I had another dream this week. In it, a big jet was flying low overhead and made a great noise, coming and going. It woke me up, it seemed so loud, and when I awoke, I heard, “My Spirit is coming like a great noise that will wake up the sleeping from their slumber.” A Great Awakening is coming! This is why I don’t believe the doom and gloomers. The light of Christ will change everything!
I am getting caught up from being gone for a month, and hopefully regular blogging will soon resume. In the mean time, I have been s l o w l y collecting links to blogs by believers in Jesus Christ, Messiah Yeshua, who also are learning about Torah /trying to apply Torah obedience in their daily lives, as I am. Here are a few:
I will add more as I find more … I hope these few may begin to be a blessing to you. If you are a Christian or believer in Messiah Yeshua, and are on a journey of Torah discovery and application, please let me know about your blog or website so that I may add it.
ME: "Come join my husband and I for Passover dinner at our house on Friday April 10!"
THEM: "I don’t get it — why is it a Passover dinner and not just dinner with family and friends? All those feasts were done away with in the New Covenant."
ME: "Were they? Can you show me where it says that?"
THEM … … … … "Well, where does it say they are to be kept?"
ME: "Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath." Mat 24:15-20
"Hey, didn’t Jesus get the memo that in the New Covenant the Sabbath was no longer to be kept?"
"Then he became very hungry and wanted to eat; but while they made ready, he fell into a trance and saw heaven opened and an object like a great sheet bound at the four corners, descending to him and let down to the earth. In it were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air. And a voice came to him, "Rise, Peter; kill and eat." But Peter said, "Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean." Acts 10:10-14
"Hey, didn’t Peter get the memo that in the New Covenant the dietary laws were no longer to be kept?"
"When they asked him to stay a longer time with them, he did not consent, but took leave of them, saying, "I must by all means keep this coming feast in Jerusalem; but I will return again to you, God willing." And he sailed from Ephesus." Acts 18:20-21
"Your glorying is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Therefore purge out the old leaven, that you may be a new lump, since you truly are unleavened. For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth." 1 Cor 5:6-8
"Hey, didn’t Paul get the memo that in the New Covenant the feasts were no longer to be kept?"
THEM: … … … …
ME: "I guess not."
Previously: The coming evangelical collapse, part two
I can’t stop thinking about this article that was published in the Christian Science Monitor, The coming evangelical collapse. It has gotten a lot of media attention. I didn’t agree with the author’s conclusions. I should clarify my position. I do believe that the author has drawn the correct conclusions for the evangelical church, IF (and this is a big if) the status quo remains as it is. If the state of the church does not change.
But here is where I disagree. I have faith, and hope, that the status quo will change. I believe we are on the verge of another Great Awakening. Whenever a revival of this magnitude happens in the church, the church is wonderfully energized and filled with life. The lost are saved in great numbers. Just such a shot in the arm, in the evangelical church, will completely turn on its head every prediction made in the article.
But I do believe that the coming revival will make a division in the church, which is already beginning. The division will be between those who will receive what God is doing in the earth and those who won’t. Those who will, will grow, thrive, and produce much fruit to the glory of God. Those who won’t, will continue in their dead course, and the conclusions of the article will apply to them.
How do I know that will happen? Because that is what always happens when the Spirit of God begins to move on the earth. During the Reformation, there were multitudes who received the life that the Spirit of God was breathing into the church. And there were those who would not receive it, refused to change, and clung to the old way of things. Those churches who would not receive God, continued in their dead course. Those churches who would, were made radically alive with new life, and they have produced much fruit.
It is the same thing with the Creation message. It is part of a broader move of God to restore the integrity and authority of His Word in His church and in the earth. There are those churches who have received what the Spirit of God is saying to the churches, and they are growing and thriving. Then there are those who have not received what the Spirit of God is saying to the churches. They will continue on the dead course they are currently on, and the conclusions of the article will apply to them.
God does NOT leave His church Shepherdless and leaderless. He is guiding her into all truth. But the church has to consent, and follow. For those churches who do, life, growth, and fruit will be the result. 🙂
Update: Huh, what a coincidence: Salvation Army raises record $130 million during downturn. Why isn’t the money drying up? I have a theory on that … to be continued …
Previously: The coming evangelical collapse
Points 1-6 in The Coming Evangelical Collapse have been pretty well addressed in my previous post. All of the article’s assertions are true – IF God is not the Great Shepherd of His church, and IF the prophesied coming Revival, whose purpose is to breathe life and fire into a dead church, and cause it to stand up on its feet, so that the lost come in in great numbers, does not come to pass. But I don’t believe that will happen.
Evangelicalism has been with us since the book of Acts. But the church did sleep through the Middle Ages, while the counterfeit church, with claims to godliness but denying its power, took the ascendancy. But since the Reformation, evangelicalism was reborn and has been increasing. And what do I mean by evangelicalism? I mean, church like the book of Acts. That is normal Christianity. The church where Jesus is Lord, He is worshiped and obeyed, the Spirit radically changes lives by His indwelling, and the Gospel goes forth with power.
The article’s final point, for proof that EC (evangelical Christianity) is on its way out, is that the money will dry up. The great sums of money that are being poured into missions right now are being used primarily to evangelize closed, poor, and unreached areas of the world, and to provide Scriptures to places that do not have them. But what if all that were to stop today? Does God need our money in order to advance His kingdom? I don’t think so. From the seeds that have already been planted, God can entirely change the whole world!
Take Africa, for example. Right now, people come from miles around to bring their dead on pallets and line them up in the shade behind the church building, because when church begins, and the worship of God begins, and He responds to His people by pouring out His presence on them, the dead just leap up and walk away. No one even prays over them anymore, because it is so commonplace. This happens every week in Africa. In places without newspapers and Internet and photographers, so it is not on the 6 o’clock news. But missionaries that our church supports have sent us reports of the amazing things that God is doing, and I am sure that you have heard of them in your congregations, too.
How much money does God need to proclaim His power, His might, and His glory in that way? To be a witness to the whole world? And if He needs money, well, God owns the cattle on a thousand hills, and He knows how to get resources to the place He wants resources. If the money dries up in America, that limits God in no way whatsoever.
People, we are going to be living in the most exciting times a human being can ever live in – the witness of God going out to the whole world, with boldness and truth, being confirmed by signs and wonders following. And it will increase and increase until the evidence is so undeniable that God exists, that He is great and glorious, and that He loves everyone with a fervent love. The knowledge and the glory of God will cover the earth as waters cover the seas. And then the Lord Jesus Christ will return. That is what I believe will happen. 🙂
Update: continued in The coming evangelical collapse, part three
The Internet Monk has written a piece for The Christian Science Monitor about the coming collapse of evangelical Christianity. Now I have my own quibbles with evangelical Christianity. But I find myself disagreeing with the prediction of this collapse in almost every instance. His reasoning is:
1. EC’s (evangelical Christianity’s) identification with conservatism will make them an increasing target as society turns more and more leftward. EC’s know how to articulate social causes, but not the gospel, therefore they will diminish.
2. EC’s have not passed a viable and long- lasting Christianity on to their children. The next generation’s ignorance of Scripture and theology will diminish them.
3. The three kinds of EC churches (consumer- driven megachurches, dying churches, and fragile new churches) will have difficulty surviving and thriving in the new century.
4. EC has not produced an educational method that can compete with secularism.
5. In order to survive, EC ministries will take on a less and less Christian face. (I am not sure I understand his reasoning of why this is so, but perhaps it has to do with pressure from governmental regulation or secularism, or else just an inability to survive because its EC base is shrinking?)
6. Even in strong EC areas like the Bible Belt, EC’s will have less and less success passing on Christianity to the next generation.
7. The money will dry up.
I find myself disagreeing with all of these assertions, and all for the same reason. It doesn’t take into account God’s plan, provision, or power to bring His church forth triumphant from the world, as He did Israel from Egypt. When the Lamb appears on Mount Zion in Revelation 14, the beginning of which coincided with the Reformation and is still ongoing, His victories increase until the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ.
For many years now, prophecy has come forward from the church that a new Great Awakening is about to come upon God’s people. I believe this Great Awakening, this last great end time Revival, will raise the church from her great sleep, will breath life into her bones and strengthen her with power. The signs and wonders, I believe, will follow as in the days of Acts. But God will be moving in this way, all over the world, and not just in Israel or in a few cities of the Roman Empire. God will glorify His name, and the entire world will know that I AM is God, the Creator and Ruler of the Universe. Even Richard Dawkins. Holiness will characterize this end time renewal as never before.
Now why am I predicting a much different picture for the Bride of Christ before Yeshua’s return?
1. The Torah is history- prophecy, almost all of it concerning the Messiah. By history- prophecy, I mean the historical events recorded in Torah are not only the true history of Israel, but also prophecies about the Messiah and His people Israel (into whom the church has been grafted). So when God delivers His people from Egypt with great plagues and power and might, and leads them triumphantly to the Promised Land, plundering the Egyptians and miraculously providing for their every need, I believe that is a prophecy with a two- fold fulfillment: it is first fulfilled in a spiritual sense, when we are delivered from the kingdom of darkness as a type of Egypt. But it also has a physical fulfillment, I believe, that we will see with the return of Jesus Christ. God will Himself plague our plaguers and He will deliver His church with power to the glory of His name.
2. God is just. And if the whole world believed the lie that Satan had perpetuated, that God is dead and nature is the creator of all that is, then people would have an excuse to not worship or serve the Lord, when they stood before His judgment seat. But God is not unjust. Just as Pharaoh said, "Who is the Lord that I should let His peope go?"; God showed him who He was, so that Pharaoh had no doubt. And I believe in like manner, God is not going to let the lie that He is dead and that nature is the creator of all that is, stand. That lie has been enduring body blows for some time now, but those have been for the benefit of the church. I believe that the judgment on that lie will be much more extensive and punishing, and the WORLD will be left with no doubt that He exists and that He is returning soon. Some will still choose to disbelieve it. But they will at least have no excuse. And I believe He will do it by magnifying His name above all else, and that at the name of Jesus, signs and wonders will increase. The sick will be healed, the dead raised, and all will know that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father. It is already happening, just not here. But it will happen, even here.
3. We are in COVENANT with the covenant- keeping God, and our children are in covenant with the covenant- keeping God. Revival does funny things to dead churches. It breathes life into them, and lifts them on their feet. It brings back prodigals and strengthens that which was weak. If the church has a weakness in making theologically sound disciples, including children, that can change in a nanosecond when God raises up teachers of wisdom and understanding to establish His church on a solid foundation of His word. And I believe He will do it, to the glory of His great name by which the church is called. Not because we deserve it. Not because we can reverse the trend described in the article. But because God is good, and He will see His promises come to pass upon His people for the sake of His great name.
And there’s a start, as to why my perception of the future of the church is brighter than shown in this article.
To be continued …
Update: continued in The coming evangelical collapse, part two