Monday, February 21, 2011

The Rapture

When I was raised a Catholic in New Orleans I wasn't taught anything about a "rapture", of course I wasn't taught much about the Bible either. Then, when I was 27 I committed my life to the Lord and began going to Bible studies taught by people who had graduated from Dallas Theological Cemetery (yes, that is a play on words) and going to Bible churches. They all taught that we would be raptured out of here before the Great Seven Year Tribulation Period began. I remember so many people who used to tell me that they were "waiting for the Rapture". They all believed that they would not be going through the Tribulation. They were all lied to.

The Rapture doctrine is a lie. The Bible promises that some of us will, in the last days, be persecuted, imprisoned, tortured, sawn in two and put to death - HE THAT ENDURES TO THE END WILL BE SAVED.  

Rev 6: 9-11 - When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. 10 They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” 11 Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been. -   Verse 11 clearly states that many brethren will be killed during this time. 

Rev 7:9-179 After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice:  “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne,and to the Lamb.” 11 All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying: “Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!”
 13 Then one of the elders asked me, “These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?”
 14 I answered, “Sir, you know.” And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15 Therefore, “they are before the throne of God  and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence. 16 ‘Never again will they hunger;  never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat down on them,’  nor any scorching heat. 17 For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’ And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.’”  -  I don't know how much clearer God can make it that we will not be raptured before the Tribulation. 

Rev 2: 10 - Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you life as your victor’s crown.

 Rev 13: 5-10 - The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise its authority for forty-two months. 6 It opened its mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. 7 It was given power to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. And it was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. 8 All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear 10 “If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity they will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword they will be killed.”This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of God’s people. 

Rev 14:12-13 - This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus. 13 Then I heard a voice from heaven say, “Write this: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.”    “Yes,” says the Spirit, “they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.

Rev 20:4 - I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

Many of us who are living today will be going through the Great Tribulation. Many will be persecuted, imprisoned beheaded and put to death in horrible ways. Many of us living today will be here to see Jesus' return. I believe that once the USA, the most powerful nation on earth and Israel's defender,  is destroyed then the Great Tribulation will begin. This nation's destruction will begin in earnest next year, although we could see major catastrophes happen this year as well.

Yes, we are that close. that is why it is imperative that you develop a close. personal relationship with the Lord NOW. If you delay, it will be too late.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Hearing the Voice of the Lord

How does God speak to you , to me, to others? I will tell you some of the many ways that He does speak to us, but I don't know all of them. He uses different means for different people.I will relate to you the many ways that He has spoken to me over the years because those I know from personal experience. But these are certainly not all the ways He uses.

The first time He ever spoke to me was on New Years Eve, 1982 through tongues and interpretations that came from an elder and his wife in a church I was attending at the time - it was a message that gave me hope. The next time was through a prophetess whom I didn't know, but who knew of me through someone else. It was a word of comfort, encouragement and was uplifting, I cried when I received it. The next time He spoke to me, and the first time He Himself spoke directly to me, was one morning in my prayers in March of 1983 when He spoke to me through although not an audible voice, it was very clear that He had spoken directly to me. His words were "Exodus 10:1". I opened up my bible to Ex 10:1 and it was God speaking to Moses telling him "Go to the Pharaoh for I have hardened his heart that I might perform these signs and wonders among my people." He was using this verse to tell me that He Himself had hardened the heart of a woman I loved very dearly and wanted to marry. He had His own reasons and purposes for that, but it wasn't her doing - He had hardened her heart.

He spoke to me through prophets several times over the next few months, always words of comfort, encouragement and were uplifting, as well as letting me know some of the things He had planned for my life. Let me throw in something here that is off the topic but extremely important for you to know. If anyone ever comes to you and tells you that they have a word from the Lord for you and that "word" is not comforting, encouraging and uplifting, then it is not from the Lord. If it is troubling to you, it is not from the Lord. In my role as a prophet I can give a rebuke to leaders of churches and ministries or the proud and arrogant, but never to someone who is a humble servant of the Lord.The bible says that the gift of prophecy is for "comfort, encouragement and building up" -  if it is used otherwise, it is used incorrectly.

Over the same period He would speak to me through bible verses, verses that He clearly wanted me to take as His personal direction as well as promises to me, although these were never in an audible voice, I just knew that he was using them to speak to me. He spoke to me simply as I was reading through the bible, I was not looking for anything specific, I was just reading the bible and I knew when a particular verse was something He was using to speak to me. The bible is His personal message to each one of us and it is imperative that we read all of it as much as we can so that He can use different verses to speak to us individually.

Then I remember a period in 1983 when I would be sitting down with a worship album on and just spending time with the Lord. He would begin to speak in a still, small voice, messages which I wrote down. It was certainly not a voice that I could hear, rather it was Him speaking to my mind. It was an awesome thing to know that God is truly a personal God who does want to speak to us individually. That period lasted only a few weeks and it has never happened again.

The way that He speaks to me most often, and the same way He uses for most, is through an impression, a leading, a still small voice. I remember in late 1983 I came home form church and was all ready to watch the playoff game between the Dallas Cowboys and their hated rivals the Washington Redskins. The game was a good game, well into the second quarter, when God said into my spirit "Come worship Me". What!!! But this is an important game!! I've been waiting for this game!!! Nonetheless I turned off the tv and put on a worship album and spent probably two hours with the Lord. When He finally let me turn the tv back on the game was over and the Cowboys had lost!! Talk about disappointed!! I at least thought that He would let my team win!! Obedience does not always bring us the rewards we hope for.

That still, small voice is what He uses to speak to most of us, that and the bible. If you truly want to hear from the Lord you need to be reading His Word and spending time with Him. That means also that you need to put aside your pride and preconceived notions of what God is like and how He does things. He is not going to speak to you upon demand when you think He should and how you think He should, He is going to do it when and how He wants to. If you are not reading the bible regularly you will be missing most of His directions for yourself.

He also speaks to us through dreams and visions. I have had numerous dreams and visions over the years and it was also usually years before He gave me the meanings of them. Although in the past year, especially the last few months, He has given me interpretations of my dreams within a few days or weeks. He always uses others to give me these interpretations. These dreams and visions can be of things that may be about to happen to this nation or other places in the world, to people you know or know of, or people you don't even know yet, or to you individually. Or they may be to help you better understand things that the Lord wants you to know about past events in your lives or to help you better understand he has planned for you in the future. Or they can be used to help you see more clearly things He wants you to know about yourself and others. And He can also use them to confirm things to you.

It has been years since I have heard His voice, years since He has actually spoken to me. Instead He speaks through me as I talk to others and as I sit down to type these messages. How does He guide me then? With His eyes. No, I really can't explain it better than that, but it was what He told me back in 1983 that He was going to do. Sometimes He has spoken to me through others to encourage or give me hope.

There are other ways that the Lord speaks to us that I am not aware of, but I know that some of you are.  So if you'd care to share them in the "Comments" section I know that you will help others to know more ways that the Lord speaks to and guides us.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Trials and Tribulations

 This message could also be titled "Waiting Upon The Lord", because it is about all the trials, tribulations and suffering we go through waiting upon the Lord to fulfill His promises to us, to use us as He told many of us that He would. Are you wondering what you're doing wrong to warrant all this suffering? Are you wondering why God is not using you as you thought He would? Are you wondering what you must do to step into the ministry He called you to many years ago? Well, you're not alone.

Today's theology tells you that you have to have enough faith to appropriate all that God has for you.  It tells you that you must cause good things to happen by your positive confession and faith. It tells you that God doesn't want you to suffer, and if you are suffering it is because God is dealing with you about something (translated, that means that God is punishing you for some unknown sin in your life, or a lack of faith). The "great" pastors and teachers will tell you that you have to "step into" the ministry God has called you to, take it by force, make it happen.

My brothers and sisters, those are all lies. Let's look at how God actually does things to those He has called to His service. When Moses was forty years old he knew that he was going to deliver his people from Egypt. But what happened next? He fled Egypt and settled in another country and forgot about being his people's deliverer. Forty years later God called Moses to go back to Egypt and deliver the Lord's people from bondage. What was Moses response? "Not me Lord, I'm too old, I can't speak, etc". Did Moses "appropriate" God's promises to cause him to be his people's deliverer? Nope! Did Moses "have enough faith" to be the Jews' deliverer? Nope. It was certainly nothing that Moses did to cause this to come about, it was what God did regardless of whether Moses wanted it or not. 

How about David? When he was eighteen he was anointed as king of Israel by the prophet. Did David go about telling all the people that he was now king of Israel? Did he have enough "faith" to step into the kingship? Did he demand his new position as king? Nope. Instead he served Saul by playing the harp for him. He became a mighty warrior for Israel. He served his king and country well with no intentions of "working his way" onto the throne. While he was being faithful his king began to hate him and tried to kill him, forcing David to flee for his life. He experienced great persecution because of his faithfulness and humility. But thirteen years later when it was God's time, God placed him in the position He chose for David years before. David had intentionally done nothing to cause that to happen. It was something God did to fulfill the word He had spoken to David years before.

Joseph is probably the best example of all. When he was eighteen he had a dream of the sun and moon and eleven stars bowing down to him. We know what happened next, his brothers sold him into slavery. Joseph eventually worked himself into a position of trust and responsibility in Potiphar's house because he served him well and faithfully. Joseph no doubt felt that his years of misery were over. Then Potiphar's wife falsely accuses Joseph and Joseph is put into prison. Can you imagine the bitter disappointment he must have felt, how hurt he was, how painful it must have been, how angry he must have been at being accused falsely?

In prison Joseph is raised up by the :Lord and given great responsibility and authority. He must have been thinking "The Lord is getting ready to take me out of here and vindicate me!" Then the chief cup bearer and the baker have dreams that Joseph interprets for them and he asks the chief cup bearer  to remember him to the king when he gets out of prison. The cup bearer forgets about Joseph when he gets out. Can you imagine how bitterly disappointed Joseph was again, how devastated he was?

Two years later the king has a dream and the cup bearer finally remembers Joseph. At last Joseph is taken out of prison and put as second in command in all of Egypt. He had to wait thirteen years to be vindicated. Then some time later his brothers came to Egypt and eventually his whole family, who do bow down before Joseph as his dream had said. Joseph now knew that God had put him through all that suffering to preserve the remnant of his own people during the difficult times that lay ahead.

God has promised many of us many things for years now. But instead of the fulfillment of those promises, all we've seen have been trials, tribulations, suffering beyond belief, bitter disappointment after bitter disappointment. We've been judged, condemned and rejected by our fellow "Christians" who have no understanding of what God is doing. We've wanted to give up many, many times, but God would not let us.We were told by pastors,  teachers  and "Christians" that God was a good God and He didn't want us to suffer, that He just wanted to bless us. That if we just had enough faith that we could have everything that God wanted us to have. Or, if we would just learn the lesson that God was trying to teach us, then He would take us out of the pit and put us on the mountaintop. We even tried to do some of the things they suggested but found out that it didn't matter what we did, the situation did not change. Bitter disappointment after bitter disappointment after bitter disappointment.

Take heart my brethren because your waiting has not been in vain. God has been testing, trying, maturing, preparing and strengthening us during these times of great suffering. Believe it or nor He has been building our faith and trust in Him to great levels. He has been teaching us to hear His voice and to be led by His Spirit and not by man. He has been preparing us to handle great responsibilities and authority in the near future. He is about to begin fulfilling the specific things He promised us years ago. Moses had to wait forty years, David thirteen years and Joseph thirteen years. I've been waiting twenty-eight years for Him to fulfill even one of the many promises that He made to me back in 1983. But is there any choice other than to wait upon the Lord?

He is preparing many of us to be able to lead those whom the churches and teachers have lied to an misled with all their false doctrines - to lead them to the truth so that they don't lose their faith and thus, their souls during the time of horrors that God is about to unleash upon this nation.  We will lead many to places of refuge and safety, to preserve the holy remnant and prepare them to become the bride of Christ, for He is coming soon!  Some we will help prepare for great persecution, imprisonment, torture and even death because of their faith. What an awesome task and responsibility this will be!  When all is said and done, we will understand what a great thing God has done by sending us through the hell that we have been through.

God's ways are not our ways, neither is His timing our timing. His timing is perfect according to His plan, not our plans. What He requires of us is that we obey Him and wait upon Him.