Ok my friend as you wish..... :)
I was invited to step into this blog…but forgive me I believe I shall jump in the pool as a cannon ball! As In this day and age, I now see and hear many talking about the “times, and the seasons” as they relate to the “bible”, and asking questions of what does it mean?….Or even see people who are given some credit as “knowing” the word of God….but who still go drastically astray from the truth and try to “pin point” a time when Jesus our Lord will return in the flesh to take us up with Him, and even declaring on this date it will happen…or worse, saying it has happened!…And oh by the way saying… once we pass a certain day you cannot get saved in time to go out of here with those who will be caught up with Jesus in the air.
Well excuse me a moment…. And thank God I read my bible, and the bible it’s self clearly states those are incorrect statements…and actually is not EVER to be our focus as Children of God while still in this world! Which the bible says “we” as believers are already at this moment...Not even apart of this worlds system! We live in Kingdom of God’s son…His system. Which we are given authority to enforce! And the bible tells us how to live here until His return.
But really the time given to these discussions seems to be only a symptom of the true issue at hand….actually a HUGE problem! The Church today…”US” who say we believe… do not know what the bible actually says! We just "think" we do
In (Mark13:3-10) Jesus was sitting on Mount of Olives and began teaching His disciples who had “asked” Him to explain…and Jesus first pointed looking back over to the temple…. Which represented the place God had actually manifested himself, He had come as a cloud and the people could feel the weight of His presence, and could not stand in His presence on day it was dedicated!
And God’s presence lived and dwelt in the temple, right above the ark over the mercy seat, and spoke to His people through the priest who could visit annually behind the veil, and present blood from the sacrifice in God’s presence for the forgiveness of their sin and then be restored to relationship with God again. (But they can’t do that now) And Jesus said this place "the temple" with all these huge stones and all it’s beauty and glory would be torn down. He then says in verse 5 …”watch out that no one deceives you!”
Right there Jesus made the requirement to “know” …as their personal responsibility! And in Mark 13:29 Jesus said when you see these things come to pass KNOW that time is close. Which is His only directive regarding that.
To “know” Greek word Ginosko used here in this verse is, to have intimate knowledge of…. Of what? The TRUTH! So the disciples the followers could not become deceived! Not so they would know exactly what day and time He would return! His focus throughout the teachings by Jesus by Jesus Himself was never "when" His return will be….but that His return WILL happen… so use the time you are allowed by the Father to GO make disciples! Make more followers! Read the end of Mark chap 16 and the last words Jesus said… the main "focus" to show what was most important for the church to know in His physical absence are in Mark16:15-18 the Red Ink! His last message to “Us”… GO reach the lost with the word of the gospel...and signs will follow those who believe. And so we have been “distracted” from what we were told by Jesus to do….Go make Disciples for HIM! By Him, working in and through “us” ! Apart from Him we can do nothing! John15:5 says so!
Only the devil wants to distract you! And "We" are distracted and being slowly deceived into being destroyed! Like a frog in water slowly being brought to the boiling point not recognizing it is being destroyed!
God said for “Lack of Knowledge “my” people are destroyed. (Hosea 4:6) That is ignorance…therefore ignorance is not an excuse recognized by Father God as valid for a believer! Especially when he gave us …sent us the Holy Spirit to teach us ALL things. But did you know the rest of Hosea 4:6 says this! 6"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children."
We have it seems in the last 27 years slowly “rejected knowledge” of God, by removing the importance of knowing our bible "for our self", as a “necessary” part of our walk to become mature as a Christian! We have allowed removal of the importance of knowing the bible so much from our church, we have lost the “influence” we once had in our nation!
Proof of point…in late 1982 congress made a voice vote and approved recognizing a “year of the bible” to give it recognition in our nation as important. But this last year 2010 congress would not vote to repeat that in this year 2011… the 400th anniversary of the printing of King James Bible!….Evidence that in the last 27 years bible lost its position as important in our generation! Why? Because “we” as the church…the body of Christ! Have made “relevancy” the word of importance….but interpreted that as “make everyone comfortable, and be politically correct.” Give them grace!
But grace was never to be interpreted as “License” to continue same way the world does!
Actually I see the word of God works ,by making people feel “uncomfortable” remaining just as they are… called conviction, and sometimes it makes them feel some pain, but NEVER UNLOVED! Pain is not wrong..Injury is wrong!
But we have such a bad lack of teaching truth,(not at VLC thank God!) That we have forgotten just a basic understanding of boundaries! One myth of boundaries is: If I make someone feel pain by teaching truth,…my saying “no” correctly…it is able to cause an injury to the other person, and is unloving...But actually when, or "If" I must say “no” to another person….That is furthest thing from truth! (If you do not know that, please read book Boundaries by: Cloud and Townsend)
You must have boundaries to correctly Love another! And making someone uncomfortable by our “no” , based on word of God, is not ever going to injure another person! It is going to let them know true LOVE! And make them free….and you must be free to truly love! And yes Truth sets you free! John8:32 says so!
Of course... I do not often hear this entire verse said in context… I praise God it is being spoken here to "believers”… but it actually says this… John 8:31-32Amp-“If you abide in My word [hold fast to My teachings and live in accordance with them], you are truly My disciples. 32And you will know the Truth…,
… and the Truth will set you free.”
So you must abide and hold fast…so then “YOU” must know what…The “words written” spoken to “us” in bible are! So did you think you knew and believed that verse? So did you really believe it?
It goes on to say in next verse "believers" responding here to Jesus words…say that they had not ever been in bondage…but they were “DECIEVED” , because if you read the old treatment books you will see many places they had been in bondage! They had actually been slaves for hundreds of years! That was “believing Jews” speaking here to Jesus!
We must look at Jesus and teach truth ! As He did! But before Jesus time, it had been a problem for Israel too, as there was a time when the people of God drifted away from God a very long time , becoming Ignorant to truth, and missing His loving protection, and it was recognized that a contributing factor had been a lack of a “teaching priest” in Israel.
2Chron 15:3-4NASB-“3For many days Israel was without the true God and without a teaching priest and without law. 4 But in their distress they turned to the LORD God of Israel, and they sought Him, and He let them find Him.”
Much of today’s issues “in the church” (the people of God not the building)…as “we” are NOW the temple of Holy Spirit!… but their is a lack of teaching priests in the “kingdom of God” here and Now! Which was one reason God’s people were in distress as stated in that verse! And the other issue back then in this verse… not making the relevancy issue in the “church", needing to know your own bible! They had not studied The law, the word of God… To know it themselves!
I heard a great quote taught recently which was…..”Relevancy without application equals fruitlessness!” If the church is fruitless, and it mostly is in America….since the power we should be displaying... that should follow those who believe... seems to be mostly missing; And I believe it is because we have not looked back and remembered something Jesus brought to light... he made them look back first at the temple where God’s power and presence had been displayed for years!…”And if we are not careful we forget the power of yesterday, and we try to go out and do things in the power of ourselves!” I believe David Jeremiah recently had said that... not me.
When we do not know what the word of God actually says, we are only saying “mentally’ that we believe word of God….but it is not believed in our heart. We have only made a mental accent to it…not a believing so deep that it is part of our daily life! Recently a survey was done and found that people now believe the Bible, Koran, and book of Mormon are all equally true! But Bible says that which we say we believe we should actually meditate on day and night! Which God spoke through Joshua;
Joshua 1:8KJV- “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth, but thou shalt meditate thereon day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”
When we really believe promise’s of God, we receive what we ask for! And His power is displayed in our lives! Try that with something other than God’s Word it won’t work! So what are YOU believing today?
But we must teach the bible as God directed as well, to make the followers thirsty for more, and make it so important that “we” as pastors dedicate ourselves to teaching it as a requirement for walking with God! And teach that it will bring God’s people more revelation of His love into their lives, and give them access to all the benefits! Through their “knowing” it for themselves, and understanding our Father… through understanding His word given us….and allowing the teacher…the Holy Spirit to do His job… to reveal more and more truth to us…and help “us” walk in true liberty, and become like Christ! Not remain the same! And so that we know what we have a right too, and the authority to act on, or with what we received!
And knowing word of God, will allow us…to know “ourselves” when we are being deceived in these last days!
God said He gave shepherds for a reason …Jerimiah3:15NASB-and I will give you shepherds according to my heart, who shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.
Must be some “pastor teachers” of truth who focus on the teaching part and make disciples, who are then equipped to GO! And make more followers! That is the true relevancy needed today. I hope by Grace given me, I will measure up to the call and the need to be a teaching priest. A pastor for teaching the bible for living in today…in the Kingdom of light we now stand in!
I do not care WHEN Jesus comes back…I am just happy knowing Jesus IS coming for me ...whenever He arrives! But while I watch and wait with the oil He gave me...which will never run out! I must be ready for that day in that season…and help others to be ready also!
Col 1:13NAS-who delivered us out of the power of darkness, and translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love; Amen.
Ernie Harpster; Dir of Single Focus, Adult sinlges ministry of VLC.