greater deliverance and holiness was coming than had previously been made available through the Levitical priesthood.

He goes on to speak of the One who was coming:

Luk 1:76  And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,

Luk 1:77  to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins,

Luk 1:78  because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high

Luk 1:79  to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

As one of my friends brought to my attention recently, John the Baptist not only called sin out for what it was so boldly he lost his head for it, he simultaneously offered a radical grace.  At what point in time did anyone preach repentance and baptism for the forgiveness of sins.  No temple?  No sacrifice?  Could it really be that simple to just turn to God with your heart and go down into the water?  He proclaimed Jesus as “The Lamb of God which takes away the sin of the world!”   Yet no one understood a God Man as a Passover lamb.  And what about the rules?  John commanded them to do the same things Jesus did – walk in LOVE, justice and generosity.  No mention of rituals or observances.  Luke says, “With this and many exhortations he preached GOOD NEWS to the people.  Jesus told his followers to preach the GOOD NEWS of the Kingdom to all of Creation.

In Jesus, our Passover Lamb, we have reconciliation with a Holy God.  The most vivid picture of this reconciliation in my mind is the veil shrouding the Most Holy Place in the temple tearing from top to bottom at the moment of His death.  At the time of the second temple, the Ark of the Covenant was already gone, lost in the last exile. (or hidden by Jeremiah as some believe, who ares till searching for it.)  The tearing of the veil revealed two things.  First and foremost, the New and Living Way had been opened through the veil of the tearing of the flesh of Jesus.  Secondly, that the Temple made with hands no longer contained the Covenant, the Presence, or the Mercy Seat.  Israel had already lost this Covenant long before Jesus came to make His in flesh and blood.  Through Jesus we are delivered from our “body of death” to serve Him “without fear in holiness and righteousness all of our days.”  We may come BOLDLY before the Throne of Grace.  What an amazing privilege!!  Have we stopped to consider it or do we rather trample on the blood of  Christ by considering it a common thing, either through living in the lesser shadow, or by ingratitude as we live for the flesh?  I believe we can gain a great deal from understanding the shadow, but only that it continues to validate and glorify Jesus as God, Messiah, Redeemer, fulfillment of all prophecies, parables, and promises.  Jesus did not come to point us back to the shadow but to be the Light.  Walk in the Light.

There is more….    but I’m out of time.

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