This is part 2 of It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World: An exchange with a Feverseason reader. Please, go back and catch up before continuing or you won’t know what’s going on:
SALLY: Well, I am all in favor of preparing for the worst case scenario as I believe the Church, somewhere along the line, has bought into the unscriptural concept that we will never have to endure anything hard, ugly or any type of persecution. So, preparations for hard times is a sound and a scriptural idea (Joseph in Egypt, Noah and so forth) I recently heard someone say that we must have preparations to share so that The Lord can multiply it when the time comes. But, let us try to keep emotion at bay and keep this discussion based on God’s Word:
The first point I want to tackle is your assertion that we, as Christians have no “effect” on when the Lord comes back. I don’t want to make a huge deal out of this as I understand what you were really driving at. I do want to assert however, that Matthew 24:14 says that the Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and THEN shall the end come. So, the inference is that Heaven is waiting on a specific count ( magic number unknown) before things start to happen. Sounds like perhaps we DO have an affect on His timing to some degree. We need to”get to” preaching!
National freedom is a wonderful treasure and I am all for doing what it takes to work and stay that way. It is however, a gift of God. Scripture relays an interesting conversation between The Lord and Solomon about what would happen if the kingdom strayed away from The Lord and what the only remedy was to come back into that umbrella of blessing. It was true for Solomon’s Israel and it is true for the United States, as well. 2 Chronicles 7:13-14. …If my people, which are called by my name (Believers) shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; THEN I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
So, sometimes we are talking about personal relationship and sometimes we are talking National relationship with God. As we see from the 2 Chronicles passage, the two are connected. The Lord, if you notice, is NOT asking for wholesale national repentance…although, He would be pleased to see it. He is saying that it is the Repentance, humbling and prayer of His own remnant: The people that he already has some sort of relationship with! IF they -his people- will turn from THEIR wicked ways, and seek his face….then He will hear and Heal! So the burden is on us, is it not?
We see this very thing played out in the book of Daniel. Daniel 9 opens during the first year of the reign of King Darius. Daniel realized from his Bible study of Jeremiah, that the 70 years of captivity were just about up in Babylon. Daniel hit his knees in prayer & fasting, sack-cloth and ashes and began to repent for himself , AS WELL AS the national sin of Israel’s disobedience. It is a powerful passage and one that we need to take heed and follow. Notice, that it is on the heels of this repentance and face-seeking behavior that the Lord gives him the amazing scan-of-the-70-weeks plan!
Also, as to your point which stated: “God’s will not being effected right now”- let us consider Daniel and his situation a bit further. His country, much like ours, began to willingly disobey God, fell into idolatry and forbidden occult practices and quit tithing. They even began to offer their children to Moloch in the fire and left off keeping the Shemittah etc… The Lord sent warning after warning, all ignored, as the folks decided to follow their own path. God eventually removed his umbrella of protection or hedge from them. And used Babylon to His purpose. They destroyed the temple, pillaged the country and took the best and brightest back to Babylon.
Are you telling me, Tex, that God’s plan was suspended and that Satan’s will was preeminent during this time? NO! God had a faithful remnant. Daniel, Shadrach, Meschach and Abednego and hopefully others! Yes, they went thru a terrible time, and yes, due to National disobedience they all lost their freedom but it was not out of God’s plan. Thru their faithfulness, testimony and continued worship God gave them unprecedented favor and they had a huge HUGE impact on multiple pagan monarchs, spread the Word of the living God, trained a whole school of wise men who would later recognize the signs of the Messianic King being born in Judah and travel there to worship Yeshuah haMeshiach and prepare a goodly chunk of inspired End Times prophecy we are still watching and waiting to see fulfilled. We need to be in powerful prayer for our leaders whether we like them or not. God is in the business of changing hearts and minds. Pray. 2 Tim 2:1-2
You need to get deeply into the Word of God, as did Daniel, to be effective when trouble or persecution hits. I recommend a Spirit-Filled church if you are not in one. Hebrews 10:25 If your schedule is whacky, may I highly recommend: www.churchofhispresence.org where you can watch archived services of John Kilpatrick’s church in Alabama. Also a good “school” on all things Holy Spirit would be sidroth.org his programs are accessible for anytime study both radio interviews and television programs. Really good, free, educational- faith building tool. There is no substitute for submerging yourself in worship and prayer.
TEX: There is such a thing as RIGHTEOUS anger! Biblically, this was shown to be often manifested through physical violence, by the men who were carrying out God’s purpose and opposing the evil of their day: Abraham, Moses, Joshua, David, etc…
Abraham/ Abram: The only time I recall him doing anything “physically violent” was when his nephew Lot and family were kidnapped during the scuffle that arose between the cities of the plains ( Sodom etc…) when they quit paying tribute to the big- dog kings of the North ( Genesis 14) Abraham takes his own army of “trained” servants and handily smote the enemy kings, brought back all the booty, the women and the people. Abrams first action upon returning was to take communion with bread and wine in verses 18 ( so to speak) with Melchizedek, King of Salem ( King and Priest Jesus Incarnate, I believe) And Abram received a blessing from Him and then tithed 10% of everything that he had gained in this excursion. Abram further refused to go into an agreement with the King of Sodom over any of the remaining stuffs so that that King could never claim to have made Abram a rich man. He wanted his men to eat, and his allies to have their portion but all he wanted was his family back. Abram was called a friend of God and as we saw in this passage he was very careful to stay in the will and blessing of God through this whole enterprise. Let’s move on to Moses, shall we?
MOSES: Moses did get a little ahead of God’s plan early on and killed an Egyptian who was mistreating a Hebrew slave. This precipitated his fleeing into the desert and 40 years of sheep-herding until the Lord had him in a place where Moses would listen and seek His face in the burning bush. All his dealings later with Pharaoh, were specifically detailed for him and ordered by God, and he knew ahead of time that Pharaoh wouldn’t budge. Moses did have some moments of anger such as when threw down the Tablets of stone when he came down off the mountain and saw the idolatry that the folks were up to! Then, another time, we see that he whacked the Rock two times to get the water to flow when the Lord specifically told him to strike it only once. You see, that rock is a picture of Jesus. He is the source of Living Water. Our source of sustenance in the wilderness of sin. In Numbers 20:11 Moses lost his temper with the people (and who can blame him!) He, in his fit of temper, disobeyed the instructions the Lord gave him concerning the Rock. Jesus, in this Messianic picture, is only struck down one time on earth as also pointed out in Gen 3:15 Messianic bruising. Moses paid a high, sad price for messing up this beautiful prophetic picture and disobeying God. Moses repented and was also called a friend of God that God chose to speak to, face to face! However, Verse 12 is a cautionary tale and very telling: The Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, Because you didn’t believe me, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.
I think that we can now move on to Joshua: Joshua took Moses’ place as leader of the children of Israel. His leadership was directly in keeping with the Word of the Lord. We can look back and see that when all the other people left after Moses would come out of the Tent of Meeting to hear the Word of the Lord, Joshua would linger there at the Tabernacle (Exodus 33:11) He was hungry for the presence and palpable glory of the Lord. We see throughout scripture that Joshua sought relationship with God. Remember too, Joshua and Caleb were the only two of the twelve spies that believed God and voted for marching right into the Promised Land in spite of the presence of the Giant Nephilim. He obeyed God in every instance as he took the people into the Promised Land after Moses died. God went before them in battle. I see righteous in Joshua but I don’t see anger. I see obedience and faith because he had observed first hand what happened when one didn’t!
Moving on to your last example, David: I did mention him earlier on in this discussion but let’s review since you raised him up in the Righteously Angry argument: Shepherd boy, anointed by Samuel the High Priest. The anointing oil is a picture of the Holy Spirit. It was after this anointing moment that we see David transform from the forgotten, younger, non-descript brother into the fearless lion and bear slaying sheepherder! Next time we see him he is slaying Goliath…he had four more rocks in his pocket because he knew Goliath had a few brothers who might pop up. He was totally prepared!
The only thing David is Righteously Angry about is that the entire Israeli army is sitting by, silently and in fear, while this Big,Pagan Philistine is loudly and publically dissing the One True God of Israel!!! He sets aside Saul’s armor for the Armor of God and marched right out to get the job done! Later, His musical gift could sooth the demonic influences that were slowly driving the King insane. Every time Saul tried to kill David in jealousy or Satanically inspired plotting, David acted with integrity, respect and patience. David was not perfect, but He was a man after God’s heart and he was always willing to hit his knees! Because he was anointed and righteous he had to run for his life for many years. His military feats are legend, such as bringing back twice as many foreskins of the dead Philistine soldiers as Saul had required for the hand of Michal. The only time we see David get into trouble was when he slipped into disobedience. One time he disobeyed God and counted the people in 2 Sam. 24 and disaster followed. More note worthy, for David , was
the time he let his eyes wander to see Bathsheba, which led to adultery, which led to lying, which led to murder of her husband and the death of their newborn son. (This stronghold in David’s life later led to a lot of family problems and unresolved issues with his children, but I digress!) When called on the carpet by Prophet Nathan, David, to his credit, immediately went into sack-cloth and ashes mode, Repentance, Prayer, Fasting ensued. His cry to God was please DO NOT TAKE THE HOLY SPIRIT AWAY FROM ME! He knew it’s value and could not bear to be without the Holy Spirit. (Psalm 51:11, 2 Sam. 11-12)
Tex, this ends the list of Righteous Anger examples from Biblical history that you gave me. While some of these fella’s did boldly go to battle and did amazing and often violent things: they always did so in answer God’s call and with the Ark of the Covenant going before them. I think we can all see that in every instance the Lord wants to see Relationship, Obedience, Rejoicing that we serve and worship the King of Kings. It is a Repentant broken heart, and a Willingness to be Used and Anointed by the Holy Spirit that will allow us to go forth and change one heart at a time! That is what turned the world upside down 2000 years ago and that’s what will change the world today!
You need to pray about this Tex, and get your heart right in this area so that The Lord can use you. It is easy to delude ones self, compartmentalize or rationalize that because things are so, extremely bad that He is not in control or that God has removed himself from the picture. That is never the case. We, as the Body of Christ are not to be hunkered down in hiding, clinging to our last peanut butter sandwich and hoping we can just hang on until the Lord’s return. We are to be moving in Power! We are not to let the Government of this world stand on the Battlefield and heckle and disrespect the One True God of Israel. We are to strap on our armor, take up our God Given Authority and start killing Spiritual GIANTS wherever we find them in our lives! This is a Supernatural Battle and you are seeing and being concerned with the disturbing physical/ natural results. Scripture predicts a great End time harvest and outpouring of the Spirit and this will likely come hand in hand with persecution and a backlash of evil government as it did in the first church!
Rejoice! You serve the King. Rejoice! He has you in the palm of His hand. Rejoice! He has everything in the palm of his hand. You just can’t see it until you press into Him and seek His face. Rejoice! It is only your heart perspective that needs to change!
Thanks so much for dropping by, Tex. I hope that this addresses your very important and common concerns. I always answer and back up my points not only with examples but, with copious amounts of scripture as that is the safe harbor and Plumb line for us all and keeps us from drifting into false doctrine or error of any kind.
I hope you will take a look at a personal testimony of mine in the archives as regards my awareness of the Holy Spirit. The post is called The Voice.