Deceivers and False Christs

Paul, Barnabas, and Mark began traveling from town to town preaching the word of God. Many heard that message and were saved.

Now when they had gone through the island to Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew whose name was Bar-Jesus, Acts 13:6

Bar-Jesus can be translated son of Jesus. He may have claimed some kinship to Jesus Himself.

He was very belligerent towards Paul and Barnabas when it came to their presentation of the Gospel.

Then Saul, who also is called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him and said, “O full of all deceit and all fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease perverting the straight ways of the Lord? And now, indeed, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a time.” Acts 13:9-11

Paul rebuked this false prophet and pronounced a curse upon him.

Jesus said,

“Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.” Matt 24:4-5

For someone to be convinced that a minister or prophet is Christ would mean the deceiver would perform Christ-like miracles and deceive many. His methods and mannerism’s are very convincing.

One thing you must remember – no matter how realistic a false prophet may seem to be, it is not Jesus the Savior.

“Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it.” Matt 24:23-26

Jesus will not return here or there. He is coming back in the same way He left. (Acts 1:9-11)

Abba, I want to be closer to You and know so much about You that I may teach others Your and teach them to recognize deceivers and counterfeits. YES&AMEN

You can’t escape the Word!

I remember one Sunday, not too long ago, I was preaching. Actually I was reading a lot of scripture and I had someone get up and walk out the door.

It happens. It happened to Jesus.

There was a time when some guys wanted to judge, convict, and execute someone that broke the Law of Moses.

Jesus said that if any of them were without sin they should go ahead and do it.

Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. John 8:9

The spoken word of God is powerful.

The word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Heb 4:12

The word of God convicts and there are those that cannot stand or sit in its presence.
The reading of the word conflicts with their life and so they must get up and leave.

I fear the day will come for the unrepentant when they shall hear the word and not be able to get away from it.

The Bible says the day is coming when the books will be opened and the dead will be judged by what is written in those books. (Rev 20:12)

I believe the books that are opened are the 66 books of the Bible. Each word is read and there is no escape.
The Law is read along with the penalties for disobedience and there is no escape.
The Prophets are read and tell of the coming Messiah and the re is no escape.
The Gospels are read and there is no place to run.
The letters of Paul are read and there is no place to hide.
When it’s over each person is convicted by their own conscience and by God Himself.

I pray that no one ever walks out again on God’s word. It is the word to change lives if they will listen and heed it.

Abba, I know there was a time I, too, did not listen to Your word. I ignored it. I mocked it. I ridiculed it. But now I live for Your word. It is the very air that I breathe. It is life to me. In Jesus name, YES&AMEN

Who will profit?

Ask yourself who stand to profit from the message?

That’s easy when it’s a TV commercial.

A commercial about a Whopper will profit Burger King. When the new Tundra is in an ad then Toyota and the local dealership will profit.

The manufacturer of weight loss pills will profit when you buy them but will promise that you will profit by using them by loss of weight!

You are bombarded with hundreds of messages everyday and someone stands to profit from each of them.

For we do not preach ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord. 2 Cor 4:5

There are many preachers and evangelists out there – and I’m one of them.

But is the message you hear benefit the preacher or the Lord Jesus.

Like the weight loss pills, each of us will say, “If you listen to what I’m saying – you will benefit from it!”
And that’s true. The message of the cross has the power to transform your life.

But there are also the charlatan’s that seek worldly profit from preaching and evangelism.

Though the message may be Biblically based or contain bits of scripture, does the message continually point to Christ or someone else.
Does the message end with the way of salvation or does it end with an encouragement to buy my book or send your money.

Who stands to profit.

What things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him… Phil 3:7-9

Abba, let the words from my mouth always be the message from Your heart! In Jesus name, YES&AMEN

Get Ready!

Then Agrippa said to Paul, “You almost persuade me to become a Christian.” Acts 26:28

Almost carries no weight.

In my lifetime as a minister I have come across people that almost want to get saved.
They do but they don’t.

They like the idea of going to heaven but they aren’t willing to give up their current lifestyle to do it.

It’s like a game of monopoly to them with a “get out of hell” card!
It doesn’t work that way.

Jesus talks about the “almost” believers.

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ Matt 7:21-23

God doesn’t play games. He’s not going to just pat someone on the shoulder and say, “Oh, I’ll let it slide this time!”

The words that Amos told Israel are words that each of us need to heed –

Prepare to meet your God, Amos 4:12

Abba, give me the wisdom to help others prepare to meet You. Eventually, each of us will! In Jesus name, YES&AMEN

Let the Shemitah Begin

It’s about to begin – the seventh year; the Sabbath year; the year of the release.

The next Shemitah year on the biblical calendar begins Sept. 25, 2014 – Rosh Hashanah, the civil new year.

In the seventh year there shall be a sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a sabbath to the Lord. You shall neither sow your field nor prune your vineyard. Lev 25:4

Modern Israel hasn’t paid much attention to this ancient commandment – until recently.

More and more farmers and consumers are expressing concern about fruits and vegetable intentionally grown and harvested in the seventh year – also known as the Shemitah year, or Sabbath year.

Now the Israeli government and Jewish religious leaders are hoping to work together to reinstate the practice.

The new Shemitah budget will go to the Religious Affairs Ministry, which intends to use a portion of the funds for promotional materials, and educational assistance for farmers wishing to honor the commandment.

Another small portion of the budget will be used for the special ceremony that marks the end of the Shemitah year Sept. 13, 2015 or Elul 29 on the Hebrew calendar.

That ceremony will take place at the Western Wall, in Jerusalem during Sukkot, also known as the Feast of Tabernacles.

At the end of every seven years you shall grant a release of debts. And this is the form of the release: Every creditor who has lent anything to his neighbor shall release it; he shall not require it of his neighbor or his brother, because it is called the Lord’s release. Deut 15:1-2

You may wonder why I mention this so much.

Until a few years ago I paid no attention to Hebrew Feast Days. I now believe that’s a major fault of the Christian church.

If these times, days, and seasons were important to God – then they should be important, at least, for a Christian to learn about.

Read your Bible. Learn and be informed.

Abba, I don’t know it all. I don’t understand it all. But I am willing to learn. I ask the Holy Spirit to teach me. In Jesus name, YES&AMEN

Sabbath Year

Gardens were planted in the spring and with such abundance of rain and temperate weather, the late summer yielded a wonderful harvest.

But with the arrival of autumn things are slowing down.

With this autumn also comes the beginning of a shemittah year – a year of release and a Sabbath year of rest.

Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard, and gather its fruit; but in the seventh year there shall be a sabbath of solemn rest for the land, a sabbath to the Lord. Lev 25:3-4

But the church cannot afford to rest over the next year. For the church, working the harvest should never stop and never end until the Lord of the harvest says to stop.

Though the church cannot afford to rest during this Sabbath year, the church needs to continue to release love, hope, and forgiveness into the world.

The question remains as to what may happen at the end of this shemittah year.
Will there be another economic collapse?
That’s unknown at this time.

What is known is that God’s love for you does not diminish and does not rest in the Sabbath year.

With the return of Jesus getting closer every day, use this time wisely to let Jesus release you from your sin.
Accept Him as your Lord and Savior.

YES&AMEN

Believe the Unbelievable

Here is an interesting scripture,

Remember Lot’s wife. Luke 17:32

Jesus spoke those words and it adds validity to the story in Genesis where Lot, his wife, and daughters were fleeing from the judgment of God on Sodom and Gomorrah.

But his wife looked back behind him, and she became a pillar of salt. Gen 19:26

I know that sounds impossible but even Jesus did not dispute it.

Jesus did not dispute the Jonah story. In fact He said,

For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. Matt 12:40

The fact is the wild and fantastic unbelievable stories of the Old Testament are very believable in and of themselves; but more so because the Savior believed them.

To me this makes all of the New Testament believable and to be expected.

1 Thess 4:16-17 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.

While that sounds utterly fantastic and many doubt that it will occur, if the Bible speaks the truth about the past then it speaks the truth about the future.

Believe it!

Abba, I believe the word. Guide me to live according to what I believe. In Jesus name, YES&AMEN!