Sunday, June 30, 2019

You Are Why the Time is Near

This is something you need to understand: You are the reason why the time of Christ’s return is near. That’s right: you. Assuming of course that you are the Remnant, the Confessing Church, the Bride of Christ. It is His love for you, for me and for all the hidden, universal church that will bring an end to this Age, a conclusion to the rebellion that began with the Serpent, Eve and Adam.

Now let me explain how you play such a critical role as this age comes to a close and Yahweh’s judgement draws near. First, let me be clear that I’m not declaring a day nor an hour of His imminent return. Scripture tells us that only the Father knows that. But look at the signs and just as the weather can be predicted (somewhat unreliably) by certain indicators, we can look at the prophecies in Scripture and recognize that everything is lined up. I won’t go into all the details, but Israel became a nation again and the generation that saw that pivotal event is in their latter years. The temple prophesied about in the books of Daniel and Revelations is about to be rebuilt, an unblemished red heifer is available for the prescribed purification ceremony, and a High Priest has been identified. The only thing remaining is to remove the political barriers for the construction. 

But it’s really about you. God’s judgement comes when the people of God are either inescapably oppressed or corrupted. Better the former than the latter. When we are oppressed, we see God coming as our Redeemer, our Savior, our Almighty God Who removes the yoke of tyranny and places us upon a pedestal that we truly don’t deserve. What a great rejoicing when we see Him coming to bring us the victory we can’t achieve in our own power, and He will do just that! 

However, when the church has been corrupted, that is a completely different story! 

The visible church has been infiltrated with agents of the Enemy since the time of the Church Fathers, and the plans of the wicked are coming to fruition. Yet Psalm 37:7 tells us not to be preoccupied with the success of the wicked. The preceding verses in that chapter encourage us to focus on our right relationship with God. He is God and we are not. He loves us unconditionally and has made a plan for restoring us to be the people He has made us to be. He has set us up as Holy Ambassadors of His Kingdom to this world to expand His Kingdom.

Let me quickly explain a key concept about the Kingdom of God. Jesus gave us many parables about the Kingdom, and I encourage you to look at those. But do we understand what the Kingdom is? It’s not some other-worldly-removed-from-physical-reality-esoteric-concept. In the Lord’s Prayer, we ask for His Kingdom on earth as it is in Heaven. It’s not some far removed time in the future, but it exists now. It is the Reign of God in our lives, and it is meant to impact the world around us. As we live according to Christ’s will in our lives, we change the very nature of the world around us through our obedience. It is like salt that brings out the best flavor of food; salt, which acts as a preservative. But as Jesus warned: if we lose our saltiness… what then?

The Antichrist is often called the Man of Lawlessness / Rebellion. What are he and his followers rebelling against? God’s reign of course. Jesus explained how He did not come to remove the Law but that He was fulfilling it (Matt 5:17). The Law is, was and always will be good. It reflects the reality that God created, and the Son upheld the Law of God. By grace we are freed from the consequences of being lawbreakers, and our love-response should reflect Jesus’ attitude. 

In contrast, Scripture warns us of wolves in sheep’s clothing, masquerading as ministers of righteousness who tickle our ears with what we want to hear rather than how we need to live. They pervert the Good News with false gospels of prosperity, social justice, cheap grace, awakening the god within us. Unfortunately, mankind prefers the darkness of these feel-good messages to the light of truth telling us: you are going in the wrong direction and need to turn back to living rightly. In other words: repent.

Yes repent! Turn away from your wickedness. Stop listening and stop supporting these agents of the Evil One. With love, speak the truth of God’s Word. Boldly and yet humbly represent the Kingdom of God in action as well as speech, seeking to advance the truth and love of the God of Scripture Who chastises His children out of love rather than placates to their pleasures and comforts. 

When the believers of a society have been corrupted by the world around them and choose a behavior that no longer reflects the rule of God in their lives, the wrath of God will become manifest. When that happens the worldly things that we have chosen over Him will be removed and revealed for all their ugliness. The Light of God will reveal our own ugliness and filth and prompt us to return to what is true, noble and right. The perpetrators of corruption will be destroyed, and the elect will be humbled through a discipline they could have avoided. 

So like Joshua to the people of Israel, I ask who you will serve? Who will you choose to find pleasure in? What is your plan for following through on this decision? It will not be easy, but I assure you it’s worth it. If you are seeking the pleasures and comforts of this world over the reign of God in your life, you need to turn back to your God, and change the way you think and act. I promise you that when you do, He will always be faithful to bring healing into your life!

If My people, who are called by My Name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My Face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sins and will heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14
copyright ©2019 Mitchell Malloy 

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Learning from Nehemiah’s Prayer

I came across this prayer by Nehemiah in the context of praying for America. It was a departure from my planned reading of Scripture, which has me re-exploring the book of Luke in the New Testament. Instead, the Lord directed me to this Old Testament passage:

The Present
32 And now, our God, you are the great, mighty, and awe-inspiring God.
    You faithfully keep your promises.
Do not consider all the hardships
    that we have been going through as unimportant.
        The hardships have come to our kings, leaders, priests, prophets,
            ancestors, and all your people
                from the time of the kings of Assyria until now.
33 But you were fair about everything that has happened to us.
    You have been faithful, but we have been wicked.
34 Our kings, leaders, priests, and ancestors didn’t obey your teachings.
    They didn’t pay attention to your commandments or the warnings
        that you gave them.
35 When they lived in their own kingdom and enjoyed the many good things
    that you gave them in a vast, fertile land
        which was set in front of them, they didn’t serve you
            or turn away from their wicked lives.
36 Look at us now. We’re slaves!
    In the land you gave our ancestors,
        they could eat its produce and enjoy its good things.
            But now we’re slaves!
37 The many products from our land go to the kings you put over us.
    This is because of our sins.
        These kings have control over our bodies,
            and they do as they please with our livestock.
                We are in agony.
Nehemiah 9:32-37 GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

“Do more with less!” is a common saying I hear as people become more and more enslaved to their jobs in fear of impending lay-offs. The shrinking middle class and unimaginable wealth of an ever-shrinking few is used by selfish politicians to further their own selfish and ungodly agendas. Racial tensions increase as we focus on differences and privileges rather than uniting around a common fight for inalienable rights of every person – every person who bears the image of God – every person whose blood runs the same color as the One who bled and died for our freedom from sin and the wages of death. The Church has been corrupted with a new gospel, one of social justice, that perverts the understanding of Scripture with a more palatable yet less truthful interpretation. 

Who is to blame? Is it our leaders in government, business or the church? Is it the Entertainment industry? The News Media? Education? Who is to blame? As Nehemiah described it in verse 37 above: “The many products from our land go to the kings you put over us. This is because of our sins. These kings have control over our bodies, and they do as they please with our livestock. We are in agony.”

We looked to our government as our provider instead of God. We set our places of work up as idols. We shopped for churches that filled our desires rather than our needs, drifting away from our own responsibilities to grow the Kingdom. We chose to be entertained rather than to grow more fully into the people God desired us to be, and we chose the convenience of listening to talking heads tell us what to think rather than exerting the effort to learn by the leading of the Holy Spirit. 

We are to blame and we need to return to the God of the Bible. Ultimately, we know from Scripture that there will be a great falling away and that Our Lord and King will return, but we who believe should live in purity, love and truth in either preparation for His coming or to push back the tide until that Day.

copyright ©2019 Mitchell Malloy