Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Restoration of a Nation to Sonship Through the Spirit and Power of Elijah

When the Lord spoke to Moses out of the burning bush, He was discussing with Moses what to say to Pharaoh when Pharaoh would refuse to free Israel from slavery. In the course of the conversation, the Lord said, "Israel is My son, My firstborn." (Exodus 4:22). Of course, we know that Israel (Jacob) was not Abraham and Sarah's firstborn son--Isaac was.  Israel was Abraham's grandson. So what does the Lord mean by calling Israel His firstborn son? He is referring to the nation Israel as His son. He goes on and tells Moses to say to Pharaoh, "Let My son go that he may serve Me." (vs 23).  So we see that He is referring to the nation Israel, not the person, and calls the nation His son. (His firstborn nation of many nations as He promised Abraham).

Now fast forward to Joel 2 where the Lord says in the last days He will pour out His Spirit upon all mankind. "Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on the male and female servants I will pour out My Spirit in those days." (Joel 2:28-29). The sons will prophesy. Just as individuals (sons) prophesy, so will nations (sons) also prophesy. Nations have a voice just as communities, churches, families and individuals have a voice. Some nations have a prophetic voice just as some communities, churches, families and individuals have a prophetic voice. Here is why.

God created Adam and Eve who were male/female, father/mother, and told them to 1). have children and 2). rule over the earth. Those were their first two commands. God's plan was for the family unit to become the foundational governing authority in the earth. The same thing happened with Noah and then with Abraham. With Abraham, God established a family who would become a nation of people set apart for Him. They were a family first before they were a community or a nation. Nations who are the Lord's are considered His sons, just as He called Israel--the nation--His son.

America was once a son-nation and a prophetic voice in the earth. We were a nation established by God for religious freedom. But America has lost her prophetic voice, not coincidentally, as the family unit has become broken and distorted. The way to restore America is to restore the families--God's ruling authorities--back to Him. We must restore the families to restore sonship to the nation. For this to happen we need the spirit and power of Elijah.
"Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord. He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse." Malachi 4:5-6.
These are the last words of the Old Testament. John the Baptist came in the spirit and power of Elijah as Jesus said, but it was not before the great and terrible day of the Lord. This day is yet to come. The spirit and power of Elijah will once again come and restore the families. As the families are restored this brings about the restoration of the son-nations. America can once again be restored if her families are. The earth is waiting for the revealing of the sons of God. (Romans 8:19). It's time for this restoration to come!

Consistently Christian

Who am I? I am one who believes that Jesus is the Christ--the Savior who came from God in heaven to die for the sins of mankind. I believe He spoke the truth, and my faith in Him justifies me in the sight of God so I will not have to suffer the consequences of my sin. He purchased me with His own blood, imparting eternal life to my spirit even before my physical death.

As a Christian, I follow Jesus--strengthened by His Holy Spirit who He imparts to those who ask. I take up my cross and die daily to follow Him. Which means that I don't pick and choose when I want to "be" Christian and when I don't want to be Christian. I don't decide on Sunday morning that I'm a Christian so I go to church, but then on Tuesday I'm ashamed to admit I know Him.

To be a Christian means I am consistently Christian. When it's easy and when it's hard. When it's popular, and when it's not. When it pays off and when it costs me something. This is who I am, not a garment I take on and off. In this day and age we have American schoolteachers who are teaching our very young children that they can choose to be a boy or a girl. So it's no wonder people think Christianity is something that can also be worn or discarded. This idea will only get worse if we don't stop the madness and speak the truth without apology. We must not allow our children to be indoctrinated with these lies.

I am a Christian--all the time. I seek to become more like Jesus today than I was yesterday. If I am not consistently Christian then I doubt if I am a Christian at all. How can I be a true Christian if I am not always Christian? I cannot, anymore than I can choose to be a part-time male or part-time female.

If you are a Christian, please stand up in this kind of committed consistency so our children can find stability somewhere in this chaotic society.

1 John 5:1-4; 1 John 2:1-2; Romans 5:1; Acts 20:28; Luke 11:13; Luke 9:23; Proverbs 23:23; 1 Peter 2:20; 2 Corinthians 3:18

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Lord of the Sabbath

Keeping the Sabbath is an outward act which expresses an inner faith in God. By resting on the Sabbath, no matter how much "work" needs to be done, it shows that I am trusting in God to provide and not trusting in myself. If I think that my provision comes from my own work then I will not want to take that day of rest or take time to wait on the Lord and seek Him.

We can get wrapped up in what I call the time-provision tail chase. Provision really comes as we hear and do what the Lord says. When we slack in that we end up in lack. If we try to solve our lack by our own work (working for ourselves) rather than seeking the Lord concerning our lives (working for Him) then more lack is produced. This cycle of trying to chase after money to get rid of the lack goes on until we stop and trust the Lord. I'm not saying we shouldn't work, or that we shouldn't work hard, but that we must seek the Lord to hear and do what He is saying to us, or all of our hard work will do nothing for us. His work comes first. As Haggai says, it's like putting your money in a bag with holes. Haggai 1:6. By spending time with the Lord we begin to break the time-provision tail chase.

Worship is not waste! Matthew 26:6-13. Rest is not waste either, and consider this--if the Lord is in us and we insist on working, rather than keeping the Sabbath, isn't that like making Him work on His day off? The Sabbath is not a drudging obligation we have to keep. It's both He and I resting and rejoicing in His provision. I delight in Him on the Sabbath, and take joy in the fact that He gives me rest and provides--even if my hard work isn't enough. He is a loving Father who provides for me. He is not a hard taskmaster. He gives us the rest we need and still meets our needs.
"Also the foreigners who join themselves to the Lord, to minister to Him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be His servants, every one who keeps from profaning the sabbath and holds fast My covenant; Even those I will bring to My holy mountain and make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be acceptable on My altar; For My house will be called a house of prayer for all the peoples." Isaiah 56:6-7
If we keep the Sabbath then God will accept our sacrifice--the offering representative of our work. It becomes acceptable to Him once we show that we are not trusting in our own selves--our own work--to provide for us, but we trust in Him. In fact, our own attempts to work hard and provide for ourselves apart from trusting in Him, is considered evil in His eyes. Isaiah 56:2.

We see from what Isaiah says that those who:

  • Minister to the Lord
  • Love His Name
  • Will be His servant
  • Do not profane the Sabbath
  • Hold fast to His covenant

will be brought by Him to His holy mountain, where He will make them joyful in His house of prayer--both Jew and Gentile, and He will accept their sacrifice. In other words, their offering--which comes from their work or increase--will have His blessing on it.

When we bring our tithes to His house, it represents the dedication of our work, and our increase, first to Him. When we keep the Sabbath, it represents the dedication of our lives--our time and energy--first to Him. Resting from our work is an expression of both faith and dedication to the Lord. Besides, no matter how hard we work, it will accomplish nothing if we do not seek Him first anyway.
"If because of the sabbath,
you turn your foot from doing your own pleasure on My holy day,
And call the sabbath a delight, the holy day of the Lord honorable,
And honor it, desisting from your own ways,
From seeking your own pleasure
And speaking your own word,
Then you will take delight in the Lord,
And I will make you ride on the heights of the earth;
And I will feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father,
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken."
Isaiah 58:13-14

By ceasing from my own works I show that I believe and trust in Him. It's not by my works that I succeed at anything. Keeping the Sabbath shows my faith, and I will delight in Him, and He will provide!