A Shaking Is Coming

“See that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For if they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, much less will we escape if we reject Him who warns from heaven. At that time His voice shook the earth, but now He has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.” This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of things that are shaken—that is, things that have been made—in order that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.” Hebrews 12:25-29 ESV

With all of the things happening in the world right now, we feel uncertain and uncomfortable. More than ever before we feel that our circumstances are unstable–that life as we know it could change at any moment. We feel shaken.

But this shaking we feel isn’t the shaking that this scripture is referring to. This shaking in Hebrews 13 is referring to the great shaking of God’s judgment that is described in the book of Revelation. This is the shaking that the world is being warned of now. We are now seeing the beginnings of what will eventually come. The events of today are like the proverbial puzzle pieces that are being put into place. They are also a warning of what the world will eventually experience.

Throughout the scripture God clearly communicated warnings to the world and to His people. He never surprises us. 1 Timothy 2:4 and 2 Peter 3:9 tell us that God desires that all people be saved. Revelation shows us that not all people will humble themselves before the Creator and choose salvation. Nonetheless, God is providing every opportunity for people to know Him. He has and is revealing Himself to those who have listening ears and soft hearts. His Word is proving true yet again with the “labor pains” that we are experiencing (Matthew 24).

The Scripture warns of pestilence and unrest that precedes the return of Christ. The illness, hatred, destruction and instability that we see and feel are nothing compared to what is coming someday.

Today is that day of salvation. Choosing to submit to God and accept Christ will not only save you in eternity, but it will save you from the fear, stress, depression, and worry that these times press upon us. As a believer, a child of God, when those moments of struggle creep in upon us, we can rest in knowing that this is not our home. This is but a foreign war zone that we are passing through. Our home is a place of peace and beauty that is beyond description. Our home is a place we cannot see, but the peace of God that rules it will rule in our heart when we keep our eyes on HIM.

Human words cannot adequately explain the peace of God that is in my heart. No matter what I hear and see, I remember to keep my face and heart turned to my Savior and to stay steeped in His scriptures. Because when I do, I can relax knowing that my God is bigger and greater than anything in this universe and He has a plan that is in place.

Today is that day to surrender to Him. It will save you from the shaking day of judgment that this world will someday experience and it will save your peace of mind now. I pray that as you read these words you know that He loves you, that you bend your knee and heart to him, and that you cry out to Him today. He will hear and He will give you a new life and peace. Today is the day of salvation.

“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33 ESV

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Salvation, Grace, Faith & Works

But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by His grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” Titus 3:4-7 ESV

Salvation is the core of all religion. When we look at all religions there is salvation in some form that includes us atoning for our sins, shortcomings or failures. In all religions there is some form of a god that needs to be satisfied in various ways–sacrifices, penance, whatever it may be that needs to be done to keep that god happy and prevent human punishment for here or eternity. Since that is the core of all religion, then it doesn’t matter which one we choose, right? Pick the one that is most comfortable to you and then spend your life striving to keep your god or gods happy. But that is what makes none of those religions worth choosing. They sound terrible–a life trying to please a god(s), to make atonement for our continual failures, trying to live up to impossible standards and die unsure of where we stand, hoping that we have an eternity of something good rather than punishment. No wonder people give up on religion and go their own way.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is different. I know some will disagree and say that even in Christianity, we must earn our way to heaven through good works or that through our works, we hold on to our salvation and without those good works we will lose it. This has been commonly taught (the apostle Paul called it a “perversion” of the Gospel which cursed anyone who taught it–Galatians 1:8-9) and has also pushed people away from Christ–so much so that now many teach that it is impossible to not be saved and that holiness has no place in the life of a Christian. This, too, is a perversion of the gospel (Romans 3:8, Romans 6:1)…My how the pendulum swings….the enemy must be delighted to see the focus be on everything but Christ and the cross.

So to answer this question about salvation, we must ask what is the gospel of Jesus?

{I am going to give a lot of scriptures, but I am not going to type them all out word for word, so I want you to go read them for yourself and pray for the Holy Spirit to teach you about this (John 14:26, 1 John 2:27, Hebrews 8:11). This is not all the scriptures on each of these points–they are a place to begin your study.}

  1. God, the Father and Creator of all things, created every living thing–trees, animals, etc, but into mankind He did something different–He breathed His very Spirit into Adam. (Genesis 2:7)
  2. Adam and Eve’s sin did not kill them physically–it killed them spiritually leaving all their descendants also dead spiritually, so all of us have been born into sin and require a savior to reconcile us with God. (Romans 3:23, Romans 5:12, Ephesians 2:3, Romans 6:23, Romans 5:12, Romans 3:10)
  3. Within our human ability, we are unable to keep God’s perfect law which He gave as teacher, a sort of measuring stick, to show us our guilt our need for Him and to “stop our mouths.” (Romans 3:19, 6:23, 7:5, Galatians 3:19, Galatians 3:24, Ephesians 2:12, Matthew 7:23, 1 John 1:8)
  4. Blood has to be shed to release us from the guilt and penalty of sin. (Hebrews 9:22)
  5. God became the savior we need. He became a man, walked among us and as a man without sin, He willingly died on a cross and defeated death. (Romans 5:8, John 1:1, John 1:14, John 10:18, Galatians 4:4-5, Hebrews 9:12, Hebrew 10:10, Galatians 3:13, Revelation 1:18.)
  6. We are saved when we surrender our lives to Him and become born again in our Spirit. (Romans 5:18, 2 Corinthians 5:17, John 3:7)
  7. We cannot save ourselves. Ephesians 2:8-9 “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” We are saved by the grace (favor that we do not deserve) of God, through our faith (also a gift of God), not as a result of our works or efforts–this prevents us from boasting in our goodness or ability. (Romans 5:19, Romans 5:2, Galatians 3:7, Galatians 3:26)

Salvation is gained by acknowledging our need for Him and placing our faith in HIS sacrifice, not in our works, good deeds, religious rituals, pleading prayers. The scripture makes it clear that after we are saved, we are under no obligation to follow any religious rules, regulations or to try to keep the law within our own ability. (Colossians 2:14-20) We can do penance, we can abstain from certain foods, we can observe holy days, we can follow rules laid out by others, but if we place our faith in those things, we will never be saved. We are only saved by placing our faith in Jesus. This separates true Christianity from all world religions. Christ’s gospel is that we give up trying to bear the load of righteousness and accept His free and costly gift of His righteousness by faith. (Matthew 11:30, Romans 3:22, 2 Corinthians 5:21, 1 Corinthians 1:30, Genesis 15:6, Hebrews 11, Hebrews 4:11)

Salvation by His grace through our faith does not exclude holy living, nor does it mean that we cannot harden our hearts and walk away from our salvation–relationship requires time spent together. (Hebrews 2:1, Revelation 3:11, Philippians 3:18-19, 1 Timothy 6:12, 2 Timothy 4:10, 2 Timothy 4:7) Our holy living without faith in Christ will not earn or keep us saved, it is our heart that God looks upon. (Hebrews 4:12, 1 Samuel 16:7, Acts 1:24, Acts 15:8, 1 Corinthians 4:5, 1 John 3:20) Holy living comes from Him living within us. It comes as the fruit of His Spirit now breathed into us when we become born again. His grace teaches us to deny ungodliness and to walk in holiness, through His power. (Titus 2:11-12) When we die to sin, we are in Him and Christ is holy. We grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus and over the time that we walk with Him day by day, we care less and less about this world and its temptations for our eyes are on better things, eternal things and holiness becomes our way of life. The fight with the flesh and the enemy of our souls will not end until we are at the end of this earthy life and walk the streets of gold, but praise God that when we fail and sin, Jesus is our advocate, our mediator (1 Timothy 2:5, 1 John 2:1, 12) and is there seated at the right hand of God our Father and because of Him our sins are forgiven.

The Creator of the universe loved us enough to limit Himself into human flesh for the sole purpose of dying just to save us. Now all we have to do is put our faith in Him…keep our eyes on the cross—choose Him every day and give Him what we have of this short life and in return, we have peace with Him for eternity and yes, even peace now, in the midst of evil, turmoil, disease, and all of the trouble that sin has brought to this world. How can we say no that?

Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed the heir of all things, through whom also He created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of His nature, and He upholds the universe by the word of His power. After making purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,” Hebrews 1: 1-3 ESV

Interpreting Circumstances

Since, therefore, we have now been justified by His blood, much more shall we be saved by Him from the wrath of God.
‭‭Romans‬ ‭5:9‬ ‭ESV‬

It is easy and somewhat comforting to use Old Testament scripture—particularly 2 Chronicles 7:13 & 14— to interpret our circumstances.

But using these scriptures this way is taking them out of context. Those are Old Testament scriptures where God was speaking to Solomon about the Israelites who had repeatedly forsaken Him. Is there a lesson here for us to learn?

Absolutely. God was always faithful to His people, accepting and loving them even in their sin and He is a person of His Word—He brought judgment for their sin. So, let’s learn from that but that is not where the story ends. We can’t stop in the middle of the Old Testament and use that to interpret the circumstances around us today. The scripture keeps going and years later God brought the Messiah that He promised—the Son of David—that saved His people from their sin and His judgment. In the New Testament, Christ was crucified—nailed to a cross—and all of God‘s judgment for sin was poured out upon Him. (Romans 5:8-9, 1 John 4:10, 1John 2:2, 2 Corinthians 5:21)

So, God is no longer judging sin. He judged it at the cross.

The only people that will now have to deal with the eternal consequences of sin are those people that reject Jesus. (Romans 2:5) The New Testament explains that although we will face trials and troubles in this fallen world, God is not doing this nor judging His people.

We need to maintain a repentant heart and we need to surrender to Him. We need to seek Him on a daily basis. We need to pursue holiness and all of the things that He talks about in the New Testament. But when we are born again—when we are His, we want to do that from our new heart and spirit.

Can troubled times help us see our need for God and bring sinners to Him? Absolutely. But according to scripture, troubled times are not punishment for our sins or unrepentance.

There will be plagues and such brought to the earth and things that will happen at the end during the Daniel’s 70th week when God is yet again dealing with Israel for His final time. We can get all the details of this in the books of Daniel and Revelation.

But it’s counterproductive to our testimony and our faith to believe and to tell the world and the New Testament Church that He is bringing coronavirus and locusts and other forms of judgment to the earth at this point.

New Testament scripture shows us that God has not taken anything away from us except for the eternal judgment of our sin. And now we have the choice to accept that free gift and all of of His promises that go along with this newborn life.

Pray and study the scripture in context for yourself. God is just and He does not make us pay for our sin when He already judged Christ for it.

Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭5:20-21‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Is God Judging The World?

When bad things happens and difficult times come such as 9/11 and now the coronavirus pandemic, there are those that quote and post Old Testament scriptures and proclaim that God is judging the world and to escape we must repent immediately.

Sinners should repent and I pray that they do. Believers—those who already repented and are born again—should always maintain a humble heart knowing that it is God’s grace which makes us who we are.

That being said we are living in the New Testament after Christ came. Let’s take a look at what Jesus said about God judging the world now.

“For the Father judges no one, but has given all judgment to the Son,”
‭‭John‬ ‭5:22‬ ‭ESV‬‬

“And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭28:18‬ ‭ESV‬‬

“If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.” John 12:47 ESV

“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.”
‭‭John‬ ‭5:24‬ ‭ESV‬‬

The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.”
‭‭John‬ ‭12:48‬ ‭ESV‬‬

“I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom:”
‭‭2 Timothy‬ ‭4:1‬ ‭ESV‬‬

“Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay each one for what he has done.”
‭‭Revelation‬ ‭22:12‬ ‭ESV‬‬

“For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak. And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.”
‭‭John‬ ‭12:49-50‬ ‭ESV‬‬

So let’s summarize what Jesus said: 1. God is judging no one. 2. God gave all judgment and authority to His son, Jesus. 3. Jesus came to earth to save the world (through His sacrifice and resurrection), not to judge it. 4. Judgment is coming and it is Christ’s word that will judge those who reject Him. 5. Jesus spoke on the authority given to Him by God—His Words are God’s Words.

God is not judging the world. In the Old Testament after the law, He judged sin. We are no longer the law. We have a new and better covenant. (Hebrews 8:6, 12:24)

This prevalent teaching that God is judging the world through disease, pain, sickness, disaster, etc. is false teaching. Jesus predicted false teaching would come through false teachers and prophets. Paul, Peter, and John also warned us this would happen. (2 Peter 2:1, 1 John 4:1, Matthew 7:15, 2 John 7:1-10)

To avoid being deceived by this false teaching, we need to be studying the Word with diligence and we better be checking all teaching against the scriptures as a whole just as passionately as the Bereans did with Paul. (Acts 17:11)

The scriptures are being played out before our very eyes and if there is any time in history that we need to know them backwards and forwards and pray for understanding, it is now!

Don’t rely on me or any other person for the truth. My prayer is that through this post and all my posts that you would, please, study the scriptures for yourself and pray, pray, pray with a teachable heart. God will not fail you. He has given you His very Word and sent the Holy Spirit to help you understand it. (John 14:26) I plead with you to not take it for granted. It will change your life now and for eternity.

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”
John‬ ‭14:26‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Great Patience & Perfect Love

And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” Revelation 22:17 KJV

In the Bible Study that I have in my home, we are studying end time prophecy in Daniel and Revelation and as I was preparing for this week, I was overcome. Along with details about the things to take place in the future, I am learning so much more.

I am learning that the study of end time prophecy in Daniel and Revelation is much more than a timeline or even a warning. It is comfort. It vividly shows us the extent of God’s plan to redeem His creation from the sin of the fall in the Garden of Eden. It is a glimpse of the end of this earthly story. Yet, this end is just the glorious beginning for all who choose Him.

It is astounding that our Creator knew it all before the foundation of the world and has gone to incomprehensible lengths to make a people for Himself—a people to love, to commune with, and to rule and reign with Him. The scripture from Genesis to Revelation is a picture of love and justice. A picture that drives me to my knees in gratitude, in worship, and in surrender.

So, I ask you. Where are you in that picture?

Believe on Him and be saved. Abide in Him and find strength to endure and victory in the battle.

Study it for yourself and take hope in His great plan that is bathed in patience and absolute perfect love.

“And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” Revelation 22:12 KJV

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First The Natural, Then The Supernatural

And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.” Exodus 12:13 KJV

The Bible is full of types and shadows. God first shows us the natural…and then the supernatural. Let’s look at one place in the scriptures where He does this.

The Gospel in Exodus 12

First the natural: God warned His people that judgment was coming to Egypt (a type of sin) through the death angel and He told them how to escape.

He instructed them to take a spotless lamb without blemish and to sacrifice it on the 14th day. He said to roast it with fire and eat all of it, leaving nothing remaining. And they were to eat it in haste with their loins girded, shoes on and staff in hand ready to go. They were to cover the doors of their homes with the lamb’s blood. When the judgment came, those with their homes covered by the blood of the spotless lamb would be passed over.

Now the supernatural: Through many prophets and through His Son, God has warned us that judgment is coming and how we can be spared.

Jesus, the sinless, spotless Lamb, was sacrificed on the 14th day of the month of Nisan. He descended into the fiery pits of hell and defeated death for us. We must take ALL of Jesus and we must choose Him now, with haste as the days of the rapture and judgment near. We must be ready to go, dressed with truth, the gospel of peace, full of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God (see Ephesians 6) and we must cover ourselves with the blood of the spotless Lamb. Only then will we escape the judgment of sin.

Now is the day to choose Him—-and be ready. He is coming soon!

He which testifieth these things saith, “Surely, I come quickly.” Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” Revelation 22:20 KJV

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He Prolongs Grace

Who can stand before His indignation? Who can endure the heat of His anger? His wrath is poured out like fire, and the rocks are broken into pieces by Him. The LORD is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; He knows those who take refuge in Him. Nahum 1:6-7 ESV

In the Garden of Eden God made it clear that there was a choice between obedience and sin.

The sin of disobedience brought a penalty. Yet, throughout the Old Testament God would show much grace through the repeated calls of repentance by His prophets and watchmen. He gave people many opportunities to turn from disobedience back to Him. But once they had made their choice to remain in their sin, He–the just judge–sent the just punishment.

The good news of the gospel is that when Christ came, He took all of the punishment, so God no longer is judging sin and carrying out the penalty on people. For now we have a choice. God is still prolonging grace–over 2000 years of grace. He calls and He waits. God is the same yesterday, today, and forever and the day will come when He, still the just judge, will send the deserved sentence for sin and the consequences will rain.

But not yet…He is prolonging grace.

He is calling sinners to repent. It is the day of salvation.

He is offering His righteousness through His own Son.

Choose Him and choose freedom.

There is nothing on this earth worth holding on to. He is calling you….Come home.

The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. 2 Peter 3:9 ESV

Our Hope Was Born In Bethlehem

But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, ‘Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.‘” Matthew 1:20-21 ESV

God’s great plan that had been in motion from the foundation of the world provided for us the only way for redemption.

We must never forget that without Jesus, we are lost. Every human born into this world is born with a debt that must be paid. That sin that has come down from every human father to child in every generation since Adam. We are, by default, debtors. If you doubt that, take an honest look and you will see evidence of sin–pain, fear, doubt, hurt, shame, self-centeredness, pride. This sin debt must be paid. We must pay it ourselves or have an innocent man pay it for us. The only innocent man untouched by Adam’s sin is Jesus–God in the flesh. He had was born without sin and lived a sinless life. Without His own sin debt, He chose to pay for ours. (“For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21)

Had Jesus not come to earth, we would all be doomed to pay for our own sin. We would all be destined to hell. (Romans 6:23)

His coming to earth and paying for our sin debt is our only hope.

Our only hope was born in Bethlehem that day.

For God so loved the world, that He gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 ESV

What We Believe Matters

My people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge...” Hosea 4:6 ESV

Many people have major misconceptions about God because they form their beliefs off of their own emotions because of their life experiences, what they see in the world, what they hear at church, what they read in Christian books, Christian devotionals, what their family says, what’s posted on Facebook or other social media. They go everywhere for answers except the Bible and when they do, many go into it with preconceived notions, a stubborn heart and ignore the scriptures that they don’t understand or don’t agree with. They interpret it with an earthly mindset even though the Bible says the the scripture is spiritually discerned. (1 Corinthians 2:14—“The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.”)

It doesn’t make any sense to form your beliefs of a book that you barely know for yourself. I did this in the past and it is a huge mistake.

Our beliefs determine how we think and our lives go the way of our thoughts because we make decisions based on our thought patterns.

What we believe matters. It determines how we deal with circumstances beyond our control and it affects the decisions we make and there is no escaping the consequences of our decisions—good or bad.

If you want a different life, take a look at your beliefs. Do they line up with all of the scripture—(for this is God’s inspired Word and message to us)? If they don’t, seek Him for an understanding of the Bible. Give up your “me-time” and study the Word He has given directly to you. You do not need a go-between person you and Him. (Jeremiah 33:34, John 14:26—“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”)

If you really want to have an understanding of the Bible take the time to study it with a teachable heart. He knows your heart and if you want the truth, He will never fail to show it to you (Luke 16:15). 💗

Secondhand Knowledge

and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.” 1 Timothy 2:14 ESV

God daily walked with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. He talked with them face to face. They had a personal relationship with Him. They had no sin nature. They were made perfect and still, they sinned.

Satan tempted Eve into sin by getting her to question God’s command to not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Why did it seem so easy for her to question God and become ensnared by Satan’s lies?

Genesis 3:3 has the answer.

And the woman said not the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.‘” Genesis 3:2-3 ESV (my emphasis)

Eve misquoted God. In Genesis 2:17, God said “but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” God said nothing about touching the tree–only about eating from it.

Eve had not been created when God gave that command to Adam and so, as far as we can tell, she got that information secondhand from her husband.

There is a great lesson in this for us.

Deception now is so great. False teachers abound. Misquoted scriptures flood social media and many peoples knowledge of God depends on what they learn from others. It does not matter what people say with their opinions and beliefs. Christian books are not the answer. Christian blogs are not the answer. Even a trusted believer with a strong relationship with God to mentor you is not the answer.

You must get to know God for yourself.

Secondhand knowledge will lead you into deception.

We are fortunate to have the scriptures before us and thousands of years of history showing us what God has done in His plan to redeem humanity. The apostles, the early church, and those Old Testament men and women of faith did not have what we have.

God’s actual living, Holy Spirit inspired Word is within our reach every moment of the day. Take time to study it in detail. Take time to pray and allow the Holy Spirit to teach you and help you understand it (John 14:26).

Do not rely on secondhand knowledge. Doing so will make you vulnerable to deception and lead you into sin and the price will be higher than you want to pay.

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